Comfort in trading has several aspects, one is when we have a good trading practice, a system, or a strategy, yet we cannot find time for it to fully get effective. This is caused when our trading developed when we were just studying, for example, we had more time to devote to trading. After a while our lives could change, what once was comfortable now is a chore or we simply have more pressing matters. Certainly, traders found in this position are not professionals, trading is just a hobby or some other form of secondary income for them. It is rare to see professional traders move away from their careers if they are successful. Some things are out of our control and change our lifestyle, however, the title question does not relate to these traders. Part-time or hobby trading can still be profitable but how to make it comfortable just depends on each trader’s personality and lifestyle.
If you value your time and do not monitor your trades yet still have a very good trading methodology, one solution could be to change your target timeframe. Starting from H4 and up really makes a difference in how much screen time you spend each day. Unfortunately, if your strategy was based on a lower timeframe, high-paced trading like scalping then it probably will not work on higher timeframes. Better try to create an Expert Advisor for it. If your developed trading style tolerates other timeframes, you may still need to have some adjustments before the transition. The daily timeframe, for example, does not require more than 30 minutes of management time, it is usually done once the day session about to end. Whatsmore, you do not even have to monitor what is going on during the day. This trading style is one of the most comfortable provided you have a strategy that is also adaptive.
There is one more solution for cases like this, a more popular one, although established traders might be skeptical about it. It is an automated trading solution. Automation is not always possible, especially if your trading method is relying on subjective price action decisions no robot could replicate. Pure technical trading strategies that rely on indicators and exact thresholds will not have any problems making them automated. On the other hand, complex strategies may be very expensive to automate. Now, if you do not have coding skills you will need to decide if employing a coder is worth the effort. Also, consider you will probably have additional costs establishing a VPS, any additional work for the updates to the code, and unforeseen errors. Scalping and other high-frequency trading are often automated, for obvious reasons.
How we can make trading more comfortable is probably asked once we cannot keep up with trading emotionally and even physically. And these situations are very closely related to our trading performance, responsibility, and high-frequency trading. This is a more common problem and another aspect of uncomfortable trading. Let’s say you have your first profitable strategy, you have perfected it and made consistent progress. Now it is time to put it to work with real funds. It is completely different psychologically right? Because you care and stress about the outcome unless you like that kind of excitement, you are out of your comfortable trading zone you have enjoyed while demo trading. There are so many ways to overcome this, the simple solution is to just keep it up without messing with your strategy and in time you will be back in the zone. Be confident you have something that works first, or you will take double hits when you start losing.
Another way is to have attention distractors. Have something to do to keep you busy while the trade runs. Create obligations that keep you away, like sports or classes. Depending on how “cold” under pressure you are it will become a routine practice, the money just becomes numbers. Interestingly, some traders completely cover the balance and P/L line even though they are experts. As a trader, you will have to face these issues and there is no way around it. According to experts, when they switch to a high amount of capital they were out of comfort zone, when they received even more money from others, it is another level of pressure. So, even if you overcome this stress once, it could come back again.
Trading is a battle with your emotions and the markets will play with them. It will drive you away from trading if you do not have a strong anchor. Now, even the best of strategies will not work if you constantly get emotional about decisions you made and are about to make. When you start out, know your expectations about a particular strategy will get you disappointed. You will need to work for some time before you get some results out of your demo trading. Get used to failing, start over, and fail again process. Just take failures with a good attitude, think about what went wrong, analyze, test new things and rules. It will be just a matter of time when you stumble on a winning method.
Getting out of your reasonable thinking and into the wild emotional decision making is when you do not have strong trading anchors: you do not have a developed plan, how much you risk per trade, routine, or not a clearly defined strategy. Trading without these is not only uncomfortable but also is not going to get you anywhere. There is a simple solution to this, do not trade with real money, even the one you can afford to lose before you have a defined approach to what you are going to do in every situation. Markets are chaotic, going in blindly is a great way to lose. Have a strict plan with optimal risk allowance to endure some losses before good trades come in.
Analyze the market with good tools/mechanisms and stick with them until you are sure they do not work. Then try new things until your complete trading strategy has all elements aligned – your money management, plan, toolset, and you are ready to go live. Some experts advise going live with the money you are ready to lose, just so you can stay in your comfort zone. Others want you to be ready to put in an uncomfortable amount. The reason is, of course, to get you used to the responsibility and the stress. Your strategy should not put your account in danger since it is based on long term endurance, however, you will make better progress in becoming comfortable with any amount as there are fewer surprises markets can throw at you.
A simple recipe for getting comfortable does not exist, there is no drink or a remedy to run away from this. Whatever you do, great performing strategy or not, you will face your dose of stress. However, there is a difference in how you face it. You can have faith in your system as a channel for stress. That faith is as strong as the amount of work you put in and long term results. Without this foundation, you are simply going to be uncomfortable all the time for various reasons, and this probably is not just about trading, but how you approach other problems as well.