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Need help with developing my trading system / plan (mentor??)

  #13 (permalink)

Elite Member
Toronto , Ontario, Canada
Trading Experience: Beginner
Platform: Sierra Chart, SC
Favorite Futures: Emini ES, CL, USD/CAD
Posts: 423 since Jun 2016
Thanks: 1,325 given, 716 received

MWG86 View Post
Disclaimer: Please don't take anything I say below as negative, I'm only offering my opinion and I wish you well on your trading journey. Also note that I don't consider myself a consistently profitable trader, at best right now I'd call myself break-even (which you'll come to understand is a significant achievement if you decide to continue with trading).

My first advice to you would be to pay for elite membership here on FIO. There's a reason it has been recommended so many times across so many posts here. There is a ton of information available in posts and journals and I can't think of a better place for someone starting out to learn than the webinars section. Through this reading and watching you can come to a better understanding of how the markets work, ways different people approach the markets, and how people's trading has evolved as they've matured in the markets. I don't know how many hours a day you have available to you to dedicate to the markets, but I'd probably recommend budgeting at least 500 hours of exploring this site and others, watching videos, and studying books before even thinking about opening a trading account. I spent around 2 years in this stage.

Next, once you've figured out how you understand the market, write down how you think you can profit from this knowledge. A journal here on FIO is an excellent place to post this.

After you have an idea of how you want to approach the market the next step is finding a reliable broker. Again, this site has a bunch of information on brokers. I trade Forex so there are many, many brokers out there who will offer ridiculous leverage - stay away from these people! I see you're in Canada, so look for a broker that is regulated by IIROC and is a member of the CIPF. This will ensure that if your broker goes under, your account (up to $1M) is guaranteed by the Canadian government. I haven't looked into Futures brokers in Canada, but I'm sure that there is a wealth of information here about them.

The next step is to actually start to trade. There has been much debate on here about whether or not SIM trading is effective training for psychological reasons. My view is that like most things in trading it will work for some and not for others. Some feel that unless there's real money on the line you don't get a true representation of how your emotional state will be. Others believe that you shouldn't risk a penny until you've proven that you can be successful on SIM for a period of time. My personal belief falls somewhere in the middle. I think that SIM is helpful to understand the platform that you're trading with and helps with development of a feel for the market. I don't think that it truly prepares a person emotionally though for watching your equity balance fluctuate in real time. I'd recommend spending a few months trading SIM before graduating to trading real money in very small size. You need to prove to yourself in this step that you can be consistently profitable over a large period of trades and a large time horizon. My plan at the moment is to not increase my risk above my current 0.1% per trade until I can show a positive expectancy on my last 10, 20, 50, & 100 trades. Depending on how many trades you place per day, the time this will take will be variable. I wouldn't recommend doing this for less than 3 months though before increasing your risk per trade.

Once you reach the stage that you're actually placing trades (whether through SIM or with extremely small size) I cannot stress enough the benefit of recording your trades in a journal here (either on elite or in the public section). I truly believe that I could've saved myself a couple of years of failure and frustration if I had done this from the start.

When you ask for a mentor here, realize that nobody on this site is getting paid. The registration fee for Elite membership goes toward offsetting a small portion of the money that Mike has taken out of his own pocket to run the site. The level of positivity here considering this, is truly amazing. I sometimes can't believe the amount of time that people take to help others. Realize that when someone is posting something here they are taking time away from their own screen or time spent on their other interests. Also realize that some of the people here can be making 4 figures an hour, or more, trading so asking them to mentor you for free is a big ask. I think the best way to approach the mentor situation can be seen by following the link below (it's in the free section) and reading the journal from page 1 (I haven't tagged anyone here because I don't want anyone to feel like they have to respond). Note the dates as well as you're reading through. The journal was started on October 11, 2015 and the owner of the journal posted almost every day for more than 2 months before receiving feedback. People here are willing to help out, but they need to see that the dedication and perseverance you've proven is worth their time.

Sorry for the length of this post, I didn't think I'd be typing this long when I started. One final thing that I think is important to understand before continuing is the time investment that you will need to put in. Below is my typical weekly schedule:
6:00 - Wake and get ready for the day
6:45 - eat breakfast while reading market commentary and trying to get a feel for the current state of the market
7:45 - 9:00 - trade if the opportunity presents itself in the market
9:00 - 6:00/7:00 - work at the job that currently pays the bills
6:00 - 8:00 - eat supper and spend time with my girlfriend
8:00 - 9:00 or later - review the trades taken that day (it's important to be honest with yourself here and really dissect your performance), study other trading-related items
10:00 - 11:00 - hopefully have some more time to spend with my girlfriend or on something that relaxes me
11:00 - try be in bed so that my mind is refreshed for the next trading day - sleep is important for focus
I try to limit myself to only work on trading related stuff up until noon but often go over this self-imposed limit. I usually spend at least 4-6 hours reviewing the week that just passed, preparing for the week to come, and reading other items of interest for my trading development
I'm a big believer that the time you spend preparing and reviewing your trades (especially as a beginner) should be at the very minimum a one-to-one relationship with the time you spend trading. I don't think it's realistic to trade for less than an hour a day, so at a minimum starting out you need to be able to dedicate 2 hours a day plus time on the weekend to be successful. This is after the 500 hours of initial study. Brokers love to market trading as a quick and easy way to make some extra cash but it's not.

Hopefully there's at least one thing in here that helps!

Good luck!

MWG86, thank you so much for this lengthy (which i loved and really appreciate it) reply, I want to sign up so badly, but I am just waiting for my Uni to send me my tuition invoice for this upcoming year. you may be thinking what does $100 compare to like $8000+ tuition and like if you can't spend $100 right away then trading might not be for you.

But the reason why I am waiting unfortunately is because I need to know how much I have to pay and I'm estimating about $8800 and I have to pay all of that in one big lump sump payment because I'm not taking any loans (debt free ) and I that's how it has been for last 3 years (thankful to my parents for forcing me to get a job in my highschool days, that has made me tuition debt free). Pretty much I work all year and save every penny possible and then end up paying it all to tuition. So I am waiting to see what the figure is, so I can run some calculations, and stuff. But the moment I have enough cash to allocate, I am signing up ASAP.

Before I type further, I want to thank you for taking out the time to reply back to my post and giving me tips and suggestions that are truly helping me grow and understand the many difficulties you went through so I can learn from it and try not to make the same mistakes. After all, time is money, so thank you for taking out the time to help me out as I begin my journey.

I hope to start a journal soon and hopefully in the process develop my knowledge and understanding.

Thanks so much for the tips and suggestions MWG86 and thanks to everyone else who also gave an input to this thread.

I think I should clearly state, that I am not here to make the quick buck (on my very first initial exposure to trading, i thought there is potential, I mean after all who would pay you $100 bucks in a matter of minutes to 10-20 minutes) But thanks to I no longer view trading the same way as I did when I first came across trading. I am not in this for quick buck and I look to join the elite section very soon, just waiting to see the exact figure rather than my estimate and my paycheque won't come in time for my pay date so its very tight at the moment.



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