Becoming a successful trader takes massive time, dedication and straight up hard work. If you expect to make money overnight, you’re in the wrong profession. Instead, begin your trading journey with a clear understanding of what’s possible, and don’t be afraid to put in the work!
It’s true that trading can offer limitless financial gains, but only for those who treat it as a business, and do whatever it takes to become consistent. Because on the flip side, for uneducated traders, there can be massive downside risk and even the wiping out of an entire account. I’m pretty confident you don’t want to be that trader…
So, do yourself a favour and take a moment to read and absorb these important (and necessary) tips for both new and experienced traders:
1. Treat trading as a business.
Trading is not a hobby or a game. It is a business and should be treated as such. And, like any other business venture, trading comes with its own set of expenses… in the form of losses. Always remember, losses are an inevitable part of the process and can be expected. However, it is your job (and your job alone) to minimize risk, preserve capital and stay focused. You must show up every single day – and be accountable to yourself! The sooner you treat trading as a business, the sooner you will succeed… it’s that simple.
2. Create a trading plan.
The worst thing a trader can do is to approach the market blindly. If you begin executing positions without a comprehensive trading plan, I guarantee that the road to consistency will be rocky and steep. Educate yourself first, and ensure that you have sound rules and strategies in place… so that when the time comes to pull the trigger, you’ll be ready. My entire trading plan, which took me 6 years to develop, is included in my Trading MasterClass- click here and become my student today.
3. Set attainable goals.
It might not be wise to aim for 100% returns during your first month of trading… in fact, you may as well throw in the towel now if that’s what you’re hoping for. Be realistic, but also expansive. Know what’s possible for you and then stretch yourself just enough to keep you motivated and hungry. Make sure to review your goals often and don’t forget to celebrate the small victories along the way… remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
4. Review your trades.
One of the most powerful things you can do as a trader is to review your closed positions – both wins and losses. There is always something to learn without exception- maybe you exited too early, perhaps your initial analysis was off, or you missed a key trend line, the list goes on… To be in peak state you must have full awareness, and this again comes back to accountability. Treat trading as a business and review every position you take.
5. Preserve your capital.
See yourself as a Professional Risk Manager… This means cutting your losses short (think of the 1% rule), and never ever marrying a position. Be aware of FOMO and Revenge Trading (see my previous blog post for more on these concepts), and utilize leverage properly. With trading, there are many moving parts, so the more educated and clear you are, the easier it is to preserve your capital and make some serious gains.
6. Be emotionless.
Easier said than done, right? Intellectually this may not be a challenging concept to grasp… but when you’re watching a trade go from +3% profit to -1% loss in a matter of minutes, that’s when your psyche is really put to the test. Remember what I said earlier, losses are an inevitable part of the process… And even though our analysis may be spot on, the market may have other plans. Stay as calm and collected as possible, follow your trading plan to a T, and you will succeed.
7. Stick to a routine.
As traders, we must practice discipline at all costs. When we are disciplined and have a certain amount of healthy structure in our daily lives, this translates over to our trading. Every single day I have the same routine… I wake up, meditate, get my morning coffee and hit the charts with fresh eyes and a positive mindset. Discipline is key- so create a routine that works for you, and stick with it.
8. Make time for yourself.
Some people have this false idea that traders have to spend all day on the charts, just waiting to execute those perfect setups. But this just isn’t the case. If you’re going to succeed in this business for the long-term, it’s absolutely necessary that you find a healthy balance in your life… for both chart time and personal time. You will perform 100 times better if you’re relaxed, happy and in peak state. Listening to an inspirational audiobook as you go for a morning jog can be just as important as putting in that extra hour of backtesting. Take care of yourself first and the results will come.
9. Learn from your mistakes.
I will continue saying this until I am blue in the face. “Failures are your very best learning opportunities”. Be grateful for every single mistake you make, but LEARN FROM IT. No one is perfect, not in trading or in life. So embrace your journey and allow each mistake or perceived failure to catapult you into a higher level of understanding and growth. The traders who succeed, know this and practice it daily.
Now, I’m not saying fly to the Himalayas, find a cave, and meditate for 8 hours a day. Quite the contrary actually… I spend about 15 – 20 minutes meditating each morning before hitting the charts. The amount of clarity, focus, and inspiration I gain from doing this is irreplaceable. I recommend you adopt some sort of meditation practice, whether it be seated for 10 minutes in the morning, an afternoon nature walk, or a Qigong practice, it doesn’t matter. Just find a way to clear your mind and prepare yourself mentally for the trading session. You won’t regret it.
I truly hope these 10 tips will assist in your own personal trading journey and perhaps help to expand your awareness. And just remember, we are all different unique, human beings… so what works for you, may not work for the next person.
Be true to who you are and become the very best trader you know you can.