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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.

Over-Trading

Over-trading fits in under the topic of risk management. We are talking “risk control.” First, I would say that risk management is one of the most important things that you really need to understand. Second, you must begin to under-trade, under-trade, under-trade. Whatever you think your position ought to be, cut it at least in half. My experience with novice traders is that they trade 3 to 5 time...
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Learning from losses

Winners learn more from losses than from profits. When a profit is taken, there may be little room for improvement. When a loss is taken, a trader's self-discipline is the first thing to be examined. The second aspect of a loss is how did the actual price action cause the loss? Was there a trend reversal; an unexpected gap? Most beginning traders sustain losses due to emotional reactions. Traders ...
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Ego-less Trading

The majority of traders might think it would be impossible to trade in an "ego-less state", but this is not the case. To trade in an ego-less state means simply to not let the ego and emotions get involved. While trading in an ego-less state, winning or losing on a single trade become almost meaningless when the focus lies only on the whole picture. This is the soul of ego-less trading. Trading wi...
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The Best Trader in the World

If you had to describe the best trader in the world, who would that person be? What qualities would he have? Take a moment to envision him. This is important, because this is the person you want to be, so you need to have an exact picture of him and what his qualities are. The answer is that he is someone whose trading is somehow “complete”. Someone who is controlling his trading at all times; som...
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Controlling Emotions

Winning traders cannot afford to be influenced by their emotions. The nature of trading demands an objective, logical approach. If you experience extreme excitement after a win and extreme disappointment after a loss, you will be living on an emotional roller coaster: up and down, up and down. Many beginning traders have head knowledge of what it means to control their emotions. They can imagine a...
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Fear of missing “the big one”

The best way to handle that kind of fear is walk away from the situation. Get up, and walk away from the computer and any news you may be watching. Remove yourself from whatever it is that triggered the fear. Do anything that will take you out of the fear/panic mode. Don’t sit down to trade again, and don’t return to the markets until you have managed to achieve some emotional control over your fe...
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Becoming a Perfect Trader

As traders we have a strong need to want complete control over the outcome of a trade. We want to believe that if we analyze the markets long enough, we'll have perfect knowledge and we can trade to perfection. But such desire leads to wrong assumptions that can do us more harm than good. Assuming we must have control restricts our actions and reactions, and the result can be unnecessary stress. W...
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Recent comment in this post
Jean1975
In trading you can only control yourself and the risk amount which you a willing to take. Outcome cannot be controlled. Better to ... Read More
Thursday, 26 May 2016 07:53
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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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After closing out a trade

Once you have closed your position, you should record everything about the trade. Write down where you wanted to enter the trade, what you expected out of the trade, and what you actually did get out of the trade. Make sure to include notes that will help you learn from the trade, reasoning what actually took place once you entered the trade. Explain why the trade was a winner or a loser. If you k...
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Thoughts about being an option buyer

An option buyer has the odds strongly stacked against him. What most option buyers don't realize is that in order for them to make money, they must be right in three areas: He has to be right about market direction He has to be right about the degree of market direction He has to know when the market move will move in a certain direction That is definitely worse than being a trader in the underlyi...
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Multi-Leg Spreads

Not many traders are familiar with futures spread trading. Even fewer traders understand multi-leg spreads. However, trading these types of spreads is as easy as trading an outright futures contract. Below is a 3-leg butterfly spread in Lean Hogs that we recently closed out in Traders Notebook : short one contract in June and in August, 2016, and long 2 contracts in July, 2016. The blue line on th...
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Bollinger Bands in a Nutshell

Markets move between low volatility trading range moves and high volatility trend moves. One of the best ways to see this taking place is with the Bollinger Bands. When a market makes an extremely narrow range move the Bollinger Bands will noticeably narrow together. When the bands narrow down it shows decreasing to low volatility condition on prices. Of course, a low volatility market forecasts a...
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3-leg Butterfly Lean Hogs Spread

I've got asked a few times about the 3-leg or butterfly spreads we have been trading in Traders Notebook and therefore I want to show you one of our latest trades. What you can see on the seasonal chart below is a butterfly Lean Hogs spread, long 2 contracts in July and short 1 contract in June and 1 short in August. We've entered the spread on June 30 at 0.0 (red arrow), we covered some contracts...
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Can I really make it as a trader?

You alone determine whether you will succeed or fail at trading. You alone are in control; take responsibility for your performance and your life. There are always tremendous opportunities in the markets. It is not what happens; it is what you do with what happens that makes the difference between profit and loss. However, you cannot marry a market or a single trading style. You have to look. Look...
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Trading Idea for 04/28: Long Jap. Yen

As you can see on the chart below, the 90000 level is an important one. It was a clear resistance level in February and March of this year and could now work as support. I'd try to buy the June Japanese Yen one tick above today's high using the TTE with a first target at around 90470 with the idea of a possible 1-2-3 low. I would risk about $300/contract on the trade. Update 04/28, 6 AM CT: The Ja...
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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 fear. Once you admit to fear, you can begin to deal with it. When you notice the impulse to trade based on strong fear, it is usually best to l...
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Checklist, Trading Plan, Track Record

“ I review my checklist. It’s a handwritten sheet laminated in plastic and taped to the right-hand corner of my desk where I can’t overlook it. If you have a game plan prepared ahead of time, it can help you find courage in the heat of the battle.” - Marty Schwartz Yes, I also have a checklist and I look at it every day. On my checklist you can find reminders like “trade only clear signals, no gue...
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Predicting the Markets

“ Michael Marcus taught me one other thing that is absolutely critical: You have to be willing to make mistakes regularly; there is nothing wrong with it. Michael taught me about making your best judgment , being wrong, making your next best judgment , being wrong, making your third best judgment , and then doubling your money.” – Bruce Kovner This is an immense important quote from Bruce Kovner. ...
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Recent Comments
Jean1975
Great post. The ability to follow your plan, make mistakes regularly and execute trade after trade with consistency and disciplin... Read More
Friday, 22 April 2016 12:05
Andy Jordan
Agree with your 2 additional points (and there are probably many, many more) Jean. All this sounds very simple, doesn't it? Until ... Read More
Friday, 22 April 2016 16:09
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Recommended time frames

Today, I've received the following question: I assume the Ross Hook (RH) and Traders Trick Entry (TTE) are applicable in whatever time frame the trader uses. However, there are some time frames that are simply too erratic or wild to trade. And pertaining to stop running, there must be some that are favorites of those attempting to do so. So is there a recommended time interval from which to trade,...
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Stop Management

Richard Wyckoff wrote: “My stop was moved down so there couldn't be a loss, and soon a slight rally and another break gave me a new stop, which insured a profit, come what might… I strongly advocate this method of profit insuring. The scientific elimination of loss is one of the most important factors in the art, and the operator who fails to properly protect his paper profits will find that many ...
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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.