Intermediate Futures Trading

Educational materials provided to assist intermediate traders improve their commodities trading

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The futures trading article below is opinion material not meant to be taken as fact or commodities trading advice.

What makes one futures trader successful, while another is not?

Is it intelligence? No. If it were, then doctors, lawyers, and engineers would make the best futures traders.

Is it the latest futures trading software program? No. If it were then the developers of the "magic black boxes" would be the best traders.

Is it commodities trading experience? No. If it were then all successful traders would be bald or have gray hair, and we know this is not the case.

Is it those that have inside information? No. Be real. In today's futures trading world data and information are global and instantaneous.

What then is the key?

I'll tell you. It is one factor. An all encompassing trait that successful futures traders have in common. They can be male or female, young or old, experienced or novice traders. What is it?


Discipline is the answer. Everything else pales in comparison in importance. Every successful trader has discipline as a strong and consistent part of their personality. Their futures trading style can be aggressive or conservative. They can be scalpers or long term position traders. Regardless of the specific style, every successful futures trader is always disciplined. Without discipline, sooner or later, and usually sooner, a futures trader will fail and lose his capital. No ifs, ands, or buts. Period. It is a certainty.

Well, this presents us with a significant problem. Most humans have a problem with discipline. So, as a commodities trader, how can you improve your chances of overcoming this obstacle to success? Have a futures trading plan and stick to it.

Do not change your strategy while in a trade, during the heat of competition amid market hours. Keep your discipline. Typically, decisions to change a commodities trading plan during adrenaline-enhanced market hours are wrong. You have probably spent hours working on and researching your futures trading approach, so why would you throw all of those efforts away on a whim, or a "gut feel", or a spasm of fear or greed during trading hours?

Stick to your discipline. After trading has ended for the day or for the week, you can calmly and rationally review and critique your futures trading strategy. It may need to be revised, or it may not. The only adjustment that may be needed is between your ears. Know yourself.

Your trading style must fit your personality. Aggressive. Conservative. Short term. Long term. It matters not, as long as you match your style with your personal strengths. If you are fighting yourself, your discipline will break down.

Know your strengths and your weaknesses. We all have them both. The best futures traders acknowledge this and understand where they need to focus on each. They know themselves with clarity and honesty. Be honest. Do that which best fits you, not what looks exciting or thrilling. This will allow you the best chance for maintaining your discipline. You will not be fighting yourself and the markets simultaneously. That is a disaster in the making.

Trading gives one insights into themselves that few other endeavours can provide. Listen to yourself. Believe in your abilities and your strengths. Capitalize on them and your ability to trade with discipline will flourish.

There are many roads that can be travelled that lead to a successful career in futures trading. Choose the road that allows your discipline to lead you there. Make this year your best commodities trading year to date.

Stay focused.

Trading commodity futures and options involves substantial risk of loss. The recommendations contained are of opinion only and do not guarantee any profits. These are risky markets and only risk capital should be used. Past performances are not necessarily indicative of future results. This is not a solicitation of any order to buy or sell, but a current futures market view. Any statement of facts herein contained are derived from sources believed to be reliable, but are not guaranteed as to accuracy, nor they purport to be complete. No responsibility is assumed with respect to any such statement or with respect to any expression of opinion herein contained. Readers are urged to exercise their own judgment in trading!