This column was originally published on RealMoney on March 2 at 11:00 a.m. EST. It's being republished as a bonus for TheStreet.com readers.One of the more complex disciplines in trading is patience. It's extremely important to be patient, but not too patient. After all, nothing ever unfolds in exact accordance with our plans, in trading or in life. There are always unexpected variables that change the game. If you are too rigid in your expectations, you will be far too active as you constantly rotate into position after position, each one failing to live up to your expectations. On the other hand, too much patience can be expensive. Have you ever found yourself in a position that's going nowhere? It slowly trickles lower and lower, lulling you to sleep without ever inflicting enough pain to force you to close it out. Had you been a little less patient, you'd have closed out the position and put the money to work somewhere else. That's the downside of patience. "Expect a little, get a lot; expect a lot, get a little." This is a saying that I have heeded for quite a while. If you focus on hitting singles rather than swinging for the fences, you'll score more often. Every once in a while, you'll even hit a home run without really trying.
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