15 Jan

Glen Larson’s Fun Find Friday Episode 3

In this episode, Glen reviews how to handle a busy lifestyle with a good trick to keep yourself focused.  This is an awesome tip that will hopefully help you in your day to day activities.

episode 3

Do you have a cool idea for a Fun Friday Find?  Leave a comment!

08 Jan

Three Amazing Tips to Start the New Year


In this week’s Fun Find Friday, Glen talks about victories and accomplishments for 2015 and 2016, why public wifi is dangerous to your health, and two must reads that are life changing.  Sign up here to receive Fun Find Friday Facts directly

 

Glen Larson's Fund Find Friday Ep. 2

 

Do you have some cool ideas for fun tips or is there something you are interested in?  Leave us a comment below and we will incorporate your topic into Glen’s Fun Find Fridays!  Don’t forget to stay tuned for the Tuesday Trading Tip!

05 Jan

How Daily Data Affects Algo Trading


How Daily Data Affects Algo Trading

Come join Glen Larson as he offers tips, tricks, and trading secrets along with fun and entertaining facts every Tuesday and Friday.  Today’s Tuesday Trading Tip explores three tips to abide by when using algo trading (otherwise known as backtesting).   Enjoy this week’s tip and sign up here for future Tuesday Tips and trading advice emailed directly to you!

 

daily data

 

Do you have a question, concern or topic about trading you would like Glen to explore?  If so, leave us a comment and we will get back to you!

18 Nov

The Biggest Retirement Mistake Investors Still Make and How to Fix It

Photo courtesy of techzulu.com

Photo courtesy of techzulu.com

 

 

This post was originally posted on this site.

The Biggest Retirement Mistake Investors Still Make and How to Fix It

By , Technical Trading Specialist, Money Morning

The most common retirement strategy advisors still give today is “buy a good index mutual fund and hold it forever.” That aged approach has been around since I got my start in the markets in the mid-1980s.

Sure, buy and hold is the easiest strategy for a client to follow. After selecting a fund, there is nothing more to do.

That’s why it’s great for advisors and mutual funds. Keeping your money is their top priority because they get paid based on assets under management, not performance. Plus, redemptions cost funds money and time. For every “sale,” they have to deal with paperwork and transaction costs when they sell shares to raise cash for the redemption.

But as investors, taking a buy-and-hold approach with all your retirement assets can be one of the biggest financial mistakes you make.

Today I’ll show you the value in taking a more active approach to retirement and give you a few better strategies to grow your nest egg…

Market Pullbacks Don’t Always Come at Convenient Times

Buy and hold has done a particularly poor job of protecting nest egg money, especially during two periods over the past 15 years…

Buy-and-holders have seen two drops that exceeded a 50% drawdown since 2000:

retirement mistake

The first drop shown is the dot-com bubble in 2000. The S&P 500 index dropped 50.5%.

The second is the real estate and credit bubble that topped in October 2007. It led to a 57.6% drop in the S&P 500.

Now the market has recovered and won back the losses, thanks to the second-longest bull market of the last century. The S&P 500 has more than tripled since its March 2009 low.

That’s fine for some retirees – if the timing was right…

But the buy-and-hold strategy ignores those who needed some of their funds during the huge drops. And living through two 50+% losses in less than 10 years is a horrible prescription for building wealth.

Plus, many retirees don’t really understand what time frame they need to outperform inflation. We have the numbers to give you some perspective…

When Inflation Eats Away at Your Retirement

Ed Easterling of Crestmont Research published the following retirement data in an extensive New York Times article in 2011. He looked at every period of investment from one year to 109 years between 1920 to 2011, and every rolling period in between. (For example, each 20-year period from 1950 to 1969, then 1951 to 1970, etc.)

Accounting for dividends, inflation, and taxes, Easterling concluded that for stable returns that outperform inflation, you need a 60- to 70-year holding period.

He found that from the period of 1970 up until 2011, for any 20-year period, you had a one-in-six chance of a negative return relative to inflation for the whole 20-year hold period.

And the 20-year periods could be very volatile. For example, $10,000 at the end of 1961 would have dwindled to $6,600 by 1981. On the other hand, $10,000 invested at the end of 1979 would have grown to a whopping $48,000 by 1999.

Adding the last three to four years of positive data only improves those odds slightly.

This is why your retirement fund would benefit from some strategy diversification. Supplementing buy and hold with other strategies can provide a strong potential for outperforming in sideways and down markets.

Improve Your Retirement Strategy with an Active Approach

Here are a few strategies that can help you increase your retirement savings and protect it from plunging markets:

  • Tactical Asset Allocation – This can be as simple as deciding how much of your retirement savings to allocate to stocks, bonds, and cash at any time, or be more involved by moving in and out of sectors and more diverse assets such as precious metals and commodities. Yale’s famous endowment manager David Swensen popularized a form of tactical asset allocation called periodic rebalancing. It works because it is a standardized way to buy low and sell high as asset prices fluctuate.
  • Index Investing Using Moving Averages – Tracking moving averages can alert you to a coming pullback in the markets so you can move some money out of harm’s way. Being invested when the 50-day moving average is above the 200 and being in cash when the 50 is below the 200 is a relatively simple way that has beaten buy and hold.
  • Down-Market Investments – Putting a small, underperforming portion of your portfolio to work in strategies that can increase returns in down and sideways markets also provides more active investors with an opportunity to outperform the markets in different conditions.

 

 

12 Nov

What to Know When You First Start to Trade

online trading

Learning how to trade stocks, futures, options, or forex markets.

What to Know When You First Start to Trade

By Brandy Gallegos – Trade Navigator

You have decided to take the plunge and learn how to trade.  Maybe you are looking for extra income for your family, you are tired of brokers and financial advisers telling you what to do with your money, you’re in it to become a full-time trader or want a part-time hobby.  Regardless of your reason, you are just starting out.  Like most new adventures you are asking yourself, “where do I begin?”  This is an excellent question. All traders, even the professionals, have asked this question before.  So how do you begin? what do you do when you first start to trade?

You have probably been searching on the internet looking for answers.  When you type in how to trade or begin trading, you get the google ads and organic keywords that bring you to trading schools, professionals who claim you can become a millionaire overnight using their techniques, brokers, and trading software.  This doesn’t answer your question, it’s just frustrating.  You get that in trading you need to spend money to make money, but do you really need to spend thousands of dollars on learning how to trade? what to do when you first start to trade

I have been in your position.  When I decided to look into information on trading, I didn’t know the first thing about it. I am not considered a professional trader but I have an amazing boss, who not only started Trade Navigator, an online trading software that has been helping people trade for over 25 years, but is an avid trader himself.  These tips I am about to give you come from a man who knows the ins and outs of trading. Before you spend thousands of dollars on schools and advice, here are some general guidelines you want to abide by to ensure your success. what to do when you first start to trade

If you are going to trade, the number one rule is to minimize potential losses.  Common sense right?  Easier said than done.  Trading involves time, math, and understanding. Here are five basic guidelines to get you started. what to do when you first start to trade

  • Pick a type of security: Whether it is a future, option, stock, or forex market, learn the fundamentals of your market. Do you understand the differences between each market?
    • Futures trading is setting a price of a product to take receipt in the future.
    • Stocks trading is owning a percentage of a company.
    • Forex trading is purchasing a dollar exchange rate.
    • Options trading is a contract that gives buyers the right to buy or sell at a specific price on or before a certain date.

There are other markets and techniques that you can learn; these are just four market examples. To learn more about markets, set up a free one-on-one training session here with a Trade Navigator Professional.

  • Learn about Trading in your Markets: This rule works more for futures trading but can be used in stocks as well. Make it a habit to visit the exchange websites and learn about contract specifications.  As a trader you need to know the values within each contract so you can understand what you are actually trading. Unfortunately many traders that trade futures do not know the details of the contract they are trading.  If you do not understand the contract in its entirety, you risk losing your investment.

what to do when you first start to trade

  • Learn the types of orders available through your broker: Since market, stop, and limit orders are virtually universal, you need to know how they work so you can properly place a trade.  What exactly are orders?
    • A Market order is when you buy or sell now.
    • A stop order is buy or sell after the price moves in your intended direction a specific amount.
    • A limit order is buy or sell after the price moves against your intended direction a specific amount.
  • Practice Trading first (AKA paper trading): Practice trading before you invest any money.  How do you do this? Either start with a spread sheet or find a simulated trading platform that will allow you to practice trades.  This allows you to see if your techniques actually work or help you learn techniques before trading. Trade Navigator allows you to try their software for only $7.00 for 30 days and offers a complete simulated platform with $50,000 if free simulated trade money to practice with.  You can purchase the 30 day guest pass here.what to do when you first start to trade
  • Search for Historical patterns: Historical patterns give insight to future market movement that can assist in predicting your next purchase or move.  This technique is highly advised if you are going to dabble in stop and limit orders.  Historical data (also known as back testing) allows you to visually see the movement in markets so you and can confidently place your next order.
  • Sell low buy high OR buy hi sell low: Most traders think you have to buy first and sell later.  But many professional traders are aware that you can sell first and buy second in a market that is losing value. In futures, this technique requires a small financial investment, however in stocks it requires a much larger investment. Here is a great example for futures trading: corn is selling for $50.00 a contract in October.  You know that by January it should go down to $42.00 a contract. You sell the corn to a corn company in October for $50.00 (even though you currently do not own corn) and the contract expires in March. In January you purchase corn at $42.00 a contract.  Now you have corn to deliver in March.  Not only have you delivered the corn on time to the corn company but you also made $8.00 more on each contract by selling first then buying.  This technique allows you to make money in any direction of the market.

For beginner traders, this is a great start to understanding how to trade and trade effectively.  Of course there is much more to learn and I will continue to send out more trading techniques, styles, tips, and secrets so that you can become a great trader. what to do when you first start to trade

I ask you to please leave questions and comments so we can start a great discussion.  You may also email directly with any questions or concerns at bgallegos@tradenavigator.com.  To sign up for our newsletter, please visit www.tradenavigator.com and fill out the newsletter form.


Important notice! No representation is being made that the use of this strategy or any system or trading methodology will generate profits. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. There is substantial risk of loss associated with trading securities and options on equities. Only risk capital should be used to trade. Trading securities is not suitable for everyone. Disclaimer: futures, options, and currency trading all have large potential rewards, but they also have large potential risk. You must be aware of the risks and be willing to accept them in order to invest in these markets. Don’t trade with money you cannot afford to lose. This email and/or website is neither a solicitation nor an offer to buy or sell futures, options, or currencies. No representation is being made that any account will or is likely to achieve profits or losses similar to those discussed in any email or website. The past performance of any trading system or methodology is not necessarily indicative of future results.

Cftc rule 4.41 – hypothetical or simulated performance results have certain limitations. Unlike an actual performance record, simulated results do not represent actual trading. Also, since the trades have not been executed, the results may have under-or-over compensated for the impact, if any, of certain market factors, such as lack of liquidity. Simulated trading programs in general are also subject to the fact that they are designed with the benefit of hindsight. No representation is being made that any account will or is likely to achieve profit or losses similar to those shown. what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade what to do when you first start to trade

12 Nov

Trading Beliefs: Monkeys, Wooden Legs and Your Trading

successful trader

Are your beliefs keeping you from becoming a successful trader?

 

Are your beliefs keeping you from becoming a successful trader?

As always when we begin the year we want to wish you a happy and prosperous New Year. It seems like we always make New Year’s resolutions to improve our trading. But are we making important resolutions? Do our resolutions force us to take a look at our thinking and beliefs?

But first, let me ask you some questions about your beliefs about money, wealth and trading. How many of you have heard that trading is … (more…)

10 Nov

Three Steps To Improve Your Trading

Trading Software

This post was originally posted on this site.

Three Steps To Improve Your Trading

Many traders struggle to make consistent profits. And so they keep looking for another strategy, another course, another trading robot, … just ANYTHING that might improve their trading.

And that’s why many traders spent more time and money on strategies, eBooks, indicators and courses, until they have no funds left to trade.

But as you know, it doesn’t fix the problem!

In the following article I want to show you three steps to improve your trading. In fact, I believe that by following these steps and you can dramatically improve your trading in the next 24 hours!

Step 1: Record Your Trades

Whether you are trading on a simulator or already trading with real money: You MUST record your trades.

Successful traders treat trading as a business and they know their numbers.

Just think about it: If you are running a business, you want to know whether you make money or lose money. And if you are making money, you want to know WHY you are making money, e.g. what products or services provide the highest profit margin, what products and services sell best, etc.

And if you lose money in your business, you need to figure out why, too!

Same in trading. You MUST keep accurate records of all trades that you placed, whether you took them on paper during backtesting, in a simulator or live in your account. Here’s the information that you need:

  • Date: Just enter the date on which the trade occurred.
  • Market / Symbol: Record the symbol of the market you are trading, e.g. ES, YM, AAPL, EUR/USD
  • Long / Short: You need to record whether you entered a long or a short trade.
  • Entry Price: Record the entry price.
  • Entry Time: Record the entry time.
  • Exit Price: Record the exit price.
  • Exit Time: Record the exit time.
  • Profit / Loss: Record the profit or loss that you made on this trade.
  • Strategy Used: If you are trading multiple strategies, record which strategy you used for this trade.
  • According to Plan?: Record whether you took the trade according to your plan or not.
  • Comments: Write down any comments about this trade, e.g. “Great trade. Followed all my rules” or “Forgot to check the calendar and traded right into a report.”

The best way to record your trades would be in an Excel spreadsheet, because then you can sort your trades for the next step.

Step 2: Analyze Your Trades

Now comes the fun part: You need to analyze the trades to see which trades are making you money and why you are losing money.

Here’s what you should analyze:

  • Are there certain markets in which you MAKE money? Are there markets in which you consistently LOSE money?
  • Are there certain times of the day when which you make/lose money?
  • Are there certain days of the week when you make money? What days of the week are you losing money?
  • Take a look at your profits and losses. Are there any BIG losses that stick out? If so, take a look at your comments. Could these losses have been avoided?
  • Are there certain strategies that LOSE you money? Any strategies that MAKE you money?
  • Do you trade according to your plan? Do you notice that whenever you don’t’ follow your plan, you have more losses than normal?
  • When reading through the comments, do you notice any particular pattern, e.g. “moved the stop too early to b/e” or “took profits too fast”?

When using Excel, you can quickly analyze your trades according to the criteria mentioned above.

Step 3: Modify Your Trading Plan

Based on the analysis you did in Step 2, modify your trading plan.

As an example, if you make money during the morning session, but you lose money in the afternoon, just focus on trading in the morning.

If you make money trading ES, YM and NQ, but you lose money trading TF, stop trading TF!

If you make money Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, but you lose money on Fridays, stop trading on Fridays.

If you make money with Trading Strategy #1 and Trading Strategy #2, but you lose money with Trading Strategy #3, stop trading strategy #3!

You get the idea, do you?

A Personal Experience

When I moved from Germany to the US to become a professional trader, I struggled in the first few months. But then I started to analyze my trades exactly as outlined above. And I found out a few things about my trading:

  • I made money on the trades that I placed during the morning session, but I had an unusually high amount of losing trades during the afternoon session. So I stopped trading in the afternoon, and even today I’m just trading in the first two hours after the US stock markets open.
  • I had an unusually high amount of losing trades on Fridays. As a result, I usually don’t trade on Fridays.
  • I discovered that I had more losses than normal when trading the e-mini NQ. Therefore I stopped trading NQ an focused on the markets that made me money: e-mini S&P, 30-Year Bonds, Gold, Crude Oil and EuroFX

To date, I am surprised how many traders don’t keep accurate records and don’t even know what’s causing their profits, and what’s causing their losses.

If you have been placing ANY trades, whether on paper, on a simulator or live, then you are sitting on a gold mine of information. If you follow the steps above, you can dramatically improve your trading in a matter of hours!

  • Do you keep accurate records?
  • Do you know your numbers?
  • Have you ever analyzed your trading like this?

Markus Heitkoetter
www.rockwelltrading.com

Markus also has a free book on trading if you would like to dig a little deeper. It is great read for traders and even better, it’s free! Click Here

30 Jun

S&P in a Cocked Hat

Very occasionally I am forced to read a newspaper. Usually it is something as mundane as the weather which is of interest to me as I have many hundreds of new plants ranging from 150 meters of Murraya hedging, 40 or so assorted palms, giant Strelitzia, Gardenias, Citrus and a horde of exotics whose names escape me, all of which require that most precious commodity water. And if you want to know how (more…)

14 Aug

How to Quickly Upgrade Yourself!

In life it seems that most of us want to take ourselves up another step; take our success to the next level and “upgrade” ourselves and our lives. The areas you may want to upgrade can be related to your trading, your career, your income, your relationships, or even your health.

Many of us will spend time and money in order to get to that next level yet find that when they return from seminars or having read a book, they return to the previous level. Ever wondered why?

(more…)