Trading is an active style of participating in the financial markets that seeks to outperform traditional buy-and-hold investing. Rather than trying to profit from long-term uptrends in the markets, traders look for short-term price moves to profit in both rising and falling markets.
As a trader, one of the most important things you can do to improve your chances of success is to approach trading as a business. A successful trading business requires a strategic plan that covers your actual business and your actual trading. Your business plan will include things like short and long-term goals, the amount of capital you have available for the business and how you will set up your office. Your trading plan includes the details of trading: what you will trade and how you will trade it. Your plan should be so objective and concise that you could hand it over to another trader and they would be able to execute it exactly.
It’s important to understand that your trading plan is not simply a set of rules that you think will work, a list of set-ups that you are somehow fond of, or someone else’s plan. A good trading plan is one that you have researched, tested on historical data, tested in a live market and continue to evaluate at regular intervals.
Successful 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. This can be difficult because most new traders are anxious to get in the market. While the research and time commitments may sound daunting, they’re a realistic and integral part of becoming a profitable, independent trader.
This tutorial serves as an introduction to help you get started trading. For more information, be sure to check out part two of our series, which covers more advanced topics including charting, leverage, risk and strategy automation.