John Bartlett's LearnTrading Courses

John Bartlett has over 30 years' experience in the financial sector. The former independent financial advisor based in Puriton, Somerset, runs well-established workshops on financial spread betting but he's keen to point out this is no 'get-rich-quick' scheme.

Unlike some of the self-styled financial gurus I've investigated - men who are promising me overnight wealth, just as soon as I've written them a four-figure cheque - I can look at John without mentally rearranging the words oil, salesman and snake.

"I used to bet on the horses," he tells us. "And then I discovered that every afternoon at 2.30pm sharp, there's this race that takes place in America. It's called the Dow Jones Stakes and it runs for six-and-a-half-hours. Basically, it's a two-horse race, and you can bet to win, or if you think there's going to be a slip-up, you can bet that way, too. You don't have to put your money on before the race begins - you can wait until one side's well ahead and then make up your mind. Oh, and you can claim your winnings any time you happen to be ahead. I can't remember the last time I backed a horse."

Trading, John tells us, is a zero sum game: the winners' winnings are the losers' losses. Our fellow-traders are not so much colleagues, as opponents.

I am still absorbing this statement during the coffee break when I begin exchanging pleasantries with another participant. He's already begun trading... and lost £300 on a single trade, apparently because he had to take his 84-year-old mother to the shops, and by the time she'd bought her rice pudding and Marmite, the market had fallen faster than the price of MacDonald's next time there's an outbreak of BSE. (See, John has taught me to think like a trader!)

'I have very strong opinions about over-hyped claims. Even the most experienced trader won't make millions overnight. But if you apply yourself and follow my instructions you could very realistically make a steady and consistent profit.'John Bartlett John Bartlett

I know it is uncharitable - and I will probably burn in hell even for thinking it - but I say a little prayer: "Please may I have this man who is so kind to his mother as my opponent."

Back behind our desks, I start scribbling. Here are 10 useful things I've learned:

  1. We can be wrong 50% of the time and still make a profit
  2. Most traders go bust within the first nine months. (hey this doesn't apply to us - we're here to learn how to stay in the game.)
  3. Most traders fail because they overtrade.
  4. Success is 70% to 90% about money management, rather than the actual instruments we choose to trade. (successful money management, money management.. sounds so easy doesn't it!!)
  5. Technical analysis is useful because patterns repeat themselves. (As they do in life.)
  6. Markets tend to fall three times faster than they rise. (which is very much true from what i've experienced...)
  7. Always trade with a stop-loss. (John repeats this many times during the day...)
  8. Plan your trades. Trade your plan.
  9. Volume tells the story. (Comedy? Tragedy? Thriller?)
  10. Avoid trading during the first 30 minutes of the day. (Flexitime.)
"When you trade, you begin to find out who you really are. How you handle pressure. How you cope with failure. And how you deal with success. You will find your own style. Some of you will make dozens of trades in a week. Others might make only two or three in a fortnight. Some of you will get disillusioned and give up. Others will forget what's been said today, lose money and give up. And someone here might turn out to be a big success."

To conclude I do recommend John Bartlett's courses, especially for beginners - they are affordable (and I'm very much against the get rich quick scam merchants...) and contain a wealth of information especially if you are considering starting to trade forex or have recently started spread betting.Good trading, Andy

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