So I've blown two trading accounts and taken some pretty heavy losses in the last couple of years. Now after a break for a few months I'm ready to delve into the depths and address
My fear of losing
My lack of discipline
My beliefs around money
For over a year I SIM traded OIL Futures (CL) using Ninja trader and the final 6 months showed consistent profits. So I took the leap and began trading live which is a whole new ball game. I wasn't prepared for the emotional rollercoaster I found myself on, chasing losses, panicking, straying from my plan and the anger and upset this all resulted in. Now I'm here, about to make a fresh start and understanding that my system worked well but I didn't!
I'm reading "Trade your way to financial freedom" by Van Tharp at the moment. My next steps include setting goals with timelines and and starting again with testing a system which includes
Multiples of R
Position Sizing Expectancy
I understand I can work on the technical aspects forever and have a perfectly working SIM trading system but insights are the best learning for me. Any assistance and guidance towards insight would be much appreciated.
Thanks Big Mike for creating the forum and community.
The following 8 users say Thank You to timwr for this post:
Congratulations on a public journal...its difficult to post on losing days or when you really screw up and it was not your system but you.....
Here is my two cents....
1. Stop trading crude. Its not for the faint of heart. Its a great instrument to trade but you need to conquer your emotional issues before you ever try trading this instrument live.
2. Start with micro forex. Go to OANDA - Forex Trading and Exchange Rates Services | OANDA open a SMALL account. No more than US$500.00.
3. Use your method there....get used to making your trades with tiny amounts of money at risk. Get used to losing small amounts. Control your risk with micro lots the same way you need to with larger lots....do this until you can double your small account.
4. Open a futures account with a reputable broker.... Matt at Optimus Futures has a great rep here on the forum...by the way, I am not a client.
5. Trade one futures lot of an instrument that is less than US$10.00 using the same system you doubled your micro lot forex account with. Same rules, same risk control....dont change anything.
6. Trade one lot for every $10,000 in your account. Less than 10K? Don't trade futures. Stick to forex until you can fund a futures account with at least 10K
You will need to learn to manage emotions. Not eliminate but manage. That is only possible within the context of a developed and trusted trading method. When you lose, if there is no solid plan with real numbers to back it up, you'll do stupid thing like let your losers run, you will holy grail hunt, you'll trade size you shouldn't to make up for losses which only makes it worse.....
Focus on risk control first and foremost. Remember, trading is a losers game. The one that loses least wins. Forget about how much money you can make. Focus on capital conservation. And by the way, tiny charts are NOT the way to minimize risk. Range charts with a small tick size will not help you control risk. 50 tick charts will not control risk....if you can't trade and control your emotions, these will drain your account much faster than you think. Its death by a thousand cuts....
I think the most important thing to accept is uncertainty. The market does not care about your goals, your time lines, your risk reward ratio, nothing, those are all things that manifest over time from excellent trading. Accept the fact that EVERY trade is 50/50. You may have a great win loss ratio and wonderful expectancy but the trade you just took is 50/50. And remember, in trading, close is often good enough....perfection is unattainable as a desired trading objective.
I would say focus on the mental aspects of the game 90% of the time. The technical aspects a monkey can learn and you can program a spreadsheet to figure out the rest. Learning to trade within your self and your risk profile is paramount.
I am rambling now....so to wrap it up, trade small, don't scalp, don't use to much leverage, work on the mind and emotions.....
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci
Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
The following 8 users say Thank You to PandaWarrior for this post:
Many thanks for the advice, it's really appreciated. The reason I chose to trade OIL was because I was successful with it and unsuccessful with trading euro and Aussie $ futures. OIL was the only one that gave me consistent profit, I protected myself with a tight stop loss however I found the runs could be very profitable.
I fully understand though that trading smaller amounts would be better but I'm a bit reluctant to try micro forex as it looks like learning a new instrument, new software platform and creating a system which would all need to be done again when I choose to go back to OIL. Am I being stupid or impatient about this?
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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I'm finding it exciting to give up what I thought I knew and start afresh, learning from the experts. Looking forward to delving into my personal psychology to uncover whatever has been buried there for many years!
The following user says Thank You to timwr for this post:
So I've set my goals and listed all system components along with actions to take over the next few months. I'm also thinking of taking PandaWarrior's advise to trade in micro forex as trading OIL with $10 per tick is just too rich for me to test a new system.
Can anyone tell me if I can trade the OANDA forex using ninja trader? Or are there any other liquid markets any could recommend which I can trade in micro amounts on NT? I'd also be interested to know what common indicators other traders use in NT.
System is pretty mush setup and documented in my plan and starting to look into why I don't trust myself and how I handle disappointment in my life. Would like to handle it like a man rather than a wounded child!
Thanks to Big Mike and Gary for all your help and shared insights.
The following 2 users say Thank You to timwr for this post: