There are a hundreds if not thousands of trading books out there. Every book is similar to one another which is they all show you strategies that worked for the stock trader that wrote it. Of course not every method will work, sometimes it is not the appropriate time to trade certain methods however people still do it anyway. The same goes for DVD's, courses, seminars, etc. The only true way to be successful, not only in this business but anything is to put your own time and effort into something. You have to do the homework. We as humans always look for instant gratification or the quickest path to make money. This does not work in anything you do.
Many people tend to follow people on MSNBC or other TV shows. I don't think negatively about those things, but for a beginner trader it can be very bad because they influence you and put doubt within your mind. I started the trade successfully when I actually turned off the TV. (actually I did not turn it off, I got rid of it). One of the many reasons why I do not have TV. After you develop your own personal skills and find your own method and routine, you can easily turn the TV back on.
Study Material First
In order to first start trading successfully, you need to develop a repertoire of trading tools, stock trading education, knowledge of what's possible, how to manipulate your trades. You acquire this material through books, DVD courses, online websites like this one, and other resources.
After you learn this, then you need to experience some things such as how to be uncomfortable, how to be in pain, how to deal with stress, how to deal with emotions, when you get most of this down then you can move on. How do you do this?
I purposefully put myself in stressful situations. Situations that are usually uncomfortable for most people. Situations that create anxiety for most. Now that I learned how to do this professionally, these kinds of situations with high anxiety do not happen to me very often. I'm extremely calm when someone has road rage at me. I am extremely nice to my enemy or haters.
But how did I do it before? Well I contacted ex-girlfriends, a person you don't like as much, catching yourself during high-emotional peaks. Be aware that emotional control may make you less sensitive to other's emotions... is it worth it? It is for me.
Create Your Methods and Strategies
Once you have a good foundation in base, then it's time to create some strategies that you can use when you are trading in the stock market. Come up with a few different strategies for different situations depending on your trading style or risk and reward tolerance. For example, what will you do if a stock jumps 50%, what will you do if it dives or gets toast 50%? What are you going to do if you are emotional on a certain day... What will you do during the FED announcements, etc.
Are you going to be buying in parts and buy slowly, are you going to go in big right away? Will you have tight stops and sells, or are you willing to give a stock room to oscillate a bit. You have to be mindful of all these things and many others. I cannot possibly list all of them here. It is something you will have to develop from the education you gathered earlier.
Test Your Strategies
After you have a couple strategies in place, and I would not recommend more than two or three because it's just too hard to keep up with, then you want to test them out. When you are testing, you can use paper money, but its not as good. I say this because the anxiety and the emotional level will not be there. Test with real money at least a second time. Buy very minimal shares. If you need to only buy 5 shares, thats fine. Buy 5 shares. Yes you lose money each and every single time probably because of commissions, but the mindset and mentality will be real. You gain so much more from the learning experience. Remember the goal is not to make a fortune in a few days after you read a book or two.
The goal is to develop very healthy and strong strategies for your trading style and to do that you must learn and experience things as real as possible. The only way to do that is with real capital and real money.
Final Stock Trading Words of Wisdom
In order to be successful you must create and develop your own method. You will never be successful in this business following somebody else whether it is on TV, stock picking website, or even myself. My goal is to open your mind up and hopefully you are successful enough to where you do not need me anymore. Then hopefully you can contribute back to others and a little piece of me will be passed down through time with every person.