How was 2016 for you? The world certainly looks a very different place today than it did at the beginning of this year. The UK is poised to leave the EU and the US is reeling from one of its most controversial elections ever. But some things stay the same. No matter what happens, the days go by and the seasons change.
The same could be said about the trading world. Technology moves at a breakneck speed, there are new algorithms, robots and scanning software being developed all the time. But it is still real people who trade, and human beings will always be emotional creatures, driven by fear, excitement, greed and frustration. Yes, new “algos” can destabilise the markets by firing off automatically at any time of day or night, but then traders respond and create even bigger waves, so the markets will always be unpredictable and vulnerable.
We asked Lee Sandford how 2016 has treated him and what his goals for 2017 look like.
“2016 has been another good, solid trading year for me. This is a theme in my life. As a footballer, I had a good, solid career! I’ve actually had my best trading year to date, and yet I’ve also enjoyed the most time off, had the most holidays with my family. That’s because I have a good, solid trading plan. Your trading plan doesn’t need to be long and complicated, it just needs to have the four fundamental key elements and be right for you.”
If you feel your trading plan is working for you, Lee advises, then stick to it. If not, make some changes before the New Year. The key elements your trading plan should include are: time, strategy, scanning and execution.
You must trade regularly, at the same time every day. You can set the hours that will work for you, but then stick to them. When you are first learning how to trade, it’s time intensive, but once you know what you are doing, it shouldn’t take up too much time at all. You have the flexibility of deciding when you fit your trading into your busy life. Successful trading is all about disciplined time management, not spending more time doing it. Don’t over trade.
You don’t need to know any complicated strategies in order to be successful; the simplest strategies work just fine. But you need to ensure that you are following the ones you pick and not deviating from them.
Once you have picked your strategies, you must set your computer to scan for all the trades that match those strategies. The technology is there, you just need to use it. It’s never been easier to find trades; the technology we have now is incredible. It allows you to spend far less time behind the wheel… the trading wheel that is; the idea being that trading gives you far more time behind the wheel of whatever vehicle or project you are passionate about!
No matter how much technology you have, and how much planning you do, in the end you will never make money unless you actually take action and place those trades. You can’t look at all the trades you’ve found thinking, “Should I?” You have to push the button and take the trade without hesitation.
“My goal for 2017 is to keep doing the same,” says Lee. “My trading plan is working so I’m not going to change it.”
Your trading plan needs clear, firm rules that you know you can stick to. Don’t let the instability of the world change your trading plan if it’s working, but don’t be afraid to make a new one if you’re not getting the results you want.
We’d like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us at Trading College. We hope 2017 is your best trading year yet. Don’t forget, we’re always here to support you and help make it happen!