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I'm in deep S@$% now.

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I'm in deep S@$% now.

  #31 (permalink)
New York, NY USA
Experience: Advanced
Platform: NinjaTrader
Trading: CL,TF,ES
Posts: 1 since Dec 2015
Thanks: 2 given, 1 received

Here's my 2 cents: I've had TOS for 10 yrs, but i trade off of Ninja. TOS has the best pivot points and great trendline & channel trend drawing tools. Use them to map out the market first (I draw angled trendlines & channels short term, med term & long term. Note, ES also has a horizontal channel due to its high volume). This will help to visualize what is happening and to find angled support & resistance points. I also use sharper angled trendlines on a 1min chart to help pinpoint my entry point. This may take a while to get used to, but once you see the trend points line up, its hard to 'unsee' them. Also, once you think you've found the most tradeable future based on the above, stick with that one future. You can also attach alerts to your lines. Their long list of indicators doesn't seem to have any good $ making ones imho. If there were any, it would be talked about all over this forum. Btw, if you make $400, keep it - that's $100k a yr if you can avg it everyday. Best of luck to you.


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  #32 (permalink)
Green Bay, WI
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninja Trader
Trading: NQ
Scottiep's Avatar
Posts: 67 since Aug 2011
Thanks: 26 given, 25 received

I'm in deep S@$% now


Like you, I left a $170K job 12 years ago to pursue day trading futures. I made that decision based on some "Christians", 2-3 firms, who I naively trusted and believed. Frankly, I was a sucker. My system worked like yours until the crash of 2008.

But, since then, I have lost money every year for 11 years. I quit a while back, when I was informed that only 5%-10% of day traders actually make ANY money- and very few make what I did 12 years ago. This losing proposition- 90/95% lose has been known for 30 years!! But, the wealthy firms who take your money are never held accountable.

There are dozens, maybe hundreds, of charlatans who claim they have the system that is 70%+ accurate, but do not disclose they have inverted, (perverted), risk/reward ratios. With these nonsensical 'systems' a trader would have to be 'right' 90%+ of the time to make anything. I have tried at least a dozen of these 'B.S. systems', which is why only 5%-10% make any money- even after many years of experience. It is a very dishonest "business" and, I encourage you to do what I did: accept it is a losing proposition, just like gambling in Vegas, lick your wounds and move on. Don't waste any more of your time on this hoax. It is the ultimate Scam and the CFTC does little to protect the consumer. Get out while you can. Without inside information or omniscience you will fail.

I ask every "Guru" (Con Artist) who tries to pitch me their B.S. 1 question: "Please send me a copy- with all your personal information blacked out- showing what your actual profit or loss was the last 3, 6 or 12 months". None ever do that. In fact, all they do is trade in Simulation, and they make their real money selling their systems. Think of it: How can a moderator observe charts all day long, or even 1/2 day, and 'chat' with members in their phony 'trading rooms'.

Once you've lost money with these bogus 'systems'- try getting it back. I got 40% back, from 1 firm, when I filed a complaint with my State's Dept. of consumer affairs. They acted on my behalf and I got 40% returned- 2 years later.

I get tempted to look at charts but stopped doing so long ago. There is a reason professional trading prop firms, and institutional trading firms refer to "Us retail Wannabe Traders" as 'Paper'. Because all we do is give them our money 90%-95% of the time. It is a losing proposition, with very, very few exceptions. Day Trading is a Con- but the Con Artists will claim anything to get your money. The odds are against you 9-1. A losing bet. Sorry, but the truth is the truth. The game is stacked against you. Best wishes.


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  #33 (permalink)
Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 67 since Feb 2016
Thanks: 3 given, 36 received

Size down and get more Selective

Try sizing down in to the micro contracts. MES, MNQ, QM, MYM, M2K, MGC, etc.
(I actually don't like M2K, the data is very sparse. MES in the summer is also been terrible)

Get really, Really, REALLY picky and selective about just the One setup that works for you.
That makes logical sense to you.
That you see in your sleep.
That you rehearse with your eyes closed when you wake up.
That you know what it looks and sounds like Exactly when it works.
You need to know what happens in the Setup AND what it should look like AFTER the entry.
Anything else you maybe look to move to break even or bail out.
Get really picky. Mentally flexible for all possibilities, but picky.

Wait for it. Watch a few markets and just wait for it. When it comes, then take it.
I actually don't like just 1 market, 1 strategy. I don't see that 1 market will be in favorable conditions every day.
IMHO the perfect setups can come if I'm watching 4 markets.
Then it's more consistent to cherry pick and focus on the best looking trade.
That way, I can at least be happy with my decision, rather than having to take what just 1 market gives me that day.
I know that's contrary to most wisdom, but I find that it alleviates regret and FOMO for me.
Seems to occupy my mind searching for the best cherry picked setup across charts, rather than thinking that I'm seeing something and forcing a trade because I'm limited to only one market.

It's the summer months and I've had a helluva time because it's such small timeframes active.
There are big moves, but the evidence of larger players is well hidden within the retail small timeframe noise.

Size down, use Micro futures. Get really picky and selective.
Do multiple markets, 1 setup. One PERFECT setup. One cherry picked perfect good trade at a time.
(This will keep you away from "market conditions have changed" because you're ignoring all non-ideal market conditions an just focusing on 1 cherry picked chart and setup)
Pay the extra commissions. A $25 loss is better than a $125 loss until you get your mind right again.

Last edited by cpuz; July 24th, 2019 at 07:29 PM.
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  #34 (permalink)
North Carolina
Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader, Tradestation
Trading: es
Posts: 644 since Nov 2011

Based on what I read, it sounds like you had fair degree of success but now things aren't working. It sounds like the market may have changed and that you might be trying to achieve unrealistic level of consistency. Because you haven't mention your statistics or specific systems, it also sounds like you aren't tracking your results sufficiently and haven't developed systematic methods toward your craft.

The following techniques may be of help,
  1. Go ahead and get some extra income now. Reduce the pressure.
  2. Start Tracking Your Stats
  3. Reduce Your Trading Frequency, Take Only Your Best Trades
  4. Be more systematic
  5. Consider where the dominant opportunity is, do not overly limit yourself
  6. Decrease expectations on consistency
  7. Take steps that can decrease the probability of taking correlated losses

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  #35 (permalink)
San Marcos, California
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Think or Swim
Trading: Options for SPY
Posts: 3 since Dec 2017
Thanks: 0 given, 11 received

Don't Give Up

I can sympathize with your situation and can only say what others have already stated. If finances are getting thin then go and get employment to take that aspect of the stress out. Believe me, I have been trading the market for about 28 years and have blown up at least three accounts. But if trading has a hold on you then don't give up. Study the markets while you work and sort things out. Paper trade or whatever to keep fluent and develop technique. I had to break a really bad habit of over trading but now things are more peaceful and the trades I take are far less than before. But the account size is actually growing rather than whipsawing towards another explosion. Don't give up just take a hiatus. Then come back. All the best to you now and in the future.

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  #36 (permalink)
Miami USA
Experience: Advanced
Platform: NinjaTrader
Trading: ES
Posts: 17 since Feb 2011
Thanks: 7 given, 16 received


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.


1-"I had a system making me $300 a day avg for 5 months"+" I was trading just futures and lost $8,000 in two weeks"

A few comments.

1-Seasonality problems,5 months is not enough,so maybe you were mostly long/short and now that seasonality has changed, your system's bias doesn't work anymore.Check your trades to see if there was a bias that gave you lucky wins due to seasonality,same bias that now is probably giving you unlucky losses.

2-Management of trading system problem: You averaged $ 300 a day,making 1500 a trading week,on average,then you lose $ 8000 in 2 weeks?Either your TP/SL ratio is way off or,or more probably you didn't respect your stops.Adjust your system's position size based on risk of ruin calculations and respect your stops,if your system has an edge,you will make money,if not,at least you will buy time and realize you can't trade it anymore.

My personal view is that your average winning week should be higher than your average losing week.Mathematically that is not exactly right,it depends on your winning/losing probabilities,but,at least you should think that losing in 2 weeks what you made,on average during the previous 5+ weeks requires either a tweaking in your system or that you commit to respect your stops.

3-Volatility changes,specially in Crude,you should aim to adjust both your TP/SL and your position size with changes in volatility,easier said than done,but you have to try to adjust to volatility no matter what.

4-Stress:You support yourself by trading,left your job,doesn't have enough cushion and are starting to get nervous/desperate,consequently,you are probably not implementing your system as well as before.

Probably,all of these factors influence your results,and you will have to tackle all of them to avoid getting derailed.

Get a part or full time job,analyze the causes of your results,tweak your system,reduce your position size,give yourself a year and trade it with a small position size...Preserve your capital and you can always come back and fight another day.

And enjoy life,do not let trading destroy your happiness,trading is like any other profession/work/business,just tougher(usually) and more rewarding(when successfully executed),but in the end,it is just a part of your life.


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  #37 (permalink)
melbourne, australia
Posts: 26 since Mar 2016
Thanks: 2 given, 40 received

Trading time frame is related to volatility so using the same time frame on everything can be problematic. Learn to trade one style of instrument well. Aim for consistency. I only trade indices. I understand how they work and where the opportunities are. I can make a good living doing that so I do not worry about anything else. Once you become proficient at trading one style of instrument, adjust position size to match your risk. Do not play whack-a-mole.

In terms of indicators, use what is most helpful in understanding what is going on. Understand how the indicator is built so you have insight into when it is not useful. An indicator is just that, an indicator. Indicators cannot predict. That is your job and that is where experience and skill come into it.

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  #38 (permalink)
Nashville, TN
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TOS + NT
Broker: TBD
Trading: NQ, CL, eminiRussell +
Posts: 47 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 23 given, 41 received

I hope to offer some suggestions to keep you in the game and win.

1. It sounds to me like you need to see the immediate market structure on the instrument of your choice. Try placing a Linear Regression Channel on your charts with a length of 100 or 150 - whatever encompasses the highs and lows for that many bars. This will give you support and resistance levels. You can draw them yourself, or use the platform’s automated one.

2. Trade with Tick Charts or Range bars, not too slow and not to fast. (233 or 400 ticks for daytrading).

3. Consider using a Keltner Channel. Trade when the price closes above or below the Channel. Study how to use these indicators. I personally use one that I’ve blackened with shading, and it covers everything I shouldn’t trade. It cuts the noise in a major way.

4. For your trade signals, a good one to use is the “SuperTrend” or the ‘ATR Trailing Stop’. You can also use a HULL Moving Average set to 34. Experiment. Also, try using an “Overbought / Oversold” indicator like the Ehler’s Stochastic to warn you when the price might pullback or reverse. You might also want try using a good ZigZag indicator to help you stay in the trends. These indicators are HELPS only. You can not always rely on their signals, but they will be excellent guides as you learn. Learn about using FIBs (Fibonacci Retracements) also. This will help you with your exits. Study your Charts carefully. I can’t emphasize this enough!

5. Trade only ONE instrument at a time. Choose among the best trenders with the best range. Oil (CL) is a good one. The YM is fairly good. I’d stay away from the NQ and ES until you are a solid trader.

6. Your stops need to be larger. You can take the extra risk if you have a solid strategy that you’ve PAPER TRADED with consistent success.

When I first started trading, I was counseled to take ALL indicators off my charts and trade by price action only. To me, it was the worst advice I followed. There was no structure to the market that I could see. How high/low was the price going to go??? When there are so many useful tools to clarify the markets, a newbie trader should use them.

I hope I’ve provided something you can use. I wish you the best, and I hope you never give up trading!

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  #39 (permalink)
Salt Lake City, Utah
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Tradestation
Trading: ES, EC, NQ, RTY, YM
Posts: 5 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 4 given, 4 received

Over Trading ? Over Leveraged ?

I can't tell for certain from your post, but it may be that you are over trading - you want a certian return and trade until you get it or get frustrated from losing instead of looking for that 10% of the time the market is not random and your research edge driven method shows a place to enter has come up to take advantage of. Also, perhaps trading too big - correlated positions over 3% of bankroll make emotional equity swings. I and many other want to feel busy, so focus on short term staring at the screen 5 min bars. Statistically, "day", trading - a position taken possibly to stay in a day, or swing - over 2-5 days, has a better edge, less noise, etc. Finally, there is usually only 1-3 markets that are moving in an appropriate way for good trading with whatever your speciality is. Pick only one or two noncorrelated markets to trade for only 0-2 trades a day.

Indicatorwise, categorize your indicators. Pick one favorite in each category. Oversold Overbought oscillator, momentum, etc. Never use one until you know when and if it has an edge. Test it at various levels on different things with a blind buy and sell a set number of periods later. Recursive indicators and systems don't work as well in commodities generally although there are a few exceptions.

Risk management, If you need to trade more than 2-3% of your bankroll (per trade) to potentially survive, then you need to have some other income and focus on research and 2-5 day swing trading, with micros if necessary, to stay sharp and manage risk and position size. Run "risk of ruin" calculations based on your trade stats. Overtrading, position size, and correlation is what causes most blowouts - that and trading with no edge. Research, know if you have an edge for each strategy, what it is, when, in what markets, etc.

Last edited by pimmsno1; July 24th, 2019 at 08:10 PM. Reason: Correction
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  #40 (permalink)
Clarksburg, WV/US
Posts: 4 since Dec 2017
Thanks: 12 given, 12 received

Too Much Information in these responses

I read through every response thus far and there is some great pearls in there, but honestly don't get overwhelmed with this and that. I will reiterate a few pearls.

Step 1: Get rid of the "pressure" to make money... however you want

Step 2: Narrow your trading to ONE and only one instrument...

Step 3: Trade as SMALL as you can. Most likely the micros... 1 contract

Step 4: Have strict rules for stops/targets/management/entry and limit # of trades per day. (you only take the best)

Step 5: Do NOT chase the golden goose of indicators. It doesn't exist... Just observe Long term and Short term charts with as few indicators as you can. Think for yourself.

With that I'll leave you with one more piece of advice: There is only Success and Learning, never failure.

God Bless

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