Avoiding e-mini paper cuts.

Discussion in 'Index Futures' started by Propaganda, Oct 30, 2008.

  1. Hi

    Currently I am paper trading e-mini S&P futures, so far the paper cuts are superficial... I would greatly appreciate anyone helping me out with their feedback for a few questions I put together.

    What is everyone's daily point gain goal?

    Per trade point gain goal?

    How many trades do you average?

    How many contracts per trade?

    How tight are your stop losses in comparison to the gain goal and trade risk?

    What are your trade times? Do you avoid certain times of the day?

    How do you determine when you are finished during the day? Gain goals, a set limit of trades, time of day, or life obligations?

    Do you have personal circuit breakers? If you loose X points before the session is over do you walk away for the rest of the day?

    In a clear down trend do you avoid longing the retracements? Basically do you refuse to trade against the hourly trends no matter the signals?

    Night trading... is it worth the time to ride a several hour trend for a few points? (Assuming the Asian markets have not opened)

    How much market noise do you allow yourself to absorb? Do you watch news channels during the day? What about monitoring world news for a market effecting event?

    Do you check the economic calenders on a daily basis?

    Do you pay attention to the Asian market's closings?

    What technical indicators do you use?

    Thank you...

  2. tradersam


    1.Only have a loss limit per day not a profit limit. Don't limit your upside only your downside.

    2. One contract has a small target stop moves up to break even second (or more) contract(s) you let run. Worse situation you pay commisions.

    3. Depends on the day on how many trades I make.

    4. My first profit target has a 1:1 profit to loss ratio. Second target is established later in the trend.

    5. I try to have 5k$ per contract. Imagine walking on a bridge with a pit underneath you. 1 contract gives you plenty of room to walk across the bridge. With each additional contract that bridge gets smaller and smaller making mistakes more harmful.

    6. I try to avoid 12-1:30 eastern time, first 15 mins, last 30 mins (very volatile).

    7. If I am up a certain amount where I know I will be pushing my limit to trade anymore I stop. You do not want to overtrade. Again It all depends on if you are trading 100k and want 2-3k a day or 5k and want 200-300 a day.

    8. You should always have a loss limit with your broker. You can dig a small hole and have your account shut down for the day, or it is possible for that whole to become overwhelming trying to make that money back taking trades you would not normally take.

    9. The trend is your friend. This all goes back to your trading strategy. Some people trade those small retracements. If there is a double bottom or double top that would obviosly be going against the trend all depends.

    10. Night trading is dangerous for the fact that spreads are usually much wider than usual depending on what you are trading. I tend to stay away hard to identify trends.

    11. I watch CNBC but only because it amuses me and nothing else is on. I do not trade on news because that is emotional. Emotional traders never make it.

    12. Not really

    13. Not really

    14. You want to use indicators that are mainly based on price movement. Their are no holy grails and usually the simpler the strategy the better the results. Remember all outcomes in the market are random. We are just looking for slight edges like casinos. That way over a certain period of time with enough samples we then let our edge work. You may get strings of winners and strings of losers but remember over time your edge will prevail with proper capital management and profit taking rules.

    Let me know if you have any other questions!
  3. joemiami

    joemiami Guest

    All outcomes in the market are random? Obviously you havent been trading very long and/or don't understand how to gauge short,mid term market sentiment.
  4. tradersam


    Actually yes they are random. There are patterns that have a statistical probability of following through but nothing is a sure bet. Just like the blackjack table has many random factors with repeated results. The random shuffling of the cards, the random players, the random way these players chose to use their cards. Although the results are still favorable to the house which is what traders are. We are trying to get a statistical edge and to act upon it. Overtime, although we don't know for sure how the market will act, our edge will show.
  5. tradersam, thanks for the reply.
  6. tradersam


    no problem do you get the gist of what I am saying though. A lot of these guys here like to think they are know it alls and have perfect systems, but we all know every moment in the market is random, the only thing we are certain about is identifying an edge and acting on it and taking what the market is giving us at the time.