Realizing Your Investment Risk Level

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Whether you are new to investing or have been doing it for years, it’s time to realize that all types of investing markets have changed. This means it’s time to either reevaluate or understand what your risk appetite is.

Many people say they only invest what they are comfortable with losing. Unfortunately, many of my clients come to me after they have had a loss and realized that saying it, meaning it, and living it are very different things.

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This is Not Your Grandfathers Gold Market!

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For years,  we have all seen advertisements on TV and in the newspapers telling us to buy gold.  We’ve been told that it is a safe investment.  For the past 12 years, for the most part, it has been, depending on how deep your pockets are.  However, we saw on Friday, April 12th, that gold, at any given moment, can turn and drop fast and hard – just like all markets. Continue reading

Trading Tip #9 – Trading Styles: Do Not Have Just One

Trading Tip #9 – Trading Styles: Do Not Have Just One

David On Trading Floor

In the late 1980’s, my venture into the trading world began in the Gold pit on COMEX.  The first day was the Friday before Memorial Day weekend.  I walked in and noticed that being in the pit with a badge on was very different from stepping into it as a clerk to give your broker his position. With my heart beating out of my chest, I made my first trade. I bought one contract (100 oz.) and sold it a dime higher.  I made $10.  After commission, it was about $8.  I realized that, during the broker training practice sessions, everyone was a hero.  Once you had real money on the line, trading was decidedly different. Continue reading

Trading Tip #6 Hit the bid –Take the Offer and Just Do the Trade!!!

Trading Tip #6 Hit the bid –Take the Offer and Just Do the Trade!!!

I was away from my desk today and I wanted to short NFLX.  So, I called one of my brokers and told them to sell  ( Short ) NFLX at the market and hung up the phone. NFLX was emotiontrading at 175. 25 and I waited for the email on my execution, knowing that it wouldn’t  be exactly there, but I had hoped that it would be close. The email came and, yes, I was filled at 173.46. I had to laugh for a moment because it was trading $176.00 when I got the email. In response to my request for times and sales, I received an email showing me that the order was placed at 9:35, along with a note from my broker saying maybe next time I should use a limit order*.  First off all, I called to place the order at 9:32.  3 minutes to fill an order in this market is an eternity. In the pit, if an order took 3 minutes to fill the clerk would have 3 as@holes and the broker would have 2 – by getting chewed out by the client.  And, most likely, the broker would have to adjust the client from money out of his own pocket. Continue reading

Trading Tip #3 – If You Hear the Word “Hope”

Trading Tip #3 – If You Hear the Word “Hope”

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THERE IS NO HOPE IN TRADING.  It is like I tell my executive coaching clients who trade – If your thoughts keep returning to “I hope it goes up” or “I hope it goes down”, GET OUT!!!  Get flat and take another look at your view of the market.  Hope is on a date with an old friend of mine and, trust me, it is not going well.  Too many traders are concerned about being flat and missing part of the trades.  Don’t be.  You can always get back in.  No one catches every part of a trade.  Being flat is the best and only way to think clearly, even if its just for a moment.  How many of you have been crushed in a down move by hoping the market would go back up or saying “ this market has to bounce“?  The most important thing about understanding market movements is that the market doesn’t have to do anything.  No one is bigger or smarter than the market, and if you think you are, in time you will be carried out like so many traders before you that you never heard about. Continue reading

Trading Rule #1 – Leave your ego at the door.

IMG_0272As President of Sterling Commodities, part of our risk management for the Clearinghouse was to go over all of the traders accounts every night.  We needed to watch and analyze their trading patterns so that we could tell when it was time to talk to a trader and tell them to pull back or even take a few days off to regroup.  We were able to tell when traders were about to move to the next level of trading – both in size of positions and risk tolerance – and then give them guidance.  We helped them move to the next level. Continue reading