Your Questions About Successful Trading Strategies

Mary asks…

Trading strategies that work?

What are some of the most successful trading strategies?

Offhand I know of triple screen and gap trading.

What are some other strats that work?


John answers:

I trade with chart patterns and breakouts. In my opinion, there are a lot of strategies that work but it all comes down to the psychology behind the trader. An emotionally weak trader will not succeed even when he possess the world’s best trading strategies. I detail it at my blog at as I aim to educate readers about breakout trading so feel free to check it out.

Susan asks…

successful stock option trading strategies?

trading them for a living

John answers:

Most people lose money trading them.

Daniel asks…

What successful strategies have you used to “talk down” used car salesmen?

I’m looking at used Camrys. I am also new at car-buying and don’t know the best places to push. I will be financing and have a trade-in on which I still owe a decent amount of money, but less than the Blue Book trade-in value. I have some leeway in that I don’t HAVE to replace my current vehicle and am prepared to walk away. Please help! Thank you 🙂

John answers:

Go shopping on a rainy day when no one else is doing so. Do not even look at the car you want. If you want a blue 4-door Camry and you have $9,000 cash, tell them you want a red 2-door Ford and you need financing. They will ignore everything you say and first point you to the highest profit margin car on the lot and invite you to take a test drive. Say you don’t like to color of that interior or something as dumb as possible.. Eventually they’ll show you the car you want and ask too much for it. At that point make up some really unlikely reason you have to leave, like left the bathtub running at home but PROMISE with the most insincere face you have that you will be back “tomorrow”. Then actually leave the building and get into your car (if you have one). But then get out and say you’ve just spotted that blue Camry and that might just do. If you played your cards right the salesperson will be so surprised you turned back they will be like putty in your hands. People ALWAYS promise to come back and they never do. Take the car for a test drive. If they come along ask the STUPIDEST possible questions like “Are the seat covers reversible”. “Do these cars ever break” “My cousin’s Subaru has a jet engine, does this one”. “Does it have an autopilot”. “Which half of the gas tank fills up first”. Anything to drive the salesperson totally bananas. Then offer them 20% less than their asking price. Walk away at least twice, all the way back to your car, first when they insist on financing the deal, then again when they try to sell you an extended warranty, undercoating, seat covers, and a buckle for the fan belt. And again when they low-ball your trade-in. Don’t be swayed by “but this eliminates my commission”, “my manager will not approve this deal”, “all the cars already have undercoating added”, “that car just came on the lot today”, “it was driven by Mother Theresa only on St. Swithins Day, on the sidewalk, to Westminster Cathedral”, “the district manager is going to take away that car tomorrow”, etc, etc, etc, etc. Do not pay a penny extra for “document copying fees”. Always be in a position to walk out whistling. Even if you spent three hours at it, think of it this way,. If you walk away you’ve just worked at a pleasant job, making several hundred dollars an hour! Do not beleive A SINGLE WORD anybody at the dealership says. Be non-unimpressed by anything they say. Whenever they ask you to make any kind of descision you don’t want to make, say one of ten stock meaningless phrases you have memorized, along the lines of “Uncle Kartoosh never changed his underwear in August”. The goal is to never lose the upper hand, never let the salesperson drive the conversation. Remember THEY ARE NOT YOUR FRIEND and THEY HAVE NO MORALS and THEY ARE TRYING TO PICK YOUR POCKETS AS CLEAN AS POSSIBLE and you WILL NEVER SEE THEM AGAIN. It’s tremendous fun and mighty profitable too.

Sandra asks…

What are some good proven strategies that work when you do spread betting on currencies? What would you do?

I have a practice spread betting account with and I’ve found that I prefer to trade currencies when spread betting. I want to know if there are any good currency trading strategies to go by if you want to be successful with financial spread betting the FX markets? What do the pros do that makes them make money and win, I mean? Whats their secret?

John answers:

Keep in mind that the pros work as a team, and have developed strategies that work over decades of experience and testing. If you talk to one of them, or if you’re lucky enough to get one of them as a mentor, you will find that it takes years to teach you what they do also.

So many people come here expecting to find “the secret” in one indicator or one seminar or one book.

I swear some people actually expect
1) that we have the secret
2) that we would tell them, and they can “be rich” too
3) that we tell them in one sentence

It is a process of learning, not available without due diligence.

Think about it, I can’t even explain how to overhaul a carburator in one sentence, or one page, let alone this little box here, and if I did, or could, you still wouldn’t know how until you did it.

In mechanics there is only one way that carburator is going to go together and work. But with fundamental or technical analysis of the markets, we all see the same data and all interpret it differently. Where is “the secret” in all that mess of data? Not even a good question without specifics.

It is incredible and insulting to me that anyone believes I can reduce my 25 years of financial experience into “the secret” or that I would give my life’s work away to someone I don’t even know, when you have done absolutely nothing but open a practice account and play games. When you’ve read 100 books on the subject, maybe we can have a discussion. I’m going to have to stop reading these silly questions.

Chris asks…

Finance student looking to get into FOREX trading, anyone have a game plan for becoming a successful trader?

I am an undergrad student with a 3.7 GPA in an finance program ranked in the top 10 nationally. I will graduate early (this December) and am also studying to take the CFA level 1 in June.

I only tell you this so you know a little about my background and understand I am prepared to LEARN how to trade. I am not looking for a get rich quick scheme, but rather, want to study the art of trading until I can consistently make positive returns on FOREX during my spare time. Of course, who knows, if it goes well maybe it will become my career. More than anything though, it seems really interesting and I would like to learn more.

So, what books etc do I need to read to understand how to trade on FOREX? I understand it will take some work, but can anyone lay out a plan to follow in order to become a successful trader? For example, read x,y,x, while trading on a demo account, then open a real account and do x,y,z etc.

Please don’t recommend trading programs like FOREX tracer etc! There is no way I am going to let a program control what happens to my money and, to my understanding, most all of these programs are scams. I have to go with the old adage, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Also, for any traders out there…

What’s your holding period return for a typical month and how many hours/day do you trade to generate that return?

If I have limited capital to trade with, will this significantly impact my ability to utilize effective trading strategies?

John answers:

You seem to be coming into this with the right mindset and congrats for that since 95% want a get rich quick scheme. I too had a high GPA from Ivy Leadue in Econ/Finance but sadly that degree doesnt translate into trading success immediately.

Def dont buy any programs or such online since you have no control over them. Even if they work for a period of time you have no real idea about how to control your risk and how they are supposed to react to market conditions. 99% dont work and ALL need some understanding of risk management.

For advice on trading you should learn what indicators are, such as movign averages, oscillators (like RSI) and such. You should learn common patterns that traders use and what they mean. Watch many charts, pay attention to how prices move during news anouncements and so forth. By this time you should have ideas to test in demo to see if you can make money.

Try to be CONSISTENT in demo mode and try to make like an average of 100 bucks a day or some goal. Once you can consistently hit your targets and are comfortable with your system go live and try to see if it really works. These steps might need to be repeated several times until you get a profitable system you are comfortable with.

Get a good low cost broker. I use Interactive Brokers. Oanda is good too, but i like IB best. Good brokers keep their spreads tight and are highly reliable. This may make the difference between profitability and losses.

Good luck

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