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Patience as a Central Pillar of Your Strategy

Think of patience as a primary part of your trading strategy. Don't assign it a secondary or lesser role, elevate it on the list of what you consider important. And don't be put off by it when it doesn't seem to be working — it's working. Don't start feeling self-righteous about not trading, as if now it owes you (because you have been so disciplined and patient). This is a trap. Don't start to fe...
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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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Overtrading

Overtrading
Overtrading is putting on trades unnecessarily, arbitrarily, and without a specific trading plan. Overtrading can also be trading with more risk than you can afford, and trading more contracts than you can effectively manage physically, mentally, and emotionally. Mistake #1: Assuming a real trader trades all day. Mistake #2: Trading for excitement. Mistake #3: Trading because you are frustrated. M...
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Money Management explained in a few simple words

Money Management explained in a few simple words
Money management involves a number of things and it is not to be confused with trade management. Money management is static. It deals with things like deciding the size of your margin account; deciding how much of your account you will put at risk on any one trade; deciding where to place your stop; and deciding on fixed objectives. The main purpose of money management is to save you from a disast...
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How do you go about making trading decisions?

How do you go about making trading decisions?
Careful analysis of all possible alternatives and all possible consequences of your trading decisions is the first step in good decision-making. Make every attempt to avoid impulsive trading decisions, invariably these lead to taking unnecessary risks. Strive to have a clearly defined trading plan, but keep it as simple as possible. Chart the equity of your trading method so that you can quickly k...
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Avoiding Stress

Avoiding Stress
Trading can be difficult. It often requires you to look for trading opportunities during off hours. You can be making the mistake of thinking you have to take trade after trade during the trading day. When you think you have to trade all the time, trading can become a real labor, something difficult to keep at doing. Even the most exciting, rewarding activity can become commonplace if you drive yo...
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Your Worst Enemy

Your Worst Enemy
  In general, we are our own worst enemy when it comes to trading. If you're not careful, you will be your own worst enemy. There are many ways to sabotage yourself as a trader.   Not creating a trading plan, or creating one and then not following it are two of the most common.   Some ways to self-defeat are deep seated; they lurk at the back of your mind and work behind the scenes....
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How to Approach Trading - Part 7

How to Approach Trading - Part 7
Conclusion It is critical to develop a well thought out and organized trading plan. It is then important to have the discipline needed to follow it. Diversify your trading into several unrelated markets, or focus on one market and time frame where you have seen you can make money. Trading, by its nature is not investing. Trading requires consistent monitoring on at least a daily basis because of t...
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How to Approach Trading - Part 3

How to Approach Trading - Part 3
How to Get Started:  I've seen many different trading plans. Whether they're two paragraphs or ten pages long, they put forth a way of looking at the market and they attempt to create some framework for approaching the markets. A good plan will include a well-tested strategy, a trading method, or a setup. Having a positive expectation should allow you to have the confidence to start trading y...
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How to Approach Trading - Part 2

How to Approach Trading - Part 2
Discipline is the Key:  You will need discipline in several areas to be successful. First you'll need the discipline to make a plan, rather than shoot from hip. Without discipline, many approach the markets like a craps table and they can expect the same results; short-term successes based on luck and long-term losses based on randomness. Second you'll need the discipline to follow the plan. ...
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How to Approach Trading - Part 1

How to Approach Trading - Part 1
Develop a Trading Plan:  The main message I want traders to understand is how important the disciplined execution of a well thought out trading plan is in today's markets. Nobody knows for sure what a given market will do next. Having a plan of attack will allow you to successfully cope with the uncertainty that is an inherent part of trading. I think it makes good common sense to have a well...
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Simplicity of Trading

Trading requires that you take decisive action. Implementing a successful trading plan quite often requires that you make quick decisions when the right market conditions come into play. The more complicated you make your trading, the harder it becomes to make quick decisions. We all know it can be hard to make trading decisions when your money is on the line. Most of us have a natural desire to a...
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Develop a Trading Plan

The main message I want traders to understand is how important the disciplined execution of a well thought out trading plan is in today's markets. Nobody knows for sure what a given market will do next. Having a plan of attack will allow you to successfully cope with the uncertainty that is an inherent part of trading. I think it makes good common sense to have a well thought out plan of attack fo...
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Don't let your emotions influence your decisions in trading

Trading is nothing more than a long, random statistical run. An experienced trader knows that even if he is in a losing streak right now, as long as he sticks to his already approved trading plan, he will come out a winner in the long run. This is why becoming angry is pointless. In fact, it is worse than pointless, because heated emotions often lead to poor decisions in subsequent trades. In such...
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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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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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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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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.