It's no secret that trading any financial market is hard work. Traders need to keep calm, level-headed, and observant at all times while staying on top of the market's ever-changing movements.
While making mistakes is part of the game, we've outlined 5 of the biggest common mistakes you can avoid while you navigate the often turbulent waters of any trading system and technical analysis.
What is technical analysis?
Technical analysis (TA) is one of the most popular methods for analyzing financial markets. At its core, it uses previous price action and volume data to predict future market behavior by identifying trends and favorable trading opportunities.
It can be applied to the chart patterns of any kind of market, including stocks, forex, commodities, and cryptocurrencies. While the basics are not too difficult to understand it takes a lot of practice to become an expert technical analyst.
This form of analysis typically looks at historical price action, while fundamental analysis (FA) looks at multiple factors affecting the price of an asset.
5 common mistakes made when it comes to using technical analysis
- Know when to cut your losses
No matter how big or small, always prioritize protecting your investment. In the world of trading and investing, this is non-negotiable if you want to see any returns. A great way to approach trading is to start out with the following mindset: you're not here to win, you're here not to lose.
Start with small positions, set up a stop-loss, and know when to cut your losses.
2. Don't ignore extreme market conditions
While the markets are typically governed by supply and demand, there are cases where extreme conditions like black swan events can throw your carefully curated technical analysis to the curb. Sometimes emotion and mass psychology can cause periods of extreme market conditions, and you will need to adjust your trading strategy accordingly.
If you make decisions based solely on readings from technical tools, you run the risk of losing money, especially during black swan events when it can be tough to understand what's happening. Keep in mind that market conditions can change rapidly and without warning, so it's always important to consider other factors before making any decisions and risking real funds.
3. Avoid revenge trading
Revenge trading is a term used to describe when a trader tries to immediately recover a significant loss through making alternative trades. Infringing the golden rule of not making trades based off emotions, revenge trading is a no-no.
Harness your inner zen and attempt to stay calm through both big and small mishaps. Sticking to your trading plan will be the best thing you can do, and make adjustments as need be based off of logical thinking and an analytical approach.
Immediate trading after a severe loss often leads to more losses. Therefore, some traders take a break from trading altogether for a while after they lose big. By taking this breather, they can come back with fresh mindsets and restart their trading journey.
4. Remind yourself (constantly) that TA is a game of probabilities
Technical analysis is all about probabilities and not absolutes. This means that no matter what technical approach you’re using, there’s never a 100% guarantee that the market will behave as you expect. Even if your analysis suggests that there’s a very high probability of the market moving up or down, it's still not set in stone.
As you're getting your trading strategies together, there's one aspect you always need to keep in mind: don't think the market will go how your analysis predicts. This is a mistake even experienced traders make, and it leads to bad decisions like betting too much money on one outcome instead of spreading it out. That puts you at risk of losing a lot financially if things don't go your way.
5. Don't blindly follow anyone's trading strategies
A great way to learn how to trade the financial markets is by observing experienced technical analysts and traders. However, in order to master your own skills you will need to establish what your own strengths are and how to leverage them.
Observing other traders doesn't present a fool-proof trading strategy as something that works for one trader might not work for another. With countless ways to make money off of the markets, find your own trading style that is best suited to you.
Initially, you might get lucky by making trades based off of another person's opinion. However, if you continue down this road without comprehending why they made that choice, it will only lead to detrimental consequences in the future.
Learning from others is key, but it is more important that you think for yourself and agree with the trade before moving forward. Do not let anyone else make decisions for you blindly, no matter their experience level.
While trading isn't easy and there is certainly no quick fix to success, the above are some helpful starting points to consider when entering the world of technical analysis.
Remember that it takes practice, and while approaching trading with a longer-term mindset is a great way to start, ideally, you want to build habits that allow you to be in control of your trading decisions and avoid common mistakes.
Constantly manage your risks and learn from your mistakes when you make them in order to capitalize on your strengths and improve. This advice serves both professional traders and newbies.
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