A Major Key to Successful Trading is Coping With Losses.“Mental Fitness for Futures Traders”
by Norman Hallett, former CTA/Trader
Be warned. “Part of overall winning is taking losses along the way.” “If you have 55% winning trades, you’ll win in the long run.” We’ve heard it said a million times in a hundred different ways. In any trading system, we will experience losing trades as well as winning trades. We know this. So why is it that as we moved forward from trade to trade, we become frozen with doubt when the losing trades appear in bunches?
If you think about it, when winning trades appear in bunches, we get motivated and we look for reasons to find the next trade. We’re on a roll and we love it. We’re on top of the world. The words “genius” and “professional trader” seem to fit us perfectly. Conversely, when losing trades appear in bunches, we become fearful of the next trade and look for reasons to shy away from following our system. We become filled with doubt and the words “gambler” and “loser” seem to describe us best.
OK, so why? It’s because you’re are viewing our trading outcomes as reflections of you as a person. This leads to the destruction of virtually all failing traders. Negative personal evaluation leads to your being emotionally out of control, which leads to straying from your tested trading system … and the result… you’re trading by the seat of your pants (which should be pulled down and you spanked!).
You see, you must develop the mindset (and the true understanding) that you are a winning trader whether you are experiencing a run of losing trades or winning trades. Your self-image of a winning trader allows you to glide through losing streaks so you can be there for the winning streaks.
Most new and “intermediate” traders do NOTHING about their mental trading fitness. They are willing to spend thousands of dollars on “holy grail” systems and out-of-town seminars, but are totally neglecting mental conditioning. You should be training as hard on your mental fitness as you do on preparing your trading signals. As a broker/trader/CTA for 21 years, I have probably seen 50+ trading systems that were money makers, IF you had the mental/emotional strength to follow them!
You need to find a system that suits your personality (more on this next week), back-test the system, appropriate the money to trade the system, and then GO FOR IT. The “go for it” part would actualize without the mental strength to take the good with the bad.