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It Takes Guts

Short-term winning traders have guts. They have to. No one has a crystal ball. You can guess what the markets will do, but you can never know what will happen with complete certainty. Only the traders who risk enough money, and make enough winning trades can hope to achieve glory. And living under these conditions takes guts.

Trading can be about 90% market psychology. Do fundamentals play a role? Sure they do, but mass psychology can play a bigger role at times. Consider a current news headline: ZZZ Company recently announced that it was doubling its second-quarter loss to $254 million. What can you do with this information? It's hard to know. On the one hand, you might anticipate the stock price to fall as sales continue to decline and pension costs plague an already vulnerable company. On the other hand, the stock price may be at a bottom, and ready to rise at the slightest news of prosperity. In the end, no one (besides insiders) will know for sure what will happen in the next few weeks or months.

What can a trader do? You have to take a risk and think optimistically. Rather than mull over how much money you may lose on a trade, it's useful to put the trade in perspective. It's merely one trade among many. Think of the bigger picture. You may lose on a single trade, but across a series of trades you will come out ahead overall. By risking only a small percentage of your capital on a single trade, you can allow yourself to feel at ease, and calmly assess where any given trade is going. You can nonchalantly close the trade when it isn't going well, or let it ride when it is winning. Successful traders plan on executing many trades and know that not all trades need to be winners in order to increase the equity in their accounts. It's your success overall that counts. Keeping this in mind takes some of the pressure off, and allows you to go from trade to trade in order to allow the law of averages to work in your favor.

Although thoughtful and astute analysis of a company and its stock performance is vital, trading can also be a matter of chance. It may be impossible to anticipate the outcome of any single trade. However, with a large enough number of trades and a trading approach that has a high chance of producing wins, you can expect to come out ahead if you make enough trades.

Although trading involves chance and risk taking, you should not draw the conclusion that winning traders are reckless. They aren't. They approach trading systematically. They develop clearly defined trading plans and they trade them. They wait for market conditions that increase their odds of success. But most of all, they have a positive attitude. They know that if they do their homework and make enough trades, they will take home a profit. There are no guarantees, but if you work hard, and have the guts to take a risk, you will experience the glory of trading like a winner.

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Wednesday, 08 April 2020

Derivative transactions, including futures, are complex and carry a high degree of risk. They are intended for sophisticated investors and are not suitable for everyone. There are numerous other factors related to the markets in general or to the implementation of any specific trading program which cannot be fully accounted for in the preparation of hypothetical performance results, and all of which can adversely affect actual trading results. For more information, see the Risk Disclosure Statement for Futures and Options.