Never celebrate too much a victory, never cry too much after a defeat.
The light after the dark
I always quote this sentence during live sessions of the Trading Club, and it’s not much different from what famous football trainers have often declared in some interviews. Sir Alex Ferguson, former coach and manager of the Manchester United, even after exciting victories, always told his players that they had nearly an hour to enjoy the moment because after that they had to think about the next match.
In my opinion, this approach, this mentality many sports winners show, could and should be applied also when trading.
Obviously, they are two different activities, nevertheless they share some common features as far as the approach used and the winning “forma mentis” are concerned.
We all know that it’s very easy, in case of success, to consider ourselves as genius or magician of financial markets. Plus, if such a situation occurred more than once in a short period of time, we would be very likely to fall victims of an over-confidence moment, a very dangerous mental approach when we invest money, because we tend to over-estimate information, knowledge, and capacities, and when this happens the next step is a failure. Don’t wait this event to start analysing logically the situation and your real chances, live and work on financial markets with respect and humility because every day you will learn something new.
Vice versa, when you experience a failure, and in particular a significant one, you’re very likely to become prey for despair.
Have you ever found yourself saying “this sport, this work or activity is not right for me”?
We often throw in the towel too early.
Or worst, in many cases I noticed immaturity, lack of motivation when facing a challenge.
When we lose money it’s very hard to say “it’s my fault”, we tend to look for an external reason, someone to blame for our own mistakes, and believe me when I say that over the years I’ve heard the most incredible stories.
“It’s the broker who stole my money”, “it’s Mario Draghi’s fault because he made that announcement”, “I didn’t set this trade, the trading platform did it”, “I can’t remember, my pc was on the table and my 5-year old baby must have pushed something”. I could go on for hours and manage to compose a Bible with all excuses heard along my career.
When we lose, in trading or any other activity, the fault belongs uniquely to the man or woman we see reflected in the mirror every day. We could always find many “if” and “but”, by the way we are the only ones to determine and shape our destiny.
What to do when it happens?
Stop a second, try to go back and analyse all passages and you will be able to find out what went wrong. This mistake must become a treasure to keep in mind.
On the other side, be patient and not too severe with yourself, because making mistakes is part of life as well as getting success: it doesn’t matter how determined and skilled we are, we can’t win all battles but we should aim to win the war.
And if we come at a point thinking we can’t succeed, we should leave without regrets, being conscious that we tried with all forces.
I have faced such critical moments in my career over ten years of activity.
Before leaving for London, I had to put in my suitcase a considerable loss of more than 7000€ on a spread built for “arbitrage” between Kansas City red wheat and Chicago soft wheat. Without considering the technical aspects, the trade management and the analysis of the position, the mental approach was negative, and surely those who followed my trade had the same vision.
But I didn’t throw in the towel!
Soon after the result, I started working to find out the reason and the main mistake. And I remembered when I was younger and played football, when I lost a match I knew I would have had another chance the week after: the same thing could and should happen also in this case.
During the summertime I usually tend to reduce my trading activity but, having some interesting trades ongoing, I decided to let some of them run.
Using a method, sooner or later we can see a light on the horizon. Below you can see my last trades, discussed also during the Trading Club Multiday with our Community before the summer break.
Heating Oil and Lean Hogs gave me a big present (Friday at 18:22), just before leaving for my first weekend in London.
Conclusion: effort and method repay you
More than in life, when we trade we should remember that there’s plenty of occasions to turn a negative event into a success and become owner of our future.
Financial markets can reward more than we could ever expect.