Home > Beginner education > $Deb Says: When is “the” time to really be ticked at yourself as a trader?

$Deb Says: When is “the” time to really be ticked at yourself as a trader?

Trading is something that takes a lot of time, patience, and skill development. Professional trading is not an art or a skill; but an art and a skill rolled into one.

That being said, it is very easy to really beat oneself up along the way which is counterproductive to what is psychologically necessary to enter into, progress, and continue to develop and master new, higher levels in the learning process.

Hence, there will be many occasions when a trader will make mistakes. It is a natural part of learning. As long as mistakes are used to learn from then mistakes are the “tool” needed to promote learning.

The following question comes to mind: Is there a time when one really needs to be ticked off at herself? I say yes as I recently experienced one of those moments.

Yesterday AXP opened strong, broke down with the market, reversed, and then rallied/trended all day despite the market being stuck in the days range and the previous day’s range for a majority of the day. I put on a position at a significant breakout level and waited for follow through. It “played” around but I believed in the trade so I held it. It moved in my favor and reached the next whole number that I was watching for.

When it hit the whole number and blew through it, I followed my plan to book half the position and hold the rest with a stop at +1 making the trade a free trade at that point. I did this because I felt the need to protect gains as the market was not yet confirming an upside move. AXP was moving with its own wind behind its back.

My original profit target was approximately .50 or so cents away. AXP made another move and stalled so I decided on the spot to book the profit I had despite the fact that I was holding a free trade. Remember the worst that could have happened was I would get stopped out at +1.

After I booked profit and was no longer dancing with AXP, the SPY took off, broke to new highs, and did so for a portion of the afternoon and AXP blew through my original profit target by .20 cents or so.

Why should I be mad at myself in this situation?

I am mad at myself and should be because I had the perfect entry (that was never seen again in the day) and a stop loss that gave me, at worst, a free trade. I had NOTHING to lose. One must keep the profit target in mind and be completely in tune with the price action in front of oneself as one never knows when a simple free trade will become the trade of the day.

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