I have been interested in trading futures for years as a hobby.
So far I have a perfect record (never have I made a profitable trade).
Because of this I trade very little. But I still study the markets, just find them fascinating and alluring in hindsight (could'a, should'a, would'a)
I've cut my losses down to nearly nil but am finding it harder and harder to pull the trigger with my past history.
Here's a message from a former trader that you may want to think about before looking into this further:
It's over .Posted by Steve
I bid you all adieu. I have been studying and trading the futures markets for nine years. I have read all of the books and done all of the things that the average student of the markets could have done. The list could go on forever. Money management, paper trading, options, futures, Technical, Fundamental,.....it just isn't meant to be. I slowly lost 152,000 dollars and am now left with fifty seven dollars in my trading account. I know you all will think and say that I was doing something wrong and you are different, and it won't end that way for you..
You're wrong. Dead wrong.
This is a sucker play and I knew I was on the losing end when the president of the brokerage that I used told me last week that he has never traded and never will.
I hope you all fare better than I did. Now I have to decide what to do with the rest of my life and explain to my wife why I lost all the money that I saved before I met her.
I do not agree with kirk. I have made trading my full time job for eleven years. True, many people loose money, but futures trading is a zero sum deal, meaning for every dollar someone looses, someone makes a dollar. Most things you have read about trading are more than likely not real world useful. When you are in Vegas and you lose money the house makes the money. People go to Vegas with money knowing the odds are are not in their favor. I would never trade that way.
The reason I believe why the average person can't make money *trading* in any market (be it equities, bonds, currency, or commodities) is that the game is rigged. It's "their" casino. There is so much manipulation at very high levels that there is no way that anyone but the most seasoned professional can win - the markets are not "free". Any one central bank anywhere in the world can tip the scales and you need a crystal ball to know what they are going to do ahead of time.
In many areas the timber markets are high right now. The timber value on land is sometimes overlooked in it's asking price. Often it is not included in the assessed value for taxes, which is often used to put a base market value on land. Buying timberland is a form of commodities trading where you are more in control (when and what to cut), if you let it ride (don't cut) it will continue to increase (trees grow) and you always have a tangible assest (the remaining dirt) that seldom decreases in value.
be very cautious. I had looked at getting into commodities at one time. What scared me off was the fact that you could literally loose more than you invest. Unlike stocks where you can loose what you have invested. I don't know enough about it to explain further but just be carful and do your homework.
Has anyone played the "Penny Stock" (pink sheets) game? Every once and awhile someone gives me a stock to buy at $1 or less and I always chicken out, then when I follow the stock it goes up to $3 or $4 (which is where you'd sell it before it falls again). I know people who do nothing but this to make a living.
Even if you buy 500 shares at 25 cents a share and it goes to a dollar you made a few bucks you didn't have. The key is to sell fast before it starts to fall, which most do.
Bill Clinton is getting $12 million for his memoirs. His wife Hillary got $8 million for hers. That's $20 million for memories from two people who for eight years repeatedly testified, under oath, that they couldn't remember anything.
God Bless America!
I am taking a trading course right now. In fact, class meet again tonight (every Thursday). I have watched this man trade and he always makes money. SOme days more than others, but always something on the days that he trades. He reads the signs and if it's not going to be a good trading day, he tunrs off the computer and doens't trade at all. I haven't started trading yet, but I 'll let you know how it goes. My instructor says the reason people lose money is becuase that don't read the signs correctly and trade on days when they shouldn't or they get greedy. You have to know when enough is enough. I pray that I do very well at this as it will enable me to make a living from home and work on my homestead.
The commodities market is like playing Polo - a game for the very rich who do not have to worry about the cost. PCdreams is correct, most people are technically borrowing money to cover their "bet" and if they lose- they lose big. It's probably one of the fastest ways to get into debt other than day trading, which is for those who believe the Brooklyn Bridge is for sale at a bargain price. Regular stock investment is fine, but as a homesteader I prefer my pork bellies to be out in the yard where I can see them.
sancraft, please be careful with directional trading. Trying to pick a market direction is sometimes very hard. Your teacher is correct saying that it is not necesary to trade every day. Ask your teacher his opion on non-directional positions. It is much easer for me to consistanly make money this way. A very large percent of people that have lost trading have done so trying to pick which way a market is going to go.
Thanks everybody for your input, I know this is very risky business but I'm willing to take that risk after dealing with all the fraud in the stock market, at least here you have something real. I've traded before but got into serious trouble with a scale on PB and had to bail, hopefully I'm a little older and wiser this time around. I have my own up close mechanical system that has given nearly 100% profitable signals (crude) in the last 4 months, it doesn't call all the turns but when the numbers line up I can enter the market with some confidence, of course you still have to use stop loss wisely for the times you are wrong. My plan is to go with at the money options for now and only trade crude, hogs and maybe the e-mini S&P. I have back tested on these and it looks good but haven't tried it in real time yet. I have an account ready to go, if it works out I'll let you guys that trade follow along with me on some trades. I do think now after seeing how this system has worked in a back test that there is some degree of order to the market, you just have to find it and like someone has said, on some days its best to go fishing and leave the markets alone. I might not get more than 20 signals a year on crude with this but that could prove to be substantial income.
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