Update – this post was written before the launch of CME’s newest product – the Micro E-Mini. Here’s a link to a Micro E-mini resources page.
Guaranteed to be a better trader? Well, there are no guarantees; however, below you will find ten suggestions that, in my opinion, can only improve your knowledge of trading. If your knowledge quotient goes up, perhaps that puts you in a better position to become the E-Mini futures trader you wish to become.
- Read at least one thing each trading day. Learn about how a particular tool, method, or strategy works. Do you have to apply each one? No! However, learn as much as you can.
- Build your investment book library. Go online. Find trading advice books and develop different trading ideas, then test them in a paper trading account. We all have different personalities so what works for one person may not work for another.
- What kind of trader do you wish to be (or already are)? Write it down. If you can’t identify your trading style or path, it will be difficult to be successful. Be ready and able to articulate this to anyone.
- Focus on a sector or specific market. In my opinion, the Live Cattle futures trade differently than the E-Mini S&P 500 futures. While it is possible to become knowledgeable about a diverse range of futures markets, if you are a new trader, try to sharpen your focus.
- Keep a trading journal. I have written about this before, and I think it bears repeating. It is critical to keep track of your trading. Note the winners and the losers. What happened to cause each result?
- Develop a method. If you can’t articulate why you entered or exited a futures trade, then you probably should not have done the transaction to begin with.
- Practice sound money management. Understand how much of your investment you are putting at risk. Too often I see clients come in and leverage the entire account for one trade. It’s great if the trade works out, but if it doesn’t, you can be wiped out in a matter of minutes or days.
- Get educated. There are countless courses out there that may improve your trading skills. Do they all work, no? Is it possible that there are some which may be in line with your trading style and current knowledge base? Probably. Even the best and most experienced traders will tell you that they learn something new every day.
- Practice as much as possible. If you are working with a new strategy or technique, practice by paper trading. Don’t put up your investment capital to experiment with something unfamiliar.
- Trade with a clear mind. Before you sit down to trade (or contemplate trading) focus on going in with a good, positive attitude. In a bad mood, not focused, or distracted? Go for a walk. Do anything but sit down and fork over your hard-earned money.