Take Your Excuses and Go Find a Job: Why Day Trading Gets a Bad Rap



1. “I don’t want to exit and take my loss” Excuses, failures, excuses
Poor baby. All big losers started as smaller losers. You need to define the entry point in advance, as well as the exit point and the target point. KNOW YOUR PAYDAY:  Make sure that you stick to the plan. Discipline is the name of the game. The problem begins when you need to stick to a stop loss but find BS reasons to move the stop. It’s called denial. Let me know how that works for you. Do you want to trade and be your own boss or go get a job?

2. “I’ll wait until my losing trade returns to my buy price, then exit.” Excuses, excuses, excuses.
Horrible idea:  As if the market cares at all if your stock price advances. You know what? Even if it does advance you are conditioning yourself to make terrible decisions. We all have limitations on our trading account, so if you are tying up good money on a bad trader and horrible idea, you’re an ass and deserve to lose. I on the other hand would have exited my bad trade to open up the equity in my account so I can begin to make good decisions and reenter the market fresh. Do you want to trade and be your own boss or go get a job?

3. “I can get in, but can’t get out” Excuses, failures, excuses
New traders, in contrast to experienced traders, exit wining trades too quickly, and exit losing shares too late. Instead of exiting a successful trade all at once, begin to exit a percentage of your shares into strength, then you can raise the Stop on the remaining position, allowing yourself multiple opportunities of increased profit while defining your stop. This allows you to improve on increasing your profitable trades. Why would you decide to buy multiple shares and exit all of them while the trade is working? Reason: Because you’re clueless! Continue sticking to the trend of a winning trade. Remember the first rule of every trader: The trend is your friend. Get educated. Do you want to trade and be your own boss or go get a job?

4. “I lost $100 on FB so I am going to take this $100 profit on GLD” Excuses, failures, excuses
As if the success of GLD has anything to do with the failure of FB.  Forget about a recent loss, as hard as that may be and focus on your next trade, not your thoughtless decision to exit a winning trade because you just lost in another Every trading action stands in its own right without any connection to your mood. WAKE UP AND STOP THE EXCUSES! Do you want to trade and be your own boss or go get a job?

5. “I am bored, Let me see what I can find to trade.” Excuses, failures, excuses
MISTAKE: Boredom trading is the perfect storm for losing your money. The market couldn’t care less that you are bored and apparently neither can you if you decide to boredom trade. This is almost a guaranteed recipe to lose your money.  My strategy on every trade?……I look for reasons NOT to do the trade and when I genuinely  can’t find one, I enter. It is too convenient and expensive to think in the opposite. Do you want to trade and be your own boss or go get a job?

7. “I should have traded differently.” Excuses, excuses, excuses.
It’s easy to say that. Trust your senses, trust the knowledge you have accumulated or get the education that is needed to be successful. The path to success is covered with lessons from losing. Write in your journal every damn day people! Do you want to trade and be your own boss or go get a job?

8. “I will ‘average down’ just this one time.”Excuses, failures, excuses

What? Really?
You can do this all you’d like. I on the other hand, respect my money far too much to throw good money after bad. You either have the disciplines needed (below) or your part of your own problem. Stop giving us a bad name. Do you want to trade and be your own boss or go get a job?
9. I “only”  Scalps. Excuses, excuses, excuses.
“Scalping is a way of trading but not the only way of trading. I like it because it reduces my market exposure which in turn reduces my risk but also reduces my reward, it’s a trade off.  Experienced traders can make a lot of money from scalping, but to live on scalps alone is a difficult game, so learn additional techniques . A good trader should diversify his trading portfolio and strategies to accommodate all types of trading markets. Be active in different time ranges, including long term investments. Focusing on only a short term time frame alone is a bad idea. Do you want to trade and be your own boss or go get a job?

10. “It’s my mentors fault.” Excuses, failures, excuses
Own up to you responsibilities. It’s always easy to blame someone else  Having taught more then a thousand students, I pleases me to see my students learning, evolving from their mistakes. It is no ones fault but your own. If I give a trader advice and he takes a loss on the trade and decided to point his finger, I assure you, he will never get another lesson from me except that he has burned the holy grail of trading rule and that is to never burn a bridge, especially when he is trying to help you.  Some suffered tough periods of losses, and they understood that a teacher, as good as he is, can only supply the fishing rod; never the fish.  Should a person who failed in his profession blame the lecturer? The capital markets are known for showing a lack of gratitude. Have you ever encountered an investor that thanked his portfolio manager for a nice annual profit? No, because “the stock market advanced, it had nothing to do with him.” Not everyone is suited to the market and the market does not suit everyone. Some knew this, but at least they tried and acknowledged their failures. I am ashamed of those few who will remain nameless who blamed others for their losses.  “A man can fail, but he is not a failure until he blames someone else.” Do you want to trade and be your own boss or go get a job?

So, what have we learn here? Well, mostly we have learned that after 25 years of successfully trading I am fed up with the excuses of wannabe “day traders” who have no discipline, nothing to offer, blame others and give our profession a black eye.  Do it correctly, no shortcuts, get educated, appreciate those trying to help you (if you’re lucky enough to have someone) and never ever forget you are a FAILING trader and will remain a FAILURE if you do not start taking the following 4 mandatory skill sets as seriously as your health:

  1. Discipline
  2. Patience
  3. Money management
  4. Control of emotions

If you have them all, respect them and never compromise them you are one of us and are positioned to succeed. If you have less then all 4, do yourself and all of us trading for a living a favor and go find a job. We will be fine without you and please, say hi to your boss for me.

I’m just tired of all the same excuses and after 25 years you got to read about it.

YOU CAN DO THIS! Stop the BS already and do it like the pros, the correct way.

No excuses!


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Daniel Reply

Great article.

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