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Extreme volatility

Whilst volatility is necessary in trading there are issues with extreme volatility that traders need to consider. The clickable chart below shows one example of extreme volatility with Copper (CUUUSD). The size of a reasonable stop-loss which is related strongly to account size, is a limiting factor. If your account is say £2000 how much of a hit can you take in one trade like this? Not much. You’d be depending on luck to jumpRead More

FAQ on derivatives

Big disclaimer: The information provided herein is opinion only. Under no circumstances do any statements here represent a recommendation to buy or sell securities or make any kind of investment. You are responsible for your own due diligence. No investment advice, is provided nor are any claims or promises made that any information here will lead to a profit, loss, or any other result. All expressions are for educational purposes only. What is a derivative?Read More

Nerves of steel – like Formula 1 racing.

Many new traders are unaware that they actually need nerves of steel. Some will argue that ‘nerves’ are not part of the equation – if one is truly in the so-called fearless state. But hang on – on the way to achieving that state, there will be ‘nerves’. It’s no good expert traders telling new traders to lose their nerves. After a new trader gets his nerves of steel, then he actually realises there isRead More

How are stock prices actually set?

We may take it for granted that it’s all about ‘demand and supply’ which determines stock prices. Then I asked myself a few more questions like, “How does that actually work?” – I realised that I didn’t really know. I mean, who sets the price? How is it set? Does the organisation which the share represents set the price? These are natural questions to ask or think about. If it’s the stockmarket that sets priceRead More

My personal mantra

The following is my personal mantra. It lives on my desktop. It is updated on my desktop as necessary. Others may modify to suit their individual needs, as this is not prescriptive. READ AND REPEAT THIS A FEW TIMES PER WEEK. Whilst all of the following may seem very simple and logical, they represent all of the lessons you have learnt and forgotten. You must read all of the following every day before trading or beforeRead More

TIFFANY and LANNETT in the scope

Tiffany is at an interesting position. The gurus hold mixed views on whether Tiffany will rise or fall. Of course, listening too much to gurus is not part of this business. It’s about acceptable loss and risk management. [Updated: see out come on Tiffany below, after this was posted.] Price on Tiffany has been moving up and down but overall sideways in the last few days. It’s definitely down today before the earnings release ofRead More

What’s a good stop-loss?

It’s a question that’s impossible to answer as it depends on several things – and each trade is different, as many things affect a particular instrument you’re trading. [An instrument is a stock (aka equity), commodity, forex, or whatever]. The really big and most important point of a stop-loss is to limit losses and limit risk. Being stopped-out and price fluctuaton: One of the biggest mistakes new traders make – and I still get thisRead More

The money is not yours until you take it

The scenario below is only relevant to: Where your target has not been met. When your target has been exceeded. Yes – trailing stops do help –  and you can leave a trailing stop to make the decision, which would be ‘your decision’. But the point of this is to say that positive equity hides some important psychological issues and consequences – if you unknowingly allow psychology (i.e. emotions) to rule. You bailout too soon.Read More

No pain no gain

How’s about a £5000 loss in a matter of minutes – yes that’ll be painful to most people. I’m sure you’ll read on – but learn from this. Let my pain be our gain. Too often traders talk only about strings of significant wins, and losses are under-represented. I break that ‘rule’ right here. The annotated screenshot below shows how risk that one is blind to can cause pain. But I gain from the painRead More