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Gambling (with life)

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Gambling (with life)

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  #1 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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I was watching something on TV that made me think of starting this discussion thread.

I think that in our path as traders, there are some (maybe many if we are being honest) that are more gamblers than traders.

And that's fine. Usually. But, not always.

I think that if it's viewed as a hobby, and money spent on your trading is being spent in a responsible way that doesn't jeopardize yourself or your family, then basically it's all in good fun at the end of the day -- and probably, a lot of people fall into this category.

Then there are those of us who are professionals and treat it like a business. For the purpose of this thread, we aren't taking about this category.

But... Then there are some who are literally gambling with their life. Their savings. Their families. Their kids college funds. They are maybe taking on debt. Maybe they are hiding this from their family. In fact, maybe they are hiding this from themselves.

We are a community. A special community. Almost family! It's a safe place where we can be honest. I'm worried that there are a lot of people here that truly have a problem, and they need help. For their sake, for their families, for their future -- for their lives.

I hope that you will open up and share here in this thread. Lean on the community, talk about your struggle. Maybe come clean and admit there is a problem.

There is also another related thread I encourage you to read called Support of wife and family. Sorry I'm on my phone and can't link it easily.

Best to all you guys.


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  #2 (permalink)
vancouver, canada
Posts: 24 since Jan 2012
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Thank you Mike. People need to hear that though not easy to hear. Please keep saying what everyone is thinking. Avoidance never works.

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  #3 (permalink)
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Big Mike View Post
There is also another related thread I encourage you to read called Support of wife and family. Sorry I'm on my phone and can't link it easily.

Best to all you guys.


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  #4 (permalink)
McAllen, TX
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I like following the markets, I feel there is opportunity in them. But one thing I don't like is spending my time in front of a computer screen all day. So I have had to adjust how i trade the markets.

Anyhow when I had real money I didn't put in my brokerage account because I knew it wouldn't end well. The most I have deposited in a trading account is 800 dollars in an AMP brokerage account. And took a series of losses and stopped trading.

But I still consider myself an aspiring trader. And have been doing combines mainly to become consistent winner. Every time I do a combine I learn a lot from it. And my trading has changed a lot. Now I am content with 1 - 3 trades a day. And in fact when I sit down to trade manually is when I can sabotage my profit.

I don't consider myself addicted to trading, because I genuinely enjoy it. For me school and work come first, then trading.
One day when I have a good job and have extra funds I will most likely trade my own account conservatively. And perhaps move onto stocks instead of futures. but who knows.

I just want to say that its possible to be profitable big mike has shown it other traders here have shown it. But you have to let the market come to you at your price in your terms. Those who are chasing profits are chasing a carrot and its not going to end well.

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  #5 (permalink)
NSW, Australia
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My systematic trading is EOD, very business like, and after many years I have removed the 'me' from the equation and results are reflecting this. Some systems are automated, while others are manually entered which I place without question. I have removed an earlier problem I had with second guessing the market around position entry.

But my problem is I enjoy day trading after a day at work. I love being in tune with the market and making profits with the volatility of breakouts. But, in reality I really suck at it and at best am not much above break even. The Gambling part is increasing these discretionary daytrade positions to win back losses which I have done a few times. If I continue this will bite me big one day. Age is starting to work against me so to achieve life goals I need to stick to the plan. My difficulty is totally removing this discretionary trading. Putting this now in writing I am hoping is the first step to remove this form of gambling - that is now part of the plan.

Thanks for the post Big Mike.

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  #6 (permalink)
New York, NY, USA
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The Gambling part is increasing these discretionary daytrade positions to win back losses which I have done a few times. If I continue this will bite me big one day. Age is starting to work against me so to achieve life goals I need to stick to the plan. My difficulty is totally removing this discretionary trading. Putting this now in writing I am hoping is the first step to remove this form of gambling - that is now part of the plan.

This is all good and partially applicable to me, including age (56).

Statistics and Probabilities will take their pound of flesh from your account if you trade too large. For position sizing the Kelly Criterion is your friend: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelly_criterion - learn this and you'll know how large you can trade.

For me the MES and MNQ have been important tools to advance as a trader. The notional values of a single MES or MNQ contract are plenty large to learn how to trade. Per FT71 and others, get consistent with small size and try to gradually increase your size.

That said, I'll still take an ES trade when there's a good R setup, but I won't leave the screen until that trade is closed, and I only trade ES with the best scalp setups. ~3380 x $50 = $169k notional. That's a very large position for most of us.

Finally, don't neglect being long some good stocks, ETFs, or mutual funds. Some of my largest gains from a single trade were from buying $10k - $20k sized positions of MSFT, AAPL, etc and doing nothing for months or years. Short term discretionary trading can provide realized capital gains to be invested in other long-term assets or to more quickly pay down a mortgage. Many brokers allow you to trade for zero commission, so you might periodically add another couple of shares to your favorite stock holdings from your short-term trading profits.

Finally, the time spent doing the short-term trading needs to be weighed against other income-earning activities you might choose to do. I have a nagging feeling in the back of my mind that short-term trading is not my highest calling, but the leverage if you consistently trade well is higher than almost anything else most of us might do.

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  #7 (permalink)
Pensacola FL
Posts: 57 since Jun 2016

Mike and all,

I don't know how many of you ran or worked for one of the largest hedge funds on the planet.

I have made millions of dollars (over and over).

Without the gamblers I would be driving a truck.

Most of you will hate me for this:

In the business, we LOVED GAMBLERS. Think of me as Steve Wynn, except I can do this from home and don't need to spend $300 Million on a big building and hire pretty waitresses to get you guys oiled up so you can dump all your money into my bank account.

Steve sells $29.00 books on how to beat the dealer.

Larry Williams (I know Larry well) recognized this very early and wrote "How I made $1 Million dollar trading commodities last Year"

Richard Dennis started the Turtles, hiring only gamblers by the way.

I love people who think they can come into a chat room and pick up the holy grail for free.

They have an addiction.

When I was seriously trading, thousands of contracts, millions of shares each day, DO YOU THINK I HAD ALL DAY TO POST CRAP ON WEB SITES TO HELP LITTLE TRADERS TRADING THEIR KIDS COLLEGE fund.

I never posted anything. Didn't have time.

At night, we flew out big time clients from the NY heliport to my home in East Hampton. No time to help the little guy.

I am 70 now. For fun I trade maybe 5 to 10 contracts, and I have some time to post stuff. Still I don't post thousands of times.

Anyone posting thousands of times IS A SHILL working for some idiot trying to TEACH YOU HOW TO BE SUCCESSFUL and he will only charge you $50.00

WHY $50?

Because little people can only afford that.

There are whales out there, fund managers with fiduciary responsibilities who will pay you $30,000 per month if you are good.

And here is another stupid response I get. But the super duper trader LOVES PEOPLE SO HE WANTS TO HAVE A TRADING ROOM AND SHARE WITH ALL beause he is gregarious.


I am gregarious.

I can spend time talking to a whole bunch of fun people. WHO ARE PAYING ME $30,000 per month.

Then if the above response is so good and truthful: "I am rich and want to share my secrets for $50.00 per month because I love people, WHY NOT DO IT FOR FREE?"

I get calls all the time to testify at CFTC and FINRA and SEC enforcement actions. So I know about all these rip off slobs.

They should get the death penalty.

At least John Gotti let you know that he was a mobster.


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  #8 (permalink)
Posts: 1 since Jul 2019
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This is my first post here. Thanks for this, nice topic. Also the family support topic.
I guess many new trader are hidden. Cause they have losses during the searching their way.
And many of them have no support, or worst: BAD support. Many trader gives suggestion without any real or deep knowledge.
I learned what is leverage on my first Short Strangle (suggested by teacher) on /CL same time when optionsellers went bankrupcy. But I was faster and just went with delta 5. In the first minutes of this jump, this 96% OTM put/call had 600 USD loss due vola peak, and VIX rockets.
My last 4 years in trading world (Forex, Stocks, Day and Swing, Technical analisys, small fundamental, Options, Options on futures, combined tactics up tu 20 legs. I am over 40 paid full course)
- only few real trader are teacher, many teacher have no real positive income, and CANT show a positive ballance to you
- markets priced well, and you have maybe a small edge
- many theory dont talk about Commissions, Slippage, Bid/Ask spread, Routing, and additional costs. Taxing.
- many people dont know what happens if sometimes go wrong. (lets say, prices are running so fast you cant quit, cause the other side of trade book went to home )
- Trade small trade often is partially a lie
- Too complicated or frequent trade needs your time and whole life
- Simple trades also needs your time and life. IT is a JOB.
- Most of the traders loosing. maybe 80-90%. To be in the winner 10%, you have to better than other 90%.
- There is no ultimate strategies. Every strategies have their comfortable market. It it changes, you have too.
- Without family support is much harder
- Starting with few thousands.. ..you are undercapitalised in most cases.

Thats all. Now if somebody comes with a new animal name of option spread, I can react, Where is the risk offsetted via prices, greeks, and secondary greeks etc. RISK is always there, and waiting for you.

I feel I am still on very the beginnig of this road. I Have work, family, life.

Best, Raf

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  #9 (permalink)
Posts: 14 since Mar 2017
Thanks: 0 given, 14 received

Here is a bit of honesty:

The entire business is built upon larger players taking money from the smaller ones. You would be stunned what I am told as an analyst for several larger sites.

If you need proof: Explain the 'need' for micro futures. It's about getting more money out of the hands of dreamers.


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  #10 (permalink)
Chicago IL
Posts: 2 since Dec 2018
Thanks: 2 given, 12 received

I lost a lot of money at first. If my wife knew the extent of the losses she would have killed me. $50k. I stopped. Now I trade as a hobby cuz I really enjoy it. Some years Iím up $5k; other years Iím down $5k. Trading has transformed my life. In spite of the initial losses, itís made me look in the mirror and look at the things Iíve been sweeping under the rug. In response, I uprooted my family, lowered our overheard, cut unnecessary spending, streamlined my business; basically overhauled my life. In part, my initial interest into trading was because I was looking for an escape and refused to face my problems straight on. I still fall back into -ď thereís got to be a get rich scheme there for me - I deserve it! Iím meĒ So dumb. You have to work hard and work smart in this life. I still aim to make consistent money at this, but itís a long marathon of learning. Itís not a sprint to big money and riches.

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