I am kind of having an internal debate with myself. Should a trader who is just starting out, or unprofitable consider either a TST combine or trading 1-2 lots of M6E as a starting point? I think both of these options are better than straight up simulator because there is no accountability there.
Its real money, with real fills.
You see your gains and losses in your account.
Increased psychological pressure.
You can spend your winnings or use it to grow your account (hopefully )
Commissions to tick size ratio is horrible slippage (usually less than 2 ticks)
you can lose more than the cost of a combine is less time than it takes to complete one
Simulator but still decent fills from what i hear.
Price of combine may be less than cost of trading for 30-60 days of live m6e
increased accountability vs independent simulator but less than cash
TST room/squawk resources.
still a simulator
no self gain or loss based in your own account.
less psychological pressure because downside is limited to cost of combine
IMO, the psychological aspect of the combine far outweighs trading minis. Your emotions are leveraged against the opportunity for success, the actual capital loss is essentially negligible. Especially with the max draw down rules, I imagine it's what if feels like trading a small over leveraged account.
Neither the combine, or trading m6e are going to generate substantial income any time soon, but the combine seems to be a better learning environment, wether you are a skilled trader already or still working on it.
"If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong."
The following user says Thank You to addchild for this post:
I have done both and I agree with this. It was easy to bend/break my own parameters on my live account. There is no SIM mentality for me in the combine due to the OPPORTUNITY. Losing small dollar amounts each day on the micros really did not phase me, but seeing how quickly those add up on full sized contracts in the combine helped me see things that I was missing trading micros. My .02
FYI the psychological pressures of the combine are greater than they were trading micros for me.
The following user says Thank You to Xav1029 for this post:
OP meant trade M6E or do the 30k combine. Not do M6E in the 30k Combine. If he is doing the 30k combine he can trade 6E. OP can probably clarify if he meant limiting his downside by trading M6E or 30k combine and getting real life experience.
I have done both and I can tell you I have learned more from my combine than from a live account. Biggest reason is because you are forced to live within a set of rules which few traders could or would actually follow in the real world. The physiological pressure is much higher in the combine. Not sure why this is other than to say I felt the heat when I did real bad or real good. Perhaps its because you are being evaluated by professional peers @ TST. Whatever it is it makes you think and it makes you want to get better at your craft.
Bottom line: I would recommend any serious trader to go through the combine. If you use it as a tool and if used correctly it will teach you what it takes to be a professional trader.
nosce te ipsum
Trade what the market is doing; NOT what you think its going to do.