For me it is really about the expectation you set to yourself. If you expect to catch every good trade you get of course bad feelings (anger, sadness, frustration) if you miss one. Although i find such an expectation is extremely high and is more a burden than a help. In the beginning i was thinking and feeling exactly the same way.
But over time i came to the conclusion that a next good setup is coming for sure and so i was able to let go the expectation "catch every good trade".
So, do i trade better - maybe; do i feel better - sure !
Hope this thought is somehow helpful
The following 2 users say Thank You to MichaelH for this post:
We all set our own expectations, though, and expectation-setting is part of trading education, really?
I don't expect to catch every good trade. I expect only to catch every good trade available to me, and I define "available" to mean (a) during the hours I've determined that I'm working on any given day, and (b) having entry-parameters that accord with my recognisable entry-methods at the time. So I don't feel bad about missing early morning trades and trades that looked good only with hindsight.
The following user says Thank You to Tymbeline for this post:
On the one hand I agree with Big Mike about the Psychology. Just the words - "I missed the setups" is psychological. You didn't miss anything if you were not there to witness the trade.
I improved my trading dramatically when I stopped looking for trades and just waited for opportunities. If I sit down at the computer and there's no immediate opportunity - I go do something else. I had to DECIDE to be okay with "Missing" trades. It was a psychological shift in my thinking.
I don't know how many times I get up from my computer because there's no opportunity and when I come back - Bang! Something is right there for the taking - and guess what! I'm fresh - I'm not all burned out from looking hard for a trade, trying to fight the market or trading the chop. (i.e. - look at 1 chart for too long)
There's a good side and a bad side to missing trades.
You don't make any money but you don't lose any either!
So, if we want to make money - We need to make some trades.
If you're a swing trader - setup the trade before hand - Your entry - your stop and your target. Even if you're sleeping you'll get filled. If you trade during the day - what times of the day are active? Oil is active just about everyday - 2 to 2:30 pm eastern. Wednesdays at 10 am just after the report (Give it a little time to settle down) has good movement. Often between 8 and 9 am has good movement also.
8:30 and 10 am eastern several reports come out during the week for the major markets. I don't suggest being in a trade before the report is announced but in my world - Movement means Money and so I trade when I KNOW there's movement.
Again, I agree with Big Mike when he talks about swing trading first. If you're working full time you either need to be in front of the chart when the market is moving or take a longer term view in which you can actually enter setups DAYS before that happen so there would be no reason to miss them. If the stops are too large on a larger time frame consider an option replacement. But that's a whole other conversation.
The following user says Thank You to Barnacle Bill for this post:
Sounds like you are intraday trading. If that is the case, one must make themselves available consistently. Intraday trading should be approached as a full time job that is extraordinarily intensive. Unfortunately for some, not having a " boss" to answer to does not fit thier psychological profile well. As an example; If you worked on a trading desk at Goldman, you would not have this question. I personally miss lunch all together ( today as an example) quite often and have nearly shit my pants when my setup was "close to happening" but took forever- now I use an iPad for those special situations Trading is not as glorious as many imagine it to be as the monotony can be unbearable at times when approached properly. If you cannot be available to trade your timeframe, try moving to a longer one. If you trade from a work computer, consider adding a separate monitor.
The following 3 users say Thank You to Inletcap for this post:
I do not know what time frame you are trading or if this will work for you but here is how I solved the problem:
You say you know what to look for so I assume there are certain conditions that must be met in order for you to enter a trade.
Once some of those conditions are met, enter an order using a stop limit order that will trigger once all conditions are met. You can also attach a bracket order to look after your exits if you like.
If all conditions are not met there will be no order. If all conditions are met you will have a trade. You can review your order from time to time to assure that all conditions will be met and adjust it according to your plan.
It is hard to find the Truth when you start your search with a preconceived notion of what the Truth will be.
1) If you're simply waiting for the setup to trigger, you could set a price alert with your broker (a few have the ability to send you a SMS when it triggers), so when you get the price alert, you can turn on your data feed, see if you like the trade and then put in your order. For example, let's say you wanted to short the EURUSD, but you were only interested if there was a possible double top at 1.0830, then set your alert to notify when when price hits maybe 1.0825, and when you get the alert, then you "get to work" so to say.
2. Maybe consider using options to express your trade idea. With options, with the nature of how the pricing with delta works, your price needs to be less precise because the price isn't changing nearly as fast for the at the money or near the money options. That way you are still in the trade, but you don't have to obsess about missing the perfect price as much as 1-3 ticks which may invalidate the trade if you were trading the underlying.
I found an indicator that runs very closely to when my setups will arise and programmed a ring for a buy or a ding for a short. Once I hear one of them I know to check my charts because I know a set up is approaching very fast. I still miss one here and there but its much better than before especially when each trade maters.
Sorry to wake up a semi old thread but I felt like the tid bit of info was important enough.