If I could go back in time and start learning to trade again, there are many things I’d do differently. But most importantly, I’d follow the 3-phase structure I’m about to explain to you.
This approach isn’t something particularly unique to trading. Ultimately, trading is a skill and we should learn it in a similar way to any other skill. Rather than jumping straight to the end-game and trying to make money instantly, we should follow a logical progression.
By following this 3-phase plan, you can reduce your chances of losing money and significantly increase your odds of long-term success.
Phase 1: Learning the skills and concepts deeply
Objective: Develop your skillset to a point where most individual actions are at a level of unconscious competence
Account type: Demo account or trading simulator
Neuroscientists (who research the brain) have discovered that when we’re new to a skill we have much more activity taking place in our brains. As we become more experienced, fewer neurons are firing since many of the actions become automated in non-conscious parts of our brain. We no longer have to consciously think about what we’re doing.
This is important because we have limited capacity in our conscious brain and it takes a lot of energy. Therefore, as many actions become automated, it means experienced traders can focus on the specificities of a situation and decide the best course of action. They don’t have to think through every aspect of what they’re doing.
On the other hand, if a beginner tries to trade similarly to an experienced trader, they’ll be overloaded. They’ll be thinking through all aspects of the skill, as well as the uniqueness of the situation they’re facing. As a result, they’ll either perform the skills incorrectly, miss vital information, or take inappropriate shortcuts.
Eventually, these can become bad habits and conditioned responses that linger throughout a trader’s career.
Instead, the optimal way to avoid this is to focus on developing individual skills repeatedly until they become more automated. Only once that’s achieved should you move onto…