Blog

The MTM Take

How to Enhance Trade Entry

I learned long ago that keeping a trade journal not only helped me recognize patterns that suited my personality, but it also taught me how to avoid repeating mistakes. The journal, through diligence and repetition, permitted me to develop a short-term entry strategy to enhance the timing for catching longer-term trends. One

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My Favorite Option Things

Every year Oprah releases a list of her favorite things ahead of the holidays. According to her magazine, she has selected 79 perfect presents and one bonus selection for 2019. I also have a list, but it is not seasonal. It is a few phrases I like to use that I think

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Fed’s Stance Sparks Fundamental Shift

Over the past week we saw a subtle fundamental shift, but sometimes that is all it takes to get a trend rolling. It started with the Fed hinting at a more neutral stance. A fourth interest rate cut had been widely expected in the December FOMC meeting. That may not happen now

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Is Option Trading Easy?

Let’s answer that question right now before we go any further…no! It takes a lot of work and patience to be a profitable option trader. Getting started by putting some cash into a trading account is easy. But that is where the easy part ends. Not only do you have to learn

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How Will Brexit Affect Markets?

I was writing my daily commodity market updates early Thursday morning and just as I was ready to hit send, stock indexes and interest rates rose abruptly. The euro and pound rallied while the dollar dipped. Gold fell as well. These immediate reactions were reversed later in the day when it appeared

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Positive Theta Should Be Your Friend

This market has been particularly volatile over the past several months. I am sure most of you have noticed that. Finding directional or even neutral trades that last for more than a session or two has been extremely difficult. But what if there was a way to help offset some of your

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To Find Money Flows, ‘Follow the Sun’

A week ago, we finished the first of 2 MTM Mastermind sessions. On the last day we had a visit from a very good friend and colleague, CNBC’s Rick Santelli. He and I worked together in the ’90s where we compared notes often. We each had our own personal style and technical

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Trading an Iron Condor During Earnings

We are getting closer to another round of quarterly earnings, so this may not be the best time to talk about a relatively neutral strategy. But I think it is always a good idea to learn more about different option strategies. An iron condor is a market-neutral strategy that combines two credit

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How to Trade ‘in the Zone’

It was the mid-1980s and I was in my mid-twenties when I stepped on the CBOT trading floor as an employee. I was terrified, intimidated and eager. I got a jacket with team colors, a badge for access to the pits, and a warning to keep my mouth shut and do what

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Learning the Option Greeks

As summer comes to a close here in Chicago, I have spent more than the usual amount of time over the past few weeks reviewing the option greeks in our Group Coaching class. It is always important to know about the greeks when trading options, but many traders neglect to properly educate

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Smart Traders Check Commodity Chains

In previous blogs I introduced a checklist of technical tests that I utilize before making a trade or writing my daily newsletters. A consistent approach is important to professional traders. Many investors are purely technical traders, some follow fundamentals, while others employ a combination of both schools of analysis. Fundamental data are

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What Has a Better Chance of Happening?

When it comes to technical analysis, there are certain indicators traders rely on. For me, monitoring simple support and resistance is the main way I feel I am putting the odds on my side. Support and Resistance Support is a level that keeps the underlying from moving lower. Resistance is a level

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Reduce Anxiety by Decreasing Risk

Tariffs, China, Hong Kong, Russia, Iran, inflation, central banks, recession, negative yields, inverted yield curve: All these terms have dominated headlines, and they incite anxiety for investors. Even agile short-term traders struggle in an environment where unvetted stories and half truths move markets. Rumors and threats in social media have had more

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Consider a Collar as an Investor

Although this last round of quarterly earnings is almost in the books, I feel the need to remind investors that options can provide protection even when earnings season is not going on. Let’s face it, the market is going to move lower like it did suddenly last Thursday, so it may be

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Big News From the Fed This Week

The Federal Open Market Committee has a mandate to promote full employment and keep inflation in check. It raises interest rates when the economy is overheating, and it lowers rates to promote spending or increase economic activity. Lately, Fed Chair Jerome Powell has taken a dovish or more accommodative stance. Many economists

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Support and Resistance on the 15-Minute Chart

If you know me even a little as a trader, you know how I feel about support and resistance when it comes to trading. I feel knowing that support and resistance has a better chance to keep the underlying advancing gives the trader a much-needed “edge.” As traders, we want to put

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A Helpful ‘Cheat Sheet’ for Average Ranges

Around holidays, especially in the summer, the participation rate often decreases, and subsequently so do volume and ranges. The typical seasonal lulls and end of each quarter are ideal times to do research and update statistics. I keep a spreadsheet with statistics covering average ranges over the most frequently analyzed time frames:

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Go-To Strategies for Any Market

As you probably know, there are several option strategies available to option traders depending on what the trader thinks the market and underlying will do. Of course, there are market risk, implied volatility bid/ask spreads and other factors to take into account as well. But every option trader should have a few

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How to Improve Trade Entry and Exit

One of the more difficult issues traders face is choosing prices that are apt to be extremes, or highs and lows, over a given time frame. Pinpointing daily entry and exit levels, also known as support and resistance areas, requires a view of recent history of the market you are trading. When

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Key Candles to Add to Your Trading Toolbox

All technical tools work at times, but none work all the time. The trick to technical trading is to identify when an indicator is likely to detect a high percentage trade. I have studied many charting techniques and tools in my 30-plus years in the commodity markets. Whenever I came across a

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How to Trade This Options Market

This is just a little blog to remind you about your options trading management. Everyone needs reminders, especially option traders. I will often say in my Group Coaching class to know exactly what you will do no matter what happens before you enter any trade. The same can be said about the

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