1. Holding on to a position and some trashy news or major unexpected world event happens that causes the market to tank, and I do not have the stop loss in place to take money off the table. The market takes all my profits away.
2. Holding on to a losing position and sweating while it continues to either tank or move sideways.
3. Reporting to my son that I stubbornly held on to a losing trade instead of trading my plan, aka, behaving like an idiot!
My learnings to far:
1. Easy to read and talk about cut loss. Emotionally hard to do as we all want to win. Having done some major cut loss, its now easier. I guess practice makes perfect. If a trade/scalp is not going my way, I will cut loss without hesitation. Yes, it may reverse and go my way later after I cut loss. No matter because it could also go the other way! I’m learning to trade my plan. Easy to read about, talk about, very hard to do.
2. I’m working out my stop loss positions to be activated for my value stocks as well in case I don’t have time to react to market conditions
3. Trade with the trend. If trend reverses against me, I cut loss. Hard to fight the trend, and harder to keep hoping day after day that tomorrow will be better.
4. After cutting loss on a losing position, I feel better, mind feels at ease, feel calmer and can think better. Easy to talk about, hard to do.
1. You Must Have a Game Plan
2. You Should Follow the Game Plan
3. Always Trade With a Stop Loss
4. Diversify Your Trades
5. Trade the Big Moves While Filtering Out the Small
6. Trade With the Overall Trend
7. Do Not Listen to the News; Only the Market
8. Don’t Listen to Your Broker.
9. Have Money Management Rules
10. Most Important: Have the Discipline to Follow the Rules
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…)
1. never EVER add to a losing position. EVER! If it’s not working, why add good money to bad? At this point, you are in damage control mode. It’s another thing if you are trying to pyramid into a position. For example: You go into a trade with 1/3 size, add another 1/3 and add the final 1/3 in an attempt to build a full position in a stock you feel strongly about. I do not mind that. But adding money to a full position which is not working is a BIG NO in my book! You never want any ONE trade to ruin your entire week or month folks. DISCIPLINE!
2. NEVER ever compromise your stop loss. I know a nice ran away bull market makes everyone think that’s okay to remove the stop loss or lower the stop loss to much lower levels because eventually the stock will bottom and rebound. BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL guys! This is absolutely NOT what we are trying to do as traders. This is basically turning your trades into investments just because you cannot handle the pain of a small loss. It is much easier to dig yourself back form a 2-3% loss than a 10-15% loss. Hindsight is always 20-20 and most of you will say “gosh, i shoulda stuck to the original stop”. Trust me, life will be much less stressful taking occasional small stop losses along the way then being stuck in “hold and hope” mode.
The Components of a trading plan:
1. Entering a trade: You must know clearly at what price you plan to enter your trade. Will it be a break through resistance, a bounce off support, or a specific price, or based on indicators? You need to be specific.
2. Exiting a trade: At what level will you know you are wrong? Loss of support, a price level, a trailing stop, or a stop loss? Know where you are getting out before you get in.
3. Stop placement: You must either have a mental stop, a stop loss entered, or a time stop alone, or a time stop with an indicator.
4. Position sizing: You determine how much you are willing to risk on any one trade before you decide how many shares to trade. How much you can risk will determine how much you can buy based on the equities price and volatility.
5. Money management parameters : Never risk more than 1% of your total capital on any one trade. (2% maximum for aggressive traders who can handle bigger draw downs.)
6. What to trade: Trade things you are comfortable with. Swing trading range bound stocks, trend trading growth stocks, or trend following commodities or currencies. Trade what you know.
7. Trading time frames: Choose your time frame, are you a day trader, position trader, swing trader, or long term trend follower? If you are a long term trend follower do not get shaken out of a position in the first day by taking profits or getting scared out, know your holding period and adjust your plan accordingly.
8. Back testing: Do not trade any method until you review charts over a few years to see how you would have done, or for the really savvy run software back testing on historical data for your system for as much as can be quantified. There are also precooked systems like CAN SLIM, The Turtles Trading System, and many Trend Following Systems that can be found online or purchased. You need to enter your trading knowing you have an edge.
9. Performance review: Keep a detailed record of your wins and losses with profits and losses. You need to be sure that your method is working in real trading, review this after each 20 trades. Also if you had any issues with discipline then learn from your mistakes or make needed adjustments to improve your system.
10. Risk vs. Reward: Enter high probability trades where you are risking $1 to make $3, or trade a system that wins big in the long term through trend following.
To HEAR you have to listen and listen intentionally. You will not HEAR properly if you are focused on other things. This situation is especially true on a webinar or during the trading day when the markets are open. It is essential to set distractions aside and HEAR what is being stated.
To RECEIVE something you have to HEAR it and come into agreement with it. To RECEIVE is to take it unto yourself and personally grab hold of what you have heard and make it your own.
To be successful you have to believe that what you HEAR and RECEIVE can add value to your current situation. You have to BELIEVE that a specific strategy repeated and correctly executed, regards of any specific outcome, will provide successful results over time. You will act on what you believe In all areas of life. Please make sure you really do BELIEVE it and are not allowing any contradictory mindset to compete with your belief because it is possible to hold two opposing beliefs at once. This is being double minded and leads to instability. Being firm and unswayed in what you BELIEVE can lead to becoming a successful trader. (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…)