The back story: I recently posted my first losing week ever in the year-plus that I have been trading full-time. While I knew it would happen eventually, it was a bit of a shock, a week in which every individual day was bad and nothing seemed to work.
In my heart and my head, I knew I would bounce back, but I did realize that thinking it and actually doing it are two different things.
The results: Last week, recovering from my first loss, was one of the best weeks I have had all year.
The strategy: I’d love to tell you it was my chart study or some specific technical thing I used to bounce back, but to me the whole experience was about having the right attitude and psychology to overcome adversity.
Anyone can learn charts and technical analysis; dedicate yourself to learning it and to the market and a year later you can be great at it. But no matter how good you are, there will be times when your strategies just don’t work, and how you bounce back from that will determine your success long-term.
I talk with traders who are annoyed when nothing works, or who dread the coming week when the last one was a struggle. More than worrying about what I would trade or how I would trade it, I didn’t want to be “that guy.”
Bouncing back as I did, I’m not looking forward to the next time I have a bad week, but I will be even more confident in my ability to clear my head, stay calm, and keep those bad times to a minimum.
The lesson: The market is a pretty relentless place. It doesn’t care about you as an individual as a trader. If you don’t have confidence in what you are doing and that it will work again – if you break down and don’t have the attitude to stick with what you know and with what works – the market will beat you, and for much more than a week.
Taylor Conway is the lead day trader at PennyPro.com. He is a short-term day trader of stocks and ETFs.