"Common Sense" Rules for
- Divide your capital into 10 equal parts, and never risk more than 1/10 of
your capital on any one trade.
- Use stop-loss orders and always protect a trade when you use a stop-loss order by
using reasonable price limits.
- Never over-trade and adhere to your risk management rules.
- Never turn a profit into a loss. If you are using a stop-loss order, then raise
your stop-loss so as to lock in a profit.
- Remember, "the trend is your friend," and never buy and sell if you are
not sure of the trend according to the fundamentals and technicals.
- When in doubt, get out. Only trade when you feel confident about your trading
- Trade in the most active markets, and refrain from the slow, inactive markets.
Also, trade the most liquid contract months.
- Your risk should be equally distributed. Trade in 2 or 3 different commodity
products so as to avoid tying up all your capital in any one commodity.
- Trade "at the market" whenever possible and try to avoid using orders
with a fixed buying and selling price (except a stop-loss).
- Establish a "surplus account" after you have a series of successful or
winning trades. Your goal is to retain the "surplus account" in times of
emergency or panic.
- Never get into the market because you are anxious from waiting, and never get out
of the market just because you have lost your patience.
- Never buy just because the price of the commodity is "low", or sell
just because the price is "high."
- Never change your position in the market without a good reason. If you execute a
trade, base it on a fundamental reason or technical rule. And then do not get out
without a definite indication of a change in trend.
- Do not guess where the top and bottom of the market is, but let the market prove
its top and bottom.
- Reduce your trading after your first loss; never increase or
- Perception is not reality. Only trade on "quality" advice.
- Avoid the natural tendency toward increasing your trading after a long period of
success or a period of profitable trades.
- Use self-discipline as your guide when the market goes against your position.
Take your loss and wait for another opportunity.
- Never average a trading loss.
- Avoid getting in and out of the market wrong, and getting in right and out wrong.
This only leads to doubling your mistakes.
- Avoid taking small profits and big losses.
- Strategize according to market consensus. When too many market participants are
moving the market in any one direction, the market becomes very vulnerable.
Determine the make-up of open interest, utilizing such tools as the CFTC "Commitment
of Traders Report.".
- Only trade with genuine risk capital, and be aware of the risk of losing.
- Do not trade when you do not understand the market. Trade with confidence and
- Find your personal trading niche, and remain focused. Be cautious to not over
extend your attention span.
- Do not treat all markets the same. Learn to adjust the size of your positions and
the frequency of your trades for different markets.
- Look at all sides of the market. Try to understand why a buyer would buy, and why
a seller would sell. This will enable you to be more flexible, and less resistant to
- Ignore the minor price fluctuations and place positions with the basic trend of
the market. Remember, the odds are on your side when you trade with the trend rather than
try to pick trend reversal points.
- Guessing key reversal points can be risky. Therefore, let the market tell you
when it is over by a patterned reverse in direction.
- Always remain true to your trading plan, and follow the trading style that works
best for you. This may be accomplished through the help of a broker or done
- Never make a mistake without asking yourself why. Learn from your trading
mistakes. If possible, keep a log of your trades - why you maded them, what happened and
- Do not establish your trading size based solely on margin requirements.
- Always trade within your capabilities, financial and otherwise.
- Put your trust in the markets, and do not be afraid when they reach historic
highs or lows.
- Never underestimate the makeup and volume of the markets participants.
There's a lot of money out there!
- Remember, the key to any plan is how well it performs over time.
- Never let greed or fear take control over your winning positions.
- It is very difficult to make and keep profits by becoming addicted to either the
action in minor fluctuations, or to opposing the majority just to be a contrarian.
- Declining volume usually indicates the market is not accepting higher or lower
prices, and could indicate a turn.
- A market that is topping or bottoming out does not spend much time at the
extremes, so there will be little volume at these points.
- Be flexible with your trading. This will promote your growth as a trader. Alter
your plan as it suits your increasing knowledge of the markets.
- Finally, have confidence and believe in yourself!