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Trading Educators Blog

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Educator for Futures Spreads, Options, Swing/Day Trading, and Editor of Traders Notebook. You can read my bio by following this link.


Avoiding Stress

Avoiding Stress
Trading can be difficult. It often requires you to look for trading opportunities during off hours. You can be making the mistake of thinking you have to take trade after trade during the trading day. When you think you have to trade all the time, trading can become a real labor, something difficult to keep at doing. Even the most exciting, rewarding activity can become commonplace if you drive yo...
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Your Worst Enemy

Your Worst Enemy
  In general, we are our own worst enemy when it comes to trading. If you're not careful, you will be your own worst enemy. There are many ways to sabotage yourself as a trader.   Not creating a trading plan, or creating one and then not following it are two of the most common.   Some ways to self-defeat are deep seated; they lurk at the back of your mind and work behind the scenes...
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When it comes to trading it seems that the more you know, the less you know, and the more you become confused.

When it comes to trading it seems that the more you know, the less you know, and the more you become confused.
  People have the tendency to believe that the accuracy of their forecasts increases with more information. This is the illusion of knowledge - that more information increases your knowledge about something and improves your decisions. However, this is not always the case - increased levels of information do not necessarily lead to greater knowledge. There are three reasons for this. First, s...
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Unlike many games and sports, trading has an additional factor: the market!

Unlike many games and sports, trading has an additional factor: the market!
Imagine playing tennis if the ball had a mind of its own, if it could run off to the sidelines and bounce up and down for a minute or two. Imagine a game of golf in which the ball could occasionally go off down the fairway, dance about, and do whatever it wanted. Imagine a chess game in which the pieces suddenly became worthless, or a hockey game in which the puck suddenly went against everything ...
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Anticipation regarding Losses

Anticipation regarding Losses
Trading is a business where you expect to see more losing trades than winners. Expecting to win is apt to produce more disappointment than joy. That doesn’t mean you won’t have a high percentage of winning trades, but it is safer to anticipate otherwise. To the beginning trader, especially, this fact of life can be stress producing and somewhat disappointing. How you cope with losses is all a matt...
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Spread Trading Idea 03/31: ZSX17 - 2*ZCN17

Spread Trading Idea 03/31: ZSX17 - 2*ZCN17
Today I am looking at a so called ratio spread: Long 1 November Soybean and short 2 July Corn. The spread looks interesting to me because it is trading at a level where it could turn around again and follow its seasonal pattern to the up-side. The current level (approx. 235) has provided support several times. The seasonal statistic looks promising as well, with 17 winning trades in a row. But thi...
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How to Approach Trading - Part 7

Conclusion It is critical to develop a well thought out and organized trading plan. It is then important to have the discipline needed to follow it. Diversify your trading into several unrelated markets, or focus on one market and time frame where you have seen you can make money. Trading, by its nature is not investing. Trading requires consistent monitoring on at least a daily basis because of t...
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How to Approach Trading - Part 6

Manage the Trade Once you get into a trade, you must eventually get out. Some argue that this is more important than where you get into a trade. My experience has been that any fool can get into the market, but it takes a successful trader to consistently get out with a win. As I follow the markets, I find there are four reasons to get out of a trade. Prices move significantly against my positio...
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Can Trading be trained?

  Please listen to the following podcast when you have a few minutes: https://soundcloud.com/bloomberg-business/the-incredible-true-story-of-the-real-life-trading-places I found the podcast interesting because of a few facts I want to discuss in today’s blog post. First of all, I am also a believer that trading can be trained but not necessarily everyone can trade. Trading requires a certain ...
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How to approach trading - Part 5

Follow the Markets After you've determined your strategy and the market or markets you will trade, you can start following the price action. It is important to follow each market consistently and see the trading opportunities as they develop. Jumping around from one market to another often leads to missed or late execution of your method. I think it's important to let the market tell you what to d...
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How to Approach Trading - Part 4

Diversify:  Next, you'll need to choose which markets to follow. Diversification is one of the crucial factors in the success of some, but not all trading plans, and may in fact make the difference between success and failure of the plan. Putting all your eggs in one basket is not a good idea for some traders. This approach takes the position that rather than trading ten contracts in one mark...
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How to Approach Trading - Part 3

How to Get Started:  I've seen many different trading plans. Whether they're two paragraphs or ten pages long, they put forth a way of looking at the market and they attempt to create some framework for approaching the markets. A good plan will include a well-tested strategy, a trading method, or a setup. Having a positive expectation should allow you to have the confidence to start trading y...
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How to Approach Trading - Part 2

Discipline is the Key:  You will need discipline in several areas to be successful. First you'll need the discipline to make a plan, rather than shoot from hip. Without discipline, many approach the markets like a craps table and they can expect the same results; short-term successes based on luck and long-term losses based on randomness. Second you'll need the discipline to follow the plan. ...
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How to Approach Trading - Part 1

Develop a Trading Plan:  The main message I want traders to understand is how important the disciplined execution of a well thought out trading plan is in today's markets. Nobody knows for sure what a given market will do next. Having a plan of attack will allow you to successfully cope with the uncertainty that is an inherent part of trading. I think it makes good common sense to have a well...
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Trading Idea: GFJ17+ZCK17-2xLEQ17

  Today I am looking at a very “strange” butterfly spread: Long 1 April Feeder Cattle and one May Corn and short 2 Live Cattle August. I have to admit that it is difficult to find an entry into this trade by looking for chart patterns but it is easy to see the possible support around the current level. OK, the spread moved a bit lower in July last year but this happened when there was not eno...
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Do Something Else!

You need to find other things to do while padding the time waiting for better trades. Try to study the markets or different ways of trading, or simply do something completely different like going to the beach. It is critical that you learn to enjoy yourself in ways other than being in a trade. The fact is, if you are trading in a professional way, you are out of the market much of time. So you ne...
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Optimized Entry or Exit

Optimized entry (green vertical line on the chart below) or exit (red vertical line on the chart below) is part of seasonal patterns. For example: the spread X–Y shows a strong seasonal up move in July with an optimized entry date on July 3 and an optimized exit date on July 28. This means “usually” the spread moves up between July 3 and July 28, but this is just based on statistical data of the p...
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Simplicity of Trading

Trading requires that you take decisive action. Implementing a successful trading plan quite often requires that you make quick decisions when the right market conditions come into play. The more complicated you make your trading, the harder it becomes to make quick decisions. We all know it can be hard to make trading decisions when your money is on the line. Most of us have a natural desire to a...
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Develop a Trading Plan

The main message I want traders to understand is how important the disciplined execution of a well thought out trading plan is in today's markets. Nobody knows for sure what a given market will do next. Having a plan of attack will allow you to successfully cope with the uncertainty that is an inherent part of trading. I think it makes good common sense to have a well thought out plan of attack fo...
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Vacation trip to Samaná

From Saturday October 29 until November 5 my wife and I took a vacation trip to Samaná, Dominican Republic. From Santiago, where we live, it takes about a 3 hour drive to get there. I love the region of Samaná because it is still very virgin compared to Bavaro or Punta Cana with only a few hotels. Usually we stay at a hotel on Cayo Levantado, a small island in the Samaná Bay. I love Cayo Levantad...
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Derivative transactions, including futures, are complex and carry a high degree of risk. They are intended for sophisticated investors and are not suitable for everyone. There are numerous other factors related to the markets in general or to the implementation of any specific trading program which cannot be fully accounted for in the preperation of hypothetical performance results, and all of which can adversely affect actual trading results. For more information, see the Risk Disclosure Statement for Futures and Options.