Self-Coaching

Learn to be your own trading coach. Take notes on Post-its and attach them to your trading screen or leave them on your trading desk. Consider what messages are the most important for you at your current stage as a trader. What do you think you need to be focusing on? Here are a few practical examples: 

1. One trader might be focused on expanding his trading size without losing its efficiency. His note could say, “Focus on playing the setups as efficiently as you can. Money will follow.” 

2. Another trader may be fighting overtrading. Her note could read, “Play only your best setups. Don’t be easily distracted; it does not pay.” 

Be creative—do not be afraid of creating a true piece of art with your Post-its! Eventually, if the messages are repeated enough times in enough ways, they will become part of a trader’s self-talk and a natural part of performance.

You will follow practical steps and acquire the essential skills a successful trader must have in order to consistently win, and you'll also learn:

- how to develop a trading system
- how to utilize the best trading techniques within a trading methodology
- how to think about the psychological aspects of trading and the markets
- how vital it is to treat trading like a business

As you master this breakthrough program, you'll build yourself a distinctive trading signature.

"It took me five years to become a profitable trader and almost another five years to become extremely consistent. If I had come across the right trading material and concepts earlier, I’m sure the learning curve would have been far shorter. This practical book will give you the materials and concepts I wish I’d had early in my career." - Henrique M. Simões

Trading Size Matters; Size Kills

A very experienced S&P futures floor trader once said, “You can be a very good one-to-five contract trader, but you will be an average ten-contract trader and a terrible twenty-contract trader.” 

In trading, size really does matter, which means it’s crucial to know your size. Your efficiency will decrease dramatically the bigger you play. Why? Because you’ll be thinking about money all the time. You must trade at a size that’s within your present emotional capacity. Expanding trading size is a difficult task, even for the most seasoned traders. The key is to expand size slowly. For instance, if you usually trade 500 shares of a specific stock, you can increase your size to 550, then to 600, and then to 650 shares. Expanding your trading size gradually means giving yourself time to adapt to the new threshold. It’s a bit like lifting weights in the gym—you add them slowly, so your body gets used to the additional burden without experiencing any discomfort. 

Bear in mind that your bet size controls your emotions. There is a correct trading size for every trader, and finding that size is absolutely essential to success.
You will follow practical steps and acquire the essential skills a successful trader must have in order to consistently win, and you'll also learn:

- how to develop a trading system
- how to utilize the best trading techniques within a trading methodology
- how to think about the psychological aspects of trading and the markets
- how vital it is to treat trading like a business

As you master this breakthrough program, you'll build yourself a distinctive trading signature.

"It took me five years to become a profitable trader and almost another five years to become extremely consistent. If I had come across the right trading material and concepts earlier, I’m sure the learning curve would have been far shorter. This practical book will give you the materials and concepts I wish I’d had early in my career." - Henrique M. Simões

Learn to Think in Profit-Factor Terms

If there is one trait winning traders share, it is that they all understand losing is part of the game, and they have all learned to lose. Traders must learn to evaluate their trading and methodologies through the lenses of the profit factor: 

PF = (dollar amount of winning trades) / (dollar amount of losing trades) 

In every system and trading methodology, there are always winners and losers. The important thing is that the sum of the winners is bigger than the sum of the losing trades, but as you trade, you will be adding dollars to both the numerator and the denominator of that ratio. Learn to think in these terms, and a loss will mean only that you will add that particular dollar amount to the denominator.

You will follow practical steps and acquire the essential skills a successful trader must have in order to consistently win, and you'll also learn:

- how to develop a trading system
- how to utilize the best trading techniques within a trading methodology
- how to think about the psychological aspects of trading and the markets
- how vital it is to treat trading like a business

As you master this breakthrough program, you'll build yourself a distinctive trading signature.

"It took me five years to become a profitable trader and almost another five years to become extremely consistent. If I had come across the right trading material and concepts earlier, I’m sure the learning curve would have been far shorter. This practical book will give you the materials and concepts I wish I’d had early in my career." - Henrique M. Simões

The Equity Curve is the Perfect Reflection of Your Actual Trading Strengths and Weaknesses

In trading, the equity curve is the perfect reflection of your actual trading strengths and weaknesses, which means you are only as good as the shape of your equity curve. That is your starting point. All the improvements you make going forward should be reflected in the future shape of your equity curve. Ideally, your equity curve should stretch from the lower left to the upper right and should be as steep and as smooth as possible.


This also means you need to acknowledge and accept that you—and not the market—are completely responsible for your success or failure as a trader. 

Homework: Plot your equity curve for the last year or two. Make a critical assessment of your current stage of development as a trader.

You will follow practical steps and acquire the essential skills a successful trader must have in order to consistently win, and you'll also learn:

- how to develop a trading system
- how to utilize the best trading techniques within a trading methodology
- how to think about the psychological aspects of trading and the markets
- how vital it is to treat trading like a business

As you master this breakthrough program, you'll build yourself a distinctive trading signature.

"It took me five years to become a profitable trader and almost another five years to become extremely consistent. If I had come across the right trading material and concepts earlier, I’m sure the learning curve would have been far shorter. This practical book will give you the materials and concepts I wish I’d had early in my career." - Henrique M. Simões

How To Be More Effective Doing Market Research

Here’s what I have found to be the most productive for doing market research: Crunch numbers for forty to fifty minutes and then take a ten-minute break. This way, when you come back for more research and analysis, your brain has had the time to synthesize the market data, focus on what should be emphasized, and be clear on what should be tossed away. So many times I’ve spent hours and hours doing research, only to get lost in the data.

You will follow practical steps and acquire the essential skills a successful trader must have in order to consistently win, and you'll also learn:

- how to develop a trading system
- how to utilize the best trading techniques within a trading methodology
- how to think about the psychological aspects of trading and the markets
- how vital it is to treat trading like a business

As you master this breakthrough program, you'll build yourself a distinctive trading signature.

"It took me five years to become a profitable trader and almost another five years to become extremely consistent. If I had come across the right trading material and concepts earlier, I’m sure the learning curve would have been far shorter. This practical book will give you the materials and concepts I wish I’d had early in my career." - Henrique M. Simões

Review Your Trading Performance and Make Small Improvements Daily

Professional traders and athletes develop good practices as they perfect their craft. I have gathered a few quotes on best practices, including one from a basketball coach. There are interesting similarities between how to achieve a very high level of performance in sports and in trading. One is the ability to review our performance and make small improvements daily. 

“The best trading book you can ever read is your own trading journal.” 
—Anonymous trader 

“Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better.” 
—Pat Riley, basketball coach 

“Nothing like a closed market to see the charts clearly. Use this quiet time to review without bias or emotions.” 
—Dan Zanger, momentum stocks trader 

“I focus on three things: price, moving averages, and one momentum oscillator. That’s it. My trading process takes less than fifteen minutes a day, and most days I do nothing.” 
—Larry Tentarelli, intermediate-term technical trader 

“There are some things that winners do that losing traders often ignore. Keeping a trading journal, of some kind, is one of those practices.” 
—Adam Grimes, systematic trader
You will follow practical steps and acquire the essential skills a successful trader must have in order to consistently win, and you'll also learn:

- how to develop a trading system
- how to utilize the best trading techniques within a trading methodology
- how to think about the psychological aspects of trading and the markets
- how vital it is to treat trading like a business

As you master this breakthrough program, you'll build yourself a distinctive trading signature.

"It took me five years to become a profitable trader and almost another five years to become extremely consistent. If I had come across the right trading material and concepts earlier, I’m sure the learning curve would have been far shorter. This practical book will give you the materials and concepts I wish I’d had early in my career." - Henrique M. Simões

Basic Trading Personality

There is one important question you must answer about yourself that will guide you through the process of choosing a trading strategy that’s right for you and your trading personality: Are you an innie (a trader who likes constant action, who loves being involved in the markets constantly) or an outie (a trader who likes to wait for a perfect setup to come by)? 

Personally, I am definitely an outie—I do not have the fear of missing moves and being left out of the market, as most innie traders do, but I hate being in a trade that’s losing money. I stay out of the market for most of the trading session and strike only when I have what I consider to be a perfect setup. 

The important point here is that if you are an innie, you may want to try something such as trading Bollinger Bands; selling strength and buying weakness; or being almost always in the market, either on the long side or the short side. If you are an outie and planning to day-trade the markets, you may want to focus on capturing a move per day. This basic personality trait is an important factor in determining what type of trading strategy you should develop.

You will follow practical steps and acquire the essential skills a successful trader must have in order to consistently win, and you'll also learn:

- how to develop a trading system
- how to utilize the best trading techniques within a trading methodology
- how to think about the psychological aspects of trading and the markets
- how vital it is to treat trading like a business

As you master this breakthrough program, you'll build yourself a distinctive trading signature.

"It took me five years to become a profitable trader and almost another five years to become extremely consistent. If I had come across the right trading material and concepts earlier, I’m sure the learning curve would have been far shorter. This practical book will give you the materials and concepts I wish I’d had early in my career." - Henrique M. Simões

The Best Strategy for Independent Traders

If it works, it works. Different types of trading strategies or styles have their followers. In fact, some traders believe in their particular style with such fervor that they consider all others inferior. I disagree. For example, I am a systematic futures day trader. I obviously consider systematic day trading to be the best strategy for independent traders who trade for a living. But I also know people who are very good swing traders of both stocks and indexes or who are excellent option traders. So again, anything that makes money consistently works. 

Each trader must develop his or her own trading methodology. This requires hard work. Attempting to use other traders’ ideas instead of developing your own methodologies will not make you successful. 

Every great trader who has ever lived has developed his or her own approach by adequately using certain market techniques that apply to a particular market at a particular time. One commonality among all successful traders is that they are in sync with the markets.
You will follow practical steps and acquire the essential skills a successful trader must have in order to consistently win, and you'll also learn:

- how to develop a trading system
- how to utilize the best trading techniques within a trading methodology
- how to think about the psychological aspects of trading and the markets
- how vital it is to treat trading like a business

As you master this breakthrough program, you'll build yourself a distinctive trading signature.

"It took me five years to become a profitable trader and almost another five years to become extremely consistent. If I had come across the right trading material and concepts earlier, I’m sure the learning curve would have been far shorter. This practical book will give you the materials and concepts I wish I’d had early in my career." - Henrique M. Simões

Fill Out a Log Sheet for Every Trade Entry or Exit

The best way to prevent spontaneous trades is to force yourself to fill out a log sheet for every trade entry or exit. Using a spreadsheet to register all your trades is very useful, and you should register all your trades, the entry price, exit price, trade size, and reason to enter and exit the trade. This way it will be harder for traders to insert spontaneous trades that do not fit their trading plan. 

Every trader feels an impulse to trade from time to time. The most consistent, seasoned traders have learned to deny those impulses and stick to what is time tested and really works. (excerpt from section 5.1 Trading Routines)

You will follow practical steps and acquire the essential skills a successful trader must have in order to consistently win, and you'll also learn:

- how to develop a trading system
- how to utilize the best trading techniques within a trading methodology
- how to think about the psychological aspects of trading and the markets
- how vital it is to treat trading like a business

As you master this breakthrough program, you'll build yourself a distinctive trading signature, hitting win after win, and you'll be well on your way to financial independence!



Your Job as a Trader

A very successful trader once said there is always a way to make money, regardless of market or time frame. As a trader, your job is to find it. This structured course has that end in mind and will help you become a consistent, winning trader with a distinctive trading signature. These are your final goals for this course. (excerpt from section 1.1)

You will follow practical steps and acquire the essential skills a successful trader must have in order to consistently win, and you'll also learn:

- how to develop a trading system
- how to utilize the best trading techniques within a trading methodology
- how to think about the psychological aspects of trading and the markets
- how vital it is to treat trading like a business

As you master this breakthrough program, you'll build yourself a distinctive trading signature, hitting win after win, and you'll be well on your way to financial independence!


Momentum Stocks: What Time Frame Should You Use?

I just listened to Jack Vogel's (author of the Quantitative Momentum book) interview on the Better System Trader podcast and I want to share with you some of the material that I found to be the most interesting:
  • He defines momentum investing as a strategy that involves investing in stocks that have had the best performance over the last 12 months;
  • Value investing tends to work well at one time and momentum tends to work well at another time;
  • Short-term momentum defined by just looking at the performance over the last week or month has mean reverting characteristics - the strongest performers tend to perform worse than average;
  • Intermediate-term momentum, anything between 3 months and 15 months is the time frame where momentum seems to work the best - in this time frame the top performing stocks continue to outperform;
  • Long-term momentum, defined as a look back period of 5 years is also mean reverting;
My take on the study is that if you are trading momentum, you should look for the best performing stocks over the last 3 to 15 months. This is the sweet spot for momentum to perform well.

You will follow practical steps and acquire the essential skills a successful trader must have in order to consistently win, and you'll also learn:

- how to develop a trading system
- how to utilize the best trading techniques within a trading methodology
- how to think about the psychological aspects of trading and the markets
- how vital it is to treat trading like a business

As you master this breakthrough program, you'll build yourself a distinctive trading signature, hitting win after win, and you'll be well on your way to financial independence!

The Great Advantage of the Individual Trader

“Every stock market system with an edge is necessarily limited in the amount of money it can use and still produce extra returns.” – Ed Thorp 

This is where the individual trader has an edge over hedge funds, asset managers or investment banks. Individual traders can find a little niche with a trading edge and exploit it over and over, accumulating vast profits in the process. Being relatively small (accounts under a few million dollars) enables the trader to exploit trading edges that are impossible to consider for the bigger players. In trading, small is beautiful. Small is the land of opportunities.

PS: Trading Course is now available both in Paperback and Kindle eBook. Buy it now on Amazon!



You will follow practical steps and acquire the essential skills a successful trader must have in order to consistently win, and you'll also learn:

- how to develop a trading system
- how to utilize the best trading techniques within a trading methodology
- how to think about the psychological aspects of trading and the markets
- how vital it is to treat trading like a business

As you master this breakthrough program, you'll build yourself a distinctive trading signature, hitting win after win, and you'll be well on your way to financial independence!

The Best of Finance Twitter (February 9th)

I found a few interesting tweets on different topics today. These were my favorites:

"38 straight sessions in which S&P fails to move 1%+ INTRADAY."
- Carl Quintanilla (@carlquintanilla), CNBC anchor

For how long can this go on? There is a sense among pros that volatility will pick up soon but so far all we have is chop-chop. Very small ranges to trade intraday.

"Workers spend a quarter of our day reading e-mails. We check them 36 times a day." 
- Mark C. Crowley (@MarkCCrowley) author, keynote speaker, Fast Company columnist

Time is scarce. We must learn to use it wisely. Spending less time on email will surely make you more productive.

"Twitter is down 60% since its IPO. And this chart basically says it all."
- StockTwits(@StockTwits) Social network


This chart shows how the growth has vanished from Twitter. 


The Best of Finance Twitter (February 8th)

Another very long day on Finance Twitter with thousands of tweets. Here are the highlights of what I enjoyed reading today:

"That's some serious overboughtness on $AAPL. Not necessarily a short but further gains from here are going to be tough."
- Gavin McMaster (@OptiontradinIQ)

Gavin shared this chart of a very overbought Apple (AAPL) where new buyers should probably wait for a better entry setup and option players may be tempted to come in and sell some calls.




"Now 85 days without a 1% or greater drop from the $SPX. Still 9 days shy of the record in 2006." 
- John Kicklighter (@JohnKicklighter)

Another stat that shows the lack of day-to-day volatility in the U.S. indexes. John usually tweets about currencies but this anomaly in stocks caught his attention too.

“39 Book Recommendations From Billionaire Charlie Munger that Will Make you Smarter” 
- JB Marwood (@MarwoodJB)

Joe tweeted an excellent link with 39 book recommendations from Charlie Munger.

I bought Joe's book "How to Beat Wall Street" earlier this week on a recommendation from Steve Burns. I haven't read it yet but I will give my thoughts on it soon.

"S&P 500 hasn't had a 1% intraday move since December 14, longest period of intraday tranquility in history."
- Charlie Bilello (@charliebilello)

Charlie tweets again about how quiet the market has been in regular trading hours. There is basically no intraday volatility for any kind of swings. Three eMini S&P 500 Index Futures points is the big swing these days for index day traders!

My book is for sale on amazon since January 9th on Paperback and for a few weeks on Kindle eBook format. The feedback from readers is finally starting to come in and I am very pleased with the reactions. This is the latest review on Amazon:

"This is a fantastic trading book for traders in all stages of development. It teaches you what to look for when developing a trading methodology, what techniques and technical indicators work best in different markets and environments and finally how to develop the mental skills to make it all work. This book was just released but will probably turn into a classic. I wish it had even more trading setups but there are more than enough to make you profitable. Buy it, read it, highlight it and work on it! (there are suggested tasks, homework, practical trading tips through the book which makes the book even more unique)" - (5 stars rating)

PS: Trading Course is now available both in Paperback and Kindle eBook. Buy it now on Amazon!

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY): Short-Term Bearish Bias

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY) is up 9 sessions in a row. 




  • there is a statistical bearish bias for the next one (0.25%) to three days (0.55%); 
  • the stock is below both the 50-day simple moving average and the 200-day simple moving average; 
  • note that "on average" does not mean "every single time";
  • you can check prior signals on $MPC, $PBR, $IP and $XLY on my Twitter;
If you are interested in developing a quantified trading approach you might be interested in reading my book.

PS: Trading Course is now available both in Paperback and Kindle eBook. Buy it now on Amazon!



Nine Problems That Most Traders Face

"Much of trading psychology, like much of traditional applied psychology, is problem-focused. We start with a problem and we look to identify and remove or minimize the cause of the problem. This is similar to the framework in medicine. We start with symptoms, diagnose an illness, and seek a treatment that will cure the disease." 
—Brett Steenbarger 


What do you consider to be the problem that is inhibiting you to trade profitably most of the time? 

In my book I described the most common issues that traders face that are an impediment to consistent profitability: 

(1) The first one is trading without confidence. The lack of trading confidence is the source of many trading related mistakes; 
(2) Experience fear, hesitation or anxiety while trading; 
(3) Burnout; 
(4) The inability to admit trading mistakes; 
(5) Not knowing how to think about individual trades in the context of a methodology or trading strategy; 
(6) Self-sabotage 
(7) Overtrading 
(8) The inability to flawlessly execute a trading strategy; 
(9) Getting upset in the face of a drawdown and starting to make recurring trading mistakes; 

Do not worry if you are facing more than one of these problems. Most traders are. In my book I dig deep into all of these problems and what traders must do to be able to overcome them.

PS: Trading Course is now available both in Paperback and Kindle eBook. Buy it now on Amazon!



You will follow practical steps and acquire the essential skills a successful trader must have in order to consistently win, and you'll also learn: 

- how to develop a trading system 
- how to utilize the best trading techniques within a trading methodology 
- how to think about the psychological aspects of trading and the markets 
- how vital it is to treat trading like a business 

As you master this breakthrough program, you'll build yourself a distinctive trading signature, hitting win after win, and you'll be well on your way to financial independence!

The Best of Finance Twitter (February 7th)

One day is a very long time on Twitter. Here are the highlights of what I enjoyed reading today:

"30+ years of investing. 1 million followers. It's still only the beginning." 
- Jim Cramer (@jimcramer)  

Jim Cramer tweeted today that he has passed the 1,000,000 followers mark. Quite impressive. Congratulations, Jim. 

"Crude completes 10-wk H&S top against backdrop of all-time record spec longs and commercial shorts." 
- Peter Brandt (@PeterLBrandt) 

 Peter Brandt shared a Crude Oil chart with a completion of a Head and Shoulders patterns and its bearish implications: 




"Make or break time for $CHK down near the 200d" 
- Larry Tentarelli (@LMT978) 

Larry tweeted about how Chesapeake Energy (CHK) is approaching its 200-day simple moving average. Will it hold? As Larry says, it’s make it or break it time for this stock. Larry shows a remarkable consistency in his approach and in the charts he shares on Twitter. 



"$XLY is down 8 days in a row. There is a bullish bias for tomorrow. Over the last 7 years when this happened it rallied on average +0.94%."
- Henrique M. Simões (@TraderHMS)

I highlighted the 8-day selling streak on Consumer Discretionary SPDR ETF (XLY). I have been sharing some of these setups on Twitter. This is the fourth setup I shared as I started with Marathon Petroleum (MPC) last week, then Petroleo Brasileiro (PBR), International Paper (IP) and now Consumer Discretionary SPDR (ETF)(NYSEARCA:XLY): 



"The S&P 500 hasn't made a 1% intraday move in 35 DAYS. That's a record." 
- StockTwits (@StockTwits) 

If you are a S&P Futures day trader you are probably missing a little of action. This is the dullest market ever. 

"You can’t make more time, but you can learn to use it better." 
- Tony Robbins (@TonyRobbins)

Traders need to find time to trade, time to research the markets and time to analyze their trading performance. Tony Robbins shared an infogram where one could read, "Did you know the average person spends approx. 1,011 hours per year watching television?"

"Talent is cheaper than table salt. What separates the talented individual from the successful one is a lot of hard work." 
- Stephen King 

This quote was tweeted by Jon Winokur (@AdviceToWriters). While it is obviously in the context of writing literature I find it to be true in trading as well.

PS: Trading Course is now available both in Paperback and Kindle eBook. Buy it now on Amazon!

How To Achieve A Very High Level Of Performance



"There are interesting similarities between how to achieve a very high level of performance in sports and in trading. One is the ability to review our performance and make small improvements daily." 
(excerpt from Trading Course: How to Become a Consistently Winning Trader)

Ayrton Senna on how the combination of mind power, determination, instinct and experience make you go forward by testing your own limits and expanding your current racing (trading) capabilities.

You will follow practical steps and acquire the essential skills a successful trader must have in order to consistently win, and you'll also learn:

- how to develop a trading system
- how to utilize the best trading techniques within a trading methodology
- how to think about the psychological aspects of trading and the markets
- how vital it is to treat trading like a business

As you master this breakthrough program, you'll build yourself a distinctive trading signature, hitting win after win, and you'll be well on your way to financial independence!