Last week was pretty poor by the standards of the year so far. Among the trading strategies I outlined for the readers of the service I write for during the day I advised ten specific trades – about two per day. I only made money on three of them – a 30% win rate (I’m normally closer to 60%).
You know what, though? It was still a profitable week – up 9 points ($450 on the mini S&P futures trading a single contract).
I bring this up to make a point. Traders, especially new ones, have a tendency to think that you can’t be profitable with a low win rate. That’s not true, as my example demonstrates. In this instance my winners were twice as big as my losers. Taking good trades and maintaining disciplined risk control are to be credited for my finishing the week in the black instead of the red.
The other thing too is not getting caught up on the whole right/wrong thing. Profitable trading is not about being right. It’s about making good trades. Sometimes those trades aren’t going to workout, and sometimes that happens in bunches. If you keep taking good trades, though, things will work out in the long run.
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About the Author
John Forman, author of this blog, has traded for more than 20 years, is a professional market analyst, and authored The Essentials of Trading. He is an active participant in trading forums, consults for trading related businesses, as published literally dozens of trading articles, and has been quoted in a number of books and in the media.
** See John’s full bio.
- Why You Shouldn’t Fixate on Winning Percentage in Your Trading