A Few Trading Rules

[dc]I[/dc]n doing the preparation and background work for the book, I found a set of rules for a swing trading system I traded for many years.  I thought I would share a few snippets from those rules, especially the parts dealing with trade management and behavior management.  I cleaned them up, and removed specific system references… and I think this list is now relevant for traders regardless of timeframe or instrument.  To me, it’s useful to re-read things like this sometimes, just to remind myself of the obvious, and, though these.  I hope you find them useful, but you should adapt them to the specifics of your own situation and personality.

Trade Management

  • Let winners run. While momentum is in phase, the market can run much further than might be expected.
  • Corollary to that rule: Do not exit winners without reason!
  • Be quick to admit when wrong and get flat.
  • Sometimes a time stop is the right solution. If a position is entered, but the anticipated scenario does not develop then get out.
  • Remember: if one thing isn’t happening the other thing probably is. Historically, this has never been good for me…
  • Be careful of correlations. Several positions can often equal one large position bearing unacceptable risk. Please think.

Other thoughts

  • I am responsible for risk management, money management, trade management, doing the analytical work and putting on every trade that comes.
  • I am not responsible for the outcome of any one trade. Markets are highly random. I do not have a crystal ball. I am not as smart as I think I am.
  • Risk management is the first and last responsibility. I can make almost any mistake and be ok as long as I do not violate my risk management parameters.
  • Opportunity comes every day. Do not neglect the work. Must do analysis every day.
  • Opportunity comes every day. Get out of poor positions. Move on.
  • I am a better countertrend trader than a trend trader. Sometimes the crowd is right, and they will run me over at those times if I’m not quick to admit I’m wrong.
  • If you’re going to do something stupid, at least do it on smaller size.


Adam Grimes has over two decades of experience in the industry as a trader, analyst and system developer. The author of a best-selling trading book, he has traded for his own account, for a top prop firm, and spent several years at the New York Mercantile Exchange. He focuses on the intersection of quantitative analysis and discretionary trading, and has a talent for teaching and helping traders find their own way in the market.