In trading there are the first two hours of the day, then there’s everything else. Those first two hours are where the emotional commitment is. If you made money the previous day, you can’t wait for the market to open. If you lost money the previous day, you can’t wait to have the chance to redeem yourself.

Seasoned traders know that emotional chasers will be looking for the hot stock in those first two hours. That’s the time interval where you’ll usually see the biggest moves — the opening range plays, second day plays, red-to-green plays, ETF plays, etc. They give you the biggest candles on the initial push, and then the rest of the day is a big dead zone in comparison.

So what happens when you miss your initial window? You didn’t act quickly enough on your premium opportunities and they ended up passing you by, so you’re left with a couple choices: You can try to play catch up with 2nd and 3rd tier opportunities and risk getting annihilated, or you can step back and look to set up plays for the next day.

Eventually, you’ll always get a premium hand. It may not come today, tomorrow, or even this week. But you know an easier trade will be there in the future. Why play 2 9 offsuit when you can wait for pocket Kings?

Trading is all about longevity. The sooner you figure out how to step back and be patient when premium opportunities aren’t there, the more stable you’ll be as a trader.

For more thoughts from myself and the late, great “Rabbi of Wall Street” — Mayer Offman — check out this 20-minute interview by Sang Lucci

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