Nerves Before the Trading Day starts

Ed-Trade

Guest
16 0
Good morning,

Something that I have noticed happening to me more often recently is a tremendous nervous feeling for about an hour or so before the US markets open. (starts at about 1.30pm UK)

I actually get butterflies and feel nauseous. The only time I've felt like this before is playing sport (at a decent level) or before an exam.

Does anyone else get this and if so how do you manage it. It seems to get less severe as the market opens and I'm involved in watching my stocks.

Ed
 

roguetrader

Senior member
2,062 49
Good morning,

Something that I have noticed happening to me more often recently is a tremendous nervous feeling for about an hour or so before the US markets open. (starts at about 1.30pm UK)

I actually get butterflies and feel nauseous. The only time I've felt like this before is playing sport (at a decent level) or before an exam.

Does anyone else get this and if so how do you manage it. It seems to get less severe as the market opens and I'm involved in watching my stocks.

Ed
It sounds like you are making a little too much of trading, allowing things to get out of perspective, the two comparatives you have given, "playing sport at a decent level" and "exams" In both these situations you are generally compelled to participate / compete, at a time that may not be of your choosing, also in a lot of occasions they tend to be "do or die" events, ie; you have worked for a whole year, or more for this exam and if you fail it, it will be some time before you can resit, and there may be other ramifications. The sporting comparison possibly from sport played at knockout level, again a lot riding on it.

Of course I don't know your trading circumstances, (such as are you answerable to yourself) I can only speak for myself, but no one trade, or trading day should have so much riding on it that a bad result spells disaster. If you are relatively inexperienced, try reducing trade sizes, marginalizing impact of any losses until more confident. If not, I pass.
Occupy yourself in the pre-market period, this may depend on what and how you trade, for myself. market news is not a big deal, 10 mins gives me all I need to know, so I set up my charts and prep well before the open and usually workout in the hour or so before.
 
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anley

Senior member
2,730 229
Maybe you're risking far too much.

For example, if you were going to risk £5 per trade I doubt you'd get concerned because although nobody wants to lose £5 it really doesn't matter that much if we do.

So think about reducing your position size down to a level that it doesn't really matter too much if you win or lose.

Also, if you're new to the game, less than 1 year old the feelings will naturally go after time, just another day at the office so to speak.
 

Ed-Trade

Guest
16 0
Thanks for the excellent advice.

I'm not sure if it's some deep seated problem that stems from competing at sports several years ago, but that probably needs further analysis on my part.

I think I'm making too much emphasis on the need for success to the detriment of my actual daily performance, ie making every trade very important.
I think it will be a cyber trip to Amazon to get the Trading in the Zone book, sounds an excellent resource.

Ed
 

laptop1

Experienced member
1,105 131
Ed

Do you have a trading plan before the open?

and a trading plan for your trades?

If you missing one of the two, that could be your problem.
 

StupendousTrader

Junior member
24 7
Having little butterflies is ok but being tremendously nervous means you are afraid of losing your money and you will certainly lose your money. You see what you believe and bring it to fruition. If you believe you'll fail, you have already failed. Fear and greed are the core reasons Traders make or lose money.

The way to eliminate this nervousness or fear is to use an efficient money management system and specific stops before you initiate any trade, no matter what market. Let's assume, you have $25,000 to trade Forex, commodities, Stocks or whatever. For Forex or commodities, I'll use 10% or $2,500 to trade. If I am very experienced, I'll use 20% or $5,000. You now have $2,500 or $5,000 as actual trading fund leaving a cushion of $22,500 or $20,000 respectively for volatility, depending on your experience. You now use precise stops to protect the $2,500 or $5,000 trading fund. For example, if you have your stops at $900 (for the $2,500) and $1,250 (for the $5,000), once your stop is hit, you close your positions immediately and take your loss. You can always reenter the market if it goes back to the previous direction you anticipated. If not, change direction and follow the market. The market is king and you don't fight it. That will be suicidal. It's easier said than done.

Now, you already know how much you are ready to lose if the market goes against you, $900 or $1,250. Be ready to lose that money and acknowledge that you made a mistake and then do the right thing. This should eliminate your fear because you have already taken into consideration the worst case scenario and how much you are ready to lose.

Always analyze your worst case scenario and be ready for such eventuality to eliminate your fear. As long as you are using effective stops to protect your self, you should not operate with fear, which is very destructive to trading. It can paralyze you from taking action. Trade with fun and calm neutrality and you will make a lot of money.
 
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Ed-Trade

Guest
16 0
Laptop - Pre open trading plan, I think that is it. At the moment it's a random mish mash of looking here and there with little organised focus. One thing I haven't put much effort into is defining what to do for the valuable hour os so before the market opens. Thanks for the lightbulb moment.

Stupendous - thanks for the advice also. Working on this but getting much better.

Cheers one and all,

Ed
 

neildub

Newbie
5 0
I find that feeling goes away as you get more experience trading. You'll have more confidence in your strategies and hopefully be more prepared each day as time goes by.

I think of a couple things in the last minutes of the premarket:

1. It's the goal of market makers to discourage you because trading can be a very rewarding career. That alone makes me feel good about trading
2. Even the pros get burnt, trading is a battle. If you have to take a loss just do it and move on, it happens to everyone. No big deal just don't get your account wiped out
3. Spend time before the open preparing and coming up with a game plan. I don't ever just roll out of bed and execute an order.
4. Trading is a game, try to have fun!




Good morning,

Something that I have noticed happening to me more often recently is a tremendous nervous feeling for about an hour or so before the US markets open. (starts at about 1.30pm UK)

I actually get butterflies and feel nauseous. The only time I've felt like this before is playing sport (at a decent level) or before an exam.

Does anyone else get this and if so how do you manage it. It seems to get less severe as the market opens and I'm involved in watching my stocks.

Ed
 

Adamus

Experienced member
1,898 97
Trading is a public activity. OK, so you are anonymous, but you're out there up against everyone else. In a way it's like going on stage - it's about the performance. And even Lawrence Olivier used to get so nervous before going on stage that he'd throw up.

Don't worry about it. Unless you're really unhealthy, in which case it might kill you ;)
 

fantastic4

Active member
164 6
I agree with a post from the previous page. If you've a plan in hand, and if you can fully accept your stop loss in place and any risk associated with it, then you really shouldn't feel nervous, maybe excited about having a good day though.
 

MAXIMOM

Newbie
1 0
Could it be that your mind is telling you some thing and your heart another, Do you feel confused?
May be you should find some thing that relaxese you before you start your day, try paper trading for a change and see if the same thing happens when you don't play with real money.
But most of all I would say not to worry, every body make mistake at best of times.
 

johnnyonspot

Junior member
39 0
I realize this is an old thread, but I have experienced the same thing as the OP, though not before a trading day opens. I am not a day trader, and hesitate to even call myself a trader at all as I have been at it for a relatively short time. But I have experienced debilitating nervousness before some events, especially where others were depending on my performance, including insomnia and alternating chills and night sweats. I think one of the best coping mechanisms that works well to calm you down and soothe your nerves, is deep breathing techniques. It helps sloooooow things down a bit.
 
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