What is the most important thing a beginer should learn ??


88 27
After 1nvest's thorough list and all the other comments there is just one thing I want to add - I think the psychology of it all is really worth studying. I see why some say it's not high priority but I don't agree with that.

I think there is a lot to learn that stretches far beyond the concepts of stress and fear and greed. Looking at it from a scientific standpoint is something I find really helpful, there are lots of biases the human brain is prone to and being aware of these can help with building a good strategy and sticking to it. You don't need to spend a tremendous amount of time on this if you don't want to, just gather some awareness. There is a chapter about this matter in Van K Tharp's "Trade your way to financial freedom", which I found online if you want a quick read.


Active member
229 21
HI , i started trading in feb , and went through technical analysis quite a lot , i have a decent understanding about macro economics , i trade small cap stocks (learning fx)
i am doing a lot of paper trading and trying to code for back testing , im currently lost trying to figure out what should be given prominence i don think that one should learn how every indicator works and im not interested in esoteric indicators and chart patters , and for my swing trading i don't use much fundamentals (should i ?) , any way i fell like the rapid learning phase i had in the beginning is gone and im wondering what aspect should i focus on the most .
thanks .

My main lightbulb moment over the last few years has been simple. Always have this in your head.

On most trading days, there is no fundamental market changing news which can drive price to trade at much higher or lower prices.
In the absence of this market changing news, price will simply move around between major technical levels and react to them

Simple (I hope).

But what does this mean in practise and how do you use this for trading?
Well, using a normal trading day with no big market changing news, if price moves to an area that I have identified as a major area of S/R then I am looking for price to reverse at this point.

I expect price to reverse because in order for price to break through a major S/R level and move a lot higher or lower, there has to be an extra reason, not just a technical one, which can justify price moving to a new price level.
Or, in other words:

In the absence of this market changing news, price will simply move around between major technical levels and react to them.

Think about this logically. If you're sitting at major S/R at the bottom of a swing, what possible reason does price have to break this level and move lower? If there is no bad news/info that the market was unaware of until that point in the day (e.g. a Trump tweet about the trade war continuing/getting worse, poor economic price data which are both bad news), why would the ES move lower? Trader expectations are unchanged, so how can price move any lower? There is no reason for it to move lower! And if it can't move lower then it will do two things-i) stabilise at that lower level or ii) move higher.

Think of something you really like. Ipods. Peanuts. Tuna fish. Coffee.
Imagine an old fashioned market where there is an auctioneer calling out the prices really quickly. Imagine the price of your favourite product (mine is definitely peanuts) moving up really fast and the auctioneer is shouting out lots of prices and lots of people are calling out in order to buy more peanuts. Price keeps going up but then all of a sudden people start thinking "well damn I love peanuts but this is getting expensive, there's no reason for me to keep buying up here at these prices so I don't want to buy anymore here."

All of a sudden there is less shouting out from the peanut buyers and the price increases slow down. There are less buyers, or they have stopped buying altogether. In short, peanuts have become too expensive.

Other people who love peanuts recognise that price has gone too high, people got too excited and that the real or fair value where most people will buy peanuts is a lot lower. So they shout out and start to sell peanuts and price moves lower because in all the excitement the price has gone just too high, the buyers have realised their mistake and aren't there anymore.

At this point, imagine two scenarios:
1) There is no news/market info that has been released that can fundamentally change the price of peanuts. Conditions are exactly the same as when people were originally buying.

2) The largest peanut producer in the world has released an update. They have made an mistake with their inventory and have realised that they now have 50% more peanuts in storage than they thought. These peanuts need to be sold.

Under Scenario 1, this is what will happen:

A) Price moves lower to where most people originally bought the peanuts. The majority of people think it was a fair price, and the evidence is shown by the fact that so many people were happy to buy there. So it's logical that they will start buying again, combined with the fact that it is likely that less people will be willing to sell/short in the expectation of making money from a lower price. Think about if you were a seller at a price that just 1 hour ago people were happily buying at. How confident would you be of making a profit? Do you think this would be a good place to open a short? You'd probably not be too confident. And you'd be right.


B) Price moves even lower than where most people originally bought the peanuts. This is because that there were also a lot of people who not only bought at the fair price, but quite a lot also bought at an even higher price. They're now a bit spooked as the price has dropped lower than their buy price and as we're all human, they're panicking a bit and are selling their positions to CLOSE them. The people selling to close their positions might actually outnumber the people who are now buying at what was a pretty fair price that most people were happy with. Hell, some people might even be actively selling to open a position (to make money on the price going lower) as they can see the buyers getting swamped even at these levels.
As a result, the price of peanuts now goes even lower than where the majority of people were happy to buy them.

So say that most people bought peanuts at $100 per kilo. It went all the way up to $101 per kilo. Price has now moved lower to $99 per kilo.
And at this $99 level, you know that for whatever reason, this is a major S/R level.

At this point, now is the time to ask yourself the question. The be all and end all.

In the absence of any market changing news, what chance is there that price can continue lower?
The answer should be-not much chance to all. This is where you would buy if your buy trigger signal (whatever it is) occurs.

In fact, in the absence of any market changing news, there is a very good chance that the entire same scenario that I have listed above will happen in reverse. Or it might be a bit late in the day now and most people have gone home so price will just hang around and not move much.
And so on and so on.

It is important to understand that most days are exactly like the one listed above.
Market changing news does not happen every day. Or two days. Or three days.

So when price reaches a major technical level, and there is no news that can explain why it can move any higher lower then guess what. It won't move higher or lower!

At this point, now think about Scenario 2:
The largest peanut producer in the world has released an update. They have made an mistake with their inventory and have realised that they now have 50% more peanuts in storage than they thought. These peanuts need to be sold.

Work out in your head what this means for the price of peanuts.
Does it fundamentally change what people will be willing to pay for the price of peanuts?
And importantly:
Do you think that the major technical level at $99 will hold?

It is at these moments, and at these levels, where both myself and many others make their mistakes.
We do not recognise that we are no longer trading in the conditions described in Scenario 1. This is because most days are Scenario 1 and we are either unaware of the inventory news or we do not understand the severity of the impact.

The $99 per kilo price major technical level is based on old information. In other words, at that price in the recent past, us peanut lovers were happily going about our business without knowing that that the largest peanut producer in the world was about to flood the market with peanuts.
This news is now big enough to fundamentally change how much we are willing to pay for peanuts, and it is going to be a hell of a lot lower than $99.

So why would anyone buy at $99?

Well, when price reaches $99 it might look like it's going to reverse as some people will probably still try to buy peanuts because they have made the mistake of thinking that we are still operating under Scenario 1. Or they don't really understand the implications of the news and mistakenly think that $99 per kilo is a good price to buy peanuts and make a profit as price will now rise like before.

But it won't do any good. There are now huge amounts of peanuts being unleashed onto the market, so the price has absolutely no reason to be $99, it should be a lot lower. You should be happy to sell and make a profit.

If you don't know the basic fundamentals of your market, and you're also not aware of the news that is affecting the market, then you will mistakenly be trading under the assumption that price is still responding to levels based on OLD NEWS which is no longer valid.

So to summarise what I have said so far:

1) Most days, in the absence of market changing news, price will move around between major technical levels and will react/reverse when reaching them.
2) In the absence of market changing news there is a good chance of reversal at these major technical levels.
3) It is important to have a good understanding of what the fundamental conditions are in your chosen market and what type of news, and level of severity, will cause markets to no longer respect previous major technical levels.

What are the consequences of not understanding these core concepts?
Traders lose confidence and chop and change their trading systems as they don't understand why their levels don't work anymore on those big trend days. Which is a shame as price will stabilise at some point, and then we're back at Scenario 1).
You can trade scenario 1 and just step back if scenario 2 occurs, assuming you will know that scenario 2 is occurring.

I hope that makes sense. Maybe it doesn't!
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Active member
229 21
no, my psychology became easier once i was comfortable with what i was doing
and no, im not a professional trader, I doubt anybody here is but im certainly independent. and yes ive had to earn it
however, the argument is not whether the mind is important, im not (necessarily) disputing that but ive never felt the need for help in that matter. what im disputing is the order of one's priority
you think and stated, "the first and foremost" is the mindset
however, and i'll state again, your losing moving average crossover strategy is not going to improve with your mindset
your mindset is also not going to get you through the year or trading career.
so first and foremost..ditch the moving average crossover strategy

Great observation. What's the point of having an awesome mindset if your knowledge of the market is poor and you're trading moving average/stochastics/who knows what else and losing money. How does that help?


Well-known member
305 109
Great observation. What's the point of having an awesome mindset if your knowledge of the market is poor and you're trading moving average/stochastics/who knows what else and losing money. How does that help?
thanks bootsyjam for the appreciation
my lightbulb moment was now a few years ago where i was spending time looking for the perfect system. where does the trend start and finish, how do i capture every small part of that trend, probably not too dissimilar to most people. then i realised, that it wasn't the strategy that needed changing. it doesnt have to be accurate 90% of the time, it doesnt need to work in all market states (bullish, bearish, consolidating, corrective).
but if you apply that one indicator to a different market which is non-correlated with your first, then the returns can be outstanding. markets are cyclical. and one day in your analogy where people stop wanting peanuts, tomorrow its bananas all of a sudden its not the strategy anymore that's important its the choice of assets you choose
its really quite incredible


Junior member
29 4
Tip for beginners- Risk only what you can afford to lose.


51 18
The very real possibility that you will fail. This is not an if/then world. Substantive points of reference are very fleeting; so much so that when one comes along, seeing it and convincing yourself that you are seeing what you think you are seeing is more difficult than you might think. Learn to marshal the courage to walk away from something that you've invested so many hopes in. Sorry to sound so negative about things but there are more than a few people that have hung themselves with this particular rope.
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