Is Trading the Right Fit?

Focus: STRATEGIES

John Forman Image John Forman Senior Forex Analyst, Thomson Reuters IFR Markets

For the benefit of all newbies questioning whether or not they are really cut out for trading, John Forman of The Essentials of Trading extrapolates on a colleague's post about a trio of warning signals to watch out for, each of which could be very telling.

I don't know if this is really a recent post or not as every post on her sight seems to have the same date on them at the moment, but at some point Jessica at Rouge Traderette shared some thoughts on how to figure out if trading maybe isn't for you. She presents a trio of signals that maybe it isn't. I'll address each in turn.

1) You Can't Sleep

I actually think this might have more to do with either excitement or excessive risk taking. We've all been in situations where we're just too excited to sleep at night. I know in my own trading there have been times I've awoken in the middle of the night and checked my positions to see how they were doing from a positive perspective. Do you maybe want to reign that in a bit? Probably.

From a negative perspective, if you can't sleep because you're worried about the market going against you then you're probably trading too big. You'll sometimes hear the advice that you should set your position size to the point where you can sleep at night. If insomnia has you up checking your positions in fear of taking a loss, then it's probably time to cut your size.

That said, if you are really hesitant to even pull the trigger on a trade regardless of size for fear of losing money or simply being wrong then maybe trading isn't for you. I once had a student in a class who wouldn't even do a trade in a demo account out of fear. Not a good sign for a would-be trader.

2) You Are Overly Concerned with Your Losses

Jessica actually presented this in terms of denial, which is definitely something to be worried about. If you can't face up to your losing positions, that's not a good thing. You're going to have a lot of losers over a trading career. You need to learn to be able to handle them. Going down the denial route will almost invariably lead to disaster.

Think of it in these terms. Traders who don't abide by their stops are the ones who tend to take the biggest trade losses because their positions just keep running against them. What do you think is going to happen if you are in so much denial about a losing position that you won't even look at it? To read the entire article click here.

By John Forman, Author, The Essentials of Trading