Trading Hacks That Can Help You Become A Better Trader

Trading is one profession where you are always working against the odds. One can not just walk in and start making consistent profits. It takes time, practice, skill, and a proper mindset. So we asked people on social media, what are hacks that helped them become better traders. Here are some of the best ones which can help everyone.

It is easy to copy what others do and think what is working for them will work for you as well. But copying other people’s trades is not the path to success. It’s not easy doing things on your own, especially when you are just starting. Stock markets aren’t get rich quick scheme. It takes time to learn the trade but doing it on your own and learning from your mistakes only makes you better as time progresses.

“There are many setbacks you will face along the way but losses and setbacks are a fact of life. It is necessary to experience setbacks and recover from them in order to achieve success. The trader who has never experienced a severe drawdown, or blown out his or her trading account, has never learned to realize the worst-case scenario and recover from it. Setbacks, even severe ones, can be important learning experiences and opportunities for growth. It is vital to extract a lesson from past mistakes and learn to turn a negative event into a positive event.”

Most of us think that the challenging aspect of trading is finding a trading strategy that will work reliably, the possible strategies are endless. But more important than having strategy is to have proper risk management and trading psychology. You can have the best trading strategy but it is of no use if you have poor money management, but if you have good money management, even a not-so-good strategy can help you achieve good results.

Do check out the Risk Management and Trading Psychology module on Varsity for deep dive into the topic.

Keep track of your performance: We all want to believe that we are top performers, and unless our record is right in front of us, it’s easy to let our ego bias and distort our recollections, all in an effort to bolster our self-worth. When asked to estimate how well we will do on a task, we tend to optimistically think we will do better than we actually do. And when asked to recall how well we have done in the past, we tend to remember only the good trades, while forgetting the bad.

All people, including investors and traders, want to believe they made the right decisions. It’s hard to admit that one has made a mistake. The key to survival is to quickly identify what is going wrong with one’s trading plans and to fix it as soon as possible.

It’s important to keep track of our performance, to check what is working and what is not. This helps us learn from our mistakes and also focus more on things that are working to increase the odds of success.

It’s easy to create plans and rules but the most important thing is sticking with it. Though, it’s easier said than done. There are many possible reasons. A common issue is not having a clearly defined plan. When a trading plan is not clearly defined, it is hard to follow and easy to abandon. You may be prone to over-thinking your plan or you may become easily consumed with self-doubt. When you clearly define a plan, in contrast, you can implement it more automatically.

To achieve success one needs to have that discipline while trading. Top-notch traders have unwavering discipline. Expert trader John Hayden notes, “Without discipline, you will be unable to master your ego, create empowering beliefs, have faith, and develop confidence in your abilities. The lack of discipline will prevent your skill as a trader from progressing.” It may be tempting to trade by the seat of your pants, but if you don’t develop clearly defined trading plans to follow, and follow them consistently, you’ll have difficulty achieving enduring financial success.

Nothing is certain while trading in markets, things can take turns very quickly. Though one thing you can control is when to stop. Having a fixed stop for your trades is a kind of insurance policy that prevents huge losses. Yet many people don’t follow it.

Would you ever think of jumping out of an aeroplane without a parachute? Of course not, but that’s what some people do when they trade the markets. They are very willing to put their money on the line, but they don’t have much to protect them from a major disaster. Placing a stop, for example, can prevent you from allowing a small loss to turn into a big one.

Placing a stop requires you to consider the worst-case scenario, and to many, it’s difficult to consider failure. It’s easier to deny the potential problem and to pretend it will not possibly happen.

Much of our success in life is based on our ability to manage stress, our self-control, & the quality of our decisions and it is no different in trading. Most people fail in trading not because they lack intelligence but because they lack emotional and mental self-control.

When your money is on the line, it’s difficult to remain calm, rational, and in complete control. What happens if you lose? How will you recover? It’s natural to become consumed with self-doubt and abandon your trading plan or act irrationally in the midst of the chaotic market action. But winning traders control their impulses.

The same goes for self-confidence. There’s a famous quote by former Canadian ice hockey player Wayne Gretzky: “You miss 100% of the shots you never take.” In other words, you can’t succeed unless you try.

A trade may turn out to be a winner. It may be a loser. But at the moment of execution, one has to be sure, decisive, and confident. Cultivating the proper amount of confidence is much like walking a tightrope. That is, it is essential to not be too overconfident to the point of making impulsive, poorly devised trades, on the one hand, but not lack the confidence to the point of hesitating at critical moments of trading.

On a lighter note. Sometimes it is just better to be patient if nothing is going your way. Best to just Netflix and Chill :wink: and wait for the right opportunity. As they say “Patience is a virtue.

Do share what are the things that work best for you.


Let me share what worked for me. For a long time I had suffered from Stop loss hunts particularly with swing trades. I am mostly correct about the direction but often see price momentarily shoot beyond the estimated level to take out the stop loss order, then see it move in the anticipated direction. No matter how much I worked on my trading psychology as a trader must, this was a glaring reality. The morning opening first candle spike would often do this. This greatly reduced my strategy’s efficacy, dented my morale and overall made life more difficult as a trader. What really helped me was Not placing the Stop loss order! Instead, take a contra position as a hedge particularly with options. Now only after price breached the intended level convincingly, that I would close both my positions with a fairly pre-estimated amount of loss. Fakeouts and Stop hunting spikes no longer turned my profitable trades into loss trades. This really helped me survive the treacherous markets for a considerable amount of time now. Of course, I had to learn all nitty-gritty about options and about how to use them as hedges, but it was totally a game changer for me.


this is nice @ShubhS9

this is so true. At the beginning 3-4 years ago it was so hard to press that execute button… it’s even more hard when you’re making losses…

doesn’t matter the amount of trades you do while doing paper trading but you will always find it easy to get in trade and also out (greed wants you to keep going in hope of more, while hopes of turning it around makes you not to exit losing trades).


Lovely Post. I am in a very similar position and the SL have been frustrating to say the least. I will learn from your suggestions and implement them.

Thanks for your post.

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You are welcome! I hope to post about my strategies that I use to hedge in lieu of the SL order. Mostly it’s the Short Future + Long Call + Short Put combo for short swing trades and vice-versa for long swing trades. Understanding of Vega of the legs is important to chose the right option strikes. Sometimes an additional leg is also placed to adjust the net Delta in the desired direction. Not really very complex as it might seem.

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  1. Keep things simple. It makes the plan easier to follow.

  2. Risk only that money that one doesn’t mind loosing. This would keep the fear in check.

  3. Keep expectations realistic. This would keep greed in check.

  4. Knowledge is power. Learn, understand before taking the dive. Float for a while before butterflying. This will help to find the plan that suits ones temperament.

  5. Believe in objective backtest data than subjective gut feels and visual inferences. This gives a holistic view of the plan and leads to less questions and more trust in the chosen plan.

  6. Money is something we need if we happen to live the next moment. Detach from it and follow the process. This will make one better at trading the market.

  7. Drop it if you don’t enjoy it or have fun doing it. There is something better that you are in love with. Go get it and have fun with it.

Another way to avoid stop loss hunting (which works for my psyche), is to set an catastrophic/“oh shit” stop loss, but use that only to prevent disasters… Luckily, so far it’s never been hit, cos I get out at my trading plan stop loss.

This can only work if you have the discipline to adhere to your trading plan stop losses without hesitation…

My 2 cents to your great post…