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How to Win Trading: Stop Leaving Profits on the Table

Lessons
Cover Image for How to Win Trading: Stop Leaving Profits on the Table
Sorakthun Ly

As a trader, I'm always analyzing my moves, always learning. The markets can be a ruthless teacher, but it's a teacher nonetheless. One of the lessons it taught me early on is this: Sometimes, it's not about the big wins; it's about not leaving profits on the table.

The Pitfall of Potential Big Wins

Let me paint a picture we're all too familiar with. You've studied the market trends, and you're certain about the direction of a trade. It starts off well; the profit shoots up, and you're riding high on optimism. But then, a slow reversal begins.

You're still convinced you're right. It's just a short-term fluctuation, you tell yourself. And you may be right. The long-term direction might hit exactly the price point that you were aiming for. But the intermediate price actions are nothing like what you predicted.

That's when you see it. Your stop loss gets hit, right before the price starts moving in your favor again.

The Story That Repeats

You're left looking at a considerable dent in your trading capital, wondering where it all went wrong. You had the potential for a good profit, but instead, you took a hit.

This is a story that repeats over and over again in the life of traders. But why does it happen? The root of the issue often lies in ignoring the short-term trend.

When we start seeing profits, it's easy to forget about the possibility of loss, especially if we believe that we're on the right track. But the market doesn't care about our trades.

Understanding the Market

Here's a sobering reality: The market is made up of many traders with different motivations. Some are swing trading, some are scalping, and every candle presents an opportunity for them. Sometimes, their trades align with our direction, and sometimes they don't. These micro trades can change the course of what would typically be a predictable pattern. That's why previous patterns don't always hold out.

As traders, we must constantly be on the lookout for our profits. As much as it is our duty to wait out for a big win, it's equally our duty to watch out for the activity that may eat up our profits due to changing market conditions.

Staying Rational

Or, at the very least, the market conditions that would bring a lot of heartache before the price moves as predicted. Always stay rational and ask yourself this: If I weren't in my position, what would I do?

It's crucial to acknowledge that trading isn't a linear journey. It's filled with ups and downs, and sometimes, the downs come right before the ups. It's not about being right at every turn, it's about being right when it counts.

Concluding Thoughts

This lesson about not leaving profits on the table is one I've learned the hard way. It's easy to get caught up in the allure of a big win and lose sight of the smaller, more consistent profits that can protect our capital and keep us in the game.

So, the next time you find yourself facing a similar situation, remember: There's no shame in taking a smaller win. It's far better than taking a big hit because you were waiting for a win that might not come.

And most importantly, remember that every trade, every decision, is an opportunity to learn. The markets will always be there, offering lessons to those willing to learn. The question is, are you willing to take them and like any skill, it can be honed and improved. Each trade, each decision, is a chance to learn and grow. It's an opportunity to understand the market better and to become a better trader.

There's no shortcut to success in trading. It takes time, patience, and a whole lot of learning. But it's also an exciting journey, one that can be incredibly rewarding if you're willing to put in the work.

In the end, the key to winning at trading isn't about never leaving profits on the table. It's about knowing when to take the small wins and when to hold out for the bigger ones. It's about balancing risk and reward, about staying agile and adaptable, and about learning from each trade you make.

So, the next time you're faced with the decision to take a small win or hold out for a bigger one, remember these lessons. They might just help you make a more informed decision, a decision that could make all the difference in your trading journey.

After all, the markets will always be there, and there will always be another trade. But the lessons you learn along the way, those are what will truly help you succeed in the long run.

So keep learning, keep trading, and remember: The biggest wins often come from not leaving profits on the table.


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