Saturday, July 08, 2006

learning about yourself

Both experienced and aspiring traders spend a great deal of time
trying to recognize patterns in the markets – charts and indicators
on multiple time frames, seasonal tendencies around specific
times of the month or year, sentiment and flow of funds data.
Clearly, there are many different ways to skin a cat. By analyzing
patterns, a trader is looking for a compelling reason to initiate
a trade or to exit an existing one. Markets are monitored for
subtle shifts in the basic supply-and-demand equation, and once
an “initial condition” is detected that indicates a spot where
there is a probable edge, the game simply becomes a matter of
setting up an entry trigger, defining initial risk and then learning
how to manage a trade properly in response to the market’s
actions. The trader manages the trade by watching for confirmation
or non-confirmation.
But why is it that it never seems to play out so simply in real
life? After all, it is just a numbers game, and it really doesn’t
take long to learn the basic rules.
Perhaps it is because trading normally is ten percent learning
about the market and 90 percent learning about you.
Unfortunately, if a trader doesn’t know himself, the markets are
a very expensive place to find out. If traders were to spend half
as much time studying their own behavioral patterns as they did
studying the markets, the benefit to the bottom line would be
much greater.


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