TOTW Is it possible to feel no emotion when you win or lose a trade?

Sharky

Staff member
Nov 4, 2000
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#1
We're taught that the psychological aspect of trading is extremely important. That you need presence of mind and discipline to stick with previously established trading plans and know when to book profits and losses.

We're told that emotions simply can't get in the way. But is it really possible to feel no emotion when you win or lose a trade?

Last week's TOTW: What's your average trading day like?
 
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Aug 29, 2014
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#3
Takin emotion out of stuff isn’t really the right way round to my way of thinking. It’s almost the same as asking a if you can take emotion out of any business deal. Some you can, some you can’t. If you (Sharky) put together a business presentation and took a few months doing a grand job and made sure you had all the bases covered, and you get shown the door 5 minutes after delivering it, you’re human if you get deflated. You’re equally human to feel untrammelled delight at a chance meeting and quick conversation that leads you into a multi-year, serious income deal.

Some trades I care about, others I don’t. The amount of time and planning going into them is a factor. Simple, quick, easy punts are neither here nor there. But the more time and effort and complexity I weave into em, the more on me that’s in em, the more you feel it on both the winners and the losers. I don’t think it’s the number of trades you’ve done or the amount of time you’ve been tradin either. There’s also the element of how much you did right compared with what you did wrong. If I can’t see anything wrong with the way I expressed a trade that didn’t work out, I’ll let it fly over the top of me head without a second thought. If I can see I’ve made a mistake or two, it’ll annoy me and quite rightly fore being stupid. And that annoyance (emotion) is the fuel to make a note of me failings and fix them so I don’t do it again.

There’s a big thing about taking emotion out of trading and I believe the attempt is not only futile but can negatively impact you. What’s wrong with a bit o passion in what you’re doin? Presence of mind and discipline are essential. As is intelligence and focus and information and commonsense. But emotion is a by-product of the passion which drives you. If you don’t have that for what you’re doing then do something else for which you do.
 
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Sonicscooter

Well-known member
Jan 9, 2014
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#4
With decent Money management, RR, for me a strategy that is repetitive i feel it can be limited, but not eliminated completely, plus i tend to be looking to other markets to trade as a backup to the one i do, so that would be stressful to start another even with back and forward walking it...

Regards Shane.........:)
 

darktone

Well-known member
Nov 2, 2003
3,917
999
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#5
Takin emotion out of stuff isn’t really the right way round to my way of thinking. It’s almost the same as asking a if you can take emotion out of any business deal. Some you can, some you can’t. If you (Sharky) put together a business presentation and took a few months doing a grand job and made sure you had all the bases covered, and you get shown the door 5 minutes after delivering it, you’re human if you get deflated. You’re equally human to feel untrammelled delight at a chance meeting and quick conversation that leads you into a multi-year, serious income deal.

Some trades I care about, others I don’t. The amount of time and planning going into them is a factor. Simple, quick, easy punts are neither here nor there. But the more time and effort and complexity I weave into em, the more on me that’s in em, the more you feel it on both the winners and the losers. I don’t think it’s the number of trades you’ve done or the amount of time you’ve been tradin either. There’s also the element of how much you did right compared with what you did wrong. If I can’t see anything wrong with the way I expressed a trade that didn’t work out, I’ll let it fly over the top of me head without a second thought. If I can see I’ve made a mistake or two, it’ll annoy me and quite rightly fore being stupid. And that annoyance (emotion) is the fuel to make a note of me failings and fix them so I don’t do it again.

There’s a big thing about taking emotion out of trading and I believe the attempt is not only futile but can negatively impact you. What’s wrong with a bit o passion in what you’re doin? Presence of mind and discipline are essential. As is intelligence and focus and information and commonsense. But emotion is a by-product of the passion which drives you. If you don’t have that for what you’re doing then do something else for which you do.
Fair dos Pat. The way i see it passion for what you do and the emotions most folks experience when trading are different things.
To my mind, in order to feel anything you have to think it first. True for anything in life. If you think the market is a stressful place to be then it will be.

In order to be relaxed in the situation you have to accept it for what it is, and shape your thoughts to match that reality. Most dont approach it this way, they take how they feel as a given, something that cant be changed, which imo and experience is untrue.
 

SpreadDoctor

Active member
May 1, 2014
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#6
We're taught the the psychological aspect of trading is extremely important. That you need presence of mind and discipline to stick with previously established trading plans and know when to book profits and losses.

We're told that emotions simply can't get in the way. But is it really possible to feel no emotion when you win or lose a trade?
absolutely it is possible. To demonstrate how would you feel about putting on a £1000pp Dax trade right now, sweaty palms I guess lol.

now consider £20pp roughly equivalent to 1 futures contracts on the DAX, less emotional.

now consider £1pp which is micro stakes. Lets say you have £50k in cash savings, it will be very hard to have any emotion over a £1pp position. win/lose/scratch it doesnt really have any impact on your account.

So first point of reducing emotions is trading a size which is comfortable compared to your account size. If you have a £500k account you are not going to be emotional about dropping £1000 on one trade.

Once you are more confident in your edge and have built up a solid set of performance metrics this will help further to reduce emotions. For example your last 100 trades you have a win rate of 60% RR av. winner 1.5R. average loser 1R biggest winner 5R largest loser 1.5R. How emotional are you going to feel about losing trade #101, answer - not very.

there are a ton of other techniques you can use to further lower emotions. eg. focus on the process and the weekly monthly result not the individual trade.

in summary yes it is possible but you need to be sufficiently capitalised, confident in your edge and disciplined.

Most newbie traders trade with insufficient capital, with no edge, without recording performance metrics, with no discipline so it is unsurprising they feel very emotional during every trade.

Compare this to a successful pro who trades at a prop firm. He/She will likely have banked profits from previous years and keep this stashed in cash/long term investments as a large cushion with 100k+ only held at the prop firm (thus limiting risk further). They keep immaculate records/journals, they might take 5 trades a day on a 30 lot and feel much less emotion than a £5pp chancer from home.

glgt
 

12WBT

Well-known member
Nov 16, 2013
656
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#7
We're taught the the psychological aspect of trading is extremely important. That you need presence of mind and discipline to stick with previously established trading plans and know when to book profits and losses.

We're told that emotions simply can't get in the way. But is it really possible to feel no emotion when you win or lose a trade?
Auto pilot trading.
 

aliasentric

Active member
Jan 20, 2013
197
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#8
It is possible to feel no emotion when you win or lose a trade, as long as you feel no emotion when you enter the trade.
 
Jan 14, 2003
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#9
For most people it is not entering that will be an isssue it is if the trade goes against them that emotions start to become apparent in my view.
 

aliasentric

Active member
Jan 20, 2013
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#10
not saying entering a trade is an issue. But if you are feeling emotion when entering a trade, i.e. excitement at the possibility of winning, or anxiety at the possibility of losing, then you obviously are increasing the emotional impact that occurs when you win or lose the trade.

If you don't have emotion when entering the trade, it means you have your emotions under control, and recognize that the trade could go for or against you, and are willing to accept that either way, win or lose.
 

aliasentric

Active member
Jan 20, 2013
197
9
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#11
having said all of that, at any point one could lose control over their emotions. So, I agree with you in that it could still be an issue when you win or lose the trade.

But I believe it is a huge step in the right direction if you can consistently enter trades without emotion...

again, if you start off with heavy emotion, it's going to be harder to reel it in by time you win or lose the trade. If you start off with no or little emotion, much easier to maintain that through the duration of the trade...
 
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aliasentric

Active member
Jan 20, 2013
197
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#12
Probably responding too much on this topic, but lack of control over emotions has been one of the biggest factors in my trading failures. So, I have focused a lot on this topic (not saying I've mastered it yet).

I strongly believe that every aspect of trading - strategy, money management, how much you are risking, what time frame you are trading on, how often you are checking on trades, how long you are willing to let trades run, whether you hold over the weekend, etc. etc. etc. are all tied to emotions. Each factor will either help you control emotions, or be a contributing factor to your losing control over your emotions.

Once you put it all together, in that you trade in such a way that helps you control emotions, and you don't let any momentary lapse in control derail you, and you know how to regain control when you lose it, then you'll have emotional stability when you are trading, not that you feel absolutely no emotions, but they are controlled, and don't cause you to blow your account.
 
Oct 27, 2013
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#14
Every human being will has to deal with their own emotions through their life. Some wear them on their sleave- sharing them openly - while others remain totally in control and keep them hidden - no matter what situation they are dealing with ie a family Bereavement - or being left a large amount of money from an Aunt

Situations that occur more regularly can be normally handled with less emotion - is the mind gets used to the situation and deals with it with less feeling.

With regards to trading - that is one reason I prefer to trade short term - I am totally used to winning and the trades I lose on are nothing new to the mind - they basically happen every session and are quickly overcome with no big worry :)
 
Jan 14, 2003
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#15
A lesson that may help people here is to realise that you are not your emotions and for that matter you are not your thoughts or beliefs and most importantly not your ego either. They are all there and have to be there but if you can step back from identifying with these then trading becomes somewhat easier in my view.
 
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