All of us have struggled on our path to becoming a successful trader. How long you struggle, though, is really up to you.
A few years ago, I had the worst trading losses of my career.
At that point, I had been trading for two years, and though I knew how to trade, my P/L needed major work. I struggled with;
- Lack of confidence in reading charts
- Difficulty in recognizing good setups over bad ones
- Determining which options strategy was best to place at what time
- And I was trying to trade with a toddler running around
I held onto my losses for far too long, clinging to hope that frequently left me with max losses. When I picked winners, I would panic and take profits far too soon – ensuring that my losses always outpaced my gains.
I was so close to quitting at this point, but I remember Bruce Marshall encouraging me to keep going, and telling me how close I was. Chris helped me work through my profit goals, ensuring me that it was possible to trade and make money regularly without a large account. John recommended several books to read, and these helped immensely. I especially loved Trading in the Zone and Turning Pro.
It was at this point in my trading journey that Carolyn introduced me to her work with Fibonacci, and I learned how to use well defined levels to take my trading from an emotional game to one of objectivity and true technical analysis. After that, everything else just started to click. I took the setups that I use with options and applied them in conjunction with Neil Yeager’s work, to really get an extra leverage in the futures markets.
It was these additions, along with the following advice from John and Henry, that really turned my trading around and ended my year on a very happy note.
- Don’t put the same amount of money in every trade. Pick the best setups and load up on those, while using lower probability setups for singles and doubles.
- Stop taking small profits. Wait until your target extension is hit, or close to it. Otherwise, you’re just capping your own profits. And why would you do that?
- Stop getting shaken out. Relax and trust the setup. Most people get shaken out by watching charts on too small of a time frame, and getting anxious about their position. If that’s you, try determining a target and stop level when you enter the trade, and set alerts on your platform at these levels. Then STOP watching the trade. Go do something else, and let the trade play out. You will learn how to trust your exit points.
- Scale both into and out of your positions. It hurts less when you’re wrong, and taking profits off at predetermined levels, is a good thing.
These were just little adjustments I needed to make, and it was the continued education and advice from my mentors that got me over those humps. That’s why I wanted to share it with you. Now, I know exactly how to recognize my favorite setups on a chart, and the most important part, how to trade them! I know you can do it too.
Best of all, my young son, Leo, got to hang out with his mom every day.
It’s these experiences that I look to share with you during my trading room sessions, member webinars, blogs and classes. Just remember, the expert in anything was once the beginner!