Why is Discipline Important in Financial Trading?

Becoming a Master of Discipline

When you’re trying to convince someone of the importance of discipline, the problem is that he usually has all kinds of negative associations with that word. Just the sound of it reminds us of outdated systems of schooling when boys were thrashed with canes, or else of suffering through basic training in the army. At any rate, “discipline” seems not to be in keeping with the spirit of our society, which is enamored with the virtues of individual rights and self-gratification.

A little bit of thought, however, suffices to dispel this reaction. Imagine someone who loves listening to piano concertos but has never learned to play. The sight of the ebony and ivory seems highly inviting: What beautiful music he could make with those smooth, broad keys! He can’t wait to get started. When he does, however, we know what sort of a result to expect. It’s only through training your fingers to go through scales hundreds of times that you can begin to express yourself freely with the instrument.

Moving to another example: Somebody who is born with a fiery temper. As he grows up, it flares up whenever things don’t go his way, but the issue is ignored as merely a part of youth. Later on, though, he runs into real-life problems keeping a job and maintaining his marriage. If only he had accustomed himself when he was young to resisting that hot rush of emotion, things could have been different.

Discipline is the pre-requisite for any kind of real achievement in life. People who allow themselves to be guided by their instincts or emotions usually suffer in the long run. But what’s the importance of discipline in the context of financial trading?

Discipline About What?

In the forex trading arena, discipline refers to your diligence in following through with your plan. Therefore, the first step is really to work on building a solid, educated trading strategy that will form your plan in approaching the financial markets. Practically, this means defining clearly for yourself the circumstances under which you will open a deal and close a deal. Which assets are you going to be trading? How much money are you going to put on the line for each trade? How are you going to manage risk? Developing your strategy will be a work in progress over years, as you grow wiser and more experienced in online trading, so don’t think you can complete it in one day. But make a start.

The Heat of the Moment

Just as in the case of the angry man we mentioned above, it’s not easy to resist the force of emotions when you’re trading online with your hard-earned money. Imagine the scene: You were really hoping this trade would go your way, and you don’t like the sound of losing $100. What would you say to your spouse if you did? Even though your plan tells you to close the deal and cut your losses, what’s to stop you from hanging on a little longer and waiting to see if the market turns your way?

The emotion of fear, then, can cloud your better judgment, but the same is true for greed: Your deal worked out beautifully and your new earnings are making your heart sing with joy and pride! Your plan says you should close the deal now and lock in your gains, but, since prices just keep on rising, why miss out on the opportunity to let your account balance swell a bit more? After all, imagine how pleased your spouse will be with you if you give her all the money she needs to fix her car!

Passion for Discipline?

These scenarios illustrate the real meaning of trading discipline. If you’re disciplined, your loyalty is strictly to the plan at all times. And, yes, this applies even if you would have earned more money by abandoning the plan. Why? A five-year-old boy may throw a basketball backwards over his head and score a basket by sheer accident, but you wouldn’t try to imitate his technique. Rather, you would watch videos of an expert in the field like Michael Jordan, and the reason is simple: On any given day, your chances of getting the ball into the hoop are much higher if you have trained yourself to a tried and tested technique, than if you simply do what comes naturally. 

Similarly in forex trading: If you throw away the plan whenever you feel like it, you may score a hoop now and again but you’re missing out on the chance of becoming Michael Jordan! That only comes (as he’ll surely tell you) from years of disciplined training.

Summing Up

Therefore, the answer is yes: you should be passionate about discipline. Wouldn’t you be passionate about developing some other skill that could drastically improve your financial circumstances, while also assisting you in gaining self-knowledge?

At iFOREX Europe, the focus has always been on training people to be skilled and disciplined traders in the financial markets. Their unique platform is full of useful educational materials suited to get you the information you need efficiently and succinctly. Visit the website to find out about the hundreds of CFD instruments you can trade on the platform, which range from forex pairs to agricultural commodities and cryptocurrencies.

iFOREX Europe (formerly known as ‘Vestle’) is the trading name of iCFD Limited, licensed and regulated by the Cyprus Securities and Exchange Commission (CySEC) under license # 143/11. The materials contained on this document have been created in cooperation with iFOREX Europe and should not in any way be construed, either explicitly or implicitly, directly or indirectly, as investment advice, recommendation or suggestion of an investment strategy with respect to a financial instrument, in any manner whatsoever. CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 74.08% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

Any indication of past performance or simulated past performance included in this document is not a reliable indicator of future results. Please note: Calculations of past performance movements may represent the futures and not the underlying asset. Full disclaimer: https://www.iforex.eu/legal/analysis-disclaimer.html

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Petar Jovanović
Petar Jovanović

As the Head of Content at Captainaltcoin, I bring years of experience in the crypto industry. With a strong belief in the potential of the web3 market since 2017, I'm passionate about sharing valuable insights and knowledge. Feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn and let's discuss the exciting world of cryptocurrencies and decentralized technologies!