Several traders and their accounts have suffered because of greed. In fact, this is how the saying “Bulls and Bears make money; “Hogs get slaughtered” came about. No other animal can embody greed better than a hog, and in trading business, the markets show no mercy to hogs.
The Webster dictionary definition of greed is “a selfish and excessive desire for more of something (such as money) than is required.” Sound familiar?
Let face it, it is our desire as traders to acquire attractive returns that drive us to trade, but this desire becomes the unhealthy – even dangerous – when it is EXCESSIVE!
That is why greed is often reflected the most dangerous emotion for traders even it is worse than fear. Fear can paralyze you and hold you from trading, but your capital is maintained for as long as you keep your hands in pockets. On another hand, greed PUSHES you to act, in ways and at times when you shouldn’t think that’s why it is dangerous.
In particular, greed can prompt you to act unreasonably. For traders, this usually comes in the form of overleveraging, overtrading, chasing the markets, or holding on to trades you know you should have the exited long ago.
When you think about it, greed is not that different from alcohol; it can make you act like foolishly when you have too much of it in your system. When it comes to the point that greed clouds your trading judgment, you are particularly drunk with it.
Like many other worthy endeavors, overcoming greed needs a lot of struggle and discipline. It is not easy, but it can be done. It’s all a matter of taming the ego.
You will have to accept and admit that you won’t make the right call every time. There will be instances when you won’t catch the market full move or times when you miss a nice setup altogether, but that just how trading goes. When you accept that the market is higher than you and you are bound to make mistakes, then you will be extra focused on following your trading plans instead of succumbing to greed.
Don’t be a hog and you won’t get slaughtered.