Don't be afraid to be a sheep

  1. Follow the trends. This is probably some of the hardest advice for a trader to follow because the personality of the typical futures trader is not “one of the crowd.” Futures traders (and futures brokers) are highly individualistic; the markets seem to attract those who are. Very simply, it takes a special kind of person, not “one of the crowd,” to earn enough risk capital to get involved in the futures markets. So the typical trader and the typical broker must guard against their natural instincts to be highly individualistic, to buck the trend.
  2. Know why you are trading the commodity markets. To relieve boredom? To hit it big? When you can honestly answer this question, you may be on your way to successful futures trading.
  3. Use a trading system, any system, and stick to it.
  4. Apply money management techniques to your trading.
  5. Do not overtrade.
  6. Take a position only when you know where your profit goal is and where you are going to get out if the market goes against you.
  7. Trade with the trends, rather than trying to pick tops and bottoms.
  8. Don’t trade many markets with little capital.
  9. Don’t just trade the volatile contracts.
  10. Calculate the risk/reward ratio before putting a trade on, then guard against holding it too long.
  11. Establish your trading plans before the market opening to eliminate emotional reactions. Decide on entry points, exit points, and objectives. Subject your decisions to only minor changes during the session. Profits are for those who act, not react. Don’t change during the session unless you have a very good reason.
  12. Follow your plan. Once a position is established and stops are selected, do not get out unless the stop is reached or the fundamental reason for taking the position changes.
  13. Use technical signals (charts) to maintain discipline – the vast majority of traders are not emotionally equipped to stay disciplined without some technical tools.
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