How to scale/what to do next?

Discussion in 'Trading' started by trader99, Mar 18, 2016.

  1. trader99


    So, let me recap:

    1) Work hard at automating my strategies. I think this is the best choice but it will take the longest. I will give it 9month to a 1yr to replicate the way I really think and trade. Maybe it will be shorter with some help(experienced programmer).

    2) Swing trading: So, this is the most promising immediate choice. Right now I got a big one stock position in my account for swing trading. It's up nicely. Perhaps, I can scan the market(or use tools to scan the market) and pick a few stocks. Not too many since I don't that much capital at play here. And see how that goes. It's less screen time and higher profit potential. Though a sudden turn in markets can be a huge swing in P&L without proper trailing stops.

    3) Daytrading with larger size: This is elusive. On a good day, 10 lot of a futures contract an produce some nice up. But I'm too afraid to consistently through 10 lots around. So, I end up with just 1 or 2. And to be honest, I'm too slow on the keyboard. But the fact that I catch some decent moves is a encouraging sign. But it's labor intensive sitting and staring at some many charts and trying to catch up and down swings. It can be fun at times or boring if nothing is going on. But without automation, it has limited upside too. I would go to work and check on a position I exited and it would continue going up or down. But I have to exit the position before I head to work. I can't leave it on without me monitoring since it's a daytrade instead of a swing position.

    I feel so close to a breakthrough yet so far since the results though positive is still too minuscule.
    #11     Mar 19, 2016
  2. trader99


    You HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD! That's exactly the problem. So, when I trade right it's fine. Then I started scaling up. Perhaps too fast. From 1-2 lots to like 5-10 lots! In a recent situation, I have 2 accounts. Holding exactly the same positions and amount of lots, but one is for daytrading and the other bigger account has more flexible mandate, and I was scared out of the position and sold near the short-term bottom for a large loss. While the other account I just held and sold for a slight profit.

    Maybe jumping from 1-2 to 5-10 is too big of an incremental relative to my current account size. Maybe I should do it more gradually so I can withstand the noise when I know my signal is still good.

    Starting tomorrow, I'll trade 2-3 lots to see what's going on. So, there is a strong psychological element I need to master with increasing size. Else I will get shaken out and not move up the trading learning curve to bigger and bigger profits. I don't want to be one of those guys with a net positive strategy who will stay small forever. Then it's just a hobby.

    You are right on equities. I would NOT be trading 5K-10K shares anytime soon. It's hard to fill and that's a lot of money to put at risk. Depending on the stocks, I don't think my account can even buy that much.


    #12     Mar 20, 2016
  3. trader99


    Just a quick update.

    I made about $17K Thursday night trading futures after the BREXIT news. I still haven't had the chance to automate anything. Just busy with work and family and do the occasional trades.

    #13     Jun 25, 2016
  4. Post your trades so we know your not full of it.
    #14     Jun 25, 2016
    murray t turtle likes this.
  5. Simples


    The beauty of automation is, it exposes all the little flaws and discretionary assumptions in your logic. You may trade well manually, but when automated, every little potential trade and position becomes very binary at every point in time. Unlike the brain, a computer must be pre-programmed with its responses at all times - the smallest glitch may fail the trade. Then there's execution itself, which is tricky, and needs to be like a well-tuned engine. Except there's no perfect recipe for that either.

    If you're fairly adept and dedicated, I'd say probably 1-2 years replicating your method, and then perhaps 1 year to get the engine in correct order. If you're busy with work, family, hobbies and rest, double the time for each factor except the first one. Being 100% dedicated may not help as much as you'd like, the brain needs rest. If you're exceptionally fast, maybe halve the time. I'm not that fast though.. :p

    Adding size while being busy, doesn't seem like a good idea, however, your experience may differ. You should analyze if that'll help with costs, slippage and risk. Usually, size is bad for risk and may make a working trade into a failed one.

    Never liked to trade discretionary myself, so working on automation while doing research. If you plan/pre-design too much, your engine's gonna become more and more static - lose its potency over time. Just doing minimum stuff in order to stay agile, but even that takes time and is prone to error. Don't optimize too early, be "lazy" :sneaky: Refactor alot, gonna take much work of frustrating trial and error.. So you should really be motivated for this and look forward to continually working it out.

    Getting something started technically is rather easy. You should be able to start a working prototype during 1-2 weekends. Getting it to play a symphony, realistically takes alot of time and is not a clear-cut path unless you have a 100% mechanical system already with absolutely no room for discretion. Fat chance for that. It'd probably help to identify what can be 100% automated and start there first.

    All along the way, you'll think this time you've finally cracked it. Only to discover yet another hurdle and feeling like you're getting nowehere fast and 2 steps back again, all the friggin' time.

    What works for someone else may not work for you. So it'd be entirely up to you to make what works for you.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2016
    #15     Jun 25, 2016
  6. trader99


    You have a good point. That's why I have been reluctant to automate my trading style/strategies. I think to fully replicate it and improve it will easily take 3-5 years. I have a FT job that pays well. I only trade on the side.

    But it's worthy goal to pursue in the long run
    #16     Jun 25, 2016
  7. trader99


    This is over 3 different accounts: 2 of my own(one regular and one IRA) and 1 acct(for a family member). I took screenshots from my IB account daily activity statements.

    Acct1: $9905.64
    Acct2: $6686.20
    Acct3: $884.18
    over $17K and change.

    These are NOT that big of accounts. That's what amazing and interesting. Once you know how to trade, you can capitalize on these once in a blue moon opportunities. But if you have been following my other threads this has been a LONG LONG journey. I started daytrading(prop) back in 2001. Sucked for years. Quit daytrading & prop trading and went back to Corporate America for many years and only recently had things change the corner for the better.

    Finally, something clicked. Took 15 years. I mean I didn't trade full-time for all of those 15 years. Only 3 years full-time and on/off part-time trading in the mornings and evenings for the past 12 years with some breaks of several years in between.

    Anyhow, Thursday night was the best single trading profit ever for me. I hope more of those days will come with the recent volatility. I'll still work at a normal corporate job. In fact on Friday at work, I was so sleepy from staying up so late trading NKD past midnight (PST). I don't even act excited that I just made more in the few hours at night trading NKD, ZN, YM than most people make in a month or several months. Go check your charts and timestamps. It's all real. I think could have make many multiples of it shorting NKD on the way down, but unfortunately I was putting my daughter to sleep. So I missed the down move. So I bought close to the bottom and rode it back up.

    I know it's still a journey. Check back in a few years by then I'll be really good.

    Work on your craft rather than tearing people down. Build your own skills and believe in your own possibilities. The moral of the story it is POSSIBLE to daytrade/swing trade profitably. It will just take a long time. In the meantime, you should get a real job that pays you while your hone your craft. I don't think I'll ever quit my day job to trade again like back in 2001.

    I've a nice high paying job in a high growth sector in great demand. And I actually really enjoy and love my job unlike a lot of people on this board.

    I'll just continue to hone my trading craft on the side. Have patience...

    Last edited: Jun 25, 2016
    #17     Jun 25, 2016
    wtpWTP and Simples like this.
  8. trader99


    Just made another $1553 in an hour and change since the market is open. And it's not even night time yet. :)
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2016
    #18     Jun 26, 2016
  9. One help daytrading is ;
    EXSPENSIVE education, but teaches somewhat execution skills LOL-LOL
    #19     Jun 27, 2016
  10. i960


    One of the reasons people made a fair bit of coin during the Brexit debacle is because the majority of the bots were switched off and the market was allowed to trade in a way that most people would classify as "old school" trading.

    No significant continual back-filling or other bullshit, just a raw market.
    #20     Jun 27, 2016