The Psychological Component to Options Trading


Succeeding with options is not always the easiest thing to achieve. Sure, there are some that have made a great success in their ventures into the world of options trading. These people are among those that many will look towards as inspiration for their options trading adventures. Then, there will be those that will look towards these success stories for more than inspiration. They will look towards successful options traders as those to duplicate. Or, more accurately, they will try to duplicate the trading methods and strategies of the trader.

While it is certainly a wise thing to look towards the trading methods of a successful trader, duplicating the steps of the trader alone may not prove to be the best strategy. The reason for this is that there are other factors that go into the process of developing a trading strategy than just the execution of the trades. Personal factors will go into the development of a methodology. In some instances, there will be psychological factors that will be developed into the trading plans. Understanding such components is vital to exploring a trading method to make sure it is valuable to your goals.

Actually, it would not hurt to explore your own psychological factors and facets prior to looking seriously at trading. Now, some may assume such assessments are little more than ‘psycho-babble’ that seek to examine options trading from an over-analytical perspective. This may be the case in some instances but as a general explanation of what motivates people towards options trading, it is definitely not something you want to overlook. By having a clear understanding of your own psychological makeup, you can develop the proper insight into how to be effective in the art of trading.

Simply put, some people are more cut out for options trading than others. Those that are conservative in their investment strategies might wish to limit options trading to a smaller part of their overall portfolio. Those that can be considered quite aggressive in their approach may look towards possibly using options as a hedge to their portfolio. Again, your own personal psychological makeup regarding comfort levels of trading in essential in options. This will certainly help promote your ability to discover the proper answer to whether or not you are cut out for options trading.

How can you discover whether or not you have the mindset of an options trader? The first step involves honestly answering whether or not you are someone that possesses the discipline to be an options trader. Some may believe they have the discipline to succeed. However, believing you possess certain attributes to a specific degree and actually possessing those attributes to the proper degree are two completely different things. Knowing exactly where you stand in terms of your mindset and your levels of discipline will aid in boosting your chances of success. For example, someone who needs to keep fiddling with their account by buying and selling every few days isn’t someone who should be investing in options! The commissions alone will eat you up. Similarly someone who like a lot of excitement in their trading should probably stay away from options.

Having a quality options trading strategy is helpful. Putting the options trading strategy through to fruition is even more helpful. But, once again, there is a big difference in having the desire to follow such a process and actually following through with it. Those that are able to follow through with such steps may be limited in number. No, that is not said as a means of undermining anyone’s motivation, morale, or desire. Rather, it is meant as a way of properly forecasting the management of your venture and assessing the risk of getting involved with options trading. You also need a plan for when the market goes against your strategy, so that you don’t make decisions because you’re panicking.

Yes, trading in options needs to be looked from the perspective of managing a small business. When operating a small business, you need to assess the risk associated with a venture. You also need to assess the risks and potentials associated with the success or failure of the business. This same ideology needs to be put towards options trading. If you can honestly assess yourself as someone with the self discipline to follow through with a reliable options trading strategy, then you may very well be extremely successful with options trading.

Also, how well can you handle losing trades? Are you able to handle losses and pick things up and start the process over again? If you are then you may very well embody the proper psychological makeup for succeeding with options trading. Those that cannot handle the pressure of the occasional loss would be better served looking towards another investing strategy.

It has been said success starts with the right mental makeup. If you can adapt your mindset to your psychological approach to trading, you may find success is not as elusive as you think.

Dr. Paul Watson is an avid investor in both stocks and options. If you’re interested in learning a very profitable options trading strategy, then visit him at

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