Learning From Losers

Traders will typically approach a large loss in one of two ways. First is the dumb way, and that is to become a petulant whiner and throw a fit. Next is the more-constructive way, and that is to use the loss as a means of developing as a trader and to “quote” — learn from your mistakes. But there is a third way. And that is to view the loss as the cost of information.

I don’t mean the cost of doing business per se. This is not typically associated with large losses. Small losses, yes. Because to make money you have to lose some along the way, as casinos do every day.  And not the cost of tuition where the market charges a fee to school us. No, I mean information.

Instead of asking yourself about where you placed your stops and getting all personal about the whole thing, ask yourself what happened. Why did the market move the way it did? If you haven’t suffered a capital depletion, you are not likely to demand an answer and more likely to throw off the question with a wave of the hand and a shrug. “Who knows, who cares. I only play odds.”

Markets are a beast and if you want to play with them, you’ll have to be careful. Wear protective goggles and gloves. If you want to tame them though, you’ll need to wrestle with them. And sometimes you lose some body parts along the way. 

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