Education Resource

4 Steps to Take Before You Begin Trading

Master Instructor Blog

For those who want to begin trading, it is important to refrain from just jumping right into it without taking the proper steps first. Traders have to set themselves up for success, and this starts before they create an account, before they deposit their funds and long before they choose their first trade. Doing the little things right at the beginning can help for years to come.


Eliminate All Debt
Before trading, individuals should eliminate all personal debt. Trading is something that should only be done with money that the trader can afford to lose. Until this debt, such as student loans or credit card debt, is gone, the risk is just far too great. Traders should take their time to eliminate debt, even if it takes several months. This way, if trades go against them, they can regroup and try again, rather than face a potentially serious financial problem.

Traders Must be Well Capitalized
Trading is not something that should be done without appropriate capital. Serious traders need enough so that they can invest and make good returns on even small movements. Traders also need enough security capital in case they experience losses.

Choose or Develop a Trading System

It is important to have a logical trading system. Successful traders do not just trade on hunches. Hunches are only going to pan out every so often, and professionals need something more consistent that’s based on facts and market trends. Individuals who know enough about trading can develop a personalized system, but it is often better to start by researching systems or patterns that other traders use. One can then tweak these systems so that they work more effectively. A system is never done being edited and altered. As traders learn, they can make the necessary adjustments.

Manage the Risks
Traders must follow strict money management rules. They cannot put in too much, risking far more than they want just to gain their money back. Most people make this mistake when they have missed some trades and they’re getting behind. They’re tempted to pour a lot into one final, huge trade, hoping that it goes their way so that they can get even again. The problem is that this is emotional trading, not smart trading. It’s important to establish rules about how much can be risked. Traders may have some rough patches, but establishing stop losses will allow them to stay afloat and be successful.

This newsletter is written for educational purposes only. By no means do any of its contents recommend, advocate or urge the buying, selling or holding of any financial instrument whatsoever. Trading and Investing involves high levels of risk. The author expresses personal opinions and will not assume any responsibility whatsoever for the actions of the reader. The author may or may not have positions in Financial Instruments discussed in this newsletter. Future results can be dramatically different from the opinions expressed herein. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Reprints allowed for private reading only, for all else, please obtain permission.