By Rob Colville on June 19, 2015 in
Let’s put strategy aside for a moment and examine what could be the most important trading question of all. And while it’s not about your win rate or profit margin, or even what market(s), set-up(s), and time frame(s) you trade, your answer is every bit as important, so give this plenty of thought.
Ready? OK, here goes: Are you having fun trading?
Now sure, your answer may vary and depend at least a little on the results of your current or most recent trade, but answer honestly whether or not you’re really having fun trading. If so, that’s great, and if not, well, it’s a problem we want to help you fix. Either way, though, let’s explore the role of fun in trading so everyone can have even more of it, just the way we all intended!
Sometimes lost in our continual efforts to learn, improve, and of course, make money is the fact that trading is supposed to be fun, too. So while we all probably track metrics related to the accuracy of our analysis, end profits, and (hopefully) plan compliance, few ever note their emotional status and recognize when and how they have the most fun trading…and that’s a shame!
Maybe this is something you should consider changing, because by making it one of your stated objectives to have fun trading, and tracking it in your mind—and more importantly, in your trade journal—you’ll help promote more enjoyment, identify what causes it, and make that a part of your daily trading process.
Now I know what you may be thinking, that having fun trading is all about making money, and I’ll be the first to agree that certainly helps! But end results don’t need to determine your level of enjoyment, and in fact, it shouldn’t.
That’s because there’s so much that’s fun about the whole trading process, and traders can easily miss or take it for granted if enjoyment depends only on the monetary result at the end of each trade.
Instead, make sure you embrace the thrill you may get at the moment of execution, the competitive drive you feel to be the best trader you can be, and the pride and rush you can feel each day as you pursue your goals. Enjoy the solitude, and the fact that you can control your own actions, decisions, and ultimately, your journey in the markets. It may not always be easy, but with a proper mindset, you can have fun trading more often than not, even when you experience those inevitable losing trades.
Loving the journey is a great way to have fun trading with every day, and while it works, that enjoyment is intangible in nature. So to get something from your trading that’s tangible, and that you can see and feel, reward yourself for positive results!
Make it your goal to go an entire week, or even a full month, with near-perfect plan compliance, and when you do it, reward yourself with a new gadget, golf club, or a fun activity with your spouse, children, or loved ones. Of course, never trade with just money and these material goals in mind, but instead, use them as collateral to support better and more consistent trading habits. Not only will you stand to improve your methods, and possibly your performance, but you’ll also earn real, tangible things that will make trading feel all the more fruitful and worthwhile…and that’s how to have more fun trading!
Trading is so many things, from complex and downright maddening, all the way to empowering and fulfilling, and everything in between. Amidst every emotion, though, it’s important to remember that it is supposed to be fun! Certainly not every minute of every trading day, mind you, but overall, you should be having fun trading at least, say, 80% of the time. So today I ask you, are you having enough fun trading?
I sincerely hope the answer is a resounding “Yes,” but if trading has gotten to feel more like a job to you at this point, take a hard look at why that is. Maybe you’re not making fun enough of a priority, or perhaps you’re too focused on money to see how much fun the complete trading process can be. Regardless, take consistent steps to have more fun trading, especially since that’s a big reason why we all started in the first place!