Your biggest enemy, when trading, is within yourself. Success will only come when you learn to control your emotions. Edwin Lefevre’s Reminiscences of a Stock Operator (1923) offers advice that still applies today.
- CautionExcitement (and fear of missing an opportunity) often persuade us to enter the market before it is safe to do so. After a down-trend a number of rallies may fail before one eventually carries through. Likewise, the emotional high of a profitable trade may blind us to signs that the trend is reversing.
- PatienceWait for the right market conditions before trading. There are times when it is wise to stay out of the market and observe from the sidelines.
- ConvictionHave the courage of your convictions: Take steps to protect your profits when you see that a trend is weakening, but sit tight and don’t let fear of losing part of your profit cloud your judgment. There is a good chance that the trend will resume its upward climb. (more…)
Excitement (and fear of missing an opportunity) often persuade us to enter the market before it is safe to do so. After a down-trend a number of rallies may fail before one eventually carries through. Likewise, the emotional high of a profitable trade may blind us to signs that the trend is reversing.
Wait for the right market conditions before trading. There are times when it is wise to stay out of the market and observe from the sidelines.
Have the courage of your convictions: Take steps to protect your profits when you see that a trend is weakening, but sit tight and don’t let fear of losing part of your profit cloud your judgment. There is a good chance that the trend will resume its upward climb.
Concentrate on the technical aspects rather than on the money. If your trades are technically correct, the profits will follow.
Stay emotionally detached from the market. Avoid getting caught up in the short-term excitement. Screen-watching is a tell-tale sign: if you continually check prices or stare at charts for hours it is a sign that you are unsure of your strategy and are likely to suffer losses.
Focus on the longer time frames and do not try to catch every short-term fluctuation. The most profitable trades are in catching the large trends. (more…)
One of Sun Tzu’s most famous quotes is: “Every battle is won before it is fought.” The phrase implies that it is planning and strategy that wins wars and not the battles themselves. Similarly, successful traders commonly quote the phrase: “Plan the trade and trade the plan.” Just like in war, planning ahead can often mean the difference between success and failure.
Stop-loss (S/L) and take-profit (T/P) points represent two key ways in which traders can plan ahead when trading. Successful traders know what price they are willing to pay and at what price they are willing to sell, and they measure the resulting returns against the probability of the stock hitting their goals. If the adjusted return is high enough, then they execute the trade.
Conversely, unsuccessful traders often enter a trade without having any idea of at what points they will sell at a profit or a loss. Like gamblers on a lucky or unlucky streak, emotions begin to take over and dictate their trades. Losses often provoke people to hold on and hope to make their money back, while profits often entice traders to imprudently hold on for even more gains.
Take-Profit Points, trading greed, trading fear, trading emotions, financial behavior
A stop-loss point is the price at which a trader will sell a stock and take a loss on the trade. Often times, this happens when a trade does not pan out the way a trader hoped. The points are designed to prevent the “it will come back” mentality and limit losses before they escalate. For example, if a stock breaks below a key support level, traders often sell as soon as possible.
On the other side of the table, a take-profit point is the price at which a trader will sell a stock and take a profit on the trade. Often times, this is when there is limited additional upside given the risks. For example, if a stock is approaching a key resistance level after a large move upwards, traders may want to sell before a period of consolidation takes place. (more…)
“Investors are the big gamblers. They make a bet, stay with it, and if it goes the wrong way, they lose it all.”
Not having an exit strategy before initiating a trading position is worse than gambling, where you realize that the chance to lose is too big, therefore you risk only money you can afford to lose. Not having a stop loss means that you are most likely risking more than you could afford to lose. As they say amateurs go out of business because of taking big losses. Professionals go out of business by taking small profits. Cut your losses short when your stop level is hit. Even more, make sure to put your stop loss order immediately after you initiate a trade. Put your stop loss at a place where the trend you are following will be over. Let your profits run by gradually lifting you profit protection stop order. In order to maximize your profits you have to be willing to give some of them back.
I” don’t believe anyone ever gets wiped out in the market because of bad luck; there is always some other reason for it. Either you were off when you did the trade, or you didn’t have the experience. There is always a mistake involved.”
Trading Is Complicated
Trading is simple. You are complicated.
I Have to Trade Every Day to Make a Living
No, you don’t.
I Have a Right To Know How Much Money Other Traders Make
No, you don’t.
DayTraders Will Appreciate Hearing My View That They Are Reckless Gamblers
No, they won’t.
There is a very thin line. I maintain that most traders ARE gamblers. They use markets as a substitute for a casino. Here are some of the sign posts that you have crossed the line.
1. IF you enter trades without a clear trading plan, you just might be a gambler.
2. IF you trade just to be trading, you just might be a gambler.
3. IF your bored and enter a trade, you just might be a gambler.
4. IF you look at potential profit before assessing potential loses, you just might be a gambler.
5. IF you have no impulse control, you just might be a gambler.
6. IF you have no methodology, you just might be a gambler.
7. IF you rely on others for your trading decisions, you just might be a gambler.
8. IF you do not take full responsibility for your trading outcomes, you just might be a gambler.
9. IF you increase your risk due to losses, you just might be a gambler.
10. IF you do not use stop losses or do not adhere to them, you just might be a gambler.
And my all time favorite
11. IF you get an adrenaline rush when your entering trades, you just might be a gambler.