07 Aug Where do you start to learn how to trade?
Points to take away from this read:
Be passionate about trading and just get started somewhere. Anywhere.
Learn it. Teach it.
My approach to learning how to trade
You might have read why I started learning trading in the first place. If not, I suggest you have a short read here: A Passion for Technical Analysis. When I started trading I started together with a friend of mine. We would meet up at a coffee shop and learn trading together. We then decided to each pick a topic to study and teach it to each other. This is where it started.
This proved to be a lot of work. Juggling work and personal life can be very demanding. My friend just couldn’t put in the efforts that was needed and at the same time he didn’t want to hold me back. I am in a fortunate position that I am single with no children and I have a lot of time on my hands to dedicate to studying trading. This might prove difficult for you as well as it did for my friend since you might have a family to take care of and a full time job to juggle along with that as well. I see this as a your passion being challenged. In this case your passion for trading. If you are not passionate about trading then by all means stop reading right now and go do that what makes you happy as opposed to what you think that might make you happy. Time is priority. Even if you only have 30 minutes a week to spend on trading, you can only do it if you’re passionate about it. This is the most valuable lesson of all. Do something that you love doing even if you’re not being paid for it. I am currently losing money on trading but I still love it and am determined to the process of learning it, I am not forcing myself to do this to make a lot of money. Money is not a strong motivator for the long haul. You need to love what you’re doing. If you are passionate about something, you will have the time, means and energy to pursue it. The money will follow.
I am the kind of person that can have a cluttered mind when it comes to approaching anything. Be it cleaning my house or, of course, trading. When I start cleaning, I often don’t know where to begin. I see dirty dishes and I want to wash them, then I see the floor needs to be vacuumed and mopped and I feel like starting there. Bottomline is… start somewhere. Somewhere is better than nowhere. Which is often the case for some people. You don’t know where to start so you put off starting at all. I learned to just start somewhere and work my way up, down, left, or right. It doesn’t matter. This attitude has helped me so much in life. Because of this I tried a lot of things and found out really quickly if it was or wasn’t something for me. Just start.
For me it started with watching videos on YouTube. I found a few channels that I liked watching. I find that, like all relationships, you need to find the one that resonates with you. Basically, most channels will tell you the same on any given topic but the way they convey their message to you needs to resonate with you. At least, it has to be like that for me. I don’t like certain personalities that sound like a shady car salesman and talk in a way that you know they’re trying to sell you something. I like the ones that confidently explain the topic in a detailed way without leaving certain aspects out because you need to subscribe or buy their course to get the rest of the details. Teaser videos I call them. So which channels do I like? I wrote an article on the Youtube channels I watch over here so if you’re interested please go over to have a look. So just start looking at a few videos and get familiar with some of the topics that they’re talking about and do your own research on them. Do keep in mind that in the beginning you might think that it’s so easy and that the way volume indicators and charts are being explained that it’s an exact science, well let me burst that bubble here for you. IT’S NOT. After building experience with certain tools you will get a better ‘feel’ for it and know when and how to use it. That does mean you need to learn the basics first.
For me it was after I saw some videos I started looking at books I could read to start learning. I googled for ‘top books on chart patterns’ and ‘best books on chart patterns’ and came up with a list. Then what was seemingly in the top for most people that had read them I decided to start with ‘Getting started with Chart patterns’ by Thomas N. Bulkowski. Because my aim was to be able to teach my friend in a way he would understand I would highlight import parts and then take notes and put them into a PowerPoint presentation every time I finished a chapter. This helped me to recap what I had just learned and then reformulate it in a way I could pour it into presentation to be able to teach my friend. Now this might seem like a daunting task to be doing and regardless if you follow my approach or not, just know that for me by putting everything in a presentation format I was indirectly putting puzzles together and I was really understanding instead of just reading. I find that reading is like observing something, whereas you connect an action to it, it becomes a part of you.
If you can teach it to someone else, you must know the topic in and out first right? I found it to be a great way and it lead me to start this blog as well. I understand though that it’s not for everyone. So take a notebook and write what you learn. Draw it out. Whatever works for you, you know better than me on how you learn best. Just do it. Find someone to teach it to. If you don’t have anyone. Email me! Leave a comment here. I’d appreciate it a lot. I would love for this blog to be interactive.