Good trading has to be VERY BORING!
I am sure you have heard that before but what does this actually mean?
First, it does not mean that trading should be a dreadful and painful activity which is very hard to tolerate. Trading is, of course, mentally challenging and it’s a constant battle between you vs you – it’s one of the hardest challenges you will have to face and far from boring in the actual sense.
When it comes to real trading, boring should mean that you have very little diversity and you are doing the same things day in and day out. You have one system with very clear rules (which do not change a lot), you make the same analysis every day, you look for the same signals every few hours, you have the same routine without much variance, all your trades should look the same and a lot of time is spent doing nothing, waiting for the same setup.
I guess, in this context, we should say that trading means following the same routine without deviation and not that it’s boring.
If you are trading because you think it’s such an exciting thing to do, you are wrong and your wrong mindset and expectations will make sure that your results don’t match your goals. The word exciting and trading don’t really have anything to do with each other.
But I am not here to badmouth trading. I LOVE trading, the weekly challenges, the fight with myself, the strategic thinking and planning, and overcoming my impatience and emotional impulses.
The goal of this article is to help you get on the right track and avoid some of the common problems that many traders never overcome and that will keep them trapped in the same vicious cycle of losing money forever.
5 tips on how to improve your trading by adding consistency and removing deviations
I have mentioned that your trading needs to be very consistent. Only by following a consistent routine, you can achieve consistent results. Most traders approach this the wrong way and first want to have consistent results before sticking to one method. Obviously, this will never work.
So here are my top tips that you can use RIGHT NOW to improve your approach to trading:
Commit to 1 system and 1 system only!
This has to be the first step. Remove all the noise, opinions and confusion from your trading. You have to understand that you have to stop changing trading strategies.
Once you start trading one system only, you will quickly pick up the little nuances about the setups and your learning curve will accelerate.
I trade 1 system only and I have only 3 different setup types. I have taken the same trades hundreds and hundreds of times. I can recognize whether a chart is interesting and could offer a potential trade or not within seconds. Of course, I haven’t started there but you have to go through the initial struggle and slowly build your expertise in one field.
It’s very easy to master a system once you have been following the same set of rules for a few months, or years. In our pro area, we see it every week. Students start out without any knowledge and within weeks or months they can accurately analyze charts. This is the power of focus on eliminating noise.
Once you have chosen your system, create a set of rules that determine the way you pick entries, set stops/targets and manage trades.
A set of rules will help you make more consistent trades because you are less likely to break the rules. And once you start taking the same trades over and over again, you will start seeing patterns. You will notice what works and what doesn’t. Then you can make small adjustments and slowly turn yourself int0 a professional trader.
You need a routine
Maybe it’s my German nature but I have always been big on routines and following my schedules very disciplined 😉
If you are a pro students of ours, you have seen that my weekly watchlist video with the best Forex setups goes online every Saturday afternoon at roughly the same time. This is the case because I start analyzing markets and writing trading plans every Saturday morning, following the same schedule.
Following the same schedule allows me to create consistency in my trading. I know that I cannot schedule anything for Saturday throughout the day because that’s where my most important work and preparation is done. And I would never think about starting to trade on Monday if I hadn’t done my weekly analysis.
You don’t have to block out your whole Saturday but you need to find a schedule that works for you. This is especially true if you have a 9-5 job or are in college and your time is limited. You have to make time for analysis, review your performance and preparation. Otherwise, you’ll just keep bouncing around without any goal or direction.
We have developed Edgewonk for that matter and created it to help people establish a more professional routine: Check out Edgewonk
Tune out noise
It’s also very important that you avoid all the noise and confusion. Random trading forums where everyone is trading a different strategy are a very dangerous place because you can get easily influenced by other opinions. Instead, find a group where everyone is trading the exact same system (this is why we offer a private forum for our students). Also, you need to avoid Twitter or other social networks where people post charts, setups or talk about trades. Even if you say that this is not influencing you, it will often unconsciously.
You need to isolate yourself to some degree and do the work yourself. Only if you find the trades yourself, pull the trigger yourself without asking for confirmation, then you can become better and build confidence.
Opinions vs. trade signals
I often have an option about a chart and a feeling where it might go next but I never let my feeling cause a trade entry.
Many traders look at random charts, always flip through different timeframes and keep changing their indicators or tools and then try to come up with a trade idea. Or, even worse, they just look at a chart and then say things such as “it has gone up for so long, it must come down” or “This trade is not according to my rules but I just risk a little bit because it looks interesting”. FOMO is the keyword here and it has to be overcome:
Again, this is where having 1 system and a set of fixed rules comes in. You might have an opinion but that’s not enough to pull the trigger on a trade.
It’s so important that you get into a mindset of trying to catch ‘repeatable’ trades which basically means that you have a system that will help you find the same trade over and over again. When I look at my trade screenshots they pretty much all look identical and that is a good sign because it means that I take the same trades, avoid random entries and have little noise in my trading.
I hope this helps you get a different view on how to approach trading and what to change in your routine to get a more professional approach and more consistency in your trading.
I also just created a free Forex course to help you get started. Make sure to check it out if you want to learn more about Forex.