Trading is very stressful no doubt because it’s uncertain and risky. One day you make money and another day you lose. But still you cannot take your hands off trading as you get tied to this habit. There is ego clash, wins, defeats all this leads to anxiety and stress.
You can use these techniques that can lower stress levels and make you less anxious in your decision making.
Why do traders get anxious while trading?
Because they are uncertain about the results so they are worried, nervous and uncertain about the outcome resulting in stress.
So why people are willing to accept this stress?
Because it’s a trade-off for the freedom they can get from their job and the chances of scalability of income is there if successful.
If you want to become a successful trader you must overcome your anxiety or at least reduce it to a large extend. If you want to become a good trader you must get rid of trading anxiety, this will improve your trading decisions. This will make your trading less stressful and more enjoyable.
Here are five things you can do to reduce anxiety:
1. Try to trade less volatile stocks or Index like Nifty
If you trade extremely volatile stock your trade may hit stop loss pretty fast. This may lead to stress. However if you trade less volatile stocks then chances of winning is more as you have enough time to book profits or take some step before the stop loss is hit.
Big returns in short period of time is not possible so trade less volatile stocks and make an exit with small profit. With volatile stocks you will panic and take a loss.
You will need some expertise to trade volatile stocks.
2. Reduce Your Position Sizes
When you start it is advisable to reduce your lot size. In 10 lots just 1 point MTM will show 750 loss in Nifty (as per lot size of 75), and you may start to panic. Agreed a 20 point profit in a day will be great – but to get that you may have to cross a 10 point loss that is 7500 – that’s just too much to bear and you may exit.
If you are a technical trader you will get confused between seeing the MTM (Mark to Margin) loss or profits of too many lots. and watching the signals.
The MTM loss will create anxiety which may force you to exit the trade without reaching its goal.
Focusing primarily on making and losing money makes anyone fearful and greedy. You should hide your unrealized PNL when you trade to reduce trade anxiety and minimize emotions.
3. Have A Proper and Well Optimized Trading System
Though I do not believe in back testing a technical analyst has back tested my strategies and found them to be good.
This is his email:
As promised, here is the testimonial.
I am a full time trader since last 4 years. I took your course 7 months back and was really impressed. I had read lot of books before that but your strategy 2 rang the bell in my head.
I backtested 2 years of 15 minutes data of Nifty (Amibroker) and kept on playing with some parameters. I noticed that when VIX > 17 and Nifty premium received ( from Strategy 1) > 0.004 of Nifty current value, results were superb.
In last 7 months, I took 8 trades and all were profitable. The best thing about this strategy is it is scale-able. Right now I am doing it on 14 lots.
Once again thanks for sharing your knowledge.
Please don’t share my name
Though a back tested strategy is not front tested at least it gives you confidence to trade. If you can back test a strategy and found it to be good it will reduce your anxiety and you will be able to trade well. You will not unnecessary panic and take a bad trade.
This makes entering and exiting positions a lot easier. You always know what you will be doing, and therefore have a lot less anxiety and stress in your trading. When you have defined rules, you will not change your trading pattern. Without defined trading rules you are just gambling.
4. Move From Smaller Time Frames to Longer Time Frames
There is no reason to stick to intraday trading if you are not good at it. I have worked with many students and found that some are very busy in their job yet want to do intraday trading. If intraday trading is not realistic it’s better to trade longer time frames where you get enough time to book profits.
A mind free of clutters is very important to trade. You cannot do job with one hand and trade with another. If you do you will fail in both. I was caught red handed trading in office and was immediately sacked by my boss the same day. Do not let that happen to you.
If intraday trading is not for you better change your trading style and trade positional trades.
5. Pre-define Your Stops Which Includes Loss and Profits
If you pre-define your profit target and your stop loss you are better off psychologically. This will reduce anxiety. If you do not know how much you want to make or lose in the trade then your anxiety will increase. Pre-defining it keeps your emotions in control.
Peace your stop loss and target in the system once your trade is live. And then it’s better not to look at the trades and let the system take control.
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Dilip Shaw, Founder
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