Where do our greatest trading mistakes come from while we are trading the financial markets? They arise primarily from within. It is not the price action that causes our missteps and mistakes but our response to the price action.
- Your ego will cause you to allow a small loss to grow into a big loss because you do not want to be made wrong by exiting with a loss. Ego wants to hold on until you can at least get back to even. Not locking in a loss but holding it until it gets back to even gives the ego some gratification. This is also what creates many resistance levels at old support when people are given a second chance to get out at even.
- Trading what you think is going to happen instead of what is happening can keep people on the wrong side of trends for days, weeks, and months. Imposing your own opinions on price action instead of following it can cause big losses or to miss big trends while think the market is wrong and we are right.
- Refusing to see the clear signals on a chart or follow the signals in your system because you do not believe they are correct is a rejection of discipline and reality. Anything can happen in the market it is our job to trade it.
- Most bad trading decisions usually come from a lack of discipline and self control over the emotions of fear and greed.
- Discretionary traders seek to use their experience in profitable trading as an edge in their present trading. If you have no experience in past profitable trading you have no edge to exploit. Your discretionary trading decisions are more likely to just be mistakes.
- Mechanical system traders seek to use their backtesting of profitable trading signals in the past as an edge in their present trading. If their trading signals were not backtested to ensure they were profitable in the past they have no edge to exploit. Their mechanical trading signals are more likely to just be opinions that are mistakes.
- Putting too much weight on any one trade whether it be through position size or risk causes mistakes. Each trade should be just one of the next 100 with it not being a big deal in the great scheme of your trading career.
Mistakes are when you fail to follow your trading plan. If you do not have a trading plan all your trades are random in nature so they are all mistakes outside a defined strategy.