If trading came with a “Best Practices” manual, life would be a lot simpler, especially for new traders. But, this isn’t the way that reality works, unfortunately. That doesn’t mean that certain best practices do not exist. But rather than saying to yourself, “I’m going to start trading today,” and being magically handed this book, you will need to go out and look for the information yourself.
Luckily for you, many of these concepts have been boiled down to their basics and recorded on the web for you to learn from. Many top traders have made YouTube videos that you can use for your benefit, others have written ebooks or have written things down in their blogs. However, the best information that you will ever find will be from your own experience. Here are a few easy things that you can do as a trader to help yourself keep moving forward in the markets–any market, really–and create your own “Best Practices” guide specific to your own trading style.
Keep track of everything you do when you start out. This goes for your trades, and your trade prep. Keep track of the time you spend researching, the time you spend considering which trades to make, the thought process as you go into a trade, and record your entry and exit strategies for the trades, too. This will seem excessive, and it is, but it’s not something that you will be doing for forever. This is something you should do for your first two or three weeks as you begin your career so you can get an idea of all the components of what you are actually doing. It serves a very important purpose as you learn. It shows you where you spend your time, how you formulate trades, and most importantly, it shows you where you can improve. You will find that you might be extremely inefficient in some areas. Either you are wasting time reading financial news when you don’t need to, or you are not sure of yourself when you enter a trade, or the moment a trade is live, you begin to feel self doubt. Keeping an all-inclusive trading journal will help you to better learn this information about yourself. And it will help you to keep improving in the future.
You don’t have to be super detailed for life. Once you learn some of these things about yourself and make the proper adjustments, you can focus on just recording the basics. Learn from your mistakes and experience for sure, but don’t spend time on the things that are not helping you.
The best traders usually have tried a few different things, have found what they are best at or most interested in, and then specialized in that. You don’t have that experience yet. You don’t know what you’re best at, or what you enjoy the most. There’s no point in pigeonholing yourself into something if that’s not what’s best for you. If you’ve only ever tried trading in the Forex market, try binary options. If you’ve traded stocks, try commodities or indices. Branch out. If you’ve tried swing trading, try day or position trading. Keep an open mind and see what you can do that is best for you.
You will be surprised to learn that many marginal Forex traders are great binary options traders. And many great stock day traders do even better when they keep their trades open a bit longer. You can fit in this category too, if you give yourself a chance, but you’ll never know unless you keep an open mind.
The goal of trading is to make money. If you are losing money, it might be a normal swing in the market, or it might be a sign that this isn’t right for you. If it’s the latter, that doesn’t mean that trading isn’t right for you, just your current methods. Keep learning and educating yourself, and look around until you find the best method to create more wealth for you and your family. Everyone has skills, and everyone can translate that into becoming profitable.