Well traders, as the year draws to a close, it’s a good time to reflect on what we did well throughout 2018 as well as how we can improve in 2019. As forex traders, that means putting thought in to how the next year can be another profitable one.
It could have been that you were rushing your entries, or loose with your stops, but whatever the case, there’s certainly always room to improve.
Let’s get into how we can make 2019 our most profitable year to date.
Do one thing, and do it well
Before going any further, it’s important to preface that experimenting with different strategies is perfectly fine. Having said that, it takes more than a few days or weeks to prove the merit of any given strategy or system.
When I first started ‘trading’, I seldom gave any strategy a chance to prove itself. Instead I’d jump from system to system without giving myself the time to figure out if one of them was suitable for me.
Finally, I decided to stick with the price action patterns and systems and the rest is history.
So, how can we use this lesson to improve ourselves in 2019?
First, find the trading style that suits you, such as:
- Swing Trading
- Day Trading
- Position Trading
- High-frequency trading
Once you’ve found the trading style that not only interests you, but matches your personality and lifestyle, it’s time to start looking for a strategy or system within that category.
As you’re all aware, I’m a price action advocate, and there are many patterns that fall into price action, for example candlestick patterns such as engulfing candles, pinbars or inside bars. Or, there are classical chart patterns such as wedges, triangles, flags and pennants, cup and handles, head and shoulders, and many more.
As you can see, even within the category of price action, there are quite a few options to choose from, so it’s important to focus on just one or two at a time, honing your skill and perfecting the execution of your chosen strategy.
Less is more
This probably sounds quite counter-intuitive, but building your bottom line isn’t contingent on the number of trades you make when trading the forex market. Sometimes the market will deliver plenty of setups that meet your strategy or system requirements, sometimes it won’t. But it’s important to remember that staying in cash can be a position, too.
And, depending on your trading style (you all know I prefer the daily timeframe), chances are that even if you haven’t had a trade setup for a couple of weeks, you could still have an open position as trade’s can remain open and in profit for weeks at a time, depending of course on your strategy.
Even just two or three setups a month can be quite profitable. I’d ask you to take some time to dig into the numbers and see just how many trades you took, as well as analysing the setup of those trades and of course, the outcome. You may be surprised to learn that if you took a few less positions and focussed more on taking only the higher quality setups, your equity curve will look smoother and drawdowns will be reduced significantly.
So what does it all mean for 2019?
Each new year brings with it new opportunities, and now is the perfect time to take a detailed look at what you did right and wrong throughout 2018.
If you noticed yourself sometimes trading too large, too frequently, or outside of your trading plan, then it’s a time to review and work towards controlling the areas where you notice weakness, whether frequent or occasional.
Everything you should be working towards is for the ultimate benefit of preserving your capital. Without it, you’ll never be able to fully capitalise on the quality setups in your trading plan. After all, you need capital to place a trade when one of your setups finally arises.
Make 2019 the year that you focus on protecting your capital, and then the profit will come naturally.