For many “neo-traders”, trading in order to generate consistent profitability is an insurmountable challenge .
The knowledge and skills required to achieve consistent performance are very broad, so the relevant experience and achievement of sufficient aptitude, becomes very difficult, especially when such experience does not always result in financial returns at the beginning of your career . However, perseverance and resilient search of your own “Edge”, the self-discipline of the daily advance planning approach and its implementation, will tip the balance in your favor.
Results will not come quickly, and if that happens, they tend not to last. A disciplined approach to trading is an investment in your future that will allow you to reap consistent and enduring rewards if you have the strength of character to implement it.
The relevance of Discipline and Self-Control
The essence of the success of this highly effective approach to maximize your “Edge” is the individual discipline in the face of apparently high profit opportunities. Only the repeated practice of self regulated discipline can reduce the tendency to act on impulse. For those who are not prepared to solve this problem, this tendency will never disappear and consistency will remain unreachable. So for the vast majority who were not born with the gift of self control, a powerful technique is to written record in the form of a daily trading plan which clearly define the goals and objectives. A disciplined routine analysis before the markets open, and the structuring of the trading day, are essential to avoid the temptation to trade on impulse. We intend to develop the instincts of profitable trading, that must be present during the selected trading period, so, with advance planning, we eliminate the need to decide on the spur of the moment, and this will previously allow us to know how, when and why shall we place a trade. For example, the decision to trade on the release of an economic indicator, or the immediate move at the futures market close should not be a spur of the moment, but rather, these strategic decisions must be made in advance with a clear mind, with purpose and objectivity. Only this approach will enhance your “Trading Edge”.
Knowledge and involvement: Preservation Of Capital
Even if you have identified your “Edge”, one shouldn’t forget is competing in the global financial markets against other participants which can move the markets significantly (Ex: Central Banks, Primary Dealers, hedge funds, pension funds).
Commonly, inexperienced traders adopt an aggressive stance, attracted by the “potential” reward such behavior allegedly provides. In these cases, remaining out of the market, or if you have the knowledge, aligning with these larger “entities” rather than challenging them, will improve the chances of achieving a truly exceptional consistency, which will then increase your talent in the effective implementation of your “trading tools”. It is also recommended to be very cautious with extreme volatility. A “neo-trader” who is trading on the basis of his identified “Edge” has his chances drastically reduced in times of high volatility.
Find your Edge: The Secret to profitable trading
One of the main characteristics of a neo-trader, who performs consistently good, is the ability to participate in the market when he identifies an Edge, and carefully selects high probability winning opportunities.
It is a priority then, to dedicate time and effort in developing our own Edge. We should then, provide prolonged observation and interaction with markets, in order to identify the techniques, approaches, types of trade, phases of the day, levels of relevant price and most importantly, market behavior that we strongly believe will provide the opportunity for regular and frequent profit, with quantifiable and limited risk. Over time, one should develop a set of tools that allows to effectively select the best trading opportunity for a given market behavior. It’s this “tailor made” nature of the Edge, which may allow us to continuously profit from markets, develop a long term career, and for that reason, why many mechanical approaches are prone to short term success and medium / long term failure.
Discipline – The key to profit from your advantage
The primary goal of the aspiring trader who initiates the first steps in the financial markets, should be to establish a trading strategy whose performance is consistently good.
The ability to create, maintain and improve this strategy, which in turn, will allow us to develop a career in this field, is directly related to consistency. Consistency in performance comes from the control and effectiveness of decision making in times of extreme pressure and emotion in the markets, nowadays very frequent, given the macro economic divergences we currently face.