Today I continue my mini-series of 5 articles with a new article. I will complete this series on Friday. Every day I publish a brief article. The focus of the series is on the “Pillars of Trading in Modern Markets”.
Risk management, simply put, is the discipline and practice of protecting the trader’s capital. I have a rule in my trading – and its called PPC, Protect Precious Capital (rule #1). And this rule is rooted in a simple fact: “when the money is gone, the game is over”.
So what I mean, is to avoid coming to that point where you realize that your financial and emotional capitals are done and gone. To avoid this unfortunate outcome (that affect regularly a very large number of traders), you have to start taking control of the situation in an informed and practical way right from the start.
You have to do whatever it takes to protect your capital. And the first thing you have to do is to stop deceiving yourself that trading is easy and that next 100% “big trade” will happen soon enough and will cover up for your previous losses. I have lost money myself thinking like that and I regularly watch and talk to inexperienced traders who think that they can risk 10%, 20%, and sometimes even 100% (when they trade without stops) of their capital on one trade, only to discover that if they put pressure and expectations in their trading, they end up “imposing” their expectations to on Mr. Market.
But as we all know, markets can be highly unpredictable. Anything can happen, and this is a fundamental truth of trading. There is nothing we can impose on something that is totally free and wild like Mr. Market. We can have positive anticipations, but certainly no expectations.
When we deal with our capital we have to distinguish between financial capital and emotional capital, and keep them separate. Understanding of the former is quite straightforward: it’s the money you have in your trading account. But the latter is trickier. This is a measure of our confidence level in trading. If we lose confidence we become unable to act and make money. In fact, when act without confidence, it’s a sure-shot way of losing money.
Note: Confidence is always the combination of Knowledge + Proof. If we experience a streak of losses we lose the ‘Proof’ part of the equation. So we lose confidence even if we know very well how to trade a good system. In a status of no confidence, generated by a low emotional capital, we are not able to generate profits in the markets.
I have talked extensively about Risk Management in my last Webinar on FXStreet.com which can be watched here:
Till then stay tuned. My topic for tomorrow will be Money Management.
Have a great day.