After a Losing E-Mini Trade, Can You Keep Your Emotions Under Control?

There is certainly no shortage of articles pertaining to e-mini trading and emotions. While many of these articles are quite helpful, there are a slew of articles that are unhelpful nonsense. Typically these marginal articles suggest that you must rid your mind of emotions and trade in a “psychologically blank” state of mind.I don’t know about you, but trading creates a new wide range of emotions for me to consider. I am absolutely helpless in controlling my subconscious psychological reactions to mistakes that I have made or trades that simply do not work as planned. I have yet to meet a trader who is a without emotional response. For that matter, I’ve yet to meet an individual who is devoid of emotion.It is my contention that we all experience similar emotions in response to both successful and unsuccessful trades. The key to trading in a healthy of emotional state lies in how we deal with our emotions. I firmly believe that it is impossible to attain a truly emotionless state. A losing trade creates of frustration or disappointment and the there is little we can do to not feel these emotions. Conversely, a highly successful trade creates a feeling of happiness, contentment, and a sense of accomplishment. In short, we are not robots.That being said, I think that learning to manage our emotions is the key to trading with the proper psychological/emotional outlook. I have met few traders who, after a losing trade, go on a tirade of cursing and complaining (usually in a relatively high decibel range) that can maintain a proper emotional state of mind. For most people, I believe keeping our emotions in check is the best possible solution we can attain. On the other hand, the e-mini trader who goes into a euphoric celebratory rant is usually setting himself/herself up for all the problems associated with overly emotional trading. For a trader that has just experienced a disappointing losing trade, he or she may:• He or she may be tempted to take a “revenge trade.” No one likes to see those red numbers on their P and L total, and it is tempting to rush into a trade to get back to breakeven or better as soon as possible.• For a trader who has just lost a trade, there is a temptation to trade a higher number of contracts than normal, usually exceeding the risk parameters he or she has set up and their trading plan.• Up for a trader who has just lost a trade, there is a temptation to initiate a trade of all lower probability that he or she normally initiateOn the flip side of the coin, a trader who has just hit a great trade may:• A trader who has won several trades in succession may experience a sense of euphoria, which can lead to the mistaken thinking pattern of believing any trade the trader takes his going to be a winner.• Just like the losing trader, a trader on a hot streak may trade more contracts than his or her trading plan allows. After all, if you are hot… Why not maximize your earnings?• Also the similar to the losing trader, a trader on a winning streak may initiate trades of lower probability, thinking he or she will win regardless of the probability of that trade succeedingAs you can see, the trading result of the emotionally charged trader is the similar whether the trader is winning or losing and illustrates my point is that we all feel and experience similar emotions; it’s how we handle those emotions that differentiates between and he emotion driven trade and a well thought out trade set up. Invariably, the well-thought-out set up will produce superior results in the long haul. While we cannot control how we react, at the emotional level, to the consequences of a trade; we need to be in complete control (and critically aware) of how our emotions may affect trading decisions. We cannot rely on emotion driven thinking to make e-mini trading decisions; we must stick to our e-mini trading plan and make proper trading decisions regardless of how happy or unhappy we are with the previous trade. This skill evolves as a trader gains experience and trading acumen.

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