Anybody who wants to take a day trading course needs to follow certain principles. I will not say rules because a lot of people do not like the word, but principles. Some of them are well known and some of them are less so, but they are all vital to the successful day trader. I call them the 4 major principles of day trading.

1. The Buck Stops With You

Whether you are looking around for a day trading system or developing your own, remember that whatever you do is your responsibility. Ask for advice and help by all means, but do not believe everything you hear. People are different and their trading styles can vary hugely, so never follow advice blindly.

Equally, you can buy in a system but do not neglect to test it. Even if the guy who designed it says that it will double your money in two months for certain sure, you must test, because there are three possible problems with that. One, he could be lying. Two, maybe it used to work great but it doesn’t work any more. Three, maybe it works for him but for some weird reason to do with your spread or whatever, it doesn’t work for you. Your money is your responsibility and yours alone, so put the system to work on a demo account until you are sure.

2. Stay Calm

The biggest enemy of any trader is his or her own emotions and this is especially true for the person who wants to learn day trading. If you are the kind of person who makes bad decisions under stress, you might want to think again about choosing day trading as your strategy. This is a fast moving world where seconds can count in thousands of dollars, so you need to keep a very cool head.

Now pretty much everybody likes to think they are a calm kind of person who would react well under pressure, so even if you are convinced you are going to be the world’s number one ice cold trader, test yourself as well as your system in that demo account. If you veer off the system even once or start altering your position size, closing out early, waiting too long etc in demo mode, sorry but you are not ready for real life trading when things will be much more hairy. Work on it.

3. Track Everything

Even though you have to work fast when you are using day trading systems, it is worth taking the time to write everything down. Again this is a habit you can train yourself into while in demo. You will be amazed how much it helps you to see why things went right or wrong when they did. This can enable to to tweak a marginal system into a profitable one and make all the difference to your bottom line. A simple spreadsheet recording your position, the signal(s) and the opening and closing prices is enough during trading. Afterward you may want to add a comment.

4. If In Doubt, Keep Out

This is a well known trading and investment rule. Do not take a chance on something that nearly fits your system but not quite. It may work once but over the long term this will lead to disaster. There is probably a reason why the system is set up for the signals that it has, and if the market does not fit, do not force it.

Equally if you are sick or under stress about another area of your life, it can be better to stay away from the market, especially while you are still a relative beginner. There will be other and better opportunities to continue your day trading course and experience when you are feeling in peak condition.

Filed under: Forex Strategies

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