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Trading Discipline

Trading Discipline
Tonight we identify some steps to do right now to make you a stronger person and a better trader. 

1. Develop Consistency You can create a mindset of consistency by developing beliefs which support you in obtaining this result. In order to develop consistency there are a number of things which you must do: identify your edges define the risk in each trade in advance accept the risk and exit a position quickly when the desired movement in the stock does not happen. These key mindsets will help you in taking a trade managing the trade and executing the exit. 

2. Trading is a probability game You cannot be a perfectionist and expect to be a great trader. The fact is even the best traders have many losing trades.  Nobody can win on every single trade they make.  Knowing this is a very important step to becoming successful.  Your losses (that you hope will return to breakeven) will wipe you out if you do not cut them short. 

3. Jumping in too soon or getting in too late These mistakes come from traders not having a well defined plan of how they will enter a trade. Unplanned trades are nothing more than reactive instead of the much preferred proactive trade. Reactive trades increase the level of emotion and we all know that trading on emotion is very dangerous. 

4. Not taking profits on winners and letting winners turn to losers Again this is a function of not having a properly thought out plan.  Entries are easy but exits are hard. You must have a plan for how you will exit the trade both on your winners and your losers. Then execute that plan precisely. 

5. Great traders do not place their own expectations on to the market's behavior whereas poor traders expect the market to give them something.  The market does not know who you are and owes you nothing period. A trader can only take what the market gives.  Poor traders try to take what is not there and end up forcing trades at the wrong times. 

6. Emotional pain comes from expectations not being realized When you expect something and it does not deliver as expected disappointment is imminent.  By not having expectations of the market you are not setting yourself up for this inner turmoil. The market does not inherently generate pain or pleasure; the market only generates upticks and downticks. It is how you perceive and respond to these ticks that determines how you feel. This perception and feeling is a function of your beliefs. You should not feel pain if a loss is a result of following a disciplined plan of action.  However if you feel pain for a loss that occurred as a result from a deviation of your plan you should be feeling the pain and the only way to correct it is to get back to your plan. 

7. The Four Major Fears Fear of Losing Money Being Wrong Missing Out and Leaving Money on the Table. All of these fears result from thinking you know what will happen next. Your trading plan must approach trading as a probabilities game where you know in advance that you will win some and lose some but that the odds will be in your favor over time. If you approach trading thinking that you cannot take a loss then take three losses in a row (which is to be expected in most trading methods) you will be emotionally devastated and will give up on your plan. 

Trading is a nothing more than chance.  It is a game of probabilities and to be a winning trader you must have the discipline to only take the trades that give you the highest probability for success.

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