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Admit when you are wrong

Recently I heard another tale of woe involving the failure to admit being wrong. This man followed a familiar path. As a day trader in the E-mini S&P 500, he first contacted me to tell me that he was unhappy with the data he was receiving. He wanted to know if I could recommend a good trading program for him. I mentioned a couple of them to him and he decided on one. Another interval of time w...
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Creativity in your Trading-the Spiritual Factor

Creativity in your Trading-the Spiritual Factor
I was asked the following question: “Joe, is it important to be creative in your trading?” I’m not sure I can describe it in terms of importance.  The creative process is somewhat of a mystery, even to scientists who study it, but that is only because scientists do not recognize the spiritual factors of our lives and consequently in our trading. The Bible says: “There is a spirit in man.”&nbs...
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Unlike many games and sports, trading has an additional factor: the market!

Unlike many games and sports, trading has an additional factor: the market!
Imagine playing tennis if the ball had a mind of its own, if it could run off to the sidelines and bounce up and down for a minute or two. Imagine a game of golf in which the ball could occasionally go off down the fairway, dance about, and do whatever it wanted. Imagine a chess game in which the pieces suddenly became worthless, or a hockey game in which the puck suddenly went against everything ...
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Can Trading be trained?

Can Trading be trained?
  Please listen to the following podcast when you have a few minutes: https://soundcloud.com/bloomberg-business/the-incredible-true-story-of-the-real-life-trading-places I found the podcast interesting because of a few facts I want to discuss in today’s blog post. First of all, I am also a believer that trading can be trained but not necessarily everyone can trade. Trading requires a certain ...
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How to Approach Trading - Part 4

How to Approach Trading - Part 4
Diversify:  Next, you'll need to choose which markets to follow. Diversification is one of the crucial factors in the success of some, but not all trading plans, and may in fact make the difference between success and failure of the plan. Putting all your eggs in one basket is not a good idea for some traders. This approach takes the position that rather than trading ten contracts in one mark...
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About Change

People don't want to be changed. They don't want to be told that they need to change. Do you ever find yourself struggling in those areas? Thank you for your honesty. If there is a struggle, that means there is a battle for truth. If you're not battling, you've already lost. Truth has been lost and deceit has won. We must come to a place where we are willing to unclothe our soul, ultimately, compl...
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Support and Resistance

I received a couple of emails asking whether or not I believe in support and resistance. In fact, one subscriber said if I didn't believe in support and resistance, then I couldn't possibly believe in trend! Why? Because in all cases the situation ends. Here's what I believe: The trend is your friend until the end. The swing is the thing until it goes "ding." What is support and what is resistance...
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Do Something Else!

You need to find other things to do while padding the time waiting for better trades. Try to study the markets or different ways of trading, or simply do something completely different like going to the beach. It is critical that you learn to enjoy yourself in ways other than being in a trade. The fact is, if you are trading in a professional way, you are out of the market much of time. So you nee...
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Optimized Entry or Exit

Optimized entry (green vertical line on the chart below) or exit ( red vertical line on the chart below) is part of seasonal patterns. For example: the spread X–Y shows a strong seasonal up move in July with an optimized entry date on July 3 and an optimized exit date on July 28. This means “usually” the spread moves up between July 3 and July 28, but this is just based on statistical data of the ...
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Time

You pay a price for every profit you take with time and effort required to obtain it. Not to mention the years of experience upon which your knowledge and system methodology have been constructed. The slippage, and getting knocked out on a winning trade by one tick have a cumulative mental attrition that can only be offset by constant profits, vacations and other interests not market related. Time...
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Is trading more of an art than a science?

I believe trading is far more an art than a science. For one thing, if trading were a science, then we should all be able to enter the same trade at the same time, and exit at the same time getting identical results. We all know that just isn’t so. Yet if trading were scientific, we should be able to get identical results doing the same thing. I believe such expectation describes the “scientific m...
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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?

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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(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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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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Go to the Exchanges for the best basic Information

The exchanges all have some very basic information freely available. This even includes some trading strategies. There may be a small amount of hype in what they say, but generally, the information is good. The problem with information you get outside of the exchanges is all too often filled with false claims, slanted to whatever the person is selling. Traders are continually bombarded in magazine...
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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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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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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.