Useful Reminders prior To making your Trading Goals this Year

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5 Savings Goals to Reach in Your 20s

When you are in your 20s, you are establishing the habits that will follow you throughout your life. This is especially true for your finances. In short, if you practice good financial habits in your 20s, you will be in a much better place financially in the future.

This is also the life stage when you may be establishing your career, getting married, or preparing to start a family. This makes it even more important to set savings goals for yourself. Read on for the five savings goals you should reach for when you’re in your 20s.

Build an Emergency Fund

One of the first things you should be saving for is an emergency fund. An emergency fund is an insurance policy for your finances and makes it easier to stick to your budget and not go in debt. For example, you would use your emergency fund to cover an unexpected medical expense or a house repair, or even to help cover your living expenses if you were to lose your job.

When you first start budgeting, you may start out with a small emergency fund of $1,000. You should build you your emergency fund over time; first, save enough to cover one month of expenses. Then increase that to cover between three to six months of living expenses.

The amount you save will be determined by the stability of your job, your income, any other debts you may have, and if you are a single or double-income household.

Remember, your emergency fund should be fairly easy to access, so keep it in a liquid investment vehicle or savings account.

Save Up a Down Payment for Your Home

Another goal you should work on in your 20s is saving up a down payment for a house. This does not mean that you need to purchase your first home in your 20s. Depending on your job stability and whether or not you want to stay in the city where you are currently working you may not want to buy your first home in your 20s.

Usually, a down payment is 20% of the purchase price of your home, but that can vary. However, the larger the down payment, the lower your mortgage payments can be, and the nicer the house you can afford. You also may want to put down a large down payment to avoid private mortgage insurance.

Remember, if you start saving early, you will be in a better position to buy a house when you are ready.

Start Contributing Regularly to Your Retirement

The key to having enough money for retirement is to start saving early and then continue saving regularly until you retire. You should start saving for retirement as soon as you get your first job. In this case, compounding interest is your friend; the more you save when you’re young, the more that money will grow and the more you will have to enjoy retirement.

You may start by contributing up to your employer’s match until you are out of debt. Then, you may shoot for contributing 15% of your income. You can reach this goal by increasing your contributions each time you get a raise or even just increasing it by 2% annually.​

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Start Investing

If you want to build wealth, you need to think beyond saving money and begin to invest it. Try to start investing before you hit 30. As mentioned, compounding interest will help your money grow more quickly, and the sooner you start, the better off you’ll be.

You can choose to invest with the help of a financial adviser, who can recommend investment types and help you build an investment portfolio. If you understand the stock market, you may opt to invest yourself through an online brokerage firm.

The key to investing is to diversify across different companies and different types of stocks. It is important to understand the risks associated with each type of investment and to move to more conservative investments as you get older.

Establish the Habit of Saving Money

Another key habit to establish when you are in your 20s is the habit of saving money. This means that you are always looking for the most affordable option. You shop at the most affordable grocery stores, take advantage of coupons and wait for items to go on sale.

You can also look for ways to reduce your daily expenses, so you have more money to put toward your savings and investing goals. It will also prevent you from running up excessive amounts of debt. Embracing a frugal lifestyle will open doors and allow you to spend more on the things that are the most important to you.

Goals for Novice Traders

When you begin trading, there are a lot of questions. With all the information out there it can be hard to decide where to start. Setting goals can help, but often novice traders set the wrong type of goals. As a novice trader your initial goals should help you eventually make money, but making money should not be your goal. Instead, opt to make your initial goals about the process and emulating traits of professional traders.

Make Your Goals About Process, Not Results

Initially, traders want to make goals about numbers: “I will make 1% per day on my $30,000 capital,” or “I will make 30% per year.” While it seems simple, to actually get to certain percentage or dollar targets you will need to refine your market approach and hone your discipline. By plunging into the market and expecting to make a certain amount of money, the goal becomes almost impossible to reach over the long-term. These types of goals require the trader to truly understand the capabilities (and limitations) of the trading plan they are employing, not just think they understand.

Based on the method being used, it may be impossible to reach a dollar or percentage goal, but it still could be valid and provide a good return. Therefore, the trader must either abandon the strategy or deviate from it in an attempt to find more yields. For many traders this becomes an endless cycle of abandoning strategy after strategy. Looking at charts in hindsight makes trading look easy, but those who trade know it is harder than it looks. Novice traders must not only become knowledgeable about the markets, but also about themselves.

Just like any other business, to become a good trader you must focus on a solid process. Results will not come instantly. Most businesses require quite a bit of time before profits are made, and many businesses fail completely. Trading is no different. Without understanding how the markets truly work and developing a winning process, the results are based on chance, not skill.

To build a winning process for trading the markets, try using these three goals.

Always Have a Plan

In business school, you are taught that to start a business you need a business plan. Trading is a business. Therefore, every time you trade you must be trading according to a well-thought-out and calculated plan.

The plan should include how trades will be entered and exited and how money will be managed. The plan should be very detailed, outlining the markets that will be traded, risk parameters, if filters will be used on trade signals, what constitutes a trade and exit signal, position size, what market environments will be traded, and how that will be determined, such as ranges or trends.

Therefore, the goal here is to create a complete plan before making another trade.

Learn Not to Trade

Especially when a specific dollar amount is the goal, traders will push to achieve that goal, even when opportunities are not present. The market does not present statistically probable trading opportunities at all times, often you will be far better off sitting on your hands or watching TV than trading. This does not sit well with most people; they want to continually be doing something. In the markets, this can slowly (or quickly) erode the profits that came during good trading times.

Trading during slow times or making impulsive trades outside the scope of the plan is such a common issue that it deserves special attention. Make one of your goals to be as disciplined as possible, only making trades that are outlined in the plan.

Keep It Simple

A complex strategy can be very alluring. Many people believe because something is complex it is more likely to work. Avoid getting too fancy with your analysis and trading strategies or making a winning trading plan more complex—usually this only results in destroying the profitability of it. If you like the stock market, stick with trading stocks. If you like currencies, then trade FOREX. Focus on only one market and a couple of simple strategies when starting out.

The goal here is to avoid constant tinkering to improve performance, or continuously switching markets, strategies, or analysis methods. Stick to the plan. If it occasionally needs to be reworked a bit that is fine, but keep the revisions simple and avoid getting overly complex.

The Bottom Line

When starting out, be a niche trader focused on a few manageable goals. Results will come in time if you are trading according to a trading plan, not trading when there are no opportunities, and avoiding getting too complex.

This is How to Increase The Odds of Reaching Your Goals by 95%

Goals take time, hard work, perseverance and commitment to achieve. And results often do not come as quickly as you hope. You can easily lose the motivation in the process and give up. But everything changes when you leverage an accountability system. To “be accountable,” all you need is a clear goal and a willingness to let others help you achieve it.

According to research, the two factors that effectively help people achieve the behavior change they desire are incentives and accountability.

Achieving anything in life takes practice. Writing every day, working out, eating healthy, etc. are practices that get better with time. Whether you want to change your habits, health, body, relationship or your finances, identifying the right commitment system can make it easy for you to reach your goals.

When you are accountable to someone or a group of people for doing what you said you would do, you can easily get stuff done because you engage the power of social expectations.

When you tell your boss you will get the proposal done by the end of the week, you are more likely to stick to it and do it. When you tell a client you’ll send over a report, you deliver. The expectation alone is enough motivation to get you to commit to it and get it done.

However, when you tell yourself — and no one else — that you will quit smoking, start a new gym routine, write a book, launch a meaningful project or quit your “just okay” job in order to pursue your life’s work, you are less likely to do it. It’s easy to choose something else more comfortable and make excuses.

Accountability accelerates your performance

The American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) did a study on accountability and found that you have a 65% of completing a goal if you commit to someone. And if you have a specific accountability appointment with a person you’ve committed, you will increase your chance of success by up to 95%.

Today, right now, you can make a commitment that matters to your goal. You can choose your spouse, a reliable friend or friends and tell them what your goal is and why it is important for you to achieve it. Or blog about your most important goal and share your progress with your audience.

When you make your goals public, you receive a combination of responses you can use to fuel your desire to succeed!

Agree on what you’d like them to do if you don’t follow through. If you are both not committed to the accountability program, other daily activities will take precedent. Find someone who will challenge, engage and evoke a sense of accomplishment in you.

Putting accountability to work

Put structures and systems in place to measure and record your progress. Schedule regular appointments to check in. It can be over email, mobile or in person. If possible, schedule these times in advance so that they’re not lost or forgotten in the busyness of everyday life.

Move beyond mere talk and commit to specific actions that will move your goals forward, and agree with someone else to hold you accountable.

It’s the perfect commitment system you need for long-term goals. If your goal demands it, seek out people, mentors, coaches or resources that can offer expert support and the knowledge you need to succeed. If you are struggling to stick to a gym, diet or writing plan, an accoutablity partner or audience can make a huge difference.

Sign a commitment contract!

A Commitment contract is a binding agreement you sign with yourself to ensure that you follow through with your goals. StickK, a productivity app built purposely for that, can help you achieve your goals over a period of time. It does this by utilizing the psychological power of loss aversion and accountability to drive behavior change.

StickK asks users to define their goal (whatever it is!), pick a timeline to accomplish it, and put something at stake (whether it’s money or their reputation). If you don’t fulfill your commitment with stickK, it automatically tells your friends and opens you up to endless mockery.

If you want to take accountability to a whole new level, especially on regular basis, consider joining a habit group where members keep track of their results. If you are serious about achieving your goals, it can be one of your most potent sources of support and accountability.

If you intend to quit smoking, exercise more, study a new language, take control of your finances, eat healthier, start a new reading habit, or manage your time better, an accountabilty system can guide you!

Give someone the permission to hold you accountable!

When you go public with your goal, you allow others to rally around and encourage you. In the “ This Time Next Year” TV Show , people publicly pledge to work on a single goal, and report back to the show the same time next year about what they’ve been able to do. They share the dreams they’re desperate to achieve over the next 12 months.

Everyone who appears on the show has to come back to update the audience about their progress. The declaration makes them work hard at it. The public holds contestants accountable. And the show requires guests to send weekly or monthly updates.

Contestants are motivated to push themselves to reach the goal. What they set out to do are difficult but realistic. But once they are accountable to the public and the show, they do everything they can to achieve them. One contestant said in an interview: “As part of the show, I had to do a video diary each week, so I’d do mine every Sunday and I’d have to take photos of my progress, too.”

With the right support and help, you can do better and actually achieve your goals this year. The likelihood of getting new habits to stick, or reaching your goals is remarkably higher when you set a time to report back to someone on your progress.

“When performance is measured, performance improves. When performance is measured and reported, the rate of improvement accelerates.” — Thomas S. Monson

Build an accountability plan into your next big goal, and see the difference it makes! If you want to improve your chances of success, use the power of accountability.

If you enjoyed this post, you will love Postanly Weekly . It’s my FREE weekly digest of the best science-based productivity, and self improvement posts from around the web. And my best posts of the week. Join 8000+ readers.

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