More often than not, when someone begins trading they are looking at a single aspect of it, they are setting their strategy up to work with what they are comfortable and for a lot, this is what they will be sticking with for the majority of your trading career. While it is certainly not a bad thing if you have something that works, in fact, that is what a lot of traders are aiming for. It can however potentially stifle your potential, it can hold you back from doing other things that could be just as profitable if not more.
Being able to expand on your trading abilities and skills is vital if you want to be able to adapt to the changing markets and you want to be able to use new skills in order to take advantage of other parts of the markets. So let’s take a quick look at some of the things that you can do that will help you to expand your list of trading skills and that can ultimately lead you to better results.
Trading Other Pairs
This one sounds pretty obvious but you would be surprised how many people simply stick to a single currency pair or asset when they trade, they stick with it because they understand how it works, they are able to be profitable when trading it. The problem is, when you get stuck on a single pair or asset, you will struggle to adapt should that pair change, or should you need to use a new one. Different pairs and assets all act differently to one another, yes, they do have some similarities, they are all affected by similar things, but the reactions that they give can be very different.
It is important that you expand your arsenal to new currency pairs and assets, not only due to the fact that this gives you another avenue and a new way to make a bit of money, it also helps you to develop new skills, a new understanding of how things work and what affects what within the markets. Having a good understanding of a number of different assets allows you to adapt to the changing markets a lot better, it can also help you improve your understanding and trading of the pairs that you are already using as it can give you another view on them. Of course, it is important that you do not try to trade as many as possible, this won’t allow you to actually gain an understanding of them, so begin to expand at a slower pace, chose a single new currency pair or asset to learn, once that is done, chose another, this is a fantastic way of increasing your overall knowledge and ability to adapt.
Use Different Timeframes
A lot of strategies that you read about out there are based around a single timeframe, scalping strategies stick to the lower ones while swing trading strategies often stick to the higher time frames. While your strategy may be linked to the 5-minute timeframe, there is no hard time looking at some others. In fact, it should actually be encouraged. If you are trading a lower time frame, start looking at the higher time frames. You could even incorporate this into your own strategies. You can use the higher time frames to check out the larger trends and general directions of the markets, this can then be used to help give you a new way of looking at your current strategy and could even help you to make it more successful. So yes, while the majority of strategies are created to be used with a specific timeframe, there is no harm in looking at others and learning how others work in order to give yourself an advantage and even some additional confirmations before making a trade.
Look Into Other Strategies
We get it, you have a strategy that works, so there is no reason for you to learn another one right? Wrong. It is important that you expand your understanding of how other strategies work. Let’s make it clear, the markets will not remain the same for a long period of time. In fact, they can change on a regular basis, trends move and economic events take place, each one can cause the markets to rapidly change., Most strategies are designed to work in certain conditions, they can be adapted to match the markets when they change, but how are you going to be able to do that if your strategy is the only one that you know?
Learning about new and different strategies will allow you to use what you have learned to help adapt your own strategy when things start to turn, it will allow you to adapt yours using aspects from other strategies. You will always have your preferred strategy and that is fine and encouraged, but having a good understanding of other strategies will simply allow you to be more productive and potentially profitable during times when your current strategy may not be entirely effective.
Talk to Other Traders
The simple act of talking to other people can be a fantastic way to learn about new skills, you could also learn them outright should that person be willing to help teach you. Talking to people, even if they use a completely different strategy to you can give you further ideas on how you can trade and how you can adapt your strategies. No one trader will be exactly the same, even people using the same strategy will be doing things differently, talking to them will allow you to understand this and you may well learn something new that you are able to use with your strategy to ultimately improve it. Who knows talking to others about your own strategy and teaching people how it works can allow you to develop some confidence and also may well show that you have a knack for teaching and could move into some form of mentorship, of course, you will need a consistently profitable strategy for a while before thinking about doing that.
Watch the News, Read Economic Articles
This is one that you need to be a little wary of as if it is done the wrong way it can actually be detrimental to your trading. Getting a good understanding of what is going on in the world, reading the news or economic articles can give you a wider knowledge of what is going on and this can be used to your advantage. If you are trading blind but a huge event is coming up, if you are not on top of the new and the current affairs then things could potentially go wrong, very quickly. If you have been reading and have an understanding of what is coming up, you can prevent disaster by changing your trading to suit the events coming up, if EURUSD could jump up or down, avoid trading it, this is a way of protecting your account and is an important skill to have.
Of course, we mentioned that doing it wrong could damage your strategy or account, this is basically when you do just too much reading or you base your entire strategy around these news events. This is not something that you want to do, trading the news can be dangerous and many people have blown their accounts trying to do it, so we would suggest not basing your trades on what may happen in the news. Stick to your strategy, do not let the news completely change it, it’s working for a reason, simply use the news as a tool to understand what is coming up, not to dictate your trading habits.
Seminars and Online Courses
This is something that you need to be a little more cautious about, not all seminars and online courses are worth it. In fact, the majority of them are not. There are a lot of people out there that just want your money and maybe hosting these courses with very little knowledge. Having said that, if you are able to find a legitimate one, they can be a very valuable source of information. Not only are you getting the knowledge and experience for the person hosting these events, but you are also able to meet and talk to other traders who have a similar mindset and may be at a similar level to you. Use this as a chance to find out what others are doing, gain knowledge and understanding of things that you do not currently know, and don’t be afraid to leave some of your own understandings with others. These places can be very valuable, but once again, it is important that you take care and ensure that the one you are paying for is in fact a real one and not a form of scam.
The final way to develop and learn new skills is to simply use a demo account, this is something that you should have been doing when you first started out and it will be an invaluable tool throughout your entire trading career. In fact, it will probably be the thing that you revert back to the most. Any changes that you make to your strategy should be tested on a demo account first, any new strategies that you are trying to understand should be tested on a demo account first and so forth. The demo account is there for you to experiment, through that experimentation you will be developing your trading skills, your chart reading skills, and pretty much all other aspects of trading. Use it as much as you can, use it when you are not sure of something and use it to ultimately become a profitable trader, they are there to be used, so use them.
So those are a few of the things that you can do to help find new skills or to simply develop the skills that you already have, it is vital for traders that they keep on looking to improve, there needs to be a constant progression and improvement of skills and understanding if you want to remain profitable and to be successful. The markets are always changing, so you need to do the same in order to keep up with them.