Friday Feature: The Best Thing That Happened To Me
June 12, 2020
Hey Tackle Team.
I want to talk to you about the best thing that happened to me when it comes to my trading: I lost! A LOT! I broke rules. I over positioned sized. I traded concepts and strategies that I didn’t understand. I skipped the practice part and went straight to the big leagues, and I did this over and over and over again until I couldn’t take any more punches, but I dusted myself off, got back on the saddle and got to work. I started treating trading as a business instead of a gun slinging hobby.
I know it may sound strange that losing was the best thing to happen to my trading, but as Master Yoda once said, “The greatest teacher, failure is.” You rarely find yourself dwelling on the winning trades, because everything went according to plan. If you get stopped out of a trade, though, you will analyze everything about the trade from where you got in to where you got out, and wonder if you did anything wrong. One of my problems as a newer trader (and there were many) was that I had a bad case of FOMO.
FOMO: The fear of missing out. It’s a real thing and can be quite intoxicating. With it comes side effects that include, but not limited to, getting into a trade without calculating risk, staying in a trade that’s going against you, putting on a trade knowing the risk to reward is not favorable, not waiting for a technical signal to enter, failing to plan out a trade, and over position sizing. I don’t know if its actually a fear or if its better categorized as greed. Either way, it is strange how it can make a person throw caution to the wind.
It’s really hard to wrap your head around the idea that there will always be opportunities in the markets. There are 500 stocks in the S&P, most of which have options, there are dozens of forex pairs and futures contracts, and there is a crypto market as well, and within all these markets are multiple time frames to choose from between day trading, swing trading, position trading and investing long term. If you feel like there are not enough opportunities in the markets then you may have to reevaluate your trading plan.
You go through courses that teach you about support and resistance and retracements and breakouts, options theory, when to buy, and when to sell, but only experience can teach you the importance of patience. If I had to break down how much time you should allocate to different trading processes, it would be about 15% trade analysis, 5% actually clicking buttons to buy and sell, and 80% waiting. I have gone a whole week with only one trade on because everything I found to trade didn’t fit my trading parameters. Beginner me wouldn’t have cared if it fit my parameters. He would have felt the need to put some money to work, but veteran me… well he’s been beaten, battered, and bruised. He’s got the scars to prove it, and he’s learned from his losses. He would much rather have one trade on that fits his parameters for a month than have 10 trades that don’t fit the parameters going at one time.
Growing money takes time. This is not a game for the get rich quick mentality. Trading should be treated like a marathon, not a sprint. Always plan for the long game and develop a trading strategy that will get you there. If you want to be rich tomorrow, all I can say is good luck. If you push all your chips to the middle of the table, all you can do is hope that the markets give you a pay day. I personally like to be in control of my outcome and only a good long term system can get me there. Be patient team. Until next time traders.
Justin started his trading journey during a 3-day workshop with Tim Justice in April of 2018. He has always been interested in the financial markets and the opportunity it potentially provides. He likes trading stocks and options. Outside the markets, he’s a husband, father of two boys, and full-time automotive technician.
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8 Replies to “Friday Feature: The Best Thing That Happened To Me”
Great Blog, Thanks
Be Patient. Great advice!
Sometimes it’s very hard to sit on your hands, and end up forcing a trade that goes wrong.
Keep up the great blogs! Thanks JD!
Nice job, Justin!
Great reflections Greg.
Plan a trade then trade the plan.
Great Post Justin.
“The greatest teacher, failure is.” Well Said.
Good post. A lot of helpful, well-worded reminders. Makes failure seem less devastating, a nice quote I heard recently was, “there is no failure, only feedback” This reminder will make it easier to pick oneself back up after a major mistake.
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