Always Protect Yourself
Trading without protective measures to reduce risk order is being ignorant to the realities of the damage the market can do to you psychologically, emotionally and financially. If you enter the market without protecting yourself first, you are the perfect candidate for a catastrophic, life-altering event in your trading career.
You must never forget, as you trade, that security in the market is a fable. It does not exist. Trading without protective measures to minimize loss is outright exposure to financial self-destruction. Always make sure that you put the correct measures in place before you start trading. It is when you don't protect yourself that you will open a door to one of the scariest rooms you will ever walk through in your entire life. As you learn to trade and get a little experience coupled with successes under your belt, you'll step into an arena of false security. That is why people drown in the ocean. They swim with insufficient respect and knowledge about what the ocean can do (a false sense of security) based on a feeling. They have the feeling that they are greater than the force of the ocean and it is at this point that they drown. The sad part is that the ocean meant to do no harm. It was just doing what it does. It was simply carrying on as it always has. Like the ocean, the market exists with no feelings. Without the proper knowledge and respect for the market, you too can drown from a financial standpoint. And if you do drown, the market will feel nothing! Why? It can't feel and it can't care. As I have pointed out, it is a part of nature and it does not have any emotions.
Protecting yourself at all times, and in every trade, needs to become a subconscious habit. It should become every bit as mindless as avoiding walls when you walk. Never trade without looking at the downside first or the opposite side of the risk you are taking. You should never trade without asking yourself, "If this trade does not work out, can I afford to lose X amount of money?" Protect yourself at all times and if you take a financial loss, don't take it personally. Emotions control most traders and when you let your destructive emotions get involved, it may become hard for you to make any money as a result of your trading efforts.