When you are just starting out, you don’t really know too much about trading, after a year, we would hope that you know a little bit more. There are a number of things that you only really learn by actually trading, reading and studying the markets is a fantastic way to start, but there really is no substitute to the experience and learning that you get from actually trading.
So now we are looking at a few different things that you only really learn from trading and hopefully things that you would have learned within the first year of your trading experience.
Sticking to Your Trading Plan
This was most likely drilled into your mind before you actually started trading, but as you actually trade and as you make mistakes, this should have been cemented in there. Every single mistake that you made, and you would have probably made a lot of them, would have reminded you that you should be sticking to the plan that you created.
Your guidelines and rules are there for the reason of keeping you on track, ensuring that you remain profitable even with losing trades. After a year, you will know exactly how it feels to lose and how it feels to win, you would have experienced what happens when you break one of your trading rules and you will know what it feels like to win. Sticking to your plan is how you remain profitable and win in the long run, after a year of trading you know this and so find it a lot easier to stick to that plan.
Of course, with the year of experience, your plan will be at a much better stage than it was when you started, as you trade you would have continued to adapted it, continuing to change things for the better so that the overall results that it produces are of a much higher standard. Something that only comes with experience and actual trading.
Being More Patient and Having Discipline
One of the hardest things to learn when trading is the discipline and patience that you need in order to trade successfully. When you first started out, you could have had all the excitement and enthusiasm that comes with starting something new, especially when it could potentially make you some money. When you are in these early stages it would have been quite hard to keep yourself in check, to prevent yourself from putting on additional trades through either excitement, greed, or overconfidence.
After a year of trading, you should have learned how to better control those emotions. You are far more disciplined, able to restrain yourself, and not put on any trades that you should otherwise not be putting on. You have a much better understanding that trading is a marathon and not a sprint, so you are able to wait out the markets for the correct conditions to be met, this is such a vital skill and it should have developed nicely after a year of active trading.
Better Risk Management
When you first start trading, you understand what risk management is, but you don’t necessarily know how to implement it properly. A year of trading would have helped you to work it out, mainly through mistakes and learning from getting things wrong. You should now have a really good understanding of how it works and the different methods available to you for keeping your account safe. The fact that your account is still running after a year shows that you have a decent grasp of what risk management is and how it works. You would have worked out the optimum stop loss positions as well as take profit levels for your strategy and also the best trade sizes for your balance. Your overall risk management would have improved and so your account should be a lot safer compared to a year ago when you first started out.
Listening to Others
When you first start out, it is easy to listen to those that you perceive to have more experience than you, however, after a while of listening to people and seeing that their predictions aren’t quite as magical as they initially seemed to be, you will begin to become a little wearier of listening to others. Instead after a year, you are far more confident in your own abilities to analyze the markets and to trust in your own judgment. Listening to others only leads to muddled analysis or bad trading signals, and after a year you will know this first hand and trust your own abilities over those of others.
Treating Trading Like a Business
As a new trader, you would have started your journey full of excitement and willingness to both learn and earn. At that stage of your trading career, you would have been excited, and thus a little bit too eager to put in your money and place some trades. Over the past year of trading, you would have matured in your trading and your outlook. Now you will be treating trading much more like a business. You will be looking deeper into each trade, taking more time to plan your trades and the risk management that goes with it and will be a lot warier of the potential risks of each trade. You will now be looking at trading as a business for your future, rather than a quick way to make a little extra money.
Additional (and More Complex) Strategies
When starting, you would have been concentrating on a single strategy, ensuring that you have an understanding of how it works., The issue with this is that it will only work with specific trading conditions. Now that you have been trading for a year, you would have picked up some knowledge of a number of different strategies that will allow you to trade in multiple different market conditions. This will give you a lot more flexibility and the ability to be profitable at more times during the day, week, month, and year.
So those are a few different things that you may well have learned from your first year of trading. You would have been through a lot of things, learned a lot of new techniques, and had the chance to develop your own understanding and methods for trading. Hopefully, you should be able to see the progress that you have made and can use that as an encouragement to continue to improve and learn over the next coming year.