Goal Setting and Expectations: Trade to Win or Be Right?


One of the biggest problems new traders face is how they view what they’re about to do.

Throughout life, you learn to attribute financial gains with physical activity and hourly rates worked.

When learning to trade, this is a problem.

But it’s not the only problem because trading attracts successful individuals. Typically, successful individuals have usually taught themselves certain techniques such as goal setting. In the external world, goal setting is extremely helpful. It gives us structure and motivation to complete a task. In trading this could be helpful in some aspects, but I would also argue it’s also counter productive. When applied to profitable targets, goal setting can be extremely damaging.

I’ll go deeper in a sec, but in short the advice is to drop expectations of financial gain, completely…

trading expectations

Curse of Human Nature:

One of the most interesting contributors to any trading market is human behaviour. Unfortunately that natural behaviour works against us when trading, a counter edge if you like.

What do I mean when I say this?

I mean that urge those urges we all experience. To bank a profit early (as soon as it starts to develop) or let a losing trade run. Usually in the hope that we may escape without that loss. Of course, neither of these work and both are driven by our feelings. Unfortunately, feelings won’t make us a penny. They’ll certainly help us lose though.

Feelings and emotions lead to the largest threat of all – becoming emotionally charged whilst trading, we’re in real trouble if it gets to that stage.

Looking For Trading Strategies? Sign Up Here. Get extra info direct to your inbox now…

What If?

Most of these problems originate from our own expectations. So, I’d like you to think on it for a second….

What is fastest route?

If you were to bear in mind the previous points made. What would removing expectations do for you? Take away the artificial bias that expectations have enforced possibly?

Doing the right thing is always the fastest route to success. When trading it couldn’t be any truer!

In trading, the right decisions are usually cold, hard, dull and quite frankly – boring. I don’t know if you’ve ever found yourself in a position where you’ve actually wanted to do one thing, but you knew the right thing was the complete opposite. This is the conundrum of human nature, driven by feeling and previous expectation.

So with this in mind, why not set yourself a challenge to remove that emotional erratic element? We all know it’s not that easy though, part of being human. You could lessen the burden of emotion though by taking away expectations before you start. See what happens!

I remember having a conversation with a very profitable Betfair trader back in twenty-twelve. I probably didn’t realise it at the time, but they were entirely right. It just took me a considerable amount of time to find out the hard way. I should have listened that bit more. You’ve probably guessed it, but he was talking about the points raised within this post.

The amusing part being; as soon as I stopped caring about expectations, monitoring my balance and checking how my profit sheet was between races, results improved dramatically.

Recent: Exciting SMARKETS News. Check it out…

6 thoughts on “Goal Setting and Expectations: Trade to Win or Be Right?

  1. As someone beginning to invest a fair amount of time in trading this is a timely reminder thanks, think I’ll print it off and put it on the notice board.

  2. If you trade by results it puts added pressure on yourself which can lead to mistakes or rash decisions great point raised good to keep in check ! hard to take the emotional aspect out at times something that has to be worked on not a easy ask.

  3. Trading your PNL vs trading charts is 2 completely different things. The first is the holy grail of the disaster. On the flip side the second is the only path one should follow to have a chance to succeed in this game. You can perform a great trade and loose money and vice versa. Money oriented goals are useless. Process oriented goals are the only and simple path to a trader’s development journey. It is very simple, but not easy. If it was easy, everyone would do it.
    Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all
    Regards from an old digital friend

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *