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Don't Break Your Promises

Dont Break Your Promises Ok, so you’ve made the big decision one day that you want to become a trader. You’ve saved enough capital to make it a worthwhile venture. You’ve done a few courses. You’ve read a few books. You’re at the stage where you understand the importance of having a strategy and a Trading Plan.

At the end of the day you are as ready as anyone starting a new profession and entering into the unknown. Nothing will ever equip you initially on what trading is really all about of course, yet you’ll find out soon enough.

So this brings me to a very important point. One that is often overlooked when it comes to trading. And all the moving parts and noise that goes with it.

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When Less Equates to More

When Less Equates to MoreAs a novice trader, I studied every theory under the sun. And used every technical indicator. I introduced as much noise into my strategies thinking that more was best.
Surely everything combined would ensure all bases were covered? It was a ridiculous assumption.

It was some years on before I realised that reducing the number of trading decisions was the direction I should have been heading.

The next decision was what to take out of the quagmire of strategies to relieve me of the distracting noise, contradictions and confusion.

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Trading in the Now

trading in the nowLao-Tzu was an ancient Chinese philosopher and writer who coined the following phrase:

If you are depressed you are living in the past.
If you are anxious you are living in the future.
If you are at peace you are living in the present’

In relation to trading, living in the past may relate to a bad trade you made. Maybe you risked too much and took a heavy loss. Or perhaps you made an impulse trade centred on FOMO which ended badly.

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The Art of Risk Management

reading booksI’ve read many books about successful traders. ‘Market Wizards’ by Jack D Schwager is an obvious one. If you haven’t read it I’d suggest you get your hands on a copy.

One of the key lessons coming from many of the traders interviewed in the book, was to never risk more than 1% of your trading capital on any one trade.

New traders may misinterpret this as only being able to trade with 1% of your trading capital. Yet what it actually means is adjusting your stops and position sizing appropriately, so that your greatest loss is only 1%.

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Overcoming FOMO

FOMOFOMO. The Fear of Missing Out.

In trading, it is the fear of missing out when you see a stock or market start to rally and you get a strong desire to join in.

It’s an impulse trade and is a common pitfall, especially for newer traders. A pervasive underlying anxiety that others are having a rewarding experience. Whilst you’re missing out.

To become a successful trader you need to get FOMO out of your trading repertoire. So here are a few simple tips on how to go about it:

Tip #1: Understand what your role is. You’re a trader not a gambler. Stay true to your plan and all the hard work you’ve done developing your trading strategies.

Tip #2: Ensure your trading plan includes strict instructions that your trades are only placed well in advance. For end of day traders that means placing your trades before the market opens and never on a whim.

Tip #3: Understand that you will never latch onto every winning trade. Even when following your trading plan perfectly. You will always have losses. Yet trading isn’t about winning or losing. It’s about discipline, processes and execution.

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Mastering the Markets

mastering the marketsK. Anders Ericsson is a Swedish Psychologist. He is an expert researcher in the psychological nature of human performance.

Ericsson created the phrase ‘deliberate practice’. He found that the difference between high performers and average performers was whether deliberate effort was being put in over the longer term to improve performance.

Ericsson narrowed deliberate practice into 4 key areas. Each of these areas can apply to every trader’s journey towards market mastery.

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Are you Playing the Blame Game?

blame gameIt’s easy to look for someone or something to blame when a trade goes against you.

Let’s face it. We’ve all done it at some stage throughout our trading journey.

It was my Broker’s fault for recommending the stock to me. The CEO lied. Moondoggy on Hotcopper said it was a guaranteed winner. Trumps tweet caused me to get stopped out. The markets are corrupt.

Laying blame elsewhere means you are not taking responsibility for your trading. You are disempowering yourself and admitting that you’re not in control.

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Methodology vs. Psychology (Part 2)

psychology In Part 1 of our series last week, we emphasised the importance of Psychology over Methodology.

Instilling in yourself a degree of acceptance when it comes to market behaviour.

Acceptance leads to harmony and peace of mind. A human state that if achieved, will go a long way towards your journey of becoming a successful trader.

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Methodology vs. Psychology (Part 1)

psychology Welcome to Part 1 of our two part series on Methodology vs Psychology.

I love this quote from Mark Douglas:

"We don’t see the markets as they are, but rather our interpretation of them."

It’s a scary thought.

If we are all basing our interpretation of the markets on a subjective viewpoint, then every trader is coming up with variations in analysis. It's a free for all!

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BORING IS THE GOAL

boring goalI’m amazed at the number of traders that have an excited, almost euphoric rush in their voice when talking about trading.

When the markets open it’s like they’re entering a casino. With all the noise and excitement of slot machines, roulette tables and flashing lights. An alluring party atmosphere.

Yet let me tell you one cold hard fact about trading. If you view it like a casino or a theme park full of roller coasters and sugar hits, then you’re destined for the scrap heap pretty quickly.

It’s easy to see why people get caught up in the hype. They react to the second-by-second price ticks as stock valuations change and evolve in the blink of an eye.

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