Updated from its original posting on 2012-04-20
I’m a strong believer in the saying, “No man is an island.” In trading, and in just about any endeavor, it often feels good to know that you are not alone. It’s because of this, and a couple of other reasons that I have been advocating having a trading group.
Having other people around allows you to view trading situations with several different perspectives. For example, a setup may appear incredibly bearish to you so you risk more than your usual position on that trade.
But your trading buddy could present an opposing view, which can cause you to think twice and scale down your risk to a level that you’re more comfortable with.
Trading groups also allow you to find motivation during those really tough periods. In times when you incur large drawdowns, others can give you the support you need to move forward and continue to trade.
Unfortunately, not all traders are built the same. Some people do not work well in groups and actually do better by trading alone. Every person is unique and trading in a group setting may not be as productive to some as it is to others.
One of the main advantages of trading by yourself is that you are free to experiment. The thing is, in groups, people tend to think alike. This means that when you want to veer away from the norm and think outside the box, there tends to be a lot of criticism and resistance.
For instance, you may think that an interest rate hike is already priced in, so you tell your friends that you’ll fade the move.
Or maybe, you want to try an outrageous trading system that nobody has ever tried before. If they don’t agree with you, you may face some disapproval for thinking differently which could stifle your personal growth.
Another benefit of trading alone is that you don’t have to deal with the emotional and psychological dynamics of a trading group.
Humans are self-conscious beings, and sometimes, they will do and say things simply because it is what they think others expect of them, or that it is more socially acceptable. The same goes for trading.
Take listening to others’ trade ideas for example. You may think that a setup doesn’t make sense, but you still take it anyway because a majority of the group believes it’s a good idea.
If the trade flops, then you can end up resenting the group. However, if it works out, you may start feeling crappy about yourself for not seeing the logic behind it.
Now look at the other side of the coin. In trading groups, there will be times that your trading ideas will also be taken by someone else. If it works, then all is good. But what if it doesn’t?
You’d waste your time explaining your actions and feeling guilty about the impact of your trading bloopers on someone else’s forex account. This doesn’t happen if you trade alone.
When trading forex by yourself, only you are responsible and accountable for your own success. You cannot simply shift the blame to someone else. Some traders may find this concept too scary, but to others, it is very empowering. They know that they alone are in charge of their own fate.
Do you prefer trading alone or with a group? Don’t be shy to share your thoughts and experiences in our comments section!