Mike Bellafiore at SMB offered up a quintet of suggestions for traders the other day. They were aimed at traders who find themselves struggling with the motivation, or could be viewed as ways to help avoid that happening. Here’s his list:
1) Make sure you take some time off.
2) Do things outside of work so that you do not value yourself from your trading. Trading is the game we play. It is not who we are.
3) Be grateful for the privilege of trading. It really is so cool that we get to do this for a living. Be thankful for this opportunity, no matter how short or long.
4) Stop judging your trading by your PnL. For example that trader on our desk had a better month than the prior though he did not make more money. He worked on his sizing. There was less opportunity this month than the prior so comparable results are an improvement. He gained another month of experience.
5) It is ok to fail. How is Oprah doing with OWN? Remember that Michael Jordon commercial about all his failures before triumph. Oh man if you only knew how many stupid mistakes I make every week as a trader. Failure is a blessing to learn.
Now it must be noted that Mike very much looks at things from the perspective of an active day trader. That’s pretty obvious in #3. That doesn’t mean the same ideas aren’t useful for someone who only trades part-time. They definitely are. We all need to take a break from the markets from time to time. We all need to realize we are not defined by our trading. We all need to realize that mistakes and losing trades are part of the process and that we shouldn’t be looking at what others are doing to determine our success (which is something that get’s talked about in Trading FAQs).