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    0 Replies Latest reply on Sep 22, 2009 9:35 AM by dantbrown

    Stock Market Secrets: Recover from a Series of Losing

    dantbrown Newbie
      By Jeremy Whaley, TradeSmartU
      Causes of Emotional Trading

      Before we get to the process that will solve this problem of losing
      trades, let's first talk about the underlying causes. There are
      generally only three things that lead someone to lose money in the
      market:

      Lack of Education (You don't know what you're doing.)
      Lack of Preparation (You know what you're doing but have not practiced enough to be good at what you're doing.)
      Lack of Emotional Control (You know what you're doing and you're good
      at it, but your emotions get in the way of placing your trades well.)

      Lack of Education. The first one is easy to fix. Go to some seminars
      like the ones I teach, read some books, or study on the Internet. There
      are many ways to educate yourself. Just make sure the education is
      complete and that it teaches you how to make money in any market
      condition.

      Lack of Preparation. The second one is also easy to fix. Preparing
      yourself to be a good trader is really nothing more than discipline.
      Trading is a skill, just like riding a bike or speaking a foreign
      language. The more you do it the better you get. To develop this skill
      you need to have a virtual trading platform where you can trade without
      risking real money. Then as you are successful you can move into real,
      or funded, trades.

      Lack of Emotional Control. The third area, however, is the one I want
      to take a look at in this article. Emotions are the great demon of
      traders. One can know exactly which strategy to use, know the exact
      timing, see the perfect trade set up, place it, and still lose money!
      How? Because emotions often get in the way of the trade. To be a
      successful trader you must learn to get your emotions under control and
      keep them out of the way of your trade. Otherwise you're trading on
      emotion, not rational analysis, and this is a plan for failure ten
      times out of ten.

      A Lot to Lose, A Lot to Gain

      Let's talk about why emotions so easily creep into your trades. Why do
      we trade? For some people it is the adrenaline rush. (If you're one of
      these people, I suggest something way cheaper like sky diving or bungee
      jumping!) However, for most people (myself included), trading offers a
      promise of something better-financial freedom. Financial freedom brings
      with it a litany of other dreams and emotions because of what the
      freedom will allow us to do. Your goal may be to play more golf in the
      afternoons, take more frequent vacations to travel the world, or spend
      more time coaching your son's little league team. It doesn't matter
      what financial freedom looks like to you, because no matter what you're
      envisioning, the bottom line is that it is an emotional motivation.

      Now, understanding the promise of financial freedom, you can understand
      why it is an emotional thing to trade. When you trade, you're "trading
      for something." Usually it's not money-it's what that money will buy
      you. To top it off there is an extra emotion in the mix here. That is
      because it takes money to make money! Generally when people start
      trading their initial capital is their most prized possession. After
      all, preserving capital is one of the keys to being a successful
      trader. And that preservation is emotional because if you lose your
      starting capital-well, that could be it. You would have no starting
      capital OR the dreams that financial freedom will bring you. And this
      double whammy is the underlying reason so many new traders (and many
      seasoned traders, too) are so easily affected by emotion and unable to
      move forward in their trades.

      So how do we fix this problem? I'm going to share with you a
      step-by-step system that I use if and when I start a losing streak and
      need to reign in my emotions to trade more efficiently. I teach this
      same system to my advanced trading students every month. I'm assuming a
      few things here. I'm assuming:

      You already know how to trade. (You're educated.)
      You are already prepared to trade. (You've practiced your skills.)
      You have been trading real money and you're trying to get out of a rut.
      If you do not meet these criteria, then the prescription below may only
      be marginally useful to you. Make sure you have already educated
      yourself and prepared yourself before you ever trade real money.

      Your Personal Recovery Rx

      For the rest of you, here is your prescription:

      Stop trading real money immediately-no exceptions.
      Take at least a two-week break from worrying about trading. Do not look
      at the market, do not look at your account, do not watch the news. Let
      all things trading detox from your mind. Failure to do this will create
      mental toxins that can poison your thinking. (After my worst series of
      losses it took me four months to clear my head and be able to focus
      again-and I'm supposed to be a pro!)
      After the burn of your bad trades wears off a bit, consider reading a
      book on trading psychology like Trading in the Zone by Mark Douglas.
      After this information has set in, review the "anatomy of a trade." (This is a trade analysis system I teach in my classes.)
      Pick a stock and do six months of back testing on it, walking through
      the anatomy of a trade. (Back testing is like using a trading
      simulator. It allows you to trade a stock's history as though it is
      real time.)
      Pick another stock and do the same thing.
      Pick another stock and do the same thing, but JOURNAL every trade-even
      if it takes hours. (Journaling your trades can help you pinpoint where
      you're breaking down.)
      Do it again.
      And again.
      After finding success with back trading, resume virtual trading
      (real-time trading with fake money). Walk through the anatomy of the
      trade before every trade. Also ask the question, "Why would I do the
      opposite?" (If I'm thinking bullish, why might I think bearish?)
      After virtually trading for a month, analyze the trades and determine
      your win/loss ratio. If you're trading at least 70-80 percent
      profitably, then move into one (and only one) real trade with one (and
      only one) option contract. See how that goes.
      If your real money trade is profitable, then do it again, but try two to three real trades with only one contract.
      If your confidence is building, increase your contract sizes to two to three contracts/trades.
      Continue in like manner until you are trading fluidly.
      NEVER STOP VIRTUALLY TRADING. Always continue placing your virtual
      trades. Then as your confidence grows, move more and more of your
      virtual trades into real trades.
      If you begin losing money in real trades, return to virtual trading
      complete this process again. Continue in like manner until your
      emotions are under control.
      I have used this system myself for several years now. I have taught it
      to countless students, and when it is followed it always yields
      results. If you would like to learn how to apply these techniques and
      more to your own trading, please visit our website and
      http://www.TradeSmartU.com/TSU.asp?LPID=12