A Trader’s 5 Best Teachers

Trading Losses: There are two types of losses, one loss is caused by the market simply not being conducive for the profitability of your system. The other loss is due to your lack of discipline causing your system not to work. If you followed your trading plan and had a loss that is to be expected. If you are trading a proven and tested method then you have simply learned that taking a loss is simply part of trading. However if your breach of discipline caused your loss, whether not taking a stop, over riding your plan, not taking an entry, trading too big, etc. then it is time to learn why you had the loss. Ego? Fear? Greed? Overconfidence? Laziness? and many other things cause losses. It is crucial that you learn why you broke your trading plan so you do not repeat the mistake again.

Charts: Studying the past price action of charts is very educational. It will show you how prices have reacted at  support/resistance levels in the past along with moving averages and any other indicators that you may choose. It is important that you understand how your market has historically traded whether it is currencies, commodities, stocks, or bonds. It is crucial that you learn how to identify a trend, a swing trade, and a range bound market. (more…)

The Wisdom of the Legendary Paul Tudor Jones

At 56, Paul Tudor Jonesis a  self made billionaire with a net worth of 3.3 billion and is ranked as the 336th richest  person in the world, he  knows exactly how to trade the biggest money for the biggest returns. One of Jones’ earliest and major successes was anticipating and trading through Black Monday in 1987, tripling his money during the event due to large short positions. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped by 508 points to 1738.74 (-22.61%) on that day. While the majority of others lost more than they ever had in their lifetime, Jone’s was on the other side of their trade making a fortune. That is the sign of a truly great trader making money at the tipping points that most others miss.  Paul Tudor Jones has returned double digit annual returns to his investors for decades. He is one of the greatest traders to have ever lived, we need to sit up and listen closely to his advice, it is priceless.

Risk Management

“Don’t focus on making money; focus on protecting what you have.”

“Where you want to be is always in control, never wishing, always trading, and always, first and foremost protecting your butt.”

“At the end of the day, the most important thing is how good are you at risk control.”

Trader Psychology

“Every day I assume every position I have is wrong.”

“Losers average losers.”

“Trading is very competitive and you have to be able to handle getting your butt kicked.”


“I believe the very best money is made at the market turns. Everyone says you get killed trying to pick tops and bottoms and you make all your money by playing the trend in the middle. Well for twelve years I have been missing the meat in the middle but I have made a lot of money at tops and bottoms.”

“The secret to being successful from a trading perspective is to have an indefatigable and an undying and unquenchable thirst for information and knowledge.”

“The concept of paying one-hundred-and-something times earnings for any company for me is just anathema. Having said that, at the end of the day, your job is to buy what goes up and to sell what goes down so really who gives a damn about PE’s?”
“The whole world is simply nothing more than a flow chart for capital.”
That cotton trade was almost the deal breaker for me. It was at that point that I said, ‘Mr. Stupid, why risk everything on one trade? Why not make your life a pursuit of happiness rather than pain?’

10 Points For Successful Trading

Trading Methodology:

  1. Winning system-Only trade tested systems with a positive expectancy in the long term.
  2. Faith– Your system has to allow you to trade your beliefs about the market.
  3. Risk/Reward-Never trade unless your profit expectations are greater than your capital at risk.

Trader Psychology:

  1. Discipline-You have to keep trading your method even when it doesn’t work for a given time period.
  2. Ego-Admit when you are wrong.
  3. Emotions-Trade the math not your emotions.

Risk Management:

  1.  Risk of Ruin-Never risk more than 1% of your total account capital on any one trade.
  2. Position Sizing-Use your capital at risk to understand the right amount to trade based on the securities volatility.
  3. Capital at risk: Never put more than 6% of your total capital at risk at any given time on all positions.
  4. Trailing stops- Always have an exit strategy to lock in your winners.

10 Signs You Might still be a New Trader

  1. New Traders do not understand what all the fuss is about risk management and trader psychology they do not need all that they are special.

  2. New Traders believe there is some magic trading method that always wins, they search for the Holy Grail of trading.
  3. New Traders do not understand that the very best traders have strings of losses , losing months, and sometimes even losing years. They think rich traders always win.
  4. New Traders want to know what is going up or down, they focus on tips instead of the mechanics of trading.
  5. New Traders hand out advice freely to others, good traders realize that decisions are based on individual methods and do not give out tips.
  6. New Traders are looking for that one big winning trade to go all in on, good traders are trading good systems that they risk 1% per trade on.
  7. New Traders confuse bull markets for skill.
  8. New Traders confuse luck for skill.
  9. New Traders want advice, good traders want robust systems.
  10. New Traders run from method to method and from mentor to mentor after every losing streak, good traders know exactly who they are and what methods they trade.


Top Ten Things Traders Must Change to Survive

  1. When the market goes from bull to bear, or from an uptrend to a down trend you must change from going long to going to cash or selling short.
  2. When a market recovers from a bear market to an uptrend over taking the 200 day moving average you must go from bearish or neutral to long.
  3. New bull markets most of the time have new leaders you can’t just play the same ones from the last up trend.
  4. When you make a trade and it goes against you, then you were wrong. When your stop is hit you must change your position and get out.
  5. When you have a strong opinion about a trade but it goes the opposite of what you believe day after day you must change your mind, you were wrong.
  6. When a trade does not go the way you expected in the time frame you had planned you have to take a time stop and change to something that is moving.
  7. Each day you must change and grow as a trader and improve on your skills through continuous learning.
  8. While the market will change the principles of winning through risk management, correct trader psychology, and playing the probabilities will stay the same.
  9. The market rotates and different market capitalizations come into favor and out of favor, follow the money.
  10. Different sectors rotate in and out of favor based on the cash flow of earnings, follow the capital.

You Are A Bad Trader ….If

…You are 100% sure about a trade being a winner so you have no need to manage risk.

…You go all in on one trade and  it will make you are break you.

…You like to buy deep out of the money stock options not understanding how bad the odds are on them.

…You love directly giving unsolicited advice to other traders due to not understanding they have different trading plans and time frames.

…You are so new to trading you think it is a place of easy money.

…You think traders that talk about risk management and trader psychology are silly and that you are above that.

…You brag to much about your account size and last trade, it indicates to me you do not understand the long term in the markets.

…You are very loud about your winners but never discuss your losing trades.

…You brag to much.

And You Might really be a bad trader if: If you attack trading principles that you do not even fully understand due to lack of real trading.

Mind over the Market Video Interview with Mark Douglas

What is the most important part of your trading? The chart? Managing the risk? Finding the Holy Grail of trading that can’t lose? (I have bad news for you about the Holy Grail).

I am convinced how a trader emotionally reacts to the markets while trading will determine their success more than anything else.

Mark Douglas is a trader and author of Trading in the Zone and The Disciplined Trader two great trading books for traders at all levels that deal primarily with how to develop the correct mindset to be a successful trader.

My favorite Mark Douglas quotes.

Trader Psychology: (more…)

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