Sunday 2 September 2007

cut the loss but keep the lesson!

Detaching emotion from individual trades is one of the best ways to build confidence in yourself and your long-term success as a trader.

Losses are inevitable; they simply are a part of trading. How you handle losses is what can ultimately determine your level of success moving forward. Even a losing trade can be beneficial if you take what you can from it. Ask yourself, “Why did this trade fail? Is it a function of a market reversal, or a miscalculation on my part? Was my stop-loss set too close as a result of too large a position? Did I micromanage this trade and adjust my numbers on the fly? Did I completely abandon my trading plan?” A loss means you’ve already paid the tuition, so you might as well stick around for the lesson.

Ask the right questions when a trade doesn’t work out or when you hit a rough patch with your trading. The answers you find can help you greatly as you progress as a trader. Whether those answers allow you to avoid making the same mistake again or if they just give you some closure following a bad experience, take what positives you can find and move forward.

Bottom line: cut the loss but keep the lesson!