One of the number one reasons that traders lose money is because they cannot follow the most important rules. In fact, some novice traders do not even have any rules in place when trading. They are simply relying on luck or tips to make money in stocks. Here are three rules that every stock trader should adopt if they want to have a chance in this market.
1. The 10 Percent Rule. The ten percent rule was made famous by the legendary trader Jesse Livermore. He said that he would never take more than a 10 percent loss on any stock. Whenever he broke this rule and let his emotions get the best of him he really suffered a bigger than expected loss both financially and mentally. A ten percent loss keeps you in the game and allows you to fight another day. I cannot begin to tell you how many times I have seen one trade turn into a huge loss. This giant loss often hurts the trader involved and has even been the cause of many blown up accounts.
2. Do Not Trade With Capital You Cannot Afford To Lose. There is an old saying, scared money never makes any money. Whenever traders and investors trade with capital they cannot afford to lose it hinders their thinking. Trading comes with enough pressure already, but betting the rent or the mortgage on a stock simply affects the traders ability to read or follow that stock’s price movement correctly. A good rule is to also apply the 10 percent rule to position size. Never put more than 10 percent of your account into any one stock position. This will allow you to find other trading opportunities should they arrive. All of your capital will not be tied up in one stock. By keeping the position size to just 10 percent of your account you will not have too much of an emotional connection to any one trade. Keeping the stress of trading down is extremely important for your health.
3. Learn To Use And Read Charts. While most of the people in the world will use fundamental analysis to trade (PE ratios, EPS, book value, ect) it is the charts and technical analysis that will show you the actual money flow of a stock. The bottom line, the trend is your friend except at the end. Reading charts of stocks will show you patterns and signal where the money is going and flowing. Remember, it is money flow that moves stock prices not opinion from some talking head on the financial news channel. How many times have you seen a company report great earnings only to see the stock plummet and vice versa? Often, the chart will tell us this will happen before it does. Chart reading will also help traders to place stop losses and know where pattern breaks down or fails. Traders must understand that it is just as important to know where you are wrong on a trade as it is to know when you are correct. Charts do all of these things and more when a trader can read them. Every trader and investor should get educated in reading and understanding charts.