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No matter the skill or experience level, all day traders can improve on their craft. Like any career or vocation, it is in your best interest to become a learning machine. Luckily, we have several advantages in our line of work. The most notable is that we receive near-instantaneous feedback on our work, allowing us to quickly observe whether we were right or wrong, gather lessons from a particular trade, and apply those lessons to future trades.
But having said this, you can save both time and money by learning from others. By understanding the trader’s thinking and the poor result, you can gain experience through the trader that made a particular decision. This is true for studying both traders’ successes and their mistakes.
All of this is well and good. However, when learning day trading from others, there is a key distinction that separates the type of advice that you often receive. It can be summarized this way:
“Where Versus How”
The Where Versus How debate is central to day trading advice. Depending on what advice you receive, you can head down the road of frustration and poor trades or confidence and great trades.
While the choice is up to you, I think that you will prefer the latter. Learning the “how” rather than the “where” will springboard your day trading career. No matter your day trading goals, you will be better served by focusing on the “how” instead of the “where.”
“Where Versus How” Explained
One of the best ways to explore the Where Versus How debate is to analyze a simple example. Let’s say that you have decided to take an online day trading course from a self-described “trading guru.” The content is like many other online day trading courses. But that said, the instructor often says things like “be patient” and “cut your losses quickly.” Further in the course, the instructor frequently tells students to “wait for the right stocks,” “wait for the proper entry,” and “let the stock come to you.” These are all examples of the Where!
“Yes, I know that I should be patient and wait for the right entry points. But how does that actually look in practice? Am I not being patient enough here? Am I being too patient?”
The questions go on and on. But from there, you recognize that you will eventually need to take some action, even though this often requires some significant assumptions. While these assumptions may be correct, they could also be incorrect. And if you rely on an incorrect assumption when trying to follow a trading guru’s “where” advice, you can find yourself in some serious trouble.
As you can likely tell, I don’t have the highest opinion of Where advice. It is deceptively vague and doesn’t give you much to work off of when you are contemplating your next trade.
Luckily, you can avoid much of this confusion and paralysis by finding instructors that teach you the How of day trading. In this example above, the trading instructor should have provided real-life case studies or examples on how you can cut your losses quickly or how you can wait for the proper entry. By looking at the charts, relying on the instructor’s experience, and understanding how you can implement some of these key day trading concepts, you will be in a much better position to achieve your day trading goals.
Along with this, focusing on the How is more logical. It is easier to follow and adhere to because you are following a defined black and white approach. This approach is less fuzzy and follows an “if this happens, then this” structure. This approach is harder to nail down because day trading does have many exceptions to certain rules. But when you stumble upon an “if this happens, then this” structure that is backtested and proven? That means you are in great shape to use this “How” in your day trading career. Simply put, there is no guesswork and you can trade confidently.
Putting in the Right Work
So ultimately, I believe that you should find a program or course that emphasizes the How rather than the Where. Truthfully, learning the Where can be more fun than learning the How. With the Where, you are learning general principles and platitudes. While some of them may be true for day traders, it does not require much work from your end. You simply learn the principle and remember it.
The right work—as is true with anything that you learn—comes from executing the material that you learned. This is where How eclipses Where. With How, you are in a better position of replicating your instructor’s day trading success. This is because the instructor has taken the time to actually show you how you can successfully implement certain day trading strategies. Not only do you avoid that scary process of sitting down and trying to capitalize on the Where, but the How gives you a playbook that vastly increases your odds of hitting your day trading goals.
The comparison is almost similar to wanting to get better at a sport. Yes, you can read all the books that you want on learning how to play basketball. In fact, those books may be written by former NBA players who give you overarching advice on how you can improve your jump shot or become a better rebounder. That said, it is going to be extremely difficult to become a better player by simply reading those high platitudes and trying to execute them on your own. By contrast, if a former pro gave you a proven, practical guide on proper shooting form or rebounding techniques, you would, with hard work and dedication, be in a much better position to being a better basketball player.
The How is going to take you to the promised land, not the Where. While there is more upfront work, you will undoubtedly be thanking yourself in the future.
Embracing a “How, Not Where” Day Trading Career
This Where versus How distinction may seem simple on the surface, but it is extremely relevant to your current and future day trading career. By understanding this distinction and learning from a How day trading instructor, you will see supercharged progress in your day trading skills.
As a day trading instructor myself, I am laser-focused on providing the most How content to my students. It is part of the reason why I decided to start Full Time Day Trader, which is a course designed to help you become a successful day trader in the shortest amount of time. The course—which is for novice and advanced day traders alike—contains three powerful modules that teach you the How of successful day trading. Along with the course itself, you can access lifetime email support and mentorship and a 14-day money-back guarantee. To learn more about the Full Time Day Trader course, feel free to click here.