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Trading Educators Blog

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Nov
01

False Consensus Part 1

​Traders and investors try to understand their world. They make hypotheses and test them. Rather than conducting formal experiments, however, they use their everyday experience to test out theories they have about the markets. We study the markets and try to develop our own personal theories about how the markets work. Because we don't conduct formal experiments, we may fall prey to psychological ...

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  1061 Hits
Oct
23

Ready for Action

​In 1981, when I first started day trading, I would get to bed early night, wake up early, and be excited about starting the trading day. I remember on time when it was a cool, sunny day, and I really felt rejuvenated. After a quick exercise session, I couldn't wait for the markets to open, so I could make a few winning trades. I was really hyped. "Today is my lucky day. Today I'm going to make a ...

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  1134 Hits
Oct
23

Repetitive Mistakes

​Anyone is allowed to make one mistake. When the same mistake is repeated a second time, caution should be noted. The third repetition of the same mistake constitutes self-destructive habitual behavior that must be reversed. All trading must stop immediately until the trader's self-discipline is thoroughly examined. Once the reason for the repetitive mistakes is understood, usually fear, anger or ...

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  1373 Hits
Oct
17

Making a Comeback

​Have you ever had a bad day when nothing seemed to go right? First, you got up late. Second, your computer wouldn't boot up, and third, when it did, you couldn't seem to get in and out at the right time when executing even the most basic trade. What really upset you was when your Data line went down for 10 minutes during a critical moment in your trading plan. Traders face setback after setback, ...

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  1182 Hits
Oct
10

Intuition

​If only humans were more like machines. In theory, the ultimate trader would act like a robot, analyzing market data with unfailing accuracy, devising a trading plan, and executing it without flaw. But does trading work that way? Trading is more art than science. Without an intuitive grasp of the markets, it's difficult to successfully trade the markets using short-term trading strategies. Humans...

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  1149 Hits
Oct
03

Spreading Against a Related Contract

​In this instance, you spread by taking an opposite position in a related contract. You might spread corn against wheat. You might spread heating oil against unleaded gasoline. Quite often, operators who trade large size and are market makers hedge the S&P 500 by taking an opposite position in the Nasdaq or the Dow. Soybean traders often hedge by spreading off against the meal, the oil, or bot...

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  1203 Hits
Sep
26

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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  1478 Hits
Sep
26

Accurate Records

As a trader, it's very important that you keep accurate records of all factors that may impact the outcome of your trades so that you can learn from your losses, improve your performance, and do better next time. From a psychological viewpoint, by documenting actions, thoughts and emotions associated with both wins and losses, you will come to see what works and what doesn't. When it comes to loss...

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  1145 Hits
Sep
19

Your Role in the Market

​Our past experience is a factor coloring the way we see things. We get an electric shock, and we decide never again to put a hairpin into an electrical outlet. Or, when we kiss our mate and receive a kiss back, we learn that kissing that person produces pleasure, so we enjoy doing it again! Likewise, our experience with the markets, colors our perception, and can influence the way we approach the...

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  1227 Hits
Sep
19

Graceful Trading

​Whether you're a novice or seasoned trader, there are days when you face setback after setback: Adverse events go against you. You make a trading error. You misread the markets. The possible setbacks can be endless, and it hurts a little to watch your account balance take a hit when one of them catches you off guard. But whatever roadblocks get in your way, you have to take them in stride. How ca...

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  1359 Hits
Sep
12

Setbacks

​Are you experiencing an emotional roller coaster, euphorically celebrating wins, but facing despair when losses mount? If you are, you may be taking things a little too personally. If you want to trade like a winner, you need to take responsibility for your actions, taking every precaution possible to neutralize adverse events and to control risk. That said, when things go wrong, it may not alway...

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  1425 Hits
Sep
05

Getting in Step with the Market

​Early in the trading day, as part of your daily preparation (you do have a daily preparation, don't you?) it's helpful to practice a little to get a "feel" for what you might do and how you might trade. One way to do it is to make a few small trades, using just a small percent of your normal trading size. Putting on a small position usually helps you focus. Once you've entered the market, see how...

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  1205 Hits
Sep
05

Be Flexible

​As traders in the markets, it's informative to study everyday examples of mass psychology. Although humans are highly intelligent, they can act like cattle blindly following the leader of the pack to the slaughterhouse. For example, have you ever observed how people drive in busy rush hour traffic? On a crowded freeway, it's common to see people refuse to acknowledge that the flow of traffic has ...

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  1346 Hits
Aug
29

Emotions

​Winning traders are extremely disciplined. They wisely study the markets, devise a trading plan, and follow it. They control their impulse to abandon their plans prematurely, and they don't allow emotions, such as fear and greed, to influence their trading decisions. In the trading profession, emotions often get a bad rap, however. There are critical moments of investing when it's vital to contro...

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  1363 Hits
Aug
22

Successful Trading

​Because we don't know what "successful" means to every individual, we should divide traders into different groups. I think most traders can be found in one of the following groups: Group One - these are mainly traders new in the trading business. They have read a book or two and they find trading very interesting, but they still don't know where to start. Group Two - these are the traders who alr...

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  1470 Hits
Aug
22

Regrets

​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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  1908 Hits
Aug
15

Stress Errors

Have you ever been so excited about a trade that you couldn't sleep at night? Or perhaps you are trying to dig yourself out of a hole and worry has taken a toll. Studies of disasters, ranging from major environmental catastrophes to minor laboratory accidents, happen when people are under extreme stress or experience physical exhaustion. When people are tired, there's an increased risk of disaster...

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  1280 Hits
Aug
08

I just can’t seem to accept uncertainty and risk. What can I do?

​I'll try to give you a few things to think about, but unless you can overcome your inability to accept risk, you don't have much of a chance to make it as a trader. Trading and risk are virtually one and the same. Shorter term trading isn't about using a buy-and-hold strategy, and minimizing risk by holding on for the long-term. Short-term traders capitalize on volatility and the fact that volati...

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  1596 Hits
Aug
04

Creative Idea

​The winning trader stays ahead of the crowd. In ever-changing market conditions, you have to think of new, innovative trading ideas. But it isn't always easy. There are times when you feel mentally stuck and unable to think creatively. When you are feeling a little stuck, there are specific steps you can take to get your creative juices flowing. Creativity can't be forced. If you try to force you...

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  1541 Hits
Aug
01

Should I reverse when I am having a loss?

Professional day traders reverse their positions about 60% of the time when they take losses? Why do they do this? The market should not have technically reached the exit price, which is placed where the intraday market trend may have reversed the short term trend. Consider a market that moves a three-day average range above the opening price then breaks sharply to the downside and posts new intra...

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  1479 Hits

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.