- First Things First
You sure you really want to trade ? It is common for people who think they want to trade to discover that they really don’t.
- Examine Your Motives
Why do you really want to trade ? Did you say excitement ? Then don’t waste your money in market, you might be better off riding a roller coaster or taking up hand gliding.
The market is a stern master. You need to do almost everything right to win. If parts of you are pulling in opposite directions, the game is lost before you start.
- Match The Trading Method To Your Personality
It is critical to choose a method that is consistent with your your own personality and conflict level.
- It Is Absolutely Necessary To Have An Edge
You cant win without an edge, even with the world’s greatest discipline and money management skills. If you don’t have an edge, all that money management and discipline will do for you is to guarantee that you will gradually bleed to death. Incidentally, if you don’t know what your edge is, you don’t have one.
- Derive A Method
To have an edge, you must have a method. The type of method is not important, but having one is critical-and, of course, the method must have an edge.
- Developing A Method Is Hard Work
Shortcuts rarely lead to trading success. Developing your own approach requires research, observation, and thought. Expect the process to take lots of time and hard work. Expect many dead ends and multiple failures before you find a successful trading approach that is right for you. Remember that you are playing against tens of thousands of professionals. Why should you be any better ? If it were that easy, there would be a lot more millionaire traders.
- Skill Versus Hard Work
The general rule is that exceptional performance requires both natural talent and hard work to realize its potential. If the innate skill is lacking, hard work may provide proficiency, but not excellence.
Virtually anyone can become a net profitable trader, but only a few have the inborn talent to become supertraders ! For this reason, it may be possible to teach trading success, but only upto a point. Be realistic in your goals.
- Good Trading Should Be Effortless
Hard work refers to the preparatory process – the research and observation necessary to become a good trader – not to the trading itself.
“In trading, just as in archery, whenever there is effort, force, straining, struggling, or trying, it’s wrong. You’re out of sync; you’re out of harmony with the market. The perfect trade is one that requires no effort.”
- Money Management and Risk Control
Money management is even more important than the trading method.
The Trading Plan
- Never risk more than 5% of your capital on any trade.
- Predetermine your exit point before you get in a trade.
- If you lose a certain predetermined amount of your starting capital (say 10 to 20%), take a breather, analyze what went wrong, and wait till you feel confident and have a high-probability idea before you begin trading again.
- Trying to win in the markets without a trading plan is like trying to build a house without blue prints – costly (and avoidable) mistakes are virtually inevitable. A trading plan simply requires a personal trading method with specific money management and trade entry rules.