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SIM to LIVE trading for traders with history

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  #1 (permalink)
london/england
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Sierra charts, NinjaTrader, VK Trader
Broker: CQG, AMP, VK, Kinetick
Trading: CL/6E/TF/ES
 
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Hi ladies and gents

As per the above title

I was curious to know how you other traders over come you fear in the markets

1. After bad past experiences
2. Every trading day

So

No1. basically when i 1st started tarding and went live and blew my 1st account...as you do
how did you guys over come that fear you get left with after such experience

I over come this by continious practice is SIM untill i felt conftiable again, but still i had such big issuse when going back on my live account. As soon as my dome was live with white back ground (on Ninja trader) i would literally start to shake and sweat. This 1 made me unconfident and neverious and 2 affected my reactions and decisions when trading

No2. Every day still when i trade, in the process of starting my computer up and start getting ready for work. I still feel these emotions kick in. That nervous feeling and a light sweat, like when you going on a 1st date or you doing some thing you dont feel confident doing. Even tho i have been trading for a few years now i still get this gut feeling every day

So i wanna know how you guy going about solving these issues

I help this by having the same routine every day, i get up turn my computer on, have breakfast and start my morning routine ect

once i have done my 3000 million step morning routine and prep and i am ready to trade, i then switch off global simulation and set my DOM to my live accounts

i now feel confident and ready for what every the market throws at me

Then once i exacute my trade, if i start 2 get nervious and start feeling my emotions kick in. I turn my music up and try to stay focoused on the market and not my position

This helps me alot

BUT....i have found in the past, once things go wrong

its like a steady slop up with a vertical drop down..i have not been in that situation for a while now, but im sure you all know exacly what im talking about

DIGGING your self a hole, once you make a small error and let you emotions jump in. Literllay you can start a vicious circle of mistakes were you start revenge trading

So i was curious how you guy and gals cope with this pressure this job brings and how you manage your fear and emotion in these times


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  #3 (permalink)
Legendary Market Wizard
Portland, OR
 
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Massive l's Avatar
 
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Honestly, my emotions in sim and the transition to live were very similar...a wreck.
I treated my sim trades as if they were live.
I know that's not the usual for people but I don't like losing money, even if it's fake money!
I don't like losing period but with time you come to accept it's part of the game.
You win, you move on. You lose, you move on. You're going to lose money at first and you may for
a while. I know an extremely talented programmer (one of the best on the internet that many people follow) that
has not been profitable for 3 years now.

I would catch myself being affected by the trade so I simply would tell my mind to
'let the system do that work....let the system do the work'. That seemed to calm my nerves
and take a step back. If you give your brain instructions, it will follow them.

If you're feeling seriously uncomfortable about a trade, then you probably shouldn't be in it.
Get back in when you have a clearer head.

Before you get in a trade, you have to know when you're getting out, whether it be positive
or negative. Simply having a solid trading plan should chill your emotions as well.
This is a business. Treat it like so. You need to have everything written out; a foundation,
that will be adjusted as you hone your skill with more efficient and profitable ways of doing business.

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  #4 (permalink)
cologne, europe
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: ninjatrader, t4-trader
Broker: ninjatrader/cqg
Trading: fairly traded ones
 
CFuture's Avatar
 
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What worked for me after having had a severe 30% hit on my account (too big position size with too much ego after a very successful month): Checking setups papertrading again, just dabble around with no expectancy. Then practice how and when to get in and out with your normal risk management rules/contract/ordersize you would apply to your live account .

After success start with the smallest ! position size trading your real money again (micro contracts or less in spot forex) to overcome fear. Grow, but not overleverage to sizes you canīt handle yet, again.

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  #5 (permalink)
Honolulu, Hawaii
 
Experience: Intermediate
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bluemele's Avatar
 
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Like Ichibomb, I too don't like to 'lose' haha...

However, I did what so many others do on sim. Well, it is fake right...

To me, if you can't papertrade profitably, then move to sim profitably then to live profitably than you are just making your broker rich.

I can papertrade miraculously well.

I can sim trade (about break even lately).

When I would take the dip to live (a year ago+) then I would just eat at my account slowly.... I didn't like that...

I realized that emotions were my issue and that if I could not have a hefty 'gap' or 'margin' in my profits then I most likely would continue to let the emotions eat me into negativity again.

Now, I absolutely treat it like real money even on SIM. I find every few weeks that I fall out of that, but it is rarer and rarer.

To me, if you are having an issue on LIVE, than you are trading too much margin or trading scared money. For now, I have scared money and that is part of the reason I do not go live. I have some big $'s coming soon, but for now, I have scared money...

So, if you have the following then I would go live:

Papertrade profitably
Sim Trade Profitably w/ Margin of mental error
Live trade breakeven to positive (will give you positive momentum to do more)

Than your training wheels will slowly come off... Just my opinion.

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  #6 (permalink)
desert CA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, SC, ToS
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If I trade futures on sim, on Ninjatrader it's the same way I trade live. If I lose on sim I get very despondent and a overall loss on a session makes me feel as I know nothing about trading for the rest of the day, just the same as on live. Sure the "pain" of losing on sim is less than losing real money.

Sure I've fooled around adjusting the sim with a million account and trading 50-100 contracts for fun and not worrying about margin calls but only for fun usually trading replay at 10x to 200x playback speed.

But when there's a live market during a liquid period going on, I find it hard to resist playing the sim like real. Then I set the sim account to the same amount as my live account and sim off the live charts. Because I believe my poorest performance on sim reflects my poorest performance on live. To the point I get scared playing sim almost as much as live.

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  #7 (permalink)
Honolulu, Hawaii
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Cloudy View Post
If I trade futures on sim, on Ninjatrader it's the same way I trade live. If I lose on sim I get very despondent and a overall loss on a session makes me feel as I know nothing about trading for the rest of the day, just the same as on live. Sure the "pain" of losing on sim is less than losing real money.

Sure I've fooled around adjusting the sim with a million account and trading 50-100 contracts for fun and not worrying about margin calls but only for fun usually trading replay at 10x to 200x playback speed.

But when there's a live market during a liquid period going on, I find it hard to resist playing the sim like real. Then I set the sim account to the same amount as my live account and sim off the live charts. Because I believe my poorest performance on sim reflects my poorest performance on live. To the point I get scared playing sim almost as much as live.

I feel the same way. Losing a couple grand isn't that big of deal really. But, doing it day-in, day-out and just the overall disgusting feeling of being wrong is what sinks me...

My worst trade is -85K. That was painful for me and something I wish to never repeat.. I have several in the 20K-30K range and many below that, but that one stands out in my only time I think that I felt the money concern me to an extreme.

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  #8 (permalink)
london/england
 
Experience: Advanced
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Broker: CQG, AMP, VK, Kinetick
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Posts: 952 since Sep 2011
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The most i have every lost in 1 trade live is $6,500 and that hurt. God know how i would deal with a $30,000 loss!!

i now only keep the minimum in my account now, so if i do happen to go on a emotional downwards spiral, my losses are minnimal

i am only trying to make $300-500 a day 1 contract

1 target 1 stop loss

my theory behind this is...if i can make $300-500 a day consistant

1 day i will trade the exact same method but used 10 contracts 1 target 1 stop

so that $300-500 a day will become $3,000-$5,000 a day

a nice living if you ask me :-D

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  #9 (permalink)
Honolulu, Hawaii
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Yes, the key of course is consistency. Your goal is my first step as well to build some credibility and consistency.

It is all relative and smart to keep the minimum in your account also considering the brokers these days...

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  #10 (permalink)
desert CA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, SC, ToS
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Trading: CL,NQ,YM
 
Posts: 2,134 since Jul 2011
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Sorry to hear about those losses. I got margin called so was forced to get hit with a loss which halved my account. I was using way too many contracts. Because I got overconfident and was making 1k to 3k a day for about a month. So it's definitely possible once one gets to a consistent level. And there are stories of those who make much more per day all over trading forums. But I had not prepared myself psychologically for a big loss at the number of contracts I was overdoing. ;

Yes, now I would agree psychological consistency is my main goal. Also knowing when to get out and when not to trade. I am thinking about trading until a daily profit goal. Then trading sim the rest of the day for practice. But the temptation to continue to trade live is enormous at that point Then after a big loss , there's a lot of fear to overcome to trade live again.

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  #11 (permalink)
london/england
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Sierra charts, NinjaTrader, VK Trader
Broker: CQG, AMP, VK, Kinetick
Trading: CL/6E/TF/ES
 
Posts: 952 since Sep 2011
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Cloudy View Post
Sorry to hear about those losses. I got margin called so was forced to get hit with a loss which halved my account. I was using way too many contracts. Because I got overconfident and was making 1k to 3k a day for about a month. So it's definitely possible once one gets to a consistent level. And there are stories of those who make much more per day all over trading forums. But I had not prepared myself psychologically for a big loss at the number of contracts I was overdoing. ;

Yes, now I would agree psychological consistency is my main goal. Also knowing when to get out and when not to trade. I am thinking about trading until a daily profit goal. Then trading sim the rest of the day for practice. But the temptation to continue to trade live is enormous at that point Then after a big loss , there's a lot of fear to overcome to trade live again.

I think you just hit a MAJOR nail on the head there "Cloudy"

This is always used to happen to me!

I used to start off with a small account and minimum contracts, i would then do consistently well making 1k to 3k a day too, with no daily goal and lots of greed and confidences. I then get over confident and start trading too many contracts to soon

To then get myself into a emotion state were I take a bad trade to find myself with a bigger loss because of the more contracts involved and end up taking a huge loss, most of the time just letting the trade wipe my account out!

itís a very hard battle with your self

I suppose this is why you have to have ultimate discipline to be a pro trader

"we learn from our losses, not our winners"

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  #12 (permalink)
Austin, TX
 
Experience: Master
Platform: ninjatrader, r-trader
Trading: NQ, CL
 
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Posts: 865 since Jun 2011
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The key for me is to trade with probabilities. Probabilities allow you to look beyond each individual trade lessening it's importance. If individual trades are less important removes you a degree from the psychological minefield that goes with each trade. Because individual trades don't matter in short term can chill. Only thing that matters is long term probability of system and being capitalized in a way that allows you to handle inevitable draw downs.

Once have a grip on probability of system then can even take step further and automate which can remove even further from the fray.

Trading can mess you up more than financially.

"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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  #13 (permalink)
San Diego
 
Experience: Beginner
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Trading: CL, ES, NQ
 
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I also feel despondent if I lose in SIM. I guess I really dislike losing. Need to get over that if I want to eventually make a living at this because losses are part of the business.

BTW, I have had several traders tell me recently that staying in SIM too long is hurtful to your trading. Never thought about that before.....

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  #14 (permalink)
Site Administrator
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BeachTrader View Post
I also feel despondent if I lose in SIM. I guess I really dislike losing. Need to get over that if I want to eventually make a living at this because losses are part of the business.

BTW, I have had several traders tell me recently that staying in SIM too long is hurtful to your trading. Never thought about that before.....

If you do things in sim you would never do in cash, you are defeating the purpose of sim.

For example, if you add to losing positions, move stops further out, or walk away and "just don't care" -- while leaving the position on -- these are things you likely wouldn't do when trading cash. So they serve no purpose except to create bad habits.

Mike

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  #15 (permalink)
london/england
 
Experience: Advanced
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Trading: CL/6E/TF/ES
 
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Big Mike View Post
If you do things in sim you would never do in cash, you are defeating the purpose of sim.

For example, if you add to losing positions, move stops further out, or walk away and "just don't care" -- while leaving the position on -- these are things you likely wouldn't do when trading cash. So they serve no purpose except to create bad habits.

Mike

This is very true Mike,

I found one of the best ways to trade SIM is to try make yourself feel the emotions you feel on a live account and make you actions accountable

1 good technique is to make trading SIM as real as possible in the sense if you make a mistake ect there is a consequences behind you actions

For me I found creating live journals on site`s like this that people read, or a personal journal, or a live video journal on you tube. This makes you take SIM trading more serious making you hold you trading accountable because at the end of every trading session you should post your daily PnL for you self and other people to see

If you keep track of you trades in real time, you cannot just reset the SIM because you trades for the day will not tie up with you Daily PnL

This helped me a great deal in the past and still helps me now trading a live account, You could also get a close friend or family member to keep track of your trading, this didnít work for me as I donít know anybody around me that understands what the blood hell Iím doing

So sites like this work wonders because people know what their reading and talking about most of the time, so you have to be real to yourself and the people reading

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