Here’s the definition of a “platitude”, from Google: “a remark or statement, especially one with a moral content, that has been used too often to be interesting or thoughtful.”
Today I restrained myself from getting into an argument on Facebook. The argument, which I guess I am now having in this article, was about a set of trading rules. This set of trading rules was posted online under the title “Top Ten Trading Errors”, and it was a well-intentioned post. From a good person. Copied from a book (or article) from a very famous trading psychologist.
And I thought that 9 of the 10 items on the list were complete tomfoolery. Here is one of the ten “worst errors” a trader can make, according to this list:
“Getting locked into a specific opinion or belief about market direction. Psychologically equivalent of trying to control the market with expectations of what it will do.”
That’s an error? Getting locked into a belief or opinion about market direction? So, what’s the alternative? How often is it ok to change your mind? On what basis?
And how much confidence am I allowed to have in my position? Just enough to open the trade but not enough to get “locked in?” What the hell does that mean?
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What if the Allied Forces decided to NOT get locked into Normandy on D-Day?
Listen, people. When you read a list of rules like this (and it could include my rules, for that matter), and then you start to follow those rules like they are God’s truth delivered to man on stone tablets, you go down the road that leads to ruin.
Please, by all means, get LOCKED into your trade. I want you to be laser focused on it. It is THE direction. It is THE trade to take. And then if it proves otherwise, sure, you can dump it. Fine. But to not allow yourself to believe in your position as being correct? That’s ridiculous. Show up to the trading game with some balls, ok?
And this one drives me nuts:
“Focusing on price and the monetary value of a trade, instead of the potential for the market to move base on its behavior and structure.”
That’s supposed to be an error! Focusing on the money! What the hell are we supposed to do, focus on the colors of our charts? This is about money! The only score you can keep in the game of trading is money. Period. If you are uncomfortable with that, then go buy some watercolor canvases. Or plant a garden (but sure as hell don’t focus on the harvest!).
Fact: You make your own trading rules. Make them with your own blood and experience. Following someone else’s rules – mine, from a list on Facebook, from an ancient scroll you find buried in the tomb of a Pharaoh – that’s the way you become a slave. And, my friends, we are designed to determine our own fate.