If you’re trading properly, it should be boring. You should be doing nothing most of the time and you need to learn to embrace, to even enjoy doing nothing in the market, because as I will explain in today’s lesson, a bored trader is often a successful trader.
Boring is ‘beautiful’ in trading because it usually means you’re making money over the long-term. As opposed to the traders who are on an up and down thrill-ride through the market that is defined by high highs and even lower lows, a successful trader knows more or less what to expect each day as he or she enters their trading room. They know what they will do if X, Y or Z happens, they have a plan, they control themselves rather than let themselves be controlled by the ups and downs of the market, so for them, trading is basically boring.
Money is attracted to a trader that can control himself or herself, not to a trader who is all over the map and has no consistency, logic or discipline in his or her trading. Controlling yourself, is usually ‘boring’ by most accounts, because it usually means not giving into temptation and to how you feel in the moment. However, as you probably know, controlling yourself is also the way you achieve long-term goals that can change your life and which are much more meaningful than any short-term temptation.
Let’s discuss why boring is ‘beautiful’ in trading so that you will learn why you need to make trading ‘boring’ if you want to start making money in the market…
Trading is not your daily / nightly entertainment.
All too often, traders look for entertainment from the market, and even if they aren’t purposefully ‘looking’ for entertainment, the way that they trade certainly provides it. Trading can certainly be enjoyable, especially if you’re making money each month, but experiencing ‘entertainment’ and getting a thrill out of trading are the wrong outcomes to be looking for.
Based on my experiences and observations, if you feel entertained or excited by trading, be warned, it’s a sign that you’re trading improperly and it will lead to your downfall in the long-term, both mentally and financially.
If you feel excited, thrilled, angry or frustrated, each week in the market, you are not trading properly and you’re experiencing too much emotion as a result. Your day-to-day trading mindset should be one of clarity, calm and be relatively boring if you’re trading properly. If you trade in this manner over a long enough period of time, say 6 months to a year, you will eventually see consistent results and profits, and at that point, it’s OK to experience satisfaction and to be content with your trading performance.
Thus, you should be aiming for a longer-term feeling of contentedness and satisfaction with your trading results, and this will only come if your day-to-day and weekly trading experience is not marked by extreme highs and lows, but with consistency and a feeling of being ‘bored’, which is the result of trading with proper patience and discipline. Trading in this way will lead to a meaningful type of happiness with your trading that you will not achieve otherwise.
A boring day-to-day trading routine is a good trading routine
Trading is not a casino, it’s not a game, and it’s not here to entertain us. We need to show up to the office and perform the transactions we need to and let the market do the work. We must have outlets outside of trading so that trading does not become our main source of mental stimulation and excitement.
The daily routine of a trader should be boring and we shouldn’t try to fight that or try to find a way out of that feeling. If you are feeling bored with your trading then that means you’re probably on the right track.
If we let trading become our main source of mental simulation it will only lead to addiction, over-trading and obsessive screen watching and ‘zombification’. Do anything and everything to find another outlet… or suffer the financial consequences.
Trades take time, much more time than you think
It’s typical of the retail trader to not understand how long trades actually take to pan out, and it’s typical that they will question themselves and what they are doing when nothing is happening, i.e., no open trades and no signals. It’s almost like they want or need something to happen, so they end up forcing something (over-trading). You can’t make something boring un-boring, and the frank reality is a solid winning trade is painfully boring to watch unfold over a series of days and weeks (all the more reason to not sit there watching your trades!), embrace this, and when you feel it, it means you’re probably doing something right. If your heart’s not pumping and you don’t feel the butterflies in your stomach (you feeling nothing)… that’s a very good place to be for a trader, because it probably means you’re trading properly!
You need to trade ‘as if’
Most of you reading this are probably trading relatively small accounts and so you face a daily temptation to want to build that small account as fast as possible. This feeling can cause you to over-trade and risk too much per trade, which will result in you actually losing money as fast as possible, instead of making it. Trading in this way is also very exciting, so it’s no surprise it causes you to lose money.
I have written before about trading as if you’re a hedge fund manager. Think about it, if you had millions of dollars under your control, especially if some of that money belonged to powerful investors who expected you to deliver them a decent return at year’s end, you would not be taking stupid risks with that money, i.e. over-trading and over-leveraging. Essentially, you’d be taking relatively small, calculated risks relative to the amount of money you had to trade with, this would make trading boring each day. This is how you need to trade now, even if you only have a $2,000 account, you need to ‘pretend’ as if it’s a $2,000,000 account.
The principles of trading success are the same; if you can trade successfully over the course of a year on a 2k account, you could do it on a 2 million dollar account as well. The reality however, is that most people trading with a 2k account will blow it out after 3 or 4 months, because they are trading with too much excitement as a result of trying too hard to make too much money too fast.
Think of it like this, excitement in trading is the direct result of trading in a manner that is too risky relative to your trading account size. So, if you’re managing risk properly and not over-trading, you should feel bored each day as you trade the market. But you should know that the more days and weeks you succeed in feeling bored with your trading, the greater chance you have of achieving long-term success in the market, which will bring a deep satisfaction and happiness that you will never get if you’re instead trading in a very excited, roller-coaster of emotions manner.
To get on the track to making your trading ‘boring’, you need to learn a simple trading method that won’t confuse you or cloud up your charts. The simplicity, and some might even say ‘boring’ nature of price action trading, is perhaps the best representation of why ‘boring is beautiful’ in trading. To learn the true power and ‘boring-beauty’ of my simple price action trading strategies, checkout my price action course and members community for more information.