1. Find What Lifestyle and Trading Strategy Works for You
Some might find it interesting that I've used the word lifetstyle before I used the words trading strategy here. If you're a forex trader then you might think that the trading aspect of what you're doing here is the most important and therefore should come first. This however is not the case.
To figure out how you're going to make money in trading, you first have to figure out who you are as a person. Let's take the example of becoming a day trader who focuses on scalping the 1 minute charts. Every new trader at one stage or another, pictures themselves as a short term day trader, constantly flicking your eyes between the DOM ladder and charts. But rarely do short term traders who trade in this manner succeed.
This is because we forget that traders are actually in fact, just human beings. Human beings with personalities, quirks and idiosyncrasies that make up their own unique strengths and weaknesses. To be successful as a scalper focused on the 1 minute charts, you need a very specialised skillset that quite frankly, not too many people have.
You have to be intensely focused, critical, driven, highly wired, but also calm enough to be able to execute over and over again. You then have to have the time available to invest into the screen time required to develop the discipline required to succeed. If you don't have the personality or lifestyle described here, then it doesn't matter how profitable your trading strategy is on paper because you have no hope in hell of executing it in real life.
Find out who you are a person. Include what type of life you live outside the realm of markets and make trading fit around that. Trading isn't meant to be your life, it is meant to facilitate your life. Don't ever forget that.
2. Become Consistent in Routine and Trading
Once again, some might find it interesting that I've placed the word routine before the word trading. Can you see a pattern developing here? Trading the system is the easiest part of trading. It is following a highly structured set of rules that you or the 1 million people before you have back tested through every possible scenario. The work has literally all been done for you.
The hard part of trading is having the discipline and inner strength to execute the strategy flawlessly. This isn't something that you need to be ashamed of. You just have to own up to the fact it is real. It is literally the fabric of what makes us human. Embrace it.
You've found out your personality in #1, so the next step is to find the routine that allows you to trade your strategy flaawlessly.
Are you a morning person rather than a night owl? Do you study or work during the standard 9-5? Are you incapable of sitting through background noise but live in a bustling sharehouse or family home? Does your mind respond best to numeric or visually based problems? Well these are all the sorts of questions that will have an effect on what sort of screen time you can devote to your trading and will have an impact on the results that your strategy can deliver as a result. Don't try to fit a square plug into a round hole. Get your routine right first.
Only then should you turn your focus to trading. Now you can find your own strategy or consistent approach to trading the markets. Testing is great, but if you've stumbled across a blog post with this headline, chances are you've already tested a whole bunch of strategies and given them the boot at the first sign of any drawdown.
Thsi is where you quite simply have to commit. Commit to your own consistent approach to trading and the long term results will follow. Most amateur forex traders fail right here because they expect consistency in their results, but don't the the strategy consistency to extract them.
You now know who you are as a person, you understand your own routine, so make an informed decision on what type of trading strategy you are going to choose AND STICK TO IT!
3. Stick With it Through Short Term Ups and Downs
I know that you've probably seen them on sites like ZuluTrade and Myfxbook, but there is truly no such thing as a straight line profit curve. The so called 'systems' that print straight lines are martingale systems that print your closed profit and ignore any floating losses. These systems are there to suck people into churning and burning for the beneift of broker paid rebates and only ever end one way when it comes to your account. A margin call.
There are going to be short term ups and downs in your profit curve. If you can't deal with the drawdowns, then you haven't planned enough and you need to go back to step #1. Taking a loss is a fundamental part of becoming a consistently profitable trader. They don't call it a trader that never loses, they call it a consistently profitable trader because to make money long term, you need to take losses in the short term.
Pick a trading system and wholeheartedly dedicate yourself to it. Msater every detail around it from planning all the way through to execution. If you have confidence in your trading strategy because of your maticulous planning that has been done around every possible scenario that both the market can internally throw up, as well as what life externally can throw up, then you have no reason to be worried and can execute your plan flawlessly when it comes to locking in that loss.
Check out my how to make a shit ton of cash trading forex blog post as the best example of my trading strategy. Click through the related CHART ART blogs that I have linked to read my full thought process around finding a higher time frame level, entering off short term pullbacks and then managing my risk in a way that allows me to cut losers short and let winners run for jackpot results like that.
If you take the same trading setup trade after trade, week after week, month after month, then you will know what and what not to do like that back of your hand. Noise and distractions will no longer matter and problems will be something that you've already experienced many times before so will be solved on the spot accroding to a clear plan.
Things won't be good all of the time, but this is okay. It is normal. Take a look at this EUR/USD trade that I blogged about last week. The setup is exactly the same as the USD/JPY trade which paid out handsomely above, but the result was far different. The important thing however, was that I was able to cut the EUR/USD loser to just -1 unit loss, while each add-in to the USD/JPY winner gave me an extra +3 unit winner. As you can see, entire years worth of profit can be made on just the one momentum backed, straight line move.
Whatever you do, don't be that guy who is always chopping and changing between projects, giving up when things get the slightest bit tough. Stick to the process and you will come out of it as not only a better traders, but also a better human being. Trading helps you grow as a person more so than the other way around. Don't worry, you'll see.
The @forexbrokr Trading Strategy Series
Trading Strategy #2 - “You should stay on a demo account until you’re profitable