Listening as a Core Trading Skill



Last week, we took a look at the challenge of trading markets that are ever-changing.  What that means in practice is that good trading begins with open-minded observation.  Are we seeing a continuation of previous market behavior, or are we seeing a change?  Markets trade thematically.  Sometimes the theme is risk-on and everything is trading higher.  Other times, we trade in a risk-off fashion, with pretty much everything declining.  Most of the time, the themes are expressed in relative terms, with certain asset classes stronger, others weaker; certain sectors of the market strong, others weaker.  Before we put our hard-earned money to work, we want to identify themes that are in play for the market.  That means that we don’t blindly predict what we think will happen, but instead listen carefully to the market’s communications and detect what *is* happening.

If you want to get on the floor with your partner and dance, you don’t just start dancing.  You wait for the music to begin and adapt your dancing to what is being played.  

If you want to help a person in need, you don’t just start giving advice.  You listen to what is going on in their life and adapt your response accordingly.  

As this post emphasizes, silence and a quiet, open mind are crucial skills of trading psychology.  Good trading requires emotional intelligence, not just cognitive complexity.  Every day, the market talks to us, and it is up to us to read the themes and make our decisions accordingly.  

The active trader who begins the day with preformed ideas–and who scouts for every possible “setup” that could confirm the ideas–is like the person you talk with at a party who is figuring out what they want to say before you’ve finished speaking.  Conviction makes convicts:  we become imprisoned by our expectations.  If markets are ever-changing, then we must be ever-open to change.

An important part of trading process, too often ignored by developing traders, is the maintenance of an open mind and the ability to quickly spot themes and shifts in themes.  Looking at chart patterns in a single asset misses the thematic nature of movement across markets.  First we find the themes; then we find the specific “setups” that provide us with a good risk/reward trade.  Once we place and manage the trade, we return to open-minded mode to detect further changes or trends.

Good trading does not replace negative self-talk with positive self-talk.  It replaces all self-talk with listening.

Further Reading:

Trading With Clarity

Relative Volume and Other Indicators I Find Helpful



Image and article originally from Read the original article here.