Mind: The key to winning is inside the Mind. As Master of your mind, you have to manage and understand your emotions very well. It is extremely important to understand not just the individual’s psychology, but also the crowd psychology of the markets. To become a successful trader, you must have sheer perseverance and discipline.
Method: There is no Holy Grail in the search for the perfect method to trade. Follow the wisdom of ‘Plan your Trade and Trade your Plan’. A good trading plan should cover your entry, exit and position sizing requirements. My method consists of discretionary trading techniques that combine both fundamental and technical analysis, in addition to my own proprietary automated trading system. Coming up with a good trading plan requires lots of market experience, as you modify, conquer and solidify your trading techniques. Don’t be duped by charming salesmen selling get-rich-quick-without-effort secret recipes.
Money: Overall profit/loss depends on money management. The first goal of money management is capital preservation. If you lose 10% of your capital, you have to make 11% just to break even. If you lose 40%, you need to make 67%, and if you lose 50%, guess what? You have to make 100% just to recover! So before you think about making big money, first you got to think about not risking your capital unnecessarily. Money management is too important to be overlooked.
Successful trading requires the individual to have more than a certain amount of control over emotions and behaviors.
Emotions may include, but not be limited to, the following items:
1. Anger, anxiety, confusion, depression, disappointment, exhilaration, frustration, insecurity, passion, satisfaction, etc.
Behaviors may include, but not be limited to, the following items:
2. Arrogant, consistent, controlling, denial, following through, [im]patient, [ir]rational, letting go, perseverance, stubbornness, tenacity, etc.
Having control over these and other emotions and behaviors will allow for the trader to execute trades objectively, and more importantly, according to a strategic plan.
Sounds easy enough, does it not? “Execute trades objectively, and more importantly, according to a strategic plan.” Being that traders are human, it is not such an easy task to accomplish. It is not easy to be objective and diligent about sticking to a strategic plan day after day after day – especially with the constant volatility and erratic dynamics of the market tempting and enticing you at every turn to take actions that are NOT necessarily objective and NOT necessarily part of the strategic plan.
Expectations that are too high, too soon. Beginning futures traders that expect to quit their “day job” and make a good living trading futures in their first few years of trading are usually disappointed. You don’t become a successful doctor or lawyer or business owner in the first couple years of the practice. It takes hard work and perseverance to achieve success in any field of endeavor–and trading futures is no different. Futures trading is not the easy, “get-rich-quick” scheme that a few unsavory characters make it out to be.
“Over-trading.” Trading too many markets at one time is a mistake–especially if you are racking up losses. If trading losses are piling up, it’s time to cut back on trading, even though there is the temptation to make more trades to recover the recently lost trading assets. It takes keen focus and concentration to be a successful futures trader. Having “too many irons in the fire” at one time is a mistake.
1. Plan your trades. Trade your plan.
2. Keep records of your trading results.
3. Keep a positive attitude, no matter how much you lose.
4. Don’t take the market home.
5. Continually set higher trading goals.
6. Successful traders buy into bad news and sell into good news.
7. Successful traders are not afraid to buy high and sell low.
8. Successful traders have a well-scheduled planned time for studying the markets.
9. Successful traders isolate themselves from the opinions of others.
10. Continually strive for patience, perseverance, determination, and rational action.
11. Limit your losses – use stops!
12. Never cancel a stop loss order after you have placed it!
13. Place the stop at the time you make your trade.
14. Never get into the market because you are anxious because of waiting.
15. Avoid getting in or out of the market too often.
16. Losses make the trader studious – not profits. Take advantage of every loss to improve your knowledge of market action.
17. The most difficult task in speculation is not prediction but self-control. Successful trading is difficult and frustrating. You are the most important element in the equation for success.
18. Always discipline yourself by following a pre-determined set of rules.
19. Remember that a bear market will give back in one month what a bull market has taken three months to build.
20. Don’t ever allow a big winning trade to turn into a loser. Stop yourself out if the market moves against you 20% from your peak profit point.
21. You must have a program, you must know your program, and you must follow your program.
22. Expect and accept losses gracefully. Those who brood over losses always miss the next opportunity, which more than likely will be profitable.
23. Split your profits right down the middle and never risk more than 50% of them again in the market.
24. The key to successful trading is knowing yourself and your stress point.
25. The difference between winners and losers isn’t so much native ability as it is discipline exercised in avoiding mistakes.
26. In trading as in fencing there are the quick and the dead.
27. Speech may be silver but silence is golden. Traders with the golden touch do not talk about their success.
28. Dream big dreams and think tall. Very few people set goals too high. A man becomes what he thinks about all day long.
29. Accept failure as a step towards victory.
30. Have you taken a loss? Forget it quickly. Have you taken a profit? Forget it even quicker! Don’t let ego and greed inhibit clear thinking and hard work. (more…)
The weakest part of any trading method is the trader themselves. There are many, many, robust trading systems and methods that do make money in the long term. The problem is the trader having the discipline and mental toughness to trade one of them consistently. The vast majority of time it is not a system failure but traders that fail in this game through one of seven common errors. If you can understand these error and overcome them you could make a lot of money in the right market conditions.
- The trader must have the discipline to take the system’s entries and exits.
- The trader must have the discipline to take the stop loss on a losing trade when it is hit and not keep holding and start hoping.
- No matter the method the trader has to manage risk through proper position sizing, getting greedy and trading too big will blow up even the best systems.
- It is the trader that must have the perseverance to stick to the method even during losing periods, and also stick with trading until success is reached.
- If a trader can not manage their mind then the stress will break them, I have seen this happen many times. If you can’t handle losing you can’t trade.
- The trader must find a robust method, must understand why it has an edge, and must believe in their methodology.
- The trader has to know themselves and trade the method that fits their risk tolerance levels and own psychology.
The good news is that if none of these error fit you when you lose money in a trade then the market was just not conducive to your methodology, and it is not your fault so don’t dwell on it.
If we don’t do the homework to know what we need to know we will fail due to ignorance. Understanding historical price action, reading books by and about the best traders, seminars, mentor-ships, and systems testing is all part of the homework we must do to get the needed knowledge.
While trading with a small account is a good place to start it is not a good place to stay. Traders must be adequately capitalized for meaningful trading. We must have an affordable broker that does not charge bloated commissions and gives great execution on orders. A trader must have a platform and charting service that is adequate for his trading style. Trading a small account with an expensive broker with poor execution is a path to eventual failure. (more…)
The only indicator you need is your OWN analysis and HardWork .
” Trading is simple but its not easy “
Its requires 1000,s of hours of screen time there are no short cuts .
This simpleness only becomes apparent once a trader find,s a setup or tool that fits their persona –
Markets are made up of people just like YOU – Find out Who you ARE and what makes you Tick – Once you,ve found it after Hard-work and perseverance only then you will find the Market tick sync with you.
THE THREE M’s: Mind (psychology), Method (a trading edge) and Money (risk or money management).
But what does each of those things mean? Many of these answers came from other great traders sharing their wisdom in books and my own successful trading through all types of markets with bigger and bigger accounts that created a need for me to up my game and get better and better.
Mind (psychology) You must have the right winning mind set to make it in trading.
Discipline to follow your trading plan.
Perseverance to keep going through the losing periods.
Faith that your trading method works. (more…)
Nicolas Darvas has inspired traders for many generations. His book, “How I Made 2,000,000 in the Stock Market” is one that you’ll find on many recommended reading lists including my own. While some have argued that much of Darvas’ success had to do with lucky timing, his books are still widely read and for good reason.
A lot of traders can identify easily with Darvas because he went through the process of learning how to trade much like most people do today. Darvas began by first looking for the “secret” to the market. And, just like all of us have found, after finding no success from trading on the stock tips of others including brokers and expensive newsletters, Darvas figured out that he ultimately had to develop a trading system on his own. He accomplished that feat by committing himself to years of study of the market and from learning from his own mistakes. His determination, perseverance, and constant self-evaluation offers an excellent model for all traders to follow.
In continuing a series of posts where I share my notes I’ve taken (and refer to from time to time) after reading the books and methods of others, here are some things you may find of interest about Nicolas Darvas and his approach:
Trading Lessons From Nicolas Darvas:
- There are no good or bad stocks. There are only stocks that rise in price and stocks that decline in price, and that price is based on the laws of supply and demand in the marketplace
- “You can never go broke taking a profit” is bad advice that will result in overtrading and cutting winners short. Selling winners and holding losers is to be avoided at all times (more…)