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.