I wanted to share some trading advice this week, mostly spurred from my own experiences this week, on how to deal with a loser, a big loser. Our career is one of ups and downs, and we all need to have ways of dealing with the good and the bad of being in the markets. Most of the time they giveth, but every so often, they taketh away and our ability to cope, our plan for coping, helps us bounce back and not jump off a building.
This week and the last few weeks have been a grind with a few solid days here and there, mostly green days, but nothing to get excited about. Often this is our career. Consistent grind, and at the end of the month it all adds up to a decent number. This month has been a little slower than the last few, a real slog at times, and on Wednesday, I got crushed on an open, just called it wrong, and for size. It was not the biggest loser I’d ever taken, far from it, but relative to my performance on the month, it was a looking like a good 10-15 days of slog to get it back, the last thing I wanted this month after battling it out every day. How did I cope?
Well, I didn’t really, not at first. I felt like shit for most of the day. I moped. I was quiet, introspect, thought about the career, questioned my long term ability to stay relevant, do I have what it takes, oh man my career is over. I’m going to take a month off, I’m going to take the summer off, etc. the loser sucked. I was feeling pretty beat up. So how do you shake off the losing funk after a bad trade.
Get out of the office and take a break doing something you enjoy: a sport, play something, hang out with somebody. I went for lunch with my wife and kids. After an hour I wasn’t feeling as crappy.
I like going for a drive sometimes. Something between the focus of driving, enjoying the drive, seeing the scenery, just puts me in a good mood.
Get a plan for the rest of the day and the week and the month. Mine was forget about my middling 50/50 trades and just focus on my best trades. Sure enough, I clawed back 20% of my day with some decent trading, and that always makes me feel better.
Share the pain. I talked to my trader buddies and put all my gory details down in an email. I felt better the moment I sent it out, and all the lads gave me some cheerful back slaps, and some virtual hugs. I talked to my wife, and sure enough she did the same. Sounds lame to get the validation of others, or the shoulders of others, but hey we’re human and it feels good. Don’t bottle it up. Your self doubt and feelings will eat you alive. Share it. Very cathartic.
Get some sleep. Everything is less painful the next day.
Review that plan (forget about 50/50 trades, focus on the best stuff, stay consistent, stay away from the volatile stuff, grind out solid small up days and get the consistency going).
Do it again tomorrow. Every day further from the loss, helps you put it in the past. It’s important that you learn what you can from the loser, but once you have, forget about it. Remember the lessons, but forget about the trade. I got smoked on Wednesday. Already feeling better at the end of Thursday night.
Taking big hits is something we all go through, something we all need help with. It’s all part of the career, so don’t let it get you too down, big losers are not the norm for us, but they do happen. Follow some of those tips above, or your own plan and you will be right as rain in no time.
What helps you recover from a bad loser? Any tips? Leave a comment below.