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You Will Never Make Money Trading Stocks, Futures Or Forex Part 2

Mar 20, 2008
If you have no idea what it is you want from trading; then the markets will give you just that, nothing! Over 90% of traders fail to reach any success and a large part of this is because traders refuse to set any sort of goal or objective. Floating aimlessly, they are easy targets for the trap that is the financial markets.

If you asked 100 struggling traders what it is they want from the markets the general answer is 'I want to make money'. Other than that it's 'I don't really know'. Sometimes you'll get a more thoughtful answer such as 'I want to leave my job' or similar.

It's not enough to say I want to leave my job and trade full time. What does that mean in terms of money, time, figures and accounting? If you can't put a figure on what it is you want, either in time or money, then every trade you undertake means absolutely nothing.

One of the reasons traders don't set goals is because trading is difficult to measure if you don't understand how successful traders make money. For example, many very rich traders make most of their money from a very small percentage of their trades, and will have more losing trades on average than winners.

Think about it from this point of view. If I have 99 losing trades of $10, and one winning trade of $2000, I am $1010 in front; which is way in front. Trading is all about probabilities, not about being clever or right.

Once you are able to determine the probability you have of making a dollar and the probability of losing a dollar, you have the ability to determine on average, what you'll make per trade. Then you can work out how many trades you'll need to make in a certain period of time to reach a goal.

Can you see how much a waste of time trading is if you don't have a goal. Without a goal, you have no idea of how many trades you're supposed to be taking in a month or a year. If you don't know this, then what does it matter what the next 10, 15, or 50 trades make, or what your average profit per trade is?

Here's another point: If you place a trade and it makes you $100 or $10000, then so what. What are you going to do with that money? Maybe you think you'll start with $10,000 and try and get your account up to $20,000, but in what time?, a month, a year, 10 years; and if you did pick a time, why? Why would it be important for you to double your money in a certain amount of time?

Let's say you did set out to double your money in a year, how many hours per week are you willing to sacrifice to reach this goal, and once again, the question remains, why?

Another reason traders don't set goals is because their focus is all on the magic entry technique, the magic indicator etc. This is like judging a book by its cover. If you judge the potential of a trading methodology by the way in which it gets you in the markets it does nothing but allow you to feel in control. That is it.

Once you are in the markets, how and why do you get out? You get out because you need to close your position to realize a loss or profit. Without a goal, why would you bother? What drives you to exit a trade if you have absolutely no reason to?

There is nothing wrong with saying you want to trade because you're plain sick of your job, but give your trading business what it deserves, some specific goals including returns, income, time involved, and have both financial and personal goals, and a plan to get you there.
About the Author
Dean Whittingham created A Traders Universe - Trading System Development in 2005 as a resource site for traders of all levels, with education, courses, brokers, tips, free videos, newsletters, trading systems, simulations and a free 7 step process for building a profitable stock, futures or forex trading system. His coaching program is at Pentagonal Trading System Development
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