Editor's Note: Gary B. Smith will be back with his regular column on Tuesday morning. Today he's revisiting a past column that strikes to the core of his trading style. This column originally ran on RealMoney Sept. 1, 2004.

In a recent

column, Jon Markman highlighted

The Psychology of Trading

as a valuable resource. Let me add to that list:

Mass Psychology

,

The Disciplined Trader

,

The Mind of a Trader

, and

Trading to Win

.

And since they're so closely related, a few golf books of similar ilk:

Golf: The Mind Game

,

The Tao of Golf

,

Zen Golf

and anything by Bob Rotella.

These are all valuable resources. And all fairly worthless.

Yes, after reading all those books, plus others too numerous to mention, I've come full circle on this whole psychology of trading (or golf) aspect and have boiled down successful trading to a few key elements.

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One, have a method that can make money in most types of markets. Or at least a method that keeps you out of markets where your method isn't suited.

Two, stick to the method.

There, that's it. Honestly, there's nothing fancy about it. Yes, the second facet can be difficult, but that is something learned through experience and success. You don't need to "visualize the trade," "take time to clear your mind" or even "be the ball." No, you just get a plan and stick to it. Everything else is just mumbo-jumbo.

Now is a great time to learn how to make bigger, faster profits with technical analysis and charting. Get a free trial of my newsletter,

The Chartman's Top Stocks, and follow along with me.

Gary B. Smith is a freelance writer who trades for his own account from his Maryland home using technical analysis. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks.

Smith writes a daily technical analysis column for RealMoney.com and also produces a daily premium product for TheStreet.com called The Chartman's Top Stocks --

click here for a free two-week trial. While Gary cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to send your feedback to

gsmith@thestreet.com.

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