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Drawdown is the norm, not the exception

Drawdown is the norm, not the exception
When I started out trading I had the illusion that being a successful trader meant to no longer have drawdowns or at least on very rare occasions. And I think most traders start out with that idea in their mind even though they don’t understand what it actually means. In Trading, you are in a Drawdown anytime you don’t make new equity highs on your account, or if you have multiple accounts across ...
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Market Technicians

Market Technicians
Market technicians tend to peer into market detail from the point of view of mathematics and statistics. A market technician will present you with something like: “There are only four range possibilities for a price bar for any chart time frame: The outside bar; the inside bar, the higher high and higher low, and the lower high and lower low. Using only the open, high, low, mid range, and close da...
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Markets tend to part the foolish from their money

Markets tend to part the foolish from their money
Sometimes you feel that you are able to throw caution to the wind. That is when you must be careful to not spit into it. One satisfying aspect of trading can be identifying a market (or spread) that is undervalued, at support, trending, breaking out, or behaving seasonally – and then seeing it continue to behave as expected. When it does so, it pays to be aggressive – boldly assuming positions, an...
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Becoming a consistent winner

Becoming a consistent winner
Many novice traders underestimate how long it takes to become consistently profitable. They assume they can trade profitably in a matter of months, whereas veteran traders will tell you that such consistently profitable trading may take several years. And it's difficult to achieve. It requires great effort and persistence to become a steady winner, yet many aspiring traders think only minimal effo...
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Trading on Vacation: Good or bad idea?

Trading on Vacation: Good or bad idea?
As I’m about to go on vacation I thought it’s a good idea to write down my thoughts about trading on vacation. Is it a good idea to do so, or just crazy? I believe it depends. If you’re longer-term position trader and have a couple of positions open that are doing great and you don’t want to close them out now for example, I think there’s nothing wrong managing your position once a day while you’r...
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Learning from Mistakes

Learning from Mistakes
If you make mistakes during trading, go back in your mind to see what you could have done better, or differently. There is usually something to learn from each trade. For example, did you stay too long in a single trade? Did you trade too aggressively, or not aggressively enough? Should you have cashed in (or added) some contracts, but didn’t? Mistakes don’t matter much if you learn from them. Ana...
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(Good) Trading happens outside your comfort zone.

(Good) Trading happens outside your comfort zone.
After writing about why good trading usually is quite boring last week, I’ll continue down that road today and write about another similar topic.  And again it’s more of a rant that many of you maybe don’t want to read about. But I believe it really can be an eye-opener to those of you who’re really serious about trading and these are the traders that I care for the most. Actually I wish I ha...
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Do I deserve to win?

Do I deserve to win?
The world's most successful traders believe in themselves and their ability to win. In fact, many of them feel that they “own” the market. They are not necessarily being arrogant, but they are sure of themselves and that they are able to take profits out of the market. Most important is they believe that they deserve to win. They have a mind-set that is conducive to winning as a trader. It's essen...
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(Good) Trading Is Boring

(Good) Trading Is Boring
When you start out trading, it’s pretty much all about the excitement. You watch every trade tick by tick, gazing at a chart ticking up and down together your P&L. You’re long. When it goes up, you feel excited because you’re making money, if it goes down you’re excited because you’re losing money. But boy you’re making sure you don’t miss any of this. You sit there and gaze at that chart as i...
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Feeling Neutral

Feeling Neutral
Some traders unconsciously ratchet their emotions up a notch each time they avoid a trade when the market is not in their favor. So their emotions build, like steam pressure, to higher and higher levels. You can see the anger growing in them. They feel that by patiently staying out of every trade that they are demonstrating superior trading skills, but they are not being rewarded for it. When we i...
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Is trading a clean way to earn money?

Is trading a clean way to earn money?
Many wannabe traders have trouble following their trading plans when they are seemingly in conflict with their basic beliefs. While you may have intended to stay with a strategy having specific parameters for entering and exiting a trade, there are things that can cause you to abandon your plan when you are faced with the reality of a live market. Sometimes this happens because you question whethe...
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Confidence

Confidence
A few years ago I had an interesting conversation with Joe about “what makes a trader a successful trader”. We discussed this over several days because we wanted to find out how we can help struggling traders to enhance their trading. We finally came to the conclusion that “confidence” is what makes a huge difference. A trader can have a good system, good money and risk management in place, good u...
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Paying back borrowed money to the market

Paying back borrowed money to the market
Have you ever changed a losing trade into a winning trade by ignoring your trading rules? I would guess almost every trader has done it at least once, and many do it regularly. The problem is, even if you made money on this single trade, the market will almost surely make you pay back your gains with high interest. Let me giving you an example.   Let’s assume you went long the Soybeans. Based...
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Trading is not scientific

Trading is not scientific
I say that because trading is not an exact science. You can't do X and get Y every time. Trading does not fit the definition of science. It is not totally objective. It is as much an art as it is anything else. There is no magic formula. Trading is all about probability. It is the art of correctly applying a set of carefully thought out rules and allocating the probability of that event to result ...
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Why so many traders "don’t make it".

Why so many traders "don’t make it".
Recent figures show that 90% of traders who ever trade lose their account and that 10% actually go bankrupt. Those are scary numbers, I’m sure you’d agree. Traders are not stupid people; most traders have an above average IQ and are above average in most categories such as education and income. I think they don’t make a success out of trading because t hey lack proper education and mentoring. By e...
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Over-Trading

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

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

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

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

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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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.