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Mark Eidem on Trading Strengths and Weaknesses

Mark Eidem discusses his thoughts on trading strengths and weaknesses

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In order to develop a trading strategy that fits an individual trader's strengths and weaknesses, you first need to really define 'What is a trading strategy?', and it's simply a collection of rules to implement a four-step process: 'How do I find new companies to consider or stock screening, which gives me a list? With that list, how do I research both using fundamental and technical analysis to identify which of those companies on that list are actually buyable right now?' And the third step is planning and executing each individual trade. Once I have those positions, the fourth step is monitoring them over time. So finding a trading strategy that fits your lifestyle, that fits your personality is really a critical step.

Let me give a couple of examples. If you have a job, if you don't have much time during the day, you've got very little amount of time to monitor the markets cause, ironically, the shorter the time I have a desire to hold a trade, the more time I need to be available to monitor the markets. Another one might be if you're a person who really enjoys digging into companies and researching companies, reading research reports, reading articles and news, then you may want to develop and more fundamental analysis-based type of trading strategy where you're focusing on the fundamentals for research. If you tend to be more graphical, if you tend to like looking at stock charts, then you may want to have a more technically-focused trading strategy, although I really would content you really need to blend both. Fundamentals are the what to consider buying, technical is the when.

Another one would be to be patient. Many traders don't feel like they're working unless they're actually placing trades, and yet we're actually doing an awful lot of work implementing that trading process. We're finding new companies to consider, we're adding them to our list, we're researching, we're planning trades, we just may decide that none of those trades are worthwhile. And then we're also, we're monitoring these positions. So we're doing an awful lot of work even if we're not actually placing trades. And that's one of the pitfalls traders can fall prey to: 'Well, unless I'm placing trades, I'm not working, therefore that leads to impulsive trades, that leads to losses'.

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Important Disclosures

Past performance is no guarantee of future results.

All expressions of opinion are subject to change without notice in reaction to shifting market conditions.

Schwab does not recommend the use of technical analysis as a sole means of investment research.

This discussion is provided for illustrative purposes only, and should not be considered an individualized recommendation or personalized investment advice. The strategies mentioned may not be suitable for everyone. Each investor needs to review a security transaction for his or her own particular situation.

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