I've been using market replay on the TF. I've got 47 hours in and 1008 trades. Each trade is 4 contracts. Pretty much mechanical entry with discretionary exit. $14712 net after commissions. (Commissions over estimated by not taking into account reduced rates after 500 trades.)
For those that have successfully gone from sim to live, did you have some sort of benchmark that you hit before going live? If so what was it--total hours, trades, net per trade, win%, or ? How did you decide on the benchmark?
If there wasn't a benchmark, how did you decide--confidence, impatience, other subjective criteria?
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Your egde! You have to trust your system and know that what you've done is working. There is no technical difference on live and sim trading. The only difference there is, is the one in your mind.
It is great that you've asked the question here in the forum, and hopefully you're going to get a lot of inputs on this. But ask yourself if you're ready or not, and be honest to yourself. If your gut is telling you that you're ready, then go for it and trust your edge. If not, don't worry, get back to work and do whatever it takes in order to get yourself the "knowing" that what you have works in all situations.
We all struggle to make tomorrow look like yesterday!
Get rid of your past and let the future unfold from the now. Past performance is not indicative of future results.
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The only difference may be the fills due to different slippage than the sim generates (also a limit order may actually get skipped over in real trading). The other difference is the feeling you have when in a live trade. It is a mental game at that point.
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From the point of view that you have to earn a contract to trade it... i.e. for every $5k you earn you scale up one contract. Start by earning $5k in sim realtime, then add one contract, loose money... back to sim until you earn your $5k again. Get to $10k add another contract, loose it and you're back to one contract, maybe back to sim, until you earn your $5k again.
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Platform: NinjaTrader (It's a love/hate relationship)
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The only problem with Sim is that there is no risk involved. To take it to the next level, my suggestion is to risk something based upon your sim performance. Perhaps a gentleman's bet with a friend. But make it so it will hurt if you lose. I panic at the thought of blowing my trading account. You should panic at the thought of losing this bet.
Also, I've found the flow of market replay data is quite different than live. Make sure to sim on real-time live data, not to jump from market replay right into real-time real money. This may not be relevant if you trade a long enough time-frame though.
The following user says Thank You to Slipknot511 for this post:
I assume that you're describing the idea to actually make a permanent change in trading to "switch" permanently to live mode.
As others have suggested, I recommend only doing this if you have set yourself up with enough of a financial cushion and you've been consistent in winning trades a high percentage of the time with realistic live data from simulation mode.
Please be open to the fact that live trading can be a different beast all together, as there are inherent delays due to the unlocalized nature of live trading. Make sure your connection is stable and you're not opposed to going back to simulation mode if necessary!
It's all a mind game. Allowing yourself to fail - no pain, no gain!
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Trading is like Major League Baseball...........the minor leagues is where you sim trade ( in a live market) you do market replay (endlessly) and you develop your skills and trading plan. Once you have been able to implement your plan sucessfully in a live market you will hear the John Fogarty song " Put me in coach I'm ready to PLAY!!"
This will be your shot in the big leagues.......playing against the best players in the WORLD. It may be that you will be the "Rookie of the Year" or you may be sent back to the minors for more "seasoning."
Remember.......you've got to get into the water to learn how to swim........just don't drown doing it. ....(ie blow up your account)
So much for mixed metaphors.......
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