Uncertainty and Risk in Short-Term Trading

Discussion in 'Trading' started by Joe Ross, Feb 22, 2010.

  1. Trading and risk go together. Short-term trading denies the trader the strategy of minimizing risk by holding a position over a longer time period. Short-term traders must learn to use momentum and volatility. Volatility can force short-term traders to become scalpers. I know; often I am one of them. However, the scalping, in turn, causes a lot of "noise" in the market. When enough people are scalping short-term, the market becomes full of noise. At that point, prices begin to fluctuate rapidly and risk is increased. In that respect, scalping can work against short-term trading.

    All of us have a built-in aversion to risk. Traders, if they can still pull the trigger, have no problem entering into what seems to be a sure win -- but when it comes to a trade with a clear possibility of loss, they hesitate. Traders in general don't like taking losses, and will do anything to avoid taking them. They will take even greater risk in the hopes of avoiding a loss. We see it all the time: a trader holds onto a trade while the losses continue to mount. They will pretend that the losses aren't really there. Rather than realizing a loss, they stay in the market and hope they will not be wiped out. The ultimate manifestation of this is seen in the dead accounts; accounts that don't trade, which amount to money in the billions held by brokers, simply because the trader leaves the money rather than close out the account and admit defeat. There is always the "hope" that some day, sometime, they will try again.

    If you are going to be a professional trader, you cannot avoid risk and losses. They are simply a part of the business of trading. You don't have to learn to love them, but you do have to learn to accept the fact that they are a reality of trading, and work at disciplining yourself to keep them to a minimum.
  2. It's only Tuesday morning, not Friday afternoon. :)