Smells Like Routine Spirit ⏰

trading trading routines Sep 04, 2017

As we announced in last week's newsletter, this month's trading theme is "Trading Routines".

This week's lesson comes from our "in-house" risk expert - certified risk manager and frequent contributor, Michael Toma, who shares some perspectives on the power of routines and the benefits of triggers in cueing desired behaviours and actions.


The Power Of Routines?

Given all the things you can’t control when trading, I guess it’s only fitting to cram in all the things you can control - our actions, tools, strategies, and of course, our crazy routines.  

I’ve heard some wild ones throughout my career but in the end, it’s the trader themselves who is comfortable with their rituals supported by endless belief in its value.

Can these routines we praise actually trickle down to make us more successful?

When the topic is discussed at our upcoming meetup on September 19, I’m confident there will be at least one routine that each attendee follows...

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The 2-5-1 Trailing Stop Strategy πŸ›‘

trading Aug 07, 2017

This month's theme is "Trading Setups", and one of the most important aspects of any trading setup is how one manages a trade once a position has been entered into.

We've all heard the old adage that we need to "cut our losers short, and let our winners run", and in a previous Weekly Perspectives, we've written about the importance of how this plays into risk management.

However just as challenging for some traders is what to do when faced with a winning trade. How does one balance the desire to keep hard earned profits versus taking the sure winner then sitting on the sideline and missing out on the big move?

Unfortunately, there is no right or wrong with regard to this aspect of trade management but simply tradeoffs.

There are many ways to construct profitable trading systems that can involve either taking quick profits or letting winners ride.

The emotional temptation, however, is to flutter back in forth between both approaches and in the end being consistently wrong with every...

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Weekly Perspectives: Adapting To Markets By Expanding Your Learning Strategies πŸ’‘

trading Jul 16, 2017


One of the most profound changes in the recent markets has been the acceleration in the rate of change. Trends and regime changes that used to play out in weeks or months are now occurring in days or hours.  

As a discretionary trader, one of the keys to being able to keep up and adapt to this ever changing and evolving environment is to have a solid understanding of how you best learn and a developed set of skill acquisition strategies.

I've written about and presented on this topic in the past about the importance of deliberate practice in trading as well as the necessity of developing a practice and skills based mindset and you can find a related webinar here -

Webcast: Why trying harder doesn't make you a better trader.

In this week's lesson, we discuss - 

  • The importance of learning as it applies to trading
  • What are the different learning modalities
  • Prioritizing the different learning modalities
  • Using mental rehearsal to prepare for your trading 
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Weekly Perspectives: Position Sizing For Success βš–οΈ

trading Jun 12, 2017

In last week’s lesson, we introduced 2 extremely important measures that all traders need to track and monitor.

Now that we've set that baseline, in this week’s lesson we will build upon the 2 measures we introduced last week and launch into the topic of position sizing.

As it pertains to this month's theme of risk management proper position sizing is key in the practice of risk and loss prevention.

Entire books are dedicated to the topic of position sizing so for the purposes of this lesson I will introduce a very common method for position sizing called Fixed Fractional position sizing.   

For those interested in other position sizing methods, here's a brief primer.

In this lesson, we'll discuss -

·       What the Reward for Risk ratio is

·       How to calculate Risk

·       How to calculate Reward

·      ...

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Weekly Perspectives: 2 Ratios All Traders Need To Track

trading Jun 05, 2017

This week’s lesson we will be brief however it will cover an essential risk management concept.

If you are new to risk management concepts then understanding this lesson will allow you to objectively understand the strengths of your trading system, how and where you can improve your results, and gain an appreciation for how much risk you should be taking on.

There are 2 measures which all traders need to be tracking regardless of your chosen method or timeframe.

Those 2 measures are:

  1. Win percentage (W)
  2. Gain vs loss ratio (R)

The win percentage (W) is the probability that a trade will have a positive return.

W is calculated by taking the total number of winning trades and dividing it by the total number of trades.
For instance, let's say you took 50 trades last year and 25 of those trades are winners, then your W would be 50% (25 / 50).

The win to loss ratio (R) is equal to your total trading profits divided by your total trading losses.
It is calculated by taking the total...

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Weekly Perspectives: A Crazy Little Thing Called Risk 😨

trading May 29, 2017


It’s often the 800 lb. gorilla in the room.

The topic we traders mention constantly but more times than not we would rather discuss our dental visit than divulge our risk management plans.

Most traders appreciate the importance of risk management however where educators often fall short is in the scoping of risk management. Bottom line; most traders focus on just stop management and protecting trade loss.

One approach that I find gains more traction is to have the trader take an ‘enterprise’ risk management path to understanding risk and its application to trading.

The concept of ERM takes more of a holistic improvement approach to the topic and in essence widens the sandbox to what traders need to consider under the risk management umbrella. Core ERM plans should address both profitability as well as loss management.

The best way I have found for traders to grasp ERM and to buy into the value it offers is with this simple statement:

You will have...

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Weekly Perspectives: Finding The Right Trading System For You πŸ”¬

trading May 14, 2017


Continuing this month's theme of "Trading Systems", in this week’s video lesson, you’ll get a ‘checklist’ of sorts of the considerations you should keep in mind during trading strategy and system selection - to filter through the hundreds of choices you have available to you, and help you find a good fit.

These are the areas which can affect both your direct results and your subconscious’s decision to support or sabotage your efforts.

In conclusion, the process of choosing a trading strategy and system selection can be summarized as follows.

  1. Determine your business objectives & parameters
  2. Select your strategy that fits #1 and other criteria
  3. Select your method within the strategy
  4. Define your system that details execution of the method
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Weekly Perspectives: Understanding the psychology of your trading system πŸ‘“ πŸ€¦β€β™‚οΈ

trading May 07, 2017

Continuing this month's theme of "Trading Systems", in this week’s lesson we discuss why your trading system doesn't exist in a vacuum and examine the “psychology of trading systems”, and how this relates to, but is quite different from the standard ‘trading psychology’.


Spend some time now and simply reflect on your experiences so far with trading, and note specific instances when you’ve felt a great deal of discomfort. 

Briefly note what happened, what led to it and what particular feeling you experienced at the time.

Once you’ve exhausted say 10 or more instances, see if you can identify the possible reason why your subconscious would be creating resistance to success for you in these situations, based on what we discussed in the lesson.

These are areas in your trading and trading system that are not at the level they need to be for you to act with full trust and certainty.  What steps can you take to shore up these...

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Weekly Perspectives: The Shortcomings of Backtesting πŸ”­ πŸ”¬

In this week's lesson certified risk manager and frequent contributor, Michael Toma shares the discrepancies between real trading and backtested results.


There were times where I spent more effort backtesting than I would sleep. As traders, we’ve all done it. Waking up at 4 am with a strategy you heard about and simply can’t get it out of your head.

The mission; backtest, backtest and more backtest. Some of the popular trading platforms now have pretty cool backtesting tools but for me, if the strategy didn’t seem too complicated, I would dive in with pen and pad and backtest it old school. I can’t tell you how many times I witnessed a successful backtest only to quickly fail in a live environment.

How can that be? We’re talking the holy grail of setups only to make its way to the trash bin along with the backtesting scribble.

So how do risk managers play a role in the system building process?

Since the process can ultimately be the supporting...

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Weekly Perspectives: Developing Your Trading Playbook πŸ““πŸ”–

 Hi Traders,

Once again it was great to see everyone who came out to this month's meetup where we talked about "Trading Essentials".

Now it's time to shift gears and move on to a new theme for this upcoming month's Meetup.

This month's theme will be "Trading Systems".

For the next several weeks until May's Meetup, we will be discussing everything around "Trading Systems" including how to craft your own playbook, backtesting, setups, and more.

To kick off this month's theme, in this week’s lesson as we alluded we’re going to cover the important task of developing your own "Trading Playbook".

In this video, we will discuss one of the most important ongoing tasks in a successful trading business and that is the ongoing research, development, and execution of your Trading Playbook.

Tune into the video and learn about these 6 key must-do action items:

  1. Define your trading system
  2. Diversify your systems
  3. Focus on 1 system at time and accumulate the metrics
  4. Practice perfect...
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