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Why You Don't Have a Trading Log and Why You Should!

Why You Don't Have a Trading Log and Why You Should!

Every educator worth their salt will tell you “It’s important to log your trades”, to keep a record of your trades in order to track your progress. Almost all traders fail to heed this advice. In fact, of the traders I work with, I’d say that less than 5% actually keep a consistent trade history. It’s not just laziness at play here; there are practical reasons and psychological reasons that...

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Top Five Things Traders Need to Know About Option Margin

Top Five Things Traders Need to Know About Option Margin

The truth is, unlike margin on futures contracts, option margin is dynamic.  It is almost constantly changing along with market price, volatility, and the exchange’s perceived event risk.  Further, many brokerage firms opt to charge their clients margin requirements that are higher than the exchange minimums to compensate for what they believe to be additional risk posed to the client, and...

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Millenials – It Appears They Are Moving Out And In To Homes

Millenials – It Appears They Are Moving Out And In To Homes

Consumer and investor confidence dipped this past month. This, along with the other recent soft economic indicators, has led some analysts to lower GDP projections for 2015. So be it; let the predictions stand. Me? I prefer to look past the month-to-month indicators. I look to indicators that are more long lasting, that are more predictive of a solid foundation for economic growth. One of...

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So Much For Ancient Greece and Biometrics Using The Eye

So Much For Ancient Greece and Biometrics Using The Eye

Today we go between ancient history and the future, which is now. We leave the market to its own devices, as it is again behaving as if it wants to go up. Maybe it is the tepid economic data coming out that has the market believing the Fed will remain sidelined until at least late in the year, or maybe it likes that spring is here. Whatever … Greece is ancient history, you know Plato, the...

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Old School Advice

Old School Advice

Even with the prevalence of high speed trading and other complex algorithmic systems, it is often the tried and true strategies that can help you be successful over the long haul. Many investors try to reinvent the wheel, but often the most successful traders today have patterned their trading styles after those of the great traders of the past. W.D. Gann “How to Make Profits in Commodities”...

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Mastering the Emotions of Trading:Harnessing Emotion and Thinking for Highly Effective Trading

Mastering the Emotions of Trading:Harnessing Emotion and Thinking for Highly Effective Trading

“Trade what you see, not what you feel.” This axiom of trading seems so right, it is undeniable that all traders need to strive to achieve it.  The only problem with this oft quoted remark is what you see is influenced by what you are feeling – no exceptions.  If only traders could see the facts clearly without feeling, then they would be freed from the tyranny of emotional reasoning.  Then...

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Worry No Worry – Earnings Growth Will Prevail

Worry No Worry – Earnings Growth Will Prevail

The market is, admittedly, on shaky footing right now. Economic data is not quite as strong as we would like to see, the FOMC and their rate hike is just around the corner, and 1st quarter earnings growth is not expected to be good. I could go on and on about how the economic trends are still pointing to growth, or about how the FOMC rate hike has been expected for so long it has no choice...

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Are You Using the Right Trading Style and Instrument?

Are You Using the Right Trading Style and Instrument?

Market Conditions Affect Profits One of the benefits of the modern market structure with online trading is that anyone can trade just about any trading instrument using a variety of trading styles. This is also one of the biggest challenges that face retail traders. There are literally too many choices and not enough reliable information to help them select the instrument and optimal trading...

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Can Etsy (ETSY) Craft a Winning IPO?

Can Etsy (ETSY) Craft a Winning IPO?

With a few exceptions – GoDaddy (GDDY), a recent example – 2015 has been fairly light on headline-grabbing IPOs. That figures to change this week, however, as there are a few highly-recognizable companies looking to go public. Of that set, the one that may garner the most attention is a high-growth online retailer catering mostly to women.  That company, Etsy (ETSY), is offering 16.7 million...

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Predicting the Market: Are The Experts Really Expert?

Predicting the Market: Are The Experts Really Expert?

W. D. Gann – a trader active during the first half of the 20th Century and a developer of unique analytical methods, such as the Square of 9 and Gann Angles – was reputed to be able to predict within a few ticks the top and bottom of a stock’s range within a specified period of time.  Richard Wyckoff claimed that Gann’s trading ability was so good that it was “… probably unparalleled in the...

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Day Trading Without Charts – Volume Profile In Action

Day Trading Without Charts – Volume Profile In Action

When most people hear about day trading without charts, it conjures up images of other feats of derring-do –boxing with one arm tied behind your back, tightrope walking blindfolded, and bringing a knife to a gunfight all come to mind. Are we discussing a feat possible only by the fearless few, or is it possible that Day Trading Without Charts is something that is quite straightforward? The...

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Using Weekly Options To Your Advantage

Using Weekly Options To Your Advantage

The CME Group has spent the last few years adding weekly options to their product arsenal.  Their goal has been to provide speculators with more “options”, but they’ve also succeeded in finding a way to increase trading volume and, thus, their bottom line.  In other words, weekly options have been a success on all fronts. According to the U.S. futures exchange giant, weekly options provide...

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The Life-Cycles of Stocks Part 3: IPO Flame-Outs

The Life-Cycles of Stocks Part 3: IPO Flame-Outs

With this, the third and final installment of articles discussing the “life-cycles” of stocks, we delve into the phenomenon of “IPO Flame-Outs.” These stocks might be considered the James Deans, Jimi Hendrixes, and River Phoenixes of the equity markets; brightly shining, rapidly rising young stars that live “life in the fast lane” and die early deaths, sometimes ignominiously so. Unlike...

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Tax Planning Time Machine

Tax Planning Time Machine

Without fail, it happens every year. I’m not talking about the latest Hollywood hook up or D.C. scandal. What I’m referring to is something I like to call the “Hero Syndrome.” Every year I get contacted by frantic traders who are looking for a hero to swoop in and save them from the evils of high taxes. It would be great if I could just jump in my tax-planning time machine and go back to...

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An Upside To The Oil Market?

An Upside To The Oil Market?

The energy sector has been out of favor since the middle of last year, and stock prices for oil and gas drillers have been have been decimated with the S&P 500 oil and gas drilling industry falling almost 60% from its peak last year. This move is largely driven by the bear market in crude oil, and the underlying market fundamentals haven’t seen a substantial improvement. The Baker Hughes...

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