When I first entered the business of coaching traders, most people thought that a trading system was an indicator.—Van K. Tharp
Every trader needs a strategy or system to form a framework for their trading. Without a repeatable way to identify and execute trades, you can never be a consistent performer. Basically, your system is a roadmap that guides your trading and keeps you from making decisions when you are least able to do so. Trading can be stressful. It’s easy to get distracted. Life goes on regardless of what the market is doing. If you hear news about the market changing, or you’re running late for your next appointment, you are not likely to make good decisions about your trades.
But you can’t trade just any system. Many people make the mistake of believing that a trading system is something you can just “buy in a box,” something that other people with specific technical skills or secret knowledge of the markets can create for you. It isn’t.
There are hundreds, if not thousands, of trading systems that work, but after purchasing one, the typical trader will not follow it or trade it exactly as it was intended. Why not? Because the system didn’t fit them and their style of trading. Van teaches that any trader needs to understand what kind of system fits them. It’s a critical element to successful trading.
Continue with the next lesson to learn more about system development. Also ask yourself, what do you think of when you hear ‘trading system.’ What does that mean to you right now?