What's the lesson?

This is a discussion on What's the lesson? within the General Trading Chat forums, part of the Reception category; I've been spreadbetting for only a month or so, and I've had a few losing trades which have puzzled me. ...

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Old Jul 6, 2008, 8:21pm   #1
Joined Jul 2007
What's the lesson?

I've been spreadbetting for only a month or so, and I've had a few losing trades which have puzzled me. I don't mind losing, but all the losers would have ended up winners if I hadn't cut my losses. I know it's all about sticking to the plan and all that, which I've done, and the losses haven't been that big, so I'm not too bothered about that. So why am I feeling so, I dunno, pissed off. I understand that sticking to a plan may payoff as trades come and go and you take the winners, but these were winners... I'm not looking for an answer, just maybe some advice as to what exactly I'm averse to, or what sort of irrational behaviour am I exhibiting? Possibly some loyalty to the original trade that I've stopped out?
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Old Jul 6, 2008, 9:07pm   #2
 
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It's a common problem and it's good that you are aware of it. This is the reason that a 'good' trader will make money from a poor system and a 'bad' trader will lose money from the world's best system. Anyone can learn the mechanics of trading but very few master the psychology. Trading psychologists say that everyone gets what they want from the market - but the problem is most of us have enough subconscious problems to self destruct at trading - either obviously so or in a more subtle way.

Subconsciously you don't believe you can win (or deserve to win) at trading and so you sabatage your trades. Your subconscious is proved correct but your conscious mind has this stange feeling you describe as 'pissed off'. It probably feels like the failures you had in childhood.

There are several ways to overcome this but it is extremely hard! The simplest way is to force yourself to obey your own rules but, rather like a smoker trying to quit, this is not so easy in practice. Alternative methods include hypnosis and therapy but before you laugh, we all have 'demons' inside that spoil our lives in one way or another. Trading allows these demons to express themselves with results that are more noticeable than 'ordinary life'.

The bottom line is that unless you address this issue, you will always lose money. You have two choices, sort it out or admit trading might not be for you and quit!
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Old Jul 6, 2008, 9:39pm   #3
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bypath3 started this thread Cheers for the reply. The irrational part of it is that after the bet I'd stopped out had turned around, even though it meant nothing to me, I still desperatley wanted it to loose, so I'm thinking it's along the lines of validation. How do you deal with this? Do you learn to ignore it, will it always be there somewhere, or over time do you generally get desensitized and learn to unlearn it by seeing an adhered to system taking profits?
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Old Jul 6, 2008, 10:36pm   #4
 
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It will always be there unless you have some sort of therapy!

As for dealing with it, you simply have to disipline yourself to stick to the rules. Perhaps place the trade and leave it without watching. One thing that worked for me was when a friend persuaded me to trade £1,000 for him. He insisted that I stick to my trading rules and said that, win or lose, as long as I stuck to the rules he would be happy.

I piggy-backed his £1,000 on my money and, after less than a month had turned it into £2,500 - £2k for him and £500 for me. That was my best month's trading until then and only because I was forced to stick to my rules.

As for getting desensitised over time, the only thing that will happen over time is that you'll lose all your trading capital - unless you find some trick to make you trade by your rules...
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Old Jul 6, 2008, 11:28pm   #5
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http://www.trade2win.com/boards/firs...930-stops.html
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Thanks! The following members like this post: Mr.J-Arthur
Old Jul 6, 2008, 11:50pm   #6
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Good link Bramble.
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Old Jul 7, 2008, 12:01am   #7
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Originally Posted by Mr.J-Arthur View Post
Good link Bramble.
Thanks. It's by one of this site's most venerable members.


Er...you're not related to that other member Harry Monk are you...???
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