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Does your natural mental make up make you a good or bad trader ?

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  • Does your natural mental make up make you a good or bad trader ?

    Hello all, I have been trading unsuccessfully for quite some time without really looking at the reasons I am failing. Take last night for example in Tennis, I was green for €80 from an original €25 liability yet ended up with ZERO profit. In hindsight I do this regularly even on the horses. I spent some time thinking about this and have tried to consider my mental attitude at these times.

    I have arrived at the conclusion that my attitude when I trade is exactly the same as that I carry with me 90% of the time. I am a pessimist, and tend to be very negative in my perception of most things. I always see the bad before I see the good, and I think I am subconsciously seeking the bad rather than the good.

    I can spot opportunities in the markets yet cannot seem to accept a green. I will top up my stake, wait for the market to turn and then when the inevitable red occurs I get a perverse sense of satisfaction akin to "I told you so".

    I have decided therefore from today that I will seek the good, not only in trading but in all aspects of life.

    My question therefore to all you guys is if you are a pessimist are you doomed as a trader ?
    27
    Yes - Positive people are more likely to be successful traders.
    59.26%
    16
    No - Pessimists are equally likely to be successful.
    40.74%
    11

    The poll is expired.


  • #2
    It's nothing to do with having PMA. Everyone that gets into trading with a big wad of cash has a PMA or they wouldn't do it. It's other aspects of their psychological make-up that will affect how quickly they blow that money.

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    • #3
      I have followed your writings for a long time and have always thought that you are far too self critical. Your honesty is commendable but I think that your naivety works against you. Do you really believe that everybody but you wins money on Betfair ? Just think about it and concentrate on the way in which Betfair works. All participants offer/accept bets so this means that there must be losers. When you consider that the operating firm, Betfair, screw 5% of the pot for themselves the number of losers at any given moment increases.

      I am a very cynical person. I have learned over my life that people should not be trusted until they prove themselves to be honest. If you accept that all your fellow human beings are trustworthy, you will end up "being taken for a mug". Even now I can hear some people saying that my attitude is ignorant, uninformed , even bigoted and moronic. Nevertheless, I am convinced that it has been of help to me in protecting my family's interests and I have no plans to change it at any time before my death.

      So, for the sake of brevity, I put these bullet points for you to consider and, hopefully, accept.

      (i) nobody wins all the time on Betfair, losses are inevitable,

      (ii) those who claim otherwise are dishonest and stupid but, even worse, think that other people are more stupid than they are,

      (iii) those who claim to be able to make you win are almost certainly failed traders. They are looking for mugs. They can't make money by trading , they are too lazy to work legitimately, and seek to con other people out of their money,

      (iv) my Dad was right. His two maxims were - " nothing is for nothing" and "nothing lasts forever". Spend some time considering these statements in depth and when you see how true they are, you will be on the right road.

      Having said that, the "naivety" I referred to above is not a fault, indeed by using the word I am paying you a compliment. You have shown a refreshing honesty in your posts.

      Ignore your losses, shrug your shoulders and get on with it !

      My biggest fault is greed. Settle for smaller wins, don't get carried away when you win, accept bad days as a certainty. Enjoy the good ones

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      • #4
        Whilst Keefter hasn't given us his secrets (because it's intuitive), you can see that he accepts losses all the time, yet his winners are better.

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        • #5
          I'd have thought being a pessimist would help in trading.
          Enter expecting the worst and get out if the scenario your mind expects plays out. The optimist enters expecting/hoping to win and when the market moves in the opposite direction to the way he was expecting he sits there optimistic that the market will move back the way he originally expected
          Traders, even losing ones that have been at it a long time, know how the market works/reacts the majority of the time, the trick is when the market doesn't react the way it usually does to get out as quickly as possible not sit there waiting/hoping for it to go your way.

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          • #6
            The poll should have been worded differently as its replies are bound to be somewhat ambiguous with the current wording. I have said that the optimist is better off but I said this because my "optimist" is optimistic about his prospects about winning in the long term while accepting that he will have losses along the way.

            Nobody should trade if he really believes he is going to lose.

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            • #7
              Might have been more useful if you knew if those voting were pessimistic winners or optimistic losers

              Personally I think having an optimistic outlook will get you far in all aspects of life , trading included. That's not to say pessimists can't win but they've a few extra hurdles to master and maybe overcoming those hurdles will be a bonus when it comes to longevity with an edges you may find.

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              • #8
                I think it's more important to have a positive outlook not so much on life, but a positive outlook on whether you really believe in your abilities to become a trader.

                You can be positive and believe in yourself in other ways but if you don't really believe you can be a good trader (or think things like 'well I could IF....') then probably you wont do it.

                I see a lot of people who are pretty tough, who wouldn't really take crap from anyone, suddenly lose all their power and become like slugs (or half slugs) when trading or gambling, suddenly a bit needy, not believing in themselves the way that they might do during the rest of their lives.

                Of course the problem is manufacturing that belief for most people, whether its possible I dont know. But I think that a shift needs to take place for most people to allow themselves to become good traders. I was lucky that for whatever reason I always believed right at the start that I could trade from day one, even if the evidence may have been contrary to that. From speaking to other 'pros' (hate that word.) I've yet to come across anyone who didn't have the same kind of belief from the start.

                Don't get me wrong, it could be possible to make the necessary changes to your core belief system, but maybe requires something fundamental to shift.
                Tough times don't last. Tough people do.

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                • #9
                  Optimism may get you somewhere at the start, believing it can be done and having an open mind but a pessimist could easily study markets and find edges and continue to scour the markets for other edges because they believe edges can eradicate and you could need to be forever evolving to stay ahead of the game.
                  A pessimist doesn't have to become an optimist to win on the exchanges he/she just needs to prove that they can actually win for themselves. A pessimist is likely to make more money too because they are pessimistic that what they currently do will last for long so they make hay while the sun shines .
                  I have no stats to back me up here so I'm guessing but i'd say optimists lose the most money trading/gambling because if what they do doesn't work the majority of the time they'll stick with it because of the odd occasion it did work and they'll let trades go in play because they're optimistic they'll get away with it because they have done in the past
                  A positive state of mind comes from knowing what you're doing and actually doing it. I'd say scam artists rely on optimistic people to make them money.

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                  • #10
                    You are forgetting the Realists here. They are the real winners. A realist can watch honestly on a particilur situation without beign favorable for one team or another. He can judge the fairest way possible, thats why he can become a winner. When he sees a win - he is taking it, when he sees a loss - he is taking it, but he is doing it without increasing the loss. One very good trader once said - its better not to know shit about horses when you are trading - this is the best way to remain neutral. You don't need to study the horses. You need to study the way to odds move, if you know something about horses it can reall dull your judgement which can be bad. I personally never watched horses (The only race I've actually watched full were the Grand National this year and it wasn't because I know something about horses - it was because this was a hell of a show which I've never seen before. I am looking forward for my second race but it will be the Grand National next year so ... ) and I believe this helped me!
                    I am a realist. And I believe this is helping me beign succesful. Ofc I expect positive outcome, but Its not because I am optimisticly on that - I am realisticly think that my trade is going to win. Ofc It doesn't win all the - but when I lose, I cut the lose - I know that if I don't cut it I will lose more. I am watching realisticly. If I think I wont win - I am not a pessimist on the situation - I watch realisticly that I wont win.

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                    • #11
                      gone for Yes, just an ovservation but out of all those i know of on the forum, those that are a success of any considerable size are optamistic, the consistent loosers i know of are not. - a realist's view.
                      Edges are ten-a-penny, execution is everything

                      Read My FULL-TIME Racing Traders Blog Here!!
                      T F YouTube

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                      • #12
                        Tennis can be very rewarding as well it can be very mindsetblocking. Think you shouldn't build those blocks on the path to learn how to trade. Read Tradepedia on this forum especialy Mark Douglas!

                        For exampple,I've been profitable for 3 months and made almost 140€ trading with stakes betwwen 3 and 12€. this amont of staking was giving me profits of cents. Scalping tennis only
                        Last day went crazy and got tired of winning just cents and did a gambling move on Djokovic against Querry. put all those 3 months winnigs on Djokovic.

                        Well altought I'm not fan of gambling and although all management knowlegde. I did't feel guilty for loosing because all those 3 months made me belive and gave me some confidence. Well don't know the future but the lost isn't bloking me. Shouldn't be giving away money this away but knowing what to do on the trade is as important as understanding that trading isn't easy neither all our construction on the world equals to what happen on a trading scenario.

                        So in conclusion either positivism and negativism is important on trading, I believe.

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                        • #13
                          The Pessimist is the only person who enjoys when the expectations doesn't come true

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                          • #14
                            http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...article_forsub

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                            • #15
                              Does your natural mental make up make you a good or bad trader

                              If you knew that you would lose some percent of your athletic ability from doing 15 CM total LL over two different bone sections, what percent of loss would be acceptable to you for those 15 CM as a trade off?

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