Quality Control, at least as I define it, refers to a trader's strict code of excellence surrounding pattern selection. The code declares that only the best of the best of the best patterns are acceptable if one intends to put real money at risk in the financial markets. It is the opposite of the go out and wing it approach, something that far too many novices employ. In fact, quite a few so-called advanced traders fall into this trap too, relying on their extensive trading knowledge to make up for a dangerous lack of precision.

I'll tell you something right now. I'd far sooner place my money on an intermediate trader, who practices a fanatical code of quality control, than on a trader with tons of market experience who has a tendency scatter his or her chips all over the market, and counts on QUANTITY to provide the winning edge. While I can't guarantee that the first trader will make money, I can all but guarantee that the second trader won't. At the very least, he or she will drastically reduce profit margins, and will probably set the stage for a disaster scenario somewhere down the road.

Don't get me wrong, some traders can seamlessly trade several different styles, timeframes and markets at once, taking on a whole host of different positions, while still abiding by a strict code of quality control. It's just that such traders are rare. Most market participants end up dropping their standards under such conditions, no matter how hard they try to avoid it.

Believe it or not, it's often a sign of trading self-mastery if one passes on many of the stocks in their watch list, only to see those trades go on to work out nicely. As long as a large number of the ones ACTUALLY taken also outperform, then that trader is probably doing something right. Why? Because this is a sign of intense discrimination - something that's going to be critical for long term survival as a trader.

Remember, we're never going to capture ALL of the opportunities that the market has to offer - not even within our own specialty niche. By putting even the best candidates through the quality control wringer, and accepting that some will inevitably launch without us, we guarantee that we will remain forever established at the very highest possible odds.

This is how you win consistently in the market, folks. Lead from quality...and the profits will follow.