How do you deal with Starting the Day out with Losses?

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by Flashboy, Oct 30, 2003.

  1. I've noticed a repeating pattern in my trading.

    On days that I start out with a loss I tend to lose my discipline, take mediocre and/or bad trades trying to catch back the loss.. needless to say only to make the loss even bigger..

    Has anyone else had this problem?

    Any suggestions on how to help overcome it during the trading day??? There are so many emotions to deal with as it is.. starting out with a loss really hurts me..

    When I say loss I mean anywhere in the neighborhood of $75 and over.. now remember I only shoot to make 2 pts. a day in the emini on average..

    Thanks and good trading
  2. In the end, you have to be able to regard each trade separately, and take each opportunity (as well as not trading when you don't see anything) irregardless of ur current p/l. Think of each trade as one out of thousands you will take in the future, so the outcome of the next one is just a drop in the bucket. Don't beat urself up so much after a loss, nor pat urself on the back after a win.

    I know, it's a difficult habit to overcome, I still have problems with pushing while I am down and getting tight while I am up. But its a matter of discipline, and those muscles can be exercised. You might want to do whatever it takes to help u in this regard, take ur P/L off ur screen etc.

    You might also want to ask yourself why you are just happy with 2 pts/day -- if you are reading the market right, you should be able to go for more and not limit yourself -- don't trade not to lose.
  3. I had to deal with this situation today actually. I lost a bunch of money very early in the trading day and evil thoughts started creeping into my head. What I did was get away from my computer for 5 minutes, forgot about the loss, surpressed my rage and collected my thoughts. When I sat back down, things turned around and I ended up having a decent day. I know this can be tough to do at times but the bottom line is that losing discipline won't make you any money.
  4. Flashboy I don't know how much experience you have, and I certainly do not mean to be speaking to you as if you were a newbie.

    I have no doubt that anyone who has worked hard for their money hates to lose it. I do. Which stinks because losing is a part of our business. Because losing is a part of our business, we have to learn how to accept losing, just like pro baseball players have to learn to accept getting a hit 1-3 times, at best.

    For this reason, I absolutely hate it when guys are trying to learn how to trade, or learn how to accept losses, by trading the ES or even the NQ. I recognize that account size is an important consideraton. But a $5000 account can easily support swing trading 50-100 shares of stock while learning how to trade.

    Swing trading is slower and allows you to experience and conquer the emotions of trading. Trading a small size keeps you in the game longer. Even a .75 move against you on 100 shares takes all day to happen. All day for you to think about what you are doing, think through the strategy. Observe the nuances. But in the ES and NQ, you are out and defeated in a minute or two. How much training is that?
  5. I've missed more than 9,000 shots in my career.
    I've lost almost 300 games.
    Twenty-six times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed.
    I've failed over and over and over again in my life.

    And that is why I succeed.

    - Michael Jordan
  6. Fabulous quote, Scientist, absolutely perfect.

    Heck man, I'm inspired by that one!


  7. Yes, great quote. I'm inspired, too. That's exactly the mentality that is needed to succeed as a trader.

  8. It sure inspired me, too. I was absolutely thrilled when I found that quote. It reflects precisely the way we should all be thinking as traders. We're basically all just playing a game, and we can never expect not to lose.

    Just like sportlers, I think we shouldn't take it personal, but accept losses as the rocks of experience that lie on the road, which are often hard to move aside, but will inevitably serve to build the thing we all want to build, that is success.

    The more often we play, the more often we'll lose. But it's that perseverance, that playing often enough and never giving up that will make us succeed as traders.

    I can sing a song of this. Seeing Flashboy's post made me think of myself yesterday. I wasn't much better off, I was in exactly the same situation. Sometimes it just happens that you have a series of bad trades and think "the day is fudged". But it's a will to persevere and to particularly push yourself through those hard bits that will make you strong as a trader.

    Myself, I got deeply into the hole in the morning trading the ES, because of some silly spike that blew out my stop - bang!
    I just felt like taking the day off and forgetting all about it. But then I thought : "No! I'm not just gonna walk away like this! Anything can happen later on!"
    Well, after the large loss, I reduced my contract size to absolute minimum and swore to stick with it until close.
    Result : I slowly made my whole loss back, plus topped it off for the end of the day!

    Imagine, I was pretty thrilled. This is what makes you strong and believe in yourself as a trader. And self-belief and perseverance is everything that counts in what is possibly the most competitive profession in the world.

    It was Michael Jordan's quote that helped me yesterday to make the decision to persevere. I can strongly recommend it.

  9. Deal with it like you deal with a day starting with gain.

  10. That's one smart idea. I'll bear that in mind, to feel like I've just had 12 winners in a row after a really f*cked up morning...

    #10     Oct 30, 2003