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Be Aware

​Beginning traders may make trade after trade and watch their account balance dwindle with each trade. They may feel unintelligent and thoughtless and think, "Why am I making so many losing trades?" At times they may wonder if they are thoroughly incompetent. But it's all a matter of perspective. If you aren't trading profitably, it isn't because you can't. It isn't because you have bad luck. It i...

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​Fear and greed drive market action. We enthusiastically put on trades when we think a huge profit is assured, but when we see the market shift dramatically, we get out as quickly as possible. We fear being trampled by the masses as they all rush to sell. Fear and greed are powerful emotions that underlie the actions of the masses, but behavioral economists argue that regret is equally powerful. R...

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Worry-Free and Profitable

Even though there is great interest in the markets these days, and more opportunities than usual, it's vital to approach trading with the proper mindset. You can't try to do too much, too fast. Successful traders approach trading with a carefree, focused attitude and putting added stress on yourself interferes with attaining this peak performance mental edge. When you are in the proper mindset, yo...

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Under what conditions would you like to trade if you had your choice? You would probably want to trade in a strong bull market, be way ahead so that a loss wouldn't hurt at all, and have a foolproof trading plan. In addition, you would want to have a mental edge. You should be in a good mood, alert, and ready to take action. We can't always trade under such ideal conditions, however. If you are a ...

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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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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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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.