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The Greatest Weakness
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The Greatest Weakness

  #81 (permalink)
Elite Member
Montreal, Canada
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vtechdir View Post
I tried to keep a journal with trades at their completion and found that I diminish the role of emotions when I enter, during and at the exit of the trade.
So now I try to describe my emotions immediately after I enter (attach a picture), during the trade (I was not exiting with a few pips and had the trade turning into a loss at the stop) and when exiting.

Describing my emotions during different phases and attaching images allows my to review my weaknesses during weekend review and prioritize the issues I will be working on.

It was shocking to discover that soem trades should not have been taken, because they did not comply with the trading plan (entry setup), but were emotions based - chasing, pushing, forcing for different reasons.

I decided to spend some time in the trading environment to relax and get ready for trading, even though it may mean missing the beginning of the major market moves (London, NY). - I do this to distance myself from outside emotions like work, family, traffic and so on.

Mind to share a page on how you describe your emotion

I like the idea.

For myself, I often get in a trade when my trade plan does not mandate to put order. I need to practice my patience.... Your journal is a very good idea


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  #82 (permalink)
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kansas city, KS.
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The market is random at best, but if a trader comes with edge. Only business the trader should be involved in the market is to execute the edge. If you make trades that is not part of the plan/edge and make trades based on hope, fear and greed you are going to loss in the long run.

Few simple steps to become a trader

1. Come up with the edge
2. Come up stockpile of cash to deal with expenses for earlier months or years
3. Clear money management ( Never loss more than one percent in a week in your first year ).
4. There should be no If's, But's, Hope, Fear and Greed in this business.
5. Know your strength and weakness.
6. Execute the edge, nothing more and nothing less. ( Even if you have a edge it will take time to become expert at it ).

Trade what you know ( in terms of setups ) and leave the rest to others. If you are going to survive in this business there is going to be nearly infinite amount opportunities to make money and I can bet you have only finite amount of money to start with, so use it wisely to execute the edge.

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  #83 (permalink)
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Methink he is not right.
You've got to wait for the pullback because it is bound to happen, at a level or another

hondo69 View Post
I was trying to explain trading to a buddy of mine last night and it was obvious he was becoming more confused the more I went on. Finally, he said, "if you're supposed to treat trading like a business, what would you tell a bank if you went in for a business loan?".

This question really took be aback as I never really thought about it that way before. But I plodded along anyway.

"Well, you see, the markets are fixed. It's not exactly collusion but it is definitely a game controlled by big money. And the big money can only maximize their profits by tricking retail traders. Let's say a strong uptrend is underway and you're waiting for a pullback so you can go along for the ride."

He stopped me right there and asked me, "Why wait for a pullback? If you have a confirmed trend then simply enter upon confirmation."

Guess what? I couldn't come up with a concrete answer to his question. Although I explained margins, slippage, commission, etc. to him it still didn't do the trick. Then I went into trading strategies and some indicators. In short, he said I was over-thinking the situation. Since no one can predict when a "run" will end and the pullback begins, just hop on the train and get out of the way.

I think he's right.

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  #84 (permalink)
East Bend
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I'll never forget what one really great trader taught me one day.

He sat me down at a terminal and put a 10 period and a 30 period SMA on the screen, and told me to trade the crosses long and short in the market in sim. We did this together for 1 week's time. Always in the market long or shot, from 9:00am EST to 12:00pm EST.

I asked him why he was making me do this, as the system clearly wasn't profitable.

He told me that until I could condition myself to take every signal that this simplest of rule sets generated, that I had no business spending money on any commercially available system or methodology. That I needed to learn to crowd the noises out and take the signal despite what my "intuition" and internal reasoning centers were telling me.

He said, "you have to treat your signal like sobriety. Every trade taken with your rules is one day closer to your 1 week "chip".....your one month "chip"..........your one year "chip".

I found it interesting that he connected the psychology of trading, with the psychology of staying sober. I've never forgotten that analogy and I've passed it along to many of our new trader clients...

Please send me a Private Message if you have any questions about BTTFT services
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  #85 (permalink)
Membership Revoked
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George View Post
I can give you the best rules in the world and the best methods for determining the position of a commodity, and then you can lose money on account of the human element, which is your greatest weakness. You will fail to follow rules. You will act on hope or fear instead of facts. You will delay. You will become impatient. You will act too quickly or you will delay too long in acting, thus beating yourself on account of your human weakness, then blaming it on the market. Remember that it is your mistakes that cause losses and not the action of the market or the manipulators. Therefore, strive to follow rules, or keep out of speculation, for you are doomed to failure.

If you will only study the weakness of human nature and see what fools these mortals be, you will find it easy to make profits by understanding the weakness of human nature and going against the public and doing opposite of what other people do. In other words, you buy near the bottom on knowledge and sell near the top on knowledge, while other people who just guess do the opposite. Time spent in the study of price, time and past market movements, will give you a rich reward.

W.D Gann in
How to Make Profits in Commodities

These lines were written in the 1940's. And only because we now use blue-tooth we're supposed to be more advanced!


Not to disparage Gann. I know he made a lot of money in the market. That means he knew what he was doing.

James Smithson on Gann

"W.D. Gann's outstanding skill was his ability to produce accurate annual forecasts of the stock and commodity markets. Gann stated that his forecasts were based on his secret "time factor". However, careful analysis of his novel entitled "The Tunnel Thru The Air" reveals Gann's belief in the overwhelming importance of astrology. Therefore astrology is the real basis of Gann's annual forecasts. Indeed, astrological analysis is implicit at key points in his books and courses. Consequently it is concluded that if we wish to emulate Gann's outstanding forecasting skills we must follow in his footsteps by firstly learning astrology and then apply this knowledge to the stock and commodity markets. "


"Born on the 6th June 1878 Lufkin, Texas (Chart 1) in the sign of Gemini and in the true spirit of a Mercurial child, William started working as a news butcher on a train selling newspapers and food at the young age of 13. His family was very poor and as the eldest of eleven children, he grew up very quickly working hard on the family farm and in the cotton warehouses- where he was exposed to commodity trading.

By his second Jupiter return at age 24, he was a husband to Rena May Smith and a father to Nora. A year later he moved his family to New York City where he worked for a Wall St Brokerage until 1908, later opening his own brokerage firm, W.D. Gann & Co, age 30.

There was no stopping W.D. Gann, even when he incurred great losses through Bank failures in November 1907. In the Wall St Stock Selector under the caption "When a Man's Trend Changes " Gann wrote about these losses by bucking his own trend. To quote him, " I was trading in a period which should have been for rest, recreation and gaining of knowledge." Astrologically, at 29 years of age, Gann was under the adverse influences of a Saturn return. This was also around the same time that he divorced his first wife and married his second, Sadie in 1908. "

What does this mean? That a trader can have psychological insight to the mind but not the foggiest notion of what moves the market...and still be profitable? In other words he talks about rules but his rules are mumbo jumbo.

Last edited by Coast; April 27th, 2013 at 01:40 PM.
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  #86 (permalink)
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papa15 View Post
Unfortunately I give proof to Gann's statements. If only I could master the space between the ears......

We all give proof to Gann's statements. We just have to recognize this "weakness" and avoid it as much as possible. As for myself, I WILL HOLD MYSELF ACCOUNTABLE! Hopefully

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  #87 (permalink)
Trading Apprentice
Flushing, NY
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In my opinion, the greatest weakness is believing your strategy is always fool proof. Another example is believing you're more intelligent than the next person in the room or the market itself! Confidence is a good quality but there should be limits to everyone's reach!

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  #88 (permalink)
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TraderNY View Post
In my opinion, the greatest weakness is believing your strategy is always fool proof. Another example is believing you're more intelligent than the next person in the room or the market itself! Confidence is a good quality but there should be limits to everyone's reach!

Indeed, being overconfident your trading will lack of ground you take decisions on.

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  #89 (permalink)
Trading Apprentice
Brisbane, QLD, Australia
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Big Mike View Post
Emotion is present even when trading an automated system. How many traders have developed an automated system, started using it, entered a drawdown, and then stopped the system only later to see it recover? That's an emotional response. Same for "overriding" the system and telling it to skip a trade because you thought you knew better.

Like you said, balancing the emotion or perfecting your emotions is really the key with trading. Whether it be a discretionary trader or an automated one, you have to still deal with controlling your emotions and focus on making balanced, educated decisions.



Totally agree with what you said. As an intermediate trader who has only been trading a few years, I follow a automated system that is doing quite well but as soon as I have a losing week I start 2nd guessing the system. Thinking I know better. Takes a lot of emotional control to try and right the ship.

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  #90 (permalink)
Trading Apprentice
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Trading rules are like rules when driving on a road. You are not supposed to stop on a highway but if all the cars in front of you are stopped it would be foolish to keep on the gas.
Guidelines are too ethereal a word, so framework can be used. Random or non-random markets, whichever you believe, they still fit into a framework of definition. Constantly changing indeed, so what precision worked yesterday might take tweaking today.

tigertrader View Post
Absolutely correct!

The reason why most traders aren't successful, is they pursue short term pleasures, ( and avoid short term discomfort) at the expense of longer term rewards. Develop the character trait of patience, along with the ability to positively channel you emotions, and you will have at least one of the keys to the kingdom.

I find that acknowledging my emotion help. Take note of them, then they transform into a ‘thing’ rather than something that is inside you. ‘I am losing my patients in this trade’ Then I ask, have the original parameters of the trade foundation, setup, and execution changed? If no then there is no reason to lose patients. If yes then the exit strategy take place. Emotions can be a guide. A power to harness.

mrphr View Post
By: Linda Bradford Raschke
What IS the definition of a successful trader? He should feel good about himself and enjoy playing the game. You can make a few small trades a year as a hobby, generate some very modest profits, and be quite successful because you had fun. There are also aggressive traders who have had big years, but ultimately blow-out, ruin their health or lead miserable lives from all the stress they put themselves under.
Principles of Peak Performance

The first principle of peak performance is to put fun and passion first. Get the performance pressures out of your head. Forget about statistics, percentage returns, win/loss ratios, etc. Floor-traders scratch dozens of trades during the course of a day, but all that matters is whether they’re up at the end of the month.

Have Fun with it. If it is not fun, it not worth doing.


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