This post originally appeared in the Student Forum on www.NewTraderU.com. Thank you Salman for letting me share it with my blog readers.

Guest Post by: Salman Merchant

These are my two cents, and since I’m only a novice trader I can only speak from intuition:

Since there are a great number of strategies and trade types (day/swing/position/trend/momentum) I’d narrow the field by focusing on:

  1. What kind of trading system would make me happy? 
  2. How much screen time?
  3. How aggressive or conservative do I want to be? 
  4. What type of trading lets me sleep well at night?
  5. Who am I as a trader? 
  6. What am I good at?
  7. What am I bad at?
  8. Which situations bring out the best and worst of me as a trader?
  9. What do I really like to do as a trader?
  10. What do I really hate to do as a trader?
  11. What behaviors is my future self doing when I think of a better future?
  12. Do you fully understand what you are getting into as a trader? The risks, rewards, stress and freedom that are coming your way.

I would build a system around your personality (psychology/strengths/weaknessesand what elicits happiness or stress). That way you can narrow down the list of possibilities to things that fit you well and you’re likely to stick with. Who wants to dedicate time to something that makes them miserable? It might also help you minimize the psychological aspects that can hurt you as a trader, though I suspect this is an ongoing battle.