We are so focused on adding to our trading arsenal with knowledge, books, chart patterns, indicators, moving averages, gurus, things for our watch list and whatever else we believe will help us make money that we forget what to give up on. One of the biggest things that determines whether a new trader ends up being a winning trader is how well they can filter out things that do not help them make money.
As traders, we cannot follow every indicator, trade every method, and endlessly add to your trading methodology, you have to make choices and you have to know what does not help you make money and what to delete. A trader has to identify things that they are doing that cause them to lose money and then give up those habits.
- Give up your need to be right. The market is always right, do not strive to be right in your predictions and opinions, strive to go with the flow of the market.
- Give up control. No matter how long you watch a live stock stream you have zero power over the movements. Save your emotional energy by not trying to cheer on your positions and get wrapped up in every price tick.
- Give up blaming “They” for your losses. There is no mysterious ‘They’ causing you to lose money, your choices cause you to lose money or your system just had a losing trade. You can be on the same side as ‘They’ if you traded differently. It is a free country and free market.
- Give up beating yourself up for losing trades. If you followed your trading plan then there should be zero regrets involved in a losing trade. If you did not follow your plan and lost then your money was your tuition, you paid your price so mentally and emotionally move on to the next trade.
- Give up your own opinions. If you took a trade based on your own opinion you have to give up your opinion and get out if the trade moves to a place that proves you were wrong.
- Give up your inability to change your mind. The more you believe a trade just can’t miss the more dangerous it is. It will cause you to trade too big and stay in too long. You have to always be ready to be wrong.
- Give up your past trades. Each trade is a new trade do not hold grudges against stocks and think they ‘owe’ you for past losses. Do not fall in love with a stock and hold it as it falls lower and lower.
- Give up letting your trading define your self worth. Do not let your trading define you. Diversify your life with friends, family, hobbies, and other interests. It is not healthy to become overly obsessed with the markets.
- Give up on losing trades quickly when your stop is hit. Your best trades will be the ones that are profitable from the start, if they immediately go against you be prepared to be stopped out. You can destroy your trading account when you start the “It will come back, I just have to wait” chant in the midst of a death spiral.
- Give up on price targets let your winners run as far as they will go. In the right market conditions trends can go on to unbelievable levels, the big wins during these trends can make your entire career. If you set a predefined profit target you will miss the opportunity when it comes. Let a trailing stop take you out.
Instead of giving up on the markets, give up on these bad habits.
This previously appeared on the NewTraderU.
Any opinions expressed herein are solely those of the author, and do not in any way represent the views or opinions of any other person or entity.