I am very excited to be able to offer the seventeenth in my series of posts asking Pro Traders about their psychological processes. Delving a little into how it feels to them when trading. The good and the bad. How this has changed over time and what preparation they do mentally for performing as a trader.
One of the key features for me was that I wanted traders with experience who have been through the mill over the years and of course those who were kind enough to broach this subject publicly. This I hope gives developing traders more to learn from.
I’m very fortunate to have a great line up and this week is:
Trader: Tony Rohrs
I started hedging our farm’s corn, soybean, and wheat production 22 years ago. I started calendar spread trading for hedging and spec purposes 8 years ago along with futures trades.
2) What style of trading / investing do you practice (technically driven, fundamental, systematic, a combination etc)?
I have come full circle and rely on using market profile along with auction theory. Even with being so close to the grains the fundamental supply and demand picture comes with so much noise that it offers me no edge. I swing trade short term but with my hedging background will also trade long term positions.
3) How do you feel when a trade goes against you?
4) How do you feel when a trade goes for you?
For me when the trade works according to my plan it helps confirm I am on the right track. Once again I write a narrative and attach to the chart to confirm what I executed. I am working to get this to be like punching a time clock. When this situation is presented do this, when that situation is presented do that, etc., etc.
5) How have these feelings changed over your trading
career? (Can you recall how you originally used to feel and elaborate on how this has changed over time?)
I had a very large trade go against me 18 months ago. Since then I have had to re-evaluate everything. That trade exposed my weakness in a big way. Very humbling. I did not respect risk and became over confident. One was a system failure the other an emotional failure. I learned from that you have to keep your feelings at even keel. Create your system, tweak it, and become mechanical.
6) Do you have any practices that you do away from the trading screen to help you mentally and emotionally handle trading?
Actually running our farm operation and being involved with day to day operations helps with that. I also think golf is a great activity for a trader due to the similarities, keep your emotions in check, become mechanical. Main thing is get away from the screen.
7) Have you always done this?
With answering these questions it is making me think that by just being in my situation, owning and operating a large farm, I am pulled away from the screen enough without having to think about it. What is not good though is I do not have a choice to step away from the grain markets. I am inherently long every day because I produce the stuff. Markets do crazy things that do not make sense and in those times when I do not have an edge I rely more on options. The risk is more defined and wider which helps me emotionally get thru those periods.
8) If not, how have you learnt to deal with the feelings that come up when trading?
9) Can you describe a time in your trading life which really rammed home the point that so much of trading comes down to psychological factors?
This would definitely be the trade I referenced in question 5. Even though at the time it was very painful, that trade exposed me and in hindsight was the best thing to happen. I have advanced light years in 18 months with my approach and emotions. Reaching out to some other traders, Matt Davio, Tom Grisafi, helped me with that learning experience.
10) If you could give aspiring traders one piece of advice about emotionally handling the market what would it be?
There is a saying in golf-drive for show, putt for dough. You may crush a drive 300 yards and stick your chest out but then proceed to 3 putt and lose the hole. Same with trading. One good move doesn’t make a successful trade but having a clear defined plan will keep your emotions in check and allow you to improve. I am not yet where I want to be but have a vision of what could be, and that is exciting.
I’d like to thank Tony Rohrs for sharing about the way he tackles the market from an emotional / mental side of things and for his willingness to allow me to post this as a free resource in the hope that traders who have been in the market for less time or are thinking of entering can perhaps pick up some A-HA’s.
If you are interested in finding more out about Tony Rohrs you can find him:
Previously in the series:
Charles Kirk - read it…..here
Matt Davio - read it…..here
David Blair - read it….here
Mike Bellafiore - read it….here
Mark Holstead - read it ….here
Brian Shannon - read it…. here
Mike Dever - read it…. here
Anthony Crudele - read it… here
Derek Hernquist - read it … here
Ivan Hoff - read it… here
Brian Lund - read it… here
Greg Harmon - read it… here
Michael Bigger - read it… here
Jon Boorman - read it…. here
Darrin Donnelly - read it….. here
Stephen Burns - read it…. here
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Disclaimer: Embrace The Trend / Richard Chignell does not provide investment, financial or product advice. If you are going to trade / invest it’s at your own risk and you must take responsibility for your actions.