Hope is NOT a Winning Trading Strategy

In the famous book “Reminiscences of a Stock Operator” by Edwin Lefevre, “The traders deadly enemies are: Ignorance, Greed, Fear and Hope.”

It is why we use swing trading to guide us to profitability. Swing trading not only increases our gains in bull markets, but also protects our capital against loss in bear markets.

Hoping For Success

All of us have a bias that typically causes us to focus on good news. Bad news is avoided, or ignored.

When we take a position in the market, whether long or short, we of course “hope” it will be successful. Hope can be such a powerful emotion, that when the same swing trading plan that told us to enter a position, quickly reverses and tells us to exit immediately, our emotions may very well focus on the possibility that if we just hold on a bit longer, any loss might be recovered.

Just give it another day and wait till it is back to break even.

The only way to avoid this is to recognize that hope can destroy our ability to profitably swing trade the markets.

Successful Swing Timers Win Because

Swing trading, in fact all trading, cannot be successful without a “plan.” Trading by emotion, or “seat of the pants” is not at all different than gambling. Successful swing traders win because they follow a plan.

No person will be right all the time. Knowing this, we must accept that we will have losses.

“…recognize that hope can destroy our ability to profitably trade the markets.”

What separates the winning traders, from the losers, is their ability to recognize that when a trade goes bad, there is no amount of hoping that can fix it. The only decision, is not really a decision at all. If you are following a good trading strategy, just follow the “plan.” If the plan says reverse, then just do it.

Simple right? But not if you cannot accept a loss. Then hope springs eternal. You can find a hundred reasons not to close out the position and take your small loss.

Winning swing traders have their share of losses. But they keep the losses small. They follow their plan and DO NOT hold onto a losing positions “hoping” it will break even or turn into a winner.

In Vegas The House Always Wins

When you go to Vegas, everyone knows that the odds are in favor of the house. But we gamble anyway “hoping” that we will beat the odds and make money.

But Swing trading is not gambling. When you trade with a “plan” you have an edge that you know will win over time, just as long as you are disciplined and follow it. Just as the casinos know they will win over time in Vegas, the trading plan provides the “edge” that makes us winners.

But once we lose that edge, and start hoping instead of following our plan, we become like the gambler in Vegas.

And in Vegas, the house always wins.

Hope and Your Ego

Hope is closely tied to ego. No one wants to admit that we have made a mistake. Our ego wants success, and wants it immediately.

Taking a Loss make us feel like a loser. And our ego can cost us a lot of money.

No the number one rule in swing trading to make money is we need to keep losses small, while letting our winning positions run. Hope is not a strategy and has no place in swing trading.


A plan does not rely on hope. A plan has no ego. A plan gives us, as swing traders, an “edge” over the market and other traders.

Each day we need to examine ourselves. If we feel that hope is part of our trading plan, remember that hope is almost a guarantee of losing money.

If you are just starting out, then using the swing trading service will start you on the right path. They can teach you the ropes.

Here are the two stock picking services I use:

Jason Bond Picks Review

Microcap Millionaires Review

Regardless of which Stock Picking Service you use or if even if you choose to go it alone, please download my two trading guides; 7 Habits of Millionaire Traders and How to Take the Proper Size Position for Your Account

NO strings attached, NO email required.

Trading Guides

If you have any questions about Microcap Millionaires, Jason Bond Picks or any of the other stock picking services I have reviewed, feel free to contact me and I will get back with you as soon as I can.

– Robert Walsh

Robert Walsh

I am an avid swing trader who has been trading stocks and futures for almost 10 years. I enjoy many sports like, golf, tennis and have been running mud races now like the Tough Mudder. If you have any questions about trading or the stock picking services I reviewed, feel free to contact me.

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