Second Guessing

Discussion in 'Trading' started by Oz Cillator, May 16, 2003.

  1. So much of trading is psychological. How do experienced traders deal with, or better yet, eliminate the second guessing of trading decisions. For instance, " if I'd only been more patient I'd have re-couped my loss (or made more)" or " why didn't I cut my losses sooner".
  2. dbphoenix


    That's where rules come in, as well as the discipline to follow them.


    I think you have to learn to not second guess yourself on your trades. We all leave money on the table at times. No one buys the bottom and sells the top or shorts the top and covers at the bottom. If you do continually second guess yourself you'll be less than 100% focused on your next trades. What's in the past (closed trades) cannot be changed. So I see no benefit in dwelling on it. Now thing a trader might do is reflect on if he/she sees a pattern developing. But I'd do such thinking after the market closed for the day.
  4. Bingo.

    To take what dp said a little further...

    if you have a rule-based trading plan for whatever trade setups your using...

    and your getting losses after following the trading plan.

    That's ok.

    However, if your getting losses after not following the trading plan...

    you need to figure out why you don't have enough confidence in your trading plan to follow what it saids.

    If its a new plan...immediately reduce your size or trade via a realtime simulator until you gain that confidence...

    to prevent second guessing whatever it is your doing.

    If your trading without a plan...

    the market will eat you alive.

    I know this for fact...I got burnt a few weeks ago in a trade setup that had a wide stop of 6 points...didn't follow the plan for entry strategy...enter before getting a confirmation signal (too aggressive)...and got burnt...stopped out for -6 points on the ES position. have to execute the entire plan...not just part of it. said recoup losses...then you said why didn't I cut my losses sooner...

    those two statements above implies your trading without stop/loss protection and implies because your not using stops you have been getting lucky in the past with trades that came back your way...recouping losses or maybe even becoming profitable.

    It's those lucky trades that can form very bad trading habits...disasterous habits...

    second guessing habits.

  5. gms


    I find it helpful to have much confidence in your strategy, said confidence built on realized results, which gives you a depth of understanding the perplexities involved with getting out at the opportune moment, and to have the outlook that the last trade (the trade that is causing you some discomfort because you left money on the table or whatnot) is only one trade out of hundreds or thousands of trades that you'll make and another opportunity will present itself shortly, just as a drop of water is only one of out many in a bucket.