Stop Complaining And Start Making Money

| December 9, 2009 | 0 Comments

A friend of mine recently made a confession.  He’s having a hard time with his trading.

He just can’t figure out when to take profits.  Sometimes he would have a nice profit, only to watch hopelessly as it slipped away.  Other times he’d take small profits.  Of course, the stock would skyrocket the second he exited the trade.  He hated leaving money on the table.

His problem can be one of the most challenging aspects of trading… knowing when to take profits.  Believe it or not, the solution is simple.  I’ll tell you how to do it in a minute.

This “profit taking” issue can be maddening to the inexperienced trader.

Many traders get a case of the “coulda, shoulda, wouldas”.  Maybe you find yourself saying, “I shoulda sold when I had the chance” or “if only I woulda stayed in, I coulda got so much more money.”

Most inexperienced traders blame the market.  They complain the market “shouldn’t be doing this” or “I can’t believe the market did this to me.”

Blaming the market for your results only leads to more frustration.

Being a profitable and successful trader is a mindset… This is an insight very few traders know about.

That’s right, successful traders have an attitude many unsuccessful traders lack.  If your trading results aren’t what you hope for or you’re frustrated with the markets, you must look inward to find the answers.

“What’s the correct mindset?” you ask.

Here are some tips for you…

First of all, don’t ever blame the market if you have subpar results.  By doing so, you take away a very important aspect of successful trading… accountability.

That’s right, being accountable for your results is the only way you can grow as a trader.  Accountability allows you to make better decisions going forward.  Blaming the market for your results keeps you at the mercy of the market.

Secondly, you need to realize your decisions are always made to the best of your abilities.  If your trading decisions are leading to subpar results, you must learn to make better decisions.

Finally, accept that trading isn’t an exact science.  There are way too many variables in the markets for trading perfection.  Trading is a matter of odds and probabilities.  It’s why great traders cut losing trades quickly and let winning trades run.  Some trades will work and some won’t.

This brings us back to the original issue… how do you know when to take profits?

The answer is simple… when your plan tells you to.

If your plan is to sell at a certain price level, follow your plan and take profits.  You could also have a plan to watch price action and let the market tell you when to take profits.

Both of these plans are good ways to take profits.  Consider using a mixture of both for your trading.

The hardest part for many traders is accepting the profits they’ve taken.  For many, they’re always thinking of what “coulda been…”

Profitable trading comes down to this…

When the trade is done, be accountable for your result and move forward.
Don’t look back and say you “coulda, shoulda, woulda”.  This attitude won’t help you develop into a better trader.  If you make a profit, be grateful you had the opportunity to do so.

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Category: Technical Analysis

About the Author ()

Justin Bennett is the editor of Commodity ETF Alert, an investment advisory focused on profiting from the ebb and flow of important commodities via ETFs. The commodity veteran and options specialist is also a regular contributor to the Dynamic Wealth Report. Every week, Justin shares his thoughts with our readers on a variety of commodity-related topics. Justin is also a frequent contributor to Commodity Trading Research’s free daily e-letter. And he’s the editor of another highly successful and popular investment advisory, the Options Profit Pipeline.

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