Trading Emotion-Driven E-Mini Markets

Any trader who has spent even a minimum amount of time reading about trading psychology has read, over and over, about the evils of allowing your emotions to influence your potential trading decisions. As an e-mini trader, it doubly difficult to control your emotions when the markets themselves take on a very emotional nature. It sometimes seems a doubly cruel joke when markets behave more emotionally than even the most emotional e-mini trader.

It is not particularly unusual for markets to trade in an illogical fashion; but there is generally some semi-rational explanation for moves that, at face value, don’t seem to make sense. On the other hand, we are in some unique times in the e-mini markets. In several decades of trading I have seen some dire circumstances in the United States economy: the 1987 market crash comes to mind; the meltdown of the dot.com stocks; or the sky-high inflation of the early 1980′s and Paul Volker’s dramatic inflation fighting antidote. But I have never seen a constellation of world-wide events with the potential for catastrophic consequences as we currently face. These events include problems like:

- The US housing crisis, which (in my opinion) has a good deal of correction left before we see any dramatic improvement

- The European Union is in desperate straits, with a collapse of the Euro currency a distinct possibility.

- The US employment problem, with unemployment rates hovering around an economically unsustainable level near 9%.

- Massive Central Bank intervention on a scale not seen since World War II.

In addition, there are a host of problems like wars, natural disasters, and regional conflict in the oil-producing Middle East which all contribute to an unparalleled level of economic instability.

How do trade the e-mini markets when the markets are locked into a news driven mode? The market seems to rocket upwards on the pontifications of politicians, even when the political statements make little sense and are, at times, laughable because they are unfeasible to accomplish even in the best of conditions.

The methodology, especially for the small retail trader, to trade these volatile markets is to realize the limitations of your trading style, and precise and methodical execution of your trading plan. For example:

- There have been several days in the past month that have been too volatile for the small trader to execute trades within prudent stop/loss parameters. Using the Average True Range (ATR), we have seen days when the 3-minute ATR has exceeded 25 points for extended periods of time. A smaller trader simply cannot expand his stops far enough to be economically feasible given the size of his or her account.

- In other situations, the market has reacted to news reports (often conflicting reports) to extent that any set-up is, at best, an educated guess. In e-mini trading, we like to think we are step above the educated guess style of trading. When the market pays no mind to support/resistance and moves randomly, it is unwise to trade aggressively, or even passively.

What is the answer to these problems? I turn the computer off. I am well aware of my limitations as a trader and wildly volatile, high emotion driven markets usually entail erratic and unpredictable movement. I can’t trade these markets with confidence, so I don’t.

On the other hand, we have seen volatile markets that are tradable because they tend to trend a bit, and retrace in broad strokes, but then resume the original trend.

For this type of market action, it is possible (though difficult) to execute your trading plan, but it must be done with precision.

- Take care to enter trades in the highest probability set-up configuration possible.

- Though this type of market can trend for extended periods of time. I generally set fairly modest profit targets and remain vigilant in watching for dramatic changes in market direction.

- If the trade does not begin in the fashion I had envisioned, I generally exit the trade immediately. This is not a good time to hope that Lady Luck will come to the rescue.

- Finally, my constant advice is to trade with the trend. I cannot count the number of times the trend has saved me in a mistimed trade entry.

In summary, news-driven markets are volatile and unpredictable. Know you limitations and don’t let your ego keep you trading in a market that is not conducive to your e-mini account size. If there is some order to the market, make solid entries and avoid being greedy in seeking profits. If a trade gets off to a bad start, I generally exit the trade before I get too deep into the trade. Finally, trade with the trend.

Direct Response Radio Advertising Must Target Hispanic Radio Market

With more and more direct response advertising aimed at the Hispanic market, this poses two questions to the advertising professional. Number one, “Is the appeal more effective if made in Spanish?” The answer according to research is a resounding “yes.” According to the Strategy Research Corporation, 96% of Hispanics prefer to receive their information in their first language. Secondly, advertisers need to consider the most effective medium to reach this market. Radio according to the same study is the clear answer. The SRC found that the Hispanic consumer is also a big radio consumer as 92% of Hispanics listen to the radio every day and 9 out of 10 Hispanics listen to Spanish language radio.

The Christian population among Hispanics is especially influential and is a viable advertising target for many consumer driven products. This has certainly been seen in the 2008 Presidential election with both candidates appealing to this growing minority. Prior to the election, Yuri Mantilla, director for International Governmental Relations for Focus on the Family called 2008 as the “Year of the Hispanic”. Said Mantilla, “We are the nation’s largest minority and we are poised to make a difference in some of the tightest races because of our concern for family, for life, and for faith. Hispanics are not a monolithic bloc, but a thriving family community, and our values are the values on which this nation was founded.” As more and more advertising dollars are available to Spanish speaking radio stations, we recommend that direct marketers work closely with copywriters at employed at radio stations. It is their job to make the ad message relevant to the Hispanic consumer. As in all languages, it is not enough to simply translate existing English copy into Spanish, rather it must appeal in Spanish with all Hispanic idioms in place. The best way to lose ground with a Hispanic consumer is to assume our English meaning applies.

5 Ways of Using Direct Marketing

Direct marketing is attractive to many marketers because in most cases its effectiveness can be measured directly. For example, if you were to send out one thousand solicitations by mail and you receive seventy responses, then you know that the mailing led to a seven percent response rate.

Any medium that you choose to use to communicate directly to your prospects is being employed in direct marketing. These 5 methods are examples of direct marketing that you can use to obtain prospects and increase sales for your business.

Direct mail

One of the most commonly used mediums in direct marketing is direct mail. Direct mail allows you to design marketing pieces in many different formats. Direct mail can include envelope mailers, catalogues, self-mailers, snap mailers, dimensional mailers, brochures, and postcards. When you write your direct mail piece make sure you know your target market, and how you are going to appeal to their wants and needs. Write your objective and refer to it often. Don’t lose sight of where you want to go with the piece that you are writing. You can purchase a mailing list of businesses and services in your target market from a list company, or you can develop your own list by gathering email addresses on your web site.

Telemarketing

Telemarketing is a direct marketing sales technique that has the advantage of speed in a marketing campaign. When you are a conducting a telephone solicitation you should first introduce yourself then offer an incentive in solving a problem that you know exists (to do this would require you to do some research on the business or what individuals would be looking for in your product). Ask question that you know will lead to a yes answer (keep prospects on phone answering yes to your questions). Describe your product or service and how it solves the client’s needs. Ask if they have any questions. You now can ask for a face to face meeting, or to get permission to send information via mail or e-mail, or make another brief follow-up call. If unavailable, ask what would be a good time to call back.

E-mail

The most common medium today for direct marketers is e-mail because of its low cost, and because customer responses can be generated rapidly. You must understand that the internet is a different medium. The copy that worked for you in postal mail will not on the internet, not as e-mail. In e-mail copywriting, the subject is the headline, you must write succinct headline-3 to 5 words. Your subject determines whether your e-mail gets read or not. Next, make it personal. People on the internet want personal notes. Next, get to the point keep it short and simple. Next, give them an incentive to act by giving them a reason to buy now. Next, include a call to action to tell people what you want them to do. Don’t leave them wondering what to do next. Next, drive people to your web site (don’t try to close the sale in the e-mail). Next, build relationship with your clients. Listen to their want and needs. Treat your clients like you would treat yourself. Next, you must follow through on your promises that you made to your client. Do what you said you were going to do.

Direct response

In direct response marketing the customer responds to the marketing message directly. An example, of this would be infomercials, where prospects view a television presentation of a product offering, and can make a purchase with a credit card over the telephone or internet. You can use communications in magazines, newspapers, radio, e-mail, and direct mail to solicit a response. For example, order forms or coupons in magazines and newspapers to purchase products, or receive discounts on products are techniques that have been used very successfully in increasing sales. These same offers are distributed by e-mail and tell and toll-free numbers, which in today’s marketing world, is more economical and faster.

Personal selling

Making personal sales calls on prospects is another technique of direct marketing. You should first conduct research on the companies, or the target prospects that you are trying to sell your product or service too. You can also buy a list from a reputable list company. If you take this route make sure that you have complete information on your target market. When making a personal sales call you must write a sales presentation before hand. This presentation should be written to fit the needs and desires of the prospect that you are presenting your product too. Your presentation should provide clear examples, or even demonstrations of how your product or service will accomplish this. Your presentation should contain more that just one way your product can be of service to your prospect. You must also be prepared to handle objections and questions that the prospects will have.