What to expect as a new Trader
In this blog I want to explore the topic of actually trading. Imagining the glamour of what it means to do is definitely the easy part; the freedom and money. Strategies aside; what are you actually doing while sitting there watching the charts?
When you sit down to start your trading session, it usually involves quite a bit of mental preparation along with some self-talk. A positive ritual to get into the right frame of mind is essential for profitable trading. For me personally, I usually review my own personal reasons for trading (which is just a simple list of why I need to the best job I can). This is then followed by a purposely quick look (around 30 seconds) at what price has been doing over the last 48 hours. If I am unable to form a coherent understanding of what this means for future price action then I step away for 30 minutes or so and then reevaluate. Wash, rinse, repeat.
Next comes the real analysis of price. This usually includes a lot of measuring and in depth looks at past movement in relationship to current price. By far the most important piece of this is being truly subjective and not convincing yourself of some outlandish trading plan. You have got to devise a trading plan that has got a reasonable entry, stop, and limit, and you have to stick with that. It can be very easy to convince yourself that you’re at a turn, but 9 out of 10 times this simply is not the case. If you’re able to fight off the urge to immediately jump into a trade, then the real test of a trader comes into play… Waiting.
Waiting is what you are going to spend the majority of your time doing as a trader. Nobody told me it could be so boring when I started. Your income is directly tied to your ability to wait so that your timing is good as a result. For those that have not traded before this may not seem like much, but waiting while being intently focused on a moving target can be pretty tricky business. Your mind will constantly be fabricating a less than optimal reason to just jump into the market. At some point of the endless waiting there comes a moment, that given the understanding and screen time, you are presented with an actual entry.
Depending on a few different variables (news, volume, overall movement, etc.), this entry opportunity can last anywhere from 10 seconds to around 20 minutes. It’s typically on the lower side though. This is a fork in the road. Sometimes despite all that patience, you still can’t make yourself get in only to be upset with yourself for the rest of the session. In the event that you do take the trade, you’ll most likely find that for the next while you are going to be hyper sensitive to any movement in the market. This is called “anchoring”, and something you really want to avoid while trading.
After the initial tension of clicking into a trade is over, it is surprisingly followed by a numbness to the price action (especially if you are drastically positive in the trade). Yet again this is a thought process that you will want to avoid. When a trade is working out well, a trader’s risk tolerance is prone to also go up. This is usually how a seemingly competent trader may see a massive profit only to ride through and turn right into a meager profit. That money is not yours until the position is closed and it is sitting in your account.
Now that you have closed your position out for better or worse, you are faced with another challenge; avoiding overtrading. Overtrading is one of the top account killers in Forex. If you have ever had an experience in a casino that ended in a personal resolution to never go back, you might have experienced something similar to overtrading. As much as many (myself included) wish it wasn’t the case, there is usually only 1 good opportunity per session with about 2 far less optimal variations on that same trade. Taking more than 1-2 well thought out trades in a session is a surefire way to dramatically increase the risk you take on. Needless to say it usually doesn’t end well for anyone but the Broker and Bank.
While this all may seem very daunting for someone that has never traded before, rest assured, pulling off a great trading session is one of the most rewarding feelings that you can experience. The wins (and losses) are yours and yours alone. Getting to the other side of learning to trade is an eye opening experience that forces you to look at yourself and become the best that you can be.
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