Friday, 21 May 2010


Trading futures has become a global event. When I first started trading we only had daily data which we downloaded every day, from CSI in Boca Raton in my case. We then did our analysis and traded off that day's charts using a telephone to ring our broker. I had about 6 Apple II computers chugging all night printing charts so I could be ready to trade the next day. The U.S. markets were the only real futures exchanges.

We now have exchanges all over the world offering futures on all types of financial and commodity instruments. This allows trading in a relatively active market 24 hours a day. Traders just beginning can trade before and after their day jobs, getting to CP before giving up the relative security of their regulated lives while they look forward to the freedom this life gives you.

Traders in every region can find a market to trade in the timezone they want.

But how many hours a day should you really trade?  It depends on what your trading philosophy is. You can grind it out hour after hour during a 6, 8 or 10 hour day, making lots of small profits. You can look to take just one good trade a day with enough size to meet your financial objectives. You can do what a lot of locals on the floor did which was to trade the open and the close only.

This is a fundamental decision that needs to be made. Not necessarily at the beginning but somewhere along the way the trading plan needs to be completed.

How do you make this decision? By trial and error and knowing yourself. Discover what works best for you. How do you focus best? Following the whole thread of the day or do you work best in shorter stints? Do you like to make a quick target amount and have the rest of the day to play your violin? Go to the beach?

A market has different phases during the day. My method of teaching a single market on a single time frame chart is designed to give as much information to make this decision as well as many more. Once you have achieved your basic CP, you have a basis to build your business on. It is very important to focus heavily on only this narrow perspective. Putting all your eggs in this small basket for a while will pay more dividends than you can see as a newbie but which can be appreciated looking down from the heights of CP.


  1. Hi Mr EL,

    During fast markets, when I see a setup on the range bars, it moves so fast that I can't seem to catch the entry. What can I do?

    Thanking you in advance for you reply. Most of all, many thanks for your blog.

  2. Tom, i see one problem with trading like "EL method". The problem is with CCI's. As you post your screenshots and i myself take a look on the historical charts everything is clear. But in the real time CCI slow/fast could cross zero line or 100 line intrabar and then if the bar closes up CCI lines are corrected above zero line. Really in real time trading these trades ( most often buy or sell on retracement from EMA on continuation of trend ) would be taken and not taken on historical charts. How are you deal this, Tom, how automatic FloBot deal with this? It's interesting how FloBot is performing at all; you are queit in at least 10 lasyt posts about this?...

  3. Tom,

    I have read your posts Oct-April twice and I find these kinds of posts the best for newbies in order to understand and view trading as a business and as a LONG-TERM career.



  4. hippie, Andreyyy, you are both concentrating on indicatotors and crosses. It's what the market is doing that is important and the whole picture you are looking at tells you how the traders are reacting to it. CCI is great!!!! Between the fast and the slow, it gives great information about trend and momentum. FloBot is different as it trades without real context and therefore has to take short profits based on trand and momentum and short term order flow. We're trading in SIM still as I want to see how these volatile markets go. I presently concentrating my effort on preparation for the trsining. As soon as I'm happy with FloBot I'll show it in real time through the blog.