It’s Ok To Take A Break From Trading

take a break from trading | man standing in corner near desk

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know that I’ve shared many of my own lessons learned over the years. At this point, I’ve been trading full-time for 16 years and counting. I’ve made every mistake imaginable – some more than once. As much as I value my college education, nothing I learned could prepare me for the daily battles I face as an options trader. I’ve had to take a break from trading more than once, and I’m here to tell you that it’s OK.

Trading is exhilarating and exhausting

I love trading. I love the excitement and the challenge of deciphering the charts and technicals so I can earn a living. I’m always asking myself, “Do I have an edge? Can I make money today and build my wealth for the future?” I put my skills to the test every day. Usually, the outcome is good, but sometimes it’s … not. At times, I’ve wanted to beat my head against the wall. “How did I misread the signals?” I mutter to myself.

Sometimes you’re the hammer, sometimes you’re the nail.

In order to be the hammer, I rely on charts, technical indicators, sentiment indicators, and time-tested historical data. Analyzed together, I can create a nice story about the future action in a stock or index. This has been my go-to approach for years, and I have been mostly successful (I even wrote a book about it!).

However, just because I think I have a clear view of a trend doesn’t mean that my trade will be successful. Sometimes stocks don’t move when I want them to. Sometimes a black swan event (hello pandemic) throws everything into a tailspin. Unless I act quickly, my once-promising trade could lead to a loss if I’m not careful.

It’s OK to take a break from trading

A few losses can lead to a trading slump. I’ve been there many, many times. When this happens, it’s OK to take a break from trading. Step back for a few days and observe. You can learn just as much from watching the action with little or no risk on the line as you can actively trading.

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