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Where I am after 8 months of trading ES
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Where I am after 8 months of trading ES

  #1 (permalink)
Trading Apprentice
Luxembourg
 
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Where I am after 8 months of trading ES

Hello All

this is my very first post here, after just registering yesterday. I am basically hoping for some exchange and helpful thoughts. I have noone in my real life I can share with what I am going through .

I don't really want to bore you with too much about myself although this does of course give some context and why I do what I do.

In a nutshell, I am 44 (female), and I already have a "career" in another sector (medical field, I am a scientist). I have been "investing" since 15 years or so but with no brain, system or interest whatsoever. Two years ago I have started buying biotech shares, with much more success than I hoped for (above IBB). I have picked them according to fundamental criteria (scientific, not financial) and it worked really well. So I got hooked with this strange world of the stock market and started to try out other products, i.e. options, a bit of forex and eventually futures, mainly to get a feel on what this was all about.

I then read the market wizard books and this brought me to where I am now - totally hooked on the ES mini . I really like the action - and the potential!!! - what you get in a good day with other , longer term stocks, you get here every day.

I am luckily not greedy so really started this careful. I also started with real money since I thought I can't learn the psychological traps on sim trading. I started off with 20K Euros, and after 3 months I was down to 12K. Then I decided something has to change, so I adapted my "system" - don't know if you can call it like that - it's rather my rules... :
  • Trading only one contract
  • I usually go for two stops profit and SL (alhtough I have a 4 point SL to start with to avoid getting stopped out, but I try to get out before
  • I only trade in one direction, that of the current (according to my timeframe) trend
  • I use different timelines and look at trend.
  • I do not use indicators whatsoever. I have tried a few and find I do not need a linear regression to tell me how the price has moved in the last x minutes/days whatever . I have eyes for that. I am certainly not relying on crossovers although it probably explains what the price is doing - but I don't have time to look at everything.
  • I do look at patterns in the context of strong support or resitance levels

I have many more thoughts around what I am doing but feel it gets too much. I am now 5 months further down the line and down to 7 k. I do not want to blow my account! I am ok to pay tuition fees but now it's time for growth. I am now sim trading but this has to be more automated due to my day job, and personally I feel I need to watch the market to react in time , instead of being stopped out at a worst case level, or prematurely.

Any immediate thoughts anyone? Does anything seem totally off? Should I dare start trading two contracts... BTW I have found that my first 3 trades or so usually go well, but after that everything goes down. This must have to do with concentration so I am stopping in time (this was something I implemented after the first three months). Unfortunately this does not prevent me from having larger loosers on really bad days than the gains from the good days..

Many thanks for reading so far.
Ellen

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  #3 (permalink)
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Lonely path View Post

In a nutshell, I am 44 (female), and I already have a "career" in another sector (medical field, I am a scientist). ....Two years ago I have started buying biotech shares, with much more success than I hoped for (above IBB). I have picked them according to fundamental criteria (scientific, not financial) and it worked really well. ....

Sounds like this could be a start of an edge
you know that field
it's a common mistake for people to invest in companies,
they don't understand what they are doing

at the beginning you stayed in your field
and that seemed to work...

revisit that path ?

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  #4 (permalink)
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kevinkdog View Post
You've lost roughly 2/3s of your money, and you wonder if you should INCREASE size? wow

Good Luck!

@Lonely path you want to INCREASE size while LOSING?

Think about that for a moment.

You want to lose QUICKER?


Last edited by TheTradeSlinger; October 14th, 2015 at 11:12 AM. Reason: Faster or Quicker hmmmm.....
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Lonely path View Post
I am a scientist

Formulate a hypothesis (strategy) about how to trade the market.

Test (trade) that hypothesis.

Study results (winning/losing).

Keep testing (trading).

As a scientist maybe you would be interested in automated strategies? You can tinker with those and learn as you go.

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  #6 (permalink)
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ok

Hi All

thanks a lot for all your replies. No don't worry I am not really considering to increase size. I had just read on several occasions how it is not easy to trade on only one contract but I agree it is too risky.

I have also already mentioned that I am currently only sim trading (well with exceptions and so far they were successful).

You cannot really compare trading futures with trading stocks. the latter is relative to your account size, while the former , for all intends and purposes, is absolute. Of course you can calculate in relative terms to your account size but it's a different approach - and as others have said one percent risk on your overall account does not make much sense, in particular on small accounts. This is because the big players do abuse this and purposefully try to kick you out.

I have heard in the meantime that ES is not good to start with futures. I did not know this when I started. in the meantime I have spent a lot of time looking at its behavious so I feel it's too late to change.

I have also heard on many occasions how it is normal to blow up your account on futures. I don't even want to do this. I am nonetheless surprised how I am shouted at straight away to STOP trading. Really? what's the percentage of the successful traders which managed right away, and on which cushion/ tuition fee?

No, I am not a gambler at all. I do like the mind game aspect of this, and the feeling that I can probably master it, despite the huge competition from HFT and institutions and so on (this is why I am watching "behaviour", and what these guys are probably doing, to kick me and the other small shrimps out. )

I mentioned before that my first trades are generally successful but later ones are not. I lost a lot of money in the beginning when I could not fully concentrate since a toddler was looking over my shoulder. Everyone makes mistakes and this was one (as was to overtrade in terms of quantity, not size). Also I just don't work so well any more the later it gets- I am Europe based, remember.

I do have plenty of "rules" which I did not all describe since I thought it would become too long. I thought to describe myself as someone who thinks well about what he (she) is doing so yes I have many rules which others (men) would call a trading plan. What other is an algorithm than a compilation of rules.

unfortunately I can't code, and I don't have the time to go into this. I have tried halfway automated setups by bracketed orders (I am with IB, I have tried several orders eg trail, or market if touched) - but it did not work for me. I am currently applying all this in a manual manner since I have certainly learned, from the "automated" experience. So believe me I am constantly trying to improve. I would hope my edge is to find the good entry point, within the trend, upon a retracement, when the initial trend is resumed. it often enough works amazingly well, also timing wise. Again, at the beginning of the day, while at the end I am just nackered.

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Too often people that are losing money are unwilling to trade LESS size, because they think they'll never make back the money they've lost if they reduce size.

In reality, when it comes to trading as a beginner, your focus is on minimizing loss. You need to survive this "game" long enough to really learn the ropes, it will take many years if you spend dozens of hours per week on it.

If you disagree or this isn't compatible with your chemistry, the best thing you can do is close your trading account today and not look back, instead of compounding the mistakes.

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I think the comments are bit too negative.

Yes, losing 2/3 of the account equity is huge, but these 20 K are not here to pay the food and the bills I suppose, and for someone having a good job in Luxembourg it's not a that big amount of money.
Not talking about the previous bio-tech profits (I also make some good trades with GILD/OPK/INCY) which can be more important than the current loss on ES.

Anyway, as @Lonely path now know the feeling of real losses, a step back into simulation is mandatory! Without an edge, being psychologicaly ready for losses won't help that much!

Success requires no deodorant! (Sun Tzu)
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  #9 (permalink)
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My neighbor is a radiologist, he reads medical journals and trades medical stocks. He told me trading is easy because he trades what he knows. I told him to buy FB at $30 but he never did he just keeps on doing what he do best.

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  #10 (permalink)
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There are many different ways to make money trading. And one of the essential issues is to find the one that fits for you.

You were lucky - the first way you tried was successful. You used knowledge you had (and that not many other traders have). And you made money.

My suggestion after running through similar problems: Go back to biotech shares. Ok, I understand you want to be a little bit more aggressive. Thus, you could start looking into buying or selling options on biotech shares. Or a combination of these. Obviously you have found an edge - use it. I do not know many traders who are successful in several ways to trade.

My personal story in this regard: For many years I make money selling options on commodities. Most of my time I spend reading on commodities - once in a while I place a trade. And wait for some months until the option is close to expiry. When I get greedy and raise the size of positions, I tend to loose. The smaller the positions, the more profitable my account is. Most traders would consider this strategy as boring - but the important thing in trading is to make money.

Once in a while I am looking for other ways to trade. It never worked out.

Thus my suggestion: Go back to the times when you were a successful investor. And use all of your knowledge that helped you to make money for many years.

Good luck !

Best regards, Myrrdin

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