Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Winning and Losing Mindsets in Trading

What I've found is that there are major mindset differences among developing traders that play an important role in their eventual success or failure.  Here are several of the mindsets that I see among those who find success in markets:

1)  They are market-focused, not self-focused - The successful traders focus on markets, opportunities, and ways of exploiting those opportunities.  They dig for ideas and they love the digging.  The less successful traders focus on themselves, their P/L, what they did right and wrong, etc.  In their self-focus, they are not fully immersed in markets and learning.  They are all about outcomes and not the processes needed to generate those outcomes.

2)  They are positively focused, not negatively focused - The successful traders learn from winning trades and learn from trades they missed.  When they're losing money, they're still actively learning and taking away positive lessons.  The less successful traders talk a great deal about how markets aren't giving them opportunity, are choppy, are difficult, etc.  We tend to pour ourselves into what we enjoy.  Part of what makes developing traders successful is having fun at what they're doing and thereby immersing themselves in the growth process.

3)  They are open-minded and flexible, not rigid - There is no single formula for trading success, but there is a formula for trading failure.  The failed traders are fixed in their views and their approaches.  They never adapt.  They are perma-bears or perma-bulls.  They look at things the same way regardless of market conditions.  The successful traders are quick to shift from one area of opportunity to others as conditions change.  They actively process the information that would tell them their view is wrong and can promptly exit or even flip their positions.  

You know the kind of people who go online and argue and shout and spew venom at whatever political figure, cause, TV show, sports team, or person they don't like?  *That* is who makes a shitty trader.  A drama mindset cannot be a disciplined, focused mindset, and it's ultimately not a constructive mindset.  A winning mindset is all about generating light, not heat.

Further Reading: