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Organize Your Time

New traders often find themselves very challenged to have the discipline to follow the trading plans that they have created. The truth of it is, few have created any real plans and even fewer have a comprehensive working plan. Those that do, often find it difficult to follow their plan in the heat of the day. One of the reasons this can happen is because traders often do not spend their time properly, before, during, and after the market.

Of all the time a trader can devote to their occupation, most new traders usually fall into the schedule of spending 90% of their time actually trading the market. They spend 5-10% of their time preparing for the market, either the night before, or the morning prior. They spend 0-5% of their time following up on their trades after the market. Unfortunately, for new traders, this can be a big down fall. Being caught up in the excitement and overtrading, without stopping to evaluate trades, is a bad combination that can lead to failure.

It is fine to be with the market all day. Just make sure your trading plan identifies what times you should be trading. It is a great idea when you start out to use about one third or your time preparing for every day, about a third of your time following up on your plays and reviewing them, and only one third actually trading. This is very different from where most new traders are.

This does NOT mean that if you spend 6.5 hours trading, you must devote another 13 hours to your trading. You should have strategies identified that only take place at certain parts of the day. There should be parts of everyday where you will not be trading. You can use this time to review the morning trades, or the prior day’s trades, and to update your record keeping and journals, and even paper trade new strategies.

Closing Comments

Many newer traders feel like they are missing something if they are not part of every possible trade. Patience will pay off for those who are selective and take the time to review each of their trades and learn from the ones that did not work out. The concept of following up on trades and how to do it is immensely important, and beyond the scope of this commentary. Make sure you understand it well, before trading.