Trading can be a lot like gambling if you let it be so.
How can trading be gambling?
Many of my Students have one thing in Common “I make money in the morning, but I lose money in the afternoon.” As I sit and talk with those types of students, I often find that they do have a successful morning, and then their attitude changes. “Well, now I can double up, triple up, and take a lot more risk because I already made Profit and in process become lethargic in their trading approach and lose out everything gained.
It’s so important for people to understand that if you’re making money, that is your money and you need to protect it.
I find that the best professional traders, their mentality is not about how much money they can make on the next trade. It’s about protecting their money and thinking about how much money they could lose on the next trade.
What happens with a lot of traders is that they say “Well, yes, I’m taking a lot of risky trades and I’m taking a lot of momentum-based trades. I don’t really have a science behind what I’m doing. I just see the markets shooting real fast in one direction or the other and I chase after that. But that’s okay because I’m keeping my stops tight.” But as you can see Stock Prices just spikes when the results are out and trader do not get chance to exit also. So trading without plan and chasing momentum without knowing what you are doing can lead to few small profitable trade but one big loss can wipe everything.
What has to happen there is the mindset has to change. Learn that no, it’s not acceptable just because I’m keeping my stops tight to take a bunch of high-risk trades.
The focus really has to be how can I minimize losses from the very beginning, and keeping stops tight may be perfectly fine, but keeping stops tight on higher-probability trades, and not just saying “Well, I know this is really risky and that’s my style, but I’m keeping my stops tight.”
In the end, ask yourself what is that doing to your trading account month over month, and if you’re seeing continued draw downs, you need to have a mind shift and focus on higher-probability set-ups.
And it also seems to me that if you’re guessing on your trades without having any sort of edge, that again pushes your trading into the gambling arena.. You probably don’t have a trading plan
Two fundamental laws that every trader should have: a trading plan for all trades taken and they should journal those trades.