I define a mistake as not following your rules. Thus, for many people who have no written rules, everything they do is a mistake. But if you have followed the first four steps, then you will have rules to guide your trading and you can define a mistake as not following those rules. And, of course, when you repeat the same mistake over and over again, then that is self sabotage. However, by monitoring your mistakes and continuing to work on yourself, you can minimize the impact of such mistakes. People who do this, in my opinion, will tend to produce consistent, above average profits
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- Work on yourself and your personal issues so that they don’t get in the way of your trading. This step must be accomplished first; otherwise, it would interfere with each of the other steps.
- Develop a business plan as a working document to guide your trading. This business plan is not to raise money, which is the purpose of many business plans. Instead, it’s designed to be a continual work-in-progress to guide you throughout your trading career. The business plan actually helps you with all five of the steps. The plan also includes an overview of the big picture influencing the markets you will be trading and a method for keeping on top of those factors so that you will know when you are wrong.
- Develop several strategies that fit your view of the big picture and understand how each of these strategies will perform under various market types. The ultimate goal of this step is to develop something that will work well under every possible market condition. It’s actually not that hard to develop a good strategy for any particular market condition (including quiet, sideways). What’s difficult is to develop one strategy that works well under all market conditions—which is what most people attempt to do. (more…)