From Trading for a Living, by Alexander Elder


You need to base your trades on a carefully prepared trading plan and not jump in response to price changes. It pays to write down your plan. You need to know exactly under what conditions you will enter and exit a trade. Do not make decisions on the spur of the moment, when you are vulnerable to being sucked into the crowd.

You can succeed in trading only when you think and act as an individual. The weakest part of any trading system is the trader himself. Traders fail when they trade without a plan or deviate from their plans. Plans are created by reasoning individuals. Impulisve trades are made by sweaty group members.

You have to observe yourself and notice changes in your mental state as you trade. Write down your reasons for entering a trade and the rules for getting out of it, including money management rules. You must not change your plan while you have an open position.

Sirens were sea creatures of Greek myths who sang so beautifully that sailors jumped overboard and drowned. When Odysseus wanted to hear the Sirens' songs, he ordered his men to tie him to the mast and to put wax in their own ears. Odysseus heard the Sirens' song but survived because he could not jump. You ensure your survival as a trader when on a clear day you tie yourself to the mast of a trading plan and money management rules.