To get inspiration and motivation I read a lot. Not only trading books but also from other completely different topics. Actually, I learn more from books which is not related specifically to trading. Other fields can be related to trading so no need to only read trading books which more or less are 80% the same. I mean, how many times do you want to read “cut your losses and let your profits run”? And by the way, so much of the trading literature is simply wrong or grossly exaggerated. You need to think outside the box and find the least populated path.
One of my favourite trading books is Pitbull by Marty Schwartz. Schwartz claims one of his keys to success was to “take losses quickly”. Even tough it’s a good book (highly motivational) I still find this saying completely out of tune. It’s a typical saying which noone actually tests. Schwartz was not a mechanical or systematic trader (and I have no idea if he’s still trading). How can you tell if it’s such a great idea to take losses quickly? If I cut my losses quickly it would cause havoc to my profits. Almost all of my positions are in a loss before they turn into profits. Granted, I’m a short term investor (occasionally a long term investor) and only trade mean reversion. Perhaps it’s different if you “trade with the trend” (also another saying i’m highly sceptical to. What is a trend?). It’s impossible to find the top or the bottom. If I “cut my losses quickly” I would have nothing but losses. As a matter of fact, I usually scale in and out just because of this.
I only exit on different time intervals. That works very good for me. However, sometimes the loss only get bigger and bigger, like yesterday, where a lot of stocks simply trended throughout the day. But it does not happen often. A big loss halfway in the day usually gets better. Instead of cutting losses it makes a lot more sense to exit on the same time day after day.