Hey everybody! I am fairly new to trading and this site in general. I just want to share my experience so far and see if any one has any suggestions or points. I am however not they type of person that wants to be spoon fed everything! I have taught myself everything I know about the market up to this point, with a lot of research and videos to help.
Ill start with my current money situation in the market.I am 21 and I have my own account with $6000 in it with enough money to trade 1 contract of the S&P with a little wiggle room, with my max loss before a restructure is 500$. I have more money to throw at the market but I want to start off very slow and not get over my head trying to trade 4 or 5 contracts with out good results with one.
6 Months ago was when I really started getting serious with stocks, futures and currencies and had stumbled over a S&P Emini 500 video and instantly knew this is where I wanted to start. 2 months in I had still no idea where I was going with it besides playing around with some paper money accounts and loosing money with in them.
I then started to look at videos of other people trading the ES and quickly developed a method and set of charts that looked like a plate of pasta! I had so many indicators that I didnt know which one to believe when many of them told me different things.
3 Months in I completely got rid of that method and came up with a much simpler method and paper traded it with moderate success. I went to the real market with 1 contract and traded pretty constantly for 2 months with out making or loosing a bunch of money. I finally hit my 500$ restructure point.
Now in the last month I had signed up on futures.io (formerly BMT) and thats where it has changed a good bit in a positive direction! My slightly tweaked method from my last one consists of 2 indicators based off of the MACD and Momentum indicators that most people are familiar with. I have re programmed them to be what I want them to be but still have the meat and potatoes of the originals.
Go back 1 week ago I set my paper account to exactly where I was in real trading ($5555.06) and began to trade just using support and resistance as where I would set my Limit and Stop orders; using the indicators just as a added safety. After 5 days of trading this for around 3 hours a day I had make back that loss and then some. The account sat at $6172.68 by Friday. I know the paper account doesnt figure in slippage and some other things but the basis is the same.
Sorry for the long post but I wanted to have it all out and written down somewhere. I think I am on a good path right now but was wondering if any one has any suggestions or tips that I may be over looking or you may think would be useful! I will be starting a journal on here when I start live trading again.
Thanks for this excellent resource!
Last edited by eclipsemf; March 24th, 2014 at 02:33 PM.
The following 3 users say Thank You to eclipsemf for this post:
Great start! I wish I had your level of organization when I first started, would've saved myself a ton of time and money.
Here're a few of my humble suggestions:
1. Do you have your trading method written down somewhere? Your post here doesn't count. You must have your method, in all its details (position size, setup conditions, entry & exits, etc), committed to paper and constantly revised as time goes on.
2. Do you keep a detailed trading record for every trade that you took? If not, well, you know the answer. Also keep a chart record for every trade. Write down your thoughts on every trade, where it went right/wrong, and what you can do to improve next time.
3. You're excited, you're making money (albeit demo money). Your confidence is rising. This is a great start. But it's only a start. Do a google search on "5 stages to becoming a profitable trader", if you haven't done so already. Let the message sink in. This is a long journey for most people. Be prepared for what's ahead.
4. You're young (geez I wish I had started at your age, instead of chasing tail...lol). Your youth is your greatest ally, as well as your greatest liability. The fact that you consider your trading experience to be "intermediate" after what seems like less than a year of trading (some of it paper trading), tells me that your exuberance might be greater than actual skill. To the best of your ability, take the time to learn this craft. Don't rush it. Make no mistake, the ES is one of the most liquid markets, which also means it's full of pro traders who're ready to take your money any day and everyday. It's full of danger, and the fact is that most aspiring traders fail. So arm yourself with knowledge & experience. Save & build up your capital. $5000 is too little, go for at least $7500 per contract. Why? Because they will be drawdowns from losing days & weeks & months. I guarantee it. Be prepared to stay for the long haul.
I know this might come across as a little harsh. My point here is not to discourage you. On the contrary, I love your enthusiasm and the relatively organized manner you have taken so far. I simply want to point out the realities of survival in this business. These are hard earned lessons I wish someone else had told me when I first started, and that I had the wisdom to fully comprehend them. I sincerely wish you to become the 10 to 20% that make it in the end. Right now, simply understanding where you are in your trader development; focus on developing a profitable method, as well as gaining valuable market experience & mental awareness, is far more important than the P/L column, IMHO.
Good luck and good trading.
The following 6 users say Thank You to freestyler for this post:
To provide some answers based upon the points you made, here they are.
1) I have my trading method written down in my log note book with a step by step list on my entries and where my exits go; position size, max loss I am willing to take per day ect all written out. I read over this every morning before I even open up my platform and see if i need to make any revisions based off of my last day of trading.
2) I keep a very detailed log of all of my trades, listing my entry and exits points, times I got in and out of the trade, P&l on that trade along with notes on things I need to keep and eye out next time the market is set up like that or what I should have done differently on that trade if it doesnt work in my favor.
3) I have just watched the video you were talking about, the first two stages could not have described my first few months any better. At my point now I truly believe I have hit that eureka moment albeit I have not put down any results in the real market to this point so I can not say for sure.
4) I am sure I over estimate my skill in the market especially being so new with no profit to show. My methodology is where I want it right now and feel that in time will be more successful than not, again Im sure I will be humbled by the market many more times and am fully ready to learn what it gives me each time it does.
I would not get the least bit discouraged by very useful information (in any form or manner) from someone that has been doing this longer than I have. I shall continue to to trade and iron out details with my method and see it all the way to the end!
I went to college for a year and a half and found out it was not for me at this time. I currently am a foreman at a small town property maintenance company. Because of this I can make my hours very flexible and have a good deal of down time while I wait for the snow to melt. Which makes it perfect for me to spend time working in the market, but I am not doing this to completely support myself so I am in no rush to make this my only means of income.
The following user says Thank You to eclipsemf for this post:
Platform: NinjaTrader, Think or swim, APEX, CQG, Etrade, Oak Desktop
Favorite Futures: Futures
Posts: 6 since Jun 2014
Thanks: 0 given,
Good to see you getting into trading.
I'm 25 I have a Thinkorswim account. I paper traded for a while until I also built up confidence in myself. Make sure you do not reset your account positions because that "hides" your track record. I did this after I made a bad trade and it erased all my trades.
If you have a good record you can get a job as a trading assistant or even working at a prop desk. Or better show your family and friends and just trade their accounts for a fee
The following user says Thank You to Andersi for this post:
It sounds like you are off to a great start. I sincerely wish you the best. My 2 cents of advice would be to recognize early that the biggest demon in trading is you. Whatever mental hangups you have will find a way to reveal themselves in your trading account. Most people lose tons of money before they finally realize that the problem is themselves. Be willing to admit to yourself that you may have some hangups that will require you to look inward and solve those issues.
One more thought, get and read the book "Trading in the Zone" by Mark Douglas. It was extremely helpful to me.
Last edited by TraderLJW; June 19th, 2014 at 10:52 PM.