Seeing so many people trade this I was hoping people could share their information. Please only post "Answers" if you are a profitable trader (no matter how small). I am just trying to get out of the red!
How many ticks do you "usually" "start" your stop loss at?
Any simple rules for how you adjust it as the trade progresses?
Where do you "usually" set your profit target?
What indicators work best for you?
Do you use tick charts or time charts and at what intervals?
Do you use bar intervals or candlesticks with your tick charts?
Do you follow any chat-rooms or threads with other profitable traders to give you any set up ideas?
Please post links and costs if any.
I realize that there is no easy way. I have my own system and have been putting in lots of time, money, and effort into this. I have been in the red for a couple of years and I feel I am close to breaking out. I have learned so much the past few weeks and have moved from E*Trade to Tradestation and Stocks to Futures. I am just looking for some general guidelines and ideas from profitable traders to incorporate into my system and help me navigate through this ever-changing market. I'd really appreciate any help and if I use anyone's ideas and make some serious money, I'd be more than happy to compensate you in the future!
Why would I post answers when I don't make money? I am creating this to get people moving in the right direction. I have been experimenting with various answers to all of these questions and I am in the red.
All I know is I am focused on trading the Emini S&P 500 with Tradestation. I plan to use the Better Sin, Better Pro Am, and Better Volume indicators. I feel I am heading in the right direction and I'm looking for help fine tuning these things.
I am asking because it feels like I am always on the wrong side of the trade. I want to know if I need larger stops because it always feels like I got stopped out right before things go my way and it's always too late. I want to know if I should be using smaller profits too because it also feels like things reverse I and I usually end up with a break even trade. So I am trying to figure out if going with smaller stops and smaller losses is better (and if so how small) or if it is better to have larger stops and give my entries a chance to breathe. I have followed the 2 to 1 ratio, ect on books, but think I need advice from some actual winners that don't need to write a book to make money!
I went through that experience also, so I widened the stops and adjusted to a smaller risk tolerance.
So what if you have to trade 1 contract for a while, it is about suceeding over the long haul, not short term
being correct. Adjust your P and L expectations for the short term.
What I found in my case, is that it was a trace of being over anxious to trade, which translates into discipline.
I went through, and still go through with being correct but being early and getting stopped out at a scratch or small loss.
What I have done is adjust the targets from longer time frame charts, it provides a good filter for noise and a better view of S/R for targets. IMHO.
It does sound like you are on the right track, but again don't over trade, fight the urge to have to do "something" just because the indicators line up. I hope this helps. --- Best of luck, Joe
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Wouldn't that depend mostly on where you enter the trade? Said another way, an answer of "use 3 ticks" or "use 20 ticks" won't mean anything without some context of your entry point.
Also, since you said you feel as if you are often on the wrong side, have you considered doing exactly the opposite of what you feel you should do? Put differently: someone else on the other side of your trade is in a winner. Why not join them?
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As the other's stated that depends on your entry point, your profit target, risk profile and what type of strategy you are using. i.e. if you are trying to time trend reversals off of say 100 bar tic chart you better keep it fairly tight, say 4 to 6 tic's on an emini in my opinion, but if you have a huge risk tolerance and trust the set up you can get wider.
I trade reversals and break outs primarily, so what I have learned since re-entering trading is that a 4 tic stop was too close to the high or low, the markets are a bit sloppy with all the electronic trading and new people comapared to back in the day when the floor wagged the tail, everyone pretty much knew S/R levels as P and F charts were carried with your deck, since I have found it best to be 5 or 6 tic's away, as I was using 4 and was getting stopped out on winning trades. So to account for the added loss potential I just scaled back size. But risk tolerance is a relative thing, mine is not yours or vice versa. This should be addressed in your trading plan, I use very tight risk profiles in the current environment .01 and sometimes less. Having traded through the big one and survived you learn when conditions are okay to take on a larger risk profile, currently I err to smaller.
The best answer comes from an Amos Lee song, "Keep it loose... Keep it Tight..."
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