The enemy within you and why he cost you money

by Werner Hochleitner

Proven profitable strategy, but still losses

The strategy is proven profitable, you have a trading plan, know your risk measurement and still... Losses!




We simply do not act rational on the markets.

Sad but true!

However, there is a solution!

Lets recapitulate your last losses. Maybe it happened like this:

You sit at your trading desk, watch the charts on your Metatrader, Ninjatrader or on your Brokers plattform

Than suddenly, your alarm strikes and you see a certain stock (or index or currency pair) is in a situation where your trading strategy would work and you can gain profit

You see that it´s in the direction of the trend and hey, what could be better?

All signs scream GO!

And so you do....

The trade goes well, you are already pretty excited and also a little proud that your strategy works that good. You took your stop loss order to the next level, just as your trading strategy says, would could happen, you are already big time in the win 




But suddenly the rate plummets and you see your wins decreasing, decreasing, decreasing until the trade becomes a loss and dangerously close to your stop loss!

Scared to get stopped out, you manually exit the trade disappointed with a small financial loss and sit back and watch the markets go up again, increasing, increasing, and increasing even higher than before, without having ever touched your stop loss level!!!

If you would have stuck to your system, nothing would have happened!

You would have ended the trade with a huge Win. 

Frightened Re-Adjusting Ends In Zeros

THIS IS SERIOUS: By “re-adjusting” the risk settings,  all of a sudden you

  • get stopped out continually since you put the stop too close or
  • suffer some big losses since the stop was too far away.

No Shame!

Lets talk about flattened accounts for a moment

There is no need to be ashamed to ruin your first account, almost everybody does



Please always start with a Demo Account first! 



I think this or a similar story is something every trader has experienced

Ask whoever trader you want, he will have plenty of such stories up his sleeve

It´s classic!

Everybody experiences in his/her trading career


Therefor there are already some solutions to that problem!

Some try to compare the money behaviour with the primeval instinct of the “escape reflex”. We lose something precious so we have to run.

It just has changed from our lifes to our hard earned savings

But is this explanation too easy?


I think yes


Humans have developed and we are no longer hunters and searchers that jump around in the wilderness. Just as our social and technical environment, our intellect has developed and our personalities has become too complex to reduce it to a simple man vs. Sabre tooth escape story.

Selfreflecting is crucial

Thats the reason why we need to have a closer look at ourselves. There is this famous quote from chinese philosopher Sun Tzu:


“If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles!”


In our case we do not have any enemies, but just competitors at the markets (orderbook strategies as a hint right here) but the basic idea of the quote fits pretty good.

No Fortune Telling!

We can not 100%  predict the changes of rates and the movements by using technical and/or fundamental analysis, thats where the enemy part comes into play.

In our case we just can ASSUME in what direction the rate goes

Thats why we will inevitably face losses, thats also an inherent part of the whole game


if someone tells you he has such a 100% strategy, he is lying

Plain and simple

Fortunately for us, we don´t die when we lose a battle/trade so not knowing the “enemy” in detail is not the problem

Since we know that fact and could live with that, we can focus on ourselves and our emotional investing challenges.

A good strategy is one thing

Transfer all of it´s rules in a pure unemotional matter is almost impossible, eventho it would be the ultimate goal

Thats also a reason why not only keeping and writing, but actively working with a trading journal is so important

Become a robot!

But I am no robot, I am an emotional human being!


OK, agreed!


But try ask yourself questions like: 

  • What is my main trading emotion?
  • Can you handle the market pressure or do you struggle?

The goal is to strengthen your strengths and weaken your weaknesses by carefully adjusting your mental attitude towords the charts and the underlying markets

It´s like a journey to our true self, not just a simple money training thing!

Lets talk about one of the major emotions that can kill your account with ease!


Doubt leads to fear leads to unobjectiveness leads to panic leads to an emptied account

What kind of Doubt exist? Doubt

  • of having control
  • of making the right decisions
  • of being able to handle the situation properly
  • of getting out as good as possible
  • of the final result
  • of the wellbeing of yourself (and our account)


maybe even


  • of deserving the money
  • of being worthy to receive all the fortune
  • of what the neighbors/friends/family will say


Do Or Don´t Do

Nothing in between!

Practise a habit of decision making.

It can start with the little things, like:

What do you wanna have for breakfast today?

Coffee or Tea?

You like both.

OK, but what do you really want?

Decide to trink coffee! Decide to drink tea!

Take the following phrases out of your vocabulary

  • I don´t care
  • I don´t give a ..
  • I don´t deserve
  • I don´t know just...


With practising decision making with small things, within some time, the big decisions will also be made easier!


Develope a strong habit of decision making will boost your self esteem too!


You are in charge

You are the boss!

You make the decisions!


Thats just one, and there are plenty of emotional traps more

To eventually be profitable at trading you need to overcome all of them!

You need to master your emotions, and not let your emotions master you!

Only that way you can succeed, gain money and live a life in financial liberty!