Trading Psychology : What, if anything, tempts you into reckless behaviour?

Trading is often about how to take the appropriate risk without exposing yourself to very human flaws.
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FrogThimble
Posts: 124
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:26 pm

Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:16 pm

What, if anything, tempts you into reckless behaviour?

I'm curious as to how the more experienced and successful traders gained your self-discipline and what stupid things you used to do before you achieved that. Also, what reckless behaviours are those of us who still haven't learned self-discipline engaging in?


I've noticed one dangerous trait in my own trading behaviour. It seems that, psychologically, I am willing to accept any loss on any trade except for a loss that more than wipes out the day's profits so far. When that happens I tend to get frustrated and either up my stakes or try a full on gamble in the next event.


This manifested again today. 12 trades into this afternoon I had got my bank up 4% on start of play. Then I executed a bad trade on the Cork 2:25pm and lost 5% of my bank... taking me down to 1% below where I'd started the day. I know full well that that shouldn't be a big deal but I got annoyed with myself and upped the stakes on the next race (Haydock 2:30pm) to try to get back above my starting point. It went badly wrong and I found myself 14% below my starting point for the day. So, even more frustrated, I tried a full on gamble against the favourite in the next race (Newmarket 2:35pm) and this time I won and recovered to a new high point for the day... but I could just as easily have lost a third of my bank doing that! I got lucky but I didn't deserve to.


I think one of my issues is that I am psychologically treating each day as a distinct event rather than treating each race as a distinct event. I always want to be "up on the day" whereas logically the dividing line between different days is a false distinction.

iambic_pentameter
Posts: 316
Joined: Wed May 18, 2016 1:24 pm

Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:32 pm

Interesting to read your post, Frog and it's an ongoing battle that I am slowly winning.

I just lost on a B2L trade in the last race at Ascot and not that long ago, I'd have revenge traded the next race but as it happens, I've shut down guardian and once I've finished this reply, will go for a walk and a cup of tea and have at least 15 minutes off before I start trading again.

FrogThimble
Posts: 124
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:26 pm

Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:42 pm

Hi iambic-pentameter :)

Thanks for the reply... Your use of the term "revenge trade" really struck me. I've not come across that before but it describes it really well and illustrates what a destructive urge it can be. Good for you for taking time out to settle the mind... that's clearly what I need to learn to do.

Jukebox
Posts: 466
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:07 pm

Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:42 pm

Taking four steps forward then five steps back is no fun but is something you can work on, review etc. You could have carried on trading the next couple instead of gambling them and putting everything at risk - and learning nothing either. You do have to decide if you are learning to trade or gambling. Maybe your stakes are higher than you're comfortable with at the moment if by 2:30 on a Saturday afternoon a five step backward trade triggered your reaction. Its easy to scale them down for now.
Last edited by Jukebox on Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Euler
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Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:44 pm

Women?

FrogThimble
Posts: 124
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:26 pm

Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:52 pm

Jukebox wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:42 pm
Taking four steps forward then five steps back is no fun but is something you can work on, review etc. You could have carried on trading the next couple instead of gambling them and putting everything at risk - and learning nothing either. You do have to decide if you are learning to trade or gambling. Maybe your stakes are higher than you're comfortable with at the moment if by 2:30 on a Saturday afternoon a five step backward trade triggered your reaction. Its easy to scale them down for now.
It wasn't going 5 steps backwards as such that triggered my reaction. It was going below my starting point for the day. 4 steps forward and 5 steps back... even 2 forwards and 10 back don't bother me if I'm still ahead by even a penny on where I started the day. As I said, I can take losses in my stride unless they take me below my start for the day. I took bigger losses during the middle stages of yesterday without doing anything daft in response.

FrogThimble
Posts: 124
Joined: Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:26 pm

Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:54 pm

Euler wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:44 pm
Women?

What? :? If you're asking whether I'm male or female then the answer is that I'm male. If that's not what you're asking then I don't know what you are asking...

Jukebox
Posts: 466
Joined: Thu Sep 06, 2012 8:07 pm

Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:58 pm

Euler wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:44 pm
Women?
I don't doubt that a woman could invoke reckless behaviour in you Euler - but I doubt it would take the form of a third of your bank in full on gamble in the 2:35 at Newmarket.

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Euler
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Sat Aug 11, 2018 4:26 pm

FrogThimble wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:54 pm
Euler wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:44 pm
Women?

What? :? If you're asking whether I'm male or female then the answer is that I'm male. If that's not what you're asking then I don't know what you are asking...
What, if anything, tempts you into reckless behaviour?

Women have historically tempted me into reckless behaviour

Derek27
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Sat Aug 11, 2018 5:02 pm

Euler wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 3:44 pm
Women?
:lol: Funny how after reading a few posts you easily forget the title of the topic!

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