Module 12   Innerworth — Mind over marketsChapter 114

Mastering the Inner-game

If we had a crystal ball, trading would just be a matter of buying at a bottom, holding the stock as the price continued to rise, and selling near a top, right before the masses sell in a state of panic. But we don’t have a crystal ball, and there is no foolproof way to forecast the markets. Sure, if you have enough capital, are willing to wait long enough for a stock price to increase, and will be satisfied with a small profit, you can identify a few key stocks that will pay off handsomely with a buy-and-hold strategy. But that isn’t what you’re looking for.

If you are like most short-term traders, you are trying to capitalize on short-term moves to make big gains over and over again, and in the long run, mount a series of impressive wins. To accomplish this goal, it is vital to control your impulses and emotions. You need to cultivate enough energy to study the markets and search for profitable setups. But the work doesn’t end there. You also need to execute your trading plan with a cold, calculating mindset. You cannot be swayed by a need to act on impulse or become troubled by emotions. Because the markets are ultimately uncertain, it’s essential that you master your psychology.

Inner worth is about mastering your psychology. It’s about gaining a mental edge, and when you trade with a mental edge, you increase your odds of winning. This sentiment is expressed by the many trading experts we cite in our daily “Mind Over Markets” columns, but Robert Koppel and Howard Abell succinctly summarize what mastering investment psychology is all about in their book “The Inner Game of Trading.” They note, “By understanding our motives and setting goals, as well as consciously controlling our state, we can manage anxieties, focus concentration, and enhance our confidence as traders. In addition, by using specific psychological skills such as employing audio, visual, and feeling imagery, we can greatly improve our performance. Moreover, these skills will increase our level of personal enjoyment and fulfillment.”

This quote summarizes some of the main themes we try to cover at Innerworth. We may not cover these themes in the same way as Koppel and Abell, or in the same way as other trading experts do, but we try to bring you the latest scientific, anecdotal, and conventional knowledge on these subjects. We would like this opportunity to thank you for reading and allowing us to help you master the markets and be the best trader that you can be. If you set realistic goals, work hard to gain market experience, and manage your mental state, you will be one of the few traders who become a winning trader.

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