It would seem that the closer a trader is to 100% winning trades, the better trader they are. On the flip side it would seem that the closer they are to 0%, the worse they are. While it is certainly true that you would like to win the most trades possible, there is more to it than that. I would argue that a 95% win rate is infinitely worse than a 65% win rate. Hopefully this article will help to tell you why.
Our first look will be at those traders with a low win rate, say those with a classification within the 0% to 40% range. If the trader falls closer to the 0% rate one would think him to be a genuine loser. In truth, most in this category are losing traders. But you will sometimes see a trader trying to snag really large moves with really tight stops. This guy may show an extremely low win percentage but could still be a very successful player.
Lets look at the next range, say from 40% - 70%. Most winning traders will fit into this category. These traders don't win by picking all winners and only the rare loser. Indeed, they may have more losers than winners. The secret to their winning ways is that they know how to manage their open trades. They avail themselves of rational stops that will more often than not be executed. This behavior will often result in a losing trade; however, it is a small, basically inconsequential loser. These losses are only a small percentage of their successful trades. These traders usually have the ability to cut their losses and let their winners run free. Not many traders have the discipline to actually exercise this simple concept. They go all or nothing and wind up with mostly nothing.
Our final grouping is in the very high range of a percentage of 70 and above. Most people want to fall on the bandwagon of a trader who is close to 100%. Most people are making a mistake; they should actually align themselves with the trader of a much more modest % win rate. Why is that, you may ask? The reason for the high win percentage of these traders is that they are most of the time taking profits off the table as they appear. A working plan if they also cut their losses in the same way. Any trader, though with a 95 % plus win rate is not following this plan. They do not accept small losses and go forward with their trading day. Oh no, they allow a loser to run rampant for all eternity and may even add to that position in some circumstances. You can see that this in time will wipe out many months of winning trades in one blow and the results are disastrous. For every 500 pip winners obtained one at a time, one 500 pip loser negates them all. And yet, this trader falls into our "winning" range of over 99% winning trades and is in reality a big loser.
Do not think for one minute that the reason for this article is to convince you that no trader outside the specified ranges is automatically a losing trader. I'm quite sure that there are traders that are successful with a win percent falling outside of the above ranges. The point of this article is to lead you to thoroughly investigate the trader with the 95% win rate as he could implode upon himself (and you) at any minute.
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