I have long preached the value of mastering just one price action setup at a time. In today’s lesson, I am going to discuss why it’s so important to do this and the profound implications it will have on your trading.
I often find that traders don’t fully understand how to trade their method or that they don’t really know what they are looking for in the market; they are just sort of ‘winging it’. This is very dangerous, because if you don’t know what your trading method is or how to properly trade it, you are basically just gambling in the market. The point of trading is to try and make money over a series of trades by flawlessly executing your trading edge (your edge is essentially your entry trigger or setup), but it’s pretty hard to do that if you haven’t yet mastered your trading edge.
Become a trading ‘specialist’
Are you trying to trade with a combination of different methods, indicators or systems? Do you feel a bit overwhelmed by all of it? The first thing you are going to need to do is change how you think about trading strategies.
Trading is not about learning as many methods or systems as possible and then combining them into some sort of ‘hybrid Holy Grail’ trading strategy. Sadly, this is not going to help you, it will only hurt you. Trading is simply about learning an effective trading strategy or ‘edge’ and becoming a master of it, or a specialist, if you will. You then simply look for your trading edge in the market, and since you’ve mastered it, you will know when it is present and you will act without hesitation.
Trading is about jumping in the market when you have decided the odds are in your favour. Your trading edge is what gives you better odds at making money in the market. However, as I discussed in my article on the key to lasting trading success, increased odds via a trading edge mean increased odds over a series of trades, not on any one trade setup. This is an important distinction to make, so please go read that article if you haven’t.
Now, in regards to becoming a trading specialist. It’s pretty simple really, until you have really mastered the trading edge you are using, you won’t be hitting your full potential as a trader. Thus, it is my strong recommendation that traders focus on only one price action trade setup at a time, until they are truly confident they have mastered it. That might mean you only trade that one setup for 6 months, it’s the only one you study and look for in the market. Once you have mastered how to trade it in all market conditions, and you have no doubt of how and when to trade it, then, and only then, may you move on to another setup.
This is how you become a trading specialist. Right now, you are probably a trading generalist. Meaning, you’re trying to trade some odd concoction of trading methods that you’ve learned on various websites. I’m here to tell you that you have to stop that if you want to realize your true trading potential. All you need to do is master one price action setup and trade it over and over each time it comes up in the market, with discipline and proper risk management of course.
I find that many people don’t want to put in the time to learn and master their trading method. Then, when they lose money, they act confused and shocked. The problem with trading for most people is that there are no rules, there’s no boss, there’s no one telling you in your face that you must do THIS if you want to achieve THAT. So, human nature and habit take over and people end up doing as little work as possible.
This is why I get emails from people asking me about their trading strategy, asking if XYZ ‘is a setup or not’…because they didn’t take the time to master their trading method. When you become a master of your trading strategy, you don’t need to ask anyone else if your edge is present in the market, because you already know if it is or not.
Indecision and hesitation while trading a live trading account, is one of the fastest ways to lose money, simply because you were unprepared. When it comes to your hard-earned money being on the line, don’t you want to be as prepared as possible?? I sure do. So, if you lose money in the market because you didn’t put in the time to really master your trading method by mastering one setup at a time, you have no one to blame but yourself.
Once you’ve become a specialist in your method, when your trading edge is present, you will not hesitate. This is critical because in order to realize the full power of your trading strategy, you need to take every occurrence of your trading edge (setup) that you see, because it needs to play out over a series of trades to be realized. So you need to remove hesitation and indecision from your mind, and the way you do that is by mastering one trade setup at a time, and in the case of my methods, that means one price action setup at a time.
Finally, traders become too inundated with data, economic news and trading methods, they believe that ‘more is better’ and they just need to know more or learn one more trading method to start profiting consistently. Eventually, when they realize this doesn’t work, they give up in exhaustion and frustration.
I touched on this earlier, but simplification of your trading is another huge reason you need to master one price action setup at a time. I would even go so far as to say that you only need to master one price action setup if you want. Imagine sitting down at your charts and knowing that you’re only looking for one trade setup, and if it’s not there then you walk away. Trading doesn’t have to be complicated or confusing, nor should it be. The way that you remove the confusion and complication from your trading is by taking the time to master one price action setup at a time. As we discussed in this article, there are many reasons you need to do this, so if you want to get started now, check out my price action trading course for more information.