How To Bounce Back After Getting Hit By a Bus
“Everybody having fun yet?” I tweeted the other day. “Between Wen and Junker its like shades of 2008 $EURUSD”. This past Thursday the euro managed to spike to within a few pips of 1.3200 only to drop like a stone a few minutes later crashing though 1.3100 on some negative comments regarding the never ending Greek restructuring talks.
For traders caught in the middle of this price action the volatility felt a bit like being hit by a city bus. If you were unfortunate enough to chase both the tops and bottoms of Thursday’s move you would have been stopped out twice getting a very nasty little slap from the market.
In real life getting hit by a bus hopefully never happens, but in trading FX it is a regular occurrence which is why you have to take it in stride. Currencies are a news driven market and on any given day, at any given time, anything can happen which is why it is extremely important to keep two things in mind. One, don’t lose your cool no matter how bad things get. Two, ask yourself if the loss was preventable or not.
The events on Thursday were clearly unanticipated and therefore not preventable. I was fortunate enough to avoid all the turbulence but just a week prior I wasn’t so lucky. First I managed to sell ten times the amount of EUR/JPY that I wanted to because the default buttons on my platform were set up wrong. Then I compounded my errors by trading ahead of the FOMC meeting and got my head handed to me on the anti-dollar move that followed.
Instead of curling up in fetal position as I did in the past, I took a cold, sobering look at my actions and made the necessary changes. First I removed all the currency pairs from my platform with the exception of only those that I always traded. (EUR/JPY was punt and I shouldn’t have touched the pair in the first place). Then I made sure that all the default buttons on my platform were set to my proper position size. Lastly I paid much more attention to the calendar and stayed out of the way of known risks. The result? I went from four losing trades in a row to making three winning ones.
FX trading may look like it is a fast and furious game but it is actually a marathon not a sprint. Sometimes there is just nothing you can do about the vagaries and vicissitudes of the market. But if you want to learn how bounce back after being hit by a bus, you must ask yourself -- what can I do better next time?