May 22, 2008 at 10:09 am | | Comments 4

Patient Progress

Developing an effective trading methodology takes time and patience. It doesn’t happen overnight, even if you hit a home-run in your first at-bat. It’s been said there is no substitute for experience, and that is as true in trading as it is anywhere else.

There will always be stories of new traders who had no idea what they were doing who happened to get lucky with a big score early. They are the exception, not the rule, so pay them no mind. The truth is that becoming a great trader and gaining the experience you’ll need is likely to take some time, so pull up a chair!

I’ve always found it interesting how in the trading realm, speed does not necessarily trump wisdom and discernment when it comes to capturing big profitable moves. Oh sure, the gunslinger-type might be able to impress with some rapid-fire executions, but they’re often outgunned by guys who have been around the block a time or two. The point of trading is to make money, so even if your trading style involves the need for speed, remember that it’s going to take some time to formulate your opinion. You might be eager to learn, but be careful not to rush the process.

Truth be told, you’ll be far better off pulling up a seat beside an experienced trader any day of the week than to hear a story from an overleveraged and overconfident new trader who just made a heroic trade. The experienced trader has been around and seen it all, and often times can spot a move coming from a mile away. Plus they have an uncanny ability to sift through all the noise and get to what really matters – gauging the forces of supply and demand. Stated otherwise, they know how to wait on the market.

So as you proceed down the path in search of profits, remember to be patient with yourself. Take it slow if you’re just starting out, and don’t force trades, especially if you don’t have a defined trading plan or method. Preserving your trading capital so that you can stay in the game is your number 1 priority if you’re going to find success in this game.

Observe the market, observe other traders, and always observe yourself. Don’t let your emotions get the best of you – and you will find yourself fighting them plenty! Giving yourself the best odds for success in every individual trade, every week, and every month will leave you knowing that over time you have an edge.

And finally, keep tabs on your progress – not just monetarily, but psychologically as well. If you’ll be honest with yourself along the way about what you’re learning and how well you’re applying it, you’ll shorten the learning curve significantly. The idea is to always be gaining momentum as you progress, just like a good trade!

Trade well out there!

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