To those new to this term, emini futures, or simply eminis, are smaller-sized contracts of “full-grown” futures contracts that have been around for a few decades. Unlike the latter that have been traded on physical exchanges, eminis have always been traded electronically, allowing retail traders with access to the Internet to compete against institutional traders from the comfort of their homes or home based offices. That’s what the “e” in their name stands for, namely “electronic.”
Thousands of emini traders buy and sell these highly popular trading instruments every day, sometimes several times a day. Day trading emini futures does not require you to have a large capital to risk, so no wonder that many try their luck at this game that can be quite profitable to those who have mastered it 918kiss .
What many, if not most, of those emini traders do not realize and perhaps are even unwilling to consider is that they are gamblers.
But that’s what they are, in fact. Trading, day trading in particular, is a form of gambling whether it is officially recognized as such or not. The same mathematical formulas that apply to gambling strategies, the key of them being the formula for the expected value, apply to trading strategies or systems as well.
The expected value is a mathematical expression that determines your edge or your average profit per trade given the frequency of winners and losers and the average profit per winner and loser. In gambling, the same formula determines the average profit per hand. For some relatively simple games, such as blackjack, Pan 9, Pai Gow Poker, the optimal mathematical strategies are known. In some other cases, when it comes to more complex games, such Texas Hold’em, the complexity of the game makes it impossible to find optimal strategies in a strict mathematical way, which does not prevent some gamblers from making big bucks on a rather consistent basis. They don’t know the exact strategy, but the strategy they do know is good enough for most practical purposes, particularly if coupled with other important elements of effective play, such as weighing your betting size according to the strength of your hand, your position at the table, and the quality of players you face.
These elements are also of tremendous importance in trading, perhaps even more than in gambling, and yet they are often overlooked by people who publish various trading courses. Sizing your trading position is as important as having a sound winning strategy, if not even more. It is sometimes said that if there is a Holy Grail in trading at all, it is the position sizing.
Your strategy can be just average or even barely above breakeven, but if you vary your size depending on the likelihood of your success, and vary your target as well, you stand a very good chance to make money consistently, while those who do not do so are very often on the mercy of market randomness. Not all trades are equal, some are better. In some circumstances your odds are clearly superior and if you spot such situations correctly and take this into account by increasing your size and, in particularly good circumstances, also your target, you will do fine, as your losses from less lucky trades (with a smaller size) will easily be offset by the sizable profits from those really good trades where you were smart enough to increase your position size and perhaps even the target.
This is also important mentally. Suppose that your trading in the first one or two hours has not been particularly good despite many trades taken already. Don’t lose your hope yet as you may still make a killing on one or two good trades where your size and target are bigger. Obviously, it is very important to recognize such better than average situations in order to take advantage of them.