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Dec
06

Erratic Markets

Erratic Markets
Recently, I was asked the following question: Do you trade strictly by technical analysis or do you still try to watch the fundamentals as well ? For years I have differentiated between chart and technical analysis. Please allow me the courtesy of calling what I use as primarily 'chart' analysis, secondarily at times, technical analysis and when I think it is appropriate I throw in a bit of fundam...
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48 Hits
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Dec
06

Talking to Myself

Talking to Myself
I have to admit I do talk to myself at times, maybe even a lot, especially when I'm facing a loss. Let's say I'm down a bunch of points and it came as the result of a surprise move in the market. The temptation is to think, "I have to find a way to get it back." I hate ending the day down a bunch of money. However, if I give in to that thought, I am focusing on the loss and I'm no longer in the ma...
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129 Hits
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Nov
29

Can exchanges change the rules any time they want to?

Can exchanges change the rules any time they want to?
​ The answer is yes. Such an event happened at the Comex a number of years ago! It was called the "Great Silver Fiasco," which was associated with the Hunt brothers. Silver made 19 consecutive moves to the downside, and destroyed several individual commodity traders, when the Comex Board of Directors changed the exchange rules to allow silver prices to fall and not rise. A "liquidation only" restr...
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78 Hits
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Nov
29

Pace Yourself

Pace Yourself
During ongoing activities, such as day trading, you have to learn how to pace yourself. This means alternating between times of intense activity with times of greatly decreased activity, times that require very little of your attention. These "rest periods" should take place when you do not have to quickly react to sudden market moves. This is hard advice to follow for some traders—paranoid, obses...
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159 Hits
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Nov
14

Practice

Practice
If you play tennis once a week against an opponent who plays tennis five times a week, who is likely to win? If you play chess or backgammon twice a year against someone who plays every day, who will mostly likely win? You don't have to start trading real money right away. Whenever someone goes through my mentoring program, there comes a time when I encourage the student to start paper trading bef...
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128 Hits
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Nov
14

Sinful Trader

Sinful Trader
From time to time we get this very important question: Is trading a sin? Often this question comes from people in ministry who want to become traders in order to fund various church activities. The answer is: No, trading is not a sin, but trading without knowing what you are doing can lead to a lot of problems. Trading in and of itself is not considered to be gambling. The futures markets exist as...
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139 Hits
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Nov
08

Counting the Cost

Counting the Cost
​ Almost anyone who wants to succeed needs to ask themselves certain questions before beginning to trade. Essentially, it is a matter of counting the cost BEFORE, not after you decide you want to pursue trading as a serious part of your life. What time period trader are you? How long do you feel comfortable holding a trade and how such financial risk can you comfortably assume on a one contract ba...
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138 Hits
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Nov
08

Write Down Your Thoughts

Write Down Your Thoughts
​ Have you ever made a dumb mistake? Perhaps you knew you should have used a protective stop before leaving for two days to take your children on a road trip. You may have thought, "I'll stop off at an Internet café and monitor the trade." But it didn't happen. You got wrapped up taking care of your children or worrying about traffic, and you didn't get around to looking at the market. It fell har...
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135 Hits
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Oct
25

FEAR

FEAR
  There are three foes you must overcome in order to become an adequate trader. The first foe is fear. If a trader runs away out of fear and avoids trading, nothing will happen except that he will never learn. Fear causes your logic to become fuzzy and unclear. Lack of clarity becomes the second foe you have to overcome. Clearness of mind about the trading process removes fears. If you yield ...
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176 Hits
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Oct
25

Break Time

Break Time
​ Reality is subjective. There are different states of reality in the same way that there are different states of mind, or different states of emotion. After a series of setbacks, for example, the world can look bleak. Yet after a series of big wins, in contrast, you can feel euphoric, even omnipotent. So which is the true reality? This is a hard question to answer. Perhaps it is best to consider ...
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171 Hits
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Oct
19

Many Kinds of Emotions Go with Winning and Losing

Many Kinds of Emotions Go with Winning and Losing
Once a trade is entered, there are two possible outcomes: Win or lose. Between the two is the breakeven point, and because it is in-between, it's psychologically significant. Losing is involved with fear and hope. Winning is involved with greed. When on the losing side of a trade, the breakeven point is a place that inspires hope. Being human we have a natural tendency to avoid risk and loss. When...
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170 Hits
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Oct
19

Making Progress

Making Progress
​ Learning to master the markets can sometimes seem like climbing a tall mountain: You know it can be done, but you don't know how to do it, or whether you could do it if you had to. The task may seem insurmountable, and as you think about it, daunting. Fully mastering the markets takes time; time is needed to gain the vast experience required to trade in a variety of market conditions, and the ad...
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169 Hits
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Oct
12

The Long Run Is Longer Then You Think

The Long Run Is Longer Then You Think
Many traders are smart enough to know that they will win in the long run by taking only the best trades, but become impatient due to the lack of anything happening. They forget that the long run can be "long". Taking only the best trades can be frustrating. They come along rarely, and even when they do there is no guarantee of winning with them. Long gaps occur in between. We can become angry and ...
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184 Hits
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Oct
11

Rise to the Occasion

Rise to the Occasion
Trading is a challenging profession. Many seek out success, but few make it. The markets don't always cooperate with your plans. You can trade all day, and work hard at it, but you can still end up losing money. Thinking of the big picture helps ease the pressure. You can calmly think, "What's there to worry about? It's just one trade among many. It's just one day. There are many more days to trad...
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187 Hits
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Oct
05

How to handle fear?

How to handle fear?
​ Let's get one thing straight. Fear, for the majority of traders is a very real thing. You have it, I have it. Others have it as well. In order to become a professional trader, you must learn to deal with fear. The first step is to acknowledge that you have, which is what you have done. Once you admit to fear, you can begin to deal with it. When you notice the impulse to trade based on strong fea...
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209 Hits
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Oct
05

Chess and Trading. What do you think?

Chess and Trading. What do you think?
​Although I haven't the faintest idea of how to play chess, it certainly seems like a great idea. I imagine you can improve stock and futures trading by learning how to play chess. It might also help to develop an interest in physics. Every trader should learn to develop his problem-solving and pattern recognition abilities. I've been told that nothing does this better than learning how to play ch...
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190 Hits
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Oct
03

Chess and Trading. What do you think?

Chess and Trading. What do you think?
Although I haven't the faintest idea of how to play chess, it certainly seems like a great idea. I imagine you can improve stock and futures trading by learning how to play chess.It might also help to develop an interest in physics. Every trader should learn to develop his problem-solving and pattern recognition abilities. I've been told that nothing does this better than learning how to play ches...
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191 Hits
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Sep
28

The Ideal Parameters for Successful Trading

The Ideal Parameters for Successful Trading
Your trading goals and objectives must be possible to complete. They cannot be too abstract or too high. It is best to just execute a trade rather than being overly concerned with profits or achieving unrealistic performance standards. You must be able to intensely concentrate on what you are doing. While trading, it's vital that you have a detailed trading plan and control risk so that you can fo...
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201 Hits
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Sep
28

Talk to Yourself

Talk to Yourself
​ Yesterday, Jack went over to his best friend Tom's house to look at his new Porsche Turbo. Jack has wanted a Porsche since he was a teenager but could never afford one. Four years ago he taught Tom how to trade. Tom's been doing great ever since. Each year he has made greater and greater profits, even during bear markets. Jack can't help but envy Tom's success, yet at the same time, he berates h...
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169 Hits
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Sep
21

Being Flexible

Being Flexible
By being flexible I mean that over time, your trading philosophy will undergo changes. These changes are brought about because of external events (economic considerations, natural disasters, political events, etc.), and because of internal events, usually my own mistakes. My views change as economic, political, and technological changes occur both on and now off our planet. My views change as I se...
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237 Hits
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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.