Find Your Trading Style in Your Personality
Many people who desire to venture down the trading path are not correlating the style they desire to learn with their personality.
I have often used a line from trading great Jessie Livermore when talking with others about speculating in the markets. The most recent conversation came during a doctor's visit. As my doctor was doing his normal 'breath deep' routine he asked how he could make some good money in the markets. Unfortunately, his question was met by a rather awkward pause in the conversation and I simply responded by saying "I'll make a deal with you. I'll tell you how to make some good money in the market if you tell me how I can make some good money practicing medicine." He didn't laugh.
Trading is a very unique craft with incredibly low barriers to entry, however in my opinion opening an account in order to buy a few stocks is far from trading. Though, I will be the first one to stand and say that I firmly believe anyone willing to commit the time necessary and possess the work ethic to study and hone the skill can become an incredibly successful trader.
Since writing a series on rules of trading, I have had many people ask me just how exactly to get started in trading and I always respond by asking a simple question. "Before I point you in any direction, tell me about yourself, your personality?"
Review some of Professor Tatro's trading rules in his Becoming a Better Trader series: Position Sizing, Let the Chart Be Your Guide, Legging In, Stops, Don't Fight the Tape, Play the Position, Not the P&L, and Don't Compare Yourself Yourself With Others.
You see, like medicine, accounting or sports, trading or investing is a general term that encompasses a multitude of styles. It is arrogant to think one style is superior to the next. Rather, there are always people at the top of their style who are consistently performing exceptionally well. One of the biggest issues I see facing many people who desire to venture down the trading path, is not correlating the style they desire to learn with their personality. In my opinion that is the first and foremost way in which one starts learning to trade. Even if you have already started down a particular trading road, it may be beneficial to ask yourself some questions.
1) Are you the type of person that desires to sit at a computer screen all day watching each and every tick? If yes, than a high speed, shorter term approach may be right for you. If not, then you must seek out a longer term swing trading or investing approach.
2) Do you enjoy digging deep within a company's balance sheet or annual report, learning about what they do, make or provide? If so, investing primarily based on fundamentals may be your niche while technicals could be secondary or not involved in your style at all.
3) Do you believe that there is more to a company than its fundamentals? Are you open minded to this thing called Technical Analysis? If not, then stay far away from technical trading however if yes, consider learning more about the technical side.
4) Do you not care about the short term performance rather want to make money over the long term? If so than considering a deep value approach where stocks are 'discovered' and eventually brought back to their intrinsic value may be right for you. Adopting a longer time frame and staying away from short term trading is probably a good idea.
These are just a few of the many questions one should ask himself before venturing out to adopt a style of trading that fits. As I mentioned above the actual barriers to entry to start trading are extremely low, however to become successful in a craft that literally possess infinite possibilities, the barriers are there. Once a style has been found that correlates with a personality, the person then must commit themselves to learning this style. This is not easy and sometimes is not cheap. It is time consuming, hard and more often than not a humbling experience. Luckily today we have a plethora of information available through books, videos and the internet. Once you have found a style you resonate with, I encourage you to devour everything you can about that style or person you wish to replicate. Purchase every book that is recommended and read it twice. Devour every article, follow every trade, understand there is no magic pill or formula, but pure hard work that will make these lessons sink in.
Once you have committed yourself to this, don't look back. You must crawl before you walk and walk before you run. You will fall not once, not twice, but many times, however if you are following those before you that have been successful understand that they two have fallen and continue to do so, it is all part of it. Slowly over time, you will start to learn and not only will you start to see the results in your profit and loss, but your confidence will grow and you will start to see clearly what trading is really all about. Over time, you will be amazed at how far you have come and the next time someone starts talking about stocks, you too will hesitate to even broach the subject because you have learned it is much much more than just putting money in an account and buying a stock. Rather than continuing down the path you are on, if you desire a change, commit yourself to excellence today and start making a difference.
=><= p=" "><= p="">
Daily Recap Newsletter