Trading Rules – Do You Have the Discipline to Follow It?

contributed by Eli Radke, TraderHabits

I was told from an early age that discipline was important.  It started with my 6’5” Marine father with the “Born to Raise Hell” tattoo and was constantly echoed by my coaches all the way through college.  I will be honest I never really stopped to think about why discipline was important.  It was just a way of life.

Benefits of Discipline

Discipline gives confidence. The confidence comes from getting past the mental hurdles.  If you promised yourself that you were going to run 3 times a week and are lying in bed dreading it but decide to run anyway you will almost always find that it was not as bad as it seems. Said another way, discipline makes it easier to take the hardest step, the first one.  A habit.

Discipline in trading

Discipline in trading means following your rules.  Rules are the guidelines in which you execute every trade.  Discipline may take some of the emotion out of trading but its purpose is to prevent you from acting on those emotions.  Emotions are like alcohol they make you do things that you would not normally do and makes it hard to remember why you did.

To me, that is the most important benefit of discipline.

Being disciplined prevents duplicate copies.  What are duplicate copies?   For example, if you take a trade and it is successful, you will always look to make that trade again. That success gives you positive reinforcement.  In the beginning you are never worried about why you are making money.  Let me clear up which “why” I am talking about because it is important.  I am not talking about the philosophy of the trade I am talking about why at that moment the trade worked.  The “why it worked” when you break your rules can never be answered.   Duplicate copies causes hesitation and uncertainty. It takes up valuable space and leads you down the wrong path.

The best way to prevent duplicate copies is always be disciplined.

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