I already know what you’re going to say: this article’s title is pretty daring. Even though it’s bold, I promise it’s not an exaggeration. If you read this whole article, think about it carefully, and then use the advice I’m about to give you, you’ll see that the headline isn’t exaggerating.
It’s not as hard or hard to find as you might think to become a successful trader. All you have to do is change a few things about how you act and, more importantly, how you think. I think the information I’m about to give you might be the “missing piece” of the trading puzzle you’ve been trying to put together. So, please read this whole article to the end.
Step 1: Don’t trade for the next week.
This is a very important first step to take if you want to improve your trading right away and solve any problems you’ve been having with trading quickly.
If you don’t take a break from trading, it’s hard to see clearly the mistakes you’ve been making. So, the first thing you need to do is close any open trades and stay away from the market for the rest of the week. Don’t do any trades at all.
This week, you will do a number of things. Here are the most important ones in order:
- Review and update/tweak your trading plan – If you haven’t been using your trading plan, that probably explains a lot about why you’ve been having trouble in the market lately. So, get it out and make sure it’s still what you want. If you don’t have one, you should make one. If you don’t know where to start, get my trading course, where I show you how to make a trading plan.
- Change the way you think – During your week off, enjoy how it feels to not be in the market. Realize that THIS is how you should feel MOST of the time, which means you shouldn’t be in the market most of the time. Most of the time, you should trade like a crocodile, which means you should be patient and wait for trades with a high chance of success. Understand that you are getting closer to your goal of becoming a successful trader when you stop thinking you need to trade a lot to make money and start accepting that you need to be more patient and disciplined.
- Organize – I want you to get organized wherever you trade from. Organize your trading office if you have one. If you don’t, just clean up your computer by getting rid of old files and other things. Next, put your trading plan into a nice-looking document. You can print it or laminate it if you want, but make it look professional and well-organized so you’re more likely to use it.
- Clean your charts – If you haven’t done so already, take everything off your charts, including all indicators and other things. Set up your charts the way I suggest here, and before you start trading again next week, I want you to go through the markets you trade and add the key chart levels BEFORE the markets open. In this recent article about how to draw support and resistance levels, you can learn how to do this.
So, to sum up, you should:
- Take a full week off from trading
- Review, update, or make a trading plan if you don’t have one
- Take a full week off from trading
- Change your way of thinking about trading from “needing” to trade all the time to “trading like a sniper” with patience
- Get your trading space, computer, and trading plan in order
- Make clean charts with no indicators and mark the key chart levels for the next week
Step 2: Change how you think about trading success.
You will need to change your idea of “successful trading” from “fast money, fast cars, etc.” to “learning to trade properly and following your trading method and trading plan.” When it comes to trading, slow and steady beats quick and rash. What you need to know is that successful trading means making slow but steady progress and gains every month. The sooner you realize this and start acting in a way that shows you understand it, the sooner you will be a successful trader.
Stop thinking of the market as “constant opportunities.” I think of trading more as “a window to potential money-making opportunities, but with many traps and high risk,” so you have to be careful not to get caught. You will learn how to avoid bad trade signals and the many “traps” that happen on the market every week through education, screen time, and experience. That doesn’t mean you won’t have any losing trades; it just means you won’t lose money because you weren’t ready or weren’t in the right frame of mind.
Step 3: Quit gambling and learn how to trade properly
There are basically two ways to trade: randomly, like a gambler, or like a skilled and patient market analyst.
Even if they start out with high hopes, most people end up trading like gamblers. Trading is easy to get hooked on, and if you do, you are now a gambler on the market, whether you know it or not.
You have to make a real effort not to become a trading gambler if you don’t want to be one. If you just go with the flow and trade without proper training or a plan, you’ll end up gambling. It’s just how we are as people and how we are built. To be successful in trading, you have to put in more work than you may be used to and think and plan strategically. I’m not saying it’s “hard” or that you have to be very smart to do it. I’m just saying that it takes more objective planning and analysis than most people think or are likely to do.
The best thing to do is learn how to trade with raw price action data in a simple, minimalist way. Learning how to trade properly is the first step to being a good trader. If you haven’t learned how to trade properly yet, you should make it a top priority because it will be the basis of your trading. Once you have that foundation, you can use it to make a trading plan and use the “mind shifts” I talked about in this lesson. If you do that, you won’t have to worry about “how” or “what” to be successful in trading. You’ll just have to make it happen and follow the “blueprint” I’ve given you here.
“If you don't find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.”
- Warren Buffett
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