Need advice on exits

Discussion in 'Index Futures' started by John9999, Jan 26, 2018.

  1. John9999


    I trade the NQ and the ES. I have my method for picking my injuries, setting stops etc. My dilemma seems to be not knowing at what profit level to exit.

    Just yesterday I had a 20 point profit on two contracts NQ, didn’t hit exit and ended up with a break even trade.

    Today I had a monster trade, hit exit at 25 points profit on two contracts of NQ . Of course that thing cranked 15 points higher literally within minutes of my exit.

    I have dabbled around with different rules and variations on a moving average basis. Like if I’m long and a five minute bar close below the moving average then I exit. But this doesn’t seem to the era very reliable method.

    I have a fixed exit as well but that tends to be unreliable as well.

    Does anybody have advice on how to “know“ when the up trend or downtrend is over? And exit.
    murray t turtle likes this.
  2. Overnight


    Make a flowchart...

    Were you profitable?

    1. Yes ---> relax.

    2. No ---> Know there will be more opportunities.

    Are you bumming out about missing the extra profit by exiting early?

    1a. Yes ---> Shut trading machine off.

    2a. No ---> Continue trading.

    Are you looking to get every point possible in a trend?

    3. No ---> Shut the trading machine off, you made profit. Don't worry about it. See 2.

    3a. Yes---> See 1, 2 and 1a above.

    You don't need to "know" when the trend is over. I have missed countless long profits since the New Year, and am doing fine. It takes some time to come to grips mentally with regrets about trading, but as long as you regret getting out early rather than regret getting out too late, you will be fine.

    Peter10, spy guy and tomorton like this.
  3. John9999


    OK that’s all good advice. I guess what I should say is that I just feel like I have no plans for an exit. The stop loss is easy we know how to do that. I just don’t know when to leave. I’m probably most upset about the winning trades that I allow to turn into breakeven‘s versus missing out on continued profit because I exited.
  4. speedo


    There are numerous ways you can trail a stop and lock in profit as price goes your way, pivots, ma crosses, parabolic SAR and many others. But as Overnight noted, neither you nor I nor anyone will get every bit of every move. If I were you, I wouldn't take another trade until I had an exit strategy to go with entry and stop criteria.
    murray t turtle and spy guy like this.
  5. Overnight


    Hrmm, here's an idea I have messed with in my head. It would take some tweaking to work with your own lifestyle/conditions...

    You say you have your stop-losses set and are easy.

    Why not look at the profit as paying your monthly expenses per day?

    For example, set a goal each day to pay a monthly bill. Start on the 1st of the month for all monthly bills.

    Let us say, your phone bill to start. If your monthly phone bill is 150 bux, then set your goal on that first trading day to be $150. When you hit that target, stop trading. That monthly bill is paid.

    Next day take another monthly bill, like food. If your food bill is $500 per month, set your target that day for $500. When you hit the target STOP trading. If you lose that amount, STOP trading. No matter what happened, when you reach that amount plus or minus, just stop. Next day, try for that target again. If you get it, great, you have made the target for that day. If not, keep trading until you get that $500.

    Next day, try another bill. Mortgage or something. $1000 per month. Try for it that day. You only make half your goal? Oh well. Then try for the rest the next day.

    Eventually, if you are profitable over the long run your bills will be paid by the end of the month and you will have extra money to save up for the next month of expenses, with spending money on the side.

    There are many ways to approach this issue of regret about when to exit. It has happened to me MANY times. I have learned to grin-and-bear-it when I reach my goal and say to myself, "Nope, that is IT, I am no longer trading, sitting on hands." and then watch potential profits fly out the window. THOUSANDS of dollars each week I am talkin'.

    But believe you me boy, when you exit right and the direction moves against what would still have been your entries, you will feel like the king of the world. Slow and steady always wins the race. ALWAYS.

    spy guy likes this.
  6. John9999


    I think a trailing stop makes the most sense because it’s an absolute rule. Just like a stop loss. And like a stop I set it and let it alone.
    The more of my judgement calls I can take out of the equation the better.
    murray t turtle likes this.
  7. Overnight


    P.S. Try unirenko bars. You time-based chart people are freaks. How the heck you can read that mess I have no idea.

  8. Handle123


    You don't say what level you are in trading, am guessing newbie, cause an experienced trader develops systems backwards when entry is last to work in, at least those I know. I use some 25 plus indications of when the trend is faltering and most are by reading the chart itself. You not mentioned if you have developed counter-trend signals in which you would do a reversal.

    But to be up so many points is insane to get like nothing, do you understand concept of risk to reward? So say your target is 15 points on each, you get your protective stops to breakeven plus 2 ticks as Nasdaq will have one tick of slippage and you want others to pay you fees. So say you are up at 7.5 points, how much do you want to risk to get another 7.5 points? A simple way is to have a 20sma and if you have a bar completely below the 20 on the one minute timeframe, move stops to just under this bar, it is far enough away for you to continue to your target to take off one lot and keep the runner. But all this should have been backtested to discover all the risk management of trading.

    I am not trying to be a prick, but your answers are in the past history. Also, learn "acceptance" seldom get the last tick.

    Much luck.
    beginner66 likes this.
  9. mbondy


    I would suggest you scale out instead.
  10. Don't regret it when you didn't exit at the top. After all, you didn't regret entering that trade at the very bottom, did you?
    Excuse me, but I'm guessing that you haven't studied TA to any great extent, as you currently can't answer your own question. And am also guessing that you don't intend to do such a study.
    So what I suggest is that you go through 500 to 1000 or more charts that have completed trends and focus on the following points at the end of their trends. You should find consistencies that will help you to see indications of when to exit.
    1. Number of waves.
    2. Angle of accent/decline.
    3. Return line( if you know how to draw a trend line).
    4. Volume.
    There are many additional points on which to focus, but most people won't put in the effort to study even the most simple ones such as the above four.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2018
    #10     Jan 27, 2018