Trading Psychology -Quotes

  • To be a successful trader/investor, your intellect and emotion must work as a team, which is easier said than done.”

– James Dalton

  • ” Successful traders accept and expect losses. Losses are endemic to trading; they are the cost of doing business. The consistently successful trader accepts deep in his heart that his winnings will be tempered with inevitable loss. But the trader anticipates his ultimate triumph because he has structured the probabilities in his favor”.


  • “To be a successful trader you need to trade without fear. When you use fear as a resource to limit yourself, you will create the very conditions you are trying to avoid. Or to say this another way, you will experience your fears.”

-Mark Douglas

  • “The man who insists upon seeing with perfect clearness before he decides, never decides.”

– Henri-Frederic Amiel

  • “…to be a successful trader, I must love to lose money and hate to make money…The first loss is the best loss; there is no better loss than the first loss…Trading is a discipline.”


  • “One of the critical criteria I use in judging my traders is their ability to take a loss. If they can’t take a loss, they can’t trade.”

– John Mack

  • “If you have bad inventory, mark it down and sell it quickly.”

 Alan “Ace” Greenburg

  • “Never meet a margin call. (In other words, if the market is going against you, concede defeat quickly and liquidate before you really lose your shirt.)”

– James Grant

  • “Fail Often but never quit.”


Resistance is a powerful word, but in the market it can mean the end of a long climb up the latter of a successful bullish run. Points of resistance aren’t necessarily concrete, think of them more as a tightened rubber band that if you push into it to hard, it can send you plummeting very quickly.

Resistance is what it implies, a possible push against current price action. There are two correct responses you can have at a resistance, turn back (with a proper candlestick confirmation), or wait to see if the resistance is overcome, You never want to go head on into resistance because chances are you will get your butt handed to you. The other thing you don’t want to do is automatically turn back without a little push. YOU DON’T ALWAYS WANT OR HAVE TO BE IN THE MARKET. There are times when you need to be on the sidelines in observation mode; at a point near resistance is one of those times. Trying to break resistance is like trying to run over a locomotive on a bicycle. You can’t do it!! Your best option at resistance is to rest to see either the strength or weakness of your price action. Whether price is successful at demolishing or chipping away resistance or does a turnabout, wait until it makes a concrete decision before following. NOTE: wherever price leads, follow until you get a signal that it is no longer safe to do so, or until you have had your fill of a nice fat profit.

Let other traders jump in front of the locomotive to slow it down; DON’T YOU DO IT! Save yourself and wait until it is safe. Resistance points can either be safety zones put in place to help you protect your profits or the force and authority to crush you if you try to cross the line. When you come to a resistance point it means STOP!!!!, DO NOT PROCEED WITH CAUTION it is a RED LIGHT, when it is green, proceed with caution because there are times when price will break resistance only to fall back limp under the weight of the break through triumph.

If you don’t learn from your losses who will?

If you don’t try you don’t fail, if you don’t fail you don’t learn, if you don’t learn you don’t grow” – Om Malik

Failure is an inherent part of trading. No trader can get every trade correct. One of the lessons in the new Jack Schwager book, Hedge Fund Market Wizards, is that “Don’t try to be 100% right.” In fact the pursuit of perfection in trading will likely lead to catastrophic results. That is why some perspective on failure and loss is a key to staying in the trading game.

Atul Gawande, a surgeon and writer, has an interesting piece up at the New Yorker which is a transcript of a commencement speech he recently gave at Williams College.* Although he is discussing medicine his perspective on failure is worth contemplating. Here is a quote:

So you will take risks, and you will have failures. But it’s what happens afterward that is defining. A failure often does not have to be a failure at all. However, you have to be ready for it—will you admit when things go wrong? Will you take steps to set them right?—because the difference between triumph and defeat, you’ll find, isn’t about willingness to take risks. It’s about mastery of rescue.

It is a bit of cliche to say that your trading losses represent tuition paid. If you don’t learn from your own failures no one will. Those losses will then be not just a financial loss but a lost opportunity as well.

Enthusiasm Brings About A Triumph

The greatest victories in life rarely come from those who are sad, pessimistic or lacking enthusiasm.
When we approach challenges in any area with enthusiasm, we set a new foundation that starts us off on the right foot. This does not automatically happen. We all need to decide that we are going to start changing the way we begin our trading sessions.
Before we jump on our computer and look at our charts and start executing trades, take about 15 minutes to set the tone for this session. Take a few deep breaths, forget about the list of tasks that you have to deal with today, get a piece of paper and write down 1 or 2 items that you will focus on during today’s trades.
Once you have your mind set and your 2 items ready; say out loud “I am ready to trade”. Say this with enthusiasm and then sit down and begin.
You will have a new perspective on today which does not include focusing on the profit results, but instead on the process. Your trading session will have new meaning and you are now set to be triumphant in today’s trades.



The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, who strives valiantly; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”
Theodore Roosevelt


“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.”
Calvin Coolidge

The above quotes strike me as being appropriate for all of us engaged in the endless quest of trading profits. I make it a point to review these statements on a regular basis as I am well aware of the fact that I am only as good or bad as my last trade.

I accept the fact that I will never have it “made” as a trader. Each and every day is a new trading situation and I must be prepared with my trading plan. I must PLAN MY TRADE AND TRADE MY PLAN.

Trading Experiences

A major key to success as a Trader and Investor lies in your mind.  Actually, it lies in your ability to use your mind optimally and creatively.

Please remember – there is NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU.  You don’t need to change YOU.  What you most likely need to change is the “software” that you are running in your mind.  When we are born we do not get a user’s manual on how best to use our mental abilities.  So we learn by soaking up what we see and hear around us as we grow up.  And often times what we learn is not conducive to being a successful trader and investor.

One of the key mental approaches is to “Welcome Every Experience.”  Welcome every experience that comes to you.  It may be an expectation, or it may be a surprise.  It may be ‘good’, or it may be ‘bad’ based on your first assessment of it.  It may involve someone getting hurt, someone getting promoted, a tragedy, a triumph, a windfall, a bankruptcy, an ‘aha’ moment….anything.  The most useful way to approach experiences we receive (which are mostly experiences we can’t control as they are outside of us) is to welcome them and learn from them.  Realize that they are exactly what we need in that moment, at that point in our lives.  And since we don’t have a time machine, once something has happened, there’s no changing it. (more…)

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