A comprehensive knowledge of trading and the markets is not enough to guarantee success; equally important, is the skill of patience. St. Augustine is quoted as having said, “Patience is the companion of wisdom,” and could have easily gone on to say that patience is a virtue that should never be overlooked when trading, nor ignored when learning how to trade. Proper patience is required throughout the life-cycle of any given trade, and is of critical importance when learning and practicing how to trade. Unfortunately, patience is one of the most difficult skills to develop as a trader.
In Geoff Colvin’s book, Talent Is Overrated, Colvin cites research showing that only through 10,000 hours of practice can world class performance be achieved. Colvin goes on to discuss the importance of deliberate practice. Deliberate practice is described as something which is: designed to improve performance, can be repeated a lot, feedback is continuously available, highly demanding mentally, and not much fun.
Deliberate practice stresses repetition, but also stresses self awareness and the ability to analyze how you are performing and adapting accordingly. It is a crucial stage in the development of a trader because it is a time when both good and bad habits are formed. If a new trader is not patient and rushes through the process, because of their over-eagerness or need to make money, the chance for developing improper skills is magnified, and the odds are the student will become overly frustrated and either quit or attempt to accelerate their learning curve even faster.
Patience is vital to consistent success when trading because it allows you to be selective in your trading decisions. The experienced trader will not be anxious to make a trade, but will patiently wait until a set-up with a high probability of success is manifested. Once in the trade, a patient trader will give the position time to develop and will not get out of the trade too early, but will exit the trade according to a pre-defined plan. And the patient trader will not have to be concerned with over-trading.
There is a famous quote by George Washington Carver that comes to mind, “People who do the common things in this life uncommonly well will command the attention of the world!” Trading is not rocket science - it is more like the sweet science or an art form. It is the little things we do well when trading and learning how to trade, that make the difference between success and failure. Novice traders must always be prepared to put in the practice necessary if they want to achieve competence, and experienced traders must continue to practice their skills if they want to achieve greatness. Without patience neither goal can ever be achieved.
Last edited by tigertrader; October 31st, 2010 at 03:18 PM.
The following 30 users say Thank You to tigertrader for this post:
WOW!!! This has hit the nail on the head, that impatience has been a repetitious problem with my trading in the past. I won't say it will never be an issue in the future, but is the #1 problem that I am more focused on when making trades. Thanks for posting this valuable piece of information.
The following user says Thank You to itrade2win for this post:
It's ALWAYS been an issue with me...my biggest problem is over-trading. I love to be in the market, and I find it very dificult to stay out. I'm a junkie to some degree,....and of course, like all junkies, I have it under control, lol...at least most of the time.
The following 3 users say Thank You to tigertrader for this post:
I think you need to be like that, how horrible would it be if you were scared to make the trade, but at some point we have all been there. I trade indexes, this morning I closed down my positions for a good profit on a spike up in the index, this afternoon I am in the process of loading up the same position following the afternoon collapse in the market, like young normy "never let a chance go by". I love to put my trades on as I expect to win, prudent money management ensures that I will rarely be hurt too badly by things not going my way. The time when I need to manage my impetuosity is when I am locked in a trade going nowhere for days/weeks, this is when if I am going to, I will usually feel stressed and want to do something about it, very frustrating. If we didn't start out as adrenalin junkies we all end up that way, a natural human chemical reaction, learn to manage it.
Last edited by Johno1; January 16th, 2015 at 02:18 AM.
The following user says Thank You to Johno1 for this post:
Generally, impatiance is a lifelong trait, having a look at who you are as a person might reveal some solutions. More specifically, for me it was about avoiding pain, the pain of loss and the pain of missing out due to limited belief in my trading. Once I embraced my personal reality where I recognized that I could never achieve a perfect system because nothing is constant in the markets, and that I don't have second sight, I started to approach my trading differently. Therefore what was the point of punishing myself for missed trades, drawdowns, losses ect, frustration and consequent impatiance in trading is generally around these sort of issues. I have worked on what I can control, money/risk management and thrown the things I can't control back out to the market gods. Also I have found trading for me requires intuative, counter intuative and rational business thinking, all to varying degrees depending on the circumstances at the time. For me this has meant embracing additional risk, at times leading to larger drawdowns/ losses in order to achieve a much greater percentage of winners and improved profitability. I realize that this is not for everyone, we all have to find our own balance. I realize that this runs counter to accepted beliefs where tight stops and the ability to read the future is promoted, things that I found virtually impossible to make money from, but my current approach works for me, so that's got to be a good thing.lol
Last edited by Johno1; January 19th, 2015 at 08:16 PM.
The following user says Thank You to Johno1 for this post:
Impatience usually stems from the underlying belief to prove oneself. If you have an underlying belief to "prove your worth", you may find yourself hurrying thru things, eager to accomplish things, what ever you think will prove your worth. The "need to prove yourself" belief may be formed by any number of life experiences, where you may have felt inadequate, incompetent, powerless , helpless or unappreciated . You may have to deal with these emotions and the underlying beliefs at a deeper level to understand and address the problem. Will power alone may not suffice as it may fail you once emotions strike, at least that was my experience.
The following 5 users say Thank You to rahulgopi for this post: