Are You a Trading Junkie?

The Ups and Downs

I was talking with a (trader) client the other day, as we discussed how good he feels in the middle of a winning  trade, with green showing on the platform matrix. And, conversely how bad he feels when a trade goes against him. Can you relate? As he described these good feelings, watching the green grow on the Tradestation matrix (or “ladder”) I was reminded of someone experiencing a sugar or drug high, and then crash from the high, as perhaps a similar experience. I haven’t had the drug experience, but it seemed like a fitting metaphor!

Watching your P&L go up and down, can create those up and down feelings. It can feel out of control, wrought with “hope” and relief, elation, pain, etc. This isn’t a stable feeling experience. It comes and it goes and is based on hope and feelings, rather than on following a plan.

Where is Your Focus?

Yet how many of us trade this way? If you are having good feelings in reaction to a positive P&L or bad feelings toward a negative one, then your focus is not in the most effective place. Where should the focus be? On your trading plan. How well are you executing the plan and what do you need to do to execute correctly? That’s it. That really is all that there is to focus on while trading. (This assumes you have a plan–we’ll talk about that in a later post!)

A second focus perhaps, is how well is your plan performing? Is it effective, profitable, solid, repeatable, etc. But, even those questions are better asked at the end of the trading day, as you review your trades. Not, while in the midst of trading.

As my client and I discussed this question, I realized how core this focus is to successful trading. So, I created an exercise for him to do while he trades, to gain awareness of his focus.

Test Your Focus–Try This at Home!

I’m sharing this exercise with you in my next  blog, “Using the Trader Focus Tool”. Please check it out and let me know how it works for you.

Wishing You Awareness,

Andrea Wylan, MPH, CPCC
Trader Coach

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2 thoughts on “Are You a Trading Junkie?

  1. Someone told me early on that it was a mistake to watch your P&L during a trade. I took that advice and have never watched. I’m sort of afraid to watch now, ‘cuz it seems to work well to check the P&L only every week or once a month.

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