New Trader 101

Trading is not all math. It’s not just a system you plug into a chart or a path to easy money; you are going to have to earn it. If you do get lucky and make some quick money, you will eventually give it back to its rightful owners. Trading is a business that must be run in a professional manner at all times. Trading is challenging because it requires being good at many things. Why? Trading is a multidimensional sport.

Here are the foundations required for being successful:

  1. Work Ethic: You have to do a lot of work in backtesting, researching, and the study of price action. Hundreds of hours of work are required. You must have passion that can sustain you long enough to breakthrough to profitability.
  2. Support from your spouse or partner: If your wife or husband does not believe in you and what you are doing, it will prove problematic at some point. Understand their viewpoint, and ease their fears by being responsible and not doing anything stupid, like trying to trade when you are under-capitalized or without a proven system. 
  3. Capital: Without enough capital you will be ineffective and unable to trade effectively. Commissions and slippage will be a high percentage of your capital. If you have only a few thousand dollars to trade, you would do better off with long term trend trades and hold investments as you grow your capital.
  4. Mind set: You have to embrace the risk and reward of trading real capital. You must battle the unknown, not allowing it to stress you out, or give in to bailing when the uncertainty of short term results come calling. A trader must have an entrepreneurial mindset, rather than one of an employee.
  5. No Gambling: You should remove any gambling instinct. Be like a casino, measuring probabilities, odds, and possibilities of winning, rather than hoping, praying, and dreaming a huge win.
  6. Timetable: You have to change your timetable from get rich quick to steady returns and consistent growth of capital. The real path to big money is in the magic of compounding returns over multiple years.
  7. Manage Risk: Good traders risk a little to make a lot. If you risk a lot in the hopes of making a fortune, the odds are will lose a lot over the long term.
  8. Self Control:  A trader must be in control of their fear, greed, and ego at all times. These will all exist, but how they are managed will make all the difference in your success.
  9. Just Another Trade: Traders must trade at a position size that makes each individual trade just one of the next one hundred. No trade should keep you from following a trading plan.
  10. Long Term Results: Traders must understand short term results can be random. It is the faith in the long term results, while following a robust methodology, that makes all the difference.  A trader’s edge will play out and lead to profitability.

The book I wish I had when I started –> New Trader 101