Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Trade The Plan

I can not say enough about this rule. This is probably one of the most important aspects of trading, and undoubtedly has contributed to demise of so many traders.
In trading, we are the biggest obstacle to our success. Most of our mistakes come from our inability to follow our rules. I am not saying anything new here that has not been well-documented in trading teaching and mentoring books. Any of them could be a big help and should be read on regular basis. But I will concentrate on just a few details in this post, and try to reflect on our very hard profession.
I would be rich if I had a dollar every time I heard traders say: "I just want to concentrate on my next trade". Of course you do, but have you learned anything from your last one? I bet I would get a quick "yes". Well, then why do you make the same mistakes over and over? In chart analysis I look in the past to predict the future. It is similar in trading. If you can look at your previous trades and learn from your mistakes, you could adjust your trading to avoid the same outcome. Once you do that, you can develop a carefully-designed trading plan, and follow it religiously for your future success. Once you develop the plan, stick with it. Please do not change it, if it brings you success. It is ok to change some details and adopt to different trading conditions. But do not scrap your plan altogether because you heard about some new best thing since sliced bread, or found a "holy grail" indicator. We doubt ourselves too much with questions on when to trade, why we are in the trade and when to get out while in the trade, and when to get back in. If you have a plan written down you would know, just refer to your notes, read over them daily if needed, and follow them all the time. This is a simple formula for survival in this profession. Yes, you heard me right - survival. Only 5% of all traders make consistent profits (well-documented fact). The other 95% either break even or lose on consistent basis, with many dropping out due to blowing their accounts. With such startling statistic, it is understandable why our profession is one of the hardest of all. Odds are stacked against us before we even begin.
Some folks say that trading is gambling and it is not a profession. Everyone is entitled to their opinion. You know what I think. I am still here, still trading, still surviving, just following my plan...

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