Trading in financial markets takes time and expertise if you want to increase your chances of success, and there are always ways to improve and hone your skills. If you are a trader looking to level up your trading this year, you have come to the right place. In this article, we will list some of the activities you can do to elevate your trading skills and become a better trader overall. Regardless of your current skill level, there is something for everyone.
Hone your trading skills… as a rookie
If you are new to trading, there are a few things you need to decide on before you can start your journey of levelling up your trading skills. Most of them revolve around setting trading goals and plans, which includes knowing your risk appetite, deciding on the financial markets you want to participate in, and how you will approach trading. There is a lot of learning to do at the early stages of figuring out how to trade, and it is decidedly more manageable if you break it down into little pieces.
Set trading goals
One of the most important first things you should do as a rookie trader is to set trading goals. This means understanding what you want to get from trading. Everybody wants to make a profit from trading, but you need to be more specific than that. Are you hoping to make a profit of 5% each month? Do you want to make small profits that add up over the year to supplement your main source of income? Only when you have a clear goal you can begin to know how you can achieve them.
Strategic Trading Blueprint
Create a trading plan that aligns with your goals and risk tolerance. Your trading plan should serve as a roadmap, outlining your strategies, entry and exit points, risk management rules, and overall approach to the markets. A well-thought-out trading plan not only keeps you disciplined but also helps you navigate the complexities of the financial markets more effectively.
Know your risk appetite
Another essential in honing your trading skills is knowing your risk appetite. Know what you can or cannot afford to lose, as trading comes with risk, and you can never guarantee profits. You should also make sure you understand risk management tools, and how you can use them to help you minimise potential losses.
Learn about the financial markets
Next, you should think about the financial markets you are interested in trading. This means deciding if you want to trade stocks, forex, commodities, or other markets. If you are new to trading, it would be best to narrow your focus down to one or two markets, and then from those markets, down to one or two instruments. This is so that you can fully devote your time and attention to learning only what you need for the time being, while you familiarise yourself with the world of trading.
Read up on basic analysis techniques
Next, you should read up on basic market analysis techniques. Know what fundamental analysis and technical analysis is, and how you can apply some of the most basic techniques. This might include keeping up with economic calendars, the news, and learning how to interpret market sentiment. It can also mean learning how to read trading charts, spot patterns, and set trading timeframes.
Use a demo account to test things out
At this stage, you may find it useful to set up a demo account with a broker to see how you would fare in live markets. A demo account is one that mirrors live trading environments, and you are equipped with simulated funds. It is a great way for you to practise trading, and you can also familiarise yourself with the trading platform and using different platforms’ built-in, basic risk management tools.
Hone your trading skills… as an intermediate trader
As an intermediate trader, you may have a few years of experience in several financial markets, and you may have had your moments of successes and failures. To keep building on your skill set, you may be thinking of trading new instruments or testing out new strategies. You may also want to learn how to trade financial derivatives, use leverage, and take on a bit more risk overall.
Dive deep into economic indicators
One of the best ways of improving as an intermediate trader is to dig even deeper into your existing knowledge of economic indicators to improve your trading strategies. When you understand better the market’s movements, you can improve your chances of success.
Backtest new strategies
Developing new strategies that can make your trading more efficient and take your skills to a higher level may also be on your mind. You can develop strategies and test them on historical data to see how they would have performed in past marketing conditions. You can also backtest your newly developed strategies with the help of a demo account, where you can trade with live market conditions but with simulated funds to take the pressure off.
Practise using leverage
If you are a beginner, you may have been hesitant to use leverage, and that may have been a good decision. If you are an intermediate trader looking to potentially make greater profits, a great way to do so is by using leveraged trading. Practise with low levels of leverage first when trading markets you are familiar with and learn to be comfortable with bigger market exposure.
Trade financial derivatives
If you have been trading the financial markets for a few years, you may be thinking of new ways to invest. This is a good time for you to dip into trading financial derivatives, such as CFDs, options, and futures. They are often more complex than trading the ‘traditional’ way with the involvement of contracts, but they can be lucrative at times.
Hone your trading skills… as an advanced trader
If you have been trading for a long time and you have explored different market opportunities and products with high rates of success, you may consider yourself an advanced trader. However, this does not mean there is no room for improvement. Some ways you can continue to hone your trading skills – apart from staying informed of market developments – include investigating the use of third-party tools, developing your own trading signals, and more.
Investigate third-party tools
If you are an advanced trading, you may want to make your trading even more efficient with third-party tools. For example, as a forex trader, you may want to investigate using a Forex VPS (Virtual Private Server) to automate your trades at ultra-low latency. You may also want to set up your own algorithms and try automatic trading with the proper risk management in place, so you can trade round the clock.
Develop your own trading signals
If you are confident in your trading strategies, why not develop your own trading signals? This is a good way for you to learn more about trading as a whole and how different software work. Custom signals can also help you perfect your existing strategies. After testing your signals, you can even become a signal provider and get paid when you gain new subscribers who use your custom signals.
Trade a different financial market
Finally, if you are an advanced trader in the forex market, it doesn’t mean you are an advanced trader in the stock or commodity market. As mentioned, there is always room for improvement. When you feel you have a handle on one market, why not start honing your skills in another one? This is a great way for you to learn how to diversify your portfolio even more efficiently, and extra knowledge in multiple financial markets has never caused any harm.
The bottom line
No matter what skill level you are currently at, there is always room for improvement when it comes to trading the financial markets. Aside from these targeted ways of elevating your skills, you should also continuously keep an eye on how markets develop, keep a trading journal, and stay informed of any developments in the trading world. This can help you develop your skills and raise your awareness as a whole, so you can become a well-rounded trader.