Have you ever sat down in front of your charts, scanned through your 30+ pairs, noticed a whole bunch of setups that you should trade and then….done nothing.
I’m willing to bet this is a problem faced by most traders at times.
You’re paralysed somehow. You’ve done your backtesting, you have profitable strategies to unleash but you just don’t. You cycle through your charts again. The same setups stare you in the face. You decide to watch the setups for a bit. Maybe with a bit of ‘further confirmation’ you’ll get in.
Further confirmation comes, but again, you just watch. Your mind has gone full monkey brain as you try to decide which pair is best, which system to trade, which setup looks the juiciest…You’re just lost in your charts.
The opportunity passes by and you miss your trade.
Buridan’s Ass isn’t an animal – it’s philosophical principle. It killed the poor donkey and it’ll kill your trading too.
Imagine a situation where an equally hungry and thirsty donkey is standing between trough of water and a bale of hay. Because he is just as thirsty as he is hungry, he can’t choose where to go first so he dies of both thirst and hunger.
The donkey is crippled by choice, hamstrung by free will. No one has chained him up – it’s only his own indecision that kills him.
Markets offer you the same choice every day. The markets are packed with too much opportunity. And when this opportunity overwhelms, you’re just as stuck as that poor donkey. This is something I still struggle with.
What can you do about it?
Keeping with the animal theme, the first and most important thing you need to do is:
1. Talk turkey
Be honest with yourself if you’ve ever experienced this yourself. Maybe it’s something you’re struggling with all the time but you haven’t acknowledged it yet. Now is your chance, because it’s holding you back. Then it’s time to
2. Forgive yourself
You’ve been caught out like the poor donkey. OK. Let’s accept that mistake, and move on. I’m the last person who’s going to call you out for it. Let’s put energy into problem solving rather.
3. Ruthlessly cut your choices
You don’t need to trade 30 pairs. You can trade just one.
Pick one pair, and one strategy to trade on it. You’re going to hurt doing this – the hurt is going to come when you feel like you’re missing out. When you hear about a marked making a huge move in a day and you’re not participating, you’ll be tempted to start adding more pairs again. Resist! Think back to the days of being a paralysed trader. That pain in is far worse than missing a move today. Remember, the market is full of opportunity, including the pair you’re trading. Be patient, trust your system and your week/day/hour will come.