Trading and investing, just like sports and most other performance-drive endeavors requires discipline. Discipline, more than anything is what sets really successful traders apart from the crowd. Want to become a cash-flow machine? Become disciplined!

Every year I come across investors that lack a deeper understanding of the markets yet manage to string together nice annual profits, year after year. How do they do it? While those folks might come from all professions and many walks of life, the common denominator more often than not is their background in discipline. From former and current athletes to military personnel, teachers, doctors, firemen and police men/women, I have seen it all. Successful trading and investing is not just about having a watch-list or two, it’s about having a disciplined lifestyle that relies on various routines.

Most traders believe that their success depends on some holy grail indicator whereas in reality successful trading is 90% about everything but the ‘strategy.’ The following can help a great deal for a more balanced and disciplined lifestyle: Better nutrition, a healthy dose of sports, yoga, meditation, a positive attitude.

I will be giving insight much more on this topic in 2015 but for now, below I outlined my morning routine that over the years has not only helped me stay focused and remain calm in trading but also did wonders to my quality of life and focus on a healthy and fun lifestyle.

My rigid morning routine:

5:30 AM: Wake-up and do 15 minutes of meditation and breathing exercises. This helps me step into the day less stressed, more balanced and more open to two-way trading opportunities.

6:00 AM: Morning coffee, cup and spoon already laid out the night before. This might seem silly to do but it helps me just flow through the kitchen without having to fumble around the cabinets for stuff.

6:15 AM: Morning research begins: Browse through a preset list of sources, same order each day. Take notes in a news-journal with a page for each day. This helps me to stay organized and take notes in one place all day as opposed to on random sticky notes.

6:45 AM: Shower and head to office.

7:15 AM: Research calls with clients, partners and brokers begin. Trade idea generation is the main focus. Again, the same routine every day, the same order of calls, each day.

7:45 AM: Breakfast – egg whites, juice, whole grain bread. Let’s roll!

8:00 AM: Staying focused, recording the morning video for The Steady Trader members and typing up the morning watch-list, complete with detailed entry, stop and price target areas.

8:45 AM: Checkout pre-market movers, note them down and follow up on developing morning news.

9:15 AM: Quick step outside for fresh air, deep breathing before the market opens

10:00 AM: 30 minutes into the trading day, once stocks have settled a little I usually make a first trading move.

Rest of the morning: Stay focused and organized. Taking notes along the way, checking out movers, laggards, relative weakness/strength. Much more on this in future articles.

Here’s to a disciplined, healthy and fun lifestyle

Serge

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