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Other Mike's trading psychology journal
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Other Mike's trading psychology journal

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Providence, Rhode Island
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TradeStation execution, some Thinkorswim charting
Favorite Futures: CL
Posts: 56 since Apr 2014
Thanks: 137 given, 97 received

Other Mike's trading psychology journal

While I have a trade journal here on futures.io (formerly BMT), I want to keep a space for my more wandering thoughts on trading psychology to occasionally find refuge. I really believe that it's not the indicators, or specific setups that make money, but doing one's best to keep a sound mind. I wanted this thread in the public forum, so it can be accessible and shared by more folks.

I invite any and all to participate, reply, or just read. I may not reply to posts here as much as I might in my journal, and might go awhile before posting again, but it'll be there as a nice repository for myself to read back over in the future.

So, first journal thoughts...

I saw some tickets for a holiday raffle on someone's table today. It was printed on the tickets that you have to physically be present at the raffle to win anything, and my mind quickly flashed back to when I was a kid. I, just by chance, literally never won anything in all the years of elementary school raffles, games of chance where prizes were concerned, etc. I remember saying once as a kid that I just don't ever get lucky, that I never win anything. I remember always kind of giving up mentally before raffles or games of chance. After a point, I just stopped entering them, they seemed pointless, since I "knew" that I wouldn't win.

Is trading pure luck? Is it pure skill? No, is the singular answer to both. But there's certainly luck involved, and I wonder, do we still feel that we don't deserve to "win" sometimes? How much does that hold us back? If we have a bad trading day, do we assume that's just how it is, everything's impossible, too many algos, just can't do it? I never won the raffles, I can't possibly "win" at trading, the line of thinking might go.

An example from my other journal, sometimes I'll see I'm up, say 18, ticks, and think, hey, that's not too bad. And indeed it's not, but am I normalizing expected trading profits to rates of pay for regular jobs, where $200 a day may be a respectable salary? Why don't I think I deserve 50, maybe 75 ticks in trading? Do I feel that only other people get the "luck", whatever that means?

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