Raising The Bar

Identifying Successful Futures Trading Rooms

by Dean Handley, PhD, MBA, JD

Virtual trading rooms allow participants to log in and follow trade signals provided by a head trader. Ever thought of joining one? Here are a few things to keep in mind before you select one to trade from.

When I decided to learn to trade futures four years ago, I assumed there would be dozens of successful methods, each involving a customized blend of education, indicators, and strategies, and all of which would be neatly packaged for sale among the hundreds upon hundreds of virtual trading rooms out there. I chose to learn futures trading from a large trading organization where the head trader had amassed great personal wealth from trading. Within nine months, it was apparent that the trading methods of that room were not effective; I had blown out my account and learned I was not alone.

Most new traders fail at futures trading, even after having purchased specific education and indicators, as I had done. I reviewed what has been written to address the reasons traders fail. When I looked at the 10 most common mistakes, and I attended to each in turn, I still had not achieved success at futures trading.

The absence of failure is not the presence of success. Success lies well beyond removing failure, and for myself, identifying tactics to achieve trading success was a far more intractable task than attending to a checklist of mistakes. Since failure in futures trading is pandemic while success elusive, I will focus on tactics I developed over the last several years that are fundamental to my current success at futures trading.

Here are the considerations I give my evaluation process:

  1. Successful trading: Can it be defined? Successful futures trading can boost your retirement, generate extra wealth, or help you achieve financial independence. That all sounds nice, but what do these terms actually mean? My first step was to define successful trading in practical terms: I wanted to earn at least $50,000 net profit per year from approximately five trades per day (three contracts per trade) on each of the 250 trading days per year. This meant I wanted to net at least $200 per day or at least $1,000 per week — it’s straightforward, adjustable, and measurable.

…Continued in the December issue of Technical Analysis of Stocks & Commodities

Excerpted from an article originally published in the December 2013 issue of Technical Analysis of Stocks & Commodities magazine. All rights reserved. © Copyright 2013, Technical Analysis, Inc.

Return to Contents