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Right Now Patience Is a Virtue for Traders

The words “patience” and “traders” can rarely be found in the same sentence without a negative somewhere in between them. By its nature, trading appeals to people with mild forms of adult ADD. The short time span of positions and the need to split your focus between the actual things traded and things that may influence them, such as dollar strength and bond yields, would seem to make it an ideal occupation for those with the attention span of a flip flop. In fact, though, successful traders are perfectly able to act that way, but also have to have enormous patience at times.

For those who focus on trading energy, whether the commodities themselves or related stocks, now is such a time. It should come as no surprise to anybody that $40 has emerged as a support level for WTI. The actual low from 3 months ago was just below $38, but the human tendency to look for order and therefore our love of round numbers has made $40 the stopping point for this drop. As we hover around there, there is little advantage to predicting whether the next move will be a bounce back up or a break down to the mid to upper 30’s and beyond. It makes more sense to just wait and see.

That is not to say that traders shouldn’t trade, but that they do so with the understanding that either of the above scenarios could unfold in the short term, and each is equally likely. That means that any intraday positions should be accompanied by fairly close, tight, stop…

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