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RTR1701 - A turning point
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RTR1701 - A turning point

  #1 (permalink)
Elite Member
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Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
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RTR1701 - A turning point

Hi all

Well what can I say – I have just spent the last few days going over some of the extensive materials on this site and hats off to Mike for the putting this together, and for keeping things well controlled!

Hats off too to the members in here who have astounded me with the many examples of co-operation and spirit of camaraderie that is truly mind-blowing!

I have to say I was so impressed I bought the Company – well OK Elite Membership - as a small token of my appreciation for what is being done here. And as another step I thought I would start to contribute as best I can by journalling what for me is likely to be another pivotal moment in my trading life.

But first a little about me to set the scene:

My name is Graeme and I hail from the UK. I have been “trading” on and off now for over 4 years and have used a variety of instruments, mainly direct equity, spot FX, and contracts for difference, and spread betting mainly on my own account.

My experience to date has been mixed and like many I have made just about every mistake there is – picking bottoms (only to see the market fall even more) over leverage, catching falling knives, becoming attached to a share, investing in “sure-fire” share tips, listening to bulletin board chatter – the lot.

The end result of my first foray into trading was to effectively reduce my first trading account by some 80% in less than 6 months! Pretty impressive even given the then state of the markets!!

In a way I am not as upset by that as I should be, as I always took the view that the initial funds I was using were “expendable”, so I took the view that the loss was an investment in my trading education – and boy it has been some education!!

Sine then I have spent countless hours researching all sorts of things, and ended up realising that the only Holy Grail worth searching for is the Monty Python DVD I have somewhere and now can't find!

My next phase was to narrow the horizons and focussed on FX completely and was doing OK, but knew I didn’t have things down well enough, so I stripped all the indicators off and concentrated on price and interaction with support and resistance or as I now know it PASR.

Then, about 18 months ago I got binned from the day job and had to make all sorts of decisions, and the first was to spend time on a 3 month prop firm trading course, and price took on a whole new meaning via the order book. I didn’t quite make the grade to continue with them and they wanted too much ££££ to continue so I decided not to do it (wish I had heard of the Top Step Trader type of model before – could have saved £££).

At that point I had to make a living and I was realistic enough to know I was not yet anywhere near ready to make that from trading, so I set up a business and am currently setting up another for my wife, so trading took a back seat, but now it is time to bring things back into focus.

One of my failings is talking too much so I will stop there and look forward to sharing my ramblings here in due course.

Graeme

Never stop learning - never stop applying the knowledge.
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  #3 (permalink)
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I have to say I was so impressed I bought the Company – well OK Elite Membership -


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  #4 (permalink)
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Congrats on taking this step with the journal, looking forward to it.

Mike

Due to time constraints, please do not PM me if your question can be resolved or answered on the forum.

Need help?
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  #5 (permalink)
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Objectives

Following on from my initial post I thought it would be good to set out my objectives from this journal, and state what it will do, and what it wont!

First up, this will not be a trade journal at this point, so there will be no trades posted or anything like that. As and when the time is right I will start a new journal for that purpose.

So if it is not a trade journal what is it?

Well, as I alluded to in my starting post, I am in the process of changing from spreadbetting (that is the UK tax free trading) and spot FX to Futures trading. The purpose of this journal will be to document that transition, the thought processes and considerations, and outcomes of those deliberations.

The journal will be a place to record these for my own benefit and review, but also to share with anyone who cares to follow along, so that others contemplating the same path may be able to take advantage of the work and help them reach their objectives as well.

I am mindful of the way this forum works, so some of my discussions and will be off the thread in the relevant topics, but summarised here with links to the relevant posts which I hope will be of interest to some at least.

The next few days will be going over yet more of the immense resources here, in order to build a topic/wish list which will be started in the next post. That will be added to and quick summarised at the beginning along with any other links as appropriate.

I just wish I had realised the usefulness of thanks button as I started reading, not only to give due kudos to the great contributions here, but also as a means of “bookmarking” threads to refer back to later – oh well – a second read of thousands of posts wont kill me!!

Never stop learning - never stop applying the knowledge.
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  #6 (permalink)
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The shopping list / wish list

As noted in my last post – here is my initial shopping list of considerations and questions I need to resolve:

Instruments
  • I have a day job so normal trading is the last 4 hours or so of the US session and early Asian most days, occasionally the full US session, but regrettably not the London session.
  • As a result I need to consider US markets or 24 hour markets as a base.
  • I have already noted futures will be the main asset type.
  • From these liquidity, and movement are the main criteria.
  • Tick Size v ATR.
  • That said, US equities could perform a function as well but that will need development and practice.
  • Initial inclination would be ES and/or 6E as I am familiar with them, but need to look at alternates such as the Russell, or other as yet untested markets.

Data Feed
  • It wasn’t until I started reading futures.io (formerly BMT) that I realised just how key this topic will be so:
  • Reliability needs to be assured both in uptime and actual data accuracy.
  • Instruments needless to say it will need to cover all the potential instruments I wish to trade, or potentially trade in the future.
  • Historical data – again coming from FX, I open a chart and historical info is available, it had not occurred to me that I would need to check historical data availability.
  • Data feed needs to be supported by any chosen Broker.
  • Data feed needs to be supported by any chosen Charting Package.
  • Do I need a back up feed?
  • Filtered or Unfiltered.
  • Cost of feed – CME waivers etc.

Charting
  • Reliability and stability of platform.
  • Market Profile availability.
  • Support availability.
  • Versatility and ease of use.
  • Track record of updating and responsiveness to user suggestions.
  • Cost of package – Broker supported?

Order Entry
  • OCO - Server Side.
  • Ease of use.
  • DOM.
  • Chart Trading Option.
  • Ease of amending Orders.

Broker
  • US discount or UK thieving non discounted UK Brokers – big point this assuming I am reasonably active why pay UK maybe $20 RT when I can get the same for $4?
  • Maybe this depends on location and speed of executions – need to look at this one much more
  • Acceptable to my UK Pension Company – (Before anyone throws their hands up in horror and says “you should not trade your pension” I know – this pot is 10% only but still large enough to deal with PDT rules and multiple futures lots without concern)
  • Account availability to UK individuals or UK Limited Companies (another trade option)
  • Covers the range of Instruments required – maybe two or more Brokers perhaps.
  • Security
  • Reliability
  • Trade desk and support availability
  • Reputation (Ignoring disgruntled beginner forum bashing)

Connectivity

Another big one, I work as a contractor and spend months at a time in different locations, and thus connectivity issues are a major concern.

VPS
  • A real probability in which case:
  • Location
  • Cost
  • Uptime
  • Latency
  • Contention

Indicators
  • No – No Stochastic RSI etc I don’t use traditional Indies any more
  • For me it is support & resistance in various guises, volume and order flow
  • So looking to understand and implement and test advanced and flexible versions of
  • Pivots
  • Volume alerts
  • VWAP
  • Market Profile/Volume Profile

Automation
  • No – Not automated trading as I can see no value in trying to take on the algos, I am not clever enough and don’t want to waste my limited time trying to curve fit back tested data into something that then fails. (Irony in the post) I accept that there are many people are good at this but not me!!
  • Automation here could be used simply for scanning for a system – but this is nothing more than an idea at present.

Well that is my initial list which will be added to – if anyone wants to chime in with anything blindingly obvious then please do.

p.s. I am aware there is no business plan listed – cant do that until I have some answers to the above in my view.

Never stop learning - never stop applying the knowledge.
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  #7 (permalink)
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Posts: 78 since Aug 2011
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oops!

Hi all

Over in my new trade journal here :

RTR1701 topsteptrader journal learn through reviewing

I said I would post my excuses over here for not doing anything with this thread since October 2012!

Well excuses are not really valid - essentially I have been absorbed with a new thirst for knowledge and unfortunately Big Mikes is one hell of an encyclopaedic font of knowledge and one that has taken over my life for the last few months whilst exploring numerous large threads containing all the information needed to guide me on my way.

So this is more of another public thank you initially to Mike and all active members here for sharing so freely their knowledge and coding skills to provide such an indispensable resource for any serious wannabe trader such as myself!

As for this thread - all is not lost - and I am putting together my detailed findings which I will begin to share again over the coming days and weeks in the hope that it will aid others sharing the same path I have just followed.

Thanks

Graeme

Never stop learning - never stop applying the knowledge.
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  #8 (permalink)
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Which Instrument?

OK so now it is time to start moving this forward as a lot of the decisions are made – some are still work in progress – but can be added to as I go:

Let’s start with the first question – which instrument?

These was my relevant list of considerations from earlier in the post – so I will go through these and add my thoughts on each point:

• I have a day job so normal trading is the last 4 hours or so of the US session and early Asian most days, occasionally the full US session, but regrettably not the London session.

This above point has been something of an issue even in the few weeks I have been in practice for the TST combine as shown in my other thread here: https://futures.io/trading-journals/26643-rtr1701-topsteptrader-journal-learn-through-reviewing.html The reason for this is that my day job has changed a little in that I now have to work different hours on different days. This means I am destined to trade only from about 6am to 9am UK time for 2 days a week, from about 5pm to 9:15pm for 2 more and on Fridays I can sometimes get most of the US session.

• As a result I need to consider US markets or 24 hour markets as a base.

I have been giving this one some thought, and there are reasons why I think I should now concentrate on one instrument as recently suggested to me. Partly this is a function of passing the combine as if trading multiple instruments, then the TST combine becomes more difficult – but I will leave that to later. More relevant is the times that I have to trade. The ES often makes moves overnight (US time), but the 6E is more directly responsive when Frankfurt/London markets open. It is much more likely that good moves can be captured in that time in 6E than ES. In addition to this I really seem to “get” the 6E more than the ES – probably because the longer part of my trading experience is related to FX in general. I also have a number of new methods I am looking at – more of this later – but concentrating on the one instrument to start will allow time to become more adept in their use.

• I have already noted futures will be the main asset type.

Not much to add to this except the transparency with futures in the way you can look into the order flow, and in most cases the better cost to trade of commission over spread make futures to my mind the better instrument.

• From these liquidity, and movement are the main criteria.
Tick Size v ATR.


These two points are interlinked. The ATR of the 6E is about 100 right now, whereas the 6E is about 100. I prefer volatility as it suits my style better. Tick size is the same but means that I am able to manage risk with relatively tight stops at good trade locations.

• That said, US equities could perform a function as well but that will need development and practice.

This is for later and I am not going to look at this further until I have the rest down to pat.

• Initial inclination would be ES and/or 6E as I am familiar with them, but need to look at alternates such as the Russell, or other as yet untested markets.

Well I have answered this one already, and I expect to not move into any other instruments for a good few months now.

I will add more on the other considerations later.

Graeme

Never stop learning - never stop applying the knowledge.
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