Learn From Paul Tudor Jones: Risk Size Is Key

We’ve all heard the “experts” preach to us that we should only take trades which offer at least a 2:1, or better yet a 3:1 reward to risk ratio and on the surface this seems like sound advice, but is it really?
I used to be one of those educators who would jump on the risk/reward bandwagon until one day when I stepped back and took an objective look at what trading is and how I can best optimize my chances of success. When I did this I realized that not only was the whole risk/reward premise false but that it had the potential to ruin chances for trading success by keeping me out of some of the best trades.
The proponents of risk/reward ratios say that in order to be successful the trade must out produce the amount of money you have at risk by at least double or triple your risk amount but what they fail to take into consideration is that the reward side of any trade is unknown. 
You see the only part of the trading equation that you have any control over is the risk side of the trade. The reward side of any trade is a complete mystery. Oh sure, we all have our best guesses as to where the market might go next, but in the end it’s really just a crap shoot. Sometimes we’re right and sometimes we’re wrong and if we’re honest with ourselves we will admit that we really don’t know where the market is going next.  (more…)

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