For me to be stuck with an opinion is akin to being staked to the jungle floor at night in tiger country with nothing but a rubber knife. The only good that can come out of it is, no tiger shows up, and I live.
No doubt about it the biggest source of unhappiness for traders comes from ownership of ideas and opinions, because they lead to the individual being stuck on one side of the market regardless of what price action is saying.
Likewise the most common source of happiness and peace of mind for traders come from keeping an open mind and going with the flow. A great example of this was the stock market the past few days. Because I'm a worrisome sort, very risk adverse, I was concerned that stocks would sell off and cause all kinds of people monetary loss and economic concern.
My worry, or emotion, can definitely affect my outlook as a trader if I allow it to. Price action on the other hand is purely objective - I have a method that provides a mechanized framework which defines the different time frame patterns and directions - and can easily be measured and back-tested going as far back as the price data allows.
Despite my mechanical, empirical framework telling me the majority of price patterns on the tradable time frames were bullish this morning, my emotions, along with last month's economic data were doing their best to fan a bearish opinion. (Remember the retail sales number that comes out in June is reporting May's data) So when I had an intraday sell signal at 2:15 PM Eastern in the S&P's and AUDUSD today, I buried the opinion, and looked to the method, which told me that following yesterday's higher lows, intraday buy signals today in both the Spoos and Aussie were trend trades while sell signals were counter-trend trades. This makes the job at hand very easy: only take trend trades i.e.: only take buy signals. (It took years to get it into my head to only focus on trend trades) And in doing so I avoided a loss when news broke late in the day that central bankers are prepared to back-stop financial markets regardless of the outcome of the Greek vote.
Ideally you all take to heart what I'm telling you because you are going to get into the winning column consistently much quicker by learning to identify and suppress those opinions. The best advice I was ever given on trading: "Lose your opinion, not your money".
Jay Norris is a trading instructor at Trading University
Trading involves risk of loss and is not suitable for all investors!
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.