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New to Futures, but Hitting the Wall
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New to Futures, but Hitting the Wall

  #41 (permalink)
Houston, TX
 
 
Posts: 12 since Jul 2019
Thanks: 40 given, 59 received


Wizard3ootz View Post
So, itís probably my third week trading futures (day trading) and sadly, Iím not doing so well. Iíve gotten trapped a lot, with a great deal of false breakouts, making bad decisions, like chasing a breakout, and then putting in a limit order in way too high on the move, and then watching it pull back and getting f******. Mostly, though, itís perhaps overtrading, getting eaten up by commissions, and all of the tiny losses that are accumulating massively.

Iím feeling pretty defeated. I know I need to lower my position sizes. At this point, I had considered walking away, and taking my money off the table (Iím down about 1300)

Donít get me wrong. I have made some beautiful trades. I caught two gorgeous second entries this morning.

That being said, I really need to find some better direction. I was pretty damn successful in my stock trading, and I have never allowed myself to lose this much money in my life. However, Iím getting to the point where something has to change, otherwise, this is clearly a poor investment.

From you experienced/profitable traders out there, if you have any solid advice you might give, please feel free to pass it my way. I study/read about the market probably 25 hours a week, so I am in no way lacking dedication/motivation.

We could give you all the advice like Yoda did to Luke, but until you start to see it for yourself, it's not going to sink in. Start a journal and get as much screen time as you can. You will start to see it come together with time.

My tip....

STOP trading breakouts. It is for a more experienced trader. I recommend learning to play the bounce off a demand or supply zone. Which is when price goes out of value and then comes back in. It's a high probability trade with low risk. Someone mentioned Sam Seiden, his supply and demand teaching is ridiculously valuable. You mix supply and demand with order flow (footprint and DOM/ladder) and you could build yourself a nice playbook. It just depends what you are comfortable with and how you interpret the market.

An example:

Open up a 30 minute chart and add a volume profile for each session with a high value area, low value area and poc line. You will start to see how price moves into and out of value. It happens almost everyday.


But it is best to trade what you understand that is why you need a journal and screen time. Happy trading!

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  #42 (permalink)
Pahrump, NV
 
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Chart
Broker/Data: Infinity Futures
Favorite Futures: ES, NQ, CL
 
Posts: 14 since Aug 2016
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Bravo!


dbouzas View Post
We could give you all the advice like Yoda did to Luke, but until you start to see it for yourself, it's not going to sink in. Start a journal and get as much screen time as you can. You will start to see it come together with time.

My tip....

STOP trading breakouts. It is for a more experienced trader. I recommend learning to play the bounce off a demand or supply zone. Which is when price goes out of value and then comes back in. It's a high probability trade with low risk. Someone mentioned Sam Seiden, his supply and demand teaching is ridiculously valuable. You mix supply and demand with order flow (footprint and DOM/ladder) and you could build yourself a nice playbook. It just depends what you are comfortable with and how you interpret the market.

An example:

Open up a 30 minute chart and add a volume profile for each session with a high value area, low value area and poc line. You will start to see how price moves into and out of value. It happens almost everyday.


But it is best to trade what you understand that is why you need a journal and screen time. Happy trading!

Please register on futures.io to view futures trading content such as post attachment(s), image(s), and screenshot(s).

BRAVO!!! FINALLY, after 4 pages of posts, something actionable!

I am stunned that almost EVERY SINGLE post on this thread has offered well-meaning, but ultimately useless advice without a strategy.

"Have a plan/strategy". Pretty obvious, huh - but ultimately meaningless. That's like saying "have a plan" when someone asks "how do I drive from point A to point B?" No one has offered any sort of trading strategy until this post. Do *you* have a strategy that is consistently profitable? If so, why don't your enlighten your fellow struggling traders, and help them out? Remember, with the trillions of dollars available in the markets, this is NOT a zero-sum game. There's plenty of money available for everyone if they use a consistently profitable strategy. Don't believe anyone who tells you "if I tell you my secret sauce, that removes my edge/takes money out of my pocket". Nothing could be farther from the truth. It's like telling someone, "hey, the bank has a cash giveaway going on - just go down there and ask for form XXX, fill it out, and they'll give you money". How's that taking money from anyone except the big institutions and governments (who wouldn't notice it anyway)? Your 1-lot or 10-lot trade isn't even going to be noticed in the markets unless you're trading Globex on a thin market.

"Have discipline". Discipline to do what? Stick to a non-existent or losing trading strategy? Gotcha.

"See what works for you". Um, that's not how the market works. It doesn't operate on the idea of "what works for you". There are only three basic styles of trading: (1) swing trading, (2) day trading to targets, and (3) scalping. Pick one. In a market like the ES, where the ADR is relatively small, scalping can work well. On other fast-moving markets like CL and NQ, you will get killed trying to scalp unless you really know what you're doing. Day trading to targets like pivots or VAH/VAL (as the quoted post references) can work very well, but be aware that sometimes you'll see a market go outside value, try and come back into value, and bounce off VAH/VAL - don't anticipate. Swing trading is said to be the safest, but you have to have a larger account to handle the overnight margin.

I'll offer my advice. Configure your chart for a 3-tick aligned Renko - this works well in a lot of markets. Start from there, and experiment with anything from 2-tick to 10-tick. Put 2 moving averages on it - like, for example, a 5 EMA and a 34 EMA. You can either (1) short when price crosses below the 5 EMA and long when price crosses above the 5 EMA, or (2) wait for the cross, then the pullback to the smaller or larger EMA to enter the trade. Look to only take shorts when the 5 EMA is below the 34 EMA and pointing down, or only take longs when the 5 EMA is above the 34 EMA and pointing up, and see how that works. If you put those two moving averages on a chart, you'll instantly see where the entries are. Also try different non-time-based charts. A delta volume, volume, or tick chart can also work well. Try it in sim and see what you think. You can also use this for entries and VAH/VAL as targets if you prefer.

See how different times of the day work on your charts. Some times of the day you'll get chopped up - others, you'll catch a nice trend. Be careful trading after big trend days - they are often chop or ranging days. Not good to trade in until you get more experience. (But these can be great for trading moves between VAH and VAL, because non-trending markets tend to bounce between VAH and VAL.) Volume profile is a really, really good thing!

Another piece of advice. STAY AWAY from time-based charts until you have experience trading them! Price can move a long way in a minute, and moving averages on a time-based chart are horribly laggy.

As for sim trading, my personal rule in my trading plan is, if I lose 2 trades in a row, I stop live trading for the day, and go back to sim for 2 days until I've figured out what my problem was and fixed it.

One more thing: Be careful of order flow trading. As more and more people start using order flow in their trading, it becomes less useful, because the large institutions see what people are using, and adapt to it. If you want to investigate this sort of analysis, I would highly recommend Anna Coulling's book, "A Complete Guide to Volume Price Analysis". If you read no other book, this will help your trading immensely. It's cheap on Amazon. If you have a Kindle, it's even cheaper. You can also find the PDF online for free.

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  #43 (permalink)
Brisbane Queensland Australia
 
Trading Experience: Advanced
Platform: Ninja Bullcharts
Favorite Futures: Stocks
 
Posts: 9 since Dec 2014
Thanks: 0 given, 13 received



Wizard3ootz View Post
So, it’s probably my third week trading futures (day trading) and sadly, I’m not doing so well. I’ve gotten trapped a lot, with a great deal of false breakouts, making bad decisions, like chasing a breakout, and then putting in a limit order in way too high on the move, and then watching it pull back and getting f******. Mostly, though, it’s perhaps overtrading, getting eaten up by commissions, and all of the tiny losses that are accumulating massively.

I’m feeling pretty defeated. I know I need to lower my position sizes. At this point, I had considered walking away, and taking my money off the table (I’m down about 1300)

Don’t get me wrong. I have made some beautiful trades. I caught two gorgeous second entries this morning.

That being said, I really need to find some better direction. I was pretty damn successful in my stock trading, and I have never allowed myself to lose this much money in my life. However, I’m getting to the point where something has to change, otherwise, this is clearly a poor investment.

From you experienced/profitable traders out there, if you have any solid advice you might give, please feel free to pass it my way. I study/read about the market probably 25 hours a week, so I am in no way lacking dedication/motivation.

What I do not understand is that if you were successful trading stocks with your techniques, why not go back to trading stocks and stop trading futures, where your techniques do not seem to work?


Last edited by cmacdon; August 24th, 2019 at 03:18 AM. Reason: Clarification
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  #44 (permalink)
Brisbane Queensland Australia
 
Trading Experience: Advanced
Platform: Ninja Bullcharts
Favorite Futures: Stocks
 
Posts: 9 since Dec 2014
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n7ekg View Post
BRAVO!!! FINALLY, after 4 pages of posts, something actionable!

I am stunned that almost EVERY SINGLE post on this thread has offered well-meaning, but ultimately useless advice without a strategy.

"Have a plan/strategy". Pretty obvious, huh - but ultimately meaningless. That's like saying "have a plan" when someone asks "how do I drive from point A to point B?" No one has offered any sort of trading strategy until this post. Do *you* have a strategy that is consistently profitable? If so, why don't your enlighten your fellow struggling traders, and help them out? Remember, with the trillions of dollars available in the markets, this is NOT a zero-sum game. There's plenty of money available for everyone if they use a consistently profitable strategy. Don't believe anyone who tells you "if I tell you my secret sauce, that removes my edge/takes money out of my pocket". Nothing could be farther from the truth. It's like telling someone, "hey, the bank has a cash giveaway going on - just go down there and ask for form XXX, fill it out, and they'll give you money". How's that taking money from anyone except the big institutions and governments (who wouldn't notice it anyway)? Your 1-lot or 10-lot trade isn't even going to be noticed in the markets unless you're trading Globex on a thin market.

"Have discipline". Discipline to do what? Stick to a non-existent or losing trading strategy? Gotcha.

"See what works for you". Um, that's not how the market works. It doesn't operate on the idea of "what works for you". There are only three basic styles of trading: (1) swing trading, (2) day trading to targets, and (3) scalping. Pick one. In a market like the ES, where the ADR is relatively small, scalping can work well. On other fast-moving markets like CL and NQ, you will get killed trying to scalp unless you really know what you're doing. Day trading to targets like pivots or VAH/VAL (as the quoted post references) can work very well, but be aware that sometimes you'll see a market go outside value, try and come back into value, and bounce off VAH/VAL - don't anticipate. Swing trading is said to be the safest, but you have to have a larger account to handle the overnight margin.

I'll offer my advice. Configure your chart for a 3-tick aligned Renko - this works well in a lot of markets. Start from there, and experiment with anything from 2-tick to 10-tick. Put 2 moving averages on it - like, for example, a 5 EMA and a 34 EMA. You can either (1) short when price crosses below the 5 EMA and long when price crosses above the 5 EMA, or (2) wait for the cross, then the pullback to the smaller or larger EMA to enter the trade. Look to only take shorts when the 5 EMA is below the 34 EMA and pointing down, or only take longs when the 5 EMA is above the 34 EMA and pointing up, and see how that works. If you put those two moving averages on a chart, you'll instantly see where the entries are. Also try different non-time-based charts. A delta volume, volume, or tick chart can also work well. Try it in sim and see what you think. You can also use this for entries and VAH/VAL as targets if you prefer.

See how different times of the day work on your charts. Some times of the day you'll get chopped up - others, you'll catch a nice trend. Be careful trading after big trend days - they are often chop or ranging days. Not good to trade in until you get more experience. (But these can be great for trading moves between VAH and VAL, because non-trending markets tend to bounce between VAH and VAL.) Volume profile is a really, really good thing!

Another piece of advice. STAY AWAY from time-based charts until you have experience trading them! Price can move a long way in a minute, and moving averages on a time-based chart are horribly laggy.

As for sim trading, my personal rule in my trading plan is, if I lose 2 trades in a row, I stop live trading for the day, and go back to sim for 2 days until I've figured out what my problem was and fixed it.

One more thing: Be careful of order flow trading. As more and more people start using order flow in their trading, it becomes less useful, because the large institutions see what people are using, and adapt to it. If you want to investigate this sort of analysis, I would highly recommend Anna Coulling's book, "A Complete Guide to Volume Price Analysis". If you read no other book, this will help your trading immensely. It's cheap on Amazon. If you have a Kindle, it's even cheaper. You can also find the PDF online for free.

The only thought I can add to the above, as I am unfamiliar with the latest indicator provided, is that both Gann; and Wyckoff (when the latter produced his stock market course in 1930's) each suggested the chart reader needs to understand the changing forces of supply & demand within dull periods, as breakouts frpm dull periods are where the big money is made. This all depends on the trader's idealized interpretation of market price structure over longer periods. It is possible to work out likely break out directions within dull ranging periods using the right force of supply & demand measurement tools, but especially the measurements near the right edge of a dull period. Measurements or assessments of accumulation or distribution along the whole range of a dull period may not be useful for determining a likely breakout direction
I would also suggest that if you are a bar by bar chart reader that Anna Coulling's book, mentioned above, which is generally a very good read, mixes up the definitions of Buying Climaxes and Selling Climaxes compared to Richard D. Wyckoff's interpretations of the same.


Last edited by cmacdon; August 24th, 2019 at 03:55 AM. Reason: editing and clarification
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  #45 (permalink)
Frankfurt, Germany
 
Trading Experience: Advanced
Platform: TT, ProRealTime
Broker/Data: Advantage, Dorman
Favorite Futures: Futures
 
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n7ekg View Post
BRAVO!!! FINALLY, after 4 pages of posts, something actionable!

I am stunned that almost EVERY SINGLE post on this thread has offered well-meaning, but ultimately useless advice without a strategy.

It is by far not that easy. And a simple strategy wonīt work.

I suggest to choose a method first. In my opinion I know only two of them. The first is the well known Market Profile or Volume Profile. If you like you can follow FT71 for example and there are plenty of books out there about this method.
The second one, I use, is based on Charles Dow and the fact that markets move in trends. I havenīt found any useful books in English about it and there is only one teacher I know who could help.

Then you need to build a trading plan that is useful to YOU around it!
Here you can build then some strategies. But the one thing you need to understand that even when you rely on a strategy is that you mainly trade your assumptions.

Therefore money management is really important and has to be integrated in your trading plan as well.

In addition when it come to execution I suggest to get familiar with tools like the DOM from TT, Jigsaw or Bookmap.

So in conclusion:

1. method
2. trading plan
3. money and risk management
4. execution tools

Try to stick to a sim account for quite some time and start trading contracts with a small tick size like the micros first.

All this will take some time (some years). Donīt be greedy! Take your time!

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  #46 (permalink)
melbourne victoria australia
 
Trading Experience: Advanced
Platform: ninjatrader
Broker/Data: FXCM
Favorite Futures: AUS200
 
Posts: 69 since Apr 2016
Thanks: 29 given, 56 received

channeling the harsh realities of trading

Thinking in probabilities.
Having the correct risk management
Having a strategy with a edge

Trading is a game won by those traders that can best deal with frustration, disappointment, and adversity. Trading has harsh unforgiving realities, full of losses, missed opportunities, draw downs and unforeseen events. It is futile to seek perfect entries and exits and numerical values of any indicator. There is no perfection possible , there will always be ambiguity .

You must expect adversity during the trading day and how you handle the situations that arises will make or break you as a trader

The market has about 10 % trends days overall so looking for breakouts is not the best method of trading. A better method is fading key support and resistance levels.

support and resistance zones from higher time frames have a higher probability of it holding a intraday test. Moreover especially if the larger time frames are in alignment with a support and resistant zone the more likely to hold the intraday test

How price approaches these zones influences weather the zone holds or breaks, the more factors that align at support and resistance levels the greater probability for a profitable trade.

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  #47 (permalink)
Saint Louis
 
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: MultiCharts .NET
Favorite Futures: CL
 
Posts: 17 since Oct 2015
Thanks: 7 given, 20 received

I'll give you my 0.02 cents as a trader waiting in the wings.

I'm an algorithmic trader. I have been studying the markets for 5 years, particularly oil. It's hard. If it weren't hard, everyone would be doing it. I've had algos than make $20,000 on single contract trades for a month and then lose it all on the second month. Study more. If you have a profitable trading strategy in stocks outside of futures, do that while you study. Futures are highly leveraged and magnify your losses. The granularity of futures trading can completely destroy your account.

There's no real simple solution of applying the right indicators because those indicators work until they don't. For example, in oil, for months there was an easy trade to spot when there were obvious large actors spoofing the market and pulling it towards them. This went on for some time, but then suddenly, it either spooked the market (it moved in the opposite direction) or it didn't react at all.

If you're doing well in stocks but you're really wanting leveraged returns, think first about trading options. Futures are hard. I can't state that enough. Wait until you have a testable edge of the market, and then return. I even took a full year off of my normal job just to trade futures with $millions in my eyes. I took an account of $10,000 and made it $78,000... but it doesn't matter, that's not a living and the whole lot was at risk. It was incredibly stressful on my family and really wasn't worth the benefits. Research, research, research. Since my background is in programming, I'm currently heavily researching various forms of AI and neural networks to at least have trading filters. Even with such advanced tools, the results are mixed. In trading, make money where you can, there's no shame in cornering a market, stock, or commodity. Currencies are streaky, that might be a good place to start. It's all green and it all spends the same. You can always increase position size, but if you can't win consistently on a per-contract basis, you're going to have a hard time. Good luck. You have a lot of headwinds, and $1300 is actually a pretty normal drawdown, but if you're asking these questions this early, you're on the right track of understanding this isn't a cakewalk.

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  #48 (permalink)
Las Vegas, NV
 
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT 8
Broker/Data: NT Brokerage, IQFeed
Favorite Futures: ES, 6E & CL
 
Posts: 17 since Aug 2013
Thanks: 2 given, 10 received

UnderCapitalized in my opinion

Hello Wizard3ootz, I think the biggest problem you have right now is being under capitalized,
when I see statements like:

1) "So, it's probably my third week trading futures (day trading)..." (2-3 weeks in? Of course you'll lose $$!!
Any other outcome would be extremely rare.)


2) "Mostly, though, it's perhaps overtrading..." (You know a major mistake you're making, STOP!!)

3) "I know I need to lower my position sizes..." (You know a major mistake you're making, STOP!!)

4) I had considered walking away, and taking my money off the table (I'm down about 1300).
($1300 net change whether profit or loss is nothing for 2-3 weeks of day trading.
I'm not trying to be a jerk here but the fact that you're talking about walking away after losing
$1300 in your 1st 2-3 weeks is a blatantly obvious flag that you are under capitalized, to me at least.)


5) Do you mind if I ask how much you pay for commissions?
I pay ES = $1.89 (10 to 20% of trades)
CL = $2.21 (80 to 90% of trades)
(All in rates NT8 lifetime license).
I ask because I don't find commissions to be that much of a burden.
Letting profits run and cutting losses, RIGHT?

6) If my full position is 10 contracts, here's a method I use to limit commissions.
On my buy/sell signal I trade 1 contract. If it stops me out I lose on 1 contract.
If it goes my way, I add more. If it goes my direction and I add more, I profit on
several contracts up to my max of 10. I limit my losses on whipsaws and false breakouts to 1 contract
and maximize my profits on up to 10 contracts during genuine vertical moves.

I haven't seen your trade strategy or methods and I'm not asking to. What I'm suggesting is that it is definitely
POSSIBLE that your current strategy could be profitable (Or maybe not) when you are properly capitalized for
the number of contracts you trade. Most suggest 1-3% and if aggressive go as high as 5% of your portfolio for day
trading futures.
My "portfolio" is a much higher % of day trading futures and I accept that degree of risk.

Losing $1300 in 2-3 weeks while day trading more than 1 contract is the same as
breaking even IMHO.
If that same $1300 in your 1st 2-3 weeks is enough to run you out of the business,
then YES you are definitely under capitalized by anybody's definition.

Until you remedy this situation, no method will be profitable IMHO.

I wish you better luck moving forward and
I sincerely hope I helped at all, JM

P.S. 1st) sim account, 2nd) micro contracts, 3rd) futures contracts

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  #49 (permalink)
Kolkata India
 
 
Posts: 26 since Apr 2019
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Wizard3ootz View Post
So, it’s probably my third week trading futures (day trading) and sadly, I’m not doing so well. I’ve gotten trapped a lot, with a great deal of false breakouts, making bad decisions, like chasing a breakout, and then putting in a limit order in way too high on the move, and then watching it pull back and getting f******. Mostly, though, it’s perhaps overtrading, getting eaten up by commissions, and all of the tiny losses that are accumulating massively.

I’m feeling pretty defeated. I know I need to lower my position sizes. At this point, I had considered walking away, and taking my money off the table (I’m down about 1300)

Don’t get me wrong. I have made some beautiful trades. I caught two gorgeous second entries this morning.

That being said, I really need to find some better direction. I was pretty damn successful in my stock trading, and I have never allowed myself to lose this much money in my life. However, I’m getting to the point where something has to change, otherwise, this is clearly a poor investment.

From you experienced/profitable traders out there, if you have any solid advice you might give, please feel free to pass it my way. I study/read about the market probably 25 hours a week, so I am in no way lacking dedication/motivation.

What helped me were the following

1)Futurestrader71's channel and daily pre market analysis and predictions . Watch as many as you can and learn about volume profile.
2)Learn about market profile from forums and JIm dalton's free online videos . Take notes
3) The above 2 are discretionary and its really tough if not impossible to put them in a code and backtest . BUT with everything else , learn about normal distributions and probabilities and conditional probabilities and try to apply them. For example , FT71 has backtested and found out that 70% of the time ES breaks overnight low or overnight high and if one side is broken,the probability of the test of the other side is 24% ...(Don't remember the exact figures). But try to find patterns and make hypothesis .
4)GET PROPER INFRASTRUCTURE .Daytrading without profiles , realtime tape and orderflow is similart to bringing a knife to a gunfight . Also learn to find patterns in orderflow .
5)NOTE THAT CONTEXT IS HUGE IN TRADING. Market profile volume profile will provide context.Statistical analysis and orderflow analysis will confirm the context and your psychology will let you enter the trade.
6)I have had my analysis correct 10/10 days and still lost 80% of my capital due to risk management . NEVER TRADE WITH "ALL IN ALL OUT CONCEPT". ALWAYS SCALE OUT .Tilts the probability in your side. Don't risk too much .
7)When you have got a grip on all of the above , try to learn about volatility,vix ,greeks , Volatility skew and implied volatility percentile . These words sound heavy but are not.
8)Regardless of how strong a single information is , always ALWAYS TRADE CONFLUENCE OF INFORMATION.
9)Don't waste your time reading books . Except some books on options and a book by pivotboss ochoa , most are either dated or do very little to enhance your trading.
10)STAY AWAY FROM ANYONE OR ANY POSTS MENTIONING ARBITRARY/POPULAR MOVING AVERAGES
All the best


Last edited by DebayanSen; August 26th, 2019 at 02:26 PM.
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  #50 (permalink)
Legendary Market Wizard
MŁnster Germany
 
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n7ekg View Post
BRAVO!!! FINALLY, after 4 pages of posts, something actionable!

I am stunned that almost EVERY SINGLE post on this thread has offered well-meaning, but ultimately useless advice without a strategy.

"Have a plan/strategy". Pretty obvious, huh - but ultimately meaningless. That's like saying "have a plan" when someone asks "how do I drive from point A to point B?" No one has offered any sort of trading strategy until this post. Do *you* have a strategy that is consistently profitable? If so, why don't your enlighten your fellow struggling traders, and help them out? Remember, with the trillions of dollars available in the markets, this is NOT a zero-sum game. There's plenty of money available for everyone if they use a consistently profitable strategy. Don't believe anyone who tells you "if I tell you my secret sauce, that removes my edge/takes money out of my pocket". Nothing could be farther from the truth. It's like telling someone, "hey, the bank has a cash giveaway going on - just go down there and ask for form XXX, fill it out, and they'll give you money". How's that taking money from anyone except the big institutions and governments (who wouldn't notice it anyway)? Your 1-lot or 10-lot trade isn't even going to be noticed in the markets unless you're trading Globex on a thin market.

"Have discipline". Discipline to do what? Stick to a non-existent or losing trading strategy? Gotcha.

"See what works for you". Um, that's not how the market works. It doesn't operate on the idea of "what works for you". There are only three basic styles of trading: (1) swing trading, (2) day trading to targets, and (3) scalping. Pick one. In a market like the ES, where the ADR is relatively small, scalping can work well. On other fast-moving markets like CL and NQ, you will get killed trying to scalp unless you really know what you're doing. Day trading to targets like pivots or VAH/VAL (as the quoted post references) can work very well, but be aware that sometimes you'll see a market go outside value, try and come back into value, and bounce off VAH/VAL - don't anticipate. Swing trading is said to be the safest, but you have to have a larger account to handle the overnight margin.

I'll offer my advice. Configure your chart for a 3-tick aligned Renko - this works well in a lot of markets. Start from there, and experiment with anything from 2-tick to 10-tick. Put 2 moving averages on it - like, for example, a 5 EMA and a 34 EMA. You can either (1) short when price crosses below the 5 EMA and long when price crosses above the 5 EMA, or (2) wait for the cross, then the pullback to the smaller or larger EMA to enter the trade. Look to only take shorts when the 5 EMA is below the 34 EMA and pointing down, or only take longs when the 5 EMA is above the 34 EMA and pointing up, and see how that works. If you put those two moving averages on a chart, you'll instantly see where the entries are. Also try different non-time-based charts. A delta volume, volume, or tick chart can also work well. Try it in sim and see what you think. You can also use this for entries and VAH/VAL as targets if you prefer.

See how different times of the day work on your charts. Some times of the day you'll get chopped up - others, you'll catch a nice trend. Be careful trading after big trend days - they are often chop or ranging days. Not good to trade in until you get more experience. (But these can be great for trading moves between VAH and VAL, because non-trending markets tend to bounce between VAH and VAL.) Volume profile is a really, really good thing!

Another piece of advice. STAY AWAY from time-based charts until you have experience trading them! Price can move a long way in a minute, and moving averages on a time-based chart are horribly laggy.

As for sim trading, my personal rule in my trading plan is, if I lose 2 trades in a row, I stop live trading for the day, and go back to sim for 2 days until I've figured out what my problem was and fixed it.

One more thing: Be careful of order flow trading. As more and more people start using order flow in their trading, it becomes less useful, because the large institutions see what people are using, and adapt to it. If you want to investigate this sort of analysis, I would highly recommend Anna Coulling's book, "A Complete Guide to Volume Price Analysis". If you read no other book, this will help your trading immensely. It's cheap on Amazon. If you have a Kindle, it's even cheaper. You can also find the PDF online for free.

As I read, I thought, Wow, that's it. Everything is clear and meaningful. Up to the line where you describe that after two losses you switch to sim mode and then look for your problem to avoid it. Two losses in a row are not a problem and certainly not a mistake. The problem arises only when the losses are not accepted. My experience is not to rate the loss of a single trade but to allow the drawdown or better the double drawdown.

The biggest risk you can ever take is not betting on yourself!
(Bill Williams +)
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