Just be sure your personality fits the style of trading you undertake. A personality mismatch will lead to stress and certain losses. Choosing a reputable broker is of paramount importance, and spending time researching the differences between brokers will be very helpful. You must know each broker's policies and how they go about making a market.
For example, trading in the over-the-counter market or spot market is different from trading the exchange-driven markets. Also, make sure your broker's trading platform is suitable for the analysis you want to do. For example, if you like to trade off Fibonacci numbers , be sure the broker's platform can draw Fibonacci lines. A good broker with a poor platform, or a good platform with a poor broker, can be a problem.
Make sure you get the best of both. Before you enter any market as a trader, you need to know how you will make decisions to execute your trades. You must understand what information you will need to make the appropriate decision on entering or exiting a trade. Some traders choose to monitor the economy's underlying fundamentals and charts to determine the best time to execute the trade. Others use only technical analysis. Whichever methodology you choose, be consistent and be sure your methodology is adaptive.
Your system should keep up with the changing dynamics of a market. Many traders get confused by conflicting information that occurs when looking at charts in different timeframes. What shows up as a buying opportunity on a weekly chart could show up as a sell signal on an intraday chart.
Therefore, if you are taking your basic trading direction from a weekly chart and using a daily chart to time entry, be sure to synchronize the two. In other words, if the weekly chart is giving you a buy signal, wait until the daily chart also confirms a buy signal. Keep your timing in sync. Expectancy is the formula you use to determine how reliable your system is.
You should go back in time and measure all your trades that were winners versus losers, then determine how profitable your winning trades were versus how much your losing trades lost. Take a look at your last ten trades.
If you haven't made actual trades yet, go back on your chart to where your system would have indicated that you should enter and exit a trade. Determine if you would have made a profit or a loss. Write these results down. Although there are a few ways to calculate the percentage profit earned to gauge a successful trading plan, there is no guarantee that you'll earn that amount each day you trade since market conditions can change.
However, here's an example of how to calculate expectancy:. Before trading, it's important to determine the level of risk that you're comfortable taking on each trade and how much can realistically be earned. A risk-reward ratio helps traders identify whether they have a chance to earn a profit over the long term. Risk can be mitigated through stop-loss orders , which exit the position at a specific exchange rate. Stop-loss orders are an essential forex risk management tool since they can help traders cap their risk per trade, preventing significant losses.
One loss could wipe out two winning trades. If the trader experienced a series of losses due to being stopped out from adverse market moves, a far higher and unrealistic winning percentage would be needed to make up for the losses. Although it's important to have a winning trading strategy on a percentage basis, managing risk and the potential losses are also critical so that they don't wipe out your brokerage account.
Once you have funded your account, the most important thing to remember is your money is at risk. Therefore, your money should not be needed for regular living expenses. Think of your trading money like vacation money. Once the vacation is over, your money is spent. Have the same attitude toward trading.
This will psychologically prepare you to accept small losses, which is key to managing your risk. By focusing on your trades and accepting small losses rather than constantly counting your equity, you will be much more successful. A positive feedback loop is created as a result of a well-executed trade in accordance with your plan.
When you plan a trade and execute it well, you form a positive feedback pattern. Success breeds success, which in turn breeds confidence, especially if the trade is profitable. Even if you take a small loss but do so in accordance with a planned trade, then you will be building a positive feedback loop. On the weekend, when the markets are closed, study weekly charts to look for patterns or news that could affect your trade. Perhaps a pattern is making a double top , and the pundits and the news are suggesting a market reversal.
This is a kind of reflexivity where the pattern could be prompting the pundits, who then reinforce the pattern. In the cool light of objectivity, you will make your best plans. Wait for your setups and learn to be patient. A printed record is a great learning tool. Print out a chart and list all the reasons for the trade, including the fundamentals that sway your decisions. Mark the chart with your entry and your exit points. Make any relevant comments on the chart, including emotional reasons for taking action.
Did you panic? Others prefer buying or selling breakouts. Some like to trade using indicators, such as MACD moving average convergence divergence and crossovers. Once you choose a system or methodology, test it to see if it works on a consistent basis and provides an edge. Test a few strategies, and when you find one that delivers a consistently positive outcome, stay with it and test it with a variety of instruments and various time frames. You will find that certain instruments trade much more orderly than others.
Erratic trading instruments make it difficult to produce a winning system. Therefore, it is necessary to test your system on multiple instruments to determine that your system's "personality" matches with the instrument being traded.
Behavior is an integral part of the trading process, and thus your attitude and mindset should reflect the following four attributes:. Once you know what to expect from your system, have the patience to wait for the price to reach the levels that your system indicates for either the point of entry or exit.
If your system indicates an entry at a certain level but the market never reaches it, then move on to the next opportunity. There will always be another trade. Discipline is the ability to be patient—to sit on your hands until your system triggers an action point.
Sometimes, the price action won't reach your anticipated price point. At this time, you must have the discipline to believe in your system and not to second-guess it. Discipline is also the ability to pull the trigger when your system indicates to do so. This is especially true for stop losses. Objectivity or " emotional detachment " also depends on the reliability of your system or methodology. If you have a system that provides entry and exit levels that you find reliable, you don't need to become emotional or allow yourself to be influenced by the opinion of pundits.
Your system should be reliable enough so that you can be confident in acting on its signals. Although there is no such thing as a "safe" trading time frame, a short-term mindset may involve smaller risks if the trader exercises discipline in picking trades. This is also known as the trade-off between risk and reward. Instruments trade differently depending on the major players and their intent.
For example, hedge funds vary in strategy and are motivated differently than mutual funds. Large banks that are trading in the spot currency markets usually have a different objective than currency traders buying or selling futures contracts. If you can determine what motivates the large players, you can often align that knowledge to your advantage.
Pick a few currencies, stocks, or commodities , and chart them all in a variety of time frames. Then apply your particular methodology to all of them and see which time frame and instrument align to your system. This is how you discover alignment within your system. Repeat this exercise regularly to adapt to changing market conditions. Therefore, the art of profitability is in the management and execution of the trade.
In the end, successful trading is all about risk control. Try to get your trade in the correct direction right out of the gate. Evaluate your trading system, make adjustments, and try again. Often, it is on the second or third attempt that your trade will move in the right direction. This practice requires patience and discipline to achieve success. Trading is nuanced and requires as much art as science to execute successfully, which means that there is only a profit-making trade or a loss-making trade.
Warren Buffet said that there are two rules in trading: Rule 1: Never lose money. Rule 2: Remember Rule 1. Stick a note on your computer that will remind you to take small losses often and quickly rather than wait for the big losses. Novel Investor. Trading Skills. Trading Strategies. Your Money. Personal Finance.
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