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Uncle Sam isn’t in danger of losing his top credit rating, but he’s not in the greatest shape, either.
So says Moody’s Investors Service in its quarterly assessment of triple-A-rated countries.
Paying the interest on their debt remains manageable for these countries, Moody’s says, so their governments aren’t in any immediate danger of a downgrade.
But among the AAA countries, the U.S. and the U.K. are “most stretched” by their debt obligations, Moody’s says.
The debt ratings are important because a downgrade raises a country’s borrowing costs. And virtually every big country faces a difficult challenge in removing bailout and stimulus money quickly enough to avoid inflation and slowly enough to keep the weak recovery going.
“This exposes governments to substantial execution risk in the implementation of their exit strategies, which could yet make their credit more vulnerable,” says Arnaud Mares, senior vice president in Moody’s sovereign risk group and the main author of the report.
Don’t Avoid Exit Strategies
“It was the same with all. They would not take a small loss at first but had held on, in the hope of a recovery that would let them out even. And prices had sunk and sunk until the loss was so great that it seemed only proper to hold on, if need be a year, for sooner or later prices must come back. But the break shook them out, and prices just went so much lower because so many people had to sell, whether they would or not.”
Hope, Fear and Greed
“The spectator’s chief enemies are always boring from within. It is inseparable from human nature to hope and to fear. In speculation when the market goes against you, you hope that every day will be the last day and you lose more than you should had you not listened to hope. And when the market goes your way you become fearful that the next day will take away your profit, and you get out too soon. Fear keeps you from making as much money as you ought to. The successful trader has to fight these two deep-seated instincts. He has to reverse what you might call his natural impulses. Instead of hoping he must fear; instead of fearing he must hope. He must fear that his loss may develop into a much bigger loss, and hope that his profit may become a big profit.”
A Master Chess Player is at least 6 moves ahead of his opponent at every step in the game of Chess. A Master Trader identifies the market participants in that stock at that moment, determines when the next level of market participants will buy, decides a specific price for entry, and has one or more exit strategies planned for that stock trade before he ever places an order. In other words: he knows what he is going to do before he initiates the trade and has all of his various strategies worked out for all the different scenarios that can happen to that trade. He is prepared for all situations and ready to trade.
2. Develop your own unique Trading Style.
Too often traders simply follow the crowd. Instead you should develop your own unique trading style. A trading style is not a strategy. It is a set of parameters or rules that you adhere to strictly, ignoring rare anomalies that occur in your trading from time to time that go against your rules. Your trading style should also ignore gimmicks, fads, and ‘hot new strategies’ that are constantly being promoted to crowd traders. If you establish a set of parameters for your trading, write those rules down, and follow them while ignoring the crowd mentality of most small retail traders, you will begin to establish strong emotional control in your trading decisions. The trick is writing the parameters down and then sticking to those rules. Emotions want traders to ignore rules.
3. Ignore the Money.
Don’t trade for the money. Trade because you can’t imagine doing anything else. Trade because it is the most enjoyable and rewarding profession you can do. You can have a passion for studying charts without letting passion rule your decisions. Highly successful people, in any career, do not do their job because of the money, they do it because they love what they are doing and can’t imagine doing anything else. The money is secondary to doing the job that gives them purpose and self-esteem. Money is not the ultimate motivator, purpose and self-esteem are.
1. High probability setups with short profit targets
If you are not winning more than 75% of the time you’ll never make it as a professional trader. Whilst there are other components to success, he does make a very good point. The most common trading strategy employed by successful trader is to identify a high probability set up and couple that with an aggressive profit exit strategy that captures short term gains. For example, you might have a entry criteria that easily captures 15 points on average but you set your profit target at 6 points.
2. Adding to winning positions
Many people think all trades should lead to profit but you’ll find the most successful medium term traders on win 40-55% of the time. The difference between an amateur and a professional, when trading short to medium term trading systems, is their ability to maximum their cash on a trade when it’s winning. The Turtles, under the watchful eye o f Richard Dennis and Bill Eckardt, had a way to add to their huge winners up to 4 times. Very powerful. In order to maximize this strategy you will need to identify your R multiples which will be saved for another article.
3. Mechanical trailing profit stops
Knowing when to take profits can be the most mentally draining part of any trading system. Its not unusual to start trying to let profits run that the markets starts retracing and wiping out all your open profits. The way to overcome this emotional rollercoaster is to build mechanical trailing stops that maximize your profits on winning trades whilst minimizing giving back to much in open profits. (more…)
It’s important as a trader to always be studying and sharpening your skills. Here is a short video jammed packed with concepts from Linda Raschke that all traders can use in their trading plan.
Key concepts from the video:
- The fewer decisions that you can make during the trading day, the better off you will be.
- All exit strategies should be based of your initial entry.
- 75% of trades test out best by taking your profits quickly.
- Shorter the time frame, the less justification for trailing stops.
- Trend followers often pay up to ensure they get a position.
Three popular trading personality types are intuitive, data crunchers, and impulsive. The data-oriented trader focuses on concrete evidence and is often very risk averse. Seeking out as much supporting data for a trading decision as possible. The trader who prefers to do extensive back-testing of a trading idea exemplifies data-cruncher type. Consider incorporating elements of data oriented trader personality into your trading style regardless of your natural inclinations. Make sure that you have adequate information (a reason) before executing a trade. Particularly important is to have and trade a detailed trading plan in which risk is minimized and entry and exit strategies are clearly specified. Most often however, the data-oriented trader may take things a little too far. Searching for “the perfect” set-up or other criteria, that just doesn’t exit in the trading world. At some point, one must accept the fact that he or she is taking a chance and no amount of data analysis can change this fact.
The intuitive trader is the opposite of the data-oriented trader. Trading decisions are based upon hunches and impressions rather than on clearly defined data. There’s a difference between being an intuitive trader who develops this style over time and one who is naturally intuitive. The experienced intuitive trader, bases decisions on data and specific market information. A seasoned trader, analyzes the data quickly and efficiently. It happens so quickly that it seems like it occurs intuitively, but it is actually based on solid information. Ideally, all traders should gain extensive experience to the point where sound decisions are made with an intuitive feel. (more…)