I don't watch news - let alone trade it - just saw the jump in NG up and the break down of QM... natural gas storage change with a downward surprise... good to be long NG and short QM ... but we'll have to see whether this is only a short spike...
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As your journal develops, I think it will show that trading results are just as fractal as the price patterns/action between the various timeframes are. While your perception that multi-day trading of futures is far more plausible (by you) vs your opinion that intraday trading of them is virtually impractical for the at-homer, that perception cannot hold because there is nothing "there" in a longer timeframe which has any added benefit from a risk/reward ratio and winning pct relationship.
Your results are only magnified in the interday. Your wins are typically larger as well as your stops having to be wider to compensate. As your reward to risk taken increases so must your winning pct decrease and vice verse. This mathematical relationship is inescapable in trading (i.e., timeframe independent).
The KEY to success in intraday or interday futures trading is having the ability to first get the context of the trade right (up, down, sideways) and the degree of volatility in which this occurs relative to experience of what is considered "typical/normall" for the contract. When you get that right, only then can any edge play out "like a casino".
This is a very long-winded way of saying you have far more time on your hands with interday trading to make a correct guess at the context part of the trade (before risk is even taken). It instills confidence in your decisions and resolve. If your trading techniques have an edge to begin with, THIS is why you perceive that intraday trading is the road to ruin while interday trading is the road to riches (for you).
Whichever timeframe one chooses, I would submit that once the context picking skills are good, it's easier to win with lower winning pcts (40%-55%) in the long-term because that is closer to the game under which institutions play. When a game drops below 50/50, it sparks emotions in at-homers that the game is possibly failing. It leads to wider stops which ruins the edge (lower winning pct trading methodologies require *tighter* stops!).
Good luck in your trading!
[Just observations of 9.5 years at intraday futues trading. I don't think I could have lasted this long if these opinions were way off-base as I am 100% confident I have no special trading talents. Because I don't consider cutting losses short a "talent". It's only common sense.]
Last edited by SteveH; December 6th, 2012 at 11:27 AM.
Reason: Spelling error
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Very good points you mention there and very well written!
I agree 100% that context picking skills are the key to success in this game, irrespective of the time frame.
I can follow your point that trading results are fractal from a mathematical standpoint. However, commissions and the spread you pay for each trade are a big issue in intraday trading. Or to put it differently, your risk/reward and/or win percentage have to be relatively higher in intraday trading to compensate for the higher costs per trade. This is often overlooked but a major factor IMO. Of course, it is possible that this could be compensated by more opportunities for profitable trades compared to swing trading, if you are able to take all these opportunities (without overtrading!). As far as I understood you, the latter is what you mean by having "more time on your hands with interday trading". Maybe this evens out the two games - if you take all opportunities in intraday trading. In swing trading it's a lot easier to take every opportunity as you are not dependent on sitting in front of the screen all the time. But at the end it's difficult "to prove" which one is superior to the other as other aspects play an important role as well.
From my point of view, the decision whether to trade intraday or swing trade is less a matter of mathematics, but more a matter of personality.
For me personally, it's a lot easier to operate in the context of higher time frames, as I like to take my time to think about a situation. I get also distracted by price "moving so fast" when I watch anything less than 4h time frames. So, at the end one has to consider these soft facts as well in their search for a trading methodology.
One other aspect a beginning trader should think about is, that it's potentially easier for some people to develop the context picking skill on larger time frames first before moving to smaller time frames (like learning to drive the car on a calm street first before trying the express highway (or car racing ;-) )).
How did you start your career in intraday trading and in particular your training? Did you do it for an institution first or as an at-homer right from the start?
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