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Micro account vs Funded account (combine)


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Micro account vs Funded account (combine)

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  #1 (permalink)
Córdoba
 
 
Posts: 27 since Apr 2020
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Hello everyone. First of all I think this thread should go in this forum, if not, please feel free to move it where it belongs, and also I´m not english native speaker, so sorry in advance for any mistake.
Here we go:
I was studying and practicing paper trading with the Thinkorswim platform for quite a long time now with real time data. I started to read about trading and markets probably almost 3 years ago, and when I started to do paper trading basically was a gambling, shooting at everything that moves. Needless to say the result of that so I kept reading but not "trading"
Time passed and started to do paper trading again with an action plan, stop and profit target, sizing, etc etc and with the determination to follow those rules to be as realistic as possible. Things started to do well and I started to be profitable (in the simulator, I know)
Also I read about the psicological effect of being live or not, so here I am now.
I´m in a mini gaunlet 50k combine, trading with only 1 ES contract to keep the losses in check, althou I can´t. Tried to execute as always, with the same parameters as I always did after 6 months of paper trading but I can feel the "fear" knowing that in the end there´s money in stake, even the monthly fee of the gaunlet. $-300 the first day, $-500 today. I don´t know how it will end but I can guess...

So, if I fail with the gaunlet, from your experience, wouldn´t be better to start with a micro account where a big movement in price doesn´t take too much of loss, since the MES only has $1.25 per tick and start from there and forget about earn money (I don´t have the rush to have 1 million in 2 days, I´m not that kind of guys) at least at first but at least get used to been live and at least cover the costs of the operations (fees, commisions and platform?)

On a side note, the reason of taking so much time to decide getting live somehow is because I really wanted to have a strategy that could work and I think I found it, because 6 months of paper trading with military discipline and annotating, each day the results, gave me the confidence to go with the gaunlet.

Sorry for the extension of the post but I wanted to be as clear as possible about the whole situation.
Thank you for you time.
Ariel.

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  #2 (permalink)
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This is a good question. I think they have different purposes, depending on the trader.

I would suggest that a more accomplished trader who just wants to get some funding would be better off with one of the evaluation/funding programs.

I think that a trader who needs some live experience is probably better off with a live micro account.

If you trade one of the funding program eval accounts, and if you use a full emini contract like ES, your P/L swings will be much larger and may affect your judgment more. Also, the rules are fairly strict and you have the knowledge that someone else is judging you, which may add to the burden.

If you trade micros in a live account, the P/L swings will be much smaller, and you can focus more on the unique issues of live vs. sim trading.

I do know that some of these funding companies now let you trade micros in their evaluation accounts also, so you may want to look into that.

If you have only done sim trading, and if you are now struggling with the gauntlet, you may be better moving over to a live micro account. Please make sure to not be under-capitalized even in that account, or you will not be able to withstand the normal movement in and out of the account, and you may feel pressure from fear of losses.

You will, absolutely, have losses, because anything that is live or close to live is totally different from sim, no matter how well you have done in sim.

Think about this, and I hope it will prove helpful. Good luck.

Bob.

-------------------

By the way, the "Psychology and Money Management" forum, where you placed it, is a reasonable home for this thread, but I will move it to "Traders Hideout," which is a more general-purpose location. The question is of very general interest and may be relevant to a lot of new traders.

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  #3 (permalink)
Córdoba
 
 
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You have a good argument Bob.
About using micros on the gaunlet, I can but I'm only limited to 2 contracts, so it will take forever to pass the test if I pass it, with the factor of a monthly fee that probably I can save it and open a micros account in AMP or Optimus or any other broker.
I agree with you about not being under capitalized with the micros because any price movement against me and I'm out.
In the meantime, since I already paid for it I'll keep trading the gaunlet as cautious as possible and as feelings detachment as possible. If I screw it up then I'll go for the micros account. So here's the question. What is your suggestion for the amount of money that should I have? Each micro has a margin of $40 and I'm not planning to trade more than 3 or 4. Again, I'm not planning to get rich with it, just to gain the confidence at first to trade live and hopefully cover the trading costs.
Thanks again.

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  #4 (permalink)
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arielalejandro View Post
I agree with you about not being under capitalized with the micros because any price movement against me and I'm out.
...
So here's the question. What is your suggestion for the amount of money that should I have? Each micro has a margin of $40 and I'm not planning to trade more than 3 or 4. Again, I'm not planning to get rich with it, just to gain the confidence at first to trade live and hopefully cover the trading costs.
Thanks again.

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Use several times the minimum margin. Always do this when trading futures, no matter the contract, and especially if you are using one of the brokers that emphasize small margins.

They know that "you only have to deposit x amount to trade" is a draw to bring in traders who don't have much, but it's not that good an idea for the traders, because it leaves them too thinly funded and too vulnerable to blowing up the account. If you can't manage enough margin, then either reduce your number of contracts or save up some more.

How much is "several times the minimum?" Well, decide what will let you be totally unconcerned about the whole question, and then use more than that.

When you have more experience, you can look at the question again, but start out being very conservative.

By the way, it is also a good idea to recognize in advance that blowing an account may happen no matter what you do, which is a common learning experience. This is not negative thinking, it's realism. And not the end of the world, just a pause. Losses are feedback from reality that something is off, which is good to know.

Another idea is to start a trade journal here, with as objective a self-review of your trading as you can manage. Look at a few journals that are currently active and see if the idea appeals to you. It may help, or, of course, it may not. But many people have benefited from doing it. You will get feedback from others if you want it, and it will be constructive.

Good luck.

Bob.

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  #5 (permalink)
Córdoba
 
 
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bobwest View Post
Use several times the minimum margin. Always do this when trading futures, no matter the contract, and especially if you are using one of the brokers that emphasize small margins.

They know that "you only have to deposit x amount to trade" is a draw to bring in traders who don't have much, but it's not that good an idea for the traders, because it leaves them too thinly funded and too vulnerable to blowing up the account. If you can't manage enough margin, then either reduce your number of contracts or save up some more.

How much is "several times the minimum?" Well, decide what will let you be totally unconcerned about the whole question, and then use more than that.

When you have more experience, you can look at the question again, but start out being very conservative.

By the way, it is also a good idea to recognize in advance that blowing an account may happen no matter what you do, which is a common learning experience. This is not negative thinking, it's realism. And not the end of the world, just a pause. Losses are feedback from reality that something is off, which is good to know.

Another idea is to start a trade journal here, with as objective a self-review of your trading as you can manage. Look at a few journals that are currently active and see if the idea appeals to you. It may help, or, of course, it may not. But many people have benefited from doing it. You will get feedback from others if you want it, and it will be constructive.

Good luck.

Bob.

Yes, about the micros account of course that my idea is to have a good cushion for, let´s say 2 contracts with enough room for price swings according my strategy and several days of probable losses.


bobwest View Post
By the way, it is also a good idea to recognize in advance that blowing an account may happen no matter what you do, which is a common learning experience. This is not negative thinking, it's realism. And not the end of the world, just a pause. Losses are feedback from reality that something is off, which is good to know.

I know and you´re right. Just want to minimize the psicological effect of that and a probable way is to trade micros . Will be easier I think to absorb losses and you always can scale up more gradually one contract at a time.

And last, about journaling here I´ll give it a try to see if I can find it useful which it will probably be because of the quality of people and advices that I saw in other´s journals.
Thanks again.

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  #6 (permalink)
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I know how you feel but just a word of caution when dealing with those discount brokers - they will change margins accordingly. It might be $40 per MES lot today required margin but wake up tomorrow and you may hear some overnight volatility thus it is $400 now or something.

This is why my friends always advise me to have the contract value as my account deposit so I would not have problems even if the broker reduce leverage (demand more margin) on the trading lots. 1 MES contract value is around 15k USD now (seniors, pls correct me if I am wrong).

ps: I am trying the gauntlet now too, so good luck to us bro




arielalejandro View Post
You have a good argument Bob.
About using micros on the gaunlet, I can but I'm only limited to 2 contracts, so it will take forever to pass the test if I pass it, with the factor of a monthly fee that probably I can save it and open a micros account in AMP or Optimus or any other broker.
I agree with you about not being under capitalized with the micros because any price movement against me and I'm out.
In the meantime, since I already paid for it I'll keep trading the gaunlet as cautious as possible and as feelings detachment as possible. If I screw it up then I'll go for the micros account. So here's the question. What is your suggestion for the amount of money that should I have? Each micro has a margin of $40 and I'm not planning to trade more than 3 or 4. Again, I'm not planning to get rich with it, just to gain the confidence at first to trade live and hopefully cover the trading costs.
Thanks again.

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  #7 (permalink)
Córdoba
 
 
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dyst View Post
I know how you feel but just a word of caution when dealing with those discount brokers - they will change margins accordingly. It might be $40 per MES lot today required margin but wake up tomorrow and you may hear some overnight volatility thus it is $400 now or something.

This is why my friends always advise me to have the contract value as my account deposit so I would not have problems even if the broker reduce leverage (demand more margin) on the trading lots. 1 MES contract value is around 15k USD now (seniors, pls correct me if I am wrong).

ps: I am trying the gauntlet now too, so good luck to us bro

Thank you and first of all, wish you the best with the gaunlet! I feel that trailing drawdown like a boogieman chasing me. Today I used micros and it was a green day. The stress factor was WAAAYY less. I could trade as I always do on the sim and the results showed that.

About what you mention on the margins requeriments, please correct me if I´m wrong but those requeriments change day by day and not intraday basis, right? I´m not planning to hold positions overnight, so if something like you mention happens (volatility and increase margin rise) then at most I won´t be able to trade if the requirement is above my account value. Anyways the plan is to trade no more than 2 micros and have enough cushion to develop the strategy. I´m not planning to open the account with $200. And my first goal will be to cover the monthly cost (commission, fees, etc) no more than that. I need to get exposed to live trading. Then we will how can I scale up or even try a gaunlet again.

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  #8 (permalink)
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Yes, the trailing DD is annoying... but the funding firms all claim they have their reasons for enforcing that. But if you want to avoid that, you can sign up for the more expensive "The Gauntlet" which lasts 2 months https://www.earn2trade.com/gauntlet now it costs USD 429 for the 2 months. And since it is so expensive, most of us try our luck with earn2trade's "Mini Gauntlet" which applies the trailing DD.

Yes, the intraday requirement changes day by day but during volatile times like Crude oil earlier this year, the brokers will suddenly demand much more margin at short notice. So first they tell you USD400 for 1 lot QM (smaller crude oil contract)so you are happy and open 2 or 3 lots on your 10k account. Then over weekend or overnight some big news... and later they demand USD5000 per lot QM and since you don't have enough they will liquidate you. Happened to so many people earlier this year...

But if you are not intending to hold overnight, then should be no problem for you. At the most, they will not allow you to open position if margin not enough. But yes this is why most seniors advise people to have at least 20k account before start trading. You have to be exceptionally good to survive 1 year on 10k or 5k starting account


ps: Monthly cost is very low, data fees are cheap if you are not considered professional since you can always go for the 'bundle set'. And many brokers offer free platform, so you can also save on platform fees



arielalejandro View Post
Thank you and first of all, wish you the best with the gaunlet! I feel that trailing drawdown like a boogieman chasing me. Today I used micros and it was a green day. The stress factor was WAAAYY less. I could trade as I always do on the sim and the results showed that.

About what you mention on the margins requeriments, please correct me if I´m wrong but those requeriments change day by day and not intraday basis, right? I´m not planning to hold positions overnight, so if something like you mention happens (volatility and increase margin rise) then at most I won´t be able to trade if the requirement is above my account value. Anyways the plan is to trade no more than 2 micros and have enough cushion to develop the strategy. I´m not planning to open the account with $200. And my first goal will be to cover the monthly cost (commission, fees, etc) no more than that. I need to get exposed to live trading. Then we will how can I scale up or even try a gaunlet again.


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  #9 (permalink)
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Definitely go to a micro account. If you have not already, add the VWAP to your indicators. Also the standard deviation channel is of help. The biggest skill, in my opinion is when to take a trade and when to sit on the sidelines.

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  #10 (permalink)
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In my experience, the trading combine is a wierd mix between a paper account and a live account. For me, that got me into trouble because I would trade it like a sim account that didn't matter almost. I've been trading on the micro contracts, $400 account gets you started on Ninjatrader brokerage, margin has been a steady $50 for initial margin since they micros came out last year. You can easily still lose or make $100 a day in current market conditions. So don't think for a second that the 10x smaller moves are going to save your account of you trade with FOMO or greed or revenge. Read Mark douglas - trading in the zone, accept the potential loss, and learn to trade consistently above all else. Its only through live trading you can learn this headspace...the combine is just a paid paper account at the end of the day. Risk some of your own money, hell its basically the same price on the micros account to fund it as it is to get a combine these days. And you arent on a time crunch, reoccuring subscription, and you can say you actually trade a live account and are a trader.

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  #11 (permalink)
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Why would you not just trade the Micro's in the Gauntlet?

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  #12 (permalink)
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It is necessary to realize that the things like Trading Combine are just another sim account. It is something between sim account and live account (it is not free but you know your max risk). If you take it like that, than it is OK. But don´t expect that you will ever get funded account. Because these companies are not here to risk their hard-earned money!

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I have a side question based on what I read on this one.
I have an account with TD Ameritrade. I have had one a long time with stocks and bonds.
I have been trying futures trading in simulation with a smaller account.
I noticed with TD Ameritrade that if I buy one ES contract the buying power hit is !3,400. So even with a 25K account I could not buy two contracts. The strategy I use requires multiple contracts so I can scale them out.
I started using MES with is 1/10 the BP.
OK the question is, people in this thread seem to be saying I am getting hit with many times the normal amount of BP that I would have at other brokers. Is that right? I thought 13.4K is really high for one contract, but figured it is what it is.

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  #14 (permalink)
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hey Ariel,

Thanks for posting. I see that your from Cordoba. That's awesome. I am from Buenos Aires and live in Houston, Texas. I have been trading for a little over 3 years, this past year exclusively. I have passed the TopstepTrader 50k account this year and I am very happy with my trading after going through their program. I started trading futures live on E-Micros M6E, M6B and MJY back when those were the only e-micros. I didn't have much money or a set of rules or even a trading plan back then. I think Bob is very accurate when he says that each account will solve different problems. Live trading has its technical and emotional learning curve. But it does you no good if you don't have rules, risk management, stats tracking or a trading plan.In a live account there is no one controlling you from killing your account. I believe that the greatest growth came from my trading combine. I was able to develop my set of rules and trading plan based on TopstepTrading's rules and the trading stats tracking. Having them monitor me makes me really think twice about any position I put on and eventually out of bad trades. The data avialable makes your after action report a breeze. You can really see how your trading is developing. So, I think having both accounts would be best. With the live account you can practice controlling your fear and work out the feel of managing positions emotionally and technically. In the combine you work on staying within your rules and guidelines. As a professional trader at a bank, hedge fund or other firm your gonna have rules that you have to follow no matter what. The trading combine is more realistic in that aspect even though its not "live." Your gonna come to find out that no one trades with their own money. Hope this helps you.

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  #15 (permalink)
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hey buddy, im currently funded on a 25k account. I have traded my own live account with good success. Getting good results consistently in sim is good, because it means you can do it in live.. Just keep in mind emotions will mess with you hard at first.. I blew a few live accounts because of the fear and revenge trading.. It takes time to get adjusted and expect to lose money at first. Just learn to chill out, watch for the trend to mature and go for it, and use everything you did in sim.

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  #16 (permalink)
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Yep I thought of that the thing is that the target profit is high so it will take too much time and probably with the money of those many monthly fees I can open a micro account. I'm not super interested in making money right now (if I can them awesome!) But want to have more exposure to live trading. I know the limitations on the combines and they're a mixture between live and sim, but I think having failed one, the pressure is higher and on a micro account you can do it at your own pace.
Stangem View Post
Why would you not just trade the Micro's in the Gauntlet?

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  #17 (permalink)
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Did you document your strategy performance of your paper trading? It's essential data. That would be your guide to knowing how big of a losing streak / drawdown you should normally expect, which will inform you whether or not you can realistically stay above the minimum drawdown rules for the different combines.

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  #18 (permalink)
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arielalejandro View Post
Hello everyone. First of all I think this thread should go in this forum, if not, please feel free to move it where it belongs, and also I´m not english native speaker, so sorry in advance for any mistake.
Here we go:
I was studying and practicing paper trading with the Thinkorswim platform for quite a long time now with real time data. I started to read about trading and markets probably almost 3 years ago, and when I started to do paper trading basically was a gambling, shooting at everything that moves. Needless to say the result of that so I kept reading but not "trading"
Time passed and started to do paper trading again with an action plan, stop and profit target, sizing, etc etc and with the determination to follow those rules to be as realistic as possible. Things started to do well and I started to be profitable (in the simulator, I know)
Also I read about the psicological effect of being live or not, so here I am now.
I´m in a mini gaunlet 50k combine, trading with only 1 ES contract to keep the losses in check, althou I can´t. Tried to execute as always, with the same parameters as I always did after 6 months of paper trading but I can feel the "fear" knowing that in the end there´s money in stake, even the monthly fee of the gaunlet. $-300 the first day, $-500 today. I don´t know how it will end but I can guess...

So, if I fail with the gaunlet, from your experience, wouldn´t be better to start with a micro account where a big movement in price doesn´t take too much of loss, since the MES only has $1.25 per tick and start from there and forget about earn money (I don´t have the rush to have 1 million in 2 days, I´m not that kind of guys) at least at first but at least get used to been live and at least cover the costs of the operations (fees, commisions and platform?)

On a side note, the reason of taking so much time to decide getting live somehow is because I really wanted to have a strategy that could work and I think I found it, because 6 months of paper trading with military discipline and annotating, each day the results, gave me the confidence to go with the gaunlet.

Sorry for the extension of the post but I wanted to be as clear as possible about the whole situation.
Thank you for you time.
Ariel.

My colleague Roger Muri has assisted more than a few clients in similar position to you these past few months, he shared the following:

I feel your worries and they are absolutely justified. Therefore It would be smart to trade micros in the same way you would trade the large contracts.
Try to limit your trading to max a couple hours a day. When you start, analyze what kind of a day we are facing, is it volatile day or do we follow a certain trading range?!
With micros if you are trading the right direction you can reduce your drawdown and spread the orders out. Eventually take profit on one to cover cost and keep the second as a runner if you believe we might go further. Treat them as if you are trading the large contracts and learn as you go.

Trading on Demo will never be the same since emotions are not affecting you the same way.
I found that a lot of traders that combine their trading with spreads tend to reduce their risk and are able to trade the bigger picture of the market a bit better than the quick turn overs which can go both ways.
PM me if you like his contact info to continue the conversation.

PM with any questions about Cannon Trading (800) 454-9572 (310) 859-9572. Trading commodity futures, forex and options involves substantial risk of loss. The recommendations contained in this post are of opinion only and do not guarantee any profits. These are risky markets and only risk capital should be used. Past performance is not necessarily indicative of future results.
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  #19 (permalink)
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA
 
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arielalejandro View Post
On a side note, the reason of taking so much time to decide getting live somehow is because I really wanted to have a strategy that could work and I think I found it, because 6 months of paper trading with military discipline and annotating, each day the results, gave me the confidence to go with the gauntlet.

Sometimes market behavior changes. Sometimes traders' behaviors change.

I would identify whether these losses are caused by your approach/method or by your execution of your method, determine whether you changed or the market behavior you were capitalizing off of changed.

When you paper traded, did you ever experience losses exactly like this? If so, then obviously this is to be expected.

If not, what was the edge of your approach? Why did it work? What did it benefit from? What market behavior was harmful to your approach when you paper traded? When you had these losses, were those same triggers occuring in the same way as during your paper trades? If not, what was different...the lead up, the result, what exactly? If everything was the same marketwise, what was different about you, your mindset, your feelings, your preparation, your expectations, your actions, your inactions?

Hope you journaled well during your paper trades and now during these losses.

Sorry if I'm not speaking clearly. Hope you understand what I'm trying to get at.

Edit...once you figure out what changed, then you have to figure a way to address/deal with that. First step first.

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tacoma washington usa
 
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I guess I would ask what kind of parameters your trading uses. If it's a mechanical system, you will last a lot longer trading micro's before ultimately blowing up as market conditions cycle between manipulated accumulation/distribution and trend. If you are using for example a combination of things like correlated value, volume profile and the interest rate curve as a discretionary endeavor, you shouldn't need large stops and have a decent chance for success. Large and small accounts that trade with large stops ultimately fail in my experience- only an uncorrelated portfolio trading with large stops has a chance for success, and comes with a high psychological price tag. Best of luck to you.

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  #21 (permalink)
Córdoba
 
 
Posts: 27 since Apr 2020
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Hola!
Thanks for replying. Yes I can see the pros and cons of both worlds. I do have a system that at least on the SIM worked, I made an excel to trace it so I realized that was enough and had to jump in live. Since I don't have 25k to open a big account I thought that a combined could be a good choise. And probably it was from the psycho point of view. I could "feel" the difference. I'm thinking my next move now. The trailing drawdown looks more like a trap to me than a real discipline measure, bit it's just my opinion. It's great you could be funded with them and I wish you the best!
dbouzas View Post
hey Ariel,

Thanks for posting. I see that your from Cordoba. That's awesome. I am from Buenos Aires and live in Houston, Texas. I have been trading for a little over 3 years, this past year exclusively. I have passed the TopstepTrader 50k account this year and I am very happy with my trading after going through their program. I started trading futures live on E-Micros M6E, M6B and MJY back when those were the only e-micros. I didn't have much money or a set of rules or even a trading plan back then. I think Bob is very accurate when he says that each account will solve different problems. Live trading has its technical and emotional learning curve. But it does you no good if you don't have rules, risk management, stats tracking or a trading plan.In a live account there is no one controlling you from killing your account. I believe that the greatest growth came from my trading combine. I was able to develop my set of rules and trading plan based on TopstepTrading's rules and the trading stats tracking. Having them monitor me makes me really think twice about any position I put on and eventually out of bad trades. The data avialable makes your after action report a breeze. You can really see how your trading is developing. So, I think having both accounts would be best. With the live account you can practice controlling your fear and work out the feel of managing positions emotionally and technically. In the combine you work on staying within your rules and guidelines. As a professional trader at a bank, hedge fund or other firm your gonna have rules that you have to follow no matter what. The trading combine is more realistic in that aspect even though its not "live." Your gonna come to find out that no one trades with their own money. Hope this helps you.

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  #22 (permalink)
Córdoba
 
 
Posts: 27 since Apr 2020
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Yes I did that's why I decided to go live somehow, because I could see in my journal that I was profitable and consistent about 60% of the times on the SIM. Always using the same rules, stops, etc.
Captain135 View Post
Did you document your strategy performance of your paper trading? It's essential data. That would be your guide to knowing how big of a losing streak / drawdown you should normally expect, which will inform you whether or not you can realistically stay above the minimum drawdown rules for the different combines.

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  #23 (permalink)
Tokushima, Japan
 
Experience: Beginner
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@arielalejandro
Would you mind describing your strategy?
Also please explain your R/R with sell ticks and stop loss ticks.

Are you using NinjaTrader?

I noticed not to much talk about your strategy and trading style.

I used to be a pure scalper. Now days I hold for about 10-120 minutes so my exits are in alignment with strong volume for nice smooth and clean exits.

I’m going to mention something rather controversial and something that should only be used when you know the trend direction and when volume is strong, trading is strong with the trend you want to take profit.

The below method only works if you really think carefully about your entries and that your entries are based on clear data decisions. Otherwise this method is gambling and you will lose $100+ in a flash!

In NinjaTrader if you are using Micro accounts you only need 1.25 - 1.50 ticks to get profit (bare minimum). What I do sometimes when the trend line is very strong and I’m trying to earn $500+ a day is after a trade is open I click sell (even if I am several minutes from actually closing the trade) and the little pop-up opens and I keep my mouse over the sell button on the pop-up. I trade with 4-10 Micro contracts and I wait for 1.50+ minimum then click sell. I usually do this with 10-20 contracts when I am extremely confident that the volume is strong and trend is bullish. Also you must make sure your stop ticks are matching your account balance so your margin does not blow the account. I don’t do this with bearish trends simply because it reminds me of saying the alphabet backwards. Again only do this method when you are very confident with volume and trend. There are some good indicators that can give you strong insight into the data you need to trade like this. Other trading platforms don’t have this pop-up feature.

I keep wanting to preface that you need to really understand the chart and that the volume is strong and trending bullish and you have your support & resistance and moving averages are pointing in your favor and that you looked back several dozen bars or longer. Double check your account balance and margin.

I typically earn about 25% or more of my daily income doing this and I have had a single loss, out of like 10,000+ trades of this exact method. The closest I have had to a loss was just “0” ticks.

Keep in mind this style of trading is intense and you need to keep your eyes glued to the charts.

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Córdoba
 
 
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CannonTrading View Post
My colleague Roger Muri has assisted more than a few clients in similar position to you these past few months, he shared the following:

I feel your worries and they are absolutely justified. Therefore It would be smart to trade micros in the same way you would trade the large contracts.
Try to limit your trading to max a couple hours a day. When you start, analyze what kind of a day we are facing, is it volatile day or do we follow a certain trading range?!
With micros if you are trading the right direction you can reduce your drawdown and spread the orders out. Eventually take profit on one to cover cost and keep the second as a runner if you believe we might go further. Treat them as if you are trading the large contracts and learn as you go.

Yes I think I agree with you, that was the approach that I was usingon sim with E-minis with good results. With micros I can be more "relaxed" because the losses are smaller. One thing that scared me with the combine was the fact that with big contracts, any small correction even with 1 contract represented a -$300 move (taking into account the current volatility) With micros I think I can play better my strategies without going panic and start doing stupid things.


CannonTrading View Post
Trading on Demo will never be the same since emotions are not affecting you the same way.
I found that a lot of traders that combine their trading with spreads tend to reduce their risk and are able to trade the bigger picture of the market a bit better than the quick turn overs which can go both ways.
PM me if you like his contact info to continue the conversation.

Thanks a lot! I´ll keep you in mind if I decide to go into that direction

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  #25 (permalink)
Honolulu
 
 
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What’s up dude. I will share my experience and thoughts as a trader who has traded a personally funded live account as well as my experience as a trader for Helios currently.
I think to begin you should ask yourself if you have a definitive plan/edge/setup that you’ve collected data on while you were paper trading on TOS. Your 3years paper trading/learning won’t mean much if you havent collected data, data with favorable outcomes that you really can lean on over a period of time. You should have clear planS on how to effectively manage risk, how to effectively manage your trades, how to log and evaluate trades (important as markets changes and you have to be quick to adapt or at least notice when your edge is blunted), and how to manage your psychological aspect of trading. Sounds a bit excessive but let’s be real this is YOUR BUSINESS, and this is important regardless if you trade for yourself or for Helios. If you have CLEAR direction in your trading, you will feel less of the “uncertainty” that you are feeling that is preventing you from going live.
I passed the 25k MG in 15 days trading 1-5contracts of the MNQ with 4,320 in profits, so it’s possible to pass using the micro contracts in a reasonable amount of time. You SHOULD NOT be trading regular emini on a 2k account. I can almost guarantee that if you do you will fail your MG. You just won’t have enough breathing room to make reasonable trades.
Not with That out of that out of the way let’s get real. How much money would actually drop on you account 1k? 2k $500? Do you think you can effective manage that money? If you start a mini gauntlet 50k at 170 a month, let’s say for 2months that 340 dollars. Being that you trade the Es/Mes that’s 6.8pts on the ES and 68pts on 1 MES contract. You could blow through that in a week or 15mins if you trade ES and didn’t manage your trade properly. So realistically if you are profitable in your paper trades and you have CLEAR direction in your trading process, and you have some money to blow the go for it. I’m a huge advocate of “funding programs” because they offer the chance to minimize the risk of losing money and it gives you a bit of psychological pressure having to paying for gauntlet or combines. One HUGE plus is having an active risk manager on you EVERYTIME you step in the markets. Sound like a burden but every real trader that trades live will till you that managing risk, stay discipline over time, and staying on track becomes a challenge over time. With these programs they force you to be disciplined and methodical if not you get booted. Being that ypu are a developing trader, you may need that. For me I look at it as paying 20% for an active risk manager which I gladly pay.
At this point I’m probably ranting a rambling. If you have clear edge, know exactly what you are doing, have a sizable chunk of capital then skip the prop firms and trade for yourself. If you are developing, don’t have clear direction, Don’t have a lot of capital, want trading coaches and someone forcing you to be a professional through risk management then try out for a firm through these funding programs. Everyone will rant and cry about how it’s rigged so you fail, but don’t listen to them. Let’s be honest if we can’t reach those metrics (be profitable for longer than 15days, make more than you lose, and be able to apply risk management, then should we really be risking live capital?
Just my two cents and experience from both trading my money and trading for Helios.

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  #26 (permalink)
Knoxville Tennessee USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
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arielalejandro View Post
Hello everyone. First of all I think this thread should go in this forum, if not, please feel free to move it where it belongs, and also I´m not english native speaker, so sorry in advance for any mistake.
Here we go:
I was studying and practicing paper trading with the Thinkorswim platform for quite a long time now with real time data. I started to read about trading and markets probably almost 3 years ago, and when I started to do paper trading basically was a gambling, shooting at everything that moves. Needless to say the result of that so I kept reading but not "trading"
Time passed and started to do paper trading again with an action plan, stop and profit target, sizing, etc etc and with the determination to follow those rules to be as realistic as possible. Things started to do well and I started to be profitable (in the simulator, I know)
Also I read about the psicological effect of being live or not, so here I am now.
I´m in a mini gaunlet 50k combine, trading with only 1 ES contract to keep the losses in check, althou I can´t. Tried to execute as always, with the same parameters as I always did after 6 months of paper trading but I can feel the "fear" knowing that in the end there´s money in stake, even the monthly fee of the gaunlet. $-300 the first day, $-500 today. I don´t know how it will end but I can guess...

So, if I fail with the gaunlet, from your experience, wouldn´t be better to start with a micro account where a big movement in price doesn´t take too much of loss, since the MES only has $1.25 per tick and start from there and forget about earn money (I don´t have the rush to have 1 million in 2 days, I´m not that kind of guys) at least at first but at least get used to been live and at least cover the costs of the operations (fees, commisions and platform?)

On a side note, the reason of taking so much time to decide getting live somehow is because I really wanted to have a strategy that could work and I think I found it, because 6 months of paper trading with military discipline and annotating, each day the results, gave me the confidence to go with the gaunlet.

Sorry for the extension of the post but I wanted to be as clear as possible about the whole situation.
Thank you for you time.
Ariel.

I would be a good idea if you were to limit your losses per day to some smaller amount. After losing your loss amount take time to analyze your trades.

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  #27 (permalink)
Edmonds, WA
 
Experience: Intermediate
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It seems to me you might be getting close to profitability, Ariel.

Sometimes when we go live, we start with losses. If you trust in data that proves you have found an edge, and your trades were in line with your plan, than all you did was start with some losses. No big deal. There's nothing more normal than losses.

You can help your psychology when trading real money by risking only 1% (or less) or your account per trade. So, your question about trading micros only makes sense in the context of you account size. In the unlikely but possible event of starting out with, say, 7 losing trades, you would only lose 7% of your account, which is completely survivable.

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  #28 (permalink)
Honolulu
 
 
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arielalejandro View Post
You have a good argument Bob.
About using micros on the gaunlet, I can but I'm only limited to 2 contracts, so it will take forever to pass the test if I pass it, with the factor of a monthly fee that probably I can save it and open a micros account in AMP or Optimus or any other broker.
I agree with you about not being under capitalized with the micros because any price movement against me and I'm out.
In the meantime, since I already paid for it I'll keep trading the gaunlet as cautious as possible and as feelings detachment as possible. If I screw it up then I'll go for the micros account. So here's the question. What is your suggestion for the amount of money that should I have? Each micro has a margin of $40 and I'm not planning to trade more than 3 or 4. Again, I'm not planning to get rich with it, just to gain the confidence at first to trade live and hopefully cover the trading costs.
Thanks again.

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If you are in the Mini gauntlet you can trade micros, 10 micro contracts= 1. Also email customer support and tell them you want live commission rates for micro contracts. They’ll give you cheaper commissions it’ll help you a little bit.


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  #29 (permalink)
Córdoba
 
 
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CannonTrading View Post
My colleague Roger Muri has assisted more than a few clients in similar position to you these past few months, he shared the following:

I feel your worries and they are absolutely justified. Therefore It would be smart to trade micros in the same way you would trade the large contracts.
Try to limit your trading to max a couple hours a day. When you start, analyze what kind of a day we are facing, is it volatile day or do we follow a certain trading range?!
With micros if you are trading the right direction you can reduce your drawdown and spread the orders out. Eventually take profit on one to cover cost and keep the second as a runner if you believe we might go further. Treat them as if you are trading the large contracts and learn as you go.

Trading on Demo will never be the same since emotions are not affecting you the same way.
I found that a lot of traders that combine their trading with spreads tend to reduce their risk and are able to trade the bigger picture of the market a bit better than the quick turn overs which can go both ways.
PM me if you like his contact info to continue the conversation.


dan1957 View Post
I guess I would ask what kind of parameters your trading uses. If it's a mechanical system, you will last a lot longer trading micro's before ultimately blowing up as market conditions cycle between manipulated accumulation/distribution and trend. If you are using for example a combination of things like correlated value, volume profile and the interest rate curve as a discretionary endeavor, you shouldn't need large stops and have a decent chance for success. Large and small accounts that trade with large stops ultimately fail in my experience- only an uncorrelated portfolio trading with large stops has a chance for success, and comes with a high psychological price tag. Best of luck to you.

Thanks Dan. What I trade is mostly ES (or MES) When I trade MES what is what I was trading these days I use the tape and chart from the ES to see it´s volume. I also use the $ADD and $TICK and have the Dow and Nasdaq to see also how are they performing. With all of that I was able to find something that works for me on the sim and after going thru a deep review of my combines trades I applied the same criteria but the fear came into play and made me do stupid things like don´t honor the stops, don´t wait the trend resumes, enter earlier that I supposed to do, etc. So in the end I have good trade ideas but totally messed up by psicological factors.

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  #30 (permalink)
Córdoba
 
 
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forestcall View Post
@arielalejandro
Would you mind describing your strategy?
Also please explain your R/R with sell ticks and stop loss ticks.

Are you using NinjaTrader?

I noticed not to much talk about your strategy and trading style.

I used to be a pure scalper. Now days I hold for about 10-120 minutes so my exits are in alignment with strong volume for nice smooth and clean exits.

I’m going to mention something rather controversial and something that should only be used when you know the trend direction and when volume is strong, trading is strong with the trend you want to take profit.

The below method only works if you really think carefully about your entries and that your entries are based on clear data decisions. Otherwise this method is gambling and you will lose $100+ in a flash!

In NinjaTrader if you are using Micro accounts you only need 1.25 - 1.50 ticks to get profit (bare minimum). What I do sometimes when the trend line is very strong and I’m trying to earn $500+ a day is after a trade is open I click sell (even if I am several minutes from actually closing the trade) and the little pop-up opens and I keep my mouse over the sell button on the pop-up. I trade with 4-10 Micro contracts and I wait for 1.50+ minimum then click sell. I usually do this with 10-20 contracts when I am extremely confident that the volume is strong and trend is bullish. Also you must make sure your stop ticks are matching your account balance so your margin does not blow the account. I don’t do this with bearish trends simply because it reminds me of saying the alphabet backwards. Again only do this method when you are very confident with volume and trend. There are some good indicators that can give you strong insight into the data you need to trade like this. Other trading platforms don’t have this pop-up feature.

I keep wanting to preface that you need to really understand the chart and that the volume is strong and trending bullish and you have your support & resistance and moving averages are pointing in your favor and that you looked back several dozen bars or longer. Double check your account balance and margin.

I typically earn about 25% or more of my daily income doing this and I have had a single loss, out of like 10,000+ trades of this exact method. The closest I have had to a loss was just “0” ticks.

Keep in mind this style of trading is intense and you need to keep your eyes glued to the charts.

About my trading style, I narrowed down to 2 basic movements. Swings that can last 20-30minutes, sometimes more depending on the day and quick scalps when for example the price is going parabolic I wait for the top (or bottom) and take 4/5 ticks with a quick scalp. That worked for me for almost 4/5 months on sim. The swings are made with no more than 2 contracts and the scalps with no more than 4.

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  #31 (permalink)
San Francisco
 
Experience: Beginner
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arielalejandro View Post
Hello everyone. First of all I think this thread should go in this forum, if not, please feel free to move it where it belongs, and also I´m not english native speaker, so sorry in advance for any mistake.
Here we go:
I was studying and practicing paper trading with the Thinkorswim platform for quite a long time now with real time data. I started to read about trading and markets probably almost 3 years ago, and when I started to do paper trading basically was a gambling, shooting at everything that moves. Needless to say the result of that so I kept reading but not "trading"
Time passed and started to do paper trading again with an action plan, stop and profit target, sizing, etc etc and with the determination to follow those rules to be as realistic as possible. Things started to do well and I started to be profitable (in the simulator, I know)
Also I read about the psicological effect of being live or not, so here I am now.
I´m in a mini gaunlet 50k combine, trading with only 1 ES contract to keep the losses in check, althou I can´t. Tried to execute as always, with the same parameters as I always did after 6 months of paper trading but I can feel the "fear" knowing that in the end there´s money in stake, even the monthly fee of the gaunlet. $-300 the first day, $-500 today. I don´t know how it will end but I can guess...

So, if I fail with the gaunlet, from your experience, wouldn´t be better to start with a micro account where a big movement in price doesn´t take too much of loss, since the MES only has $1.25 per tick and start from there and forget about earn money (I don´t have the rush to have 1 million in 2 days, I´m not that kind of guys) at least at first but at least get used to been live and at least cover the costs of the operations (fees, commisions and platform?)

On a side note, the reason of taking so much time to decide getting live somehow is because I really wanted to have a strategy that could work and I think I found it, because 6 months of paper trading with military discipline and annotating, each day the results, gave me the confidence to go with the gaunlet.

Sorry for the extension of the post but I wanted to be as clear as possible about the whole situation.
Thank you for you time.
Ariel.

Hi Ariel,

I am new and I have also been struggling. I'm also Paper trading on Thinkorswim.

I have studied a lot of materials, but none of the materials were as helpful and concise as Ameritrade's Education Center, which is free to Ameritrade customers.

If you take the Technical Analysis Course, you will identify breakout patterns better. There are also many other useful courses and webcasts available for free.

If you improve your entry and exit points, you will go green, as I am now on Paper Trading.

The time you trade is also of the greatest importance. I prefer trading the last 30 minutes before close. Most traders suggest the first hour of open, but I found myself trading all day and racking up losses more quickly than gains. The momentum, volume, and liquidity of the last 30 minutes before close is enough to quickly fulfill a trade.

Another thing is to set a target of 4 points and 4 points stop. Use an OCO bracket. If it reaches one order, the entire OCO bracket will cancel. I got this suggestion from Barry Taylor's E-mini guide. I don't know if that applies to MES, but I'm sure you'll figure it out. Play around with a couple of different stops and targets for the OCO bracket.

I found letting the 4 point target, 4 point stop do the work is infinitely better than me interfering by prematurely ending trades. Many times I ended the trade early because I didn't want to see small earnings erased, only to see the target be eventually reached. Try not to watch the movements. The OCO bracket will take the stress and guesswork out. Manually scalping also leads to racking up of commissions.

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  #32 (permalink)
Houston, Texas
 
Experience: Advanced
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Don’t kid yourself, what ever strategy you build, or adopt, you will have losses. To me, the secret is keep losses small and MES is as good as any or run in SIM .
Perhaps consider a funding company if you need capital such as Leeloo.

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  #33 (permalink)
Córdoba
 
 
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F10trades View Post
What’s up dude. I will share my experience and thoughts as a trader who has traded a personally funded live account as well as my experience as a trader for Helios currently.
I think to begin you should ask yourself if you have a definitive plan/edge/setup that you’ve collected data on while you were paper trading on TOS. Your 3years paper trading/learning won’t mean much if you havent collected data, data with favorable outcomes that you really can lean on over a period of time. You should have clear planS on how to effectively manage risk, how to effectively manage your trades, how to log and evaluate trades (important as markets changes and you have to be quick to adapt or at least notice when your edge is blunted), and how to manage your psychological aspect of trading. Sounds a bit excessive but let’s be real this is YOUR BUSINESS, and this is important regardless if you trade for yourself or for Helios. If you have CLEAR direction in your trading, you will feel less of the “uncertainty” that you are feeling that is preventing you from going live.

Yes I have collected data and statistics and that made me think in going live, basically becuase I had something that is working but I needed the live "feelings" to have whole picture. Over the time I developed a risk management rules to keep the losses in check. At first of course was only focused on profits and the level of gambling was high, but looking back now I can see that I did some good changes, so the next step is going live, see what I mean?


F10trades View Post
I passed the 25k MG in 15 days trading 1-5contracts of the MNQ with 4,320 in profits, so it’s possible to pass using the micro contracts in a reasonable amount of time. You SHOULD NOT be trading regular emini on a 2k account. I can almost guarantee that if you do you will fail your MG. You just won’t have enough breathing room to make reasonable trades.

Awesome, congrats! Agree about not using E-mini in the 25k account


F10trades View Post
Not with That out of that out of the way let’s get real. How much money would actually drop on you account 1k? 2k $500? Do you think you can effective manage that money? If you start a mini gauntlet 50k at 170 a month, let’s say for 2months that 340 dollars. Being that you trade the Es/Mes that’s 6.8pts on the ES and 68pts on 1 MES contract. You could blow through that in a week or 15mins if you trade ES and didn’t manage your trade properly. So realistically if you are profitable in your paper trades and you have CLEAR direction in your trading process, and you have some money to blow the go for it. I’m a huge advocate of “funding programs” because they offer the chance to minimize the risk of losing money and it gives you a bit of psychological pressure having to paying for gauntlet or combines. One HUGE plus is having an active risk manager on you EVERYTIME you step in the markets. Sound like a burden but every real trader that trades live will till you that managing risk, stay discipline over time, and staying on track becomes a challenge over time. With these programs they force you to be disciplined and methodical if not you get booted. Being that ypu are a developing trader, you may need that. For me I look at it as paying 20% for an active risk manager which I gladly pay.
At this point I’m probably ranting a rambling. If you have clear edge, know exactly what you are doing, have a sizable chunk of capital then skip the prop firms and trade for yourself.

To be honest I can´t decide yet what to do. Give another try but only with micros or fund an account to also trade only micros.


F10trades View Post
If you are developing, don’t have clear direction, Don’t have a lot of capital, want trading coaches and someone forcing you to be a professional through risk management then try out for a firm through these funding programs. Everyone will rant and cry about how it’s rigged so you fail, but don’t listen to them. Let’s be honest if we can’t reach those metrics (be profitable for longer than 15days, make more than you lose, and be able to apply risk management, then should we really be risking live capital?
Just my two cents and experience from both trading my money and trading for Helios.

On that statment the truth is that I don´t have too much capital (how much is too much?) Anyways I could put let´s say no more than 1k on a micro account and trade no more than 2 micros, that would give enough room to have a reasonable losing trades and not just like one correction movement and I´m out. And what you mention about that if you can´t be profitable within 15 days why open an account with no limits at all. I have a good point there and that was basically my though and that´s why I jumped into the gaunlet.

Thanks again.

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  #34 (permalink)
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F10trades View Post
What’s up dude. I will share my experience and thoughts as a trader who has traded a personally funded live account as well as my experience as a trader for Helios currently.
I think to begin you should ask yourself if you have a definitive plan/edge/setup that you’ve collected data on while you were paper trading on TOS. Your 3years paper trading/learning won’t mean much if you havent collected data, data with favorable outcomes that you really can lean on over a period of time. You should have clear planS on how to effectively manage risk, how to effectively manage your trades, how to log and evaluate trades (important as markets changes and you have to be quick to adapt or at least notice when your edge is blunted), and how to manage your psychological aspect of trading. Sounds a bit excessive but let’s be real this is YOUR BUSINESS, and this is important regardless if you trade for yourself or for Helios. If you have CLEAR direction in your trading, you will feel less of the “uncertainty” that you are feeling that is preventing you from going live.
I passed the 25k MG in 15 days trading 1-5contracts of the MNQ with 4,320 in profits, so it’s possible to pass using the micro contracts in a reasonable amount of time. You SHOULD NOT be trading regular emini on a 2k account. I can almost guarantee that if you do you will fail your MG. You just won’t have enough breathing room to make reasonable trades.
Not with That out of that out of the way let’s get real. How much money would actually drop on you account 1k? 2k $500? Do you think you can effective manage that money? If you start a mini gauntlet 50k at 170 a month, let’s say for 2months that 340 dollars. Being that you trade the Es/Mes that’s 6.8pts on the ES and 68pts on 1 MES contract. You could blow through that in a week or 15mins if you trade ES and didn’t manage your trade properly. So realistically if you are profitable in your paper trades and you have CLEAR direction in your trading process, and you have some money to blow the go for it. I’m a huge advocate of “funding programs” because they offer the chance to minimize the risk of losing money and it gives you a bit of psychological pressure having to paying for gauntlet or combines. One HUGE plus is having an active risk manager on you EVERYTIME you step in the markets. Sound like a burden but every real trader that trades live will till you that managing risk, stay discipline over time, and staying on track becomes a challenge over time. With these programs they force you to be disciplined and methodical if not you get booted. Being that ypu are a developing trader, you may need that. For me I look at it as paying 20% for an active risk manager which I gladly pay.
At this point I’m probably ranting a rambling. If you have clear edge, know exactly what you are doing, have a sizable chunk of capital then skip the prop firms and trade for yourself. If you are developing, don’t have clear direction, Don’t have a lot of capital, want trading coaches and someone forcing you to be a professional through risk management then try out for a firm through these funding programs. Everyone will rant and cry about how it’s rigged so you fail, but don’t listen to them. Let’s be honest if we can’t reach those metrics (be profitable for longer than 15days, make more than you lose, and be able to apply risk management, then should we really be risking live capital?
Just my two cents and experience from both trading my money and trading for Helios.


Nolaughingmatter View Post
Hi Ariel,

I am new and I have also been struggling. I'm also Paper trading on Thinkorswim.

I have studied a lot of materials, but none of the materials were as helpful and concise as Ameritrade's Education Center, which is free to Ameritrade customers.

If you take the Technical Analysis Course, you will identify breakout patterns better. There are also many other useful courses and webcasts available for free.

If you improve your entry and exit points, you will go green, as I am now on Paper Trading.

The time you trade is also of the greatest importance. I prefer trading the last 30 minutes before close. Most traders suggest the first hour of open, but I found myself trading all day and racking up losses more quickly than gains. The momentum, volume, and liquidity of the last 30 minutes before close is enough to quickly fulfill a trade.

Another thing is to set a target of 4 points and 4 points stop. Use an OCO bracket. If it reaches one order, the entire OCO bracket will cancel. I got this suggestion from Barry Taylor's E-mini guide. I don't know if that applies to MES, but I'm sure you'll figure it out. Play around with a couple of different stops and targets for the OCO bracket.

I found letting the 4 point target, 4 point stop do the work is infinitely better than me interfering by prematurely ending trades. Many times I ended the trade early because I didn't want to see small earnings erased, only to see the target be eventually reached. Try not to watch the movements. The OCO bracket will take the stress and guesswork out. Manually scalping also leads to racking up of commissions.

Thanks and I wish you the best. I see a big difference when I´m focused and let the feeling aside. My entries are where supposed to be and probably I need to work more about the exiting earlier than I should which can be solved with the OCO´s and leave them alone or putting a trailing stop an honor it. I recognize that since the gauntlet has that damn trailing draw-down I say dangerous not taking profits and have the probability of the prices turns back, erase the unrealized profit but moved the trailing draw-down. That was definitely a conflicting factor for me.

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arielalejandro View Post
Yes I have collected data and statistics and that made me think in going live, basically becuase I had something that is working but I needed the live "feelings" to have whole picture. Over the time I developed a risk management rules to keep the losses in check. At first of course was only focused on profits and the level of gambling was high, but looking back now I can see that I did some good changes, so the next step is going live, see what I mean?





Awesome, congrats! Agree about not using E-mini in the 25k account





To be honest I can´t decide yet what to do. Give another try but only with micros or fund an account to also trade only micros.





On that statment the truth is that I don´t have too much capital (how much is too much?) Anyways I could put let´s say no more than 1k on a micro account and trade no more than 2 micros, that would give enough room to have a reasonable losing trades and not just like one correction movement and I´m out. And what you mention about that if you can´t be profitable within 15 days why open an account with no limits at all. I have a good point there and that was basically my though and that´s why I jumped into the gaunlet.



Thanks again.



I totally get where you are at. When I first started trading futures I started on the micros when they first came out. I barely had any money, I would fund a $250 account, blow it up save then do it all over again. Eventually I got a second job and saved 500 and tried again and it stuck, made some money then got taken on my Helios when the MG first came out. So don’t feel bad, I feel like most traders are where you’re at. If I were in your situation, I would 1. Sim trade under the same rules and the MG, if you can pass using micros then try again. Prove to yourself that you can do it first.
2. While you do that save more money. Realistically if this is your first attempt trading live, you’ll burn through a good chunk of that before you get you trade plan to stick. That just how it is, and you account has to be large enough to take let’s just say a 50% hit while still having enough to trade.
3. Of you plan to skip the MG and go live, then don’t! Save more, 1k can work out but, you’ll be pretty rocked when you take hits, which will happen as apart of this business.
4. Live trade and see if you can make enough to cover the cost of an MG. Then use that money to trade an MG.
When you are boot strapped like you are you have to take guard your mental and physical capital while maximizing the best possible outcome.
5. Trade live but REALLY be careful, and if you take a 50% account hit, cut it, reevaluate and go from there.


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F10trades View Post
I totally get where you are at. When I first started trading futures I started on the micros when they first came out. I barely had any money, I would fund a $250 account, blow it up save then do it all over again. Eventually I got a second job and saved 500 and tried again and it stuck, made some money then got taken on my Helios when the MG first came out. So don’t feel bad, I feel like most traders are where you’re at. If I were in your situation, I would 1. Sim trade under the same rules and the MG, if you can pass using micros then try again. Prove to yourself that you can do it first.
2. While you do that save more money. Realistically if this is your first attempt trading live, you’ll burn through a good chunk of that before you get you trade plan to stick. That just how it is, and you account has to be large enough to take let’s just say a 50% hit while still having enough to trade.
3. Of you plan to skip the MG and go live, then don’t! Save more, 1k can work out but, you’ll be pretty rocked when you take hits, which will happen as apart of this business.
4. Live trade and see if you can make enough to cover the cost of an MG. Then use that money to trade an MG.
When you are boot strapped like you are you have to take guard your mental and physical capital while maximizing the best possible outcome.
5. Trade live but REALLY be careful, and if you take a 50% account hit, cut it, reevaluate and go from there.


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Very good points indeed! Thank you for your time and response. About point number 3 that´s why I decided to go to the MG in the first place. I preffered to loose 100 and not 1000 taking in mind that I never been live and with the fact that you´re enforced to do some risk managment.

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  #37 (permalink)
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arielalejandro View Post
Thanks and I wish you the best. I see a big difference when I´m focused and let the feeling aside. My entries are where supposed to be and probably I need to work more about the exiting earlier than I should which can be solved with the OCO´s and leave them alone or putting a trailing stop an honor it. I recognize that since the gauntlet has that damn trailing draw-down I say dangerous not taking profits and have the probability of the prices turns back, erase the unrealized profit but moved the trailing draw-down. That was definitely a conflicting factor for me.

You're welcome.

Also on Barry Taylor's E-mini guide, he discourages using Trailing stops. I wondered why, of course. So I actually tested it and he is right. Trailing stops are counter-productive. They only capture small gains during retracements. It's better to leave a wide target and stop do its work.

Granted, the target-stop loss isn't going to work all the time, but manual scalping and overtrading will lead to even bigger losses. At least this creates some discipline.

Let the target exit the trade. It takes time getting used to, but soon you'll see its beauty.

It's also the reason why passive investing yields better results overall for most people than daytrading. It takes out self-sabotaging human emotions out of the trade as much as possible.

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Live trading is much more risk based so just minimize your risk. Shouldn't even be taking a $500 hit use five $100 stop losses and be done. Going down to MES would allow you to maximize that risk factors percentage of success. Giving you a larger window for a green trade which is all you really need... Low risk and a high winning percentage!

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Absolutely agree! Thanks!
nckafieh View Post
Live trading is much more risk based so just minimize your risk. Shouldn't even be taking a $500 hit use five $100 stop losses and be done. Going down to MES would allow you to maximize that risk factors percentage of success. Giving you a larger window for a green trade which is all you really need... Low risk and a high winning percentage!

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If your stats are saying 40% or more of the times you have winning trades than you can go with a reward to risk ratio of 1.5:1. Place just 3 trades a day and not risk more than $160 per trade, with a daily max loss of about $450. It's just an example with e-mini's NOT micros. But if your winning trade % is above 40% you should risk manage accordingly to where the probabilities are in your favor. Cut your losses quick knowing that eventually your gonna get your winning trade and profit. If you place 3 consecutive losing trades, your not trading your plan or your plan is not working for the current market environment. Get used to or focus on preserving capital and not so much on making money. If you keep your money and risk manage it well, your eventually going to make money.

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  #41 (permalink)
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I have done many combines with Topstep Trader and could never seem to meet the targets. Some times, I would experience the same thing you are saying - when a full contract trade would go against me, I'd exit, even though the "chart reason" that I got in didn't actually fail, only to find the trade would then turn around and do exactly as I'd expected initially. Other times, I would blow out a combine because I'd hit the "I don't care" attitude because deep down I still knew it wasn't real money. When the micro's came out, I stopped doing combines, and instead switched to trading a live account using the micros. I have skin in the game, but I can give the trade more room to breath and work out as my account was relatively small. Trading the micros became a game changer for me and I became a profitable trader.
So, based on my personal experience, I feel trading the micros is better than continueing to spend money trying to get a funded account. Of course, you have to do what you feel fits your needs most.
Hope this is helpful.

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Yeah I can use that scheme using 1/10 the values for micros ($16 per trade). Doing that I think that will help with the psychological aspect of the trading and also will enforce me to be super selective about the trades I'm taking.
dbouzas View Post
If your stats are saying 40% or more of the times you have winning trades than you can go with a reward to risk ratio of 1.5:1. Place just 3 trades a day and not risk more than $160 per trade, with a daily max loss of about $450. It's just an example with e-mini's NOT micros. But if your winning trade % is above 40% you should risk manage accordingly to where the probabilities are in your favor. Cut your losses quick knowing that eventually your gonna get your winning trade and profit. If you place 3 consecutive losing trades, your not trading your plan or your plan is not working for the current market environment. Get used to or focus on preserving capital and not so much on making money. If you keep your money and risk manage it well, your eventually going to make money.

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Hi Luv, thanks a lot for sharing your experience. You described exactly my mindset on the combine! Hehe.
Now I know that I'm not prepared or want to trade E-minis. I feel the micros is the way to go at least in this early stage. Time will tell.
luv2trade View Post
I have done many combines with Topstep Trader and could never seem to meet the targets. Some times, I would experience the same thing you are saying - when a full contract trade would go against me, I'd exit, even though the "chart reason" that I got in didn't actually fail, only to find the trade would then turn around and do exactly as I'd expected initially. Other times, I would blow out a combine because I'd hit the "I don't care" attitude because deep down I still knew it wasn't real money. When the micro's came out, I stopped doing combines, and instead switched to trading a live account using the micros. I have skin in the game, but I can give the trade more room to breath and work out as my account was relatively small. Trading the micros became a game changer for me and I became a profitable trader.
So, based on my personal experience, I feel trading the micros is better than continueing to spend money trying to get a funded account. Of course, you have to do what you feel fits your needs most.
Hope this is helpful.

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  #44 (permalink)
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Like everyone has said, Micros are best and there is no substitute to trading Live. Stay disciplined, keep reminding yourself what your trade plan is and stay away from trading too many contracts. At this point, you are not trading for wealth, but to build consistency and make affordable mistakes. The combine is only helpful after you have become very consistent, mastered your psychology and you want to scale up.
Remember the oft-stated fact 90% of traders fail (like with any start-up business).
Best of Luck to you.

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If you think you're hitting the loss too frequently, then I would trade the 5 micro ES contracts which reduces the value of a point to $25. I felt exactly the same way you did. I didn't have patience to trade with 1 or 2 micro ES contracts.

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n5rinivas View Post
If you think you're hitting the loss too frequently, then I would trade the 5 micro ES contracts which reduces the value of a point to $25. I felt exactly the same way you did. I didn't have patience to trade with 1 or 2 micro ES contracts.

Yeah, the problem of trading 5 or more micros and still having constant looses are that on top of that, the commissions sums up a lot. So at least at first I´ll start with 1 or 2 micros. Right now I don´t want to make big money but at least want to stay alive for another trading day. The only time where I go with 4 micros and works pretty well for me is when the chart goes parabollic, I wait for the pullback or rebound (depending long or short) and I can grab 4/5 ticks. From statistics I have 60% of success doing that.

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arielalejandro View Post
Yeah, the problem of trading 5 or more micros and still having constant looses are that on top of that, the commissions sums up a lot. So at least at first I´ll start with 1 or 2 micros. Right now I don´t want to make big money but at least want to stay alive for another trading day. The only time where I go with 4 micros and works pretty well for me is when the chart goes parabollic, I wait for the pullback or rebound (depending long or short) and I can grab 4/5 ticks. From statistics I have 60% of success doing that.

I understand the commission with 5 micro accounts will go higher than one ES contract. What I have been practicing is to stay in the game everyday. I have learnt that everyday we see plenty of opportunities and we only need one or two good trades. Try to put a target for every day like 5 points on ES . It can be with micro or mini. If you consistently achieve this over a period of 2 months, you can jump one contract.

Start with 2 micro ES , trade for 2 months until it becomes a second habit . Close for the day if you hit 5 ES points . The fear of loss can only be reduced with smaller contracts.

Good luck !

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bobwest View Post
Use several times the minimum margin. Always do this when trading futures, no matter the contract, and especially if you are using one of the brokers that emphasize small margins.

They know that "you only have to deposit x amount to trade" is a draw to bring in traders who don't have much, but it's not that good an idea for the traders, because it leaves them too thinly funded and too vulnerable to blowing up the account. If you can't manage enough margin, then either reduce your number of contracts or save up some more.

How much is "several times the minimum?" Well, decide what will let you be totally unconcerned about the whole question, and then use more than that.

When you have more experience, you can look at the question again, but start out being very conservative.

By the way, it is also a good idea to recognize in advance that blowing an account may happen no matter what you do, which is a common learning experience. This is not negative thinking, it's realism. And not the end of the world, just a pause. Losses are feedback from reality that something is off, which is good to know.

Another idea is to start a trade journal here, with as objective a self-review of your trading as you can manage. Look at a few journals that are currently active and see if the idea appeals to you. It may help, or, of course, it may not. But many people have benefited from doing it. You will get feedback from others if you want it, and it will be constructive.

Good luck.

Bob.


Hi Bob, hope you are well! I took note of your Journal idea in regards to your above quote. I am new here and glad I read you mentioned the Journals. In your opinion, should I search by views to find the best strategies available? I definitely want a 1:3 R/R minimum strategy, but there seems to be so many journals, and seeing which is the best strategies for a daytrader in the morning hours. Looking to trade 1 /ES contract with a profit target anywhere for 3 to 10 points per day.

Any help will be greatly appreciated, and I look forward to hearing from you.

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  #49 (permalink)
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What is your balance? If you used 5-10 micro contracts and your balance is big enough you can ride out the bearish reversal until it reverses back to bullish and at worst you can profit 1.5+ ticks if your worried it won’t get to your tick goal (volume is now low). You could use this strategy for 2 micro contracts with less risk and more leverage.


arielalejandro View Post
Yeah, the problem of trading 5 or more micros and still having constant looses are that on top of that, the commissions sums up a lot. So at least at first I´ll start with 1 or 2 micros. Right now I don´t want to make big money but at least want to stay alive for another trading day. The only time where I go with 4 micros and works pretty well for me is when the chart goes parabollic, I wait for the pullback or rebound (depending long or short) and I can grab 4/5 ticks. From statistics I have 60% of success doing that.


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Actually I don't want to use that much of contracts yet. I'm realistic and I know that I won't have a 10k account so I prefer to go with 2 micros at most so I can have either more room to wait the price action develops to direction of my idea or just to take more losses and still be alive. Of course too many looses in a row will stop me and put me back on the sim and thinking what was wrong.
forestcall View Post
What is your balance? If you used 5-10 micro contracts and your balance is big enough you can ride out the bearish reversal until it reverses back to bullish and at worst you can profit 1.5+ ticks if your worried it won’t get to your tick goal (volume is now low). You could use this strategy for 2 micro contracts with less risk and more leverage.

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cashman View Post
Hi Bob, hope you are well! I took note of your Journal idea in regards to your above quote. I am new here and glad I read you mentioned the Journals. In your opinion, should I search by views to find the best strategies available? I definitely want a 1:3 R/R minimum strategy, but there seems to be so many journals, and seeing which is the best strategies for a daytrader in the morning hours. Looking to trade 1 /ES contract with a profit target anywhere for 3 to 10 points per day.

Any help will be greatly appreciated, and I look forward to hearing from you.

Actually, the point I was making about journals was that if someone wanted to develop their own trading, they should start a journal of their trades, and use the documentation and self-criticism of their own trading decisions to improve them. In other words, do it yourself.

I think there is some value in reading other people's journals because you can, of course, always learn from others, and especially about the common issues that all traders have, which are mainly about personal discipline and the psychological issues of trading.

I think there is only a little value, if any, in looking for someone else's strategy to copy, if that's what you're asking.

You will find that there are roughly two billion ways to trade the markets (maybe three). You will also find that most traders struggle, and if you stay with it you will struggle too, for the same reasons -- which have very little to do with technique, and almost only to do with personal self-discipline in the face of risk.

Good luck, but don't go looking for the answer in someone's method. You do have to have a method, but that's just the start. Pick something that seems reasonable to you and trade it, and see how it goes. Refine as you go, and notice what you have to address in order to correct your own decision-making.

Bob.

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-- Cervantes, Don Quixote
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I doubt there are 2 or 3 billion ways to trade the market. A strategy still needs an edge, and the edge cannot purely come from discipline to follow the strategy.


bobwest View Post
Actually, the point I was making about journals was that if someone wanted to develop their own trading, they should start a journal of their trades, and use the documentation and self-criticism of their own trading decisions to improve them. In other words, do it yourself.

I think there is some value in reading other people's journals because you can, of course, always learn from others, and especially about the common issues that all traders have, which are mainly about personal discipline and the psychological issues of trading.

I think there is only a little value, if any, in looking for someone else's strategy to copy, if that's what you're asking.

You will find that there are roughly two billion ways to trade the markets (maybe three). You will also find that most traders struggle, and if you stay with it you will struggle too, for the same reasons -- which have very little to do with technique, and almost only to do with personal self-discipline in the face of risk.

Good luck, but don't go looking for the answer in someone's method. You do have to have a method, but that's just the start. Pick something that seems reasonable to you and trade it, and see how it goes. Refine as you go, and notice what you have to address in order to correct your own decision-making.

Bob.

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planetkill View Post
I doubt there are 2 or 3 billion ways to trade the market. A strategy still needs an edge, and the edge cannot purely come from discipline to follow the strategy.

You are right, but I was making a definite point, and it was not about edges.

The person I responded to asked about which journals to look for, in order to find the right way to trade. I advised him not to do that. You are not going to find an edge that way. You are going to find it by starting with something that makes sense to you and working with it, until you either have made it work or until you have changed it or until you abandon it. So the point of journals is to journal your own work, not to look to others' journals for the answer.

I read most of the journal posts here, and have done so for a long time. I see many traders struggle using methods that others to do well with (and there are many methods that have worked, for some but not others.) In fact, I would say that the majority of posters here who reveal their trading are actually using something that could work, but it doesn't because of their execution. Their struggles are almost always of the sort of "Why did I do that?" or "Why can't I just follow my rules?"

So I advised his either starting his own journal and beginning the process, or at least not looking for someone else's answer.

This was my point.

Bob.

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  #54 (permalink)
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I agree with everything you said. A trader needs to start somewhere, and tweak their methods from there. But the question is what is the best starting method? They can't all be equal, some are much stronger than others. For example there was a recent post about someone asking about scalping for 5-10 ticks with an 80 tick stop loss. Most replies flat out dismissed this as a feasible strategy.

Sure a trader can grind it out and learn exclusively from their own mistakes. But why can't a trader learn from other's mistakes?

In terms of not having discipline to stick to your own strategy... this one is very tricky. You don't know if your current plan has an edge or not. It's constantly evolving. Some losing trades are from not being disciplined, some are natural as part of the edge. Perhaps the best option is to just pick a strategy and live trade it for a month. After the month, adjust for errors, and decide if there is an edge or not.


bobwest View Post
You are right, but I was making a definite point, and it was not about edges.

The person I responded to asked about which journals to look for, in order to find the right way to trade. I advised him not to do that. You are not going to find an edge that way. You are going to find it by starting with something that makes sense to you and working with it, until you either have made it work or until you have changed it or until you abandon it. So the point of journals is to journal your own work, not to look to others' journals for the answer.

I read most of the journal posts here, and have done so for a long time. I see many traders struggle using methods that others to do well with (and there are many methods that have worked, for some but not others.) In fact, I would say that the majority of posters here who reveal their trading are actually using something that could work, but it doesn't because of their execution. Their struggles are almost always of the sort of "Why did I do that?" or "Why can't I just follow my rules?"

So I advised his either starting his own journal and beginning the process, or at least not looking for someone else's answer.

This was my point.

Bob.

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  #55 (permalink)
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planetkill View Post
I agree with everything you said. A trader needs to start somewhere, and tweak their methods from there. But the question is what is the best starting method? They can't all be equal, some are much stronger than others. For example there was a recent post about someone asking about scalping for 5-10 ticks with an 80 tick stop loss. Most replies flat out dismissed this as a feasible strategy.

Sure a trader can grind it out and learn exclusively from their own mistakes. But why can't a trader learn from other's mistakes?

We're not really disagreeing here, are we?


He was asking how to best search through all the trading journals to find the best strategy to trade. I was suggesting that he use journals and journaling differently.

All this started from my suggesting to the thread starter that he might benefit from journaling his trades. Then came the question from another user about how to find the best strategy by searching for it in the journals, and I advised him not to do that. This is the reason it went in the direction it did.

That's all.

I learn from others all the time, at least I hope to.

Bob.

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  #56 (permalink)
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Sounds like we agree. I was just writing my own thoughts in general, which I see now is off topic from the OP, which I didn't even read.

bobwest View Post
We're not really disagreeing here, are we?


He was asking how to best search through all the trading journals to find the best strategy to trade. I was suggesting that he use journals and journaling differently.

All this started from my suggesting to the thread starter that he might benefit from journaling his trades. Then came the question from another user about how to find the best strategy by searching for it in the journals, and I advised him not to do that. This is the reason it went in the direction it did.

That's all.

I learn from others all the time, at least I hope to.

Bob.

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  #57 (permalink)
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If you are disciplined and have at least the equivalent of $2,000 USD you don't need a combine/gauntlet/evaluator...etc . Most of these companies have rules designed for them not you.

Trade in Sim for 20 days straight.

Then answer the following questions:

1) What is my MAX DD? >> It should be not more than 10% , ideally not more than 6%
2) What is my Reward:Risk ratio per trade >> it should be at least 2:1
3) Compute your win rate and expectancy. Is your expectancy positive after commissions?
4) How much did you risk per trade? It should be not more than 2% of your account. I recommend .5%-1%
5) Do I have an edge? if yes write it down and see if it makes sense.
6) Do I have a robust statistical trading process? If yes write it down and see if it makes sense.

Testing:

1) Monte Carlo Test: 10 test runs of 10,000 trials each with parameters from steps #2 and #4 for R:R and trade size.
Plug in your win rate. Using 100 trials per run you may get better results on some runs
but the variance of the results will likely be greater. 10,000 trials will give you more reliable results.

2) Backtest: Find Correct Sample Space Sizes, Organize Sample Spaces by Regime,
Test for overfitting using PBO (Probability of Backtest Overfitting).
To help reduce the PBO and confounding factors use
Purged Cross-Validation Testing with Data Embargo (as needed)

3) Variance Test

4) Noise test

If all your tests pass (i.e. MAX DD is in the acceptable range), you are ready to trade 1 MES contract live.
After 30 live trades evaluate your MAX DD, Average MFE/MAE and Reward:Risk ratio.
If they are acceptable then move to trading 2 MES contracts live...etc

Some Monte Carlo Test output examples of 1 test run with 100 trials and 1 test run with 10,000 trials using parameters
specified in Steps #2 and #4 and evaluation based on Step #1 . (I used a 60% win rate for both test runs)



Monte Caro- 100 trades


Monte Carlo 100 Trades Equity Curve


Monte Carlo Testing


Monte Carlo Equity Curve

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Wow! Thanks for such an answer.
Which software are you using for running the tests? Unfortunately I don't have experience in trading doing that but I understand what you propose.
Analytic View Post
If you are disciplined and have at least the equivalent of $2,000 USD you don't need a combine/gauntlet/evaluator...etc . Most of these companies have rules designed for them not you.

Trade in Sim for 20 days straight.

Then answer the following questions:

1) What is my MAX DD? >> It should be not more than 10% , ideally not more than 6%
2) What is my Reward:Risk ratio per trade >> it should be at least 2:1
3) Compute your win rate and expectancy. Is your expectancy positive after commissions?
4) How much did you risk per trade? It should be not more than 2% of your account. I recommend .5%-1%
5) Do I have an edge? if yes write it down and see if it makes sense.
6) Do I have a robust statistical trading process? If yes write it down and see if it makes sense.

Testing:

1) Monte Carlo Test: 10 test runs of 10,000 trials each with parameters from steps #2 and #4 for R:R and trade size.
Plug in your win rate. Using 100 trials per run you may get better results on some runs
but the variance of the results will likely be greater. 10,000 trials will give you more reliable results.

2) Backtest: Find Correct Sample Space Sizes, Organize Sample Spaces by Regime,
Test for overfitting using PBO (Probability of Backtest Overfitting).
To help reduce the PBO and confounding factors use
Purged Cross-Validation Testing with Data Embargo (as needed)

3) Variance Test

4) Noise test

If all your tests pass (i.e. MAX DD is in the acceptable range), you are ready to trade 1 MES contract live.
After 30 live trades evaluate your MAX DD, Average MFE/MAE and Reward:Risk ratio.
If they are acceptable then move to trading 2 MES contracts live...etc

Some Monte Carlo Test output examples of 1 test run with 100 trials and 1 test run with 10,000 trials using parameters
specified in Steps #2 and #4 and evaluation based on Step #1 . (I used a 60% win rate for both test runs)



Monte Caro- 100 trades


Monte Carlo 100 Trades Equity Curve


Monte Carlo Testing


Monte Carlo Equity Curve

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arielalejandro View Post
Wow! Thanks for such an answer.
Which software are you using for running the tests? Unfortunately I don't have experience in trading doing that but I understand what you propose.

Sent using the futures.io mobile app

Monte Carlo Test >> I used an Excel/VBA app that came as part of a trial package to a trading room.
I think there are many good Excel/VBA Monte Carlo applications you can find.

BackTest >> I think you need to write your own program here. At least you probably need to prepare the data yourself before using
an 'off the shelf' backtesting program like https://strategyquant.com/

Variance Test, Noise Test >> Check out https://www.buildalpha.com/features/

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Córdoba
 
 
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Analytic View Post
Monte Carlo Test >> I used an Excel/VBA app that came as part of a trial package to a trading room.
I think there are many good Excel/VBA Monte Carlo applications you can find.

BackTest >> I think you need to write your own program here. At least you probably need to prepare the data yourself before using
an 'off the shelf' backtesting program like https://strategyquant.com/

Variance Test, Noise Test >> Check out https://www.buildalpha.com/features/

Great, thank you very much!

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  #61 (permalink)
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Analytic View Post
If you are disciplined and have at least the equivalent of $2,000 USD you don't need a combine/gauntlet/evaluator...etc . Most of these companies have rules designed for them not you.

Trade in Sim for 20 days straight.

Then answer the following questions:

1) What is my MAX DD? >> It should be not more than 10% , ideally not more than 6%
2) What is my Reward:Risk ratio per trade >> it should be at least 2:1
3) Compute your win rate and expectancy. Is your expectancy positive after commissions?
4) How much did you risk per trade? It should be not more than 2% of your account. I recommend .5%-1%
5) Do I have an edge? if yes write it down and see if it makes sense.
6) Do I have a robust statistical trading process? If yes write it down and see if it makes sense.

Where may I ask, did you get the Monte Carlo app? Is it something that comes with the platform you trade on?

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  #62 (permalink)
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A gentle reminder that things are starting to drift off the topic of this thread, which is "Micro account vs Funded account."

This happens with threads and we all do it, but let's just drift back to the original topic.

Other topics can be taken up in other threads. This keeps things better organized and the forum more useful to more members.

Thanks.

Bob.

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Tiffsgreta View Post
Where may I ask, did you get the Monte Carlo app? Is it something that comes with the platform you trade on?

No. it's a standalone Excel app. I got it from a trading room trial package I bought awhile back.

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  #64 (permalink)
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the money management and discipline reinforcement of the combine are helpful , but at the end of the day your training in sim . i think you should take a combine just for the experience then move to a broker where you can lock down your trading platform after you reach your daily , weekly, and monthly loss limits. trading micro contracts . many traders will blow out there accounts on a bad day or week of trading. if you can stop that from happening and be happy with just braking even , making money will come sooner rater than later .

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  #65 (permalink)
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This is VERY good advice. In fact as a full-time trader, I do this. I moved from NinjaTrader to Tradovate + TradingView and inside Tradovate is this shut off feature.
Where I live in Japan, deep in the mountains food and living costs are very low. Many local farmers sell veggies and fruits at low prices. Our house mortgage is $70. For tax write-offs we leased 2 cars and we created a health food restaurant and pay roughly $2k a month for the leases/loan. The restaurant and the cars were part of a tax strategy since Japan has a 20% income tax on investments.

The point of this story is I set my daily take profit to $300 and have the software stop the account. I easily can make $800-$1000 in a day. But for a $1k profit, I need to make risky trades which always leads to $500+ loss days (bad days). I have multiple accounts so if I really want to trade more I log-into a different account. However, with this $300 a day CAP I have re-kindled my daily stock trading, and jump over to stocks and I have been making some good moves with small to big runners, where I hold until I hit the perceived daily high and sell. With the stocks, I never lose money because I put in a stop loss for the opening price.

I would suggest asking yourself --- "Self? How much money do I need, like really need, in order to pay my bills and keep $500-$1000 in my pocket?"


forgiven View Post
the money management and discipline reinforcement of the combine are helpful , but at the end of the day your training in sim . i think you should take a combine just for the experience then move to a broker where you can lock down your trading platform after you reach your daily , weekly, and monthly loss limits. trading micro contracts . many traders will blow out there accounts on a bad day or week of trading. if you can stop that from happening and be happy with just braking even , making money will come sooner rater than later .


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  #66 (permalink)
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Go for the micro account and build your way up to a mini account. I think this is especially useful if you are trading a strategy where you need multiple contracts working in the market.

You can actually turn a fairly decent profit trading micros without risking too much money or needing a large account. I've moved down to trading micros for my strategy I'm using in MNQ.

It allows me a ton of psychological breathing room as I play with the fire of volatility. I will trade this strategy in the regular NQ in a few weeks. My average winning day is around 200-400 ticks, my losing days are minuscule. I'm able to slam the market with contracts in ways that I'm not prepared to with the regular NQ.

I know that when I am ready to do so, that there's 10 times as much money waiting on me, and 10 times as much risk, but that is the game. Right now, the $100-$200 I'm taking from MNQ/day is enough LIVE 'practice' and will pad my account for when I move back up to NQ.

Before, I was scalping tiny bits of profits on each NQ trade, now I'm taking no less than 15-25+ ticks, and firing more contracts when the action picks up.

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