Trading is difficult for many reasons. But, that does not mean you can’t do it well, especially if you trade intelligently. Trading intelligently is about the decisions you make before, during, and after your trade. But, trading SMART is about how you think and behave as a trader. Traders should make it a goal to be both intelligent and SMART. Here are a few characteristics of a SMART trader and some tips to improve your own trading style.
Trading has a way of getting under your skin if you let it. Don’t let it. A SMART trader always keeps their cool and do their best to not get ruffled feathers. Volatility in the market can pay off for a trader. But, it will never pay off if your volatility keeps you going up and down with your trade. Don’t be that trader who freaks out when the opposition scores; rather, be the smooth trader who remains calm under pressure and keeps both eyes on the ultimate prize.
Trade as if you are a mechanic – follow a process. There is room for creativity in trading, but not much. Being successful is all about keeping the machine running well. To do this, one needs to build and execute trades with the idea that every screw is important, and all the parts need to work together to make the engine hum. Define your strategy precisely and then stick to the plan.
Be disciplined in following a process. But when that process is failing, smart traders need to adapt. Maybe you need to research a new sector, acquire new information about your market, or find a new time to set up your trades. Or maybe it is just the market going screwy and it may be best to sit out for a time. But whatever your trading plan, if it is not working, you must adapt. You must change and be willing to try and new strategies with an open mind.
The most important thing to always be thinking about when trading is avoiding risk. Now, there is always a risk when trading, you’ve seen the disclaimers. But, the goal of trading is to minimize that risk as much as possible. This way you can win more than you lose. Behave as if every trade is the only trade you will make, and you desperately want to win.
Trading is long past the days of hand-drawing charts, and it is well into the days of software-based trading, which means having the right tools is about software. But not any software will do. A SMART trader needs a smart software. VantagePoint, for example, uses artificial intelligence to sift through massive quantities of financial data, uncover the hidden patterns and relationships in that data, and use that information to predict market trend changes in advance.
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