I blew up my accounts, but I have a word on sim trading. I can't speak for others, but sim trading is definitely helpful for me. Following the same routine over and over and over and over again gets me into the habits and routine that I need for live trading. I build neural pathways and confidence. No, sim is not exactly like trading live. Shooting jumpshots in my backyard and during basketball practice isn't exactly like shooting them in a game, but with enough reps my stroke is the same in either environment.
The following 3 users say Thank You to deltason for this post:
Simulator == Golf Range. Both build unconscious competence (muscle memory) - and useful if the practice is using good techniques. Neither can do much for the emotions other than make more stuff automatic, and that's a big help anyway.
Blew up many along the way (c80k's worth I guess). Donkey. Only blow up small experimental ones now...
The following user says Thank You to ratfink for this post:
Isn't the real reason why everyone seems to lose because the market is a casino and the house always wins. When you think about it, trading is a negative sum game after commissions and spreads are taken into account. So to win consistently, you need a big advantage/edge over the other players and then to take money home after the rake/commissions are factored in.
Trader = Gambler
Market = Casino
House = Exchange and Brokers
Rake = Commissions and Spreads.
Trader == Gambler only if he has no statistical edge, no deep market understanding or can't approach the 'job' with a consistent psychology and discipline. Nobody said it would ever be easy, how could it be against the world's best? For the 95% your analogy is of course bang on the money...
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SIM has its place and is useful. Great for testing methods etc but I think many accounts get blown out for psychological reasons not technique. That is not to say accounts don't get blown out because of technique. Early on probably a combo of both is what gets most. For me personally the majority of my issues were moments insanity followed by more insanity.
"The day I became a winning trader was the day it became boring. Daily losses no longer bother me and daily wins no longer excited me. Took years of pain and busting a few accounts before finally got my mind right. I survived the darkness within and now just chillax and let my black box do the work."
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A great many people think they are trading when what they are actually doing is gambling. There is a beautiful paradox in trading that the very people who should absolutely not be trading are often the ones that are the most attracted to it.
Maybe not so much on futures.io (formerly BMT) but there seem to be some people trading that really haven't done any research to see what is viable and what is not. If you opened up a store in a town centre and bought a mish mash of products to sell in it without doing any research then that is also gambling. It would be absurd to do such a thing but people do that in the futures markets. The analogy of a surgeon is a good one. Not until he has learned his craft over time will he have the requisite skills and technique to be able perform successfully in a real life environment.
No one in their right mind would try surgery on someone without extensive training. With trading many seem to want the money before the work and find out it doesn't really work like that.
People use far too much leverage also, futures are already highly leveraged therefore trading with an underfunded account and too many contracts heightens that aspect leaving little margin for error.
As a rule, most people tend to follow each other, given the zero sum nature of markets this means the majority will collectively make the wrong moves and it will only be contrarian thinkers that prevail (at least for short term trading)
I'm in that 25% or so that still have their original account.
"The primary thing required to obtain what you want from life, is simply the will to pursue it, and the faith to believe it is possible." - Author Unknown
"The ability to maintain discipline and stick to the rules is the hallmark of the experienced successful trader" - Curtis Faith
Last edited by PositiveDeviant; January 30th, 2014 at 06:32 PM.
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after blowing out a lot of cash, i started losing less and less from the first account that i took down to half. I eventually lost that much also, but in a lot longer amount of time.
i re-evaluated everything every single day, and with every single loss and with every single small gain and every single exiting too soon.
eventually, i set it up so that i would only have somewhere between $55 and $150 over minimum margin of $500. Yes, it sounds insanely risky, but every single entry had a bracket and the stop was tight so that if there was a few ticks slippage, up to 5 or so, i would not hit minimum margin.
sim sucks, i can't be bothered because the part that i have problems with is the psychology of trading money, not the psychology of sim trading nothing. my issue was executing my trades according to my plans with real money, no money on the line, no psychological aspects of stress, i only sim traded a little bit while waiting to re-load my account.
so i considered, 'blowing up,' my account, to getting my balance too near the minimum margin to continue trading. I did this for 3 years until i trained myself to not do the things that i was doing that were causing losses based on my own mistakes.
the number of thousands of blown money doesn't matter, what matters is the work i did to constantly try to figure out why i couldn't do it right.
i re-loaded probably 150 times or so over the 3 years. and each time my account grew to around $1,000 i would not be able to handle the gains and i would blow that back down to minimum margin and start all over again, this worked great for me, really, really, great.
It got me to find my discipline. I hated not being able to trade, and it happened just in time too because after Mirus, I could not open an account with $800, so now with more in there, I don't do the things that i used to do, basically starting in Nov, so only 3 months ago i got over this hump and luckily, i'm not doing the things that blew out cash, just booked best week in 3+ years.
Oh, and i didn't wire cash in for the re-load, i used a check and that helped me cool down for 14 days before trading again so i could really sit and think about wtf i did to get here, again.
so i guess you could say i blew my account out 151 times...