Hardest Thing a Trader has to Do

By: Dean Whittingham
Visit forums, join memberships, purchase tuition with member areas for support, read books, talk to fellow traders etc and you can be guaranteed you will come across many who will be struggling with a whole host of reasons why. Some will even appear as experts but beneath the surface are struggling with some aspect of their own trading system or style. But do you know what the hardest thing any trader will have to do is?

1. Learn the jargon – no way, this is easy and it just takes time.

2. Find a profitable trading system – there are hundreds of thousands of them, in fact many are just given away for free nowadays.

3. Back test and paper trade – c’mon, I know many people don’t like hard work but you’re way off here.

4. Learning to read charts – kids like reading charts as they look at the green thing and they say, "Hey that’s going up", or if they see a red thing they say "that’s going down".

5. Setting goals – important because if you don’t have a goal, you’re floating aimlessly; but not the hardest.


Thinking successfully – no matter who you are or where you are there is always something you are good at. If this is so you already know how to be successful.

7. Being true to yourself – knowing who you are is indeed a quality that sets one apart from the rest and is therefore one of the hardest things a trader will ever have to learn, but not the hardest.

8. Cut losses short – it is hard to do this for many but it is definitely not the hardest.

9. Logging trades – as we are lazy this is done by a very few, but this does not make it the hardest, not by a long shot.

10. Keep emotions at bay – trading without emotions is very hard, but as we are humans the proper definition is more like managing emotions; but either way it is not the hardest thing a trader will ever have to do.

11. Remain independent – listening to other’s advice whether it is a newsletter, internet forum, or just your buddy next door is very easy to do as we like to follow other people by nature so to do the opposite is hard, but not the hardest.

12. Sticking to the rules of a plan or system – this is indeed hard but not the hardest, and the reason is because this is too general a statement; many people trade with only rules for analyzing or entering or exiting, but most never have a complete set of rules for all three.

13. Sticking to the rules for all three (analyzing, entering and exiting) – getting closer but still not there just yet.

14. Holding on to winning trades – BINGO!

If we look back to points 12 and 13, I made about sticking to rules for exiting, this should start to open your eyes to the hardest thing a trader will ever have to do – hold on to winning trades.

Why is this so difficult?

For one, most place more emphasis on seeking opportunities and rules for entering than on anything else to do with running a trading business. And this is exactly how the whole "trading" thing is marketed. Very few traders have rules for exiting.

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