Maybe you have been trading for a while; you have some great stretches, but also bad ones, and overall you just aren’t making money or improving.
In any endeavour, when we don’t do something well we seek out more information. There is lots of free information on the internet, so it seems like a logical thing to do. You tell yourself that if you learn something new about trading, maybe that will get you over the hump and into the small group of successful traders. But it isn’t working. Why?
Information is important to get you started in trading, but once you know the basic concepts, just piling more and more information into your brain isn’t likely going to help your trading.
When you started a new job did they just sit you down and tell you to read a book on how to do your job? Likely not. While they may have given you some background information to read, you likely had “on the job training.” This is where someone is there with you, to correct your mistakes and show you the right way to do something.
For some reason, people don’t think this way when it comes to trading. They want lots of information, but don’t seek out personal help from others. Trading, like any career, should have some on the job training or mentoring.
While getting a professional trader to help you may not be easy, that doesn’t mean you can’t create your own strategy, tell a friend what it is, and then get them to monitor you while you trade.
For instance, say you have a problem with overtrading, and it is one of the reasons you know you aren’t as successful as you should be. You have a strategy that seems to work when you implement it, but then you make all sorts of “extra” trades–gambling type trades–which have nothing to do with your strategy, and generally these trades don’t turn out well. You tell yourself over and over again you will stop doing it, but every day the urge occurs and you yield to it.
One way to improve your trading, but also not have to dish out a ton of money to a professional, is to simply ask someone you know to help you. Get over and shame you may feel and realize it is for the benefit of your trading, you, and potentially your family.
Tell this person your strategy and what your main problem is. Even if they aren’t knowledgeable about the markets they can likely let you know when you are about to do something you aren’t supposed to do (because you told them what you are supposed to do), and say “DON’T!”
Having someone to make you aware of your behaviour, in real-time, and make you re-think the mistake you are about to make is one of the quickest ways to rid yourself of a bad habit. Having this person sit with you for several trading sessions in a row will likely help you overcome issues that would take weeks, months or even years to overcome on your own.
Of course, in order to do this you will need to have a clearly defined strategy which you can explain to the other person.
If you can a get a professional mentor, it will likely be the quickest to improve and overcome trading issues you may be having. That isn’t always an option though. If you have developed a trading method but are struggling to implement it, ask someone to help you with it. Explain the system to them and tell them to alert you when you aren’t following the plan. Tell them to be firm with you; this is something you need to overcome, and habits are hard to break.
Let them know you’ll pay them back for their service when you are making money.