Getting Started: How to Become a Successful Trader

Are you looking to improve your trading?

The following is a list of articles, books and audio clips that I used to kick start my trading, you may find them useful in your own trading.

Foundation

Learn to Invest, Then Learn to Trade – why trading and investing go hand in hand.

The 4-hour Work Week – most people pickup trading because of the life they think it will bring, when what they really want is a business that provides passive income.

Think and Grow Rich – talk to any successful business person and they will most likely recommend this book on preparing your mind to live a life filled with success.

Commitment

Futures Trading, For a Living – apply the trading mindset to live a successful and fulfilling life.

Pick a Market

Why Trade Futures? – the pros and cons of trading futures.

How Futures Work – everything you need to know about how the futures markets work.

Educate YourselfEducate Yourself

Must Read Books – 8 books that helped make me the trader I am today.

Podcasts – 6 Podcasts on the subjects of Economics, Real Estate, and Entrepreneurship.

Audio Series by Peter Reznicek – a must-listen for those new to trading or a seasoned veteran.

Develop a Methodology

Creating Your Own Trading Plan – a step by step guide from my 2009 Trader’s Expo presentation to create your own trading plan.

Ideas for Building Your Personal Trading Journal – tools from my trading journal and links to my excel spreadsheets that I use for record keeping.

Choose a Broker

Infinity Futures – this is the platform I use for executing my futures trades. I have had all positive experiences with the Infinity team. Here’s a link to a free practice account.

Thinkorswim – the Apple of online brokerages and the best charting package out there, best of all it’s free. I use Thinkorswim for my charts, stock, and option trades.

Computer Setup

16 Tools For Your Trading Screen – a diagram of how I setup my trading screen and indicators.

Find a Mentor

The 10 Top Traders Who Have Influenced Me the Most – my list of traders who have helped me the most over the years and may be able to help you.

12 Characteristics of Highly Successful Traders – a post outlining what separates highly successful traders from the perpetual losing ones.

One on One Mentoring – I do a small amount of mentoring with select traders. If this is something you’re interested in you can shoot me an email to discuss tim@eminimind.com.

Gain ExperienceMy Trading Rules

My Trading Rules – specific setups, defined rules, and methods for developing a winning mindset.

My Daily Trading Routine – how I conduct my day as a trader and competitive cyclist.

38 Steps to Becoming a Successful Trader – an outline of the steps we go through on the journey to becoming successful traders.

 

For more tools that I use on a daily basis you can visit the resources page.

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About Tim Racette

Tim is a full-time trader in the futures and stock markets and founder of EminiMind.com. He is also a Chicago-land native, competitive mountain biker, adventurer, and ASU Sun Devil.

11 Responses to “Getting Started: How to Become a Successful Trader”

  1. Great outline. One of the biggest points that I would suggest to others who are thinking about getting started in trading futures, OR for those who are trading futures, such as YM or ES, is that if you EXPECT to win then you are setting up for a loss monetarily speaking, but more importantly psychologically. Words of advice: Do not expect ANYTHING. Learn what it first means to become an objective observer and then and interested observer. You may have heard it said time and time again that the market owes you nothing. Well, it sure doesn’t! Once you can figure out for yourself on how to participate without expectation can you only then begin to learn how to trade for consistent success. Forget trying to ‘be right’. That will come in time. Learn how to execute a flawless trading system and also gain an idea of who is taking the other side of your trade. WHY are they letting you in….who is taking the other side when you exit? Is it a professional or is it the last group of the next losers? What leads you to believe this? how do you see it? And, like Jason Jankovsky said so well “If you are going to kick a sleeping lion in the face, you had better know what you are doing.’

    There is so much more to this ‘game’ than trading ‘just because’ something tells you to do something. Learn to understand what is truly happening behind price action. Of everybody else is buying, why would you consider going long? Do you really want to buy that pullback? If so, why? Understand what it means to be a probable thinker versus a ‘technician’. What IS most probable? Can you find the loser? If not, then they know where you are. Learn to identify probable order flow changes…do not consider these points ‘tops and bottoms’, because of the connotation that is typically attached to these levels.

    just my 2 cents….

    Keith
    thedailyeminitrader.com

    • Great points Keith. Rather than thinking about how much $ you could make on the trade I go into every trade assuming I will be fully stopped out. This really makes it clear whether or not your risk per trade is adequate. If your heart rate goes up, you feel nervous or scared, or NEED this trade to work out, you are risking to much and need to scale back your trade size. It’s amazing how your confidence can build off of trading 1 or 2 contracts when you are able to think clearly and objectively.

      Checking your opinions at the door is for certain. Accept that you will be wrong. Instead of thinking about this trade individually realize your trading results in a statistical set of data that, if you truly have an edge, will result in a net + number over time.

  2. Hello Tim,
    Great website. Question: How long were you sim trading before you went live? How many trades or time did you dedicate before you decided to go live? Thanks.

    Pete

    • Great question Pete. I first began paper trading stocks and getting a feel for how the stock market worked as a whole. I did this for about 6 months before making my first live stock trade, only problem is I was paper trading in a bull market and when I made my first live trade the market began to turn for a short time and so my first live trades were losers. This actually turned out to be a benefit because I learned so much more from the losing trades than I ever did from the winners.

      After trading stocks and options I migrated to futures and this is where I made my mistake of jumping in to quickly.

      Before I started trading futures I wish I knew to start slow. I did a couple weeks of futures paper trading and immediately went live before I fully hashed out my rules for trading futures. I began rapid fire placing orders and getting out for small profits which ended up being smaller than my stops. One stop out would end up wiping out 2 or 3 winners. So in answer to your question, I would trade SIM until you are consistently profitable for at least 5 weeks in a row, to the point where SIM is becoming incredibly boring, master your setups. Then when you begin trading live the emotional learning curve begins.

      Keep in mind just because you are successful on SIM doesn’t mean you will be successful live. But if you’re NOT successful on SIM you certainly WILL NOT be successful on a live account.

      Hope that helps, happy to answer any other questions you may have.

      -Tim

  3. Tim, I’ve followed you here from Traders Laboratory. I’m very new to trading and I’ve found your posts on TL very helpful. And now, finding this website, I feel like I’ve hit the mother lode. Thank you for being so willing to share what you’ve learned with those of us that can use a leg up.

    -Tim

  4. Hi Tim,

    First and foremost… great blog! I have been following your posts and have really learned much in the past months, I am now digging into real-estate, I see you do some as well. I wish to someday own an apartment complex business. I was wondering if you could do a similar post to your “Resource for stocks” post but for Real Estate.. what books you have read, websites you like to go to and learn from, etc. Thank you so much!!

    • Thanks Addiel, I’m certainly no expert when it comes to real estate. There’s a podcast called ‘The Real Estate Guys’ that’s pretty educational that you might be interested in.

  5. Hi Tim,

    I just finished writing my initial Trading Plan and found your Free Guide (and other references on this site) a most helpful and useful resource in doing so.

    Thank you for all your efforts in creating it, in providing your newsletter, and in maintaining this site.

    I love the Costa Rican connotation …
    Pura Vida! Best of luck and great trading,

    – ShainS from Foothill Ranch, CA

  6. I read the article and I think it’s very informative, as well as instructive. Can you become successful at trading penny stocks?

    • In some ways, the strategy itself is the least important factor Booki. I know traders who run all sorts of different methods on a variety of products. That’s the great part about trading, there’s no RIGHT way, and there’s no ONE way to trade.

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