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Need Advice

  1. Hey Guys,

    I need your collective wisdom and advice on this. I've been on ET on/off for years. As some of you might know, 2015 was my breakthrough. Finally became net profitable.
    While I was net profitable, the amount was very small compared to my corporate salary. It's more like a nice yearend bonus.

    This was all because I was doing it part-time while holding down a very nice corporate job in the tech industry. So no pressure to make money all the time and all the associated benefits(both psychologically and monetarily that goes with that).

    So, I got laid off from a tech company a few months ago. And I've been trading a little in the morning in between recruiters calling, interviewing, vacationing, and some side gigs I'm doing.

    I have two strategies. In my daytrading strategies, I can average a few hundred bucks a day easily. $100-$500. Without being too aggressive. Of course, there are down days too.

    On my longer term trades, it has been disastrous! Holding on to losers for too long on large size on one account. But on another account, my long term trades are good(riding a good trend). I know it's a bit schizo. Long story. On my good(meaning net profitable though still somewhat volatile) long trading account, I recently got margin on it through Robinhood. So now I can swing pretty large amount of capital. I was thinking maybe I should be more aggressive on that longer term account? But I don't want to lose money like the other longer term account that has been decimated. Not sure how best to proceed..

    I guess I haven't quite figure out this longer term thing yet. While the daytrading is steady, the profits are small. I'm not banking big like in my volatile swing trading account. I'm not sure how to scale it up without erasing that steady small profits. Meaning if I put on a lot of shares/futures contracts I'm sure the equity curve will not be as steady & smooth given the psychological element of holding large positions.

    I'm very hesitant to do this full-time, because even at $100-$500/day it's still SIGNIFICANTLY below my corporate job salary in the tech sector.

    Should I be MORE AGGRESSIVE in my daytrading and try to get above $1k+ daily? If I do that then I'll be above my corporate salary though there's no guarantee to I'll be able to do that everyday.

    Or should I just try to lock in another corporate job again and forget this fantasy of full-time trading? For a brief moment, I thought maybe if I was more aggressive in my daytrading then perhaps I can do this fulltime and escape the corporate job all together. Is that just a fantasy? For guys who have been in this shoe, please respond. Or should I just continue to trade on the side again and slowly compound that pot?

    Since I have time now(unemployed) to weigh these options, I like to know your take on this. Actually my daytrading is now more than my unemployment benefits. haha. And my good swing trading account is occasionally more than my old corporate job's monthly salary.

    My ideal setup would be to be for my daytrading to be $500-$1k+ a day.
    For my longer-term swing trading account to capture good moves(10pts+) a month. I have enough capital on that account where a 10p+ move would be a significant profit.

    I'm not sure I can do that everyday for my daytrading account. I'm not sure if I can do that every month on my swing trading account. I know there are no guarantees...

    thank you in advance!

  2. How many months do you have saved for living expenses ?
  3. Maybe try stop doing the long term shit....

    100-500 day, so avg what... 300? That's 75k yearly...

    So trade a bit bigger if you're consistently profitable... try it for a few months. But it's not for everyone. Why do you want to quit Tech Corp? If you're good at it, stick with your trade... your Tech Corp that is....

    Don't start looking for something that probably isn't there. Unless you're really driven to do full time trading... but in my experience, it's pretty boring 75% of the time.

    Basically, everything is a trade. Do you really want to trade your corporate job for the stress of actively trading fin markets? Swap good fixed salary with bonus for highly variable trading profits?
  4. I'm not concerned about that yet. I have a decent amount of savings lined up. My wife works too. I think just my daytrading alone can probably cover a decent portion of the expenses. But maybe if I go full-time I might not be as consistent everyday....???

    Realistically, I can go 6 more months without salary. While I have enough savings to last beyond that, I need a stop loss. I'm well educated and skilled. I don't want to waste time if going FT trading is worst than doing part-time trading.

    Yet at the same time, I don't want to miss out on a good job openings if I'm just trading all day long. Also, I don't want to miss good market moves while at work either. I know you can't have it both ways. haha
  5. You do have a good point. I didn't quit my tech corp job. I was laid off. So I have some time before I jump back in Corporate job again. Just pondering.

    $300/day would be a HUGE pay cut from my corporate job...I would need to supplement that with some good swing trades.

    While your suggestion of trading bigger size makes mathematical sense, I'm afraid psychologically it might make the equity curve less smooth.

    You wrote,"Basically, everything is a trade. Do you really want to trade your corporate job for the stress of actively trading fin markets? Swap good fixed salary with bonus for highly variable trading profits?"

    That's a great point! Probably not. So, you are suggesting I go get another corporate job and trade on the side like I was doing before? Stop fantasizing about FT trading..
  6. Yep... not trying to be a dick... just being realistic....
  7. OK. So, does this mean you have a FT job and trade on the side as well?
  8. I have some questions:

    Why are you better at managing risk on a day trading account versus a long term account?

    Why are you risk adverse day-trading, which shows consistent profit, yet risk on in the swing account?

    What are your concerns about scaling up in a day trade account if all you have to do is click a button to add another contract?

    Have you ever day traded before for extended periods of time, like a month straight?

    How big of a concern is making money right now?
  9. Hello,

    I personally would not quit my full time salary position unless I am making 3-4x times a year trading. I love intraday trading, but it is a bit stressful trying to figure it all out.

    I would continue working fulltime and trading like you are doing now. Your current trading profit is much less then what you make now from the 9-5. It would not make sense to trade full time unless you are making twice as much trading.

    Another option is to scale up your trading. If you making $300-$500 per day that is pretty good. Keep it simple.
  10. You are right! I am no where near 3-4x my salary! I'm not even at 1x. Significantly less than 1x but net profitable..

    You guys have helped made up my mind. I'll go back to corporate and trade a little bit i the morning before work. And if I have time work on trading systems to automate. Staring at the screen all day in hopes of a few hundred bucks doesn't seem like a good long term move. I don't want to be out of the marketplace too long. Need to keep my skills fresh.

    But the idea of scaling up in daytrading is interesting. Just not sure if I'm ready to put on a lot of contracts/shares...
  11. Yes, I've daytraded fulltime before back in 2001-2003. It was beyond dismal results! Then I went back to corporate jobs. Then started trading again part-time and refined my skills.

    This would be my 2nd go at full-time trading if I were to do it. But it seems the consensus is NOT to do it! Back in 2001-2003, I was much younger with little financial obligations.

    The prudent thing is to get a corporate job and invest/trade on the side.
  12. Trader99,

    Good decision. I am in the same situation as you. I work in corporate and trade at work at times. And it is a huge challenge.

    So I am currently in the process of learning to program to back test my system and consider trading automation in the future.

    I will not be quitting my 9-5 no time soon, definitely not quitting after 1-3 profitable year.
  13. It depends on your timezone. If you are on PST like me, then you can get up early and trade for an hour or so before work. But automation is the key I think. That will take a nontrivial amount of time to implement and refine.

    So you have had 3 yrs of profitability?? Nice!
  14. trader99,

    lol, i have 0 years of profitability because I never took the time to program and backtest my method. Just day to day trading or discretionary trading.
    I am in central time zone.

    I meant to say after 1-3 years of profitability.....
  15. OK. I think I should reconsider after 3-5 yrs track record of profits that are at least 3-5x my salary. That's the safest choice.

    But at least you are working FT right?
  16. yes, i am working FT now. And I agree with you on your decision.
  17. This is my full time job. But I've got about 10 years experience as a professional market maker and been doing this for about 5 years.

    Learning curve is very steep and I learned a lot during those years of prof trading. I personally feel I couldn't have learnt the broad base I currently have trading on my own...

    So, you could give it a go. But depending on your age etc, after 1-2 years how hard is it to get back into corp job?
  18. Your points are duly noted. But it's also about "opportunity cost." I actually have many marketable skills. To not use them to earn a great stable salary, benefits, etc. seem like a waste.

    There's nothing to say that I could perform worse than now when I go FT due to the pressure to make money everyday.

    I think part-time trading is the best route for now.
  19. When I was at DE Trading / ITG in Glenview, IL as a prop trader, my closest friend was a HUGE Schatz scalper. He kept his part time job selling athletic shoes in the City for a very, very long time. He had that job to help him through his start, and he just kept it even when making serious $$$. Maybe even after he bought a condo in Chicago and his M3. If you're in a position to force trades in order to survive, from my vantage point bad things happen. Just my 2 cents, YMMV.
  20. What do you consider huge in this case?
  21. He'd take them all.
  22. What, 1-2k lots? That's decent.... A mate of mine used to trade Bund/Bobl/Schatz 15 years ago. That was all about 80% scratch... and try to get the other 20% in 1 tick profit. Nerve-game...

    I myself hate scalping... :)
  23. And it's only gotten to be superhero level to scalp these days. That's why the Chicago prop group business model morphed away from point-and-click and into far fewer firms and high levels of automation (more or less).
  24. bone et al,

    that's a great point. That's why I've decided to continue working full-time in the highly paid tech sector. After my layoff, I went out of the country for vacation for a month. Just got back recently and now back to interviewing. Hopefully back on track soon. For a while I was entertaining if I should daytrade full-time. But after all of you guys inputs, I've decided not to.

    The funny thing is I think I have finally gotten some semblance of an "edge." Back in 2001-2003 when I was started daytrading(back then prop), I couldn't make money if my life depended on it. The results were just beyond dismal! My current $100-$500 days would be a distant dream. I would tell myself even if I just make something positive each day then I would last long enough to get up that learning curve.

    Eventually, I gave up on daytrading. Went back to corporate world. Gained a bunch of marketable skills. Went to grad school. Got my graduate degree. Then got a nice bump in salary afterwards and every year since it has been a really good steady climb and sometimes high jumps in salary. I'm NOT telling you guys to showoff. I could care less.

    My point is that once you are in a good track professionally, daytrading becomes less attractive. But I kept at it though. Trading on/off for years while I work professionally. In the mornings. And occasionally at weeknights and Sunday nights. Mostly days but not every day. There were long stretches of time that I didn't even trade at all.

    Now I'm finally consistently making money on most days. Of course, I have down days(who doesn't). I'm pretty confident I can make net profits probably on most months if I really focus at it.

    But my risk profile changed... I'm married and have a kid. Back in 2001-2003 it was just me. Now, I got a house and mortgage(though it's pretty reasonable and manageable).

    I think if I just scale up more contracts I can easily make some decent coin. My best single one day trade was $17K across three accounts. You can read it here: https://www.elitetrader.com/et/threads/how-to-scale-what-to-do-next.298609/page-2#post-4297631

    It was an amazing feeling. Of course, not every day I can do that. I feel I have finally overcome the hump and crossed to the other side. But ironically, I can't do it full-time now since the opportunity cost is too high given my professional tech job pays well with zero risk. Of course, there's always the risk of the occasional layoffs. But that happens to all white collar jobs occasionally. You just pick yourself up and get another one.

    Yet, life catches up to you. At my age(still young but not that young), I can't sit in front of the computer all day in hopes of making something. I wished I knew everything I know now back in 2001-2003 when I was carefree and had almost unlimited buying power through the prop shop. And even then prop trading was dying by the time 2003 rolled around. There's a time and place for everything...

    I guess the best I can do is just continue to refine my daytrading on a part-time basis...
  25. I have a client right now that I've been training for 16 months. Full time job. Wants to keep it. He has been paper trading for 14 months with returns and metrics that are exceptional - he wants to start live trading his own account early 2017. I have another client who I spent 18 months with who is now, since we started, at an IB in NYC - they liked his interest rate Spread trading acumen.

    You're welcome to independently contact these clients and query them.
  26. I think the hard part for me is sometimes confusing between daytrading and swing trading signals.

    For example, on a daytrading signal I should sell, but on a swing trading signal I should hold.

    It's bad when I sell because I can't stand the intraday drawdowns and sell at the lows or cover at the local highs when in a multi-day chart it's all part of the path.

    If I just focus on daytrading then I should just follow my 5min,1min charts and get in and out accordingly and not hold because at a higher time frame it shows otherwise.

    Vice versa. On my longer term trades, I shouldn't be shaken out by intraday noise.
  27. I think your anxiety regarding getting shaken out of a trade meant to be held longer term is natural. That's why spread trades are so attractive - the margins are almost always in the hundreds of dollars and the drawdowns are equally timid. If you want to learn to swing trade outright flat price, I would suggest the mildest and lowest vol products you can find - like a 2yr Note future, or say 100 shares of SPY. For a day trader to transition to swing trading takes some emotional acceptance and a real step change in approach. The good thing about trading such modest risk is that once you put together a nice, consistent, protracted performance string you can lever immediately.

    Anxiety is real, it affects you, and there's nothing to gain by ignoring it or burying it. IMHO the key is to moderate it to the point where you can allow a trading strategy to work in the market unencumbered. My 2 cents, YMMV.
  28. I assume by swing trade you mean long term? What's long term in your case, which time period?
    My 2 cents, you can trade both... but you need to separate them. Either physically by having 2 accounts, or just mentally or with a excel spreadsheet or something.

    Also, you could try to daytrade based on the long term trade. So, if long term signal is up and you are long, you can sell on basis of short term... but only to flat position. So don't go short overall...
  29. I DO have 2 separate classes of accounts. 2 for daytrading(IB). 1 for swing(Robinhood zero commission).

    Of the 2 daytrading accounts, one daytrading account I use for both swing and daytrading(futures & stocks). That was a mistake. Because I would get so confused. If you look at my IB account and look at the closed trades each day, I'm mostly net profitable for months on end.

    But because I also swing trade on that account, I'm net down since I was holding onto losers for too long(days&weeks) confusing the swing & daytrades. I would be down HUGE. If I just sold and cover everything each day on that account and keep it purely daytrading then I would be up nicely. Because I mixed the two my track record on that mixed account is dismal.

    Yet for my Robinhood account where I exclusively swing trade, I'm up nicely.
    When I try to daytrade my Robinhood account I get out too soon because I get shaken by small moves when I'm in the daytrading mindset. But when I'm in the swing trading mindset, I can easily ignore the fluctuations and wait for my big moves and ride it as far as I can. But my shortcoming is that I don't ride the move to the maximum. I would ride the move for a while thinking this is a good enough move. Get out then it moves some more and then some more. I mean I regret a little but it's hard to complain too much when you capturing many multiple points move.

    And for the daytrade account where I exclusively(for the most part 99% of the time) daytrade, I'm up nicely.

    That's where the confusions lie.

    So, there's something to be said about separating the accounts mentally and physically. And wearing different thinking hats when I trade them...
  30. So that's you culprit... you hang on to losers. Nothing to do with swing trading. It's 'hope trading'... you hope it recovers. Don't... just cut the losses and be strict with it... (just don't set too tight stops).
  31. Perhaps you are right. But in the other purely daytrading account where I rarely swing trade, I'm up nicely.

    But you are right. Holding losers too long on ANY TIMEFRAME is bad!! I definitely know how to make money($17K in one day is my best so far), but it's those occasional big losses that get me!

    Do you set stops as soon as you enter? I think that single habit would make me a phenomenal track record. 70-80% win ratio. Nice Sharpe that gets ruined by occasional big losses. :(
  32. You guys all know this feeling. On days when I'm doing well, it's the best job in the world. When days when I'm not doing well, I feel like I'm wasting my time and should get back to corporate world where I'm guaranteed good pay, benefits, etc. with zero risk.

    Well I got interviews coming up and hopefully soon will be back to Corporate Land. But I'll continue to daytrade & swing trade on the side...
  33. Hi ET,

    I'm not sure if this is the right forum to ask, but I know there are smart, well-balanced, and informed ET members on here that I trust and valued their opinions.

    I was at decent seniority at the tech company before I was laid off. I've started interviewing again and I get really positive feedbacks given 1) my excellent educational credentials 2) professional skills & experiences. So, I'm not too concerned about getting "a job." But I want to get the right level job, which is harder. I don't want to have to go down too many levels from where I am which makes the trek back up harder and longer.

    1) Should I take a job 2-3 levels below where I was but at a big name stable company? My gut tells me NO. I could care less about prestige of the company. Some of my family & friends are telling me a big name company looks good on your resume. Yes and no. While it might be 2-3 levels below where I am, it's still very good pay and the stability of a big company can make me relax a bit and focus on other things(e.g. side trading, etc.). But "good" pay is relative. On a career progression standpoint, it will be a big step backward in pay and title but an upgrade in terms of quality of company since my last company was not a big name company though the pay was high. But on the grand scheme of things my lifestyle wouldn't even take a hit or anything given tech job pays relatively well in general. Personally, I'm uncomfortable with this choice.

    2a) Say NO to option 1. Wait it out for a better job with the right title and pay.
    2b) Variation would be wait it out and find a job that's only 1 level below where I am in terms of pay.
    2c) Wait it out for a job that's the same or close to the same where I was.
    2d) Wait it out for for a job, that's even higher than where I was.

    3) I'm currently doing side consulting now with the hourly rate MUCH HIGHER than my old job. But the number of hours are much lower and unpredictable. Should I focus more on this given its potentially higher overall pay if I can get more hours and more clients? But that's akin to running a business in addition to doing my technical work. So, there's a layer of complexity of biz dev, client acquisition, marketing, etc. My wife likes this option. She thinks it's time for me to strike out on my own. I tell her to be realistic since the ramp up time can potentially take a long time. The freedom of running your own practice is nice. But it could be years before I can get to the same level of pay as a corporate job though on an hourly basis I might be much higher. Or it could take it off and be successful sooner than I think... Or it could fail like most new businesses.

    Getting the exact type of job I want especially at big companies can take many months. So, there's short-term opportunity cost(lost salary, benefits in those intervening months). But if it takes 3months to find the perfect job then it's worth the risk? Else I will be knocked down 2-3 levels below which could take YEARS to come back up right? The catch is assuming it will only take 2-3months to get the right job...

    What do you guys think is the best route? Weighing the opportunity costs both short-term as well as long-term?

  34. We are all different, but I have always preferred to start new business ventures and go balls to the wall on getting them profitable so long as it was outside time I day traded. If you are good, clients will come. BUT you sound more like a corporate man who may like the security of working for others, you can keep doing what you doing till you find a position that suits you, and you are right, can take you years to decade from taking lower position. AND as you age, your marketable skills diminish and at some point of 3-4 years later you be taking lower level positions. I didn't quit my Gov't job till I was making 25x in day trading-few mil in the bank but I had already had long term trading going well way before this time. When most come to day trading, they sort of mentally prepared unlike getting laid off, really hard to have to make money and have nothing going on the side as stress piles on you.

    Perhaps, if can't find job at end of one year, drop down one level and ever year thereafter, continue to conservatively day trade and expand your business seeking more clients, never know, after a year your consulting business might take off and you have more time to learn longer term trading, don't think Buffet day trades.
  35. Interesting take on this. My consulting business is doing fine, but like any new biz it will take time to ramp up. My clients are happy so far and there's potential to expand further since I haven't even expend efforts on the biz dev side of things( don't even have a website, no marketing, etc.). It's just some people I know and worked in the past that I'm working with that is paying me great rates. So, there's a germ of possibility of great success but I have to put more biz dev effort to make it great. If this is the route I want to go then I should put all of my energy there and stop looking for a job and just focusing on expanding this consulting biz is what my wife is saying. I have the credentials, the skills, the experience she said. Just need to do it!

    About marketable skills, I'm in a hot area(at least for now). I get recruiters' calls everyday. So, that's why I'm hesitant to go down 2-3 levels especially when my skillset is in demand! Just need to wait it out for the right position...But in tech what's hot now maybe not hot in 3-4 years. Therefore, I love to learn and continue to upgrade my skills. I don't have a problem with marketability.

    So, what's your suggestion? Wait it out for a good Corporate job while consulting on the side? Build up longer term trading system as well as daytrade on the side?

    I definitely think it's unwise to daytrade full-time now due to the stress of making money everyday. But daytrading/swing trading on the side is fine and doing tech consulting as a source of income until I either expand my consulting biz or find the appropriate level job.

    Is that the best route? And just reject any job offers that don't fit my criteria?

  36. I have known several through either getting laid off or tried their hand in day trading and what has always happened is they had to restart going down levels of management just to get back into automation, automobile, electronics divisions and took some a decade to get back to what they were once before, none did what I recommended by getting something on the side going or part time, so when they ran out of funds, they had to take anything. You are in a fairly good position, but I wouldn't be taking lower anything for now, hold out for something better than you did, continue with your consulting and try to beef up and if you should get another position, keep some of what you are doing on the side as that be extra money to invest or take in an intern for summers or part time. Sometimes working for a firm better deal than working your own biz, many more bennies. And if you go that route, learn longer term trading off weekly charts. Day trading is not what most people think it be like, when you HAVE to make money, it is very stressful, at least to me, I am finding automation much more relaxing, as is long term. Commission really add up in day trading and it doesn't take long to forget rules unless you doing it each day. Also, nothing wrong with starting businesses and hire other people to do them, lot's of people needing jobs.
  37. Thanks for the perspective. In no uncertain terms will I be daytrading full-time! Been there, done that already(back in 2001-2003).

    My plan is

    1) Continue my consulting to keep my afloat
    2) Continue to look for appropriate level jobs and don't settle until I find something right. Since I do have money coming in from consulting. It's not like I need the job this minute.
    3) Develop some longer term trading systems so that when I do land that great job I can swing trade on the side or better yet have the system swing trade for me.

    Your idea of hiring other people to do some of my work sounds good. I'm not at a stage where I can do that. If I start getting a lot clients then obviously I can't do all the work myself. When I cross that bridge, then it will be a good problem to have. That's the route my wife has been pushing me toward.

    She said I'm wasting my time interviewing when I should spend that time working on my biz. I told her I'm hedging in case the consulting biz doesn't take off.
  38. I actually think you could do better in consulting biz as if the economy changes to worse, there is going to be lay-offs and companies rather hire off-site than be saddled with employees. Put up web site and go full tilt if you going to be going at it, contact everyone you can think and network, send out to all the companies in your field of your off-site biz, you never know, one of them could hire you full time off that. And do it right by going LLC to reduce risk. Good luck.
  39. Hi ETers,

    Long time no post! Just ran across this post from Brett Steenbarger


    I know it's from 2007 blog post. But it speaks succinctly and clearly to my dilemma of trading on different timeframes! This just hit the nail on the head of the problems I've had in the past.

    I would look charts on a daily timeframe and initiate the trade intraday. Sometimes that means I would go countertrend on intraday basis. And I would get killed and get out at the worst possible prices(intraday)/ But had I wait a few days later it would go my way in a huge way. Symmetrically, if I do short-term daytrade scalp and I start looking at the daily chart then I would hold onto losers for too long!

    Stick with one time frame.

    This means the information processing system one used to do swing trading is very difficult from short-term intraday trading.

    That's why the Robinhood account where I usually exclusively swing trade I do really well. And the IB account where I exclusively daytrade I do fine.

    It's the IB account when I mixed the timeframe that I get shaken out at the worst possible times.

    But the article also mentions those who do intraday trading(not swing or pure scalping) has it toughest because they have to integrate two separate viewpoints.

    "When, however, a trader operates at a time frame that is intraday, but not at the level of scalping ticks, we have a unique cognitive challenge: the need to integrate perceptually-based expertise with an explicit knowledge base. Or, more simply, the need to integrate one's instincts with one's reason."

    Maybe that's why it's so hard to mix the timeframes. Either be a pure scalper or a pure long term investor/trader ??...

    Just living and learning..


  40. Handle123,

    Just to update. I finally landed a job that paid the same level as my last management level position at a tech company! This is no mean feat after months of looking while consulting on the side.

    Ironically around that same time, I had like 3 job offers and it was so hard to decide.

    So, I'm doing the smart thing and daytrading in the morning and going to work. And doing some longer term swing trading. No full time trading for me.

    I still haven't invested much time on building a longer term trading system so I can focus on my work and let the system swing trade for me. Perhaps in the future...


  41. Congratulations. I am happy you are getting back to the profession you were trained and are good at. Continue to build your investment/trading portfolio until you can afford to quit your day job and not have to depend on trading for living expenses. That way, there will be no pressure and you will trade with much better results.

    I went full time only after I was able to quit my day job and never look back.

    Best of luck to you sir.
  42. Thank you for your compliments and wise advices. I learned the hard way about daytrading fulltime from 2001-2003. Those were darkest years of my life when I quit a good paying corporate job to do daytrading FT without a freaking clue. haha. Young and foolish.

    I'm glad I was able to re-enter the workforce, worked my way back up, went to a decent graduate school, then proceed to advance in my career beyond the level I was back in 2001. Whew.

    Given the opportunity again in 2016 with my most recent layoff, I was tempted but didn't take it though financially I'm in a much much better position than when I was in 2001-2003. So, I'm glad I'm back on the saddle with a great corporate job at an excellent tech company making great money and benefits. I'll just daytrade and swing trade on the side.

    But like you said, I still need to "continue to build" up my investment/trading portfolio to a level where success is realistic. And it's not only the amount of capital available, which itself is an edge, but also my skills and understanding of market dynamics. My trading skills have improved a lot, but it's still a ways to go til I feel that I'm so good that going to work is costing me more than trading.

    I'm not there yet but I feel like in 3-5 years I'll be there. Think long-term. No daytrading riches fantasies. But a realistic look at what is achievable. I'll get there. I'll report back periodically of my progress.

    The funny thing is the long and steady way is the FASTEST way to get there. If one jump in thinking you can master this game in a couple of years then you will die broke. Whereas if you have other sources of income, benefits, and diversifying your source of income and happiness then you will achieve your trading riches even faster than keep failing due to undercapitalization and stress.

    It's exciting and fun but one has to hedge your risks.
  43. Always go with your gut. It takes 18 months to internalize a new behavior IE going from trading as supplemental income to trading for a living.
  44. Congrats on get going on a good path, keep learning about different markets and chart patterns, never stop back testing, strive for more even when the going is a stand still. It is amazing we get into our own timeframes of learning new ideas comes in blocks of knowledge like an explosion, once every seven years, start brand new systems, be surprised at oneself at what you can learn new by forcing yourself to do different.
  45. Hi Guys,

    I know you guys don't know who I am nor I know who you are. But I feel like updating to you.

    Yesterday, I was laid off at the nice corporate job I was talking about. I have 1.5 month severance and lots of savings. So, no worries financially at least for a while.

    Now, I'm back to the same position that my wife was telling me. I went against her advice and dive back to a normal corporate job, which she told me would not be a good fit for me. All because of the "perceived stability". But in fact, nothing is secured about a corporate job with a lot of changes and backstabbing going on.

    You think I should take the plunge and go for it(full-time consulting) as she advised? I think she probably know me better than I know myself. This will give me a lot of flexibility in terms of schedule for trading, taking care of my family, and do other side projects.

    Or should I seek false security(benefits, steady paycheck until it runs out, perks) and try again at another corporate job that might or might not last for a while...
  46. So the chronology of events from this thread is:
    Dec 2016 fired
    April 2017 hired
    October 2017 fired

    Two jobs in less than one year.

    I was last employed sometime in the 1980’s. Since then I have run my own businesses, invested long term, and traded short term. There have been lean times and there have been plentiful times, but there has never been “a rug pulled out from under my feet” time.

    Sounds like you need very basic financial planning as a baby step. You mention a wife, but no mention of children. Although you did use the phrase “taking care of my family”, but that could include an elderly parent, a sibling with a medical condition, or just some person in difficulty that you commit to assisting (good on you).

    So if you drop dead right now, how does your family survive? In general I hate insurance, but I do see value in five year term life insurance for a “bread-winner” with a family. (I’m so old, no one will be inconvenienced. The not-seen relatives will be cheering and licking their chops when I kick-off. Little do they know it is all going to the Buddhist Society of Western Australia.)

    What’s up with your retirement planning?

    Suppose you are only crippled from a stroke and do not die, so there is no life insurance or car insurance (had it been a collision), how does your family survive?

    What about health insurance? I am told that for Americans that can be a literal killer.

    Is your wife independently wealthy from her own employment, assets, family? That certainly changes your risk profile.

    (see I did it again; I made the post about you, when I mean it as general information since I know nothing about you, please replace the above words “you” and “your” with the phrases “a person” and “a person’s”.)

    (also you may have a very comprehensive financial plan already in place, I do not know one way or the other, please do not take offense from my lack of information, I genuinely intend the best for you and your family)

    (this non-offensive writing take a lot of work, I must be a truly offensive person, chatting in a pub with a mate over a pint is so much easier, especially if they are a Geordie)

    Without “a person” getting “their” foundational financial affairs in order, “their” psychology during trading will be effected. When I trade I have no emotional response to a win or a loss, its just another trade out of thousands. If I knew that the trade affected the food my family would eat that week, then I would have an emotional response that would limit my profits. At the end of the day I autopsy my trades, the goal being to see if the results of my strategy are still within expected values, and where I created deviations from the strategy to understand why so they are not repeated. Sometimes I let a small amount of emotion creep in at that time. Like yesterday, when I made profit but left lots on the table due to deviating from The Plan.

    As far as an opinion on whether you should take another job, or go into the consulting field, perhaps there are people closer to you, with more detailed information about your situation, than strangers on an internet forum.

    For example, is there a consulting job that you could start immediately, or do you have to go out and find a contract? How will you find the 17th contract? Is the work so plentiful and the pool of talent so small that work falls into your lap with a queue of offers? Frequently technology people are poor at marketing and selling since they are not people orientated (even among the FANG’s the founders were not known for their people skills and they hired the talent to fill in where they were weak). I doubt anyone here knows this level of personal information about you.

    My suggestion is to find a trusted friend or relative, that you respect, and have private conversation, where all the details get disclosed (to them alone) about your choices and situation. Be clear upfront, that you want their truthful opinion and not a varnished version designed to make you feel better in light of just being fired. If you do not have such a trusted friend then that is also a piece of information to consider. Then review that conversation (or the inability to have it) with your wife.

    You may also want to consider and define what would make you happy. Most people simply head for the largest $ £ ¥ € and live a miserable existence as a consequence. You and your wife could turn this small window of time into a great opportunity to plan the rest of your life in a comprehensive manner that leads to joy rather than money. Certainly, in most societies, money is a component, but not as much as most people think. The Apprentice UK started last week, to watch a group of 18 young boot-lickers trying to give Lord Sugar a hand job is both funny, and a reminder; to focus on the important to the individual and not the artificial desire of the masses.

    I made a choice to live in a remote area on a lake, lots of land, lots of peace, rarely see people. It’s a 45 minutes drive to get a quart of milk, in the winter the road can become impassable, so its not for everyone. I also happen to be addicted to trading for 50+ years so I still do it for the joy of trading. More money than I need accumulates in my account therefore I meet some definition of rich (expenses<income). By the standards bandied about on trading forums, I am but a pauper.

    Ultimately you have to make a decision for yourself. Take on board information, decide and then get on with it.

    Final comment: Earlier in this thread it was suggested that you increase the size of your trades as a way to make more money. Please do a risk of ruin calculation before implementing such a strategy. I have no idea as to the percentage of your account that you risk per trade, but there does come a tipping point where the size of the trade compared to the frequency of loss, or losing percentage, creates a certainty of losing the entire account. If you have already done this and are well aware of RoR, I did not mean to offend, only provide a suggestion since I do not know your level of expertise.

    I have tried to make this post offensive free, but through inadvertence may not have succeeded. If any reader is offended then ….. ( ok, best I delete that).

  47. You have solicited enough advice, "it's time to shit or get off the pot"!
  48. My ideal setup would be to be for my daytrading to be $500-$1k+ a day.

    I recall and old T.V. commercial promoting their system for day trading making $1,000 a day trading the morning open. It showed a young couple beaming with euphoria. The guy was making his morning trade with a laptop while his frisky babe was waiting to shag.
  49. Lulz
  50. This is funny shit. Don’t forget to include the dog in your trust.
  51. If you read through all his posts, he said he now has a wife and a kid.
  52. Your wife knows your situation better than all of us combined, so if I were you, I listen to her. Her salary and your saving/investment can provide a base for you while you build up your business and learn to trade better.

    The fact that you got layoff in the current booming economy within such a short time of landing your corporate job is not a good sign. Something just isn't right. Your better half probably knew it and you need to be honest with yourself.

    I quit my corporate job and started full time trading when, like someone mentioned on this thread, my investment returned became much higher than my pay.

    Good luck.
  53. How about a job where you ca wrk at
    Hahaahahaha funny I was thinking the same thing. :D
  54. become a public school teacher than you can trade full time 3 months + a year.
  55. Even better ..he needs to get a job where he can work from home.. will be able to trade to his heart content.
  56. are you familiar with the expression that you can't dance with one behind at two weddings?
  57. Yep. That is what "well-educated" gets you.

    Your degrees would mean nothing if you came to my company...Your prowess with verbiage would. It would indicate some very important aspects of your personality. I have zero patience for people who do not look over their writings and correct errors.

    You are probably more "educated" than I am. Yet you can't keep a corporate job for more than a year?
  58. I'm from NYC and very familiar with many jewish sayings.

    " Can't lift two watermelons with one hand"
  59. No kidding. It’s not only laughable, but an insult to the informed players of this industry. Teach grammar school, and compete with some of the worlds best speculators, on the side?? Keep dreaming
  60. Hi Guys,

    Thanks for the various advices. They are all good. I've thought about things and here's what happened and my options.

    Let me give some context before you guys rain down on me about not keeping a corporate job for less than a year. There were some serious political backstabbing, setting up to fail, and plain jealousy. I came in probably at the top of the pay bracket for my role. The reason I know this is I was in management and in senior management meetings we discussed a lot of roles salaries. They were significantly lower than mine. So, expectations were HIGH. Jealousy were HIGH. But, my mistakes in hindsight, I treated as just another job since this pay was the same or slightly lower than my last job. But for this company I was coming in high and there were probably enemies all around ready to take me down. Hindsight.

    Then there's new management. They hired a new boss to run our group. He wanted to go in totally different directions and make a lot of changes. I guess I'm not part of his agenda.

    Lastly, there were personality clashes between my employees(people whom I managed). And I didn't take care of it until it blew up in my face. I thought that just giving a small talk to them to correct their behaviors would be enough. Apparently not. I will OWN that fault.

    At the exit interview, HR mentioned I have great technical skills but my management skills were lacking. With that feedback, it made sense. HR also said it's due to dept restructuring and the new boss wanted to do different things. Fair enough.

    I've been in Corporate America long enough and been through enough of these cycles that I didn't react much. I politely nodded and signed the necessary paperwork. Took my package and left.

    As to next steps, I can do the following:

    1) Respond to the many back emails of recruiters hounding me for the last few months about various roles. I never responded to them because I was already employed and "happy" in my job. Fortunately, I work in a hot in-demand area of tech. But unfortunately, I have geographically constraints due to family being here. Also learning from experience, I need to find the "right" company culture and role. E.g. less politics and backstabbing. Also not sure how many of those roles are still available.

    2) Get a remote job so I can work from home. Trade a little bit in the morning. Have flexibility to take my child to various activities and classes. That to me is the best option. Let's keep my fingers crossed if such a role opens up.

    3) Do consulting on-site. An old boss of mine who gave me glowing recommendation to land this job wanted me to do consulting for his current company. But I took this job instead since it was a FT role with benefits. He and I worked well. I don't mind working for him again even if it's just on a consulting basis. I would enjoy that. Not sure if his company is still looking for such a role since it was 6 months ago.

    4) Do remote consulting. I'm trying to land a remote contract. I know someone who was interested in it but I need to jump through a few hoops to get it.

    5) Build up my entire consulting practices since I have one client now. The per hour pay is high but volume and steadiness is low. But it's a start...

    6) I also considered teaching more online tech courses. I have developed a MOOC like course that I have received decent reception but the volume of customers it too low to make a living. But it's on autopilot so every once in a while I get a student sign up for my course. Ka-ching. So I could be building more online courses. In fact, the platform just requested I build more courses for them. So promising. But I would need SIGNIFICANT SCALE in order for this to be viable. But it will be one of my many sources of income. I think if I have 10 popular courses then it would be a nice residual income.

    7) Trading on the side. I would NEVER do this FT. Just too risky given my situation. I have given up on that fantasy. I realize if I'm careful and prudent I can make a little here and there everyday and it would add up to an OK side supplemental income. I have too much valuable tech skills to be staring at the screens all day in hope of making something.

    So, I'll try everything above and see what sticks. Ideally, I would do multiple options. I don't believe in single source of income anymore. It can be taken away from you on a whim. Wish me luck!

  61. I've worked in several very large companies, multinationals, and the higher you go the more brutal it seems to get. The pressure rises, meetings, pace of work, hours, expectations, emails, accountability, the back stabbing...
    I'm retired now and all I can say is "what a relief".
    Over my working life, sacked a few times, made redundant a few times and I have walked out with very little to no notice some times.
    I've been kicked out the door with like 5 minutes notice and likewise I have given bosses the same.
    As you may believe, I'm not an easy guy to get along with, yes and no. I was raised a bit like a bogan, scrappy and a bit shifty, but if you put your nose to it one can pull themselves up by their bootlaces.

    Trading, it's just perseverance. Write lots of notes, you will soon get your shit together.
    Be methodical, protect your capital, don't be hasty to place trades, trade small at first.
    Once it starts coming together you will notice the upward curve begins to increase.

    Finally. I wish you luck. Luck does pay a part.
  62. Here's the update:

    I've been doing some side consulting. And hopefully soon back to a Corporate job. In October til now, I didn't even really looked. I was so sick and tired of Corporate America that I didn't even apply or reply to many recruiters call. I guess I was still recovering.
    Now I'm ready again. And guess what? I'm getting bunch of calls. Funny how the universe works. When you are ready then things just show up. When you are not ready or refuse to then the universe does not manifest anything. Not to be New Age psycho-babble. But I kind of believe you create your own reality by your actions,inactions,beliefs, etc.

    I've made some improvements and have had many $1k+ days! This is the right direction. But I need to improve on cutting losses faster. I have to end this vicious cycle of booms and bust. Make a lot of money then lose a lot of money. My losses have to be very small relative to my winners. Catching and riding a good downtrend is no problem for me. Yesterday(12/29/2017) on one of the slowest trading day of the year I made $1400! I shorted NQ futures near the open and got out near the low of the day toward the close! It was a beautiful trade! Too bad I only had 1 lot on. Multiple lots would have been nice. I also got in NG futures during a pullback but then it went against me. I got out for a small $100 loss. Good. I need to keep that habit of keeping losses small.

    But then again there are days where I held onto stupid losses for too long thinking it will come back. I need to create and follow strict exit rules.

    I just did a quick math in Excel. If i just cap my losses to a fix amount then in December I would have made 6x what I've made! It's not cutting losses short that is killing me!

    That's the flicker of hope. As I've written previously here on ET in other posts, back in 2001-2003 was my first foray into daytrading. In 2000, I was in a high paying dotcom job. When the dotcom imploded I got so sick of Corporate America that I wanted to do something different. So I went to prop trading. Back then there were still no deposits prop trading. I didn't know sh*t. Never could make $1K a day easily like nowadays. After "wasting" 3 years, I gladly went back to Corporate America. Got a decent job and steadily move back up. Went to grad school. Then after grad school school every year got even better pay.

    Now here I am again. A chance to give another crack at daytrading. I'm in much better financial shape than back in 2001-2003. I know a lot more. But I also have more responsibilities. Mortgage and a kid.

    My rational side say to do consulting or FT job. And trade on the side. A path of least risk.

    My emotional side say you are so close to cracking this. If I just put some more efforts in fixing my errors then I could easily make well over $1K a day. That would be more than my Corporate job. With trading there will be no benefits, salary increases, bonuses. I have to make well over $1K a day to make it worth it given the risk and instability of trading.

    Let's see how things go. I don't want to make the mistake of giving up when I'm 5 feet from success. Yet at the same time, maybe I'm not 5 feet but a mile away from being a consistently profitable trader.

    what are your thoughts?
  63. One humble opinion from a mom and pop retail trader: If you can set yourself up so you can trade without emotion, you will be yards ahead.

    For me it meant I did not need trading profits to put food on the table but could live on savings alone for a while. At that point the emotions of fear and greed were a lot less and results became better.

    Best wishes for 2018.
  64. ironchef - Thank you for your best wishes. I totally agreed with your idea of not needing trading profits to put food on the table!

    I need to provide some context. By luck or preplanning, apparently I have prepaid my mortgages all this time so I'm good for an entire year! That means I don't need to pay another mortgage payment until January 2019! I feel very fortunate to having pay a little extra every month all these years so that in times when I'm off the job market I don't have to worry for a while.

    That's one huge financial obligations I don't have to worry for at least a year. Of course, I have other bills that come monthly in addition to my mortgage. For those, about half of them are covered through my other fixed income streams.

    So luck would have it, I would only need to make enough to cover half of the monthly expenses. Hopefully through my side consulting and other gigs.

    Somehow the universe set this up for me.

    I'm in much better shape financially than I was back in 2001-2003. And I know a lot more about trading and markets.

    There are two ways to look at this:

    1) Corporate mindset: In this standard perspective, it's extremely risky. In my normal corporate job, I would not only pay all of my bills, I would have savings stashed away every month, 401K contributions for my retirement, and spending money for fun. Doing trading full-time even in the best of situation like now would look like a huge step back financially and careerwise. What an idiot! Go back to a full-time Corporate Job safety!

    2) Trading mindset: Wow! Lucky you! Through luck or careful planning, I'm set up not to worry financially as much as back in 2001-2003 when I did daytrading FT for the first time. And now I know a lot more. I just need a few tweaks to improve. This is your chance. If I can't make enough money to cover at least half of my expenses, then I really shouldn't be trading FT! But if I can and continue to improve who knows in one year(january 2019) maybe I will become good enough to exceed my old corporate job salary! And achieve the financial and time freedom I always wanted.

    So I wonder which mindset will win over these next 12 months..
  65. Trap. Don't fall for the trap your mind is laying for you. I see your words, and that is your head messing with you.

    Your advice is within you, past your mind. Just listen. :-|

  66. So what is your suggestion? It's unclear. Go back to a normal 9 to 5 Corporate job or do trading with consulting on the side?

    Obviously the ultimate is up to me. I'm not sure the context of your head is messing with you. And you quote the trading mindset option. This seems to imply that trading is messing with my head and tricking me to do it?
  67. You should trade. Scale up. You'll make more money than any corporate job.

    If you don't, one day you will come to regret it.
  68. I consider the psychological part of trading as just as important if not equal or more with the systematic side of trading. Things like risk control, mentality, money pressure, family pressure, psychological issues, debt, etc can make or break a trader.

    You sound like you have issue on the psychological side. Trading is in part like being an athlete. The rules of sports are pretty clear cut. But that doesn't mean everyone can play it competitively. Just a little food for thought.

    And as a rule of thumb. If you have to ask ET for advice, the probability is good that you are not close. I would take the 9-5 job but that's just my opinion. Either options has their pros and cons as you point out.
  69. Keep your corporate job and trade on the side. You will make more money and have more spiritual fulfillment.

    Trading stimulates the same parts of your brain as sex and gambling. It feels fun but it's better to keep it as a hobby.
  70. Thanks for all of your feedback! Since I have an entire year to experiment with this, then why not use 1 month in January to see how it goes. I'm in the early stages of interviewing several companies. After a few rounds of phone and onsite interviews, paperwork, background check, and other usual stuff, it can easily burn the entire month of January before I get back on the saddle. Also it's the holidays. I might be lucky and start in mid January. But having been through many interview process, it will more likely be late January to end of January or even early February before the dust settles.

    So that gives me 3-5 weeks. I know that's extremely small sample points! My point is now that I know the errors of my ways(not cutting losses fast enough and doing countertrend trades), I need to see for myself that I can follow those rules the next 3 - 5 weeks. If so then I should be making 6x what I normally make in a month trading(because my losses cut deep into my profits). If I'm not seeing those kinds of results then I will know I'm still got a LONG LONG way to go! Then I'll take that job and gradually improve and tweak my trading.

    I'm a believer in processes. If you can follow the right process and not worry about money etc. then in the long run you will be ahead. Assuming the process you've created are the good ones.

    I can also always trade longer term while holding down a job. But my there's a lot of intraday noise that i have to avoid looking at if I'm going to do longer term swing trading. Many of my mistakes come down to mixing the timeframes. I look at the daily chart then I enter on the intraday chart. Then intraday it goes against me so I panic and get out at a HUGE LOSS from an intraday point of view. Then the next day it zooms up a WHOLE LOT like my daily chart said it would do. Maybe my timing is slightly off for daily trading. I think the Holy Grail is to use the intraday weakness and time it just right and get in at the right spot. Then the next day it goes back up as the daily chart would show so. That way I don't get shaken out by the intraday volatility. For swing trading I have to trade significantly smaller and probably have to invest the time to build systems to automate that. That's a huge investment in time and energy. Just some thoughts.
  71. As jinxu said, if you have any doubt, you are not ready for 2).

    We have very similar situations except I am about 10-15 years ahead of you. I am a full time trader since 2010 trading my own funds. Since 2010, the bulk of my income came from trading, but I don't trade for a living. There is a distinct difference:

    If you don't trade for a living, trading becomes fun and somewhat pressure free. You can explore different trading methodologies and schemes without the fear of losing.

    Do hang around and learn from the professional traders and expert retail traders here. There are lots of them around, after a while you can tell who is real and who is not. I am not one of them, just a mom and pop retail trader having fun. Though none of them gave out any trading recipes, it is amazing how much I learned and improved from reading and trying out all the different trading philosophies, principles mentioned.

    Take care.
  72. I'm still fielding calls from recruiters. Kind of disappointed today that I failed to follow my rules. I did a few good trades and again one bad one. But this time the bad trade wasn't horrendously bad. Just bad. Still disappointed.

    Well, probably means I should get that job. I shouldn't be complaining since most likely I will not make as much trading(at this rate at least) as my job. Or worse yet end up the year negative. Until I can beat my job pay + benefits by multiple factors then it's too risky to trade fulltime....

    The upside is that I have a bunch of work waiting for me to get done and get paid for. I've been doing side consulting and I have deliverables that are due. Getting paid. I guess my trading skills is not to the same level as my other skills.

    Disappointed. But gotta face reality. Now I can trade in the morning then go to work and collect a steady paycheck.
  73. Ah well. Trading is not for everyone. Good luck!
  74. Well, i'm not giving up on trading. I'm actually trading the various choices I have. A well paying job with guaranteed income vs a maybe shot at full-time trading with unknown outcome. I'm taking the weighted average of both choices. By doing the full-time job, I'm actually INCREASING my chance of success at trading. As many have mentioned here, when you don't need to trade to put food on the table and cover living expenses, it relieves a lot of pressure.

    And because I am limited by an hour to an hour half in the morning before going to work, I will need to be very focused and pick the good trades. Perhaps this will force me to develop longer term systems too. So a win win.

    We'll see...
  75. Good decision.

    After quitting my corporate day job, I consulted part time until 2009, before going full time trading in 2010.

    Looking forward to have you join our rank in a few years.

    Best wishes.
  76. I know the source of all of my errors! Short bias!! Stupid! Shorting in one of the strongest markets. I short directly or indirectly by shorting NQ, YM, and buying TVIX. As soon as I started long things turned around. not sure why I'm fighting this strong market... Feel like a loser. Not only did I lost money but missed out on some of the greatest moves!
  77. I have noticed over the years that some traders are strongly predisposed to a personality trait that has them consistently fading any market. They want to fight the market.

    In the 1990's there was a very big, quite prominent Bond local futures trader by the name of Chip Kenyon. He gave a brief seminar talk at a CBOT event in Chicago, and I made sure to attend. He told the story of him building up his account to the point where he was ready to stop leasing his Full Membership and buy it outright. In essence, he went on to explain how he gave back his year in one day "cannonballing" the market. He went on to call the behavior a "disease", and vowed to never do that again. He was just going to stop fighting the market. In several weeks time since that vow, he had quite impressively recovered that disastrous day. He bought the Full Seat, and he concluded that since that quite painful lesson his trading really took off. He was still at that time very bitter about 'the complete waste' that day was. At the time of that speech, he was known around the pit as a trader who would take a 2500 lot. And there were only a couple locals like that around.
  78. In reviewing my performance, I just noticed SPY returned 15.3% CAGR since Jan 2009, coincided with my going full time, speaking of timing and luck!

    It would be difficult to lose money if one traded with a long bias. However, it is anyone's guess when the train will stop. So be careful if you decide to go long now.

  79. This market never goes down!!! WTF?!! Every time I short, all the freakin dip buyers come in and rip it up. So, then I went long and got out. Then toward end of day I figure it's too high. Mistakes. Put on a small short position then it rips up! It's never going down! Stupid me to think the Fed will ever like it crash...
  80. I gotta learn to be not afraid of heights! I jumped at the day's HIGHs on NG and it still rallied after that point. Gotta condition myself to be not afraid of high prices. Who knows how high is high? It can go one for a long long time. When it reverses(who knows when) then I'll be ready to short for profits.

    It's the NQ and YM that I keep losing money from shorting. Well, occasionally I make over $1K a day one the few days that it's down. Like 12/29/17 I made $1.4K. It was a straight down day. Most days it's just up, up, up, and away! Missed out on the biggest rallies of 2017 and 2016! Ack.
  81. You won't like my response, but I not trying to be cruel. You should put 100% going back into Corporate again and in free time learn to automate. We PM'ed Sept 21, 2016 and you wiped out a months worth in a single trade as you not been able to put in protective stops in ####, your inability to do right in #1) "Protect your capital", tells me you are very very long way to overcoming this problem if you still doing after this amount of time. People violate this rule as they see loses within subconscious to be of loss of self image and you not looking at this as a complete Business. You subconscious will generate physical pain within your brain when you entered at wrong time and instead of already having a protective stop in place or you had one and deleted, pain increases, more of you being a where of pain you get can help you along the way of your future.

    I remember the very last time I deleted protective stops was 1990s, instead of taking a quick $300 loss for day trade in T-Bonds, I rode that baby into over $10,000 over the course of 3-4 weeks at the Mid-Am! I was deer in headlights till broker called and asked if I was going to fund another one, was a year before I opened another Commodity account. And yet I traded stocks well, which in a way took longer to figure out commodities.

    When you have 3 million in the bank, have tripled your account three separate times, then you have less pressure to do again, or automate it, place system on cloud and be almost anywhere in world and watch it while working corp. Wives can be very supportive, but most all have that point.

    To have margin used when you not "Master of your domain" like tossing frozen turkey in a fryer on that special day.

    You let your trading account based on trading one contract for each $3,000 at a min, yes many firms require less, but should another 911 occur and exchange stop and you were long... You get more aggressive when your knowledge expands and not just you have a sizeable account, learn to buy support/sell resistance and risk next to nothing, whereas you do breakouts-stops have to be farther away. Learn from your winners, how many bar it take for you to get to breakeven plus one tick, so maybe it is 3, at 4 bars you looking to take a tick and get out-don't want to overstay your welcome.

    Being "occasionally" is not banking anything, it like betting on the red/black, and having high winning percentages means little when your losses are huge. When you trade, think in terms of percentages and concentrate on getting losing % AND ave loss lower than getting profitable % higher, less you lose, profits take care of themselves.

    I wish you Good Fortune Sir
  82. Handle123,

    Thank you for your thoughtful and sympathetic feedback. In no way is it cruel or harsh. I really appreciate that and recognize many of the issues you highlighted.

    Yes, overleveraged is one problem. Taking large losses is another huge problem. Countertrend trading is another. Getting rid of all three would make me a consistent winner.

    I learned daytrading in 2001-2003. We were in the midst of a bear market. Every long got crushed. I think I got "traumatized" and now I can't even go long. Every time, I tried to short rallies I get run over! When I go long indexes I hold for seconds. That's how much fear there is for me to go long indexes. Seconds! I'm a chart trader not a scalper. And my chart patterns tell me to hold for multiple bars. But when I go long I'm that afraid of reversal that I get out in seconds.

    Then just now I gave up and bought which was a high then got shaken out by the pullback! wtf?!!

    The one saving grace is when I'm wrong on a long on the indexes I get out VERY quickly! But when I'm wrong on the short indexes I hold until maximum pain and then get out. Well, lately that amount has been going down. So each wrong short on the indexes is getting smaller and smaller and smaller. Which is a good direction and improvement.

    But the best improvement would be NOT to enter those short index trades in the first place when my chart patterns and setup screams buy! I mean cutting losses and keeping them small is nice and all. But would have been better to AVOID those losses and GAIN from the upward pattern.

    I can go long other instruments but not the indexes(YM and NQ). There's so much pain, trauma, and psychological biases that screws me up there. In fact the bias is so bad that even when I look at NQ/YM chart and it says this is the perfect long setup, my hands automatically hit sell! Either I stop trading the indexes and focus on other instruments that I have no problem holding long and for a good ride.

    Regardless I need to learn to cut losses! Higher percentage winning is fooling me.

    In fact, I would say 99% of my losses can be attributed to these biases and traumas.

    I do have good trades mind you. It's just the bad trades overwhelm my good trades. One time I was long the NKD(Nikkei Futures) when Brexit was announced toward the bottom. Made $19K that day. That was by far my best futures trade.

    My best equity trade was on LFIN. Made 86% in one trade in an hour.

    But those super trades are all erased by this persistent short biases. I finally got rid of all of my bad trades last month. Got out of TVIX(the worst trade of my life!). I'm glad I got out since then TVIX had dropped significantly. That drop never ends. I got out of TECS. Whew. So no more short bias ETFs.
  83. I also wish you well, Trader99. I think you've just made a really insightful post with no fewer than five important observations, above ...

    (i) Overleverage problem
    (ii) Taking large losses/not cutting losses
    (iii) Countertrend trading
    (iv) Emotional attachment to shorting indices
    (v) Being fooled by high winning percentages

    The last one, in particular, is very commonly significant to people "struggling": if I had a few dollars for all the people I've seen in forums, over the years, who are failing mostly/partly because they're instinctively attracted to high win-rates rather than to high expectancy, I'd hardly have to trade at all! Anyway, good luck and good wishes: your post just above clarified that you're very clearly moving in the right direction. [​IMG]
  84. There's an irony in this, in that I have developed a long bias and am afraid to short. I did manage to get a couple nice daytrade NQ short scalps in on Wednesday morn, was beautiful. The shorts spoke to me. Then on exact same setup on Thursday morn I decided to long into it, same method, and got wasted. Then today, same bloody setups happened again. The shorts spoke to me at the open but I just sat on hands because of my long bias. Thankfully the longs worked later on today, so the time was not wasted. I feel your pain about having a bias. Personally I am trying to shake myself of the long bias because there is something getting very wrong about all this long action.

    Just going to take more practice with the monies to get back into seeing both directions, not just one.
  85. I just took another big loss for no good reason. I was up a lot on ZW. Then at 9am PST it tanked so fast! I guess I should pay attention to when reports are released. Can't just trade off the charts. Unbelievable. Why does this happen to me?!

    Made some progress but now this happen out of the blue makes me feel like a total loser. I should have known right? Fundamentals are important too..
  86. I know!! Maybe I should stop trading completely. Practice on a paper account until I'm consistent and recognize the right thing. In theory, I should be able to go long or short.

    I guess IF and WHEN the bear market comes then I'll be raking it in. But bull markets dominate now and last longer..

  87. Sorry to hear it. I'm afraid so; yes.

    Scheduled announcements, anyway. I'm a "fast trader"/"semi-scalper" and do my best to avoid "news" completely.

    It can still catch you unawares, of course, but the scheduled stuff, yes: you have to be aware ... [​IMG]

    Fundamentals are a PITA. Just my perspective. [​IMG]
  88. This means I'm sloppy. Things are not aligned. It happened like in a second. Tanked. Just like when NG report came out. I was up nicely then tanked and went nonstop. For that one, I held for several days and got out slightly better than even. Thanked the market gods. Then of course after I got out it rallied hard for two days.

    Something is really off with my trading. There are some good spots, but the bad stuff overwhelms the good stuff.

    What do you scalp? Futures? Equities?

  89. Everyone gets disillusioned, after big losses. [​IMG]

    But the comments in your post above (that I commented on) show that you're clearly thinking about things the right way - which is honestly more than can be said for so many people.

    "Semi-scalp", not "scalp". Really not a scalper at all: some of my trades are 2-3 minutes; others (better ones) sometimes as long as 2-3 hours. Futures only. Mostly NQ; also CL a little (and very occasionally Euro and Pound futures, just because I'm a former EUR/USD and Cable trader from a long way back, when I was starting off). I don't like to trade much on Fridays anyway - Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are always my busy days.
  90. Really, please consider automation, you have way too much to overcome on your own, years of self study whereas you can program, back test then have it running. If it losses, you internally don't lose but the coding or system lost. On longer term, if you semi profitable, think in terms of credit spreads exiting one to two deviations away. And not the weekly options, more like 3-6 months out so if you pick wrong direction, you leave yourself time for spread to work itself back to breakeven.

    86% on the entire account? Do these % make you warm and fuzzy? I tell you what floats my boat, DD percentage, how close to zero can I get at end of the year, cause how much I make is never more important than drawdown to me. If the account not going down much, more likely on good trades it is going up.

  91. Indeed ... exactly so. [​IMG]
  92. One thing I have noticed is that making a winning futures trade based on pre-known fundamentals gives a much greater warm-and-fuzzy feel than just pure TA. As if homework paid off or something. Very satisfying. Unfortunatley, energy fundamental news can go counter-intuitive because of all the other hidden bits we lowly folks don't know about. Alas.
  93. I hope you took some trades on this Friday Zela, today as yesterday have been nice trenders on the NQ.
  94. Interesting. In theory, I'm an intraday swing trader for NG, GC, YM, NQ, JPY, ZW, ZN, and occasionally stocks. I say in theory because sometimes I get out in seconds. My best trades are hours and even days or months. But most of the time it is intraday.

    Thanks for words of encouragement. Today I actually physically put in stops. Strange thing is when I put in stops today I didn't get stopped out or suffered any losses. The minute I think everything is Ok and didn't put in stops for ZW the announcement came out and wiped me clean for the day.

    But I think Handle123 is right. I should stop. I just requested a paper trading account. No point burning through more precious capital when I can't get the right habits down yet...

    Practice. Practice. Practice until I get rid of all the bad habits and install in the good ones. Then go back to real account. The market will always be there. But if you lose all of your trading capital then you can't trade. I'm far from that happening. Better to stop, diagnose, and fix the problem before it gets to that point.

  95. One trade only, today, for me, not so long ago (long NQ, +10 points in 25 minutes, no complaints!).
  96. Nice work :D
  97. Prudent Risk Management is the only true edge in trading.
  98. Yes, I was up 86% on LFIN trade in an hour. Not the entire account! I guess the account could have been up 86% in a hour but that would be imprudent. Too much size. Your perspective is wise.

    I have recently started looking at Quantopian and Quantconnect to start programming up my systems and ideas. Much safer and intellectually more interesting. Also, it will overcome all of these emotional and psychological bias.

    On the job front, I'm still interviewing and have more next week. It all looks very promising.

    Something else interesting came up. I'm seriously considered scaling a business idea I have. It has already been profitable on a small scale. I'm working on scaling it up. My late wife always said I should do something on my own. She always encouraged to start my own biz. She told me a while back to stop interviewing for corporate jobs. Yes, you read that correctly. At the beginning of this thread she was still alive. Long story... :(

    I'm really attracted to the idea of running my own biz rather than going back for another corporate job. This fits my personality and lifestyle better. Also, it will give me time flexibility to trade or design trading systems during the day.

    I'll keep you guys posted. Maybe I can do all three. Get a steady paying corporate job, trade for an hour in the morning, and run my biz on the side. My biz idea is not time intensive yet still profitable.
  99. You made $200 today...I thought you were an ET, extraterrestrial trader,...that's not enough to buy alligator boots.
    Well...maybe just one boot, of an off-beat brand.
  100. Xela trades 100 contracts a clip...
  101. I have no idea what a clip is, I just quickly googled what a NQ point is.
    All I know are options. -- everything else is in the marketplace is foreign language to me.

    But, how much money, or what % return, did she make today?
  102. If the only thing you trade is options, and you think trading is part art, part science, you should get into futures man. It would be a walk in the park for you! No wonder you need to be an alchemist to trade. You're trading the most difficult thing out there!
  103. She didn't lose.
  104. :thumbsup:
  105. Someone outside the USA will need over $25M to execute a block trade (clip) on the NQ. If this is not a tale than the prop shop is really sticking their necks out. Trade long enough & you will go through a few shock events where trading halts only to reopen later with a big gap.

    I could put on over 100 contracts at the overnight margin rate on the NQ trading my own account(s) but I never would, big deal since many people my age could do the same. To date my largest NQ/YM/ES/RTY/EMD position is 3 contracts. Remember that thing called risk mgmt?
  106. Highly unlikely Visaria was serious.
  107. NQ can't take that kind of volume on a day trade without some material slippage.

  108. Ooh, well, I'll be careful not to spend it all at once, then ... [​IMG]
  109. That's the problem I see with futures trading, pecking like a sparrow while trying to feed an elephant.
    Working your butt off continuously, what a miserable way to make an income imo.
    With stock trading, EOD, one can load up on positions like a front end loader, large scoop fulls of opportunities, money working 24/7 while you eat, sleep and play.
    Here's a real life example, I'm sitting on 16 stock positions on resources atm, going up nigh between 1-5k a day most days and not doing a thing, just watching and sitting tight, not doing a single thing, just watching with finger on trigger.
    Has been like this several weeks now, placed a few trades inbetween, took 10 minutes of time.
  110. Oh snap, that sounds like a challenge.

    I'm with Xela in the futures corner. You wanna' take vanz in the stock corner? hehehe!
  111. pecking-sparrow-on-wooden-boards.jpg
    whale feeding.jpeg
  112. Run away themickey, we future traders are psycho killers!
  113. I don't think options are that difficult, it's more of a matter...of simply understanding the underlying. -- and I happen to know the SPY's/Dow/Spx daily time frame movement range well, I like to think.

    I don't think no other thing out there can match an Option's % movement range. Sure it's kind of high risk, high reward...but if you're game for that kind of thing...it's your paradise.
    I don't want to sound arrogant or cocky, but I'm fairly certain I will blow anyone else's % returns out of the water.

    If I'm good with the SPY's/SPX's movement on a Daily basis...How much of a killing, per se, can I make with Futures?
    What trading instrument out there is my Plutonium...align me with it,

    How much do you truly understand the market, rather than just simply tracing maybe hindsight lines
    Overnight Trading Academy,
    speedo Trading Academy,

    Trading is like a complex, suspense, psychological mind thriller everyday between two people. Or you vs the market.
    It flirts with you, and gives you subtle hints. Darkness Falls, 1999 movie
  114. You sell yourself short here. Free...your mind. (...and you will be free, you are crazy option guy! (I am totally trying to get people into futures. I am such a futures shill. My bad.))
  115. Basically, you are Tim the Enchanter. That is you with options. We other guys are the little knights looking for the rabbit. (This is all analogy now.)

    And here is what happens when we lowly people try to attack the option rabbit.

    We little folks have only Brother Maynard to rely upon when it comes to futures. We shall tosseth our misunderstanding upon to the Lord of trading. (and there was much Latin.)
  116. NQ man. Give it a whirl!
  117. Aw jeez Mick and here I thought I was enjoying myself :D
  118. Hey speedo, wanna' get in on the Overnight/Xela action on this challenge? We need a third teammate. I think.
  119. Here's the thing. I bought tradingsim.com subscription. I think it's a good software to practice. Yet, the odd thing is that it doesn't seem to be helping. Or I'm not approaching it the right way.

    I usually go back to the day when I lost a lot of money and replay it using tradingsim.com website. But I still haven't internalize these patterns that I know intellectually works. Maybe daytrading futures is too fast for me. Not sure.

    So, I just signed up for IB Paper Trading account. Maybe that will simulate the real conditions better. I'll give it a few weeks to a month of paper trading to see if I can instill good habits into my trading. Especially the habit of risk management and putting in stops. That's what is killing me really.
  120. It may or may not help.

    My advice to you (and I wish I had this advice 3 years ago, the bloodletting would have been less) is to do what you are doing, but in live on MGC.

    Trust me on that.
  121. Shoot me the rules ON:cool:
  122. Pfhh, I have no idea what we're on about at the moment. Just a funny between stock/option trading and futures. All I know is,. I want Xela in my corner, against themickey and whomever he pulls into his ring. :)
  123. :thumbsup:
  124. Mate, imo, day trading suits people who are very fast thinkers and have enormous energy, young, hyper type people, guys/gals who can't sit still for one minute, ants in their pants type.
    If you are of the studios mind type, day trading will leave you behind I reckon.
    But if the peck peck pecking all day long, one crumb at a time sounds like fun, do it.
    Only difference is, the crumbs are dancing about so you gotta jump around trying to catch them in a fleeting moment.
  125. Daytrading doesn't mean you're actively trading all day long. The reason I prefer it over buy and hold is I don't feel like holding through a market correction. Buy near the low. Sell near the high. Wait out the correction. Rinse Repeat. That's what good daytrading is about.

    Of course the key to being a good daytrading is good market timing.
  126. We here in the futures world do not "peck peck" all day long at crumbs like the chickens. We smoke the henhouse, byatch!

    Yes, this happened, I posted this. We in the futures world are messed up. (sorry).
  127. Found hypnosis, 12 sessions in my 7th year of losing/last in futures really nailed one of last areas. I still go 3-4 times each year to work on me as I have problems outside of trading but if not taken care will hurt my trading.

    Good luck to you.com
  128. @trader99
    Sorry if I'm misunderstanding how you're trading, but it sounds as though you are buying/selling in the direction of the trend at times and also doing so against the trend at others. And rather than entering on reactions, you're entering on moves in the direction of the trend. Or perhaps you are seeing counter trend moves as moves in the primary direction.
    If this is true, some additional study regarding reading trends and entry tactics could help you before doing the paper trading that you are planning. Again, sorry if I read between the lines incorrectly.
  129. Ode to all the traders on here who took advantage of the recent bull run, many congrats!

  130. 100 contracts, nominal value is around $13.5 million...why would you need $25 million to execute the purchase of 100 contracts?
  131. 100 contracts, nominal value is around $13.5 million...why would you need $25 million to execute the purchase of 100 contracts?

    Someone had implied a member outside the U.S. was buying the NQ at 100 contracts per trade.

    CME Rule 256

    Participation in Block Trades
    Each party to a block trade must be an Eligible Contract Participant as that term is defined in Section
    1a (18)
    of the Commodity Exchange Act. Eligible Contract Participants generally include exchange members and member firms, broker/dealers, government entities, pension funds, commodity pools,corporations, investment companies, insurance companies, depository in stitutions and high net - worth individuals. Commodity trading advisors and investment advisors who are registered or exempt from registration, and foreign persons performing a similar role and subject as such to foreign regulation, may participate in block transactions provided they have total assets under management exceeding $25million and the block trade is suitable for their customers.

  132. Yeah but I meant on the exchange...who said anything about a block trade...which is a trade done off exchange?
  133. You are reading correctly. Thanks for your feedback. I'm not trading with the trend correctly when I lose a lot. When I win I trade correctly with the trend. And the bias is tied to instruments. I have a short bias with index futures(YM, NQ). I have a long bias with commodities(GC, NG, ZW) etc. That's stupid and wrong. 2015-2017 were amazing years for index futures and individual equities. That biases cost me a lot of loss and missed opportunities on one of the greatest bull runs in market history!

    Feel like a loser. But then I saw this article on LinkedIn:


    The guy has very good and interesting points about mental models. I think my mental models about trends and trading were COMPLETELY wrong or false! The few times I made a lot of money on NKD and LFIN, I didn't keep those gains. So stupid! It's because when I'm wrong the losses are so huge. If I had cut the losses fast then I would have had an amazing track record.

    Why didn't I cut the losses faster? Because of my stupid biases! Thinking the original conviction was right and I only exit at the worst and most painful uncle point. That's not good trading.

    I realize trading is a probabilistic game. Each trade is a hypothesis. And the market will prove you right or wrong. If you are wrong then get out at a small losses. If the market proves right then ride it. Obviously there are more subtle points of when and how. But I'm talking about first principles.

    My years of looking at technical charts have given a lot of pattern library.

    So I need to build risk management models into my trading and detecting and going with trend mental models. Once I have that down, I think the turnaround will be amazing!

    Right now, I need to practice to get rid of my bad habits on a paper account. No need to burn precious capital on bad habits. Fix the bad habits and replaced them with good habits. The money will come and come faster and furious when these issues are addressed.
  134. Boy, you sure have no qualms about showing your underwear!! But that's a good sign that you're ready to reorganize yourself and get on the right track. However it sounds as though you plan on doing a major overhaul of yourself. Wouldn't it be easier to start from scratch correctly rather that patching up all your wounds one by one? If you agree with that, may I suggest, based on what you've said, that you first of all focus 120% on learning to read the trend correctly. I think you'll then find that 90% of the problems you're having will disappear on the spot, and the rest can be solved quite easily.
    The question is, of course, how do you now define and recognize a trend. Are you going to build on what you do now, or consider another approach?
  135. I'm a believer in Radical Transparency(aka Ray Dalio of Bridgewater) when it comes to improving my trading. I wouldn't say that I don't know how to detect a trend. Obviously, my trend detection methodology can always be improved.

    I think the real problem is that even when I could identify a trend, my cognitive bias was so bad and so wrong that it does NOT believe in the data. It's as though my cognitive bias overwrote my intellect. Or perhaps more correctly, my cognitive bias believes that the trend will reverse or should reverse when there's no evidence of reversal especially in the equities markets. I think this afflicts quite a number of famous hedge fund managers who are closing shops. Unlike them, I will not blame the Fed, QE unlimited printing, price distortion, lack of price discovery, bots, etc.

    I will BLAME it all ON ME! I'm the ultimate decision maker in these situations. I decided to short directly or indirectly and lost when the overwhelming data showed a nice upward trend. I even know that intellectually too. But I couldn't get myself to go long.

    Instead of fearing a reversal , I should learn the habit of executing each and every time. Once an upward trend is identified(using any number of methodologies), one should buy regardless of your biases.

    If you are wrong then get out. Same goes for short trend(using any number of methodologies).

    It's as simple as that. Until that X-Y linkage is cemented I will continue to make mistakes for the wrong reasons. That's why deliberate practice is so important.

    The work of Brett Steenbarger has a great influence on me on how to think about trading training. Steenbarger said that the expert short-term trader has cemented the X-Y linkage between patterns and actions. When they see X then they act Y. That has become automatic. He recounts a story of one of the prop trader being down tens of thousands but when the trader's X pattern showed up he got in full size and ended up the day six figures. It's because the X-Y linkage has become automatic. The actual P&L numbers are not important(at least to me). The main point I got out of this is when you know what works for you then its execution should be automatic.

    In many situations, I "knew" it will go certain ways(from experience) but because I was afraid of taking the perceived risk, or I'm slightly down on the day and was being defensive, etc. With hindsight, it seems silly. Because taking that one trade would have made all the difference in my daily P&L. It's all probabilities.

    I want to get to that point where that X-Y linkage is automatic. That needs deliberate practice. And more importantly, the linkage for cutting losses should be automatic too! If I'm wrong then get out. No point waiting around or deer stuck in a headlight to see more unnecessary losses.

    But to your question above, sure. I'm open to new methodologies. This is the rebuilding of my trading habits. I will incorporate what works, discard what didn't, and keep building on my strengths(I had quite a number of very excellent trades and results). I need to be radically transparent and fix my decision making engine in regards to trading.
  136. I trade options so am really not in a position to give you any suggestions. A friend who day trade equity for a living since the early 2000s does this: After he selects an entry, he always enters a bracket order (not sure about the name?), buy/sell with a stop loss and exit at the same time entering the trade. The stop loss is always there, never remove.
  137. I got up late this morning because I was not planning to trade. And I'm not motivated if I was going to do paper account. But luck would have it, IB hasn't turned my paper account yet.

    So, I decided to trade on one of my other real account. Made some profits on real account because the indices are down. My shorts work. While good to make money(29pts+ on NQ per lot). But this is very dangerous. I should be able to make money long and shorts on indices. Since most of the time indices have upward bias.

    On other instruments I can do both. Not on indices..

    When market goes down, I feel a strange calm and I'm totally relaxed. Strange psychology.

    Improvements: 3 winners. 1 loser. Loser was 3.50. Winners were 9-10pts. Glad I used those stops!! I want to instill good habits.

    Another area where I could have improved is after I exit my shorts to cover, I can go long. That would be playing both sides of the markets. Not there yet...
  138. Woohoo! On a separate real account different then the one this morning, I was able to go long. 8.25 pts on NQ. It's not much money, but the point was that I could go long on indices.

    Now, I need to fix the real problem of not being able to go long on a strong rally. Fix that then I'm good.
  139. In units of NQ points

    Acct 1: +4.75, +1.75, +17.50, -6.75(no stop there)

    Acct2: +7.75, -15.25 (ouch! no stop there! hoping it will come back down), +3.5, +0.75(on the long side. haha)

    was doing so well until the reversal came. And held too long. The one time I decide not to put stops is when I get screwed.

    When I shorted for the 3rd time in a row, I had a sense that this might not come back down. Should have put tight stops.

  140. According to one way of looking at it (and it's the perspective I subscribe to, myself, to be honest) that's actually lucky - though doubtless it doesn't feel so at the time.

    The point is that the alternative (i.e. of sometimes not using stop-losses and getting away with it) is actually much worse, because it inculcates a very dangerous habit which will eventually lead to a really Major Disaster - and often the more you get away with it before encountering the disaster, the worse it tends to be when it flattens you.

    Your way is better, because one learns more quickly and (overall) less expensively. [​IMG]
  141. The pro way is to put in the stop before you put in the entry order. In the extremely rare case your stop is hit before your entry order comes, you'll be grateful for the position the other way. Additionally, you KNOW you'l have a stop order in there the second you are filled.
  142. Yes, I totally agreed with your perspective. This is how I got into this mess in the first place! LOL. There were times when I faced harrowing losses then it came all the way back. Because I was "saved" by the market gods a few times that I created this bad habits of not putting stops. Then when it doesn't come back i get totally destroyed.

    While I didn't get totally destroyed today, you noticed on 2nd trade of Acct 2 I did NOT use stops thus losing 2x my gains. Bad Risk/Reward ratio. On Acct2, I gained +7.75 pts so I should put my stop loss at half of that to get 2:1. On Acct1, it's slightly better I loss -6.75 pts b/c I made 17.50. Good risk/reward ratio. But even then I should have gotten out way before -6.75 because my chart pattern told me I was WRONG. I knew I was wrong from technical patterns yet I refused to get out.

    As soon as you know you are wrong then get out! I was waiting and holding and hoping for it to go back down.

    Slowly fixing the errors of my way...
  143. I stopped trading after my latest post. I have other stuff I need to attend to. Then I just checked back in. Wow. Nice a little rally.

    I'm glad I wasn't at the screen trading, because I might have fallen back into my old short bias habits and try to short this rally and lose more money rather stayed out of it and be positive for the day(on Acct1 nicely positive and only slightly negative on Acct2). Until I can fix my short bias on the indices, it's probably better to stay out.

    I hope to fix that bias soon and join in on the rally. That would be the day I can play both sides of the market easily. Then I can make it rain. :)
  144. Did 4 longs and 1 short trade today on NQ! Woohoo! It wasn't much points or dollarwise! Just good that I'm slowly overcoming and getting rid of my short bias. Fixing the bad psychology.

    Areas for future improvements:

    1) I went long right off the back because the 5min chart was up. But I could have improvez my timing a bit more and buy on the local pullback.

    2) I bought the low print of the local timeframe but I got out seconds rather than holding longer.

    Those are the two areas I need to work on.

    Keep pushing and changing my biases and constant improvement.


    P.S. I did 3 additional short trades when I should have. Closed out nicely. The point being is I went long when my methodology told me I should and I went short when it told me I should. I'm trying to instill good habits. The money will come.. One small regret I got out a CL short sooner than my target price. As soon as I got out it hit my price target. Patience..

    P.S.S. NG announcements at 7:30AM PST used to be my nemesis. At least a few weeks ago it was. It wiped out all the gains I had that day and some. Today after the announcement, I shorted! Then cover when it began to bounce. This is the behavior I never did in the past. If needed I would have gone long.
  145. Spoke too soon. While my first few trades of the day were correct and with direction, it's the one trade I didn't put stops on and hoping wiped out my today's again. Why is it so hard to change? Of course, as soon as I covered it tanked...
  146. Losses are unavoidable and there is no way of knowing when they will occur or how many in succession. Until you can accept that and abide by rules of trade management, you can't trade.
  147. That is the cruz of the problem. I was batting 1000 basically. Then on that last short, I didn't want to be wrong and didn't put stops in. Got wiped out.

    But I reshorted. on Acct1 I made back ALL of the losses and some. Net positive for the day. But it's still a horrible trade management. I should have cut losses relong then reshort. Still gotta fix that problem.

    On Acct2, I recovered some lost grounds but still net negative for the day.

    The problem is even if my chart analysis is correct and it will go to that eventual level which 9 out of 10 times it does, I can't stand the heat. So the safest solution is to get out when you are slightly wrong(or early in this case) rather than at uncle point when everyone gets out. Because when I get out at the uncle point it's the worst possible hit. Then of course after that it reverses and go the original direction.

    Regardless, it's MUCH MUCH safer and better trade management to get out when I'm slightly wrong regardless what the long-term chart analysis might say. Because that 1 out of 10 when the long term analysis is wrong then I get wiped out. I'm a short term intraday swing trader. Don't like other signals from higher time frame confuse me.

    More fundamentally, I should accept loses as part of trading process.. So keep those losses small.
  148. Sounds like you don't have a defined trade plan. You have to know where your stops and targets or trailing strategy is before you take a trade. They have to be set within the time frame(s) you are trading...there will always be time frame conflict so you have to choose which are relevant to your plan.

    A well defined trade plan won't necessarily solve your psychological issues but it will give you precise decision points which you can adhere to and succeed or violate, and then it's just a matter of time before you crash. Of course, the plan has to be tested for positive expectancy prior to launch.
  149. I like that idea. A well defined trade plan with precise entry and exit criteria. I think that's fine for swing and longer term trading. For daytrading, you will need a plan for entry and exit too except it's 100x faster. I guess I need to train myself to be faster. Enter long, put a stop loss order in. Think about an exit target price. Then move stop loss up as it moves in your favor.

    Then it reverses, go short. Put stop loss order in. Think about an exit target price. Then move stop loss down as it moves in my favor.

    Do that over and over throughout the day. Whew! That's a lot of trade management. But I guess that's what it takes to succeed in daytrading.

    Thanks goodness my side business is now beginning to take off. I only daytrade a few hours in the morning.

    But I feel like mastering daytrading and trade management is the ultimate self discipline for me. If I can do that then I feel I have mastered myself...
  150. Yes it's faster but as a day trader I can tell you it's doable. Most execution platforms these days have an automatic trade management function where as your entry is triggered, it automatically enters your predefined stop and target. You can manually move the stop toward your desired direction and target away but one click and you're in with exit parameters in place....and yes, trading can be a vehicle of self elevation. All the best.
  151. So, you think a bracket order is what I should do? Let me look into that. IB has bracket order but I never use it.

    For those who have IB, do you know if you can assign hotkeys for bracket orders?
  152. I don't trade without it.
  153. Read the trend correctly and the price movement will tell you when to exit. Having a fixed target price is just your idea, and not what the market's actual price movement will be.. And you will too often fail to see, or believe, an exit indication that falls short of your target.
    Don't make that an automatic part of your plan. Each reversal indication must be judged, bc a reversal will lead to just a big reaction, a correction, or a new trend.
    And, exiting a long position is not an automatic signal to take a short position.
  154. Yep, that is bad right there. Any writer who has an influence on you is going to, well, influence your ability to see the markets. You'll have their thoughts ingrained in you as a bias, even if it goes against your own thought processes.

    I didn't go through all that book-reading when I started, and I had a mentor that gave me the basics. From there on out I developed my own trading style to fit my personality and risk-appetite, among other things.

    The key metric through it all was to first figure out the kind of trader I was, and then to trade myself. Not trade what other people thought I should trade or how to trade it, but to trade what I would trade how I thought of it.

    Sorry, that is a bit unwieldy in making my point, but I like your thought process. I shall PM you soon for a confab, we seem to have similar thoughts on this.
  155. I totally agreed. My exit point is not predetermined. It's determined by market action. But my stop loss is fixed. That's how you control risk. Fixed loss and potentially unbounded profits.

    So today I put in stops. It's good and bad. I got stopped out with small losses. Normally I would hold through that and it would eventually go my way(most of the time... The 1 out of 10 that it doesn't go my way I get destroyed. hehe). But I'm already stopped out. So took small losses. Several small losses add up. But I understand that if I didn't put in those stop losses and if things went really wrong I would be down a lot more. I get it.

    But I feel like my timing is still slightly off. If I just hone it a bit more then my stops wouldn't get hit right away.

    But I made back all of my losses this morning easily because my losses were small and manageable. That's lesson #1.

    The second lesson is obvious but should be mentioned. Not all days will be trendy. Today was range bound. So trade accordingly. In then out then reverse. Then in and out. On trend days you can hold for a long time. For example, 12/29/2017, I put on a NQ short trade near the open and held all day til the close. Not all days will be like that. So gotta be flexible and constantly monitoring price actions to see which kinds of days it is and trade accordingly.

    Lesson #3, even though the entry pattern might show a particular bias it pays to wait a little before entering to see how it unfolds. I was about to enter a position then I paused just for a second. Then I see it evolving. And it was not the original pattern I thought. So I saved myself. Even if I had put stops in, sure it will have cut losses. Why cut losses when you can avoid it all together?! :)

    The next level of improvement would be once I see that it's not the original pattern(long or short) then I should go the other way. So for example I thought it was a short pattern, pause to see(seconds), then when it showed to be a long pattern, jump in and go long. Saving money by not entering the wrong trade is good, but what is better is entering in the right trade and making money.

    All these lessons take time to be integrated into my thinking and habits. Everything takes time. Losses are getting smaller. And when I lose I'm able to make it back to positive or flat. It's a long journey. No rush. Tweaking and refining these things will help me in the long run. No need to trade size now when I haven't fixed all of my errors, biases, thinking, and acting.

  156. There's a difference between a fixed stop-loss that's a set number of ticks/points/pips (not so good) and a fixed stop-loss that's fixed in a position dependent on the current market volatility, support and resistance when you open the trade (much better).

    I'm "just saying". ;)
  157. Xela is correct, my ATM triggers a stop which I will not go beyond but I may miss a trade if the S/R level is too far away from entry.
  158. I agreed. But I don't like the pullback to support. I was trying to say I should hone it so that I buy closer to support and put a small stop loss below that rather than chasing prices higher and when the pullback I can't stand the heat and get out. hehe.

    You are "just saying" correctly. :)
  159. There is a third alternative: placing the stop at the point at which the market will prove that your decision to enter the trade (at whatever point you entered it) was wrong. This is neither fixed at a set number of *s nor does it have anything to do with support or resistance as they are generally defined these days. Granted this requires far more data-gathering than most beginners are willing to do, but it will tell one when to push, when to pull, when to leave alone.

  160. Indeed ... I do exactly this, myself (but in my case that is actually largely defined according to support or resistance: it's just very "local" support/resistance).
  161. :thumbsup:
  162. Did you make a killing in today's shock market, Xela...enough to buy fancy European label alligator boots, o_O
    I love alligator. and ostrich. and stingray. and elephant. and there's even a fish variety. -- i love all exotic skins, except for snake.
    Animals and humans, hunter and prey, night and day, the internal war against doing good and evil, earthquakes and volcanos building support/resitance...the market is truly part art, part science.

    Make Trading Great Again 2018...High-Five` Pekelo and vanzandt and Sweet and Sour Bobby. and you too Speedo underwear, a Yin Yang symbol on each butt cheek.
    I want to buy Samsung's 49" ultrawide computer monitor, CHG90. it's mesmerizing. size does matter.
  163. I didn't trade, today (I often don't work on Fridays).

    I'm into shoes, not boots. [​IMG]
  164. Rarely wear them anymore but here ya go LL
  165. Here ya go
  166. It doesn't want to post pic of my boots.
  167. %%
    Lot of moves in the markets are like a stroke; acccidents don just happen they are caused:cool: But since you mentioned 2001-2003, most of that was bear market like GE is now + has been. SPY + QQQ ....are about as tight an uptrend as i seen it .

  168. And who can blame it? [​IMG]
  169. :caution::D
    Elephant boots sound fun; you can always hear an elephant coming LOL.Goose down vest is a real warm deal.Kangaroo key holder is a good idea, 2.

  170. Are you mostly using a set stop or a trailing stop?
  171. HaHaHa:D:cool:
  172. I will trail under/over pivots as they form but have a fixed target based on average MFE

  173. In general, what are you using for a profit target to stop loss ratio? If you can share, if not, that is fine.
  174. No problem, on the NQ it's 20 tick target and 12 tick max stop which averages slightly above 10. There is nothing that I do that is the answer to life but it works for me and that's all I care about.

  175. Very good. Thank you indeed.
  176. Considering the great volatility the thing has been having for the past year, would you considering doubling both the stop and target?

    I have really been eying that damned NQ and am seeing certain patterns that are going way beyond 20 ticks. Off the top of my head I am seeing double on all of that during intraday. Especially when it has a 40-50 point range! Just need to be more sure of entry. God, I hate and love NQ at same time lol.
  177. I share your love and hate with the thing. Patience is key as when it's good, it's real good, staying out of congestion is easier some days than others. Most extended runs give multiple entries. When they don't, they don't....doesn't bother me anymore. My trade plan works but it isn't hard wired. I do like the targets (whatever the ideal number of ticks) as it keeps things simple.
  178. Yikes... European, eh? Really? This stuff is gross and has zero class. I say it's US made. I do very much prefer Louboutin indeed. Personal choice, of course...
  179. Do what you love to do. If you love being an employee and having bosses, then do it. Don't become a professional, independent trader. If you hate being an employee and hate having bosses telling you what you should do with your time, then become a professional trader, your style, day or swing trader, will reveal itself to you soon enough, like the karma waiting for you down the road.
  180. As speedo said, it sounds as though you are shooting from the hip rather than trading according to a plan. You should be able to follow(not predict)the price movement just as methodically as it moves. And if you don't see how the price movement does move methodically, then additional study would be in order. Upon completing that, I think you will find that the problems you are having with entries, exits, and stops will be easy to solve.
  181. @trader99
    Meant to add that as I have no idea how you determine a trend and then follow it, the 'methodically' that I mentioned may not apply to your approach.
  182. As luck would have it, the Universe has provided with me a good biz opportunity. I'm going full speed ahead with that. I will only trade a few hours in the morning. I have other things to attend to as well.

    And yes, what attracted to me in the first place to trading is the independence and not having bosses. ;) Over the years I have learned to adapt and work in Corporate America. But now given the chance to be independent I will take that over being an employee any day.

  183. Me too; very much so in my case because I don't "play well with others" ... but ironically I still ended up taking an opportunity to be an employee, when a suitable one was offered. [​IMG]
  184. So, are you a full-time independent trader now? That's impressive. My trading is not good enough to support me! haha. I've started a business and focusing on that as the main thing going forward. I'll trade a few hours a day in the morning to continue to improve that.

    When my trading generates what my old Corporate job paid(even half of that. haha) then I'll say I've improved. I got a long way to go. In the meantime, I will do what works. The business is still new and will take time to ramp up. But it's showing promising signs...

  185. No - my journey was the other way round.

    I'm an employee, now, after several years prior to that as a full-time independent. (I was unexpectedly offered a position that enabled me to continue to do almost exactly what I'd been doing independently, while being paid significantly more for it by trading OPM instead of my own.)
  186. That's a great arrangement to be doing what you love and getting well comp for it. Are you a prop trader or do you work for a hedge fund? It's great to use OPM instead of your own. A call option with unlimited upside and limited downside. ;)

    My career trajectory had many twists and turns if you read through some of my old postings here. Corporate America then unsuccessful prop trading, then when back to Corporate America, went to graduate school, back to Corporate America. Now with independent business plus side trading.

    It's been an interesting ride with lots of ups and downs.

  187. Small hedge fund ... I'd always thought I was better off trading my own account independently, especially after taking so many years, and so much patience, effort and energy, to build it up enough to be able to live from it (it took me many, many years to be an "overnight success"). But I'm actually better off this way, it turned out.

    I was wondering ... and will look. :cool:
  188. That's an inspiring story. So, how many years did it take you to be good enough with your trading to be able to live from it? If you don't mind me asking. I was wondering how long my journey might be. It will probably be longer since I'll not be doing it full-time but part-time. But I think I've learned a lot from my past mistakes and hopefully with the encouragement here on ET things will improve faster.

    Hopefully things will finally click and 2018 will be my breakthrough year. Nevertheless, it will not be my full-time or main source since I'm not good as you were/are.

    As to my career ups and downs, I would say the trendline has been upward sloping with some variance around it. To combine TA speak with stats speak. ;)

    Life is an adventure. Enjoy the ride.
  189. You are very fortunate in that you are getting so much attention here from some of the world's greatest traders!! That being the case, rather than receiving general advice to solve your problems, you might consider posting some charts showing past trades, both good and bad, and noting why you entered and exited in order to pinpoint the cause of your problems. True, your approach may be one with which nobody here can help you.But it may be worth a shot.
  190. trader99, your situation is not unique.

    Many others have gone through the same journey if you have read some trading books, such as a physician traded part time for many years and eventually went full time, etc.

    However, if you’re truly talented at (day)trading it should have already shown so clearly. You are obviously not in that genius pool. Most of us are not, and that only means your trading career will be a long long process, if it ever will be successful.

    Now you know the answer to your own question......

    Do whatever you are good at now to support your family (you have a kid - a big money pit later on during the college years). You have studied for many years and earned multiple degrees, plus all the years of work experience. You just don’t realize your own value in your current profession.

    I know independence and freedom are tempting, but there is really no free lunch. Have you spent the some amount of time, effort and practice in your trading as in your current profession? Yet trading is a far harder job.

    If you are truly determined, trade part time and keep learning. Be prepared to do this for years, and when the time comes you’ll know it, just like that physician.

  191. Just over three years with a live account, after four years of learning/studying/practicing/playing on demo/sim - a lot longer than most people, but that was mostly because I was under-age for a real account: I started learning when I was very young, with a lot of parental encouragement and enthusiasm, because I was very "mathematical" and antisocial, even at that age (in fact especially at that age).

    I think it's really hard to judge this by others' experiences - and to be honest mine are perhaps particularly useless to anyone else, because of the reality that I had some information/facilities available that few others are likely to have. For example, I was able to start off my first funded account with just over $3,000 (this was for trading spot forex with 1:100 leverage, at first) when I was 18, and at no point during the next three years did I need to withdraw any funds from it at all, as I had another income-source. I was always part-time, but still quite a lot of hours for "part-time". Like you I've done various college degrees; I didn't finish college until 2014.

    Indeed - exactly so; and wishing you well with it. But it takes "as long as it takes".
  192. Thank for the honesty and frank assessment. Yes, if I was a genius at trading it would be apparent not. My genius lies elsewhere. I have multiple degrees from some pretty highly ranked institutions of higher learning. And I have developed my career capital. You are right.

    It's unwise to throw all that away in HOPE of making money in daytrading.

    Now, just to clarify a little bit. There has been multiple times where I've doubled, tripled, and at one time 10x(albeit a very small starting base) my account! But I kept NONE of the gains! And this has been happening on and off for a while. So, I say I have good signals but HORRIBLE risk management.

    So 2018 is the year I will not only learn but focused on tight risk management. I've done this analysis before where I take years worth of data and just cut my losses at a fixed limit amount and my results were amazing! Just blew my mind. It's like I only cared and looked at the gain side and not about the risk side.

    This is the year where I will grow up and be a real professional and take a serious look at the risk side and managed it appropriately. And that's why I think 2018 will be my breakthrough year!

    But you make an important point. I have family to support now. As I mentioned previously, I became a widowed single dad shortly after this thread start back at the end 2016. One days when I'm winning I feel great. One losing days I feel like I'm putting my daughter's future at risk. She just turned 5 recently and a total cutiepie and daddy's girl. No, that's not right. Especially when I have so many other steady income options available to me. Every day I get recruiters call for various high paying jobs in the tech sector.

    Luck would have it, my side business idea is rolling along well. It's still early but very promising. So I will focus on that and scale it up. The nice thing about running your own business is you have flexibility to trade part-time in the morning for a few hours. Then focus on my business.

    As they say, trading is the hardest easy money in the world to make. When you are right then thousands flow to you with also no effort. When you are wrong and struggling then it's the worst job in the world.

    It's very clear to me now what I need to do going forward. But thanks for making the points extra clear.

    I'll focus on expanding my business and generate steady income and do side consulting. And only trade part-time. Striving to learn and improve constantly. Risk management being the main focus for 2018.
  193. There are many great trades and horrible trades. Without pulling out of my old records, in recent memory

    Futures Side:
    I made $17K across 3 accounts in one day(actually a few hours late in the night) when Nikkei was trading

    You can find details here:

    Of course, I kept NONE of those fantastic gains in the long run. Poor risk management. My signals are great but my risk management is HORRIBLE.

    Equities Side:
    Made 86% gain in a few hours on LFIN. Again, my account still down for the year. Bad risk management.

    Options Side:
    I've made 600%-12x albeit on very very small amounts.

    Those are the most recent ones. Years before that I've doubled, tripled, and 10x my accounts on multiple occasions. Gains are gone because of again poor risk management.

    On worst trades in recent memory, being short in 2017 and 2016 directly or indirectly. I lost a LOT of money buying TVIX. The worst trading mistake of my recent career. I lost money buying TVIX etf, VIX options, VIX futures. I lost money on TECS(small), etc. All because of stupid bearish bias.

    I've gotten out of all of this rubbish positions. I'm glad I did because it's still going down nonstop. This bull market is too strong. Don't be stupid and get in front of this freight train.

    So, 2018 is the year I focus on risk management. Hopefully that will turn things around. I think given my same signals I should be doing a lot better if I control the downside.

    But as I've said before, I will focus on things that generate steady income. And do trading part-time only.
  194. That's a really interesting story. You are quite blessed to start trading in the market as such a young age. While I knew about the markets in my teens too, it was mostly an intellectual activity. I would read BusinessWeek, WSJ, Forbes, etc. After I graduated from college, I actually worked as a quant. But the firm was a long-term mutual fund type. So, no TA. It's all fundamentally driven long term buy and hold type. It wasn't until later that I got into prop trading and daytrading that I found out this game was nontrivial. haha. Then after failed prop trading, i switched industry and went into tech.

    With hindsights, I think I would have saved myself a lot of money and heartaches if I had traded on sim for a length of time before starting to trade with real money. That would be great. But here am I.

    Well, it's inspiring to hear you started in the markets so young and now doing it full-time and with success. You are a role model! :)
  195. So, do you only trade futures intraday? Do you ever hold overnight positions? As detailed in another thread on ET, I briefly worked for a small hedge fund. I got in on my credentials, but I sucked as a trader. haha. Smaller funds are fun and more intimate environment to work in.

    It's great that you had such encouraging and supportive parents. I'm glad to hear you are very "mathematical." I love math. I was an ex-quant afterall.

    About being antisocial, I've been there. Those were difficult years growing up being antisocial. Now I'm better but still don't have a lot of friends. But the few friends that I have are really good friends and been with me for a long time. So, no worries about being antisocial. We all go through those periods. And it's OK to be an introvert. Life needs all types of people and all types of people can thrive if they find their niche in life. :)

    I know the journey to trading success takes a long time. Hopefully 2018 will be my breakthrough year... I'll keep you posted as I learn and grow.

  196. No; only intraday.

    Not only periods, really, for me: I have Asperger's syndrome.

    Do that - many here, in addition to me, will be interested to see your progress. :)