Every trader goes through a process of learning their trading personality. This will include many things like style of trading, how much time they spend in front of the computer, which type of asset classes to trade and many more! In this article I will discuss my experience with a major component of any traders career; How many trades should I place?
Just like many other traders when I first started trading I wanted to place a lot of trades because that was the conventional thought process and I was being taught no differently. In my mind the more trades that I placed, the more money I could make. In the first few months I thought that I was doing something wrong (which I was) and so I began to spend every waking hour studying the markets and pure price so that I could figure out the problem. As I was being specifically taught one way of thinking I closed my mind to many other scenarios. After many sleepless nights, my confusion grew more and more because I couldn't figure out why I was being taught to do something that I would never do on a daily basis with anything else that I purchased. During this time as you can imagine, not only did my confusion grow, my frustrations did as well.
During the next few months I started to see the markets with a bird's eye view and removed myself from the noise. I figured that I could try anything because what I was doing wasn't working anyway and if I couldn't figure out the problem I would never make it as a trader full time. A professional trader once said to me, "have you considered swing trading until you get the hang of it?" My response to them was that I didn't want to do that. Yet again I spent some time pondering why they would ask me that and also considered the fact that they may know something I didn't! So I opened my mind to a new thought process and started looking to much slower time frames with less trading. Analyzing the larger time frame helped me to slow my thinking and not make as many emotional decisions. Ironically this was at the same time I was ready to give up. After doing this for only a few weeks I saw progress and profit! Granted it wasn't much but at that time a little was great! The ability to produce any money gave me the motivation to continue trading. Several months later I was making consistent profits while working my day job and knew that it was only a matter of time before I was full time trading.
As a full time trader with much more experience, the markets taught me that reading price was the key to everything no matter how many trades I placed or what time frames I placed them on. The purpose in this article is to help anyone who is in the same situation that I was in, not close their mind to other possibilities. If you feel that you are learning something that is different than every other buy/sell method you use on a daily basis you may be learning something that won't benefit you over the long term. Make sure that you are learning to analyze the markets using a bird's eye view and not just using a trading signal to make your decisions. If you asked me now, How many trades should I place? I'd tell you that LESS IS MORE!
In conclusion I should add that swing trading is only a starting point that can slow things down enough for you to learn the proper way to day trade as well. Whether you are trading larger time frames or smaller, getting a bird's eye view will always benefit you.