It is very, very easy to enjoy trading when you're making money. It's very easy to take pleasure from trading when the market is your ATM machine.
But you've got to be able to deal with things going against you as well. I have, over the years, been able to almost completely tamp down my emotions, either positive or negative, with respect to how a trading day goes. If I'm making hand over fist, sure, it's a kick, and I get a little excited in my writing, but I'm not going to go nuts about it ("go nuts" meaning rushing into foolish trades, buying a sports car, etc.)
By the same token, if I have a horrible day, like today, I'm not going to tear my hair out, stop trading, or curse myself. I take each day rationally, and I let my stops do my thinking for me.
Even in the course of a single day, the swings can be horrific. This morning, I was delighted with how well I had nailed my precious metals shorts. By the end of the day, those same profits have disappeared and turned into five figures of losses.
Emotions are the enemy of sensible trading. So are overly-tight stops! Here's the very definition of regret – -as you'll recall from my post a mere eight days ago, I bought – yes, bought! – 20 /ES at 670 (over 120 points ago!) At the time, the "dip" was easy to see:
You will have to use a microscope to find this "plunge" in the grander scheme of things:
Say what you will, the rally over the past week has come from one thing and one thing only: the government's willingness to roll the printing presses and throw fiat currency at the problem. This rally isn't based on earnings, growth, or any other real business reason. It's based on the government continuing to mortgage the future.
The reasons hardly matter, though. The goal is to use charts to make money. Today, I failed at that. But I'm not mad at myself, because I did everything right. As long as I behave rationally, I have no quarrel with myself. Tomorrow is another day. And we've all been yammering about "S&P 800" around here. Well, it's here now. Do with it what you will.