Article written by Riya Thakur
Bitcoin has encouraged many to take an interest in finance and allows easy access to financial exchanges. Consequently a large number of people are attempting to trade Bitcoin, without any prior trading experience.
At BTC.sx we sometimes see traders make simple mistakes that could be avoided with a basic understanding about trading and investing.
David Zimbeck provides following most common mistakes new traders make and how to avoid them:
- Do not invest more than you can afford to lose
Any financial investment can produce losses, rather than returns. With a highly speculative investment, such as Bitcoin, there is a high chance that you can see very large gains or losses. By trading Bitcoin, there is also further scope to lose money from poor decision-making.
One should invest such an amount that they feel comfortable with losing completely — be prepared for the worst eventuality. There are two reasons for this.
- Set goals for each trade
David Zimbeck suggests that setting goals helps traders remain level-headed during periods of extreme volatility. This is highly important for Bitcoin trading. When placing a trade, determine what price to take profits or cut losses in advance.
The benefit of this is that it is easier to prevent trading decisions based purely on emotions. For example, a trader with no target price may make a profitable trade, become greedy, and then fail to realize their profits while the market is still on their side.
- Learn how to read charts
Although technical analysis is a difficult skill to develop, new traders at a minimum should know the basics of chart reading to identify market trends.
The most widely used Bitcoin charting tool is Bitcoin Wisdom. Despite looking overwhelming at first, it is actually very intuitive.
- Do not set stop losses too low
A stop loss is an automatic trigger to liquidate your position if your losses reach a certain value — essentially stopping you from losing any more. They are a good tool to take advantage of.
However, at BTC.sx we recommend that traders do not use a stop loss that is too small. Choosing 10:1 leverage means that your deposit is 1/10th of the position size. This deposit determines the stop price, the price at which a position can drop to until the deposit can no longer cover the position’s loss. At $200, the default stop will be $20 away (or 10% of $200). Anything less than the position’s default stop will increase the risk of a position closing out very quickly because of minor fluctuations in the price of Bitcoin.
- Close unprofitable & leveraged positions within 24 hours
Leverage is borrowing or lending an asset in hope that it appreciates or depreciates, respectively. At BTC.sx, we give traders the ability to enter long (buy) or short (sell) positions with 2:1, 5:1 or 10:1 leverage.
If a trader shorted 1 Bitcoin at 5:1 leverage, for example, the total investment is 6 Bitcoin. To make a profit the price must fall, allowing the owner to reclaim ownership at a lower price.
David Zimbeck says that however, the price of a Bitcoin must fall sufficiently to cover the trading fee and the interest fee charged on borrowing the 5 Bitcoin. Do not fear if this sounds complicated! We have integrated a breakeven calculator into our trading interface to automatically show what price movement is required to return a profit.