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How much should I be making on one contract per day?

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charlotte nc
Trading Experience: Master
Platform: ninjatrader
Broker/Data: NinjaTrader
Favorite Futures: Emini (ES, YM, NQ, ect.)
Posts: 379 since Jan 2015
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Keep in mind....

Hi emptymind,

It sounds like you are on the right track. There is no hard line in the sand from a dollar amount per contract perspective, this is going to be relative to a few other things.

1. Your risk profile is one of the key pieces here. Someone could use a martingale betting system and only lose 1 day out of every 100, but the one day they lose, they lose their entire margin account. So you need to factor in your risk profile to determine the quality of your earnings, not just the dollar value at the end.

2. Your profit margin is another aspect of it. Some systems have a very tiny profit margin, and this may not even be sustainable in the long run, so anything close to a break even, may need more work.

3. The number of trades per day should be factored in as well. If you have a system that takes 2-3 trades per day and seems to be doing well, that's great, but this is likely not enough data to be statistically significant. In order to get to a true expectancy calculation that is accurate, you will need to have enough data. A system taking 20 trades per day over 1 year will have a much more accurate expectancy calculation vs a system that takes 2-3 trades over a few weeks. The first example system you will likely see very little deviation from historical performance and the second example system will likely be over or under by a magnitude of 100x because there is not enough data points to draw any conclusions.

Having said all this, if you have a system that can check all of these boxes, then you only need to make 10 -20 net profit per contract per day and you can scale contracts and have a very nice living off of trading. It won't take $200 - $300 per contract per day to get you there..... You can get there with far less, and make your income scaling your system to 5 - 10 contracts if you have very reliable returns.

Hope this gives you some perspective.

Best of luck!


emptymind View Post
After many years of trial and error, and mainly failure ....I feel like I am on the path to consistency...

My question is at what level do you consider yourself consistent/successful?
How much should I be averaging per day on one contract? Is $100-300 good enough?
During flat/low vol periods? Or during high volatility periods?

In the analytical world there is no such thing as art, there is only the science you know and the science you don't know. Characterizing the science you don't know as "art" is a fools game.
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