Don’t Be “Just Another Statistic” – Be Committed to Trading

There’s a lot written on the subject of trading these days. Often you’ll find articles and blog posts about how to improve your trading where the author gives you insights and quick fixes. Some are useful and some are not so useful. However, that is not what I want to do here. I want to make it perfectly clear that there are far too many people who just won’t commit to the process of trading day in, day out – whether it be day trading or swing trading. If you find yourself not tending to your trading business each and every day, then consider this your wake-up call.

Fully Commit to Trading, Or Just Walk Away

I’ve spoken and helped many different traders over the years and there’s one recurring theme. Retail traders frequently just don’t have the level of dedication in order to make it. In fact I see it all the time – even now. I do understand that if an individual has personal and work commitments, it can be difficult to juggle your time. But if you can’t commit to focusing on your trading for enough time every day, either adjust your approach to a manageable level or walk away.

Now I know that some people want to find a “push button trading solution” and I can understand why. If you have a system which you only have to turn on or off, there’s no commitment required right? But I’m afraid to say that this type of solution really doesn’t exist. Sure, if you know exactly what you’re doing with a system, you might be able to operate it with less effort. But the truth of the matter is that there’s still a lot to do in order to understand a system, maintain performance over time and expand into different markets as your trading business grows. If you aren’t prepared to do the work, you’re effectively just dabbling – and how many people make a success by dabbling at something?

Process Continuity

There are at least two very good reasons for what I’m saying and they both involve continuity. The first reason has to do with watching the market day by day. By seeing what’s happening in a market and by seeing how it’s happening, a trader is much better able to get an understanding of context and get in sync with market rhythm. And this gives a trader enough insight to know when to pass up on an opportunity and when to really hit the gas. But not only that, by seeing so much of a market’s auction process, you’ll see different opportunities that you just wouldn’t know were there otherwise and then be able to formulate new strategies to capitalize on them.

Getting into the flow of the markets and immersing yourself in trading is an essential step in understanding a specific product. But it’s also an essential step in understanding yourself. Seeing what you’re good at and what you’re not is one part of this. Another aspect is then dissecting your problems and fixing them. A good analogy for this might be a golf swing. If you have an issue that you want to fix, playing golf now and then is not going to dramatically improve things. By taking the time to practice it every day you will give yourself a much better chance to improve. You won’t have to be constantly reassessing and struggling to identify the root causes of the problem – you’ll know what you’re looking for from the beginning of every session. The problem and the way in which you choose to go about fixing it, will be fresh in your mind and the solution you choose to improve your swing will at the very least have the chance to work.

The “Not Just Another Statistic” Checklist

Okay so this is really a “Am I fully committed?” checklist – clearly there are lots of other facets to determining whether a trader fails or not. But being fully committed is the first step. And without this step you’ll probably find yourself floundering in your efforts to improve all the other parts of your trading. I know that realistically there are times when you won’t be able to show up. But ask yourself these questions in order to figure out whether you are prioritizing your trading to the extent that you’d expect if you were paying someone to trade for you. I’m sure you’ll think of other questions, but the object is for you to assess your level of commitment.

  • Do you turn up every day and on time, even if you think it might be quiet?
  • Do you consistently and effectively prepare every day before you consider trading?
  • Do you effectively track your trading results and analyze performance on a regular basis?
  • Are you aware of pertinent market moving events and market focus?
  • Does your life get in the way of trading or does trading get in the way of life?

Dedication is What You Need

Nobody wants to fail, I know. But if you don’t get a handle on things and really start to dedicate yourself to becoming a successful trader, the chances are high that you won’t make the cut. The old adage that “if a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well” certainly rings true here and unfortunately, if you don’t fully commit, you’re likely to be wasting your time and money. If you can’t stay committed to trading, you’ll never see the results you’re looking for.

Trade well.

For more updates from Mark and the team at NetPicks, be sure to visit their trading tips blog at NetPicks.com.