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Home-baked Trading: Developing a Recipe from Scratch.
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Home-baked Trading: Developing a Recipe from Scratch.

  #1 (permalink)
Trading Apprentice
Edina, MN
 
Futures Experience: Beginner
Platform: Multicharts
Favorite Futures: CL
 
Posts: 8 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 2 given, 8 received

Home-baked Trading: Developing a Recipe from Scratch.

A Bit About Me
I am a complete beginner at this point when it comes to trading and investing. I have no system and I've never made a trade. I'm a stay at home mom, but my husband manages a relatively small hedge fund; So I'm not entirely ignorant when it comes to terminology, money management, order types, and other things. I feel like I've picked up on enough ideas and theories from my husband that I'd like to try my hand at trading. So the deal is: if I can develop a profitable system, prove that I can manage risk properly, while not letting other things slip through (house stuff, kids, and their school), we will open a trading account in my name. So that's where I stand. At zero.

A Bit About this Journal
My goal with this journal is to detail my journey as I develop, test, and refine a system. I hope that other's will leave feedback and help with anything they see that I could improve on.

My Vision
Based on who I am and what my priorities are, whatever system I develop needs to be relatively passive. I can't sit in front of a screen all day watching tick by tick. It needs to be the sort of system where I can check in every few hours to see if there are any opportunities lining up. The opportunities need to be very set and forget.

My Predispositions (Trading Philosophies/Biases)
Everyone comes to the market with some baggage. My baggage is obviously what I've picked up from my husband. Baggage isn't necessarily bad; you have to start somewhere and aim for something. So this is just the baggage that I have and the predispositions behind whatever system I will be developing.
  1. In order to make money, you have to think and act differently. Basically, you can't just use a system that everyone is using. You can't do what everyone else is doing. It won't work. There will be no one left to buy after you, and there will be no one to sell to.
  2. The easy trades are rarely profitable. This is kind of attached to the first point. When there is an easy trade, a glaringly obvious trade with an easy stopping point, it's an inherently lower probability trade because it is just as easy for stops to be taken out.
  3. Short term money is fodder for longer term money. I could also title this one, "Slow and Steady Wins the Race." This also goes with the previous two. Shorter money plays are easier to spot and have tighter, more easily ran stops. Most traders fail because they are under-capitalized and have too tight of stops in place. They don't give the trade enough room to develop. I know this goes contrary to most popular trading books and articles I've read, but again, building off of my first premise, I can't do the popular thing.
  4. Hype gets Faded. This happens on all time frames and across all instruments.

My Proposed System:
What I will be developing, then, is a mean reversion system. I will also likely target highly emotional markets where I believe a mean reversion system would be more appropriate. In a highly emotional market, most moves should be faded as many participants will quickly find themselves on the wrong side of a trade.

I want the entries to be fairly straight forward (set and forget) and I want targets to be as well. The difficulty is going to be the stops. At what point to I say, "this isn't a mean reversion; it's now a trending market? You're wrong." Because I will be looking to buy/sell into extreme moves, I think I'll require wider stop as volatility expansion happens during my ideal entry points. I have no ideas at this time, except to keep the stops wide enough and just keep the position small enough that it doesn't get me to the point of "max pain."

Because of my premise short term money is fodder for longer term money, what I will be looking to develop is a system that takes advantage of short term over-extensions, at longer term support/resistance levels. I will also based entries on the psychology of the market. Or at least what I believe it to be.

I'm having trouble explaining exactly what I'm looking for, but hopefully as I progress in developing my system and writing on this forum, it will become more clearly defined and not just a concept that "I'll know when I see it."

Current Questions:
  • How to define entries based on my verbal parameters?
  • How to define a stop based on entering counter to a period of volatility expansion?

If anyone sees something glaringly wrong that I am doing, please let me know! Like if I'm not even going about developing a system properly, I need to know, or I'm headed down the wrong path from the start.

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  #3 (permalink)
Elite Member
asheville north carolina USA
 
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Sabens View Post
A Bit About Me
I am a complete beginner at this point when it comes to trading and investing. I have no system and I've never made a trade. I'm a stay at home mom, but my husband manages a relatively small hedge fund; So I'm not entirely ignorant when it comes to terminology, money management, order types, and other things. I feel like I've picked up on enough ideas and theories from my husband that I'd like to try my hand at trading. So the deal is: if I can develop a profitable system, prove that I can manage risk properly, while not letting other things slip through (house stuff, kids, and their school), we will open a trading account in my name. So that's where I stand. At zero.

A Bit About this Journal
My goal with this journal is to detail my journey as I develop, test, and refine a system. I hope that other's will leave feedback and help with anything they see that I could improve on.

My Vision
Based on who I am and what my priorities are, whatever system I develop needs to be relatively passive. I can't sit in front of a screen all day watching tick by tick. It needs to be the sort of system where I can check in every few hours to see if there are any opportunities lining up. The opportunities need to be very set and forget.

My Predispositions (Trading Philosophies/Biases)
Everyone comes to the market with some baggage. My baggage is obviously what I've picked up from my husband. Baggage isn't necessarily bad; you have to start somewhere and aim for something. So this is just the baggage that I have and the predispositions behind whatever system I will be developing.
  1. In order to make money, you have to think and act differently. Basically, you can't just use a system that everyone is using. You can't do what everyone else is doing. It won't work. There will be no one left to buy after you, and there will be no one to sell to.
  2. The easy trades are rarely profitable. This is kind of attached to the first point. When there is an easy trade, a glaringly obvious trade with an easy stopping point, it's an inherently lower probability trade because it is just as easy for stops to be taken out.
  3. Short term money is fodder for longer term money. I could also title this one, "Slow and Steady Wins the Race." This also goes with the previous two. Shorter money plays are easier to spot and have tighter, more easily ran stops. Most traders fail because they are under-capitalized and have too tight of stops in place. They don't give the trade enough room to develop. I know this goes contrary to most popular trading books and articles I've read, but again, building off of my first premise, I can't do the popular thing.
  4. Hype gets Faded. This happens on all time frames and across all instruments.

My Proposed System:
What I will be developing, then, is a mean reversion system. I will also likely target highly emotional markets where I believe a mean reversion system would be more appropriate. In a highly emotional market, most moves should be faded as many participants will quickly find themselves on the wrong side of a trade.

I want the entries to be fairly straight forward (set and forget) and I want targets to be as well. The difficulty is going to be the stops. At what point to I say, "this isn't a mean reversion; it's now a trending market? You're wrong." Because I will be looking to buy/sell into extreme moves, I think I'll require wider stop as volatility expansion happens during my ideal entry points. I have no ideas at this time, except to keep the stops wide enough and just keep the position small enough that it doesn't get me to the point of "max pain."

Because of my premise short term money is fodder for longer term money, what I will be looking to develop is a system that takes advantage of short term over-extensions, at longer term support/resistance levels. I will also based entries on the psychology of the market. Or at least what I believe it to be.

I'm having trouble explaining exactly what I'm looking for, but hopefully as I progress in developing my system and writing on this forum, it will become more clearly defined and not just a concept that "I'll know when I see it."

Current Questions:
  • How to define entries based on my verbal parameters?
  • How to define a stop based on entering counter to a period of volatility expansion?

If anyone sees something glaringly wrong that I am doing, please let me know! Like if I'm not even going about developing a system properly, I need to know, or I'm headed down the wrong path from the start.

I don't have the experience to declare anything you prepose "Glaringly wrong" It actually seems like you have a springboard to an edge since you have a pronounced interest and a husband who is a hedge fund manager. (access to commercial knowledge)

A couple of take aways I get from your introduction:
1. It seems like you want trade counter trend (fade extremes, time reversals)
2. Due to exisiting responsibilities you don't have all day to monitor the markets.

I would think that swing trading with the drift would be more conducive to your parameters. This is only my perception but i tend to think that a counter trend trader has to have more precise timing with her/his entries/exits thus requiring maore screen time.
Also if there are technical clues that you follow to suggest entries then perhaps a look into a self created automated system could be optimal.

I could be wrong with this assumption: Crude is a more Supply / demand driven with geopolitical concerns taking a passenger seat which I would think would render fading trickier thus requiring even more time in front of the screen. Perhaps you were considering other markets as well. i would think that a more liquid market such as the ES is more susceptible to Desire and Fear than Crude. I won't deny that when I watch the swings in crude I can't help but to salivate at the possibilities of profit and gulp at the potential of loss. I only bring this up as your favorite instrument is CL.

At any rate, i wish you luck on your journey. You did pick a great forum. There are many great threads, webinars, vendors and members (with experience and avid students (thats me) alike) here to offer insight and direction in all of the different approaches. I imagine that you will have great insights to offer as well.

"Napoleans severest comment on his beaten enemies - that they "saw to many things at once""- Hart
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  #4 (permalink)
Trading Apprentice
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Favorite Futures: CL
 
Posts: 8 since Feb 2015
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bourgeois pig View Post
I would think that swing trading with the drift would be more conducive to your parameters. This is only my perception but i tend to think that a counter trend trader has to have more precise timing with her/his entries/exits thus requiring more screen time.

This is exactly why stops are going to be so tricky. I know up front that volatility expands where I want to get short or get long. And you're totally right, that it would seem I'd need to be in front of my screen to see whether it is faded or not. I am looking for creating a very ridged system, and I have no ideas what parameters I could put in place to exit on the stop-loss side of things.

I think, if I'm going to be going this route, my trades are going to end up being about 1:1 r:r, I just believe they'll have a higher probability of success. But that's what testing/backtesting/paper trading is for. Figuring out if my intuition is right that there is a higher probability of moves being faded, then of starting a new trend.

I'm thinking what I'll end up doing, is having a set stop on the daily chart if I'm trading on the hourly. The loss would be rather large. I don't think there's any system I can develop where I can cut off losses at .2 because it trades in a .40 range in consolidation anyways.

Right now I'm just trying to figure out where I can get historical data. But I'm not finding anything online. I'll have to ask my husband if I could use their data. But I have a feeling he'd get in trouble for sharing it with me as I assume it is company property--and possibly proprietary.

Thanks for the comments. And when I say mean reversion. What I'm thinking is trading with the trend on the hourly chart, but counter trend on the 15 minute or the 5 minute. Basically fading short term extreme moves that are still compliant with the longer term trend. fading the extended hourly move against the compliant daily trend. That's what I'm going for, now I just need to figure out how to define it.

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  #5 (permalink)
Elite Member
asheville north carolina USA
 
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Sabens View Post
This is exactly why stops are going to be so tricky. I know up front that volatility expands where I want to get short or get long. And you're totally right, that it would seem I'd need to be in front of my screen to see whether it is faded or not. I am looking for creating a very ridged system, and I have no ideas what parameters I could put in place to exit on the stop-loss side of things.

I think, if I'm going to be going this route, my trades are going to end up being about 1:1 r:r, I just believe they'll have a higher probability of success. But that's what testing/backtesting/paper trading is for. Figuring out if my intuition is right that there is a higher probability of moves being faded, then of starting a new trend.

I'm thinking what I'll end up doing, is having a set stop on the daily chart if I'm trading on the hourly. The loss would be rather large. I don't think there's any system I can develop where I can cut off losses at .2 because it trades in a .40 range in consolidation anyways.

Right now I'm just trying to figure out where I can get historical data. But I'm not finding anything online. I'll have to ask my husband if I could use their data. But I have a feeling he'd get in trouble for sharing it with me as I assume it is company property--and possibly proprietary.

Thanks for the comments. And when I say mean reversion. What I'm thinking is trading with the trend on the hourly chart, but counter trend on the 15 minute or the 5 minute. Basically fading short term extreme moves that are still compliant with the longer term trend. fading the extended hourly move against the compliant daily trend. That's what I'm going for, now I just need to figure out how to define it.

While this is not the tick by tick data you need to backtest, i do like this site for a historical perspective:
Where Did The DJIA/NASDAQ/S+P 500 Trade On...

I have not backtested but I thiink if you are willing to spend the money, that the IQ feed is considered to be one of the best for offering the most accurate historical data for backtesting. They are one of the vendors here at Big Mikes.
https://futures.io/brokers-data-feeds/25853-dtn-iqfeed-s-james-global-account-manager-ask-me-anything-ask-me-anything.html
Welcome to DTN IQFeed! - Fast, Reliable, Affordable. Market Data and API's.
I also believe KINETICK is a reputable data provider.
Kinetick - Streaming real time quotes and historical market data - features

Based on their websites info, i am under the impression that IQ is going to offer a more comprehensive historical data pool. Since i am not fluent in backtesting I highly recommend using the search tool on the forum to find out more and perhaps cross paths with some of the experienced back testers and automated traders on the forum.

"Napoleans severest comment on his beaten enemies - that they "saw to many things at once""- Hart
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  #6 (permalink)
Trading Apprentice
Edina, MN
 
Futures Experience: Beginner
Platform: Multicharts
Favorite Futures: CL
 
Posts: 8 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 2 given, 8 received

February 11, 2015: 9:00am ideas:
Just to see how this might work. I think a flush down to 48.20/48.4, will be bought, especially if we hit there before the data due out in 30 minutes. Even after the data, so long as it's the initial reaction is lower and quickly. If the initial reaction is higher, then I'll simply cancel my order and check back after the numbers for a potential short up around 51.

My buy level is based on:
  1. A 3 Standard Deviation Move
  2. Rising 20 day moving average
  3. S2 Pivot Support

With these three things converging down there and an extension to the downside on a short term (assuming the order gets filled in the next 30/40 minutes), I think there's a good chance price action could reverse there.

Again, stop is the tricky thing. I was thinking last night that volatility expands at the areas that I want to get involved in, but only for a period of time. So my initial stop could be wide, and then I can refine it after the initial period of volatility. So my first stop will basically be a full point. I won't want to hold below that recent pivot low around 47.37. But after I get a text that my order filled, I can basically check to see whether my level was bounced off of quickly, is consolidating there, or was blasted through.

If blasted through, I'll stick with my stop. If consolidating, I will raise my stop, but not too much. And if it bounces, I'll raise my stop to break even.

I'm still trying to figure out how to sim trade. My husband suggested thinkorswim, so I was going to look into that later today when I have a break.

I would also look to sell a move into 50.50 with a stop over last nights high (51.2 ish). Trend would still be in tact, and it would be about a 3 standard deviation higher if filled in the next hour. Both of these orders I will check back in an hour and see if they filled and if not, I will simply scratch them.

But this is the sort of style that I am looking for. Something that I can analyze extended moves for the next hour (where I'd be willing to fade the move from) and simply place the orders, and check back in another hour or two.

9:44am Update:
Looks like wash happened during number, but reversed. So I would now raise my stop to 47.8. I want to give it room for a run on stops below 48, but I also want to raise my stop and take some risk off the table as per my initial thoughts posted above.

9:56am Update:
If I could trade 2 contracts that would be nice. I'd love to be able to sell one here, move the stop to break even on the other and leave a runner for either VWAP or 49.50ish pivot. The one thing I am noticing on day one watching the market: EXITS are definitely the tricky part to trading. I can already feel myself falling for what I assume is a rookie pitfall. And that is cutting off profit as soon as I show some, but letting my losses hit my stop. Because if I sell my one contract here at 48.75ish on the first overbought signal in a downtrend, then my stop was a full point to the downside, but my profit is only .40. I do think I nailed the entry though. and I want to at least raise my stop to break even.

10:22am Update:
Exits are DEFINITELY the tricky part. I think I'll only be able to carry one contract at a time, so basically when I sell, I sell. I can't keep holding. And while I could see Crude Oil retesting the 54 level again, the long term trend is lower, so If I'm going long, I think I do need to take profit. So I'm going to sell 49.6 (s1 support, now resistance & 3sd move). I believe that is also where stubborn shorts will have their stop as that would reverse the short term downtrend basically negating the previous lower high two times ago. Wow. It just spiked up as I was typing this, sticking to my selling point especially with the spike like that. It looks like it will fill within a few minutes. Raising my stop to 48.7 to lock in about .4 either way.

11:10am Update:
Looks like I would have just gotten a fill at 49.6. Final Trade: 1 Contract: 48.32 (s2) to 49.6 (a little over s1) for +1.28. I might have some time this afternoon during second nap time to review the trade, and gather my thoughts on the system I was working with and things I'll need to change/figure out.


Last edited by Sabens; February 11th, 2015 at 01:14 PM. Reason: Changing bold title / Updates
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  #7 (permalink)
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Posts: 8 since Feb 2015
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Review and Thoughts:
So yesterday's trade was good. It was well planned and well executed. I told my husband about the trade at dinner and he said that I was right. I could only swing one contract with my account size and it is tough. He said I nailed the entry, so once I sell, I should try to get back in with a stop still at the original break even level. He said especially on an entry like that. I picked the right target intraday, that much is clear by how it played out, but then I should have placed another buy order at the first oversold signal with a stop at my original entry.

With the entry that I had, the real target, he says is more like $54+. And judging by psychology I'm bound to agree with him. While we may think round numbers are good support and resistance points. If there ever is a round number that acts as the top, then it's more likely to be broken than not. Round numbers are more like targets to be broken. So the top at 53.99 set the other day is made to be broken; especially after the reversal at my entry yesterday.

Today's Trade Idea: 8:50am Chicago Time
Sticking with the mean reversion system, I have a market that is relatively extended to the upside on the near term, but I think longer term trend is higher. 51.03/04 was my first resistance point, but I'm skipping that (obviously because it's already past that and it now acts as support).

52.22 is the next resistance level. And I have a decently easy stop over 52.68. So that's the trade I would enter here.

Sell Short 52.22 with a target back to 51.04.

On the buy side: I want to try buying at 50.51 (previous resistance, VWAP should be close to there, and it will be oversold), with a target back up into r1 51.03.

9:35am Update:
Looks like I would be long at 50.51. With the nasty reversal on the hourly. It appears I forgot to place a stop. It still hasn't hit the stop that I want, but it looks like I will stop out below the last hour's candle. 49.65. My target still holds, but it looks like I'll be stopped out of this trade.

10:50am Update:
At this point, IF I don't get stopped out, I don't really see a reason to sell at 51.04 after that nasty shakeout. Especially on the hourly candle. Almost fully reversed the green candle and then fully reverses the red candle (if it gets up there...). I'm currently break even on the trade, but I'm going to raise my target. I think how I'd like to handle this is that once 51.04 is reached, I'll raise my stop to break even, set 52.22 (my original short level) as my sell level, and raise my stop to 51.04 once 51.41 (HOD) is broken.

11:05am Update:
Just got an alert that 51.04 hit, so now I'll move my stop up to 50.39. Not quite break even, but cutting off the losses. Looks like it's pulling back from 51.04, though as I check the screen, so maybe i should have just kept my sell there... I don't think so. If we were going to break the lows, it would have happened earlier. So I'm just going to raise my stop and if I stop out, I'm out for about -0.11...

12:15pm Update:
Looks like I was stopped out at 50.39. I was afraid of being the sucker stop, that I had moved my stop too tight. I still think I'm right, but I can't get back in here at 51 to chase it higher. I think my logic was good, wanting to let the winner run, but I gotta figure out how best to do that. Final Trade: 1 Contract 50.51 to 50.39 for -0.11

2:23pm Update:
Trading is frustrating! Haha. I took an .11 loss, when I could have been up almost $1. The lesson I learned is two fold. First: Just stick to the plan. Though that's a tough lesson because I know I was right to try to make my profits run. So the second lesson is the most important. Stick to the original plan of loose stops. Stops are there to be run. 50.39 was a good stopping point, but it was obvious, and even if broken the uptrend was still technically in place. It was just an emotional stop. The same sorts of stops that I am trying to take advantage of.

Overall I'm pleased with the day. Down .11 isn't bad. It's just frustrating that I could have been up .5 or $1. I made the right call all day, except for moving my stop up very tight. Even that... I don't know. I mean hindsight, obviously I wish I would still have my contract, but I would much rather take an .11 loss than be down .5 if the reversal had continued. And 51 was rejected a second time, so... I guess I don't know where I stand. But that's what this is. A learning process. I have a new respect for what my husband does.


Last edited by Sabens; February 12th, 2015 at 04:28 PM.
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Friday, February 13, 2015: Ideas

I think it's pretty clear that I nailed the bottom and my husband was right. I can't give up such a good entry in a day. Or if I do, I need to get back in and just keep the same stop. For now, Crude is in no man's land, and I'm just going to watch it chop higher. My next trade idea will be to short up around 55/56, especially if it gets there today. Though I highly doubt that happens.

So in my free time today, instead of trading, I'll be figuring out how to set up my platform. I can use a paper money account at IB for practicing, so I'll be doing that. I just have to figure out how to connect it to Multicharts. I hear IBs data isn't the greatest, so I'll have to figure out what I'm going to do there. I'm guessing IQFeed...

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  #9 (permalink)
Trading Apprentice
Edina, MN
 
Futures Experience: Beginner
Platform: Multicharts
Favorite Futures: CL
 
Posts: 8 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 2 given, 8 received

February 17, 2015: Thoughts and Trades
Crude oil is selling off this morning, trading at about 52.2 (April exp.). My trade will be there. I'm going to buy the S2 support if it hits in the next hour. That is at 52.06 April Exp.. It's also about a 50% retrace from the last move. I think the recent highs (~55 on the april contract) are still going to be broken.

Unfortunately, I'll need to have a rather wide stop (below 50.5). Looks like it may even fill before this post submits.

10:45am Update:
Seems to be bouncing decently, but there was a lot of selling pressure today. It'll be interesting to see how this closes. I'm swinging for 55s+, this was the 50% retrace after a "triple top." Researching platform/data. My broker will be IB. Ideally I'll use Multicharts to trade from. The one thing I'm trying to figure out is whether IQFeed is worth it, and whether Multicharts will save the data locally.

12:10pm Update:
I'm up quite a bit on this "position" It's all hypothetical. I don't even have a paper account opened yet, but the system seems to be working as I envisioned. My husband thinks it will work and loves my analysis. Perhaps he's just being flattering, I doubt it. I think he genuinely thinks I'm analyzing things well and identifying risks. I can tell he's just as excited as I am to get me trading an account. My target on this trade is more complicated because we had a roll over. The triple top is now at 55, so I'm looking to sell above there.

1:10pm Update:
Clearly I learned something about cutting my winners when I get a good entry. I've been doing lunch and readings with the kids, but I've noticed the chart I left up on my computer. And I had a little itch to sell at 52.8, 53.5 and now at 54... But My target remains 55. No reason to give up a good position too early. I learned that lesson the other day.


Last edited by Sabens; February 17th, 2015 at 03:07 PM.
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