I'm starting this journal in order to clarify my thinking about trading and investing. I base my trades mostly on fundamentals, and will trade any instrument that looks like it could make me some money. Wether that be stocks, commodities, futures, or options. I do use technicals to time trades before I put them on usually just checking out support/resistance and major moving averages. Graduated from UC DAVIS in 2004 and have been trading for about 4 months. My first trade was a gold short in late September, began shorting CBOT mini gold contracts around $470. The price kept dropping and I started reverse pyramiding. Thought I was the next George Soros/ Jim Rogers, then I threw my last short at about $458 with no stops in place. This ended up being very close to the exact price low of gold before a $100 dollar run up, needless to say I blew butt load of money. AHHHHHH! My most recent trade is an oats short (OH06) at $188.75 put on 2/7/06. I am very bearish on oats because Canada is purported to have a massive crop coming in for the 06/07 marketing year due to depressed prices in other crops. Canadian grain ending stocks for this year are already expected to end above the 5 year average. Sweden and Finland are also planning to plant large crops as well further depressing world prices. I am citing Canadian statistics because there oat harvest is much larger then ours and we obviously import it to make up for USA oat deficits. The price of oats is also way out of wacky because the funds are holding 40% of the open interest almost all of it long. That's about 6 thousand contracts and a 15 year high. The average volume in the oat pit is about 1300 contracts today in OH06 it was 500. When these guys try to get out there is going to be a massacre none of the commercials want to buy oats at these perceived high prices. The seasonal situation is also positive as oats trend lower from February to March. In my humble opinion this could take a few months to play out. If corn prices keep going up this could raise the price of oats since they are both used as chicken feed. Weather could also play a factor in Canada as well, which I will be keeping an eye on. My stop is currently placed at 198.50 and I am considering averging down if the price goes against me.