What Does My Normal E-Mini Trading Day Look Like?

E-mini trading is like any other job; you need to develop a set routine to establish a pattern of success. As I have mentioned in previous articles, I can’t tell you how many times I have watched novice traders get the surprise of their life at 8:30 am EST or at 10:00 am EST when the market explodes up or down. Of course, had they bothered to check the daily financial data releases they would have known that there were scheduled announcements at those times. Normally, I will announcement the day’s data releases as they enter the room, but if no one chimes in I sometimes remain quiet hoping that the movement will help them learn better e-mini trading habits.I have a fairly set routine that I follow each day and it has served me well. I work hard to shut out any financial television news shows as the TV has become a mechanism for varying political goals and hence, not a reliable source of news. With that being said, I head straight for the computer and begin my day as follows:1. I like to check all the potential daily announcements and analyze which e-mini contracts will be directly affected by them. As of late, we have been in a very news related market and I have been making the assumption that any bit of news is going effect all markets. Needless to say, the announcements from the USA have the most profound effect on the market since both the currency (even non-USA currencies) and financial futures pay close attention to how the announcement is going to influence the day’s price movement.2. Once I bring up my charts, I am interested in what has been happening throughout the course of the night session. I am not a huge believer that the overnight session is an accurate predictor of what will transpire in the cash session, but you can get an idea of possibilities that can occur. I am especially interested in e-mini trading that occurs in the 15 minutes prior to the opening of the cash session, as many of the larger players begin to place their orders.3. With my charts up, I make sure that all of my DOM settings are correct. I can’t tell you how many times traders initiate trades on simulator and then realize they have not switched to live trading mode. I also make sure I have the correct number of contracts selected and that each DOM is set to the right e-mini contract.4. I generally trade the CL (crude) contract from 5:00 am EST until 9:25 am EST as the CL contract opens at 9:00 am EST and can be very active in the hours prior to the cash market open. Note that the CL opens 30 minutes prior to the CME cash market open. In effect, you get to trade 2 opens. If the CL is dead, my second choice is the 6E contract (Euro) or the 6J (Japanese yen). Since I have eight screens I can monitor the activity of multiple contracts, but usually focus on just one. That is just my trading style. I know of many people who trade on multiple contracts simultaneously but I am not one of them, except on rare occasions.5. My trading is based on real-time indicators, which is bit different than trading lagging indicators, so I focus on taking high probability trades throughout the morning. I generally try to stay in the 3-5 trade per morning session area, but if more than 5 solid trades materialize I trade what the market is offering. Conversely, if few solid trades present themselves, then I may only find 1 or 2 good trades. I want to constantly remind myself not to overtrade and keep my stops within my preset parameters. (2x the Average True Range) I take the approach of trying to talk myself out of a trade before I initiate the trade, and if I can’t find a good reason not to take the trade I act quickly and decisively to enter the trade at a point of my choosing. My mentor used to harp on me by saying, “the market goes through phases where it will readily hand out money, but keep in mind you cannot steal a winning trade from the market.” It’s good advice and I have not forgotten it.6. Generally I gravitate to the US financial contracts and trade the NQ, YM, or TF contracts for the remainder of the morning. I stop trading when the market starts to flatten out around lunch time. I suppose my average stopping time is about noon EST, but sometimes later and sometimes earlier; it all depends on the price movement I observe in the morning’s e-mini trading.7. After I have finished trading, I download all the trades to a spreadsheet which analyzes how well I have performed that day. Did I let my trades run? Did I jump out too early? Was the Average True Range an accurate predictor of what each trades potential movement? Did I take some trades that were just boneheaded and why were they boneheaded trades? I try to spend 15-30 minutes understanding my trading behavior that day, in retrospect. I save the trades on the spreadsheet, make sure I have no open positions, and turn the computer off.This routine has served me well over the years, and keeps me from making the mechanical mistakes that you often see. Of course, the judgment aspect of initializing a trade is highly subjective and I strive to maintain a consistent approach every day. I trade what I see on the chart, not the economy, not what the TV “talking heads” are pushing, not the market rumors, and I try to stay in the trend. It’s a good approach and it works for me. As always, all the best in your trading endeavors.

The Ambiguity Of Small Business Definition

When different people are using the phrase ‘small business’, do they refer to a common set of definitions? Like, how many employees are listed in the payroll? Or, the number of years it’s operative? A literature review of 23 papers, which have been published from 1958 to 2002, tries to shed light on this issue. The review revealed an inconsistency regarding both characterization and definition of small business.The variety of definition used in these papers unable to set an agreeable format for small business definition. Mayer and Goldstein (1961) define small business as an employer of less then 200 employees. Potts (1977) set the barrier on 20 employees in addition to a minimum eight years that the business is operative. Robinson (1982) define firm as small if the number of employees is less then 50, the annual sales is under three million dollars and it’s operate as sole ownership. Covin and Slevin (1989) define small business according to number of employees – more then five or less then 500, as well as a minimum of five years that the business is operative.Rue and Ibrahim (1998) define small firm as an employer of more then 15 employees. Perry (2001) set an upper limit of 500 employees as a sole identifier for business to be regard as small. The review clarify that the ambiguity is stable over time. The lack of uniform definition in the sixtieth continued throughout the decades into the millennium. The industries targeted by the different scholars do have one common base; the focus was on industries with low to average economic growth such as manufacturing, trade (retail, wholesale) and service.Scholars have addressed the problematicalness regarding the inconsistency of small business definition for quite time, Golde (1964) which examine small manufacturing employers with less then 500 employees, argue that it’s an arbitrarily definition which can adequately feet non manufacturing firms. Welsh and White (1981) claims that small business tend to group in certain industries, such as – wholesalers, retailers, service and manufacturing. Peterson et al., (1986) note that the most common definition is the one that used by the Small Business Administration (SBA), in part, that definition state that small business can be define as one if both its ownership and operation conducted independently, and it’s not dominant at the industry which is operate in.D’amboise and Muldowney (1988) write about the complexity of small business definition, which can be a result of the variety and different types of firms this phrase try to encompass. Pickle and Abrahamson (1990) address the question, what is a small business? There answer is that some will regard small business as such if it’s employ certain number of employees, others will claim that small business is one that limits his operation to local market, and part will classify business as small according to it’s nature (e.g., local pharmacy, clothing store, jewelry store).

Conquer the Top 6 Small Business Marketing Challenges

Whatever industry you are in you are likely to encounter the top 6 marketing challenges for small businesses. As a small business what can you do? We will have a limited war chest of marketing dollars or even marketing staff at our disposal to tame these challenges. Like most small businesses you will be faced with other priorities from all aspects of operating a business and will struggle to find the time to do any marketing at all. That is until you realise that sales are not growing to the levels that you want or worst you are faced with declining sales.This guide will tackle the key marketing challenges revealed in a recent online survey I run and will offer some very practical guidance that will help you improve your efforts for better marketing results.Marketing is Business DevelopmentLet us understand that marketing generates business development opportunities. This is the end-objective of marketing to build qualified prospects that convert into sales revenue. You must make the time for marketing or face closing your business. Marketing does not have to be complicated or time consuming. Every small business must develop a marketing engine or process that can be managed and fine-tuned with a planned effort of a couple of hours per week. Now let’s get started and tackle those top 6 marketing challenges for small businesses:1. Defining Target MarketsWho are you targeting and where can we find them? Basic stuff, but the very foundation of your marketing starts here. If you want to be successful with your marketing you must have a clear idea of your target market. Put together a short description or profile of your ideal customer. Write it down and refine it, work with your team and identify the buying criteria used by your ideal customer. Once you have conceptualised your ideal customer it will help you prepare and personalise your marketing message to make it relevant and important to the intended recipient. The next time you are writing promotional messages or offers put the profile in front of you and it will guide you in your efforts to communicate more effectively with your target market.2. Increasing Repeat BusinessThe ability to deliver to the satisfaction of your customer is the threshold level to remain in business. Make sure you deliver. That said – you need to give them a reason to come back for more! Consider including a thank you coupon with every purchase that provides an incentive or discount that they can receive on a future purchase. You need to nurture the customer relationship by keeping in touch and offering value with every contact you make with your customers. The most cost effective manner to stay in touch with your customers and drive repeat business is with permission based email or e-newsletter marketing. Every business must have email marketing in their communications tool box in today’s Internet connected world.3. Getting Consistent Referrals People generally want to help so why not ask them for their help in getting referrals? I have found this as quite striking among small business in general. Small business owners and managers agree that referrals are important to their business but so many are hesitant to openly ask for referrals. Let all your customers and network of contacts know that their referrals are important to your business. Make sure you can track their referrals, keep them updated and show your gratitude for their efforts in some way whether it is informal or structured as part of a referral program. Make a working system of it and drive referrals as an integral part of your marketing activities.4. Increasing Sales ConversionsSometimes we may even think to ourselves marketing does not work or we have tried that before with minimal results. Well look again what was in the marketing message? Make sure you make a relevant and attractive offer to your target market that requires a decision to be made by the recipient. However, before you commit to it, test it to refine and improve your results and test it again before running the entire campaign. Small business can not afford to spend on purely image or brand building advertisement. You can build and promote your brand or company image while generating increased sales conversions by providing an offer with an incentive to take action within a specified time frame! Make sure every promotional campaign is primary focused on generating a response that converts into a sale while at the same time building your brand.5. Finding Time & Resources for Marketing Do you find yourself thinking that you can not afford to spend time and money on marketing? If you do, then do not be surprise to find out that your business will not be achieving its capacity to grow. Can you afford to let your sales opportunities run out? Absolutely not! The fact is that you simply can not afford not to invest the time and resources into marketing. Say again – you can not neglect your marketing if you want your business to prosper. Take the time to explore what you can achieve with the exceptional marketing methods that are now available to small businesses that have minimal costs to implement.6. Developing a Marketing PlanEveryone seriously in business must have a marketing plan to support their business objectives. There are numerous sites on the Internet that can provide marketing plan templates. Download some to give you an idea of what you need to think about. Keep it short, not more than three pages. Take the time to prepare and develop your marketing approach and strategies including how you will track and test it. If necessary get a marketing specialist to assist you develop the plan. Without a marketing plan to run it is likely you will find yourself trying different “marketing ideas” that others have suggested and ending up with the expenses and no profits to show for it.