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Andy Jordan Educator for Futures Trading Strategies on Spreads, Options, Swing/Day Trading, and Editor of Traders Notebook. You can read my bio by following this link.

Mar
21

Diversification

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 market, look to trade smaller amounts in several different markets. The ai...
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Mar
14

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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432 Hits
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Mar
07

Striving for Perfection

You will never be a perfect trader. However, as traders we have a strong need to want complete control over the outcome of a trade. We want to believe that if we analyze the markets long enough, we'll have perfect knowledge and we can trade to perfection. But such desire leads to wrong assumptions that can do us more harm than good. Assuming we must have control restricts our actions and reactions...
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456 Hits
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Feb
28

Why we use a 15-year seasonal pattern for trading spreads

Much seasonally based information conforms to random probability generated data. Avoid trading seasonally based information without a fifteen year pattern, a minimum 80% win probability, profits twice losses, and a price action based entry. Price based trading information is superior to seasonal based information, because a trend or swing can be established before entry. Seasonal trades with less ...
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374 Hits
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Feb
21

Stop Management

​ Richard Wyckoff wrote: "My stop was moved down so there couldn't be a loss, and soon a slight rally and another break gave me a new stop, which insured a profit, come what might… I strongly advocate this method of profit insuring. The scientific elimination of loss is one of the most important factors in the art, and the operator who fails to properly protect his paper profits will find that man...
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471 Hits
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Feb
14

Disappointment and Regret

Every trader makes bad trades and faces regret, it is inevitable. And we all have the human tendency to be overtaken by emotions. When we screw up we have a feeling of loss, and even a sense of denial. We wish we could undo the mistake. Going through such a thought process is understandable. It is what you do about it that matters. Virtually from the time we were born we learn to use our emotions ...
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481 Hits
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Feb
06

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; so...
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415 Hits
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Jan
31

Emotions

​ Letting your emotions influence your trading decisions is virtually a guarantee that you will lose as a trader. If you are going to survive as a trader you have to bring your emotions under control. If you find that your emotions are swinging up and down as you trade, you have to confront the resulting feelings and deal with them. No one can do this but you. One way to keep emotions under contro...
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446 Hits
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Jan
24

Welcome the Idea of Breaking Even

No one enters a trade with the idea of breaking even as a goal. Rather, we set out with high hopes, excitement, and expectancy – the promise of big dreams. But then something odd happens with our trade – we break even. Our reaction is a feeling of annoyance, of let-down. Breaking even happens. It is one of the possible outcomes of a trade. We must not see it as an unwelcome event. Distaste for bre...
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420 Hits
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Jan
17

Trading System

You will need a system or plan if you want to succeed in trading. The usual way of attaining such a system is many days of trading, hard-earned personal experience, analyzing trades you've made to learn from your mistakes, a knowledge of probability, observing other traders, trade simulation, book learning, seminars and mentoring, or any number of similar factors. Such a system will give you ...
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455 Hits
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Dec
21

Hesitating before a Trade

​ There are any number of reasons why a trader hesitates before a trade. The main one is lack of planning. Without a plan, there is no degree of confidence a trade will be successful, it's all wishful thinking. Unless they are outright gamblers, traders usually have a strong need to protect their assets and avoid risk. This is especially true for beginning traders. It can take a long time to build...
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525 Hits
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Dec
06

Talking to Myself

I have to admit I do talk to myself at times, maybe even a lot, especially when I'm facing a loss. Let's say I'm down a bunch of points and it came as the result of a surprise move in the market. The temptation is to think, "I have to find a way to get it back." I hate ending the day down a bunch of money. However, if I give in to that thought, I am focusing on the loss and I'm no longer in the ma...
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Nov
29

Pace Yourself

During ongoing activities, such as day trading, you have to learn how to pace yourself. This means alternating between times of intense activity with times of greatly decreased activity, times that require very little of your attention. These "rest periods" should take place when you do not have to quickly react to sudden market moves. This is hard advice to follow for some traders—paranoid, obses...
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580 Hits
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Nov
14

Practice

If you play tennis once a week against an opponent who plays tennis five times a week, who is likely to win? If you play chess or backgammon twice a year against someone who plays every day, who will mostly likely win? You don't have to start trading real money right away. Whenever someone goes through my mentoring program, there comes a time when I encourage the student to start paper trading bef...
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546 Hits
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Nov
08

Counting the Cost

​ Almost anyone who wants to succeed needs to ask themselves certain questions before beginning to trade. Essentially, it is a matter of counting the cost BEFORE, not after you decide you want to pursue trading as a serious part of your life. What time period trader are you? How long do you feel comfortable holding a trade and how such financial risk can you comfortably assume on a one contract ba...
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Oct
19

Many Kinds of Emotions Go with Winning and Losing

Once a trade is entered, there are two possible outcomes: Win or lose. Between the two is the breakeven point, and because it is in-between, it's psychologically significant. Losing is involved with fear and hope. Winning is involved with greed. When on the losing side of a trade, the breakeven point is a place that inspires hope. Being human we have a natural tendency to avoid risk and loss. When...
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421 Hits
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Oct
12

The Long Run Is Longer Then You Think

Many traders are smart enough to know that they will win in the long run by taking only the best trades, but become impatient due to the lack of anything happening. They forget that the long run can be "long". Taking only the best trades can be frustrating. They come along rarely, and even when they do there is no guarantee of winning with them. Long gaps occur in between. We can become angry and ...
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481 Hits
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Oct
05

How to handle fear?

​ Let's get one thing straight. Fear, for the majority of traders is a very real thing. You have it, I have it. Others have it as well. In order to become a professional trader, you must learn to deal with fear. The first step is to acknowledge that you have, which is what you have done. Once you admit to fear, you can begin to deal with it. When you notice the impulse to trade based on strong fea...
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470 Hits
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Sep
28

The Ideal Parameters for Successful Trading

Your trading goals and objectives must be possible to complete. They cannot be too abstract or too high. It is best to just execute a trade rather than being overly concerned with profits or achieving unrealistic performance standards. You must be able to intensely concentrate on what you are doing. While trading, it's vital that you have a detailed trading plan and control risk so that you can fo...
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388 Hits
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Sep
21

Being Flexible

By being flexible I mean that over time, your trading philosophy will undergo changes. These changes are brought about because of external events (economic considerations, natural disasters, political events, etc.), and because of internal events, usually my own mistakes. My views change as economic, political, and technological changes occur both on and now off our planet. My views change as I se...
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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.