Building Superb Trading Habits

By: Larry Haywood
The world of financial trading can be an unpredictable one. Even the finest and most knowledgeable traders in the market have a awful trading session every so often. The reality that traders are human means that mistakes will happen. Nonetheless, there's always room for improvement and constructing first-rate trading habits could go a long way to increase trading profits. Here are a few basic principles that mold the building blocks of sound trading habits:

Stick with your techniques. Proficient traders have a pre-defined trading plan and many very specific trading principles. As the market turns on you, do not scrap your trading plan. That will only help to keep you away from the action. The sole formula to make money is if you continue trading and using the methods that have consistently worked for you.

Find your niche. Nearly all winning traders specialize in specific types of trades. And many successful traders also stay with what they know best. Whenever you take too many positions that are out of your trading expertise, you're extremely likely to fail. When you discover your trading niche, stick to it and you'll go more effective at what you do. If you do better at high volume trades, then you should only trade during a time period where there is high volume.



Define your risk limits. Each time you execute a trade, remember to specify precisely how much you are able to lose and how much you would be content winning. Then let the stock market guide you along the way. Sound technical analysis should be able to tell you what the optimum selling price (near resistance) is and what the best buying price (near support) is. Make certain you set your limit orders around these prices.

Define yourself. You need to be clear on what type of trader you want to be. Are you a swing trader or a day trader? It's very difficult to be successful if you try to do both. If you're a swing trader, then you have to avoid watching the minute to minute movements and all the small-scale ups and downs. You can't allow such short-term to fluctuations influence your trading if you're in it for the long run.

Patience. Once you're confronted with non-ideal market conditions, you must have the power to resist the urge to do something that is driven by impatience. This includes stopping yourself from chasing after a stock when it has already broken out or getting rid of a winning position even though you have not received any confirmation to sell.

Confidence. Scared money never succeeds. To do well, a trader must be confident in his ability to execute. This has nothing to do with arrogance or pride. But whenever you constantly second-guess your trades and question the timing of your own entries, you'll never be a prosperous trader. The hard part in all this is being able to get back your confidence after you have sustained a series of terrible losses. The only way to get over this is to keep applying all the other good habits that have been mentioned above. Whenever you make it a point to stick to them, the self-confidence will come back.

If you would like to be an effective trader, you have to be able to specify what your goals are, prepare a plan for achieving them, and stick to it. Your decisions had better be based on knowledge, discipline, patience, and faith in your own abilities. There's zero room for sentimental emotions. Mastering superb trading habits is not easy, but those who are willing and eager to get better will find it extremely rewarding.

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