I have learned a bit about trading the ES, a bit on volume profile with FT71, always like to hear his morning report, most useful analysis I have found and the one thing that has actually helped me get more consistent. I still haven't read the books on volume profile thou. Only books on trading I have read where elliot wave and trade what you see (harmonics), nothing on psychology which I guess is crucial (something like trading in the zone). So on that part I need to do a bit of study, probably two or three books, either Dalton or Steidlmayer for volume profile, and one or two psychology books. Any recommendations on this are appreciated.
I need to also work on my trading setup, which is not great. For starters I need to buy the membership to this site so I can get some indicators, one or two of them I guess almost replaces marketdelta, so that's great. Wont be able to afford jigsaw until I at least make a two grand profit with two lots and feel I will continue to be consistent. Anyways, here is a pic of my current setup. 2015-10-01_1836 - tradevoyager's library
Keep in mind, I only have one monitor at the moment, will get another one soon. So there I have a four range chart and a five minute chart, both have two multicolored SMA's, a 40 and 14. I have a volume imbalance chart (don't know how to really use it well), and another five minute chart with the profile. Any advice on this is also appreciated.
As to my trading, its not great, I scalp a lot, overtrade, and get that wrong quite a bit, so am now working on higher timeframes, holding one or two lots for ten minutes or more. Finding this very hard to do, but I think its the only way if I want to be somewhat successful with only two lots and a limited open loss of $1,000, which is ten points with two lots. So any recommendation on how to do this is also appreciated it.
Finally, I know there are no shortcuts and nobody will actually call good trades for me live, but I was thinking that maybe there is some kind of good live trading room with a few good traders out there doing all kinds of good ES analysis, that would be very useful for starting out because I will likely miss quite a few important things once in a while, if not maybe every day, specially on key levels and price patterns, so having people pointing out important things is great, specially when gaining experience and confidence. I know there is an elite ES thread in this site, I guess its pretty good and active but I don't really know. Someone recommended Al Brooks, said he was the best price action trader he knew about, he has a live trading room, but he never really makes trades there and I am not so sure if he is for real or reliable, I find a few things from his personal story to be odd, and I don't want to rely on just one person and one style for analysis. So any advice on this is greatly appreciated also.
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Most people in the beginning get too try too many indicators and too theoretical. It takes several months and thousands of hours before one starts making money in the field consistently. About 90% of the new traders blow their account in the first 9 months.
The $1000 initial loss limit trading two ES lot is unrealistic. I suspect you may not get more than 5-8 loosing trades with 2-lot before hitting that 1K limit. You goal should be to get as many live trades as possible with your initial investment. With small capitals, ES is not the right instrument to start out with. You should initially look for instruments where the loss/trade is not more than $50.
Keep in mind, even you win 50% of the trades and both loss/trade and profit/trade are $50, you will still be loosing money because of the fees and commissions.
But first, try a sim account for several weeks before trading live accounts. Live trading is very different from sim trading, but you will get to see how the instruments move over a period of time.
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I am not brand new to the markets per se, don't know much but I can trade ok in a sim with a few lots, rarely hit that $1,000 mark with two lots. I know the real account will be a different story thou. Do you think that $1,000 is unrealistic for an ok trader? I am looking for some software that would tell me when I hit that mark with unrealized profits on the sim with ninjatrader so I can know better if its for me. What I am considering is to get the higher account, it has $2k loss limit with three lots to start with, I think that's much more realistic. So far my strategy works ok, I basically select random days from before and download the replay data, then listen to the FT71 report for that day, mark my key levels and targets, then use five minute and range charts with two multicolored SMA's, a 40 and a 14, and trade mostly in the direction of the SMA's based on price patterns. The one thing I am trying to improve is to avoid scalping and hold my winners for a while. So far I have made some improvement. I also do ok with real time data.
What I am also looking for is a live trading room or a good live chat with a few experienced traders so I can check their ideas and share, but not to take signals just to learn in real time. So far the only close thing is probably the elite ES thread is this forum.
Do you know of software to track the unrealized profit/loss? What instrument do you recommend for starting? Is the $2k with two or three lots realistic with the ES?
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Just that we are on the same page, define "ok trader" please.
How long have you been trading ES?
How many contracts of ES have you traded so far?
How many trades ?
What is the payoff ratio?
Every trading platform does it.
Also, in my experience, trading futures is not a science that can be mastered by reading books. Markets are not static subjects like math or physics. Markets are dynamic, they change every day, every minute, every moment, hence the methods of mastering math or physics do not apply here. And, there is no single indicator which can predict future accurately majority of the time. Only way to make money consistently is by learning first hand in live trading. Dont think about how much can you make or how large could you lot size can be. Try to maximize the number of trades with the small investment to get the experience. If you cannot afford to loose the investment, trading may not be a good idea.
Last edited by cogito; October 4th, 2015 at 09:35 PM.
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I want to be helpful and not discourage you, but you have a difficult task here.
No, the $1,000 is not realistic. You are very likely to lose the $1,000 fairly quickly. That is not, in itself, a totally bad thing, although it will certainly seem so if it happens. It is not a completely bad thing because you need some reality, and it will give it to you. Then you may pick yourself up and go about it in a way that is not so hazardous.
Here's the problem: with that kind of money, you do not have enough cushion to last out the inevitable losses that will come while you try to learn how to do this. You just aren't well-capitalized enough.
Much of what you say makes sense. It would be a good idea to spring for the Elite membership. There is a lot available here. Also, FT71 knows his business and can teach you some things. So do many others. Unfortunately, the mirage of a trading room where a good trader helps you learn is not only a mirage, but will be a very costly one if you seek it. Yes, there is a live ES thread here which is good, and many trading journals that you can learn from.
Since you have limited funds and experience, one idea would simply be to trade stocks or ETF's, if necessary a few shares at a time. You will not be able to day trade them (the "Pattern Day Trader" rule will require you have an account over $25,000), and it takes 3 business days for the proceeds of a sale to be available for re-investment, so it will seriously limit your short-term trading -- which is not necessarily a bad idea, actually.
If you get the Elite membership, @Big Mike has a video on first steps to take; I think he has a link to it in his "signature" block. (I think it's in the Elite videos, but check first by clicking the link in his signature.) I'm not pushing Elite, but it's one avenue to find out more. As I recall, Mike recommends starting out with equities (stocks), or ETF's, or micro FX (small FX lots so your risk is small.) Disclaimer: I have no knowledge of FX (foreign exchange: currency trading), so can't tell you more about it.
Other thoughts: be careful of scalping. It is an art that few have mastered. Also, do not put a lot of trust in magic indicators or methods, no matter where you get them from or who uses them; many will work well if you just understand the market first, but none will replace the need for that understanding.
OK, that's enough from me now. I hope you will find something in what I said that is useful to you. You have an enormously good chance of losing that money, but the other side of that is that taking those lumps can help you learn. Of course, it's not a great way to get the lessons....
Try to take smaller steps first. Futures can hit you very quickly. You will learn better if you're not broke.
Good luck with it, however you decide to go.
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Been trading the ES for over a year on sim accounts.
Usually trade around 25-50 contracts in the mornings with two lots
Not sure what the payoff ratio is, but I get around 60% profitable trades most days. I can make around $300-500 with two lots in a day with a max drawdown of $500-800, and the only days I have lost is when I do very obviously wrong trades, days where I feel sick, am not motivated, started trading late, didn't hear FT71, didn't prepare well, or simply was trading stupidly all day long. I am working on this, not a big deal. What is a big deal is to learn market profile, buy the books and also learn trade psychology, and apply this to money management and price action analysis. I guess I can get there in a few months.
I think you are not clear as to the capital amount I would be using. It would be a $100k account, just not mine, but from sponsors of TopStepTrader, they take the risk, I only lose the gains I had made, the time, and maybe the fee for evaluation. This account would have a $2k daily loss limit, $2k weekly loss limit, would give me three lots to start with but can increase to about 10 if you earn enough. As for indicators, I use two SMA's, volume profile, a five minute, a four range, and that's about it, maybe will incorporate gomi and something else but I am not a fan of lagging indicators. I like rancho dinero but cannot afford it now, will get it later, but will buy the books and this membership first.
If you can make recommendations for the setup and strategy and books, that would be great.
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I think I didn't explain the capital available very well. Its not my own money, I am broke, its topsteptrader who would evaluate me and provide a $100k account with three lots and a $2k daily unrealized loss limit and a weekly $2k loss limit with an initial $3k trailing drawdown limit. You have to make money 50% of the days, must make money by day ten, must always use stop loss orders, and cannot trade during economic releases. They will charge 20% of the profits after you make $5k, which are yours 100%. If you fail, you don't owe them and you can again be evaluated for another account.
As for trading experience, I traded stocks for three years, made some gains but where very small, I only had a tiny $2k account. Got bored and jumped into penny stocks, made and lost $8k in three months. I wanted that money to trade futures, but lost them in a bad stupid trade. Got frustrated with that, will probably never trade penny stocks again. My interest was always in futures. I hate forex, lost a $2k account, my first trading experience, horrible, didn't know anything about trading and was buying and selling $100k lots like it was some king of money ping pong match. That was a very long time ago and I had very difficult personal situations along with this. Things are more stable now and I know quite a bit more on the markets.
Maybe I will make a video of me trading the trial account and send if to you so you can have an idea of how I trade, my setup, and what can be improved, if you are willing.
So, maybe that now you have a more clear view of my situation, maybe you can give additional recommendations.
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You might want to think about starting with a smaller Combine; the 100k will have a fairly high profit target, and reaching for that higher level causes many traders to fail, by overdoing risk.
It is also a good idea to begin as soon as you are confident about your trading platform and methods. Continuing with pure, no-risk sim is not a way to develop good habits or attitudes. So as soon as you are ready, take the step.
Loss control must be a major concern. Have a personal loss limit that is smaller than theirs, and stop before you hit it.
If you lose on the first attempt, see what you can learn from it and adjust your course.
Again, good luck, and just know that even the Combine will be a different sort of experience from pure sim, since there will be a different level of risk.
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Actually, no. If you want to make a trading video, put it up in a trading journal for all to see. If you want a recommendation, start a journal now in the journals section, and document your trading decisions, the reasons for the trades, the outcomes, and any successes or mistakes you identify. Do that even if you don't start a Combine now. But start one as soon as you are comfortable; it is much closer to real life than sim trading ever is.
When you are ready for a Combine, try it out and see how it goes. If you need a course correction, take it when you see it. So not assume that the Combine will be an automatic success. It may be a hurdle that will tell you how ready you actually are.
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