I've been trading for 7 months now and still...

Discussion in 'Trading' started by cashmoney69, Jul 22, 2006.

  1. I've been trading since January of this year, but have not yet had a profitable month :(.

    On average, I have lost $ 26.17 a month. My total loss is -183.22

    This is 6.01% of my account, which is 3,045.00. 6,090.00 if you add the margin.

    I would like to know how I compare to other beginning traders on ET who have traded for atleast 7 months,

    and from more experienced traders. 6% sounds like a lot, what was your beginning like?

    - Nathan
  2. backflip


    When I started trading stocks around the beginning of the year, I too lost money. About $1000 down on an initial $4000 account. Not good. But it has given me the drive to learn a vast amount of information I would not have if I had been winning. Without this knowledge soon enough down the road I would have been wiped out. I'm studying options, specifically ones that are more conservative than trading stocks, with a higher probability of wins.

    Good Luck!
  3. ive lost over 150k this year - been at it for ~18 months. live and learn...
  4. You'll get a lot of guys disagreeing here, but my experience was that after 5 months of trading, I was slightly down, maybe 1 or 2% of the value of my account. However, the first two months were losing, then the last month was a winner and made up for the previous losses. Also I had a much better idea after 4 months about what I was doing right and wrong.

    What are you trading? Are you a daytrader? I assume you're trading currencies, right? I do not trade currencies, and I have developed this feeling that there are only 2 or 3 brokers brokers out there who aren't actively working to make you lose.

    The important thing is that you feel you are getting a handle on things and that you are getting better. If you still feel like you did the first time you placed a trade, you should examine your strategy.

    Lots of guys on here say it's stupid to go in believing that you will have to lose or at least not make $$ for the first little while, but I think this is a reasonable assumption.

  5. I trade stocks, and yes I am a day trader..well really a swing trader but I've been day trading on and off.
  6. So given the size of your losses and your account, you must be trading in 10 lots, is that correct? Are you trading through IB? If not, what are your transaction costs/trade? If you are paying $9.95 per trade, it is no surprise that you are down.

    If you are trading in 100 lots, then you have a bad position sizing problem on your hands.

    (And if this is true... isn't it amazing how many beginners on here post and say that they are having problems, only to reveal that they are committing their entire stake on every trade).

    Also, how are you daytrading with only $3.5 K? Are you not running into problems with the pattern daytrader rule or are there ways around it that I am not aware of?

    If you provide some details, you will get some flack but you may also get a few good responses which might help you turn the corner in your trading.

    IMO, this is one of the best features of this site, if you are willing to deal with the noise. You will get very good traders coming on and giving you some advice.
  7. What tradernik says is true.

    It seems to me that its very common to be unprofitable or sporadically profitable early on. 18 months was quoted to me as a common figure when I started day trading and I think its probably right (although I don't know what you do with the numbers for those who drop out).

    The big question is "do you know why you are not yet profitable?"

    If not you might well create a journal based on this thread and journal the trades so that you can get help to become profitable. It means giving away the secrets of your method but my guess is that this shouldnt matter at this point :)

    Good luck.
  8. RichardW


    I've also been trading about seven months, started with $5000, put in another $2000 later and I am down $2300. Usually 100 share lots. Hold anywhere from a day to several weeks.
    Major losses in the beginning when I did not use stops and would lose $100-$200 on losing trades. Also, I would buy and sell too often.
    Early May I was only down $250, but didn't get out quick enough when the market went down.
    I've read maybe 20 books by now, mostly ones recommended by this site or others.
    I am doing much better now, losses have slowed to a crawl, with occasional gains.
    Now I'm trying to figure out how to use options in Scottrade with an account less than $25K.
  9. You must be consistently improving/changing/backtesting your method until profitability.

    When I was learning, people thought it was strange because I kept on switching methods / ideas/ instruments,
    but if you ain't profitable, if you don't switch out what is not working, you will never find out what actually works.

    Its like the elimination diet.

    If you stick with the same strategy with little to no improvements for 6 months straight,
    guess what..

    Your profitability won't change for 6 months straight and you just wasted 6 months.

    One only turns the leaf when he is in constant motion until he is on the right track.

    Takes about 1.5 years-2 years mininum of constant improvement every single day , as in my experience.
    I learned something new every single day, until around December 2005 of last year, then the learning curve stopped.
  10. I traded ag futures on the floor. Not stocks, I know, but trading nonetheless. It took over a year to be profitable, and as someone already mentioned, you switch your approach around a lot untll you find what works for you.

    I'll probably take some heat for this comment from the guys who think you can write and backtest mechanical systems or automate things, but my experience is that trading is a skill, and skills take time to develop.

    Once you have an approach that suits your market, timeframe, account size, and temperment, you're still going to have to put in time practicing under all different types of market scenerios.

    Don't be discouraged with only 7 months, just stay at it!
    #10     Jul 22, 2006