Trading Psychology : Admission time, and a question or two :(

Trading is often about how to take the appropriate risk without exposing yourself to very human flaws.
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Derek27
Posts: 3665
Joined: Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:44 am
Location: UK

Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:50 am

If you were profitable previously, the important thing to do is look closely at your current trading and figure out what you're doing differently.

In my case, I realised I was getting complacent, overstaking, and then forced to trade out to stop the loss, whereas if I used more sensible stakes I would have had the luxury to wait and catch a profitable trade. I was also spending less time analysing the market as I believed I'm so experienced now winning is just second nature. :lol:

In particular, look closely at the markets where you lost more than you intended to risk and consider what you could have done differently, i.e. smaller stakes, getting out earlier, more cautious swings etc.

stueytrader
Posts: 368
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2015 6:47 pm

Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:57 am

Derek27 wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:50 am
If you were profitable previously, the important thing to do is look closely at your current trading and figure out what you're doing differently.

In my case, I realised I was getting complacent, overstaking, and then forced to trade out to stop the loss, whereas if I used more sensible stakes I would have had the luxury to wait and catch a profitable trade. I was also spending less time analysing the market as I believed I'm so experienced now winning is just second nature. :lol:

In particular, look closely at the markets where you lost more than you intended to risk and consider what you could have done differently, i.e. smaller stakes, getting out earlier, more cautious swings etc.
Yep, can see some of those bad habits in my poor times too Derek, especially the overstaking problem. One thing I have found is that sometimes the smallest overstaking (which you get away with) leads to repeating the habit, in essence it can become a 'habit' if not careful. When doing well I was rigidly disciplined in my staking, so I know that is a big difference for me. I feel in general I had my psychology working correctly, but it slipped somehow and that's what I'm looking to redress.

spreadbetting
Posts: 1874
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 8:06 pm

Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:09 pm

stueytrader wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:28 am

I had about a year of profit, and I actually posted on here the question of how long is enough to judge - sadly my latest year is not in profit. But I'm aiming to revert back to the earlier year! There is something of a question of time-spans in judging success too - a piece of string kind of question, but the aim to use longer views of profit/loss is good I agree.

I can see the mentality of looking at longer periods to assess your capabilities when gambling but trading is a different kettle of fish , you're generally turning over so many markets things become quite obvious quickly if you can win or not. I think there always comes a point with trading where you become confident in your own ability to win simply because you understand the reasons why you're winning.

stueytrader
Posts: 368
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2015 6:47 pm

Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:44 pm

spreadbetting wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:09 pm
stueytrader wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:28 am

I had about a year of profit, and I actually posted on here the question of how long is enough to judge - sadly my latest year is not in profit. But I'm aiming to revert back to the earlier year! There is something of a question of time-spans in judging success too - a piece of string kind of question, but the aim to use longer views of profit/loss is good I agree.

I can see the mentality of looking at longer periods to assess your capabilities when gambling but trading is a different kettle of fish , you're generally turning over so many markets things become quite obvious quickly if you can win or not. I think there always comes a point with trading where you become confident in your own ability to win simply because you understand the reasons why you're winning.
Possibly true, though I still think the principle of using a 'looking back further' approach is still a good one for keeping yourself in check, in several ways.

Halliday
Posts: 457
Joined: Sun Jun 12, 2016 3:40 pm

Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:33 pm

stueytrader wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:44 pm
spreadbetting wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2017 12:09 pm
stueytrader wrote:
Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:28 am

I had about a year of profit, and I actually posted on here the question of how long is enough to judge - sadly my latest year is not in profit. But I'm aiming to revert back to the earlier year! There is something of a question of time-spans in judging success too - a piece of string kind of question, but the aim to use longer views of profit/loss is good I agree.

I can see the mentality of looking at longer periods to assess your capabilities when gambling but trading is a different kettle of fish , you're generally turning over so many markets things become quite obvious quickly if you can win or not. I think there always comes a point with trading where you become confident in your own ability to win simply because you understand the reasons why you're winning.
Possibly true, though I still think the principle of using a 'looking back further' approach is still a good one for keeping yourself in check, in several ways.

I agree with the post by spreadbetting that because of the nature of trading you soon become aware if your any good at it or not , most of the time your your carrying out the same thought process and repeating similar trades over and over again, and the thought process becomes instinctive .
Reading your posts your putting far too much thought into something which isn't that complicated.Keep your trades simple, reapeat them over and over again, till you can implement them without thinking ...

If after a year your still question whether your successful, or feel the need to keep yourself "in check", or look for reasons( excuses) why it's not working . Then really it's not for you .It might be that you just don't have the character to make it work.

I don't think posting about what you appear to already know about your failings is going to change your approach etc , as you seem to have been at it for some time .

Good look anyway , and if you are determined to continue,rather than posting .. read the numerous replies to similar posts to yours .. If you really think it will help you ... I've lost count of the number of ground hog day " threads we have had !!

stueytrader
Posts: 368
Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2015 6:47 pm

Tue Sep 12, 2017 1:59 pm

Been some good suggestions I've already taken from this thread for specific things to add to my day/experience while trading (Le Tiss' for example). It's a positive process for me and my trading so far, and I hope for anyone else interested.

Omnishambles
Posts: 5
Joined: Sun Sep 14, 2014 12:36 pm

Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:01 pm

Hi. New to the forum as a poster, but I've been following this with interest in the last couple of days and I kind of feel compelled to weigh in for some reason.

As somebody that is about to take the plunge into full time next month, I think I can offer some good general advice that has worked for me. As a caveat, this is not unique advice by any stretch and has almost certainly been covered before. Also, I don’t mean this to be condescending or patronising; I apologise in advance if it is.

I'm going to start off with a massive and apparently unhelpful cliche, We get what we want out of the markets.

This, for me, is one of the most profound concepts to grasp as a trader. It has multiple layers and it must be addressed if you're be to successful long-term. The financial trading books deal with this subject better than anything else I've found, and top of my list would be the Market Wizards series. If I had acted upon this advice years ago I would have saved myself a lot of pain and a lot of money, but, at the time, to be told that my losing was a reflection of what I wanted out of trading was like a kick in the guts, and was obviously pseudo-psychology nonsense....

For me, my motivations were simple: to quit my 9-5 office job and work for myself. I love horse racing, I love gambling for money in all of its forms, and I saw pre-race trading as an excellent way to quit the grind and maintain my standard of living. The problem I had was that I earned a high salary and I needed to replace that monthly salary with an equivalent amount (or so I thought), and so every loss I took in the pre-race markets, in my mind, took me further away from that goal of quitting the 9-5. It took me a long time, but eventually I realised the losses in themselves didn’t bother me at all, it was the implications of the losses that was killing me i.e. I’ll never be good enough to quit my job.

After dozens of bankrolls and much soul-searching, and to cut a long story short; I gave up the ghost of pre-race trading, and I've never been happier or more successful. I simply wasn't suited to it mentally and I came to realise that I actually didn’t enjoy it either. It was just vanity and showing off; I wanted to be seen to be a pre-race trader, I didn’t actually want to be one. I was sabotaging myself because my sub-conscious knew I didn’t like price action trading.

Others have said this more succinctly and more brutally in earlier replies, and they are absolutely right. Certainly in my case, anyway, but that doesn’t mean we’re out of the game!

Nowadays I pretty much only trade in-play horses and tennis, and, as I say, without the mental drag factor of pre-race, I’m doing better than I ever could have imagined. I’m a punter at heart, so I like to do my research and back my opinion – it’s who I am, but it’s not part of the pre-race game (or not to any significant degree).

Anyway, I hope that helps in some way.

As for specific advice:
- Do a ‘what if’ analysis on your P&L e.g. adjust all losses over 2% to 2%, This way you get see what would have happened if you’d been disciplined. The transformation you see from loser to winner when adjusting losses to a hard stop is astounding…

- Never chase an entry up the ladder (or down). Set a hard limit e.g. if it goes more than 2-3 ticks in the way you thought, just accept you’ve missed a winner - only the losers get on now.

- Describe the situation out loud to yourself. Where is the matched volume? Where is it trading now. What will be the trigger that causes you enter a trade? Then watch and only enter when what you predicted actually happens.

- Make a physical note every time you make a rash entry or a mistake. When it’s in front of you, it’s hard to justify carrying on making half a dozen mistakes per race.

- Practice taking controlled losses. Learn to derive pleasure from a controlled loss.

- Learn to trust your instincts and intuition – trust that over what you see in front of your own eyes (often you’re seeing what you want to see).

- Scratch a million times more than you are now.

- The markets change all time; look at your trade execution. You might be getting it totally right but losing because of poor execution. It’s the whipsaws that crush aspiring pre-race traders, in my opinion, learn how to overcome them…

- There’s a market for every style of trading, but there isn’t a trading style for every market.

- Only money moves the markets – go with the money. For example, I have a preference for laying, so when a horse is getting backed off the boards I’m messing about trying to catch a horse going over the crossover and getting whipsawed instead of participating in a massive real money driven move.

Easier said than done, eh. I didn’t manage it.

Good luck!

Bluesky
Posts: 420
Joined: Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:26 pm

Wed Sep 13, 2017 8:55 am

That's got to be one of the best first posts I've ever read on this or any other sport or financial trading forum. Thanks for making it Omni, there was some great information in it.

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Euler
Posts: 16487
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Location: Bet Angel HQ
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Wed Sep 13, 2017 9:19 am

Great insight from the coalface, thanks for posting.

3virgul14
Posts: 64
Joined: Wed May 26, 2010 8:28 am

Wed Sep 13, 2017 10:07 am

As you might have realized already, almost none of the long time pro-traders post advices here .

A zero-sum game requires losers to feed winners and it is all about if you can stand in the winners side.. Small or big profits , does not matter, you gotta find your margin and maintain it. Keep silent and enjoy while it lasts. If the income is enough for a living, you can go pro, but never guarantees the upcoming days. Gotta improve it too as the days go on..

My 5 cents on the self sabotage thing: Been there done that. Still doing it when the motivation is not present.. I was never a pre-race trader, never had success on horse race trading either.. But I am a full time trader.
See : its possible.

Dont fall into the trap that sports trading is all about horses.. Its just an illusion..

Trading careers are built upon the mistakes, learn from them and you paid yourself a course. ROI should pay you off in the long term.

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