One of the greatest pleasures in trading, and I can think of nothing else that truly compares with it other than the pure luck associated with being on the right side of the trade when news propels the price well beyond what was originally anticipated, is the sensation a trader experiences at the instant he realizes he is in a trade that is catching the momentum required of it to be a big winner.
He always knows when its a winner, for he stands by each day watching the price move in the desired trajectory with little in the way of holding it back from its breakneck pace. It’s the trade entered that begins moving in the trader’s desired direction immediately, with no hesitation about its future course. It’s the perfectly timed trade that can literally take the trader’s breath away as he watches it do exactly what he wishes all trades would do, make quick money.
However, not even the best speculator among us can expect to hit the perfect trade on every attempt, for speculating, in essence, is a game of misses. Every seasoned, sensible speculator knows this, and accordingly, he attempts to build a speculative strategy, a process if you will, that is so basically sound that his “misses” are in truth not bad trades at all. They were just as well planned and thought out as the big winners. In fact, a truly successful speculator is one who focuses on a particular set of variables defined as his edge. He then executes his edge with precision, taking each trade that meets the criteria of his edge knowing that this could be the one that runs and never looks back. But it could also be the one that misses the desired mark. In fact, much like the sensation of knowing you are in the much anticipated winner, there is the opposite sensation of knowing that this trade is a failure.
The trader who recognizes that he is playing in a game of misses and that it is not the winners that define him but how he handles the failures, encapsulates the perspective needed to consistently succeed. There is absolutely nothing wrong in enjoying the pleasure associated with a big winner but there is something drastically amiss in believing that the next trade must be the next big winner.
If you envision both the big winner and the failure beforehand you will know almost immediately whether or not you are experiencing the former or the latter. If the former then enjoy the ride; if the latter appreciate the ability to recognize the miss, able to adjust expectations along the way. Either way know that you made the decision to play the game of misses and for that you are grateful, not only for the opportunity to experience the one but to be able to accept the other.