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Trading Educators Blog

#1 Trading Blog Site
Jul
01

Self-Control

You're in the midst of a perfect trade. You entered where you had planned, and you know when to exit. All you have to do now is wait for the price to reach 53 and sell. But it's not moving fast enough. It seems to be hovering around 51 and 50. You're starting to wonder whether or not it will ever move up. Panic sets in and you sell. About an hour later, the price hits 53 and it now seems obvious t...

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  1240 Hits
Jun
29

Timely Exit

​What is your tolerance for pain? Consider the following scenario. You have 10% of your account balance on the line. For the past two days, prices have been going in the direction you had anticipated, but today, an announcement was made that caused a market move that caused all your profits to be wiped out in an hour. What will you do? See if prices will move back to where you are okay again? At t...

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  1595 Hits
Jun
21

Staying on the “Sideline”

Don't get irritated or angered because you haven't put on a new trade in a long time. Whenever there is nothing to trade, don't trade. Accept it and stay on the "sideline." There will be an attempt by the "trading gods" to wear you down by giving you bad markets over and over, and for extended periods of time. This will happen, and it will happen on numerous, often successive occasions. Know this ...

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  1411 Hits
Jun
21

Overconfidence

​How should a trader deal with "overconfidence?" Maybe a better question about confidence--trading and otherwise--is not why people are overconfident to begin with, but why they stay overconfident. You see, the problem with overconfidence is not the innate bias toward optimism that most people seem to possess. That's a good thing it keeps the world moving forward. The problem is the inability to t...

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  1131 Hits
Jun
15

What's my real reason for trading?

​"The Rorschach test (also known as the Rorschach inkblot test, the Rorschach technique, or simply the inkblot test) is a test in which a subject's perceptions of inkblots are recorded and then analyzed using psychological interpretation, complex scientifically derived algorithms, or both. Some psychologists use this test to examine a person's personality characteristics and emotional functioning....

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  1152 Hits
Jun
15

Confidence

When it comes to trading the markets, nothing is certain. How do you cope with uncertainty? Many traders are overconfident. Rather than face the possibility of losses due to market uncertainty, they fool themselves into thinking they are omnipotent. Behavioral economists Brad Barber and Terrance Odean illustrated how novice traders are especially overconfident. They analyzed account records from a...

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  1284 Hits
Jun
06

Traders "Pro Active" and "Ray Active" – A Story!

Pro Active and Ray Active are both wannabe traders, but their approach to trading is quite different. Ray is consumed with trading for profits. He imagines himself achieving great wealth, and thinks that when he amasses the riches he is after, he'll finally get the respect and recognition he always wanted from his wife, family and friends. He thinks, "If I can only make it as a trader, I can show ...

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  1239 Hits
Jun
06

Efficiency and Success

How much time do you spend preparing for the trading day? Do you spend hours scouring the markets for a winning trading opportunity? Do you watch hours of commentary or read all the major financial newspapers? You don't need to spend hours and hours reading about the markets if it doesn't directly lead to a profit. For example, most media coverage of the markets is for entertainment value, so spen...

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  1316 Hits
May
31

Greed

​In the movie "Wall Street," Gordon Gekko argues, "Greed is good." Greed can motivate you to strive for perfection and keep you persisting in the face of adversity, but greed has its downside. It is often said that the markets are driven by fear and greed. The masses have a natural desire for wealth and all the advantages that money can buy. In their zeal, the masses invest in stocks and believe t...

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  1424 Hits
May
24

The "Crush Spread"

​The spread is defined as buying one futures contract, and selling a different, but related futures contract. Specifically, when trading the crush spread, you would buy soybeans and sell its respective products, the soybean meal and soybean oil. This is what is referred to as being crushed. If you buy the soybean meal or the soybean oil and sells soybeans, that is what is referred to as being reve...

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  1242 Hits
May
24

Maintaining Discipline

Winning traders are disciplined. Discipline means controlling impulses and fighting the urge to abandon your trading plan prematurely. Maintaining discipline is often easier said than done, especially when the market is moving in your favor. It's hard to avoid closing a trade out early in order to lock in profits. Some winning traders face more losers than winners, and when you hit upon a winner, ...

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  1362 Hits
May
19

Trading Opportunities

Good trading times may be just ahead. Are you ready? It's times like these when the right mental edge can make all the difference. If you want to take advantage of trading opportunities for the New Year, it's vital that you approach trading with the proper mindset. Be ready to work hard and do whatever it takes to come out a winner. Unfortunately, many traders aren't up to the challenge. They don'...

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  1379 Hits
May
09

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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  1580 Hits
May
04

Don't Give In To The Death Wish

The death wish is resignation, fatalism, dejection, despair — in the face of "luck" repeatedly turning against us. The death wish is admitting defeat and shrugging our shoulders and throwing up our hands (generally after a string of losses) and not caring from then on whether we win or lose. The death wish is throwing money into the pot fatalistically, to punish ourselves. It is saying, "I might a...

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  1170 Hits
May
04

If You Doubt, You May Be Out

​It's almost impossible to have rock solid confidence as a trader. Sure, some traders can't be thrown off track very easily, but it's natural to feel a little afraid occasionally. Let's look at some of the reasons that you might feel shaken. What the markets will do tomorrow or next week is far from certain, and you don't have a crystal ball. Your information is fallible. And without perfect infor...

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  1468 Hits
May
01

What is “walk-forward” testing?

Walk-forward testing is the first real step in testing any system on live data. A trader should be somewhat confident that the system or method can produce results in line with the hypothetical results received from back testing. At this stage of testing, it's important to watch a trading system or method run over live data for a period of weeks or months until a large, statistically valid univers...

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  1521 Hits
Apr
27

How to Handle Fear

​The best way to handle fear comes in two steps: 1. A detailed trading plan 2. Risk control Let's look at risk control first. You have no doubt, read it many times: "Trade with money you can afford to lose." Here's another one: "Trade positions that are so small that you may think, "what's the point of even putting on the trade?"" One more: "Do not over-trade!" All of the above carry essentially t...

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  1219 Hits
Apr
22

Ready to Lose

Imagine what you would do in the following scenario. You have been looking at a position for a week. You had a clear and simple trading plan: Just wait for an announcement at the end of the week, watch prices jump, and then sell. As might be expected, things aren't working as you had planned. First, no clear trend has emerged; prices are moving chaotically up and down. Second, it's been two days s...

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  1473 Hits
Apr
20

It's the Decision of the Market

The market will tell you on any given trade how much money you are going to win (or lose, or break even). It will tell you this quite simply, by how well it is moving or not moving in your direction. If you think, contrary to this, that you have any influence on the outcome of the trade, or that you "deserve" to win more, you will probably overreach yourself. The market will let you know the range...

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  1079 Hits
Apr
20

Being Flexible

How flexible are you in your everyday life? When you are in a new city, do you worry about getting lost or do you just go your own way and assume that somehow and someway you'll eventually get back to your hotel? Do you get upset when you are told you are wrong, or do you welcome criticism or an opposing opinion? The ability to be open and flexible often makes the difference between winning and lo...

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  1129 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.