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What is the single biggest area you need to improve as a trader?


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What is the single biggest area you need to improve as a trader?

  #21 (permalink)
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I think all those options can be categorised under 'not following the plan' and that's why most choose the generic all-encompassing option.

I follow this method or that method, it doesn't matter its all the same thing just different reasons. The other day there was a brief discussion on the most appropriate place to take a trade. One person suggested they only sell on momentum and not on a bullish candle. The other person suggested that it was bad practice to sell the low of a range and better to wait for confirmation and a pullback. But at the end of the day, the trade location and direction ended up being at exactly the same price level!

I think that the best way to improve as a trader is to focus on self-development. Get to know yourself. Feel the chimp. It is in that moment of rising panic and frustration when you make your biggest mistakes. Its not the plan that needs improvement, it is the chimp administering it.

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  #22 (permalink)
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Grantx View Post
I think all those options can be categorised under 'not following the plan' and that's why most choose the generic all-encompassing option.

I follow this method or that method, it doesn't matter its all the same thing just different reasons. The other day there was a brief discussion on the most appropriate place to take a trade. One person suggested they only sell on momentum and not on a bullish candle. The other person suggested that it was bad practice to sell the low of a range and better to wait for confirmation and a pullback. But at the end of the day, the trade location and direction ended up being at exactly the same price level!

I think that the best way to improve as a trader is to focus on self-development. Get to know yourself. Feel the chimp. It is in that moment of rising panic and frustration when you make your biggest mistakes. Its not the plan that needs improvement, it is the chimp administering it.

This is pretty good, in my view. I somewhat agree, and partially disagree.

First, the disagreement: all methods are not really the same. They do not actually all tell you to do the same thing at the same time, and they do not all attempt to exploit the same supposed opportunities in the same ways. Also, I am far from convinced that all or most of them work, even if faultlessly executed. (Not that faultless execution is seen that often.)

Now, the more important part, the agreement: The clearest common element in the journals of struggling traders (which is all of us at one time or another) is that the supposed method we follow just goes right out the window as "the chimp" (which, actually, is us) takes over. Then, the motivations for the trade are strange and hard to explain afterwards, the thinking is murky, and impulses to do something inexplicable are strong and overwhelming. It's not usually the plan that failed, because it usually just didn't get followed.

So I think @Grantx has it essentially right. There is a part of you and me that is the chimp mind, and we need to become reconciled with it, and not governed by it. (Note that I am not giving an answer about how to do this. I'm still working on it. )

Bob.

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  #23 (permalink)
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Doesn't anyone else find it interesting that "risking too much for account size" is in last place in the polls?

Given that based on what I know and have learned over the years, the majority of traders are trading accounts far too small for the leverage they are using, and/or are trading with money they cannot afford to lose.

This just demonstrates a lack of education and understanding, that people don't realize it... in my opinion, of course.

And then this "risking too much" problem cascades into all the other problems, because of the stress it places on the trader.

Mike

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  #24 (permalink)
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Big Mike View Post
Doesn't anyone else find it interesting that "risking too much for account size" is in last place in the polls?

Given that based on what I know and have learned over the years, the majority of traders are trading accounts far too small for the leverage they are using, and/or are trading with money they cannot afford to lose.

This just demonstrates a lack of education and understanding, that people don't realize it... in my opinion, of course.

And then this "risking too much" problem cascades into all the other problems, because of the stress it places on the trader.

Mike

When I saw the poll, I knew which of the choices you would think the most relevant.

I think you may be right, simply because fear of loss (and the odds of a too-big loss, too) is going to be greater.

I still put down "holding losers too long", because it's my major manifestation of this fear, but this is certainly the fear.

An argument in favor of the new index micros, by the way -- cut the size of the loss down to a tenth. So long as you don't just up the contracts and trade like it's play money.

Bob.

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  #25 (permalink)
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Was "risking too much" in the poll from the start or was it added later?

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  #26 (permalink)
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Big Mike View Post
Doesn't anyone else find it interesting that "risking too much for account size" is in last place in the polls?

Given that based on what I know and have learned over the years, the majority of traders are trading accounts far too small for the leverage they are using, and/or are trading with money they cannot afford to lose.

This just demonstrates a lack of education and understanding, that people don't realize it... in my opinion, of course.

And then this "risking too much" problem cascades into all the other problems, because of the stress it places on the trader.

Mike

I agree and that's why I think that trading on the futures market is a very bad place to learn. But I also don't think you can view these issues in a hierarchical fashion (one having more importance over another).

There is no 'one thing' that makes you a consistent winner or loser. It is a guarantee that you will learn every one of those poll points the hard way. Discipline has to be maintained equally amongst each of them.

The only one that I think doesn't really fit is the misreading price action option. It is not something you can really fail at because you can pick a direction having not looked at the charts, and still win. You can also do your due diligence for hours on end and still end up losing. So I think that option has a large luck factor involved.

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  #27 (permalink)
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Big Mike View Post
Doesn't anyone else find it interesting that "risking too much for account size" is in last place in the polls?

Given that based on what I know and have learned over the years, the majority of traders are trading accounts far too small for the leverage they are using, and/or are trading with money they cannot afford to lose.

This just demonstrates a lack of education and understanding, that people don't realize it... in my opinion, of course.

And then this "risking too much" problem cascades into all the other problems, because of the stress it places on the trader.

Mike

I agree, but this has been mitigated in part by the micros; traders that couldn't afford one mini have now moved down.

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  #28 (permalink)
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None of the Above.

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  #29 (permalink)
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SMCJB View Post
None of the Above.

So, what would be yours?

These were basically for discretionary traders. I imagine system trading would have a completely different list.

Bob.

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  #30 (permalink)
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xplorer View Post
Was "risking too much" in the poll from the start or was it added later?

From the start.

Mike

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