How to hold onto trades better?

When I first started trading, I would set a stop loss, go about my day, and only check my trades every few hours, because I had a full-time job. I was able to hold my trades until I got stopped out. I lost my job in January and have been looking for another one but am trading full-time meanwhile until I can find another job. I have been struggling like crazy to hold onto my trades and let them work themselves out. I keep choking them off way too early. I looked over my stats and redid it to see what would have happened if I held on until my stop hits. The results were a little better, the losses a little bigger but the wins also bigger. May would have been my best month, 50% win rate, 2.42RR instead of my actual stats, 45% win, .94RR. Yeah, there were some instances where I was better off if I cut the trade early but it seems like this has been a bad habit for me and it’s negatively affecting my trading. In fact, I don’t think I should trade again until I can fix this, because I’m going through a string of losses and dying by a thousand paper cuts.

I seem to have many excuses when I cut the trade early, ie: it’s not ready yet, I’m going to wait until x happens, not enough volume, I’d rather take a small loss now than a bigger one later, etc. But when I look back, I can see that the entry was good and I should have held on. If it isn’t taking off right away, I start to get nervous and get out. A lot of times, I’d rather it stop me out quickly than to have to hold on to anticipate it. I’ve tried swing trading and day trading, and I have the same problem with all time frames. I’m hoping that I can get a job and it can help take my mind off my trades so I can let them do their thing. I’ve tried to not look at my trades but I seem to not be able to help it since I’m in front of my computer a lot.

Does anybody have any advice on how I can stick with my trades until my stop or TP hits?

1 Like

Trading usually depends on discipline and plan. As well as to maintain psycology. Even if I am a full-time trader, I have to manage discipline. Even after entering a trade, you have to manage that trade. And if the management is not right, then even with good analysis, there can be a loss.

Without trying to sound sarcastic - better off to go find a new full time job.

The pressure of making trading your main income is what underlies all your choking.

Your last comments say it all - so at least you are aware of it.

Not sure what job or industry you are in but try to improve your marketability by expanding your skillset.

This will firstly give you less time to mess up your trades, and secondly give you more self confidence - getting kicked in the teeth from a few poor trades won’t become such a big deal

Ultimately your whole trading psychology will vastly improve as a result.

3 Likes

Sorry to hear of your job loss. What you are experiencing is normal. Most traders run into psychological emotional reactions, so don’t beat yourself up,ever.

However, you have an added issue, that is finding another job - and that my friend is why you should STOP trading until you have found one. Otherwise you won’t have the right mindset to preserve your capital, and you could blow it all.

That is the reality.

2 Likes

If you’ve entered your trades, and you’re waiting for callbacks about jobs, why not just go do something else?

Go outside. If your stops are in place, let the trades work themselves out.

And maybe stop checking your trades on your phone.

2 Likes

I did read somewhere that you should have a set time of when to check your trades so that you’re not constantly checking it throughout the day and giving yourself anxiety. I keep worrying that I might miss a take profit or my stop might get hit but my broker won’t sell me out for whatever reason. I’ll use alerts more and just set one for when my trade gets close to my stop and TP and see if that can help.

I didn’t even know that I was going to get unemployment until May. I had been applying since January and got nothing until a lump sum of money shows up in my bank account months later lol. I’ll still get unemployment until January 2022 but I am actively applying for jobs. I knew I wasn’t ready to trade full time yet and would prefer to have a full-time.

I spent years in a similar position to yourself, only I quit my job, I didnt lose it.

I sold my house and moved half way around the world - call me really dumb or really brave - but that’s what I did.

I had too much time on my hands and a mistaken belief that more screen time equates to more money.

It does not - and you are in the same situation.

I was about 8 yrs in before I figured that out.

On this topic (and without trying to sound big headed) I doubt anyone here has been through the same ups and downs as myself.

After 8 yrs I realised I’d better get a new skillset - because so much of it had been wasted on learning yet another way to draw a support and resistance line.

When I did figure out which skill sets I wanted to work on my trading miraculously turned the corner.

My advice to any struggling trader has and ALWAYS will be to focus less on trading and MORE on developing yourself into a fully rounded individual - when you have total admiration for who you are as a person it positively affects all areas of your life - trading being one of them.

3 Likes

Maybe trading by expert advisors will give you better results.

So sorry to hear taht you lost your job. Like you there are many others. But while you may be urged to find an alternative form of income as soon as you can, while expenses build up and accumulate etc, you are only bound to feel more anxious. My suggestion would be to trade only as a way to make a secondary form of income, not a main one. It is better to try to find a regular job and trade in a limited way as otherwise you are going to be too stressed out and make wrong, rash decisions in trading.

1 Like

Guess that it’s the main mistake of unprofessional traders which must be overpassed, you know. Waiting for the result of your trades staring at the monitor is the worst activity ever, it makes you more erritative and nervous, hence the loss in this case will be fatal for a trader, because he won’t be able to handle with stress. That’s why it’s recommended to go outside the room and make some other businesses. Of course it’s not easy on initial stages, however it will teach a trader emotions controlling I think. Actually, there is no need to monitor deals mainly because you can’t change the way the price goes hence you will do nothing to avoid loss.

2 Likes

That sounds like good advice @Wiltonandid. Handling trades as a beginner or unprofessional trader would increase the FUD. Best to practice enough before jumping straight into live trading.