Day Trading Misconception #3 – Stress and Chaos

Whenever we watch any Wall Street movie, TV show or commercial we constantly see men screaming, yelling, freaking out, plowing over each other for the best buy/sell opportunity.  Or blatant insider-buying or other form of corruptions landing you in prison or broke.

This image is so ingrained in our minds that anything other than total stress mayhem, dirty or early heart attacks simply feel wrong to think about.

What if I told you that day trading can be a meditative practice?

A practice of peace and letting go? A positive activity involving no backstabbing or stealing.   

I know it sounds so out of this world and out of reach you’re probably thinking I’m completely insane.

Maybe I am?

However, wouldn’t you rather be calm and enjoying yourself, than biting your nails until they bleed and having ulcers as a direct result of the unnecessary stress you think you should be experiencing.

Let’s break this down and take it further.

Let’s pretend you have a really big exam coming up. The Bar Exam is upon you. The normal route before the exam is studying for months on end. Practicing with old exams, or fake ones. Enrolling a tutor to help you advance, or putting yourself in a course.  

How would you feel the day of the exam? You’ll be nervous, for sure. If you weren’t you’d be dead. However, chances are you’d feel confident. You know deep down inside you have done all you can possibly do to take this exam. Even though your jittery, by the time the exam is placed in front of you, you are in the zone. All anxiety and concern flows away and you are left with your best self and actually find that you enjoy the process.

Now, let’s go to the opposite extreme. The Bar Exam is coming. You figure you’ll skim through a book, maybe talk to someone who has taken the exam and they told you it’s not too hard (because they did all the above preparation), and then you finally decide the weekend before to study rather than go out partying.

Two things can happen from here:

1. The weekend you decide to ‘study’ you realize what you’ve gotten yourself into.

Or

2. Come into the exam cocky thinking you can beat the system without studying only to open up the exam book and immediately feel vomit creeping up on you because you are fully screwed.

Lack of preparation, overconfidence and cockiness equals HARD CORE STRESS.

Normally (non professional) day traders or people completely misinformed who listen to naysayers and take advice from someone’s grandma always go through serious stress, because deep down inside they know they didn’t do their homework. They don’t have a good trading strategy to fall back on and zero risk management to cover their asses.

And the footage we see from the New York Stock Exchange of the floor brokers in the pit screaming and yelling, it’s just how it is. It’s kind of like telling the auctioneer to stop yelling ten miles a minute instead or talking in a calm voice. It’s simply a role they have to play, one that has nothing to do with us.   

Oh, I won’t even go into corruption.

Corruption happens everywhere, in every industry, at every level. If I was to talk about corruption I can show you examples of it everywhere. Why even go there?

We are trading in the comforts of our own homes, with our own money.

Who’s hurting whom?

Maybe for Hollywood movies and Wallstreet big shots going the corruption route is part of their game. It’s definitely not part of ours.

So anything that even remotely floats through your mind about how evil, greedy or corrupt this field is, think of any other industry and realize it happens everywhere. There is no reason it should happen in your home unless that is where you want to go.  

And as for stress. If you’re prepared, if you did all your homework and put in the hours and have a solid plan, then once you’re in your trade – let go and relax. Remember, you did your job.

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