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Minimum starting funds to learn to trade

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  #101 (permalink)
Legendary Market Wizard
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DaxyMcDaxFace View Post
Hi Massive

Apologies, but combining both statements (which you did), you are suggesting exactly what i said.


Ok, i have tried to qualify my response below.

Lets agree to disagree.
-----------------------
hi @artemiso

explicit: statement of fact.

implicit: 'suggesting'....is an opinion, which i am trying to say as polite as possible, is incorrect, as is yours, sorry. At best you are making a sweeping statement - provide me the research you have done then that will add value. To counter, theres thousands who have and are doing well starting from small accounts.....albeit poss blown a few times. What follows hopefully explains more....

@deaddog

This is your opinion. Prop traders start off with an account balance of 0. So we may be talking semantics, but noone has mentioned it so far.

To add: prop firms i have worked in, your account is built from your pnl, from day 1, ie its 0. I know plenty who have made millions starting from 0. And they only ever keep in trading account 100k max to qualify for better profit share deal, their limits are based on prev performance, and day targets are 5-20k - which makes the % return per day discussion moot as there is a whole load of other stuff to account for....eg the prop firm are putting up 1/2 mill perhaps to facilitate the trader. Leverage etc.


Happy to discuss further.

Rgds.

Nothing more than my opinion. Your opinion is based on a prop firm where a trader starts out at 0. Okay...I guess that works as well. Cheers.

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  #102 (permalink)
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I feel like this question is subjective on the instrument you are trading. For me, I trade the mini nikkei225. With the low tick value and liquidity it provides a very low risk market to trade. I'm still a beginner and learning things but I feel comfortable with a 5k account starting out trading only one contract and limiting myself to two trades per session.

However, for most of you posting here you're probably trading the e-mini s&p .. that requires a much larger account to be successful. Still though, you have to know what you're doing to be successful... regardless of account size that skill set comes first.

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  #103 (permalink)
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jakobe View Post
I feel like this question is subjective on the instrument you are trading. For me, I trade the mini nikkei225. With the low tick value and liquidity it provides a very low risk market to trade. I'm still a beginner and learning things but I feel comfortable with a 5k account starting out trading only one contract and limiting myself to two trades per session.

However, for most of you posting here you're probably trading the e-mini s&p .. that requires a much larger account to be successful. Still though, you have to know what you're doing to be successful... regardless of account size that skill set comes first.

A trader's leverage ratio and the volatility of the products they trade is more important than account size.

Lower leverage products: QM M6E YM

Lower volatility products: ZF FGBM (If you want to cry, FGBS and ZT)

If you trade lower volatility or lower leverage (relative to account size), your risk per trade/day/week will be much lower and therefore your risk of ruin, and ability to survive much higher.

Other issues with higher leverage and volatility is that the bigger % swings in your account will make losses emotional, and make you base decisions on P&L, not the markets. It also forces you to have tight stops and therefore limit the ways in which you can trade. It inevitably pushes you towards scalping, for the accuracy and tight stops, even if this isn't really what suits your personality, knowledge, skills or where you'll be successful. Having either very big risk per trade, or very tight stops, isn't a great proposition, especially if you're trying to build capital and confidence.

Just my opinion. I've attached a risk of ruin calculator I found online in case anybody wants to play around with it.

0_Risk_of_Ruin_Simulator.xls

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  #104 (permalink)
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jakobe View Post
I feel like this question is subjective on the instrument you are trading. For me, I trade the mini nikkei225. With the low tick value and liquidity it provides a very low risk market to trade. I'm still a beginner and learning things but I feel comfortable with a 5k account starting out trading only one contract and limiting myself to two trades per session.

However, for most of you posting here you're probably trading the e-mini s&p .. that requires a much larger account to be successful. Still though, you have to know what you're doing to be successful... regardless of account size that skill set comes first.

Yes, subjective. I think you have to have adequate capital to be able to trade properly sized positions with enough risk tolerance to stay in the game through some frequency of consecutive max drawdowns. There are often hard rules, one set of which I will outline here if any single person types do it. (hate typing to myself) Truth is, I bet that the typical fio member that is actually trading, as opposed to playing a video game, has no knowledge or regard for these elements.

Anyone that wants to could take a calculator to a common popular risk approach and reverse engineer what an appropriate amount of capital would be. In my experience the "rules" for risk and position sizing "evolve" as determined by an individuals ability and good or bad sense. There would be all kinds of viable opinion on that. Personally I would push position size and decrease risk per contract as I made money. That is to say I'd trade bigger when I was winning. I paid a ton of money to learn that you do not trade bigger or average in when losing. Instead when I had losing trades I started to review the tactics (timing and reasons for entry) but I followed the logistics (risk protocol).

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  #105 (permalink)
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Risk, Net Liquidation, Volatility, Position Sizing along with Products Traded are all considerations that are interrelated and important to determining chances of success. Here is an outline of a popular and very successful approach that was implemented in the early 1980's.

1) Create a volatility based constant percentage risk position sizing algorithm...one that normalizes the dollar volatility by adjusting position sizing. So positions that move a large dollar amount are typically fewer contracts than ones that move less in dollars. This means that different trades in different markets tend to have the same chance for a particular dollar gain or loss. This is/allows appropriate "diversification" across futures markets. So an account should be big enough to trade different sized positions across markets...how many dollars, I'm not sure. If you are crafty, you can build an algo that does all kinds of assessments across the field of items you trade. Getting programing help with this is why wldman came to this forum...still looking.

So what do you use for volatility and the dollar volatility adjustment? Easy and numerous solutions, but here is a simple, clear and effective way. Start with ATR, specifically a 20 day exponential moving average of the true range. NOTE that I am using a Day time frame, that is extremely rare here in the forum as a day seems like an eternity for most of you guys. This is why every secret is safe....someone will immediately ask, will it work on 3 minute, what about 144 tick etc. Yes, just adjust your periodicity on your ATR calculation to 20 bars on whatever secret chart you are in love with. When you do the calculation on the special secret chart you will discover a CLUE, that is a big clue. Go back to the 20 DAY exponential MA but don't lose in your mind the frequency of trades increasing over shorter and shorter periodicity. The account has to be big enough to hang through some shit if you are serious.

Okay, you need to determine the dollar volatility represented by the underlying markets ATR. Simple enough, take the numerical value for the 20 DAY exponential moving average of the product and multiply that by the dollar value per handle of the product. This is your "market dollar volatility".

I'm doing this from memory, so bear with me and ask if something sounds stupid. So, back to account size...and this was a professional trading group (established). The rubber is going to hit the road here. To create a "unit" divide 1% of the account value by the market dollar volatility number. If you are trading a single market your maximum units is 3.

So that would take care of one element of risk, the position sizing. If someone provides the ATR value for what they trade we can plug it and move to the next measure of risk. Right now I have to throw some crust and bake a pizza or two.

If anyone thinks the discussion points matter just say so and I'll finish the next part of the idea...like I said, no point in typing this for the wldman.

Dan

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  #106 (permalink)
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grausch View Post
These types of threads always tend to go that way. No one wants to hear that they have insufficient capital and most people believe themselves to be more lucky or good than others - @Rory mentioned the specific name for this recently, but since there were no pics, I can't recall what it's called. Think it was something like the Kruger-Dunning effect, but my ability to use Google also seems quite bad right now...

If someone is undercapitalised, it generally stems from having too little access to money and trading is seen as a way to increase their money. I mean Richard Dennis turned $400 into $100 million, Ed Seykota $5k into $15 million and Michael Marcus $30k into $80 million. However it does not mean that I or any other trader can accomplish that same feat. Accepting that a dream is unrealistic is difficult for most - it was for me! It touches on emotions we quite often don't want to face.

Saving up to be properly capitalised was probably one of the best moves I did, but still does not guarantee success at trading. It merely means I can survive longer.



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  #107 (permalink)
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There is no real right answer but below I share some suggestions for ways to think about the problem, and at end I'll provide my opinion:

1. Look at what tracked systems require as a minimum. Most systems require around 7k-10k. This will yield a suggestion for the minimum required to trade a given market.

2. Futures are unique in that they have fixed point multiplier, high leverage, and low friction. The best trading instrument for most traders will be variable multiplier, high leverage, and low friction. The fixed point multiplier means that it is not always possible to set a stop loss as large, in terms of market % movement, as you might like.

One way to think about it is to look at the average daily range in dollar terms. This will show where the most lucrative markets to trade might be. Second you need to think about what type of stop loss you would need to trade a certain daily range with a certain precision and accuracy and how many trades you will make. Say a market has a $1000 daily range and you figure you can call it up or down with about equal risk then you'd need a minimum of $500 stop loss per day. However, this would only yield a single trade. So, we might build in some buffer and figure for $750 stop loss. You take that number and then you figure out what the probability is of having some run of losses of that max size. From experience, I know that most systems that work will rarely have more than 12 consecutive losses. 750*12= $9000. Finally, you figure in a realistic loss point for an aggressive account, we'll go with 35% yields around 25k. Another way to do it is to figure it from the perspective of realistically most traders won't be comfortable losing more than around 3% to 5% per day but it depends on the probability of experiencing a maximum loss. If the probability is very low then some traders might be willing to risk a very high % of the account.

But let's go with 4% which is very aggressive but would still allow for 5-6 maximum loss days in a row. If you want a $750 daily loss limit then your account will need to be around 19k-- round up to 20k. This means to be able to risk $750 per day and not risk over 4% of your account you would require a 20k account.

3. Calculate what you need to make from trading to make it worthwhile. The median salary is around 50-60k in the US. Next, you would calculate backwards to find out what you'd need to exceed that in order to grow your account and so forth. A reasonable number for most people is going to be somewhere between 55k and 140k. The point is once you can make more money trading then doing anything else you could do then you are successful. We'll go with a middle road estimate of 60k--which is a going to be a bit low for many. But, you need to add some funds to that for account, so we'll go with 70k. Next, you determine what type of return you need to make 70k.

Next you need to figure out a return level to produce the 70k and a shortfall return rate, as well. Given an equal probability of making or losing money and DD rate for any given year of 30% then that implies about a 30% return possible. Some could do more and some less. But, that would yield an account size of 233k. If a trader is willing to risk 50% to make 50% then we take 70/.5 = 140k. So we have an estimate of between 140k to 233k.

4. Calculate what you think you could return for a given daily risk level. Forget about drawdowns. Let's see what we could make risking 1k per day. In this scenario, we'll imagine we can make some percentage of that at high probability. Let's shoot for 25% per day on 1k risk. What is the implied return rate? 60k. This is within the bounds. Next, what is the minimum account size. Method 1, take max daily risk and multiply by 12 = 12k. But we might want to add 5k to add that for margins/etc. So that yields 17k and an implied return rate of 3.5x or 350%. Next, we might want to go with the 3% to 4% max loss per day. The suggested account size is similar in the 25k to 33k range.

5. Cash flow principle. Let's say basically a trader stands to make about as much as he or she stands to lose in a given month but that a good trader will tend to make versus lose money. In this case, in order to hit the lower bound of 60k/year you basically need 5k to trade. But, you must be able to replenish it every month. So you need a discretionary cash flow of 5k. At start of every month, your goal is to make 5k. If you lose then you limit your losses to 5k per month and reload 5k the next month.

6. Percentage of contract size. Find the true nominal value of a contract. It looks like if I didn't make a mistake the ES is worth around 112k and next you determine some reasonable minimum percentage of the nominal to have. 50% or 2x leverage yields 56k. So, if you want to be able to put on a trade at only 2x leverage you'd need at least appx 60k.

Conclusion of analysis:
It is possible to trade very selectively/conservatively with a very small account of only 5k to 10k. However, an account that small will not allow for any mistakes or experimentating both of which are needed for discretionary trading. So, if you trade with less then 10k then you are more likely to be successful trading a system.

Account sizes in the 25k to 33k do allow for an elite level trader to make significant returns. But, they do not allow for any shortfall. Beyond that, many very solid/good traders as defined by a return rate of 50% would only be making 12k to 17k at this level which is hardly a living.

The analysis suggest for maximum and long term success account sizes in the 140k to 230k would be beneficial. It is also possible to figure given that most jobs will top out at under 200k and most at 140k-150k and a return rate of say 25% that if you have an account size of 600k that it might be difficult to make as much money doing anything else besides trading. If you take an average of all account sizes you get 100k. If you take 10k, 25k, and 140k then you get 58k. This might suggest if you are between a really good and elite level trader or have performance that ranges from good to great that an account size of around 60k would be desired.

But, all of this analysis also assumes the trader is willing to risk this money. Realistically, most people will not be comfortable risking all of their savings. So, you might figure that to trade without excess fear that the 60k would need to be around 50% or less of total savings or between 6 months and 2 years of savings rate (i.e. either the trader will be risking less than 50% of his nest egg or be able to replenish within a couple years the account).

But you can learn to trade on the simulator. So you really don't need any money to learn to trade but might not do you much good. Just like, you can learn a lot of stuff without getting a degree or whatever but you might not be able to effectively use, i.e. in terms of getting a job.

There are a lot of advantages of having a larger account such as being able to size up winning trades. That is to dynamically increase the leverage without exceeding a certain maximum leverage level for the account. Also, the frictions from frequent trading will be lower on a larger account. I do think that having at least a 50k-60k account size would give someone a lot higher probability of being successful because it allows trading multiple contracts and also placing a single contract, i.e. if the daily risk limit is $1000 or average range is 1k, and still being at a very low leverage level. I.e. a 1k swing would be 2% at that level.

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  #108 (permalink)
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Continuing this discussion with a new poll:

How much money do you need to successfully trade futures?

Total votes: 1062
 


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  #109 (permalink)
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Big Mike View Post
Continuing this discussion with a new poll:



Mike

Define successfully?

"The days when I keep my gratitude higher than my expectations, I have really good days" RW Hubbard
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  #110 (permalink)
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deaddog View Post
Define successfully?

I second that. What is successful ? Not blowing out your account ?, breaking even ? , making a 100 bucks a day ?, a 1000 day ?, etc... ? The question so general that practically any answer on the list could suffice.

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  #111 (permalink)
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that in Dec 2016, I answered "technically". I think I was trying to avoid controversy and not discourage. My most recent post in the ES swing thread is a little more terse. It is the one right below this thread in the list...or here:



wldman View Post
Risk, Net Liquidation, Volatility, Position Sizing along with Products Traded are all considerations that are interrelated and important to determining chances of success. Here is an outline of a popular and very successful approach that was implemented in the early 1980's.

1) Create a volatility based constant percentage risk position sizing algorithm...one that normalizes the dollar volatility by adjusting position sizing. So positions that move a large dollar amount are typically fewer contracts than ones that move less in dollars. This means that different trades in different markets tend to have the same chance for a particular dollar gain or loss. This is/allows appropriate "diversification" across futures markets. So an account should be big enough to trade different sized positions across markets...how many dollars, I'm not sure. If you are crafty, you can build an algo that does all kinds of assessments across the field of items you trade. Getting programing help with this is why wldman came to this forum...still looking.

So what do you use for volatility and the dollar volatility adjustment? Easy and numerous solutions, but here is a simple, clear and effective way. Start with ATR, specifically a 20 day exponential moving average of the true range. NOTE that I am using a Day time frame, that is extremely rare here in the forum as a day seems like an eternity for most of you guys. This is why every secret is safe....someone will immediately ask, will it work on 3 minute, what about 144 tick etc. Yes, just adjust your periodicity on your ATR calculation to 20 bars on whatever secret chart you are in love with. When you do the calculation on the special secret chart you will discover a CLUE, that is a big clue. Go back to the 20 DAY exponential MA but don't lose in your mind the frequency of trades increasing over shorter and shorter periodicity. The account has to be big enough to hang through some shit if you are serious.

Okay, you need to determine the dollar volatility represented by the underlying markets ATR. Simple enough, take the numerical value for the 20 DAY exponential moving average of the product and multiply that by the dollar value per handle of the product. This is your "market dollar volatility".

I'm doing this from memory, so bear with me and ask if something sounds stupid. So, back to account size...and this was a professional trading group (established). The rubber is going to hit the road here. To create a "unit" divide 1% of the account value by the market dollar volatility number. If you are trading a single market your maximum units is 3.

So that would take care of one element of risk, the position sizing. If someone provides the ATR value for what they trade we can plug it and move to the next measure of risk. Right now I have to throw some crust and bake a pizza or two.

If anyone thinks the discussion points matter just say so and I'll finish the next part of the idea...like I said, no point in typing this for the wldman.

Dan


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  #112 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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why are there 36 people viewing this thread and none viewing that ES swing thread?

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  #113 (permalink)
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Babool View Post
I second that. What is successful ? Not blowing out your account ?, breaking even ? , making a 100 bucks a day ?, a 1000 day ?, etc... ? The question so general that practically any answer on the list could suffice.


I agree , it depends on your broker for margins etc. . TOS requires about $5800 for one contract on the YM . It also depends on how good of a trader you are , so many variables .

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  #114 (permalink)
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linked prior post:

"A metaphor: A guy comes in for a free introductory lesson and opens with...Do you have a fight team? Yes, we have a fight team. Experienced guys are invited to a rigorous tryout and then selected based on how their participation will elevate the team. The response, Can I try out? Well tell me about your experience? I was a wrestler sophomore year in high school. Note...not senior year, meaning he did not continue. How many times did you place in State your sophomore year? Ha, if you do not know wldman can be pretty terse. None, but I watch the UFC on tv and it looks pretty cool. When was the last time you were punched or choked until you fell unconscious? Never, he said. Would it have been right for me to say...tryouts are tomorrow, see you at 6?

So, context:

IMO to be rightly in the game you must first establish if you belong (can be competitive) in the game. In my hallucination, that means to even consider "trading", which in reality is short term directional speculation, you should have risk capital (meaning it can go to ZERO without causing harm) of at least $20,000. Don't bid me back if you don't like that...and I did not ask your opinion. Half that money to get started should be in either SPY or in Berkshire Hathaway stock. This is your initial "basket". The remaining $10,000 you are free to trade. Be aware that many very talented very aggressive experienced people wake up in the morning with the express intent of separating you from that money. They are ruthless and the vast and overwhelming odds are that they will move some or all of your trading capital in to their account...a couple times, before you figure things out.

If you plan to trade for income...meaning that you are going to withdraw money from your "trading account" to pay living expenses please re-read the metaphor above. Traders do not make a habit of periodic planned withdrawals from their "trading" account. If you think that trading futures is the Golden Key to easy prolonged riches, leave Colorado, give your gummies to your "bro from the gym" and get a degree in engineering, law or medicine and become the founding owner of the maker of the next great thing everyone needs."

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  #115 (permalink)
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damn... $250.000? why?

i just need a good profit factor, control the drawdown and the consec. losers... that's it

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  #116 (permalink)
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as a minimum to start trading /ES? Yeah, that is kind of subjective. I simply gave my opinion. Or are you asking about the other thread and hit to net liq?

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  #117 (permalink)
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Fernand0 View Post
damn... $250.000? why?

i just need a good profit factor, control the drawdown and the consec. losers... that's it

and say, yes, that and a crown and you can be king. But you are correct. a good factor, low/no drawdown and few consecutive losers and anyone would be all set.

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  #118 (permalink)
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IMO, one can scalp the eminis with a $2000 account with some brokers that have $500 margins per contract.

However, based on how you've asked your question... You most likely don't have a futures broker account... Nor do you understand that to successfully scalp the eminis your going to need to have commission rates so cheap... Such is not available to someone with a $2000 trading account.

That's just for starters. Successful scalpers of the eminis also have excellent/reliable data feeds, broker platform suitable for scalping and other trader equipment suitable for scalping. Then there's the psychological aspect... Those successful scalpers are extremely discipline traders and experience traders...Not trading with a $2000 account.

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  #119 (permalink)
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with their first post. I guess wldman has to step out now. The answer to the earlier question about the "tell" should be obvious. 36 people wonder if they have or can get enough $ to be considered viable by people at FIO and 3 or 4 want to discuss daily pre session analysis of the most active most competitive market in the world.


picklerick View Post
IMO, one can scalp the eminis with a $2000 account with some brokers that have $500 margins per contract.

However, based on how you've asked your question... You most likely don't have a futures broker account... Nor do you understand that to successfully scalp the eminis your going to need to have commission rates so cheap... Such is not available to someone with a $2000 trading account.

That's just for starters. Successful scalpers of the eminis also have excellent/reliable data feeds, broker platform suitable for scalping and other trader equipment suitable for scalping. Then there's the psychological aspect... Those successful scalpers are extremely discipline traders and experience traders...Not trading with a $2000 account.


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  #120 (permalink)
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picklerick View Post
IMO, one can scalp the eminis with a $2000 account with some brokers that have $500 margins per contract.

However, based on how you've asked your question... You most likely don't have a futures broker account... Nor do you understand that to successfully scalp the eminis your going to need to have commission rates so cheap... Such is not available to someone with a $2000 trading account.

That's just for starters. Successful scalpers of the eminis also have excellent/reliable data feeds, broker platform suitable for scalping and other trader equipment suitable for scalping. Then there's the psychological aspect... Those successful scalpers are extremely discipline traders and experience traders...Not trading with a $2000 account.

Probably not going to be an answer that most agree with, but here it goes. I believe if you are a successful trader you can trade a $5k account just as easily as a $50k account. The most important aspect to trading for me is having a strategy that you can successfully follow. By that I mean controlling your stop losses, margins, entries, profit targets and having confidence in your strategy!! Be honest with yourself before you ever start that there is no doubts you will be successful. That in my honest opinion comes from watching your strategy for however long it takes, whether it be a week, month or a year before you have that confidence.

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  #121 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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@fesx that is not unreasonable. This is subjective. Folks definitely can make it with a 2000 or 5000 start. However, to say that is probable is delusional. I dont say that to discourage or be mean...I say it to keep people grounded in reality. Market speculation is among the most difficult paths, period.

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  #122 (permalink)
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My number is $1000 per contract traded to scalp the ES. $300 day margin with AMP.
I lost way more than that first to learn how to do it. Trade Demo until you know your number.

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  #123 (permalink)
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fesx View Post
Probably not going to be an answer that most agree with, but here it goes. I believe if you are a successful trader you can trade a $5k account just as easily as a $50k account. The most important aspect to trading for me is having a strategy that you can successfully follow. By that I mean controlling your stop losses, margins, entries, profit targets and having confidence in your strategy!! Be honest with yourself before you ever start that there is no doubts you will be successful. That in my honest opinion comes from watching your strategy for however long it takes, whether it be a week, month or a year before you have that confidence.

Absolutely. The biggest mistakes I see newbies making is not having proper stops set up. You would be surprised at the number of traders that wreck their accounts simply by misusing or even not using stops at all!

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  #124 (permalink)
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wldman View Post
@fesx that is not unreasonable. This is subjective. Folks definitely can make it with a 2000 or 5000 start. However, to say that is probable is delusional. I dont say that to discourage or be mean...I say it to keep people grounded in reality. Market speculation is among the most difficult paths, period.

I am not taking what you said as mean at all!!! Yes its subjective, but my point was if you are successful trading a $5k account you will be successful trading a $50k account. Go sim until your strategy is proven is my point. If you trade smartly you can start with a $5k account and quickly build it to a $50k account in a short period of time. In my opinion I think its crazy to open an account with $50k and watch it quickly lose your account thinking that time is on your side if starting with that much money. If I was a new trader I would start with $5k, and add funds as necessary. It's to easy to lose $50k in a heartbeat.

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  #125 (permalink)
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sam028 View Post
Start with the money you are ready to lose.

Sam,
Right on... Learn to lose first!
Until you are consistently profit in term of days, weeks, and months...
Better do it in SIM for how ever long you need in order to blow-up few accounts during the learning process.

IMHO
When you are ready to trade with real money... Start with the product's overnight margin requirement and multiply by 2 or 3 times.
Do not forget to wire your gains out of account at the end of week or month.


Find the missing piece of the puzzle... Let's be amazing, be awesome in trading today!
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  #126 (permalink)
Dublin
 
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Hey everyone,

been lurking while I get the lay of the land. Slowly starting to piece together my plan for trading futures. Ive been trading sim for a little while and things are starting to come together, albeit slowly.

I want to get my hands dirty soon, probably in the new year; I'm thinking of starting trading the e-mini Dow to start with, probably 1 lots until I hit a profit target of some kind, with a principle sum of $3500-$4000 to start with. Has anyone in the journals section attempted this, or what is the path of choice for beginners to dabble contract wise? timeframe wise, I like the 200 and 500tick charts, and my average time in a trade is around 5mins.

note: I'm in Ireland timezone wise, which means I can only trade the last 2 hours of the US trading day.

here's a typical output after 100 trials, and i'm being slightly pessimistic.




any input would be welcome

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  #127 (permalink)
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KillerJukeBox View Post




any input would be welcome

I don't know if your figures you entered come from an extended period of sim trading results (though even that is likely to be better than live performance), but I think that any Risk of Ruin simulator that gives a result of "0% Risk of Ruin" is giving a false sense of optimism.
I see you risk per trade is $44, on the YM with a average $4 comms and fees that's an 8 tick stop which seems very tight unless momentum scalping the current volatility. But as you are in the UK maybe you are spread betting or something similar with a much smaller cost per tick.

Trading, ideally structured, is a vehicle for expanding consciousness, not damaging it. - Brett Steenbarger
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  #128 (permalink)
GIRONA
 
 
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KillerJukeBox View Post
Hey everyone,

been lurking while I get the lay of the land. Slowly starting to piece together my plan for trading futures. Ive been trading sim for a little while and things are starting to come together, albeit slowly.

I want to get my hands dirty soon, probably in the new year; I'm thinking of starting trading the e-mini Dow to start with, probably 1 lots until I hit a profit target of some kind, with a principle sum of $3500-$4000 to start with. Has anyone in the journals section attempted this, or what is the path of choice for beginners to dabble contract wise? timeframe wise, I like the 200 and 500tick charts, and my average time in a trade is around 5mins.

note: I'm in Ireland timezone wise, which means I can only trade the last 2 hours of the US trading day.

here's a typical output after 100 trials, and i'm being slightly pessimistic.





any input would be welcome

Seems to not be a realistic risk. 44$ for the dow, this is nothing...And this days volatility is not helping to do that. For example this days I am puting SL in 3-4 point for the ES, when normally I am just puting as mucha as 2 points of risk.

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  #129 (permalink)
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got it. thanks guys.

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  #130 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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KillerJukeBox View Post
got it. thanks guys.

This is a polarizing view that many will want to bid back, BUT. Please do yourself a favor and avoid simulated trading. SIM is the work of the devil and I don't mean @Devil Man SIM builds a false sense of confidence, often to the point of bravado in guys that have never risked, made or lost a penny. Combine SIM with "backtesting" and you are building a grand nest for failure.

You will suffer far far less and have a better chance to preserve your initial balance if you fund your account and learn immediately from small but real mistakes.

I linked @Devil Man because he can speak to this notion.

I've read numerous books on flying. Everything from weather, to engineering, to maintenance.

Also link @tturner86. So Devil is an expert pilot. Terry loves to fly simulators. I think they would agree that Terry's simulator experience does not qualify him to fly. Only serious hours in the right seat or the back seat, depending, will start to teach actual flying or more appropriately landing...the hard part.
The simulator is fun and glorious but absent real flying there is a lack of experience, to include consequence that confirms SIM as pure fantasy.

Trade, lose a little, make a little. Avoid repeating mistakes, duplicate success. Terribly over simplified, but just trade.

DB

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  #131 (permalink)
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It depends on trading style and risk to reward ratio. The more drawdown you are likely to take, the bigger your account has to be no matter what. This is true for realized and unrealized drawdown. Traders Keep it tight and who chase smaller targets, can start with a much smaller account.

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  #132 (permalink)
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wldman View Post
This is a polarizing view that many will want to bid back, BUT. Please do yourself a favor and avoid simulated trading. SIM is the work of the devil and I don't mean @Devil Man SIM builds a false sense of confidence, often to the point of bravado in guys that have never risked, made or lost a penny. Combine SIM with "backtesting" and you are building a grand nest for failure.

You will suffer far far less and have a better chance to preserve your initial balance if you fund your account and learn immediately from small but real mistakes.

I linked @Devil Man because he can speak to this notion.

I've read numerous books on flying. Everything from weather, to engineering, to maintenance.

Also link @tturner86. So Devil is an expert pilot. Terry loves to fly simulators. I think they would agree that Terry's simulator experience does not qualify him to fly. Only serious hours in the left seat or the back seat, depending, will start to teach actual flying or more appropriately landing...the hard part.
The simulator is fun and glorious but absent real flying there is a lack of experience, to include consequence that confirms SIM as pure fantasy.

Trade, lose a little, make a little. Avoid repeating mistakes, duplicate success. Terribly over simplified, but just trade.

DB

I'm hyper aware of this, most literature ive read has said similar aswell, but I feel like I need some kind of initial footing to get started.

Pulling the trigger in january to get started I think. Gonna trade super low volume and review each and every trade, so will probably have my journal here in the new year.

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  #133 (permalink)
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wldman View Post
This is a polarizing view that many will want to bid back, BUT. Please do yourself a favor and avoid simulated trading. SIM is the work of the devil and I don't mean @Devil Man SIM builds a false sense of confidence, often to the point of bravado in guys that have never risked, made or lost a penny. Combine SIM with "backtesting" and you are building a grand nest for failure.

You will suffer far far less and have a better chance to preserve your initial balance if you fund your account and learn immediately from small but real mistakes.

I linked @Devil Man because he can speak to this notion.

I've read numerous books on flying. Everything from weather, to engineering, to maintenance.

Also link @tturner86. So Devil is an expert pilot. Terry loves to fly simulators. I think they would agree that Terry's simulator experience does not qualify him to fly. Only serious hours in the right seat or the back seat, depending, will start to teach actual flying or more appropriately landing...the hard part.
The simulator is fun and glorious but absent real flying there is a lack of experience, to include consequence that confirms SIM as pure fantasy.

Trade, lose a little, make a little. Avoid repeating mistakes, duplicate success. Terribly over simplified, but just trade.

DB

Nah, I could do it. Start up plane, take off, land. But I do agree this is a difference when your ass is in the seat and not a computer chair. Same with trading. Real cash will always be different than sim.

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  #134 (permalink)
Legendary no drama Llama
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tturner86 View Post
Nah, I could do it. Start up plane, take off, land. But I do agree this is a difference when your ass is in the seat and not a computer chair. Same with trading. Real cash will always be different than sim.

Flying is a good analogy for trading. I have flown for real. Cessna 172. The thing that makes a good pilot (a lot of things make a good pilot but as it relates to trading) is many small corrections over time. You never want to be in a position where you have failed to anticipate something and the system requires a major change to maintain trajectory (or lift in a worst case scenario).

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  #135 (permalink)
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Grantx View Post
Flying is a good analogy for trading. I have flown for real. Cessna 172. The thing that makes a good pilot (a lot of things make a good pilot but as it relates to trading) is many small corrections over time. You never want to be in a position where you have failed to anticipate something and the system requires a major change to maintain trajectory (or lift in a worst case scenario).

I agree. I am in process of getting pilot license.

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  #136 (permalink)
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My definition of successful trading is - 'living off the proceeds'

I therefore selected $50-$250k. $50k is too low - more like $100k minimum - depends on your lifestyle costs.

Trading with a small account isn't going to pay the bills, so you need a large pot of money off to the side to pay the bills for multiple years while the trading account increases. Which essentially is the same as trading with a large capital account. Your equity is just sitting in a different place.

Trading is about survival - letting the law of large numbers play out. And this means low risk %. Low risk % = low income if your equity is low. Drawdown tolerance is way less than what you think it is. So assuming you can handle a 30-40% drawdown in real life and continue trading the system is wishful.

Cliff Asness of AQR is always in a panic that his strategies are a result of data mining or survivorship bias. So, no, don't even think about running backtest robustness tests with risk of ruin >20%. You'll see to make liveable money, while not having a heart attack, you need a ton of different systems (to diversify the risk, and smooth return) and a lot of time to let the multitude of various equity paths play out and get near the 'average' of your backtests. And that's assuming you can rely on your backtests.

I think everyone should start with a small account and compound it up. But this isn't successful trading, as you are not living off the proceeds.

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  #137 (permalink)
Legendary Mr. Sock and Buskin
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I lasted 50 days in the e-mini trading a $1500 account. Well, actually I traded until I lost $900 and $500 is required for day margin so I just stopped. I knowingly went on and violated common sense risk parameters (1%-2% rule, I was risking 3.3%/1 point/$50 with every trade the last 2 weeks, the 1st 2 weeks would be abysmal to you pros). I went on ahead knowing that the whips on the e-mini were/are too mean for my acc. size. My strategy was vague and I was undisciplined. Every entry gave me a heart attack and every winner was amazing. My approach was a form of sophisticated gambling. It was a total shit show but I got valuable experience- what it's like to trade real money, and how much I love trading (uh oh).

So it's safe to say, for me $1500 is not enough. Maybe if I had deposited $1500 more and had 10 more IQ points and and monk level discipline it would be sufficient. The answer to this question is simple, annoying and expected. Nobody knows. People can give you a rule of thumb and say the lower your account size, the higher chance of ruin. I'm not going to go balls deep (technically or mathematically) into this topic like others have and frankly I don't have the merit or motivation rn, but really there are too many variables to consider. You can't quantify a traders psychology (which has a huge impact on trading performance/outcome). Strategy, risk management, market conditions matter, there's just too many things. The reason it's hard to answer this question is exactly why trading is hard. Uncertainty is hard.

Despite seeing majority of people saying you need $10k-$50k to trade successfully, I'm gonna go ahead and trade 5k in the future after I develop the discipline and whatever else it takes to become profitable. Minimum starting funds to learn to trade = perseverance. If anyone reading this reply has become consistent with 5k or under let me know. I wanna know you.

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  #138 (permalink)
Niles, Michigan
 
 
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Hey man I was LITERALLY in the exact same situation as you. I had $1500 and I was gonna try my hand at the ES. I come from trading stocks, so I have experience and I have a pretty good head on my shoulders in terms of psychology/discipline. Even with proper psychology, and a strategy, I got decimated with my tiny account. The ES is honestly just not for a small account in my opinion. You simply canít get away with risking 1 point, you have to risk at least 2 I would say and even then... thatís $100 risk on a $1500 account. Not the greatest. I was catching the tops of big moves in the ES going short as they almost fell. I would get stopped out by 1 point and then it would proceed to collapse. That really threw me for a loop. It was mentally exhausting. I switched over to the NQ and Iíll never look back to the ES. itís much more friendly in terms of tick value, and though it is less liquid, the chart is much ďsmootherĒ looking if you get what I mean. Iíve been doing so much better since I went to NQ. In terms of psychology, I hope youíve read Trading in the Zone by Mark Douglas. That book changed my Trading forever. If youíre really passionate about becoming a better trader, consider going to see a psychologist to discuss your mental issues regarding it. I did that, helped me understand my behavior a lot.

Best of luck,
Cade


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  #139 (permalink)
Legendary Mr. Sock and Buskin
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That's why I was thinking about trading with $5k in the ES. I could be extremely selective with my trades via top to bottom analysis of charts looking for synchronicity: let's say the daily is bearish, the 10,000 tick chart is forming a head and shoulders and the 500 tick is mirroring the 10,000 tick to some extent. I could add more variables/barriers to enter- I could do all sorts of things to fish out higher probability set-ups/trades. I'd be able to risk 2 ticks, 2% with this slightly bigger account. Not to say this approach would work as I'm being very vague, just throwing something out there.

I've had thoughts about switching to the NQ.. $20 a point, $5 a tick. It's realistically my speed, and I probably should trade it instead. Right now I'm back in SIM and I'm testing in the ES. I've got plenty of time and I've got capital to build. I have to work on my personal life/rid myself of some bad habits and just bad ways of being. It's strange reading the similarities, as I religiously have read that book. The thing that resonates with me the most is the importance of accepting risk. I'm in the process of change and am looking for the consistency and stability in my trading, as well as intrapersonal stability. I've read that trading life and personal life are intimately connected and I believe it. As for having a psychologist, I do tons of self work. If I'm unsuccessful in my own efforts I'll take your advice. I believe I'll come out on top.

Thank you.

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  #140 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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Zachary Standley View Post
...If anyone reading this reply has become consistent with 5k or under let me know. I wanna know you.

Most people who succeed to pass a combine from topstep/oneup/gauntlet use much lower account size. You should try to contact some of them.

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  #141 (permalink)
Legendary Mr. Sock and Buskin
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I'll do that. Really, I'm just looking for any consistently profitable trader to talk to. I made a thread in the wrong section awhile back asking professional traders how their journey was when they first started to trade and it didn't receive any attention. I'm thinking about starting another thread about full-blown trader success stories- not like the million dollars overnight kind of thing, but it would be cool to know every traders path in detail. Maybe I'll start it later.

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  #142 (permalink)
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Great discussion as always guys.

Here are the results before closing this poll for now.



Mike

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