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Practical Teaching Derived from almost 60 Years of Trading Experience and 27 Years of Mentoring .  Click here to learn about private mentoring with Master Trader Joe Ross.

Plans and Objectives

I was watching an old movie "Coach Carter," starring Samuel L. Jackson. I couldn't help thinking about the many similarities between what a coach must do to prepare his players and what a trader must do to prepare to trade. Since trading is largely a self-directed business venture, embarking on a trading career requires that you are able to set clearly defined objectives and develop a specific pla...
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Contrarian Trader

Being a contrarian trader means not just following the crowd. It means being willing to break the rules when necessary! Statistics show that the “crowd” loses close to 80% of the time position trading, and very close to 90% of the time day trading.  Why would anyone want to do what all those people are doing? So, what is it the crowd is doing?  For the most part they are struggling with ...
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The Nature of the Trading Business

Consider the following: As a trader you are in a business. Your strongest opponent has plenty of capital. He follows a program and he does it without emotion. He is totally aware of the fact that no one knows where the next tick will fall. Whereas he usually has good insights regarding the major forces that drive the market, he does not fool himself into thinking he can explain the vagrancies of p...
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Pulling the Trigger

Pulling the Trigger
Dear Joe, Sometimes I absolutely dread sitting down to trade. I have had so many bad experiences that I’m not sure I can pull the trigger. Is there anything I can do about it? What happens to us as we trade colors the way we see things in the market and influences the way we approach them. We take a big hit in a particular market, and we decide never to trade there again. Or, when we have a great ...
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Developing a Trading Style

Developing a Trading Style
Master Traders develop a style that is a reflection of their education and character. Most individual trading styles are either positional or combinational and, rarely, a synthesis of both. However, there are other styles.  Positional traders take x amount of positions within a specific price area where the market is thought to be favorable to their trading strategy. This may occur on short t...
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A Great Lesson

A Great Lesson
From a longtime friend and student:  "I thought that I’d pass on something that you might want to share with your trading community.  I spent way too long thinking that range bars and/or tick bars were my way to the holy grail and I would like to tell you what I realized and why I think I was wrong." "First some background:  I got started down that path, because wasn’t seeing format...
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More About Losses

More About Losses
How should you feel about losses? I once read somewhere that you are supposed to love losses. Does that make sense to you? It doesn't to me. The worst aspect of losing is that it tends to create pessimism. Traders should feel bad when they lose money only if they fought the market trend, or violated their own trading strategies. The best traders have a healthy "so what, big deal!" attitude that ma...
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Second Look

Second Look
Taking a second look at potential trades at times results in “why didn’t I see this before?”  For instance, what if you are looking at a market as it approaches a support area?  Isn’t it reasonable to ask yourself, “If this market breaks through and I am long, what will I do?”  Ask yourself how such an event would change the picture.  If you have a position, will you still want...
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Creativity in your Trading-the Spiritual Factor

Creativity in your Trading-the Spiritual Factor
I was asked the following question: “Joe, is it important to be creative in your trading?” I’m not sure I can describe it in terms of importance.  The creative process is somewhat of a mystery, even to scientists who study it, but that is only because scientists do not recognize the spiritual factors of our lives and consequently in our trading. The Bible says: “There is a spirit in man.”&nbs...
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Worthy of Posting - You Need to Know

Worthy of Posting - You Need to Know
I came across a very good article from the "Sovereign Man by Simon Black" - Please send this on to family and friends!   "A few days ago the following information was put out by a finance professor at Columbia University in New York City who has been doing a deep dive on the financial management industry. " "His results were pretty concerning." "One of the things that he said was that fund ma...
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Time stops in intraday trading

Time stops in intraday trading
For the most part, trader’s stops are based on money, ticks, pips or some percentage of their trading account. All of these are money management stops. In this respect, the level selected for the stop should take into consideration your risk tolerance. However, very few traders use time stops in addition to money management stops. Time stops are trade management stops. Using a time stop is quite s...
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Trading education

Trading education
It seems as though everyone believes in trading education except those who really need it. For years, knowledgeable brokers have advocated it.  Trading coaches recommend it. And great traders are also believers. Why then do wannabe and aspiring traders not believe in trading education? Why are beginners so reluctant to shell out a few bucks to get the education they need in order to be succes...
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Adaptation to Market Realities

Adaptation to Market Realities
Many times in the past I’ve written about the need to adapt, the need to be able to change your behavior relative to the market because the markets are ever-changing.  I’ve stated that mechanical systems may be workable, but for only a short time relative to the life of markets.  You must learn to trade what you see, and to understand what you see on a chart. When I first began trading t...
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Trading Discipline

  Trading discipline exists in two distinct parts: ·          Before your order is filled. ·          After your order is filled. Let’s look at each of these categories, because both are tremendously important. Trading Discipline Before Your Order Is Filled: Here we are talking about all the things you do as a tra...
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Maintaining Discipline: When Past Choices Influence Future Decisions

Traders and investors have difficulty "letting their profits run." When you see your investment increase in value, it's hard to avoid selling early to lock in profits. But not every trade goes your way, so when you come upon a trade that does produce a profit, it's vital for your long-term success to optimize the profits for that particular trade. You must make more profits on your winning trades ...
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Trading for a living

Trading for a living involves more than getting in and out of the market at the right time, and more than thinking about moving averages and indicators. Trading is a business, not just a job, and every business in the world has to be managed. Every business involves the managerial functions of organizing, planning, delegating, directing, and controlling. If you, the trader, are to perform these fu...
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Keeping Your Focus Right

Some time ago I spent 4 days in a Forex trading office, teaching and working with the traders there. It was interesting to see how these traders speak with one another, and to listen to what they say. I couldn’t help making some observations which I will now share with you. If you are a part- or full-time trader, you may have enjoyed the attention this wild and wooly occupation brings at social ga...
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When Low Probability Setups Seem Attractive

“I’ll worry about it later?” When trying to deal with the fact that we must eventually cope with an unpleasant event, such statements help us get through life. We often put off things we don’t want to do, hoping that we will gather enough energy and enthusiasm to deal with them in the future. Take your taxes for instance. Do you wait until the last day to pay them? Why not start working on your ta...
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Self-forgiveness and resolution

  If your financial losses have injured or hurt your personal relationships, you must apologize and ask those persons for their forgiveness. Most people will forgive you immediately but whether or not they forgive you is unimportant. It is most important that you forgive yourself and resolve not to repeat the same mistakes. It’s also important to realize that if the offended person does not f...
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Emotions in Context

When you put your money on the line, it's hard to avoid getting a little emotional. Beginning traders may be especially prone to experience a roller-coaster ride of emotions, feeling euphoric after a winning streak, yet disappointed after a string of losses. How well do you handle emotions? Winning traders control their emotions. They don't let their emotions control them. But emotions don't happe...
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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.