Modern technology has brought trading within the reach of virtually everyone today – and everyone who trades has one key objective: success.
There are a number of ways in which the potential for successful trading can be maximised and here we’ll run through five key ones. These range from automation that will take care of the trading for you to methods that will enable you to analyse the markets thoroughly. You’ll be able to find much more information about them all online but what follows should give you some sound initial pointers.
Set up a trader’s journal
When you’re in the thick of trading it can be all too easy to let the day pass by without being able to see patterns or properly analyse how you have reacted to price movements. But by taking a few moments at the end of a day’s trading to note down some salient facts in a trading journal it can build up into a valuable reference work.
An even easier way of doing this is to take a screenshot of each trading day and annotate it with observations that you make at certain times of the day including trends and market conditions as going back over situations and seeing what effects your actions can be very useful. In addition, the keeping of a trader’s journal is the best way to record your actual performance on a day by day basis.
Choose an expert advisor
One of the most popular ways of trading, particularly for the relative novice, is to choose an expert advisor. This, contrary to how it sounds, is a trading bot that can either indicate when it may be a good time to make a trade or, in some instances, actually carry out the trades automatically. Expert advisors for MT4 are available with both these options and traders who want to create their own bespoke version can achieve this fairly easily using MQL MetaEditor software. Many also offer free demo accounts that can be invaluable in helping to decide which one to eventually choose.
Carry out copy trading
Another very popular strategy for traders is to find another investor whose approach and objectives seem to emulate their own and copy them. Usually this involves paying a monthly subscription for the privilege but, hopefully, this is more than covered by the profits that copy trading can bring. If one wanted a less prescriptive approach, then mirror trading is a similar technique that follows the strategies of successful investors but provides a greater amount of latitude.
By not tying yourself to specific trades this also enables you to react more freely when you see moves in the market but, again, studying a demo account before committing fully is a very wise move.
Study graphical analyses
Some information is best presented in a graphical format, particularly when one is examining market movements over a period of time. So familiarising yourself with the various different graphical depictions of this is essential.
You will find that three different styles are generally used, line graphs, bar charts and candlestick charts. The line graph is best for examining trends and movements over more extended periods of time while bar and candlestick charts can give a more pinpointed analysis looking at precise moments in the market. Looking at how markets and individual investments have fared in the past might not be totally reliable in predicting the future, but they can certainly help.
Use technical indicators
All investors look for patterns which can give them as accurate a picture as possible of the directions in which the market may be moving. Many of these take the form of technical indicators that take movements into account and use a range of mathematical formulae to try to make predictions.
There are many different forms of indicators from the relatively simple moving averages to the rather more complex stochastic oscillator. Having a working knowledge of these indicators is essential for any trader who wants to be able to back their decisions with statistical justification.
There’s undoubtedly always a great deal more to learn about trading, even for the experts, and hopefully this has provided a great starting point. Now’s the time to put some of these into action.