Monday, February 20, 2012

Is market a battlefield for you?


Have you ever heard something like "The market is a battle, be ready to fight with all you've got," or "The market is a war," or any variation of this theme?  I bet you have, it's a fairly common theme. But is it true, or better question might be: is this a mindset that you want to adopt? 

Don't get me wrong - by no means do I want to present a marketplace as a happy place where  refined gentlemen high-five your each win (hmm, do refined gentlemen high-five at all? or they back-slap only?) and console you with fine whiskey and cigar after each loss. No, they are out to get you just as much as you - them. In that sense, anyone in the market is an enemy of anyone else. But that's not really the point. The point is, is this kind of attitude toward the marketplace and its happenings going to help you survive it, navigate it successfully? Or is it going to undermine your success? 

If the market is war for you, you are going to be in the fighting mode all the time. Can you function well for long in a constant fight mode? It's extremely tense mode which is going to wear you out rather quickly. Instead, allow me to offer you a very different attitude - one where a market is a natural environment for a trader - environment where certain patterns govern all the comings and goings. Is it a dangerous place for a trader? Of course it is. Think of it as of ocean. It's a dangerous place to be and swimming in it is a dangerous thing to do - just as trading the markets.

But is it practically useful to think of ocean as a battlefield and sharks as enemies? Try to approach it this way, and you start making your decisions based on emotions, anger, frustration, feeling of being powerless and moving to inevitable defeat.

Instead, try to think of it as a place that is indifferent to you - not friendly, not hostile - but simply a natural environment where incorrect behavior gets you killed. Now instead of emotions you focus on studying patterns - which current goes where, whether it will take you where you need to be, where the sharks are and what the signs of them circling are, how you recognize their approach, how you spot fish that you can catch and eat... That's your cold-blooded trading approach where you act accordingly to the patterns and not to what your emotions would have you do.

Those who you may want to dub as enemies based on the concept of fairness and other similar ideas (which are not the nature ideas but entirely man-made) are those who create these patterns and are part of them. Consider them enemies - and you find yourself fighting those patterns. Consider them part of the environment - and you start studying and following those patterns.

Reread this paragraph above before you start your next trading day. See if it puts you in a calm confident state of mind where you feel in control of your emotions and actions.
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