When you consider the “psychology of trading” what we are really looking at is “plain old human emotion” – and one’s ability to control it.
This is without a doubt, the absolute most difficult aspect of trading you’ll need to conquer in order to be successful as without emotional control, fear and greed will wreak havoc on your mind and your account.
New traders often overlook this.
Caught up in the technical aspects of “timing entries” or “learning a new indicator” it’s very normal for new traders to operate on a “hey I think I’ve got this figured out” type basis, scoring a winning trade even, or seeing “another light come on” as another technical aspect falls into place.
This is all well and good, but I can tell you with certainty – there is “no short-term trade strategy” capable of beating the markets consistently without the one element that generally keeps both fear and greed in check.
Proper money management.
If you want to get your emotions under control, get your money management under control.
To start….trade MUCH smaller than you are currently.
Let me ask you……if you had a handful of change….perhaps 5 dollars worth of nickels lets say – would you really be that “emotionally distraught” if you lost one? How bout two?
Let’s say you even lost 3 or 4 – but then during the same week, you found a couple new ones behind the couch or in a pair of jeans? Would you really be that broken up?
There it is. You’ve got to start looking at your total account balance, and the amount you are flat-out “able to lose” in a given trade / trade plan without crying about it, essentially “removing” fear from the equation.
Consider you’ve already lost the money “before you even enter the trade” as another great way to put fear on its ear. Done. I’m in with a 100 pip stop, If I’m wrong I’m wrong….and I will lose $200.00. Ok mom! Good night. See you in the morning. Done.
Now….if you get this far and then find out that you are consistently losing on your trades, you’ll have to get back to the drawing board on your actual strategy as….it’s not “fear” that’s got the best of you. If you’ve been caught offside, and am now deep underwater well….I’ll bet you where trading to large right?
And….. if you can honestly sit back in your chair any given day and say “I have no freakin idea what the hell is going on out there!” – you stop trading until you do know.
I’ve got a million of these, and could likely write on “forever” but will keep this short enough to stomach in one sitting.
The number one way to get your emotions under control…..is trade smaller, lower expectations of “hitting home runs” and then concentrate on consistency. Small wins, small losses = more time in the game, and more time to observe and further hone your skills.
It’s a long road my friends, but the key is to still have a couple of those nickels left, when you’ve finally put all the puzzle pieces in place.
Then you can start building spaceships.