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Life Without Trading
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Life Without Trading

  #1 (permalink)
Glasgow, Lanarkshire Scotland
 
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Jigsaw Daytradr
Broker/Data: Working my way around them all
Favorite Futures: ZN, ES
 
Posts: 52 since Apr 2016
Thanks: 57 given, 46 received

Life Without Trading

Hi Everyone,

About three months ago I stopped trading. I did it because I'd ran my account down over the course of a year. It wasn't a surprise - the account was only $1100. I was trading Order Flow off the Tape using Jigsaw Tools following a combination of john Grady's techniques in the treasuries and along with dabbling with some other things when I didn't have time to trade the US session.

Heres a synopsis of the problems I found:

1. I was silly to think I could make such a small account work. I ignored all the advice and of course it came back to roost!

2. I found it really, really hard to balance time to trade and family/work life. Having essentially the very early morning or late evening UK time I found tricky to get decent markets.

3. A lack of continuity in the market meant I felt like I was spinning my wheels. I found it slow to learn new strategies, yet reluctant to change in fear of just being another method hunter.

4. After being interested in trading since 2008, periods of intense work ethic yet a lack of evident progress had me emotionally beat up.

I felt that I left the market at a time where a number of cool things were happening. Jigsaw seems to go from strength to strength with their software and educational materials and I discovered a few people who talk a lot of sense and appeal to my sense of how markets operate, after many years of breaking through the BS.

Three months on I realised I've filled the void of learning trading by trying to find something else. I looked into Ecommerce, Amazon you name it. I have no appetite after about 5 minutes of research though as I just miss trading.

I'm 34, have a family and a life I'm really happy with. That said, I underestimated how much the journey of becoming a trader means to me. I'm not looking to make 7 figures overnight, I'm looking to make good on a promise I made myself and satisfy my own sense of self worth that I can do it. The problem, is funds.

I stopped trading because I realised that while I have consumer debt and money going out faster than it comes in, I can't spare cash for trading, it just becomes stressful. So we've embarked on a plan to pay off all our debt (just about there) and get to a point where I can save for a decent account. It'll be a while, but the thinking is that when I've saved that money it'll be solely for trading and itll be enough of an account to warrant a decent stab at the game and allow enough trades to get a decent data set of performance.

My big question to you guys I guess is if I'm just being stupid. Has this become an emotional journey I need to let go, or am I being mature about the endeavour by putting us in a good position to be able to cultivate success. I love the journey of trading, I've learned so much about myself, so much about the world, so much about markets. If I could get there one day and earn a bit of consistency, it'll be a dream come true for sure.

So there it is, all on the line? I respect the opinion of the membership here - so look forward to any and all comments.

Cheers!

P.S I keep track of my trading journal on a blog where I expanded on my situation. I'm genuinely not trying to plug it here (I only keep it for my own sense of writing enjoyment) but if anyone wants to read it to offer advice I'll happily link it, if its permitted.

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  #2 (permalink)
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  #3 (permalink)
Market Wizard
Portland, OR
 
Trading Experience: None
 
Massive l's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,777 since Mar 2011
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Pay off your debt and save. Stay active in the markets everyday with paper or marking buy and sell on your chart. Developing winning strategies with a positive expectancy. When you have enough saved, you can then decide what you want to do with it.

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  #4 (permalink)
Dallas, Texas
 
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TOS
Favorite Futures: AAPL, /ES, IWM, SPY Options
 
Posts: 330 since Oct 2012
Thanks: 552 given, 176 received


Massive l View Post
Pay off your debt and save. Stay active in the markets everyday with paper or marking buy and sell on your chart. Developing winning strategies with a positive expectancy. When you have enough saved, you can then decide what you want to do with it.

Good post, I Second that, pay off debt, save for emergency and then start saving for trading.
#1 reason for failure is not being capitalized enough to trade, time and time again I see it on these threads. Forget about combine funding they’re just selling a pipe dream, trade your own capital when you have saved enough.

Volatility is good for the market and trading.

Preservation of capital is the most important concept for those who want to stay in the trading game for the long haul. - Van Tharp
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  #5 (permalink)
North Carolina
 
Trading Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader, Tradestation
Favorite Futures: es
 
Posts: 644 since Nov 2011

@Trambo

Okay, so you lost $1100 and it caused you enough stress to quit. A small account is not $1100: a small account is $5,000 to $8,000 and those can be lost very quickly too. Even, if you are a very good trader, you are still likely to lose a few accounts. So, one way to think about this is are you prepared to lose $5,000, $10,000, $15,000 and keep trading? And, can you do that? Think about it this way, on the road to making let's imagine 100k from trading, what's the probability you might risk or lose 15% at some point? Pretty high, right? If you cannot see yourself taking that loss and continuing on then you may want to do something else.

The second way to look at this question is a serious assessment of your skills. Is your desire for trading stemming from a legitimate strength and passion for markets or a desire for an imagined life-style? If it is the latter, I have not seen many of those people become successful.

Here's what I would suggest, set yourself some requirements to "earn" the right to trade. Trade on the simulator until you earn the right to trade. Here is something else, nobody cares if you are the best trader in the world or you lose it all. There are no crowds when you win and no boos when you lose. Give yourself a goal to log in and trade for 60 days straight, track your performance, etc. Figure out what went wrong and why you lost. Try to cultivate an edge.

But also I have a problem with the statement, "satisfy my sense of self worth". The outcome from the market is uncertain. Why would you risk your self worth on something highly uncertain? It makes no sense to me. On the other hand, if you love the game then I think it is worthwhile to pursue.

There is another path that is near guaranteed to improve your life time earning/income. The reality is most traders had to be in the top 1% to 10% of earners to even have enough capital to trade. Just figure up how much you need to trade seriously and work to get your income up to that level. Even if trading doesn't work out, you will probably make way more then you do today. It will probably require obtaining more education, skills, etc.

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  #6 (permalink)
Glasgow, Lanarkshire Scotland
 
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Jigsaw Daytradr
Broker/Data: Working my way around them all
Favorite Futures: ZN, ES
 
Posts: 52 since Apr 2016
Thanks: 57 given, 46 received


Massive l View Post
Pay off your debt and save. Stay active in the markets everyday with paper or marking buy and sell on your chart. Developing winning strategies with a positive expectancy. When you have enough saved, you can then decide what you want to do with it.

Thanks for the advice, I appreciate it. When you heard someone say pay off your debts it's an eye opener. My situation is by no means extreme but it's sound advice, I'll have achieved at least that part soon.

@tpredictor

Thanks very much for the input. You make some great points. To clarify some things though, it wasn't the stress of losing the money that made me quit. I had no other funds to commit to the market after that so naturally had to stop. What was causing stress though was that with such a small account every tick has a big impact, so I felt like I couldn't get enough of a track record of trades to know if I was making progress and ultimately, was finding the impending drawdown of the account stressful.

With regard to self worth, your point is entirely logical. I guess trading has woven it's way deeper at this point than just money. I originally set out because I wanted an extra income stream to guard against my main career ever going south, since then it's become such a journey that theres a lot more to it.

Of course, trading is about making money, thats the objective but it isn't having stacks of money that motivates me now. Really it's achieving something (that a lot of people can't achieve) that I set out to do.

Thanks again for the input.

Regards.

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  #7 (permalink)
Super Moderator
Portland, Oregon
 
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: F-16CM-50
Favorite Futures: GBU-39
 
tturner86's Avatar
 
Posts: 6,081 since Sep 2013
Thanks: 10,364 given, 12,267 received

I haven't traded since before the election. I sleep better at night and enjoy life more now. If I would have been trading with all the crazy in the world right now I might have either had a stroke or be hanging from a rafter as @srgtroy says...

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  #8 (permalink)
Glasgow, Lanarkshire Scotland
 
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Jigsaw Daytradr
Broker/Data: Working my way around them all
Favorite Futures: ZN, ES
 
Posts: 52 since Apr 2016
Thanks: 57 given, 46 received


tturner86 View Post
I haven't traded since before the election. I sleep better at night and enjoy life more now. If I would have been trading with all the crazy in the world right now I might have either had a stroke or be hanging from a rafter as @srgtroy says...

That's interesting to hear, certainly sounds sensible. Crazy times in which we live! F16 amazing aircraft by the way.

Cheers.

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  #9 (permalink)
Market Wizard
Portland, OR
 
Trading Experience: None
 
Massive l's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,777 since Mar 2011
Thanks: 1,258 given, 2,971 received

If you have an edge that's been proven in real time you can pay over the minimum on your debts while you put away some cash for trading. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone other than a seasoned vet that's been profitable in the past for extended years and came down on hard times. If you're still trading and playing the guessing game (gambling) and not on reliable statistical advantages then you should absolutely avoid this. I might be wrong but from what I've seen over the years most guys are simply gambling. Of course, trading is gambling. Every trade is a guess because nobody knows what's going to happen, however if your guesses are derived from a statistical advantage then your guesses will add up to a positive expectancy over time.

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  #10 (permalink)
Los Angeles, California
 
 
Posts: 24 since Mar 2017
Thanks: 4 given, 5 received


Hey Massive. Do you any examples of strategies with positive expectancy? Isn't expectancy subjective and irrelevant if the markets are constantly shifting? I think there are only trend strategies and mean reversion strategies. The strategy can only be profitable in the market that it is made for right? Deciding whether or not in a trend or choppy market is then even more important and that's a huge part that would decide on being profitable or not, am I wrong? If things should be so simple, why do so many complicate on the forum searching for the best strategy and creating thousands of indicators?

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