Mindful Trader Review
Ease of Use
Mindful Trader is a stock picking service run by retail trader Eric Ferguson. This service is aimed at swing traders and includes access to a variety of live trading accounts as well as a watchlist, educational resources, and more. Learn everything you need to know about this stock picking service by reading our complete Mindful Trader review.
About Mindful Trader
Mindful Trader is a stock picking service for swing traders run by Eric Ferguson. Ferguson is a retail trader who uses backtested strategies to identify short-term stock, option, and future trades and share them with subscribers.
Although Mindful Trader is driven by backtested strategies, the service has had a mixed record of success since launching in 2020. In our Mindful Trader review, we’ll take a closer look at what this trading service offers and help you decide if it’s worth the money.
Mindful Trader Pricing Options
Mindful Trader costs $47 per month. The service does not offer a trial period.
Mindful Trader Trading Style
Mindful Trader uses a custom swing trading strategy that has been developed and optimized by Eric Ferguson using backtests. This strategy is based on pullbacks during an uptrend. In particular, Ferguson uses Keltner Channels to identify stocks that experience a brief pullback below a moving average before resuming climbing.
Ferguson trades both stocks and options using this strategy. Options trades focus on in-the-money call options that expire in 3-9 days.
Ferguson also trades futures for the S&P 500. He uses seven different backtested strategies for futures trading, each of which is explained in detail for traders who want to copy Ferguson’s strategies.
Mindful Trader recommends committing 1% of your account value per stock trade and 4% of your account value per options or futures trade. The platform offers a calculator to help you determine position sizes for each trade based on your current account value and available margin.
Mindful Trader offers access to several different live trading accounts. The “Feature” account is the service’s main trading account and includes stock, options, and futures trades. Ferguson typically places no more than two new trades each day, and most trades are open for a week or less before being closed. All trades include the entry price, price target, and stop loss price.
Traders also have access to a watchlist, which includes entry prices, price targets, and stop loss levels for a number of stocks that meet the pullback strategy requirements. Traders who are looking for more than two trades per day can find additional trades in the watchlist.
An “Extra Options” account displays extra options trades that don’t make the Feature account, but which Ferguson believes are worthwhile trades. A “Low-priced Stock and Options” account focuses on stocks with prices between $20 and $100 and options contracts with premiums less than $1.
Mindful Trader does not issue alerts when new trades are placed, so it’s up to traders to keep an eye on the service. According to Ferguson, there’s no difference in results if trades are placed a few hours later than when they first appear on the site. However, he also recommends several website monitoring services that can be used to issue alerts when new trades appear on Mindful Trader.
Mindful Trader Educational Resources
One of the nice things about Mindful Trader is that Ferguson lays out his trading approach for anyone to copy or modify. He has a video that walks traders through his pullback strategy as well as a stock screen that can be used with TD Ameritrade’s Thinkorswim trading platform. He also offers examples that showcase each of the seven futures strategies he uses for trading S&P 500 futures.
Mindful Trader Performance
Mindful Trader boasts that the pullback strategy its trades are based on produced a return of 181% in a 20-year backtest from 2000 to 2020. However, since launching in 2020, Mindful Trader’s Feature trading account has delivered a net return of –8.9%. The account boasted gains of more than 60% in mid-2021, but it’s worth noting that these gains disappeared several months before the broader stock market began to decline.
According to Ferguson, this is partly because the bull market during 2020-2021 was more volatile than in the market in the years prior to 2020. Still, that’s a very large difference between backtested and actual results.
Most trades in the Feature account have a net profit or loss of just 1-2%, and Ferguson appears to do a good job of keeping the loss from any single trade to a minimum using stop losses. However, Mindful Trader has more losing trades than winning trades.
The Extra Options account has a net return of –64.7%, while the Low-prices Stocks and Options account has a net return of –16.2%.
How Does Mindful Trader Compare to Other Trading Services?
Mindful Trader can be a useful service for traders who want to learn Ferguson’s stock, options, and futures trading strategies and modify them for themselves. However, Mindful Trader’s performance record is relatively poor, especially compared to other swing trading services.
Traders who want more consistently profitable swing trading stock picks might want to consider a service like Gorilla Trades. Gorilla Trades has been around for more than 20 years and, while it doesn’t offer a return since inception, all but a few trades in the current portfolio have unrealized gains of 5% or more.
Traders may also want to consider IBD MarketSmith, a service that offers annotated charts and watchlists to help you find candidate stocks for swing trading. MarketSmith requires more self-directed research than Mindful Trader, but it also offers more options for controlling risk and doubling down on profitable trades.
What Type of Trader is Mindful Trader Best For?
Mindful Trader is designed for swing traders who want actionable stock, options, and futures trade ideas. However, the service has produced negative returns across all of its various trading accounts, so it’s hard to recommend Mindful Trader over competing services. Traders may be able to use Mindful Trader’s strategies and tools to build their own swing trading strategy, but that’s not as simple as receiving ready-to-trade stock picks.
- Clear, easy-to-follow swing trading strategy
- Trade ideas for stocks, options, and futures
- Price targets and stop loss levels for every trade
- Watchlist for additional trade ideas
- Poor performance since inception in 2020
- Does not issue alerts for new trades