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Beginner's question
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Created: by Raceman Attachments:0

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Beginner's question

  #11 (permalink)
Elite Member
Virginia, usa
Futures Experience: Beginner
Platform: thinkorswim
Favorite Futures: still deciding
Raceman's Avatar
Posts: 9 since Dec 2010
Thanks: 12 given, 1 received

Eric j View Post
Tammys right , you will get 100 different answers and its all about you making it work on your own . Long term trading success - is it possible ? Yes because once you settle into a regime after making a lot of mistakes that are a consequence of learning all the mechanics of the markets and the mechanics of your behavior and your tendencies you will know what needs to be done to be profitable . Its a business and if you look at it that way and act in your best interests always (always) its a function of time before you succeed consistently .

I stress to you to consider your options in regards to trading and explore every trading avenue . There are 1000s of instruments in dozens of markets and 1000s of methods to adopt . Each approach to every market carries its own burdens and the implications on you and your lifestyle can be either heavy and difficult or light and fun , do your homework and trade in a fashion that lets you enjoy it .

I work to live and trading is work so I like swing trading best . To me scalping and intraday trading was living to work and although its enjoyable at times , for me its equally stressful .

Very interesting to live, live to work. I am in the very fortunate position of having worked for 30 years, leaving that good job with a company buy out package, and now ready to move to other interests that I really enjoy (passionate about). I have always enjoyed following markets and various ways to profit from them and just never had the time to spend mastering trading.

I have read about swing trading, but could you take a minute and just explain what swing trading is for you...average trade length (hours, days?), # trades per day or week, how much time you spend a day, what do you spend most of that time doing (trend analysis, ??).


  #12 (permalink)
Elite Member
Virginia, usa
Futures Experience: Beginner
Platform: thinkorswim
Favorite Futures: still deciding
Raceman's Avatar
Posts: 9 since Dec 2010
Thanks: 12 given, 1 received

rassi View Post
I think if i had to give any advise to someone in your actually very enviable postition of starting out on what has the potential to be a fantstic journey then it would be as follows.

ignor all advise and general information out there in trading land.
be as contarian as possible.
be as sceptical as possible.
back what you believe in 100% and forget conventional thinking from others that is counter to your ideas.
find one good trading mentor or go and work for a firm and stick to what you are taught.
understand that a chart is peoples perception of price, not what some thing is actually worth. it is a graphical representation of feelings and emotions.

Rassi, Spoken like a true trading philosopher
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Seriously, I'm good with each point and I think I understand the meaning of each; except the "be as contarian as possible". It is unclear in what context you mean to take the opposing view of the majority (assuming I got the definition correct). Could you give me an example of what you mean by this? Do you mean, in general, like if the masses are claiming Price Action with the /ES instrument is the place to be, don't go there...or ???

I'm not sure how to go about finding a mentor, other than in a forum like this and building a relationship over time.

Again, appreciate your thoughts...good advice.


  #13 (permalink)
Elite Member
Sydney, Australia
Futures Experience: Beginner
Platform: Ninjatrader
Broker/Data: Mirus
Favorite Futures: FDAX
Posts: 139 since May 2010
Thanks: 150 given, 94 received

Hey Raceman,

Like you I have been trying to get a definitive answer to the question you pose. The more trading I do, the more I am convinced it may be possible to be consistently profitable, but it takes A LOT of effort and knowledge.

Basically you want someone who you know is legit to come along and post in here: "Yup, been trading for 10 years, averaging $378,000 per annum for that time, it certainly is possible". However that never really seems to happen huh?

I am pretty sure there are consistently profitable traders who post on this forum, although, I don't really know.

This is interesting:
Robbins Trading Company - World Cup Challenge

Looks like Andrea Unger is going to take the title again. That will be three years in a row.

2008: 672% return
2009: 115% return
2010: 276% (so far)

To get those results 3 years in a row is enough evidence to me that Andrea Unger is consistently profitable. If he can do it, maybe you can too.

Given that the market is driven by humans, I feel there must be a way to get an edge. As humans are very habit based, easily fooled and exploitable creatures.

  #14 (permalink)
Elite Member
Futures Experience: Beginner
Platform: ninja
Favorite Futures: fgbl
Posts: 152 since Nov 2009
Thanks: 64 given, 44 received

beginners question

i am still learning and what i have learnt is that even with all those trading
books out there - you have to be more knowlegdeable than them,
the stuff i have picked up after having read scores of books aren't in the
books or trading courses - its hard graft and independant study lots of sim trading
,probably because its a competitive industry the "goldman sachs" of the world aren't
going to tell you how they are making their money and how much, - i really do believe
these are "insider secrets" - since you get paid when someone loses....

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  #15 (permalink)
Elite Member
Futures Experience: Beginner
Platform: ninja
Favorite Futures: fgbl
Posts: 152 since Nov 2009
Thanks: 64 given, 44 received

beginners qu

it takes lots of hard graft independant study and loads of sim trading

Raceman View Post
I have a fundamental question as a beginner getting ready to jump in. Do you believe that individuals can profit long term? If so, what is the basis of that belief, please? I have not traded much, but have spent a number of hours reading through posts mainly on this forum, as I have found it to be the best one so far. I am willing to invest the time to become good trader; IF it can be done successfully. There is much written about trading, and there are many individuals that will take your money to show you how best to do it, but very very little on actual long term success or even method back testing at a detail that is believable or demonstrable..... I have read about the 5%/95% successful / unsuccessful... I understand money management, mental fortitude, and discipline with a trading method are extremely important. I have done a few hours on sim with just basic price other indicators (btw, Big Mike's video on that was excellent...simple, easy to follow). But, long term, day after day...can it be successful (profitable); or at the end of the day it is really gambling with lots and lots of math and programming trying to decipher a random indeterminate problem?

So...would appreciate your thoughts. BTW, just purchased Al Brook's 423 page book on price action (yes, I read the reviews and know it does not read well, but content is rated as excellent).

Thanks in advance for your time,

  #16 (permalink)
Elite Member
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninja
Broker/Data: Mirus/Zen
Favorite Futures: Futures - bonds, currencies, index
Posts: 288 since Oct 2010
Thanks: 70 given, 267 received

rassi View Post
find one good trading mentor or go and work for a firm and stick to what you are taught.

In the spirit of differing opinions - work out whether you're the sort of person who needs a mentor, and if so, don't necessarily stick to what you're taught - make it work for you and enhance it.

Personally I find 99% of the hard info you need is on the web and books, and 99% of the experience you need is in actual trading. After the reading, work out for yourself what's going on, and make your methods your own.

Here's a starting tip. Work out how you would ever measure how successful you are in trading (as opposed to lucky) and use that always as your yardstick.

You're asking the wrong question. What you really want to know is can you profit long term. The answer is yes, but the chances are against it. It is possible for people to profit long term, but your personal performance will be far more dependent on you than the fact that other people can do it.

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  #17 (permalink)
Elite Member
Daytona FL/USA
Futures Experience: Beginner
Platform: TradeNavigator
Favorite Futures: ES
casey44's Avatar
Posts: 136 since Jan 2010
Thanks: 1,980 given, 127 received

Raceman: "Hard to imagine this could take years to perfect...."

My two cents, fwiw... Some are making money right off the bat, and some are simming for years. I too was an engineer, and, don't know about you, but looking back it's humbling to realize how little I really knew after those years of college. I once heard the most successful trader I know ask: "If today, with no musical background, you wanted to be a musician that others would pay to hear, how long would it take?" He seeing it far more as an art than a science. As others have pointed out, a very wide supermarket of choices out there. I'd recommend the Market Wizard books to see the variety of personalites and methods. Here are a couple of sites I look in on, both these traders, at least to my mind, are the real deal. And their approaches could not be more different.
Allan Trends and Don Miller's S&P Trading Tank

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  #18 (permalink)
Membership Temporarily Revoked
Futures Experience: None
Platform: graph paper and pencil
Favorite Futures: harp
dutchbookmaker's Avatar
Posts: 187 since Dec 2010
Thanks: 9 given, 107 received

Millions of people have or do play football and basketball but only a very few make money doing it. Most pay money at some level to do it.
Your odds of making money from trading are better than the above. To say much more or get more specific than that is to make up numbers/statistics out of thin air. Very hard but certainly not impossible and certainly not the hardest thing you can do.

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  #19 (permalink)
Trading Apprentice
Futures Experience: None
Platform: NinjaTrader
Favorite Futures: ES
Posts: 5 since Oct 2011
Thanks: 12 given, 1 received

Hi all! Does somebody trade at Betfair using Ninja Trader?

  #20 (permalink)
Elite Member
Berlin, Europe
Futures Experience: Advanced
Platform: NinjaTrader, MultiCharts
Broker/Data: Interactive Brokers
Favorite Futures: Keyboard
Fat Tails's Avatar
Posts: 9,683 since Mar 2010
Thanks: 4,226 given, 25,728 received

LukeGeniol View Post
Practice is the key, and you need a lot of it..........Have you heard about the 10.000 hours theory?
Ok maybe you need less time, but what i'm suggesting you is to to find a trading method that is confortable for you, than practice it on SIM for a lot of time, when you will be able to be consistenly profitable for at least 3 month, u can try to go live.
For the long term question, if u can be profitable for 1 year, why not long term? Ja, there are some factors that could be change and make u not profitable, but when u gain a lot of experience u can adapt yourself and resolve the new issues that come in front of you. I think is just like every other job u start from zero.

Have not seen this post earlier. Yes I know the 10,000 hour theory. There is chapter in Malcolm Gladwell's book Outliers. But the key is not spending 10,000 hours. If I sit down in front of a piano and play 10,000 hours, I won't be a pianist. I requires structured learning to become a master. Structured learning requires feedback. The best books that I have read on structured feedback for traders are the two books The Daily Trading Coach and Enhancing Trader Performance by Brett Steenbarger. It is really an eye-opener and recommended read!

Otherwise, Trading is a game with a negative expectation. The game itself is designed as a zero sum game, but then you need to deduct commissions, fees, datafeeds, hardware & software requirements, telecommunications cost etc. If we are honest, trading has become a leisure activity and many traders trade for entertainment, not necessarily for making money. And that is what they get, entertainment.

The winners are brokers, software and data vendors, financial agents which offer dubious products such as CFDs or exotic option contracts, which do not have liquid markets. A minority of the traders participating in the game are winners as well, the majority loses or pays for the entertainment.

The game itself can be mastered by those willing to learn discipline. Only play if you have an edge, if you understand what the market is doing, and if you know who is on the other side of your trade.

Can retail traders be successful in this game? Yes, of course they can. A retail trader has very low fixed cost. This means the retail trader has the great luxury that he does not need to trade all the time. He is under pressure to make a market for customers or to recover fixed cost. If you play out this advantage, and only participate in the game if the cards are shuffled to your advantage, then you can win.

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