After trading equities for about 9 months, I have recently switched my trading pursuits to focus on futures. I have spent the past three months researching and beginning to develop an automated trading strategy for the ES. The learning and progress has been continuous, and recently greatly enhanced by the extensive information found on futures.io (formerly BMT). I look forward to learning/collaborating with you all in the future.
I'm 30, I'm a waiter in a restaurant, I am a French trader, I am interested in ES, YM, Mini Russell Bund and 6E it for 3 years. I never lost my capital, but never make a profit to live on, however my results improve for several months.
I registered here to discuss, share, and also learn what I do not know yet.
My English is rough, and I speak a little German, but better French.
Hi everyone, after months of lurking and paper trading I'm finally venturing into the derivatives markets with some confidence. I am exploring every newbie strategy you can think of (on paper, alongside my real account) and I've learned a lot from it. (Short VIX, Buying options as opposed to selling, looking for correlation between futures and ETF's, etc... all the big no-no's!) Learning why something is a bad idea is more important to me than just learning the phrase "don't do that". I think the biggest lesson I've learned after about a year of paper trading is to sit on your hands if you're not sure. I don't have a large account, and therefore not a lot of room for losses, so I have to wait for the market to come to me, and I really have been disciplined in my approach these first few weeks. I'm only up about .5% but I can say I haven't done anything really stupid, or traded just to trade, which is always the case using paper accounts. I am young, but I'm eager to learn from some of the vet's here, especially in Futures, where I have the least experience, and literally no education. I'm not a big technical trader, I just use bollinger bands, and my options education came from the guys at tastytrade.com (OTM credit spreads, contrarian on big moves), but I know little about futures as it's all just been self analysis. Anyone who'd like to send me a message, I'd love to hear from you. One question I do have is when trading an Iron Butterfly, since one of your options is ITM, how do you hold that trade without getting assigned on that one leg? Or what is the probability the likelihood you can hold it for 20-30 day? I've seen some great opportunities to play this kind of trade but I want to talk to someone who's done it before to see what happens when that leg gets pulled out, especially as I don't always have the funds to actually transfer 100 shares, just the value of the option. I would assume most brokerages (TD, in my case) just charge you the value of the option and fork over the shares themselves, but I won't trade it until I know for sure.
Just to give you an idea about what I think about futures, I'll outline my general strategies and I'd love to hear constructive criticisms of them. Generally speaking, I have learned that the trend is not necessarily your friend. I would have to say that I lean towards contrarian strategies, such as when the /es pops out of the bollinger bands and thousands of orders come firing to bring it back in (usually!). That said, I do try and pick a direction for the day based on the daily BB position, and lean towards that bias when trading within that day when it goes too far in the other direction. Now, obviously I've got an extremely long ways to go, and nobody ever gets it perfect, but I've found these sorts of reversals to be fairly predictable, or moreso than any other patterns I've looked out for. I also don't like to trade with close stops, because I'm a contrarian, and I've learned to keep calm after a big move and re-assess my position. I know they say cut your losers short and hold onto your winners, but I've had a lot more success doing the opposite in the options markets, extending duration in any way to keep reeling in that sweet premium. I do let the winners run, but only if they still have a lot to gain. Say if I put on a OTM credit put spread after a down move with expiration 30 days away, and I make 50% of max gain back in the first couple days, I'll usually just take my winnings and move onto the next trade. Those are the kinds of trades I shoot for in the options market. If I'm wrong, well at least I have theta working to my advantage and I'll let it roll on an re-assess day by day.
In terms of short term trading of indexes and currency futures, I pretty much look at previous levels of support and resistance and trade into those as though they are weak magnets. When prices get near there, they are very likely to touch those previous levels, and this is my bread and butter as a newbie futures trader.
In trading commodity futures, I generally stay away from them, because I don't know a damned thing about the fundamentals of commodity prices. Also, I do not like going up against pit traders from a screen because they may be sensing a tension that I just can't get from 25 miles away. The only time I even look at commodities is when a sort of world crisis is happening, for example the Ukrainian one of the last few months, and I'd gathered that they were major wheat exporters and rode that fear up many handles (on paper, only been live trading for 1 week). Now we are into this ISIS ordeal, I have been looking at oil futures but I need to do more research to figure out the different types of oil and where they come from, and how big of an exporter these countries really are before I put my money on it. This is where I've learned to sit on my hands instead of just running in and buying oil, because I realize I don't have a damn clue what I'm doing. As I continue to research the topic, I may feel comfortable entering that market. Anyways, commodities are not my thing, and I've got the most to learn in this area, so for now I'll just sit on my hands and not lose my shirt.
If you read all of that and have any comments, concerns, or recommendations, I'd love to hear them. I'm young, I'm reckless, but I'm trying not to be stupid. And making $0 is better than losing a few hundred. I would especially like to hear from non TA centered traders, as I'm really not a fan of TA outside of bollinger bands to give a realistic move possibility. What do those of you trade on, if not TA? Obviously there's the news, if you're quick enough (likely not), and levels where there's been a lot of back and forth (like 1950 in /es right now), but if you'd like to pass along some tips or criticisms, I'm all ears. I hope to learn a lot from paying attention to this forum.
Thanks for reading and supporting newcomers like myself.
I have decided that once in a while I am going to respond to Introductions with a dose of reality.
Learning to trade is like learning any other profession.
Would you try to learn to be a pilot or a surgeon through just reading books and reading articles on BLOGs? Of course not, but I continually see people like yourself who seem to think they can do that. Big Mike's is an excellent source of nuggets of information. It is also a source of conflicting information that you have to be able to handle.
As a beginner there are all sorts of reputable trading platforms but your problem is not your broker, platform or data feed. As a charting platform it is hard to beat Ninja Trader for a beginner. You can then use Interactive Brokers for a broker and data feed. IB is certainly not 'the best' but it is low cost and handles all instruments. For futures CQG through AMP Futures works well and is reasonable. Start simple and trade little.
Approach trading like learning any other profession. There are no short cuts except hard and dedicated work.
The following 2 users say Thank You to gcaldridge for this post:
I am a little confused by this forum, when I tried to post on the related thread - it did not allow me to do that, because I don't have any posts before. So now I put my question here, in the not related thread. I am a total novice with trading - just started with demo account - about a month ago. Btw there are some good webinars posted here - thanks a lot. But now I am thinking to start to trade in live account, but I don't have much of a capital.
And couple of days ago I stumbled on Apiary Investment Fund offer to train with them on their live account. The fee for that is $97/month, and no any "enrollment" fee required. I consider it an attractive learning opportunity, with required accountability to learn money management and discipline, and perhaps some useful strategy? I researched them on the web and got lots of contradictory statements. I noticed one post here - negative. I am starting to doubt my decision to go with them, but not sure... Any thoughts?