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Single most important rule of trading
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Single most important rule of trading

  #31 (permalink)
Trading for Profit
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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mattz View Post
Good trading is dull and boring. Most of the time you are waiting for the same set up, indicator and/or a combination of a few selected methods that you narrowed to over the years. The best quality you can develop over time is patience for your setup.

This, this and this. I am more of a doer than a waiter, so patience is a very hard thing for me. But I completely agree, and I use the fishing analogy. You just sit there, waiting for the fish to come. Some days they don't come at all, other days they are jumping into your bucket.

It would be nice to see a stats on if successful traders are also good fishermen....

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  #32 (permalink)
Elite Member
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I like this thread Mike and that you asked for the "why". Some ramblings - hope others will add theirs.

Some diversification and a risk-reward-ratio are vitally necessary to mitigate the big hits - but they don't generate the capital being protected.

Having the patience to act on good opportunities (if mentally and physically healthy enough (and not asleep , using the above discipline, is better than just saying "pick winners".

Is having a big portfolio of stocks really being well diversified in a down market?

Risk reward ratios don't serve their purpose if your percentage of wins don't cover the losses - forcing a higher reward to risk ratio than the one already failing.

Even if you are wealthy; is it adequate diversification to shift from:
20% property, 45% long equities on a higher margin, 10% cash, 10% bonds 15% physical gold in a bull market


20% property, 20% long dividend equities on a lower margin, 35% cash, 10% bonds,15% physical gold in a bear market

- if you are mortgaging the property and dependant on the solvency of another institution for the other assets?

More diversification in "who has what of yours", while focusing on the best opportunities for growth (less diversification in your investment categories), is the best I can come up with.

"Be right and sit tight." - Jesse Livermore

Last edited by whatnext; March 4th, 2013 at 07:45 PM.
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  #33 (permalink)
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There are many good guidelines, but here is probably my #1 as of now:

Know why you are taking the trade; have a reason based on something you can explain.

The reason is this: whether the trade works or not, and whether the idea is logical or poor, the experience can be learned from and improved upon. Contrastingly, a trade taken on a whim that has no thought behind it and is spur of the moment, win or lose, cannot be learned from and is not repeatable. Whatever the result, you either got lucky or were unlucky; it was mostly random.

Like most traders, I used to shoot from the hip with little understanding of the day's context, but after developing the habit of planning and thinking through an idea and then focusing on executing the idea, I have become more consistent. It is easier to just turn on the screen in the morning and try to get in the flow, but unfortunately that way of doing things often leads to inconsistent results, and usually reflects a lack of a strong work ethic.

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  #34 (permalink)
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My #1 is: Don't do anything stupid.

Sounds like a joke at first, but the more I thought about it, the more I realised that it actually is pretty spot on...
Provided you have sufficient knowledge and a sound edge (which are not rules but prerequisites for successful trading) I found that almost all actions having a really negative impact on P/L can be classified as rather stupid.
Losers are part of the game, no trader will have only winning trades. With these "normal unavoidable" losers a trader will be fine (simplified and provided he has an edge), add in some "stupid" losers and the picture changes drastically.


Hic Rhodos, hic salta.

Last edited by vvhg; March 5th, 2013 at 02:52 AM.
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  #35 (permalink)
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Exit when support become is resistance

* If investing gets too difficult for a seventh grader to understand, the system is needlessly complex
* Markets produce an enormous volume of information, much of which is redundant
* In every game and con there's always an opponent, and there's always a victim. The trick is to know when you're the latter, so you can become the former
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  #36 (permalink)
Trading for Profit
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I like this thread.

Although Mike asked for the "SINGLE most important rule of trading", the result is that we've got a nice selection of various important things one has to take care of, if he or she wants to succeed in this game

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  #37 (permalink)
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karoshiman View Post
Although Mike asked for the "SINGLE most important rule of trading"

I also asked "why", but most people can't answer that one.


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  #38 (permalink)
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The single most important rule in trading.... it's between our ears.


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  #39 (permalink)
Trading for Fun
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Never enter a trade without a clear reason/plan.

...which also means: BE PATIENT.

Why? Every time I did that in the past, by following the impulse or going by my gut, I failed miserably.

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  #40 (permalink)
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Single most important rule of trading

Don't lie to yourself when you trade.

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