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Lost & losing hope

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  #1 (permalink)
 xevanchan 
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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.

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 xplorer 
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xevanchan View Post
I sim trade until I am profitable for weeks, and then I switch and can't replicate the results.

Hi xevanchan

You're definitely not alone in your struggle. Many many people have gone through what you are going through.


I want to stress, I don't mean to trivialize what you wrote by saying others have gone through that too, but I believe for many it's the nature of the beast.

In particular, the quote above is common to many I think.

Take myself: last time I checked I was committing 3x mistakes (trading errors) in live Vs SIM. I have seen other successful traders share a similar issue.


May I ask, how many live trades do you have under your belt?

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 MiniP 
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first off these past two weeks have been very different then what we have seen before. I think you need to be able to identify this. Its hard to be able to turn to different entries/edges but its something we have to do. I normally trade pull backs/rallies well lately its been all about selling tops and buying bottoms because we are stuck in a range. Be sure to keep an eye on the daily charts.

On the flip side we can "pop" any moment and start a trend either up/down

But from the looks of your pictures you are trading momentum plays in a ranging market not to mention you have a very tight s/l which is fine when we are trending with lots of momentum in one direction but the current state you need to give trades room to work.. its hard I struggle with it and im sure others do to.

Don't change what has worked in the past, change what isnt working right now...

Basically make two play books
1) trending day
2) range day

go back and look at range days and see if you can find common edges that you can use over and over again. I would suggest you look at HOY/COY/RTH open these are all solid points that everyone in the world has to recognize and cant be changed depending on what you or I call support or resistance

-P

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 xevanchan 
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xplorer View Post
Hi xevanchan

You're definitely not alone in your struggle. Many many people have gone through what you are going through.


I want to stress, I don't mean to trivialize what you wrote by saying others have gone through that too, but I believe for many it's the nature of the beast.

In particular, the quote above is common to many I think.

Take myself: last time I checked I was committing 3x mistakes (trading errors) in live Vs SIM. I have seen other successful traders share a similar issue.


May I ask, how many live trades do you have under your belt?

Yeah you're right. Must be the psych. I have just under 400 live trades with varying contract size. 61% win rate overall with a ton of different strategies.

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 xevanchan 
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MiniP View Post
first off these past two weeks have been very different then what we have seen before. I think you need to be able to identify this. Its hard to be able to turn to different entries/edges but its something we have to do. I normally trade pull backs/rallies well lately its been all about selling tops and buying bottoms because we are stuck in a range. Be sure to keep an eye on the daily charts.

On the flip side we can "pop" any moment and start a trend either up/down

But from the looks of your pictures you are trading momentum plays in a ranging market not to mention you have a very tight s/l which is fine when we are trending with lots of momentum in one direction but the current state you need to give trades room to work.. its hard I struggle with it and im sure others do to.

Don't change what has worked in the past, change what isnt working right now...

Basically make two play books
1) trending day
2) range day

go back and look at range days and see if you can find common edges that you can use over and over again. I would suggest you look at HOY/COY/RTH open these are all solid points that everyone in the world has to recognize and cant be changed depending on what you or I call support or resistance

-P

On range days I always fear that the range will not continue when I want to enter into a trade. I've looked into fading strategies for range days. I'm not familiar COY/HOY- could you clairify? I'd be happy to check them out.

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 MiniP 
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xevanchan View Post
On range days I always fear that the range will not continue when I want to enter into a trade. I've looked into fading strategies for range days. I'm not familiar COY/HOY- could you clairify? I'd be happy to check them out.

COY- close of yesterday
HOY- High of yesterday
LOY- Low of yesterday
RTH- regular trading hours

you have to be able to guage whats going on and its trading nothing is going to continue for ever.
If you are in a range and a new HL starts to form then you might want to move to b/e or watch to see what happens. BUT on range days we sometimes see the range expand for a few points/ticks. This is most likely happening as everyone knows there are stop orders out there and we can add a little liquidity to the mix if we get to this orders. Now that isnt always true but its a good way to think.

Try and place your s/l where 1) there won't be a liquidity hunt 2) where if you are wrong then you are wrong and its good you got out.


-P

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 xevanchan 
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MiniP View Post
COY- close of yesterday
HOY- High of yesterday
LOY- Low of yesterday
RTH- regular trading hours

you have to be able to guage whats going on and its trading nothing is going to continue for ever.
If you are in a range and a new HL starts to form then you might want to move to b/e or watch to see what happens. BUT on range days we sometimes see the range expand for a few points/ticks. This is most likely happening as everyone knows there are stop orders out there and we can add a little liquidity to the mix if we get to this orders. Now that isnt always true but its a good way to think.

Try and place your s/l where 1) there won't be a liquidity hunt 2) where if you are wrong then you are wrong and its good you got out.


-P

Yeah, I suck at gauging the market-I don't have the confidence to confidently predict. I typically move my S/L to one tick below low of previous bar once current bar closes. I do consider HOY/LOY as well as VPOC as well as where the market opens relative to the previous day's range. Not too familiar with this type of analysis yet, but I will continue to look into it. I appreciate the advice.

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 aquarian1 
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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.

12:33 PM 2019-01-16

I know its hard and I feel for you but I have no easy answers.
(except toss Al Brooks in the g can)

If one year - 24/7 were enough then millionaires would be mice at a free wine-and-cheese.
(Cheese highlighted.)

..........
peace, love and joy to you
.........
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 MiniP 
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xevanchan View Post
Yeah, I suck at gauging the market-I don't have the confidence to confidently predict. I typically move my S/L to one tick below low of previous bar once current bar closes. I do consider HOY/LOY as well as VPOC as well as where the market opens relative to the previous day's range. Not too familiar with this type of analysis yet, but I will continue to look into it. I appreciate the advice.

remember you are not predicting what the market is doing you are simply reacting to what the current market is doing and what your edge tells you to do. predictions lead to bias's which lead to shorting the bottom.
React don't predict.

Now there is nothing wrong with have a few overall thoughts on where the market is going to go but be flexible. If you are trading intra day you have to be able to go short after 10 days of bull control etc etc


-P

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 xplorer 
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xevanchan View Post
Yeah you're right. Must be the psych. I have just under 400 live trades with varying contract size. 61% win rate overall with a ton of different strategies.

As you can see from the many replies, people have gone through the same rollercoaster. 400 live trades and 6-12 months experience is just enough, IMO, to get you to realize whether you want to forge ahead or to give up.

This illustrates my point




Good luck.

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 JonnyBoy 
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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.

Firstly, there is no easy path and no shortcuts. It takes many, many hours to become consistent. I mean thousands of hours. There are arguably 2,000 “workable” hours in a year and it takes years to become consistent and additional years more to become profitable.

You could perform a Root Cause Analysis on your trading. This is not an easy process to complete and it can get pretty deep, but the idea is to find the root cause problem to your trading.

What is the predominant identifier or cause of your losing trades?

Whatever your answer is, ask yourself what caused you to write that answer. Now give an answer to the answer you just gave. Eventually, you won’t have an answer to your answer and the theory is that this could be your root cause.

For example…

Q. What is the predominant identifier or cause of my losing trades?
A. I trade in choppy periods

Q. Why do I trade in choppy periods?
A. Because I refuse to chase entries

Q. Why do I refuse to chase entries
A. Because I am waiting for a retracement

Q. Why am I waiting for a retracement?
A. Because…..

And so on. Eventually you will get to a point where the path leading up to the losing trades is discovered. It could end up being your HH/HL setup, or it could be a psychological issue. Either way, avoidance of triggering the root cause is required to be successful.

I can only speculate as to the nature of what is happening to you, but you are certainly not the first.

--------------------------------------------------------
- Trade what you see. Invest in what you believe -
--------------------------------------------------------
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 xplorer 
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@JonnyBoy I find your recursive root cause finding approach excellent.

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 xevanchan 
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xplorer View Post
As you can see from the many replies, people have gone through the same rollercoaster. 400 live trades and 6-12 months experience is just enough, IMO, to get you to realize whether you want to forge ahead or to give up.

This illustrates my point




Good luck.

Pretty cool thread. I think i'm somewhere in the high 20s. I want to forge ahead but man its rough.

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 Brandenton 
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xevanchan View Post
Pretty cool thread. I think i'm somewhere in the high 20s. I want to forge ahead but man its rough.

Rough and a potential long road. I've been trading for 8 years and its taken 7 of those 8 years before I was able to be somewhat profitable. If trading is truly what you want to do, be ready for lots of highs and lows and some of the most mind twisting and emotionally draining times of your life. Not trying to detract you from continuing learning how to trade, but, do know that it takes a lot of time and typically 1 year is just scratching the surface. How bad do you want it?

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.

Keep with it and keep learning

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 xevanchan 
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Brandenton View Post
Rough and a potential long road. I've been trading for 8 years and its taken 7 of those 8 years before I was able to be somewhat profitable. If trading is truly what you want to do, be ready for lots of highs and lows and some of the most mind twisting and emotionally draining times of your life. Not trying to detract you from continuing learning how to trade, but, do know that it takes a lot of time and typically 1 year is just scratching the surface. How bad do you want it?

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.

Keep with it and keep learning

I do know it takes time. I want it more than honestly anything else; it's consumed me for the better part of a year. I hope I can expedite the process as I've been trading full time 9-4. I keep a personal journal, but may take up your advice and start one on here. I haven't looked at the journals of others, and will definitely take advantage. Thanks for the input.

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 MiniP 
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xevanchan View Post
I do know it takes time. I want it more than honestly anything else; it's consumed me for the better part of a year. I hope I can expedite the process as I've been trading full time 9-4. I keep a personal journal, but may take up your advice and start one on here. I haven't looked at the journals of others, and will definitely take advantage. Thanks for the input.

9-4 is an extremely long time to be able to keep your focus at 100% there should be more then a handful of opportunities in front of you from 930-12 my suggestion would be to shorten your day. A few hours at 100% is a lot better then a lot of hours at 50% . It will happen when it happens you are not in control the market is going to do what it wants the only thing you can do is ride on the coat tails when given the opportunity. That is extremely hard to deal with because with everything else in life if we put in 100% and tons of hours usually it works out. Trading is different no matter how many hours we put into and force it we can't make the market do what we want. We all suffer from this but it gets a lot better when you start to think of things differently. It sounds like you are trying really hard and maybe you are putting to much into this. Each day when you sit in front of the desk you need to be at 100% if you aren't focused then call it quits there will be more days,you won't be warren buffet over night.

-P

"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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  #18 (permalink)
 kanepa 
philadelphia pa
 
Experience: Intermediate
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xevanchan View Post

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.

:

Hi and thank you for sharing your thoughts.

It seems you have a solid strategy. Can you automate it and do back testing? It does not have to be a perfectly match for your system but as long as you can go back and study trade by trade, it would be beneficial.

Like @MiniP pointed out, ES was in different state of condition than normal starting November of 2018. Not only you need to filter out non trending day, You need to differentiate trending market with high, mid and low volatility. Choosing mid to low level would be easier than trading high volatility market.

Lastly, if you do decide to go back test your strategy(manual or auto) using minute chart can be helpful since they keep those data going pretty far back.

Best luck to you,
Kanepa

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  #19 (permalink)
 centaurer 
south africa
 
 
Posts: 169 since Dec 2018

I would try to better define these two parts
"I identify trend, using price action"

"I exit when I begin to see trend exhaustion."

I imagine the difference between people who make money who say things like this is they do the same thing nearly every time while people who lose money are essentially doing things at random.

Don't forget too there is no rule that says you have to trade ES on the shortest possible time frame you can or you are not a real trader or something like that.

So many different instruments, so many different strategies on so many different time frames. There is no reason to sort them by most difficult and then pick those to prove a point.

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  #20 (permalink)
 shodson 
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My guess is that your biggest problem is that your trade size is too large, especially if you are getting margin calls. For each trade you take, how much (percentage) of your account are you risking on each trade? If you are struggling please don't risk more than 1% of your account on a single trade. I know that with futures that is difficult unless you have a large account and can use a reasonably large but logical stop that doesn't risk more than 1% of your account. Futures traders with small accounts, like a $5k account, use unreasonably small/tight stops to limit their risk to 1% ($50 = 1 /ES point!) but they can never get ahead with stops that tight. But reducing your risk will slow the bleeding and get the margin department off your back. Then, if you get more consistent, think of increasing it to 2+% of your account.

You probably don't want to heed this advice because you want to make a lot of money or have a consistent income like $500 or $1000 a day, like a job, but that's not how it works. I didn't want to hear things like that either before I lost several 10s of thousands of dollars in a handful of too-big-to-fail trades of my own. So please heed my advice, lower your expectations and focus on not losing money and increasing your skills at reading and navigating through markets.

If you can't reduce your risk to 1% or less on your futures trades then you need to trade something smaller, like mini contracts, or stocks, options, micro forex, etc. But until you get consistent you really shouldn't be risking more than 1% of your account on each trade.

If you insist on being a futures trader and are underfunded I would consider trading a combine, like TopStep, and learn with them risk free. Yes, it costs money, but it's cheaper than losing thousands of dollars in your trading account to mistakes that can be avoided. If you pass the combine steps, you can even get funded, trading their money, risking none of your own capital.

If you are just trading 1 market then you aren't really getting a lot of good tradable opportunities and the temptation to overtrade is too high. You should look at different markets and only trade the ones that are easiest to trade at the time. Very few consistently profitable day traders trade only one market, and if they do then they are very experienced and well-practiced trading that market but that takes years of practice.

Also, I would consider trading higher time frames. Nothing less than 15minutes. The costs of slippage and commission are hard to overcome so trading higher time frames, heaven-forbid, even swing trading, greatly reduce that obstacle by taking fewer trades over time and giving them more time to work themselves out.

You don't need better entries. One way I make money is with a simple strategy, almost as dumb as random entries. Here are the rules to this Holy Grail day trading system. Ready? You can send me a $10k check later...

 
Code
if price > theOpeningPrice
   buy();
else if price < theOpeningPrice
   sellShort()

if itIsTheEndOfTheDay
   closeAllPositions();
That's it, entries and exits. No stops.

Try it on different timeframes. Try using other key levels instead of the opening price (someone earlier mentioned highs/lows of yesterday, etc). Try defining ranges to go long above and short below, instead of a singular price level. The key is to get out and reverse quickly when you are wrong, and only trade the most volatile instruments. If the instrument doesn't make big moves then you will lose money. Beware of switching sides too frequently because it will cost you a lot of slippage and commission, but check your position frequently enough to get out when you are on the wrong side of the trade before it goes too far against you.

I have automated this, and others, so I can concentrate on other things throughout the day. I just have to crunch my numbers after the close and forecast which stocks and ETFs will be the most volatile ones to trade tomorrow. Here's a peek at which ones I will trade tomorrow. What I trade the day after tomorrow will be different. I just trade the markets that are moving now, not the ones that everybody else is (trying) to trade.

Stocks
  • MBOT
  • PCG
  • TLRY
  • LGND
  • CGC
  • NBEV
  • AMRN
  • ACB
  • GT
  • BBBY
  • MDB
  • ATHM

ETFs
  • UGAZ/DGAZ*
  • TVIX
  • LABD/LABU*
  • UWT/DWT*

* these ETF pairs trade only the ETF of the pair that is moving up, we avoid shorting either one due to the increased costs and risks of shorting stocks & ETFs.

These instruments have been exhibiting very volatile open-close moves over the last few days. For example, MBOT closed down 12.94% below its opening price today. PCG closed up 8.99% above its opening price today. These stocks are moving a lot intraday. They may not move like that tomorrow, but stocks like these often stay volatile for a while. I have lots of losers, but the big winners pay for the many losers. I do anywhere from 20-100 trades like these each day, depending on how trendy the market is that day. This works well on 15, 30 and even 60min bars, but not any smaller than 15mins.

But remember:
  • REDUCE YOUR POSITION SIZE
  • REDUCE YOUR RISK TO 1%
  • THE MARKET DOESN'T OWE YOU A DAILY WAGE
  • TRADE WHAT WORKS FOR YOU

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  #21 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
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Your chart is way too big for trading a 1.5 point stop. Those bars are too long. You need a lot more detail to see what's happening at your level.

Why did you go away from 30 seconds? I would use a 30s chart for context and a smaller chart for the trigger.

Also, trade one contract. If you cant be profitable with one you won't be profitable with more. Scale up gradually as your account grows.

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  #22 (permalink)
 xevanchan 
New York City, NY
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Trading: emini ES/NQ
 
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MiniP View Post
9-4 is an extremely long time to be able to keep your focus at 100% there should be more then a handful of opportunities in front of you from 930-12 my suggestion would be to shorten your day. A few hours at 100% is a lot better then a lot of hours at 50% . It will happen when it happens you are not in control the market is going to do what it wants the only thing you can do is ride on the coat tails when given the opportunity. That is extremely hard to deal with because with everything else in life if we put in 100% and tons of hours usually it works out. Trading is different no matter how many hours we put into and force it we can't make the market do what we want. We all suffer from this but it gets a lot better when you start to think of things differently. It sounds like you are trying really hard and maybe you are putting to much into this. Each day when you sit in front of the desk you need to be at 100% if you aren't focused then call it quits there will be more days,you won't be warren buffet over night.

-P

I typically start at 10 after identifying a trend and then call it quits around 2:30. I used to trade 9:30 to 11, but since increasing my chart from 30s to 7500 vol I've found myself having significantly less opportunities so I've been forcing myself to trade into the late afternoon. I have to work on my focus though because when I give 100% focus I tend to overtrade due to a combination of overanalysis / confirmation bias and sheer boredom. I appreciate the advice- I think I'll cut an hour or two off.

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  #23 (permalink)
 xevanchan 
New York City, NY
 
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Tap In View Post
Your chart is way too big for trading a 1.5 point stop. Those bars are too long. You need a lot more detail to see what's happening at your level.

Why did you go away from 30 seconds? I would use a 30s chart for context and a smaller chart for the trigger.

Also, trade one contract. If you cant be profitable with one you won't be profitable with more. Scale up gradually as your account grows.

Yeah the bars today were insane with some 7500 vol bars over 5 points each. Today was a rough day to trade, super choppy. I made way too many mistakes in 30s, and the scale was too small for my targets; my stops were so tight today because I knew I was going to get margin called. I typically do only trade one contract, but got a little too bold. How do you determine entry with the 30s?

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  #24 (permalink)
 xevanchan 
New York City, NY
 
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shodson View Post
My guess is that your biggest problem is that your trade size is too large, especially if you are getting margin calls. For each trade you take, how much (percentage) of your account are you risking on each trade? If you are struggling please don't risk more than 1% of your account on a single trade. I know that with futures that is difficult unless you have a large account and can use a reasonably large but logical stop that doesn't risk more than 1% of your account. Futures traders with small accounts, like a $5k account, use unreasonably small/tight stops to limit their risk to 1% ($50 = 1 /ES point!) but they can never get ahead with stops that tight. But reducing your risk will slow the bleeding and get the margin department off your back. Then, if you get more consistent, think of increasing it to 2+% of your account.

You probably don't want to heed this advice because you want to make a lot of money or have a consistent income like $500 or $1000 a day, like a job, but that's not how it works. I didn't want to hear things like that either before I lost several 10s of thousands of dollars in a handful of too-big-to-fail trades of my own. So please heed my advice, lower your expectations and focus on not losing money and increasing your skills at reading and navigating through markets.

If you can't reduce your risk to 1% or less on your futures trades then you need to trade something smaller, like mini contracts, or stocks, options, micro forex, etc. But until you get consistent you really shouldn't be risking more than 1% of your account on each trade.

If you insist on being a futures trader and are underfunded I would consider trading a combine, like TopStep, and learn with them risk free. Yes, it costs money, but it's cheaper than losing thousands of dollars in your trading account to mistakes that can be avoided. If you pass the combine steps, you can even get funded, trading their money, risking none of your own capital.

If you are just trading 1 market then you aren't really getting a lot of good tradable opportunities and the temptation to overtrade is too high. You should look at different markets and only trade the ones that are easiest to trade at the time. Very few consistently profitable day traders trade only one market, and if they do then they are very experienced and well-practiced trading that market but that takes years of practice.

Also, I would consider trading higher time frames. Nothing less than 15minutes. The costs of slippage and commission are hard to overcome so trading higher time frames, heaven-forbid, even swing trading, greatly reduce that obstacle by taking fewer trades over time and giving them more time to work themselves out.

You don't need better entries. One way I make money is with a simple strategy, almost as dumb as random entries. Here are the rules to this Holy Grail day trading system. Ready? You can send me a $10k check later...

 
Code
if price > theOpeningPrice
   buy();
else if price < theOpeningPrice
   sellShort()

if itIsTheEndOfTheDay
   closeAllPositions();
That's it, entries and exits. No stops.

Try it on different timeframes. Try using other key levels instead of the opening price (someone earlier mentioned highs/lows of yesterday, etc). Try defining ranges to go long above and short below, instead of a singular price level. The key is to get out and reverse quickly when you are wrong, and only trade the most volatile instruments. If the instrument doesn't make big moves then you will lose money. Beware of switching sides too frequently because it will cost you a lot of slippage and commission, but check your position frequently enough to get out when you are on the wrong side of the trade before it goes too far against you.

I have automated this, and others, so I can concentrate on other things throughout the day. I just have to crunch my numbers after the close and forecast which stocks and ETFs will be the most volatile ones to trade tomorrow. Here's a peek at which ones I will trade tomorrow. What I trade the day after tomorrow will be different. I just trade the markets that are moving now, not the ones that everybody else is (trying) to trade.

Stocks
  • MBOT
  • PCG
  • TLRY
  • LGND
  • CGC
  • NBEV
  • AMRN
  • ACB
  • GT
  • BBBY
  • MDB
  • ATHM

ETFs
  • UGAZ/DGAZ*
  • TVIX
  • LABD/LABU*
  • UWT/DWT*

* these ETF pairs trade only the ETF of the pair that is moving up, we avoid shorting either one due to the increased costs and risks of shorting stocks & ETFs.

These instruments have been exhibiting very volatile open-close moves over the last few days. For example, MBOT closed down 12.94% below its opening price today. PCG closed up 8.99% above its opening price today. These stocks are moving a lot intraday. They may not move like that tomorrow, but stocks like these often stay volatile for a while. I have lots of losers, but the big winners pay for the many losers. I do anywhere from 20-100 trades like these each day, depending on how trendy the market is that day. This works well on 15, 30 and even 60min bars, but not any smaller than 15mins.

But remember:
  • REDUCE YOUR POSITION SIZE
  • REDUCE YOUR RISK TO 1%
  • THE MARKET DOESN'T OWE YOU A DAILY WAGE
  • TRADE WHAT WORKS FOR YOU

My max fixed percentage is 5%- I've increased it as I am in five digit losses and am running out of expendable speculation capital. This is not including a little put away for when I become profitable. 5% is for my larger stop losses; typically it will be lower than that, probably around half. I try to only trade one contract nowadays but can get overconfident. Last week I did so well I just had to add one. My expectations have been stomped on enough times to the point where money and trading have separated for me and I don't expect anything but results.

I'll check out the other markets; but will likely stick to futures for the foreseeable future. I've decided that I'm shooting for home runs and am willing to take losses and BEs on the way. I also made the transition to 7500 volume charts which I feel are lengthy enough. As for ranges and key levels, I use a composite volume profile and draw in my own lines when necessary.

I'll be sure to check out the code; can you elaborate on how it can be utilized? If it helps, I'd be more than happy to send you 10k.

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  #25 (permalink)
 tpredictor 
North Carolina
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader, Tradestation
Trading: es
 
Posts: 644 since Nov 2011

One year is not that long. Right, you need to understand the root cause of your losses in order to correctly address your problems. A few thoughts come to mind:

Regarding your risk level
While not advice, I would classify aggressive day trading as generally a max risk of 3% up to perhaps 5% of capital per day. Aggressive quantitative systems might be able to up to 8% per day but that is very high. With small accounts, it is obviously very difficult to stay within these parameters. Most methods will go through out and under performance periods.

Instrument selection
Why are you only trading ES? There has been good volatility recently. So, I think it is a good market to be trading. However, I think adding at least another market or two might help when conditions change.

Market cognition
One of my thesis is that most profits come from having higher levels of "market cognition". I think that working on that aspect may help you. Along these similar lines, you have described very mechanical trade entries which can be backtested. Generally as a discretionary trader, you should have a good feel for the market because that is where your edge is coming from. So, if you don't have a good feel for the market then that's a problem.

Quantitative and statistical tracking
I like that you are trading in sim. However, it sounds like you are not taking full advantage of that information because a lot of your questions can be answered by applying quantitative analysis to your sim results. This is an area where I may be able to offer more help in the future. But, Ninjatrader has a lot of stats that you can drill down into.

I sim trade until I am profitable for weeks, and then I switch and can't replicate the results.

Just an idea that might help is to sim trade on an "on going" basis instead of sim trading after until hitting a high water mark. So, for example, you might trade only the first 2-4 hours each day and then sim trade the previous 3 days until you pass a performance objective that you establish. You would do this process every single day: 4 hours live, sim trade previous 3 days until you hit your goals, 4 hours live, etc. But as part of this process, you journal your discoveries and try to refine them.

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  #26 (permalink)
 Tap In 
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As I see it you have two choices. 1) use the bigger chart and increase your stop. 2) use the 6 tick stop and reduce your chart to something like 30s.


xevanchan View Post
... How do you determine entry with the 30s?

You do this through discipline. You already have the basic sense of what to do:

Thrust > pullback > continuation > enter

Now you need to wait for only the best of the best of the best. No longer do you take trades you "think" will work. Now you only take trades you "know" will work. No longer do you trade on days that are dull. You only trade on days that are alive and moving. This might mean going from four trades a day to four trades a month.

Over time you will recognize more good trades and your trade frequency will increase, but for now dial it back and slowly build both your account and your confidence.

Can you do this? Do you have the discipline to sit there day after day for hours at a time waiting for just the right moment?

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  #27 (permalink)
 xevanchan 
New York City, NY
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninjatrader 8
Broker: Dorman Trading
Trading: emini ES/NQ
 
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Tap In View Post
As I see it you have two choices. 1) use the bigger chart and increase your stop. 2) use the 6 tick stop and reduce your chart to something like 30s.



You do this through discipline. You already have the basic sense of what to do:

Thrust > pullback > continuation > enter

Now you need to wait for only the best of the best of the best. No longer do you take trades you "think" will work. Now you only take trades you "know" will work. No longer do you trade on days that are dull. You only trade on days that are alive and moving. This might mean going from four trades a day to four trades a month.

Over time you will recognize more good trades and your trade frequency will increase, but for now dial it back and slowly build both your account and your confidence.

Can you do this? Do you have the discipline to sit there day after day for hours at a time waiting for just the right moment?

I hope so. I'm likely going to use a 2 point stop on most days but on days like yesterday I should have increased it with all the noise. I typically adjust my stops after entry, but i'll definitely add at least a few ticks to my base.

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  #28 (permalink)
 xevanchan 
New York City, NY
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninjatrader 8
Broker: Dorman Trading
Trading: emini ES/NQ
 
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tpredictor View Post
One year is not that long. Right, you need to understand the root cause of your losses in order to correctly address your problems. A few thoughts come to mind:

Regarding your risk level
While not advice, I would classify aggressive day trading as generally a max risk of 3% up to perhaps 5% of capital per day. Aggressive quantitative systems might be able to up to 8% per day but that is very high. With small accounts, it is obviously very difficult to stay within these parameters. Most methods will go through out and under performance periods.

Instrument selection
Why are you only trading ES? There has been good volatility recently. So, I think it is a good market to be trading. However, I think adding at least another market or two might help when conditions change.

Market cognition
One of my thesis is that most profits come from having higher levels of "market cognition". I think that working on that aspect may help you. Along these similar lines, you have described very mechanical trade entries which can be backtested. Generally as a discretionary trader, you should have a good feel for the market because that is where your edge is coming from. So, if you don't have a good feel for the market then that's a problem.

Quantitative and statistical tracking
I like that you are trading in sim. However, it sounds like you are not taking full advantage of that information because a lot of your questions can be answered by applying quantitative analysis to your sim results. This is an area where I may be able to offer more help in the future. But, Ninjatrader has a lot of stats that you can drill down into.

I sim trade until I am profitable for weeks, and then I switch and can't replicate the results.

Just an idea that might help is to sim trade on an "on going" basis instead of sim trading after until hitting a high water mark. So, for example, you might trade only the first 2-4 hours each day and then sim trade the previous 3 days until you pass a performance objective that you establish. You would do this process every single day: 4 hours live, sim trade previous 3 days until you hit your goals, 4 hours live, etc. But as part of this process, you journal your discoveries and try to refine them.

What other markets would you recommend? NQ? My market cognition needs work; its works well on "easy" days but some days are seemingly unpredictable to me. I will try out the sim trading strategy; I do often trade playback, especially days that I feel I could have done better. If you want to offer any help in the field of quant/stat tracking at any time, let me know, I always appreciate help.

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  #29 (permalink)
 shodson 
Quantoholic
OC, California, USA
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: IB/TWS, NinjaTrader, ToS
Broker: IB, ToS, Kinetick
Trading: stocks, options, futures, VIX
 
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Just as a follow-up, I made $1,167.24 today on 35 trades. LABD and UGAZ didn't trade because their inverse ETFs (LABU and DGAZ, respectively) went long shortly after the open and stayed long all day. TVIX (-3.50%) and MBOT (-10.82%) didn't trade because it wanted to go short but couldn't get a borrow from my broker (IB) otherwise it would have made more. I need to trade puts when the stock is not shortable, but the software's not there yet. The big winner of the day was shorting Pacific Gas & Electric (-23.37%), which is entering bankruptcy protection due to the huge liabilities incurred by the wildfires in Northern California over the last two years.





shodson View Post
Here's a peek at which ones I will trade tomorrow.

Stocks
  • MBOT
  • PCG
  • TLRY
  • LGND
  • CGC
  • NBEV
  • AMRN
  • ACB
  • GT
  • BBBY
  • MDB
  • ATHM

ETFs
  • UGAZ/DGAZ*
  • TVIX
  • LABD/LABU*
  • UWT/DWT*


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  #30 (permalink)
 tpredictor 
North Carolina
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader, Tradestation
Trading: es
 
Posts: 644 since Nov 2011

I am personally more of a single market trader. But, anything that moves good, where you can control your risk reasonably, and where you can get an edge. While it is not quite to the level of a prediction, I think the Nikkei 225 could be a big mover this year but I am not sure how it trades as a future.


xevanchan View Post
What other markets would you recommend? NQ? My market cognition needs work; its works well on "easy" days but some days are seemingly unpredictable to me. I will try out the sim trading strategy; I do often trade playback, especially days that I feel I could have done better. If you want to offer any help in the field of quant/stat tracking at any time, let me know, I always appreciate help.


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  #31 (permalink)
 Anagami 
Market Wizard
Cancun, Mexico
 
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As a day trader, you are missing a major piece of the puzzle, order flow. You are severely handicapping yourself by trading merely off the charts.

"The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven." - Milton
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  #32 (permalink)
 jtrade 
near Amsterdam
 
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My suggestion :

Either give up trading entirely and move on... (there is SO MUCH more to life than trading)

OR

Forget about trading live for the foreseeable future. Find a source of income to survive. Unless you have at least a $10k account, switch to cash Forex and trade tiny size (say, 10c / pip) on much slower charts, min H1 (D1 would be best). Use a free MT4 account in simulation mode with someone like Oanda.

If and only if you can put together 3 consecutive profitable months with acceptable drawdowns, then consider trading live again.

If you cannot bring yourself to stop trading live (and apologies if you have), then look seriously & honestly at why this is.

Good luck and enjoy & focus on the process.

Edit : one more thing....


xevanchan View Post
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.

Do not trade live until you understand that no new problems are springing up.

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  #33 (permalink)
 Fxfutures1976 
London
 
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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.

Have you only been learning for a year? If so, give yourself at least 5 years, some people may be quicker or longer. But if you can survive 5 years without blowing up, you might just have a chance of success. You need to be obsessed with acheaving your goal of being consistanly profitable.

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  #34 (permalink)
 cmacdon 
Brisbane Queensland Australia
 
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xevanchan

There may be at least two things you are not doing right.



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. Use the H, L and the C format and you will get accurate entry and exit points, if you are soley relying on price action to interpret the market. I would not recommend you rely solely on interpreting price action. Even Gann suggested he would make losses when he relied on space measurements alone.

Learn how to read buying and selling volume within bars or across bars, or better still, learn how to measure the forces of supply & demand that causes the price action. Rather than trying to interpret price effects which have no foundation, certainly not from using heikin ashi bars.
Regards

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  #35 (permalink)
 allsensi 
Madrid Spain
 
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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.

Hi There and thanks for your post. I am currently in the same situation after being named as trader of the month in the place I am trading for. I have a mentor and shared my situation yesterday with him ( which is losing a lot of money all out of a sudden after winning a lot, to be simple). His two advices where helpful: 1) do not think you are special, he earns millions a year and only last summer he had a series of losing days that even led him to think he was not good for this and2) do not seek aa new method, concentrate in what you have been doing well. He also said this is a toll you have to pay from time to time to be a trader. And here is my half penny: Have you tried to trial out with some of the companies out there that allow you paper trading leading to a potential funded account? It will hurt at times but will settle your discipline and your pschyco.
Hope this helps, and...never ever give up. That is no solution.Trading is for the strong ones and these show how strong they are in the worst moments.

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  #36 (permalink)
 PandaWarrior 
In the heat
 
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xevanchan View Post
I typically start at 10 after identifying a trend and then call it quits around 2:30. I used to trade 9:30 to 11, but since increasing my chart from 30s to 7500 vol I've found myself having significantly less opportunities so I've been forcing myself to trade into the late afternoon. I have to work on my focus though because when I give 100% focus I tend to overtrade due to a combination of overanalysis / confirmation bias and sheer boredom. I appreciate the advice- I think I'll cut an hour or two off.

I'm not an expert in any of the issues you discussed in your original post, nor do I have words of wisdom for your particular style, method or mental/emotional issues. We are all on a journey and while we can help each other, ultimately its your internal dialogue that determines your success. You must find your own path in your time and in your own way.

That said, I would offer this little note. My trading got a lot better when I stopped trying for big wins and instead focused on a reasonable profit on a reasonable time frame. With that in mind, it may make some sense to look at trading less, not more time.

I offer you an educated reason why in the attachment below.

Good luck on your journey!

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
Attached Thumbnails
Lost &amp; losing hope-do-you-suffer-decision-fatigue_-nytimes.pdf  
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  #37 (permalink)
 adenis 
montreal + Canada
 
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My best advice to you is that you that you listen to Futures Traders 71 (FT71) approach. First, and it is free, listen to to his webcasts and his daily market review and trading preparation work (Trader Bites). They are available on You Tube. Then if his approach makes sense to you, subscribe to FT71's Convergent Trading website (https://www.convergenttrading.com/). The monthly cost is minuscule compared to the benefits you will get out of it. That is how I learned trading and it worked for me.

Good luck.

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  #38 (permalink)
 Fibbee 
Boston, MA. United States
 
Experience: Intermediate
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One of the turning points in my trading career was buying bloodhound.

Before I continue, I have no relationship or financial interests with them so just take this as one guy offering another guy advice. Bloodhound (programming in general) is very helpful because it allows you the ability to prove and realize that 99% of the indicators and methods you think work, don't.

I've literally Google "best trading strategies" found a bunch of systems... Heikenasi this, macd that, blah blah blah. Built them, tested them.... Complete garbage. However, sometimes, they win. Which is the great trick to fool you into believing in something that has no edge.

This backwards process of taking all the indicators out of the toolbox and trying to build profitable mechanical systems will lead you down the path to realizing that its almost all useless.

Why heikenasi? Why volume bars? Why those colorful squiggly lines on the bottom of your chart?

Until you can prove or disprove that the tools and methods you're using have any sort of reliable value, you're just sitting in front of a different kind of slot machine and some times you win which makes you feel like you're on the right track.

A couple of other pieces of advice are, 1. The only people making consistent money are the brokers and vendors. 2. Your job is to take high risk to reward trades and lean on an edge. 2 to 1.... What a waste of time. 3. There's more important things in life than these colorful lines and flashy numbers, don't get caught up in the glamor. 4. Realize that everyone is selling you something (see 1.), don't buy it unless they have LIVE trackrecords to back it up.

Hope it helps.

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  #39 (permalink)
 falcs 
london uk
 
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Here's my 2c on it.

1 Move to 1 contract
2 Forget ES, contemplate YM. You get more ticks for the same move, less risk and far less choppy than NQ
3 Use a 1 min chart, with some MA's (10,20,50.100 & 200). The MA's will better illustrate the chop for you.
4 Pay attention to the left side of the chart, the prev hour or 2 will tell you loads.
5 Maybe trade pre 930, far less choppy and should lessen the stress level. I only see people getting cut to ribbons the majority of that that time.
6 Look to achieve nothing more than $200 per day on 1 contract.
7 once you have made consistent (month minimum) profits then move to 2 contracts

My final words are that trading the 930-1030 window is something i avoid like the plague. Wait for the market to settle. Patience is key. Lastly if you look at January's trading ranges you will find range contraction and intra day chop, I had an unbelievable Q4 18 and yet i'm flat so far this year. Trade the market you have, not the one you had. My aim at the mo is just to be up every day, whether that is 1 or 1000 bucks.

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  #40 (permalink)
 falcs 
london uk
 
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And avoid the above post like ebola, plague and smallpox rolled into one!

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  #41 (permalink)
 Mich62 
Netherlands
 
Experience: Advanced
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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 didn’t 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)
Rollerman
United Kingdom
 
 
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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
Rollerman

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  #43 (permalink)
 forgiven 
Fletcher NC
 
Experience: Intermediate
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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)
 bobwest 
Site Moderator
Sarasota FL
 
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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
xevanchan

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:


Quoting 
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.

Bob.

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  #45 (permalink)
 bdom2369 
norman oklahoma
 
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Platform: TradeStation
Trading: Futures
 
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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,
Brandon

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  #46 (permalink)
 Leon Blokland 
Amsterdam Netherlands
 
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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)
 Guss 
Ontario
 
Experience: Advanced
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Broker: Ninjatrader
Trading: futures (CL and ES),forex,Options
 
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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

Guss

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  #48 (permalink)
deelousy
van canada
 
 
Posts: 5 since Oct 2018
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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)
 brettji 
phoenix, az
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: ninjatrader Jigsaw TOS
Broker: Ninja - TOS
Trading: ZB
 
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xevanchan,

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.


Brett

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  #50 (permalink)
 loantelligence 
Syracuse, NY
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninja Trader
Broker: Mirus Futures/Zen-Fire
Trading: NQ
 
Posts: 133 since Jan 2011
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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

[ATTACH][/ATTACH]

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  #51 (permalink)
tidetrader
Sag Harbor, N.Y.
 
 
Posts: 2 since Oct 2017
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You may want to look at how markets work from the inside and it may give you a better perspective of the markets if you have a better understanding of their structure...this will lead you to understand who you are trading with on any given day, that's important to know...for instance, if longer term/time frame traders enter the market they don't wait for support or resistance levels to try and get an advantage, they just get in at the most advantageous place for their longer time frame trade and when they enter the market, those are 90% of the time trending days, they make markets trend, not the short term/time frame traders...they, short term traders, are just looking for a fair value area in which to have two way trading and find value in those areas...most days you will find that we trade with shorter time frame traders and you can tell within the first hour or so of trading who's in the market and they, short time frame traders, will almost always trade off reference points/prices, such as S/R areas example; if price trades to a support and finds support there and then move up off of it your trading with small time frame traders and you can better formulate a strategy once you have identified the players your in the markets with...kinda like knowing the prey your hunting...markets are not as random as one might think or be told, there is a structure to them and although it may seem like most times your adrift at sea as you say, all you need is a sexton to navigate by the stars...and just might be that you need a tool like that to help you get your bearings...i find that indicator trading and most all other brass ring BS systems that are out there just don't work, at least for most all traders that buy into them, i look at them like this, if its such a good system then why are you selling it...traders are a greedy bunch and we are always looking for an edge to take your money...also 90% of this business is the sell side and the other 10% is the buy side and that's us retail traders and hedge fund managers that are the buy side...remember that we are traders and are paid to take risks, its part of the job..with all this said and i'm leaving out a whole lot of other stuff too numerous to post here but wanted you to know i feel what your going through, i would say all in here will agree..we're traders and we have all gone through difficulties some similar to yours, its all part of the journey...if i may suggest, so i don't just sound like an unemployed therapist, that perhaps its time for a complete rebuild of your trading...i'm not saying to throw all of the skills you've acquired out the window, but maybe a look at something other than what your doing now...i can only tell you that i tore down my trading 2 years ago and rebuilt my plan off of something called Market profile along with order flow, (price ladders), if you google these two tools and see how they work it may be something that would give you a different look at the markets, i know it will at least explain, perhaps, what/why markets behave the way they do on certain day as opposed to others...also, one must understand that volatility has returned to the markets and in a big way...when we had free money being printed and thrown around for almost a decade now and volatility at all time lows with a 10 yr bull market, that most traders today have never seen the likes of volatility at these levels and believe me i'm sure it blown up more accounts than you could imagine...just hang tight and remember that you don't have to trade every day if the market is not going to help you with your edge...its just life, that happens...if you swim in the ocean you'll know that sometimes its too rough..you could still swim out into it, but the risk of drowning just increased, no?and something else to think about is this, price action is nice to understand but today's markets trade differently than they did when price action was important, not saying its still not, but there are a lot more machines in here with us now so i would suggest you look to find value and build a trade around that and less around price perhaps...price is really more of advertising than value...sounds vague, but research it and you'll find the key of my point, again a rabbit hole too deep to get into in this post..you get the point...so good luck and may your future be brighter than your past...

Sincerely, tidetrader

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  #52 (permalink)
 Zondor 
Portland Oregon, United States
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Ninjatrader®
Broker: CQG, Kinetick
Trading: Gameplay Klownbine® Trading of Globex
 
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The markets are too chaotic, news driven and fast reversing for hackneyed, simplistic methods like this to be as profitable as they used to be.

If you use the same methods as 99 percent of traders you will get the same results they do. Including the losers who give you advice here.. they are here because they are losers.

You are trading in a vacuum without any indication of what other instruments, including bonds, FANGS, TICK etc are doing. Your indicators are based only on the price action of the instrument you are trading so contribute nothing. You don't even have anything to show the important levels such as VWAP, the previous and current session OHLC, pivots, etc.....

Even though it's pretty arbitrary I think it's best to use some kind of moving average as a stop line after entering a trade.. just stay on the right side of it. I like to use a moving average from a much higher time frame on a relatively fast chart.

Even the guy who invented Market Profile says it doesn't work anymore.. talk about rabbit holes. That's more like a tunnel to the center of the earth.

Feel free to PM me.




"If we don't loosen up some money, this sucker is going down." -GW Bush, 2008
“Lack of proof that something is true does not prove that it is not true - when you want to believe.” -Humpty Dumpty, 2014
“The greatest shortcoming of the human race is our inability to understand the exponential function.”
Prof. Albert Bartlett
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  #53 (permalink)
 Babool 
Detroit, MI
 
Experience: Master
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Trading: NQ, CL, ES, GC
 
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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.

If I read this thread correctly it seems you have appx a year of trading experience....and your thinking of giving up? You need to stop trading real money and get your method in order...or find a new one all together.

Why do I say this ?

1) You say you identify trends using price action but a couple paragraphs later you say you never seem to know when a trend ends. You don't have a handle on price action.

2) Your attempting to trade with 7500 volume bars on the ES but then using a 1.5 point stop. Simply unworkable based on the avg bar size.

3) You are unsure of whether it is better to enter on a limit or stop ? You say there are pro's and cons to each but what is best for YOUR method ?

4) By your own admission your trading in consolidation and range bound markets constantly getting chopped to shreds.

One year of experience is just scratching the surface.....step back and work on your method and/or find someone who is profitable that can show you their method...which obviously no easy task...but it is far easier than trying to piece it together on your own. Sorry to be brash but this business will simply chew up and spit out those that are not FULLY prepared.

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  #54 (permalink)
 GruttePier 
Legendary Market Wizard
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninjatrader 8
Broker: NinjaTrader Brokerage
Trading: CL, ES
 
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Nice thread! Your post seems to relate to a lot of people and you've received a lot of good and solid advice sofar.
I'd like to chim in with a couple of my thoughts too.

I think you need to change your expectations about when you're going to be profitable. Many people here are actively and fulltime trading futures for several years and are still not profitable. I don't recall anyone who's profitable trading futures in one year or after 400 trades. My advice is to accept that it will take many years of hard and daily work before you're profitable. If you're not willing to invest this time & effort or if you do not see any signs of improvement, you'd better quit. The path is to go from large losses due to undisciplined trading to smaller losses, consistent small losses, consistent breakeven, consistent slightly profitable andsoforth. With all due respect, with only 400 trades under your belt you're only at the beginning of the journey. You're in learning mode and not in banking mode yet.

Start a journal here on this forum. Not only do you receive feedback from others, but it forces you to take accountability. My journal got slightly out of control due to the daily posting, but it's very valuable to me. Not only the feedback but mainly the fact that I have to post what and why I did stupid stuff. If I did not have a journal I would not make the daily evaluations, the analysis I sometimes do, evaluate the month stats and more important: act upon stupid behaviour. Without a journal I would not act as swiftly as I do now: "I don't want to look like a fool on this forum, so I'd better not make the same mistake again and fix it"

In addition:
- Start using context (my assumption based on your chart postings that you don't do that yet) instead of trading of 1 chart.
- Ditch the indicators and start reading price, volume and market internals. Plot the floor trader pivots, OR, yesterday's HLC, VWAP, etc. That's all that matters
- Keep and evaluate stats: what's the distribution of your expectancy on various times per day, what's the expectancy per setup, etc.
- Do what-if tests on your stats & charts: what would have happened if you doubled your risk, what would have happened if you changed your scaling method, etc.
- Read other journals and follow those that appeal to you most
- Trade sim until you're profitable. Yes, sim trading for the next couple of years
- Ensure that your family doesn't get irritated by your trading. Either have their full support or trade (what I do) when everyone is asleep or not at home

All the best!

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  #55 (permalink)
 shm50 
San Francisco
 
Experience: None
Platform: NinjaTrader
Trading: ES
 
Posts: 3 since Jan 2017
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I strongly suggest going to Jigsaw.com and taking yourself through their free webinars and then trying their product (which you can do in a free trail). They are strong proponents of Order Flow, from which you can see what is really happening in the market, and from which all other indicators derive. Their methods are simple, although take some time to get the hang of. You don't need indicators, all you need is the DOM and a few correlating market charts or DOMs, such as YM, NQ, RHY. Pete Davies, founder of Jigsaw also has a lob of webinars on tube (see Jigsaw) worth your time.

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  #56 (permalink)
 vegas588 
New York, NY USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: MotiveWave
Broker: Stage5 Trading, CQG
Trading: ES, CL, GC, EU
 
Posts: 3 since Nov 2017
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Hi xevanchan

If you are not trading using Order Flow and Volume Profile Analysis tools, then I think you will continue to be lost. I started using these tools and have not looked back since. The market is an auction and knowing where the volume lies, using volume profile analysis and order flow, is the key to deciphering where the market will likely go in the short term. NinjaTrader now has some great tools built-in and I also use OFA (Order Flow Analytics) for trade entry and management. It will take time to learn, but once you see how to use these tools, you will (in my opinion) never use anything else. Most of the indicators out there are just based on price - well that is a very narrow view of the auction process - and will fail to show you what is really happening. Price action is really an indicator of what may happen - kind of like a teaser - but volume analysis is what is actually taking place.

For example, look at the screenshot below. The area where I placed the green line represents an area of "thinner volume." Price will move between areas of thick and thin volume. So, in this case, price moved up and then back down to the thinner volume, where it proceeded to rocket up. I would have placed a long there based on that and look what happened! Straight up. This is just one example, but it shows what I am talking about. Knowing that ahead of time allows me to prepare trades.


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  #57 (permalink)
 glennts 
Corpus Christi, TX / Westcliffe, CO
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: NinjaTrader
Broker: DDT / Rithmic / Kinetick
Trading: 6E, NQ
 
Posts: 105 since Oct 2010
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The key to avoiding the pain that comes from hitting yourself in the head with a hammer is to not pick up the hammer.

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  #58 (permalink)
Onisowo
Ocala, Florida
 
 
Posts: 104 since Jan 2019
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Use renko......heiken ashi is a hybrid representation of price.......I had similar issues until I switched to renko.......Renko on one chart and Japanese candles on the other.....it helps to view the markets using 2 candle types in this particular situation.....

Sent using the futures.io mobile app

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  #59 (permalink)
 chartmojo2 
Missioul Montana usa
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Ninjatrader and others
Trading: nq, es, Hype cool runner Ipo's months out short into lockup expirations. UVXY, TSLA options
 
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Chin up. There is nothing easy about trading. In the markets take a long time to learn. They say it takes 10,000 hours to master something. Think of a pro golfer. How many swings does a golfer put in before turning pro. How many practice swings do they put in ever after a pro. How many trades did you do before going live? In the markets you are up against pro's. Your paying to compete against them. Would you pay to compete against a pro golfer or poker player of Chess grand master. One really has to put in the time to learn and then practice practice practice on a great real time sim program w live data that keeps track of all your stats. Practice till you are consistently profitable and you have tweaked it until you cant get a better % profitable and win rate. Get your order execution to the instant intuitive point. Then ease into real time live $ trading. You are up against a.i.'s, algo's, elite pro gamer types, Chess Grand Master types that have 20,000 games in memory etc they are 14 moves ahead of you..(trades). People jump into trading live way to early and do not really understand what they are up against. Chess grand masters will admit they see the board, the pieces differently over time and differently that everyone else. Same with great traders. Your story is really the story of most traders unfortunately. It does take time and commitment ability etc. fascination and obsession. Think of it as getting a PHd, or becoming a golf pro. It does not come easy by any means. The best you can have is an edge and the win losses are randomly distributed with in the probabilities of the "edge". You could get all the losses up front even with the best strategy. One has to come to grips and really get that down to your core. Machines have no problem with it. That should lead one to if x occurs do x1, if y occurs do y1. As Bruce Kovner master trader put it.."imagine different scenarios, take the one that confirms."..if one gets that on a deep level you can begin to get around the 100 or so cognitive bias's we have that conspire to keep us from trading effectively. Sorry for rambling ..maybe there is something in there for you. Good luck.

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  #60 (permalink)
 TheBenefactor 
Pensacola FL
 
 
Posts: 57 since Jun 2016

We can all jump in and give advice.

Part of the reason is that you most likely are undercapitalized. You may also not have a great income to supplement
your current income.

Most people know where I came from.

My unit had almost a billion dollars behind us. Our traders made great money so they did not have to trade every 5 minutes.

If a day did not look good we went home and did nothing.

The poor guy/gal with a $5,000 account wants to match wits against the big boys.

That is sad.

I can give perhaps one piece of advice:

Find a great trader. He or she had better have made millions of dollars trading. Don't pick someone who

comes up with intelligent sounding stuff but does not have a pot to &^^% in.

See if you can spend two weeks with this person.

Perhaps see if you can take a job with a small hedge fund.

I would recommend one or two excellent trader coaches online but there has to be a thousand idiots out there so don't go online to find a guru. Your odds of success are about 4 in a thousand.

TB
I would teach you but then I would become a guru who gets laughed at every day. Don't need the hassle. LOL

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  #61 (permalink)
 Fxfutures1976 
London
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: cqg integrated,ninjatrade
Trading: Futures and forex
 
Posts: 52 since Apr 2015
Thanks: 6 given, 67 received


chartmojo2 View Post
Chin up. There is nothing easy about trading. In the markets take a long time to learn. They say it takes 10,000 hours to master something. Think of a pro golfer. How many swings does a golfer put in before turning pro. How many practice swings do they put in ever after a pro. How many trades did you do before going live? In the markets you are up against pro's. Your paying to compete against them. Would you pay to compete against a pro golfer or poker player of Chess grand master. One really has to put in the time to learn and then practice practice practice on a great real time sim program w live data that keeps track of all your stats. Practice till you are consistently profitable and you have tweaked it until you cant get a better % profitable and win rate. Get your order execution to the instant intuitive point. Then ease into real time live $ trading. You are up against a.i.'s, algo's, elite pro gamer types, Chess Grand Master types that have 20,000 games in memory etc they are 14 moves ahead of you..(trades). People jump into trading live way to early and do not really understand what they are up against. Chess grand masters will admit they see the board, the pieces differently over time and differently that everyone else. Same with great traders. Your story is really the story of most traders unfortunately. It does take time and commitment ability etc. fascination and obsession. Think of it as getting a PHd, or becoming a golf pro. It does not come easy by any means. The best you can have is an edge and the win losses are randomly distributed with in the probabilities of the "edge". You could get all the losses up front even with the best strategy. One has to come to grips and really get that down to your core. Machines have no problem with it. That should lead one to if x occurs do x1, if y occurs do y1. As Bruce Kovner master trader put it.."imagine different scenarios, take the one that confirms."..if one gets that on a deep level you can begin to get around the 100 or so cognitive bias's we have that conspire to keep us from trading effectively. Sorry for rambling ..maybe there is something in there for you. Good luck.

With all due respect. The 10,000 hour to master a craft does definitely NOT apply in learning to trade. You can maybe double or triple that amount and still no guarantees

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  #62 (permalink)
 Fxfutures1976 
London
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: cqg integrated,ninjatrade
Trading: Futures and forex
 
Posts: 52 since Apr 2015
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allsensi View Post
Hi There and thanks for your post. I am currently in the same situation after being named as trader of the month in the place I am trading for. I have a mentor and shared my situation yesterday with him ( which is losing a lot of money all out of a sudden after winning a lot, to be simple). His two advices where helpful: 1) do not think you are special, he earns millions a year and only last summer he had a series of losing days that even led him to think he was not good for this and2) do not seek aa new method, concentrate in what you have been doing well. He also said this is a toll you have to pay from time to time to be a trader. And here is my half penny: Have you tried to trial out with some of the companies out there that allow you paper trading leading to a potential funded account? It will hurt at times but will settle your discipline and your pschyco.
Hope this helps, and...never ever give up. That is no solution.Trading is for the strong ones and these show how strong they are in the worst moments.

If you have a mentor that is “ making millions” whilst you are losing money, I suggest you see some of his audited accounts for proof. Or get a refund. He sounds like a fraud.

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  #63 (permalink)
 TradingOgre 
Evans GA/USA
 
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Well it's no wonder people get so confused at how to trade. Just look at this thread and the multitudes of fingers pointing in different directions all trying to get you to the same place. So what direction shall I point my finger? Directly at you.

If you are truly profitable in Sim but not in live then you need to analyze every trade you have taken to find out what is different between the two. Is it your entry? Your stop loss? Your exit? Your mental state? etc etc etc etc etc etc. Analyze it to the n'th degree. Sometimes it is just a subtle hesitation that gets you in later than when you are trading sim that makes all the difference in the trade.

Maybe you don't need to turn this 750 foot long boat completely around to keep it off the rocks, just turn to the right a few degrees.

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  #64 (permalink)
rodrigoramirez
Sunnyvale, California USA
 
 
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Hi Xevanchan,

I am not familiar with some of the techniques you mention, but there are situations you describe ring some bells.

- "been margin called" -> This may be a sign you are over trading or risking more than you should. Check some money management books. The book "Money Management Strategies for Futures Trades" by Prof. Nauzer J. Balsara is a true gem "A Trader's Money Management System" by Bennet A. McDowell also has good information. If you don't read any money management then stick to the 2% rule then, basically never risk more than 2% in any single trade. Keep in mind the old saying that your main goal initially it is not to get rich, but to survive the markets.

- "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" -> This is common. I have been there many times and in many cases it can be avoided:
-- Many future markets are very seasonal and what worked great for 2 or 3 months may not work at all the rest of the year. Check this site: equityclock.com. My trading results have improved significantly (fewer but higher quality trades) since I am paying close attention to seasonality patterns.
-- You also mentioned the "ES". The "ES" is one of the most volatile markets out there so when things go in your direction you make good money, but when the wind changes your stops get triggered quite often and your account bleeds. About the ES also consider that in these times un huge uncertainty the risk increase dramatically, that is why the brokers also increased the margins for the equity symbols, ES among them. Anytime the markets are in the changing from bullish to bearish or vice versa that is when most of us loose money, because what used to work well, in the markets case for years now, stops working.

- You also mentioned continuously improving. It sounds to me like chasing the perfect setting. I my opinion you will never get there because as you already experienced when you get there everything changes. If you are not doing so I strongly suggest to do a lot of walk forward optimization. Simulated or paper trading are simply not good enough. Learn about walk forward optimization. Many times it is very hard to get something that works, but your chances of succeeding are much higher if your strategy survives different walk forward scenarios. In this front what you can do depends on the platform you use. To learn about it I recommend "The Evaluation and Optimization of Trading Strategies" by Robert Pardo, this is another great book that takes time to digest but it is totally worth the time and money.

Best luck

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  #65 (permalink)
 TheBenefactor 
Pensacola FL
 
 
Posts: 57 since Jun 2016

Was just going to post what TO just said.

If you are doing what you did in the sim over a period of time you should have similar results.

Perhaps there are emotional issue etc.

We all get "signals" and second guess them.

I am guilty too. Just today one of the people I follow suggested an early morning selloff followed by a rally.

He suggested going long dow futures around 24450 with a 25 point stop.

I thought since it broke below 8:45 am support it would go much lower. So I did nothing.

Finally had to get long 100 points higher.

How about this?

Give your rules to a third party. Let them trade it in cash (hopefully your friend does not mind some risk).

If someone else is trading "YOUR METHODS" and making good money then yes Trading O advises you look at YOU.
TB

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  #66 (permalink)
 xevanchan 
New York City, NY
 
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adenis View Post
My best advice to you is that you that you listen to Futures Traders 71 (FT71) approach. First, and it is free, listen to to his webcasts and his daily market review and trading preparation work (Trader Bites). They are available on You Tube. Then if his approach makes sense to you, subscribe to FT71's Convergent Trading website (https://www.convergenttrading.com/). The monthly cost is minuscule compared to the benefits you will get out of it. That is how I learned trading and it worked for me.

Good luck.

I actually watch his trader bite every morning, and have taken as much as I can from his volume composite based ideas.

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  #67 (permalink)
Onisowo
Ocala, Florida
 
 
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If you want to go over some ideas or need an analysis partner I am available on wednesdays.......just let me know....we can do a screen share session.......

Sent using the futures.io mobile app

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  #68 (permalink)
 steven2 
Vancouver Canada
 
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I suggest you persevere

Your trading can be refined. I think you are on the right path and with some stringent rules, you will be profitable.

1. Wait for bars to close- I see you buying before the bar closes. You don't know what the bar looks like before it closes.
2. ALWAYS buy on top of a BULL bar. NEVER on top of a bear bar.
3. If bull closes near its top but not too high in the range, it is higher quality bar. Could possibly increase your risk capital.
4. H2 (Al Brooks's 2nd entry) is the most reliable stop entry.
5. Always be aware of Always-in direction. Never buy when Always-in is short, for example.
6. Avoid tight trading ranges and flat EMA. You can get chopped to pieces, as can be seen from one of your graphs.
7. If trades run away from you, forget them. You only need 2-3 good trades a day & swing them. Or switch to always-in trading.
8. Only use stop orders. No limit orders (too advanced). Possibly pepper in some follow-thru buy-the-close.

I spend 2 hours every day after trading hours to annotate my intraday chart. I keep a personal blog of everything on the intraday chart, and all my trades, why they worked or not.

Suggest printing a lot of historical charts and annotating them as well.

I trade 5-min. charts, Al Brooks style. Only 20EMA on the chart and support/resistance from yesterday, etc.

Good luck. I am writing this during trading day. Hope have some more input later...

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  #69 (permalink)
 DavidBodhi 
Milwaukee, WI, USA
 
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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.

I concur with several other commenters. If you are looking at a volume-based chart, you are not looking a 'price action'. You are looking at 'volume action'. It is not reasonable to assume that patterns of volume behave the same way as patterns of price. Price action is about movement of price over time. There might be patterns in 'volume action' that are tradable, but I've never heard of anyone analyzing that.

Personally, I find non-time-based charts to mislead. A renko chart showing a 10 point rally over 3 seconds looks identical to a 10 point rally that took 3 hours, but I'd expect radically different reactions to those two moves. But you'd never know it from looking at a renko chart.

A fairly casual look at your screen shots suggests to me that fear is making you delay entry so long you're going in the right direction at the wrong time. However, that's based on me looking at price/time charts for 5 years, for about the same amount of time each day that you have been for the last year. If it's really because your signals are telling you to enter then, then they're not good signals, despite your verbal description of your approach, which sounds perfectly fine.

Someone suggested going 3 months profitable in sim and without seeing new problems before venturing into live trading again. I agree with that. Sure, lots of people say Sim is a waste, because of the radically different emotional reaction to using real money, but if you're going to use price action, you really need to be looking at price/time charts, which means you'll be taking steps back and need confirmation that your trade signals actually work with price action charts. You might also consider adding a good DOM ladder to fine-tune your analysis of the action.

Ok, done with my $0.02.

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  #70 (permalink)
 xevanchan 
New York City, NY
 
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TradingOgre View Post
Well it's no wonder people get so confused at how to trade. Just look at this thread and the multitudes of fingers pointing in different directions all trying to get you to the same place. So what direction shall I point my finger? Directly at you.

If you are truly profitable in Sim but not in live then you need to analyze every trade you have taken to find out what is different between the two. Is it your entry? Your stop loss? Your exit? Your mental state? etc etc etc etc etc etc. Analyze it to the n'th degree. Sometimes it is just a subtle hesitation that gets you in later than when you are trading sim that makes all the difference in the trade.

Maybe you don't need to turn this 750 foot long boat completely around to keep it off the rocks, just turn to the right a few degrees.

I was just thinking that. I'm truly grateful for all the answers, but every individual has their own custom fit strategy that works for them, and there are too many different alleys for me to go down. I think I've narrowed down my problems to entry and chop, but I think my mental state could be playing a large factor as well.

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  #71 (permalink)
 xevanchan 
New York City, NY
 
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DavidBodhi View Post
I concur with several other commenters. If you are looking at a volume-based chart, you are not looking a 'price action'. You are looking at 'volume action'. It is not reasonable to assume that patterns of volume behave the same way as patterns of price. Price action is about movement of price over time. There might be patterns in 'volume action' that are tradable, but I've never heard of anyone analyzing that.

Personally, I find non-time-based charts to mislead. A renko chart showing a 10 point rally over 3 seconds looks identical to a 10 point rally that took 3 hours, but I'd expect radically different reactions to those two moves. But you'd never know it from looking at a renko chart.

A fairly casual look at your screen shots suggests to me that fear is making you delay entry so long you're going in the right direction at the wrong time. However, that's based on me looking at price/time charts for 5 years, for about the same amount of time each day that you have been for the last year. If it's really because your signals are telling you to enter then, then they're not good signals, despite your verbal description of your approach, which sounds perfectly fine.

Someone suggested going 3 months profitable in sim and without seeing new problems before venturing into live trading again. I agree with that. Sure, lots of people say Sim is a waste, because of the radically different emotional reaction to using real money, but if you're going to use price action, you really need to be looking at price/time charts, which means you'll be taking steps back and need confirmation that your trade signals actually work with price action charts. You might also consider adding a good DOM ladder to fine-tune your analysis of the action.

Ok, done with my $0.02.

I appreciate the .02. The volume charts can certainly be misleading at times- they speed up and slow down drastically everyday. As for VP, I use it mainly to determine S/R and entry. I think me trying to incorporate so many different strategies into mine has held me back. I do currently trade off a dom, though it may not be a good one.

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  #72 (permalink)
 xevanchan 
New York City, NY
 
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TheBenefactor View Post
We can all jump in and give advice.

Part of the reason is that you most likely are undercapitalized. You may also not have a great income to supplement
your current income.

Most people know where I came from.

My unit had almost a billion dollars behind us. Our traders made great money so they did not have to trade every 5 minutes.

If a day did not look good we went home and did nothing.

The poor guy/gal with a $5,000 account wants to match wits against the big boys.

That is sad.

I can give perhaps one piece of advice:

Find a great trader. He or she had better have made millions of dollars trading. Don't pick someone who

comes up with intelligent sounding stuff but does not have a pot to &^^% in.

See if you can spend two weeks with this person.

Perhaps see if you can take a job with a small hedge fund.

I would recommend one or two excellent trader coaches online but there has to be a thousand idiots out there so don't go online to find a guru. Your odds of success are about 4 in a thousand.

TB
I would teach you but then I would become a guru who gets laughed at every day. Don't need the hassle. LOL

I've definitely been thinking about trying to find a mentor but I haven't had much luck so far.

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  #73 (permalink)
 steven2 
Vancouver Canada
 
Experience: Intermediate
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xevanchan View Post
I've definitely been thinking about trying to find a mentor but I haven't had much luck so far.

As far as mentors, I am all for Al Brooks. I subscribe to his trading room and am 100% happy. I use the archived videos that he provides to practice some more. You seem to trade Al B's style, so you might benefit from it. Suggest watching his demo trading room video, also can subscribe free for a 2-day trial. FIO has quite a few seminars by him, that you could watch. I specially recommend the latest "Opening Range..." or similar name. I am incorporating the concepts from that seminar into my day trading.

Edit: You can get one-month of back archived videos of his trading room I think for $50. You could probably spend a week or two going over them (and going over them again and again and again). He crams 30 years of price action experience into his talk, so one pass over them is NOT enough.

I have no association with Al Brooks except for being his student. For me, he is the real deal.

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  #74 (permalink)
 Lysakat 
Las Vegas NV USA
 
Experience: Beginner
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Almost any method may be used to trade but it is vitally important to find something that makes sense to you and practice it. A 61% win is good, but it must also make money. Hopefully the winners are bigger than losers.

Keep practicing until suddenly you say, ‘Why am I not trading this?’ It should be immediate, obvious, and undeniable.

I believe you must practice, sim, back/forward test, whatever… by hand, using the exact tools you trade with, everything. In addition, you may also use any automatic analysis to add information, to improve your understanding. Become the expert in who you are, what you do and don’t stop there, always try to learn something new. The market can be your best teacher.

Now the important part. I find most wanting traders spend a disproportionate amount of time trying to find trades. There are more good trades than it is possible to trade. Seldom will you hear when or how to get out.

Predictions are unpredictable. They simply offer an opportunity to trade. Learn when your predictions go wrong! Learn how to stop trading, how/when to get out. Learn it better than when to trade. Know when your predictions are wrong. Was that mentioned twice?

Not trading prevents loss, trading offers gain. Both are essential.

You see something you believe will work, work until you prove it. Hope this helps.

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  #75 (permalink)
 patrader65 
Boston MA
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Here is my 2 cents of advice...I have been there, done what you did and felt like how you feel many many times. I still do, although not quite as often. You are not alone in the journey.

1. If you are consistently losing, you are consistently buying high and selling low or trading within rotations (volatility) on any given day. Try to find out what is low, high on a relative basis and what the volatility for a given session.

2. You need to adapt to the market. I see you mention limit order and stop order entries. There is no one type that works every day. You have to adjust according to the day. Observe what the market is doing in a session and then pick one.

3. Make your observations about #1 and #2, then start just with 1 trade per day with a bracket order. One good trade per day. Wait until you think the trade is one of the best for the day. Doesn't matter whether you win or lose. Do this consistently and it should boost your confidence.

Good Luck.

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  #76 (permalink)
LaissezFaire
Oslo + Norway
 
 
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xevanchan View Post
...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.

Is that one year on ES or one year in total?

In my opinion and own experience - 1 year of studies is nothing in this business, so you should perhaps manage your expectations.

I also have the belief that the most worthwhile stuff on trading will not be found in books or shared freely on forums beyond hints or clues as to which direction to look or what to look at.

If it's actually only one year you've been doing this, I'd stop trading completely (probably a good idea anyway) and start building a methodology from scratch. Start with a clean slate. Expect to spend a few years on this.

What you have in front of you is moving prices. They go up. They go down. How much up? How much down? How often? Start measuring the market and understand how it moves. Concentrate on the swings of the market and their sizes. Look at the daily ranges.

Collect statistics and metrics of the market you trade. Know it inside out. Then, you'll trade the market with confidence and certainty because you know how it normally moves and you also know how it moves when it does not move normally.

The ES and any other market have two basic structures: up days and down days where an up day is one which have the day low before the day high and vice versa. Learn these two.

Nothing beats knowledge and experience. This is best learned and absorbed by yourself. If you're at any point surprised when the market does something it's a clear sign you don't know your market well enough. The market should become a familiar place where you roughly know what's going to happen or what's most likely to happen on any given day.

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  #77 (permalink)
 allsensi 
Madrid Spain
 
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Fxfutures1976 View Post
If you have a mentor that is “ making millions” whilst you are losing money, I suggest you see some of his audited accounts for proof. Or get a refund. He sounds like a fraud.

I am really sorry to read that. Take care.

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  #78 (permalink)
LaissezFaire
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makusan View Post
90% of traders loose because they spend 90% of their time on only 10% of trading (charts, methodology, strategy). 90% of trading is mastering your own PSYCHOLOGY. I am a trading psych coach. I am offering to work with you, after we have a chat. I started out my career as a clerk for a market maker at the CBOE, in the OEX pit. I hold two degrees in psychology. Contact me. makusan2@yahoo.com

False.

Psychology is highly overrated.

If you have a tested methodology which you can trade profitably with simulator trading using realistic parameters (no average down or similar), but find yourself having issues with real money, then - maybe then you have psychological issues.

This is NOT the case with most people.

Taking care of your methodology and market understanding usually takes care of psychological issues.

Steer away, OP.

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  #79 (permalink)
 steven2 
Vancouver Canada
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Trading: Emini
 
Posts: 28 since Dec 2015
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"as a result, in strong trends I often miss out the the entire movement because there are no retraces for me to enter on"

Say you get a strong bull bar and then a decent follow-thru bar. Assuming we are not an obvious resistance area and market is not climactic (and not 2nd leg trap) we are now always-in-long. There is a good chance you make money if you buy at the market for a measured move. Of course risk is high (to the bottom of the swing), so have to adjust size accordingly. Harder to do with smaller ES accounts, easier if trading large ES accounts or SPY.

As you say, pullback may come much later.

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  #80 (permalink)
 chartmojo2 
Missioul Montana usa
 
Experience: Advanced
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"With all due respect. The 10,000 hour to master a craft does definitely NOT apply in learning to trade. You can maybe double or triple that amount and still no guarantees"

I totally agree. Going on 20 years of online trading and learning every day. Law of biology species survival.."observe, adapt, change ( evolve) or perish. Same is true w traders. It all takes time.

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 maxmeier 
Frankfurt
 
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Hello xevanchan,
let me give you some hints. Sorry for my bad english.
Trading must be simple like driving a car. Intuitive and "easy".
I'm trading 2 ES contracts on my $30k AMP Futures account since 4 years now.

1. Choose only one simple setup for example support/resist. This is the only setup that will always work.
Remove every indicator from the chart. Switch to bar chart.
Check the day chart and draw a line for each support and resistence which you see.
Switch to 60 Minute and identify again support and resistance.
Switch to 15 Minute and identify again support and resistance.
Use 5 or 3 Minute chart and 5000 Volume chart to find optimal entry. You will see the entrys for sure.
In a trend buy each support, in a sidway market buy low sell high (at support/resist).
Trade only one setup for at least 66 days. Focus on only one setup. No back and forth no quick changes. Trade only one setup.

Go back one hundert days and check the win rate of your setup by manually identifying your signal by reading the chart for at least 500 trades. Only then you will trust your setup.
Trade one setup and take each identified signal (which matches your predefined rules).

2. At day end check each trade and find out what was wrong and adapt for the future but stick to your only one setup.
After a few weeks you will see.

SL must be greated then the (5) ATR on 5/3 minutes chart.
I'm mostly using 4 point stop and 8 points target (trailing).
I always trade only 2 ES contracts. Means my maximum loss per trade is always the same.
Your winners must be greater than your losers.

I would recomend VWAP Indicator and 300 EMA if you want.
I have the best Mentor (30 years of trading).

After you become a master trader in your one setup then and only then add a second setup or double the contract size.

Simplicity and focus is the key.

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  #82 (permalink)
LaissezFaire
Oslo + Norway
 
 
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maxmeier View Post
I'm trading 2 ES contracts on my $30k AMP Futures account since 4 years now.

Does this mean you're not growing your account and adding size in relation to your capital gains? Or are you withdrawing money?

The key to trading sucess is compounded profits, IMO.

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  #83 (permalink)
 maxmeier 
Frankfurt
 
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LaissezFaire View Post
Does this mean you're not growing your account and adding size in relation to your capital gains? Or are you withdrawing money?

The key to trading sucess is compounded profits, IMO.

I'm also trading FDAX and FESX with same setup. Plus two more setups.
Each month end I withdrawing everything over $30k. It's more then I need.
Means each month I'm starting again with $30k. This is my way.

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  #84 (permalink)
 steven2 
Vancouver Canada
 
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xevanchan View Post
My max fixed percentage is 5%-

I've decided that I'm shooting for home runs and am willing to take losses and BEs on the way.

Wondering why you are you going for home run, specially only after 1 year?

IMO this is a marathon not a sprint. I personally go for smaller profits every day, and never aim for a home run, as home run means big risk -- cannot have one without the other Small profits do add up.

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  #85 (permalink)
LaissezFaire
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maxmeier View Post
I'm also trading FDAX and FESX with same setup. Plus two more setups.
Each month end I withdrawing everything over $30k. It's more then I need.
Means each month I'm starting again with $30k. This is my way.

Interesting. Are you using the exact same methodology on FDAX/FESX?

If it's not private - how much do you typically withdraw every month then?

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  #86 (permalink)
 xevanchan 
New York City, NY
 
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LaissezFaire View Post
Is that one year on ES or one year in total?

In my opinion and own experience - 1 year of studies is nothing in this business, so you should perhaps manage your expectations.

I also have the belief that the most worthwhile stuff on trading will not be found in books or shared freely on forums beyond hints or clues as to which direction to look or what to look at.

If it's actually only one year you've been doing this, I'd stop trading completely (probably a good idea anyway) and start building a methodology from scratch. Start with a clean slate. Expect to spend a few years on this.

What you have in front of you is moving prices. They go up. They go down. How much up? How much down? How often? Start measuring the market and understand how it moves. Concentrate on the swings of the market and their sizes. Look at the daily ranges.

Collect statistics and metrics of the market you trade. Know it inside out. Then, you'll trade the market with confidence and certainty because you know how it normally moves and you also know how it moves when it does not move normally.

The ES and any other market have two basic structures: up days and down days where an up day is one which have the day low before the day high and vice versa. Learn these two.

Nothing beats knowledge and experience. This is best learned and absorbed by yourself. If you're at any point surprised when the market does something it's a clear sign you don't know your market well enough. The market should become a familiar place where you roughly know what's going to happen or what's most likely to happen on any given day.

One year with the /ES and futures. Previously swing traded stocks for several years- not much transferred over.

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  #87 (permalink)
LaissezFaire
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xevanchan View Post
One year with the /ES and futures. Previously swing traded stocks for several years- not much transferred over.

In that case - you're just getting started. You have a lot of homework to do if you want to succeed in this and I think you've received good advice from me and others.

Stop trading. Start studying.

Live trading (simulator or with money) is a waste of time if you haven't done the necessary testing and homework first. You can backtest/backcheck 100 days in 5 days. Comparatively speaking.

Simulator/live trading (one lot) is for checking and testing your methodology after it's developed. And usually that means finding flaws/errrors and going back to the drawing board.

This is a long, long journey and a lonely one also. Not only that - but you have no guarantee of making it. The harsh truth is that you most likely won't. But you can at least avoid losing money if you do what I'm telling you.

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  #88 (permalink)
johny
Melbourne, Australia
 
 
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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.

My experience and many other traders that I know is that markets have changed a lot in the past couple years and have become more difficult to trade. My self I have stopped trading for a little while and have started investing for the longer term to ride out the bumps. I can see you are using hekin ashi and day trading. Day trading is hard enough but you have severely handicapped yourself by using heikin ashi candles. You need to lookup the math behind them. They hide a lot of chart price patterns and induce a bit of lag. Maybe step back a bit a paper trade for a little bit it will remove emotion from the trade and let you test out how your strategy is working.

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  #89 (permalink)
 maxmeier 
Frankfurt
 
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LaissezFaire View Post
Interesting. Are you using the exact same methodology on FDAX/FESX?

If it's not private - how much do you typically withdraw every month then?

Yes using the same setup for FDAX/FESX. And two other setups.
Well its private but its much more then I need and this is the only important thing. More money doesn't mean more freedom for me :-)

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  #90 (permalink)
 Meklon 
New York, USA
 
Experience: Advanced
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Anagami View Post
As a day trader, you are missing a major piece of the puzzle, order flow. You are severely handicapping yourself by trading merely off the charts.

I entirely agree with the above statement - Order Flow is the essential part of a day trader and must be incorporated into your routine. However, the MOST important thing in getting consistent is to simplify your process by stripping down all unnecessary strategies and indicators you using until you find 1-2 REALIABLE setups that you can easily recognize on the chart and trade these setups ONLY. Making this process simple will allow you to gain the most important commodity - confidence.

Trading is combination of many factors, you must see the "big picture" (larger time frames) before you even consider making a trade. This is called "Reading Market Context". Understanding what market have done, what is it trying to do and how good of job it is doing in getting where you think it trying to go is essential. This will help you to pick the path of least resistance and trade in that direction ONLY. Once you understand how to read the context of the market you will need to learn how to identify the zones of potential trades (volume areas, pivot high / lows and prior day high / lows. This will help you to narrow the areas where the trades should be CONSIDERED. Only THEN you will need to start looking for the trades (i.e. setups that you are comfortable with) and pull the trigger by using the Order Flow as confirmation. Another words, you DO NOT want to "play in traffic" by taking a long trade when you see bunch of sellers entering the real-time tape which is clearly shown by Order Flow.

All I have described above is just a road path that will help you get a system in place (the FRAMEWORK). Make your process RULE BASED. By implementing this approach you will stop guessing where the trend starts and stops, you will simple trade WHAT YOU SEE. There are many tools available to accomplish this and every trader has his favorite. The concept is the same.

The important technical part of this technical process is to find the proper chart format (Hiken Ashi, Candles, Bar Reversals, Range Bars, etc. etc.) and adjusting the chart to proper time frame according to market volatility so you can read your signals clearly. You may need to adjust these parameters as market volatility changes. This will help you to avoid being whipsaw and taken out on your stops too much. Usually, these tweaks are quite simple but the results are amazing. Once you will find the right chart format to trade from you will feel like the blindfold was taken out from your eyes.

Hope this helps.

Meklon.

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  #91 (permalink)
 agan1337 
Venice FL
 
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Hello xevanchan

Base in screenshoot what you publish in original post, I think it will be almost impossible to trade range market with that setups
Stochastic is not best indicator and has a lot of problem especially in low volatility market
In NT8 library is many great indicators like double stochastic , StochasticRSI CCI OBV ADX etc
I also use haiken ashi (HA) and trade 250 ticks YM
Depend of your trading stile you need to find your way and get your understanding of the market


Statement that WE TRY TO FOLOW MARKET - not forecast - is very important

I guess line on chart is MA - if you switch it yo the Slope Color EMA it will improve your trading immediately
for the range days short MA will work (3-5) with long (50-120) I do not trade ES and you will need to find your optimum periods

In YM I use 14 to confirm turn


I did not find Order Flow very helpful , but use of OF Delta - ticks on 20 EMA to confirm direction

but be careful with divergence - I find out that Order Flow Delta not always predict price direction


I use price action too but with confirmation of different indicators

on this forum you can find Price action Pro indicator - may be with combination of your existing indicators it will help you see market better


Good Luck !!!


Best


Alex

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  #92 (permalink)
bwasi
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
 
 
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1)I used to use volume chart that in theory is good.. but you cant see what others see in standard 5 min chart.
2)Agreed with other that need to put yesTerday High Low Close line.
3) Your chart frame too big. May use 3 frames like '3 ducks trading' - google it
4) Your style of waiting pullback tells me that u often in choppy trades .. if u not confortable with this , u need to change your chart to min charts, or change to NQ or else or both
5) When you dont understands the chart esp in choppy trade, just get out, Or It will frayed your mind.
6) Trades only when you understand what is going on.like this writing in English..You\ll not understand if I write in Malay - Harap maju jaya dimasa depan dalam trading
7) Stochastics and that indicators only guides , it may stop you take the right action when your gut is right. Volume is useful but nowdays ,,range also have lot volume :>
8) When you dumbfounded..Do this..study your charts and your options - hard . Then take a break for 2 months..Then pick your own idea after your subcons tell u what u should do.
- sometimes it will tell u to stop , sometimes it will tell u that u r the one ..take that red pill and best of luck

Who am I to give u this piece of nothing//
I trade since 2009 in sim and real trades.
Not yet bust my account.
Like U but not U.

ps//after writing this, the idea is quite similar with Mr maxmeir from frankfurt in page 9
- yes, bar chart is better for me I think..look at the close of decision bar..then.. whack that b%tch

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  #93 (permalink)
 Fluid Fox 
Legendary Crypto Investor
Bangor, Maine
 
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I'm not profitable, but I've been break-even in a simulator for 3 months. I'm very proud of myself, and I can see myself becoming consistently profitable. I'm aware that I could be terribly mistaken. I'm not giving up though.

I've come to realize that you cannot just simply apply your strategy when you see "your pattern" or your set-up. In my opinion, that isn't nearly insightful enough- and I'm not accusing you or anyone of lacking this insight. As another (or others) has/have said, you have to put price action into context. This means checking to see if there's alignment between the daily chart, hourly chart, 15 min. chart, 5 min. chart, etc. I assume the probability of a green trade is greater IF all charts are aligned, because the more people (who aren't contrarians) that see the same thing, if they're trend traders (I assume there's a lot of 'em), they'll act in at least similar ways. This isn't such a terrible assumption to make. I know a lot of people will disagree with this and stick to only one chart.

What's the time of day you're trading? I notice I'm most successful on days when the market is going through "moderate" volatility (implicit understanding on my part) from 9:30am-11:30am. During that span of time, I mentally test out trades. My thoughts go along the lines of "If I enter here.." then I keep track of price to see if I would've been stopped out (4 point stop loss) or not. If there was success with that pretend trade, I feel more confident. I do this especially on days where I'm feeling off. I don't let the missed opportunity upset me. I don't let trading upset me, and if I do, I take a break.

I also get up early to identify fake-outs or to see if there's follow-through. In a given day, if there's evidence of a lot of fake-outs, I don't trade. Seeing consistency in price action in a trend at the beginning of the day might just suggest that it's a proper day to trade. In reality, we do not and will not ever know what price is going to do next, but a majority of traders come up with similar ideas or hypotheses and have enough faith to hit enter. The massive simultaneous action of traders based on/inspired from similar ideas and execution of systems creates trends. Experienced traders seem to perceive, vaguely, what the market is most likely to do next- in certain conditions. Narrow your conditions of entry and exit, and be as holistically attentive as you can possibly be. Don't have an aneurysm. You might even know exactly what to do but can't manage your fear. Monetary loss is part of the game, embrace it. This doesn't mean trade lazy.

Logging every single trade has helped me immensely. I've learned from and corrected a lot of mistakes. I've experimented trading in different ways and I'm kind of settling into this more laid back style. I'm sure you'll figure it out, if you remain calm and want it enough. Don't keep doing the same thing.

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  #94 (permalink)
 shodson 
Quantoholic
OC, California, USA
 
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shodson View Post
Just as a follow-up, I made $1,167.24 today on 35 trades...

OK last one of these and won't post these anymore, this is not my journal, but it demonstrates my point...

Made another $1,343.01 today on 52 trades. Couldn't get a borrow on MBOT (-9.47%) again so no trades there, would have been a nice winner, but I did get a borrow in TLRY for the first time in a while and made some nice coin shorting that. PCG (+8.56%) paid off nicely again but this time to the upside instead of to the downside, like yesterday, which also paid off. So why was I long today? Because TODAY it was going up.

So what's the point?
  • Don't get married to a market. Trade what moves! Cramer says "there's always a bull market somewhere", I say "there's always a volatile market somewhere" and short-term trading is easier in volatile markets.
  • Entry and exit rules are just a small part of it. Manage your risk and position size and play lots of small bets to let the law of large numbers work in your favor.
  • Take small losses, if it's not going in the right direction get out, even consider reversing your position. I used to really admire people that not only would take a stop when they were wrong but would reverse their position so I really looked into how and when I could/should do that and it's been a nice addition to my toolbelt.
  • Trade in the direction it's going. Being wrong is OK. Staying wrong is stupid and expensive.


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  #95 (permalink)
 Rrrracer 
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shodson View Post
Take small losses, if it's not going in the right direction get out, even consider reversing your position. I used to really admire people that not only would take a stop when they were wrong but would reverse their position so I really looked into how and when I could/should do that and it's been a nice addition to my toolbelt.

Not to derail the thread, but I would be interested in learning more about this strategy, if you have any advice or info. Thanks!

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  #96 (permalink)
 Anagami 
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Alternatively, if nothing makes sense in this thread, book yourself a trip to an ayahuasca retreat in Peru to find yourself, or a 10 day vipassana meditation course.

Then come back reborn and crush it.

Nothing can be done without inner clarity about who you are and where you are going.

The how takes care of itself once you know the first two things.

"The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven." - Milton
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  #97 (permalink)
jubjub
Hartford, CT
 
 
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Hi There,

This is a great thread with so many suggestions (I've taken notes and and going to adopt some of the ideas). I'm also a huge Al Brooks fan and am on my 3rd time of going through all of his videos in his online course (no affiliation--just happy customer).

One thing that stood out was your stop size. Instead of setting an arbitrary size, try setting the stop at the last swing high/low point or at the beginning of the current trend/microtrend. Try ditching the HA bars and use regular candlesticks as the HA bars obscure that price action and trend info.

As Al says,

if you are not comfortable with the stop distance, then don't take the trade.

This will force you to be choosy about which trades you take. Also remember the trader's equation. In addition, to risk/reward there is also PROBABILITY. Choose two.

Trade 1 contract, limit yourself to only a few trades a day, and set your expectations accordingly. Make it YOUR system...

Good Luck

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