Think Like A Trader Blog

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Ftse 100 Review + Opportunities 26th July

Today's trading plan for Subscribers

''Today as long as we remain below 6750 I will be watching for sells early morning at this level. It remains the main area this market has been failing. Be careful of volatility - yesterday was very low; remember if this happens again today then smaller profits are preferred. The ATR is way down at 46 so for me, 7 - 13 points from a trade is more than enough.''

All done by 8:20am. It makes up for yesterday's break even day :-)

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

What Are Your Goals?

Reading Time - 4 Minutes.

Hello Traders.

I always think it is good to have a set of goals. I tend to find I revise mine as I move through the year and new opportunities arise, just as old ideas fall away. I also think it’s a good idea to write your goals down. The both physical and mental acts of putting the ideas down is like a layer of cement, fixing them in place in your mind and making a visible representation that there is no hiding from – you can easily ‘ignore’ the fact that you promised yourself you would go to the gym three times per week when the cold winter nights begin to draw in; that becomes much more difficult when it is printed on a sheet of A4 paper in bold typeface and stuck to your wall!

So here are my goals for the remainder of the year and a little summary of where I am at with them. Please feel free to post your own thoughts and ramblings of the mind in the comments section also!

1)   Cut back on the trading… yes, I can hear you all sighing! You’re thinking, ‘isn’t this the guy who finishes early on most days? How lazy can you be?

Well, this is true. I have thus far cut myself back to finishing at the US open at 2:30pm. However, I want to shave that back to 1pm at the latest. Moving into the lunch hour the market tends to die down anyway. And what I find is that the vast majority of my trades come early on in the morning session – ergo, forcing myself to sit at the computer after this does not make sense.

Is this laziness? Absolutely not. I want the time to work on other things – moving forward with trading training/writing/working on new methods/reading and learning more about the trading world.

Where am I at with this?

Currently I am ‘attempting’ to do it. However I still struggle to walk away if I haven’t had a trade. This is because I know there will be one on 90% of days. However I will get there!

2)   Improve Zone Trader.

I am doing this based on feedback from Subscribers I have picked up over the past 6 months or so. I am always adapting and improving my methods, so Zone Trader is always in a constant state of flux as it is. However I am now re-recording some of the videos to make sure they incorporate and explain more thoroughly the parts I know people have been struggling with.

Where am I with this?

Working on it!

3)   All things Seminar!

Yes, people have spoken and I am trying to answer on this one. I didn’t initially want to do it – the thought of speaking to a room full of people over one or two days is pretty daunting to say the least. However after giving it more and more thought, I am going to at least give it an initial try with one or two dates.

Where am I at with Seminars?

Planning stage, basically. Once the new website launches I will begin looking at potential dates and locations and let you all know as this happens. It will most likely be next year and over two days. I am at a very rough stage of planning as I say, but thus far I am looking at –

Day 1 – Zone Trader in depth

Day 2 – Specific Trades – Blind buy and sells. Spring Bounce Trade. Advanced support and resistance. Gap trades. Open spiking trade.

In future I will also be looking at incorporating a swing trading seminar, most likely as a stand alone. I am currently working on this and have been ‘testing’ my methods for many months now (and they are looking very good!)

Phew. There we go. Those are my main goals moving forward and although there are others, the ones listed are the ones that relate to the trading world!

I hope you all have a great trading week!

Monday, 25 July 2016

The Monday Club

Decisive Traders were back in the Monday club today. We had a nice 'double dip' trade (a successful buy that closed to become an instant sell). All done by 10am!

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Decisive Trader up Over 14% in Two Months

I love trading and watching my account grow. The only thing I enjoy as much as my own trading journey is hearing from Decisive Traders who are becoming consistent and making good returns.

Monday, 18 July 2016

The Importance of Chart Analysis with Reference to Brexit

Reading Time - 4 Minutes

Hello Traders.

Another Monday morning at the charts. I’m coming to you today from St Andrews – I feel even more Scottish than normal. I’m working from the hotel bar with a latte in hand – I could certainly get used to this.

I have had a lot of emails since the referendum result asking for clarification or simply my opinion on the matter and the reactions of markets.  I always point out that the market had priced in a ‘remain’ vote and the subsequent shock saw investors dive for cover and pull funds as quickly as possible.

However, that’s not the whole story. The knee-jerk reaction is typical in trading, where any sign of uncertainty is enough for money to be moved into safer havens. However, for me, I have only ever witnessed one time when markets have really reacted in what I would call ‘unpredictable chaos.’

What does that mean? Well, it means that for the most part, markets are somewhat predictable, because they repeat patterns and are, essentially, a big map of what people are doing with their money.

So let’s go back to market reactions after the Brexit vote. GBP plummeted, the world ended, Donald Trump’s hair was proven to be his own… Ok, one of those is true at least. The GBP did fall very strongly, seeing levels against the dollar last visited before I was born.

But was it unexpected? Sure, the reaction was very fast and very strong. But did it reverse the GBP trend and what we were looking at on the charts?

Absolutely not.

The GBP has been in a downtrend for quite some time now. It has been displaying nothing but weakness. It has been riding under the MA200. It produced a rising wedge that brought on a sell, retest of the triangle and then further downside – this is all very negative and I would say anyone going long in that market with long term positions had to have been mad – or, more likely looking to make ‘fast cash’ off of the referendum.

What I’m going to start doing is evaluating a Forex pair or Index every couple of weeks on Daily and 4 hour timeframes so you can start to see how I read the charts and what they are telling me. I will start with the GBPUSD and go over all of the things I have explained. Jump onto the charts yourself and see if you can find that ascending triangle and spot the break and retest before I show it to you.

The sell was much more powerful than normal, sure, but the weakness was already there. It almost always is – On the day of the ‘flash crash’ the US markets were already very weak. Before the market crash in 1929? Our friend the triangle.

Now of course there are those completely unpredictable events that can influence markets - think terrorist attacks - however as traders it is our job to protect ourselves as much as possible from everything that we can. For me that means have a solid trading plan, stick to that plan, control your risk and of course, avoid the news like the plague.

But I guess you all want to know the one time markets went into what I term ‘chaos mode’? Well, have a look at a CHF pair on the daily timeframe. It’s impossible to miss. It happened when rates were unexpectedly cut... So unavoidable, right? Countless traders were wiped out and there’s nothing they could have done, correct? No! Avoid trading around large news events. We are here as traders, not gamblers, and believe me, there is a huge difference.

I hope you all have a great trading week! 

Friday, 15 July 2016

Great Way to End the Week

Another lovely early morning trade today. It worked out textbook. Even more delighted that the subscribers could get in on it and be finished nice and early (8:10am)

Thursday, 14 July 2016

A nice 14% return after trading 9 days of July

The Decisive Trading YouTube account is sitting up 14% after 9 days of trading in July.

15 trades with only one of those losing.

Video update to come next week.

Monday, 11 July 2016

Trader Guilt

Hello Traders.

It has been some time since I have posted in the blog – I have been extremely busy and unfortunately the blog took a backseat for a while.

What have I been doing, I hear you ask? I thought traders were all lazy, having martini lunches and five day weekends paid for on the expenses account?

Well, on top of the YouTube channel, subscription service and the actual trading, I have been working hard on a new website which should be ready in the next couple of weeks. I am also looking into UK based seminars, and I will strive to have the dates for these announced within the next few months – I’m looking at early to mid 2017.

So hopefully now I can wind back and get onto those martini lunches… Or at least post one blog update per week. So let’s start back with a biggie, something that I struggled with for quite some time and still rears its ugly head now and again –

Reading Time - 6 Minutes

Trader Guilt!

It sounds nasty and it is. But what exactly is Trader Guilt?

Well, let’s look at how we are taught to live our life as we grow up, work our way through school, University and then into the work environment.

‘Work hard.’

‘Get your head down and you’ll go far.’

‘You won’t progress unless you’re willing to break your back at work.’

‘You don’t have time to sleep if you want to be successful.’

There are countless other life snippets I could include here, and I’m sure you have heard them all before and like me, believe/believed every word of it. I genuinely thought that I had to be working a minimum of sixty hours per week if I wanted to be ‘successful.’ I only used to feel like I was ‘achieving’ in life when I got home, had to drag myself through my front door and only had the energy to crawl into bed and get a few hours of sleep ready for the next day.

So where’s the problem here? Other than it really isn’t any way to live your limited time in this thing called life?

Trading isn’t like that! It’s so far removed from it that it can wreak havoc with your mind.

Now first of all, let me get something straight – I am NOT saying that trading is easy. It most certainly isn’t. It is an emotional rollercoaster and a constant fight for new knowledge and clawing to keep hold of your market edge. Upward of ninety percent of retail traders fail. So no, it isn’t easy… But it also isn’t hard work.

Oxymoron? Not really, and I’ll explain why. 

Trading involves a huge portion of sitting and waiting. Think of it like this: if your average workday is eight hours long, then with trading, you would be sitting at your desk for seven and a half of those hours with nothing to do. Sure you can play cool tunes on your cheek with your pencil; you can make yourself eighty million coffees (I usually do); and you can look at every chart on every timeframe countless hundreds of times. But most of your day is spent doing exactly nothing.

And here comes part one of the guilt.

It doesn’t feel natural to do nothing. It doesn’t feel like you’re ‘achieving’ anything. And yet that is exactly what you must do. And let’s say you spend the entire day waiting for a trade and you don’t get one… Multiply guilt!

For me, trading the way I do, I also suffer from Trader Guilt in another way. Part two of the guilt.

Quite often I am finished early. Sickeningly early. Before lunchtime early. Money made after a few clicks of the mouse, watching the chart for a couple of minutes, and all done.

That sounds great, and it IS great. But it also can make me feel incredibly guilty. Still in my PJ’s, the coffee not even brewed, and I’m done for the day. What about all those people out there at work? Why should I have such an easy day? Why should I be able to do this when they have to sit in rush hour traffic?

If you haven’t progressed to the level of trading for a living yet, you may not understand what I am talking about. However it will come. I can guarantee it. And the problem is, a lot of people act upon the guilt and feeling that they should be doing something and so they –

Take incorrect, random trades! Anything and everything so they feel like they are ‘achieving’ something and working hard.

This is a big danger and as with all emotional trading, it will devastate your account and wipe any chance you have of doing this long term.

So how do I deal with it?

Quite simply, I have taught myself to embrace it. My father once said to me – ‘Work smart, not hard.’ It took a long time for that to sink in, but sink in it did. I don’t need to be in physical and mental pain to feel like I am somehow earning my right to success and achieving my goals. I don’t need to feel guilty for teaching myself how to free up so much of my time. Because that’s all any of us have – time. And I don’t want to spend it at a desk, unhappy and exhausted, trying desperately to make enough money for a bigger house.

That’s why I started branching out from simply trading and into education. It fills more of my time. And more than that, it gives me a genuine kick to hear from people with messages like:

‘I made X today because of you.’

It feels great and it is what helps me feel like I am doing more than clicking a few buttons and so keeps Trader Guilt at bay. But you can do your own thing. You can get round to studying whatever it is that excites you; to writing the book you’ve always wanted to; or maybe you just really like your afternoon naps! Whatever it is that makes you feel good about what you do is how to snub out the guilt.

Me? I used to trade from 7am until 4:30pm (until I got at least one trade). Now I finish when the US markets open at 2:30pm. Because I AM a lazy trader, and I like having that little thing called ‘free time.’ And I get it because I work smart, not hard.

Note – no family member is allowed to comment with wise cracks about how I am not smart. This trader ego will not be shattered. Ok, this has turned into a long post and my seventy-millionth coffee of the day has just brewed.

I hope you all have a great trading week!

Monday, 4 July 2016

No Monday Morning Blues

No Monday back to work blues for Decisive Traders. Subscribers got a nice early morning sell. Finished for the day by 8:30am. #thisiswhywetrade