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The right mindset to deal with drawdowns

Drawdowns are an unavoidable fact in trading that's tough to deal with. But you probably already noticed that and might have encountered some of the serious issues this can lead to during your trading career. Maybe you tend to stop trading a system or switch systems always at the wrong time. Or worse. But as I've written about these issues before, here's a mindset that has helped me a lot to deal with drawdowns in the long run.

Things got a lot easier for me once I started to treat trading a system or just following a specific trading plan or strategy like an investment. Let me explain.

Let's say you believe in the success and growth of a certain company, Apple for example. Therefore you decide to invest a certain amount of money in it and buy the stock. You get in at $100. Right after you bought the price of the stock goes down to $95. You're down 5% and probably a little bit disappointed about your bad timing. If you're sane that's where you stop worrying. You won't start questioning your investment because the price of the stock dropped $5. You still believe in the company, nothing fundamental changed so you just keep your stocks. A year later Apple trades at $140 and you're quite happy but it might have been a volatile journey up to $135 during the year. Again though that's no big issue as you expect this. Stock prices can be volatile and you don't expect them to move higher in a straight line!

Why not apply the same mindset to trading a system? Take a certain amount of money and invest it into the strategy. As long as you believe in the strategy and the drawdown is within what you expect, why worry? Just keep on trading it, stop worrying about the daily ups and down and questioning it on every little drawdown. Of course, if something fundamental changes or you hit unexpected drawdowns you act. But otherwise, it really helps to treat it like an investment, leave it alone and let it do its thing. 

 

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Saturday, 25 November 2017

Derivative transactions, including futures, are complex and carry a high degree of risk. They are intended for sophisticated investors and are not suitable for everyone. There are numerous other factors related to the markets in general or to the implementation of any specific trading program which cannot be fully accounted for in the preparation of hypothetical performance results, and all of which can adversely affect actual trading results. For more information, see the Risk Disclosure Statement for Futures and Options.