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Intro & First Day off Sim
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Intro & First Day off Sim

  #1 (permalink)
Seattle WA/USA
 
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader 8
Broker/Data: NinjaTrader
Favorite Futures: CL, YM, ES
 
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Posts: 229 since Oct 2018
Thanks: 364 given, 749 received

Intro & First Day off Sim

Well I've been getting the message that I've been a member for xx days and haven't posted, but I haven't had much to share as yet. But today I put on my "big boy britches" and switched from Sim to real money, so I thought it would be appropriate to introduce myself and post as to how the first REAL day went. It was interesting, but first a short intro.

I am older than dirt, first took a turn at commodities trading in the 1980s. In those days, only the rich folks could afford the 6 foot satellite dish to get live feeds at about $500 per month. No, really, you couldn't always turn on your home computer and get free, live feeds! Us poor folks got the WSJ every day, drew our charts by HAND, and phoned our brokers with instructions. While I didn't blow up my account, after a few months I found that I just did not have enough time to devote to it and I closed my account. Fast forward a few decades to the advent of Forex, and I gave it a whirl as well. Once again, Even though I still found the markets fascinating, I just could not devote enough time to learning the craft, so after a few months of lackluster results, I closed that account as well. Now I know there are plenty of people who have worked multiple jobs, had families and still learned to successfully trade. Bottom line is that trading was not at the top of my priorities at that time. Now, however, I am only working a couple days a week and found that I now have the one thing I've always lacked: time! I've been reading, watching videos, listing to webinars and so forth and finally feel I am at least headed in the right direction. After a couple months of "simming", I know that I still have a lot to learn but felt I was at a point where it was time to make the BIG switch to real money. That was today.

Now, I've traded the markets before with real money, so i really didn't expect any opening day jitters. But I was wrong. Surprising myself, I immediately made a couple of trades that were not in keeping with the method I have been using in the Sim mode. Why? Who knows! Then I followed up with a few more not-so-well thought out trades and before I knew it I was down over 8% in what was, so far, worse than any Sim day I had in the previous two months! I took a break and had some breakfast and decided to sit down for a second session. Finally, I actually made a couple of trades exactly as I usually plan to do. One was on the Euro (EC) for a modest profit, but the second is where the Luck of the Irish bailed out my entire day. I entered a trade on gasoline (RB) using my standard method. it was a good trade and then it got even better when it dropped for almost 250 ticks! In fact, it was not only a larger win than any Sim trade I ever took, but it brought me from a 8.5% losing day to a 6.5% overall gain!

Although i am tickled to have more money in my account than when I sat down this morning, I am even more gratified that in the final two trades I got over my jitters, or whatever the heck was affecting me, and actually traded my plan. Of course, even trading my plan will bring losses, I know that. But it was frustrating to see myself clicking in on trades that I knew good and well did not fit the method I have been working on. It was a really good learning experience.

So, that's under my belt, and I have also made my first post here. I'll post more later, but let me say that I sincerely appreciate traders (in all forums everywhere) who have generously shared their successes and failures. As I learn more and have positive things to share, I plan to continue in that tradition. My experience has been that 99% of people on the forums are good, honest people, and only 1% are grumpy old souls who apparently don't remember what it was like to start out as a newbie. Thanks to the 99%!!

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  #2 (permalink)
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  #3 (permalink)
Dublin
 
Trading Experience: Beginner
Platform: Tradestation, Ninjatrader
Broker/Data: Ninjatrader Brokerage
Favorite Futures: YM, ES
 
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Greetings from Dublin.

What timeframes and instruments did you trade? How many instruments do you follow?

I see you've met your "monkey". Pull up a sit for him, but don't let him be the one behind the wheel

Ive been spending a lot of time on SIM aswell, mostly on 500 and 1400 tick charts on ES and YM.

Planning to focus on YM from here on out as it will be my primary instrument going forward until ive I'm making consistent returns.

From a risk management standpoint, what sort of strategy do you employ? How did you decide on your stops, and in what situation do you adjust them?

I'm also curious, when do you decide to remain flat in the market ? (apart from major economic releases?)

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  #4 (permalink)
Seattle WA/USA
 
Trading Experience: Intermediate
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Broker/Data: NinjaTrader
Favorite Futures: CL, YM, ES
 
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Posts: 229 since Oct 2018
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Real Money Trading continues...

Ah, Ireland, the homeland of my ancestors. I have not yet had the privilege of visiting, but perhaps someday.

Everything I am about to say is based on a lot of study, some common sense and very little real-world experience. So take it for what it's worth and note that every sentence should be appended with "IMHO"!

Although I am still very new to this and watching several markets, what I find that I am actually trading is Brent Crude, Euro FX, Dow mini, S&P mini and Natural Gas. Occasionally I take a turn at Gasoline or Heating Oil, but most of the time they are just a mirror of CL anyway. I watch 30 year and 10 year treasuries but they move so slowly that it seems to take just as much effort to make $100 there as it does to make $500 on NG. At least, that's my take on it so far.

Like you, I am using tick charts rather than time-based. I used 5 minute charts almost exclusively most of the time I was in sim mode, but I kept reading about other people preferring tick charts. Toward the end of my sim trading I switched to tick charts and have been very happy. It could just be my imagination, but as soon as I switched it seemed that I could see the price patterns more accurately than I could on a time chart. The other advantage is that I could vary the number of ticks to adjust my risk level (R).

I am trading a fairly small account, under US$10,000, and I typically use a 2%-3% maximum R. My feeling is that if your R is smaller than, say, the 8-bar ATR, you've got no business entering a trade. I mean, if you can't survive the swing of even a single bar then you're just giving money away. I actually have a thick red-line on an ATR chart below the tick chart to remind me of where the limit is. By adjusting the tick number downward, I can get the market to a point where I can successfully trade it. Of course, that makes for a very fast chart in some markets so that putting on a trade is an "all hands on deck" experience, no running for a cup of coffee or anything else. The energy markets have gotten so volatile that I am down to 89 ticks in two places -- that's fast!

Here are my current chart times: (I use fib numbers because they are convenient to scale up or down with) HO & RB 89; NG 144; EC 610; YM 377; CL 233; ES 1597.

I also have found some success with the YM, it just seems a bit more stable to trade than the ES.

As for risk management, the 2%-3% (of trade account) I mentioned above is my maximum risk, but I try to keep it smaller. I usually trade pullbacks and try size my risk based on my entry point. It's a method taught by Frank Bunn who sells various courses on udemy.com. I'm not shilling for him and the same type of information can be found elsewhere, but he does put out some good information and if you pick up the courses when udemy is running a sale, they are cheap, cheap.

I'm not sure what you mean about remaining "flat", unless by that you mean day trading and never keeping anything in the market overnight. That's just where I feel comfortable, I guess. I am doing some stock options that I do keep for one to two weeks typically, but that's about all the risk I want to go to bed with.

Last week was my second real-money week and my first over $1000 week so I'm feeling good about it so far. I still work two days per week so I really only get to trade 3 days. Occasionally I will try to trade the hour before I go to work, but that often does not pan out well and I may just quit doing that. This morning I tried to trade, even knowing that the holiday week was going to make for thin, volatile trades. Sure enough, I got whipsawed out twice and decided I'd better just go to work! :-)

So that's the latest from the Northwest US, where it is cold and the snow is starting to accumulate in the mountains. Good time to stay inside and trade!!

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  #5 (permalink)
Clarksburg, WV/US
 
 
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Thanks for sharing..

Thank you for sharing your experience.

I look forward to hearing of more success!

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  #6 (permalink)
Seattle WA/USA
 
Trading Experience: Intermediate
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Favorite Futures: CL, YM, ES
 
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Power of Persistence

Well, I had read that the Thanksgiving week was thin and erratic for trading, but I wanted to give it a whirl anyway. On Monday and Tuesday I only had a little time before I had to go to work, but I managed to rack up two losers on Monday and another one on Tuesday. Nothing that would break the bank, but discouraging. Then today I didn't have to work so I sat down for an extended session. In an hour and a half, I was in and out of 7 trades, and only two winners. Again, not catastrophic but not where I wanted to be. Had some breakfast and sat back down and saw a very nice setup in Natural Gas coming around. I waited, placed my entry, and it looked positive. And then it took off like a rocket! In about five minutes it climbed over 170 ticks and I bailed out with 172 in my pocket. Not only took care of all my losses for the week, but left me with a nice profit for a short week. Sticking with your plan and having persistence does pay off. Also, the fact that the NG Inventory report was unexpectedly low was a pleasant surprise!!! Happy Thanksgiving everybody!
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Last edited by NW Trader; November 21st, 2018 at 01:51 PM.
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  #7 (permalink)
Clarksburg, WV/US
 
 
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NW Trader View Post
Well, I had read that the Thanksgiving week was thin and erratic for trading, but I wanted to give it a whirl anyway. On Monday and Tuesday I only had a little time before I had to go to work, but I managed to rack up two losers on Monday and another one on Tuesday. Nothing that would break the bank, but discouraging. Then today I didn't have to work so I sat down for an extended session. In an hour and a half, I was in and out of 7 trades, and only two winners. Again, not catastrophic but not where I wanted to be. Had some breakfast and sat back down and saw a very nice setup in Natural Gas coming around. I waited, placed my entry, and it looked positive. And then it took off like a rocket! In about five minutes it climbed over 170 ticks and I bailed out with 172 in my pocket. Not only took care of all my losses for the week, but left me with a nice profit for a short week. Sticking with your plan and having persistence does pay off. Happy Thanksgiving everybody!
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I love when you catch those long runners...happens often in Crude.

Can you share your entry criteria? It looks like a 9/20 ema strategy.

Thanks.

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  #8 (permalink)
Seattle WA/USA
 
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader 8
Broker/Data: NinjaTrader
Favorite Futures: CL, YM, ES
 
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Posts: 229 since Oct 2018
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ProBowie View Post
I love when you catch those long runners...happens often in Crude.

Can you share your entry criteria? It looks like a 9/20 ema strategy.

Thanks.

Yeah, I also edited to my original post to include the fact that the run-up was a reaction to an unexpectedly low inventory report that broke about 5 minutes before it was scheduled to be released. I love it!

Yes, it's pretty simple. I am just looking for a pullback after a 6/18 EMA cross. There are a couple other things I try to watch such as the overall trend, support & resistance and a confirming MACD.

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  #9 (permalink)
Seattle WA/USA
 
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader 8
Broker/Data: NinjaTrader
Favorite Futures: CL, YM, ES
 
NW Trader's Avatar
 
Posts: 229 since Oct 2018
Thanks: 364 given, 749 received

Working for my broker?

Today was a short trading day, markets only open until noon or so. Got into several trades, CL, NG, YM, won some, lost some and by the end of the morning I was down about $20 plus my commissions. Yeah, my broker had a better day than I did! BUT, this is the end of only my third week off sim and into real money and the short week was on the plus side overall for profits. Just as importantly, I am continuing to learn. As I am beginning to be less "frantic" watching each trade I have the time to get more of the "30,000 ft view" of the market as it unfolds. Of course I already watch the trends, but I am now paying more attention to how the trading rhythm plays out over the day. I can't explain it better than that at the moment, but I am going to do a bit more studying regarding price action over the weekend.

Right now, it's time to concentrate on eating left-overs and watching some football before getting back to studying. I hope everyone in the US had a great Thanksgiving and that everybody enjoys their weekend.

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