As you should be aware by now, certainly if you have spent any time in the markets, trading is 30% strategy, 70% psychology…Personally, I believe 80% is more accurate! No one is born to be a trader; trading goes against our nature as human beings as we ask ourselves to do the exact opposite of what we want to do, on a constant basis. Consequently, this is exactly why the emotional aspect of being a trader is the toughest to conquer. Fear not if you’re still struggling with your discipline, think of it like a high jump competition, except the bar lowers in height every jump, tough to start, BUT it gets easier (I was never very good at high jump considering I’m 5 8”, maybe that’s why I struggled for so long at the start of my career!). That’s not to say that accomplished traders don’t make mistakes, of course they do. However, full-time, consistent traders make far less mistakes than the cowboys or cowgirls entering the market, with the goal of being an overnight millionaire on a $1000 account.
A successful trade starts long before you enter a position. Months/years of dedication to the mastery of your craft, by craft I’m specifically referring to the strategy/strategies you employ. If you live and breathe the break out retest, the breakout or the pullback trade, the probability is you’ve gone through the shit of losing money, losing your head, losing your gains, losing your confidence, losing your hair? etc, before you reach your accumulation period, prior to the start of your uptrend (kudos if you understand that reference, if you don’t, brush up in our trading academy
In addition to the above statement, the months/years of trading builds up your confidence, not in that trade specifically, but in your ability to consistently pick winners that will ultimately lead you to a green percentage at the end of the majority of months. Therefore, this trade is just that, one trade in many. If, for example, you average 4 trades a week, 16 a month and thus average 192 trades a year, why are you considering this trade to be boom or bust? Premier league winners drop points (bar Arsenal), they don’t call it off after they do, get over it, it’s not a big deal, it’s just one trade.
Once your trade has been placed (exciting thinking about it huh), get your ass away from the computer (for longer term trades). Knowing my strategy well, the norm is nothing is going to happen for a little while, go back to work, take your dog for a walk (in my case, my dog takes me!) As I type this, I’ve entered in a EURAUD short, its currently $849 in profit….Shit! I should take that right! Its 800 bucks, I’ll take that money and go buy my girlfriend the Dyson air wrap she’s been nagging me about. Or, I’ve lost my last 2 trades so I’ll take some profit back as I think it’ll flip on me again. No, whatever happens now is irrelevant and any modifications will be psychologically driven. My first take profit is set at 1/1 and I trail the rest, I also know with EURAUD I don’t touch it, should my trade be in GBPJPY, and I conclude there is a momentum shift, I’m out, shark tank style.
Lovely, $1,200 up now, trigger finger at the ready….no, I don’t take profits before 1/1! That’s just me, and my strategy, which has been worked on/refined for a long time now. Again, it comes down to your strategy. I’m shutting MT4 down and heading off to the gym, the market pays those who are patient… Plus, I’m getting a bit podgy so some running wouldn’t go a miss.
Reader Tip –If you find yourself in a trade, and that small voice inside your head (i.e the devil on your shoulder) comes calling telling you to cut it, add to it, or whatever the circumstance is, write this down in your trading journal (which I hope has been purchased on the RT.FX Store ;)). Do this 21 times, they (don’t really know who “they” are) say 21 is the magic number for building a habit, you’ll need to do it much more than that but 21 is a great place to start.
If you are a new or novice trader, whether the trade wins or not should be less important than the lesson. If you are new, you absolutely should NOT be putting any more than $500 into a trading account (unless it’s a demo account), if you do I will personally ring you to give you a Gordon Ramsay-esq telling off (YOU F****** DONKEY). Analyze why the trade was a winner/loser, write it down, and do the same for the next one, repeat.
The aim here for each trade is to turn yourself into a robot, think of all those times you may have cut a trade after a losing streak because you were scared, then it went on and would have given you 2/3/4 or even 5/1. I bet you were p****d off, do not let that happen again. Say it with me, I will stick to my strategy, say it again, say it every day and you never know, one day you will close a trade for $20,000 and think, I’m glad I joined RT.FX and listened to Ryan. When that happens, I like Gin, so a bottle of Hendricks my way wouldn’t go a miss.
Even though I preach robotics, you will never be 100% there, part of the enjoyment of trading is that feeling of beating the market, that’s ok, be happy when you win, pat yourself on the back as you improve, don’t be too hard on yourself when you make mistakes, you’ll make many, I make them, and will continue to do so, but let’s stop being ill disciplined shall we? Good.
If you are really struggling, drop me a message, involve yourself in the community chat, there lots of traders there to help, a problem shared is a problem halved. My goal is to make every member of RT.FX a better trader.
Final Thoughts – we try our best to give you the realities of trading at RT.FX, it truly is a marathon, not a sprint, take the lessons the market gives you, learn from them, the market doesn’t care about you, it’s never wrong, it’ll do what it does, you aren’t in control of the biggest market in the world. What you are in control of, is your account and your actions, don’t let it beat you, you’re better than that.
P.S Now only $900 in profit, oh no, is it flipping?? 😊
Enjoy the journey and trade SAFE