Whether you’re looking for ways to generate additional income or interested in turning it into a full-time career, financial trading markets are one exciting and potentially lucrative option. However, as with anything where you risk your hard-earned money, you should not take it lightly.
While the world of trading is full of opportunities, there’s no shying away from the fact that it’s a risk-reward-based business. Before committing yourself, you should be prepared and inform yourself about how trading and the market work.
If you want to get into trading, you’ll find some actionable advice to help you below:
Study First, Trade Later
In trading, no amount of studying can replace real-world experience. However, it would help if you built a solid foundation of knowledge before you begin trading.
At the very least, you need:
- Foundational knowledge of how financial markets work
- A vocabulary of commonly used terms and phrases in financial markets and trading
- Knowledge of the different types of trading and technical analysis tools
- An understanding of established trading strategies and how they work.
Stick to Your Trading Plan
In its simplest form, a trading plan lays out your entry, exit, and money management criteria that apply to all trades. In a way, it establishes boundary conditions under which you will operate.
Having a plan helps mitigate many risks involved with being a new trader. As we’ll explain later, it can stop you from making rash or emotional decisions. It will also help you manage risk and help keep you on track with your long-term goal.
You can test your trading plan using demo accounts on trading platforms or technical analysis tools. Of course, your plan can evolve as you progress, but it’s good to have a framework in place.
Leverage Trading Technologies to Your Advantage
You’re at a disadvantage if you’re not using trading tools like those offered by ThinkMarkets. Today’s markets are so complex, fast-paced, and competitive that it’s virtually impossible to be a successful trader without them. Charting platforms and technical analysis tools make it possible to dissect and analyse market trends from every angle. Modern trading platforms also offer plenty of features to manage your risk and capital. Not to mention to stay up-to-date on important information and events in real-time.
Preserve Your Trading Capital
Depending on the platform, you may be prevented from trading if you don’t have a small amount of capital. To be in a position to make positive trading decisions at key moments, you need to preserve a base amount of capital. This is part of the philosophy of treating your trading activities as a business. You will lose trades, but the key is to manage your losses so that you don’t burn through your funds.
Don’t Take Unnecessary Risks
The main way to preserve your capital is to manage risk. This is where things like your trading plan, risk management tools, and mindset play a significant role. You should establish risk tolerance according to your capital and goals and ensure your trades align with those benchmarks. For example, by limiting the amount of margin you use, diversifying your portfolio, etc.
Track Your Assets and Your Performance
To effectively manage your trading “business,” you must keep track of your assets and performance. This is the only way to make accurate decisions about important subjects, like your risk policy, trading limits, etc. It also helps you to see in absolute terms whether you are making progress or losing money.
Keep Your Emotions and Perspective in Check
Any seasoned trader will tell you that making trading decisions based on emotions is never a good idea. A prime example is pushing for an immediate big win to compensate for a loss.
Emotions can interfere with your perspective and ability to focus on the bigger picture. If you feel like your judgment is getting clouded, it’s best to step away for a moment and breathe. Realign your thoughts with your long-term goals and get back to trading once you’re clear-minded.
Always Use a Stop Loss
A stop loss represents a hard limit to whatever risk you are willing to take on a given trade. Even a single bad trade can wipe out your trading capital without a stop loss. The market can be unpredictable regardless of how experienced or solid your technical analysis is. A stop loss is there to protect your downside while you search for profits.