From the Desk of Walter Bressert

This is a promising time for futures traders. With today's easy computer access to price data and libraries of technical trading tools and systems, profitable trading seems to be within the reach of both experienced and new traders. However, the markets adjust to new trading innovations now just as quickly as they did to the changes in market knowledge from the 1920's to the 1980's, and for most of us success still depends upon the traders Holy Grail. "Trade with the trend, if it's up buy the dips, if it's down sell the rallies."

It is not a new oscillator or system that is going to turn struggling traders into trading wizards. Success depends upon your own learning curve and commitment. Would you race in the Indy 500 with your current driving expertise? Wouldn't you at least take a few lessons from some of the pros before even setting foot or tire on that racetrack? And wouldn't it take a time commitment to build your experience level before you could keep up with the pros?

The markets are no different. They may be an even greater challenge because they hook into our most basic emotions of fear and greed; emotions we try to bury in relationships and polite business circles. We can usually bury our failures too, by blaming them on someone or something other than ourselves. But not in trading the highly leveraged futures markets where our failures are visible immediately. If we do not accept responsibility, we are soon out of the game because the market has taken our money and often a piece of us as well.

Good software can soften the blows as we gain trading experience, as can good money management. However, to make money and keep it over the long term takes time and experience. You may have been told you can do it on five minutes or 30 minutes a day. If you can, there must be something seriously wrong with the thousands of experienced traders and professionals who work at it for 20, 40 or 80 hours a week.

Trading is not for everyone, and you can only find out if it is for you by trading. Once you make a commitment to trade the futures market, not play it, you are on the path to success. Trading the futures markets is not investing, but done properly it is not gambling either. It is speculation. As a speculator you can determine when to buy and when to sell -- "when to hold 'em and when to fold 'em" -- as in a long forgotten song.

With market analysis and the timing of cycles, you can determine when a market has a high probability of moving in a specific direction. This knowledge allows you to stand aside until the odds are in your favor. And your trade can be structured to be short term, or to ride out an explosive BIG move. As a speculator, only you are in control of your destiny, and you must accept complete responsibility or the market will take your money.

The key to trading the markets is timing, and only cycles allow us to forecast accurate time periods for future tops and bottoms. Using multiple intraday time frames shows how "cycles within cycles" gives you the ability to determine trend and trend reversals. Our use of oscillators shows you overbought/oversold levels, and generates high probability Buy and Sell signals at cycle bottoms and tops.

Almost all trading approaches and systems can be improved with the cycle timing and trading tools that I have developed over my 30+ years as an analyst, trader and educator.

The charts and audio commentary in the archived Review & Forecaster and MarketWatch advisory services (you will find this information and more by clicking "CycleAnalysis" on the menu bar) will teach you how to forecast future tops and bottoms, identify failure patterns and trend reversals, and how to trade cycle tops and bottoms as they occur.

Walter Bressert