As anyone who has spent any amount of time in the online trading and investment space will tell you, having a strategy in place is essential for achieving any kind of success.
In fact, having a set trading strategy is precisely what separates novice traders who plot their investment moves based primarily on intuition, from intermediate and advanced traders who are intentional in everything they do.
Although the specifics of a trading strategy will vary from trader to trader, they generally consist of a few key elements. Firstly, they are usually reflective of an individual trader’s risk profile, skill level and investment style. Secondly, they are formulated in advance of being executed and will be subject to review in line with changing market conditions.
Trading strategies also typically have some kind of exit strategy, which is particularly important given that knowing when to exit a trade is just as important as knowing when to enter into the position to begin with!
Another characteristic that is present in all trading strategies, is that they will ultimately only ever work for so long. The ever-changing nature of the global financial markets means that traders will constantly have to re-think and re-strategize as the markets move over the course of the year.
Although updating and revising your trading strategy is an essential part of the process, it is ultimately easier said than done. The difficulty of rethinking and reformulating can often present a serious burden for traders of all skill and experience levels.
For traders looking to transform their trading strategy in 2023, below are some tips to help make the process a little bit easier and how to invest during an economic recession.
Tip 1: Understand the economy
An important part of understanding what strategy will work best, is understanding the broader macroeconomic conditions your strategy will have to work within and against.
Although we have a tendency to focus narrowly on charts and other sources of technical information, we ultimately need to remember that these datapoints reflect the economy as a whole.
It is important that you not only have a general idea of what the economy is doing when you are developing your trading strategy, but that you also have a decent grasp of important economic concepts.
This might involve finally understanding what a recession is or what causes inflation. While you don’t need to go off and study advanced economics, you would be surprised at how far even a basic understanding will take you!
Tip 2: Connect with other traders
Although traders tend to be a quite solitary bunch, one of the best sources of information they can access is their fellow traders.
When you are looking to transform your trading strategy, we recommend reaching out to any friends or contacts you have in the trading and investment space who might be able to provide you with some feedback.
Not only will they be able to provide insights about their own experiences, but they will also be able to provide you with feedback on your new strategy.
To build a community of likeminded traders, we recommend checking out social trading platforms, which are a great place to get started.
Tip 3: Upskill
Before coming up with a new trading strategy, we recommend doing some skill tests to see whether you can identify any weak areas where you need to improve.
This might mean refreshing your technical analysis skills or brushing up on your fundamental analysis of the markets. It might even mean finally acquiring those data science skills you have always been flirting with!
The most successful traders tend to have a ‘beginner’s mind’ and are always on the hunt for opportunities to learn new skills or to refresh old ones.
Tip 4: Reassess your risk level
Another important step you should take when devising a new trading strategy is to reassess your risk level.
Risk tolerance is incredibly individual and will vary based on your experience, skills, age and the amount of money you have to invest.
Some traders will base their risk level on how much of their available capital they are willing to invest — and potentially lose — on any one trade. This will usually be set between 1-5%, although it can vary quite widely.
Having a firm understanding of your risk tolerance should be the starting point for any strategy you develop.
Tip 5: Set clear goals
In addition to reassessing your risk tolerance level, you should also take this as an opportunity to reassess your goals.
This might involve setting weekly, monthly or even quarterly targets you want to hit, expressed either as a dollar amount or as a percentage of your portfolio. These should be reassessed regularly, as you might find yourself losing or gaining more money than you had initially anticipated.
As is also true in your life, setting goals will help to trigger new behaviors, guide your focus and will help to keep the forward momentum up.