Overall I learned a lot. I originally joined because I wanted to see how they used the ladder and I figured one month of the trading room ($300) would be cheaper than the OFA course. I underestimated their businessman skills and the complexity of trading off the ladder.
They not only sell the trading room but they sell their "Art of Adative Trading" video ($300) and also a 3 day intensive seminar ($2000). Quite a few times when a question is asked, the response is to buy one of these seminars. Despite this being really frustrating, I actually understand this approach. Kam has made a video several hours long explaining his approach and he can't interrupt the trading room every time someone asks a question that is covered in the video which is just about every day.
I spent a lot of time reading about market profile, studying Kam's trades, talking to ex-room members, etc. So I didn't get these programs. After 2 months I feel like I have a good understanding of his approach and I'm using a lot of his concepts in my trading.
If you're considering joining the room and do not have a good knowledge of market profile & the volume ladder, I'd say the art of adaptive trading is mandatory and if I had it to do over again I'd purchase it first so that the room was more productive.
He trades very fast. Sometimes scalping, sometimes going for bigger trades (depending on what phase he's in). I tried scalping with him. He lost money, I forgot how much but not a lot and I lost $1300, on sim of course! So don't think you can join the room and make enough money trading his calls to pay for the room. The room is educational.
That said he does show his DOM when he puts on a trade, sometimes it's offscreen when he enters just because he doesn't have room for charts & dom at all times. But once in a trade we see the dom and how he manages it. The first month he wasn't trading, he was just giving his analysis and advice "if you're long hold, if you're short tighten your stop" that sort of thing. He'd call out setups.
For the 2nd month he tried something new, trading live with real money showing his DOM. Not many rooms do this and I must give him credit, he has done it very well. I'm not sure he's had a losing day (even the losing day I saw he managed to come back later in the day). The past few days he's made around $500/day. And this is with 2 contracts. I'm sure he can make thousands trading by himself with 4 contracts and without distractions of the room. Kam is an excellent trader who can read the order flow. He trades on intuition. Often he trades things that are not in the trading plan. We probably couldn't get away with it but he can. One day I joined late and he had already made $450 in the first 30 minutes and was done trading for the day!
One negative point for me: He's always talking and that's very distracting. So if you plan to trade while in the room you will probably have trouble doing this. And if you trade something other than the market he's trading (currently crude) then it's almost impossible to trade & follow his trades. I tried to record it once and when saving it my camtasia crashed so it really comes down to listening to him and not trading or trading and not listening to him. Tough choice, especially when paying $300/month for the room.
So for this last reason I will not renew my membership after it expires end of next week. I am trading ES and his talk is distracting to me. This would probably be true of any trading room. I feel like I've learned the material and I just need more practice. I don't feel I need to pay $300/month to continue the room but a beginner would probably need many more months. I am using what I learned from L2ST and it has helped my trading.
One final note: There is another coach Brian who is there a few days a week in the afternoon. Since I don't trade the US afternoon I didn't get to hear Brian much. He is very passionnate (like Kam) and he teaches the basics of identifying value areas.
So there you have it. kam's an excellent trader who really is interested in teaching the members. He gives a lot. And I highly recommend the l2st trading room if you haven't been exposed to the ladder setups & market profile elsewhere. Just budget for at least one month of the room and the art of adaptive trading ($600 total plus more if you're new to trading and need to continue in the room for another month or two).
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I have read your thread with interest, particularly your analysis of the volume ladder. I downloaded it a few weeks ago and only in the past several days have I finally started to see what it was showing me. While I do have some background and experience with order flow trading (from L2ST), I havent personally used MarketDelta or any other software to actually put my knowledge into practice. So the ladder has been very useful in helping me to finally tie these parts together.
And I agree with you, that the ladder is probably best used as a confirmation tool, rather than a trading system in and of itself... although I am starting to see ways that you could probably develop a stand alone system around the ladder itself (picking tops and bottoms, when buyers and sellers are getting trapped).
These days, I am only trading CL, although I also watch the ES and TF (during the NY session)...I am in EST time zone. Friday was a very interesting day watching the ladder. I was sim trading a system I developed and trying to understand how and whether the ladder was confirming any of my trades, and taking screen shots as I went along. In real time, I did not understand it all so well, but when I went back to look at my screen shots, it made more sense. The ladder seemed to tell the whole story of where and why the market was making its moves. My only concern at this point is that I am reading too much into it in hindsight, kind of like you might do at the end of the day with any method or indicator. But at the same time, I have this belief that the ladder wont lie (assuming you are getting the right data) and if the market makes a move, it will show up in the ladder every time. So this is my interest, to follow and understand order flow and the ladder and be able to use it in real time.
Thanks for all of your detailed analysis and enthusiasm. Its very inspiring, and probably helps more people than you know. Till later.
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Hi Sleektrader, welcome and thanks for participating.
If you're just scalping for small amounts I think one could possibly trade off just the ladder. But you have commissions to deal with. I prefer to look for bigger setups so I trade less, and for those you need context. While it's possible to get that on the ladder setup, I think tick charts show the context best.
One thing to keep in mind is that setups especially reversals look very obvious at the end of the day. But real time the ladder is moving. The HVN shifts around quite a bit, so it's not so obvious in real time. My biggest problem is I'm early. sometimes I enter only to see the setup disappear.
Thanks for the feedback, that makes it worth it. Good trading to you.
Here's a chart of the Eurostoxx 50 (line) compared to S&P 500 (bars). You can see they're very highly correlated. Lately the magnitute of the moves has been slightly different, which is likely due to the economic stress in europe over Greece & the Euro.
My idea is to focus on ES and during the european morning I trade FESX using my analysis & read on ES. I will be using FESX as a substitute for ES since FESX is more volatile during the european session.
I'll see how this goes but I'm also considering trading ES during the european session and just looking for one good setup to give me a few points. That's all one needs really in ES. In fact my goal would be one trade in the european morning, one trade in the US morning, and one trade in the last hour of the US session. That would force me to go for the best setups and prevent overtrading.
Monday I won't be trading the European morning session so I'll have more to report on Tuesday..
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Thanks for the link to ZTrade's thread. Looks like he is taking it to a higher level. But at the same time, there is a little bit too much going on there for me to follow, with all of the indicators and such. I saw mention of a ladder webinar. Is he putting something together for that?
So you are using tick charts with the ladder? I have been using range bars. I got this from Kam in the L2ST room. I also generally use range bars in my trading. I will check out the tick bars with the ladder and compare the difference.
Also, I have 2 questions about the ladder that I was hoping you could answer:
1. What is the difference between the net (+ or -) number that appear at the very bottom of the chart versus the ones that appear on the top and the bottom of the bar? They are always close in value, but slightly off. I am assuming that one (the bottom)? is the accumulated net delta.
2. What is the vertical bar on the right side of the ladder indicator? Cumulative Delta from the last swing high or low? Do you use it at all in your analysis?
You should start a l2st thread in the Vendors section and post your review there, so it is easier for others to benefit from.
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I just looked in that thread and it looks like it's mostly indicator vendors. But I did post a link to my review in the Live Trader Room Experiences thread. So that way I think anyone searching for l2st will find it. I prefer to keep most of my posts in my journal because I don't have time to follow so many threads. If you think it's best that the review has its own thread then I'm ok with moving it and just putting a link to in the journal. L2ST does seem to be getting popular.
I agree. I'd be more interested in having an audio alert and a visual marker on the ladder chart and not an auto trading system, which in my opinion would have to be incredibly complex to work. I use market delta so I'm actually not using the GOM ladder right now.
Sorry I gave the wrong impression. My ladder is a 6 tick reversal (PNF) chart. Fiki is the pioneer there, I'm using his template. prior to that I was using 5 range chart which is fine too. (Talking about ES here). When I said I use tick charts I meant that I use tick charts to identify the areas & times when I want to do my business and then I look to the ladder to find an entry. But I have to admit lately I've become entranced by the ladder and have even taken some setups without a big picture setup on the tick charts. I'm working on that.
You'll have to post a chart because I'm not sure what you're referring to and I haven't posted a ladder chart lately so my template may be different now.
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I had some errands to run in Paris today so I wrote out a trading plan on the subway and while waiting for my appointment. One and a half pages.
My goal is 2 pts during 3 trading sessions: european morning (FESX), US Morning (ES), & US Afternoon (ES). My daily goal is 4 pts so if i meet that I don't need to trade the US Afternoon.
I'm happy to say my first day trading was a real success. I wanted to get to real money to see if there was a difference than simulator. I was concerned more about fills but I was surprised to find another difference. I found it much easier to be patient and wait for a good setup.
There were two setups that weren't perfect according to my plan so I didn't take them. Both would have made 3 pts. Then I found a setup and took it and got my 2 pts. Came back in the evening, sat down and saw a perfect setup unfolding and immediately put in my order. Got 2 pts on that one. Hit my daily goal and started working on the journal.
Tomorrow I'll be out in the morning so no trading on FESX again. FESX is on simulator but I'd still like to get going on it to get practice and eventually trade FESX with real money.
Also I did a swing trade but it didn't look right so I exited early at 91 cause I had to leave to pick up my girls and I thought there was a high risk of hitting a breakeven stop. When I got back ES was at 98!!!! Darn. So I got 2 pts instead of 9. Once again I need to trust my intuition and then be patient. I had 3 contracts on so that was still a nice win for me. And my confidence in my intuition is growing.
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