Based on my own experiences as a trader and on conversations with many top analysts and traders on my radio program and elsewhere, here is a top-10 list of observations I would like to pass along to you after 23 years in the trading business. You may recognize some of these thoughts as market clichés, but they have stood the test of time and should be helpful for you as well.
- You only have three choices when you are in a bad position, and it is not hard to figure out what to do: (1) Get out, (2) double up, or (3) spread it off. I have always found getting out to be the best of all three choices.
- No opinion on the market or you are doubtful about market direction? Then stay out. Remember, when in doubt, stay out.
- Don’t ever let anyone know how big your wallet is, and don’t ever let anyone know how small it is either.
- If you snooze, you lose. Know your markets, when they trade, and what reports will affect the market price.
- The markets will always let you in on the losers; the market’s job is to keep you out of winners. Dump the dogs and ride the winning tide.
- Stops are not for sissies.
- Plan your trade, then trade your plan. He who fails to plan, plans to fail.
- Buy the rumor and sell the fact. Watch for volatility in these situations; it usually marks tops or bottoms in the markets.
- Buy low, sell high. Or buy it when nobody wants it, and sell it when everybody has to have it!
- It’s okay to lose your shirt, just don’t lose your pants; that is where your wallet is.
One last thought I want to leave with you. It applies not only to everyday life but to trading the markets as well: Success is measured not so much by the wealth or position you have gained, but rather by the obstacles you have overcome to succeed!