If someone was ready to start trading and had a basic understanding of the markets and asked me for some of my best advice on how they could make money as a trader, this is what I would tell them.

  1. Understand that trading is like any other professional endeavor, you will be monetarily rewarded based on the effort and work you put into it to learn how to trade. Trading is one of the few fields where amateurs can go compete with professionals with a very low price of entry. Your trading tuition will have to be paid through the experience of losses and time doing your homework. You will get out of trading the effort you put into it.
  2. If you have to get others opinions about your trade, asking others advice on entries and exits, then you really need to stop trading and work on a detailed trading plan that gives you a road map of how manage a trade. If you don’t have a trading plan every thing you do is random. There is no edge in randomness.
  3. Do not waste your time on searching for the Holy Grail of trading, an easy money, can’t lose, trading method does not exist because markets change in cycles. Trading is always a competitive event between traders and market conditions are always changing from volatile to stable and from trending to choppy, so nothing works in all market environments.
  4. Successful trading is based on your winning trades collectively being bigger than your losing trades are collectively. So your goal is to either trade a system with a few huge wins and a lot of very small losses or a high winning percentage system that keeps the losing trades controlled.
  5. Do not look for a good trade, instead look for a great winning methodology to trade with. Have the right trading process and the money will follow eventually. Looking for easy money in the markets is the process for losing money.
  6. Your risk management while trading will determine your trading success more than your method. You have to make it safe to be wrong a few times in a row and not lose all your trading capital.
  7. If you want to be a successful trader then focus on what is actually happening with price action and stay away from your own opinions and biases of what should happen. Wanting to be right for the sake of your ego is another expensive game. You can’t predict a nonexistent future.
  8. You can’t use anyone else’s system, you have to trade a system that fits you. One that you understand and can trade with discipline because of your confidence in it and yourself.
  9. Look for and find your own edge. What are you the best at doing in the markets? Some are masters of shorting, others trend following, some are great at selling options that expire worthless. Usually the type of trading you are the most passionate about gives you the drive to research it until you find that edge.
  10. Master some aspect of trading, find something to be an expert on. A market, a stock, IPOs, options, futures, day trading, trend following, etc. Don’t be a jack of all trades, be a master of one type of trading.