The idea of trading e-minis or even FOREX interests me and it is something that I would really like to try. I generally can learn things pretty quickly and really get into researching and testing whatever I am interested in. When it comes to this though, I feel a little lost and I am just looking for information on how to set up a setup capable of doing this.
From what I understand, I need:
- a data feed so I can see real time prices
- a trading platform / software to enter my trades into
- a broker to execute my trades
I would like to start of with fake money to just get an idea of how everything works, but before that I need to actually have these things setup. I can't figure out which of each are good or which go together or how to integrate them or which ones have a demo/paper money version that they don't charge full price for.
Is there anything else I would need to actually enter and execute trades in a professional way? Is there a guide or resource out there that explains this?
Ninja trader will give you free end of day data and a free platform to practice on. Its a pretty powerful piece of software, so would be a good place to start.
The other thing you are going to need is adequate capital. Think about the sort of return on capital you can produce, not how much whole dollars you think you're going to make. $200 per day can be a lot or a little, depending on how much capital you have. Undercapitalisation is the biggest killer of traders (along with poor risk control).
Question 1: Can I use this free end of day data to simulate real time trading? Is there anything like paper money in the ninjatrader platform that I could use to keep track of this simulated real time trading?
Question 2: Is yes, how do I do that? Does ninjatrader provide this data feed or would I be using the free end of day data feed from Kinetick?
Question 3: Is there a guide or walkthrough out there, either written or on youtube, that explains how to actually use the ninjatrader software to enter / exit trades?
I'm not sure what you mean by $200 per day, I assume you are saying $200 profit could be a lot or a little depending on you total capital? Realistically, I could start out with ~$5000. Is that a reasonable amount?
With $5000 you could open up a futures account with a broker of your choosing and then set up a simulated account that'll give you live data. Trade this to your heart's desire. Blow it up, no problem, open up a new sim account. You could use Ninja if the broker offers it or the broker's own in-house platform. It goes without saying, and you mentioned this already which is good, that you shouldn't trade with your real money when starting out.
And while you asked more of a technical question, I recommend, if you haven't already, reading Mike's "Ask Anything" thread. It goes more into psych, risk management, expectations, and overall finding your way in the markets. Take a few days and read it all. Lot of good information in there for the novice trader--and the veteran.
Someday, and that day may never come, I'll call upon you to do a service for me.
You can try market replay downloader (Ninjatrader Market Replay - Download). Its free historical tick data. It won't give you live data, but you can practice with it. Depends on your timeframe. If you're day trading, then use market replay. If you are trading longer time frames, then the free data provided with Ninja trader should be sufficient.
Its not necessarily the amount of capital you start out with, but what you do with it. $5,000 trading micro contracts with little leverage aiming for 100% return on capital over a year (which is pretty good) should aim for $15 to $20 profit per day. Any more than that, and you'd be a trading genius. Aiming for a couple of hundred dollars per day trading on that amount of capital and you'd be lucky to last 3 months.
I suggest you practice, practice, practice and build up your capital. Personally, I aim for a 25% to 40% return on my capital, but then again this isn't my full time job so I can't devote more than 4 to 6 hours a day to trading.
The following user says Thank You to jamjacson for this post:
Was pondering your reply and was wondering, on average if you use stop loss targets, what would you recommend for a stop loss target. If using the $5000 capital as a starting point, what would you do in dollars for an e-micro for example?