Controlling emotions that hold you back
So far, we've explored many different aspects of the financial markets and the techniques of trading. But there's one key component that affects the success of every trade you make, and that's you.
No matter how strong or level-headed you can be, you are a human being, so you have emotions. And naturally your feelings can influence your thinking and your behaviour as a trader.
Trading is an exciting and absorbing activity that can bring you moments of euphoria when things are going well, while equally it can be psychologically tough if markets turn against you. By understanding the emotions you're likely to experience at every point in the trading process, you can mentally prepare yourself to handle them effectively. That way, your feelings won't get in the way of your decision-making or harm your potential profits.
In this course, we'll look at some of the emotions you may need to deal with when you trade.
Anxiety and doubt
It's great to be cautious and considered in your trading, but if your worries are crippling you that's counter-productive.
The transition to a live trading account after using 'play' money in a demo environment is one step that worries some traders. It's a bit like doing a parachute jump: you've learned the theory and done all the preparation, but making that leap still takes courage.
There are, however, things you can do to make it a little less daunting:
- Reflect on the lessons you learned while using the demo account
- Apply the same strategies that brought you success in demo trades
- Follow a trading plan
- Start by trading in small sizes until you feel comfortable
- Use risk-management tools, such as stop-losses
As long as you trade sensibly, use the skills and knowledge you've already gained and keep your positions modest, there's every reason to expect success. Of course you will make mistakes - we all do - but by managing risk carefully you'll minimise your losses.
Fear of loss
Another time that you might experience fear is when a position is moving against you and you begin to see a growing loss.
- Was my original analysis flawed?
- Have circumstances affecting this market changed since I opened my trade?
- Did I place my stop at the wrong level?
- Your emotional state can have a strong influence on the bottom line of your trading, so it's important to learn how to manage your feelings
- Don't allow doubts and fears to paralyse you. Markets move swiftly, and hesitation can lead to missed opportunities
- By following a plan, trading in small sizes and using risk management tools, you'll feel more secure and confident in your trading decisions
Controlling emotions that hold you back4 min
Controlling emotions that entice you to trade4 min
Controlling emotions that cloud your judgment5 min
Developing an unbiased, positive approach4 min
Common trading mistakes: part one6 min
Common trading mistakes: part two5 min
Common trading mistakes: part three7 min