Financial Trading

7 habits of highly incompetent traders

So, over the next few weeks we’re going to be looking at effective habits for traders. Any long term result in life – including successful trading – will almost certainly come from a build-up of the many small steps and actions you take along the way. But I believe a common mistake many people make […]...

The 80/20 short cut to learning any new skill

The 80/20 short cut to learning any new skill

  Well, I finally took the plunge… After being pestered to death by my two boys I bought a laptop for them to do their homework on… Of course, this can be roughly translated into boy-speak as “play as many games as we can get away with and do a bit of homework when we […]...

How to use ‘Cold War’ mind power in your trading

How to use ‘Cold War’ mind power in your trading

Back in the early eighties, when I was around 8 or 9 years old, we lived a few miles away from a town called Northwich that had a huge chemical works at its centre.  It was actually the birthplace of the Brunner Mond company, which later became Imperial Chemical Industries. This was a time when the […]...

The First Hard Lesson I Learned as a Trader

The First Hard Lesson I Learned as a Trader

Once upon a time I made myself a ‘million-pound spreadsheet’. It was a beauty to behold. I plotted a graph projecting a rapidly growing trading bank and I virtually worshiped the thing. I could probably dig it up on an old hard drive somewhere. And you know what, for my very first 8 weeks of […]...

5 signs you’re gambling not trading

I’ve just spent an entertaining evening teaching the evils of gambling to my two boys… At the weekend my eldest asked what a casino was. There had been something on TV about Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas that caught his eye. And then after dinner last night we were playing heads and tails with a […]...

How to Trade & Profit With Japanese ‘Brick’ Charts

How to Trade & Profit With Japanese ‘Brick’ Charts

Guest article from Renko Trader’s Jason Alexander Congratulations! You’re about to discover a charting method that finally removes all of the noise and confusion of regular charts. The Renko chart is a simple yet precise tool from Japan. It’s a form of candlestick chart and takes its name from ‘Renga’, the Japanese word for brick. […]...

Sharpen your steel in flat Christmas markets

Sharpen your steel in flat Christmas markets

Let’s be honest, it’s so tempting to stay focused on finding entry points for trades… But how much time do you spend considering your management of open positions? It’s a weird one because the management of your trades is where you’ll almost always find (or lose) the discipline that makes or breaks your campaign. But […]...

5 questions to ask yourself when considering upping your trading account

5 questions to ask yourself when considering upping your trading account

There’s a bit of a learning curve you must go through with any skill worth learning. And trading is no different. A typical experience might be for a newbie trader to learn a trading strategy, apply it to a demo account (or paper trade it) and then take it live once he’s seen his virtual profits rack-up over a week or two. And that’s a perfectly sensible way to go about things. But… problems can soon arise as soon as REAL MONEY appears in the equation. It’s a strange phenomenon because in theory nothing has really changed… the markets still behave the same, the execution of trades is still carried out in the same way on the brokers software, the strategy rules are still valid… So why don’t all traders make the move from demo trading to live trading and.....

5 questions to ask yourself when considering upping your trading account

5 questions to ask yourself when considering upping your trading account

There’s a bit of a learning curve you must go through with any skill worth learning. And trading is no different. A typical experience might be for a newbie trader to learn a trading strategy, apply it to a demo account (or paper trade it) and then take it live once he’s seen his virtual profits rack-up over a week or two. And that’s a perfectly sensible way to go about things. But… problems can soon arise as soon as REAL MONEY appears in the equation. It’s a strange phenomenon because in theory nothing has really changed… the markets still behave the same, the execution of trades is still carried out in the same way on the brokers software, the strategy rules are still valid… So why don’t all traders make the move from demo trading to live trading and.....

How little rituals will set you up for trading success

How little rituals will set you up for trading success

It was like time travelling into the past… One of my boys enrolled into the local Cub Scouts pack last night and I went to watch the ceremony. The Cubs chanted as the flag was hoisted (“A-ke-la, we will-do-our-best”). And they made the same promise to do their duty to God and to the Queen I remember so well from years ago. The Scout hut even had the same dusty smell. And why change a winning formula? The thing is, as well as being great fun, all those meetings taking place in huts and church halls across the country are designed to generate specific results for the boys. It is hoped the Cubs will become keen to always to their best, to think of other people’s needs and feelings, and to create a feeling of camaraderie. And it’s all about those.....

How little rituals will set you up for trading success

How little rituals will set you up for trading success

It was like time travelling into the past… One of my boys enrolled into the local Cub Scouts pack last night and I went to watch the ceremony. The Cubs chanted as the flag was hoisted (“A-ke-la, we will-do-our-best”). And they made the same promise to do their duty to God and to the Queen I remember so well from years ago. The Scout hut even had the same dusty smell. And why change a winning formula? The thing is, as well as being great fun, all those meetings taking place in huts and church halls across the country are designed to generate specific results for the boys. It is hoped the Cubs will become keen to always to their best, to think of other people’s needs and feelings, and to create a feeling of camaraderie. And it’s all about those.....

How a Frenchman’s thumb can help you ascertain risk

How a Frenchman’s thumb can help you ascertain risk

If you’ve been reading my stuff for a while, you’ve probably heard me talk about the five essential parts of a well-rounded trading strategy. They are: what to trade, when to enter a trade, when to exit a winning trade, when to exit a losing trade, and finally – the bit we’re interested in today – how much to trade. How much to trade just means how much of your overall trading account you’ll be allocating against the trade. Depending on the market you’re trading, you might measure it by the number of shares bought or the number of futures contract bought. Or, when it comes to Forex spread betting, you might measure according to how much cash to stake against each pip of movement in the market. Position sizing – the medieval way The other night I was watching a.....

What to do when you’re on a ‘Grail Quest’

What to do when you’re on a ‘Grail Quest’

You know the first thing that gave me good, reliable trading results? It was looking for a simple candlestick pattern: the bullish and bearish ‘engulfing’ pattern. Of course, this only came along once I’d been through the mill a bit… I’d fallen prey to trading various ‘magical’ combinations of moving averages, overbought signals on oscillating indicators and all that stuff. I was well and truly searching for the Holy Grail of trading methods – you know; the magic system that NEVER loses. And I was getting some pretty horrible results, it must be said! So don’t worry if you’ve been there yourself – you might even be there at the moment. It seems to be a phase all traders go through as they learn their craft. But if you are going through a ‘seeking the Holy Grail of trading’ phase.....

How four teams play in every market (and the tactics they use)

How four teams play in every market (and the tactics they use)

What do you see when you look at a trading chart? ‘Price’ will almost certainly be there. ‘Time’ may or may not make an appearance (depending on which kind of chart you’re using) and there may also be your own personal selection of indicators and studies. But have you ever sat back to think what these pixels on your screen are actually showing you? The map is not the territory after all. No, what the chart illustrates is the aggregate position of every single participant in that market at a particular moment. Every trader, from investment banks throwing around their size all the way down to the micro-lot Forex trader placing his first order, bears influence on the way the chart develops and prints. And if we zoom in closer, we can divide all these players in the game into.....

How a bunch of rats beat top traders at their own game

How a bunch of rats beat top traders at their own game

I’ve just been reading about a fascinating trading experiment… It all started when Austrian financier Michael Marcovici kicked off his weird art project. He intended to show how highly paid jobs could eventually be replaced by machines but I think even he was surprised by the results achieved in the end. Let’s have a look at what he got up to… Firsthand experience of the financial markets led him to believe two key skills of trading success – pattern recognition, and the ability to act with discipline – could be performed just as well, if not better by other, more humble, entities than the traders. His point was it shouldn’t require a remuneration package the size of a small planet to successfully do battle with the markets. And with tongue firmly in cheek he drafted in a team of novice.....

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