Try not to get fooled by analysts and traders who are out to abuse you
I am pleased that I came into the investment business when we paid brokers for advice, as if I had to rely on the stuff issued across social media, I would never learn a thing.
I know many speculators have welcomed the demise of the brokerage industry. Considering the direction brokers have been going since the advent of online platforms, I agree with their views. Still, being told, "Don't be stupid," by wise old heads when I was a young player, certainly accelerated my trading education.
Like many of you, I work remotely, which is hardly conducive to learning the little market nuances that make the difference between a bad trade and a good trade or a good year and a great year.
As a broker, we constantly learned about our art, receiving lots of information and ideas from our clients, which we could take in or reject based on their trading results.
When you had professional clients, especially the more established ones, often they would ask you what you thought and then agree or tell you why you might be wrong. Whatever feedback you got, it was always invaluable. And over time, you could use the knowledge you had gained to advise other clients.
Today's traders are so heavily reliant on unreliable opinions. Also, they are rarely offered the opportunity to question what they have read or heard, so there are better ways to learn than today's way of working.
In the current environment, being a contrarian trader is the best way to approach the markets, provided you have a decent risk management strategy and stick to it. Indeed, if you don't have a proper risk management strategy, you are not a trader but a gambler. And the rest of us thank you for your volume.
Compared to most reports, I do not write every week to tell you about the next best trade because that would hardly be useful to struggling traders. Nor do I have to encourage you to trade every 5-minutes because I need the "gas" or brokerage revenue.
I write with the aim of helping aspiring younger traders improve what they do.
Most of my reports are inspired by what I read on my social media timeline rather than the latest data or newly developed chart patterns.
I will mention when a particular market or sector looks overbought or oversold. Still, my main aim is to encourage traders and investors to get away from the noisy, sales-driven consensus and start thinking for themselves.
Many of my reports are based on the lessons I learned from my brokers, and I write them for those sitting remotely, trying to fathom how best to improve their performance.
Let me get one thing straight. Your performance is only partly a result of your analysis. And, no matter how much of a superstar chartist you are, your performance will be good or great, depending mainly on what you do after you take a position.
What matters is how much you will risk on a single trade and when to move your stop to prevent a winning position from becoming a losing one. Will you exit your winning trade in one go, or take partial profits and run the rest a little longer?
These are just a few of the thoughts a trader will have when he is trying to extract profits from financial markets, and obviously, there are many more things to consider if you are or aim to be a professional trader. Furthermore, each trade is different, so there are no hard and fast rules for when to readjust your ideas on how and when to exit a position, but it is the exit that makes the difference between a good and great trade. Professionals are continuously refining how they operate.
I have little interest in the gamblers in the business because most of them, especially in crypto, have no interest in strategies or improving their speculative activities. They seemingly want to buy a fashionable financial instrument that might become more fashionable. That means many still own BTC that they bought at 60,000 or have wallets full of over-hyped or worthless coins and tokens.
Even though these gamblers are not what I call traders, I hope they recoup their losses one day. But it will be more luck than judgment.
Few speculators have more discipline and work harder than those who day trade. These guys have to be extraordinarily nimble and risk-averse during the day if they will be seriously successful.
Writing once a week, I have to look much further forward than a few hours, and quite frankly, I am too old to trade every 10 minutes; besides, it would be bad for my arthritis.
I know what kind of trader I am, and I rarely get uncomfortable with a position because I am relatively risk averse, so I know my downside before I enter a trade.
The quicker you come to terms with what type of investor you are, and every one of us is different, the better you will trade.
New traders have yet to learn what kind of traders they are. Most overestimate their ability, and all overestimate their risk appetite, so it takes a few mistakes and losses before people understand themselves and their emotions.
It is so vital that we appreciate how our changing emotions affect our trades and profits.
Over my career, I have seen many instances where top analysts, especially technical analysts, are lured into becoming fund managers, and it hasn't worked. That is often because of their lack of control over their emotions and how it affects their actions after they initiate a position. (But I will leave discussing funds and fund managers until next week).
Much of what you read on social media is written to encourage you to invest, and much of it is aimed at getting you to buy something the writer already owns. Too much of it, especially when volatility picks up, focuses on your emotions. be it greed or fear of missing out. But this is when you have to be most guarded.
BTC was the greatest thing since sliced bread at above 64,000. Everyone, and their mother, was telling you to buy and HODL. But that was 18-months ago.
Since then, buyers have lost over half their capital and are sitting on positions that have to double just for the buyer to break even.
Worse still, because traders were frightened to take a small loss, their capital has been tied up in a losing asset, rather than being employed to take advantage of the thousands of investment opportunities that have appeared over the same period.
Furthermore, you might have lost a bit and made a bit over the past year and a half, but the amount you would have learned from these experiences would have made you a much better trader.
Worth a thought.
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