Lesson 23: How to Take Control of Your Trading

By Scott Redler, Chief Strategic Officer of T3 Live

Every day is a new day.

And that's the beauty of trading.

You can always start over.

But if you want to make a fresh start, you need a reality check.

Put your ego aside, and take a serious look at what you're doing right, and what you're doing wrong.

Most traders, especially when they're losing money, can't do that.

But if you're ready to take control of your trading, you can start now.

Here's how:

1) Break Down the Last Year

This is where the rubber meets the road.

Your first step to getting on track and stemming the bleeding is to know where you stand.

Take your last 12 months of trade data, and put it in a spreadsheet.

What was your P&L for each month?

What about each week?

And each day?

What was your average gain or loss per trade?

What were your 5 best and worst 5 days?

2) Connect the Dots

Start working your numbers and look for the common threads.

Did you let losers run too far?

Did you sell your winners too early?

Are you having trouble shorting stocks?

If you look deep enough, you're going to see some really interesting things… especially if you think about your life outside of trading.

I've seen many traders post their worst results when they're having family, career, or health problems.

Something big like a divorce or surgery can really set you back.

A lot of traders think they can fight their way through anything.

And you do need a little bit of that attitude to get ahead in life.

But if a major life event throws you off your mental game, take a break, regroup, and come back fresher.

3) Set New Goals

Your #1 goal for the second half should be to break bad habits.

Did you hit your daily loss limits too often?

Did you keep doubling down on bad trades?

Make a list of habits that cost you money, and print it out.

Then, post it at your desk and read it every day.

Breaking bad habits gives you instant results.

For example, let's say you keep breaking your daily loss limit, which drags down your average daily P&L by $500.

If you can eliminate that bad habit and take back that $500, you're going to have an extra $10,000 a month.

That takes care of a lot of mortgage and tuition payments.

How do you do this?

Start by following the list you just made.

4) Create a Trading Daily Routine

Successful people don't come in to work wondering what they're going to do.

They have a routine.

Elite performers like Steve Jobs, Winston Churchill and Benjamin Franklin all used daily routines to stay productive and on track.

Trading is no different.

So I'm challenging you to make a checklist of 10 things you're going to do when you get to your trading desk in the morning.

This can be stuff you're already doing.

But I want you to systemize it so you flow from one task to the next without getting sidetracked by the news, social media, or TV.

It could be checking news, scanning charts, tracking futures, previewing the economic numbers, whatever.

Just have a routine and stick to it.

5) Get Some Balance

I love trading.

But I'd hate it if I never got away to blow off steam.

I highly recommend picking up a sport or hobby that forces you to be 100% in the moment.

So start running, swimming, playing chess, or even video games to give your trading brain a rest.

You'll work out your stress and come back fresh.

Plus, you'll be taking better care of your body.

Your P&L is tied to your health.

If you eat well, and get to sleep at a decent hour, you're going to be a better performer day in and day out.

But if you're coming in on 4 hours of sleep and chugging coffee to stay awake, you're doing this all wrong!

The Bottom Line

You'll never get where you want to go in trading if you can't see the truth about yourself.

Hopefully, you now have some ideas that can help you take that first step towards turning your P&L around.

Positions Disclosure: as of 3/30/2021 at 3:02 p.m. ET, Scott held the following positions:

Longs: BFT, BTWN, GE, GME, GOOGLE, GSAH, M, MBIO, MCD, PLTR, SBUX, SNOW, SOXL, TIGR, VIAC, VZ, BTWN calls, CDEV calls, FB calls, GME calls, GSAH calls, GSX calls, HYLN calls, JETS calls, PLTR calls, QRVO calls, TME calls, X calls

Shorts: BA puts, BIDU puts, FUBO puts, GME calls, SPY calls, VIAC puts

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About Scott Redler

Scott Redler has been a professional trader since 1999.

After 8 years of successful trading, Scott co-founded T3 Companies, LLC in 2007 and began serving as Chief Strategic Officer of both T3 Live and T3 Trading Group.

As the financial crisis began, Scott became a recurring guest on CNBC, repeatedly warning investors of the danger ahead.

Today, Scott remains a professional trader, and regularly appears on CNBC, Bloomberg Television, and Fox Business.

His technical analysis work has been featured by numerous media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, Reuters, MarketWatch, and Investor’s Business Daily, among many others.

Scott has trained traders all around the world, and has appeared in documentaries by the BBC and China’s CCTV-2.

Through the Redler Report, Scott helps traders, money managers, and individual investors view the markets through his eyes and approach each day with a steady, measured approach.

Scott also moderates the Alpha Team room on our Virtual Trading Floor®.