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10 Tips for Preparing for a Profitable Trading Day

Jul 3, 2008
Every great athlete, musician and professional where the stakes are high, knows that warm up and preparation can make a big difference to performance. Here are 10 tips -trading advice for preparing for your best trading day.

Mental Prep

1. Harness the power of intention

As you become more and more focused as a trader and as you learn to clear your emotions the power of your intention will become stronger and stronger. Begin the day by setting the intention that you will be successful, that you will be profitable, and that you will be safe. If possible visualize it, or feel that it will happen.

If any feelings or thoughts come up contrary to that intention (e.g. I lost yesterday perhaps I'll lose today) go straight to the next point and clear that thought/feeling.

2. Clear limiting thoughts and emotions

Did anything happen yesterday or on previous trading days that is bothering you? Anything happening in your personal life that may be affecting your state of mind? Any recurring thoughts or feelings that come up during the trading day?

Read my blog post about emotional clearing - learn Core Transformation and clear that crapola out. And for any of you hardcore guys out there that are thinking this might be a bit touchy feely, I suggest you look at this in purely financial terms. Learning these techniques will help you get the success you want. And nobody needs to know!

3. Brain power

Make sure that you have exercised and eaten properly so that your mind is clear and fresh. Have the right snacks at hand so that you can keep your blood sugar balanced, so that you mind stays fresh and optimally focused.


4. Know when you are going to trade

You may say "How do I know when I am going to trade ahead of time?". In response I'd say, "if your trading system doesn't tell you when you are going to be trading ahead of time, then you are missing out on a huge advantage". As you'll see from the various blog posts I've written on cycle trading, I am convinced that time is as important a factor in determining entries as price. This is why I use a combination of cycles and harmonics in addition to regular technical analysis to determine entries.

Adopting this trading methodology was the single biggest contributing factor for me in becoming a consistently profitable trader, because I can calmly prepare for the times that I am going to trade and I can relax my focus during the times when I know I should be on the sidelines.

Practical Details

5. Are there any economic numbers being released today?

Know exactly what time they are and watch out if you are trading around these times as there may be some dramatic fluctuations in price movement. Unless your strategy specifically includes trading these numbers, many traders prefer to sit on the sidelines until the numbers shake themselves out.

6. Any significant business or world news today that may affect the markets?

Days when companies release earnings or when there are other significant events, make the market jumpy. You need to be forewarned so that you can decide either to sit out, or to be extra vigilant.

7. What happened in the markets overnight?

Same idea as point 4.


8. Review your discipline committments

If you are someone that has problem over-trading or pulling the trigger, or if you have challenges following your system, make a list of discipline committments. List out those things that you commit to in terms trading discipline. e.g. I will only take trades on signals that my system gives me. Go through them before the trading day begins and refresh your resolution.

I had a lot of trouble with over trading in the early days. As I got absorbed in the market action it was like becoming hypnotized, my discipline went out the window. I actually had to set an alarm clock to go off and every 30 mins I would re-read my discipline committments to force myself to snap out of it, and refocus on following my trading rules.

9. Review you trades from yesterday and your trading journal

Reviewing you trades from yesterday is a great way to refine your skills and learn more about your strengths and weaknesses. If you had a day where you were able to execute your trades flawlessly based on your system (whether or not they ended up being profitable) you can consolidate the confidence that brings. If you had a day that left an emotional mark because of losses or mistakes you can go back to point 2 and clear them.

If you found that you were unable to execute your trades effectively its another opportunity to revisit your trading rules, your discipline committments, and refresh your intention that today you will trade your system.


10. Give thanks

Give thanks to your self, and to whatever power of the universe that you respect for the opportunity to trade - which is nothing more than an opportunity to master yourself.

The state of gratitude is a great inner state to approach the day. It buoys your optimism and invites to you the circumstances for success.

As the French say "Bon courage" - and have a safe and profitable day!
About the Author
Mo Christiensen is one of the editors of the successful tradingadviceblog.com. The site specializes in high quality trading advice and profitable trading systems for new and struggling traders. Read the article in context at http://tradingadviceblog.com/intro/10-tips-for-preparing-for-a-profitable-trading-day/
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