I'm New To TRADING - Where Do I Start?
Trading is a big, big, big subject. The initial excitement and enthusiasm that many newbies feel is soon replaced by a dizzy head and complete inertia caused by information overload. This simple 4 step plan will cut a path through the trading jungle and accelerate your learning curve in a way that no other site can. Probably! Completing steps 1-3 will give you a good idea of what’s involved and the amount of time and hard work that’s required to succeed. For those that decide to go for it, the plan also equips you with a basic route map to follow.
Read the Essentials Of New to Trading
Sticky. This is written specifically with the virgin trader in mind, using simple – jargon free – language that is easy to understand. Here are some of the things it covers:
• Trading Foundations
Discover whether or not trading is something you really want to devote (a lot of) your time to – which you’ll need to do – at least in the beginning while you’re learning. Uncover how and why trading differs from just about every other type of human endeavour, as well as some basic precepts that underpin what trading is and, just as importantly, what it isn’t.
• Trading Attributes
Learn about five core trading attributes that are common to all successful traders. A few massively successful traders may be born with innate talent which helps to propel them to stardom. The rest of us just have to work at it!
• Dispelling Myths
Two commonly held misconceptions are dispelled: that successful traders must have more winning trades than losing ones and that they must have an ability to predict the future. It’s simply not necessary to be able to do either of these things in order to be a successful trader.
• Trading Jargon
Learn the basic jargon that you’ll come across repeatedly on all the T2W forums and elsewhere. Some of it is explained in the body of the text, other key terms are covered in the Sticky’s Glossary of Terms.
• Basic Mistakes
Learn about the common dangers and pitfalls associated with trading – and how to avoid them. Find out what makes a good trader and why the not so good ones fail.
• It’s a Business, Not a Lottery
Trading is business and requires the same professional approach required of any other business venture. If you want to ‘get rich quick’ – play the lottery instead – the odds are better!
• Getting Tooled Up and Honing Your Edge
The tools required to trade, e.g. hardware and software etc. and how they can help you to develop a trading ‘edge’, Fear not, this is discussed as well, along with how you can set about getting one.
• Rights ‘n Wrongs
Why there is no right or wrong way to trade and why a methodology that works for one trader might not work for you – and vice versa.
• Why a Double First in Maths & Economics May Not Help!
It’s a common mistake for people who have enjoyed considerable success in other professions such as law and medicine to assume that hard work and intelligence will lead them to success in trading. The blueprint to becoming a successful trader is not one you’ll find in any other walk of life.
• Supply & Demand
Get an introduction to what drives the markets. All successful traders understand how the markets work and the technical and fundamental factors that drive them. Once you start to understand this, you’ll no longer be surprised when you here on the news that the markets rose on bad news or waterfalled on good news.
• Sorting the Wheat from the Chaff
T2W is a site that’s free to join and all members are at liberty to voice their ideas and opinions. Inevitably, not all of them are good! Some of them are more likely to lead to financial ruin than to financial success! As a ‘newbie’, spotting who’s who can be difficult, so having some idea of how to sort the wheat from the chaff is essential.
Many people are overwhelmed by the scale of the task that lies before them and decide the best solution is to throw money at the problem. The subject of trading vendors is a complex one and finding a good vendor who has the right product or service for your needs is harder still. Understand some of the issues involved so that, in the event that you decide to go down this road, you don’t get your fingers burnt.
• . . . If I were a Rich Man . . .
How much money do you need to start and how much you can expect to make? We don’t want to suppress a new member’s enthusiasm but, equally, it’s as well to temper one’s ambitions with a dose of realism. Potentially, untold wealth is available, but a full time income (i.e. £25k+ p/a) is an unrealistic expectation if all you have is £100 starting capital!
• There’s No Holy Grail!
New traders often spend many months – and sometimes years – looking for the Holy Grail. The alert service or indicator that generates profitable signals time after time. The bad news is that it doesn’t exist. The good news is that you don’t need it in order to thrive in the markets and prosper as a consistently successful retail trader.
• Before you Move on to Step 2 . . .
Lastly, once you’ve fully immersed yourself in the content of the Essentials Of New to Trading
Sticky, there is one topic in particular which you must understand. Failure to take on board the concepts outlined in the next link could be ruinous. It is Essentials Of 'Risk & Money Management'
and it holds the key to success or failure
of every trader. The reason that it’s so important is because trading leveraged products such as spread betting carries the risk of a margin call (i.e. funds on deposit with your broker are not enough to cover a loss). In this event, you could end up owing your broker more than your initial deposit. In extreme cases, this could result in bankruptcy and loss of your house or other assets.
If you’re trading without a thoroughly tested methodology in place (see the Trading Plan Template
), then, even without a margin call, your capital is quite likely to drain away - albeit more slowly. Please note that while a trading plan is no guarantee of success, trading without one will impact the probability of success massively. Needless to say - not in a good way! If you aren't clear about anything or require help with this topic, post your questions or concerns to the thread itself. When - and only when - you've read, marked, learnt and inwardly digested the concepts of risk and money management, will you be ready to progress to Step 2 . . .
Step 2 involves checking out the 20 most frequently asked questions (FAQs) about trading. Each FAQ has the same format . . .
Post #1 - Short Answer
Post #2 - Long Answer
Post #3 - Useful Links
Post #4 onwards - Your Answers!
Posts #1-3 are written by T2W staff. Post #4 onwards are your contributions. Whilst you're welcome to post to any of the FAQ threads, please ensure your comments refer specifically to the question being discussed. Every so often, we will housekeep these threads so that each FAQ remains concise and on topic. Just click on the appropriate link and get those questions answered. Enjoy!
Realistically, How much Money can I Expect to Make?
Which Books should a Beginner Read?
How Long Does it Take to Make a Stable Income from Trading?
Is There a Strategy or System that I should Use and where Can I Find it?
What Triggers do you use to Enter a Trade?
Can You Recommend a Data Feed, Charting Software & Broker?
Can You Recommend a (Forex) Alert Service?
How Difficult is it to Trade?
How Do I get a Job Trading?
How Much Money Does a Trader Need To Start Trading?
Which Should I trade - Stocks, Futures or Forex etc.?
Can You Recommend a Mentor, Coach or Trading Course?
How Can I Distinguish Between Scams and Reputable Vendors?
What is Technical and Fundamental Analysis?
Do I Have to Accept some Big Losses in the Beginning?
Is Trading the Same as Gambling?
What's the Difference Between Stop Loss and Limit Orders?
What’s the Difference Between a Discretionary Strategy & a Mechanical System?
What are the Pros and Cons of Spread Betting Vs CFDs?
Nature Vs Nurture – are Good Traders Born or Made?
Once you’ve digested fully the Trading FAQs and followed up on the links provided, go on to . . .
By the time you get to step three you will – hopefully – be fully acquainted with the contents of the Essentials Of New to Trading
Sticky and a good many of the Trading FAQs. Beyond these, there are two other features of the site that are especially useful for newbies. They are:
• Other ‘Essentials’ Stickies and ‘Best Threads’ Stickies
‘Essentials’ Stickies - such as the ‘Essentials Of New to Trading' Sticky which you’ve read - are threads that are ‘stuck’ to the top of a forum index. This means they will always be there for you to view them at any time. They contain information about the forum you’re in that is of critical or ongoing value - hence the ‘Essentials’ name. They all follow the same layout although, thankfully, the others are much shorter! Whichever forum you’re in, always make a point of reading its ‘Essentials’ Sticky.
Besides the ‘Essentials’ Stickies, many forums contain another Sticky entitled ‘Best Threads’. These too are pinned permanently at the top of every forum index and contain links to some of the best threads in that forum. Because of the sheer size of T2W, threads that haven’t been active for a while tend to get lost under a sea of newer threads. The links in the ‘Best Threads’ Stickies will save you many hours wading through the forum yourself, hoping to find a thread that leads to a eureka moment!
If there’s anything missing from any of the ‘Essentials’ Stickies that you hoped or expected to find, or if you want to recommend a thread for inclusion in a ‘Best Thread’ Sticky, please contact timsk
, T2W Content Manager and, if at all possible, new content will be added.
The Articles section of T2W is a comprehensive library of articles written by – and interviews with – some of the best know people in the industry including: Steve Nison, Dr Alexander Elder , Linda Bradford Raschke, Larry Williams, Martin Pring, John Bollinger and William O’Neil – to name but a few. These names may be new to you now, but they are to trading what David Beckham is to football. Every aspect of trading is covered and includes an entire section devoted to new traders that’s entitled ‘First Steps’. For an overview of how to find what you want and to get the most out of the Articles section, check out this guide: All you ever wanted to know about Articles!
Selected below are a handful of articles to help you get started. The first four are ones listed in the Essentials Of New to Trading Sticky and are repeated here just in case you missed them first time around.
How to Win at the Futures Trading Game
The market is a numbers game. Just as a sales person makes a call and doesn’t know whether it will end in a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’, over time, they hear ‘yes’ often enough to make it worth their while. That’s because they have a ‘positive expectancy’. In this article, David James Bennett explains what this means and why it’s critical to successful trading.
Seven Deadly Trading Mistakes
There are lots of mistakes that traders make that cause them to fail. However, there are a handful that repeat themselves over and over again. This article explains what they are and the steps you can take to avoid making them.
The "Not So Simple" Rules of Trading
In the same vein as the Seven Deadly Trading Mistakes article, the author of this piece offers the rules that he trades by and believes that if they had been adopted by LTCM and Barings Bank, then both institutions would still be around today and extremely profitable.
Trading Plan Template
As the title suggests, this is a template that covers the basics necessary to ensure that you have a comprehensive and workable trading plan in place which dictates what you do and when. A trading plan is to traders what the Highway Code is to drivers.
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What Style of Trader Am I?
In this article, Don Dawson outlines the basic styles of trading and the various pros and cons of each. Finding the right style that matches your personality and temperament is absolutely vital to success.
Objective Rule Based Trading
This article touches on the importance of supply and demand. When the former outweighs the later, prices fall and vice versa. The art of trading is largely about understanding this dynamic relationship and spotting low risk opportunities that allow the trader to enter long when demand outstrips supply and to enter short (or close the long trade) when supply outstrips demand.
Trading on Borrowed Time – Part 1
Trading on Borrowed Time – Part 2
Many new traders enjoy beginners luck and are duped into thinking that trading is either easier than they expected it to be or that they are better at it than they really are. In this two part article, the author starts by analysing the actions typically taken by traders that will, eventually, lead to disaster. In the second part, he focuses on the actions necessary to remedy these faults and bad habits, enabling traders to survive and prosper.
Top Ten Tips for Traders
If you like reading pithy articles written in a concise bullet point style without any padding, then Malcolm Pryor’s Top Ten Tips for Traders is the one for you. All new traders would do well to read, mark, learn and inwardly digest the pearls of wisdom presented here!
Steps 1 to 3 have all been about theory. If you complete them, you’re likely to come to one of two conclusions. Either the whole subject of trading repels you and you’ll want nothing more to do with it, or you’ll be like Keith Richards after he stumbled on the wonderous world of booze and narcotics. Trading can be addictive and, like drink and drugs, there are real risks involved. However, once you understand what they are and how to handle them, you’ll probably want to move on to . . .
Trading has a lot in common with driving. Learner drivers can study the Highway Code until they’re blue in the face but, sooner or later, they have to get behind the wheel of a car. And so it is with trading. Unless you’re a VERY exceptional individual, it’s unlikely that you’re going to open an account and be consistently profitable right from the ‘get go’. Just as many drivers have their first lessons on industrial estates at the weekend; new traders are advised to exercise extreme caution in the early days of trading when real money is at stake. Many experienced traders recommend trading via a simulated trading platform (which your broker will provide) using ‘paper’ money, before putting your hard earned savings at risk. Equally, newbies are often advised to open an account that enables them to trade very small amounts of money, so that if disaster strikes then, hopefully, it’s only a minor one!
Whatever you decide to do, nothing beats having feedback from like minded people, many of whom will be very knowledgeable and experienced, and will freely offer their help based on what you’re actually doing and experiencing. The best way to do this is to start your own T2W journal where you can post your thoughts, ideas and trades. The Essentials Of Trading Journals
Sticky outlines how this forum works and how the best journals can help to accelerate the learning curve of the members who open them. Starting a journal is probably the best and most helpful resource on T2W to facilitate the transition from learning the theory to trading in practice.
Enjoy your journey. Oh, one other thing – good luck!