Stock Market Trading: Learn Options Trading Now

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Being engaged in stock market trading is a tricky job. Stock market trading requires a lot of guts on the trader’s part as well a dose of wits. The stock market is very unpredictable like the weather sometimes. You will never be sure of winning in stock market trading but you can definitely make your performance better by making a sound decision and calculated risks.
Going into stock market trading is too risky of a task especially for a new trader. It is best recommended that new traders must first be educated of the pros and cons of stock market trading. A careful evaluation of the market’s status and your capability as an investor must be first made before going into the stock market trading. A novice trader must also possess the right strategy that can help him in being a better player in stock market trading.
One of the more popular strategies in stock market trading is option trading. Option trading involves an agreement between a buyer and a seller that gives the buyer the right, but not as an obligation, to buy or to sell a particular asset on or before the option’s expiration time, at an agreed price. Option trading is a better bargain than holding a stock because it allows for more option trading a trader can choose to either be a call option or put option. Call options give the buyer the right to purchase the underlying asset while put options gives the buyer of the option the right to sell the underlying assets.
Although it seems that option trading looms as an ideal strategy in stock market trading, it also poses a lot of risks to the trader. Again, the efficacy of option trading is in proportion with how the market would go. Again, the success of option trading is in proportion with how the market would market might move easily towards your favor or the other way around causing you to lose a lot of money in bad investments. The dangers and other circumstance involved in trading options make it apparent that there is a need for an effective way to learn option trading.
Option trading is complicated and risky in nature, and to learn option trading is a great way to deal with it. An effective way to learn option trading is through option tutorial services. Option tutorial provides an in depth study and expert recommendations which can help you learn option trading to a full option tutorials, not only you can learn option trading but they can also help you become better with your decisions.
In many ways, option trading can impose serious threats as well as other unimaginable risks to a trader financially.Option tutorial provides the needed help in preparing you before going into the uncertain world of stock market trading.Option trading provides a better grasp of the downside and the risks involved with entering into trade options and must have an equally balanced options strategy to counter any of this downside and risks.Option tutorial can also help you in devising an equally balanced options strategy to counter any of this downside and risks.

Checking Out Stockbrokers

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As the bull market roars on more and more individual investors are reconsidering the stock market after swearing it off forever just a few years ago when their stocks nosedived 30% and more.But now the opposite is happening and they’re understandably reluctant to stand idly by and watch others rake in bull-market profits.So lots of people are looking for a good stockbroker, with emphasis on “good.” The worst case scenario, of course, is to get involved with a broker who’s deceived or cheated clients in the past or has other serious complaints against him/her.Your first question, then is, How can you check out a broker?Basically, you’re looking for red flags that might warn you away from a person or brokerage, such as a history of disciplinary actions or some sort of licensing problem or employment problem (e.g., the broker was fired from a previous job).The source of this type of background information is the Central Registration Depository System (CRD). This computerized database, maintained by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), contains licensing and registration information on virtually all stockbrokers and brokerage firms in the U.S. You can access the database for free or for a nominal fee through your state securities regulator. You can obtain a report on a broker and/or brokerage firm by calling the appropriate state securities regulator. The broker will not be advised or this request. (Alternatively, you can visit and click on “Find Regulator.”) Yet another way to access this type is info is FINRA’s Broker Check Program.Incidentally, if you should ever need to file a complaint regarding a broker, you can usually do so through your state regulator’s website.CRD Data AvailableWhat background information can you get from a CRD report obtained from NASAA? Available information varies somewhat by state but usually you can get the following–Brokers:– Employment history for the past 10 years– Securities examination scores– Licensing or registration status– Disciplinary history (if any)Brokerages:– Final disciplinary actions relating to securities or commodities businesses that have been taken by federal, state, and foreign regulators as well as self-regulatory organizations.– Civil judgments and arbitration decisions in securities and commodities disputes involving public customers.– Criminal convictions or indictments against registered or licensed brokerage firms and their associated persons.– Settlements of $10,000 or more among the parties to arbitrations, civil suits, and customer complaints involving securities or commodities transactions.– Employment terminations after allegations involving violations of investment-related statutes or rules, fraud, theft, or failure to supervise investment-related activities.– Bankruptcies filed within the last 10 years and outstanding liens and judgments– Pending disciplinary actions taken by industry regulators that relate to securities or commodities business.– Pending arbitrations and civil proceedings involving securities or commodities transactions.– Pending written complaints alleging sales practice violations and compensatory damages of $5,000 or more.FINRA’s Broker Check ProgramThe Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the U.S. security industry’s self-regulatory body. It was created in July 2008 through the consolidation of the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) and the regulatory/enforcement division of the NY Stock Exchange. FINRA has 15 offices throughout the country and employs over 3,000 people.As an alternative to the CRD report discussed above, you may wish to consult FINRA’s offers a BrokerCheck report, which is essentially the same as the CRD report discussed above. It contains almost as much information and some feel it is a bit easier to access. To obtain the BrokerCheck report go to and click on “Investors,” then on “FINRA BrokerCheck” on far right of screen.

Stock Options – The Greatest Wealth Building Tool Ever Invented

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It is a well known fact that serious investors seeking long term growth of capital have as their main objectives the two most basic goals in investing:

? to find an investment vehicle that would effectively preserve capital and minimize risk in the face of a fluctuating and constantly flexing economy
? the investment vehicle must provide better than decent yields in all economic conditions to promote constant growth of capital value.

With the stock market as the premiere choice due to its historical record of outperforming all other investments over time, people are increasingly turning to the stock market as their main investment vehicle for future capital growth. It is here where much higher rates of return can be made with a relatively small increase in risk to capital.

With thousands of books, manuals, internet sites, seminars and courses offering investment strategies and trading systems in the stock market and its derivatives, there are few, if any, that deliver the ideal investment vehicle sought by the long term investor in search of safety and high returns. Not only is there a near total absence of an ideal investment system but there are many that promise eye popping, mind boggling returns and, they are exactly that; mere promises.

Most of the trading systems offered are structured on strategies or activities that work when conditions are ideally suited to the program being peddled. Most of their successes are highly dependent on picking the right stocks at the right time. In other words you must be a good stock picker or use a stock picking service (for a high monthly fee) to select the right ones for you. Market timing is also an important factor in their systems. Again, you must be a good market timer or depend on a service that provides market timing signals (also for a high monthly fee). These supposedly high yield investment programs don’t say anything about how bad things can be when conditions go against their predictions. These programs do exactly as promised: great when the going is good but disastrous when the going is bad. Without doubt many have been taken by these so-called services and while an investor/trader may be successful for a while, the end result over a long period of time is always the same – no better than if you had done the selections yourself.

While there is no one investment system or vehicle that can be an answer-all to the various goals of various investors, there are some investment alternatives that can come close to satisfying the two basic needs of safety and decent returns. Diversified mutual funds have been touted as the answer to these basic needs. But over the years these funds have shown that during downturns in the economy they perform just as badly as the whole investment market in general. And, over the long term, many of these diversified funds have failed to even match market performance in general, much less outperform it.

Enter market derivatives with emphasis options.

Trading in stock options has become very popular with institutional investors as well as private individuals as a sound money management system supplementing their investment portfolios. The ability of stock options to give the investor a wide range of choices is what has made the options market grow considerably over the last two decades. To quote one options expert: “Stock options are the greatest wealth producing tool ever invented on this planet. . . . if you know how to use them”.

The key element of this statement is: . . . if you know how to use them.

For many people the mere mention of stock options, sends shivers up their spine. They look at options as synonymous with great risk. But isn’t driving a car very dangerous for one who doesn’t know how to drive? The ability of stock options to give the investor a wide range of choices in stock market investments is what has made the options market grow by leaps and bounds over the last twenty years. Statistics compiled by the Options Industry Council, a group that educates investors about options, show that volume in options trading has risen tremendously in recent years. Further, studies show that individual investors make up 60% of the market.

For the individual who has sufficient funds and is looking for more than a decent return on his capital and with controllable risk, stock options may be the answer.

There are dozens of option trading systems being employed by individual investors and institutions. Each system is designed to accomplish a specific investment goal. A financial institution may use long put options to hedge its winnings in stocks that have appreciated in value. Another investor may buy call options instead of stocks to enter a position in a security that has caught his fancy. Still another may sell calls against his stock holdings to generate income from his stock position, or what is popularly known as covered call writing.

Of the dozens of option trading systems there is one that can be carried out as a long term investment program offering a fair degree of safety and consistent high returns over time, thus satisfying the investor’s two basic needs of safety and return.

This is the selling of uncovered or naked options.

But wait! Is it not said that selling naked options carries the risk of unlimited losses? Isn’t this a contradiction?

Indeed selling naked options when done carelessly and without a disciplined strategic program is extremely risky!

But by using a carefully planned and disciplined system of trading, the so-called “unlimited risk” factor in selling options can easily be conquered. There is a three-pronged trading strategy being used by one successful options trader that is proving to be a consistent winner in all market conditions. It is a trading technique that couples naked option selling with a modified ratio credit spread and the use of the roll over feature. While naked option selling has acquired a bad rap of being highly risky, this three-pronged trading strategy allows the trader to defeat the risk. Not only is the system able to substantially reduce the risk, it also offers one the ability to become a savvy investor/trader without having to depend on picking the right stocks or timing the market.

It involves utilizing the system in any market condition using only one or a few stocks, ETFs or indexes (the latter two are more effective). One need not worry about finding the right stocks or timing the trades. The fact remains that stocks behave, more often than not, in crazy and irrational ways so that one can almost say that consistently choosing winning stocks is as good as a random walk down Wall Street. Rather than be proactive and try to predict and time the market, as many try to do, this three-pronged investment system is reactive. The prescribed trades are done in reaction to how the market has moved, not in anticipation of its future behavior.

This three-pronged trading system does not promise quick profits or mind boggling yields but steady annual returns in excess of 30%. Many are averaging returns of 50% to 60%. It would be prudent to say that in times of deep downturns the system may not deliver the promised returns but it will hold its own and will definitely outperform the market.

One options trader that has mastered this three-pronged trading technique has decided to share his knowledge of the system by writing an e-book on its methodology. Borrowing from that quote about options being a great wealth producing tool he has aptly titled his work: STOCK OPTIONS: THE GREATEST WEALTH BUILDING TOOL EVER INVENTED. In it he details the step by step methodology of this trading technique and gives an exhaustive series of sample trades covering several months of transactions. It shows the effectiveness of the system in an up market, down market and horizontal market using only one ETF stock. To this day the writer continues to use only one or two ETFs in all his options trades and he includes a web page that shows his current and actual trading results month by month on an ongoing frequency.

The Wait for the iPhone 5 Hits Asia Tech Stocks

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In the past, releases of the Apple iPhone have usually been well received by consumers, with sales numbers being quite good for Apple, even if not all users and technology reviewers were completely satisfied with the features of the device.Many are anxious to see what the iPhone 5 will be able to do when it comes out in September, but this waiting has started to have a negative effect on some Asian stocks. Apple’s quarterly earnings have been below expectations lately, mainly because many consumers are holding off purchasing a new iPhone until the 5th edition comes out in a few months. This has had repercussions not only for Apple, but also for its supply chain.

While Apple has developed the device, it relies on a supply chain in Asia to manufacture many of its components, such as the circuit boards and the screen. It is thus normal that when Apple’s numbers are down, Asian tech stocks belonging to firms in Apple’s supply chain take a hit. Some of the companies whose stocks went down include Foxconn, the company that assembles the iPhone and makes some of its components.

This is because a large amount of revenue for the company comes from production of Apple devices, such as the iPhone and the iPad tablet. Japanese companies such as Ibiden, which manufactures circuit boards and Toshiba, who make memory chips, have also seen their shares go down.Anyone investing in Asian technology stocks should seek advice from a professional financial adviser, preferably one that has experience in tech stocks in the Asian market. While these shares may eventually rebound, exactly when this will happen is open to some speculation. Some market analysts are now predicting that Apple’s earnings may not be too good for the next quarter and may continue to be low until the iPhone 5 launches later in 2012.

While current predictions say that the device is going to be ready for launch in late September of 2012, it should be noted that no official release date has been put forward by Apple for now. Therefore, the exact moment where the earning of Apple and tech stock prices in Asia are going to be up is not yet known.It makes sense that periods where stock prices are down would be times where it may be profitable to buy shares. However investors will need to know that the Asian tech market is subject to volatility, especially among companies where a large percentage of their revenue is tied to one specific device. Investors should be careful where they will be putting their money, diversifying their portfolio regularly and following technological news and trends so that they have a better idea of how their stocks will do.

Still Too Early to Cheer Housing Starts

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We recently learned that housing starts “beat” expectations in November, rising 3.9% over the previous month. I am not a housing expert, but I thought increasing supply in an already oversaturated market with depressed demand is a bad thing. However, a recent Bloomberg article discusses why more homebuilding is a positive for the economy as it would add a significant amount of jobs to the economy. While this may be true, I believe improvement would be offset by a continuing decline in home prices.Home prices still falling:- Despite the dubious calls that say housing has bottomed or that real estate is the buy of the decade, the fact of the matter is that home prices are still falling in most areas of the country. The most recent Standard & Poor’s Case-Shiller composite home price index showed home prices fell in all 20 cities that the index tracks in October from the previous month. This was even worse than September, when only 18 of 20 metro areas posted declines from the previous reading. In October, the index fell by 1.3% from September, which is good for 0.8% decline year-over-year. That is pretty substantial, folks, especially in the face of the declines that have already occurred.Zillow Real Estate Research estimates that by the end of the year, home prices in the United States might fall by more than $1.7 trillion, which is also significantly higher than the $1 trillion drop last year.Another huge hurdle for the industry is the still-increasing number of foreclosures that add to the housing inventory. In fact, in the third quarter, more than 288,000 homes were foreclosed on a record high that was an increase of 7% over the previous three months and 22% year-over-year increase. The number of foreclosures in the fourth quarter is expected to decline as a result of banks like Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), JP Morgan (NYSE: JPM), and PNC Bank (NYSE: PNC) placing a temporary moratorium on foreclosures because of the Robo-signer fiasco. However, the banks’ issues do not change the fact that many homeowners are still underwater and at risk of foreclosure.Conflicting views on housing:- Some turned more bullish on housing and the homebuilders in particular when Toll Brothers (NYSE: TOL) recently reported a profit after 11 straight quarterly losses, even though the profit was primarily because of tax benefits from a reversal of a valuation allowance. Nonetheless, the company’s CEO said he expects to see improvement in the market in 2011 and that 2012 will be a “big year.”We also recently heard from another good indicator of the housing market: home improvement retailers Home Depot (NYSE: HD) and Lowe’s (NYSE: LOW). While both companies posted decent quarters thanks to cost-cutting and operational efficiencies, neither of their CEOs was bullish on the housing market and said consumers have been slow to spend money on their houses.Lowe’s CEO Robert Niblock does not yet see any upside in the housing market and believes that home prices will continue to fall next year.No home improvement:- The number of new homes being built does remain at historically low levels, which I believe is a good thing as the data I reference shows a housing market in which stabilization has still not occurred and home prices that on average are not poised to rise in the near future. While opinions may differ, I believe the time is still not right to cheer an increase in housing starts. Perhaps the headline this month should read that housing starts “missed” expectations. At least then I could get more bullish on the housing sector.

3 Easy Ways to Boost Your Stock Market Profits

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People always want to know how they can improve their profits in the stock market. And I keep telling them it’s simple. There are three easy things you can do right now to boost your returns. It’s so easy.It really is.Here are the 3 steps you can take:1. Only buy the best ETFs – ones that are already going up 2. Avoid high fees 3. Keep a risk balanced portfolio.That’s it. Those are pretty easy things you can implement immediately. If you can do this, you can make money in the stock market.

The rules for successful stock market trading aren’t hard. But despite that, the average 401k investor in the stock market gets creamed by the stock market.A formal study from the stuffy Journal of Pension Benefits documents the horrible performance of most investors. Here’s what it says:”The elephant in the room that no one seems to want to discuss is that individual investors as a whole do a poor job managing their own is, by and large, a recipe for has long been known that individual investors don’t typically fare well in their efforts at do-it-yourself investing.”This notion has been validated by numerous studies, including one by Dalbar, Inc., which revealed the staggering margin by which the average individual investor trails the returns of the broader market.

Here’s what Dalbar, Inc. says:”Wow. Nobody wants to talk about it, it’s that bad. When the stock market only makes 8% per year, giving away 6% eats up almost all of the possible returns. In fact, it’s possible you’ll get a better return from Social Security than you will from the stock market.”Fortunately, there is help.Improving Your Returns with True DiversificationThere is more to making money than just blindly hopping on the trends.If you want to really make money, you need to take active control of your can’t just sit back and gripe about your lousy returns when you’re not doing anything to prevent best way to improve the performance of any trading strategy is to balance the risk taken on each trade.Diversification works wonders for increasing returns. But it only works when you actually diversify.Most people do not get similar exposure to the risk of their investments. They dramatically over-invest in some of their portfolio, and under-invest in others. It’s like only watering ?? of your garden but expecting it all to grow.To get great returns, you need to give each and every investment a fighting chance to make money for your portfolio. Each investment needs to be able to provide meaningful returns for you to make real money.

Many people split their portfolio 50-50 or 60-40 between stocks and bonds. This doesn’t work. It ends up being only slightly better than burning $100 bills in a fire. Why? Stocks are 3-4 times more volatile than bonds. All of the returns and risk are due to what happens to the stocks in the portfolio.The only way bonds will have equal impact on the portfolio is for the allocation to be 75% bonds, 25% stocks – or even higher.You can balance the dollar amount allocated to an ETF selection by the risk taken by each ETF. You can do this in your other accounts also.You can take into account how much risk each ETF has, and then adjust the amount of shares to trade. That way you know you get equal exposure to each of your investments. This came in extremely helpful this month for me because the month allocated extra dollars to real estate and preferred stocks,which have outperformed the S&P 500. That’s how true diversification can help you also.As a result, your system could be up about .5%, while the S&P 500 is down nearly a full percent. Instead of under-performing the stock market by 6% a year, your system can outperform the stock market, in this case by nearly 8% per year.

When you create a system to allocate your funds, your system should tell you exactly how many shares of each ETF to buy so you’re not under- or over-investing. Risk balancing works great for really pushing returns upwards. If you want to know the steps – and are a real math geek – here you go:1. Find ATR: Find the Average True Range (ATR) for each of your Stocks/ETFs 2. Find Volatility: Divide the ATR by the Price of the Stock/ETF 3. Invert Volatility: Take 1/(Step 2) for every stock Find Total Vol: Total up Step 3 for your entire portfolio 4. Find Percent Allocation: Divide Step 3 by the total given Step 4Step 5 will give you the percentage of your account that you should allocate to that investment. It’s a bit complicated, but you can do it. An easier way would be to have someone else do it for you. Either way, you can outperform the S&P and give your accounts the boost you want.Copyright ?? 2012 Trend Following 101

Gain The Expertise To Identify The Perfect Time To Buy Shares

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People invest in shares and most of them do not make enough profits in selling them because they do not know the exact time to buy shares. Having the expertise to understand the movements of the market and the trends which indicate the correct time to collect shares from the market will help you to when get a substantial profit when you sell. There are experienced people in the share trading circle, who are able to identify the right time to buy shares of a particular chip.

The main indicator is the stock market, which has its own ups and downs resulting from different pressure points on economy. The stocks may even slide down during a positive economic trend and may push up even in when the economy is experiencing dull conditions. In short, there is enough scope to collect shares when the market is weak by paying lower prices for them. However, the true value of shares cannot be estimated in this condition. The indications spell out a simple formula to sell when the market is high and buy shares when the market is dull.

Make a study and buy shares
Study the value of the shares you are interested in before you buy shares. Dividend estimation is a qualified measurement scale for knowing the value of a particular share. The dividend yield is to be computed on the current price of the share and the dividend declared for the next phase. The market goes down with low dividend yields and the mood of the investor is always in favor of a higher dividend to buy shares.

The market may appreciate – lower prices with higher dividends – and may respond positively to them in this situation. The dividend yield can make a long-term trend of shares and you can buy shares during this condition. The price-dividend declaration is another important aspect of estimating the market for a particular share. This is the dividend yield expressed in terms of percentage.

Dividends are taken out of the company’s earnings, but they do not fluctuate – unlike the earnings – and are always paid by the company to shareholders irrespective of the functioning of the company. When you are ready to make your investments and buy shares, you do not have to look at the earnings of the company. Instead, you must understand the dividends declaration from the company for your profits.

There is another aspect that you should also look into: the value of a share in the company?s book. This is the book value of a share of the company. It is estimated from the net worth of the company in relation to the number of shares. With the book value of a share, you are able to know the current condition of the price of the share – i.e., whether it is undervalued or overvalued. When the price of the share is low relative to the book value (or undervalued), you should buy shares in the situation. Conversely, when the price of a share is exceptionally high relative to the book value of the share, it is the right time to sell for profit.

Investment Products Fixed Deposit Versus Stocks

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Before understanding the importance and the use of fixed deposit calculator it is essential to know the meaning of fixed deposit.Well, a fixed deposit is an investment product. It is one of the most popular options available in the financial market today; especially for people who would like their money to be safe and at the same time seek guaranteed protection from the vagaries of financial markets.In simple terms, a certain amount of money is placed with the bank, as deposit. This deposit earns interest depending upon the prevailing rates.

The accrued interest along with the principle amount is then returned to the account holder at the end of the term which can range from fifteen days to ten years. Interest is calculated on monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or on annual basis and then added to the principle amount.Typically, the funds cannot be withdrawn before the end of the term.Here are some of the advantages of fixed deposits.1. Extremely safe.2. Protection against market vagaries.3. Loans can be availed on such deposits (up to 75%).A fixed deposit calculator is an application to calculate the maturity amount. Many websites offer this software.

The user simply inputs various parameters such as amount, deposit period to get the net amount payable to them after the end of the term.They are Bombay Stock Exchange or BSE and National Stock Exchange or NSE. It is advisable to screen the stocks before buying. Stock screeners are basically research tools, some of which are free, while some come with a big price tag. BSE stock screener helps in identifying the weaknesses and the strong points of a company.Once you have understood the risk factor involved and screened the stock, the next step is to select a broker who will help you in buying or selling as the case maybe.You will also need to learn the technical terms of stock trading, such as market order, stop loss, margins and block purchase. They may sound difficult to interpret but over a period of time and with the help of your broker, these terms may not overwhelm you.Finally, you will need an account with a bank to trade in stocks.

Will This Great Stock Turn Around?

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While some U.S.-listed Chinese stocks are enjoying renewed enthusiasm from investors, many are not doing anything in this market. Business is great, but most investors still don’t have the appetite right now for highly speculative securities. This is not a surprise.

Case in point: Focus Media Holding Limited (NASDAQ/FMCN). This is one exciting company that is uniquely positioned in an industry that is flourishing in Asia.

I first wrote about this company in this column back in November 2006 and have been following it ever since.

Focus Media runs the largest advertising network in China, using flat-panel screens in all kinds of places from supermarkets to elevators. The company’s televisions provide the platform for big corporate customers to advertise directly to a wealthier, white-collar target market. Some of the company’s customers include Motorola, P&G, China Telecom, and Toyota.

November of last year was a turning point for the broader stock market, and for many U.S.-listed Chinese stocks like Focus Media. At that time, Focus Media hit a new record high of a split-adjusted $66.30 per share, more than double its price from a year earlier. Not surprisingly, this stock pulled back significantly with the correction and is now trading around $37.00 per share.

Of course, the company’s fundamentals haven’t changed and the stock didn’t move lower because of lots of selling. It pulled back more so from an absence of buyers.

The thing about investing in speculative stocks is that you never really know if or when the stock will take off. A company like Focus Media is an innovator in its industry and its stock is now much more attractively priced. The only question is: will the stock turn around? And if so, when?

Commodity Trading Blunders I, Part 2 – My Early Days As A Novice Trader

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There is always “year one” for every commodity futures trader. I had mine and made every mistake a trader can make and more. Here’s my story of how I stumbled into the lion’s den, got gored a few times and even made some money. My hope is that beginners will read this and avoid some of the more obvious stuff. Here’s to all new traders!

The final day the Boston Broker From Hell called, I was loaded for bear. I asked him how much?he charged for commissions. He balked and tried to sidestep it. After a while I got him to admit they were taking $4,500 off the top to cover commissions. $4,500 chopped from a $15,000 account! That?s over 30%. He said that over a year’s?trading?I would blow that much in futures commissions anyway. I later figured out they would put you into a futures contract position and let it sit until the margin call came or they rolled it into another trade. If the money grew, they would want another cut off the top. Gads. Needless to say, I insulted him and hung up.

A month later he called back and beat me up again. Sugar future contracts was now at 15 cents and I would have been up $16,000! Well, after their commission chop, make that $10,500. The kid was cockier than before and was really sounding smug. Now he wanted me to get into lumber futures.

But by this time I had read a commodity trading book called, ?Trident – a trading strategy,? written by Lindsey. A young Larry Williams was one of the promoters for the seminars. It was a $1500 seminar. I didn?t attend – just read the book. I was now enlightened. I told the Kid from Boston, ?the swing objective of sugar is 18 cents.? I asked him why I needed to pay his $4,500 commissions when I had all the answers… HA! He realized I was a lost cause and said good bye for good.

As a fitting epitaph, I understand the CFTC shut them down and they were fined for violations years later. I guess I dodged a commission bullet. Despite it all, I might have lucked out and made money?in?this great sugar bull market. Commodity bull markets can often forgive stupid blunders and mistakes along the way. We can be sloppy as heck and still do well at times, until the bull party ends.

Reading can be a powerful thing, especially with today?s wonderful internet. Be fully informed before you make a decision ? especially if you’re new to the game. Just because firms and commodity brokers are registered with the NFA and CFTC doesn’t mean a few won?t try to take advantage of you.

The modern day version is the so called, ?$200 commission commodity houses.? They usually put your entire $5,000 account into five $800 options at a $250 commission each. To demonstrate how heavy these expenses are, if you broke even with entry and exit price on FOUR successive trades, your account would be wiped out from option commissions alone. FOUR trades (five options each trade) equal $5,000 in commissions. Yikes! Then there’s the offshore Forex option scams. Please be careful out there.

Part Three of Four – Next!

There is substantial risk of loss trading futures and options and may not be suitable for all types of investors. Only risk capital should be used.