How long do I trade?

In the trading the results of your trading do not depend on the amount of weather you work, but on the amount of capital that you move Now, what is the optimal amount of time you should be in front of the screen if you do day trading? One hour, three hours, six hours, nine?

The answer is very simple: you should only trade while you are able to hold your attention Concentrate on what you are doing. Not one more minute.

When the novice trader starts in this activity, he has many things to learn: the principles by which trading is governed, how money is made, how risk is managed, the set ups of his system, the proper way to register his operations, the operation of a certain indicator, the generation of support and resistance areas… These elements have a conceptual part and a practical application, and the trader usually starts with a significant amount of energy, wants to learn and is willing to work hard .

Thus, it is not strange that in the initial phase, the trader spends hours and hours in front of the computer. Learn how to handle a certain scenario, learn about generating a trading plan, learn about managing your positions, and a long list of elements that seem to have no limit. But there comes a time when the operator has already limited the number of pieces he needs to build his puzzle… Usually there are quite a few, but now he knows what to look out for, and over time he becomes familiar with it so that he develops a some knowledge, and some skill. He is able to watch the market in motion and identify high probability scenarios on which to trade, you can record your trading, mark charts with annotations, manage risk, and attend to your emotional responses… At this point the question makes perfect sense How long should it operate?

You already know that the money you earn will not depend on your time. It has nothing to do with devoting eight hours to this activity… The market is in continuous movement so that the opportunities that present themselves do so constantly. If so, do you spend a couple of hours on it? dedicate four? a?…

Imagine that you want to learn to play tennis and that you are really motivated, how much time do you have to dedicate to it? Is more time better? In tennis, as in any sport, there is an obvious physical limitation: you can train as long as your body lasts, but if you push too hard you could be trained the bug. Fatigue sets in and you are no longer holding yourself to a behavior of high performance, but rather you are dragging your body along the track. Low attention, movements are not clean, you do not respond to your coach’s instructions, you are tired… do you think that in these conditions you will improve your ability? No matter how long you spend on it, after a certain point, your improvement will decrease.

Exactly the same thing happens in trading. You should not continue trading if you are not able to be in a mindset of high performance. If your mind wanders, if you wonder if you have received a new email, or if someone has written something on your facebook, if you find yourself looking away from the charts and thinking about other non-trading matters, it is time to close your operation.

Understand me, it’s not that you can’t continue operating, it’s that if you do you will train the error. You will develop the habit of operate with a divided mind. The market may develop a slow movement and your interest may be diminished by the lack of activity, at which point you may feel the natural pull of any distraction. What I am saying is that this is your challenge as a professional trader. At that moment you must stop trading or you will develop mediocre habits.

Commit to being in front of the market only as long as you can be attentive. Perhaps at the beginning you limit yourself to being five minutes and after that time your mind begins to wander. That will be your personal brand. Hold your attention for five minutes and stop trading. A week later you may be able to operate eight minutes, and in time you will reach 20 and 30… And that time will be quality, it will have nothing to do with divided attention. During that time you will be present and observe what the market is saying with each tick. The market will start talking to you. During that time there will be nothing but the market.

If you accept the challenge of developing the right attitude against the market, you will be able to get much more out of your operations, you will reduce your errors, you will begin to take the pulse of each small turn that the market presents, each small movement.

Maybe you can never go past one hour, or two hours… it doesn’t matter. You already know that your results do not depend on the amount of work you do, but on the quality of said work. Focus on developing that kind of mindfulness, and you’ll be in a position to make the most of every opportunity.

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