It seems that trading tips are everywhere these days: on TV, the Internet; heck, even neighbors, co-workers, or some odd relative (let’s face it, we all have one) are quick to chime in with “hot, new” trading tips they picked up somewhere.
Here’s a question, though: How come we tend to look past the knowledge and wisdom we already have when it comes to trading the markets?
Afterall, markets run on the emotions, beliefs, and (quite often) the fears of the people who trade them. Moreover, learning to trade, by virtually all accounts, is called a “journey” just the same way life often is. So why is it that so many are made to think that successful trading requires different rules and an approach that’s unlike most anything else we do naturally?
It doesn’t have to be that way, and to prove it, here are a few pearls of wisdom from normal, everyday life that, when carried over to the markets, can be pretty valuable trading tips in their own right:
Think back to your younger years and how many times you wrongly followed the crowd or did what seemed “popular” or “cool” at the time. Looking back now, it’s funny to think how anytime we ever spoke the words “Because everybody else was doing it,” it was because we had just made a horrible decision and were now about to pay the consequences. Well, trading is no different!
You’ll find your “individuality” as a trader only by working diligently to develop, test, and refine your methods and strategies. Then, once they prove consistent and successful, you’ll have achieved what more than 90% of traders never will, and at that point, why on Earth would you want to change?
See related: 6 Steps to Writing a Battle-Tested Trading Plan
Individuality is a powerful tool, so in life, just as in trading, the best thing we can do is stay true to who we are in order to become the best version of ourselves that we can be. In the markets, that means being supremely committed to your strategy and what you do, and considering set-ups based on their merits and our own instincts, not because it’s the “flavor of the week” that everyone else is trading.
As a kid, do you remember getting in trouble not because of what you actually did wrong, but because you lied about it? Sure, the truth often hurts, but one of the most valuable trading tips out there is to keep careful, objective records in your trade journal so you can continually learn and improve your results.
As we all know, in trading (like in life), you win some, you lose some, but you have to be brutally honest with yourself in order to truly learn from your mistakes.
What really caused and/or contributed to your losing trade? Did you misread a signal, get burned by news or economic data, or let fear or emotions get the better of you?
See also: How to Deal with Losing Trades
Likewise, what made your winning trades so successful? How did you identify the set-up, what validation signals gave you added confidence, and how did you effectively manage risk?
Document everything in your journal each time you trade, and most importantly, be extremely honest and objective when you do. Simply blaming the market for every outcome, every time won’t help to improve your trading, but a healthy dose of honesty sure will!
Greed is an unattractive quality in people, but it’s a downright dangerous one in traders. If you’ve ever cost yourself hard-earned capital while trying to squeeze “one more dollar” or “one more point” from a move, you know that all too well!
Especially when the market is moving in our favor, it’s difficult to stop and “settle” for the profits you’ve earned at that point. However, it’s a cardinal sin to break your rules in the name of greed.
See related: 5 Crippling Mistakes the Amateur Trader Will Make
If trading your strategy right down to the letter means leaving a little bit on the table, then so be it. Be thankful for the hard-earned profits you’ve won, and just as thankful for your ability to continue on and trade another set-up another day. Both of those are significant accomplishments that shouldn’t be underestimated, especially in an industry where success is far from guaranteed.
Trading tips are usually a dime a dozen, but here’s one we Lazy Traders truly believe in: trading shouldn’t be exceptionally hard. In fact, we’ve now come to know that it isn’t because the lifestyle trading we’ve adopted is specially designed to be more natural and to better integrate trading with life.
That’s also why we can say with certainty that the mottos and axioms that guide our lives can—and do—help guide our trading. Above are some simple sayings virtually everyone has heard throughout our lives, and while none seem to be game-changing trading tips on the surface, hopefully you can see how these words of wisdom work just as well in the markets as they do in life outside of them.