Do you feel like your trading capabilities are stuck in a rut? Do you wish you could find some new and different approaches to making a profit by buying and selling your favorite instruments like forex currency pairs, stock shares, bonds, index funds, options, futures, commodities, and more? The silver lining inside the dark cloud of trading inertia is that there are indeed many techniques that can help you do better. What are the specific approaches you can use to become more skilled at what you do and earn more money in the long run? Here are a few of the tried and true strategies that people have been using to good effect for many years. Give one, some, or all of them a try and see if they make a difference.
Logs and Diaries
Maintaining a trading diary that includes all your buying and selling activity along with the reasons your purchased or sold at a given moment can be highly instructive. You’ll not only learn why and how you respond to particular situations, but will gain insight into your own psychology and behavior. Many of the world’s top trading enthusiasts keep detailed diaries of every dollar they spend in the markets.
Learn Technical Analysis
There are dozens of widely used technical indicators, all of which have their own unique and instructive powers. By far, the most common is the moving average. The SMA, or simple moving average, merely shows the result of adding together several days’ worth of price data and graphing it in such a way that we can see the big picture of price behavior. You probably know of the most popular of these indicators: the 50-200 crossover. What is it? It implies that prices are headed upward when a stock’s 50-day moving average (MA) crosses above its 200-day MA. In general, you can test out this theory on your favorite securities and see if prices rose after such a crossover. Some traders swear by this theorem and stay out of the market completely, as a safety precaution, when the 50-day MA is below the 200-day MA.
One of the most popular indicators is called MACD, which stands for moving average convergence divergence. It’s a convoluted name for a simply straightforward mathematical concept. Without going into minute detail, we could use an example of MACD trading strategy to illustrate the point. Keep in mind that the MACD is often used by traders who want to stay on the correct side of a trend. There’s a general rule to never buy a security when the price chart shows the MACD below its zero line and shows the trigger line above the generic convergence line. If that sounds complicated, don’t worry. It isn’t. Your platform’s charting software will calculate all those variables for you. That way, if XYZ’s share chart shows today’s MACD as being below the zero line, while its trigger line is above the generic line, you are receiving a warning: “Do not open a long position in XYZ stock today.”
Read About Market Psychology
There are some classic books out there, many of which are in the public domain, which means you can pick them up for no cost. Others are widely available and come with reasonable price tags. Spend time studying the general topic of market-based psychology as it pertains to buying and selling for a profit. Pay particular attention to sub-topics about personal behavior and warning signs that you are falling into a bad pattern of activity, like over-trading, investing money you can’t afford to lose, and being guided by your emotions instead of logic.
Study the Basics of Fundamental Analysis
Fundamental analysis is everything other than chart-based theory. In other words, the fundamental approach says you should look at a company’s underlying strengths and weaknesses rather than recent or long-term price behavior. For example, you examine things like whether the business has released any new products, what their current level of earnings is, the past performance of its executives, if there are any pending law suits against the organization, etc.
Practice and Back-Test
Don’t neglect to put your newfound skills to the test. Consider using the simulator on your platform to make some fictitious buys and see how you do when employing fundamental, technical, and intuitive analysis. Start using a daily diary to log all your activities, feelings, and attitudes. Finally, use the simulator to experiment with using the MACD method and see if you can get a feel for how a particular security is moving based on its moving-average information. It’s always possible to do some back-testing by reviewing historical price movement and see if you would have been able to predict it by using one or another technical indicator.