Know Your Limits

If you follow our blog, then you are definitely familiar with trader Larry Levin, President of Trading Advantage LLC. We have gotten such a great response from some of his past posts that he has agreed to share one more of his favorite trading tips as a special treat to our viewers. Determining the direction of the market can be tricky and just plain confusing at times, but Larry’s expert opinion keeps it simple.

If you like this article, Larry’s also agreed to give you free access to his award winning book.

One thing that I see that catches traders up all the time is knowing their limits. There are times when it is probably wiser to step away from a trade or not trade at all.

Sometimes the best favor you can do for yourself is to take a break.

It doesn't matter who you are or what kind of trading you do. There are going to be times when you need to step back and take a break from things. This can happen after a bad trade, a big loss, and even after a really good performance. It can help you get things back into perspective. It also allows for an opportunity for you to review your trades, and learn from any mistakes or plans that you think cost you in the long run.

It is easy for traders to get caught up in the action.

A lot of amateurs find themselves getting swept away in the wave of enthusiasm. The trading highs that come with winning are just as strong as the pull of panic that can accompany a loss. It is up to the individual trader to look at themselves in the mirror and admit when passions and emotions, rather than common sense, are at the helm.

Huge market movements like those that come on the waves of spiking prices are often irresistible. The trouble is that these times of high volatility can sabotage careful trading plans. Remember that there is no circumstance under which it is wise to enter a trade without a solid plan that includes:

- specific entry points based on your analysis

- specific profit exit level

- specific loss exit level

Even at the best of times it can be an exercise in patience and risk tolerance to trade. You don't want to muddy the waters by trading during extreme market events until the complete macro picture is available. An example of the kind of action I am talking about is relative to the panic over debt issues. When news is trickling in 24 hours a day from Europe and the United States, or when a big ratings agency decides to lower a AAA credit rating over the weekend, you can be sure that there is an environment where markets can gap through your stop prices or leave you very vulnerable. Trading in futures is risky enough without adding that level of anxiety.

Every time you trade you should ask yourself what is motivating you.

Before you enter any kind of trade you should ask yourself what you are looking for. Are you following a solid plan based on careful analysis and rules? Are you making sure you are only using risk capital? Can you really afford the loss if the market moves against you? Are you just trading to "be in the market"? Understanding the answers to these questions and being honest with yourself is important. These aren't just warnings to pay lip-service to. There are substantial risks of loss in all trading, and that's why you have to know and respect your limits. It is always ok to sit things out. No one ever loses money by staying on the sidelines and out of trades in a volatile market.

Click Here to gain access to Larry's award winning book.

Best Trades to you,
Larry Levin
Founder & President- Trading Advantage

Disclaimer: Futures and options trading involves a substantial degree of risk and may not be suitable for all investors. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results. Secrets of Traders LLC provides only training and educational information. By accessing any Secrets of Traders or Trading Advantage content, you agree to be bound by the terms of service. Click Here to review the terms of service.