Anyone who trades stocks seriously will tell you that trading is frustrating and provoking thing to do.
There are days when the market simply makes no sense, and the trade you bet on goes sour for no logical reason that you can see. That’s frustrating, and most traders get angry when this happens. They break their chair, or they pound their fist on the table, or worse…it’s a good moment to leave them alone…
This writer remembers shorting a stock, and watching go down right to the exit point when, for no reason at all, the stock suddenly shot up nearly a hundred points. Don’t ask what happened to my computer.
But that kind of reaction doesn’t get you far. You can’t help getting angry – no one can. It’s a human emotion we all share.
The question is: Can you make that anger work for you?
Anger doesn’t have to be a purely destructive emotion. It’s possible to channel anger into energy that makes you more productive. No one claims that this is easy, and it’s not. But it can be done if you take the right steps and use the right tools.
The key to channelling anger is to not try to control it. Don’t try to suppress your anger, because that just makes it worse. Instead, try to think about your anger, turn into it and let yourself feel it as much as possible. The secret is to lean into your anger, feel it, and then use it.
When you feel that surge of energy, and you’ve let it flow, then put it to work. This doesn’t mean jumping in and doing something rash. On the contrary, let the anger drive you to a solution, and positive action.
As a trader, start asking yourself the relevant questions.
- Did you enter this trade at the wrong point?
- Were there external events affecting the market today that hurt your trade?
- Were you trading on your strategy, working to your strengths?
- Did you make a mistake in your overall trading strategy?
To answer these questions, your most useful move is to consult your trading journal. Using your high-quality trading software, you research similar trades. You review the conditions and compare them with those of the market today.
And you start finding answers, and this makes your anger turn into energy that you put into figuring out what went wrong.
Your trading journal is one of the best tools available to help you deal with the anger and frustrations of trading. And to help you put these emotions to work for you.
So you’re energized, and hard at it to make things better. You’ve channelled you anger into productive work. And you haven’t let it wreck your judgement.
The next step is to channel that energy into a new trade. Again, your trading journal puts you in touch with your overall strategy, and helps you to compare previous winning trades with those you might consider making now.