Can You Embrace Uncertainty?

03/20/2015 6:00 am EST


Andrew Menaker, PhD, of, explains why it is imperative for traders to not just accept that uncertainty is a part of trading, but to embrace it; here, Andrew maps out the key path for traders to take in order to accomplish this goal of embracing uncertainty.

Do you believe that trading involves uncertainty? Most traders agree this is true.

A better question, one that cuts more to the heart of trading is this: Can you embrace uncertainty?

Trading involves uncertainty; there is no escaping it. Most people, including traders, don’t like uncertainty and will do whatever they can to avoid it. Successful traders have the ability to tolerate and even embrace uncertainty.

How is this possible? How can we tolerate or even embrace uncertainty?

One way to start is by looking at what happens when we can’t tolerate uncertainty. Let me explain.

There is a lot of energy involved in the emotional experience of uncertainty. Left unchecked, this energy will most likely express itself in a decision or behavior such as an impulsive entry or exit, or hesitating when we should be taking action.

Many trading mistakes can be viewed as a maladaptive attempt to deal with discomfort, often the discomfort associated with uncertainty. Will this trade work? Will it come back if I hold it longer?

The path to embracing uncertainty starts with the regular practice of emotional and self-awareness combined with honestly acknowledging the emotional experience of uncertainty. Such awareness is the foundation of self-management.

Self-management is the closet thing to the Holy Grail in trading that you’ll find. In fact, a trader who incorporates awareness and self-management into their trading but has an average trading method will generally outperform a trader lacking in self-awareness and self-management but with a superior trading method.

By Andrew Menaker, PhD,

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