Reblog: 25 Powerful Trading Lessons From Jesse Livermore


jesse livermore

Born in 1877, Jesse Livermore is possibly the most famous trader in history.

He started trading at the age of 14 from bucket shops. His tape reading skill was so good that these bucket shops eventually didn’t want to do business with him.

At his peak in 1929, he was worth $100 million. Ultimately, he lost his entire fortune when he broke his trading rules.

The same trading rules which made him millions, caused him to lose everything when he lost control of himself.

Still, there are valuable lessons to be learned from Jesse Livermore’s trading experience.

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Reblog: Do NOT Look For a Trading Strategy That Suits Your Personality


What Feels Comfortable and Natural Usually Doesn’t Work

Why do almost all speculator lose money? They lose because successful speculation requires that we consistently do that which is psychologically uncomfortable and unnatural” – Richard Weissman

There is a persistent overall tendency for equity to flow from the many to the few. In the long run, the majority loses. The implication for the trader is that to win, you have to act like the minority. If you bring normal habits and tendencies to trading, you’ll gravitate toward the majority and inevitably lose” – William Eckhardt

Most of what we naturally do and think do not work in trading. Here are a couple of examples:

  • We are naturally inclined to cut our winners short and let our winners run

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Reblog: Why You Should Take the Profits and Run!


This article is for those traders (new or experienced) who have trouble booking profits. Do you often see large profits evaporate as the market reverses against you, leaving you feeling powerless and confused? If so, you know how frustrating it can be and you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Poor target placement, lack of experience, greed, arrogance and stubbornness are all issues that can cause traders to not take profits off the table.

I appreciate this article may conflict with some of my core beliefs and teachings on taking profits since typically I encourage people to aim for a 2 to 1 risk reward or greater and to set and forget stops and targets. In theory, this makes sense, but in the real world, as you likely already know, there are still a great number of trades that almost hit your profit target or where a trade has moved quickly in the right direction and you’re staring at a giant profit… and then the next day or week, the market goes the other way and your once giant profit has become a much smaller profit or even a loss.

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Reblog: When Should You Move a Stop Loss to Breakeven?


forex breakeven stop loss

This week’s question comes from John, who asks:

When should a trader move a stop loss order to breakeven?

This is one of the more common questions among Forex traders. It’s also one of the most challenging to answer because it depends on several variables.

And it makes sense that it’s a common dilemma. After all, who doesn’t want to be in a risk-free trade?

But believe it or not, moving a stop loss too soon can be more harmful than taking a full loss.

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Reblog: Candlesticks – Forget Candlestick Patterns – This is All You Need To Know


Understanding candlestick patterns goes far beyond just remembering and recognizing certain formations. Many books have been written about candlestick patterns, featuring hundreds of different formations that supposedly provide secret information about what is going to happen next.

Truth be told, it will make no difference to your trading performance whether you know what the Concealing Baby Swallow, Three Black Crows or Unique Three River Bottom are.

What really matters is that you understand what the candlesticks in front you of you tell you about price structure, trend strength, buyer/seller dynamic and the likely path for future price movements. 

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Reblog: The Disciplined Trader


When an aspiring trader asks me to recommend books on technical analysis he or she is often surprised at my answer.  While I do have a technical favourite or two (besides my own) I am quick to redirect him or her to books on trading psychology.

Technical analysis is worthless without a thorough understanding of the psychology behind winning and losing, buying and selling, fear and greed, risk versus reward, the past versus the future, the knowable versus the unknowable.  Technical analysis is best used as a psychological tool to help the trader manage random price action and the emotions associated with it, not as a way to predict price action and thus confirm the trader’s egotistical need to be right.  Psychology first; technical second.

One of my favourite “go to” authors on trading psychology is Mark Douglas.  Although he is best known for his book Trading In The Zone, Mr Douglas’ first book The Disciplined Trader is a gem of a read also.  I recommend both but start with The Disciplined Trader.  It will help you better understand and appreciate the principles discussed in Trading in the Zone.

The following is from the INTRODUCTION and provides the thesis for the book. In it, Douglas discusses the following:

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Reblog: How to Maintain Control and Discipline in Your Trading


If as a TRADER you want to have disciplined and profitable trading, The Core Concept you need to Understand is

As a Trader, you do not have any control on the market.

Nil Control on Market

You’ve either figured out or you will figure out the fact that not much at all remains under your control as a trader. Dealing with an endless set of variables using a mind that’s geared by nature to defining constants is a tough task.  Most of traders focus on returns and not focusing on the process of trading.

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Reblog: 21 Ways To Improve Your Trading System


how to improve a trading system

Trading systems are not only good for making money in financial markets but they are also extremely useful for learning. Unfortunately, trading systems often get discarded early on after a couple of poor back-test results.

Sometimes it is better to improve an existing model that needs work than to start afresh with a totally new system. In this article I look at 21 ways you might be able to improve on your existing trading system:

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Reblog: The Worst Mistakes Beginner Traders Make


Traders generally buy and sell securities more frequently and hold positions for much shorter periods than investors. Such frequent trading and shorter holding periods can result in mistakes that can wipe out a new trader’s investing capital quickly. Here are the ten worst mistakes made by beginner traders:

1. Letting Losses Mount

One of the defining characteristics of successful traders is their ability to take a small loss quickly if a trade is not working out and move on to the next trade idea. Unsuccessful traders, on the other hand, get paralyzed if a trade goes against them. Rather than taking quick action to cap a loss, they may hold on to a losing position in the hope that the trade will eventually work out. In addition to tying up trading capital for an inordinate period of time in a losing trade, such inaction may result in mounting losses and severe depletion of capital.

2. Failure to Implement Stop-Loss Orders

Stop-loss orders are crucial for trading success, and failure to implement them is one of the worst mistakes that can be made by a novice trader. Tight stop losses generally ensure that losses are capped before they become sizeable. While there is a risk that a stop order on long positions may be implemented at levels well below those specified if the security gaps lower, the benefits of such orders outweigh this risk. A corollary to this common trading mistake is when a trader cancels a stop order on a losing trade just before it can be triggered because he or she believes that the security is getting to a point where it will reverse course imminently and enable the trade to still be successful.

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Reblog: Capital Preservation: 10 Trading Tips


The original article is written by Steve Burns and is available here.

As a trader, your #1 goal is to keep your current trading capital safe and secure. Your goal as a a trader is to make money and not lose money. Many new traders lose their trading capital in the first year, but these ten tips will help you keep your capital intact so you can make it grow.

  1. Do not start trading until you have fully educated yourself. Trading tuition is expensive when you trade first and learn later.
  2. Do not trade an account so small that commissions will end up being a big drag on your returns.
  3. Do not trade until you have a well developed trading plan.
  4. Trade a position size that does not cause your emotions to become so loud you can’t hear your trading plan.
  5. Only trade in markets you fully understand.
  6. Only take valid entry signals and do not chase. Let your entry point trigger first.
  7. Only trade in liquid markets so bid/ask spreads do not devour your account.
  8. Never risk losing more than 1% of your total trading capital on any one trade through proper position sizing, and by placing stop losses at the correct price levels.
  9. Never expose your total trading account to more than a 3% loss of total trading capital at any one time, on one day.
  10. Never move a stop loss. Take the exit the first time it is triggered.