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I have no "edge" - Should I throw in the towel?


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I have no "edge" - Should I throw in the towel?

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  #1 (permalink)
tonybravo
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I have no edge. I don't know what my edge could be. I'm trading blind. Today I lost $50 by over trading and just being wrong

I started with just $1000 near the end of April. I'm down by $280.

I can't seem to get this right. I go long, I'm down 10 ticks. I go short, then the contract moves 10 ticks upwards. Once in a while I'll get lucky and catch a 20 tick move but then it's back to getting it wrong constantly.

I'm trading the mes contracts. 1 at a time.

Should I just withdrawal and go home or do I keep trying to get better?

It just seems that no matter what direction I choose I have it wrong.



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  #2 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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Ask yourself:

What is the ADR of the instrument?

What percent of that does your 10 tick stop represent? Do you think you have the expertise to time the market to that extent?

TL;DR: 10 ticks is ridiculous. Try 10 points, it's closer to reality than 10 ticks. Then you are either right or wrong. At ten ticks you are trading noise in this market where we can move 100 points in a session.


tonybravo View Post
I have no edge. I don't know what my edge could be. I'm trading blind. Today I lost $50 by over trading and just being wrong

I started with just $1000 near the end of April. I'm down by $280.

I can't seem to get this right. I go long, I'm down 10 ticks. I go short, then the contract moves 10 ticks upwards. Once in a while I'll get lucky and catch a 20 tick move but then it's back to getting it wrong constantly.

I'm trading the mes contracts. 1 at a time.

Should I just withdrawal and go home or do I keep trying to get better?

It just seems that no matter what direction I choose I have it wrong.



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Sent using the futures.io mobile app

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  #3 (permalink)
 snax 
Legendary Market Wizard
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tonybravo View Post
I have no edge. I don't know what my edge could be. I'm trading blind. Today I lost $50 by over trading and just being wrong

I started with just $1000 near the end of April. I'm down by $280.

I can't seem to get this right. I go long, I'm down 10 ticks. I go short, then the contract moves 10 ticks upwards. Once in a while I'll get lucky and catch a 20 tick move but then it's back to getting it wrong constantly.

I'm trading the mes contracts. 1 at a time.

Should I just withdrawal and go home or do I keep trying to get better?

It just seems that no matter what direction I choose I have it wrong.



Sent using the futures.io mobile app

@Big Mike brings up great points.

Bear in mind my experience is limited, so others feel free to correct if I am misleading, but here's something that I think is true...10 ticks is a static constant, in the sense that the underlying market is dynamic and always changing...volatility is something that you cannot determine in advance but you can gain a sense at least by seeing things like recent swing-highs and swing-lows. I don't know if you are trading a chart or a DOM or whatever but if its a chart look at the recent swing-highs and swing-lows, how many ticks away are they? the market tends to pay attention to things like that, then look at your 10-ticks by comparison, I am guessing that you are just getting swallowed up in the "harmonic rotation", the natural ebb & flow of the particular market you are trading. Finding the right stop-placement for the particular market you are trading is very difficult, because the market's job is to create confusion it seems, and you don't always get a clear swing-high or swing-low that makes the perfect stop-placement and often you have to improvise. You make mistakes and you learn from them and that's how you improve.

I really hope this helps and doesn't just add confusion, there are a lot more experienced traders here than me and sometimes I wonder if I should be giving advice at all. I hope it helps though. Cheers.

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  #4 (permalink)
 snax 
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@tonybravo, re-reading your post now...do you have a chart of a trade you could post for reference? That might elicit more responses and get more ideas you can work with.

My first post ever on FIO is this one:

I don't have a clue what I was talking about and I keep coming back to that chart after all this time and I can't figure out what in the world I was thinking. We all start somewhere and I am still struggling.

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  #5 (permalink)
 AllSeeker 
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Your situation is exactly what majority of us go through, at least I've. Problem is you have no defined SL and when you do you probably don't wait for market to prove you wrong or right.

You need to do both, if I were you I would pay very close attention to what Big Mike has said about ADR

ADR and ATR SL's are easy ways to calculate SL.

Edge is combination of many things, often its experience gained after repeated trading of same systems.

/just my 2c

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  #6 (permalink)
 rlstreet 
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Sorry little sidevtrack on SL. As I think using a SL is not always the right way to apply risk management. Do ask yourself is a SL really nessecary? Stoplosses are the least understood tool. Imo chasing momentum/trend in 1 instrument might be the only valid case where a SL has added value.

And if traders use a SL in a trend strategy they use ATR stops. Meaning when volatility is high you get a wider stop and when lower vol a closer stop.

But imo that doesn't make sense in trend trading. You want quite the opposite actually: when vol is high quite closer stops, so when vol explodes your cutting early or get a huge winner, and when vol is low you want to widen your stop.

LastDino View Post
Your situation is exactly what majority of us go through, at least I've. Problem is you have no defined SL and when you do you probably don't wait for market to prove you wrong or right.

You need to do both, if I were you I would pay very close attention to what Big Mike has said about ADR

ADR and ATR SL's are easy ways to calculate SL.

Edge is combination of many things, often its experience gained after repeated trading of same systems.

/just my 2c

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 AllSeeker 
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rlstreet View Post
Sorry little sidevtrack on SL. As I think using a SL is not always the right way to apply risk management. Do ask yourself is a SL really nessecary? Stoplosses are the least understood tool. Imo chasing momentum/trend in 1 instrument might be the only valid case where a SL has added value.

And if traders use a SL in a trend strategy they use ATR stops. Meaning when volatility is high you get a wider stop and when lower vol a closer stop.

But imo that doesn't make sense in trend trading. You want quite the opposite actually: when vol is high quite closer stops, so when vol explodes your cutting early or get a huge winner, and when vol is low you want to widen your stop.


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I can't really imagine my economical condition if as a newbie I didn't have SL, however it is true that many experienced traders don't use it. I'm not one of them yet so I can't talk about it.

I agree with ATR SL usage as you have explained too.

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 rlstreet 
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LastDino View Post
I can't really imagine my economical condition if as a newbie I didn't have SL, however it is true that many experienced traders don't use it. I'm not one of them yet so I can't talk about it.

I agree with ATR SL usage as you have explained too.

It's indeed this fear that motivates new traders to use a hard SL. This fear is because new traders often trade on too much leverage. They know if the trade goes against them, you might blow up a big part of the account

The problem with using a hard SL is that you don't give yourself the time and room to be right. And as we know markets 80% of the time likes nothing better to wiggle around.

Imagine trading on less leverage giving yourself more the time and room to be right. So you can use other exits like a fixed time exit or a mental SL or exit when there is an opposite signal, without this fear that a trade against you will going to blow up your account.

For highly leveraged futures you can fe use calendar spreads or spreads between different assets to get some hedge and thereby deleverage your position. Or you can use the mini's, I just love those.

There are lots of ways to skin a cat, just just don't buy this newbie SL strategies stuff as it will prevent you being successful.

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 Fluid Fox 
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tonybravo View Post
I have no edge. I don't know what my edge could be. I'm trading blind. Today I lost $50 by over trading and just being wrong

I started with just $1000 near the end of April. I'm down by $280.

I can't seem to get this right. I go long, I'm down 10 ticks. I go short, then the contract moves 10 ticks upwards. Once in a while I'll get lucky and catch a 20 tick move but then it's back to getting it wrong constantly.

I'm trading the mes contracts. 1 at a time.

Should I just withdrawal and go home or do I keep trying to get better?

It just seems that no matter what direction I choose I have it wrong.



Sent using the futures.io mobile app

I bolded the statement I'm most interested in. I'm speaking for myself here, maybe you can relate.

I find that when I'm always wrong, it's because I'm really not paying attention to what's going on. Usually when I'm always wrong, I already have a trade I want to place regardless of the current conditions, or I have a bias that, for some reason or another, I just don't want to let go of. It's because of closed-mindedness, and stubbornness, for me. It's taking trades that I want to happen, but don't really flow or make sense in the environment. I'm still working on this.

What helped me (and it's something I may have to do again) was to sit back for a couple weeks and simply observe price action. I took no trades during this time. I don't want to go so far as to say it "re-wired" my brain completely to be more receptive to the flow of price action, but it pushed me in that direction. I stopped predicting and picking places to execute and instead sought out opportunities that objectively made sense (objective to me ).

Also, if I were trading the MES with a $1000 account, I would be stressed executing because of the stop loss size I'd have to use.

Stick with it man!

There's nothing to think about.

- Mark Douglas
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  #10 (permalink)
 Tuglife 
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You are trading one contract, correct? @tonybravo I don't know if you're planning on going back to sim trade, but there's something interesting I heard this morning that rings true to me. Might be something you have to practice on sim because it;s more expensive when you're wrong.

"It's harder to trade with one contract than two because you have to be much more precise with your entry, and once you're in a trade the second contract can be scaled off to reduce risk."

Take this with a grain of salt. I've been trading 2 months only...maybe somebody else can chime in on this.

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