Module 12 Innerworth — Mind over markets

Chapter 20

The Flexible Trader

The winning trader is flexible. Flexible traders have a carefree attitude when it comes to executing a trade. They don’t over-think their strategy. They do their homework, develop a reasonable trading plan, and when the opportunities present themselves, they freely execute the trade. They don’t question it. They don’t feel any self-reproach. They just do it. If the trade is profitable, they take their winnings and move on. Indeed, they move on to the next trade even when they lose. They know that to be a successful trader, it’s vital to be able to make trade after trade with confidence and flexibility. The more flexible you can be, the more likely you’ll be able to achieve and maintain profitability.

There are both situational and personality factors that relate to a trader’s flexibility. Cultivating a carefree mindset is essential, but it is hard to do under some circumstances. For example, if you are under-capitalized and have sound reasons to fear to lose the money you are trading, you will never feel at ease. You will know deep down that you can’t afford to lose. It is essential that you trade with money you can afford to lose and use proper risk management. If you know that on anyone trade, you have relatively little to lose and that in the worst-case scenario you can still recover, you’ll also know that you can rest assured that everything will be all right in the long run. You can then cultivate the carefree mindset that is the foundation of a flexible approach to trading.

That said, some people are rigid and inflexible when it comes to their personality. Much of it is rooted in early childhood experiences. Parents may have been harsh critics who sent the message, “If you make a mistake, dire consequences will follow.” As adults, some people over-think every decision to avoid the ominous punishment that may follow should they make a mistake. Now, it is certainly necessary to take precautions in life, such as making sure you monitor your speed while driving to avoid getting a traffic ticket or getting into an accident, but when it comes to trading, there isn’t much you can do most of the time.

Certainly, you should anticipate adverse events such as earnings reports, interest rate hikes, or national events, but most of the time, the markets are unpredictable. You must accept what the markets have to offer. You can’t impose your will on the markets. You must have a more carefree attitude. It is impossible to account for every single possible factor that can go against a trade. It’s necessary to merely do the best you can, put on the trade, and see what happens. The inflexible trader, however, has trouble doing that. Inflexible traders think they can completely control their destiny.

They falsely believe that it is possible to account for every possibility. In the context of trading, such beliefs are unproductive. They cause unnecessary anxiety and tend to produce hesitation and self-doubt. In the end, no one can predict the markets, so there is no point in trying, and no point in feeling bad about yourself because you can’t. So give yourself a break. Don’t try to do the impossible. Trade like a flexible trader. By cultivating a carefree attitude, you can trade profitably and consistently. 

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