By admin | June 28, 2008 - 11:13 am - Posted in Learning, Starting

Stage One: The Clueless Trader

This is the first stage when you enter trading. You may have picked up a book on technical analysis somewhere, heard of a day trader making millions, or got lucky in an earlier stock investment. After all, how hard can it be? The money sounds appealing and the freedom to be independent sounds attractive.

I don’t mean to shatter anybody’s dream but those who succeed in trading are the minority! Approximately 90-95% traders lose money. This is the cold hard facts. In the first stage, every trader is optimistic. You open a direct access brokerage account and the sound of Level II, ask/bid, and market makers make trading sound like hi-tech video game. In reality you have no clue. You will buy just to see the market reverse and you will short just as the market starts to rally. Most of your trades are done emotionally. You buy just because the markets feel strong without any logical reason. You are in the unconscious incompetence stage. You have no clue how the mechanics and psychology of trading works. What’s worse? You are not aware that you don’t know. Most traders will blow their entire account at this stage.

Stage Two: The Rookie Trader

In this stage you have lost enough money to realize what you are doing is completely wrong. In other words, you start to realize that you don’t know. You will then devour every trading book available. You will study and purchase Technical Analysis of Stock Trends by Edwards and Magee believing price patterns are the Holy Grail. You will memorize every technical pattern known to man. You will read about the ADX, moving averages, Fibonacci lines, pivot points, MACD, Bollinger Bands, channels, etc… You will go through the “help” tab on your data vendor to read about every single technical indicator available. You will plot them on your charts and spend hours looking for an indicator that works. You will be extra confident now because think you have found the magical technical indicator.

Yet, you still continue to lose money everyday. You realize that your indicators are lagging and that every other new trader is probably looking at the same thing. You realize that you are the sucker.

Stage Three: The Developing Trader

You start to realize the amount of work required and the immense learning curve that you must overcome to understand the markets. At this point, traders may find it overwhelming and quit. Stronger minded traders will push their motivation harder to start their second spurt for knowledge. Hunger and passion is needed to clear this stage. You will look for reference online, join mentor programs, chat rooms, and seminars. You realize the necessary elements needed to develop as a trader. You will ask a thousand questions and bug every professional trader you meet. You will read a thousand day trading articles. You will start paper trading, develop strategies and setups, and define risk parameters for every trade. You will go on a hunt for self-understanding to master your psychological game. You will visualize every possibility on a trade before you take it. This is the true learning phase. You are trying hard to develop your edge in trading.

Stage Four: The Determined Trader

This is the stage in which you learn to specialize in certain markets and trading methods. Without realizing it, you have finally found your style of trading after hours of hard work and research. You stick to your method and you improve it. You realize that you need an edge whether its tape reading or being a Fibonacci expert. The important thing is you are slowly transforming yourself into a specialized trader. You test your methods and they seem to work. You gain tremendous market knowledge. You reflect back on yourself and you can’t help but laugh at your foolishness. Although you have not made enough money to call yourself successful you are proud of your journey and accomplishments. You realize that the Holy Grail is not about technical indicators or price patterns. You calculate risk before profits and place strict money management on all your trades. You cut losses short and learn to scale out on your winners. You start accept losing as a natural part of the game. You take high probability trades that you have tested and feel confident about your setups because you understand that trading is a game of probabilities. Your psychological makeup has changed from an amateur mindset to a professional one.

Step Five: The Consistent Trader

You rely on your trading method and start taking trades systematically. You try to aim for consistency and are meeting your daily goals often. You have reached the conscious competence stage. You are fully aware of your strengths and weaknesses as a trader. At times you feel euphoric and at times you feel pain. But you are able to understand your own psychological makeup to control your emotional swings. You are now able to trade for a living.

Step Six: The Expert Trader

In this final stage, you completely understand the markets you are trading. Being involved in it everyday you are aware of every key price level. You understand market concept and are able to predict the direction of the markets a fairly good amount of time. You pat yourself on your back and take profits as soon as you feel euphoric. You do this because you understand euphoria is the same as emotional trading. You talk to other traders and realize the development stage they are in. People start asking you for trading advice, you publish a book, and you have a specific trading methodology that represents you!

Taking trades come naturally and you are able to get in and out at the precise price levels based on tape. Instead of having the markets take your stop out, you exit when you know you are wrong. You keep your head high but remain humble on the inside. You have now officially graduated the school of the hard knocks.

Entering the trading profession can be a tough journey for many people. Trading is one of the toughest careers that you can choose. If you enjoy the challenge, you will definitely enjoy the feeling of accomplishment. Trading is 30% mechanical and 170% psychological. 200% is required to become a successful trader. Good luck and best of trading.

Lee is a full-time day trader specializing in the mini-sized Dow futures. His core trading strategy is based on pivot point clusters and Market Profile. You can learn more about his trading methodology at

By admin | June 24, 2008 - 11:13 am - Posted in Working

Overview
The Price Rate of Change (ROC) displays the value of the current price relative to the price of n periods ago. The Price Rate of Change can be expressed in either points or percentages.

Price Rate of Change Formulas
To plot the ROC in terms of points use the below formula:

Current Close – Close n periods ago

To plot the ROC in terms of percentages use the below formula:

(Today’s Close – Close n periods ago)

————————————————– * 100

Close n periods ago

The most common period for the Price Rate of Change is 12-periods for short- term signals, while 25-periods is popular among swing traders. The time period you trade will be the determining factor for this input.

Trading Signals
Traders will buy a security when the ROC crosses above the 0 line and sell when the indicator crosses below 0. The ROC can be classified as either an oscillator or momentum indicator. As the Price Rate of Change trends higher with price, this is confirmation that the trend has legs. However, if the price of the security heads higher, while the ROC trends lower, this type of divergence often precedes a market top.

Optimizing the ROC
The Percent Rate of Change will have completely different values for different stocks. The best method for trading the ROC is to look at previous peaks and troughs for the indicator. By comparing the current ROC value to recent levels, a trader will know what to expect in terms of price movement relative to the most recent trading activity.

Al Hill is the co-founder of mysmp.com (My Stock Market Power) which provides education on all topics finance; including stocks, bonds, options, futures, forex, technical analysis, and more! Please visit for more free financial educational content.

By admin | June 20, 2008 - 11:13 am - Posted in Working

1) What is forex trading?
Forex trading is trading between two currencies. For example, you buy a certain currency now and wait for the currency to appreciate in value. After which, you sell it off and then keep the profits.
Sounds easy? Far from that.

2) How is it done?
Traders use technical analysis to examine the history of market prices and the turnover of relevant financial instruments in order to identify the market trend and its possible changes. In addition, they monitor these statistical surveys very closely in order to have early access to data about a certain country’s performance. From there, traders gain insight about currency movements in order to help them ‘buy low sell high’. That preparation work alone is far from easy. It requires much of your time researching and analyzing the data, just to make sure the currency you buy doesn’t end up depreciating in value instead.

3) Forex trading can be very profitable but…
Indeed, forex trading is a potentially profitable opportunity. But never forget the high risk high return rule. As with any other investment, the high return from Forex trading comes hand in hand with high risk that the investor has to bear. Before deciding to trade foreign exchange you should carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite. You should be aware of all the risks associated with foreign exchange trading, and seek advice from an independent financial adviser if you have any doubts.

4) Is forex trading for you?
Trading foreign currencies is a challenging and potentially profitable opportunity for educated and experienced investors. The good news is, it comes with experience.

Ivan Ong is not an expert in Forex Trading. However, he does know some tricks that has earned him US$890.26 in his 8 first trades trading the Forex Market. He is going to show you the exact system that he follow to have such success in Forex Trading. If you want to find out the strategy that he used, click on the link here:

By admin | June 11, 2008 - 11:13 am - Posted in Articles, Learning, Working

It’s best to go over some short definitions and descriptions of each of these two forex trading methods.

Scalping

Scalping is basically short period trading. These periods where a trader holds a position can vary from seconds to minutes. Scalping is effectively trading the minutest moves in the market for usually a small profit.

To give an example a leveraged trading account with 100,000 EUR/USD position will earn/lose $10 per pip movement. That means a small 3 pip movement either way will add $30 to or lose $30 of the traders deposit.

Even though effective scalping involves highly leveraged positions the exposure to risk is lessened to some degree by the amount of ‘time’ that a trader holds his/her position so large movements are rarer (but beware can occur).

Scalping is a popular method of trading practiced by ‘newbies’ thrilled with the cat and mouse game of the market and some traders make a good living out of it but most traders, in fact close to 90% either break even or lose their deposits.

An added factor to consider is that brokerage houses do not like scalpers. Why? The reason is simple. When a position is taken by a trader the broker has the opposite position and needs to cover that position especially if the broker feels that the traders position is the right one for market conditions. If the broker then covers that position and a few seconds/minutes later the position is squared then the broker has a currency exposure and brokers are companies that generally don’t like exposure. Most make their money on spreads and trading against their clients positions. Those scalpers that make money consistently find that most brokerage houses terminate their accounts. That doesn’t mean to say that it will happen immediately but when a trading pattern does arise of scalping don’t be surprised if your broker ‘divorces’ you!

Day Trading

Day trading is not really referring to the holding of positions by traders for a day but is more descriptive of the type of forex trader that prefers to hold on to a position for a longer period of time than a few minutes at most. These positions usually last for more than an hour, few hours and in some cases days.

A day trader is a ‘different animal’ to the scalper in that he/she is more comfortable with exposure to the risk of larger currency fluctuations. It’s not because they have fatter wallets it’s usually down to having more experience and a different trading temperament.

The profit motive for a day trader is also different. A day trader will look for larger moves within a single trade and be aware of and use for example greater technical analysis to calculate the best entry and exit levels.

Brokers tend to prefer these traders as they can do two things, firstly trade against their client by covering their exposure and go the other way if they have an opposing view or square (net out) the position.

Again there are a lot of losers in the day trade market due primarily to inexperience and a ‘gambling’ mentality that many participants in the forex market have.

The people who consistently make profits understand the market through experience of trading and knowledge acquired and are persistent and understand forex trading methods that are available and in what situations to use them.

To find out more how you can become a profitable trader on a consistent basis sign up to my Here you will learn valuable tips to help you make money. Join here to receive all the benefits.

Peter Burke MBA has been writing Journals and Articles for academic publications for over 7 years and is Managing Director of a Consulting Company in the United Kingdom and has 15 years of trading experience.

By admin | June 8, 2008 - 11:13 am - Posted in Learning, Working

What Is Forex Trading?

Forex or foreign exchange is the term used for the trading of one currency for another. Such trading occurs on a daily basis especially in international business. The forex market is known as one of the largest global markets in existence and includes the trading of currency between banks, business corporations, governments, financial markets and many other sectors in business. An average of 3-4 trillion US$ are traded on the global forex market every day.

So What Makes This Market So Unique?

There are a number of factors that make this market unique, these are: – The volumes of currency traded on a daily basis. – The dispersion of global location where trading occurs. – The times at which trading can occur (24 hours a day, except weekends). – The number of factors that affect the currency exchange rate. – The margin of profit compared to other markets.

Who Are The Top 10 Currency Traders Globally?

The top 10 forex traders globally account for nearly 70% of all trading volume in the market. These banks have such influence as they always provide a buy and sell price for currency, thus allowing for a greater volume of trade. The following banks provide the greatest trade in forex:
1. Deutsche Bank ~ 21%.
2. UBS AG ~ 16%.
3. Barclays Capital ~ 9%.
4. Citi ~ 7%.
5. Royal Bank of Scotland ~ 7%
6. JPMorgan ~ 4%
7. HSBC ~ 4%.
8. Lehman Brothers ~ 3%.
9. Goldman Sachs ~ 3%.
10. Morgan Stanley ~ 3%.

Information.

The internet has become one of the most common places to find information on the forex market and on systems that can be used to take advantage of the market and create a small profit for yourself. One such example is the instant forex system which provides an innovative kit that reveals secrets about the forex market and how to utilise these secrets. The system doesn’t even need any previous trading experience, just 5-10 minutes of your time per week. The system has many benefits and can be used even if you have a very low starting capital. No technical skills are required.

For more information on the instant forex system, visit:

By admin | June 3, 2008 - 11:13 am - Posted in Working

Flipping in and out of stock may be a great way to scrape small profits off price dips and swells, but unless your stock portfolio account has an equity and cash position of at least $25,000, you will run afoul of the pattern day trader rule.

The pattern day trader rule limits your ability to buy and sell the same stock in the same trading day, unless your account portfolio has a cash and stock value of at least $25,000.

This is just one additional hurdle you need to jump before getting involved in penny stock day trading. This rule stipulates that you must have at least $25,000 in cash or stock value in your portfolio to move in and out of the same security on the same trading day.

Generally, an online broker will allow you to “get away” with one or two trades per week on what they call “both sides of the market,” but they could theoretically reject your order requests at any time.

When I was first starting out in this business I had about $5,000 in my account. I came across a stock that was moving up and down in intraday trading and decided to try flipping the stock a few times.

After my third buy and sell transaction that day, I received an alert from my broker. It notified me of the pattern day trader rule, and suggested I deposit $20,000 into my account to meet SEC guidelines.

Right. I had $20,000 setting around looking for a home.

My subsequent attempts to trade on both sides of the market were met with “Cannot accept this order” type messages.

What Exactly Is This Rule?

According to the SEC, a day trader is any trader who buys and sells a particular security in the same trading day and does this four or more times in any five consecutive business day period.

Here’s a more legal way of saying basically the same thing:

A pattern day trader is defined in Exchange Rule 431 as any customer who executes 4 or more round-trip day trades within any 5 successive business days. If, however, the number of trades is more than 3 but is 6% or less than the total number of trades that trader has made for that five business day period, the trader will not be considered a pattern day trader and will not be required to meet the $25,000 criteria for a pattern day trader.

More Legalese

According to http://www.patterndaytraderrule.com, this rule is, “this rule applies to anyone who buys and sells a particular security in the same trading day (day trades), and does this four or more times in any five consecutive business day period. A pattern day trader is subject to special rules. The main rule is that in order to engage in pattern day trading you must maintain an equity balance of at least $25,000 in a margin account.” Please visit the site referenced above for a complete legal description.

Now that you know more about this rule, you could technically make a few day trades each week without violating SEC rules. However, some authority has been given to online brokers to judge your trading patterns, which could lead to being labeled as a day trader, despite your efforts to trade within the non-pattern day trading rules.

You should also be aware of the “five consecutive business day” comment above. Apparently, the clock does not reset on Monday morning. If you placed several day trades on the previous Friday, these may be a part of the same five day period on Monday.

Why Is There A Pattern Day Trader Rule?

In general terms, the investment community and the Security and Exchange Commission felt the popularity of day trading was causing beginning retail traders to lose too much money in the marketplace. In an effort to curb the day trading mania, they decided a trader should have a minimum account balance before being bale to practice this trading strategy. I guess they figure if you are worth $25,000, you have the knowledge and experience to flip stocks.

I have a different opinion on this. Yes, the SEC may have had your best interests in mind, but I believe (unfounded opinion here) that the institutional investors resented the range bound trading of stocks due to flippers constantly scraping tiny profits off a stock’s movement. Imagine a stock is rallying on good news. As the stock rises in value the flippers come into the market. A flipper’s mentality (us day traders, that is) is to sell quick, thus deflating the asking price in our hurry to sell out and move along with our small profits.

Flipping can frustrate a stock’s move up, which drives the institutional guys wild. Due to their position sizes in a given stock, they cannot move in and out of the stock as quickly as retail traders. When you look at all the money invested in the stock market, keep in mind that about 80% of it is controlled by institutional investors. These are predominantly the mutual funds, pension funds, and insurance companies.

Remember the old saying, “he who has the gold, makes the rules?” Because of their sheer size, the institutional investors get to make the rules-the pattern day trader rule.

What Can I Do About This Rule?

I despise most rules, and see some of this governmental meddling as a slight on the capitalist system. But, I’ll save those comments for my college term papers.

The pattern day trader rule may be helpful to some of you. As you build your account value to meet this requirement, learn how to trade and profit on swing trades. The experience you gain as a stock researcher and technical analyst will pay dividends later when you join the fast paced day trading community.

Do you want to discover the secret to making huge profits in the stock market?

Download this:

Phillip Collinsworth co-hosts a website dedicated to teaching people how to take profits out of the stock market. To learn more about his stock trading system, please visit: