Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by parabolic, Dec 13, 2008.

  1. I figured I'd post this here as ET is filled with traders who know how to trade but consistently screw up their plans and lose money. I also figured typing this out would be good for me - so that's my ulterior motive.

    Many of the traders here have been trading for 5-15+ years and still can't live off of their trading income. And many of them will say they are good traders. And you know what - they are. (You know who you are.) Get into a conversation about trading and you'll see that they are pretty much on the same level of knowledge and experience. They've been through the blown out accounts, experienced periods of consistent success after making hundreds of thousands of trades for years on end - being in the market all day, every day.

    There are many different approaches to trading for a living and if anyone is consistently profitable he should keep doing what he's doing and not pay any attention to what I'm saying - that there is also a simple way to trade and finally and truly make trading your career, in the most basic yet full sense of the word.

    I am choosing $500/day because it is a relatively low amount and readily achievable and the "salary" is considered "very good" by the majority of Americans ($120k/year). It's not going to make you rich but it's a great salary, and the best job in the world. You can personally adjust this to $200/day or $2000/ day or whatever is relatively appropriate.

    Most people look at each day as an opportunity to exploit the market to make as much money as they can. It sounds a little stupid but everyone can see for themselves how true this is. It is obvious that most people ultimately fail. They blow out their account and people close to them tell them that they should find something with steady income, a consistent source of funds. The trader thinks about different jobs/professions and sees the absurdity of working 8+ hours for someone and coming home with $300/day. Or $200/day - he thinks "how can I do this! I can make that in 5 minutes - or even 10 seconds!" - but he ends up losing money and has a "negative" salary! He will start fresh many different times, thinking THIS time he will finally make it work - and it fails again.

    If he truly wanted to make this a reality - he would see that he was right all along - it IS easy - for HIM. PLEASE NOTE: I am referring to "seasoned" traders who have been trading for years and really do know what they are doing but consistently lose money. You might say, well.. they really aren't good traders and you will point out that it's 95% money management and 90% psychology and so on. And you will be right, of course - but you might be surprised how easy these can be taken into control by many of them if they would just kept it simple and stay focused on a DAILY TARGET.

    This means that EVERYTHING the trader does must be done through realizing this goal. It makes no difference if he has 90% winners or if his ratios will look good if he were to apply for head trader at Goldman Sachs. He can FINALLY say to himself that he makes $120k/year.

    Sure, he will have to put up with exiting the market after his daily target is hit - but isn't that better than doing what he has been doing for years? He will definitely get the urge to trade after his goal is met - but how many times has he lost what he made for the day and ended up losing way too much money the very same day? He will" accidentally"
    make much more than his target for the day - a trade way go in his direction and he'll end up being 10X higher than his daily target - and this will throw him off, having him think how foolish it is to stick to his "little" goal when can be raking it in. But this will lead to failure. He must continue to stick to his goal - if he surpasses is it - great - but he should not try to surpass it! That throws him totally off and prevents him from fully doing everything through the prism of his daily goal.

    He will surprise himself and see how easy it was all this time - just as he thought it was. His wife will tell him "how many times have I told you, after you were up for the day to call it quits and stop being greedy!"

    Many will certainly ask how he will recover if his day starts out with a bad trade, etc. And here again it's important to note that I am NOT saying trading is easy! It isn't! This will only work for traders who live and breathe trading! They will know how to take control of a bad start to their day IF they keep it simple with their daily target. Each person will have to trade the way that he knows - this will be self evident if you will just be honest with yourself. Are you a good enough trader to make this work? THAT is the only unknown here...

    Nothing else matters - he doesn't need to make back anything he lost over a given period of time because he is only focused on making that $500 today. THIS is his consolation and ticket to being profitable. There is a significant population of full time traders who could make decent money if they would just forget about being rich. The fact is that if they follow this simple daily target they will end up raising their target and end up being rich anyway.

    Ironically, the truth is that you will see that it is VERY difficult to make $500/day! But this is only because that's not what you are trying to do!
  2. so very true. Everymorning, I tell myself "make good trades, and don't focus on $ value."

    do some of you hide the portion of your blotter that shows P&L? does this help? I've known quite a few traders who did this, so that $$$ don't impact their trading, but for every one of them, it turned out that they didn't want to see red.....
  3. tradersboredom

    tradersboredom Guest

    why make $500/day when you can make $500,000 on one trade.

    the guys with 1 millino dollar accounts yawn at $120,000 return.

  4. You sound alot like i did a few years back...right before i blew out my account. I used to set a "goal" of how much money i wanted to make. That type of thinking ruined me. So I learned the hard way that setting a goal of how much money you want will lead to bad trades, especially if you are starting out. That lesson cost me just over 16,000 dollars. I'm offering you that education for free. Dont set a goal, just make what you can, quit trading if you lose a certain amount for the day (like 200 bucks or so) and dont chase your money if you are losing.
  5. kxvid


    Alot of traders, new ones in particular want it all and want it now. You can't make a killing on every trade. A rare trade you will but not the average trade. 500 a day is possible. A consistent 500 a day is impossible, but 500 a day average is possible.
  6. That is because you were incapable of making $500 day - perhaps you weren't such a good trader then.

    I'm referring to traders who can easily make $500/day but end up losing money because they insist on making more.

    If this doesn't apply to you then so be it.
  7. kxvid


    Do you make 500/ day parabolic?
  8. The second part of your post is relevant - the first is not. Obviously if someone "yawns" at $120k a year they would be among the people that I told to ignore my post. In any case, it really makes no difference if they make $500k on one trade if they also lose $500k on another trade. That's easy enough!
  9. This coming from a guy with 35 posts whos only investment advice to someone was a guy looking to stash 50k dollars somewhere safe and he says to buy silver eagles when silver trading at 16.50, (and silver eagle usually trade at a 60% premium to silver spot and bought back at 20% premium, vs. silver bars that are sold at about a 10% premium to spot.

    In fact...I bet you dont even have a 25k account.
  10. I had the exact same thought and I know how hard
    it is to make $500/day. Ive had consistent $3000/day streaks
    but then I would lose $3000-$7000 a couple of times and more
    money would get thrown into my account.
    Especially, these days you really have to be psychic to be consistent and your psychic powers have to be precise to
    the nearest second. I dont think it matters how smart you are
    or how well you know the market. You just have to do
    a lot of backtesting and use statistics to win in the long term.
    #10     Dec 13, 2008