Smooth-coated otters. Credit: Dr. Nicole Duplaix

The first thing to realise as a new trader is that you cannot succeed at trading by copying someone else’s trades. You can learn their techniques, trade criteria, entry/exit methods, risk management principles and watch what they are doing and how they are thinking in real time. But you cannot just copy their trading. It will never work. You have to design and develop your own plan.

For me, trading must become an implicit skill, so it must be my system that fits with the way my brain works – not someone else’s. Copying someone else requires cognitive processes which are too slow and too easily affected by factors such what happened to the last trade you took and even how you feel about them as a person in the moment. All of this will turn their system – that is highly profitable – for them into a break even or losing one for you.

Mark Austin, Cameron Malik – Magnetic Trading.

The other reason why you cannot succeed by copying another trader is that your objectives will be different. Setting your trading objectives is arguably the most important part of your trading plan.

And on a slightly subtler note, why do you believe you need someone to tell you what to do? Are you not willing to put the time in to make it your own? Or do you believe that you are not smart enough? Trading from these belief systems is very unlikely to be successful.

So I took my inspiration from these services (especially on trading hours), learnt about market technicalities, and used many of their trading principle but then I made it my own.

After that, I spent month demo trading to:

  • learn to spot my setups in real time, as they formed
  • to refine my system
  • iron out the bad habits I had developed over the years
  • devise a journaling and self-monitoring systems
  • devise a way of moniroring and developing my trdaing plan using Kaizen approach (this website)

Once I had developed the subconscious skills I needed to trade the system, I could move onto a live account with relative ease

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