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


Can Trading be trained?

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

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

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 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

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

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 nee...
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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 ...
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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 Levantado...
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As a percent of capital, should I go big or small?

Careful risk management is a key component you being able to trade at your best. Comfort level is really important when it comes to risk. You need to be comfortable in three areas: Emotional, Mental, and Financial. We could even add Physical to that list without having to make too great a stretch. If there is a real danger that you will lose large amounts of capital, or money that you just can't a...
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Overconfidence

When traders are hot and seemingly cannot lose: When they make several trades that perform exceedingly well, there is a surge of human pride. They feel like the pitcher who strikes out the side for all nine innings of baseball. They feel invincible, brilliant, and master traders to say the least. When a trader feels like that he thinks he can do no wrong and make no mistakes. He comes to believe a...
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Time

You pay a price for every profit you take with time and effort required to obtain it. Not to mention the years of experience upon which your knowledge and system methodology have been constructed. The slippage, and getting knocked out on a winning trade by one tick have a cumulative mental attrition that can only be offset by constant profits, vacations and other interests not market related. Time...
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Is trading more of an art than a science?

I believe trading is far more an art than a science. For one thing, if trading were a science, then we should all be able to enter the same trade at the same time, and exit at the same time getting identical results. We all know that just isn’t so. Yet if trading were scientific, we should be able to get identical results doing the same thing. I believe such expectation describes the “scientific m...
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Don't let your emotions influence your decisions in trading

Trading is nothing more than a long, random statistical run. An experienced trader knows that even if he is in a losing streak right now, as long as he sticks to his already approved trading plan, he will come out a winner in the long run. This is why becoming angry is pointless. In fact, it is worse than pointless, because heated emotions often lead to poor decisions in subsequent trades. In such...
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Stressful Times

We are living in stressful times. However, In times of greatest economic stress, the worst thing you can do as a trader or investor is to panic. Reactions to situations that are born of fear are rarely wise or helpful. Perhaps you didn't sell before everyone else began to, and the market is in a slump. Now you’re facing a huge loss, all in one day. Your first thought may be to call your broker and...
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A typical Traders Notebook Outright Swing Trade

Today I want to show you a trade we had the other day with our new service. As you can see below, we were looking for a few entries in several markets. We were filled in the long Soybean Meal trade at 301.5 with an initial stop at 299.0 (the risk was $250 per contract traded). During the overnight session the market moved a bit, but everything was very quiet. At the open of the day session the mar...
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Five Basic Steps To Becoming A Successful Trader

1. Focus on trading vehicles, strategies, and time horizons that suit your personality 2. Identify non-random price behavior 3. Absolutely convince yourself that what you have found is statistically valid 4. Set up trading rules 5. Follow the rules 6. Don’t be afraid to abandon a rule that is no longer working.   In a nutshell, it all comes down to: Do your own thing (independence); And do th...
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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 preparation 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.