Rookie Trader Journal - Advice Welcome

Discussion in 'Journals' started by krolyk55, Apr 11, 2008.

  1. krolyk55


    Yes, I am a newbie, and yes I am stupid enough to jump in and start trading with all you pro's without any formal education or much experience, yes I want to make huge returns and yes I am scared of losing my money.

    I have been paper trading for about 2 months now, primarily S&P 500 Futures (ES), but I have toyed around with the Dow Futures, Nasdaq Futures, Russell Futures, Treasury Futures (2yr, 10yr, 30yr) and even some regular high volume Nasdaq stocks like Google, Bidu, First Solar and Reasearch in Motion.

    I went and watched a few friends day trading a few months ago, and I got hooked, since then I've been trying to mimic their systems, while adding things of my own that seem to work. I feel like I've learned a lot over the last 2 months of practicing, but I know I need to be careful.

    I've reached a point where I'm making great returns on paper (I know I know, it's not the same), 2%-5% per day, with a losing day every once in awhile. I don't really expect these kinds of results with real money, but hopefully something in that direction. I mostly do this in little chunks, 3 to 4 ticks at a time, trading 30-60 contracts a day. I try to stay in only 1-5 minutes at a time, but sometimes am forced to stay in longer. I never hold over night.

    I have about $50k in an account with IB now, and I use Ninja Trader for my charting and trade executions. I would like to post my trades or at least daily P&L in this journal, to encourage support and constructive advice from anyone who would like to give it, as part of my education. I'm going to start small and gradually increase the number of contracts I trade over the next few months.

    I've noticed that Elitetrader is filled with friendly and insightful people. I look forward to your comments.
  2. Pivotas


    Before you make your first trade, take $40K out of your IB account. When you burn up the $10K remaining, stop and re-think your decision to trade and question the methods that caused you to lose the $10K. If you want to go again, put in another $10K. Repeat the above until you figure it out or have used up your $50K.

    If you don't burn up the $10K on the first round, then you don't really need to have the $50K in the account.
  3. I agree with pivotas 100%. If you are successful with your first $10k (or your second, third etc.) you will need a plan for withdrawing profits to go along side your plan for increasing size. Too many people are successful trading small and then ramp it up and blow their account and have nothing to show for all their work. You should make your plan for when and how you will take profits out of your account before you even begin trading real money.

    On another note. How do you like Ninja Trader? I'm using IB with QuoteTracker right now and it's fine, but I'm always looking for something better.
  4. krolyk55


    I actually officially began my trading career Thursday 4/10. I made $32 on my first ever trade. The first part of the day when well and I went up a few hundred dollars right away. I started getting nervous and using tight stop losses after that though and had a series of losing trades in a row get stopped out. Then I got caught by some negative news near the end of the day, and suddenly found myself down $1200. I found a wave back up at the very end of the day and barely escaped with a $45 total net profit with a few minutes to spare before the closing bell. What a roller coaster! I hope every day isn’t like this.

    First day results:

    Date: 4/10/08
    # of Trades: 30
    Contracts: 48
    Contracts Bought Range: 1-8
    Highest down: ($1,300.00)
    Highest up: $300.00
    Net Profit/Loss: $45.40
  5. The first reply, already been the BEST.

  6. krolyk55


    Friday (yesterday) 4/11 was a walk in the park compared to Thursday. I eased up on the stop losses and waited for good setups. I only had one or two losing trades, and got several winning trades in $30-50 chunks. I got some of the newbie jitters out, but I’ve paper traded enough to know it was a pretty calm day.

    Second day results:

    Date: 4/11/08
    # of Trades: 24
    Contracts: 48
    Contracts Bought Range: 1-3
    Highest down: ($100.00)
    Highest up: $499.30
    Net Profit/Loss: $499.30
  7. krolyk55


    Yes thank you Pivotas that is great advice. I will do this in principle. I won't actually pull the 40k out, but I think its a great idea to only allow myself to risk about 10k for awhile and see how it goes. I've read many horror stories of people being succesful for a few weeks or months only to lose 50%-100% of their portfolio on one or two trades.
  8. krolyk55


    I actually wasn't able to trade today because I had to run on a quick trip out of town. I thought about trying to trade from my laptop but I have never done that before, I am used to three screens and still too nervous to change at this point.

    I will report on my trades tomorrow.
  9. krolyk55


    Today was another emotional roller coaster for me. Got started a little late and didn't read the market right, I sold short near the bottom and had to wait for 2 and 1/2 hours before it finally came back down for me.

    I also ended up getting in much heavier than I wanted to, and risked more money than I would have like to (sorry Pivotas). But I felt it was necessary to pull myself out of the hole. At the worst point of the day I was in as much as 16 contracts and had I sold right then, which I was very tempted to do for fear of losing more, I would have lost $2200. Drawing on my experience the first day I held on and was able to cover that trade later with a $80 profit. After that I made a few other small trades near the end of the day that went my way.

    Third day results:

    Date: 4/15/08
    # of Trades: 17
    Contracts Bought: 56
    Contracts Bought Range: 1-16
    Highest down: ($2200.00)
    Highest up: $305.9
    Net Profit/Loss: $305.90
  10. pt199


    Do you mind sharing your chart and indicator settings?

    I question your philosophy and why you went down $2200, well over 20% of acct. before recovering. Very gutsy! +some luck.
    #10     Apr 15, 2008