Module 12 Innerworth — Mind over markets

Chapter 168

Fighting Boredom

These days, few traders find it profitable to scalp or trade intraday anymore. Most traders prefer to make swing trades, but swing trading can be boring at times. Depending on your total capital, it is hard to make too many swing traders and also limit risk. You can make only a few trades, and you usually must wait at least a few days before you can take any action. Assuming that your trade setup isn’t completely wrong, it takes a little time to find out what happens. All you can do is execute a trade, or a few swing trades, and wait. It takes a certain kind of trader to swing trade, a patient trader.

A scalper, for example, wants to get in and get out. Waiting patiently is hard. It’s an uneasy feeling. Other traders may like to put on trades for excitement, and they just can’t wait to see what happens. In the meantime, the waiting is agony. It can be tedious waiting to see the outcome. How can you fight the boredom? Depending on your personality, it is wise to have a plan to fight boredom, otherwise, you may try to seek out excitement, and that may mean making an impulsive decision instead of letting your trading plan reach fruition.

Some people are natural risk-takers and get bored easily. They may have difficulty making swing trades because there isn’t enough excitement or action. If you fall into this category, you may be likely to close out a trade prematurely because you just can’t wait to see the outcome. If this is the case, you may want to work around the problem. Unless you have a large account in which you can put on many trades and still manage risk (by risking a relatively small amount of capital on a single trade, for example), you can’t make very many swing trades. It may be wise in this case to put in a stop-loss order and just commit yourself to wait a few days before taking any action. Once the stop loss is in place, you may have to just walk away for a while.

If you continue to watch the screen, it will be much like staring at a slot machine and trying to avoid pulling the handle. It’s like dangling a piece of candy in front of a child. It is hard to resist temptation. You must walk away for a while and find something else to do. This may be a good time to pursue other ways of making income, or you may want to develop new trading strategies or read trading books. For some people, even this indirect way of trading may continue to be a temptation. It may be necessary for them to walk away from the trading arena entirely and pursue other activities.

Don’t take boredom lightly. We are bored when we feel that the task we are doing is not interesting. Our minds require stimulation, and when we are not stimulated properly, we seek out stimulation. If you feel bored yet continue to trade, you are naturally going to want to find stimulation. That may compel you to overtrade just to get some action. The problem with putting on trades just for fun, though, is that you are likely to lose money in the long run. You’ll take low probability setups just because you want to put on a trade. It may be hard to fight the temptation, but it doesn’t make sense to put on trades that are unlikely to yield a profit. If your capital is tied up in a few key swing trades, it is wise to just leave it there and don’t risk any more money. Find something else to do while you wait. Spend time with your family.

Get a part-time job. Run errands. Do chores around the house. Remember, the perk of trading is that it is possible to put on a few swing trades and spend the rest of your time doing something else while you wait. That’s why many people pursue trading. Once you master it, you don’t have to work exclusively as a trader. You can do other things while you wait for an outcome. So don’t let boredom get the better of you. If you are bored waiting to see what happens in a swing trade or longer-term trade, walk away for a while (but don’t forget to use the automatic settings on your trading platform). Take a break and relax. Don’t let boredom drive you to make impulsive, spur-of-the-moment trades. Stick with the swing trades you have planned well. You’ll be more profitable in the long run.

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