ES Intraday traders (timeframe)

Discussion in 'Index Futures' started by billsafari, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. Hello Guys (girls)

    I was just curious to know your thoughts on what time frames you use during the day. Do you use 1 min, 5 min or both or another time frame and why?

    I'm doing some sim trading right now to get everything tweaked before I jump in live. In the sim I trade 1 lot and sometimes two as I would when I go live. (keeping it realistic as possible)

    Currently I am using the 1 min chart with a 20 day ema as well as MACD and Fast Stochastics and volume.

    I am somewhat perplexed because MACD isn't giving the defined signals (seems rather flat) as I hoped where as Stock (Fast) is.

    I don't plan on using both, Though MACD was my main indicator when I was trading Bidu options using 1 min and it worked well. Right now Stoch(fast) seem to be more reliable.

    I know some are thinking "OMG, using MACD and/or Stoch (Fast), what a rookie" which is fine. I like to keep it simple. I have no system, purely discetionary. Currently I have a win rate of 69% long and 77% short.

    I attached a chart from 9/2 (yesterday) of my trading activity. I didnt do much yesterday so all my trades for the day are on the graph. I had some trendlines on the graph but I must of deleted them and I did not want to "selectively" put them back.

    Any thoughts or experiences are appreciated.
  2. As a side note. At the 14:55 mark on the chart I was showing a friend the "reverse" feature so it was not a planned trade.

    However, at the 15:05 mark I went short and it went against me so I averaged downat the 15:15 mark and closed a few minutes later. Same at 15:34 and 15:43 and got out at 15:50.

    Obviously these trades are not huge winners but they add up. I think the final tally was a 400.00 profit( before comissions). The P/L doesn't show commisions.
  3. Lucrum


  4. Careful with averaging down as it can interfere with proper risk.

    Just because you can get a better fill than your initial entry does not mean you should increase risk because we never really know if the trade will work or not and by adding to the trade you are very much increasing the initial risk.

    EDIT: In fact, if it's going against you it's pretty much telling you, your initial reason for entering the trade was not very valid, therefore, the least you want to do is add to it.
  5. I completely agree. Those two trades where I averaged in bothered me because I generally do not want to average in. I've been doing the sim trading for 4 days now and I am still trying to figure out what a randon range is after the morning mayhem and barring a news events. Once(if) I can get a guage on that then I will place my stops accordingly.

    Thanks for the threads Lucrum.
  6. joneog


    It depends on your trading style and what works best for you. Try different things.

    I like 3min, 15min, 133 tic, and 3600 tic.
  7. I, among others, use mostly the 5-minute chart for day trading the ES. There is no right or wrong, but one could argue that the 1-minute chart typically is more noisy, although it can be of help for the trader who knows how to read it. Higher time frames can be consulted for support/resistance and big picture trends/ranges.

    What are you expecting the MACD and stochastics to tell you that price will not tell you? They are after all derived from price itself and nothing else. Consider removing them from your charts. I only use the 20-EMA myself, but I never make decisions based on that indicator alone. As a matter of fact, I rarely use it. If it lines up well with a support zone, it can add some confidence to a trade decision. It also tends to track trends fairly well at times, so it may have some value.

    You mention some statistics here. How big are your sample size on those? Surely more than 4 days? If not, you need to realize that 4 days is not statistically significant. It means nothing. Further, any trader know that a win rate does not mean much either. You can have a 90% win rate and still lose everything you have on that last trade. If you have very small losses and big winners, your win percentage can be under 50% and you can still make good money. Something to think about.

    When you some day feel ready to go live, I would advice you to trade 100 SPY shares (1/5th of a ES contract). Think about how much you can lose, not how much you can win. You WILL lose money when you go live. Expect that. Thus, the key is to lose as little as possible in the learning phase. If you can breakeven or just above in your first 6 months of trading, you have a very promising future in the markets. Unfortunately, most guys starting out have unrealistic expectations and that alone causes them to trade poorly and give away their trading capital to more experienced and prepared traders. All because of greed and unrealistic expectations. Earn the right to increase size.

    What I would recommend you to do now, is to stop sim trading and start backtesting charts manually, bar-by-bar. Search up some of NoDoji`s posts where she explain how she did it. You basically start with the first bar of the day and scroll ahead one bar at a time at your own pace. Make observations, draw trend lines, support/resistance and enter trades. Observe what works and what don`t work. Write up a trading plan based on your observations. Do this with thousands of charts. I second the recommendation of Al Brooks` material.

    It`s perfectly fine to trade discretionary, but you can`t just trade from the hip and hope for the best.

    If this sounds like a lot of work, it is because it is. It may be the shortcut though :)

    Good luck.

    PS: If you don`t prepare yourself properly, I`ll take your money without hesitating :D

    Best regards,

  8. Laissez Faire,

    I completely agree with the 4 days of trading results. Completely useless and insignificant. I just threw it in there anyways.

    I don't look at any indicator as a holy grail. I use them more or less as a confirmation as to what I am thinking.

    As far as RM and expectations I have that down already (Like everyone else, I have went through the growing pains and learned the hard way, the best way IMO). I've been trading equities and options for many years and I am just transitioning to the ES.

    As far as the hard work needed for success. I do that too. I live and breath the markets every second of my life and put 8 to 14 hours a day into studying, observing, taking notes, trendlines, S&R, etc.

    Thanks for the NoDoji recommendations.

    You sound very sincere, thanks for the tips.

    I look forward to taking your money in the very near future. :D
  9. In that case, you are probably way more experienced than me, but I always expect the worst when people here ask for advice since most seem to be green and clueless :)

    What I said about backtesting was recommended to me several times from different people, but since my skull is so damn thick, I took me a long time before I took that advice to heart and applied it. Prior to that, I had already sim traded a lot and donated a lot of dollars to better traders with live trading. I truly felt that for once I really started learning about market structure and it really accelerated my learning curve and experience as well. If you backtest 5 days per day, 7 days a week, that`s 35 trading days. 140 days per month.

    If you do that for a while, you can rack up a lot of "experience" compared to trading in simulator, day by day.

    My money is ripe for the taking 5 days a week between 0930:0400 EST, provided that you can outsmart me :)

    PS: You might consider dropping by the ES journal as well. Between all the drama, there is actually a lot of good stuff to be learned there.

    Best regards,

    #10     Sep 3, 2011