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Lost & losing hope

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Lost & losing hope

  #161 (permalink)
Cancun, Mexico
Experience: Advanced
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Anagami's Avatar
Posts: 771 since Dec 2010
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Bacon time. No, I don't mean that delicious thing that you fry up with your eggs.

I mean a much needed reality check from Robert L. Bacon:

"The public wants to hit on some simple key, shown by numbers in the past performances, and use this key to get richer and richer... The public believes that if it could only once find that pass performance key, its troubles would be over."

"But that is not the way trading is at all... if the public ever did get wise to the facts of life, the principle of ever-changing cycles of results would move the form away from the public immediately."

"The would-be professional trader must always understand that the form moves away from the public's knowledge."

From Secrets of Professional Turf Betting ('racing' replaced with 'trading'), 1952.

Trading HL2 based on Al Brooks??

Even if something that simplistic was profitable at some point, the market dynamics would quickly negate your edge.

BTW, I remember a post from someone who tested Brooks' HL2 idea mechanically... and he was pissed off when he found out that it was about 50/50. Surprise surprise.

Tough love, baby.

"The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven." - Milton

Last edited by Anagami; January 22nd, 2019 at 10:35 PM.
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  #162 (permalink)
New York City, NY
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MiniP View Post
this thread is making me lost and losing hope


I'm just as lost as from the beginning haha- picking up the tips everyone seems to agree on. Back to sim, back to my old strategy, working well so far.

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  #163 (permalink)
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xevanchan View Post
I'm just as lost as from the beginning haha- picking up the tips everyone seems to agree on. Back to sim, back to my old strategy, working well so far.

Yeah, not surprising.

Everyone who has posted has meant to help, but the thing is that you'll have to find what works for you, yourself, and it isn't likely to be what anyone else does. Even if someone thinks they are following someone else's method exactly, they first had to take it into themselves and make it their own, so in that sense it is only theirs, not anyone else's.

Good luck and keep pushing at it.


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  #164 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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xevanchan View Post
I'm just as lost as from the beginning haha- picking up the tips everyone seems to agree on. Back to sim, back to my old strategy, working well so far.

my father use to say patience is a virtue, I always thought he was full of shit when I was younger now I can see patience is the key to anything in life. I would recommend you just practice patience with everything you do... its hard but its worth the work.

if another human being can do it then so can you


"Truth is not what you want it to be; it is what it is, and you must bend to its power or live a lie"-Miyamoto Musashi
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  #165 (permalink)
Niles, Michigan
Posts: 72 since Sep 2018
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Donít quit! It was at my very breaking point as a trader where I really questioned whether or not I could do this. I decided itís what I loved and pushed through and thatís when I started winning and becoming good at it! You might be closer than you think so donít quit!

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  #166 (permalink)
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xevanchan View Post
Well, i'm back. You may remember me "catastrophic loss days". I really hate to come on this forum just to beg for help, but I am truly at a loss and am contemplating giving up trading the /ES, something that has consumed my life for nearly a year now. I'm not usually so pessimistic or dramatic, but I am truly lost and have no faith. I'm doubting everything I know, and this may very well be my last post so i'm pouring it all out.

I just cant get it. I have weeks, like last week (1/7/18), where I am immensely profitable, followed by this week, where I have lost almost every trade for 3 consecutive days and been margin called. This cycle has repeated itself many, many times. I sim trade until I am profitable for weeks, and then I switch and can't replicate the results.

I took advice on my last post (
I now trade on a 7500 volume heiken-ashi chart instead of 30s, and aim for 3-X point targets with a minimum 2-1 risk reward ratio. I've studied al brooks price action and his H1/H2 method, and have read Anekdoten's ET thread in which he details price action. Despite the pictures, I no longer really use indicators and trade solely off price action. I don't I suffer as much from overtrading anymore; I believe that almost every entry I take has good signals. These methods have helped me become a better trader... on some days.

It seems every week I go negative, I identify problems and solve them, yet each recurring week new problems spring up; my portfolio is akin to a boat that is being continuously shot and sinking as I try to patch holes.

My strategy in a bull trend is as follows; I identify trend, using price action. Next, I wait for a retrace of at least a few points depending on market conditions. Once I see the first bar with HH/HL I will set a stop by 1-2 ticks above the high of that bar. Assuming the market moves in my direction, I let my profits run as far as possible while moving my stop to BE or higher. I exit when I begin to see trend exhaustion. I'll also use basic patterns, like triangles, as well as trend lines and S/R lines. This strategy is fantastic on some days, but I've become convinced some days are just untradeable. I try to completely avoid trading in chop.

One of my biggest (current) problems is not being able to find viable entries. I really still don't whether to use limit or stop buys; I've tried both and they have their pros and cons. I use a HH/HL method, similar to a 123 reversal pattern; this means on a 7500 vol chart often I am too slow to catch moves, and whole retracements can begin and end before I get an entry signal. I refuse to chase for obvious reasons; as a result, in strong trends I often miss out the the entire movement because there are no retraces for me to enter on. I end up just trading in chop, every time. My stop buy is often triggered by a fake out that immediately backs off and triggers my stop, though this may just be due to a small stop.

I never seem to know when trends end, and never seem to know when the market will stop ranging. I attribute my down days to to lower trading ranges and markets more susceptible to chop and unpredictability, which is inevitable. I don't know what to do. I'm attaching images of my last three days. Many of the trades are clearly bad trades, as a result of my impatience, something i need to work on. Maybe I do still over trade. The 3 point gain today was a sim trade; I seem to do much better in sim, on a consistent basis. Last week I averaged 3 points a day sim trading.

In summary; I'm lost at sea in a boat with more holes than I can patch, and have lost hope that the boat will ever sail again. I genuinely appreciate everything this forum has given me and apologize for the long rambling and whining. All advice is greatly appreciated, as I may just give the /ES one last shot. I will take any help I can get, so feel free to PM me.

Youíre charts look good... definitely not easy to trade with high volatility.. the chopping back and forth can really take you out of a good trade... I like your chart setup, will try it myself... I am still looking for my comfort zone.. I like to use market profile but still have issues with my entries... and stop loss... good luck!

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  #167 (permalink)
Niles, Michigan
Posts: 72 since Sep 2018
Thanks: 83 given, 111 received

Lost & losing hope

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Last edited by spetscom; January 24th, 2019 at 02:21 PM. Reason: Wrong thread sorry!
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  #168 (permalink)
Pensacola FL
Posts: 57 since Jun 2016

risk and reward

kazz View Post
Thanks for this great post. You've given us all a big reality check. It's just not realistic to trade futures with an account under, say, $25,000.

With a 1% risk that is $250 per trade which gives one realistic breathing space when setting stops.

Would you agree?

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Sorry for the delay in response. Too many other pots on the fire, LOL.

I might have to hire an assistant again . . . anyone looking for part-time work?

1% risk is a relatively common benchmark. Obviously different entities allow different levels.

For an experiment, I tried to trade beginning this year with a separate $2,000 account.

I just had to refund it, LOL. I assume with all the success I have had trading I could easily double the account by now.

Nope. I had the broker limit my losses to $150.00 per day.

The stops overtook the gains.

This is truly an interesting phenomenon since my larger accounts are up nicely this year.

Today I began with a $4,000 loss before turning it into a nicely profitable day. Couldn't have done that with a $2,000 account.

On the larger account I scaled into a long position before the open and profited as the market ran up to close higher.

On a small account would only have been able to trade 1 contract and instead of scaling into a trade would have had to take a quick loss.

On the bigger picture my feeling is that instead of worrying about an actual size account of $25,000, instead trade the way you intend to, method, number of contracts, stop size etc.

Do it first on a simulator.

Don't try to fool the sim. Trade it for real.

Make a note after a while to your greatest drawdown.

Assuming what you do is profitable, then you will need about double your drawdown to begin trading.

Who knows: maybe your drawdown is $2700. If so then you might get away with a $6,000 account because you have kept your risk small.

I know one small trader, Bob, who has an $11,000 account and trades cash, and has not had a losing day since last May.

He is retired so he does not need to make millions but is happy making $100 to $200 dollars per day.

Then he quits.

Took him 4 years of lessons before getting to this level.

So it can be done.


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  #169 (permalink)
Market Wizard
Kyoto, Japan
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TheBenefactor View Post

he does not need to make millions but is happy making $100 to $200 dollars per day.

Then he quits.


"Persistence is very important. You should not give up unless you are forced to give up." -- Elon Musk
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  #170 (permalink)
Posts: 9 since Feb 2019
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have you tried journaling every trade in detail then comparing the winners with the losers?

Can you let the winners run a bit more?

Can you cut the losers earlier.

Are you making sure you dont go above 2% risk each trade.

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