By Sherrie Nish
By this point, you should have a good basis for your business. This last step is some final thoughts for your business plan and trading. Remember, as it is with all good things in which you come in contact, they will not work if you don’t use them.
Darrell has said many times that he doesn’t know of any successful traders who do not keep journals. This is an important habit to incorporate into your business and your daily practice. So, what do you put in your daily journal?
Often overlooked are the emotions felt when you placed the trade. Write down what was going through your head when you took the trade. Being able to identify those emotions, especially for trades that don’t work out well, is like winning half of the battle. You’ve identified an emotion, a feeling or a thought process that you had when you took a trade that later, you wish you had not taken.
Now, it is fine if you took the trade, followed all the rules and the trade didn’t work out. Not every trade is going to work out. If you traded well, that is good. It is equally important to write down those feelings, too.
However, be sure to jot down in your journal if you entered a trade and you did something that wasn’t following the rules like entering it too early. By writing things down, you are well on your way to correcting what you did wrong in the trade. You cannot make corrections if you don’t know what you are looking for. By writing down what you did right or wrong, you will see patterns in your trading. Then, you can begin to make adjustments and corrections, which can lead to better trading.
At one time or another, every trader experiences revenge trading. This seems to occur more with men than women because of the way our brains are wired. When men are poked by something, they tend to want to turn around and smack it back. This doesn’t work very well in trading. If men are cornered, they try to get out of it physically. Women know that usually won’t work for them. They tend to think about an alternate way to get out of the situation.
With revenge trading, you may have the feelings of being in a rush or worrying that if you don’t hurry and enter the trade, you’ll be left behind. Instead, step back and look at the big picture. There are trades everywhere. You won’t be left behind. You just have to wait for another bus! If you miss the bus, just wait at the bus stop for another bus, because busses run all day and night. Sometimes there are more busses than at other times, but there will be another bus, except between 4:15 and 5:00 PM ET!
Start your day by taking two to three minutes to jot down in your journal what you want to accomplish that day. Put it in a positive affirmation. Many people will have a losing trade and then beat themselves up for it. Instead, take a breath, start over again. No problem! Don’t get into the negativism because that will carry over into your trading. It is very difficult to overcome if you allow the negativity to come into your trading.
Bottom line with the emotional stuff is to identify what made you take the trade, good or bad. Whatever it was, that is considered your zone. Journaling will help you find your zone.
Darrell recommends as money becomes available in your account take some out for yourself. It’s your reward. Your friends and family probably don’t understand why you are wasting your time trading. You are the only one who takes all the risks. So, when you take some money out of your account, do something nice for yourself and enjoy your bonus, because that’s what it is.
Many people could trade, but instead they fall into the blame game. They begin by blaming Apex, then the markets, market makers, their brokers and it goes on and on. They refuse to grasp the idea that they are the problem. They stop trading. They go off and do something else.
As Marion said, “You have to take responsibility for yourself. In trading, you can only blame yourself for making the mistakes. No one else is involved. People always tend to blame others if something isn’t working.”
Kellie added, “You have to face yourself.”
Once you grasp the idea that you are the problem, you can make the minor adjustments, begin building better habits and start giving yourself improved results. In the end, you have to take responsibility for your own trading and your own behavior.
Remember that trading is hard work. Aaron says that the comment he hears most often is “Day trading… well, that’s not a real job!” He says if you hear that, don’t listen! If it’s not a real job, why isn’t everybody doing it as a fun hobby? If somebody tries to tell you it’s easy and anybody can do it, either they haven’t tried it or don’t understand it. It is simple, but it is also very hard.
You may find yourself so diligently looking for trades that your nose is right up against your monitor. Marilyn says that when this happens to her, learn to push away for the monitor. Take a big breath; get a bigger picture and perspective. Realize you were trying to MAKE a trade happen that wasn’t really there.
You may find many of these are common things we all go through as we try to perfect our trading and trading style. As you learn, be sure to share in the forum in this same area, so we can continue this group effort to help each other.
Marilyn hopes that the things she has shared with you in this Business and Life Plan will help you as you treat trading as a business and not a hobby. Try to start each trading session with an inspirational quote or positive affirmation (or both) and keep it in front of you for that day (or week). You will find that it gives your mind something to focus on when you are waiting for a trade setup to complete. Keeping yourself surrounded by positive “vibes” will help to avoid some of the common bad behaviors like rushing into a trade and/or revenge trading.