1. Trading an inappropriate position size. Simply put…if you risk too much, you’ll lose too much. In my eyes, this is the single most important rule of trading. Risking only 1-2% of an acct value is crucial to staying in the game.
2. Not knowing when to take the loss. If you cannot answer the questions “Where am I taking the loss,” and “Where is my profit target” then stay out of the market. If you leave these decisions for later, then you will make them emotionally, which will be the worst decisions a trader can make.
3. Trading on someone else’s research or recommendation. We have all heard stock tips thrown our way. Sometimes we might even hear people throw out potential trades that they are watching and become tempted to jump in. Sometimes I throw out stocks that I am trading and I am watching. The problem is that you might not know what this person is watching for, what strategy this stock fits, or what types of efforts are thrown into their research. If you take these stocks into consideration, make sure they are trades you would have likely come across on your own by conducting your own research. Read More
As revolutionary as this early-day stock guru’s approach to trading was for his time, in truth, Jesse’s stock trading “secrets” just came down to good, sound basics. His success stands as a testament to the fact that the further we wander away from trading breakout stocks and a simple, disciplined approach to trading stocks, the less success we’re inclined to have. Just how unconventional was Jesse Livermore? Take a look:
He believed in trading top quality stocks, not “weaker sister” stocks.
A stock hitting new highs was a signal of a stock’s strength to Livermore, and meant the stock had broken through its overhead supply of sellers. Today, we call this a “breakout stock”.
He was one of the first stock traders to realize that stocks tend to move in industry groups not in isolation.
Unlike today’s self-appointed stock pick gurus, Jesse Livermore was a humble student of the market, and never considered himself a master.
Livermore was ever conscious of the part one’s psychology played in achieving stock trading success, so he never spoke about what he was doing to anybody, and actually was known to ask people to keep their stock tips to themselves! He was so protective of his trading psychology that he would not even use the words “bullish” or “bearish,” thinking they would create an emotional mindset that he wanted to avoid. Read More
Nicolas Darvas has inspired traders for many generations. His book, “How I Made 2,000,000 in the Stock Market” is one that you’ll find on many recommended reading lists including my own. While some have argued that much of Darvas’ success had to do with lucky timing, his books are still widely read and for good reason.
A lot of traders can identify easily with Darvas because he went through the process of learning how to trade much like most people do today. Darvas began by first looking for the “secret” to the market. And, just like all of us have found, after finding no success from trading on the stock tips of others including brokers and expensive newsletters, Darvas figured out that he ultimately had to develop a trading system on his own. He accomplished that feat by committing himself to years of study of the market and from learning from his own mistakes. His determination, perseverance, and constant self-evaluation offers an excellent model for all traders to follow.
In continuing a series of posts where I share my notes I’ve taken (and refer to from time to time) after reading the books and methods of others, here are some things you may find of interest about Nicolas Darvas and his approach:
Trading Lessons From Nicolas Darvas:
There are no good or bad stocks. There are only stocks that rise in price and stocks that decline in price, and that price is based on the laws of supply and demand in the marketplace
“You can never go broke taking a profit” is bad advice that will result in overtrading and cutting winners short. Selling winners and holding losers is to be avoided at all times
8 – Put all of your efforts into finding the perfect technical indicator. Once you find this magical indicator, it will be like turning on a water faucet. Go all in. The money will just flow into your account!
7 – Make sure to visit a lot of stock trading forums and ask them for hot stock tips. Also, ask all your friends and family for stock tips. They are usually right, and acting on these tips can make you very rich.
6 – Watch what other traders do and be sure to follow the crowd. After all, they have been trading a lot longer than you so naturally they are smarter.
5 – Pay very close attention to the fundamentals of a company. You MUST know the P/E ratio, book value, profit margins, etc. Once you find a “good company”, consider going on margin to pay for shares in their stock.