One of the most difficult skills in options (or stock) trading is being patient during volatile trading conditions, states Bob Lang of

It’s like being up at bat—you have plenty of pitches to choose from. Which one should you swing at? You can’t swing at them all! Each miss can knock down your portfolio by a few notches. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have an endless flow of funds to waste, waiting for the eventual win that may only arrive due to luck. (As you may recall, luck is defined as preparation meeting opportunity.)

If you keep swinging, you’re bound to get lucky. However, luck is not a long-term trading strategy. Volatile trading conditions do not always accommodate your constant desire to trade and make money. Therefore, you need to exercise patience and wait, as disappointing and boring as that may sound. Waiting gives you a chance to evaluate charts and technicals. Being patient gives you a chance to recognize that you may not have an advantage at that very moment.

Once market conditions and technicals line up, it’s time to trade. This could take a week, a month, or even a year. But because you were patient through choppy conditions, you did not risk the capital needed to make winning trades. Even better, you stayed in control of your capital, which is so important for your long-term financial survival.

Note that you do not need to wait for “perfect” conditions to trade. You just need to feel confident that the odds are in your favor. As I often say, trading is not a game of perfection, and conditions are never so ideal that you can make money at any time.

Some traders will tell you that 2023 has been ideal for trading and that making money has been so easy. Nonsense. Trading is never easy. You can trade when markets are down or up. Just be patient and don’t risk losing money during volatile trading conditions.

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