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  • Writer's pictureMatt DeLong

What are some good swing trade habits?

You really need to have rigid rules for yourself and then follow them strictly.

At the end of the day, I see my role as “executing my plan” — the plan decides what to trade, where/when to enter, when a risk makes sense, when it doesn’t, etc. Here are some personal things I do on a machine-like basis.

  1. All my “setups” (entry/exit/shares/ticker) have to be entered into a Google spreadsheet THE NIGHT BEFORE. No exceptions.

  2. I get an email every night from - Technical Stock Screener using my custom trend following strategies that email me the setups. Those are the setups that go into into #1 above.

  3. My risk management strategy uses “Trading an R”, so I know how much I will lose if I’m wrong on a trade. I use the same $$ of RISK for every single trade — I DO NOT double up on size when I feel confident in a trade. (There is no 100% confidence, geez, it’s the stock market)

  4. I can only trade if a stock meets one of my 3 personal strategies — and only those. I DO NOT take trades that other people discuss or post on Twitter/Facebook/Instagram, etc, unless it’s in my spreadsheet the night before (per rule #1) AND it matches my criteria.

  5. I convert my setups in #1 to a CSV file and import them into my trading software, DasTrader Pro about 5–10 minutes AFTER the opening bell.

  6. Once an order has been filled, I DO NOT adjust the trade, except to move my stop to break even or move the “stop” (stop loss) in my favor. I NEVER ADD TO A LOSER.

  7. During “choppy” times, I’m aggressive in taking profits. It sometimes limits my upside and limits my downside as well.

If you think about what discipline is, it’s really “doing what you know you should without having to be reminded” … at least that’s what I tell my kids.

Hope that helps.

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