From the May 2013 issue of Futures Magazine • Subscribe!

10 pearls of wisdom for trading metals

One of the questions we hear most often is, “What does it take to be a successful trader?” Although many people look for the Holy Grail of trading that works every time, history has shown it likely doesn’t exist. Instead, George Gero, precious metals strategist, vice president, global futures, RBC Capital Markets, says nothing in life is free or easy, so you have to be prepared to work if you want to be a successful trader.

Here, Gero shares the checklist of information he reviews every day before he even considers a metals trade. A checklist is important, he says, because it can keep you focused in the heat of trading when an economic report, political action or anything else hits the market. As such, here are the 10 things Gero checks every day.

1. Do your homework

If you want to do well during the trading session, you have to set yourself up for success before the bell even rings, Gero says. That means taking time the night before to check prices and see how the metals are trading overseas in reaction to the U.S. trading session.

Gero says he tends to look at prices around 8 p.m.-11 p.m. ET, focusing specifically on the metals prices and the major currencies — metals because that is what he intends to trade and currencies because they can affect the price directly (see “Footing the bill,”). “If I see that the dollar is strong, then that could affect the prices of the metal as being too expensive in dollar terms,” he says.

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