Hey guys, fairly new here. I joined a couple months back but I hadn't introduced myself so thought on doing so now and become more active in the community.
I'm an ES emini daytrader and I have been trading I would say for around 4 yrs. It's been a long road in which trading has taught me a lot about myself. I never thought this would teach me so much.
I worked for an investment firm for a while and working there as a stockbroker is how one day I saw a guy trading(technical analysis) and he told me he had made money and such, so I got interested. After that day my life hasn't been the same. I had developed a new passion. One that endures to this day and consumes my every thought.
Previously, working as a stockbroker, I was into fundamental analysis(to be able to pitch companies to prospective clients), but after getting to know about trading I started devouring technical analysis books, blogs, websites, EVERYTHING that I could find.
I would read about my soon to be heroes Paul Tudor Jones, George Soros, Jesse Livermore, etc etc etc and study their successes and life.
I started analyzing charts, moving averages, stochastics, RSI, bollinger bands, fibonacci, you name it! I think I used every possible indicator in the world trying to find the holy grail and the way to riches.
Then I made my first investment/trade: I bought like 20 shares(didn't have much money at the time) of Citigroup @ $1(during the 2007 market debacle/subprime mess) and I decided to just forget about it and let that investment grow for years on end and maybe one day wake up and find it had made me a millionaire, I mean, it was Citigroup, of course it was gonna bounce back!
Then like a year passed and I started reading about options and the leverage was so appealing that I decided to give it a shot, but I was broke, so I decided(stupidly) to sell my 20 shares of Citigroup which now were worth like $13 each one and buy options I don't even know of what.
Suffice it to say I lost the money in a matter of hours...I was heartbroken.
But I kept reading, and learning, and trying, and investigating, and learning about stop orders, limit orders, and trading stocks on a sim. Then I discovered forex. I tried that with live money with a micro account and I remember once I deposited like $200, turned it to $80 and after regrouping I turned it into $900 in 2 days. I felt like superman, like I was a mega uber trader soon to join the elite.
Boy was I wrong. I lost it all the next day. I discovered I had used my fibonacci strategy to trade a trend but when the mkt started ranging my strategy didn't work anymore and I lost it all.
But I kept at it. Never becoming consistent. Some time later I discovered futures and the advantages of trading them and I have never looked back. But I kept trying the same old method of technical analysis, and sometimes I would make money and sometimes not. So I never became consistent. That was so frustrating.
Then one day a friend of mine told me about order flow and I started studying/learning everything I could find about order flow/tape reading and it's now my main way to read the market. I now swear by it and I'm in love with it. It helped me understand how the market moves and I feel closer to where the action happens, not watching price unfold on a chart.
I have grown a lot in my understading of markets and on how volume moves price up or down and this has given me an edge. I'm a scalper who waits for his levels and at these levels reads the order flow to confirm the entry.
After learning order flow, I made more winning trades, saw more green on my PnL, felt more confident about my edge, but still I hadn't turned the corner on becoming consistent so I started reading trading psychology books like "Trading in the Zone" and Brett Steenbarger's stuff. And that's how I realized I WAS the problem.
My psychology and state of mind was(and still is) holding me back. I realized I moved my stop loss because I of my fear of losing. I realized I was revenge trading because I hated losing. I realized I was trying to make Babe Ruth-homerun trades so I could feel like a superman - to feed my ego. I noticed I wasn't ok with RISK. I noticed I had lack of discipline(still do!) and patience. I was taking trades too early and chasing trades because I had a fear of missing out. All this only shows a lack of discipline and patience.
...and that's the key to it. Trading has taught me life lessons nothing else has. We hear it a lot in theory, "be discipline" yadda yadda yadda, but through trading I saw the REAL need to actually develop the habit of discipline. If I need this to work I MUST become discipline.
So I started a trading journal as the trading psychology books say. I started waiting for more confirmation on my trades. I started sitting on my hands more. Writing on my journal how I felt, what I saw that made me take the trade, just everything that came to mind.
Then I started getting better. But noticed a problem: I would make money for 2 weeks straight, but on the last day I would lose eveything I had made so far. So now I experienced firsthand the importance of Risk Management. And the importance of a Daily Risk Limit and Risk Limit Per Trade.
You see, there's no failure only lessons. There have been days where I've blown my account(many times, more than $30k down the hole already...) and I've felt frustrated, like crying, like throwing the towel, like I would never accomplish my dream of trading full time, like I can't do it, like I'm tired of trying, where I'm filled with doubts, where I've wondered if I should try something else, where I feel like abandoning my passion, where I get depressed and want to blow my brains out...
But I've come to understand that failures are our biggest teachers. Failures carry our biggest lessons. Our success lies beyond our failures. Again, it's a paradigm shift what we need. You must decide to have a winner mindset or a loser mindset. Winners never quit. Losers do. So I have decided to never give up. I am really close to developing that consistency that I seek. I can feel it. I know it.
So that's where I am today. I have since last blowing my account 4 months ago gotten better at my risk management, and I'm getting better at being patient and developing discipline. So that's where I am today.
I'm not a pro yet, bu I will become one. I am certain of this, and I won't rest nor back down until I accomplish my goal in life(which I carry in my wallet) which is: "To become a consistently profitable trader".
I know I can do this and I know I WILL do this...
..."For how long? Until." - Jim Rohn
Cheers and good luck!
The following 7 users say Thank You to rodolfo49 for this post:
Hi my name is Dominick, I'm new to day trading. The reason I got so interested was because of a craigslist ad offering how to day trade. I'm currently a student at SDSU and getting BA in Communication. I want to learn how to day trade futures and it would be nice to find a mentor as well.
My current goal is to really learn the ins and outs of trading and start to develop good trading habits.
The following user says Thank You to Vallista for this post:
Thank you Geoff. And it's true what you said, luck has nothing to do with it! It's applied discipline + good trade and risk management what does the trick.
I want to tell you something that I tell myself everyday when I go through the same.
We remember today names like Rockefeller, Carnegie, Ford, Steve Jobs, all titans of industries, for a reason: because they never gave up. Rockefeller's empire was threatened when Vanderbilt, the owner of the railroad that transported Rockefeller's oil, wanted to hike the fees and threaten Rockefeller's business. He would either have to lose a lot of money by paying up or he would have to take his business to another railroad. But this was impossible because Vanderbilt's railroad was the biggest and was the only one with routes to some states where Rockefeller did business. A weak mindset would've given up. But not Rockefeller.
He decided to stop all operations where he produced more oil because the railroad's 90% of business came from only that one. So he decided to incur a big loss so he could bankrupt his enemy. Plus he stopped shipping all his oil through railroads and built a pipeline that was scattered all around the states. THAT's a winner. The difference between that mentality and a weak one is world's apart, yet both are found in the same place: between our two ears. We can either decide to BE a winner or stay a loser. And winners don't quit.
Steve Jobs was fired from the company he found when he was 30 yrs old. He was at the top of the world and now he had been fire. He got depressed. He got sad. He felt beaten. He felt down. He didn't even want to get up.
Yes. Even geniuses and titans of industry go through that. That only goes to show that we are all humans.
But he didn't stay there. It's not about never falling, it's about how high do you bounce back from that low. And bounce back he did.
He started NeXT, a succesful company on its own, and started Pixar, now the world's top 3D animation company. And then, he was called and requested to come back to fix Apple, and you all know the rest of the story. Odds are you own an ipod and the person next to you is using an iPhone.
You see, the bottom line is this: We are our thoughts. Tell me your thoughts and I'll tell you who you are. If you think you're a loser you will act like a loser. If you think you've been defeated you will probably stay defeated. If you think you don't deserve it you won't risk spending energy towards your goals. Our minds are our most important asset. It is our compass. And if your compass is directing you north, you will get there. It can't point you south and take you north.
When I have thoughts of throwing the towel, or that I can't yet seem to turn the corner on becoming consistently profitable, or have big losses, or lack of discipline, my first human response is to feel down and sad and depressed and mad and frustrated. This comes automatically, but that's my trigger: I immediately stop my thoughts cold and yell inside my head "I CAN DO THIS. I WILL DO THIS. I have grown a lot as a trader throughout the years, I am so close. I can do this and I will do it. If other have done it, I too can do it. But even if nobody hadn't done it before and it seems humanly impossible, I WILL FIND A WAY."
I talk to myself like that. I soak my minds with positive images of where I want to live, what car I wanna get, where I wanna travel. I revisit my "Whys". I think about why I started on this journey. I remind myself of these titans' main characteristic: They never ever gave up, and they believed they couold do it.
So I try to emulate that thinking, even when I don't feel like doing so, because it is what serves as leverage for us to accomplish any dreams and goals we may have.
Our formula to success is this: Plan. Do. Analyze Results. Tweak/Re-Plan. Repeat.
"For how long? Until." - Jim Rohn
The following 3 users say Thank You to rodolfo49 for this post:
Hello, my name is Henry, and I have no experience as a trader. I've just been researching the internet and picking up information, which is how I found this website.
I intend to collect as much information as I can, especially how to lose money; so I can avoid it as much as possible. However, I will be starting out small and expecting to build a large account. I am yet to open a demo account; so I'm really at the onset of this new project.
I look forward to listening and learning about what others know about Forex and, of course, other types of investments. However, I'm going to be solely focused on Forex, for now.
Thank you for allowing me to become a member,
The following user says Thank You to Midlove for this post: