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Definition of Trading

Webster Dictionary defines trading as: to engage in frequent buying and selling of (as stocks or commodities) usually in search of quick profits. Notice the key phrase in search of that even Webster knew to include.  This implies that quick profits can be illusive. This definition works if you are trying to learn English as a second language. It gives you the basics of what the word means.  However It does not due justice to the process. 

A better and perhaps more meaningful definition would be using Technical Analysis to find a moment in time when the odds are in your favor. Then trading becomes a matter of entry and management. In other words having the KNOWLEDGE to know when the odds are in your favor having the PATIENCE to wait for that moment and then having the DISCIPLINE to handle the trade properly when it goes both in your favor and against you. 

Breaking it all Down
Let's break this definition down a little. The opening words are 'using technical analysis'.  Webster's definition would let you trade with fundamentals but not ours. We begin our search for the perfect trade on the charts. This is the only place where we find truth and useful information about a stock. Not from analysts brokers yahoo messages boards or gurus and loud mouths on BSNBC.  

Next comes 'a moment in time'. This moment in time depends on your time frame. For a swing trader that moment may be a day for a day trader several hours for a scalper perhaps only a few minutes. The point is that there is only ONE moment when that exact trade is proper. Any thing past that moment and that trade is gone. There may be other similar trades that occur later such as buying a pullback but these are separate trades and each one of them will have their 'moment'. 

When are 'the odds in your favor' To get the odds in your favor it will require knowledge of technical patterns. By this we mean every so often a stock will show its hand and give away a secret. It is in the technical chart pattern and it's letting you know that when a certain pattern develops the odds of you profiting from the stocks pending movement are very good should you be on the right side of the trade. 

Then it becomes a matter of entry and management. Here is where the psychology comes into play. Once you learn how the intelligence required to enter and manage a trade is minimal but the ability to do so; is rare. This is where you become your own worst enemy and is the level where most traders fail. 

These Three Words
It all comes down to three words: 
PATIENCE to wait and
DISCIPLINE to handle. 
This may sound like the beginning of the Boy Scout Creed but to a stock trader it is all important to remember these three words.

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