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My sorry life story to date……… any suggestions……?
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My sorry life story to date……… any suggestions……?

  #11 (permalink)
 Vendor: diversifyportfolio.com 
PTA, Gauteng
 
Futures Experience: Advanced
Platform: Self built + Sierra + TWS
Favorite Futures: Stocks and Options
 
DarkPoolTrading's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,036 since May 2012
Thanks: 1,244 given, 1,304 received

Hello @ShaunG from a fellow South African.

First and foremost as others have said, stop buying tools in the hopes that they will be the answer to instant profitability. Why does one person trade nothing but price action, another trades with a screen filled with indicators, another trades using nothing but the DOM,...yet they are all profitable. It is because they have developed their methods themselves and have figured out a way to approach the markets that suits both their personality and beliefs about how the market operates.

You need to figure out for yourself how markets move. Stop trying to follow systems or indicators. What do you believe is true about how markets move. As per my signature, "you dont trade the markets, you trade your beliefs about the markets".

Some things which are not important in trading (or at least are given more importance by new traders than they actually deserve):
- Entry
- Win percentage
- Individual trade outcome

Things which are important:
- Risk management
- R:R
- Discipline
- Process oriented

It may seem daunting and a huge step backwards, but you need to strip off every single indicator from your charts and learn to read the markets using only price and volume. Make no mistake, this is a long process and certainly doesn't mean you will never again add anything to your charts. Some people end up adding a few indicators to aid in certain aspects. But if you've never learnt to read the markets, then all you've done is learnt to read indicators which will not make you consistently profitable (refer to things that are important).

I would suggest you look into TopstepTrader. As a fellow South African I know how hard it is because of our cr#p currency. It is my firm belief that making it as a trader is largely about surviving the learning curve with enough emotional and monetary capital to then start making money. This is a long journey and there are no shortcuts. Mistakes will be made, usually multiple times until the lesson is finally learnt. Until that time, we need time and money to continue the learning curve.

Sign up with Topstep Trader and begin doing combines. It sounds as if you've done plenty of sim trading. There is a point in time where sim trading is no longer beneficial. It sounds as if you may be there. Topstep Trader is a way to give you live trading experience which will give you a real taste of the emotions involved in proper trading. Continue saving your money so that one day you'll have a good sized account to trade live with, in the mean time use Topstep trader to develop.

One last thing, I see you have 6 different favorite trading instruments ranging from the ES to CL. That is way too many for a new trader. Pick one and stick with it. Yes,...just one! Learn it inside and out. Learn its personality. CL and ES are completely different beasts. Get to a point where you can describe your one instruments typical behavior and feel the way it moves. Know if a certain day is moving faster than usual. Know if a certain day is choppier than usual. You will never learn any of this if you're trying to follow 6 instruments.

Good luck.

Diversification is the only free lunch
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  #12 (permalink)
Elite Member
London, UK
 
Futures Experience: Advanced
Platform: TT, CQG, esignal, TWS
Favorite Futures: Futures, spot FX, Energy Spreads Prop Firm
 
Posts: 61 since Jun 2011
Thanks: 16 given, 55 received


ShaunG View Post
How long have you been trading? Definitely stop buying things and just focus on price and time. It will likely take several years before you become anywhere approaching profitable, just trying to manage expectations here.


It has been about two years of seriously trying to get a grip on things. Prior to that I have always been interested and have spent many year reading and finding out as much as possible. Thing is when I come up with a strategy that works, it's only a matter of time when things start going wrong, and I start incurring larger losses than I would want to.
I have heard that one needs to continually revise and adapt your strategies to current market conditions. There is no one size fits all or one strategy that works every time!?

Thanks for your insight.

Hey Shaun

Well first up there is absolutely nothing unusual about losing money for the first 2 years. Personally I didn't see any positive signs in my PnL until year 4 and even then I was far from consistent. Trading is very individual to the trader so you should be careful about which advice / route you take. I can only share with you what I would have done to speed up my learning curve, as with anything here this may or may not help you.

1. Pick a maximum of 3 instruments to follow
2. Only watch price and time & nothing else - perhaps 1 moving average max. Use 5m charts no lower.
3. Learn to read price action
4. Learn to recognise when the market is trending or ranging or transitioning. Have an entry plan for each of these.
5. Journal every trade religiously
6. Pencil in 5 years from outset as a realistic time from when you should start seeing some rewards - however it may take longer and you may never get there.
7. Make sure you have a fall back plan, don't put other career choices on hold or jeopardise your financial well being in any way on the journey.
8. Write trading plans that you will stick to.
9. Focus on patience and discipline in all aspects of your trading
10. Learn to follow a plan and never deviate from a plan. This will involve learning why people deviate from plans so you can 'plan for going off the plan' lol.

Good Luck on the journey

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  #13 (permalink)
Elite Member
Colorado Springs, CO USA
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
Broker/Data: Amp Futures. CQG
Favorite Futures: Futures
 
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DarkPoolTrading View Post
Hello @ShaunG from a fellow South African.


Some things which are not important in trading (or at least are given more importance by new traders than they actually deserve):
- Entry
- Win percentage
- Individual trade outcome

Things which are important:
- Risk management
- R:R
- Discipline
- Process oriented


Good luck.


I disagree that Win percentage is not important. It is as important as R:R. The two work together and individually mean very little. A higher win rate usually means a lower R:R and a lower win rate usually means a higher R:R. There really is no free lunch! Its a balancing act between the two. Trying to find the sweet spot for a given strategy.

Persistence! Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not ... nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not ... Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not ... The world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent!
Calvin Coolidge
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  #14 (permalink)
Shaun Glendinning
Cape Town/South Africa
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader8
Broker/Data: NinjaTrader Brokerage, Rithmic Feed
Favorite Futures: ES
 
ShaunG's Avatar
 
Posts: 38 since Jul 2014
Thanks: 190 given, 40 received


DarkPoolTrading View Post
Hello @ShaunG from a fellow South African.

First and foremost as others have said, stop buying tools in the hopes that they will be the answer to instant profitability. Why does one person trade nothing but price action, another trades with a screen filled with indicators, another trades using nothing but the DOM,...yet they are all profitable. It is because they have developed their methods themselves and have figured out a way to approach the markets that suits both their personality and beliefs about how the market operates.

You need to figure out for yourself how markets move. Stop trying to follow systems or indicators. What do you believe is true about how markets move. As per my signature, "you dont trade the markets, you trade your beliefs about the markets".

Some things which are not important in trading (or at least are given more importance by new traders than they actually deserve):
- Entry
- Win percentage
- Individual trade outcome

Things which are important:
- Risk management
- R:R
- Discipline
- Process oriented

It may seem daunting and a huge step backwards, but you need to strip off every single indicator from your charts and learn to read the markets using only price and volume. Make no mistake, this is a long process and certainly doesn't mean you will never again add anything to your charts. Some people end up adding a few indicators to aid in certain aspects. But if you've never learnt to read the markets, then all you've done is learnt to read indicators which will not make you consistently profitable (refer to things that are important).

I would suggest you look into TopstepTrader. As a fellow South African I know how hard it is because of our cr#p currency. It is my firm belief that making it as a trader is largely about surviving the learning curve with enough emotional and monetary capital to then start making money. This is a long journey and there are no shortcuts. Mistakes will be made, usually multiple times until the lesson is finally learnt. Until that time, we need time and money to continue the learning curve.

Sign up with Topstep Trader and begin doing combines. It sounds as if you've done plenty of sim trading. There is a point in time where sim trading is no longer beneficial. It sounds as if you may be there. Topstep Trader is a way to give you live trading experience which will give you a real taste of the emotions involved in proper trading. Continue saving your money so that one day you'll have a good sized account to trade live with, in the mean time use Topstep trader to develop.

One last thing, I see you have 6 different favorite trading instruments ranging from the ES to CL. That is way too many for a new trader. Pick one and stick with it. Yes,...just one! Learn it inside and out. Learn its personality. CL and ES are completely different beasts. Get to a point where you can describe your one instruments typical behavior and feel the way it moves. Know if a certain day is moving faster than usual. Know if a certain day is choppier than usual. You will never learn any of this if you're trying to follow 6 instruments.

Good luck.


Hello @ “DarkPoolTrading” and fellow South African!

Thanks for your reply.

Your advice has been duly noted and I will most certainly adopt some of your recommendations.
It sure is nice having some feedback from a fellow South African.

Thanks for the interest shown.

Cheers

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  #15 (permalink)
 Vendor: diversifyportfolio.com 
PTA, Gauteng
 
Futures Experience: Advanced
Platform: Self built + Sierra + TWS
Favorite Futures: Stocks and Options
 
DarkPoolTrading's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,036 since May 2012
Thanks: 1,244 given, 1,304 received

Answer
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Joseph Connors View Post
I disagree that Win percentage is not important. It is as important as R:R. The two work together and individually mean very little. A higher win rate usually means a lower R:R and a lower win rate usually means a higher R:R. There really is no free lunch! Its a balancing act between the two. Trying to find the sweet spot for a given strategy.

You are referring to expectancy and while I certainly agree your expectancy equation needs to be positive, the part of that equation which is most critical (and the most achievable) is the R:R side.

Be extremely cautious of giving undue importance to a high winning percentage. Not only does it add massive psychological pressure on the trader to be right,...but it results in a less robust methodology because ultimately losing streaks happen. A methodology that relies on a high win rate has a much smaller chance of surviving the lean times.

You may be interested in reading the following:
The Siren Song of High Winning Percentage | Mercenary Trader

I currently have two setups. One which has a 55% win rate, one which has a 72% win rate. Guess which one I would choose if I had to only choose one to trade. Yes, the 55% one because it is more robust and is profitable even if im wrong most of the time. Any mistakes or lean times with the 72% setup and drawdowns grow extremely fast. Fortunately I dont have to choose, so I use both.

Diversification is the only free lunch
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  #16 (permalink)
Trading Apprentice
west palm beach, fl
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: fidelity
Broker/Data: fidelity
Favorite Futures: stock
 
digdoug78's Avatar
 
Posts: 3 since Sep 2013
Thanks: 3 given, 0 received

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ShaunG View Post
Hi All!

Here my life story to date! ...blah, blah, blah

Just keep looking for the Holy Grail, you'll find it, you will.
Or grow a pair and start trading like a man. All those systems and courses are just tools. You can't build a house without tools, you have to know how to use them, your time and your materials and build something grand.
If a machine could trade profitably, you wouldn't be able to afford it!

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  #17 (permalink)
Elite Member
Colorado Springs, CO USA
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
Broker/Data: Amp Futures. CQG
Favorite Futures: Futures
 
Joseph Connors's Avatar
 
Posts: 34 since Jul 2012
Thanks: 10 given, 10 received


digdoug78 View Post
Just keep looking for the Holy Grail, you'll find it, you will.
Or grow a pair and start trading like a man. All those systems and courses are just tools. You can't build a house without tools, you have to know how to use them, your time and your materials and build something grand.
If a machine could trade profitably, you wouldn't be able to afford it!

What a lovely sentiment! And helpfull too!

Persistence! Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not ... nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not ... Unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not ... The world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent!
Calvin Coolidge
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  #18 (permalink)
Shaun Glendinning
Cape Town/South Africa
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader8
Broker/Data: NinjaTrader Brokerage, Rithmic Feed
Favorite Futures: ES
 
ShaunG's Avatar
 
Posts: 38 since Jul 2014
Thanks: 190 given, 40 received


digdoug78 View Post
Just keep looking for the Holy Grail, you'll find it, you will.
Or grow a pair and start trading like a man. All those systems and courses are just tools. You can't build a house without tools, you have to know how to use them, your time and your materials and build something grand.
If a machine could trade profitably, you wouldn't be able to afford it!

Hey “digdoud78”!
Thanks for your positive feedback! And constructive advice! Much appreciated.
I take it we all had to start somewhere? Even “Big Mike”
Regards


Last edited by ShaunG; August 5th, 2014 at 05:31 AM. Reason: Rectified user name!
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  #19 (permalink)
Elite Member
Philadelphia
 
Futures Experience: None
Platform: corded black telephone
Favorite Futures: ticker tape
 
Itchymoku's Avatar
 
Posts: 2,892 since Apr 2012
Thanks: 1,681 given, 3,621 received

@ShaunG if it took you 5 years before you started making any headway with profit would you continue?

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  #20 (permalink)
Shaun Glendinning
Cape Town/South Africa
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader8
Broker/Data: NinjaTrader Brokerage, Rithmic Feed
Favorite Futures: ES
 
ShaunG's Avatar
 
Posts: 38 since Jul 2014
Thanks: 190 given, 40 received

You bet!



Itchymoku View Post
@ShaunG if it took you 5 years before you started making any headway with profit would you continue?

100%

That's my answer!
Whatever it takes. I am in it for the long run!

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