Other intervening factors can contribute to trading outcomes, and traders need to avoid using them as crutches in the face of both good and bad results. Case in point: Charles Kirk has an excellent post on the role of luck in trading. Basically, you make your own luck through proper due diligence, positive attitude and systematic trade execution. There's no free lunch in the market. For the full text, see:
There are many free sites that provide trading algorithm testing, both forward and backward. Several of the sites have their own programmable rating systems to enable traders to rank stocks based on a variety of technical and fundamental criteria. Six of my favorites are: http://moneycentral.msn.com/investor/StockRating/srsmain.asp
A wide variety of paid sites provide daily statistical and technical perspectives on the market, including timing indicators and signals. Two of the best are:
I have mentored many traders and in my experience the ones that excel are the ones that think systematically, who have attained the self-disciple and focus to follow a trading plan (remember Curtis Faith from last week?), and who understand that trading is a business .... a serious business for those who seek to make it their livelihood. Successful trading is an incremental process based on precise and methodical risk management. Trading is not a hobby, a casual past time or a gaming proxy. Contrary to the Gordon Gecko persona, good traders also tend to display a profound humbleness, perhaps because they understand the fragile nature of their success. Having been a business owner and operator in my pre trading life, I understand these concepts quite clearly and when I was struggling with my early trading a couple readings of Alexander Elder's "Trading for a Living" brought things back into focus. I hope that some of the resources mentioned here can facilitate your path to consistently successful trading because there' only one thing more painful than learning from experience ....... and that is not learning from experience.