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Traders with 5-10 years of experience but still not profitable

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  #41 (permalink)
xsamanthax
New York City, USA
 
 
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chipwitch View Post
If it were easy everyone would be doing it... then the market would adapt until it wasn't easy anymore. There's no shortcut, no holy grail and no substitute for just sitting and watching the price and the volume and whatever indicators "speak" to you. If you find that you can't sit in front of a computer screen and just watch the little bars get big and then get small, for months on end and still find it exciting, then you're going to have a tough time of it. All those gurus, if they were that good in predicting the direction of the market and making profit, they wouldn't be selling you books and courses or spending copious hours making videos.

Then there is the very real practice of well-known successful people doing interviews and saying there's no time like the present to buy Bitcoin. Then, while everyone frenzy buys bitcoin, that "expert" is secretly selling. Warren Buffet says, "If you're sitting at a poker table and you don't know who the sucker is, it's you!" Looking for someone to teach you to trade the market properly from a book or a video course is about as likely as someone teaching you brain surgery by the same method.

The market is just an auction. Nothing more. Nothing less. If you want to be a trader, imagine that you want to learn to trade cars by going to auction and buying them to sell for profit. If you have a love for cars, pick something else. I really have no innate love for the S&P 500, but the process of trading is the draw. So whatever hypothetical auction you use in the mental exercise I just suggested, pick something you have no particular affinity for. Now, no one can teach you the value of things. You learn by doing, making mistakes, making fewer mistakes and if you're lucky, occasionally picking up a useful tip here and there from someone willing to share their experience. Even the profiteering gurus can teach you a thing or two... occasionally.

If you're in a rush and don't want to put in the time at the auction I don't know what else to say. If you're in it primarily for the profit and not the process, then yeah.... there aren't any successful traders.

Thanks for taking the time to reply. I feel like every course I've looked at, every forum post I read, and everyone I talk to has this vague idea of how to make money. Can no one come up with a systematic process for how to trade this? Telling people to watch the markets and learn to love what they are doing is as vague as it gets. That's like trying to get really good at chess and going to a grandmaster and having him/her tell you to just "play chess" until you get better. No opening, mid-game, or end-game strategy, just "play and learn and like it until you get better". Do you think any books on chess that promoted that strategy would sell?

What trading and trading education is missing is actual hard strategy: actual physical, real-life, examples.

ie.

The ESM22 is currently $5.00 in the money. Where do you take profit? Where do you get out? Was your initial stop loss of $4.00 enough? Should you aim for a 3:1 R/R ratio? 4:1? If price comes back to breakeven do you exist for a scratch or do you allow it to go into drawdown to fit your R/R parameters? Do you micromanage your trade in real time based on what the chart is "telling you"? Or do you just set it and forget it and let the trade ride? Was your stop too big/small in the first place? Should you be simultaneously watching other instruments while trading the ESM22 for correlation or do you just watch one market all the time and see how it moves? Do you trade on longer-term/shorter-term timeframes or do you trade one timeframe the entire time?

These are questions that are never answered, among many others. There are hardly any real applicable strategy to this. Everyone just says "watch the markets and learn". You liked to quote Warren Buffet, so I'll add something that's been attributed to Einstein: "If you can't explain it simply, you don't know it well enough."

I get the feeling like everyone is either a liar, a fraud, or just profoundly ignorant. Not being able to break down trading into some sort of process or at least be able to explain the process seems like most people are living on hype/ego rather than actual success. There is so much bullshit in this industry it makes it a real turn off. There's a reason I don't frequent forums. Most seem like a waste of time. I recently made an account here and found exactly what I thought I would find: people posting just to post. Ever notice how there is virtually no strategy in these forums? It's all just "trade what you know and set RRR?". I mean give me a break. Do you think this kind of teaching would hold up in a university course?

I feel like rather than learning how to "trade" my time would be better spent working some buy-side shop at an investment bank. I'd probably learn more there in 5 minutes than years of this shit. At least there you'd get to the source and know what information is real and what isn't.
Just my opinion.

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  #42 (permalink)
 kevinkdog   is a Vendor
 
 
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xsamanthax View Post
Thanks for taking the time to reply. I feel like every course I've looked at, every forum post I read, and everyone I talk to has this vague idea of how to make money. Can no one come up with a systematic process for how to trade this?

Your skepticism is very well founded. It takes most people years to figure out what you have already figured out. Nice job!

I 100% agree - most courses are full of BS. But there are definitely resources out there that will help you take a trading idea through all the steps until you have a strategy you can actually trade.

The problem is rigorous "vetting" processes are not easy - probably 99% of trading ideas fail when tested. And most people can't handle that. They want something quick.

Most people getting into trading want someone to tell them " go long when a higher high appears with this magic indicator or pattern, risk 2 ticks to make 20 ticks and you'll be successful." Like there is a "magical" setup or psychological "success think" trick that just produces profits. There isn't.


I did wonder what you mean by this, as it makes no sense to me. Can you explain?:

xsamanthax View Post
The ESM22 is currently $5.00 in the money.


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  #43 (permalink)
 bobwest 
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xsamanthax View Post
There's a reason I don't frequent forums. Most seem like a waste of time. I recently made an account here and found exactly what I thought I would find: people posting just to post. Ever notice how there is virtually no strategy in these forums? It's all just "trade what you know and set RRR?". I mean give me a break. Do you think this kind of teaching would hold up in a university course?

I feel like rather than learning how to "trade" my time would be better spent working some buy-side shop at an investment bank. I'd probably learn more there in 5 minutes than years of this shit. At least there you'd get to the source and know what information is real and what isn't.
Just my opinion.

Hi @xsamanthax,

No, no one is going to just hand you the way to be a successful trader. There are people who claim to, and who lay out their supposed winning method, but in fact they seldom work. A lot of people who are looking for it will pay them, unfortunately, thinking that someone, somewhere, must have laid it all out in a simple way that they can follow, just like "in a university course." If successful trading were as simple as that, why wouldn't everyone be rich? The answer is that trading is competitive, and you have to be better at it than most of the others who are in the markets, which is not an easy task, and not something that can be broken down in a by the numbers way -- to just do this, and this, and this, and cash in.

You mentioned chess, which is something that is also hard to master. Let me give another analogy, to tennis. Suppose you read the very best book in the world about tennis. Do you think you can pick up a racket and go play? Could you beat the pros? Could you beat another beginner? Could you hit the ball? There is a huge difference between having a conceptual understanding of something and being able to do it.

I do understand your frustration, which many people feel. But if you plan to use this forum for any actual useful purpose, it will have to be for something besides venting. It seems you have come here with an expectation of what you will find, and not surprisingly, it's what you have found.

There are people here who are willing to give a hand, and who are in many stages of their development, including some who have been successfully and professionally trading for years, as well as those who have not, but who may be able to give someone else something of value that they can use themselves.

So I hope that your time here is not as worthlessly wasted as you seem to expect. If it turns out that it is, you should not stay here that long. What is the profit in wasting your time?

Or, if you can find a way to contribute something genuine about your own trading or your attempts to learn, that could be useful, and help yourself and others, too.

So, look around and see if this forum is as terrible and useless as you have assumed when you came in. It may not be. But then, maybe it is, too. You decide.

I should let you know that there are many places on the internet where a negative, non-contributory attitude is exactly what is sought for, but this is not that place. Take your time to see whether you fit in or not, and whether anyone here knows anything that you can put to use. If so, that is great, and I hope you can benefit in some way. If no one meets your standards, that's fine too.

People come here and see whether there is anything for them. Some stay and some leave. It's pretty much a natural selection process. I hope you find it a profitable and easy decision to make, whichever way you go.

Bob.

When one door closes, another opens.
-- Cervantes, Don Quixote
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  #44 (permalink)
 chipwitch 
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xsamanthax View Post
What trading and trading education is missing is actual hard strategy: actual physical, real-life, examples.

No. It isn't. The strategy is all around you. There are many posted explicitly on this forum and other sources. Some will work for one person and no one else can get anything from it. There's even a forum where someone posted for years his/her journal. The majority of it was losing money he had been fortunate enough to make early on. He was up to 400k at one point, got down to about 100k (iirc) and then hasn't posted again for a couple years. But there it is... a strategy. There's an infinite number of them. Then, you will ALWAYS have snake oil salesmen seeking to profit from people seeking low hanging fruit. That type is abundant. There is NO one strategy that works anywhere, always. It is almost pure gambling, but not quite.

Quoting 

Where do you take profit? Where do you get out?

If you refer to my auto auction/dealer example previously, asking this is like asking someone how much to sell a car for that you bought. Can you not see how absurd that would be? If you sell it for $100 profit you'll sell it faster than if you sold it for $200. If you sell it for $1000 profit you may never actually find a buyer. Some dealers have a strategy of buying cars and flipping them for a quick profit, dealing in high volume. Some will have a strategy of buying just one car a month to make their month. Some will seek fixer-uppers that they can put more money in. There is no one-size fits all way to make money in any industry. What makes you think the markets are any different. All people can do is tell you the model or strategy they themselves do, but why would anyone do that? If I have a strategy that's making me money, I'm not sharing it! Those are my opportunities! Do you think some car dealer is going to tell you which car to buy, how much to pay for it and how much to sell it for? That's how they make their money. Why wouldn't they just buy it themselves. This is really common sense stuff.

Quoting 

Everyone just says "watch the markets and learn". You liked to quote Warren Buffet, so I'll add something that's been attributed to Einstein: "If you can't explain it simply, you don't know it well enough."

Some things aren't knowable. If you were to ask Einstein your questions, he would respond the same way. Some things are mathematically impossible to know. The probability of rolling 7 is better than rolling snake eyes. You're looking for certainty. There is none. There is only probability and statistics.

Quoting 
Do you think this kind of teaching would hold up in a university course?

To my knowledge, you won't find any university courses on Roulette, Black Jack and Craps. But you will find university courses on statistics, probability and business. They won't tell you how to trade (or gamble in Vegas) but those are the tools to succeed there. (Hint: it's the House with the edge/business education). I find this site chock full of useful knowledge, but then I understand strategy, whether in business, poker or auto dealing is ultimately up to me to come up with.

Quoting 

I feel like rather than learning how to "trade" my time would be better spent working some buy-side shop at an investment bank. I'd probably learn more there in 5 minutes than years of this shit. At least there you'd get to the source and know what information is real and what isn't.
Just my opinion.

Like @bobwest said, the market is a place of competition. It's like the Colosseum where Gladiators fight to the death. Only the best of the best will survive. Even the best teacher with a proven record in battle can only advise you to keep your shield up (maintain a stop loss), only swing your sword when you have an opening (be patient, the market will give you another opportunity), always face your opponent (watch the market) etc. But the strategy is up to you. Most gladiators died in the arena. Deciding to trade is a HUGE decision and very nearly just as consequential, win or lose, as deciding to be a gladiator. Would you expect reading a book to give you any meaningful advantage in the areana?

As General Mattis frequently says, "the enemy gets a vote." There are no absolutes in the market. Anyone who thinks so will be very quickly humbled. Have you read Sun Tzu's "Art of War?" It reads almost exactly like this forum, a bunch of very wise rules to help one succeed in war (and business), and no strategy. That strategy cannot be taught. It must be conceived at the moment of battle taking into account the myriad variables, size of the armies, is one more rested than the other, is the sun in your eyes, are your troops hungry, have your ships been burned to ensure victory is the only retreat.

Going back to your chess analogy... There are countless books on playing chess. Some masters probably read some of them. But, chess is no longer a game of strategy. The masters don't practice strategy. Look into it. The masters STUDY past games, memorize every move, and then practice their memory and choosing which one to apply in response to their opponent. They spend thousands of hours WATCHING games played. If a book could offer a strategy that ensured a guaranteed win, how well do you think that strategy would work when a second person read it? How about when ALL masters had read it. With all due respect, I think you're trying to simplify a very complex phenomenon (market action) into something you can master.

In the end, the degree of uncertainty is overwhelming. Most people are not well-suited to it. For the record, I have been around the market and traders my entire adult life. I lost a bunch of money when I was younger and abandoned the market completely. Now, I'm back, committed, and risk management-centered, but still unproven. So, this is my PRIMARY reason for not sharing my "strategies."

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  #45 (permalink)
xsamanthax
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kevinkdog View Post

I did wonder what you mean by this, as it makes no sense to me. Can you explain?:

If I'm trading one contract of the ESM22 (E-mini S&P 500 contract) and it has moved $5.00 in my favor (say I bought it at $4400.00 and it's now at $4405.00, which is a +$5.00 move). It could be anything: stocks, bonds, commodities. I was just saying that if I'm currently in a profitable trade.

Thanks for responding. I often wonder how people like this can earn money and make a living with it:


People were making hundreds of thousands a day. How did they learn how to do that? Internet courses didn't exist back then. They figured something out. Sometimes I wonder if I have to just show up at the exchange and see it with my own eyes. This internet learning business is stupid, quite honestly. If beer drinking, cigar smoking, good-ol-boy can do it why can't I? I must be missing something. They must know something I don't, but how did they come to know it?

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  #46 (permalink)
xsamanthax
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bobwest View Post
Hi @xsamanthax,

No, no one is going to just hand you the way to be a successful trader.

Bob.

Fair enough. I read your post in its entirety but didn't quote the whole thing for space reasons.

I guess I'm able to see through the bullshit and it bothers me. I find it hard to find communities because I find that most people just want to talk about it rather than be about it. Most discussions tend to end up with arguments or infantile crap that makes me cringe when I read it. My goal is to make money: period. I try to leave my ego at the door.

What I'm saying here has nothing to do with this forum in particular. I just don't understand why, no matter wherever I go, it seems like more of a social club than a "let's get down to business and figure this thing out" type of club. I never see any effective strategies are being laid out. Why do people just post to a forum anyway? For the community? I have nothing to offer, which is why I usually stay away from places like this. What good would my non-successful thoughts have no this matter? I would just be wasting the time of people who come onto the forum to learn something and then read my posts.

I'm not trying to be negative, but that's the reality.

I would love to see a community that has an actual, in-depth approach to the markets, where the purpose of being there is to master the material rather than just shoot ideas back and forth.

I don't know, if a 22 year old can come out of Harvard, work on Wall Street, and make 250k a year starting, they must know something we don't. This stuff seriously can't take that long to learn if that's the case. This stuff can clearly be taught in an effective and reasonable manner, to those in the know. I just don't want to waste my life trying to find the 'edge' only to look back at 50 and realize I could have retired from a Medical career, but instead spent my free time trying to strike it rich, only to never even come close.

Everyone talks about patience. I have none. But that is precisely what will make me either filthy rich or change careers quickly before I get in too deep where I can't make a decent living. I don't have the time or patience to stand around and backtest strategies and go a 1 lot for a few years just to figure this out. The years spent trying to learn how to trade you can literally start your own business.

Just my 2 cents, for whatever it's worth.

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xsamanthax
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chipwitch View Post
If I have a strategy that's making me money, I'm not sharing it!

Then why post here in the first place? Validation? Just trying to leech off of others to finally get good enough to leave this place once and for all?

Is your intention to just 'guide' people to become better traders, fully knowing you could drop the holy grail and ease their pain and suffering but instead decide to play games with them? What good would your advice be if it's not the ultimate truth?

I read your entire post, and every point you made, but rather than comment on all of them I'll just concede defeat and leave. I feel like the only person I can rely on is myself, and when/if I make it I can just pull the card everyone else uses, not share the strategy, and just go my own way. That's not really how I'm built but I guess that's what it means to be a professional trader.

Thanks to everyone who posted. I get it now: use your brain to figure out strategies to make money. As vague as it gets but okay. Roger that.

Take care.

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  #48 (permalink)
xsamanthax
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chipwitch View Post
But, chess is no longer a game of strategy. The masters don't practice strategy. Look into it. The masters STUDY past games, memorize every move, and then practice their memory and choosing which one to apply in response to their opponent.

This is devolving into what I despise most on the internet: points refuting points, refuting points. Again, no actual implementation of how to make money in the market, which was the original topic.

Magnus Carlsen, arguably one of the best chess players to have ever lived, stated very directly in an interview that he began playing at an early age in order to beat his sister. He said that the only reason he was better than her was because he STUDIED strategy. Talking about how good players only study past games is absurd, and I can tell now that you are just pulling things out of your ass, so I'm done here.

Best of luck. I doubt your even profitable, but at least you have social support on this forum? I'll find my own way.

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 kevinkdog   is a Vendor
 
 
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xsamanthax View Post
If I'm trading one contract of the ESM22 (E-mini S&P 500 contract) and it has moved $5.00 in my favor (say I bought it at $4400.00 and it's now at $4405.00, which is a +$5.00 move). It could be anything: stocks, bonds, commodities. I was just saying that if I'm currently in a profitable trade.

Thanks for responding. I often wonder how people like this can earn money and make a living with it:


People were making hundreds of thousands a day. How did they learn how to do that? Internet courses didn't exist back then. They figured something out. Sometimes I wonder if I have to just show up at the exchange and see it with my own eyes. This internet learning business is stupid, quite honestly. If beer drinking, cigar smoking, good-ol-boy can do it why can't I? I must be missing something. They must know something I don't, but how did they come to know it?

OK, I understand. For your hypothetical profitable trade, the question of when to get out depends in part how and why got it. If you were scalping, that would need a different exit strategy than a long term trend follower.

In any event, my answer would be "do whatever historically tests well."

If you went to the exchange, you'd be highly disappointed, since almost all trading is electronic. How did those floor traders learn? Many learned by starting out as something else on the floor and working their way up. Maybe they answered phones or ran tickets at first, but eventually started watching others, asking questions. Eventually they got a chance to be a floor trader, most probably.


For me, learning to trade was a series of missteps, regrets and bad decisions. But eventually I figured out what worked and what did not.

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 xplorer 
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xsamanthax View Post

Everyone talks about patience. I have none.

That was refreshingly honest.


An acquaintance wanted to have a 7-figure salary with little qualifications.

His Linkedin profile says he is into "Private Equity and Venture Capital Group, futures, stocks, bonds, etc.".


Last I checked he was still helping his parents run the family-owned liquor store.



Make of that what you will.

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