Barry Ritholtz offers an investor checklist of the most common errors investors make:
1. High Fees Are A Drag on Returns
2. Mutual Fund Are Inferior to ETFs
3. Reaching for Yield is Extremely Dangerous
4. Asset Allocation Decisions matter more than stock selection
5. Passive is usually better than Active Management
6. You must understand “The Long Cycle”
7. Behavioral Issues Are Costly
8. Cognitive Errors as well
9. Understand your own risk tolerance
10. Pay Guys Like Me For the Right Reason
White Ritholtz was clearly not writing with only the trend following trader in mind, many of these are spot on for trend following.
Some key questions asked by Brett N. Steenbarger, Ph.D. in his ‘A Trader’s Self-Evaluation Checklist’?
Are trading losses often followed by further trading losses? Do you end up losing money in ‘revenge trading’ just to regain money lost? Do you finish trading prematurely when you’re up money, failing to exploit a good day?
Do you cut winning trades short because, deep inside, you don’t think you’ll be able to make large profits? Do you become stubborn in positions, turning small losers into large ones?
Is trading making you happy, proud, fulfilled, and content, or does it more often leave you feeling unhappy, guilty, frustrated, and dissatisfied? Are you having fun trading even when it’s hard work?
Are you making trades because the market is giving you opportunity, or are you placing trades to fulfill needs — for excitement, self-esteem, recognition, etc. — that are not being met in the rest of your life?