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Lost & losing hope

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Lost & losing hope

  #41 (permalink)
Experience: Advanced
Platform: NinjaTrader 8
Broker: IB, NinjaTrader Brokerage
Trading: Futures
Mich62's Avatar
Posts: 86 since May 2012
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Some short remarks:

- 1 year is way too short. I believe it will take at least years (8-10) to become profitable. You show little patience which is one of the most important characteristics of a trader. This also shows in overtrading (to much trading, fast in and out). Be more selective in your trades. Trade less in number of trades and in hours. You cannot force it your way. Focus on the process (journal and learn from mistakes) and persist.

- When trading price action I found Heiken-Ashi not useful in timing entries. Heiken-Ashi distorts the picture of price action (you want to see buying- and selling tails where sellers/buyers stepped in. You need volume). To stay in a trend (and for stops) you can use swing low/highs or just the low of a bar (with a trailing stop). Try the 1m chart (watch Linda Raschke's first webinar on using 1m charts: https://futures.io/webinars/may6_2013/linda_bradford_raschke_volume_price/).

- On price action you can learn a lot from Richard Wyckoff's legacy (free to find on the web and on futures.io).

- Stay away from indicator/system vendors and everybody else who has to sell something. Livermore said: The game taught me the game. And it didnít spare the rod while teaching.

- An important point is you're profitable in sim. So what's the difference between trading sim and live? It's mental. Work on this (by reading). This is more important than the technical aspects (of your setups). To bridge the gap between sim and futures you can first go live with CFDs. Fund an account with $1.000 and trade @SPX500. If things are going good you can scale-up and eventually make the transition to futures. It's not a race, it's a marathon. This way you'll learn while maintaining your capital.

If you need to make money it's going to be very difficult (mentally). Just some personal comments. Don't give up.

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  #42 (permalink)
United Kingdom
Posts: 1 since Feb 2016
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Recommended Trade / Education Room

Hi, There are many educators but the one i have found outstanding fr trading ES (and others) is EminiAddict.com - Dave Halsall. only $29.95 per month for eduction and trade room. I tried a number of sites and rooms but this one is the real deal for me. Its priceless and his method is 2nd to none.

P.S. I am not affiliated with him but i am a subscriber of his room.

best wishes

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  #43 (permalink)
Experience: Advanced
Platform: nijia trader
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day trading the ES

I would guess 1 trader in 5000 can do that day in day out. if that many if the truth was told. i moved out to much higher time frames monthly ,weekly,day ,240min. charts. i learned to trade those time frames first. then when a key reference point was being reached or set up on a much higher time frame i go in and try to day trade around that inter-daily. if you can not trade higher time frame charts . kiss your ass good by. i worked with day trading trying what your wanting to do for 6 years.

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  #44 (permalink)
Super Moderator
Sarasota FL
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader, Sierra Chart
Trading: ES, YM
bobwest's Avatar
Posts: 5,631 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 44,123 given, 19,035 received

There have been a lot of very good responses so far. Here's what occurred to me. Hope it gives some help.

cmacdon View Post

heikin-ashi bars look nice but they do not reflect the real price action if you study how they are mathematically composed. They draw nice pretty bars but often in different places to the where the real price action falls.

The HA bars you mentioned in the beginning stood out for me. I think Heikin-Ashi can give some traders a useful handle on trends, but be aware that they do not actually show you true price. Their computation involves an inherent smoothing out of price, so the bars don't necessarily tell you what is going on. It would be a little like taking the price bars off a chart and just trading a fairly short-term moving average. It could work, but if you are trying to interpret what is actually going on, well, I would much rather see "what is actually going on." Other bar types just package up price movement in different ways; HA substitutes something else for it.

I'm not saying not to use it. I am saying that it is changing the price action a bit. Try comparing an HA chart to a chart with regular bars with the same bar size that also has a short MA on it (say, a 5 sma or ema). I think the MA will catch the same trends as the HA chart, and you won't lose the ability to know where price really is. (I'm not saying use a short-term MA, this is just a test to see whether HA is telling you the same as what the indicator does. I would prefer to look at real price bare, first, and then use indicators or not.)

xevanchan View Post
Despite the pictures, I no longer really use indicators and trade solely off price action.

I think of HA as an indicator, not a bar type. If you also want indicators, add them on top of actual price bars so you can see what the price action truly is.


Aside from that, the main thing I have is that your issues probably are not about the charts (or the HA bars) or strategy/tactics/method at all:

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.

Yeah, you put your finger on it yourself, I think.

SIM has no pressure, no risk, very little emotional importance, at least to most of us. Real trading brings up the emotional and psychological reactions that are the essential reason that we don't trade well, at those times when we don't.

It's easy to say things like, "Don't be emotional when you trade," but that kind of advice may be hard to actually follow.

You'll need to confront, be aware of and manage those issues, and everyone needs to do it for themselves.

A few things may help:

- Have very clear criteria or rules for entering and exiting a trade, so you don't have to make complex decisions on the fly while you're all tied up emotionally with a trade. The simple way to say it is something like, "Just execute your rules," which, of course, is easier said than done -- but having rules and thinking more about them than about the money you're hoping to make (or are losing) is a step.

- Do try a trade journal:

Brandenton View Post
If you haven't already start a journal here. Document your trades. Win, lose or draw, post your trades. Put your though process down and ask for help. More than likely you will get feedback from different perspectives of the trade you took. Plus you can always go back and revisit particular hurdles you had to overcome and see how you handled it.

You can also read the many journal posts that hit this forum every day, and you will probably:
(1) learn new stuff
(2) learn that you are not alone
(3) see how others are working with the same issues that you are (which we all do). Maybe find ways to solve yours.

- Do think about taking an Elite membership here. (Actually, don't think about it, do it.) Sure, it costs a hundred bucks (a one-time lifetime fee), but if you are trading just one contract, how many ES points add up to a hundred bucks? (This is not a trick question: it's 2 points a contract, which you would not much care about in a trade, I imagine.)

If you look at the people who have responded to you in this thread, most of them have some kind of color behind their name, which basically means they are Elite members. You're going to find most of their posting, and most of their own journals, in the Elite-only sections, so if you want to see their posts, you could go there too. (I don't get paid for saying anything about going Elite. I actually think it's more than worth it.)

FWIW, the stated purpose of the fee is to keep out those uncommitted to being part of the community. There's nothing wrong with not going Elite, but that's why it's there.


Basically, understand that everyone goes through exactly what you are experiencing. You can find help and support, and I hope that just knowing you're not alone is a help also.

Good luck. There are steps you can take with this, and progress you can make.


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  #45 (permalink)
norman oklahoma
Experience: Advanced
Platform: TradeStation
Trading: Futures
Posts: 2 since Jul 2014
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Trading Process

I am coming from a system trader / algo mind set. I would look at it as follows:

1.) Do you have clear rules for your trading method? Enough to put into code and back test. If not, then it might be to subject and prone to error.

2.) Do you have an edge? Have you back tested your system to know you have an edge and determined your expectancy?

3.) Have you ran a walk-forward analysis to see if your edge will hold over time?

4.) Have you run a monte carlo simulation to see your risk of ruin in varies market conditions? This helps you know how much capitol you will need to trade your edge.

I think Al Brooks is a great trader, however its not for everyone. Way to subjective for most I think. If you have kept a trading log I think the answers will be in there. Analyze the data in a pivot table and you should see what's working and what's not.

Hope this helps,

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  #46 (permalink)
Amsterdam Netherlands
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Ninja Trader
Trading: Futures
Posts: 12 since Aug 2015
Thanks: 1 given, 17 received

Hello trader in trouble,

I red your story and understand your struggle. This is what happens to almost everybody who wants to become a professional trader. Imho day trading is the most difficult job to learn and only few of many who give it a try succeed. I don't want to demotivate you but thinking that you will become a good, profitable trader in one year is a total illusion. Think in terms of 4 to 6 years struggle, frustration, disappointment, investing (lots of) time and money losing money not having an income etc. It's all part of the path you have to walk before you will get the final bonus and make good money everyday without stress and fear.

Looking at your charts I see you overtrade a bit and your entries seem late. With these lagging indicators you use you will never become profitable. My advice: throw away the ema's, oscillators, and all that kind of stuff. Try to look for Order Flow, (Relative) Volume, Volume Profile, Market Geometry, trading ranges, multiple time frame analyses etc.

Good luck and all the best!

Don't hesitate to pm me if you have any question, if I can help i do it with pleasure (and for free )

One more thing: Markets were very flat this week not easy to make money

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  #47 (permalink)
Oakville, Ontario
Experience: Advanced
Platform: ninjatrader
Broker: Ninjatrader
Trading: futures (CL and ES),forex,Options
Posts: 132 since Aug 2011
Thanks: 56 given, 74 received

Trading futures consistently takes years to master specially Es.
First you need to have enough experience to learn adapt to different market conditions. these skills take years to master.still this is the easy part of trading.
Trading is 80% psychology, and 20% technical.
Focusing on the process is the key to trading constantly.
Have specific rules to know when not to trade and take a break from trading.days or weeks depending on your emotional state.
Do you have a Journal, and do you journal your feeling, emotions and thoughts before and after each trade?
Are you aware of the reason why you are trading, and whether your emotions are clouding your thinking or not?
do you have a daily process, and routine to prepare you for you trading day technically, physically and mentally ?
Do you have mental preparation process?

Trading results often is a reflection of our inner beliefs, the need to trade, the need to prove, the fear of being wrong....etc

One has to work hard to change the internal dialogue and belief system in order to become consistently profitable.
Thats another reason why it takes years to master trading and becoming constant profitable trader.
if you make money in sim, but you lose in live trading, that means you are psychologically attached to the outcome, and your emotions are taking over and you are being hijacked by your thoughts and emotions.
It's very hard to differentiate how you are seeing the market as your analysis is filtered based on your belief system and emotions.

Just my 2 cents,
Those are just few points to consider, feel free to contact me if you need any further details

All the best of luck


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  #48 (permalink)
van canada
Posts: 5 since Oct 2018
Thanks: 0 given, 9 received

You will probably not see this in this sea of replies. But I just want to say that this guy changed the way I chart and trade. And best of all, all his videos are free.

I had been trading for about 2 years and was in the same boat as you. I started from his beginner series even though I felt I would know a lot of it. And let me tell you... It was incredibly eye opening. And most of the stuff I thought I knew was better explained. Then when you go onto the advanced series it's even better, you can find your targets better and can understand moves even more.

He does focus on crypto, but TA is TA, and I've been using it to chart /ES and trade SPY and other stocks. I shared it with another friend who had been trading for about 5 years and even he was blown away and switched.

Anyway, it looks like you needed the help so I thought I'd share.
http s://youtube.com/c0tt0nc4ndyta

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  #49 (permalink)
phoenix, az
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: ninjatrader
Trading: ES.CL.GC
Posts: 34 since May 2016
Thanks: 81 given, 58 received


You are probably going to get a bunch of ideas, technical in nature, but it sounds like your thoughts might be the culprit.

If your sim account is good/great but live is providing different results. What is the cause? How are you feeling when you place the sim vs. live (assuming that the trading model works and it's limiting thoughts / anxiety / mental noise getting in the way)

A few things might help.
1. A mindfulness meditation practice.
2. A couple of books I have found helpful from Serge Kahili King: Huna: Ancient Hawaiian secrets for modern living and Mastering your hidden self. Often times the self limiting beliefs are formed before you even know they are there. As you grow up, you subconscious still is operating on the principles, trying to protect you.

3. An interview with John Moulton (Chat with trader Epsisode 163) and his advice was grow your account organically.
4. Be patient, let the trade come to you. Don't force it. Take a few steps back and listen to what and why it's happening.

For me, to much creates noise in my head. I always wanted to be scalping, but realized that high speed is not in my nature. I found a balance that suited my personality. It's taken a very long time, but has been worth the struggles. In the kitchen, when I'm cooking, I like to stir things alot. Most times to much. My girlfriend (a fabulous cook pointed that out) Since then, I've been focusing on letting the ingredients rest. I translated this to trading. I'm always looking at different time frames. Trying this, trying that for a few days. I've let it go. I take screen shots of what works and then study them and the charts on Saturday. Only focusing on what works. When I take a stinker of trade I look at those and then review my thoughts on it. Usually it's FOMO.

Knowing the rotations is helpful. I think Futures71 posted something where statistically the ES has a 3 point rotation. In one day that's a lot of trades. Find a bread and butter trade and stick with it. Chat with traders (Pod cast and Youtube) has excellent interviews where many of the top traders he interviews only have a few go to trades and they do well.

Good luck and don't quit when you are down. Never walk away from something on that note. You'll just take it with you.
Instead always leave a place when you are being Cheered.


Last edited by brettji; January 18th, 2019 at 10:31 AM.
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  #50 (permalink)
Syracuse, NY
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Lost & losing hope

Looks like you are getting a lot of good replys…. as you can see there are as many ways to trade as there are traders...everyone has their own techniques....so you have to find yours...
One of the things I notice...is that you described Scalping stops yet you are using a long term bar (7500 volume)...I have seen people use the long term bar but your stops have to reflect that otherwise you are going to get stopped out all the time....as you have discovered...you also need to know if the crowd is with you or against you (order Flow/Delta) are buyers coming in or are sellers coming in....you are also trying to use a breakout techique….but you don't have anything to show a breakout....you end up trading in the chop....I took the 15th ES and added some indicators to show you buyers/sellers (GOMcd) and breakout areas (SR_Dynamic color bars) using your 7500 volume...maybe you can see when to trade...there were 4 trades that day....you were trying to trade in chop...just an example...of adding order flow/Delta...you had a trade at 9:36, 10:00, 11:42 and 14:24


Last edited by loantelligence; January 18th, 2019 at 10:22 AM.
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