Do You Have an Unconscious Trading Bias?
Have you ever given any thought to how you behave and react when in front of your Trading Platform screen?
Perhaps you are hesitant to commit to trades - to actually be able to pull the trigger at the right time. Or perhaps you are trigger happy and a bit impetuous, when it comes to taking trades, seeing opportunities everywhere and having multiple trades open at the same time. How big are your position sizes, how many positions per trade and what % of your trading account do you risk on each trade and what % do you risk in open trades, which are not yet at Break Even or better?
Most traders are either driven by Fear or Greed, which camp do you feel you fall into?
Fear based traders will be overly cautious and miss opportunities, even when their strategy confirmation signal has occurred. Their position sizes may be very small, they will close their trades too early but they will always have a Stop Loss in place. When learning to trade this can be a good thing because it should prevent you from blowing up your trading account, but as you gain more experience you need to trust your trading process and risk sufficient capital to make it worth your while and let winning trades run to their likely targets.
On the other side of the divide will be Greed based traders, who are more likely to be risking too much on every trade, have far too many trades open at once and they are more likely to suffer from FOMO. They can be like a small child in the sweet shop! Additionally, they may not have any Stop Losses in play and if they do, they are more likely to move their Stop Loss to end up risking even more or hold losing trades with no Stop Loss for far too long.
Whilst both Fear and Greed are natural human emotions, particularly where money is concerned, it is important as traders to be able to tune into our trading behaviour, recognise it and then start to manage it, so that it doesn’t end up being a destructive force in our trading.
Keeping a Trading Journal can be a great way to start to manage our trading behaviours and to minimise any potentially destructive ones. This is the first step in being honest with ourselves, if we can capture those feelings and behaviours on ‘paper’ and review them, then we can start to work on them, essentially working on our Trading Psychology or Mindset. After all, whether you have realised it yet or not, Learning to Trade is in fact a Personal Development Journey!
When keeping a Trading Journal, some useful things to consider are:
What went well
What didn’t go well
How did you feel?
How did you act?
How well did you follow your own Trading Process and what was the outcome?
What could you work on to try and do better next time
We are Human Beings and as such we are emotional creatures, so we will feel emotions when trading, and before we can control them we have to recognise them.
When it comes to Fear or Greed, I know which camp I am in and I have had to work pretty damn hard to manage the associated issues that came with that. Ultimately though, that work has paid off, although personally it wasn’t an easy thing to do.. Keeping an honest Trading Journal is key to that development as a trader.
If you would like access to a great Trading Journal put together by one of the best trading performance coaches in the UK then have a look at this, and no, Forex Trading London is not affiliated in any way, we just think it is the best out there and we use it too!
P.S. Incidentally, there is a Fear & Greed Index of the US Markets, made up 7 key Indicators, which can be found here: