Heres my own guideline for account management (not just margin management) — it has been working for me but may not be suitable for you. I try to not put at risk more than 10% of my account on any one trade. For example, lets say I start with $2,000 in my account.
That means that for any trade I look at, I dont want to risk more than $200. I have to plan my entry and stop loss placement so that if the trade goes against me I can exit without losing more than $200. Sometimes a market will move so fast against you that you cant escape according to plan, but on balance it should work out.
If you ignore margin for a moment, you can see that this will give you at least 10 trades to work with. If you have been practicing your system through paper trading and are confident enough to trade with real money, 10 losing trades in a row should be a rare thing. The $200 limit keeps me away from some trades where the market typically moves more than that, but thats OK. Theres no requirement to trade. Be patient like the hawk until your trade shows itself to you.
Also, the smaller your account the fewer markets you can trade because of margin requirements, but there will be plenty of opportunity for you.
You ll have to experiment with account management strategies to find your own comfort level but you MUST do it it. Trading is like any other business. Your first goal must be to STAY IN BUSINESS. You cant succeed if you are out of the game, is that right?
Best of luck to you all,