There is a nice trading book called "Pit Bull" by Martin Schwartz. He seemed to have a symbiotic relationship with his wife. His wife did not understand a lot about trading, but was able to read the state of mind of her husband. So when Martin took a higher risk than he should, his wife would come and stop him.
In his book Martin went so far as to blame his wife for his largest loss. That day his wife was absent to buy a fur coat, and Martin got engaged in some dangerous trades and lost control. Then his wife came back, showed him the new coat and asked him whether he liked it. Martin answered "Very nice. But then it ought to be nice. It cost us eight hundred thousand dollars."
Maybe you should get married or find somebody else to take control of your emotions....
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Last edited by Fat Tails; November 3rd, 2011 at 05:14 PM.
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You make a great point Fat Tails - delegating your emotions to an alert, your broker platform, or another person isn't the same as taking full responsbility for your own actions. While I completely agree that the end game goal is to be 100% self reliant the reality for most people is that their discipline muscle is weak. Even if they have some discipline it isn't enough to overcome their fear. This was why I suggested that having a person or persons you can be accountable to is a good step towards becoming fully self-accountable.
For myself and my current weight loss goal it really helped me during the first 2 weeks to know that I had someone else at work who was keeping me honest. I'm on a low carb diet and he would come into my office and offer me potato chips or something else I couldn't have taunting me to stick to my plan. However, as the weeks have turned into a couple months now I don't need that type of motivation to get me up at 5:00 a.m. to go work out and I'm not the least bit tempted when everyone is eating pizza or nachos in the office. Having that initial kick start has helped me build my discipline muscle and now I'm the one who is driving my health performance. However, usually the hardest part for most of us is getting started with some discipline.
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That is exactly the point. Bad trading habits are similar to other bad habits that we have developed.
-> eating too much, I am overweight as well, although still modestly overweight
-> bad time-management
-> not regularly doing physical workouts
Of course it helps a lot, if somebody is supervising you. It also helps a lot, if you know that you are not trading your own money, but the money of somebody else and then take a commission. This reduces both fear and greed. So it is all about unlearning bad habits and have somebody control the progress that you make.
I admit that I have made some fun of the issue, but I am dead-serious as to the message that I want to communicate. Discpiline needs to be learned via transforming your habits, discipline cannot be delegated to a machine or a piece of software.
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This must be new life-of -contract highs for how ludicrous the obsession with indicators has become. People want indicators to tell them when the market is choppy, and when it is trending, and of course, EXACTLY when to get in the market, and EXACTLY when to get out of the market etc. It like a trading welfare state, where people want "thinking" to be provided for them, so that they don't have to do it themselves.
Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities. Mark Twain
Last edited by tigertrader; November 5th, 2011 at 01:49 PM.
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Pretty unhelpful response. I know I'm late to this discussion but cars have seat belts. Less people die. You may crash your car because of carelessness/tiredness/not paying attention/whatever, but if you weren't wearing a seatbelt the probability of death is higher.
In trading if there are enforced loss limits, the probability of violating them is lower, and trading is safer for you. I hope you don't mind my response Fat Tails.
@keymoo: I agree on the seatbelts. But then seatbelts do not prevent you from driving but a daily loss limit would.
If you look at the first post and read between the lines, the message is: Made a huge loss today because this crappy software did not stop me trading. This is a typical macho behaviour, take the credits if you succeed, but blame somebody else, if things turn sour. Also it may reflect a trading approach with a high win rate based on a Martingale approach.
As a principle, I believe that if you cannot follow your own rules, because you are driven by your emotions, then you are not a trader and should stop trading. The principal task would then be to work your mind, unlearn your behaviour and learn new habits.
On the other hand, if you fix yourself a daily loss limit - as part of your rules - being able to generate an alert or to change the color of the entire screen, would be a nice feature, as it will help to enforce the rules. But then there are those traders who will switch the alert off or simply bypass the safety net. Having such a daily loss limit entered into NinjaTrader does not help, because you could easily change the settings and increase it. Having setup a daily loss limit with your broker makes things more difficult, as you would have to tell your broker why you want to increase the loss limit.