First, let's start off the day by just throwing around some words:
Pure, clean, clear, clean, simple, plain, authentic, wholesome, pristine, immaculate, untainted, true, flawless, natural, unstained, genuine, virtuous, unblemished, straight….perfect.
These are words that pretty much everyone likes, and for good reason. They all describe something that maintains simplicity and stays away from static that deters from reaching success in any situation. In this business, static runs rampant and usually sidetracks us from the most obvious or predictable outcomes.
I wouldn't describe what we discuss on this site as a method or particular strategy, etc. I would describe it as a foundation where traders can build and shoot off in any countless number of directions they choose. There are certain things that matter most in any endeavor. For the purpose of our market there are global variables that will always remain constant – news and reference guides. Technical levels are just one example of a reference guide.
“Overthink” can kill us. People that worry too much about anything usually feel the negative repercussions of such as some point, and to a degree based on how much of that worry they generally output. This site was born on the most simplified explanations for everything so today I just want to recap some of the basic principles we discuss regularly.
1. Strip your charts
Get rid of everything that confuses you, everything that doesn't matter, everything that stands in your way of seeing the “real light”. If your chart consists of 50 trendlines then chances are you are subject to overthink and it could be a direct reflection of how you are managing your trades. Confusion or lack of conviction is nothing more than a result of you second-guessing everything, and drawing a million lines on your charts is an easy way to go down this path. Any “system” that you have essentially gets voided in lieu of you brains getting scrambled on a regular basis.
2. Stay current
If you're not using it anymore, get rid of it. If the market could care less about it, you shouldn't care about it, either. Distance yourself from anything that was, at one point relevant, but now, simply is not. We're not just talking about your technical levels on charts, either. Chances are your computer hard drive is packed with a plethora of dated materials that get in your way and deter you from maintaining any form of organization. Which brings us to the next point:
3. Stay organized
A routine consists of everything you do on the technical side as much as it does on the fundamental. Use RSS readers, subscribe for email updates to regular sites, have easily accessible folders for anything you need quick access to (eg chart notes or trade logs) on a regular basis. Scrambling from one task to another is likely to add to a pile of unwanted confusion that could potentially interfere with your trading routine. It's hard to stay organized, I know, just mainly due to the amount of information available on a daily basis, but there are certainly ways to enhance this if it is indeed an issue.
4. Read the news, not opinions
I don't read a lot of analysis, as many of you know. I like plain old news stripped of opinion that I can then take and base my own interpretations. One of the bad effects to a constant injection of analysis is confusion. If you're receiving regular analysis from a “higher power”, first, always question the analysis. Remember that people are people, no matter how many Masters degrees or certifications they have. People also have tendencies to be wrong that have been doing this for 30 years. No one is going to be right all the time, and heaven forbid you take action on a horrible idea. Analysis is great for getting a “heads up” on something you might have overlooked, and that's all I truly ever recommend using it for. Whether an entirely new concept of which you previously had no knowledge or an upcoming event, etc., people are always listening to different things and one way to stay on top of it all is by reading the analysis of others.
5. KISS for beginners versus KISS for experts
How many people really keep it simple in this business? Just take a look at the regular injection of mind-boggling data out there and you'll see that no one on the planet seems to really be keeping it simple. Simply filled with junk that serves little value to a bottom line, perhaps, but great for entertainment. When you're trading the currencies of entire nations, you better bet that there are a wide range of variables affecting price. KISS for beginners strips price down to its most basic components, focuses in on the most fundamental aspects of global economies, and dictates simplified methods of risk and money management. KISS for experts means bypassing the noise and boiling price down to what really matters. Some people are naturally wired to want to investigate more and delve deeper into a world that could simply lead them into nothing but confusion, and (perhaps more dreadfully) without even knowing it. KISS for experts means ignoring the junk. It means not wasting your precious life on things that simply don't matter, and breaking things down into the most fundamental components in order to take one, simple action: hit “buy” or “sell”.
This site originated from a slew of posts that focused on doing one thing: drawing a single line on a chart. So get caught up if it interests you, but don't let it affect the most basic premises made available to daytraders.
One of the more interesting reads in my life was the Market Wizards interview with Bruce Kovner. When he explained his routine for getting into and out of the market, it shadowed the most basic principles of everything we do here: week begins, draw some lines, know what you're going to do when those lines get hit: fade or follow through. So big or small, the premise remains the same. Confusion piggybacks on unnecessary inputs….strip your charts, stay current, stay organized, follow your best judgement and ALWAYS maintain focus on the most obvious thing to do.