If you’re new to trading, it’s almost inevitable you will make some rookie mistakes when first getting started. While beginner blunders are a natural part of the learning curve, it’s good to be aware of the most common pitfalls so you can try to avoid them.
In this article, we’ll look at the top 5 rookie mistakes new traders make, and some tips to help prevent you from falling into these traps.
Mistake #1: Having No Trading Plan
Having no trading strategy or plan is one of the biggest mistakes new traders make.
Without clear rules and guidelines, you’re essentially just gambling and reacting on emotions.
Set aside time to develop a written trading plan that outlines your risk management rules, ideal setups, profit targets, strategies, and more.
Your trading plan should act as an objective compass to guide your decisions.
Mistake #2: Risking Too Much Per Trade
It’s easy to fall into the trap of trading too aggressively and not managing your risk properly as a beginner.
Never risk more than 1-2% of your account on any single trade. T
ake smaller position sizes and only trade with risk capital you can afford to lose.
Proper risk management will allow you to survive those inevitable losses when first getting started.
Mistake #3: Lacking Patience
New traders often feel compulsive to always be in a trade or to exit winning trades prematurely.
Fight this urge. Sometimes the best move is to simply wait patiently for the right setups aligned with your trading plan.
Avoid forcing mediocre trades out of boredom. Patience is a virtue in trading.
Mistake #4: Overtrading
Trading too frequently can lead new traders to overtrade—taking excessive smaller positions versus fewer larger trades.
This ramps up transaction costs, confusion, and uncontrolled losses.
Set a limit on your maximum daily trades and stick to higher conviction setups rather than lower probability trades.
Less is often more when starting out.
Mistake #5: Not Keeping Records
Meticulous record keeping is crucial but often neglected by rookie traders.
Keep detailed logs of every trade for later review and analysis.
Tracking your trades will help identify mistakes for improvement opportunities and successful patterns to replicate.
Organization is key for progress.
By being aware of these common beginner pitfalls, you can proactively take steps to avoid making the same mistakes as you embark on your trading journey.
Patience, discipline, and planning will go a long way at the start.
Focus on steady progress rather than quick profits.
Making trading mistakes at the start is normal but try to minimize blunders by trading small, having a plan, and not overcomplicating things.
Stick to these core principles as a beginner and you’ll be on your way to developing into a consistently profitable trader over time.