Every trader makes mistakes. But new traders are especially susceptible to making costly trading mistakes…
These could be trading mistakes like entering at the wrong levels or not cutting losses….
Or they could be something like trusting the wrong information or thinking some information or an indicator is more important than it is.
You might not even know you’re making these mistakes…
After all, you don’t know what you don’t know.
So today I’m sharing important lessons I’ve learned from my trading journey.
Use my mistakes to guide your path and avoid the same pain I had to endure…
These four lessons are especially timely and fitting to this market environment.
P.S. The 2023 Trader and Investor Summit kicks off today and I’ll be delivering content and lessons from the speakers over the next few days so stay tuned!
Four Lessons From My Trading Journey
Lesson 1: The Dangers of Mainstream Media Influence
I kickstarted my trading journey in 2005, diving into my side hustle after a childhood spent immersed in financial newspapers and ticker symbols.
I used to scan the business pages of the Detroit Free Press, analyzing the tickers of companies like Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE: IBM), General Motors Company (NYSE: GM), and Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F).
However, early in my trading career, I made a critical mistake by putting too much faith in mainstream media…
I would watch Mad Money with Jim Cramer and even set my alarm for 5:00 a.m. to rewatch it. I took the advice I heard there too seriously, believing that trading tips from these sources led to success.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Following talking heads and trying to trade large caps stocks didn’t get me anywhere. So don’t make the same mistake.
Instead, use your own critical thinking skills and research your own opportunities. Learn technical analysis and study chart patterns.
- Learn Essential Stock Chart Patterns for Traders
- Discover How to Read Stock Charts for Beginners here.
- See How to Conduct Technical Analysis of Stocks with Examples, Tools, & Indicators here.
Lesson 2: Beware of Alerts and Mentors Without a Proven Track Record
In my pursuit of knowledge, I ventured into the world of trading alerts and mentors.
I tried out various rooms and listened to self-proclaimed experts with no apparent track record.
Some of these mentors didn’t even have proper bios — it was like following random weirdos giving investment advice.
That’s where I made my next mistake: not being discerning enough about who I followed.
Instead of choosing reliable mentors, I followed alerts that had no credibility or real experience.
I ended up with questionable trading ideas and strategies, often leading to losses.
Instead, make sure you learn from traders with a proven track record who share their wins and losses — like the traders on Profit.ly.
Lesson 3: Avoid Unfamiliar Territory
Around 2012, I experienced a substantial loss due to my fascination with trading unfamiliar assets.
The market was slow, and my focus shifted towards triple-leveraged ETFs without truly understanding what I was getting into.
I didn’t have a proper strategy, lacked a clear stop-loss plan, and made emotional, impulsive decisions. This led to a significant loss.
Trading something you don’t understand can be extremely risky and costly.
Try paper trading a new strategy or pattern before you risk your real money on a strategy you’re not familiar with.
And always have a solid plan in place.
Lesson 4: The Importance of Having a Trading Plan
The final lesson centers around the importance of having a structured trading plan. This lesson I learned later in my journey helped me avoid significant losses…
I used to write down my entry point, position size, goal, and stop loss on index cards and place them near my keyboard.
Then while I was in the trade, I had a constant reminder to stick to my plan. It eliminated the potential for taking large losses because my plan was concrete. I committed to following it, just like any other commitment in life.
If you want to grow as a trader you have to learn to acknowledge your mistakes and learn from them.
It’s not always a fun process, but it’s rewarding when you see progress towards your goals.
And when you learn from experienced traders’ mistakes, it can help you avoid the same ones.
There are also many other ways to cut out mistakes from your trading…
Attend a free training session to see how the right tools can help you pick hot stocks and give you key levels to enter and trade them.
See you back here tomorrow with some highlights from our in-person conference in Las Vegas!
Lead Trainer, StocksToTrade