If you know me, you have heard me say more than once, Never Give Up! While generally this is true, there are times that you need to quit something you are doing, especially in trading. I would never say quit trading overall, unless you truly feel that trading is not for you. While trading can be for everyone, not everyone is for trading and that’s ok.
What I would like to discuss is when to quit. Quite often it’s the quitting of something that saves us time, effort and energy and that time, effort and energy can be refocused into something productive.
Some examples in everyday life that we realize we need to quit and refocus our time would include a marriage that is not going to last. While this seems a bit harsh, after all options to save the relationship are exhausted, divorce can be the only option for both to move forward with their life.
Another example would be a project you started, like restoring an old car. You think, “wow, this could be fun!” I’m pretty handy with tools, and I like cars, but after 1 year, you see how much time, effort and energy (and money) you have put into it, you decide to cut your losses and move on. This is OK.
There are some areas of trading we can look to quit to preserve both capital and our sanity as traders!
Quit moving your stops when the trade goes against you. You had a plan, that plan is not working out. Moving your stops on a regular basis will increase risk and you are not confident in your plan.
Quit thinking or having an opinion on where the market is going. Trade what you see, NOT what you think. The market does NOT CARE WHAT YOU THINK!
Quit trading other people’s plan. You MUST develop your own plan and trade your plan. While we can learn from others, we cannot trade other people’s plan.
Quit having an EGO when trading. Most traders are more concerned about being right than they are about making a good decision and letting the results work themselves out in the long run.
Quit being results oriented. Every trade is a new trade and the last decision you made is unto itself. The next trade is a new trade, and the last trade has NO bearing on the outcome of the next trade.
Quit listening to media outlets for advice on trading. Its ok to be informed but DO YOUR OWN WORK/Diligence on your trade. You will never have confidence in your trade if you're just taking advice from someone else and not actually doing the work yourself.
Quit trading when you are not in a good mood. When you sit down to trade, have positive energy around you. Surround your desk with pictures that make you happy. If you are in trading group, be around other positive folks. Making a good decision is paramount, and while we will never win every trade, when we do have a loss to start the day (and you will) having a positive attitude will help you make a good decision on your next trade..
Quit overtrading! Take trades that are in YOUR ZONE. For me, in a 2-hour trading session, I will typically take 1-3 trades per session. Sometimes ZERO trades if none are in my zone. Just about every time I overtrade, my results are breakeven at best, and typically it was a struggle to just breakeven.
Quit lying to yourself. When you get stopped out of a trade, and you realize you made a bad decision, own that decision and move on. Stop rationalizing why the trade stopped out.
QUIT TRADING AGAINST THE TREND. This is self-explanatory.
Quit Being GREEDY! Have an amount you are happy making and be done with your trading day. For me, this is the only way I can keep the money I have made. Too often I have given back most, all or more than I made by continuing to trade when the market is just not in my zone.
In summation, know when to quit. When you know when to quit, you can refocus and keep moving on.
Trade Well at FNL!