Golden rules of trading (2024)

Traders should take steps, prior to embarking on every trade, to limit the impact that an unprofitable trade could have on their capital.

Protect your capital

Traders should take steps, prior to embarking on every trade, to limit the impact that an unprofitable trade could have on their capital. For any trader their capital is their life blood and therefore should be protected as a priority. Without it they are not only unable to make money but are unable to trade. Therefore limiting risk, even if this means elongating the time taken to achieve ones targets, is a must. The key tools that can be used to do this are Stop Losses and Limiting Exposure.

Stop losses should always be used and never moved away from the market A stop loss should always be used and just as importantly should be used correctly. The golden rule of Stop Losses is that they should never be moved away from the market once the trade is opened. If a trader feels that their stop loss is incorrectly placed, they are recognising that the foundations of their trade are incorrect and therefore they should close out. The best way to place a stop loss is to take the mindset of ‘If this stop loss is touched, I have judged the market wrongly and I should close out’. Once closed out, the trader can always re-evaluate the situation and go back into the market if the market conditions are favourable.

Limit exposure

Limiting exposure simply means limit the percentage of your capital that is exposed both to one sector and to the market as a whole at any one time. This will usually mean limiting your exposure to approximately 5% of capital. The theory behind this is that, should the market go against you in all your positions on the same day, you will still be able to trade in the same manner as before.

Never average down

Every trade should have a well thought out structure in regards to entry and exit. A trader should never average down. Averaging down is a method used to try and double up on a losing position in an effort to lower the average entry price obtained during a losing move.

This is not the same as averaging in, which involves entering the market slightly early with half of the position size in order to take ensure that ,should the market bounce prematurely, the trading opportunity is not lost.

Let profits run and cut losses short Stop losses should never be moved away from the market. Be disciplined with yourself, when your stop loss level is touched, get out. If a trade is proving profitable, don’t be afraid to track the market. Theoretically a trade should never be simply closed out manually; it should always be closed out by a stop loss. This allows the trader to lock in profit but never prevent further profit from being made.

Employ a risk reward ratio

The use of a minimum risk: reward ratio when planning a trade is imperative. The actual ratio that traders use will vary depending on their experience. A typical Risk: Reward ratio that a trader might look for when assessing a trade is 1:3 or £/$ 1 of potential loss in the trade for every £/$ 3 of potential profit. Even if you are trading on a moving average crossover or another imprecise method, you should still be aware of what your potential losses are and what your potential reward could be.

Never stop learning

A trader should never stop learning. As the markets are dynamic and are constantly evolving, any trader that becomes stagnant will eventually start to lose money.

Never trade scared

Trading scared or undercapitalised is one of the leading causes of unnecessary losses. Emotions such as greed and fear often cause errors in judgement and are always present however they are heightened when trading under pressure.

Don’t be afraid to go home

No trader should ever be hesitant to stop trading and if necessary walk away for the day. A morning losing streak is more often than not compounded by the trader that continues to trade. By walking away, you are not being lazy, but being mindful of the fact that something is wrong that day and that you are not in tune with the markets. Walking away is nothing to be ashamed of. Come back fresh the next day.

Plan your trade and trade your plan

All trades should be planned with risk, reward and capital allowances taken into account. Any trade that is taken on the fly is nothing more than a gamble.

Don’t look too hard for your trades, wait for the good ones to come to you

There are so many markets to trade that there are endless supplies of really good quality high probability trades. If you are looking too hard for trades, you will end up moving into positions which you have falsely convinced yourself are high probability trades. The better a trade, the more it will jump out of the charts at you.

Every loss is a learning opportunity, take time out to take advantage of it

Every loss making trade is a learning opportunity. By definition, if you have made a loss, you have misjudged the market. Therefore to move on to the next trade without fully reviewing the last will only increase the likelihood that you will repeat the mistake.

Don’t trade blindly from others trade ideas

Traders new to the markets frequently place trades based on others recommendations. Any trading activity should always be researched in depth. Not doing so will prevent the trader from being able to react to any changes in the market during the life of a trade. Remember positive information being released about the market can still have a detrimental effect on price and anything that you read in the papers is old news, as professional traders will have heard about it and reacted accordingly the previous day.

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Golden rules of trading (2024)


What is the golden rule in trading? ›

Let profits run and cut losses short Stop losses should never be moved away from the market. Be disciplined with yourself, when your stop loss level is touched, get out. If a trade is proving profitable, don't be afraid to track the market.

What are the 7 golden rules of day trading? ›

Successful day traders follow key principles of understanding the market, setting realistic goals, managing risk, having a trading plan, monitoring their performance, staying disciplined, and taking breaks. By following these rules, you can maximize your profits while minimizing losses in day trading.

What is No 1 rule of trading? ›

Rule 1: Always Use a Trading Plan

You need a trading plan because it can assist you with making coherent trading decisions and define the boundaries of your optimal trade. A decent trading plan will assist you with avoiding making passionate decisions without giving it much thought.

What is the 3-5-7 rule in trading? ›

The 3–5–7 rule in trading is a risk management principle that suggests allocating a certain percentage of your trading capital to different trades based on their risk levels. Here's how it typically works: 3% Rule: This suggests risking no more than 3% of your trading capital on any single trade.

What is the number 1 golden rule? ›

1. Common Observations and Tradition. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” This seems the most familiar version of the golden rule, highlighting its helpful and proactive gold standard.

What is 90% rule in trading? ›

Understanding the Rule of 90

According to this rule, 90% of novice traders will experience significant losses within their first 90 days of trading, ultimately wiping out 90% of their initial capital.

What is the 80% rule in day trading? ›

Definition of '80% Rule'

The 80% Rule is a Market Profile concept and strategy. If the market opens (or moves outside of the value area ) and then moves back into the value area for two consecutive 30-min-bars, then the 80% rule states that there is a high probability of completely filling the value area.

Is there a trick to day trading? ›

Set a Financial Loss Limit

It's smart to set a maximum loss per day that you can afford. Whenever you hit this point, exit your trade and take the rest of the day off. Stick to your plan. After all, tomorrow is another (trading) day.

What is the most successful day trading pattern? ›

The best chart patterns for day trading include the triangle, flag, pennant, wedge, and bullish hammer chart patterns. How to find patterns in day trading? To identify chart patterns within the day, it is recommended to use timeframes up to one hour.

What is the 70/20/10 rule in trading? ›

Part one of the rule said that in the next 12 months, the return you got on a stock was 70% determined by what the U.S. stock market did, 20% was determined by how the industry group did and 10% was based on how undervalued and successful the individual company was.

Why do 90 of traders fail? ›

Without a trading plan, retail traders are more likely to trade randomly, inconsistently, and irrationally. Another reason why retail traders lose money is that they do not have an asymmetrical risk-reward ratio.

Why do 80 of traders fail? ›

As someone who day trades for a living, Arkadiusz Betlej, says, “Psychology to me is about 80% of winning in the stock market.” It's also why so many people lose. Inexperienced traders allow emotions such as fear, greed, and desperation to affect their trades and decision making.

What is the 80 20 rule in trading? ›

The 80-20 rule, also known as the Pareto Principle, states that 80% of all outcomes result from 20% of all causes. In business, this means seeking the most productive inputs that will generate the highest outcomes/returns.

What is the 11am rule? ›

Day Trading

For day traders, the 11am rule suggests that the period before 11 am EST is often characterized by heightened volatility and potential for trend reversals. This presents opportunities for traders to capitalize on short-term price movements.

What is the 2 rule in trading? ›

What Is the 2% Rule? The 2% rule is an investing strategy where an investor risks no more than 2% of their available capital on any single trade. To implement the 2% rule, the investor first must calculate what 2% of their available trading capital is: this is referred to as the capital at risk (CaR).

What is Warren Buffett's golden rule? ›

"Rule No. 1: Never lose money. Rule No. 2: Never forget Rule No. 1."- Warren Buffet.

What is the golden number in trading? ›

The golden ratio of 1.618 – the magic number – gets translated into three percentages: 23.6%, 38.2% and 61.8%.

What is the golden rule strategy? ›

The Golden Rule is, "So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets." (quoted from Jesus' "Sermon on the Mount," Matthew 7:12, The Bible, NIV).

What is the golden rule method? ›

The Golden Rule is the principle of treating others as one would want to be treated by them. It is sometimes called an ethics of reciprocity, meaning that you should reciprocate to others how you would like them to treat you (not necessarily how they actually treat you).

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