Trading is one of the few professional fields where anyone can go against professionals very quickly and easily by simply opening a trading account. There is no college required, no degree, or apprenticeship needed before a new trader steps up to compete in the world markets against seasoned traders and professional money managers. The 10% of profitable traders feed off the mistakes of the other 90% of unprofitable traders that do things that put the odds against them and cause them to lose money. Here are ten things that cause the big losses over and over and can lead to blowing out an account if not corrected.

  1. New traders keep an opinion even after the market has proven them wrong, day after day.
  2. New traders add to a losing trade making it bigger and bigger hoping for a reversal to get the trader back to even.
  3. They trade a very big position size becasue they are 100% sure that the trade will work.
  4. They take a trade that they do not fully understand, it could be bid/ask spreads, volatility, liquidity, time decay, implied volatility collapse, leverage, margin, etc. Ignorant trades almost always end badly. 
  5. They are bears in a bull markets shorting new all time highs.
  6. They are bulls in a bear markets catching falling knives.
  7. The trader instead of taking their initial stop loss when wrong about a trade convert their trading plan to hold and hope.
  8. They buy far out of the money front month options with terrible odds of making money. 
  9. They risk a large amount of money trying to make a little bit of money.
  10. They trade first before they have done the proper homework on what leads to success.

“The key to long-term survival and prosperity has a lot to do with the money management techniques incorporated into the technical system.” -Ed Seykota

“If you diversify, control your risk, and go with the trend, it just has to work.” -Larry Hite.

By Steve Burns

After a lifelong fascination with financial markets, Steve began investing in 1993 and trading his accounts in 1995. It was love at first trade. After more than 30 successful years in the markets, Steve now dedicates his time to helping traders improve their psychology and profitability. New Trader U offers an extensive blog resource with more than 4,000 original articles, online courses, and best-selling books covering various topics.