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How to Fail As a Trader in 10 Easy Steps at Trader’s Narrative

There is so much ink and pixels spilled on how to succeed in trading. So I thought, being a contrarian, I would zag instead of zig and outline how to fail as a trader. Without further ado, the 10 vital steps you must take in order to fail in trading:

1 Start out undercapitalized
Become enthralled with the romanticism of taking $500 to a $1 million - ignore any pesky thoughts about the improbability of such a Herculean task.

2 Ignore risk management
Always value conviction over discipline. Don’t worry when a trade goes against you, just put it aside and think of it as a long term investment. Or double down. It has to come back eventually.

3 Compare yourself to other traders, not yourself
Don’t use R or any of that weird stuff like MFE/MAE. Instead compare yourself to other traders using dollar amounts.

4 Look for the right system
Rather than gaining an understanding, search for the killer trading system - it is out there and it will make you rich beyond your wildest dreams! Take someone else’s system, seminar, etc. never waste your precious time in doing your own research. Don’t ask too many questions or push boundaries; crush your sense of wonderment and your natural thirst for learning.

5 Don’t keep a journal
Or in any way, try to learn from your previous trades.

6 Be secretive
If you stumble on an idea or insight, keep it to yourself. Never ever share it with other traders or ask their input on it.

7 Be casual
Don’t take it seriously, do it on the side, part time - don’t devote a lot of attention or resources to it. See #4

8 Fill your charts with as many indicators as possible
More information means more signals and money so make sure every chart is so complex that price action is hardly visible through all the indicators.

9 Trade with your emotions
If you’re feeling greedy, push your trades and buy more. If you’re fearful, stand aside or sell. If you don’t have strong emotions, go with the crowd. If they’re fearful, there must be a good reason, sell. If they are buying, join them. They must know something you don’t. And if you don’t know how to monitor the crowd, let a TV personality do it for you. Buy what and when he says.

10 Be inconsistent
Try to be completely random (that’s what markets are like after all, right?). One day trade based on news, the next day on candlestick patterns, the next day on fundamental analysis. Each day trade a different market: Monday: corn, Tuesday: the spoos, Wednesday: FX, Thursday: gold, etc.

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11 Responses to “How to Fail As a Trader in 10 Easy Steps”  

  1. 1 stasik

    Excellent post worthy of a bookmark in every trader’s bookmark toolbar.

  2. 2 Caravaggio

    Step one has proven a sufficient condition for disaster.


  3. 3 MooMooCow

    Enjoyed your comments very much!


  4. 4 LP

    Good stuff and so true.

  5. 5 Babak

    Thank stasik :-)

    C’mon now Caravaggio! Many would kill for that equity line ;-)

    MooMoo and LP, thank you :-)

  6. 6 John Z

    Babak, how long have u been in the mkt? I like this blog, good work!

  7. 7 Babak

    Thanks for the kind words John ;-)

  8. 8 Stock Research

    Great post. #9 especially is worth reading at the start of every trading day.

  9. 9 jusayin

    Added to Favs. Well done.

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