Once you’ve begun trading, you can easily fall into traps without realizing it. You finished learning, you have your trading strategy in place and now you’re following your plan. But what then? If you continue doing the same thing day after day, trade after trade, you won’t have the opportunity to improve.
Look at your trading journal and identify where you may have gone astray, or where you’ve taken a dive on what you thought was a sure win. Here are some tips to keep your trading edge sharp.
Keep on Learning
The road to trading success and nice profits can be bumpy. There is always more to learn about trading, so don’t rely only on what you learned and practiced before you began. Taking courses and following successful traders is one way to continue learning as you go along.
Keep reading books, continue signing up for advanced courses and join forums where you can ask questions and learn from others as you go along.
Practice, Practice, Practice
Once you have developed the trading strategy that you plan to follow, spend time practicing it. Writing it down and charting it is one thing, but using it in a live and vigorous market environment is a whole new experience. When you begin to practice, you’ll notice how the trends waver in and out and how to spot pullbacks. Use a demo account to know your strategy well and identify the right moment to jump in.
When the market is living and moving fast, using your strategy to place timely trades will be like second nature.
Setting Reachable Goals
Set short-term goals so you will have something to shoot for. Even if your intentions are to become a serious and successful long-term trader, keep it short to begin with.
As you meet your goals, you will gain the confidence and experience needed to crank up the time span. But even with short-term goals, don’t glue yourself to your computer monitor day in and day out. Make your trade, set a stop point and walk away. Monitor it but keep it according to your trading plan.
Keeping a journal is a must for any trader, so be sure to be diligent in making critical notes on every single trade. Call it doing your homework or administrative tasks and do it faithfully. With your journal, you can begin to critique your own work. Look back at trades that went sour and determine what happened. If you are consistent, you can learn from your journal and tweak your strategy according to your trading history.
Keep it Clean
When you sit down to trade, it’s time to put everything out of your mind and focus only on your trades. A clean and orderly workspace will help you organize your thoughts. If you feel like you’re straying and can’t concentrate or you become frustrated, get up and walk away. Take a break and come back when you’re refreshed and ready to put your best foot forward.