You know your trading strategy, you have your trading plan, you know what you should do, yet you take the losing trade and go against everything you had previously planned. Why? Why do some traders find it difficult to stick to a disciplined approach? Well, the simple answer is that as humans we are prone to letting our emotions get the better of us. Never underestimate the power of your emotions, especially when trading! They can easily distract you from your trading plan and disrupt all that hard work.
So, is it possible to take the emotion out of trading? Honestly speaking, it’s not easy! Emotions are a natural part of us. In fact, some people are actually attracted to the emotional highs they get when trading. When you place your first successful trade and take that money out of the market you’ll be flooded with emotions, and it can be quite difficult to keep them at bay. There are going to be highs and lows of trading, so it’s best to simply accept that these intense emotions are all a part of the process.
Ok, so if you can’t stop these emotions from coming, then how can you learn to handle them to improve your trading? Your aim should be to try to understand where the emotions you’re experiencing are coming from, when you’re more likely to feel them and how to limit their effect on your trading. If you can keep the following in mind you may find it easier to keep your emotions under control:
- Risking real money can be daunting at first, so instead shift your focus from the pounds to the pips. The exact amount of money won or lost in a trade is not important; how are the markets behaving? The market knows where the current price is, not your profit or loss, so focus on this.
- But the amount of money you’re making is important, as this is how we measure trading success. Don’t get hung up on if you were right or wrong, because the market doesn’t care so why should you?
- No trader is 100% successful. You have to take the wins with the losses, and be prepared for both scenarios. Your success will come over time with a solid risk management and trading plan.
- The market is not against you. You have to be in it to win it, and the market is going to do what it likes whether you’re in it or not. Interpret your trading results professionally as you would any other business venture. Do not take them personally.
Recognising that all traders battle with emotions such as fear, greed, excitement and more, is the first step along the road to successful trading. Lesson one, keep a cool head!
If you’re looking to step into the world of online trading, we’d like to help. We offer both courses and mentoring opportunities to help you trade with skill and confidence. Come along to our free* Learn to Trade Live one-day course on Saturday 17th November in Manchester, or on Saturday 1st December in London, to really get your foot in the door!
*You will pay a £50 refundable deposit to secure your space for the course, which will be refunded the following working day after you attend.
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