Six Trading Habits To Strive For

04/16/2008 12:00 am EST

Focus:

There are many methods to build superior trading habits. Good trading habits will make trading a part of routine, rather than a task. Getting in the habit of doing everything exactly to plan will boost trading profits, marking one more step in the path to financial freedom.

1. Trading Discipline: Following your own trading plan is very important to success. When emotions are left to go as they please, it is easier to lose track of your portfolio. Proven techniques and strategies should not be edited for any reason; follow the plan and let it work for you.

2. Look at Every Time Frame: Even when trading short five-minute ticks, it is important to evaluate all timeframes for market data. It just might happen that a 200-day moving average is acting to support your position. You'll never know this unless you take the time to study all timeframes rather than just a few. Long term trends can and do impact short term trading positions. Day traders are more susceptible to trading in only one timeframe because of how time-sensitive their investments are. Swing traders are probably used to checking multiple timeframes for entry points.

3. Trade As Your Capital Allows: Day traders are able to access high levels of margin that can greatly exceed their trading capital. Overextension of credit is dangerous and can compound losses just as easily as gains. Momentum trading with many different entry points can end up in costly mistakes if your account becomes overextended.

4. Understanding Risk: Managing risk is the difference between gambling and investing. Profitable traders can quickly calculate how much of a drawdown they are willing to incur before cutting a position. It is important to have a plan for pruning losses and minimizing the damage of drawdown.

5. Stick to Your Niche: Niche trading or only trading in your specific area of study is the best way to stay profitable. Too often do traders get bored with inactivity, only to take positions that are out of their trading knowledge. Sticking to what you do best keeps your account from being overextended in too many positions and minimizes loss. If you are best at high volume trading then only trade during periods of high volume. Finding your trading niche will help you to become more of an efficient trader.

6. Trading is Affected by Emotion: It can be difficult to get away from trading. Holding positions overnight can only double the amount of stress that comes with having open positions. For the day trader, try to limit your exposure to overnight markets and keep stress levels low.

About the Author:
Leroy Rushing is an active, professional day trader; trading coach; and author. He is the Founder and CEO of Trading EveryDay, a distinguished provider of educational trading products and services that are available worldwide

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