To make money in the markets you need to be trading as a business. Hobbies cost money, businesses make money. A business has a plan, a process, and a system. A business has customers that it sells products to for more than their cost, says Steve Burns of New Trader U.

How a new trader approaches trading and the markets will determine their success from the very beginning. So many people think of trading as gambling and that comes from their perception of traders just trying to guess and predict the direction of a stock or a market. If a trader randomly picks and chooses trades with no system or edge then that is a form of gambling. In Las Vegas there are gamblers that are making bets against the odds and their are businesses that take those bad bets, they are called casinos. Casinos are not gamblers, they are businesses, as they have table limits, and take the bets that are too their advantage. A casino makes its money with the mathematical edge it has over its customers, the gamblers. To be a successful trader operate like a casino not a gambler.

It is crucial that a trader operates their trading like a business if they want to be profitable. Emotions, egos, and excitement are generally not good business practices and have little place in operating a good business. In trading, making money should be the primary goal, and must be kept at the forefront of a trader’s mind as a focus. Fun and excitement in trading can be expensive entertainment. The reality is that the majority of the time, good trading is boring. A trader must approach their market entries, exits, and position sizing like they would operating any other business, utilizing a disciplined process to grow their capital and be successful.

  1. You can’t open your trading business to having capital at risk until you have a full system with an operating trading plan that has an edge.
  2. Your business inventory is your current positions; you have to buy them for less than you intend to sell them. Whether it is buy lower and sell higher or buy high to sell higher there must be a gross profit expectation.
  3. Your customers are who you sell to; they have to be willing to pay more than you bought your positions for.
  4. Losing trades are the cost of doing business.
  5. Liquidity is the most important fundamental for inventory, you don’t want to get stuck with unmovable merchandise. Trade where there is volume and tight bid/ask spreads.
  6. Your trading psychology and mindset is the manager of your business; you can’t let fear, greed, or ego lead to an unprofitable error outside your system.
  7. Your business must have insurance to manage risk. Stop losses, diversification, and hedges are your insurance against big losses.
  8. Location is everything. You must conduct your business on a chart price level where there are ample buyers and sellers so you don’t get stuck with positions that no one wants.
  9. Your current trading positions are like your employees. You are a good boss to keep the ones that are productive and produce profits, and fire the ones that are unproductive and lose money.
  10. Expansion of your business can only happen after your first buying and selling location is successful. Once you have mastered a system of entries and exits you can add new markets and signals that also have an edge.
  11. Your trading capital is your business. Lose all your money and you lose your ability to operate and are out of business.
  12. The only reason to be in business is to make money. If you don’t make money, you need a new business plan.

Trading as a business means operating inside a systematically profitable process. Trade like a business not like a gambler, hobbyist, or for entertainment.

Learn more about Steve Burns at