One of the four fears of trading is the fear of missing out. The late Mark Douglas, author of ‘Trading in the Zone’ talks about the relevance and how to overcome the four fears of trading, this one being the most important. Oh, the regret we feel when a trade goes away from us. I’ve felt it many times, so have you. The pain from not participating seems worse than that of getting punished on a bad trade. In options trading you can easily miss opportunity, kicking yourself all the way to chasing a trade where you should not be doing so. We’ve all been there, but how do you avoid missing out? There are many key elements to avoid this fear and participating on the winning side.
Have you been on a winner and cut it loose too early, either booking a loss or just a small win? Have you done your analysis and prepared yourself for the trade only to miss it for one reason or another? Were you worried that you might be wrong? The stories are endless but the result is the same – frustration mounts and we start chasing after trades in an illogical and maniacal way, losing money along the way.
Recently I had a chat with subscriber who had made a great winning trade on Google and was puzzled about what to do next. When she realized the great situation she was in at that moment and the many choices available to end a winner or continue on winning then it became easy. But that was a dilemma for her. What if she sells her nice winner and then the stock goes up without her? That might be a horrible mind bender. Nobody wants to be left behind, yet this game is about booking winners and profits when you have them.
In options trading the window of time is narrower than for a stock trader, who can roll through some volatility without risking total loss (in most cases). Letting your winners run works for stock investors but is deadly for option traders. Time is the enemy and option decay will always work against you. But, having ‘options’ or choices opens up the playing field.
Always allow yourself a chance to participate and never be afraid to lose. In options trading losses are part of the game, you just don’t want too many big losses. What can you do to lose the fear of missing out? Take partial profits, roll positions, buy protection and above all take some risk – because that is how you get paid!