One of the attributes that can be most highly rewarded is that of patience. The ability to not act when others do. Looking over last year’s trading results, there were only 3 or 4 leveraged trades that really made the year. Many more trades were unleveraged and resulted in a little gain here and a little loss there. Many discretionary traders note a similar phenomenon. A few very successful trades would make the trading year.
And yet, despite knowing this, the lure of the markets means it is very hard for traders to actually stay out of the market. Trading is enjoyable for its own sake. Trading is also addictive and can result in compulsive behaviour. Therefore, one attribute that will really benefit you is this: stay patient. So, on that note, here are some tips on how to stay patient.
- Use a checklist. The power of a checklist in trading can help you avoid mistakes and potentially slow down an impulsive entry.
- Have your trading terminal closed. You analyse the charts on a different platform than the one you trade on. This can provide a precious block stopping you from entering impulsively.
- De-leverage. Surprisingly, risking too much will cause you to enter and exit prematurely. If you have a hard time accepting your money at risk then this will make it hard to leave positions run. You will enter and exit too frequently.
- Use a checklist when you have an open trade. It is easy to lose conviction on a trade over time. So, you entered a market last week, but now you don’t have that conviction. By going back through your checklist you can re-evaluate an open trade to see if you still have a high conviction. Making it more ‘scientific’ in your thinking will help you know whether to hold the position.