Three things you can do to improve your trading– that don’t require better trading

Trader's Mindset

Sep 11

First, I highly advise traders to open multiple accounts and/or sub accounts.

One benefit to running multiple accounts, holding periods, and strategies is that assuming accounts aren’t perfectly correlated, which they shouldn’t be, is that when one account is down then more likely another is doing well. Trader’s outlook tend to follow their account balance– more accounts provides more balanced outlook.

Two additional steps that I would recommend any new futures trader to take:

  1. Start with the e-micros and do not go to e-minis until you can trade multiple contracts (at least 3 but preferably 5 or more contracts– why is 5 better? 1/5th size position vs 1/3rd size position capability– systems could be excluded ).

    It is a huge benefit to be able to work orders on a small account as if you had a large account. Today, was great example where a trader could take profits off at 86’s/87’s and still reload the trade or a portion for a break higher. It makes it easier to load more contracts when more confident– without going over risk limit.
  2. Learn options. Open an account where you can trade futures spreads. I use Tastyworks currently for that. The benefit to trading options is that it gives us a tool to structure trades that cannot be stopped out. Futures trades are best when one has very immediate reward scenario. For one matter, the stop loss rarely offers any predictive value– it is basically just a risk management tool. When one can trade both, it opens up a lot of possibilities for structuring trades.

    They key benefit though is the psychological benefit. Traders often get themselves into trouble when trying to fight for what they perceive as a big profit opportunity. If the market is targeting your stops, no need to fight– just open a risk limited futures spread.

About the Author

Curtis is passionate about markets. He has developed top ranked futures strategies. His core focus is (1) applying machine learning and developing systematic strategies, and (2) solving the toughest problems of discretionary trading by applying quantitative tools, machine learning, and performance discipline. You can contact him at curtis@beyondbacktesting.com.

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