Here’s a simple question-what is trading? To answer, perhaps not so simply, we first need to understand what trading is NOT. Trading isn’t about buying the fanciest chart, hanging on to something because it is a good buy, or feeling good about yourself because you can go to a cocktail party and relate to what everyone else is saying. Trading is about making money.

nice.jpgThere are software systems that create pretty colors and tell you which stocks are safe to buy because they have moved a certain way in the past. If one particular stock has been going up and up and up, a trend follower concludes that the stock should continue moving UP! However, in order to follow a stock’s true potential progress, would you rather wait for a computer program, or be actively and directly involved in its ascent?

Picture an apple in the center of a room, surrounded by 10 traders. Consider for a moment, each trader buying the apple until everyone has owned it. What is that apple worth? It is worth ONLY what someone will pay for it. Person #1 buys the apple for $1 and takes a bite. Person #2 then pays $2 for the same apple and takes another bite. Person #3 pays $3, and so on until finally, the last person takes that final bite. Yes, the apple is STILL worth only what the next person will pay for it-no more, and certainly no less. The only person left to sell it to is the one who walked into the room an hour late, looks at the apple’s past price history, consults his software that says the smelly apple has had a great price performance, and determines that it’s a worthwhile buy. That is precisely the definition of trend trading.

Make no mistake, successful trading is about you versus the guy sitting next to you with the pretty software. Don’t waste your time trading with charts, spend your time leaning how the stock markets really work.

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