The markets have always fascinated me and I love the movies Trading Places and Wallstreet.
I also always loved computergames that have to do with economy or the markets. Not sure why though.
Still, when chosing/deciding what to do with my life, I decided to study computer science (probably loved that more ) and became an engineer.
I got quite successful, left my hometown to work abroad and after losing my job I ended up starting my own company in switzerland. So now I am an engineer AND a business man. That part of my live goes very well.
I used to be a buy and hold trader and I also used to believe in fundamental analysis.
After all, it does make sense right? Good plan, good product, good figures, and the company gets more valuable over time. Unfortunatly, the market hardly ever agreed with my choices of companies! And of course I have tried my fair bit of Newsletter- or other Trading-Services (btw. some are really good, but you know, being to greedy or to fearful sabotages even the good services...). After failing for about a decade trying to make money in that way (just about breakeven), I thought I'll give Technical Analysis a try (before I thought thats Voodoo!!!).
It didnt work to well in the beginning; but I came across van Tharps work (money management and position sizing) and some price action strategies, and surprisingly enough, that worked for me... I was finally making money and it boosted my confidence. My portfolio was just somehow growing to slowly, so I kept looking for other strategies.
I soon was trading with more indicators, following momentum, cycles, multiple timeframes and so on...
Profits grew faster...well at least as long as the market was going up, up, up! I would say, from 10 trades that i took, 6 to 8 went very well, the rest where rather small losses around 1R. Some bigger, most a lot smaller.
The problem was, when I started having a loosing period, I didnt realize the change in market behavior soon enough, and not only I gave everything back that I had made, I had managed to also lose about 50% of my trading account. I got lazy with my trading log, mixed up my strategies, entered wrong orders under stress (buy instead of sell and vice versa) and so on. What also contributed was my broker, being quite expensive in comissions. In the end, I was at least able to analyze most of my mistakes. I now know, I was mostly too greedy, at times very fearful and I wasnt able to stay disciplined and follow my strategy. I tried to pick tops and bottoms.
I never looked at reasons to stay out of the market, I was afraid of missing 'that one move' that will make me rich, I jumped into the market basically every setup. Also, since I was to cheap to pay for Realtime-Data I limited myself to trade some rangebound indices and forex instead of trying to find an easier market to trade.
Fortunatly, I never stopped my 'self-education'. I switched my broker, I changed my trading strategy again to eliminate my psychology as much as possible and I started trading different instruments (Options) to better hedge my trades; and I am happy now with a slowly growing portfolio.
My spirit is up and I want to keep it that way.
My drawdown this year is about 50% (January till May). I managed to reduce my drawdown to around 30%, being more disciplined in my analysis and tradelog.
I joined elite traders, because I was looking for ninjatrader indicators (my brokers charting s*xx...but he is very very cheap in comission). I like the content and user base so far, I hope I can contribute to the comunity.
I mostly trade stock-options now, and I enjoy writing code to backtest strategies.
It would be great if I could learn more about market timing, market cycles, sector analysis and so on, so I dont end up trading the wrong or very difficult market again
The following 2 users say Thank You to xslowhand for this post:
I've been learning about futures trading for the past year or so.
Main teachers : Al Brooks, Bob Volman, Lance Beggs.
I've been doing a little live trading recently, so far without success. : ES, 6E/M6E, looking at Bonds too.
Thanks to everyone on this forum who posts their experiences and advice.
The following user says Thank You to Stillgreen for this post:
My first trade was 2001 in stocks and at one time made good money before blowing up. Traded some futures a bit in 2011,2012. Started to SIM trade with TST last October. I feel the practice is very important to gain the experience needed. Need some improvement in my consistency. I wish I would have SIM traded back in 2011. Could have learned and saved some tuition. I am determined to succeed at trading.
Most of the past 10 months I have focused on CL. Have experience with GC and NG. Just started looking at ZB. 6E also is a good instrument. Trying to trade less, and as LBR said not miss the forest for the trees by catching the daily trend and wider initial stop, 1 lot, will add sometimes to winners. My bad days have often been due to not waiting until a trend is in place or being too aggressive early in day. I have really improved the later. This forum has some great information and I hope to contribute to it.
Began trading in 2008, at the height of the financial crisis. Only stocks, swing-trading and very occasionally. From 2013 onwards I decided to get more serious about it, going the usual route (buying lot's of books, trying to find the special magical indicator and such). Early 2014 transitioned to futures (equity index and currency), swing-trading, and this year began day-trading. Still trading for more experience and knowledge than money at this point. Psychology plays a much more important role in day-trading, still have to adjust myself to that. Since I don't like loosing money at all (even in sim/demo accounts), I have always traded very conservatively (in terms of position sizing), so luckily I don't have any blown accounts stories to share.
This year I also began "getting my feet wet" in FX and US futures (since I have traded so far only the Brazilian markets).