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How to Launch a Trading Career

How to Launch a Trading Career
March 12
23:33 2012

Day traders experience the highest turnover rate of almost any industry. Everyday new people are entering the world of trading, only to exit just as fast as they came. There are others who have grown to enjoy trading and continue to tackle the markets only to find themselves thrown off very violently by this raging bull. There are several reasons why traders are shaken out of this game, not enough risk capital, too little education, repeat losses etc. Even some of the most successful traders in the industry can tell you horror stories of losing thousands and even hundreds of thousands of dollars before they became consistently profitable. But don’t let this scare you, there are multiple ways to launch a successful trading career, and the upside of this game is infinite.

Here are a few fundamental things to consider before launching a trading career.

Easy access doesn’t mean easy maintenance. The availability of the internet has made electronic trading widespread. New traders are constantly enticed to enter the trading game through retail traders offering flat-rate commissions, gadget filled platforms, and very little initial capital to start. However, just because a trading account is easy to open, doesn’t mean that it will be easy to maintain. Maintenance requires a lot of risk capital to sustain losses and the knowledge and skills to minimize losses.

Look before you leap. Most traders have read the disclaimer that “trading involves a substantial degree of a risk of loss and is not suitable for all investors.” Although stated very simply this is a very important message. Trading is a high intensity sport and requires full dedication, concentration and in most cases a tough stomach and hard skin. The markets will test you, drive you to the edge and catapult you to cloud 9, all within 15 minutes or less. It is important to learn from the experience of other traders and have a realistic expectation of what it will take to win.

Trading is NOT gambling. It is far better and also far worse. In gambling for the most part the odds of you winning are fixed, even if you don’t know what you are doing. In trading if you don’t know what you’re doing you will lose, period. If you have considered what this career requires and are willing to do it, you must fully commit to learning and training yourself to follow the markets. Do not dabble in the markets, you would be better off to take that money and burn it, at least you could enjoy the heat that was generated from it.

Have a plan and stick to your plan. Every successful trader has developed a unique trading style and strategy that reflects their education and often times their personality. Trading requires that you have a plan and implement that plan and let your results tell you whether your interpretation of the market is correct or not. Without a plan, it is difficult to identify the problem and track progress. A plan includes how much risk capital you’re willing to lose, when you will trade, how often you will trade, what setups you will use, what indicators you will use, etc. Doesn’t have to be scientific, but the plan should be easy to replicate or repeat.


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Today’s Day Trader Strategy

One of the most common and destructive mistakes a day trader makes is to simply not follow their plans. Temptation, an “obvious signal”, and just simple greed can lead traders down the road of being undisciplined. This is without a doubt one of the most dangerous mistakes, as traders will often lose more than they originally planned as they raised their amount risked.