Archive for June, 2010

How to Use Stops When Day Trading the ES E-mini Futures

I think it is important for e-mini day traders to use specific targets that address their loss tolerance and profit targets. There is a temptation to ride losses too long in hopes that the market will come back to a break even. This can be a tragic strategy and result in unacceptable losses when trading the e-mini futures contracts.

Why would people ride their losses?

Emotional involvement in trades is generally the culprit in any kind of trading, and especially for e-mini scalpers, as the markets swings in intraday trading, sometimes violently. It’s is this emotional involvement in a trade that accounts for a tremendous number of trading losses. It’s more than difficult to accept a trade as a loser and move on. Say, for example, you get what you consider to be a perfect e-mini setup and take a trade, and most perfect e-mini setups (whatever they may be) have resulted in handsome profits. The assumption, then, is that every trade where that setup is utilized will result in a winner, sooner or later. Bad strategy. There is no foolproof trade, and every trade (no matter how nice the setup) results in a loss.

It’s difficult for me, and most traders, to accept that a certain trade has resulted in a loss. After all, the 5 identical e-mini day trades before it produced sizable gains. Learning to cut your losses and move on to another trade is one of the most difficult exercises a trader must execute. Set your loss tolerance and if you blow out of a trade, move on.

This is much easier said and done, and even with stops in place there is a temptation to drag a stop a couple of points lower to salvage a trade that is not working out. I’ve been there, I’ve done it, and I’ll probably do it again. It is always wrong to do, though. My experience has taught me that I enter bad trades when I try to pick a counter trend trade. These trades can be very tempting, but price exhaustion is one of the most difficult trades to execute successfully. For that reason, I like to strike an 89 point SMA and when the market is significantly below the 89 point SMA I stick with short trades, and visa versa for price action above the SMA. This should keep you nicely in the trend. It also weeds out those disasterous countertrend trades.

In volatile markets I detest trailing stops, and I generally don’t use them. I am not against moving a stop loss up, but the normal market action often gets you out of a good trade before completion. Be careful using trailing stops, while they sound great in theory, they often have to be very wide to be of any real value. For myself, I prefer to bracket trade, using 3 point (12 tick) stops for my loss and profit targets. I have found this to be fairly flexible for trading in normal markets, and in volatile markets, which we saw early this year, I allow 4 point stops (16 ticks). These numbers are for trading the ES contract. For the YM contract, I like to use 25 points bracketing long and short positions.

But remember, don’t attempt any trade without preset stop loss and profit targets established. Good luck trading and come back.

Slippage is Your Enemy

Seems to me it was centuries ago when open outcry was mode of floor trading, and the highly efficient modes of trading we employ today were the stuff of dreams. Online trading has greatly improved the quality and quantity of trading and executing trades. But some of the problems of the old trading days still can be prevalent in today’s trading, namely, slippage.

From Wikipedia:

“With regards to futures contracts as well as other financial instruments, slippage is the difference between estimated transaction costs and the amount actually paid.”

You can find a wide range of definitions of slippage on the internet, some more esoteric than others, some downright problematic, but I think slippage is every bit the problem we experienced in the old open outcry days. Slippage occurs when you sell or buy at a specified price and your actual execution price is higher or lower than your expected transaction was planned. Even more likely, slippage can occur when you have a stop price specified and the executed stock price is higher or lower than you intended stop.

Slippage can occur for a number of reasons:

1. You are trading in a thinly traded market and there are simply not enough traders to fill orders in a timely manner.

2. You may need a different trading platform if your trades are not being executed at your named price level. Or you may need a new broker.

Whatever the reason, slippage can drain your profits if you don’t pay close attention to your execution prices and order prices.

Very thinly traded markets, say copper, often don’t have the liquidity to handle large market orders. If you intend to trade thin markets, you need to plan for some of the liquidity problems that inevitably occur. On the other hand, the ES Emini is heavily traded, and liquidity problems are not an issue, at least from a volume of contracts traded standpoint.

Markets that have a high degree of liquidity are excellent for avoiding slippage. The ES contract, for example, is one of the largest futures contracts, and slippage can generally be attributed to either human error or a systematic failure in your brokerage . More than a million contracts, some times even higher, are traded daily on this exchange and you will have little trouble getting your trades executed and filled in a timely manner. I have traded up to 100 contracts without any slippage issues. (Note: I am going to pass over any broker related issues, as there is no way to control those short of finding a new broker.(

Pay close attention to the manner in which your broker’s software fills a trade. Sometimes slippage can occur because the firms software is not “up to snuff” in the digital age and cannot keep pace with the fast moving, highly liquid markets like the ES.

For whatever reason, slippage is a real cost in your trading operation and you should do what it takes to make sure you trades are executed and filled at your specified parameters. The failure to do so will result in real costs to your trading account, which is an undesirable outcome.

Simple Moving Average vs. Exponential Moving Average

I seldom trade a chart without either a Simple Moving Average (SMA) or an Exponential Moving Average (EMA) displayed. Both are exceptional tools in an e-mini day traders repertoire. Of course, there is no agreement as to exactly which type of moving average works best-and that is as it should be, because no two traders trade with same mind set and personality.

In the world of moving averages there are two contenders for consideration. The diminutive simple moving average (SMA) and the more complicated exponential moving average (EMA). Because the EMA has a more sophisticated method of calculation, many consider it to be the superior of the two averages, but that would be jumping to unfounded conclusions.

The SMA is a basic arithmetic mean: you add together the closing prices from the last 10 periods then divide the product by 10. As I said, the result is a simple arithmetic mean. Pretty simple? Too simple for some people, especially those who tend to associate complexity with efficiency.

Complexity does sometimes yield superior results, but that is not always the case.

EMA’s are really not that much more difficult to calculate. The formula is simply 2 (n+1), and the result is added to the prior days exponential calculation. With some simple deduction you will see that an EMA emphasizes the most recent days prices, or weights the most recent days prices more than prices early in the exponential sequence. Since any moving average uses historical data, or data that has already occurred to calculate the average, any moving average can be considered a lagging indicator. It should be obvious, then, that the purpose of the EMA is to “speed” up the lag factor that is inherent in all moving averages.

Do EMA’s really speed up the lag factor?

To a certain extent EMA make the lag factor in moving averages less distinct, but like all things, there is a cost. EMA’s are notorious for causing a raft of early buy and sell signals, as the last variables in the sequence overweight the average. For that reason alone, I am not a huge fan EMA’s and prefer SMA’s. Does that mean SMA’s are better than EMA’s? Not at all, all it means is that in my trading mentality I am far more comfortable with the results from an SMA than I am an EMA.

I always strike an 89 period SMA on my charts and watch the price action relative to the price action and the SMA. If the price action in more than 3 or 4 points below the SMA(on the ES contract) I immediately decide that long trades are out of the question until the price action moves closer to the SMA, and visa versa on price action about the 89 period SMA. I can also glean some nearly instant information regarding the trend of the market by looking at the slope of the 89 period SMA, and the sharper, or more pronounced the slope appears, the stronger the trend.

I also use a number of paired moving averages to back up some of my entry and exit points. I generally use Fibonacci numbers starting with 5 and up to form my two moving average lines. I find it best, on short term trading, to use to SMA’s that are within 15-20 points of each other. I will leave to you to discover which set of moving averages intersect at point which best suit your trading style.

So we’ve talked a bit about moving averages today, and seen some applications for the SMA. The EMA’s are also used by many traders and I would encourage you to explore the applications for this moving average.

The Market is Right, You are Wrong

If there were ever a tougher concept to assimilate than this little tidbit, I’d like to know what it would be. Common sense is a fine thing to possess, but it is of very little use when learning to trade ES Emini futures contracts. And here is the rub, the e-mini day trading market does not always move in a logical manner.

You tell yourself, “But earnings are up, the market has to go up, too.”

Nope.

The e-mini day trading market often moves in a manner that is contrary to common sense. Recently, the market has taken a particular liking to rising unemployment numbers. Of course, the traditional logic explains this phenomena by quoting the inverse relationship between unemployment and inflation. Common sense tells us that higher unemployment means less money to spend and lower earnings, and hence, lower stock prices. This has not been the case, though.

In some of my previous articles you may have heard me harp on the adage, “trade the market, not the economy or the news.” Since we are regularly inundated with all sorts of news this feat is easier said than done. My solution is simple, when I trade I do not listen to the radio, watch television or check any of the financial websites. I only trade the chart in front of me and draw my own conclusions from the information I glean from that particular chart.

It is difficult, at best, to “turn you brain off to the world” when you trade, but you must trade only what the market is actually doing. Time and time again the market has befuddled the experts by moving in a manner that is inexplicable. I have heard thousands of traders say they were in the perfect fundamental setup and the market had to do this or that, and it didn’t. Their conclusion is that the e-mini day trading market isn’t a reflection of reality, which may or may not be true. But this is true, when trading with actual dollars all that matters is whether you trade is profitable or a loser.

No matter the reason, if you are on the losing side of the trade, “the market was right, and you were wrong.” If you don’t believe me, take a look at your account balance in this situation…it will have less money. What better proof is there?

So, you ask, “you are asking me to through common sense out the window?” And the answer is… kind of. Often times, the e-mini day trading market moves in a very orderly and logical manner. Things that ought to happen occur right on cue. On the other hand, there are countless times the market misbehaves and moves in a direction that is contrary to common sense logic and you will have to learn to watch your indicators and price action to pick up on these illogical moves before they become a disaster. As I have said, it is easier said than done, yet it is one of the most important concepts to understanding day trading.

The Market is always right.

E-mini Day Trading From Home: Myth or Reality?

I was reading on one of the chat boards yesterday about how hard it is to day trade from your home. It seemed that many of the posters were struggling in their day trading effort. Yet, I know of dozens of my friends and colleagues who successfully day trade from their homes. It can be done, and it’s really not all that hard. Of course, you have to be trained properly and possess the prerequisite discipline that day trading requires.

I would like to state unequivocally that day trading from your home is indeed a realistic goal. I would also state that it takes quite a bit of study and training before you can make this dream a reality. In other words, it is not a profession where you can dump some money into a futures trading account and then began trading successfully. The market simply doesn’t work that way. I wish it did because it would make things a lot easier for everyone involved. No, to trade successfully you have to develop a certain mindset for trading that is in tune with the nature of the markets. Needless to say, logic is of little value in trading because the markets are anything but logical. What appears to be good news might actually send the market down, and what appears to be bad news can send the market up.

But a solid foundation in market principles and trading technique gives the home trader the opportunity and skills to be successful in his or her trading ventures. Of course, there are a wide variety of trading courses available on the market and many are of dubious value, some are of no value. It is difficult for the novice trader to discern which course will lead him on the right path to trading success and which course is unadulterated gibberish. That’s unfortunate. Of course, there are hucksters in all lines of business and trading education is no different.

The E-mini Trading Professor course is a system that falls within the mainstream of current investment thought and has a long-standing record of success. There are no revolutionary ideas, just systems that have worked for many years and combinations of systems that have proven their worth. If you follow the directions carefully, and put the time and effort into learning the basic principles of the system, you should after a period of time start to enjoy moderate success. I think it is unrealistic to think that you will make $1 million the first year of your trading. On the other hand, the system is strong enough that I expect students should be able to turn a profit in their first year.

Of course, it’s not unusual for students to hit some stumbling blocks after about three or four months. Oddly enough, this time period is when students began experimenting with some ideas of their own and usually have disastrous results. Not to worry though, we have an 800 telephone line so the students can call and we can analyze just what is occurring in their trading and get most students back on track.

You can rest assured the system works well because it is the exact same system I trade every day. Believe it or not, I used to trade much more complicated systems and distilled those systems into something far more simple and far more effective. Complexity does not equate to success. I think that is an important point to understand.

In my mind, if you follow the steps carefully you should be able to trade successfully in a short period of time. Granted, mistakes will be made, and that is part of the learning process and to be expected. Most people learn from their mistakes and don’t repeat them. So study hard and learn the material well. You are embarking on a wonderful new career that will provide you with financial freedom and a greater amount of leisure time. What could be better?

ES E-mini Day Trading: Why Not You?

The newspaper have for years written enumerable article about stocks busts, market crashes and the economic calamities that face stock investors.  It makes good news, and adds to the negative image of investing in equities and the market in general.

But those calamities are problems that face long term investors.  You know, the buy and hold guys.   For years, the general line of thinking was to buy a stock and hold onto for years and reap the rewards in your retirement years.  Of course, the dynamic nature of the stock has, to a certain extent, changed that line of thinking.

Of course, there are still the hordes of mutual fund holders who have invested untold billions in these investment vehicles.  I have a low opinion of mutual funds, as an investor cannot exit a fund until the end of the day.  Additionally, very few fund managers even come close to matching the indexes they are supposed to be imitating.  Why pay exorbitant fees for substandard performance?  I will never understand it, but there are trillions of dollars still invested in these investment vehicles.

However, recent changes in investment structuring from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange has made investment for primary income a very attainable goal.  Several product lines are aimed directly at the consumer market and priced well within the average budget.   The are called e-mini’s and are investments that are traded during the day, and seldom held overnight.  No worrying about the stock market here, you are in complete control of your investment future.

I don’t want to give you the impression that day trading is like an ATM machine that simply spits out money all day, but with proper training and practice a day trader can easily earn $500 a day or more and not hold any positions over night.  Of course, most individuals have never given serious consideration to investing in the markets, which many consider relegated to Wall Street experts.  But nothing could be farther from the truth.

There are many courses, some home study, that are reasonably priced that will give you more than the pre-requisite knowledge you need to be an effective day trader.  Thousands of people, from housewives to businessman, have turned to day trading and greatly increased their income and improved their lifestyle.

The secret is training.  It is very important that a day trader spends time learning the slightly illogical movements of the market.  Again, with proper knowledge this illogical movement becomes second nature to understand.

The benefits to e-mini day trading for a living are many fold:

1.  More time with your family and children.
2.  No more boss, your self-discipline is the key to success.
3.  Time for leisure activities and enjoying the fine things in life.
4.  You control your income.  You have the skill to make money, and nobody can take that away from you, fire you, or change your job.  More than anything, once you learn to trade, you can become completely in control of your lifestyle.

So, I propose that you consider exploring the benefits of e-mini day trading and see if it suits you.  It’s not for everyone, but it’s wonderful for a lot more people, especially if they have the knowledge of what is possible in trading right from your home.  You are your own boss, and master of you own lifestyle.  No more corporate mentality to deal with.

Emotions and E-mini Day Trading

I am sure that you have seen a news report or two that claims that 70% of all day traders “bust out” and lose all of their money. Further, the report usually depicts some poor fellow who has spent the family savings and is in the process of bankruptcy or losing his home.

Is it true?

It is not necessarily true, but I want to qualify my answer.  As a long-time trader, I have seen more than my share of day traders lose all of their money and been forced to leave the profession. Sometimes these individuals have left high paying jobs to day trade full time and are forced to re-enter the workforce under-employed, or at least at jobs that pay considerably less than the jobs they left to day trade.

Why?

There are many reasons individuals fail day trading, and it’s not because the day traders are less-than-intelligent people. There have been several articles written in recent years concerning the failure rate of day traders, and most point to the emotional aspect of maintaining a proper trading perspective. All to often traders abandon great systems of trading and take unacceptable amounts of risk in hopes of hitting “the big one.” Trading on emotion is the recipe of certain failure in day trading.

Why do rational day traders sometimes act irrationally?

One of the toughest tenets of day trading to accept is that certain trades are going to be losers. No trading system or methodology can assure that every trade is going to attain success. The market just doesn’t work that way. My personal philosophy is to never risk more than 5% of my money on any given trade and have target profit limits set and stops loss orders in place in case my trade goes sour. I never ride a trade down in hopes of it turning around. I never “double down”. Quite simply, if a trade doesn’t work the way I expected, I cut my losses and move on to look for another trade set up that looks appealing.

Failure is an unpleasant aspect of day trading, yet every trader fails in one trade, or more, throughout the course of the trading day. Further, it is common to see traders increase their lot size if they are having a bad day in an effort to “catch up” to their trading expectations.

These are all part of the undisciplined traders emotional make up and are symptoms that doom a day trader to failure. There are days when I make two or three clunker trades and decide to turn the computer off. Either the market is acting in a way that is not conducive to my style of trading or I am trading poorly, I never try to over analyze the reasons for my failure. I only know that on a given day my results are unsatisfactory and the best thing I can do is go golfing.

The emotional side of trading is the least studied and most poorly understood aspect of trading. Many traders spend thousands of dollars learning trading technique and complicated systems of trading, yet fail to conquer the emotional side of trade. The emotional side of trading is fairly simple, albeit very difficult to master, and is to simply not allow emotions to enter into your trading psychology. Sounds easy, doesn’t it?

It’s far from easy, and I can tell you that I have fallen victim to my own emotions on numerous trades. I know that any time I feel like I know what the market is going to do and become convinced that a trade “must” work…I am in deep trouble because the maxim “the market is always right” is important to understand. The only variable that can be wrong when you trade is YOU.

The chaotic nature of markets causes many inefficiencies in market pricing that can come into play at random times. If you are in a trade when these market inefficiencies come into play, you lose. It is really that simple and a smart trader exits his trade, takes his losses and moves on.

The study of emotions in trading is fairly new and several books have been written on the topic, I recommend “The Psychology of Trading”, by Laura Sether and Russell Wasendorf. (Note: I have no financial relationship with the authors) as a good starting point. A Google search will also turn up hundred of articles on this topic.

Learn to control your emotions and execute the your trading system and you will have great results.

Do You Over Trade the ES E-mini?

One common characteristic of ineffective e-mini day traders is the execution of too many trades throughout the course of a ES e-mini trading session.  There are many causes for this phenomena, but if you are making 15 trades a day you are probably guilty of this offense.  In my world, there are not 15 excellent trade set ups on the average e-mini trading day.

Over trading during a trading session will eat away at your profits or enhance your losses.  On the other hand, your futures broker will love you because his commission account will soar, but I don’t think your futures account will withstand the commission shock.

As I see the market begin to form a good set-up, I start an argument with myself.  I usually look for reasons not to take the trade.  Is the set up really a good one?  Do some of the oscillators or price action appear to be pointing to avoiding the trade?  Am I trading on intellect and not emotion?  These are all questions I ask myself as I prepare to enter a trade.

I think the cause for over trading has its roots in emotion, specifically greed.  After all, every trade has a binary outcome and the possibility to make money, and making money is the reason most of us trade the ES emini contract.  You make money on high probability trades, though, not trades with shaky set up probabilities.  I like to fish, for example, and the only way to catch a fish is to have your line in the water.  You won’t catch that nice fat walleye if your line is in the boat.  I think this analogy is a good one for trading, too.   Many people feel the like they need to maintain active positions in the market in order to catch the next “big move.”

One clarification here:  I am a scalper, which is a technique for carving out 2-3 potential points per trade during the normal market action I observe.   Which is to say I look to make 4-6 trades a day to achieve my profit target.  My average trade lasts 5 to 10 minutes and then I take my profit, or cut my loss.  Now there are times when the market gets into a nice trend and I may sit in a trade for quite some time, but that is not the rule, rather it is the exception. (a very pleasing exception, at that)

My point is a simple one, don’t over trade.  Usually you are “chasing the market” when you trade to often.  You have to tell yourself that there are times when you will miss a potential trade and err on the side of safety.  This is especially true of countertrend trades, which are the bane of my existence.  Countertrend trades must be scrutinized with the greatest of care because they can account for many losses. The market might well head into opposite the direction for a bar or two, only to resume the direction of the trend.  Years of heartache and cursing have hardened me against countertrend trades and I scrutinize them very closely.  You should too, the trend is your friend, and poorly thought out countertrend trading will make you old before your time.

One last note: Highly volatile markets will appear to produce many nice setups that can’t be trusted. You will be tempted to take many trades.  When trading the ES emini contract, you should note the Average True Range, and if it is swinging in the 8 point range and looks like a seismograph in a 6.5 earthquake, you are likely to get blown out of most of your trades  by simple market noise, at those times a profitable trade is more a function of luck than skill.  Volatile markets, with the long bars and long flags which are typical of this phenomena, are good days to to err on the side of caution, as trading may be risky proposition.  You will see many nice setups, then suddenly the market may change course: it’s like surfing in 30 foot waves, your chance to get crushed are very high.  Wait for calmer waters and trade in a market where your skill level can earn you safer returns.  Best of luck trading.

Are You a Serious Trader or Just Piddling Around?

The the ES E-mini Day Trading Contract requires a high level of concentration and training to trade with the kind of success to assure a predictable, full-time income, and with failure rate for novice traders in the high 70% range, I have to assume that something is terribly wrong with the method we, as traders, are educating new traders to participate in market.

This statistic has been bothering me for quite a while, and it does not speak well for the trading education community. I have often wondered, “what’s the solution to this problem?”

As an aside, I am periodically asked to sit in on trading rooms and find myself, at times, aghast at what I see. The self-discipline in some of these trading rooms, not all, is non-existent. I have often felt like I was watching a black jack game in Las Vegas, which is great fun, but I would hate to try and make a living playing black jack. Incidentally, I am a very mediocre black jack player and would starve if forced to make a living at this card game.

As a serious trader, I do the following things:

1. I trade in an office and do not allow interruptions.

2. I don’t answer the phone while I am trading, nor do I answer e-mails.

3. I trade a very well defined system, and seldom deviate from the principles of my system.

4. I am looking for a certain kind of trade set-up, and don’t deviate from my set-up parameters.

5. I trade from 6:30am until 11:00, every day. It is my job. I don’t schedule impromptu golf matches or any other activity that would interfere with my job.

6. And finally, and mostly, I AM A TRADER, IT IS MY PROFESSION.

And I don’t feel my regimen is anything more than I would expect from myself if I had a regular 9 to 5 job. I am proud of what I do, and proud of my competence at performing my job.

Let me ask you a serious question: Are you really a trader or are you just piddling around with the futures market?

If you are content piddling around with the market and making small talk at parties about your trading exploits, I am probably not the guy you want to talk to. But if you are the kind of person who is ready take a serious attempt at learning how to trade effectively, profitably, then I would love to hear from you. I certainly cannot guarantee you will be the next George Soros, or even a successful trader, but you can be equipped with all the tools to trade successfully and have a great chance at succeeding. Ultimately, anyone’s trading success is dependent upon the amount of effort, dedication and self-discipline they can muster to become successful.

I am an eternal optimist, and believe that most people, with proper training and hard work can conquer anything they set their minds to accomplishing. My question for you is a simple one, “are you ready to accomplish something in the trading world, or are you content to accumulate articles and pamphlets about what COULD be?”

ES E-mini Day Trading: Exponential Moving Averages vs. Simple Moving Averages

Moving averages are an integral part of most day traders indicator arsenal, and getting two traders to agree on which indicator is the best, or which configuration yields superior results is an argument that will rage on forever.  There is simply no agreement as to exactly what works best-and that is as it should be, because no two traders trade with same mind set and personality.

In the world of moving averages there are two contenders for consideration.  The diminutive simple moving average (SMA) and the more complicated exponential moving average (EMA).  Because the EMA has a more sophisticated method of calculation, many consider it to be the superior of the two averages, but that would be jumping to unfounded conclusions.

The SMA is a basic arithmetic mean: you add together the closing prices from the last 10 periods then divide the product by 10.  As I said, the result is a simple arithmetic mean.  Pretty simple?  Too simple for some people, especially those who tend to associate complexity with efficiency.

Complexity does sometimes yield superior results, but that is not always the case.

EMA’s are really not that much more difficult to calculate.  The formula is simply 2 (n+1), and the result is added to the prior days exponential calculation.  With some simple deduction you will see that an EMA emphasizes the most recent days prices, or weights the most recent days prices more than prices early in the exponential sequence.  Since any moving average uses historical data, or data that has already occurred to calculate the average, any moving average can be considered a lagging indicator.   It should be obvious, then, that the purpose of the EMA is to “speed” up the lag factor that is inherent in all moving averages.

Do EMA’s really speed up the lag factor?

To a certain extent EMA makes the lag factor in moving averages less distinct, but like all things, there is a cost.  EMA’s are notorious for causing a raft of early buy and sell signals,  as the last variables in the sequence overweight the average.  For that reason alone, I am not a huge fan EMA’s and prefer SMA’s.  Does that mean SMA’s are better than EMA’s? Not at all, all it means is that in my trading mentality I am far more comfortable with the results from an SMA than I am an EMA.

I always strike an 89 period SMA on my charts and watch the price action relative to the price action and the SMA.   If the price action in more than 3 or 4 points below the SMA(on the ES contract) I immediately decide that long trades are out of the question until the price action moves closer to the SMA, and visa versa on price action above the 89 period SMA.   I can also glean some nearly instant information regarding the trend of the market by looking at the slope of the 89 period SMA, and the sharper, or more pronounced the slope appears, the stronger the trend.

I also use a number of paired moving averages to back up some of my entry and exit points.  I generally use Fibonacci numbers starting with 5 and up to form my two moving average lines.  I find it best, on short term trading, to use to SMA’s that are within 15-20 points of each other.  I will leave to you to discover which set of moving averages intersect at point which best suit your trading style.

So we’ve talked a bit about moving averages today, and seen some applications for the SMA.  The EMA’s are also used by many traders and I would encourage you to explore the applications for this moving average.