A world that’s more riot than profession, the trading floors of Chicago are a place where gambling your family’s mortgage is all in a day’s. At a time when markets are unhinged, FLOORED offers a unique window to this lesser-known world of finance. These men may not have degrees, but they’ve got guts, and penchant for excess that solicits simultaneous feelings of revulsion- and a desire to root them on. But like many aspects of our economy, technology is changing the way these traders do business, and these eccentric pit denizens aren’t the type to take kindly to new tricks. Computerized trading may take the emotion out of the job, but it may also take some of these old-timers out- dinosaurs in a young man’s game.
Archives of “feelings” tagrss
The market is like an ocean – it moves up and down regardless of what you want. You may feel joy when you buy a stock and it explodes in a rally. You may feel drenched with fear when you go short but the market rises and your equity melts with every uptick. These feelings have nothing to do with the market – they exist only inside you.
The market does not know you exist. You can do nothing to influence it. You can only control your behavior.
The ocean does not care about your welfare, but it has no wish to hurt you either. You may feel joy on a sunny day, when a gentle wind pushes your sailboat where you want it to go. You may feel panic on a stormy day when the ocean pushes your boat toward the rocks. Your feelings about the ocean exist only in your mind. They threaten your survival when you let your feelings rather than intellect control your behavior.
A sailor cannot control the ocean, but he can control himself. He studies currents and weather patterns. He learns safe sailing techniques and gains experience. He knows when to sail and when to stay in the harbor. A successful sailor uses his intelligence.
An ocean can be useful – you can fish in it and use its surface to get to other islands. An ocean can be dangerous – you can drown in it. The more rational your approach, the more likely you are to get what you want. When you act out your emotions, you cannot focus on the reality of the ocean.
A trader has to study trends and reversals in the market the way a sailor studies the ocean. He must trade on a small scale while learning to handle himself in the market. You can never control the market but you can learn to control yourself.
A beginner who has a string of profitable trades often feels he can walk on water. He starts taking wild risks and blows up his account. On the other hand, an amateur who takes several losses in a row often feels so demoralized that he cannot place an order even when his system gives him a strong signal to buy or sell. If trading makes you feel elated or frightened, you cannot fully use your intellect. When joy sweeps you off your feet, you will make irrational trades and lose. When fear grips you, you’ll miss profitable trades.
A professional trader uses his head and stays calm. Only amateurs become excited or depressed because of their trades. Emotional reactions are a luxury that you cannot afford in the markets.
The hardest thing about trading is not the math, the method, or the stock picking. It is dealing with the emotions that arise with trading itself. From the stress of actually entering a trade, to the fear of losing the paper profits that you are holding in a winning trade, how you deal with those emotions will determine your success more than any one thing.
To manage your emotions first of all you must trade a system and method you truly believe will be a winner in the long term.
You must understand that every trade is not a winner and not blame yourself for equity draw downs if you are trading with discipline.
Do not bet your entire account on any one trade, in fact risking only 1% of your total capital on any one trade is the best thing you can do for your stress levels and risk of ruin odds.
With that in place here are some examples of emotional equations to better understand why you feel certain emotions strongly in your trading:
Despair = Losing Money – Trading Better
Do not despair look at your losses as part of doing business and as paying tuition fees to the markets.
Disappointment = Expectations – Reality (more…)
1. Be with the trade you are in at the moment. Stop trying to control anything but your own trade. The markets are going to do exactly what they want to and when they want to. YOU have the power to control what YOU feel, think, believe and do.
2. All that matters for you is the trade you are in. You may never see that trade again. Savor it, cherish it and be with it for as long as it lasts.
3. Celebrate your victories with yourself. Celebrate the trade and with the trade. The instruction is to refrain from boasting or grandiose behavior when you make a winning trade. The markets will humble you, and pride always comes before a fall. Napoleon said that the most dangerous moments come with victory. Decry and avoid hubris.
Also celebrate your defeats with yourself and the trade because they are mistakes. Mistakes are our greatest teachers because it is through them that we learn. What do we learn? Not to make them again!
Constantly strive to look inward, to know yourself, to raise yourself to the highest level of authenticity. Be rigorously honest about who you are.
Taking personal responsibility for your thoughts, feelings and actions is the first step to true inner peace—both in trading and in life. Never forget the ten most important words you can ever and always ask yourself:
Am I doing the best I can do right now?
The ultimate victory in competition is derived from the inner satisfaction of knowing that you have done your best and that you have gotten the most out of what you had to give…
“Many traders start out using a state of mind that focuses on “having.” Rather than focus on how to trade in concert with the markets, they are obsessed with profits, and what they can purchase with those profits.”
“The main goal is to make money, money that can be used to purchase objects of desire, such as a shiny red sports car, a spacious, luxurious home, or a large wardrobe of fine clothes. They believe that great financial success will be the solution to all their problems. Trading isn’t just a job; it’s their salvation. Although many traders are motivated by money, there’s a downside to focusing on what you can have as a result of your profits. When traders focus solely on accumulating wealth, on “having,” they tend to act greedy and may take risks in an effort to win. There is a blind and unrealistic focus on trading at a high level of performance. Unless they trade at a high level of performance, they can’t possibly “have” what they desire. But a novice trader can’t achieve a high level of performance, and so, there is a mismatch between skills and goals. (more…)
“The market does not know you exist. You can do nothing to influence it. You can only control your behavior.”
“The ocean does not care about your welfare, but it has no wish to hurt you either. You may feel joy on a sunny day, when a gentle wind pushes your sailboat where you want it to go. You may feel panic on a stormy day when the ocean pushes your boat toward the rocks. Your feelings about the ocean exist only in your mind.”
“A sailor cannot control the ocean, but he can control himself. He studies currents and weather patterns. He learns safe sailing techniques and gains experience. He knows when to sail and when to stay in the harbor.”
“When joy sweeps you off your feet, you will make irrational trades and lose. When fear grips you, you’ll miss profitable trades. A professional trader uses his head and stays calm. Only amateurs become excited or depressed because of their trades.”
I still need to control my emotions, thus I am still an amateur trader. No matter how much I try to pretend to myself to not get excited or fearful, its impossible. You just cant lie to yourself… This is the one other skill I need to work on psychology wise.
On a side note I would like to share with you what attracts me about trading (more…)
1. Harness the power of intention
As you become more and more focused as a trader and as you learn to clear your emotions the power of your intention will become stronger and stronger. Begin the day by setting the intention that you will be successful, that you will be profitable, and that you will be safe. If possible visualize it, or feel that it will happen.
If any feelings or thoughts come up contrary to that intention (e.g. I lost yesterday perhaps I’ll lose today) go straight to the next point and clear that thought/feeling.
2. Clear limiting thoughts and emotions
Did anything happen yesterday or on previous trading days that is bothering you? Anything happening in your personal life that may be affecting your state of mind? Any recurring thoughts or feelings that come up during the trading day?
3. Brain power
Make sure that you have exercised and eaten properly so that your mind is clear and fresh. Have the right snacks at hand so that you can keep your blood sugar balanced, so that you mind stays fresh and optimally focused.
4. Know when you are going to trade
You may say “How do I know when I am going to trade ahead of time?”. In response I’d say, “if your trading system doesn’t tell you when you are going to be trading ahead of time, then you are missing out on a huge advantage”. As you’ll see from the various posts on cycle trading I am convinced that time is as important a factor in determining entries as price. This is why I use a combination of cycles and harmonics in addition to regular technical analysis to determine entries.
Adopting this trading methodology was the single biggest contributing factor for me in becoming a consistently profitable trader, because I can calmly prepare for the times that I am going to trade and I can relax my focus during the times when I know I should be on the sidelines.
All I can say about the following is WOW, talk about THE perfect explanation for the reason behind unreasonable and illogical crowded moves in the stock market…
The most striking peculiarity presented by a psychological crowd is the
following: Whoever be the individuals that compose it, however like or unlike
be their mode of life, their occupations, their character, or their intelligence,
the fact that they have been transformed into a crowd puts them in possession
of a sort of collective mind which makes them feel, think, and act in a manner
quite different from that in which each individual of them would feel, think,
and act were he in a state of isolation. There are certain ideas and feelings
which do not come into being, or do not transform themselves into acts except
in the case of individuals forming a crowd. The psychological crowd is a
provisional being formed of heterogeneous elements, which for a moment are
combined, exactly as the cells which constitute a living body form by their
reunion a new being which displays characteristics very different from those
possessed by each of the cells singly.
…and it was written by a psychologist in 1896!
Anyone care to guess who it is? And it is not Charles Mackay.
Every winner needs to master three essential components of trading; a sound individual psychology, a logical trading system and good money management. These essentials are like three legs of a stool – remove one and the stool will fall, together with the person who sits on it. Losers try to build a stool with only one leg, or two at the most. They usually focus exclusively on trading systems. Your trades must be based on clearly defined rules. You have to analyze your feelings as you trade, to make sure that your decisions are intellectually sound. You have to structure your money management so that no string of losses can kick you out of the game.”
Arguably one of the greatest traders of all time with his trend following system.
Charles Faulkner tells a story about Seykota’s finely honed intuition when it comes to trading: I am reminded of an experience that Ed Seykota shared with a group. He said that when he looks at a market, that everyone else thinks has exhausted its up trend, that is often when he likes to get in. When I asked him how he made this determination, he said he just puts the chart on the other side of the room and if it looked like it was going up, then he would buy it… Of course this trade was seen through the eyes of someone with deep insight into the market behavior
The Ten Best Things Ed Seykota Ever Said:
“To avoid whipsaw losses, stop trading.”
“It can be very expensive to try to convince the markets you are right.”
“A fish at one with the water sees nothing between himself and his prey. A trader at one with his feelings feels nothing between himself and executing his method.”
“The elements of good trading are cutting losses, cutting losses, and cutting losses.”
“Here’s the essence of risk management: Risk no more than you can afford to lose, and also risk enough so that a win is meaningful. If there is no such amount, don’t play.”
“In your recipe for success, don’t forget commitment – and a deep belief in the inevitability of your success.”
“The trend is your friend except at the end when it bends.”
“If you want to know everything about the market, go to the beach. Push and pull your hands with the waves. Some are bigger waves, some are smaller. But if you try to push the wave out when it’s coming in, it’ll never happen. The market is always right.”
“Systems don’t need to be changed. The trick is for a trader to develop a system with which he is compatible.”
“I don’t predict a nonexisting future.”
Ed Seykota is a legend in the trend following community and has returns that would make Bernie Madoff jealous, because his are real. If you can fully grasp what Ed is saying in these quotes it will improve your trading dramatically.