Let’s begin with an intimidating, though very real, truth: trading did not get to be such a lucrative endeavor by being a straightforward practice. While the concept itself is easy to understand, the millions of intricacies involved in smart, successful trades aren’t something that can be casually picked up. Most traders lose money. So if you’re thinking about getting started, you have to realize this is very difficult.
Trading isn’t a paint-by-numbers undertaking, either – there’s no such thing as a ‘one true way’ when it comes to trading. The best way to approach it as a newcomer, or even as an experienced trader looking to hone their skills, is to absorb research and listen to several expert opinions as part of that research.
Still not sure where to start? Here are the three core concepts for trading education that seasoned, consistent traders follow to stay on top market fluctuations.
Get a Mentor
The best asset to your trading is having a knowledgeable mentor in your corner. Even the most well-written book or well-structured online trading course can only cover so many contingencies! When you run into a unique scenario and money -your money – is on the line, why gamble when you could ask someone more experience for help?
A mentor can ensure that your trading practices get off on the right foot, as well. If you develop bad habits or emotional triggers early on in your trading career, it’s going to be that much harder to “shake” them later on. Remember: your mentor has likely had the same fears, the same apprehensions and the same mistakes under their belt – learn from their mistakes and the student might even surpass the teacher, in time.
Understand What You’re Doing
We’re all guilty of coasting somewhere in life – getting the “gist” of something and just letting inertia carry you to a result. Trading, however, is not a High School literature test – it’s an important structure of rules, probabilities and information that could make you a lot of money. It’s not enough to know that cause A affects company B, you’ll need to know why that affect changes things in order to be a knowledgeable trader.
Are industry trading magazines, blogs and corporate research efforts a little dry at times? They certainly can be. That doesn’t mean they aren’t important as part of a holistic trading approach. Taking online trading courses may come with an upfront cost, but what they offer in structure and support is priceless. In addition to the course materials, you’ll get access to a community of fellow traders, which will allow you to clarify ideas and discuss strategies with other traders at your level.
When it comes to pre-made trading blueprints, following – not blindly following or copying, but keeping an eye on – certain systems will help keep concepts fresh in your mind and promote understanding. That brings us to our final point…
Forge Your Own Trading Path
The beginning trader could throw a stone and hit a dozen sources that claim they’ve “cracked the code” for 100% successful trading. Not only is that statistically improbable, it’s made to appeal to lazy traders that aren’t willing to put in the work to succeed. No matter how “foolproof” a trading system seems, always filter it through your mentor and your own trading research to ensure it’s worth pursuing.
An old saying also holds true, here: don’t count your chickens before they’re hatched. While it’s important to get comfortable with risk in trading, don’t bet the farm when you’re still learning the ropes. As you practice your trades and build confidence in your methods, success will follow naturally.