Tuesday, March 19, 2013

You worried? I'm not...

The market conditions this week have proven once again the benefits of having a complete trading system, particularly with regard to risk.

While I have been stopped out of one position this week, the remainder have held up relatively well. Some positions have continued to move upwards despite all the news surrounding Cyprus and the Eurozone. Above all, by having a strong respect for risk and an acceptance that I may get stopped out of one or more of my positions at any time, it has reinforced the 'emotional indifference' to the markets and my positions that I have.

Only by having those elements in place can you hope to be a long-term participant in the markets. Short-term volatility caused by events such as those seen this week will come and go, and will continue in the future. If you are attempting to follow trends, you cannot afford to agonise over every tick on a chart. If you are, then I'd suggest that your are risking too much either on an individual position, or you have too many positions open at one time.

In Market Wizards, Jack Schwager made a point of mentioning how one or two of the traders seemed to be so relaxed during the course of the interview, even though when checking prices afterwards, he could see that their positions were getting hammered in the markets. People can only gain this degree of 'serenity' when a) they have complete confidence in their method, and b) they have a healthy regard for risk.

If your overall portfolio risk is under control, then all you need do is update your stops as required in accordance with your own system rules. If you are refraining from opening any new positions at the current time, then it only takes a matter of minutes to do that, then you can switch off your trading platform and get on with your life.

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