First time on a Simulator

Discussion in 'Technical Analysis' started by Smart Money, May 16, 2011.

  1. Until tonight, I considered myself a swing trader of ETFs. Now I think I'm going to be a day trader (really a night trader)

    Tonight I used all my T.A. to try a simulator playing E-mini S&P 500 futures and Gold futures. I didn't cheat from a slippage perspective because I was using limit orders. FWIW, I've paid my dues with studying T.A....maybe overdid it. I read Bar by Bar by Brooks, three other books, and practiced swing trading for a few years.


    Took me a while before it dawned on me that all I needed to do to short was sell something before I owned it and then buy it later

    I've changed my mind and decided that day trading is much easier than swing trading because there is generally no news while I'm holding a position.

    So I was simulating $50K, and I traded dozens of contracts. Is that realistic? At one time, I did average down and the system wouldn't let me buy anymore because I ran out of money. I mostly traded 1 or 2 at a time, but as I got the hang of where to click to see the charts, I got to where I was playing 4 or 5 at a time and once I had to hang it out there with 10 contracts, but I never felt too out of control since my indicators were doing their thing.

    Can someone clarify if that was really $50 K, or something like $25K and a margin?

    I know ya'll might say this is luck. I'm wondering that myself, but I was using T.A. sprinkled in with a little candle reading and I didn't really feel like I was lucking out. But 3% in a night? Can this be real?

  2. Roark


    Is this a joke? You're a wipe out waiting to happen.
  3. Why is that? Do you think I don't know how to read price action, or is it something else? I'm already a successful swing trader and I've dedicated the last two years mostly doing ETFs and their corresponding bear funds. Not much different than going long or short on futures other than it's a lot faster. So enlighten me and keep me from making a mistake here.

  4. emg


    how long have u been papertrading?
  5. I've been swingtrading for about 3 years...not paper trading but the real thing. Honestly, I never did papertrade swingtrading...I just jumped in.

    But last night was the first time I've ever papertraded anything. And this was day trading too...something I've never done, but seemed similar, just faster. The trick was to get my indicators sized right (EMA, MACD mostly). I plan to papertrade for a while even though I can read price action. I want to get very familiar with the platform, especially.

    FWIW, last night was the first time I've ever shorted also. Until now, I'd buy a fund like TZA or FAZ when I wanted to go short, so I wasn't quite sure how to enter the order onto OpenECry's platform. I guess I should have read the instructions first. :) I eventually figured out you just sell a contract before you have it and then buy it back later.

    I just, this morning, learned that the simulator still fills orders almost instantly even though I used limit orders, which is unrealistic because real orders at any price move to the back of a queue, and if you change your order price, it moves back to the back of the queue for the new price. So I can't really experience the delay of order filling in paper trading.

    My question is...about how long does it take to get filled if you trade something like ES at night. Yes, that is a subjective question, but say you put in a limit order at market, how long does it take...a few seconds? fifteen seconds? Is it comparable to buying a stock during the day or is it slower?

    Thanks for any and all info.

  6. jo0477


    Hey SM

    I trade the evening sessions too (West Coast) and your fills really depend on how thick the order book is and if there's enough momentum to blow through your resting order.

    I can't personally speak on the ES overnight as I trade 6E and I also have never used OEC's trading platform (I use NT). I believe that Ninja has an algorithm built into the simulator that attempts to give more realistic fills.
  7. emg


    during the pre market hours, expect to get filled over a tick due to lack of liquidity or if u are lucky to get filled at the tick. U really need to expect to get filled over a tick regardless what platform u are using.
  8. OEC's simulator is good at judging where in the queue you might be.

    To guarantee your fills though on any simulator, place your limit 1 tick above/below where you want to be filled. So if you want to go long the CL @ 98.60, place a limit order @ 98.59 and if that gets hit, your .60 would have been filled in real-time. This exercise is especially important on the ES. Do not assume your limit orders that just get touched briefly will fill there.

    Besides the mechanics of placing orders, it looks like quite a bit of trading and/or # of contracts on your part.

    To start - trade ONE contract, regardless of what market. Don't let the numbers fool you into thinking you are a natural and just crushing it. Your ES trades amount to $6.94/ct of profit before commissions. Gold was $30/ct before commissions.

    Size is great once you know what you're doing, but when learning how to short is part of your current process, trading 1 contract is an excellent place to start unless you are looking to hit a home run or strike out right away.
  9. Thanks emg and JO.

    This tells me a minimum...when I papertrade, I should put my buy price one tick above market and sell one tick below where I think it will go.

    I was mostly watching 1 minute candles even though there was a tick by tick option on the platform. What I'm saying is that a tick or two doesn't derail my strategy too badly because of the size of the cycles I was playing though I know they will cut down my profit. I was typically making about 4 ticks, so I guess in real life, my profits might have been half maybe???

    So how does order filling compare with a fairly liquid stock during the day? half as fast? twice as fast? Just a ballpark opinion would be helpful.

    Again thanks for the info.

  10. Brown,

    Excellent, excellent info. Thanks so much. Our posts crossed each other, so I already thought about making my paper trades more realistic by not fishing for the absolute bottom dollar.

    I was trading one contract for most of the evening. I think I played like 3 or 4 hours and I started sizing up half way through the session. I only shorted 2 or 3 times. Like I say here, I may sound amateurish here, but I know WHEN to short from my experience as a swing problem was knowing what buttons to push to make it happen.

    Hey, if you happen to know, how can I get my custom chart to display and still see all the other menus? Seems like if I make a custom chart, it becomes un-attached to the everything else and I have to use pull down menus to get to it...cumbersome for the method...there has got to be an easy way to toggle to the charts or leave them displayed that I don't know. Compounding matters, I was using WIFI and a netbook! :)

    Edit: Should have said...when I go live, I promise I'll trade 1 contract for a good long time. :)

    #10     May 16, 2011