Trading is an active style of participating in the financial markets, which seeks to outperform traditional buy-and-hold investing. Instead of waiting to profit from long-term uptrends in the markets, traders seek short-term price moves in order to profit during both rising and falling markets. As a trader, you can be your own boss, work from home, set your own schedule and have the opportunity to achieve unlimited income potential. These factors, combined with the ease with which someone can enter the field, help make trading attractive.
While it's relatively easy to start trading - after all, you don't need any advanced degrees or specialized training - it is very difficult to become good at it and to become successful. It's not uncommon for someone who wants to trade for a living to overlook the financial, emotional and time commitments that are required to build a successful trading business. As a result, about 90% of day traders fail within the first year. Having a strategic approach, both in terms of your overall business and your actual trading activity, is an essential part of becoming a profitable trader.
In the first part of our beginner trading series, How To Start Trading, we emphasized the need to approach trading as a business and not as a hobby. In addition, we explored:
- Trading styles - position, swing, day and scalp trading
- Trading technology - computers, trading software, market analysis, testing and order execution
- Order types - market, limit, stop, stop loss, conditional and duration
- Trading plan development - market, chart interval, indicators, position sizing, entry rules, trade filters and exit rules
- Testing your trading plan - backtesting, in-sample and out-of-sample testing, and forward performance testing
- Live trading performance - trader errors, fills, technical problems and unique trading conditions
Here, in the second part of our beginner trading series, we introduce additional concepts that are important to traders, including:
- Leverage and margin
- Popular trading instruments
- Strategy automation
- Record keeping and taxes
TradingA trading plan should including rules about how and when to place trades that includes: the markets to be traded, primary chart intervals, indicators and settings, rules for position sizing, ...
TradingTrading is a business that requires a strategic plan with short and long-term goals to define what you will trade and how to trade it. Learn exactly what you need to start trading.
TradingWhether you're a novice or an expert, these 10 rules should be the backbone of your trading career.
TradingSuccessful trading involves more than reading a few articles or books: you should plan on devoting a substantial amount of time and effort before ever placing a trade in a live market.
TradingWhile investments can be held for years or decades, the four primary trading styles can be held from months to years, or only for minutes or seconds. These styles are: position trading, swing ...
TradingIf live trading results differ from testing, changes to the plan may be needed. Common problems include: trader error, fills and slippage, technical problems and unique trading conditions such ...
TradingIt's important to approach trading as a business. Be aware of the financial, emotional and time commitments that are involved, and have realistic expectations of what it takes to be successful.
ETFs & Mutual FundsThe most important technology for the independent trader is a computer, high-speed Internet connection and trading software for market analysis, testing and order execution.
TradingCorrelations between backtesting and forward performance testing results can help you optimize your trading system.
Financial AdvisorDay trading has many advantages and, while we often hear about these perks, it's important to realize that day trading is hard work.