Why Attitude Is Everything in Trading

08/13/2010 12:01 am EST

Focus: STRATEGIES

I was pointed to a post earlier today that I couldn’t disagree with more. The author opined that trading this market is a “waste of time” and that the “real” money won’t be made until a month or two from now.

If that’s your attitude, you’ll be exactly right. Attitude is everything—especially in trading.

Using broad, absolute statements to ignore what’s right in front of you will help you be correct; the only problem is, you’ll make no money trading. And isn’t that what trading is about? I’d rather make money than be right.

It’s dangerous to adopt the “waste of time” mentality, now or at any other time. Someone’s always making money, and therefore, opportunity always exists. Right now, whether you’re a daytrader or a swing trader, this market is moving plenty. We just rallied 12% in six weeks—how is that not enough? If you can’t pull some good trades during a period like that, then this game isn’t for you anyway.

Beyond that, the technical price action of late has been textbook. Does it get any better than that?

We’ve seen multi-day rallies followed by shallow pullbacks, with higher highs and higher lows established along the way. An uptrend line was tested several times before finally breaking on Wednesday, and the reversal that has followed has been very decisive. So whether you prefer the long or the short side, there has been ample opportunity for you.

Here’s a closer look:


Click to Enlarge

Finally, don’t be delusional enough to think you can predict, weeks in advance, when a “real” move will begin.  Remember, the market caters to nobody. It’s not about being wrong or right on the timing, either, it’s more about wasting the time between now and then by waiting and not watching for opportunities that are surfacing regularly.

Stay on your toes out there, and shun all excuses. A lack of success can’t be blamed on circumstances. If you’re focused and attentive to the price action, you’ll get paid for your time instead of thinking it’s a waste.

By Jeff White, trader and blogger, TheStockBandit.com

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