How to Practice Discipline in Trading
The success of trading depends on many different factors. They include not only theoretical savvy, understanding of fundamental and technical analysis, constant learning and gaining experience, but also psychological and emotional stability. To accomplish all of the above, you need to add just one missing piece of the puzzle — discipline.
Let us find out together why discipline in trading is so important and how to achieve it.
What is discipline in trading?
In general, the definition of discipline can be reduced to the deliberate repetition of some actions to achieve a result. Often these actions are difficult and unpleasant, and they require some effort.
Thus, the two components of the discipline are:
- having a purpose;
- the ability to perform actions that are not always pleasant.
Discipline is the basis of any successful work, and trading is no exception. It is, first of all, following the principles of one's own trading strategy and risk management. Often, changes in the market can lead to rash decisions and actions that are driven by the emotional intensity of the moment. In this situation it is very important to be able to restrain the impulse and follow the predetermined plan, i.e. to keep discipline.
Why is it important to be disciplined in trading?
As we know, the essence of trading is to continuously analyze the market in order to make the most profitable deals. Based on this analysis, the trader creates an individual strategy, taking into account its own goals and interests, as well as the previous experience of professionals.
The discipline is important as early as the research stage, when the theoretical foundation must be explored purposefully and methodically before moving on to practice. Gaps in knowledge that occur due to laziness or haste can lead to dire consequences.
After you have built up a theoretical base, when you are confident enough, you can proceed to practice. In this case, discipline helps you follow the very strategy you have developed for yourself and not be tempted to stray from the path.
In addition, throughout a trader's career, they need to continually learn, explore new opportunities, and analyze their own successes and failures. Only a disciplined approach to self-improvement will lead you to success.
What does indiscipline in trading lead to?
First of all, discipline helps a trader to keep emotions under control, because rash decisions lead to mistakes. To illustrate, let us take a look at what those mistakes can result in.
Overtrading is one of the most common mistakes made by both novice and more experienced traders. The essence of this phenomenon, as you can guess from the name, is excessive trading. That is, the trader either makes too many trades that are not part of the trading plan, or makes trades that exceed the acceptable risks. And this, naturally, leads to losses.
The reason for this mistake often lies in the deviation from the trading strategy, when the trader does not follow the rules that they created for themself.
Making careless trades
This mistake is primarily common among beginners, but no one is immune to it. Any trading operation should be based on analytical data, not on momentary desires. But there are situations when a trader succumbs to temptation and makes a rash transaction.
Any purchase or sale of securities should be made after analyzing the situation in accordance with the trading plan. Otherwise, trading becomes a losing game.
Incorrect timing of transactions
People tend to want to get everything at once, and traders are no exception. Therefore, when a trader sees potential opportunities, even if they do not fit into the strategy, they strive to use them at all costs. It can be very difficult to turn a blind eye to certain chart movements, but greed rarely ends well.
Here we have to repeat the same thing we have been talking about throughout this whole article. Have patience and follow your strategy, trust yourself and your decisions based on analysis.
How to develop discipline in trading?
So how can you improve trading discipline and self-control to avoid such mistakes? Here is a list of tips from those who have succeeded.
Detachment from the majority
In trading, there is always the temptation to follow the majority. If everyone makes a trade and they make profit, then you will make profit too, right? Wrong.
If everyone does the same thing, even though it may seem like the right thing to do, it ends up moving the market, which will positively lead to a failure. So always think for yourself and thoroughly analyze the market.
Use your trading plan
When you create a trading plan, you do it for a reason. Every trader's trading plan must be strictly individual and take into account factors such as your specific goals, risk perception and individual lifestyle. Try not to overlook anything that could have any effect on your trading.
However, a trading plan will only be effective enough if you follow it exactly.
Avoid obvious things in trading
If you see something that is obviously going to bring in profits, chances are good that everyone else sees it too. And if the whole crowd rushes to that opportunity, you are going to get nothing.
Make the rules and follow them
You create trading rules to save yourself a lot of trouble in case the market turns against you. There is no point in developing a strategy that you only use when things are going well. Continue to follow the rules, even if things seem to be getting out of hand. This is what will keep you out of even more trouble.
Watch for warnings
We are always used to hoping for the best. But in trading, it is worth getting rid of that feeling, especially if you see signals that point to impending losses. You should never ignore these warnings in favor of a phantom hope.
Avoid market gurus
Trading gurus declare that they have mastered this science perfectly and are ready to teach you the same. In fact, they want to use you to increase their profits, and you yourself will be left with empty pockets. So do not trust the big words.
Organize your free time
It is necessary to develop not only a work plan, but also a rest plan. It is impossible to be engaged in trading around the clock and not lose concentration, and therefore control over the situation. Give yourself a rest so you can get into action with renewed vigor.
Do not try to win back
Unfortunately, trading is associated with risks in any case, so no one is immune to drawdowns. Suppose you failed, and you think you were just a little short of victory. If you continue to stubbornly pursue the same course, you will not win anything, but only lose money again and again. In such a situation, it is very important to keep a cool head and not to give in to emotions. Trust your strategy and follow it.
Use your intuition
Not only mathematical algorithms are important for trading, but also the ability to think outside the box. As you develop your analytical skills, do not neglect to listen to your senses.
Use your tools wisely
You can use any trading platform to your advantage. Familiarize yourself with the various features that MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 have and then apply them to your operations. There are many different tools that make a trader's life easier and perform their functions instead of a trader.
But one cannot completely rely on soulless machines. First of all, you are responsible for making your own decisions, and the software just carries out your orders.
Give up on the salary mentality
We are used to a certain period of work being consistently rewarded with a paycheck. But do not count on being able to maintain this order of things as a trader. A trader does not have a steady paycheck. Get used to the idea that your budget for the year will depend on a few of the best days in the market.
Accept possible losses
For most traders, the most difficult part of trading is the ability to cope with monetary losses. However, you will have to accept that losing trades are inevitable. In fact, big wins are much rarer than small losses. This is one of the natural ways of market interaction. Each loss is a new lesson that you can learn and use to your advantage in the future.
Beware of reinforcements
When you get caught up in the euphoria of your own successes, you begin to perceive trading differently. A few profitable months make you feel lightheaded, and you begin to believe that you have finally mastered trading and that the horizons before you are now limitless.
But history teaches us that with great power comes great responsibility. If you do not keep a close eye on your deals, things will quickly get out of hand, and you will be back at the bottom of the ladder.
Avoid market noises
Prices in the market are constantly changing, sometimes as part of a trend, and sometimes there are temporary and minor fluctuations, that is the market noise. You should not react to every slightest movement in price. Learn to distinguish such noise from really important signals.
The trader's path is not always simple and clear. All of us sooner or later make mistakes and get disappointed.
However, from any mistake you can learn a lesson. This experience allows us to move on and develop. Patience and trading discipline will help not only to strengthen your position as a trader, but also to keep it without succumbing to impulsive emotional decisions.