"Michael is a gifted trading mentor. Over the course of several initial conversations he was able to assess my situation and recommend trading strategies that were harmonious with my personality; while at the same time attending to my family’s financial needs. I cannot stress enough how life changing this was for me." --JC, Kansas


The easiest, fastest, and most affordable way to become a successful trader.


"This is a great book for novice and experienced traders. Soaking up its wisdom distilled from experience and introspection will help you become more successful. And that's true even if it doesn't make you a penny." --Aaron Brown, AQR

Steve Sears led a dynamic discussion on the use of options in a portfolio. I spoke with him briefly after his presentation about some of the points that he made during the conference.

Steve writes the Striking Price column for Barron’s each week and is the author of The Indomitable Investor: Why a Few Succeed in the Stock Market When Everyone Else Fails.

You can listen to the podcast that I recorded with Steve in April 2012 when his book was released.

Follow Steve on Twitter.

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Sal Arnuk is an partner at Themis Trading, an institutional brokerage firm. He’s also the co-author of Broken Markets: How High Frequency Trading and Predatory Practices on Wall Street are Destroying Investor Confidence and Your Portfolio.

We spoke about liquidity in the markets and the business of trading.

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I received a great deal of email about the GOOG vertical spread trade. As you know, there is limited upside on a bull call spread because you’ve sold the upper strike price to underwrite the cost of the lower one. That’s a tradeoff that you’re willing to make.

More than a few readers are looking for a similar trade, but with unlimited upside. So in that case, you need to be thinking about the long-term fundamentals as much as anything and have a vision for what you think is going to happen.

Think in terms of probabilities and have some imagination and patience.

Like Yoda, think you must.

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tradingplan 300x158 Risk Assessment Tactics to Qualify Trades

If the chart pattern does is not conjugated with the average volatility of the instrument you’re about to trade, you could be in for a very frustrating time. A trade set-up might work for you when you compare what you’re willing to risk per trade and the 20-period ATR, for example. But what is your risk with respect to the rest of the chart?

This effects everyone in the market, not just newer traders with smaller account sizes. I just posted a video that help traders disqualify trades based on this key concept. Remember, your first order of business as a trader is to protect your capital. That process starts before you put on a trade.

You can spend days upon days wasting time in front of the computer screen and not make any progress in your trading career if you don’t understand this concept. Progress in this sense means growing your account balance. I don’t want you working for the occasional $200/day gain.

Michael Marcus did not turn the $30k into $80 million staring at screens all day.

register 300x181 Risk Assessment Tactics to Qualify Trades

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I am very excited right now as I’m working with a student who has some amazing natural talent.

This came about when he listed the goals for 2014. We reviewed his goals for 2013 and found out that he did not hit one of the most important goals: being profitable.

As a converting day trader, he’s amazed how much ego had gone into his trying to determine price targets for instruments he traded.

It’s one thing to get the instrument right, another to get the direction right, and a third thing to get the position sizing right. So we did a little exercise.

We built a spreadsheet of all his trades of 2013 and created 3 columns: entries, exits, and a “Where Are They Today” column. In 97% of the cases the longs were higher than his exit price.

When we multiplied it by the position size, we can see the money left on the table in dollar and percentage terms.

This represents the opportunity cost of being a day trader.

How much is being a day trader costing you?

Watch the free Volatility Study lesson.

Watch the free Vertical Put Spread lesson on AAPL.

Here’s a recent review of Inner Voice of Trading.

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