We all know that “patience is a virtue,” but that goes double when money’s involved. The market can be a fickle and frustrating place without a long-term vision and strategy, both of which are essential building blocks for patience.
The markets may seem like a fast-paced atmosphere that relies on quick decision-making. In some ways that’s true, but it’s equally important to follow trends and wait for the right moment to make your moves. It can be tough not to make snap judgments and quick decisions without thinking them through just because the market is fluctuating.
Here are 10 ways you can cultivate the patience to see your strategy through and find success as a trader.
Turn off the TV
You can find an unlimited number of talking heads and analysts on television and radio who do nothing but fill hours with conjecture and pseudo-analysis. These people are paid to fill airtime, and it is so easy to become confused when you hear one “expert” say one thing and another say something else. Do yourself a favor and turn it off. Take deep breaths instead of getting wound up and clear your mind of the chatter in favor of your own intuition.
Consider smaller trades instead of big risks
Spreading out the risk can help if you get “itchy” to make a trade. The amount of money you’re playing with is smaller, so if you really want to make that move, you can do it without feeling like you’re betting it all. Trade one share of stock or one option contract and get it out of your system.
Schedule time away from the computer throughout the day to clear your head and disconnect. That goes for the internet, the phone, the TV — everything. Go outside, read a book, get some exercise or do a hobby. When you return to trading, you’ll have a fresher outlook and some Vitamin D in your system.
Set achievable goals
Instead of thinking about what your accounts are going to look like in five years, set smaller, achievable goals each day to build a behavior pattern and help train your intuition. If you don’t reach that goal, it’s totally OK. Adjustments are normal as the market changes.
Think daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly. You should also take into account what the market looks like. There are some strategies and goals that may not be as achievable now as they were before, and that’s OK. Feel free to pivot and reassess as needed.
Write it down
Keep a journal of your thoughts on the market and how your trading day went. Go back to it to review when you’re feeling similarly to see how it worked out for you before. Some market trends happen within the same year; others are more spread out chronologically. Having a record of your work will help when the market pivots again.
Learn something new
Expand your horizons and seek out one new learning each day to keep your mind fresh and give you something to do besides wait for the next trade. This will get you off the trading floor for a bit while giving you new knowledge for the next time you hit the ground running. SmartTrader’s Marketplace is full of trainings for you to take the next time you seek out a new skill.
Help someone else
One of the best ways to master a skill is to teach it to someone else. Seek out community and encourage other traders to find support or support others. SmartTrader’s community portals allow you to connect with other traders and share your triumphs and tribulations and learn from each other.
Success is a formula
Once we have some experience under our belt, we’ll feel more comfortable making quicker decisions that align with our technical analysis and strategy. Keep your emotions in check and be willing to drop a trade if it doesn’t work with your long-term outlook.
Follow your game plan
Whatever it is, follow it. Stick to your plan and don’t abandon it at the first sight of trouble or triumph. Stay the course and pace yourself. The last thing you want is to flame out early because you flew too close to the sun.
Patience might not seem important in the fast-paced, frenetic atmosphere of the trading day, but by following these steps — or, at least, a few of them that seem achievable — you’ll be well on your way to cultivating the kind of patience it takes to find success.