In most professions, a positive working environment is encouraged ― if not guaranteed ― by the employer. Accordingly, businesses spend millions of dollars every year to achieve the perfect balance between competition, social welfare, and output. While the overhead is much lower for active traders, the need for an atmosphere conducive to success is just as important.
For futures traders, the working environment is multifaceted. In addition to physical surroundings, one’s own headspace and online presence factor greatly into the ambiance. An untimely distraction, no matter how subtle, can cause countless errors ― and cost money.
However, creating an ideal trading environment need not be a herculean task. Through a little thought and the guidance of a competent futures broker, your best setting to profit may be much closer than you think.
Creating an Ideal Trading Habitat
Futures trading is a cerebral pastime, akin to playing a high-stakes game of timed chess. In order to excel, you must be able to think clearly and act decisively. Even if you’re implementing a fully automated system, troubleshooting and performance evaluations are best conducted in relative peace.
The contemporary digital marketplace has made trading a solitary pursuit. As any futures broker who was around the open outcry auction system will tell you, this was not always the case. Futures trading was a full-contact, in-your-face business. Now, participants engage the markets remotely from the comfort (or discomfort) of their desk. Going to work is not the same thing for every trader ― some walk to the garage, while others go to a coffee shop.
Below are a few subtle factors that frequently influence trader mindset and performance. While these stimuli affect each person in different ways, each is worthy of considering. If an obscure issue seems to be hindering your performance, it may be one of these factors:
- Room Temperature: It sounds a bit counterintuitive, but comfort can be a double-edged sword. There is no denying that extreme hot or cold temperatures are distractions. Nonetheless, a pleasant 72℉ can lull traders into a false sense of security, leading to uninspired trading. Turning the temperature dial down a few notches or opening a window (weather permitting) are good ways to keep things fresh in the office.
- Foot Traffic: Different types of trading require different levels of concentration. No matter the exact discipline, constant movement and chatter from bystanders can be a focus-killer. Trading in a shopping mall or an airport is a challenge for most people ― limiting the chaos in your immediate vicinity ensures you can pay proper attention to the markets.
- Music: Music is a stimulus that impacts everyone differently. Music can help relieve stress, but getting amped up on heavy metal may not be a good idea before going long WTI crude oil. If performance is lagging, your playlist may offer a clue as to why.
- Stimulants: As with music, studies have shown caffeine and nicotine enhance alertness and short-term cognitive abilities. Of course, moderation is key, and drinking a pot of coffee during the pre-market hours is ill-advised. If you use these stimulants, then you should quantify and respect your personal tolerance levels.
In truth, your ideal trading habitat will be unique to you. There is no one “correct” answer, as each of us has different abilities and sensitivities. If trading at a coffee shop while sipping a macchiato proves profitable, then it is right for you. But if your performance is subpar, taking a hard look at your surroundings is a solid first step to fixing the problem.
Selecting a Competent Futures Broker
While developing a positive trading environment is essential to sustaining profitability, securing the services of a competent futures broker is also a must. Engaging the market through high-quality access promotes success.
For more information on how a futures broker can help you achieve your market-related goals, check out the service suite offered by Daniels Trading. From self-directed online options to full-service managed portfolios, the team at Daniels has everything needed to make your journey into the markets a fruitful one.