• Day Trade Futures: The Risk Averse Need not Apply

    Traders are often lured to into the futures markets with a fascination for day trading. The thought of trading leveraged contracts without overnight risk is appealing to many, but underestimated by most. As a retail broker I have had the pleasure, and the pain, of watching day traders attempt to profit through strategies ranging from scalping to "position" intraday trading which spans several hours. Read More
  • Think Outside of the Box: Increase the Odds of Success with Option Selling

    The characteristics of unlimited profit potential and limited risk lure traders to long options but we argue that limited risk doesn't necessarily mean less risk. In fact, it is quite possible that option buying is far riskier than option selling simply due to the probability of success that each strategy faces. Read More
  • It All Makes Cents: Calculating Profit and Loss in Commodity Futures and Options

    One of the most frustrating aspects of trading commodities is getting comfortable with how each contract is quoted, what the point value or multiplier of each contract is and most importantly how to calculate the profit, loss and risk of a trade. Read More
  • Futures Order Types, and Placing Commodity Trades

    Sometimes it is the small details that make the big difference in performance. Familiarity with order types and how to properly place each of them is critical to being a successful trader. Market prices and dynamics are ever-changing, making every second count. Regardless of whether you are trading online or through a broker, knowing the type of order you need to place and placing it accurately is vital. Read More
  • Calculate Currency Futures P&L with Dollars and Sense

    Thanks to the CME; financial institutions, investment managers, corporations and private entrepreneurs have a regulated and centralized forum in which they can manage their risk exposure to changes in currency valuations. Naturally, where there are hedging opportunities there is also room for mass speculation and that is exactly what occurs every Sunday afternoon through Friday at the CME. Read More
  • Stock Index Futures Trading: Before Putting your Money on the LIne, you Should Know the Basics.

    If you are like most people, you work hard for your money and the last thing you want to do is see it evaporate in your e-mini futures trading account. Read More
  • Getting Started in Interest Rate Futures Trading: Calculating P&L

    There are several widely traded contracts in the realm of interest rate futures trading. Each of these futures contracts carry slightly differing market characteristics, and in some cases contract sizes, point values, Read More
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  • Carley is a Commodity Broker at DeCarley Trading

    DeCarley Trading strives to offer the highest quality commodity brokerage services at competitive rates.

    Whether you prefer trading self-directed online, or with an experienced futures broker, we are confident DeCarley is capable of exceeding your expectations..

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  • Trade on an Elite Futures and Options Trading Platform.

    Trade from anywhere! DeCarley Trading offers a suite of over 20 commodity trading platforms..

    Enter futures and options orders, view live quotes, charts and option chains, and monitor account details on a downloaded desktop trading platform, or mobile device.

    Read More
  • Open a Commodity Trading Account Today in Minutes!

    Our online account application makes getting started in commodity trading quick and easy.

    When you feel like you are ready to start trading futures and options, apply for a commodity account with DeCarley Trading with these simple steps.

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  • Read Carley's Commodity Market Insights each Month in S&C Mag!

    Carley Garner writes a monthly Stocks & Commodities Magazine Column, "Futures for You"

    Carley Garner, commodity broker at DeCarley Trading, answers burning questions on commodity market mechanics, futures trading fundamentals, option trading strategies, etc.

    Read More
  • See Carley's Commodity Market Technical Analysis on CNBC!

    Booyah! Jim Cramer often features DeCarley Trading commentary on Mad Money in the "Off the Charts" segment

    Cramer frequently looks to Carley Garner, a commodity broker at DeCarley Trading, for help in crude oil, gold, natural gas, currencies, Treasuries and the stock market indices.

    Read More
  • Sell Commodity Options without Restrictions!

    Sell options on futures with SPAN minimum margin the way you want to, not the way your broker wants you to.

    We specialize in brokering for short option accounts. Years of experience and networking have enabled us to provide a friendly environment for short option trading.

    Read More
  • Trade Commodities with an Experienced Commodity Broker.

    Trade Futures and Options Self-Directed or Full-Service with Carley Garner and DeCarley Trading

    We enjoy working with clients of all types, sizes, and skill levels. The brokerage firm you trade with DOES make a difference, let us prove it to you!

    Read More
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Higher Probability Commodity Trading

Higher Probability Commodity Trading

Carley Garner follows up her previous titles with Higher Probability Commodity Trading. Read More
A Trader's First Book on Commodities

A Trader's First Book on Commodities

This best selling book on futures trading takes readers on a crash course through the commodity markets. Read More
Commodity Options: Trading and Hedging Volatility

Commodity Options: Trading and Hedging Volatility

Learn to trade commodity options via short option strategies, option spreads, and even outright call and put buying. Read More
Currency Trading in the FOREX and Futures Markets

Currency Trading in the FOREX and Futures Markets

Carley Garner points out the advantages, and disadvantages of currency speculation in FX, currency futures, and ETFs). Read More
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What people are saying about Our Futures and Options Trading Books

Carley works tirelessly to create quality commodity trading education, including her three books published by FT Press.
  • Higher Probability Commodity Trading

    “A great read for both beginner and advanced commodity traders. Carley nails the seemingly impossible task of leveling the playing field by imparting vital concepts in easy to digest bites ...she doesn't leave out the harsh realities and heartbreak many overzealous speculators face" Jon Najarianco-founder NajarianFamilyOffice.com
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Commodity Options, Bond Futures, Stock Index Futures, e-mini Trading

ATFBC Reviewed by Richard Stooker

Review of "A Trader's First Book on Commodities" by Richard Stooker 

 

This book lives up to its title pretty well. If you've wondered about trading commodities and futures, this is a good introduction.

Do not expect or plan to start trading after you read it. She doesn't pretend to tell you how to trade to make lots of money. She gives you the basics so you at least know the terminology and how these markets work.

I would haggle a little bit. She mentions a few times that when you trade futures you can lose more money than you actually put at risk, but I don't believe she doesn't stress it enough.

I suspect that many people, who want to trade to make money because they're desperate, don't understand that one trade can very wrong can wipe them out financially. That is very different from buying stocks, bonds, mutual funds, options and Exchange Traded Funds. With those investments, you can lose (at most) the money you put in, but no more.

Futures contracts typically employ a lot of leverage. If buy a contract and the price goes down a lot, the cash equity in your brokerage account can be more than wiped out quickly in short order.

I can't say this happens a lot. Before it does, your broker will try to liquidate your account to minimize the damage. But sometimes futures prices move so quickly that nobody can get out as fast as they want or need to, not even your broker.

Therefore, it's very important to stay in regular touch with your account balance. And don't trade with scared money. Technically, you should not trade with money you can't afford to lose.

I realize there's a great contradiction there, because people who are most comfortable financially have the least motivation to put their money at risk to make even more of it. So the people most attracted to trading as a second or first income are often the most financially unfit for trading.

She mentions futures options, but not in great detail. That is fair, because she's also written a book about futures options. However, I think she could have mentioned -- without going into great technical detail -- that you can use options to construct "synthetic" futures contracts. These have the same ability to benefit from positive price moves in the commodity, without the hazard of going bankrupt while your back is turned.

She does mention using options to manage risk when a future position is going bad.

She does a good job at explaining the current state of futures exchanges, the types of commodities now available, and the characteristics of their contracts, as well as tips on how to calculate your profit and loses.

Sometimes her reassurance that you can learn to calculate the numbers seems a little too cheery. I couldn't help but think that people who have trouble understanding a contract's quote system probably doesn't understand the commodity itself and therefore shouldn't be trading it.

She did do a pretty good, though probably too brief, job of explaining why trading systems -- especially expensive black box software programs costing $2,000 and up -- aren't reliable. I wish she'd explained the problems of backtesting and data mining more fully, because most of the readers of this book are going to be pitched trading systems, and without knowing exactly why they're a waste of money, they may forget what she said and buy anyway.

Ah, but the commodities markets thrive on naive people who can come up with money they can't afford to lose.

If you're thinking of trading in futures, this is a good first book. But read a lot more before you put any money at risk.

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