This article is for those traders (new or experienced) who have trouble booking profits. Do you often see large profits evaporate as the market reverses against you, leaving you feeling powerless and confused? If so, you know how frustrating it can be and you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Poor target placement, lack of experience, greed, arrogance and stubbornness are all issues that can cause traders to not take profits off the table.
I appreciate this article may conflict with some of my core beliefs and teachings on taking profits since typically I encourage people to aim for a 2 to 1 risk reward or greater and to set and forget stops and targets. In theory, this makes sense, but in the real world, as you likely already know, there are still a great number of trades that almost hit your profit target or where a trade has moved quickly in the right direction and you’re staring at a giant profit… and then the next day or week, the market goes the other way and your once giant profit has become a much smaller profit or even a loss.
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The original article appeared on the blog of Stocktwits and can be found here.
People say it all the time.
Controlling risk is one of the most important things anyone can do when investing or trading. How much money are you comfortable losing on a single investment? How much of your portfolio is concentrated in one or two equities? These questions are only a few examples of what some risk managers might ask. There are many more.
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This is a post by Mastermind, Bramesh Bhandari. The original post appears here.
If you are a LOSS making trader, answer the below question to yourself honestly.
What is the main Reason for Your Trading Loss? We are running a poll on Twitter Please participate
- Unable to Understand Market Trend as it moves from Sideways to Trending or
- Is it your system or strategy? You are not having the Right Strategy and Losing
- You — By repeating the same mistakes again and again
As per my experience with trading over 12+ years and also talking with 1000’s of traders over a period of time, my understating is
Traders are often their own worst enemies. The simple reason being most of the traders after doing a big loss will turn to charts and try to find their mistake. What I missed in catching this move, should I apply more indicators or should I learn something new to catch big moves etc. Readers can go back to thought process they went once they took a big loss or missed a major rally.
It’s easier to look at charts and imagine what the market might do or find an excuse , compared to turning inward and engaging in self-examination to determine if any changes in your approach to trading are required.
A very simple exercise will make you understand this
Go back to your past traders, highlight the trades where you made maximum losses, analyse all the loss making trades. You will observe over a period of time you have repeated the same mistake again and again. Be It taking an impulsive trade, trying to find top or bottom, not putting SL , taking over-sized position etc.
What would happen if you identified a recurring mistake? Would you do anything differently while trading, as a result? Would you need or use some type of structure or process to assist you in not repeating the same mistake?
The only thing we actually have any control over is our behaviour. The market will do what it will do. If one is truly interested in maximising / improving P&L, then focus on not to repeat your mistakes again. We may not be able to control our emotions, but we can learn to manage them.
Trading Journal is one of the tools which can help you in understanding your mistakes and over a period of time not repeating them.