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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

You don't have to win every battle, just the war.

by Dr. Pipslow

It's easy to get caught up in daily defeats. Your trading strategy isn't working. You're losing money hand over fist even though you know your system works and you're following all the rules.

If you aren't careful, you could get discouraged and feel like giving up. When you aren't making the profits you desire, you could end up feeling like a failure, thinking you'll never make it as a trader.

When you are discouraged by everyday setbacks, it's crucial to keep your eye on the big picture. You could be losing a battle here and there, but you may end up winning the war.

Many traders make the mistake of letting their feelings of worth be determined by everyday trading results.

You think, "If I make profits today, and every day this week, I'm doing well. But if I end up losing most days, then I'm doing horrible!."

This kind of thinking is based on how people view compensation for a conventional 9-to-5 job. You put in your 40 hours, do a good job, and you get paid handsomely. You feel good for working diligently and productively for the week.

But when you trade, you may not always receive sufficient compensation for your efforts. When you don't reach the profit goals you set, you can feel as if you didn't get paid enough for your efforts.

It's going to be tough, but as a trader, you must avoid thinking in these conventional terms. An extremely productive week may produce ZERO profits. When you are trying to achieve a certain level of income in a given timeframe, you are setting "performance goals" that you may not be able to achieve.

A better kind of goal to set is a "learning goal."

You may not be able to achieve a particular performance goal during a given week; that is, you may not always be able to achieve a particular dollar amount, but you can achieve a particular learning goal.

Every day you trade, you gain valuable experience regarding how you approach the markets. You see various setups and learn how they can or can't lead to a profitable trade. Don't undervalue these learning experiences.

Every day, you are achieving learning goals. Your daily efforts may not directly lead to profits, but indirectly, they do add to your wealth of experiences. You may only win a battle here and there, but when you add up the battles you do win, over the long haul, you end up mastering the markets, and winning the war in the end.

If you merely focus on how much money you make as a trader, and use a conventional payment schedule, you'll work your butt off but fail to get the conventionally defined "paycheck" you expect, and feel ripped off. But if you define your paycheck in unconventional terms as the amount of experience you gained, you'll feel rewarded for making a series of trades, profitable or not, and feel you've accomplished something.

And regardless of how much money you actually make, you will have indeed accomplished something: You will have further honed your trading skills.

In the big scheme of things, winning these minor battles will help you win the war. You'll master the markets and become a winning, profitable seasoned trader.

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1 comment:

Benjamin Lee said...

I like this article. It speaks out the journey of a trader. You said well... Very wise!!

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