It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been trading, sometimes the markets can really mess with your head…
No doubt some folks experienced this over the past year’s choppy market.
For example, let’s say you enter what looks like a promising trade, but the stock rolls over and falls.
Or after waiting patiently for a stock price to rally, you bail out of the position just before the stock jumps higher.
It can leave you feeling frustrated and cause you to start trading with your emotions instead of acting rationally.
So instead of stepping back and letting a trade go, you start chasing it.
That stock you sold out of just before it rallied… well, you buy it back in fear of missing out – just before it slumps.
Now, not only have you missed the first trade (which would’ve been profitable), you’re losing money on your second bite at the trade. It’s like you’re always a step behind the play.
This can be dangerous for a trader. It can create a vicious emotional cycle that’ll quickly burn a hole in your trading account… and potentially put you out of the game.
It also means that while you’re tying yourself up in one trade, you could be missing out on plenty of other profitable trades.
Put Yourself Ahead of the Trade
The truth is, there are just going to be times when things don’t go your way. But the difference between a professional trader and others is how they deal with it…
Instead of reacting to what’s happened, you need to put yourself ahead of the trade. Meaning, you need to know exactly how you’re going to manage a trade before you place it…
If that means you get stopped out, then you get stopped out.
You don’t waste valuable time overanalyzing why you were truly right and the market was wrong – it achieves nothing.
And like our earlier example, if you close out of a position just before it rallies, then you’ve just got to take that on the chin. It’s going to happen to every trader at some point.
Instead of trying to get back in, you just need to move on to the next trade. Doing so will keep you ahead of what’s going on.
Free Trading Resources
Have you checked out Larry’s free trading resources on his website? It contains a full trading glossary to help kickstart your trading career – at zero cost to you. Just click here to check it out.
Keep Your Money Moving
No matter what size your account is, we’ve all got a limited amount of capital. No one can afford to tie their money up in a long-term trade that’s going nowhere.
As a trader, you have to keep that capital flowing.
To help keep the emotion out, you need to think of your trades in terms of risk/reward… not what it might mean if that trade comes off.
Thinking that a trade might potentially pay off a personal loan… or for your next holiday… will simply attach too much emotion to it.
You also need to know exactly where you’re going to exit a trade before you enter it. For some, it might be a stop loss with a fixed dollar or percentage amount.
Some might use a trailing stop that follows a fixed percentage behind their trade (but never moves back lower), and others will use time stops to set their exit.
Whichever method you use, you have to stick with it. The moment you start second-guessing your strategy in a trade, you’re going to be vulnerable to your emotions and get into trouble.
You simply need to enter a trade based on your analysis and close out of a position based on your predefined exit strategy.
By applying this consistently over the years, I was able to take the emotion out of my trading.
And in doing so, this principle enabled me to become a successful trader.
Editor, Trading With Larry Benedict
In today’s mailbag, members to The S&P Trader thank Larry for their success with his trade recommendations…
This week you made a major believer out of me. I netted a 180% return between the two put closings. That is the best gain over two hours I have ever obtained. It indeed made my year and gave me hope. Thank you. Words cannot state adequately the gratitude.
– Robert B.
I wanted to express a sincere thanks for your assistance over the last six months. Your trade recommendations helped me offset some stupid decisions! Thanks again.
– Willis H.
Thank you for your willingness to make your trading ideas public for everyone to learn. Your performance in 2022 was amazing. You are really good.
– Hease T.
Thank you, as always, for your thoughtful comments. We look forward to reading them every day at [email protected].