Stuck in the break-even phase

Discussion in 'Trading' started by I$land, Sep 12, 2007.

  1. I$land


    I have been day trading equities full time for a year. I've tried many different systems and no matter what I do I always end up break-even. I win some one day, lose some the other day and at the end of the month there is nothing left. I keep telling myself I'm close to making money but I really don't know what I need to change to finally be able to pay my bills.

    I would really appreciate some advice from profitable traders so I can take my trading to the next level.


  2. this is common for traders just starting out and in fact you should be happy you are breaking even and not getting wiped out. that said you need to fine tune your strategy as your stategy is great for breaking even at the end of the month. do you over trade? in other words make 300-400 and then give it back because you want more money? do you chase stocks when the market is flying? what is your strategy? give me an example as to what you traded today. you can pm me if you want.
  3. I$land


    I don't make more than 4 trades/day and I can go 2 days or more without making a trade if my system does not generate any signals.


    - I don't revenge trade and I always obey my stops.

    - I use the same amount of risk per trade so I adjust my share size based on the distance of my entry from my stop.

    It seems like I can find an edge (trading system) but it only seems to work for a limited time (1 month or two) and then stops working.

    Maybe I have to use the right setup or system based on the day's market conditions but I'm not quite sure how to do this.

  4. (1) Your account statement should have small losses, small profits and large profits. Generally, the small losses and small profits offset each other. The remaining large profits comprise your entire profitability. Ideally, you don't have large losses that can hurt your account. (2) Day trading doesn't seem proper for you. Consider extending your time horizon by swing trading so that you can reduce your trade frequency and allow profits to grow larger. (3) Do you have a "breakout" or "reversal" mentality with your trading? Try adopting the other mentality. (4) If you're not doing this already, consider focusing on trading one thing and one thing only. Don't waste too much time and effort "following" hundreds of different stocks. See if any of that helps
  5. I think your problem is totally psychologic. you are risk aversive, not risk lover.

    the fear part protects you, but it also hurts you. it sounds to me you have good discipline,

    what you need is COURAGE:

    1. try a trade without a stop loss

    2. try a trade with a "no man mission control" in several days, for example, bought a retracement, then forget about it, wait until three days late with no stop loss

    do not over-protect yourself, if you want to learn how to swim and swim well, the only thing you can do is throw away the life jacket and foget abot "you wioll be drowned"
  6. I$land



    "Generally, the small losses and small profits offset each other. The remaining large profits comprise your entire profitability."

    At some point, I was cutting my losses really fast which limited my drawdowns. The problem is I was also cutting big winners. The end result was the same : break-even. It basically diminish the amplitudes of the swings in my P/L chart but not the end result. Could you elaborate a little (or PM me) on how you manage your trades to cut the losses quickly without cutting the big gainers also.

    "Consider extending your time horizon by swing trading so that you can reduce your trade frequency and allow profits to grow larger."

    How do you deal with gaps ? I'm terrified at the idea of waking up one morning and the stock is down 3$ from my long entry.... Huge loss !

    "...consider focusing on trading one thing and one thing only."

    What do you mean exactly ? Always trade the same stock ?



    Are you serious ? If so, maybe you could elaborate on how "not using a stop" helps you make money.


  7. Try selling half you position to lock in a gain, and then move your stop to break even on the other so you will have a chance for a small win to turn into a big win without the mental aspect of it being able to turn into a loser.
  8. Better than being in the losing phase.
  9. dinoman


    You are way ahead of the beggining crowd you just have to learn the rest by time or have someone mentor you. But, by what you have stated so far you are well on your way.
  10. I used to day trade stocks. it was hard.

    Become a income generation trader, making consistent safe 6-9% returns on your money and you will make a good amount of money more than any value investor will make.

    I dont trade for days and when I trade I can get in and out 400 contracts in 2 days. Making consistent, steady income on a month to month basis is the key to longevity and prosperity.
    #10     Sep 13, 2007