Don’t be too hard on yourself

Frustration is the most common emotion a market participant will feel. I don’t care if you’re long or short or whether you use fundamentals or technicals; plucking money out of the market is damn hard. 

Malcolm Gladwell says it takes 10,000 hours of repetition before you can reasonably expect to be an expert in a certain field. The stock market is open for 6.5 hours a day, so all you need to do is trade for 1,538 trading days, or just over six years and you are on your road to vast fortunes and unbelievable frustration.

The reality is, markets are a 0 sum game and some rules don’t  apply. Markets aren’t governed by the laws of physics because irrational behavior knows no bounds. 

Learning to trade isn’t exactly analogous to learning how to play the guitar. A guitars’ strings don’t change every day, a flat note will always sound like a flat note and so on. However, in the market, things are not quite so constant. Breakouts often don’t stick and valuations often seem to not matter. 

Here is some good news; not only is perfect trading impossible, it isn’t necessary. What is absolutely critical is confidence and the right attitude.The odds are stacked against us every day, the last thing you need is another self-imposed obstacle. Not being too hard on yourself is one of the most important skills to learn that isn’t talked about nearly enough.

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