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I'm in deep S@$% now.

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I'm in deep S@$% now.

  #21 (permalink)
Irvine, CA USA
Posts: 2 since Jun 2019
Thanks: 0 given, 7 received

Fundamental trading principals needed

dbouzas View Post
thanks for your post. not knowing how you trade I will give you some ideas. there are probably a couple of things you could address at this point.

one thing comes to mind is your endless search for indicators and strategies. I would focus more on plays, setups, and having a playbook in general of trades that you consistently profit from. looks like your 5 min one could be a starter. keeping a journal is important because you could go back and check which ones your good at and stay away from the ones that your not. I would bet money that your losers are probably the same setups over and over.

you could also start looking at risk management and finding ways to improve it specifically. if youre taking small winners compared to your losers, that is never going to work out in the end. losses need to be small, NO MATTER WHAT. if your trading your own money you need to have STRICT rules on how much your risking compared to how much you have and the probability that your going to reach your target.

if you plot out all your trades over a year, its going to look like a chart with ups and downs. when your in a down phase, risk less and when your in an up phase risk more. this is KEY to making the big money. professional traders make their money in few trades and not every trade. when your in a draw down or see it developing, instead of revenge trading to get your money back, switch to sim or risk less until you start to see the trades happening again.

taking profit is never taught by anybody and is important. I would not take out more than 30% of your account value. building your account is priority.

another tip i learned from a hedge fund trader, is keep a bunch of sudokus, you can do those until you see your setup!

I bet all here have a similar story... The quote above spoke volumes, and I thought I'd re-post it. I'll add the "fundamental" of cutting losers and letting profits run. If you're scalping, it's like playing in the tidepools because the waves are no larger than one foot, but then the periodic 5-footer comes in... I've putzed around with tiny profits, only to miss a giant one... If you're not doing it, I'd suggest looking at a larger time-frame or two, and let it shape your shorter-term trading. You'll need the big gains of the big moves to make up for the myriad little losses (at least that's true for my trading).

Best wishes!

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  #22 (permalink)
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barabas View Post
Hello all,

I didn't want to post this but I guess it is time for me to reach out for help. I am going down hill in my trading and can't stop. Meaning on my way to going broke and getting a job again.... I have enought to live for another few months before the job hunt.

My backstory. I have traded the markets for years. Good years and some bad years. In the last 3 years during my working hours I was able to make some good money. Then I had a system making me $300 a day avg for 5 months. So I decided to quit my job, taking a pay cut, to follow my dream as a trader. For the past 3 months I have been living from just the markets. Yes I had some good trades but the bad ones were there too. I was trading just futures and lost $8,000 in two weeks. (One contract each usually ES,CL,NQ,ZB) I had taken a break for two weeks came back and still fell like I can't master it. I am thankful that I bought some options and trade those daily to make some income.

I think my biggest problem is to find an indicator or system to follow my rules. I have one indicator I always use on a 5 min chart and it has made me some good money but then there is that one trade that takes out my stop loss right away and shoot me back down. my profit target is trailing stop, go for $100 profit then move stop to break even and move stop ever $100 profit. Now I love crude..... 10 cent move is nothing in crude so I usually put my initail stop loss at $200. This worked out great at times. Walked away with $200, $300, and max $1,000 trades. But then loss, loss, and loss.

I meditate ever day and try to learn more about the markets every day.

It might just be so stressed out from trying to learning every indicator out there that has me lost but then again the two week break would of help me with that... nope.

Over the years of trading I have foung out there is no holy grain indicator or system. There will be losing trades and just avoid the big ones. Don't over trade.

Taking al that in account with my years of learning and try and error. I can not crack the code.

I am asking for some help with anything.

I have faith in myself that this will work out and I will not stop till I make it. Will to try anuthing now.

Took $400 profiit in gold today then gave it away in crude's rally down.

I can relate to you and Iím sure so many people can. I found out the hard way too until I realised some fundamental issues with money management and being undercapitalised.

Could you give me some more information so I can give you my advice.
What is your win rate percentage and what is your risk reward on each trade.

I read you have a set $200 Risk but what is your minimum expected per trade?

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  #23 (permalink)
OC, California, USA
Experience: Advanced
Platform: IB/TWS, NinjaTrader, ToS
Trading: stocks, options, futures, VIX
shodson's Avatar
Posts: 1,940 since Jun 2009
Thanks: 509 given, 3,582 received

It's not you, it's me

The problem may not be you, it could be that the markets you trade have changed, so the old ways of doing things don't work as well as they used to. That has probably damaged your confidence, which is hard to recover from.

For me, I have a number of trading "edges" that I trade with, but I also know what kind of markets they work and don't work in, so I only express them when the market conditions are favorable. If the conditions aren't right, that edge is not an edge.

If you don't know your edge, and can't measure when it does and doesn't work, then I would work on getting that first.

For example, oil is seasonally bearish from July/August to the end of the year. So, I would have a more bearish skew for the next few months. Is your strategy to only look for buy signals in oil? If so I would reconsider.

Also, trade higher time frames to slow things down a bit. You can still trade while working a steady income-earning job. I wouldn't leave your job until your trading income is at least 2x your job income for at least a 6 month period, because even though your trading income might be more than your job income, the income stream will be much more volatile so you may have to endure weeks or months of drawdown before making money again, so you need to make sure you have enough saved to live off of to survive your drawdown periods until the wins start coming back again.

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  #24 (permalink)
sonora california
Posts: 14 since Aug 2017
Thanks: 3 given, 16 received

Help for you...

I will probably get a lot of flack from the first suggestion, but here goes anyway:

1) Look on the web for "Ace Trades". I am not a subscriber, but his /ES calling during his free trials appears to work.

In addition to looking at the YouTube videos, sign up for his free 3-day trials. If you watch enough of the videos, you can absorb much of what he has to teach.
If you decide to subscribe, obviously you will receive the whole banana.

2) Look on the web for "Tradeguider". Gavin Holmes and his mentor(s) have taken Richard Wyckoff's (1930s) teachings and practices them, along with a few changes. He calls his style of trading "Volume Spread Analysis" or, simply VSA.

He has no qualms about teaching the Wyckoff and VSA principles, if you would like to learn them. VSA actually explains how and where the Market Makers chisel away at your trading money. I have found very few educators that actually point out the how and why the Market Makers are able to gather your money so quickly.

Again, look at their website tradeguider.com, or on YouTube.

Note that he sells services and software that make the most of VSA, but he also explains the details of VSA in his videos. You can absorb many of the concepts (but not all the fine points) if you watch enough of his videos.
Read between the lines in his software and services videos. It will work.

3) If you want to learn candlesticks, head for (you guessed it), YouTube, and look at Stephen Bigalow's Candlestick Forum (and/or candlestickforum.com). There is so much free information. it will make your head spin. And, good information, too!
He is personable, knowledgeable, and you can learn with a good teacher.

Obviously, he has paid information, too.


So, there are some no-cost options for you.
The caveat is that you need to WANT to dig in and learn. Simply watching the videos is not enough.
Test what they have to say until you are satisfied. Then, put your money on it.

Good trading.

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  #25 (permalink)
Nashville, TN/USA
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
Trading: ZN, ES
Posts: 86 since Mar 2017
Thanks: 19 given, 111 received

Iíve been in a similar situation and mode of thinking. I went from confidently trading full-time to having to get a night job and trading during the day.

It wasnít the end of the world. I didnít like it, but I didnít go hungry and I paid my bills. Getting a job didnít mean I failed at trading. It wasnít what I wanted, but I chose to do it because it allowed me to continue on the path of developing as a trader. It was really nice to not have to worry about making money, Iíll tell you that for sure!

The mindset of ďI have to make this work now; I have to make x amount of money nowĒ is a dangerous place to be for a trader. We donít get to decide when weíre successful. It just doesnít work that way. It is incredibly difficult to make wise decisions when under extreme stress in any walk of life. In my experience, trading well is next to impossible when you believe that you must make money now.

My 2 cents on where to go from here:

1. Stop the bleeding. We have to be honest with ourselves when ďtrading on tiltĒ and break the cycle ASAP.

2. Secure steady income elsewhere. I found this very helpful for thinking clearly about where I was, where I wanted to be, how to possibly get there, and to decide if I was willing to do that and for how long.

3. Identify and track your edge by focusing on expectancy. Why should you expect to make money in the long run? Are you right most of the time? Are you looking for a few outsized wins occasionally to make up for being wrong most of the time? Or do you hover around 50% with average wins > average losers? Figure that out, thoroughly review your trades and look for weakness to improve upon.

4. Narrow your focus. Become a specialist. If you canít generate positive expectancy in 1 or 2 markets, adding more things to look at wonít help that issue.

5. Reduce your risk until you figure out the above and show yourself that you can generate a positive expectancy when the pressure to succeed is reduced. Also, setting a dollar-based stop is difficult to do in a way that makes sense when youíre trading a single contract. The micro contracts are a great way get around that problem.

I have had several periods of a few weeks to months where I thought I had ďfigured it out.Ē I'm still working at it. It can be gut wrenching to have that illusion stripped away. But we have to see things for what they are before we can improve upon them.

Kudos for laying it all out there for the community to see. Best of luck to you!

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  #26 (permalink)
San Jose, CA
Posts: 1 since Jun 2016
Thanks: 0 given, 1 received

Probability not accuracy

I only trade ES futures since I work fulltime, and I only buy long, no short. I was able to make some last year, but this year I'm losing about 6K so far, trying to make it back, no pressure, I trade only when the trend is very strong, as market mostly faded or became weak after open recently.
If you trade randomly, please don't count on indicators, try to read charts beyond the indicators. Market is very manipulative, I think starting from March or April, ES has many "V" games and traps, it wants you to chase, and will stop you out first before ramping straight up. Indicators usually work if you let them run all the time, which covers all the probability. It will lose when market is in choppy mode, but able to cover during the longer trends.
It's easy to understand this concept but it's impossible to monitor market all the time. Take a break to review your past trades. Good luck.

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  #27 (permalink)
Queensbury NY
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: ThinkorSwim, NT8
Trading: CL, NQ, YM
Posts: 1 since Feb 2019
Thanks: 4 given, 1 received

Consider a low-risk automated strategy

Great job on sharing! Speaking out and sharing with other people of similar interest is the first step on the way out of your ditch. Based on your particular situation it does look you might need to consider getting at least a part time job not only to cover your bills but also to regain your confidence and take a little break from trading to regain a proper state of mind. Trading in your current state will produce overtrading and more losses. I'm only saying that because the same happened to me.

Have you though about automating your trading? If you have your own system you can just automate it so that you never miss a trade or move your stop. I've discovered that some of the best trades start overnight and I was never able to take them. Start with a low risk micro futures (which work great by the way, especially MNQ in my opinion), 1 contract at a time and see if it produces consistent results. Don't forget to backtest your system so you know what to expect from it in terms of profit potential, winloss ratio and drawdown. I've only used Ninjatrader for my autostrategies so I can't recommend anything else, but NT8 works great.

You don't need any new fancy indicators, some tried and true ones, like MACD and moving averages still work as long as you control your losses and let your winners rip!! Be right only 30% of the time, but if your winners are 4 or 5 times bigger than your losers, you'll be able to make tons of money. Manually its hard to achieve as we stop taking trades after a few stops or we'll cut a winner as soon as it makes $200, but bot will always get in and get out based on rules you set up.

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  #28 (permalink)
Chicago IL USA
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Tradestation
Broker: Tradestation/TOS
Trading: Crude CL
Posts: 83 since Feb 2019
Thanks: 89 given, 129 received

Thank you

From the bottom of my heart, thank you all.

I did not expect this many responses so fast. I even had a hard time logging back into the site since so many of you were active.

I will try to update you all on my journey going forward. Possibly job hunting too... first I need to clear my head and take this all in.

This is just another great reason why I love trading, we all come together to fight the battle. Can't get that in a "job".

Thank you.

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  #29 (permalink)
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Chart
Broker: Optimus Futures, CQG
Trading: E-mini ES,
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Posts: 27 since May 2019
Thanks: 277 given, 44 received

barabas View Post
From the bottom of my heart, thank you all.

I did not expect this many responses so fast. I even had a hard time logging back into the site since so many of you were active.

I will try to update you all on my journey going forward. Possibly job hunting too... first I need to clear my head and take this all in.

This is just another great reason why I love trading, we all come together to fight the battle. Can't get that in a "job".

Thank you.


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  #30 (permalink)
Posts: 3 since Apr 2016
Thanks: 2 given, 1 received

Trade For Supplemental Income

The last thing you need is the pressure to make a minimum of X dollars to pay the bills. This will make you over-trade, and it sounds like it already has. Plus the stress of watching your account value go down every month will eat you alive. Get another 9-5 job and trade from 5am-8. Or donít. You can cherry-pick the best trades. If you have a position when itís time to quit, leave the order with a Broker, profit OCO stop.

Trade NQ ($5/tick) or the new S&P micro so you can handle normal price fluctuations without a worry.

Use volume charts or Renko bars, not minute charts. Theyíre smoother, and the market doesnít give a ratís ass about minutes, only traded volume and price movement.

Trade 2 lots so you can take quick profits on 1 and let the other 1 breathe.

In your Crude example, if you go long 2 at 5670 and sell 1 out at 5675, you are now long from 5665 on the remaining one. Much easier to watch the swings when you have a better entry price.

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