There is something very hard about looking into a losing account or an account with trades in open draw down that makes us want to forget about them or do something to make this stop. Definitely when people start to actively deal with their accounts they generally take very bad decisions that end up costing them far more capital. Inexperienced traders usually change systems upon draw downs, interfere with the trading of automated systems and get desperate and frustrated when things spend a lot of time going against them. However, given the knowledge that long term profitable systems are hard to trade because of this, many new traders simply decide to “forget” about the accounts and system to avoid intervening and dealing with the psychological aspects of trading.
This decision is absolutely logical and it is the easiest and most obvious answer to the above mentioned premise. If you’re telling me that long term profitable systems are hard to trade because they have long and deep periods of draw down then I’ll just trade the system and forget about it so that I do not interfere nor suffer from these draw down periods and their existence. Although this may sound good at first, this is a very dangerous road that often leads to as many losses as the first one.
In order to understand why this is the case we first need to see how people who are indeed successful with mechanical trading systems achieve this. Definitely it is not by not looking at the systems but my gathering knowledge, strength and confidence by doing the exact opposite. The difference between an experienced and an inexperienced trader is evident when you look at the ways in which they react to the exact same situation. While within a draw down an inexperienced trader would suffer from despair and fear (only avoidable by not looking at the account) the experienced trader can look into the account and see a temporary cycle which is just a pair of his or her regular business goals. If the account then goes onto a cycle which signals that it has become too risky to be traded the experienced trader will quickly realize this and eliminate the system from his or her portfolio while the other trader will trade the system to oblivion since he or she isn’t even paying attention.
What I am trying to say here is therefore pretty simple : it is not about setting and forgetting and avoiding to look into your systems and accounts, it is about looking into them and understanding what they are doing and if what they are doing is part of what they are supposed to do. Certainly at first trading long term profitable systems will require a lot of self control and discipline from new traders but in the end this ability to look at the accounts, understand, expect and evaluate in a cold-headed manner is what distinguishes the few that do make it in this business from the big crowd of traders who fail at this endeavor.
My advice here is therefore quite straight, if you want to succeed at automated trading you should keep a close eye on all your live accounts and on their performance. When you feel emotions because of their profits/losses, turn them into understanding, learn all the ins and outs of your system’s logic, its profit and draw down characteristics, what it is supposed to do and how it does it, only in this way will you be able to achieve success in this very hard business called automated forex trading.
If you would like to learn more about my experience with algorithmic trading strategies and how you too can receive a true education in automated trading please consider joining Asirikuy.com, a website filled with educational videos, trading systems, development and a sound, honest and transparent approach to trading systems. I hope you enjoyed this article ! :o)