Do you remember trying to spot the right entry conditions for your EUR/USD reversal trade while feeling drowsy from the cold you caught two days before? To me, it has always been a challenge. It is like trading late in the night or while being drunk. And a cold is nothing in comparison to how miserable my interaction with the market can be made by a flu.
That an illness can affect cognition is not news, but the research studies show that it is not some subjective experience due to poor mental capabilities. The following adverse effects will impair your trading if you have a cold:
- Slower reaction times and lower alertness
- Slower processing of new information
- Tasks involving verbal reasoning and semantic processing become harder to solve
As you can see, all these effects are detrimental to successful FX trading. Slower reaction time will kill your scalping advantage. Slower processing of new information will affect your fundamental analysis. Poorer task solving will impair your technical analysis. Some of the effects can be mitigated by taking drugs — paracetamol for example, or as one study suggests, paracetamol in combination with caffeine. However, the best way to avoid making your job as a trader more difficult than it already is is to abstain from trading while sick.
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Normally, I try to avoid trading even with mild symptoms of a cold or flu. And how about you?
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