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Excited and scared at the same time


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Excited and scared at the same time

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  #1 (permalink)
Evansville, IN
 
 
Posts: 8 since Aug 2020
Thanks: 5 given, 3 received

Hey all,

New to this community and new to trading in general and looking for some advice.

I ďdiscoveredĒ trading just a month ago and ever since then, its all I think about. I have a unique personality (borderline obsessive) where I tend to get hooked on something and dive in headfirst and let a subject dictate my day.

Iíve went through multiple courses, read multiple books, watched dozens of hours of YouTube videos and consumed everything else I could get my hands on.

At some point, I realized I like futures especially the ES minis. I liked the ability to make serious $ for every single tick. The ES also feels less volatile and ďsaferĒ if you can even say that.

After some time after trying various strategies and brokers, Iíve decided I enjoy fast-paced day trading via scalping. Iím self-employed and have time in the mornings to trade.

I have $20K to trade with and, luckily, I can afford to lose it if I have to. Iím not gambling with my life savings.

Iíve been paper trading every day for a few weeks and using a simulator on Sat and Sun when I canít paper trade. During this time, Iíve managed to have a win percentage of 90%+ and can easily net $2K+ with my $20K paper account.

Iím going to start for reals tomorrow but Iím nervous. Because I have had such success with paper trading, I know my strategy works and I can make some serious $ doing this but I find myself thinking ďThis is too easy. There has to be a catch.Ē

Iím sure things will change when Iím using real money so I want to go in with a clear head.

Any advice for someone in my position?

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  #2 (permalink)
Market Wizard
Knoxville, TN/USA
 
Experience: Beginner
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Trading: ES
 
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I'm sure you'll get more detailed advice from some of the more seasoned "live" traders on this forum. That being said, I would forget about the $ aspect and trade the micro ES and focus on the process. Master your plan and exercise good $/risk management while working through the new psychological issues of being live with real $.

This is what I'm working on now, and I've been at it for a long time. Everyone is different, risk taking doesn't come easy for me so I've really taken it slow.

The person/system for scalping I learned from states in his daily videos that this takes years for most people, he compares it to becoming a doctor or walking on the field and going to bat against a MLB pitcher.

Good luck and hope it all works for you!

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  #3 (permalink)
Site Moderator
Sarasota FL
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Sierra Chart
Trading: ES, YM
 
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adbertram View Post
Iím sure things will change when Iím using real money so I want to go in with a clear head.

Any advice for someone in my position?

Totally reasonable to be both excited and scared. I usually am too, every morning when the market opens.

You surely will find that trading with live money is not the same as any amount of paper trading. Paper or simulation trading does not have any true risk, and this is the main emotional issue when traders go live.

If you can keep your objectivity -- at least to a degree -- and trade the same way you traded in sim, you will, of course, do as well as you did in sim. The issue is that it's not that easy to keep your head, and when you lose some money, as you will, your objectivity tends to go far away. It's not at all unusual for a good or great sim trader to have trouble when going live. I'm not saying you will, but if you do, take it as part of the experience and learn whatever the experience gives you.

This is the value of losses. They do, of course, give you some feedback about how your method is working in the current market, but they also give you valuable feedback about how you are working in the market, too.

As well as you can, manage your own emotional involvement, keep to your best execution of the trades that you have practiced, and be sure to control your losses.

There's not a lot more to say now. When you've done your first live day, and your second, and so on, you will have more to go on and can chew over what needs to be changed, and what is just fine and should be kept as it is.

You may want to start a trading journal to record you trades, observations, critiques and discoveries. That would not be in this thread. If you want to try it, start a new thread in the trading journals section. (Or not -- some people find it is helpful, and you may get valuable feedback from others, but other people find it's not their thing. Do what makes sense to you.) You can take a look at some of the existing journals for pointers, and to see if it's for you.

It's great that you're giving this a shot. And remember: be as objective as possible and control your losses. Learn what you can, and improve.

Good luck.

Bob.

When one door closes, another opens.
-- Cervantes, Don Quixote
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  #4 (permalink)
Site Moderator
Sarasota FL
 
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Tripken View Post
I would forget about the $ aspect and trade the micro ES and focus on the process.

I also wanted to point out that this is superb advice. If you haven't already, look at the 'micro" contracts -- in this case, micro ES, the MES -- which have one-tenth the point dollar value of the regular emini contracts (one point in MES = $5.00; one point in ES = $50.00), which means one tenth of the risk in monetary terms. It's a very good way to transition from pure, no-risk sim to higher-risk ES live trading. Everything you learned on ES will still apply, pretty much, but both the profits and losses will be smaller. Both profits and losses can affect your head, by the way. Profits convince you that you're a super, invincible trader (only, you aren't, no one is) and losses convince you that everything is terrible (which it isn't.) So keeping the dollar amounts small is another way to get into this and keep your mental balance.

You will not get rich trading the micros, but you won't go broke (at least not too fast ) either, and it's a bridge between sim and full ES that many find helpful.

Just another thought. You are the only one who can know what you need to do, so don't take advice too seriously, either.

Bob.

When one door closes, another opens.
-- Cervantes, Don Quixote
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  #5 (permalink)
Albuquerque, NM, USA
 
 
Posts: 42 since Jul 2012
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adbertram View Post
Hey all,

I liked the ability to make serious $ for every single tick. The ES also feels less volatile and ďsaferĒ

I have $20K to trade with...

I know my strategy works and I can make some serious $ doing this

Well, there goes $20k...

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  #6 (permalink)
Evansville, IN
 
 
Posts: 8 since Aug 2020
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Thanks, all!

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  #7 (permalink)
Elite_Member
Wiltshire, United Kingdom
 
Experience: Beginner
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Trading: US Equity Index Futures
 
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adbertram View Post
Any advice for someone in my position?

Start with a one lot. This is assuming you are scalping all-in-all-out. With one lot you can still see whether the real orders are filled as easily as your method was filling you in sim using the same market, the ES.
If you have been scaling out then try the MES for multiple contracts though the fills won't be exactly the same being a different product.

When you start small just take what the market gives you. Don't get frustrated with inevitably making "less" initially than you were in sim, both because of using smaller size, and probably due to some nerves when starting live. You are starting small to build confidence in yourself and your method. You can increase size when comfortable with what you are doing.

Make sure you set yourself a maximum number of contracts and stick to that. Don't double down on a losing trade to get back to breakeven. It will work a couple of times, then it won't work and you will lose badly. Ideally your broker has the option to set a contract size limit and maximum Daily Drawdown on your account. It's like a seatbelt in a car, if it is available, use it.

If things don't go as well as expected don't try to revenge trade it back. Stop and work out what the problem is and then how you are going to do to fix it.
Just my 2cents. Good luck.

Trading, ideally structured, is a vehicle for expanding consciousness, not damaging it. - Brett Steenbarger
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