So we are moving. It explains why I have been silent for so long, but we were too busy packing, cleaning and searching for new materials for our new home to then have the energy to do anything else but fall asleep at night. We have been trading too – my worst month since last February. I made all the mistakes I had so patiently learned to avoid. I overtraded, searched for opportunities that were not there, changed strategy, moved my stop losses, entered the trades too late…Shall I continue?. It was a disaster. To make things worse ( yes, it is always possible) I also decided to follow the advice of my ex trading coach and went back to trading according to the strategies I had learned during a cousre. It was a disaster.
There is this myth among traders that you have to let your profits run and cut your losses. By all means I am not saying that you shouldn’t cut your losses- but taking your profits? It’s up to you really. We all like to say things like:” Have you seen that share today? It rocketed 30 points and I was in it!”. Great, good for you. So we all want to ride the wave until the wave ends up on the shore. But what most people forget is that the waves goes back to the sea, sooner or later. It is extremely rare to be able to get out at the highest point of a movement- especially if you look at the spread. You can never sell higher than the offer, can you? So whatever you do, you always lose a little bit. And what most traders do is wait for the price to hit their stop loss, that they have hopefully tightly trailed.
But here you go, I am not greedy enough. I am happy with making smaller benefits if they are constant. Sadly they were not after mid January and I lost it playing someone I am not.
February has now started and I am ready in my starting blocks. I’ve cleaned my act, re done my plan, double check my trades and gotten rid of bad habits. The market is good, news are not too unsettling and it works for me again. But what I am more and more aware of is that we all trade differently. As for me, I ignore indicators such as RSI, MACD and even Fib levels most of the time. But I use volume, listen to the news and I compare sectors in case of doubts. I also have a few tricks to estimate if a strategy seems good- but I am quite sure that they work only for me. Most of the good traders I know fully ignore the news and trade only according to technicals. I find this irrationnal as when the news come up in the morning that such and such company is being upgraded/downgraded/bought back – whatever- it gives you a good clue about what is going to happen next and I don’t want to waste my time with a share that might reverse on me within the next 4 hours. Obviously I am being very cautious – so maybe I am in the wrong job. I also don’t want to trade the news if I don’t have a good strategy to support my act.
Lately I also have been asking my fellows traders how they are doing. Was I the only one to be down? Had they the results they were hoping for? I had interesting answers. The first one, the most common, was that the people who were still hanging on live purely on the hope that they are going to make it, sooner or later. They come up with all sorts of excuses; they haven’t been trading like they should, they are only playing small sums of money but when they will do this seriously it will be much better, they have been procrastinating, they have missed opportunities…I shall pass the list if you ask me. The truth is that trading is all about discipline. You do not trade better – but you can do worse- because you’re playing with more money. Discipline is a master key in this business and if you are not up to it, if you’re not working hard at it, you never will. You have to correct your mistakes when you make them – and you should never repeat them . ( I have a quote about this one: ” I learned so much from my mistakes. I should make more”. Sadly I don’t know the author of this one). Hope is a wonderful thing- but when you trade, you have to keep learning, doing and discipling yourself.
I also learned a lot from people who are telling you/ selling you their strategy. I usually ask them a lot of questions and listen carefully to what they say. I also ask for examples. My favorite part is when they tell me about how much % they can achieve- it is usually a high number. Have they made it yet? nope, because that was when they back tested it. I am still waiting for someone who show me real results – and marvellous ones. So if you do know him/her, let me know…As for me, in my experience, I get 2 out of 5 potential good trades in a day. The 3 I miss usually appear while I am in the shower, changing nappies or as for today, busy buying a bathroom. And of course, it happens every day. So I don’t believe in the back testing thing, although I’ve been known to not miss any trades as I was able to take my laptop to the loo. When I did, trust me, the market was as quiet as a dead mouse.
So I’ve made my mistakes, I have cleaned my act – I hope- and I haven’t lost all faith in the process. Will this be enough?I’ll keep you posted.

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