Traders must have rules and trading plans because in the heat of trading when emotions flare up that is when greed, fear, and ego can easily hijack the trader. Traders all have many different conflicting parts that can interfere with trading execution. The need to be right, the need to make money, the fear of loss, and the greed of making a lot of money can take over any trader that does not have a disciplined approach that is created before the day begins. Mechanical systems, trading rules, along with positions sizing and risk management factors can keep a trader safe from making huge mistakes.
Here are the top 10 Questions Traders must ask to protect them from themselves.
1. Where does the price of my trading vehicle have to go to prove I was wrong about my entry?
2. How much is the maximum I will lose on the trade if I am wrong?
3. What are my rules for entries?
4. How will I exit my winner to bank profits?
5. What is the current trend of the time frame I trade in?Where is my best entry point to trade in this direction?
6. What is my watch list for things I will be trading today?
7. What is the maximum amount of risk I will put on at any one time?
8. What has to happen in the markets for me to just go to cash?
9. What exactly is my edge that will make me successful in the long term?
10. What is my objective as a trader? Capital appreciation? Trading for a living? Financial independence? 20% annual returns?
To be a successful trader you must first ask the right questions. I believe the above questions are a great place to start.