Anyone making money?

Discussion in 'Trading' started by IHuman, May 19, 2010.

  1. IHuman


    Hello guys.

    I am an isolated trader who knows nothing of other traders and what they are upto.

    I am a prop trader and have been since 1999.

    I am slowly coming to a realisation that I can no longer compete with
    HFT , computerized trading , automated trading, marketmakers, etc.

    Is there any money to be made? If so how?

    Or has this game passed me by? I am starting to think so.

    I have not made money in nearly one year. I am at my wits end.

    Any suggestions?
  2. If you started in 1999 then you have more experience and knowledge than 99% of the traders here. Having a tough year is not a big deal, provided that you have all the fundamentals right - such as discipline, and money management. Statistically you should expect that. You can always sit back until you regain your confidence. You may also need to think hard about what can you change in your game to improve it - timeframe, expenses, automation, different markets etc. Also think in terms of alternatives - if you don't trade what else can you do instead to get income from? If you have a good enough alternative - forget trading and do that :) Financial markets are perfectly competitive - zero barriers to entry, same information - so by definition it's not the best business you want to be in. If you trade against a single person - with your experience you are almost guaranteed to beat them - but against millions of traders, it's a totally different game.
  3. the fact that you started in 99 would let me believe you are inherently bullish as I believe the first year of a trading career "impregnate" a trader with a bias that reflects the behaviour of markets he experienced during that 1st year.

    99 was a bullish year ergo you have a bias towards being bullish hence your poor performance in the current environment. I'm the opposite, I started trading bonds in 94 during the bear market and tend to err on the side of bearishness hence the last 2 weeks have been huge winners for me.
  4. NoDoji


    Instead of competing with the market sentiment, go along with it. For example, the trend is down. Short the rallies. When the trend is up, buy the dips. The professionals trade with the trend for the most part. The faders have very deep pockets because you have to take a lot of heat picking tops and bottoms.
  5. discipline and risk management alone should give you an edge over most traders, algo, etc. I myself had to make a transition from an impulsive scalper to what I am now. I do some trends some rtm, etc etc. Making money is still easy. but I agree that there's no free money these days
  6. Learn to scalp better.
  7. I left the buy and hold strategy about a year ago. I got fired from my job last December and went into full-time day trading. I'm staying willfully unemployed and I am making money. Good luck to you.
  8. NoDoji


    Agreed. If you're scalping then you are competing with forces far beyond you.

    I narrowed my focus down to one stock and one futures contract. I trade POT frequently. I trade with the intraday micro-trend, mostly to the short side, because it's in a longer term down trend as well and because price falls faster than it rises.

    I trade 200-400 shares per trade. I watch a 3-min chart for setups forming and use a 1-min chart for confluent entries that will give me the least possible loss/heat on the trade.

    I wait patiently until each price swing moves from stochastic overbought all the way to oversold on the 3-min chart.

    I used to scalp for .10-.30 moves, but now I sit patiently waiting for a fully confirmed setup and then wait patiently for price to complete its cycle and take much larger profits. Yesterday for example 3 trades: +1.03, +1.07, +.72 and one scratch trade at break even.

    Good day's pay.
  9. IHuman


    Thank you all for your replies.

    As for my strategy it has evolved over the years.
    I am not bullish or bearish. I can go either direction.
    I trade listed securities . I dont have access to futures trading atm other than SPY.

    I find my biggest shortfall right now is not adequately dealing with the swings, and having losses that occur in the blink of an eye, where as before I could control them.

    I guess thats where I am at now. I feel slow.
  10. You now realise what can happen for someone who has been in the game for 10 years. Trending or RTM, one day it will catch up, chasing your own tail turning round and round...
    #10     May 20, 2010