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The Importance of Keeping a Trading Journal


Author: Shanda Biggs


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In todays post we are going to discuss the importance of keeping a trading journal. A trading journal is a critical component to your overall trading plan and future success.

In any endeavor that you have ever gone through, you cant expect to keep all the information in your head. Take going to university, you cannot expect to get good grades unless you retain the information you hear on a day to day basis. Inevitably you will write some things down, refer back to those notes and then learn from them. 

The same is true for trading. In order to consistently grow as a trader you must have something to measure your progress and keep you on track. This is what a trading journal does. It is a tool that allows you to document every single trade and action you take within your trading account. Such as setting take profits, stop losses and trailing stops. The more you measure, the more you can fine-tune your approach and become a better more consistent trader.

In saying this, there are 3 main things that keeping a trading journal can help you with and we are going to discuss them in greater detail below. But to outline them now, the 3 things are REVIEW – LEARN – GROW.

Every successful business keeps documentation of the work that they do. Progress reports are essential to a company’s growth. It gives the company something to measure their performance by and helps them to fine holes in their current strategy, make improvements and do better on the next project.

This is exactly how you should look at keeping a trading journal. It is essentially your report card. You can measure your success and then make improvements. The more in detail you measure your trades, the more in depth you can fine-tune your approach. 

With that beings said the first point we want to touch on is…

REVIEW

 By documenting all of the details of your trades you are able to do an in depth review of the trades that you take. Things to keep track of are

- entry date

- exit date

- entry price

- exit price

- trade management details

- slippage

- commission

- strategy

- profit/loss

- original target

- notes

Of course do not be limited to this list but these are just some ideas that can get you started on the right foot. By consistency reviewing your trades you are able to see where you may be falling short with your trades.

For example, if you keep track of your original take profit levels and where you actually exited the trade, you may find through careful review that you are closing out positions early that ended up going to your original take profit. This can be very powerful because by simply reviewing all of your trades you are then able to make these changes that can have a huge impact on your results.

Reviewing your trades is essential because by reviewing your trades you become more aware of what your best trading setups look like. When you know what your best setups look like you are able to execute the trades easily and effortlessly.

Other important details to include in your trading journal are screen shots of each trade and detailed notes on why you executed the trade, what the setup looked like at the time, why you managed the trade in the way that you did and why your take profit and stop loss levels were set in the way that they were. These notes are essential to fine tuning your approach. You may find after a large enough sample size that you are not great at executing a particular strategy. You can than make the decision to not trade the strategy entirely or fine-tune it in a way that suits your trading style.

LEARN

The only way to learn from your trades is by careful review. After reviewing all of your trades you are than able to pick out similarities and differences between great setups and not so great setups. By doing this you can tweak your approach and implement action steps to ensure that you do not make the same mistakes twice. When you see a mistake being made multiple times within you trading journal you can than write that mistake down to ensure that you do not make it again.

For example, “I find that pinbar candles in a down market that close as down candles to not make for great buy signals.” By making these observations in your trading journal you can greatly improve your consistency with executing the same great setups time and time again.

GROW

 By carefully reviewing and learning from all of your trades you are able to grow as a trader. Growth only happens by learning from previous experiences and this is exactly what keeping a trading journal allows you to do. You are able to sort through all of your previous trades in an efficient and effective manner. When you identify that you are making the same mistake within your trades you can then put a rule into your trading plan so that you do not make this mistake again. This is how we grow as traders, by careful and consistent review. Keeping a trading journal is an absolute must for all professional traders. This is why we have developed a cutting edge trading journal for those involved in our DARA trading program.

If you want to be a professional trader you must do what professional traders do. They all keep journals and this is why you must as well! We make it easy for you to review your trades, learn and grow as a trader! This is why we are giving away our amazing Journaling DARA software package for FREE. With this software you are able to review and analyze your trades in great detail. All you have to do is create a free account and download the software package.

 

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Why Discipline in Trading is SO Important


Author: Shanda Biggs


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I have learnt over the last number of years trading that there are a handful of things that make traders successful. I found a quote that I would like to share with you that outlines one of the most important, if not the most important thing that allows traders to sustain success in the markets.  

“Suffer the pain of discipline, or suffer the pain of regret”

This quote is simple and to the point. Practicing discipline on a daily basis is so important if you are a trader. It simply means that if you are not disciplined, you will not be a successful trader.

It is so important that we do not get caught up in the hussle and bussle of the market.  The market is a fast paced and exciting environment to be in. If you are not careful, the excitement can consume you to the point where you experience massive highs in your emotions while trading as well as lows. It is our job as traders to keep our emotional spectrum in check while being involved in the markets. We want the pendulum to be in complete balance. This allows us to look at the markets objectively and not through the lenses of our emotions.

Have you ever wondered what truly makes great traders successful? It has everything to do with the above quote. Great traders have incredible discipline. They have the discipline to take great trading setups but also to stay out of bad ones. 

They understand that sometimes the most profitable position is not being in a position at all. Yet they also know when to take action. They become masters and students of the game. 

Before you can be a disciplined trader you first need a vision. Why did you start trading in the first place? What drew you to the markets? Do you want to create freedom in your life? Develop and learn a new skill? Whatever the reason is. Be sure that you are clear. Nothing stops progress like a cloudy vision. When you have a vision and see where you are going and what you need to do to get there is when you take the action steps necessary to walk along the path. 

Create a vision for your trading and for your life and see where you are going and what you need to do to get there. Then you will take the necessary action steps to bring the goal closer to you.

How do you develop a clear plan to get to your trading goals?

One of the best goals I have set for myself and I recommend that you set as well is… making it a goal to follow the rules of your trading plan everyday. If you can do this one simple thing I guarantee you will see success in the markets. Creating the habit of following your trading plan increases your discipline.

One tool in particular that has helped many traders stay disciplined in the market is the use of algorithmic trading robots. These bots help keep the trader on track by only executing trades that are according to the trading plan.

Where many traders fall short is they do not have the discipline to follow their plans. Even a small deviation in the plan can be detrimental to a trader’s long-term success. Why?

Making small changes to your plan on the fly is trading based on your current emotions at the time. Someone who is disciplined would trade their plan no matter what. A trader making emotional decisions changes the plan from trade to trade and wonders why they are not improving.

Trading with robots helps you to not get caught in the heat of the market. It helps reduce emotional trading. You do not have to question your setup, you just execute because the bot tells you that there is a great setup available. Then overtime by following your plan, your edge presents itself.

Not following a set routine is why most traders are not improving. When you make changes to your trading plan on the fly you are not basing your decisions on concrete rules and data. If you have the data and back testing proof to backup your decisions, then you can make changes to your trading plan. But until then, stick with the rules you have set out for yourself. Only making real changes once you have the proof that the change will benefit you in the long run.

I have learned that keeping your trading plan concise and to the point is most beneficial. By having a focused trading plan you know exactly how to execute each and every position that you take. When your trading plan is focused, it is easier to be disciplined. You know what you are looking for and can execute accordingly.

A trader can have a HUGE advantage by using robots to aid in their trading. Many traders fail due to their poor psychology and mindset. If trading with the assistance of a robot could help you develop the discipline to be a successful trader than it would be a no brainer. That is exactly what robot trading will help you with. Being more disciplined! Allow trading with robots to help you follow your trading strategy!

At Evestin Forex we have developed some pretty great trading robots! We discuss each strategy that we trade in great detail in our FREE ebook. Click the here to download your FREE copy!

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A Revolutionary Idea that Could Change your Trading


Author: Shanda Biggs


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Trading has become a phenomenon that many people want to partake in. Dreams of flashy watches and fancy cars has many lured in. Yet most do not realize the long road they need to embark on in order to make their dreams a reality.

Trading the forex markets is not an easy task. Information overload is what occurs for most newbie traders looking to educate themselves. A bombardment of information and education companies makes learning to trade even more difficult. You have to ask yourself, who do I learn from? What type of trading strategies do I actually want to learn? How do I sift through the vast amounts of information available to find what I am truly looking for?

This can make trading seem like a very complex skill to master. And because of this people tend to look for the easy way out… this is were the misuse of trading robots began. Those wanting instant gratification scour the internet for great performing robots in hopes that they can put some money into an account and watch it grow on autopilot.

THE REALITY…?

Trading doesn’t have to be hard. You do not have to struggle. In fact, learning to trade can actually be broken down into a simple skill to learn.

Simplifying your Trading 

 The trading community really does have good intentions. Those who feel like they have mastered their craft want to share all that they know with you. This is why we have developed a revolutionary trading tool to help accelerate your journey and growth as a trader.

You see… you still need to go through the struggles and obstacles in order to become a successful trader. But what if you could have a trading partner beside you every step of the way. Someone alerting you of great potential setups in the market. This could vastly increase your learning curve because if you have someone telling you where the great setups are, you can learn EXACTLY what great setups look like. Mastering great setups is what makes trading a difficult skill to master. Some trades look different then others and it can be difficult to decipher what a “good” trade looks like vs. a “great” trade.

The Solution…

Identifying great trades in the market is a skill that requires fine tuning and hours and hours of chart time. Now what if I told you there is a way for you to be alerted of these great setups without you having to sit at your computer and look for them?

Introducing DARA… a robot advisor that works as your 24/7 trading assistant. DARA scans the markets for great trading setups 24 hours a day 7 days a week like clock work. Only the highest quality setups are identified that comply with a strict set of rules. It then becomes easier for you to execute great trades on a regular basis.

Your trading partner diligently scans multiple markets according to a set of predefined rules and alerts you of these great setups. DARA will inform you of the trade and require your approval before executing or managing the trade. What this does is allows you to leverage the use of a robot telling you when a potential setup exists in the market while you use your own knowledge to make the final decision.

To find out more about DARA click the button below.


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What can Automated Trading Teach you?


There are multiple ways to trade the markets successfully. No two individual traders will trade exactly the same. If you give two people the same strategy, they will interpret it in different ways and trade the strategy differently. However, both can still be successful.

Today we are going to explore a way of trading that is not common in the retail trading space. What we are going to explore is automated trading. Most people think that this style of trading is only for hedge funds and institutional investors. This is not true. Automated trading has become increasingly more available to the everyday retail trader. The trading principles applied with automated trading can be very useful to anyone, no matter what type of strategy and method of trading you are using.

The first and perhaps most important thing that automated trading can help you with is learning the art of patience and discipline. You have heard it time and time again that patience is the key to successful trading. Waiting for those “A” grade setups to solidify your trading success.

What I have learned is that it can be difficult to develop the habit of patience while trying to trade a purely discretionary trading system. You are so exited about trading and being in the market that you want to jump in at every opportunity. This is detrimental to your trading success. What you want to do is develop the habit of taking trading opportunities that strictly match your trading criteria.

So what better way to do this then by having it done for you? When the computer executes your trades you are free to go about your day and not worry about your positions. If you have predefined all aspects of your trading system then what is there to worry about? You know your maximum loss, profit targets and how your trade will be managed.

Strict rules based trading forces you to only take trades that match your trading criteria. This is very important as this simple action allows your edge to play out.

When a trade is not inline with your strategy, it is not executed and you do not have the temptation to take trades that do not alight with your trading plan.

This brings me to my next point, which is sticking to your rules with military grade precision. To ensure we are taking proper trades we need a set of rules. Your rules should be in the form of “IF” “THEN” statements. What I mean here is that “IF” X happens, “THEN” B happens, you execute some sort of action. Stacking your trading rules into if then statements will help you to execute your trades like a robot. When we trade in this way, we are less affected by emotions.

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So what exactly is an IF THEN statement and how do you go about building your trading plan around them? Well… it starts with being very specific. You want to be as specific as your can when defining your trading rules. For example, if you are trading a support and resistance based system, you must define EXACTLY what support and resistance means to you. That way when you see it on the chart you do not have to hesitate to add your support and resistance level. So for you… does support and resistance mean a point where price as touched 3 or more times? If yes, here is an example of a rule you could put into your trading plan that refers to support and resistance.

“I only consider support and resistance levels with 3 touches or more”

A simple statement such as this is what will keep you objective and out of trades that you should not be in.

The next component of the IF THEN statement is.. you guessed it.. the THEN. So now that we have our first rule defined, which states you will only take trades with support and resistance of 3 touches or more… then what? Well, in our plan we would want to specify the action that would follow the IF statement. So IF this happens, THEN I will take the following action.

For example, if there is support and resistance as defined in my trading plan, then I will look for a price action candle signal that is rejecting the level. To break this down into another IF THEN statement we will then say IF we have support or resistance, THEN we have a price action signal candle, I will set a pending order. In this example you have your IF statement referring to support and resistance, then you look for the signal and take the action step.

Of course this is a very simple example but this is the mental framework you need to base your trading on. It will keep your mind thinking systematically and when we follow a system perfectly is when we get results in trading. As traders we must allow our edge to develop with no emotional intervention. This is the main point that automated trading can teach you!

Trading with robots will allow you to develop a systematic mindset quicker. Take the steps necessary today to ensure your long term success in the markets. By signing up for your free trial at Evestin Forex you will get access to our amazing portfolio of robots. Not only will you get to trade these robots but you will also develop the mindset of a professional trader along the way. Click HERE to start your free 30 day trial!

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The Importance of Trading on Higher Timeframes

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The Importance of Trading on Higher Timeframes


By Shanda Biggs

By Shanda Biggs


Today’s topic is one that can drastically change your trading results and the way you see the market. If you implement what is suggested you will not only improve your trading but you will also reduce emotional trading. What we will be discussing is the importance of trading on higher time frames.

Most new traders do not want to discuss this topic because it is not pretty or exciting. Trading on a 5 minute or a 1 minute chart can seem much more exciting because markets are moving constantly and volatility can seem higher. Telling new traders to be patient and disciplined by only looking at charts a couple times per day makes trading seem a lot less glamorous

But what if I told you that by implementing this tactic, you would become a better trader and have a better chance of success? This is what we want for you, so we are going to outline some of the positive things that trading higher time frames can do for you.

Clean Price Action

The great thing about trading higher time frame charts, particularly daily charts is that you get clean price action. Take a look at the image below.

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This is a daily chart of AUDUSD and we can see that price is in a clear downtrend. We are able to clearly identify key points on the chart such as the swing highs and lows. This is crucial. We want to be able to analyze the market with clean price action.  When you have clean price action it becomes easier to identify trading opportunities.

Now if we look at the same chart on a 15 minute timeframe, we can see that price action is choppy. It becomes difficult to determine the overall direction and trend on a chart such as the one below. Price moves sporadically and violently in one direction and quickly reverses. We want to be crystal clear with what we see on the charts and from experience, trading on the daily chart and even weekly chart is best.

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The big money in the market, being banks and institutions keeps their focus on daily and weekly charts. If we want to make money trading doesn’t it make sense to follow what the big players are doing? Following the lead of institutions and banks is what we want to do and this is best done when sticking to long-term charts.

Accurate Trading Signals

The daily chart is the most significant timeframe because the most traders are paying attention to it. When more traders are looking at the same signal, there is more demand in the market and price is more likely to move. This makes signals on the daily chart much more accurate.

Price has the chance to move for a whole day before the daily candle closes. This gives us valuable information and insight into what happened throughout the trading day. When we trade on a higher time frame such as the daily chart, there is more price action contained within a single bar, which gives more weight to that price action signal.

The same price action signal such as a pinbar will not hold the same significance on a 5 minute chart as it would on a higher time frame. This is an important point to keep in mind. We want to be sure we are trading high probability setups and these accurate signals come from trading daily and weekly charts.

Clears your Mind

 One of the best benefits of trading higher time frames is it allows you to develop great trading habits. All of the best traders have developed the habit of patience. This attribute could be the single most important thing you develop throughout your trading career. If you do not develop patience, you will not make it as a trader.

When you wait for higher time frame signals, you are not required to stare at charts all day. You can do other things with your time. This develops mental strength and discipline. Being a disciplined trader requires you to only take top quality trading setups. This reduces the tendency to over trade and over analyze the market. Checking your charts a couple times per day makes it easier for you to stick to your initial market bias and not be swayed by each tick in price.

In trading, less truly is more. We want to take less trades but more accurate and high quality trades.  When we are taking the best trades and signals, we are building a strong foundation for success. This is much easier when done on the daily chart.

The trading strategies implemented at Evestin Forex align with all the principles discussed in this post. By trading higher time frames such as the weekly and daily chart we are able to develop a sustainable edge in the market. The highest quality setups and patterns are detected by our robots and executed automatically. You will not find our robots opening trades every single day. There could be a couple days where you see no trades. This strategy allows us to limit risk and ensure that our traders are not over exposed in the market at any given time.

If you are interested in giving us a try, click the link below and signup for your free 30 trial. www.evestinforex.com/pricing Learn how true professionals trade and the strategies they implement.

One last note, by focusing on high quality trades you eliminate the tendency to over trade and trade emotionally. Looking at the charts a couple times per day allows your mind to be poised and relaxed. This is mindset we want when approaching the markets, we want to be as objective as possible. When we are objective and focusing on higher time frames, we have the best chance of success in the markets.  



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Why 90% of Traders Fail

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Why 90% of Traders Fail


By Shanda Biggs

By Shanda Biggs


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When you first were introduced to forex trading what made you take the leap and want to learn? For most of us, it was the idea of fancy cars and easy profits. This is the perception that is portrayed on the Internet of what trading the forex markets is like. While this sounds like an amazing endeavor to pursue, many are blindsided by the realities of being a professional trader.

In this post, we want to look at some of the reasons why over 90% of traders fail. This statistic seems quite large. But when you think about it, this can be applied to any other area of life.

Becoming a professional at anything takes a great degree of time and effort. For a second lets compare trading to professional sports. Most professional athletes started their career when they were very young and had a vision for where they wanted to be. They worked tirelessly to become a professional in their chosen sport. Not all people who play sports at a competitive level are selected to play at a professional level. It is only the few that work harder than everyone else and go after their goal with massive ambition that succeed. These people believe in themselves and have a vision for their life.

Be a Professional

Trading the markets is no different. If you want to become a full time trader it requires a lot of dedication and hard work. Do not expect to be making large returns in the first few months, or even the first few years. Be patient and trust the process.

Adopting a long term mindset suppresses the desire for immediate gratification. Seeking immediate gratification is what causes people to overtrade, emotionally trade and ultimately lose money.

Most people want immediate gratification and this is why they fail at new business ventures. Which brings me to my next point. Trading is not like a traditional brick and mortar business. You do not have a physical location, inventory, you do not have to make sales, no staff and no products. This clear difference is why most people do not take trading seriously. It is not like a restaurant where you have to show up at the location to sell your sandwiches and then pay your electricity bill.

Your trading revenues and expenses just come in a different form. Your wins are your revenue and your losses are your expenses. If you can think about trading in this way you will be much better equipped to succeed in the long term. Trading is a real business and it needs to be treated like one. So what allows business to succeed in the long term? A plan!

Develop a Sound Plan

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A plan for your trading business will be the guideline that you follow before you execute any trades. You should consult your trading plan before taking any entries and ensure that all of your criteria is met. Sticking to a plan and system is what allows any business to be successful.

For a traditional business, before getting any sort of financing from a bank or investors, a business will have a plan laid out that shows how they plan to profit in the years to come. The same should be true for your trading business. You need a trading plan for how you plan to make your profit over the long term. The more you stick to your plan and do not deviate, the more likely you are to make money and become successful.

So what now?

One way to help keep you on track with your trading plan is through automated trading systems. If you can program your rules into a step-by-step system you can avoid the temptation to trade emotionally. This allows you to stay disciplined and build good trading habits. Professional traders stick to their strategy with military grade precision. If you can have a robot execute your trades for you, you remove yourself from the equation. You do not have to worry about taking entries that do not match your trading plan. Everything about your plan is predefined. If you are looking for some tools and strategies to help you on your trading journey, take a look at Evestin Forex. Here we have pre built trading systems to help you get started with automated trading. Why not trade a strategy that has already been proven to work on a live trading account? To learn more about our strategies check out this link where you can see our live portfolio of trades https://www.evestinforex.com/forex-trades

With anything in life, there will be winners and losers. Trading the markets is no different. Not everyone will be a successful trader. If you can implement the ideas we outlined in this post you will be better equipped to become a successful trader long term.

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