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These 5 Simple Steps Help You Trade Stocks & Crypto Like A Pro (Free Trading Journal & Log Included)

Trading success leaves clues. Profitable professionals use systematic, measured approaches and don’t consider trading a ‘hustle’ for quick financial gains. Here are the five counterintuitive steps to profitable trading the public don’t know, the talking heads won’t share, and the professionals at TRI follow to create life changing wealth.

1: The Marathon Trading Approach

Long-term investing is like a marathon. If you try to sprint to trading success, you’ll miss the strategic planning and trade setup part of things and run headfirst into a brick wall called “Mr Market,” taking your hard-earned money. Ouch.

Your only job is to stay in the market long-term. Staying in the market long-term is only possible with solid risk management. Here’s a quick 3 step guide to becoming a risk-management master!

  • Follow TRI’s 2nd Rule of Investing: TRI recommends traders risk less than 5% of their capital on any one trade. (Find out the first rule here).
  • Paper trade to vet setups: Practice your setups using paper trading which includes logging and journaling the trade entry, exit, and risk, without taking the trade with any actual money.
  • Gradual risk increase: After you vet your setup, experiment with 1-2% capital risk, and when it’s producing returns, increase to the 5%.

Adopt this marathon mindset and dedicate yourself to rigorous risk management. Build confidence in your setups by paper trading and limiting your financial risk. Your goal isn’t to make short-term profits, which risk your account, but to stay in the game long enough to build real wealth for your future.

2. Fireproof Financial Wisdom 
​(+Free Download)

Your most valued possessions as a trader will be your trading journal. Your best lessons, mistakes, plans, and knowledge will pile up. One trader Brian used to work with found his journal so valuable that he kept it in a fire-proof safe.

At TRI, we want to make a positive difference in your financial life, so we’ve created a Trade Log, Journal, and Health tracker to help you stay on top of your trading journey.

Free 5-Step Trader Journal, 20-Step Trade Checklist, Sleep & Health Tracker

What’s included:

  • Essential 5-Step Trade Journal: This is a critical practice for any trader. It tracks strategies, successes, and lessons. It also allows you to reflect on and learn from past trades, identify personal trading patterns, and refine strategies.
  • 20-Step Trade Checklist: Track and measure every trade in detail to get an honest look at your trading plan. Log your trades to remove the guesswork from trading and follow a professional process.
  • Sleep, Mood, Exercise Tracker: Track your sleep, mood, and exercise to ensure you’re in peak physical and mental condition. Healthy body, healthy mind, healthy trading

We also added a Google Sheets template inside the Ultimate Trading Planner, including a Trading Plan, Trading Log, Position Calculator, and Journal.

You can read more and get a direct download link on a previous blog, where we talk about how to start investing in stocks for beginners.

If you’re getting value so far, please share this blog with anyone you know who might benefit from learning the professional trading process.

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3. Leverage an Expert Community

Sir Isaac Newton, the famous English scientist, once said, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”

To win the game of trading, you must also stand on the shoulders of giants and tap into a collective pool of investing and trading wisdom. At TRI, you'll find this authentic community of veteran and peer traders.

  • ​Join a community of trading veterans at TRI for real-time insights into the market.
  • ​Learn from the 400+ resources in the library to continually refine your trading edge.
  • ​Access to an advanced trading dashboard, including the S&P Breadth Indicator

​You can experience all this FREE for 30 days and only stay if you love it, with no obligations whatsoever.

4. Sharpen Your Trading Edge

Mastering your trading isn’t about becoming an expert in any one or another indicator. It’s more akin to sharpening your blade before battle and after each fight. You may not survive the next battle if you let your blade become blunt.

Here’s how you can keep your trading sharp in three steps:

  • ​Keep a detailed trading log and journal to avoid selective memory traps
  • ​Use a structured 3-step trading setup to guide each trading decision
  • ​Practice with paper trades to test your strategies without financial risk

Read more about sharpening your day trading edge in this detailed blog post: "How To Day Trade & Develop A Trading Edge in 3 Steps" 

In TRI’s School, you get a full trading and investing education from seasoned traders to guide you on this path.

  • ​Founded by Brian Beamish, with 30+ years of trading/investing experience
  • ​Three levels, each 12 weeks, with hands-on instruction, experienced instructors, and teacher assistants to help.
  • Level 1 focuses on market fundamentals and technical analysis and building your trading plan

Learn more about the TRI School and read customer stories here.

Transform Your Trading In 12 Weeks

Become a Rational Investor with TRI's intense and "hands-on" 12 week interactive program to turn you into a trading professional as quickly as possible. Fundamental Analysis (weeks 1-5) and Technical Analysis (weeks 6-12)

5. Screen for Success With Advanced Tools

Many advanced investors and traders use screening tools to help narrow down investment options. Finviz is one stock screening tool, and TradingView also has some screening features.

At TRI, we have advanced screening tools to help you save time, find the best trading ideas, and make more money from trading.

Here’s more about the TRI Pro tools:

  • ​Stay ahead of the market with Breadth signal notifications via Discord and email. 
  • Performance of signals from 2022 to 2023 (Results updated from 1/6/2024):
  • +958% compounded on BTCUSD (no leverage) and a 58.8% win ratio.
  • +981% compounded on SPXL/SPXs (3x SPY ETF) and a 70.5% win ratio.
  • +237% compounded on SPX500 (no leverage) and a 79.5% win ratio.
  • ​Create the perfect dashboard for your unique trading path with the build-your-own dashboard feature.
  • ​TRI’s Little Old Lady Investment Portfolio for long-term crypto investments.
  • Full silver site membership included.

Learn more about the TRI Pro Tools here.

Conclusion: 5 Steps To Profitable Trading

Well done if you’ve got this far - you’re serious about this. Now, at least, you have a partial idea of what it takes to become a professional trader. If you’re still excited about making it happen, know the dangers in front of you.

The market wants your money, and it will take as much as you’re willing to give it.

So, you must follow the process to give yourself an advantage in surviving, growing your accounts, and creating life-changing wealth for you and your family. Follow each step one at a time, and even just by getting to step three, you’ll be ahead of 90% of traders.

Take your education seriously, and keep practicing, refining your edge, and following your trading plan.

Learn from experts and trading veterans, and join an authentic community of serious traders and investors to help guide you. 

Josh Morris

Lead Blog Writer at The Rational Investor

Josh discovered TRI in 2017 and became a smarter investor by following the teachings from all three levels of the TRI Education program. By 2021, He became the lead blog writer for TRI, sharing updates on the market and lessons learned. He regularly posts insights and trading tips on X @tri_pma helping traders navigate the investing world.

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