The Internet has become the greatest resource that our planet has ever seen. There are endless advantages that it affords traders today that were simply not possible years ago. However, there are also some serious drawbacks that have been created by the world wide web.
Traders today have the ability to learn just about anything they want to know about anything through the internet. The problem is that this vast amount of knowledge can cause traders to experience information overload. Too much information can actually be worse than not having enough.
Nial Fuller from Learn To Trade The Markets wrote an interesting post about information overload where he covered how expanding coverage of popular economic reports and wider availability of different trading systems can actually be a detriment to developing traders.
Too Many Numbers
“Knowing what the latest Non-Farm Payrolls numbers are is not going to help you become a successful trader.” – Fuller
One of the great trading fallacies of our modern era is that more economic information is going to help us gain some sort of insight that no one else has seen. Many traders get caught up in the excitement surrounding different economic reports, but at the end of the day their strategies aren’t affected by the report either way.
Most quantitative strategies are based on signals that are generated by very specific technical data. While the data itself may be impacted by economic conditions, the actual strategy isn’t basing any decisions on those conditions until they show up in the data. Therefore, the actual economic reports have no direct influence on the strategy.
Too Many Systems
“Knowledge and theory are great, but without practice and experience they are nothing.” – Fuller
Another issue that many modern traders have to confront is getting lost in learning about trading and never crossing over to actually trading. It is easy to convince yourself that you are not ready to trade. There will always be something else to learn. There will always be some concept you haven’t researched yet.
In order to be a successful trader, at some point you have to stop looking for the best strategy and actually start trading one. This shift in mindset is one of the hardest aspects of becoming successful for new traders. In order to climb to the top of the trading mountain, you have to stop reading about climbing the mountain and actually start climbing.
Shifting the Trading Mindset
The Internet can do a great job of convincing traders that they need to process and understand all of the information available in order to make better decisions.
What many successful traders have actually found is that there is much greater value in ignoring most of the data available in order to focus on the specific signals of their strategy. Ignoring all of the noise that comes with trading to focus on specific data points is the key to shifting from the mindset of learning to the mindset of trading.