There are countless skills that are necessary to become a successful day trader. Knowledge, discipline, experience and problem-solving are all critical parts of the puzzle when it comes to trading, but a positive, winning attitude is also critical.
Even the best traders get frustrated by how the market performs from time to time. At times, it’s extremely difficult to maintain a positive outlook. The next time your portfolio has you feeling down, here are 10 tips to help you harness the power of positivity.
- Focus on the good. It’s always important to analyze what went wrong with a losing trade to learn from your mistakes. However, it’s also good for your self-confidence to give yourself credit for what went right. Maybe you picked a good stock but your timing was off. Or maybe you bought at a good time but sold too late. Remember the things that went right.
- Don’t dwell on failures. Try to understand any mistakes you make and come up with a strategy to minimize those mistakes in the future. But once you’ve performed a thorough post-mortem analysis on a losing trade and learned any lessons you can, let it go and don’t lose sleep over it.
- Be grateful. Let’s face it, some days are just terrible from start to finish whether you’re a stock trader, a dentist or a farmer. On days where nothing goes right, remember to remind yourself of all the things in your life that you are grateful for and remember that losing a few dollars is a relatively small problem compared to what many people have going on in their lives.
- Don’t be too hard on yourself. Even the Oracle of Omaha Warren Buffett has made plenty of boneheaded investments over the years. Nobody on Wall Street has a perfect track record.
- Remind yourself of your successes. When you inevitably hit a cold streak in the market, it’s easy to start feeling like you are cursed. At times like those, it may be helpful to look back at some of your best trades from the past and get back into that winning mindset.
- Take responsibility for your mistakes. Blaming losses on market makers, short sellers, a “rigged” market or other excuses might make you feel better in the moment, but refusing accountability is a textbook sign of a loser. Owning your losses, admitting your mistakes and committing to improvement can be a surprisingly empowering process.
- Don’t spend too much time on social media. Social media platforms and other online trading communities are filled with lies and misleading information and people. If you spend all day reading online posts and comments from other traders, it’s easy to feel like you’re the only person on the planet Earth that isn’t getting rich on a daily basis.
- Spend time with positive people. If you have friends or family members that are relentlessly optimistic people, sometimes a simple 10-minute conversation with them can shift your mindset in a better direction. You don’t even need to talk about stocks. That type of positive outlook is contagious.
- Take care of your body. There have been countless studies suggesting simple self-care steps like getting plenty of sleep, staying hydrated, exercising, regularly showering, eating healthy foods, not abusing drugs or alcohol and maintaining good posture can work wonders for improving your mental health and mindset.
- Visualize your success. When you are feeling down, take a moment to remember what it was that made you decide to start trading in the first place. Did you like the challenge of it? The excitement? The freedom it provides? Or maybe you are working toward a long-term goal to buy a house or car or retire at a certain age. Periodically remind yourself of what goals you had that drew you to trading in the first place and imagine how good it will feel when you achieve them.
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