I have recently switched from day trading stocks to swing trading them instead. In the last 10 days I have gained back all the money I lost in the previous 2 months. And yes it is much less stressful for me.
I trade channel breakouts similar to the one you have posted here. I have yet to try futures. I believe I am under funded with just shy of 100k. And I don't really want to use margin.
Thanks, I'll be following your thread
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Thank you! I appreciate your message a lot. Actually, I was just asking myself this week how many of those visiting this thread are "repeat customers". Glad, that there is some interest in my short comments on my positions
I like your conservative view re. margin, although I am not as conservative. With about 100k in your account you could start trading 1-2 contracts depending on what you want to trade (e.g. 1 ES contract with appr. 70k in market value). However, you would not be able to trade multiple positions at the same time with the 100k without any leverage.
Congrats to your gains in the last 10 days! That's a good start!
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VERY typical start. No clue what to do. Read a lot of books on trading, thinking that more knowledge keeps one from repeating most of the warnings of the authors of what not to do (hah!)
First 6 months:
Looked for a mentor. Paid mentor money to trade alongside his entries and exits. Mentor wouldn't give his edge so, eventually, I didn't trust his calls as I couldn't independently research his edge. Too many perfect entries I didn't catch with limit orders which HE did (getting buys on bids and sells on ask far too often) and stop-outs which I experienced but HE didn't. Occam's Razor "told" me to end this quickly. Only positives learned were not to chase and always cut losses quicky (so, not a total loss for the experience).
Next 6 months:
Looked for a group of traders online for support using a free method and well-defined edges which I could test. Next problem learned....crowd mentality of following a well-liked leader leads to emotional biases. That is, EVERYONE was blaming themselves for inconsistent results yet avoiding the obvious: there was no edge to begin with! (Occam's Razor strikes again!)
Both experiences were the same in that I had no idea what anyone elses real brokerage statement looked like but mine. The mentor ran a service and posted every entry / exit he made, right down to the transaction fees. Funny how he acted offended if you ever wanted to "see the blotter".
Went into hermit mode. Traded alone. Learned from my mistakes. Do the OPPOSITE of what the majority of at-home traders want to do:
1. Have higher winning pcts AND higher reward to risk ratios (No! Inverse relationship in trading). The edges are found by accepting the correct relationship first and foremost.
2. NEVER start with you largest size and peel off contracts/shares as the trade goes your way. Either go all-in/all-out or add to a winning position *within the same price leg* (e.g.,, most people think the way to add best is on pullbacks like the start of wave 1, 3 and 5 and "suffer" the wave 2 and 4 pullbacks with the already accumulated position...nope...for me, it's 3 seperate trades...add during wave 1, go all-out...add during wave 3, go all-out...add during wave 5, go all-out.) [Just a simple mental picture to get the point across. I don't use wave theory in trading]
3. Use the computer to its best advantage. It's faster and more accurate at entering a trade once you give it "permission" (correct context) to take an upcoming entry. Let the MFE / MAE research play out. [I count this as an opposite because on the intraday charts, below 5 mins, there are real-time trades to take which are not humanly possible due to slowness of reaction time.]
The "Short tern TF trading" journal here shows that frequency of trading opportunities taken in the proper context (enough of the time) does overcome the necessary added transaction fees. He is doing everything by hand so two hours of trading for him IS stressful and it shows. Also, he's a very young man and that is typical of youth (to take on more stress than is really required). However, he is clearly showing my same experience that thriving at 40%-55% winning pct levels (ranging long-term) is very doable.
I was attracted to the "Weekly Option Trader" journal this past summer because I was comparing his entries with my own for a fairly mechanical system of entry. He has gotten his charts now to be as simple as possible from then and it's an even easier compare. I, too, have a system that trades on brain-dead candle color changing entries entered automatically when I like the context and it works even on a 72 tick CL chart...exciting (to me) when you consider that accuracy by real-time buy/sell mouse clicks would most likely ruin the edge.
[Note: I was "banished" from continued posting there because I guess my "800 lb gorilla comment" hit on a final nerve after a previous reminder hit a first nerve that trading 10 PCLN weekly option contracts with a 60 cent spread can cost you $1200 of rountrip slippage. Notice how the most recent kind request by someone for "the details" of the latest pic renderings went unanswered...Lots of pretty pics though!]
I'm just an at-homer and always will be. All I care about is self-sufficency, regardless of my success, not "managing" OPM. It's still the Wild West out there. If you allow someone else to trade your money, then you had better imagine what it's like to never see it again. The older you become, the more you see and the more you will accept that Occam's Razor will save you from a LOT of very bad decisions.
My formal education is two Computer Science degrees and one undergrad degree in Statistics. I got laid off in 2003 (many jobs prior, lots of experience in my field) and, instead of finding another programming job, I decided to give trading a try. It's been an interesting experience to say the least.
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Thanks for your post, Steve! And a very impressing story! Getting laid off, giving trading a try and now in the game for more than 9 years...
I think about this from time to time when in a trade and whether I should try this. However, from my point of view it is difficult to "know", when these pullbacks are, how far they go or if they occur at all.
LOL... yeah... I have to admit that I throw in - once in a while - some very quick trades. Guess, my style is somewhat of a mix between swing (see my soybean trade, where I'm still in) and short term (like my NQ trades recently). But the short term trades happen usually due to "unexpected" behavior of price, i.e. I see a larger than expected risk that my original scenario does not play out and I get out in order to reduce my risk. I can get in at a later point or at a worse price when I'm more certain about the scenario. Of course, "I'm giving up" on parts of the movement, but this is for me the price of reducing risk I am willing to pay.
So, all in all, the objective of my trading is to have these positions which take from several days to maybe weeks. However, the short term fluctuations can lead to premature exits (with a profit or a loss) when I am not so sure anymore about my original scenario. That's what I've meant at the beginning of this thread, with "changing my mind very quickly".
I'm not sure where you derive this from.
Anyway, I did not say that I do not have any stress in trading the way I do it now. I said "It is a lot LESS stressful than intra-day trading". That's a difference.
I have stress, of course, when I enter a trade and prices are going nowhere for several days. I do get impatient in these cases.
And "doing everything by hand" and "two hours of trading" does not paint the right picture of my trading style, IMO. Sounds like I'm doing scalping in and out on a permanent basis for 2 hours, which is really not the case.
Thanks for the "young". I'm around 40, which is "old enough" to like your comment
"to take on more stress than is really required" -> To what are you referring here? Also, I am always interested to learn how I can optimize my trading further. So, any suggestions are welcome!
I'm glad I'm already winning laurels for my trading after only about 2-3 weeks. However, maybe we should take a longer-term view on this.
Last edited by karoshiman; December 16th, 2012 at 07:57 AM.
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