Last week was Masters week, and I’ve got golf on the brain. This got me thinking about the similarities between golf – one of my favorite sports – and trading. (And, no, “They are both frustrating as hell” is not one of them.)

Golf is an individual sport and trading is an individual occupation. When a golfer makes a bad shot, there isn’t anyone to blame except the person in the mirror. The same goes for trading. When a trader makes a mistake, the only one to blame is himself.

Notice that I said “mistake” instead of “losing trade.” Losing trades are part of this game. And, in fact, a losing trade isn’t necessarily a bad one. (Though, of course, a bad trade will more than likely be a losing trade.)

One thing I’ve noticed about my golf game is that if I make a bad shot and then let that shot linger in my head, my next shot is usually bad too. The same thing can happen in trading. If you make a bad trade, don’t dwell on it… because that can cause you to make another bad trade.

If you want to master golf or trading, you need to learn from your mistakes. But you’ve also got to move on without the mental baggage of the last shot or trade. Your game will thank you for it.

[Ed. Note: Rick Pendergraft is a professional trader and market analyst. In Rick’s new investment service, he gives easy-to-follow, step-by-step advice that you can use to create consistent, automated income. Learn more about how he can help you produce explosive gains – no matter which way the market is trading – here.]

Inspired by his high school economics teacher, Rick Pendergraft fell in love with the markets at an early age. He entered his first investing competition at 17, and opened his first brokerage account before he finished college. At the age of 23, on the third options trade he had ever placed, Rick turned $1,800 into $22,000 in less than a week, when the company he bought became the target of a takeover. He admits it was a stroke of luck, but it was a memorable education as to the leverage that options can provide.
After a ten year career in banking, Rick decided to pursue trading full-time. To get his foot in the door, he started out in the sales department at Schaeffer’s Investment Research. It was not long before his talent was recognized and he was invited to apprentice under Bernie Schaeffer, one of the top options traders in the world. Rick thrived in his new position and twice received the award for “Top Trader.”Rick has developed a loyal following of readers who are grateful for his timely warnings and profitable advice. He is widely recognized as a market expert and has been frequently quoted by Reuters, BusinessWeek, Forbes, USA Today, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. Rick’s primary focus is on identifying short and intermediate term rising and falling trends in the major market sectors. His analysis is based on technical factors along with indicators of market sentimentRick lives near Delray Beach, FL with his wife and three children.