“How to manage the emotions of trading?” asked Tony Buzan when I read his new book, “The Future of Trading”, a few weeks ago. For those who have been around in the trading arena for a while, you know that this question and answer are a standard line, almost a mantra of sorts. I didn’t have high expectations for this book and found that most of what it said rings true for me. The techniques and strategies that Buzan discusses, especially relating to emotions, ring very true for me and many of the professional traders who I have studied over the years.
In his book, Buzan explores ten different emotions that are related to trading, and how they can impact your ability to succeed or cause you major headaches. These are fear, greed, anticipation, doubt, fear of failure, indecision, and optimism. The ten emotions of trading that are covered in great detail by Buzan are some of the most difficult for a trader to overcome in his or her career. And this is without even mentioning emotions related to each of the sub-emotions mentioned in the book. If you are experiencing these emotions, this book will help you manage them more effectively in your trading.
The first sub emotion that is discussed in great detail in The Future of Trading is indecision. This is one of the major problems facing most beginning traders. This is due primarily to lack of knowledge, but also because traders themselves cannot decide what they should do with their money. The book’s pages are chocked full of strategies and manuals to help you get better at making decisions.
Fear is another emotion that many traders suffer from. They simply cannot stand fear. As Buzan points out, this can be a major problem, as decisions must be made. He makes learning about and managing this emotion one of the main points of the book. He even goes so far as to say that a trader should “divert” from their emotional reaction and use a “logic” approach to their trading.
Anger is perhaps the most common emotion that causes traders to make bad decisions in their futures trading. While it is natural to be frustrated or angry when you miss a trade or are otherwise messed up in the market, you must learn to keep it under control. The book includes a number of strategies for controlling your anger and learning how to manage it. While some of the strategies in the book may seem a little too simple to work, many will prove to be invaluable to your trading career.
Lastly, frustration is a common trigger that causes many to give up and quit. It is not uncommon to go through a large amount of ups and downs in a trading career and have major mood swings. Most traders are able to bounce back from these negative emotions and still make a profit. The book provides information that can be implemented to help minimize these negative emotions and learn to stay calm.
However, some of the advice in this book may seem a bit skewed. For example, some of the advice suggests that technical analysis does not really have anything to do with futures markets. While it is true that technical analysis is not completely useless in determining a swing trading strategy, I do not necessarily believe that it is the best way to apply your analysis skills. This book would benefit more individuals if they were to take all of the information in this book and apply it to their own personal trading.
How to manage the emotions of trading is a very helpful guide for novice and advanced traders alike. Though it does tend to differ from more traditional methods of investing, the concepts it contains are sound. This book is worth reading by any serious futures trader. The strategies within it are effective and will help you become a better trader.