In day trading, what is the most essential—process, management or emotion?
The answer is all three, equally. However, we naturally prioritise the ‘how to’. We ignore the second and nearly all of us are ignorant to the third.
But without each working synergistically success (the one per cent of trader’s status) is not possible.
Discretionary or system trader? A muddying of the water, as without an algorithmic programme we are both.
And when we are both (nearly all professional traders are), success depends on the resilience of our so-called system and management plan (and therefore our confidence) and the curtailment of discretion—in other words, keeping instinct (emotion) at bay.
Through backtesting or paper trading, we practise our trade entries and management. But it is only in live trading, and at an amount appropriate for our account, that emotion can interfere.
Instinct, psychology or emotion—by any name it is primarily responsible for a trader’s eventual mediocrity.
Discretion dominates in the first few years of a trader’s progression.
Our trade process then takes on a more systematic approach; we become consistently profitable.
Our trade management is precise and appropriate to all conditions.
We are on a roll!
However, without control of our emotions, we will only tick along.
A stoic approach in itself is not the answer. Indeed, by itself, it is a sure way from profitability back to mediocrity.
It is more. To achieve precision in our work is to trade without inappropriate emotive decisions interceding. It comes from preparation, mind and soul in harmony, systematic processes and the harnessing of ill-suited discretion.
It is beyond mediocrity.