Overtrading: What It Is and How to Avoid It

 Overtrading: What It Is and How to Avoid It

In simple terms, overtrading is the act of buying and selling or trading too much of an asset. Overtrading occurs when an investor risks more than they can afford or trades repeatedly and without planning.

Every trader and investor should establish rules for themselves and accurately assess their risk tolerance. A professional trader will set limits for themselves and determine how many trades per day are enough for them. When a trader (for reasons that we will discuss later) exceeds their risk tolerance, we say that they are engaging in overtrading.

There is another definition of overtrading that relates to exchanges and brokers. This type of overtrading occurs when an exchange executes a large number of trades with user accounts in order to generate fees for themselves. Overtrading by exchanges is illegal and considered a form of manipulation. Additionally, if overtrading occurs on a large scale and by a large number of investors, it can lead to severe market volatility, price manipulation, the creation of financial bubbles, and even market crashes.

Why Traders Overtrade

There are many reasons why traders overtrade. Some of the most common reasons include:

  • Fear of missing out (FOMO): Traders may feel the need to trade more in order to avoid missing out on potential profits.
  • Recency bias: Traders may be more likely to trade based on recent price movements, even if those movements are not representative of the underlying trend.
  • Gambling mentality: Traders may view trading as a form of gambling and may be more likely to take on excessive risk.
  • Emotional trading: Traders may make trading decisions based on their emotions, rather than on sound analysis.

How to Avoid Overtrading

There are a number of things that traders can do to avoid overtrading. Some of the most important tips include:

  • Have a trading plan: A trading plan will help you to define your risk tolerance and establish rules for when to enter and exit trades.
  • Set limits: Set limits on the number of trades you will make each day and the amount of risk you are willing to take.
  • Take breaks: Don't trade every day. Taking breaks will help you to stay refreshed and avoid making emotional decisions.
  • Journal your trades: Keeping a journal of your trades will help you to track your performance and identify any patterns that may be contributing to overtrading.


Overtrading can be a serious problem for traders. It can lead to losses, burnout, and even addiction. By following the tips above, you can help to avoid overtrading and improve your chances of success as a trader.

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