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Diary of a Professional Commodity Trader: Lessons from 21 Weeks of Real Trading

ISBN: 978-0-470-94726-5
352 pages
January 2011
Diary of a Professional Commodity Trader: Lessons from 21 Weeks of Real Trading (0470947268) cover image
Trading is generally far more difficult in practice than in theory. The reality is that no trade set up or individual trader or system can identify profitable trades in advance with complete certainty. In A Year of Trading, long-time trader Peter Brandt reveals the anxieties and uncertainties of trading in a diary of his 2009 trades. He explains his thought process as he searches for trading opportunities and executes them. Each trade includes charts, an analysis of the trade, and a play-by-play account of how the trade unfolds.
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Acknowledgments.

Part I: Foundations of Successful Trading.

Introduction.

The Invention of a Commodity Trader.

Why I Wrote This Book.

This Book's Audience.

The Book's Roadmap.

Chapter 1: The History and Theory of Classical Charting Principles.

My Perspective of the Principles.

Three Limitations of the Principles.

Summary.

Part II: Characteristics of a Successful Trading Plan.

Chapter 2: Building a Trading Plan.

Trader Personality and Temperament.

Adequate Capital.

Overall Risk Management.

Points to Remember.

Chapter 3: Identifying the Trades and the Talk.

Trade Identification.

Vocabulary of the Factor Trading Plan.

Points to Remember.

Chapter 4: Ideal Chart Patterns.

Reversal H&S Pattern in Copper.

Reversal Rising Wedge in AUD/USD.

Continuation Wedge and Reversal Failure Top in Soybean Oil.

Reversal Triangle Bottom in Sugar.

Continuation and Pyramid Patterns in USD/CAD.

Reversal Top in Silver.

Continuation H&S Pattern in the Russell 1000 Index.

Continuation Rectangle in Kansas City Wheat.

Continuation Rectangle and Pyramid Triangle in Crude Oil.

Continuation H&S Top in the Dow Utilities.

Continuation Triangle and Reversal M Top and Flag in the EUR/USD.

H&S Reversal Top, a Continuation Pattern, and Two Pyramid Patterns in the GBP/JPY.

A Reversal Symmetrical Triangle in the AUD/JPY.

Two Continuation Patterns in GBP/CHF.

A Triangle and Running Wedge in Sugar.

An H&S Bottom in Apple Computer.

A Major Continuation H&S and Symmetrical Triangle in Gold.

A Series of Bullish Patterns in Copper.

A Failed Ascending Triangle in the USD/CAD Crossrate.

A 12-Week Rectangle in the Dow Jones Transport Index.

A Rare Horn in Brent Sea Oil.

An H&S Bottom Launches the 2009 Bull Market in the S&Ps.

Summary.

Points to Remember.

Chapter 5: How the Factor Trading Plan Works.

Trade Identification.

Trade Entry.

Trade Risk Management.

Trade Order Management.

Points to Remember.

Chapter 6: Three Case Studies Using the Factor Trading Plan.

A Remarkable Technical Event in the Dow Jones.

A Year Trading Gold.

A Year Trading Sugar.

Points to Remember.

Chapter 7: Characteristics of a Successful Trader.

Intimate Knowledge of Trading Signals.

Discipline and Patience.

Analysis of Self and of the Trading Plan.

It Takes a Leap of Faith.

Points to Remember.

Part III: A Five-month Trading Diary: Let the Journey Begin.

Chapter 8: Month One.

December 2009.

Trading Record.

Summary.

Chapter 9: Month Two.

January 2010.

Identifying Trading Opportunities.

Amending the Plan.

Trading Record.

Summary.

Chapter 10: Month Three.

February 2010.

Sticking to the Plan in Choppy Markets.

Trading Record.

Summary.

Chapter 11: Month Four.

March 2010.

Trading Record.

Summary.

Chapter 12: Month Five.

April 2010.

Relying on Classical Charting Principles.

Trading Record.

Outlook for the Future.

Summary.

Part IV: The Wrap-Up.

Chapter 13: Analysis of Trading Performance.

How the Trading Plan Performed.

How the Plan (and the Trader) Evolved.

Summary: Best Practices Going Forward.

Chapter 14: The Best Dressed List.

A 7-Month Double Bottom in AUD/USD.

A 14-Month Coil and 9-Month Descending Triangle in EUR/CHF.

A 6-Month Wedge in EUR/USD.

A 16-Week Horn in GBP/USD.

A 4-Month Head and Shoulders in Bottom NZD/USD.

A 6-Month Ascending Triangle in Failure USD/CAD.

An 8-month Head and Shoulders Bottom in the S&Ps.

A 14-Month Symmetrical Triangle in Sugar.

A 7-month Triangle in Gold.

A Series of Continuation Patterns in Copper.

A Head and Shoulders Bottom in Crude Oil.

Summary.

Postscript.

Appendix A: Factor Trading Plan Signals.

Appendix B: Quick Reference to Charts.

Appendix C: Recommended Resources.

Author's Note.

Index.

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PETER L. BRANDT has been a full time professional commodity and foreign exchange trader for over thirty years. He has worked as a broker to large industrial clients, traded for his own account, and was one of the early pioneers in the commodity hedge fund arena. Along the way, Brandt published a highly regarded newsletter called The Factor, and also collaborated with Bruce Babcock Jr. to publish the highly acclaimed book, Trading Commodity Futures with Classical Chart Patterns. Primarily devoted to trading proprietary capital in commodity and forex markets, Brandt has achieved a lofty average annual rate of return of 68 percent during his career. The author can be reached at plb.factor@gmail.com

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