Commodity Futures Trading – What Is Your Trading Edge?
Finding your very own unique commodity trading edge is a worthwhile goal. Without one you are lost in the masses, struggling to push your head above the sea of expenses. Trading edges do exist, though for short periods of time. Psychological edges are more permanent. You need many. Read on to find how to go about finding yours.
When talking about trading, I cringe when I hear the word, "system." It reeks of computer optimization - optimized mush, no flexibility. A better term is trading "method." A commodity trading method is something that is less rigid and has general rules that can be bent. We need to know when to bend the rules. This brings a method out of the mediocre class into one that has an edge - a human edge.
The best commodity futures and option traders in the world are usually discretionary types verses strict rule based optimization systems people. There are exceptions. To be a 100% intuitive, method trader is a tough row to hoe, agreed, but allows dynamic change to market conditions in a heartbeat.
So, where do we find our trading edge? Is it in the latest software, book, mentor, webinar, or maybe right here? It can be found everywhere, pieces here, pieces there, but mostly, the edge is within you. Sounds mystical, but it?s the truth. You have to spend the time to develop your OWN unique edge that the majority do not have. And yours will change over time.
For example, at one point back in the late 60?s and early 70?s, few commodity futures traders had use of computers. It was found that even a simple exponential moving average worked well for the smooth trending markets of the era. Moving average commodity traders did well since the markets were trending nicely. As more traders caught on, the successful trending systems began to get diced. You will notice that many of the new and emerging foreign markets start out with smooth trends until they mature and then start the chop cycle as change moves in. It?s all part of the never-ending evolutionary commodity trading game and marketplace.
There are some effective, but simple, long-term trending methods out there. Almost any method will work at one time or another. The broadest, loosest trading methods will last the longest, while the most optimized last the shortest time. The famous ?Turtles? used a break-out of the 40-day moving average for many years.
They added a filter called ?n.? Two losers in a row = -2n. Two winners = +2n.? A winner and loser = 0n. The more losing trades in a row, the more frustrated the masses and the more likely the next trade will be a winner. That is, if the break-out came three times in a row with a resulting false move and a stop out, (-3n) then the fourth signal will be more probable for success. Sometimes.
The commodity futures markets follow this general rule: They will bless some methods for a while, then turn in a heartbeat and take it all away. A good trader is always watching several methods at one time and will switch to the one currently a heartbeat!
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There is substantial risk of loss trading futures and options and may not be suitable for all types of investors. Only risk capital should be used.