@jamiecassar, I suggest you read the following threads of someone who has very recently been through the exact same journey as you are about to start on. Namely, trying to open an account without enough funding, little to no live trading experience and thinking you're somehow going to start making money right off the bat.
There is some excellent advice in the threads and if read from beginning to end, tell a good real life cautionary tale of someone in your position. Dont make the same mistakes.
As for some practical suggestions, I would concur with the others who have suggested you look into Topstep Trader. It will give you a feel for having real money on the line without having you lose all your capital in a week.
Watch all the webinars you possibly can that focus on risk and psychology. There are plenty here on futures.io (formerly BMT).
You donít trade the markets; you only trade your beliefs about the markets.
- Van K Tharp
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Futures or Forex. There are lots of posts on the net what's the difference between forex and futures. Here on futures.io (formerly BMT) I think most of us trade futures because it is done on regulated exchanges and so brokers make money on commissions only. On forex, which is an interbank market without central regulation, it is practice that the broker trades against you. Of course there are good forex brokers but you need decent knowledge to find what is good for you.
Margin. It is an "urban legend" that margin is fearful. It can work for you exactly as much as against you. The question is how much risk you can tolerate and how much money you can afford to lose. You make or lose money on the move of the price multiplied by the position size. It just does not matter how this is covered by the broker.
The only thing you need to keep in mind.. what happens when things go wrong and how much you make when price moves in your favor.
Capital. I found that well known futures brokers allow account opening from $5k but you can ask them to allow begin with $3k.
I don't see that any reasonable trading activity is possible below this.. Here's why.
Will sitting at the computer motivate you if you make $5 per day? It is 1% of a $500 account and only $100 for a month. On a $5k 1% per day is $50 with the same amount of work. For 20 trading days (a month) this adds up to $1000 which is something and still not easy to achive on a $3-5k account.
As for non-losing strategy. Most likely you'll try scalping. It has to have very high win rate (80%+) with small profits. But when the loser comes in.. you give back 8-10 winner's profits. If you are very very disciplined it can work but otherwise say goodbye to your account.
Longer distance trades have less win rate and better profit/loss ratio but this also requires discipline to accept the intermittent losers.
You definitely need decent education in trading. There are good sources here on futures.io (formerly BMT). Please, please learn before doing anything!
TopStepTrader and others may fund an account for you if you prove that you are profitable. Most offer education as well (for pay). Taking a qualification for a live account also have cost so read their rules and follow all in sim. It is meaningless to repeat the exam indefinitely.
There are good threads on futures.io (formerly BMT) about how to begin, how to choose platform and broker.
Remember, scared money goes into others pocket!
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So, today I almost borrowed $780 from my boss to start a 500 dollar forex account, 3 month ninja trader lease, and 100 dollar sign up for elite here at futures.io (formerly BMT). as fate would have it, my boss was in the cities and not there today. I came home and read these posts and followed all the links (been reading for 3 hours nonstop now) and I'm really glad I haven't opened a $500 forex account. I will be becoming an elite member, I think it is the best course right now to sit back, take my time, watch more webinars, and soak in more information. I want to thank everyone who told me to learn as much as I can before jumping in. I am thinking trading ANY account less than $5000 could be headed for ruin. Even that would be starting small. Anyways wanted to thank everyone again, I'm sure I am the millionth newbie to come in here with ego over confidence syndrome.
I do have one more question, do I have to be an elite member to make a journal?
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There are so called prop firms who risk their money by giving it for trading to talented traders and share the profits. The point here is they risk that money and you are not required to pay back if anything kicks in.
Either you take their or other trader education you can use these rules to evaluate your simulator trading. If these are good for professionals for a tryout then the best you can do is to practice in sim without risking your money until you reach consistency. To be honest, I wish I took that way before!
Consistency. It is widely accepted that at least 40 trades (but better do 100) is required to evaluate a method.
However, don't forget as many people have said, once it's your (real) money, everything changes (compared to sim).
You must also decide what time you can commit to trading, which markets are available at that period and what trading style you can implement that way (intraday trading or trading at the open or close, swing trading for some days or weeks, etc). Find a good educator whose method is inline with your personality, style and limits. Always check the background of an educator and search for reviews! Better to find one here
Some used to quote Alice and the depth of the rabbit hole but.. better prepare for a jurney in the washing machine
Last edited by lezzlee; January 16th, 2014 at 08:01 AM.
Reason: one more thought
I am so happy to see this post, after reading the first 2/3rd of this thread. You have come around, I hope. You are not the first person with the ego over confidence, I was one of them. After a LOT of hard work, I am now funded by topsteptrader. And it sounds like you've figured it out, but for your ego's sake and your family's sake.....DO NOT BORROW MONEY TO TRADE FUTURES! Don't open a live account anytime soon. Feel free to read my experience here: https://futures.io/beginners-introductions/27286-hello-jumping.html
Good luck to you.
P.S. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. The elite membership is probably the best money you could spend right now. I can't tell you how much I learned from all of the elite webinars. Worth every penny.
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The futures.io (formerly BMT) Elite membership is probably the best $100 I have ever spent in my life. As @tigertrader said, under capitalization will drastically affect your trading performance. One losing trade could take you out. Trading on SIM does not give you the same intense pressure of real money on the line and the pressure is multiplied by having what is essentially no money in your account, nor does it realistically give you the fills on whatever instrument you're trading. Very often your limits will not be filled, and if they are it is because price is going the other way.
Anyways glad you've realized that it's not that easy.
The following 3 users say Thank You to pbts for this post:
I also was hoping to start trading with little capital. After finding futures.io (formerly BMT), I have taken a step back to really analyze and document my trading strategy and performance. Lots of educational examples are included on this site. Learn, develop,e sim, live...keep a journal to be honest with yourself the whole way. Good Luck.
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