1. DO THE MATH!!! – Before placing any trade, do the math. Where is the trigger? Where is the proper stop based on the chart setup? How many shares should I buy? This is easy to figure out. You never want to lose more than 1% of your trading account balance on any given trade. So, if you have a $30,000 account, your maximumacceptable loss on any given trade should be $300. If the stop is .20 cents below the entry price (again, based on the chart setup), then you should not buy more than 1500 shares (for the purpose of this lesson I have left commissions out of the equation for simplicity).
2. PAY YOURSELF!!! – Once you have a small profit (I use a dime as a rough personal guideline) sell part of your position and move your stop to breakeven on the rest. You will have very few losing trades if you do this, and the losses you do have will be small.
3. STOP TRADING!!! – What do I mean by this? If you hit your daily goal (everyone should have one and make it realistic) stop trading. Afternoons are tougher to trade than mornings anyway, so take the money and run….tomorrow is another day.
4. STOP TRADING!!! – Didn’t we go over this already? Well, this one has another meaning. If you lose 1/2 the amount of your daily goal, stop trading and come back tomorrow. For instance, if your goal is to make $500 a day, and you are down $250 on the day, quit for the day. This is the best way to avoid falling into a ‘trading death spiral‘.