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Ralph Nelson

3 Rookie Mistakes—And How To Avoid Them

As traders, we share a few things: passion, cleverness, a staunch opinion Tesla and Elon Musk, and the fact that we’re human. And this humanness, while a beautiful thing, also makes it easy for us to make basic mistakes.

In talking to friends of mine, I noticed some trends in the early mistakes we made. That’s why I decided to put together a list that breaks down common mistakes, how they impact you and your trading, and how to move past them. If I’d had this list 10 years ago, my life might have been all too different.

  1. Giving Into Panic

I have one rule: Don’t Panic. Not only is this my favorite Coldplay song, it’s the single best piece of advice one can give about trading. A stock sinking makes the animal parts of our brain go crazy. You’re watching your fortune diminish, and your security shrink, in real time. Of course the tendency is for our fight or flight mechanism to kick in.

And since you can’t go and personally fight anyone at the Fed, flight is the only option. So it makes sense that you want to sell, sell, sell when the stock you’ve poured thousands of dollars into goes sideways.

But cooler heads (almost) always prevail. Never make a decision based on fear. Learn that you can weather the storm. Maybe you won’t earn it all back, but taking your time

2) Starting Late

As the old saying goes: the best time to start trading was 20 years ago, the second best time is today. So you’re a little behind on your investing, that doesn’t mean you should despair. If anything, you should consider yourself lucky that you’re even thinking about investing now.

But if you’re lucky enough to be young, start today. I don’t care if it’s $10 a month, start putting your money into the markets because time is your greatest ally. Of course, some people can trade with unbelievable short-term precision, but that’s a skillset.

This starting early idea can also be applied to giving more. Can you challenge yourself to skip eating out once a month and putting that money towards investing?

3) Getting Bad Advice

As I’ve lamented, there are a million and one ways to get bad advice on the internet. So skip all that, spend a little money, and get information that's actually worth something.

There are two essential types of info you should be getting every single day: analytic and informational. Informational means breaking news, deep-dive articles, and figuring out if talking heads know what the heck they’re talking about. Technically, this is information you can get on your own.

Analytic, unless you're a math wiz, is a bit harder to do at home. That’s why a service like Chaikin Analytics can save you some serious time and earn you some serious money. By fusing algorithmic genius with expert-advice, it’s hard to beat for only $25 a month.

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