Trading Psychology: Painful versus Hurtful

Added on by C. Maoxian.

I learned the following idea from Jeff Davis, who is a wise man and a veteran trader.

When you’re trading, it’s important to distinguish between things that are hurtful and things that are painful. For example, if you don’t take a trade that goes in your favor, that’s hurtful but not painful. If you’re in a trade and get stopped out at breakeven, only to watch it go in your favor, that’s hurtful but not painful.

Painful is when you actually take a loss, there is real harm done (even when it’s a planned, controlled loss). Missed profits are not painful. You don’t want to equate missed profits with actual losses in your mind. You have to be very careful about this. Your mind will play all sorts of tricks on you, so you have to stay right on top of it.

So the next time you get tricked out of a position (or “juked” out as my buddy Smash likes to say), quickly ask yourself, was that truly painful or merely hurtful?