Apr 052017

when to learn to tradePeople don’t know to ask this, but when is probably one of the most important questions to ask  if you are going to learn to trade. Guess what? People generally decide to learn to start trading at a crossroads in their life when they need to make money to pay the bills that keep coming in!

when to learn to tradeMaking a living trading, starting from zero knowledge and experience – that is just not going to happen. Trading is a tenuous business at best! Putting pressure on yourself to make money in the markets is like trying out for the baseball team before ever trying to hit a ball, with the expectation of making the cut.

So, when is the best time to learn?

The best time to start is, in my opinion, several years before the anticipated time you plan to start trading real money. If you start early you will actually know what is going on with the chart and have a decent idea of how to trade profitably when you make your first live trade. Take a slow measured approach to learning to trade. Then you can enjoy the process and learn well. Unfortunately, the majority of people I run into cannot allow themselves the luxury of a few years to encourage their skills to develop. Financial and emotional disaster are usually the result.

I only know of one student who was an “instant trader.” He was extremely gifted and took to trading as if he had done it his whole life, and he still is trading successfully. However, I know at least 50 people who were desperate to make a living and tried to start from scratch and make enough to sustain themselves. They all struggled, complained, and at least for the first many months only reduced the size of their accounts.

So, let’s get this out of the way: Statistically speaking, you are unable to earn a living trading when you start from point zero; you simply cannot learn enough in that short period of time to make yourself profitable. You can’t trade on hope and luck.

What is the answer?

happy traderTake some time to learn and practice simulated trading, and keep your job to support yourself during this time. Do not come to the markets with a tiny account and no knowledge. The successful new traders I have seen have planned their exit from their job and began the process of learning to trade well before they have come close to needing to be profitable to pay the bills.

In summary, don’t expect to get rich quick trading (or even be profitable!) unless you have spent the necessary time and practice to be competent at your craft. Beginning trading and needing to be profitable to survive will fail you every time.

Mar 082016

Controlling our emotions is always a challenge when trading! If you know how to take a “free trade”, you can sit back and relax, get that cup of coffee, really have fun trading. This is one of those trading tips you can really use.

Watch the video below to see it in action.

You can take a “free trade” no matter what instrument you are trading, and no matter the time frame – day trading, swing trading, long term trading – it can be done anywhere, anytime.

Simple trading rules for taking a “Free Trade”

  1. Place your trade with at least 2 contracts if you are trading futures, or a number of shares or lots that can easily be halved.
  2. Place a stop for the entire trade at a reasonable distance from the entry.
  3. Place two targets exit orders, each for 1/2 of the entire trade size. Place one fairly close to the entry price, and the other where you’d really like to take your profit.
  4. Relax with a Free Trade - Trading TipsOnce the first target order is filled, move the stop to the same distance from the entry as that first target was. Now, even if the price moves against you, you pay only commission. You now have a “free trade”
  5. Sit back, relax, you are now not going to lose money. Get that next cup of coffee, get that donut, read the paper. Whew!
  6. If the price continues in your direction, you can move the stop to breakeven, so that this will be a winning trade, no matter what. Even more peace of mind!
Sep 192014

Just to support what I showed you in the video in the previous post (Finding Turn Around Points), I want you to see – it happened again today, and I took a 2 point trade off this signal.

The two green arrows show the signal. The ES dropped to the support line (top green arrow) and the TICK dropped below -700 (bottom green arrow). I took a long at 1715.75, for 2 points. If you traded 10 contracts, and took that trade, you’d profit $1000, minus commissions.