Thursday, May 5, 2016

Impulsive Behavior and Trading

I've always loved to play games, and face it: investing is one big game. You need to be decisive, open-minded, flexible and competitive.
Stanley Druckenmiller
Impulsive people have a way of reaching conclusions and taking action that, in comparison with normal deliberations and intentions, would be considered impaired. Acting on a whim, giving in to temptation, doing what you have told yourself time and again not to do, is acting impulsively. Impulsive people are not self-confident but simply hope and wish for results. Quite simply they have no long-term goals, within which trades and management should be planned, only immediate urges. Their behavior is abrupt and unplanned. The time between thought and action is very brief.

The net outcome of unplanned behavior is when failure occurs, the process of analyzing bad trades and malfunctions, that person cannot accrue effective lessons from the loss. Without a plan, impulsive people can't develop methods to determine what works and what doesn't. They can't understand why they failed.

Impulsive people are also deficient in a certain method of thought process. Normal people weigh, analyze, research and develop an initial impression. Impulsive people guess and bet heavily without much thought. Impulsive people are often victim blamers. The results are reflective of character and personality, not intelligence. 

Victim blamers tend to interpret anything in life that doesn't go their way as somehow aimed against them, believing somebody or something is working against their welfare. It may be a boss, a girlfriend or an entity such as a company or the government. Or it may be outside forces such as "bad luck," "nature," "evil forces". They never learned to assume personal responsibility for their own actions versus blaming others. While everyone tends to lapse into blaming others at least sometimes for their misfortune, this trading type makes blaming their primary defense mechanism to deflect their own sense of urgency. 

Because they are looking for someone to blame for their investments that lose money, they are among those most in favor of intense governmental investigation and prosecution of market manipulation of any kind. With each fresh uncovering of company accounting fraud, brokerage-analyst duplicity, insider trading or any other type of market manipulation, they smile and say, "See, I told you they're all out to get us!" But this only tends to make them feel more helpless and assume less responsibility for their own investing decisions. 

If you have a tendency to be impulsive, the cure is to put together realistic and sound goals along with a realistic trading plan. Make yourself work towards the attainment of those goals by not violating the rules of your trading plan.

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