Angry Traders and Investors

Azeez Mustapha



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“If you are driven by the stock price you are going to go crazy.” – Michael Bigger

There’s no speculator in the world that hasn’t, at some time or other in their career, experienced the emotion of anger. Every trader becomes angry because of some reasons. Even the renowned Dr Van K. Tharp (a trading specialist) was once trading in an angry mood. Then, he was losing and he became angry. The more he lost, the angrier he became and the more he lost.

Trading is hard enough. So any factor that makes the matter worse – whether internal or external – would only add to our livid state of mind. For many traders, it’s because of negativity they sustain now and then. Traders and investors are angry and you can see that in their comments, actions and trading results.

“What is my broker doing to me? Yes, the loss is becoming bigger and bigger. The account is going down. That fundamental analyst is an asshole! The website that recommended these shares as a sell opportunity has clearly misled me. They don’t know what they’re doing. Don’t they know that the trend on the chart is up, the MACD signal lines and histogram are above the zero line and the Parabolic SAR is below the price? What are the Fibonacci ratios doing? Why couldn’t they use Andrew’s Pitchfork? Albeit, most renowned chart analysts also thought the shares would plummet. Why does the market always have me in mind so as to ruin me?”
Nevertheless, does anyone care? Culpable souls, events and situations are no longer a curiosity. Are they? You blame our leaders and politicians. You criticize anything or anybody that falls short of your standards or expectations. You deprecate positions that aren’t going in your favour. You are quick to judge everything around you. Signals strategists, brokers, North Korea, the euro’s unpredictability, Mark Carney, technical experts, software vendors, cliques, trade shows, central banks, interest rates, earthquakes, cyclones, harsh winters, the unrest in the Middle East, unemployment rate, power failure (you also want to sue your internet service providers), global warming, stock tipsters, TV media, tape readers, assassins, nuclear holocaust and hypocritical religions. You condemn your cruel manager, selfish chairman, CTAs, CFOs, UFOs, scalpers, high frequency trading, position traders, your fellow traders, insider traders, the bulls, bots manufacturers, drug dealers, street thugs, traffic jam/noises, racism, unfulfilled promises, unequal opportunities, bleak future, headache, sky-high commodity prices, Cuba, Syria and Central Africa. You deprecate your printer, your pet, the incompetent cook, harsh tax laws, police surveillance, your irritatingly haughty neighbours and your unforgiving spouse. Your favourite team lost their match. Your kid is a nuisance; and the list goes on. You are frustrated with everything.

“I know what I’m doing. It’s those skunks that are insane. This thing has made me vulnerable; I can’t control what the price is doing to me, for I’m just looking at the screen helplessly. My situation is hopeless – a prey of those institutional speculators. Why is Smart Money after me? Why do they want to destroy me? Why are they so bold? But I made the right decision before I sold the shares!”

Can this approach help you?
You’re blindly furious, you punch your iPad, bang the door, break the dish, swear oaths loudly, scream at a skunk, threaten the security guard, or drink yourself into stupor. You’re totally helpless. You can’t be helped until you see yourself as the source of your trading problem and the source of your solution. You create the trading results you get. Stop blaming others and put the blame on yourself; otherwise, you can’t find any solution. If it’s going to be, it’s up to you. The things, countries and the people mentioned above (plus anything/anybody you might have condemned), didn’t place your trade for you. You made your own trading decisions and you should accept the outcome.

You can decide to buy, sell or remain neutral – irrespective of what experts or automated signals are saying. No-one forces you to take a position against your wish. You think it and come up with a resolution. If you make gains from your trading, who do you praise? According to the quote above, those who watch the prices every minute are going to go crazy. It pays to focus on the big picture and stick to your safety rules in trading. Day trading is full of stress and you’re bound to get offended by the markets. You can’t enjoy profits without experiencing the bitterness of losses. Sane traders know how to accept profits and losses with calmness of the mind, no matter how long a losing or a winning streak is. They just keep on managing their positions and controlling their losses. For those who passed out of school with good grades, achieve enviable results in other areas of human endeavors, collect paychecks regularly etc., it’s not easy to accept loss in trading. They prefer 100% hit rate if possible. They don’t want to think that they can still survive in the market with only 33.3% hit rate.

R. J. Hixson says that trading in an angry or depressed state can be as dangerous to your equity as trading in an ecstatic state. Anger can’t improve any statistics in anything, as far as your trading career is concerned. The angrier you are, the more blunders you will commit, which you’ll eventually regret. Make sure that you speculate on the trends you can comprehend and the markets you prefer. Even if your stops are hit after that, it’s your decision. Don’t add to your losers!

Instead of deprecating your adverse lot as a trader, you can trade successfully. This is the good news. Help is available. You just need to develop deep love for the markets and fuel your passion for successful trading principles by talking and sharing it again and again. Talk and discuss trading and its potential. Discuss with people of like passion… Don’t spend time on wrong information that could dissipate your zeal; don’t get discouraged by those who have no passion trading.

This chapter concludes with the quote below:

“It’s difficult to trade with a peak performance mindset when you’re in a bad mood. The more you can control your emotions, the more likely you are to maintain a winning edge.” – Joe Ross

This piece is a chapter taken from the book “Unlock Your Potential with the Realities of Trading”


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Azeez Mustapha

Azeez Mustapha is a trading professional, currency analyst, signals strategist, and funds manager with over ten years of experience within the financial field. As a blogger and finance author, he helps investors understand complex financial concepts, improve their investing skills, and learn how to manage their money.

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