Monday’s Results: The suggested short at 4292.50 only offered 4.75 points.
Quick Tip: How Many?
Every trader evolves their style over time. I recall one excellent trader I worked with who only traded ONE asset. He claimed the focus on one stock gave him considerable edge understanding how the market makers manipulated price. It worked for him. Fair enough.
Most traders wouldn’t think of limiting themselves to one asset. Not enough opportunity! Too much patience required when volatility dries up.
Then again, following too many assets is difficult and possibly detrimental.
If you’re reviewing and documenting your trade results you will quickly find out how many you should be following and trading.
The futures market offers many contracts to choose from, but they don’t all trade the same way. There are differences based on seasonality, time of day, etc.
Invest the time in...
Friday’s Results: The suggested short at 4231.50 only offered 6.25 points.
Quick Tip: Wonder More
“I would rather have a mind that is opened by wonder than one closed by belief.” Gerry Spence, attorney, and best-selling author.
At first this quote seems to simply say “Have an open mind.” But it goes deeper than that. It’s more than merely having a positive attitude or not being fixed by your own opinion.
The word “wonder” is the key. You can have an open mind that is limited. There are degrees of openness. You have a self-imposed limit on how much you’ll be open to. And that limit is your belief. Because when the openness closes it does so from your limiting belief. Thus, no one is completely “open minded.”
In trading there are many strategies that have edge. There is no “single best way.” You need to be open minded enough to explore...
Wednesday’s Results: Bulls win the inflation debate, levels were far apart expecting extreme volatility but that only happened for 15 minutes, melt up after that.
Quick Tip: A New View
If you were a professional athlete, actor, musician, or public speaker you would watch recordings of your performances to improve your skills. Without doing so you might never know what to change.
Someone may tell you what to change, but there is something humbling about reading, watching, or listening to your blunders. It sinks in quicker!
Trading is also considered a performance profession. Just like athletes, your performance changes from day to day. Great traders handle these ups and downs with persistence and resilience gleaned from review.
Start recording your trading sessions. Use a journal if your trading style is not short term. Be detailed in describing the trades including your thoughts, mistakes, and successes.
Day traders can...
Tuesday’s Results: : The market churned sideways awaiting today’s CPI news. No trades triggered.
Quick Tip: Ask Yourself
Today is a big day for the stock market. The CPI (inflation) results for July come out at 8:30 ET. We’ve been in a trading range for several days. It’s almost a certainty price will break out into a trend. Up or down.
You should be asking yourself how you’re going to respond. Being proactive and planning the details will get you the calm confidence to execute with no doubt. What will you do if it soars? How about if it crashes? What if it whipsaws?
Are you hearing crickets up there? Don’t know what to do? Can’t decide? Don’t know if your decision will be the right one?
Dr. Brett Steenbarger, trader psychologist to the stars and author of Enhancing Trader Performance said this:
“There is no question in my mind that, if I were to start trading...
Monday’s Results: The suggested buy at 4137.25 offered a 16-point bounce with only 1.5-points adverse.
Quick Tip: How Much is Enough?
Entries are important but all the money is made (or lost) on the exit. Arguably, there is some “art” along with the science to exiting.
The culprit is hindsight. You take your profit and then see how much you didn’t get. You stay in the next trade looking for a runner and it reverses and stops you out after you had a sizable open profit. Frustrating results from unskilled trading.
In “The Disciplined Trader” by the late Mark Douglas, he identifies nine critical trading skills.
#6 - Learning how to let the market tell you how much is enough, instead of assessing the potential from your personal value system of how much is enough.
This seems simple but isn’t necessarily so. You can look at the charts and target a reversal pattern or level for your...
Friday’s Results: The suggested buy at 4108.00 caught the low of the session and ran for 43 points. The high of the market was another volume level (unpublished here).
Quick Tip: Volume Leads Price
For as complex and chaotic as the markets are, technical traders only have 3 variables to analyze. Price, volume, and time. Most technical traders agree that volume LEADS price.
Price moving up with volume increasing is very bullish. It’s hard evidence that plenty of buying interest is happening. Conversely, price moving up with decreasing volume is not as bullish.
Price moving down with volume increasing is very bearish. More hard evidence. Conversely, price moving down with decreasing volume is not as bearish.
How do you use this data? Entries AND exits!
If you’re a breakout trader and volume is surging at your entry ...
Wednesday’s Results: The suggested breakout short at 4157.00 offered a solid 21-point run.
Quick Tip: Barbell
You certainly have a risk management section built into your trade plan. Without it you’ll fail at trading sooner or later. Many traders think their chosen stop loss order is their risk management plan. Not enough. Here’s a list of all the risks you need to cover in your plan:
This game is looking riskier suddenly. How do you balance concern over all the risks with a focus on a positive expectation?
Top notch traders have what is called a “barbell” personality. They are optimistic about the future and confident their strategies will prevail. But they are paranoid about what will prevent that from happening.
Our goals are shiny and desirable. But we know...
Wednesday’s Results: The suggested short at 4147.00 offered a small 7.25-point run.
Quick Tip: Plan Ahead
Plenty of time trading is spent waiting. You can use that time to plan.
The reversal in the chart above was highly anticipated because it had a confluence of reasons to enter short. A 7-point run is not much, but you could have taken a target or two and stopped out the remainder at breakeven (which is one of our exit strategies). Small winner.
The breakout to join the trend was a better trade, but you should know in advance whether you’re taking the setup (if it occurs).
It’s more comfortable and effective to be proactive with trade choices rather than reactive.
Today’s Best S&P Turning Points (in fast moving markets consider a wider stop and less size):
Sell 4157.00 stop 4162.75 if price drops below and retraces back.
Buy 4108.00 stop 4202.25
Tuesday’s Results: The suggested short at 4118.50 stopped out.
Quick Tip: Why Review
Years ago, I was urged to get in the habit of daily review and documentation. All the trades my strategies teed up, not just the trades I took. It has paid off big time. The database I mine for edge now is over 12,000 trade setups taken in all market conditions. It’s easy to pick a date range where certain market conditions prevailed and analyze it.
Take the trade mentioned above that stopped out. That was a reversal trade that triggered at 10:52 ET. Historical evidence shows that reversals at that time are poor performers. Filter them out.
When you start using filters based on evidence, your attention may focus on the trades you filtered out that were nice winners. You’ll likely double guess the filter. Keep in mind the sample size your filter emerged from. Don’t get mislead by occasional events. Re-focus on...
Monday’s Results: The suggested short @ 4147.00 caught the high of the day, only had one tick adverse move, and ran for 40+ points.
Quick Tip: Never Wrong?
Yup. There are people that are never wrong. It’s easy to accomplish if that’s your goal. Just never make decisions. You can’t be wrong if you don’t decide.
Successful people, great traders, they all know that one important quality is decisiveness. They also know that they’ll be wrong much of the time. But that’s OK. They also know how to change course and overcome barriers and roadblocks.
Looking at yesterday’s short trade (see chart) you’ll notice that price was approaching the turning point FAST. This seems like the wrong timing to pick a reversal. Historical evidence suggests otherwise. It turns, for this strategy at least, the slow entries tend to keep moving in the same...