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Trading Opportunities

Trading Opportunities
Good trading times may be just ahead. Are you ready? It's times like these when the right mental edge can make all the difference. If you want to take advantage of trading opportunities for the New Year, it's vital that you approach trading with the proper mindset. Be ready to work hard and do whatever it takes to come out a winner. Unfortunately, many traders aren't up to the challenge. They don'...
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Why Stops

Why Stops
​ Would you ever think of jumping out of an airplane without a parachute? Of course not, but that's what some people do when they trade the markets. They are very willing to put their money on the line, but they don't have much to protect them from a major disaster. Placing a stop, for example, can prevent you from allowing a small loss to turn into a big one, but many traders avoid placing stops....
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Don't Give In To The Death Wish

Don't Give In To The Death Wish
The death wish is resignation, fatalism, dejection, despair — in the face of "luck" repeatedly turning against us. The death wish is admitting defeat and shrugging our shoulders and throwing up our hands (generally after a string of losses) and not caring from then on whether we win or lose. The death wish is throwing money into the pot fatalistically, to punish ourselves. It is saying, "I might a...
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If You Doubt, You May Be Out

If You Doubt, You May Be Out
​ It's almost impossible to have rock solid confidence as a trader. Sure, some traders can't be thrown off track very easily, but it's natural to feel a little afraid occasionally. Let's look at some of the reasons that you might feel shaken. What the markets will do tomorrow or next week is far from certain, and you don't have a crystal ball. Your information is fallible. And without perfect info...
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What is “walk-forward” testing?

What is “walk-forward” testing?
Walk-forward testing is the first real step in testing any system on live data. A trader should be somewhat confident that the system or method can produce results in line with the hypothetical results received from back testing. At this stage of testing, it's important to watch a trading system or method run over live data for a period of weeks or months until a large, statistically valid univers...
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How to Handle Fear

How to Handle Fear
​ The best way to handle fear comes in two steps: 1. A detailed trading plan 2. Risk control Let's look at risk control first. You have no doubt, read it many times: "Trade with money you can afford to lose." Here's another one: "Trade positions that are so small that you may think, "what's the point of even putting on the trade?"" One more: "Do not over-trade!" All of the above carry essentially ...
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Ready to Lose

Ready to Lose
Imagine what you would do in the following scenario. You have been looking at a position for a week. You had a clear and simple trading plan: Just wait for an announcement at the end of the week, watch prices jump, and then sell. As might be expected, things aren't working as you had planned. First, no clear trend has emerged; prices are moving chaotically up and down. Second, it's been two days s...
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It's the Decision of the Market

It's the Decision of the Market
The market will tell you on any given trade how much money you are going to win (or lose, or break even). It will tell you this quite simply, by how well it is moving or not moving in your direction. If you think, contrary to this, that you have any influence on the outcome of the trade, or that you "deserve" to win more, you will probably overreach yourself. The market will let you know the range...
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Being Flexible

Being Flexible
How flexible are you in your everyday life? When you are in a new city, do you worry about getting lost or do you just go your own way and assume that somehow and someway you'll eventually get back to your hotel? Do you get upset when you are told you are wrong, or do you welcome criticism or an opposing opinion? The ability to be open and flexible often makes the difference between winning and lo...
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Pulling the Trigger

Pulling the Trigger
"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. 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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Handling Success

Handling Success
In his book, "Trading to Win," Dr. Ari Kiev notes, "winning days are often followed by plateaus and losing streaks." Behavioral economist Dr. Terrance Odean observed that novice online investors who had a series of winning trades tended to have periods of overtrading. It's as if they believed they could take more risks, and potentially lose profits, since they had just made more than they expected...
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Take Advantage of New Market Opportunities

Take Advantage of New Market Opportunities
Something is usually going up when something else is going down. Therefore, good trading times may be just ahead. Are you ready? It's times like these when the right mental edge can make all the difference. If you want to take advantage of trading opportunities for the New Year, it's vital that you approach trading with the proper mindset. Be ready to work hard and do whatever it takes to come out...
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Pride Goes Before a Fall

Pride Goes Before a Fall
Next to lack of discipline, I find that pride has resulted in the destruction of many traders. Pride is a powerful emotion. Pride is what we feel when we've made a great trade or done something that makes us look good in the eyes of others. Trading is a tough business. Few traders succeed at it, so when you are doing well, you feel proud. But watch out! There come a time when pride can overpower y...
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Mounting Losses

Mounting Losses
There are at least three things you can do to avoid mounting losses: 1. Write off a relatively small loss 2. Admit your mistakes 3. Don't let the desire to protect your reputation interfere making logical trading decisions. The three are common human shortcomings, and you need to be aware of them. None of us are immune and if you are not aware of these weaknesses you will not be able to keep them ...
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Staying with Winners

Staying with Winners
When you are riding a winner, avoid looking at it all the time.Search out new trades in other markets.Absorb yourself with looking for opportunities elsewhere, if you are the type that must have market action.Diversification is the key word here.But remember, you can afford to take only the very, very best trades elsewhere when you are riding a winner.Don't blow away the profits you are making on ...
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Finding a Balance

Finding a Balance
​ Are you having trouble finding a balance between your trading and the rest of your life? Since you took up trading, do you seem to be possessed by it? Trading can be all-consuming. You don't seem to have time for your family, or any recreational activities. Is it always going to be that way? Have you gotten into something in which you are now trapped? What I'm describing is what happens to many ...
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Is trading futures gambling?

Is trading futures gambling?
​ Trading futures is gambling only when you trade them without full knowledge of what you are doing. There is a good measure of self-knowledge required to choose the proper course to follow if you want to become a trader. It has even been postulated that many small traders in the futures markets, without knowing it, secretly want to lose. They jump in with high hopes—but feeling vaguely guilty. Gu...
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Safe Trading

Safe Trading
​ Humans don't like taking chances with their money. If given the choice, they would take a sure thing rather than a gamble, even if it meant making relatively little profit. What do you think most people would do, take $100 right now or take a gamble in which they would either receive nothing or $200? Most people would take the $100 but would you? If you trade the markets as a short-term trader, ...
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Stress or just Excitement?

Stress or just Excitement?
There is a tendency to become overemotional when trading. Overcoming the propensity to play emotionally requires a conscious commitment to specific trading objectives. This entails choosing a target, developing a strategy, and finding a method for adhering to it. A goal enables you to keep a relatively even keel through good and bad periods, to sustain momentum, and to keep from becoming bored. Of...
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Why do some traders make money with seemingly effortless confidence while others sweat bullets every time they act?

Why do some traders make money with seemingly effortless confidence while others sweat bullets every time they act?
We sometimes delude ourselves into thinking that the most successful traders somehow were somehow born different from the rest of us. We imagine they were born to win no matter what they did. But if that were true, you would also have to believe that those who succeed tend to do so because of their genes, social background, or luck, and not because they pursued success with more diligence, patienc...
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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.