Beware of the off-quoted biz motto, “If you don’t plan, you planned to fail”. Face it, I don’t care what excuses or rationale you have for not having a plan, please don’t embark on anything, stay in bed and enjoy your day dreams.
In life one has a lot of choices but unless one decides, the entire choices will render analysis paralysis making one a fool to flow with the wind and wasted lifetime of near-misses, ifs and more regrets.
If you have by now a trading plan, congratulations! You are on solid ground towards money making in trading stocks. Whilst no one has the absolute certainty to guarantee success here, at least you are one step, a huge step nearer your dreams. At least you got an anchor to plan, carry out the required steps, and check the results against your goals and then reviewing what works and what bombs out, so to speak.
If you document your progress, it allows you to make less repeated money-losing mistakes and conserve your capital or better still lets you see and learn from other’s mistakes.
After you have a trading plan, let me share some parting secret of a successful beginner trader. Don’t just read some books, buy a black box software program, open and starting trading a brokerage account. This is detrimental to your hard-earned capital and ego. A mistake that may floor you out and out of the market, permanently.
It’s better to do an intermediate step – thru paper trading! Don’t trade using real money until you are able to win paper trading, say about 50 trades, preferably with 30 profitable ones using actual real time, real market conditions.
Why paper trade? To get some sign of success that your trading plan is profitable and you have positive-expectance in each trade. It allows you to test, examine your emotions and logic as applied to each trade, as if you are actually trading. If this paper trading works out with profitability, it gives you confidence in yourself and your system and thereby makes for better trading mindset and translates into profitable trades and so on improves your trading plan and this completes your onward ascending kaizen trading cycle. This is the exact opposite of the vicious cycle, and when this happens you are on a roll.
Of course, success in paper trading does not guarantee success in actual conditions but the confidence achieved will translate into a better trading system and hopefully a successful trader.
This paper exercise of entering a market when the buy signal is indicated will set you up to decide instantly and without second guessing or doubting. Similarly when an exit signal is given, your trading becomes automatic and that’s when you have come of age, i.e. a skilled trader. It is then you can trade effortlessly and automatically. Of course it is never easy, or quick enough for anyone to perform at that optimum level without going thru some trials and tribulations and losing money, pride and support from others. But that’s life and when you are ready, no one can predict when, you are ready to be a Zen master trader.
No one can guarantee a trade is profitable, though successful traders know before trading that the odds are in their favour and they parley time, capital and pride to ensure the war is won. Some battles might be lost but that’s part of winning and that’s where one’s skills and system comes into play.
Successful traders treat trading as a biz, and having a trading plan and the proof is thru paper trading. Then later, it’s a matter of carrying out the plan, and reviewing and repeating the cycle of always improving kaizen trading until trading is automatic and consistently successful and profitability in the trading game.
Happy Kaizen trading!