stress and trading

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by NDQnCA, Nov 5, 2002.

  1. NDQnCA

    NDQnCA Guest

    well, i know that stress comes with the territory in trading for a living. large sums of money are made and lost in minutes and that obviously has an effect on one's emotional state. naturally, people will be happy when they are making money and be pissed off when they lose it. i know that you cannot let money drive you 100%, you must be detached enough from the game to realize that if you trade a profitable system, drawdowns are a natural occurence and in no real way reflect on one's intelligence or lack thereof (unless you are just making jackass mistakes . :D ) no one system will work all of the time. for instance, i am trying a new strategy now (4th month into it) and am trading 500-1000 lots and netting out around 500-2500 (after commissions) per day, when i am positive. i have had on average 4-6 losing days/ month, all under -2000 so i have been doing ok, i suppose :D but, today, the system just performed like crap. i had many more problems than i normally encounter and ended up taking around a -1800 loss after commissions. i am a VERY competitive guy and i really get mad when i lose money- i mean i am sitting there sweating and cursing at the screen and getting pretty worked up about it. i feel that if i don't make money at work, then why did i come in?? i am intelligent enough to know that:
    1) i cannot let losses reflect on my sense of self- worth
    2) losses are a normal part of trading
    3) no system will work ALL of the time
    4) tommorrow is another day- clear all my positions and my mind- get ready for battle again....

    but, still i get really frustrated when i lose. no one likes to lose, that much is certain. but, i am a young guy and wonder if i am setting myself up for a life where i lose all my hair before age 30 and always am on a short fuse, a ticking time bomb waiting to go off on the first guy who says something wrong to me. i know that making money, or how much i am making at my age (24) is enough to be very happy about, but it seems like it just isn't enough- i feel that maybe i put too much pressure on myself to perform, when i should really relax a little more. However, i have too much determination and drive to be one of the great traders- a man who can make over $500K/ year (or more :D ) to just give up or think- oh, its a loss, its ok- i'll make it back tommorrow or next week or.........i mean i really get pissed about losing- i went straight to the gym for a 2 hour workout and then had to call my girl over, get some loving, and crack a beer before i finally thought- ok, f*ck it- not that big of a deal, i'll get 'em tommorrow.

    well, the basic point of this long post is too see if anyone else feels the way that i do or can share similar experiences/ stories. how do you all deal with the inherent stress of trading?? are you stocking up on propecia and making the life insurance payments?? barring all windows higher than the first floor??
    what is the routine that you go through after a losing day? (other than the obvious- looking over losing trades, keeping a journal, reviewing your biz plan, deciding what to do tommorrow) do you all just go home after the office, crack a beer, listen to some mellow music, meditate on your life, or what????

    cheers and good trading,
    r man.
  2. I am 25 years old. I came into the arena with my first post stating how I was going to turn 5k into 1000k in 18 months via e-minis. I was cocky, egotistical, naive, biased and arrogant. Probably like a lot of other 25 year olds who think they have a right to own the world and want to be able to drive the most expensive car and just snap their fingers and have women all over them. It is that "ego" thing that always comes to the surface.

    Since that time, I've managed to turn 5k into 4k in under a month. However, what I've learned since my first trade is immense.

    You are obviously making money long-term, so what is the problem? Do you honestly think you're going to have a winning day every day of the week? That is your "ego" talking to you. Remove yourself from that. I'd have to say that the greatest traders are the most humble ones, because that is exactly what the market will do to you. I have already noticed it reflect in my personal life (i.e. "Gee, Jason, you are a lot more mature lately -- you seem a lot more grown-up, etc).

    Define your problem. Are you not making enough money? Well, you sound like you are consistent, so scale-up if you can handle the emotional downdraw of trading larger sizes. Are you not consistent? Then figure out how to be.

    I'm not sure exactly where you are coming from, but being the same age as you, I have a pretty good idea of what you are going through.

    Learn to step outside your emotions and expectations. You must be flexible in your expectations yet rigid in your rules.

    If you want to make a half-million a year, there is nothing wrong with that. Just define a goal and map out a strategy to get there. Nobody ever runs a marathon without running smaller races first.
  3. I just think about living in a poor nation, working for 2 bux a month and not even owning a fly swatter to swat the flies off of my face.

    All of a sudden, my stress just seems to fade away.
  4. NDQnCA

    NDQnCA Guest

    it is good to see how you have matured since your earlier posts. you have come a long way and now you are starting to realize, i think, just how immensely tough it is to make it as a trader and the amount of hard work and discipline it takes. I appreciate the words of wisdom and know that i have a problem with stress that stems from being a competitive athlete. I played baseball and wrestled, but it mainly comes from wrestling- it was always me against the other guy- trying to kick his ass- just like trading :D :D i always felt the need to be better, stronger, smarter, quicker than the guy who is trying to defeat me, instincts which have carried well into trading, but also make me believe that something is wrong with me or my technique when i lose. and about what you said about just sizing up- i think that is my problem in the initial stages of my learning curve (with this strategy)- today i had a -$2800 swing (from up 1200 to -1600 (gross) ) and well, i was sweating, getting pissed and cursing- i felt like i would before i would wrestle/ fight someone- pissed beyond belief. i think i need to get it under control (stress/ anger) before i size up too much more, or else i will have a heart attack at a very early age :D :D (seriously, though- a trader buddy of mine had one at 30 :mad: ) i understand that i am immensely fortunate to live in the USA and have the opportunity that i do, but i feel that maybe i am being too much of an anal perfectionist and i am too preoccupied with being the top dog?? the only thing is, i just don't see anything wrong with it if it helps me to acheive my ulitmate goals. i am very driven and dedicated, but really, i have to get a grip on stress- if there are any websites of value or anyone can give me advice/ share stories, i would appreciate it.

    and good luck aphexcoil- i know that you will make it- you are young, hungry and intelligent- you just need a profitable strategy, a mentor and some real capital (@ $0.5 million BP) and you will be on your way........ seriously, bro quit fucking around with that e-mini garbage from home, get with a prop firm, find someone to train you, trade from an office, and negotiate a good deal, they are out there..........good luck.
  5. I think a punching bag in the room you trade in might be a good $50 investment.
    I don't think you'll have to worry about the propecia. I think the people who lose their hair are usually the ones who repress their anger. I don't know about the heart attacks though.

    What about golf? You get to take your aggressions out on the ball, but the tone of the game is all about relaxation.
  6. Genetics man...Genetics...And on the maternal side I believe.
  7. Genetics is part of it. But so is stress. You can have two brothers with the same genetics, one loses hair the other doesn't. I bet you the one who lost hair had to repress anger more than the one who kept his hair.
  8. You're going to have to make a lot more than 500k per year if you want to be one of the great traders.

    If you put rogain on your computer screen, all the hair sticks to it when it falls out after a losing day and you can pick it off after the close and have it reinstalled. That way it won't be a total loss.
  9. Te'

    Te' Guest

    Nice signature profitseer :cool:
  10. prox


    Rather than getting angry, analyze what went wrong .. what mistakes you may have made and what you can do to correct it so you will not make that mistake again.

    I consider any trade a winning trade, if I executed my system triggers and exits.
    #10     Nov 30, 2002