Process Trumps Outcomes In Trading

It’s critical not to fixate on the result of an individual trade when trying to be a successful trader. It may be simple to get caught up in a single losing trade and believe your whole trading strategy is wrong as a result of it. However, this type of thinking is hazardous and will just lead to more losses in the long run.

This kind of thinking is dangerous and will only lead to more losses in the future.  It’s important to remember that even the best traders in the world have losing trades. One thing that separates them from the amateurs is their ability to keep calm and focus on the long-term goal of becoming profitable.

Futures Trading Drawdowns
You Will Lose

If you want to be a successful trader, focus on developing a sound strategy and perfecting your execution. By doing this, you will be setting yourself up for success in the long run.

A tried and tested trading strategy is great, but if you don’t have the right mindset, you’ll struggle to understand what works and what doesn’t. Use a trading journal to track your progress and identify which aspects of your strategy are profitable and which ones need improvement.

Focus on perfecting your trading strategy rather than being concerned with individual losses or gains. Over time, the profits will come if you have a solid plan.

One Trade Does Not Define Your Trading

When it comes to trading, it’s important to focus on your strategy rather than the outcome of any one trade. This is because the conditions under which each trade is executed can vary widely, and so relying on emotionally-charged memories of past trades is not a dependable way to assess your strategy.

Instead, learning about your strategy from a decent sample of trades when you’re in an objective state of mind is a much more dependable path to follow. This is something that Netpicks has hammered home to thousands of traders over the years, and it’s a viable way to help you execute perfect trades every time.

If you want to be a successful trader, and why wouldn’t you, focus on your strategy and let the outcomes take care of themselves.

Emotionally Tied To One Trade

Successful trading is all about finding and sticking to a strategy that works for you. It’s not about getting emotional over the outcome of any one trade. If you can keep this in mind, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a profitable trader.

Emotional Learning – Danger

Many traders either jump from system to system or cling to a strategy once it’s stopped working. Emotional learning can explain this to some degree.  The “system jumpers” get nervous about a system that shows a few consecutive losses or simply don’t recognize that they are making mistakes in its execution. One thing we teach our traders at Netpicks is to produce 25-30 error free trades before considering putting real money at risk.

Those that hang onto a losing strategy refuse to believe, even in the face of the trade stats, that their strategy just isn’t that profitable any more. They remember the great winners it produced in the past and believe the next one is just around the corner.  Even worse is if they give up on it and the very next trade is a winner – this is only likely to give them renewed false hope and they return to the strategy.

It’s important to be aware of the tendencies that emotions can cause, and work to overcome them. Jumping from system to system or clinging to a losing strategy won’t lead to success in the long run.

So what can you do to combat these emotional learning failures?

First, if you find yourself jumping from system to system, take a step back and ask yourself why. Is it because you’re chasing the Holy Grail? There is no perfect system out there – every single one will have its losing streaks. So accept that losses are part of the game and focus on sticking to your plan.

If you find yourself clinging to a losing strategy, take a look at the trade stats and be honest with yourself. If it’s not working, it’s not working – accept that and move on. The key here is not to get too attached to any one system or approach.

The best way to overcome emotional learning failures is to have a well-thought-out trading plan that you stick to no matter what. This plan should be based on sound money management principles and consistent execution. If you can do this, you’ll be well on your way to success in the markets.

Use A Trade Log

If you trade the financial markets, it’s important to focus on your trading strategy for perfect execution and properly assess your performance. Many traders lose sight of this and instead focus on the outcomes of their trades. Remember, every strategy will have losing trades, so the outcome of an individual trade shouldn’t be the main focus.

Instead, you should focus on whether or not the trade was taken in accordance with your trading plan – the process.

If you periodically review your results (either weekly/monthly or every X number of trades), you’ll get a more accurate and objective picture of how good a strategy is. Also, it’s important to learn and adapt with changing market conditions.  The best traders are constantly learning from their actions, so make sure you’re taking advantage of the lessons that are available to you. By doing this, you’ll be better prepared to survive as a trader for the long term.

But there’s a lesson here – the best traders make every effort to learn.  They learn from their actions and are always observing how they are interacting with their trading plan and the market.

Trading Challenge!

Trading is tough, and many people think they are ready, but they are not. They are not always ready to make the commitment and often times they’ve blown out a trading account to learn they are not ready.  FACT:  Those pictures of yachts on Instagram, for the most part, is not the reality.

I want to give you a simple challenge where I want you to see if one trades outcome influences you.

+ Does a win get you excited where you think you found your edge?

+ Did a few losses upset you enough to quit the challenge?

In this blog, there are several simple strategies you can try not for the sake of overall results (although you could do well), but try to see the effects winning and losing have on you.

To keep this doable for the majority, we will focus on the daily chart as many can’t watch the markets during the trading session.  In fact, you can use this daily chart trading strategy for this challenge.

The challenge:  Keep emotions out of the equation and focus on results over a basket of trades.

This will take some time but the markets will be here waiting for you when ready.  If you can accomplish this, you will be well on your way to becoming a successful trader!


If you want to be a successful trader, it’s important to focus on your trading strategy and performance, rather than the outcome of individual trades. Review your results periodically to get an accurate picture of your progress. Additionally, make sure you’re constantly learning and adapting to changing market conditions.

So, are you ready for a trading challenge? If you’re up for it, try out our trading tips blog and see how well you can do. Remember, the goal is to keep emotions out of the equation and focus on results. If you can do that, you’ll be well on your way to success.

Author: CoachShane
Shane his trading journey in 2005, became a Netpicks customer in 2008 needing structure in his trading approach. His focus is on the technical side of trading filtering in a macro overview and credits a handful of traders that have heavily influenced his relaxed approach to trading. Shane started day trading Forex but has since transitioned to a swing/position focus in most markets including commodities and futures. This has allowed less time in front of the computer without an adverse affect on returns.