Saturday, May 02, 2015

Succeeding at Trading by Not Trading

In his recent research report, Peter Brandt offered a keen observation:  "Profitability comes from a trade finding you, not in you finding a trade.  The best trades are the ones you wait for, not the ones you find."  

I have found this to be the case in most areas of life:  the best opportunities find you.  When I first returned to blogging, I didn't write about markets; I wrote about our new cat.  That was one of the key lessons I wanted to convey:  she found us.

What was important to that discovery was that we visited many cat shelters and spent quite a bit of time with the three cats at home before Mia clung to my shoulder.  A lot of preparation took place before opportunity could find us.

So it is with discretionary trading:  we look at markets; we look at economic developments; we look at monetary trends; we study various indicators of market behavior--and all of that is preparation.

As Peter points out, at any juncture we can take a chart or piece of data and find a trade in it.  If we are in a mindset where we want to trade--and need to trade--we can find trades to do.

And we don't make money.

When we are patient and prepare and prepare and prepare, eventually a pattern presents itself to us.  All the analysis falls into place with a keen synthesis.  We might conceptualize the pattern in statistical terms, chart-based terms, macroeconomic terms, or some other terms.  There are many languages we can speak to capture the patterns in complex phenomena.

The reason patience is important to trading is that it allows us the time and space to synthesize.  We can never get to the point of trusting our gut if our heads are cluttered with what we want to do next.  It is when we stop doing that the things worth doing come to us.

Further Reading:  The Greatest Mistake Traders Make