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Now something similar can be done on shorter term as well.
Of course some people prefer to use breadth indicators instead.
There are really a million and one ways to do this, the important thing is to find one that you like and can "relate" to, and do some research on it and get to know it. Then add it to your war chest...
Due to time constraints, please do not PM me if your question can be resolved or answered on the forum.
Need help? 1) Stop changing things. No new indicators, charts, or methods. Be consistent with what is in front of you first. 2) Start a journal and post to it daily with the trades you made to show your strengths and weaknesses. 3) Set goals for yourself to reach daily. Make them about how you trade, not how much money you make. 4) Accept responsibility for your actions. Stop looking elsewhere to explain away poor performance. 5) Where to start as a trader? Watch this webinar and read this thread for hundreds of questions and answers. 6) Help using the forum? Watch this video to learn general tips on using the site.
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Unlike the majority of the time when we have a choppy directionless trade, we have been handed a 5 point trading range in the crude and a 35 point trading range in the ES. Special day, special markets - it's what you live for and wait for as trader. So it seems completely counter-intuitive to me to "shut down" when you're are trading good. If you are trading poorly or the market has degraded into chop, I can understand shutting down. 80 tics is a nice day - Congratulations! If you continued to trade you could have given it back, and then some; but then again you could have made 800 tics.
It O.K. to presuppose market direction and volatility, as long as you are adaptable, and can react quickly, appropriately, and efficiently to change. If you don't have an opinion, however, it's much easier to assess the correlation between what you are observing and what objectively exists This way, you will know what you should do, not what you want to do.
At the heart of most traders' difficulties is not their methodology, but their emotional quotient. The fact that you bare your soul through introspection and self-analysis is very gutsy and brave, but you cannot allow this exercise to turn into a "flight into reason" where the emphasis is on "facts and logic", while avoiding the emotions that drive you decisions.
Experienced traders receive valuable physical and emotional signals that help guide them in their decision making. When most members of this board make the switch from SIM to LIVE, they experience inherent anxiety, (greed/fear), and a myriad of other cognitive rationalizations that override the emotional signals that guide good decision making. It is this temporary lack of access to these signals that leads them to making impulsive or less than favorable decisions when they are LIVE.
In other words, it has felt exceptionally good every time they have had a winning trade. so, when they are in a profitable trade, it activates feelings associated with previous experiences with winning trades. It feels good to be up money so they are already predisposed to get out of the trade,( before it turns into a loser), so they can enjoy the positive feeling. Their decision to get out of the trade is not based on the rational process of risk/reward or money management, rather than the feeling state mixed with the perception of a winning trade.
Yeah, it felt good to quit for the day when you're up 80tics, and it feels good to protect your profits, when you get out of trades too early. But the longer you adhere to these impulses, the more pre-disposed you are to continuing it. Without adjusting your emotions, thoughts and beahviors, it doesn't matter how good your methodology is, because you will instinctively do the wrong thing.
It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change." - Charles Darwin
Last edited by tigertrader; August 1st, 2011 at 03:21 PM.
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That was a nice soliloquy, very eloquent. So, what is your advice exactly, to the poster? What tangible steps can he take to actually realize the the moral of this most eloquent post, to make him a better trader?
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I feel bad when I follow my rules, have particular targets in mind, take the trade and then "protect profits" to early. I feel bad when I follow my rules, wait for a trade, then pass on it irregardless of its eventual outcome.
I DO NOT feel bad when I follow my rules, put my targets in, irregardless of what they are and hold my trade to its conclusion. Either stop or target. I was asked today by a trading buddy..."I bet you're pretty happy right now?" And the answer was not really. I just felt like I had done the job I set out to do today. Nothing more, nothing less.
So what if I quit at 80 ticks. The trend could have been over at that point and I would spend the rest of the day giving back. That's the uncertainty of the market. Its easy to judge in hindsight. I don't care at all that it continued on for quite a while. I got what I came for. On the other side of this coin, had I followed my rules and then passed on the trades and price did what it did, I would be pissed at myself. But for the sole reason of having not taken the trades. It has nothing to do with 80 ticks or 800 ticks. The only question I have to answer for myself each day is this.... Did I trade well given the current state of my journey? That's it.
If I was aware of my emotions at the time of each trade, did not allow them to overcome the rational thought process with regards to my trade plan for the day and allowed each trade to play out, then the answer is yes. If not, then the answer is no.
Today the answer is yes.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci
Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
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Az is an intelligent person. He realizes the difference between proper technique and improper technique, but allows his impulses to guide his actions. Then, it's a classic case of cognitive dissonance/adaptive preference formation.
So what if I quit at 80 ticks. The trend could have been over at that point and I would spend the rest of the day giving back. That's the uncertainty of the market. Its easy to judge in hindsight. I don't care at all that it continued on for quite a while. I got what I came for.
He does something"wrong" and acknowledges that fact, but then proceeds to somehow explain it away and justify his actions.Very inhibiting, if not destructive behavior for a trader. He needs to be honest with himself, and acknowledge his pattern of behavior. He needs to place as much, if not more, emphasis on the emotional/cognitive aspects of trading, than on methodology, markets, and money management.
Last edited by tigertrader; August 1st, 2011 at 04:02 PM.
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I hope you don't mine me adding my opinion, but I would have to agree totally with Tigertrader. It seems to me that PW is lacking confidence either in his methodology or with himself the trader. I agree, these are the days we wait for and take full advantage of it and take all you can get because not everyday is like today. An experienced trader is confident in his method and himself that when he sees a valid trade, meaning everything lines up and is a high prob trade he pulls the trigger without hesitation, it's like being a machine. To break the ice what may be best would be to only take your best trade, what I call my "Type A" setup. And I would recommend a minimum r/r of 2/1. Meaning if your willing to risk 10 ticks, your profit should not be less than 20 ticks for example. The CL market will normally move 30 to 40 ticks in the correct swing or wave. Tigertrader hit the nail on the head "Fear & Greed" are the two main emotions in this business and if you can't control them it will be difficult to survive in this business.
The following user says Thank You to Rainmaker for this post:
I don't disagree with this statement. I have had extreme reluctance to trade due to a lack of skill. Then as I recognized its both skill and emotional, I focused on finding a method that more or less suited my personality. Now that I am more or less settled on something, I am focusing on the skill mastery portion of it and that is gradually increasing my confidence. I wish I could make the jump from novice to master as quickly as some would like me to. Sorry, I have to this at my own pace.
On this list of the stages of trading, I am in between stage 3 and 4. I recognize its me that is the secret and I am profitable enough to be mostly break even.
I guess I wonder how I could have traded better today in light of all the advice? Should I have let the trades run out to infinity? I've never done that. I'm not a home run hitter. Currently I am trying to hit for average. Ala Tony Gwyn of the Padres. Not a single trade today was less than 2:1. Granted they could have been 3:1 or better. I have no way of knowing that and neither does anyone else. I guess I have no idea what I could have done different to please @ Tigertrader. He says I justify irrational action. Well maybe, I am still learning to be at peace with uncertainty. To me trading is the trade off between objective set ups and subjective uncertainty about will happen next. At this point in my career, I am both comfortable with progress in this area but yet I realize there is much more to learn and do.
As I stated in the opening post, this journal will be more about the emotional and mental aspect of trading than any particular set up or method.
I am reposting something I found on the forum a long time ago. I copied and kept it for later reference.
The 5 Steps to becoming a trader
Step One: Unconscious Incompetence.
This is the first step you take when starting to look into trading. you know that its a good way of making money because you've heard so many things about it and heard of so many millionaires. Unfortunately, just like when you first desire to drive a car you think it will be easy - after all, how hard can it be? Price either moves up or down - what's the big secret to that then - lets get cracking!
Unfortunately, just as when you first take your place in front of a steering wheel you find very quickly that you haven't got the first clue about what you're trying to do. You take lots of trades and lots of risks. When you enter a trade it turns against you so you reverse and it turns again .. and again, and again.
You may have initial success, and thats even worse - cos it tells your brain that this really is simple and you start to risk more money.
You try to turn around your losses by doubling up every time you trade. Sometimes you'll get away with it but more often than not you will come away scathed and bruised You are totally oblivious to your incompetence at trading.
This step can last for a week or two of trading but the market is usually swift and you move onth the next stage.
Step Two - Conscious Incompetence
Step two is where you realise that there is more work involved in trading and that you might actually have to work a few things out. You consciously realise that you are an incompetent trader - you don't have the skills or the insight to turn a regular profit.
You now set about buying systems and e-books galore, read websites based everywhere from USA to the Ukraine. and begin your search for the holy grail. During this time you will be a system nomad - you will flick from method to method day by day and week by week never sticking with one long enough to actually see if it does work. Every time you come upon a new indicator you'll be ecstatic that this is the one that will make all the difference.
You will test out automated systems on Metatrader, you'll play with moving averages, Fibonacci lines, support & resistance, Pivots, Fractals, Divergence, DMI, ADX, and a hundred other things all in the vein hope that your 'magic system' starts today. You'll be a top and bottom picker, trying to find the exact point of reversal with your indicators and you'll find yourself chasing losing trades and even adding to them because you are so sure you are right.
You'll go into the live chat room and see other traders making pips and you want to know why it's not you - you'll ask a million questions, some of which are so dumb that looking back you feel a bit silly. You'll then reach the point where you think all the ones who are calling pips after pips are liars - they cant be making that amount because you've studied and you don't make that, you know as much as they do and they must be lying. But they're in there day after day and their account just grows whilst yours falls.
You will be like a teenager - the traders that make money will freely give you advice but you're stubborn and think that you know best - you take no notice and overtrade your account even though everyone says you are mad to - but you know better. You'll consider following the calls that others make but even then it wont work so you try paying for signals from someone else - they don't work for you either.
You might even approach a 'guru' like Rob Booker or someone on a chat board who promises to make you into a trader(usually for a fee of course). Whether the guru is good or not you wont win because there is no replacement for screen time and you still think you know best.
This step can last ages and ages - in fact in reality talking with other traders as well as personal experience confirms that it can easily last well over a year and more nearer 3 years. This is also the step when you are most likely to give up through sheer frustration.
Around 60% of new traders die out in the first 3 months - they give up and this is good - think about it - if trading was easy we would all be millionaires. another 20% keep going for a year and then in desperation take risks guaranteed to blow their account which of course it does.
What may suprise you is that of the remaining 20% all of them will last around 3 years - and they will think they are safe in the water - but even at 3 years only a further 5-10% will continue and go on to actually make money consistently.
By the way - they are real figures, not just some ive picked out of my head - so when you get to 3 years in the game dont think its plain sailing from there.
Iv had many people argue with me about these timescales - funny enough none of them have been trading for more that 3 years - if you think you know better then ask on a board for someone who's been trading 5 years and ask them how long it takes to become fully 100% proficient. Sure i guess there will be exceptions to the rle - but i havent met any yet.
Eventually you do begin to come out of this phase. You've probably committed more time and money than you ever thought you would, lost 2 or 3 loaded accounts and all but given up maybe 3 or 4 times but now its in your blood
One day - im a split second moment you will enter stage 3.
Step 3 - The Eureka Moment
Towards the end of stage two you begin to realise that it's not the system that is making the difference. You realise that its actually possible to make money with a simple moving average and nothing else IF you can get your head and money management right You start to read books on the psychology of trading and identify with the characters portrayed in those books and finally comes the eureka moment.
The eureka moment causes a new connection to be made in your brain. You suddenly realise that neither you, nor anyone else can accurately predict what the market will do in the next ten seconds, never mind the next 20 mins.
Because of this revelation you stop taking any notice of what anyone thinks - what this news item will do, and what that event will do to the markets. You become an individual with your own method of trading
You start to work just one system that you mould to your own way of trading, you're starting to get happy and you define your risk threshold.
You start to take every trade that your 'edge' shows has a good probability of winning with. When the trade turns bad you don't get angry or even because you know in your head that as you couldn't possibly predict it it isn't your fault - as soon as you realise that the trade is bad you close it . The next trade or the one after it or the one after that will have higher odds of success because you know your system works.
You stop looking at trading results from a trade-to-trade perspective and start to look at weekly figures knowing that one bad trade does not a poor system make.
You have realised in an instant that the trading game is about one thing - consistency of your 'edge' and your discipline to take all the trades no matter what as you know the probabilities stack in your favour.
You learn about proper money management and leverage - risk of account etc etc - and this time it actually soaks in and you think back to those who advised the same thing a year ago with a smile. You weren't ready then, but you are now. The eureka moment came the moment that you truly accepted that you cannot predict the market.
Step 4 - Conscious Competence
You are making trades whenever your system tells you to. You take losses just as easily as you take wins You now let your winners run to their conclusion fully accepting the risk and knowing that your system makes more money than it looses and when you're on a loser you close it swiftly with little pain to your account
You are now at a point where you break even most of the time - day in day out, you will have weeks where you make 100 pips and weeks where you lose 100 pips - generally you are breaking even and not losing money. You are now conscious of the fact that you are making calls that are generally good and you are getting respect from other traders as you chat the day away. You still have to work at it and think about your trades but as this continues you begin to make more money than you lose consistently.
You'll start the day on a 20 pip win, take a 35 pip loss and have no feelings that you've given those pips back because you know that it will come back again. You will now begin to make consistent pips week in and week out 25 pips one week, 50 the next and so on.
This lasts about 6 months
Step Five - Unconscious Competence
Now we’re cooking - just like driving a car, every day you get in your seat and trade - you do everything now on an unconscious level. You are running on autopilot. You start to pick the really big trades and getting 200 pips in a day doesnt make you any more excited that getting 1 pips.
You see the newbies in the forum shouting 'go dollar go' as if they are urging on a horse to win in the grand national and you see yourself - but many years ago now.
This is trading utopia - you have mastered your emotions and you are now a trader with a rapidly growing account.
You're a star in the trading chat room and people listen to what you say. You recognise yourself in their questions from about two years ago. You pass on your advice but you know most of it is futile because they're teenagers - some of them will get to where you are - some will do it fast and others will be slower - literally dozens and dozens will never get past stage two, but a few will.
Trading is no longer exciting - in fact it's probably boring you to bits - like everything in life when you get good at it or do it for your job - it gets boring - you're doing your job and that's that.
Finally you grow out of the chat rooms and find a few choice people who you converse with about the markets without being influenced at all.
All the time you are honing your methods to extract the maximum profit from the market without increasing risk. Your method of trading doesnt change - it just gets better - you now have what women call 'intuition'
You can now say with your head held high "I'm a currency trader" but to be honest you dont even bother telling anyone - it's a job like any other.
I hope youve enjoyed reading this journey into a traders mind and that hopefully youve identified with some points in here.
Remember that only 5% will actually make it - but the reason for that isnt ability, its staying power and the ability to change your perceptions and paradigms as new information comes available.
The losers are those who wanted to 'get rich quick' but approached the market and within 6 months put on a pair of blinkers so they couldnt see the obvious - a kind of "this is the way i see it and thats that" scenario - refusing to assimilate new information that changes that perception.
Im happy to tell you that the reason i started trading was because of the 'get rich quick' mindset. Just that now i see it as 'get rich slow'
If youre thinking about giving up i have one piece of advice for you ....
Ask yourself the question "how many years would you go to college if you knew for a fact that there was a million dollars a year job at the end of it?
I am currently studying both fixed fractional and fixed ratio money management. I will make a decision soon about which one to use. I am also reading about the "science" of fear and how our bodies and brains react to stimuli it considers dangerous. So far, I've just begun this little journey but already I see my trading tracking the various levels of fear based reactions. I suspect through this study, I may end up with better ways of dealing with fear and greed.
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci
Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
The following 16 users say Thank You to PandaWarrior for this post:
Thanks for reposting those trading steps. I've seen those a few times over the years and each time I read them, I see something new. Recognizing myself at embarrassing points of immaturity basically.
From my perspective, the only thing you did "wrong" today is deciding to stop trading. Today was a great trending day that gave opportunities for 3-4 times the profit you actually booked. Now you're correct, you can't know that in advance. But if your trading system says that each time XYZ setup occurs, you're more likely to make a few ticks than to lose, then you'd trade every setup without regard to how much you'd won or lost previously in the day. This is part of the emotional detachment that comes from moving into steps 4-5 I think.
It's interesting that I read this post when I did because I just got done reviewing the day's trades and realizing that I left a ton of profits on the table by arbitrarily stopping early in the day (even though I was just paper trading today, it's still an eye-opening realization). So obviously I haven't overcome this drawback myself.
Started researching the subject a while ago, because I take Parkinson's medication. The drug acutely affects my Dopamine levels and has had a profound effect on my ability to make decisions and on my behavior. I found it helpful to understand what was happening to me on neurological level, so that I could deal with it's effects.
You might find the attached doc interesting.
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