Be self-aware when planning trades

I’ve just been reflecting on my trading for the last few days and I’m conscious that my discipline might be slipping.

I don’t trade a lot. I’m a cautious trader by nature and probably talk myself out of more good trades than I actually put on. That’s my style. You won’t see me doing 10/20/30 trades a day. I like to pick my battles and squeeze every ounce of reasoning out as to why I should trade anything. Part of the reason for this post is because my last few trades have mainly ended up with my stops getting hit. Now, that’s not a problem in itself because I’m always prepared for losses before I event hit the button on any trade. Also, the trades that have lost have been small scalps on things like big figures and barriers, which have had very tight stops and are not damaging in the slightest, except to my morale.

What’s got me thinking is that I’m getting very tied up in this US bond move, and that’s just getting me feeling like I’m trying to chase a potential pot of gold. I reversed into a USDJPY long at 109.10 after my shorts sub-109 failed, and I added at 109.12 when US 10’s were trading at 3% because I thought they were going to break. And therein lies the problem. I don’t like chasing trades and I’m finding that I’m getting caught up in some of these moves and starting to chase rabbits. That’s often not good for discipline nor account balances because you can find yourself buying tops and selling bottoms and constantly trying to reverse trades to catch what you’ve been wrong about previously.

If this USDJPY long goes against me then I’m taking that as a sign and I’m going to sit on my hands for a bit or get myself back on track with look at trading breaks the way I prefer. That means keeping patience in looking for either re-tests of broken support/resistance levels, or going with confirmed fresh breaks. I’m not out of my monetary comfort zone in this trade at all but I am out my discipline comfort zone a tad, so the fact I’m aware of that will give me the kick up the arse I need to rectify it.

All traders have different styles and systems and ways to deal with their own discipline. Some of the traders in our trading room are in and out of trades like a revolving door. As traders we all need to know and hone our own methods and make sure that we stick to them because going off track can be dangerous.

Get to know your own style and learn how to notice the signs when you’re slipping, and if necessary, stop trading and take a moment to think about what you’re doing.



Ryan Littlestone

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