how to stop missing trades

How to Stop Missing Trades

Missing Trades can be incredibly frustrating.  We put in the work, the analysis, create a plan… And then for one of a dozen reasons we end up missing the trade.  This is something that used to happen to me all the time.  It was infuriating!   …Not only because of a bruised ego, but because I’d begin to think of all the things I could have been doing with my time.  

How to Stop Missing Trades

In this post, I want to give you a few tactics about how to stop missing trades.  These are the tactics that I use presently and have helped me a great deal.  Don’t get me wrong, I still miss trades.  We can’t catch them all.  Part of clarity, focus, and trading in the present is having an understanding that there are literally millions of opportunities in the market.  We couldn’t possibly trade them all even if we wanted to.  


1. Build and Maintain Watch Lists

One of the lists I enjoy building, actively maintaining, and reviewing once a week is a “Universe List”.  This is a catchall list that houses every stock that I’m interested in for one reason or another.  Maintaining and reviewing this list consistently every week keeps me in tune with what each of the stocks are doing.  There are typically about 100 stocks on it at any given time.  It only takes a few minutes to scroll through each of the charts.  I find that it is well worth the effort to keep a pulse on what I feel are the most interesting ideas.

I’ll also keep separate lists for where the ideas came from.  For example, I’ll keep lists of what passes our ChartYourTrade MRI scanner by 80% or more on a separate list because these stocks have shown to have a greater probability of producing a significant run after having passed the scan.  Check out the 2016 case study here (2017 case study will be coming soon).


2. Pick a time frame and trade within that time frame

One of the things that used to trip me up would be to try to trade multiple time frames and multiple strategies all at the same time, all within one account.  I thought I was optimizing my trades.  Instead the only thing I ended up optimizing was how to lose in a hurry!
Now my accounts separated by time frame and I stick to one set of rules per account.  I have separate accounts for short-term swing trades, intermediate-term trades, and long-term investing for things that will be held for longer than a year.  Prior to entering any trade I’ve noticed that it is important to clearly state our intention for the trade.  It’s something that has helped keep me focused as the trade progresses.

3. Develop Plans, Systems, and Processes for Consistent Review

If we’re inconsistent with our work, it becomes dramatically less meaningful and it will be far more difficult to make progress.  This is another lesson I’ve learned the hard way.  What I’ve learned to do is figure out what I’m capable of given my circumstances and ambitions.  Then I’ll look at the worst case scenario.  For example, if things begin to get insanely busy at the day job for an extended period, or if something significant happens with my family and my schedule is thrown off, how can I still successfully manage my trading?
I’ll think through these worst case scenarios and figure out the critical path for my trading.  What’s most important, what must get done, and how long will it take.  I then look at my calendar and find blocks of time where I can consistently do the elements on my critical path.  
For me, the weekly critical path includes Identifying Market Health, Understanding what stocks and groups of stocks are leading the market, Identifying trades, Making plans for those trades, and reviewing my existing trades.  This may sound like a lot but it typically only takes me about 30 minutes in total over the weekend.  
Check out the video above for greater depth.  Be sure to leave a comment below with any thoughts or questions you have.

Meditation might be the SECRET SAUCE of Successful Trading

You’ve probably heard me mention this a few times, but something that has helped both my trading as well as my everyday is is meditation.
I was very skeptical of meditation at first and thought it was a waste of time. Sitting there…just focusing on breathing… doing this for 15 minutes or so at a time… I’m struggling to find time as it is, why spend 15 minutes I don’t have on something like this???

I couldn’t have been more wrong!

So far that 15 minutes in the morning has actually added up to an hour back in my day! I’ve actually measured the time tasks would take me and estimate the amount of time needed and I’m often finding that what would take me 90 minutes would now take me 50 minutes. Then in another portion of my day, tasks that would take 60 minutes are done in about 40…
It’s not that I’ve gotten better at the tasks. Its that through meditation and carrying that practice with me throughout the day, I’ve been able to focus better than I ever have previously and not be distracted in an increasingly distraction filled world.

Have you tried meditation?

What has been your experience with it if you have?  Leave a comment down below.  If you haven’t tried meditation yet, there’s a really great app that provides guided meditation.  
If you haven’t tried meditation yet, there’s a really great app that provides guided meditation.  It’s called Headspace.  This is the app that I personally use to help me meditate and I use it daily.  They offer different themes including a “basics” one which I tried initially and it really helped ease me into the idea of meditation.  It started off with 3-minute sessions and it allows you to select the amount of time you’d like to spend meditating.  At the time, 3 minutes seemed like an eternity to me.  Now I’m barely warmed up with 3 minutes… it’s kind of like physical exercise in that regard.
Anyway, give it a shot and let me know what you think of it by leaving a comment down below.
If you’d like to check out my progress thus far, check out the 5 minute video up at the top of the page.
You may also want to check out Beth Marconi’s post on meditation for some additional info.

What to Consider When Setting an Initial STOP LOSS

Where and when are we going to exit a stock if we’re wrong?

Unfortunately, this is a question many of us overlook until it’s too late.  Most of us only consider the upside potential when we’re buying a stock (at least that’s how I used to think when I first started).  If we don’t know where we’re going to exit if we’re wrong, then by default we are risking everything!

Actually, lets play this out…

Let’s say we’re interested in NFLX which has been on fire as of this writing.  It’s presently trading at about $315.  We do our analysis and based on what we’ve found, we determine that it has upside potential to +$700!  We decide to buy it right now at its high of $315.  We are so confident that NFLX will continue to rise that we don’t set a stop loss, nor do we consider where we’ll exit if NFLX comes back down… in fact, we tell ourselves that we hope NFLX does fall down to $200 so we can BUY MORE at this cheaper price!

Several weeks go by and we see NFLX climb steadily higher… it hits $400/share!  Then…something starts to happen.  It got ahead of itself.  It starts to pull back.  We think about buying some more shares as it hits the 21ema which is now at around $350.  

We double our position at $350 sure that this is a momentary pullback… we were right the first time.  We’re smarter than everyone else.  The market is wrong!  

Tomorrow NFLX starts to rally…

It gets up to $355. YES, we did it again!  WE KNEW IT!

We go out to lunch and by the time we come back, NFLX has reversed and is now trading at $345… no worries, by the end of the day it will climb higher…  we are right again!  NFLX closes at $349, just below the 21ema…

The next day NFLX gaps down to $325.  What’s wrong??  We start googling for news, checking our social streams.  We want to know WHY this is happening.  

Meanwhile, as we are trying to figure out why NFLX gapped down, it is now at $315 and is resting on the 50dma… Hmmm…based on what we know about technical analysis, institutions tend to step in at the 50dma and defend their positions… THIS IS A BUYING OPPORTUNITY!  We buy some more shares.

NFLX closes the day and closes the week sitting right on the 50dma.  We’re excited to have gotten in at such a good price…but now we’re also a little anxious too… during our search of WHY the sudden drop occurred, we found 5 solid reasons for it, but we also found another 5 people who were saying that this was just a momentary pullback and that NFLX was destined to rebound… The people suggesting that NFLX is destined to rebound are clearly right and our confidence is bolstered!  We sleep soundly that night and through the weekend.

Monday morning comes and “Murphy’s Law” occurs… NFLX and the market as a whole are down and down big.  NFLX is now trading at about $260!  We see someone mentioning how dramatically overvalued NFLX is as it is trading at a PE of over 200.  We never considered PE before BUT maybe this guy is on to something… we start to worry.

By mid-afternoon NFLX is down to $250 and the 200dma is in sight.  We look at the chart and notice that NFLX has traded above the 200dma since 10/2016 AND it received support at it when it approached it in July and November 2017!  We take a sigh of relief… We’ll just hold it for now and see what happens.

Has this ever happened to you?  

Have these types of thoughts ever crossed your mind?  If so, what has been the result?

How to set an Initial Stop Loss

In the video above I discuss the 3 main things I consider when setting an initial stop loss.  It is esstential to ALWAYS figure out what the stop loss is going to be BEFORE entering the trade.  It’s a great way to keep emotions in check and not fly by the seat of our pants.

The 3 main things I consider when setting a stop loss are:

  1. Where is support
  2. How is the stock behaving around moving averages
  3. What is the distance between where I plan to enter, and where I’m planning to set my stop loss.

These 3 elements combined have helped me not lose my shirt, not lose ground when I do have losses, and be able to use the true secret ingredient to long-term success…compounding!  It also helps me figure out my Position Size, which is another major contributor to success in the stock market.  

So check out the video and leave a comment down below letting me know what you thought, if you’ve had a NFLX story of your own, and if you use stop losses in your own trading.


Check out some of these other blog posts:

3 strike process to selling stocks

3 Strikes to Selling Stocks

Knowing when to exit a trade can be challenging.  Exit too soon and we could be leaving significant money on the table.  Exit too late and we could giving back much of our hard-fought gains!

In this video I share the 3 things I consider every time I am locking down gains.  They include:

  1. Selling on a Break of a Trend Line
  2. Selling on a Break of Support
  3. Selling on a Break of an Important Moving Average


Are there other things that you consider when you are selling for a profit?  Leave it down in the comments section below.  I am really curious to find out.


Check out some of these other posts:


Our biggest winning trade in 2017 was ADBE.  We entered on 01/19/2017 and as of this writing over a year later, we are still holding it for what has been a +75% run…  That may sound like a lot… What actually made this a significant winner for us, however, actually had more to do with our position size!

The closer we’re able to enter to the price that we intend to exit at if we’re wrong gives us a HUGE EDGE!  Here’s what I mean…

For this trade we entered at $111.09.  Our initial stop loss was set at $106.87.  Only -3.8% from our entry price.
75% / 3.8% = 19.71…  So far we have made 19.71 times the amount that we initially risked!
Now lets look at this same trade had we risked the conventional 8%…
75% / 8% = 9.375…  Our biggest winning trade is cut by more than HALF if we drop our initial stop loss down to 8%!


Don’t arbitrarily place your stops!

As you’ll see in the video (click the image above), where we place our initial stops and how we raise those stops has everything to do with the chart.  Some of the questions we need to ask ourselves include:

  • Where is support?
  • Is there a significant moving average?
  • Have trend lines been formed?

Once we know the answer to those questions, ideally we are able to place our stops below all 3.  The reason why is because when all 3 are broken, it is typically going to result in a definitive change in the trend.  Our goal for the trade is to capture the bulk of the move and to ride the trend for as long as possible.  We never catch the exact top BUT we are able to ride massive trends like this and while we had other BIG winners last year, this one trade alone could have easily made our entire year!


Never Give Up!

Prior to this trade, 4 out of 5 of our previous trades had been losers…  HAD I GIVEN UP I would have missed out on my BIGGEST WINNING TRADE OF 2017…a stock that I’m still holding!  
It really does take perseverance and sticking with a system that you know works in order to achieve massive returns! I urge you…DO NOT STOP, DO NOT QUIT! What you’re seeking is just around the corner! 
 This trade and others like it were part of the Advanced Stock Reports “Model Portfolio”.  This portfolio gives the full trade plan ahead of time and shows you exactly where to get in, where to get out, and how much to risk.  It is super easy to follow along with even for someone that still has a day job like me.  
If you’d like to try this out for yourself, here’s a code to get a 3 MONTH TRIAL!   Click Here to get Advanced Stock Reports for 3 months and USE COUPON CODE “3for27” to get 3 months for only $27.


Check out some of these other videos:

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