Looks like we have sort of deviated off topic but not really. The OP is researching ways to invest his money and this certainly goes toward that discussion even though it's specific to my situation.
Wow...sounds like I lead a deluded life along with the vast majority of those who claim to make money trading futures. Makes me wonder about all those who actually make a living trading...I have to say I'm getting a bit frustrated by all this conversation about making a living versus not making a living trading. I don't know what or who to believe any more. Like I said earlier, I've been doing this for over 6 years so I'm not a newbie. However, I've listened, studied, researched, implemented, and BELIEVED a few of you. What's a guy to do?
I don't have $25-$50K (the low end of your example) that I care to risk like that.
The good thing is that all the debt I currently have is a mortgage and RV payments. Those will be paid off next month leaving me completely debt free. I guess I need to be completely honest. My wife has a student loan at 3% interest. I'm leaving that one alone. Doesn't make sense to pay that one off at the expense of something else.
I started looking at spreads last week but haven't gotten very far yet. Still in it's infancy. But based on your comments it sounds like that isn't an option for me either.
So, maybe I really do need to chuck this part of my life and move on to being a greeter as Walmart. Too old to be an attractive hire as an IT guy.
Now for a comment direct to the OP...My thought about your original question is you won't get a good answer in this forum because you don't have the complete context behind the answer being offered and further you will get answers that span the complete spectrum of possibilities. So, you're no better off than when you asked the question. Sorry but that is the truth as I've experienced it in this forum along with all the others I've participated in and this forum is by far the best one I've participated in.
sysot1t, I truly appreciate your comments and please don't think otherwise. I value your comments in this thread as well as all of your's throughout this forum. It's just that I have become a bit cynical of late and questioning my ability to do this any longer and wondering if I don't, what will I do?
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First Mike, a friend in here tells me you are a veteran of military service, so I thank you for that service and will both remain grateful and teach my children to be grateful that they where born in the greatest nation on earth.
I too get frustrated with some of the things I see posted and with the relative certainty of the posters. Don't give up Mike.
We also do not know the context of the original post or if the question was "leading". Perhaps the OP is more sophisticated than some responders are giving credit for. I'm sure if someone really cared they could check the facts ...but why invest the time? What we can do though is evaluate with an open mind everything that passes here. We can retain what is valuable to each of us based on our own standards, emperical or theoretical, and we can let pass without harm that which is not valuable.
I would like to contact you about your adaptive cci, it is close to what I was looking for but not exactly, so I'd like to learn how and why you created it. All the best to you Mike. DB
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IMO, and keep in mind what works for me doesnt work for you or anyone else.. ) disclaimer there just in case...
I have been trading since I was 19, my first trade was DIS @ 124... 200 shares... all my money back then... stupid kid should have bought AAPL or MSFT... anyhow, am 35 now.. and been doing this for a long time, yet I still consider myself a newbie.. I have actually learned more in the past 2 years that I decided to take things more seriously when I was forced to look at futures and ETF's because of work rules being enforced.
I dont care to make a living off trading... I make my money for living off my work and I am well compensated... I see trading as a way to augment my retirement(I dont want to work forever for someone else) and increase my assets.. there are psychological issues with making a living off trading for me, I have not worked out those demons yet... and I have a natural ability for what I do for a living, so that is my money maker.. wont make me rich, but then again.. being rich is a matter of perspective..
as to trading and account size... one should always risk only what one is willing to lose... which means, it cant impact you financially... period... you should be able to take that money and blow it off on a single day, single bet, and not care, if you cant do that... then that is not at risk money... and you shouldnt trade with it.. be comfortable with what you risk above all things, or else ... you trade scared and mistakes happen.
the reality is, well at least my own reality, that to make a living you need a sizeable account ($500K IMO) and since I dont have that, I dont care to "make a living", but then again that is because I need at a minimun $100K a year to live off... but that is just me... I dont expect to return 50%-100% off my account, but rather 20-30%...
You are ahead of the curve, with mortgage paid off and only actual living costs... I say, sit down and determine your living costs plus 50% and then know what you need to burn monthly (you might already have done all that) and based on that number you get your annualized rate from which you can determine the account size needed and start working towards building that account size while trading small, etc.
with spreads, I like my ratios to be exact, for example: S&P 500 vs. STOXX50 that is to me a 21:26 ratio.. which requires $23500 (47 contracts) in margin if using Velocity for example.. someone who does not recognize custom spreads and goes by the outright legs.. you could very well trade a 4:4.95(rounded to 5) spread for 9 contracts or $4500 in margin with a $10K account... for me a min of $50K account would be required based on my own risk parameters of only 50% of the account at play.. those risk parameters allow me to sleep at night and if I lost 2% in a day, I am ok with it... I still have more "hands" or days left to play with.
you could trade spreads with $5K, but I say $10K is better... just determine your risk management.. that is 80% of the whole trading game ... know the following... institutational traders, they all use the same strategies, they all have access to the same research (for the most part) ... their only differences are: 1) how they interpret the data determines the view they wish to express, 2) their risk management parameters, determined based on those views and their assets.. this is truth, and has been my experience from working with actual traders at large investment banks, and small hedge funds ($5Billion+ funds).. it is always about managing your risk...
so you have finally reached a crossroad... and what you do next is critical... and you already know what you want to do.. so just follow your gut and instinct.. evaluate it all, and then go from there... only you know what is best for you.
Last edited by sysot1t; September 22nd, 2011 at 11:40 AM.
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again, as I said before... what works for me, doesnt work for all... so "wrong" is a matter of perspective... if PA works for you consistently, that is great... stick to it @cory, is not like anyone is suggesting that you should change or switch.. and also, if I am so "wrong"... please feel free to state your case, after all... Mike is the one who needs the help.. so your argument is bound to help him if substantiated.
btw, there are lots of opportunities within IT still, specially in the storage management side.. and with NETAPP as a technology in specific... if you wanted to take a look at that, just let me know and I can share some of the training I took years ago (it hasnt changed much since) .. you can download their simulator, learn the NTAP OS and how all features work (replication, deduplication, vaulting, etc) and then go for NCDA/NCIE and get a job supporting NTAP remotely from home or doing migrations consulting for someone like TekSystems (for example) and you can easily make $60K-$120K a year depending on the contract and the duration, etc...
you have my email, feel free to use it if interested, I gain nothing but the satisfaction of helping someone in need...
The following user says Thank You to sysot1t for this post:
hmmm... read my post again, I specifically kept PA outside of the BS part... also, PA requires a certain degree of "interpretation"... I dont have to worry about that with doing spreads... but as I said, TA is still needed..
Last edited by sysot1t; September 22nd, 2011 at 11:48 AM.
I just saw this, since @bluemele mentioned it and I figure that perhaps I missed something and I re-read the whole thread...
if all you need is something to do that wont drive you made with uncertainty... then just look at options ... and a good mentor to help you with it is Dan Sheridan... I have taken his mentoring, and I use the knowledge taught whenever I see opportunities on the Index Based & Commodities ETF's since that is all I am allowed to trade... it will take you some time to become proficient, at least a year, you wont start with $5MM, but with $50K portfolio... and once proficient, you can scale it to $5M ... it is very hands on, yet not time consuming, depending on your timeframe...
that is another option rather than focusing on trading futures..and best of all, your risks are defined and can be controlled quite easily.