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Seeing what you want to See

Some people live in a world of delusion and fantasy. They see what they want to see and ignore what they don't want to see. Traders are especially prone to this ailment. When your money is on the line, you are consumed with avoiding loss. Trading is a competitive business where few make it in the long term. This fact always lurks in the back of your mind, putting added pressure on you. In the back of your mind, you wonder, "How am I going to make it?" Sure, you know that you must make it and that allowing pessimism to take hold will do nothing more than throw you off track, but the possibility of failure is always there, working behind the scenes to thwart your efforts. With all this psychological pressure it's hard to stay objective. There's a powerful need to see what you want to see.

staying objective is difficult It's important to distinguish between the data and your interpretations of the data. View as neutral both the events and your inclination to impose your interpretations on them. Enter the market without expectations, surrendering to it rather than struggling with it for personal gain.

How can you stay objective? The first thing you must do is trade with money you can afford to lose and manage your risk. If your entire financial future is on the line on a single trade, you will be consumed with anxiety, self-doubt, and frustration. But if you risk relatively little on a single trade, you'll know deep down that you can live with the negative consequences should the trade be a loser. It's useful to follow the old trading adage, "Risk so little capital on a trade that you ask yourself, 'Why am I even bothering to put on this trade?"

The second thing you must do to stay objective is to take your ego out of the trade. You cannot control the markets, so why put your ego on the line with your money? Don't make winning or losing a personal issue? Why put your ego on the line with each trade? Why gloat when you are lucky enough to have the odds work in your favor and sulk when the odds go against you? It's not personal in the end. There's little you can do but stay calm, try your best, and accept where the markets take you. Ironically, if you can identify and control what you can (such as risk management and a sound trading strategy), and accept what you cannot (the outcome of a trade), you will feel calm and be able to trade in a peak performance mindset. And the calmer you feel, the more open you will be to seeing the markets as they are, rather than what you want them to be.

 

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Saturday, 17 November 2018

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.