February 13, 2008 at 6:15 am | | Comments 9

Jack of All Trades, Master of 1 or 2

Most of us have heard the phrase, “jack of all trades, master of none.” What’s funny is that I don’t think that phrase was actually created to describe a trader, even though there are quite a few who certainly fit that description. For whatever reason, beginning traders especially seem to want to try a little bit of everything, kind of like a trading sampler platter.

What is it about us that makes us want to learn every way to skin the cat? Curiosity, perhaps. Drive, determination, ambition? Yes, probably. I’d say a lack of patience when chasing success also plays a part. But what so many of us tend to forget is that good trading doesn’t have to be complicated trading.

Even the most basic of technical analysis books will point out a number of different chart patterns worth studying, but the reality is that not all of them have to be traded. You can actually do quite well just sticking with a couple of favorite setups, provided of course that you stay consistent in how you enter and exit. You don’t have to master every trading style out there in order to be profitable – just getting good with 1 or 2 that you’re comfortable with is enough.

Trying to learn every trading style and expecting to apply them correctly in order to extract profits from the market is simply unnecessary. That’s not the objective of a successful trader. The experienced trader probably has a few tactics in his arsenal, but he knows he doesn’t have to use them all in order to do well. He can be profitable just by exploiting one or two good strategies, so long as he patiently waits for the proper times to apply them.

Does that mean you never try to grow or learn? Absolutely not! Successful traders will slowly add new strategies to their trading repertoire as time goes by, so strive to do the same. Finding new and different ways to profit is part of the fun of trading, and the market will at times reward your ability to adapt. So make an effort to become a well-rounded trader, but remember your bread-and-butter setups!

Jeff White
President, The Stock Bandit, Inc.
Swing Trading & Day Trading Service

[tags]Stock Market, Day Trading, Stock Trading, Investing, Swing Trading[/tags]