You are NOT alone…..trading and depression.

Discussion in 'Psychology' started by insert, Jul 3, 2007.

  1. insert

    insert

    I decided to write this for all the new people as well as for old geezers to jibe their memory. What got you into trading. Lets face it, its HOPE.

    This hope is extremely strong, it is actually the same thing that forces us to live, despite sometimes pretty bad conditions. Hope overwrites reason and logic, and someone once said that hope is at the same time our greatest strength and our greatest weakness.

    After a new person blows up his/her first account, they either give up or decide to get serious. Few decide to get serious and acknowledge that they don’t know much of anything.

    We must always remind ourselves that its OK to fail. The reason its fine is because we are not perfect and we must forgive ourselves. In fact we must congratulate ourselves for having the guts to DREAM.

    Depression is a difficult thing, and depression will happen to a new trader. We put so much pressure on ourselves we can go postal. I would even go as far as saying that depression is worse than death.

    That is why its wise to forgive oneself and let go of guilt, furthermore we are not all born equal, some are too smart, some are not. We must remember that.

    And finally we can not be angry at traders like me who trade well but won’t help. We are after all, ALL competitors here.

    But my dear Noob, as you can see those of us who “get” it went through all the hardships you are now going through.

    You may not be able to see us behind your computer but you are never alone.

    Best Regards
    BV
     
  2. If depression occurs while your still a trader...

    That's a big neon sign to stop trading, regain their perspective via professional help.

    Mark
     
  3. pp7

    pp7

    insert: looks like you've been watching too much matrix reloaded. :p
     
  4. Thank you,


    Oracle..



    for the inspiration.
     
  5. PhiliC

    PhiliC

    I started in the mid eighties about 1 year before Boesky got busted. I bought a seat on the NYFE and thought the money was just going to roll in and everything would just be perfect. Fast forward to 2007 -- and a couple billion mistakes later. Now I can fully understand what made Boesky do what he did. This trading thing looks easy but its one of the toughest rackets out there. I lost money for years. I do this full time now and it never gets easy.... Its very difficult.

    A couple observations: If you suck at trading -- give stock investing a try (buffett/graham). Its a lot easier than trading. The most important thing I learned in my twenty or so years is that buying right is essential to successful investing. An OK or good buy isn't good enough. Much less stress w/ fundamental investing -- it's still a big part of my playbook. This is the area where I turned from losing trader to finally making some money around 1991 or 1992. (that's about 6 yrs of losing OK).

    I currently trade stocks and futures profitably but for me it was a long road.

    Depression -- I used to ride the path train home almost in tears as I lost money practically everyday. It was umbelievable. I'd lose 3 or 4 handles and my wins would be about 3 tics. I was a mess. I quite the futures for 10 years (they're the toughest financial instrument out there). Just about everybody loses trading futures. Ever wonder why the futures brokers never talk about all their successful clients and the great returns that they're getting. The dirty secret is that all of their clients are losing money. The brokers are constantly chasing their tail trying to replace their losing clients with new suckers. Some of em are losing big money. I knew a guy you blew $600K in the ES in about 5 months. He just kept chasing those devilish breakouts.


    I think its the people who can find a way to handle the emotional roller coaster who are the ones to eventually succeed to some degree. It also requires an incredible about of work!! No short cuts that I'm aware of.
     
  6. ml77

    ml77

    Hi,
    I am only 20 years old and I have traded stocks and more recently futures. I already lost unbelievable amounts of money for my age and this is very tough. Now I don't want to use my account any more !
    I am hoping to find some people able to get my account up again. So, I am currently looking for automated trading systems or block account traders with good performances for my account. But it's hard to trust them. I even sent an email to an excellent trader that posts messages on this website !
    I am really desperate, I need to regain confidence and money in my account !
    Good luck to everyone
     
  7. I was flat broke when i was 20 yrs old ( and i had lots of mula before that slinging up in gainesville; easy come easy go ).....you have a lifetime ahead of you kiddo...the last thing you want to do is anything out of desperation..trust me when i say that...take a step back , breathe a little, take some time off ...time will help you think much clearer...
     

  8. No it was the Architect that said that.
    Although at the time it did remind me of what Livermore said in Stock Operator.
     
  9. I would think that trading depression results from the burst of a hope bubble or a concept/market call being decimated by market action. One very liberating thought/question I ask myself while in a position going sour is, "what is my edge". Has my edge been lost? Has the market moved in a certain way that my edge is now inexistant. If I conclude my edge is gone, I'm out. I am attempting to minimize trading depression by cutting my losers and embracing a thought of acknowledgment that my edge has been lost.

    Now; what I need to work on is actually minimizing the trades I make. I need to have a much more strict , quantifiable way of defining edge.

    So far my "intellectual" edge of analyzing a macro theme, especially in commodities has failed. There are all very logical, very rational, and very well argued positions and themes. One could cite seasonals, i.e. hurricane season, risk/reward reversal i.e. carry trade unwinding etc etc but so far that has meant squat to bottom line P&L. I can make smart arguments, but this isn't a debate, or a term paper, or an academic forum. It's about making a profit. So clearly interpreting or making a theme based trade in commodities doesn't have an edge.

    So when is edge gained ? Love to hear what others have felt have been breakthrough situations of gaining edge.

    as for the other posters in this forum and to the young man who lost "tons" for his age. i've been down that road. i've lost indecent amounts by speculating as a youngster. whether it be trading glamour, the fact that you feel young and empowered by trading the market; and that the loss is a "maturing" experience, or that it reinforces your inner need for proving yourself against adversity stop trading and define your edge.

    bankrupting yourself at such an early point in your life can have catastrophic consequences. focus on getting ahead in life, get a good job, learn, immerse yourself in the markets, and then maybe, trade.
     
  10. I think the pressure we put on ourselves to "get it" right away (or very quickly) has a lot to do with our feelings after being beaten around by the mkts for some time. Its very easy to feel depressed when we dont meet our expectations soon enough(even unrealistic ones) or we realize "oh shit, this is going to be much harder than I thought". Some of us extrapolate into the future where we want to be or think we'll be after 3 months, 6 months 1 year and so forth and the realization that this time table will have to be pushed back for WHO KNOWS how long really sucks. Our friends and families usually dont help either, we hear a lot of "I told you so's" and that added pressure gets really old, especially coming from people who probably have zero balls themselves and loath the idea of doing anything besides the cookie cutter 9-5 thing.

    To me, it really just comes down to this; being an entrepanuer is tough, if it were easy to make millions (or even several hundred thousand), everyone would be doing it. Whether it be in the mkts, real estate, poker, business ventures or whatever, it really takes that fire within each of us and the resiliency necessary to weather the storm. There is always a storm, I dont care who you are. If you dont love what you are doing, so much so that you almost obsess over how to constantly improve, then the depressing feelings you have should steer you into something better suited for you. Every single day, I feel like I learn something new, some small detail that adds to a larger understanding of how mkts move intraday. I see myself building what I feel is necessary to constantly improve and become very profitable. Any losses I take, I use all the info I can to see why I made a mistake and I log it into memory. As long as progress is being made, depression shouldnt set in. My goals are small day to day, I dont try and be unrealistic and I think this helps greatly.

    At least thats the way I view things, of course we all see things differently.
     
    #10     Jul 6, 2007