It is extremely interesting to analyze the way in which new and older trades behave and the big differences in results they have. When you take a new trader and a trader with a 15 year experience and you tell them to make trades based on “intuition” or “gut feeling” the new trader will quickly lose his or her money while the experienced trader will either brake even or make a significant amount of profit. What is so different between the “gut feeling” of an experienced trader and an inexperienced one ? What is the role of “intuition” in trading and how can it lead to the taking of successful positions ? On today’s post I will try to answer this question, the difference between the instincts of a new and an experienced trader and how the development of instinct in trading leads to the perfection of a tool which can prove to be important for success (especially when trading in a discretionary manner).
What is instinct (for the purposes of this article) ? In simple words, it is a sense which creates a sensation within a person that something needs to be done even though a rational process leading to this decision has not been formally created. It is a “gut feeling” that tells you to do something even though you ignore the reasons why you should follow this advice. Instinct simply creates a feeling of uneasiness that compels you to carry out a certain action.
In order to understand the big difference between the instincts of a trained and an untrained trader we first need to understand the difference between educated and uneducated instincts. When a person has been doing any type of activity for long periods of time the brain develops a very intricate set of abilities which allow it to process large amounts of information in a subconscious manner and give you a “hint” of how you should take action. This type of instinct – which has been shown to save lives in areas like fire fighting – is what I would like to call “educated instinct”, it is an instinct that has been created by the brain to help you survive in situations where it has been previously trained successfully.
Untrained or uneducated instinct is the other side of the coin. This happens when you have a “gut feeling” in an area you have no experience in because your brain is tricked by its similarity with previous situations. For example when you trade for the first times your brain may mistake this sensation with your experience when gambling (like when you buy a lottery ticket) and it will use instincts it has created for those sort of situations. What you get is that you start to make very bad decisions because your “uneducated instincts” simply have no power in this new field.
The problem here with trading is that the education of instincts is difficult since they contradict previously developed instincts you may have from other areas of your life. This is why the instinct of new traders is tremendously destructive as it doesn’t have any “trading education” and it will simply destroy a live account because it will not work in favor of the trader. Experienced traders – on the other hand- have a set of “trained instincts” that have been developed under successful trading conditions. When a person spends many years – often decades- trading the markets an “educated instinct” develops which can help the trader make the right decisions as it is an unconscious, yet educated part of its brain telling him or her to act in a certain way. While the instincts of a new trader might tell him or her to risk all their capital, the experienced trader may feel that the market is too risky and might prefer to stay on the sidelines or risk just a very small amount of money. The fact that new and experienced trader instincts are often contradictory seem to show this to some extent.
Obviously the “facts” I am pointing out here are based merely on anecdotal evidence, gathered without any actual scientific rigor and an adequate study of the “instincts” of new and experienced traders might be necessary to assess the extent in which this actually develops. However it is true that in many other areas of knowledge and skill, instinct has proved to be an invaluable tool for those involved in them. This instinct seems to be developed as a cause of experience, becoming an extremely valuable an “unconscious tool” that can guide an experienced trader away from dangerous situations simply by creating a feeling of uneasiness that compels the trader to act a certain way. What do you think about this fact ? Do you think there is a difference between the instinct of new and experienced traders ? Feel free to leave a comment below !
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