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These times aren’t normal, so why should traders be normal?

The trading life ain’t the normal life. At least that’s the thesis of the Rogue Traderette, an Australia-based market commentator who occaisionally dips her hands into swapping CFD’s (a type of option) and other intruments banned by the SEC in the good old United States.

“RT” rather astutely points out that what traders would consider normal would be considered daft by most of the financially-illiterate general public. “Normal people love any kind of profit, and despise losing money. Traders recognise that losing money is acceptable – necessary, even – and that a profit realised through a lack of discipline can be worse than no profit at all,” she writes.

Successful trading more of less means forcing oneself to abandon the typical “normal” ways of thought (and especially how we desal with emotion), even if it takes an act of pure will to do it. Rogue Traderette points out that “normal people can go through life blissfully ignorant of their inner workings. Traders must be intimately acquainted with the way they think.”

Turning RT’s thesis around a bit, must one be a bit “off” to make money in the markets? I wouldn’t go that far, although a constant vigilance against the most dangerous emotions –“loving” a company, pride in a particular gain that is getting long in the tooth, and most especially, the inability to get of of a loss when it is still small — will certainly be a life time endeavor for anyone bent on staying in the game.

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