1. OPPORTUNITY. There are dozens of these every day, unfortunately you can’t buy them all, so only pick the top 10 and then narrow them down to 2 to 3.
This is done by using your buying criteria which is part of your trading plan which you already have written down. (Hopefully you have one?)
2. BUYING and SELLING. I have a pre planned strategy which I have developed by trial and error; this was achieved by learning by my trading mistakes and the mistakes of others.
3. PATIENCE.This is definitely a virtue worth developing. Sometimes the market is going up in the right direction, but is not going as fast upwards as you would like. Be patient and use a “stop loss” to lock in those profits. However small they may be. Also don’t always be in a hurry to “buy that next share” just because you have that money burning a hole in your pocket. Do your homework and then you have chosen the right share for the right reasons and not just because it looked good
4. STRESS.If it is hurting! Don’t do it, cut your losses or be content with a small profit and get out. (more…)
A planned trade is one that is guided consciously, filtered according to a variety of criteria that are designed to provide a positive expectancy. The opposite of a planned trade is an impulsive one, in which traders enter markets before explicitly identifying what they are doing and why. The difference between planned and unplanned trading is one of intentionality: being proactive in taking controlled risks vs. being reactive to what has already occurred in markets. Even the most intuitive and active trader can trade in a planned manner, if many of the elements of planning are achieved prior to entering positions.
So what are these elements of planning? The ideal trade identifies:
1) What you’re trading – Why are you selecting one instrument to trade (one stock, one index) versus others? Which instruments maximize reward relative to risk?
2) How much you’re trading – How much of your capital are you going to allocate to the trade idea versus other ideas?
3) Why you’re trading – What is the rationale for the trade? Why does the trade idea provide you with an “edge”?
4) What will take you out of the trade – What would lead you to determine that your trade idea is wrong? What would tell you that the trade has reached its profit potential?
5) Where you will enter the trade – Given the criteria that would take you out of the trade, where will you execute your idea to maximize the reward you’ll obtain relative to the risk you’ll be taking?
6) How you will manage the trade – What would have to happen to convince you to add to the trade, scale out of it, and/or tighten your stop loss? (more…)
Here are a list of ten types of traders I have observed on social media. We have all likely been more than one of these types at some time or another while trading. But we need to focus like a laser on the only real reason we should be trading: to make money and once we have made it, to keep it.
- Greedy Traders: They trade too big and risk too much because their only goal is the easy money. They usually end up blowing up their account.
- New Traders: They have no idea how the markets work so their only goal should be knowledge. New Traders do well to stay students until they have done their homework. Rushing in to make money without risk management, a winning method, the right mind set, and a trading plan will result eventually in failure 100% of the time.
- Arrogant Traders: Their only goal is to prove they are right and satisfy their fragile egos. Arrogant traders will lie, delete tweets and posts, never admit when they are wrong. When they are wrong they will hide it under a cloak, when they are right they will scream it from the roof tops.
- Trend Traders: Their only goal is to ride a trend and make money. Trend traders will buy high and sell much higher, they will short and cover much lower. They look like genius’ and prophets in a trending market either way it trends but they look like they can’t even trade in choppy or whipsawing markets. In the long term they do very well.
- Scared Traders: Their only goal is to not lose their capital. Scared traders will immediately close losing trades and also immediately take profits. They are very stressed out in trading due to not understanding the nature of trading itself or just can not handle the uncertainty or risk. They either need to do their homework to develop their faith in or if they have done the homework trading may just no be for them. (more…)
It’s been said too many times to count – that you must trade according to your personality. In the movies they might call it “being true to yourself” or something cheesy, but it’s a necessity in this job.
Recently I was asked which chart patterns I prefer to trade, continuation chart patterns or reversal chart patterns. My answer was that while I will actually trade either, I suppose the continuation and breakout type of patterns are the ones I trade more often than reversals or buying on support levels.
I don’t think one setup is superior to the other, they both have their pros and cons, and you have to go with what fits your style best.
Buying on support is an anticipatory play, which may take a few extra days to get moving. It can give you a lower cost basis than another trading strategy, but will require greater patience on your part while you wait for the stock to find traction.
Buying a stock which is breaking out puts you (by definition) in a stock that’s already on the move. This is a confirmation play. You get instant feedback on how your trade is developing and how much momentum the stock has.
The setups you select for your trades need to incorporate your personality tendencies on managing those trades once you are in them. For me, I tend to be a bit impatient and I want to know as soon as possible whether or not I’m right or wrong on a trade. Other traders don’t live in the left lane, and they’re willing to give a stock some time to get moving one way or another. They place their protective stop and turn their attention to something else in the meantime while waiting for their trade to make a move. Personally, I prefer to have my money at risk for the shortest timeframe possible. I really prefer the times when the market conditions are producing breakout plays and continuation patterns like the bull flag or ascending triangle patterns.
So, when you’re doing your homework and looking for quality setups to trade, be sure to consider the ones which fit your personality and your style of trading. Those will be the trades which you ultimately will manage the best.
In the spirit of April Fools Day here are the ‘Ten Most Foolish Things a Trader Can Do’. In no particular order of foolishness.
- Try to predict the future movement of a stock, and stay in it no matter what.
- Risk your entire account on one trade with no stop loss plan.
- Have a winning trade but no exit strategy to get out, no trailing stop or exhaustion top signal.
- Ask for and follow the advice of others instead of trading with your own trading plan, method, rules, and system.
- Trade your emotions instead of signals: buy when you are greedy and sell when you are afraid.
- Trade your opinions, not a quantified method.
- Do not bother to do your homework on trading, just jump in and trade, you are smart, you will figure it out.
- Short the best and most expensive stocks in the stock market and buy the cheapest junk stocks.
- Put on trades you are 100% sure are winners so you do not even need a stop loss or risk management.
- Buy more of a trade that you are losing money in and sell your winners quickly to lock in small profits.
Do not trade foolishly my friend.