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Some trading wisdom, tools and information I picked up along the way that helped me be a better trader. Maybe it can help you too.
Its a bit lengthy and I tried to condense it as much as I can. So take everything at a high level as each subject is has a lot more depth but fundamentally if you distill it down its just taking simple things and applying your experience using them to add nuance and better deploy them. There are exceptions to everything that you will learn with experience or have already learned. If you know something extra or something to add to it to implement it better or more accurately. Then great! However, my intention of this post is just a high level overview. Trading can be far too nuanced to go into in this post and would take forever to type up every exception (not to mention the traders individual personality). If you take the general information as a starting point, hopefully you will learn the edge cases long the way and learn how to use the more effectively if you end up using them. I apologize in advice for any errors or typos. Introduction After reflecting on my fun (cough) trading journey that was more akin to rolling around on broken glass and wondering if brown glass will help me predict market direction better than green glass. Buying a $100 indicator at 2 am when I was acting a fool, looking at it and going at and going "This is a piece of lagging crap, I miss out on a large part of the fundamental move and never using it for even one trade". All while struggling with massive over trading and bad habits because I would get bored watching a single well placed trade on fold for the day. Also, I wanted to get rich quick. On top all of that I had a terminal Stage 4 case of FOMO on every time the price would move up and then down then back up. Just think about all those extra pips I could have trading both directions as it moves across the chart! I can just sell right when it goes down, then buy right before it goes up again. Its so easy right? Well, turns out it was not as easy as I thought and I lost a fair chunk of change and hit my head against the wall a lot until it clicked. Which is how I came up with a mixed bag of things that I now call "Trade the Trade" which helped support how I wanted to trade so I can still trade intra day price action like a rabid money without throwing away all my bananas. Why Make This Post? - Core Topic of Discussion I wish to share a concept I came up with that helped me become a reliable trader. Support the weakness of how I like to trade. Also, explaining what I do helps reinforce my understanding of the information I share as I have to put words to it and not just use internalized processes. I came up with a method that helped me get my head straight when trading intra day. I call it "Trade the Trade" as I am making mini trades inside of a trade setup I make from analysis on a higher timeframe that would take multiple days to unfold or longer. I will share information, principles, techniques I used and learned from others I talked to on the internet (mixed bag of folks from armatures to professionals, and random internet people) that helped me form a trading style that worked for me. Even people who are not good at trading can say something that might make it click in your head so I would absorbed all the information I could get.I will share the details of how I approach the methodology and the tools in my trading belt that I picked up by filtering through many tools, indicators strategies and witchcraft. Hopefully you read something that ends up helping you be a better trader. I learned a lot from people who make community posts so I wanted to give back now that I got my ducks in a row. General Trading Advice If your struggling finding your own trading style, fixing weakness's in it, getting started, being reliably profitable or have no framework to build yourself higher with, hopefully you can use the below advice to help provide some direction or clarity to moving forward to be a better trader.
KEEP IT SIMPLE. Do not throw a million things on your chart from the get go or over analyzing what the market is doing while trying to learn the basics. Tons of stuff on your chart can actually slow your learning by distracting your focus on all your bells and whistles and not the price action.
PRICE ACTION. Learn how to read price action. Not just the common formations, but larger groups of bars that form the market structure. Those formations carry more weight the higher the time frame they form on. If struggle to understand what is going on or what your looking at, move to a higher time frame.
INDICATORS. If you do use them you should try to understand how every indicator you use calculates its values. Many indicators are lagging indicators, understanding how it calculates the values can help you learn how to identify the market structure before the indicator would trigger a signal . This will help you understand why the signal is a lagged signal. If you understand that you can easily learn to look at the price action right before the signal and learn to watch for that price action on top of it almost trigging a signal so you can get in at a better position and assume less downside risk. I recommend using no more than 1-2 indicators for simplicity, but your free to use as many as you think you think you need or works for your strategy/trading style.
PSYCOLOGY. First, FOMO is real, don't feed the beast. When you trade you should always have an entry and exit. If you miss your entry do not chase it, wait for a new entry. At its core trading is gambling and your looking for an edge against the house (the other market participants). With that in mind, treat as such. Do not risk more than you can afford to lose. If you are afraid to lose it will negatively effect your trade decisions. Finally, be honest with your self and bad trading happens. No one is going to play trade cop and keep you in line, that's your job.
TRADE DECISION MARKING: Before you enter any trade you should have an entry and exit area. As you learn price action you will get better entries and better exits. Use a larger zone and stop loss at the start while learning. Then you can tighten it up as you gain experience. If you do not have a area you wish to exit, or you are entering because "the markets looking like its gonna go up". Do not enter the trade. Have a reason for everything you do, if you cannot logically explain why then you probably should not be doing it.
ROBOTS/ALGOS: Loved by some, hated by many who lost it all to one, and surrounded by scams on the internet. If you make your own, find a legit one that works and paid for it or lost it all on a crappy one, more power to ya. I do not use robots because I do not like having a robot in control of my money. There is too many edge cases for me to be ok with it.However, the best piece of advice about algos was that the guy had a algo/robot for each market condition (trending/ranging) and would make personalized versions of each for currency pairs as each one has its own personality and can make the same type of movement along side another currency pair but the price action can look way different or the move can be lagged or leading. So whenever he does his own analysis and he sees a trend, he turns the trend trading robot on. If the trend stops, and it starts to range he turns the range trading robot on. He uses robots to trade the market types that he is bad at trading. For example, I suck at trend trading because I just suck at sitting on my hands and letting my trade do its thing.
Trade the Trade - The Methodology
Base Principles These are the base principles I use behind "Trade the Trade". Its called that because you are technically trading inside your larger high time frame trade as it hopefully goes as you have analyzed with the trade setup. It allows you to scratch that intraday trading itch, while not being blind to the bigger market at play. It can help make sense of why the price respects, rejects or flat out ignores support/resistance/pivots.
Trade Setup: Find a trade setup using high level time frames (daily, 4hr, or 1hr time frames). The trade setup will be used as a base for starting to figure out a bias for the markets direction for that day.
Indicator Data: Check any indicators you use (I use Stochastic RSI and Relative Vigor Index) for any useful information on higher timeframes.
Support Resistance: See if any support/resistance/pivot points are in currently being tested/resisted by the price. Also check for any that are within reach so they might become in play through out the day throughout the day (which can influence your bias at least until the price reaches it if it was already moving that direction from previous days/weeks price action).
Currency Strength/Weakness: I use the TradeVision currency strength/weakness dashboard to see if the strength/weakness supports the narrative of my trade and as an early indicator when to keep a closer eye for signs of the price reversing.Without the tool, the same concept can be someone accomplished with fundamentals and checking for higher level trends and checking cross currency pairs for trends as well to indicate strength/weakness, ranging (and where it is in that range) or try to get some general bias from a higher level chart that may help you out. However, it wont help you intra day unless your monitoring the currency's index or a bunch of charts related to the currency.
Watch For Trading Opportunities: Personally I make a mental short list and alerts on TradingView of currency pairs that are close to key levels and so I get a notification if it reaches there so I can check it out. I am not against trading both directions, I just try to trade my bias before the market tries to commit to a direction. Then if I get out of that trade I will scalp against the trend of the day and hold trades longer that are with it.Then when you see a opportunity assume the directional bias you made up earlier (unless the market solidly confirms with price action the direction while waiting for an entry) by trying to look for additional confirmation via indicators, price action on support/resistances etc on the low level time frame or higher level ones like hourly/4hr as the day goes on when the price reaches key areas or makes new market structures to get a good spot to enter a trade in the direction of your bias.Then enter your trade and use the market structures to determine how much of a stop you need. Once your in the trade just monitor it and watch the price action/indicators/tools you use to see if its at risk of going against you. If you really believe the market wont reach your TP and looks like its going to turn against you, then close the trade. Don't just hold on to it for principle and let it draw down on principle or the hope it does not hit your stop loss.
Trade Duration Hold your trades as long or little as you want that fits your personality and trading style/trade analysis. Personally I do not hold trades past the end of the day (I do in some cases when a strong trend folds) and I do not hold trades over the weekends. My TP targets are always places I think it can reach within the day. Typically I try to be flat before I sleep and trade intra day price movements only. Just depends on the higher level outlook, I have to get in at really good prices for me to want to hold a trade and it has to be going strong. Then I will set a slightly aggressive stop on it before I leave. I do know several people that swing trade and hold trades for a long period of time. That is just not a trading style that works for me.
Enhance Your Success Rate Below is information I picked up over the years that helped me enhance my success rate with not only guessing intra day market bias (even if it has not broken into the trend for the day yet (aka pre London open when the end of Asia likes to act funny sometimes), but also with trading price action intra day. People always say "When you enter a trade have an entry and exits. I am of the belief that most people do not have problem with the entry, its the exit. They either hold too long, or don't hold long enough. With the below tools, drawings, or instruments, hopefully you can increase your individual probability of a successful trade. **P.S.*\* Your mileage will vary depending on your ability to correctly draw, implement and interpret the below items. They take time and practice to implement with a high degree of proficiency. If you have any questions about how to do that with anything listed, comment below and I will reply as I can. I don't want to answer the same question a million times in a pm. Tools and Methods Used This is just a high level overview of what I use. Each one of the actions I could go way more in-depth on but I would be here for a week typing something up of I did that. So take the information as a base level understanding of how I use the method or tool. There is always nuance and edge cases that you learn from experience.
I keep a general high level Macro outlook for currencies. I dont get too deep into Fundamentals and just keep an eye out for news. If I am already in a trade I will hold it if its far enough away from my entry. However, I wont enter right before/during news as it can invalidate your setup.
I started with the basics of learning the standard price action formations/patterns and candles. You can find tons of free info on that online, google is your friend. Then I stared at charts and said "why did the price do that or do this etc" then after a while I started to understand what's happening without having to think about it and I can see the market structure without having to look as closely as I did in the past.
After many many hours of staring at 5 min charts for 15 hours a day 5 days a week I learned how to look at 5 min charts and be like "Oh that's a hammer on the 15 min etc. If you keep track of time you can do the same for hourly candles as well and you will start to see market structure naturally. However I typically trade in a two chart panel window so I have a 15 min and 5 min chart up when trading intra day so I dont have to think too hard about it.
Draw support resistance lines on Daily/4hr timeframes. I prefer to use body of the candle instead of the wick for support/resistance.
You can find support/resistance liquidity levels through out the day as well and trade those if the price retraces back through levels its already been through that same day.
It would be a bit length to explain exactly the best place to draw them. If your unsure there is plenty of free resources on the internet. Just try to use your head and look for price levels where the price was "Supported" or it "Resisted" that price level then slap a line on it. Draw as few or as many lines as you feel helps you and your style. I tend to lean on the side of fewer. I typically do about 6 lines main support/resistances (3 of each).
Draw two Fibonacci Extensions. One on the daily timeframe, and then one on the 4hr time frame. Then you can trade the Fibonacci levels and use them for TP targets or entry zones if price action respects the level. Also you can use it along with support/resistance and pivots if they happen to line up or are very close.
I cannot really figure out how to put it into words how to draw a Fib if you dont know how. I will have to make a picture to demonstrate it. If your interested post below and I will draw one up and post a link. Probably the easiest way to understand. Just keep in mind the Fib you draw on the 4hr time frame will be inside the daily timeframe one.
The TradeVision2020 dashboard that I use just helps me keep a tab on the current market post plus any swing strength/momentum a currency might have on higher time frames. Helps me look for shifts in the market or confirmation that the bias it already has in momentum is continuing. I have found that often currencies when they get really/weak or strong might continue for several days or even longer like a full week or more. We recently had what felt like 1 week or so of flat out Yen weakness which was making some things wonky. All it does is allow me to look at the dashboard instead of a million other charts.
I use two that work well for my intra day style. The Stochastic RSI is just like a RSI but its faster. The second is the Relative Vigor Index which I use to detect swings in momentum and divergences in bullish/bearish momentum. I have used many others in the past, but as I have grown and got better as a trader I have found making my analysis simpler has improved my trading.I dont like the whole idea of have 43 different indicators on 32 different time frames light up a dashboard to be green for me to enter a trade. With how I do it now, I have a clear understanding of what I expect to happen and why. That way when it does happen I understand the move and dont get freaked out if the market moves funny after I am in the trade.
Conclusion I use the above tools/indicators/resources/philosophy's to trade intra day price action that sometimes ends up as noise in the grand scheme of the markets movement.use that method until the price action for the day proves the bias assumption wrong. Also you can couple that with things like Stoch RSI + Relative Vigor Index to find divergences which can increase the probability of your targeted guesses. Trade Example from Yesterday This is an example of a trade I took today and why I took it. I used the following core areas to make my trade decision.
Fundamental Bias: I already had a bullish fundamental outlook on EUUSD with expecting the markets to price in future similes due a higher an higher chance of Biden winning on paper as the election closed in and a "Blue wave" coming which would lead to a weaker dollar. Also, the Euro Zone is getting hammered with COVID pretty hard plus Brexit drama so I had a strong Euro bias.NOTE: As frame of reference, all the other pairs I trade I traded as if they were ranging and trade a range. Markets are messed up right now.
Currency Strength/Weakness: I use a tool that gives me a currency strength/weakness dashboard called TradeVision2020. Helps me track individual currency strength/weakness intra day. Took me about a month to get used to it, but helps me keep track of intra day strength/weakness that can add a bias to trade direction as the day unfolds. Like "Will this run have a 2nd or 3rd push higher" or "I should look to TP at the first sign of weakness in the push" type bias data. You still got to use your brain and figure out the best decision. It wont make choices for you, its only a guide.NOTE: I am not trying to adverse the tool (if providing the code is against sub rules let me know), its just a tool I use every day that helps me with directional bias calls. I am sharing the coupon code that was given to me when I found out about the tool in the TradingView forex chatroom and the guy gave me the code to use when I signed up. I dont want someone to read the name and want to try it out then overpay for no reason. The coupon will give you 40% off. Coupon Code: 3F7A0T5T
Higher Timeframe Analysis: Detected some early signs of Bearish Divergence on the 1hr chart using a on a higher time frame using a Stochastic RSI. Then I saw more confirmation on 5 min charts using Relative Vigor Index to help time my entry mid session.
Pivot Points: I treat pivot points like support/resistance and trade them as such using price action to give me some idea how its being treated by the market. Pretty straight forward.
It may seem like a lot of stuff to process on the fly while trying to figure out live price action but, for the fundamental bias for a pair should already baked in your mindset for any currency pair you trade. For the currency strength/weakness I stare at the dashboard 12-15 hours a day so I am always trying to keep a pulse on what's going or shifts so that's not really a factor when I want to enter as I would not look to enter if I felt the market was shifting against me. Then the higher timeframe analysis had already happened when I woke up, so it was a game of "Stare at the 5 min chart until the price does something interesting" Trade Example: Today , I went long EUUSD long bias when I first looked at the chart after waking up around 9-10pm Eastern. Fortunately, the first large drop had already happened so I had a easy baseline price movement to work with. I then used tool for currency strength/weakness monitoring, Pivot Points, and bearish divergence detected using Stochastic RSI and Relative Vigor Index. I first noticed Bearish Divergence on the 1hr time frame using the Stochastic RSI and got confirmation intra day on the 5 min time frame with the Relative Vigor Index. I ended up buying the second mini dip around midnight Eastern because it was already dancing along the pivot point that the price had been dancing along since the big drop below the pivot point and dipped below it and then shortly closed back above it. I put a stop loss below the first large dip. With a TP goal of the middle point pivot line Then I waited for confirmation or invalidation of my trade. I ended up getting confirmation with Bearish Divergence from the second large dip so I tightened up my stop to below that smaller drip and waited for the London open. Not only was it not a lower low, I could see the divergence with the Relative Vigor Index. It then ran into London and kept going with tons of momentum. Blew past my TP target so I let it run to see where the momentum stopped. Ended up TP'ing at the Pivot Point support/resistance above the middle pivot line. Random Note: The Asian session has its own unique price action characteristics that happen regularly enough that you can easily trade them when they happen with high degrees of success. It takes time to learn them all and confidently trade them as its happening. If you trade Asia you should learn to recognize them as they can fake you out if you do not understand what's going on. TL;DR At the end of the day there is no magic solution that just works. You have to find out what works for you and then what people say works for them. Test it out and see if it works for you or if you can adapt it to work for you. If it does not work or your just not interested then ignore it. At the end of the day, you have to use your brain to make correct trading decisions. Blindly following indicators may work sometimes in certain market conditions, but trading with information you don't understand can burn you just as easily as help you. Its like playing with fire. So, get out there and grind it out. It will either click or it wont. Not everyone has the mindset or is capable of changing to be a successful trader. Trading is gambling, you do all this work to get a edge on the house. Trading without the edge or an edge you understand how to use will only leave your broker happy in the end.
Former investment bank FX trader: news trading and second order thinking
Thanks to everyone who responded to the previous pieces on risk management. We ended up with nearly 2,000 upvotes and I'm delighted so many of you found it useful. This time we're going to focus on a new area: reacting to and trading around news and fundamental developments. A lot of people get this totally wrong and the main reason is that they trade the news at face value, without considering what the market had already priced in. If you've ever seen what you consider to be "good" or "better than forecast" news come out and yet been confused as the pair did nothing or moved in the opposite direction to expected, read on... We are going to do this in two parts. Part I
Why use an economic calendar
How to read the calendar
Knowing what's priced in
First order thinking vs second order thinking
Knowing how to use and benefit from the economic calendar is key for all traders - not just news traders. In this chapter we are going to take a practical look at how to use the economic calendar. We are also going to look at how to interpret news using second order thinking. The key concept is learning what has already been ‘priced in’ by the market so we can estimate how the market price might react to the new information.
Why use an economic calendar
The economic calendar contains all the scheduled economic releases for that day and week. Even if you purely trade based on technical analysis, you still must know what is in store. https://preview.redd.it/20xdiq6gq4k51.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=6cd47186db1039be7df4d7ad6782de36da48f1db Why? Three main reasons. Firstly, releases can help provide direction. They create trends. For example if GBPUSD has been fluctuating aimlessly within a range and suddenly the Bank of England starts raising rates you better believe the British Pound will start to move. Big news events often start long-term trends which you can trade around. Secondly, a lot of the volatility occurs around these events. This is because these events give the market new information. Prior to a big scheduled release like the US Non Farm Payrolls you might find no one wants to take a big position. After it is released the market may move violently and potentially not just in a single direction - often prices may overshoot and come back down. Even without a trend this volatility provides lots of trading opportunities for the day trader. https://preview.redd.it/u17iwbhiq4k51.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=98ea8ed154c9468cb62037668c38e7387f2435af Finally, these releases can change trends. Going into a huge release because of a technical indicator makes little sense. Everything could reverse and stop you out in a moment. You need to be aware of which events are likely to influence the positions you have on so you can decide whether to keep the positions or flatten exposure before the binary event for which you have no edge. Most traders will therefore ‘scan’ the calendar for the week ahead, noting what the big events are and when they will occur. Then you can focus on each day at a time.
Reading the economic calendar
Most calendars show events cut by trading day. Helpfully they adjust the time of each release to your own timezone. For example we can see that the Bank of Japan Interest Rate decision is happening at 4am local time for this particular London-based trader. https://preview.redd.it/lmx0q9qoq4k51.jpg?width=1200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=c6e9e1533b1ba236e51296de8db3be55dfa78ba1 Note that some events do not happen at a specific time. Think of a Central Banker’s speech for example - this can go on for an hour. It is not like an economic statistic that gets released at a precise time. Clicking the finger emoji will open up additional information on each event.
How do you define importance? Well, some events are always unimportant. With the greatest of respect to Italian farmers, nobody cares about mundane releases like Italian farm productivity figures. Other events always seem to be important. That means, markets consistently react to them and prices move. Interest rate decisions are an example of consistently high importance events. So the Medium and High can be thought of as guides to how much each event typically affects markets. They are not perfect guides, however, as different events are more or less important depending on the circumstances. For example, imagine the UK economy was undergoing a consumer-led recovery. The Central Bank has said it would raise interest rates (making GBPUSD move higher) if they feel the consumer is confident. Consumer confidence data would suddenly become an extremely important event. At other times, when the Central Bank has not said it is focused on the consumer, this release might be near irrelevant.
Knowing what's priced in
Next to each piece of economic data you can normally see three figures. Actual, Forecast, and Previous.
Actual refers to the number as it is released.
Forecast refers to the consensus estimate from analysts.
Previous is what it was last time.
We are going to look at this in a bit more detail later but what you care about is when numbers are better or worse than expected. Whether a number is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ really does not matter much. Yes, really. Once you understand that markets move based on the news vs expectations, you will be less confused by price action around events This is a common misunderstanding. Say everyone is expecting ‘great’ economic data and it comes out as ‘good’. Does the price go up? You might think it should. After all, the economic data was good. However, everyone expected it to be great and it was just … good. The great release was ‘priced in’ by the market already. Most likely the price will be disappointed and go down. By priced in we simply mean that the market expected it and already bought or sold. The information was already in the price before the announcement. Incidentally the official forecasts can be pretty stale and might not accurately capture what active traders in the market expect. See the following example.
An example of pricing in
For example, let’s say the market is focused on the number of Tesla deliveries. Analysts think it’ll be 100,000 this quarter. But Elon Musk tweets something that hints he’s really, really, really looking forward to the analyst call. Tesla’s price ticks higher after the tweet as traders put on positions, reflecting the sentiment that Tesla is likely to massively beat the 100,000. (This example is not a real one - it just serves to illustrate the concept.) Tesla deliveries are up hugely vs last quarter ... but they are disappointing vs market expectations ... what do you think will happen to the stock? On the day it turns out Tesla hit 101,000. A better than the officially forecasted result - sure - but only marginally. Way below what readers of Musk's twitter account might have thought. Disappointed traders may sell their longs and close out the positions. The stock might go down on ‘good’ results because the market had priced in something even better. (This example is not a real one - it just serves to illustrate the concept.)
We know that interest rates heavily affect currency prices. For major interest rate decisions there’s a great tool on the CME’s website that you can use. See the link for a demo This gives you a % probability of each interest rate level, implied by traded prices in the bond futures market. For example, in the case above the market thinks there’s a 20% chance the Fed will cut rates to 75-100bp. Obviously this is far more accurate than analyst estimates because it uses actual bond prices where market participants are directly taking risk and placing bets. It basically looks at what interest rate traders are willing to lend at just before/after the date of the central bank meeting to imply the odds that the market ascribes to a change on that date. Always try to estimate what the market has priced in. That way you have some context for whether the release really was better or worse than expected.
Second order thinking
You have to know what the market expects to try and guess how it’ll react. This is referred to by Howard Marks of Oaktree as second-level thinking. His explanation is so clear I am going to quote extensively. It really is hard to improve on this clarity of thought: First-level thinking is simplistic and superficial, and just about everyone can do it (a bad sign for anything involving an attempt at superiority). All the first-level thinker needs is an opinion about the future, as in “The outlook for the company is favorable, meaning the stock will go up.” Second-level thinking is deep, complex and convoluted. Howard Marks He explains first-level thinking: The first-level thinker simply looks for the highest quality company, the best product, the fastest earnings growth or the lowest p/e ratio. He’s ignorant of the very existence of a second level at which to think, and of the need to pursue it. Howard Marks The above describes the guy who sees a 101,000 result and buys Tesla stock because - hey, this beat expectations. Marks goes on to describe second-level thinking: The second-level thinker goes through a much more complex process when thinking about buying an asset. Is it good? Do others think it’s as good as I think it is? Is it really as good as I think it is? Is it as good as others think it is? Is it as good as others think others think it is? How will it change? How do others think it will change? How is it priced given: its current condition; how do I think its conditions will change; how others think it will change; and how others think others think it will change? And that’s just the beginning. No, this isn’t easy. Howard Marks In this version of events you are always thinking about the market’s response to Tesla results. What do you think they’ll announce? What has the market priced in? Is Musk reliable? Are the people who bought because of his tweet likely to hold on if he disappoints or exit immediately? If it goes up at which price will they take profit? How big a number is now considered ‘wow’ by the market? As Marks says: not easy. However, you need to start getting into the habit of thinking like this if you want to beat the market. You can make gameplans in advance for various scenarios. Here are some examples from Marks to illustrate the difference between first order and second order thinking. Some further examples Trying to react fast to headlines is impossible in today’s market of ultra fast computers. You will never win on speed. Therefore you have to out-think the average participant.
Coming up in part II
Now that we have a basic understanding of concepts such as expectations and what the market has priced in, we can look at some interesting trading techniques and tools. Part II
Preparing for quantitative and qualitative releases
Data surprise index
Using recent events to predict future reactions
Buy the rumour, sell the fact
The trimming position effect
Some key FX releases
Hope you enjoyed this note. As always, please reply with any questions/feedback - it is fun to hear from you. *** Disclaimer:This content is not investment advice and you should not place any reliance on it. The views expressed are the author's own and should not be attributed to any other person, including their employer.
10 Secrets The Trading Industry Doesn’t Want You To Know About
Today’s lesson goes to be somewhat controversial and should ruffle some feathers. I shall blow wide open and debunk tons of the knowledge you've got presumably been exposed to the present far in your trading journey. The average trader is out there walking through a confusing and conflicting maze of data from a spread of sources including; blogs, forums, broker websites, books, e-books, courses and YouTube videos. With of these learning resources available there's naturally getting to be some excellent and a few very bad information, but actually , there just isn’t how for many aspiring traders to understand what to concentrate to, who to concentrate to, or what information is useful and what information is non-beneficial. I’m not getting to pretend that there's how for an aspiring trader to filter this giant sea of data composed by of these resources and mentors out there, because there simply isn’t. knowledgeable trader with 10,000 hours of experience might stand an opportunity of deciding the great from the bad and therefore the valid from the invalid. However, you, the beginner or intermediate trader simply won’t possess that filtering ability yet. Becoming ‘Non-Average’ As traders, we concede to our instinctive feelings of social trustworthiness supported what we see and listen to , often to our extreme detriment. we frequently tend to require a leap of religion with our mentors and have a habit of taking things said to us at face value. we would like to hold close information that resonates with us and is sensible to us, especially if it’s delivered by a well-known source that we've come to understand and trust. The ‘average trader’s brain’ is usually trying to find a shortcut due to the overwhelming desire to form money and be free. The brain wants to urge a winning result immediately with the smallest amount amount of effort possible. If you would like to ever make it as a professional trader or investor, I suggest you are doing everything you'll to avoid thinking with the ‘average trader’s brain‘ and begin being ‘non-average’. meaning becoming far more aware, thinking outside the box more and questioning and filtering the knowledge you read and watch. most significantly , slowing everything all down! This now begs the apparent question…how does one even know what I’m close to write during this lesson is actually valid and factual? How are you able to really be sure? the reality is unless you've got followed me and my posts on this blog for an extended time and know me and know my work, then you can’t really make certain , and that i don’t expect you to easily believe it at face value. If you would like to return back and re-read this lesson during a few weeks, or a couple of months, or a couple of years, after you work out that i'm somebody worth taking note of about trading OR that i'm somebody not worth taking note of about trading, then so be it. So with a degree of healthy skepticism, I ask you to think about the below list of eye-opening secrets that professional traders and therefore the trading industry, don’t want you to understand about or understand. I hope it helps… Visit : توصيات الذهب اليوم FOREX isn’t the sole market the Professionals trade The FX market is large , with billions of dollars per day changing hands. It can cause you to great money if you recognize what you’re doing OR it can send you broke if you don’t. It’s a really popular market to trade globally, BUT it’s not the sole market the professional’s trade and it’s not always the simplest market to trade either. A note on leverage: The brokers and platform providers want you to trade FX on high leverage because the profit margins are very high for them. However, if you trade FX on lower leverage, the profit margins shrink dramatically for them. once you trade FX, start brooding about what can fail rather than just brooding about what can go right. I suggest avoiding stupidly high leverage like 400 to 1, as this will be very dangerous for you if the market moves quickly or experiences a price gap and your stop-loss orders aren’t executed at the worth you set. A more sensible leverage level would be 100 to 1 or 200 to 1, but any higher seems crazy. (Using an excessive amount of leverage is what wiped tons of traders out during Swiss Bank Crisis in 2015, The Brexit choose 2016 and therefore the Currency flash crash in early 2019). Broaden your view: Going forward, it'll serve you well in your trading career to start out watching a spread of worldwide markets including FX, Stock Indicies and Commodities. additionally to FX, I personally trade GOLD (XAUUSD), S&P500 Index USA, the SPI200 Index Australia, and therefore the Hang Seng Index Hong Kong , and sometimes individual stocks on various global exchanges. In short, there's more to the trading world than simply FX. I discuss the foremost popular markets I trade this lesson here. Day trading isn’t what Pro trading really is The internet is crammed with marketing trying to convince folks that the definition of a trader may be a one that spends all day actively trading in and out of the market on a brief term basis, all whilst living the life-style of a Wall St millionaire. there's a significant agenda within the industry to push this story to the masses, it's been relentless for many years . I am yet to satisfy one successful day trader who is consistent over the future and that i have almost 25,000 students and 250,000 readers on this blog. i'm not saying there isn’t a couple of out there, but 99.9% of the people that do this sort of trading or attempt to live up to the standard day trader stereotype are getting to fail and perhaps even harm themselves financially or mentally. Watching a screen all day and searching for trades constantly is that the like a compulsive gambler playing roulette during a casino. The successful traders i do know of (myself included) are watching higher time frames and longer time horizons (minimum 4-hour chart timeframes and predominantly daily chart time frames). they need no restriction on how long they're looking to carry a trade for and that they tend to let the trades find them. The professionals i do know , don't day trade, they are doing not watch screens all day, they are doing not search for trades constantly. they're going to typically fall under the category of a swing trader, trend trader or position trader. The obvious paradox and conflicting reality within the ‘day trader story’ is blatantly obvious. How does a trader who is consistently watching a screen and constantly trading have time to enjoy his life and live the lifestyle? They chose to trade as a profession to possess a life, they didn’t choose it to observe a screen 24/5. Here are some points to think about that employment against the so-called ‘ day trader’: The shorter the time-frame the more noise and random price movement there's , thus increasing your chance of simply being stopped out of the trade. Your ‘trading edge’ features a higher chance of yielding a result for you if you’re not trading within the intraday noise. The same trading edge doesn't work or produce an equivalent results on a 5 min chart compared to a Daily chart. Commissions and spreads churn your account, therefore the more you trade the more you lose in broker platform costs. (I will mention this below) Risk-Reward ratios aren't relative on shorter and longer time frames. Statistical average volatility across different time periods also as natural market dynamics play an enormous role during this . there's much more weight behind higher time frames than lower timeframes. Great trades take time because the market moves slower than most of the people ever anticipate. Trading from the upper timeframes and holding trades for extended time periods will provide you with greater opportunities to ascertain trades mature into big winners. However, shorter timeframes don’t provide you with this same opportunity fairly often .
Disclaimer: None of this is financial advice. I have no idea what I'm doing. Please do your own research or you will certainly lose money. I'm not a statistician, data scientist, well-seasoned trader, or anything else that would qualify me to make statements such as the below with any weight behind them. Take them for the incoherent ramblings that they are. TL;DR at the bottom for those not interested in the details. This is a bit of a novel, sorry about that. It was mostly for getting my own thoughts organized, but if even one person reads the whole thing I will feel incredibly accomplished.
For those of you not familiar, please see the various threads on this trading system here. I can't take credit for this system, all glory goes to ParallaxFX! I wanted to see how effective this system was at H1 for a couple of reasons: 1) My current broker is TD Ameritrade - their Forex minimum is a mini lot, and I don't feel comfortable enough yet with the risk to trade mini lots on the higher timeframes(i.e. wider pip swings) that ParallaxFX's system uses, so I wanted to see if I could scale it down. 2) I'm fairly impatient, so I don't like to wait days and days with my capital tied up just to see if a trade is going to win or lose. This does mean it requires more active attention since you are checking for setups once an hour instead of once a day or every 4-6 hours, but the upside is that you trade more often this way so you end up winning or losing faster and moving onto the next trade. Spread does eat more of the trade this way, but I'll cover this in my data below - it ends up not being a problem. I looked at data from 6/11 to 7/3 on all pairs with a reasonable spread(pairs listed at bottom above the TL;DR). So this represents about 3-4 weeks' worth of trading. I used mark(mid) price charts. Spreadsheet link is below for anyone that's interested.
I'm pretty much using ParallaxFX's system textbook, but since there are a few options in his writeups, I'll include all the discretionary points here:
I'm using the stop entry version - so I wait for the price to trade beyond the confirmation candle(in the direction of my trade) before entering. I don't have any data to support this decision, but I've always preferred this method over retracement-limit entries. Maybe I just like the feeling of a higher winrate even though there can be greater R:R using a limit entry. Variety is the spice of life.
I put my stop loss right at the opposite edge of the confirmation candle. NOT at the edge of the 2-candle pattern that makes up the system. I'll get into this more below - not enough trades are saved to justify the wider stops. (Wider stop means less $ per pip won, assuming you still only risk 1%).
All my profit/loss statistics are based on a 1% risk per trade. Because 1 is real easy to multiply.
There are definitely some questionable trades in here, but I tried to make it as mechanical as possible for evaluation purposes. They do fit the definitions of the system, which is why I included them. You could probably improve the winrate by being more discretionary about your trades by looking at support/resistance or other techniques.
I didn't use MBB much for either entering trades, or as support/resistance indicators. Again, trying to be pretty mechanical here just for data collection purposes. Plus, we all make bad trading decisions now and then, so let's call it even.
As stated in the title, this is for H1 only. These results may very well not play out for other time frames - who knows, it may not even work on H1 starting this Monday. Forex is an unpredictable place.
I collected data to show efficacy of taking profit at three different levels: -61.8%, -100% and -161.8% fib levels described in the system using the passive trade management method(set it and forget it). I'll have more below about moving up stops and taking off portions of a position.
And now for the fun. Results!
Total Trades: 241
TP at -61.8%: 177 out of 241: 73.44%
TP at -100%: 156 out of 241: 64.73%
TP at -161.8%: 121 out of 241: 50.20%
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account):
TP at -61.8%: 5.22%
TP at -100%: 23.55%
TP at -161.8%: 29.14%
As you can see, a higher target ended up with higher profit despite a much lower winrate. This is partially just how things work out with profit targets in general, but there's an additional point to consider in our case: the spread. Since we are trading on a lower timeframe, there is less overall price movement and thus the spread takes up a much larger percentage of the trade than it would if you were trading H4, Daily or Weekly charts. You can see exactly how much it accounts for each trade in my spreadsheet if you're interested. TDA does not have the best spreads, so you could probably improve these results with another broker. EDIT: I grabbed typical spreads from other brokers, and turns out while TDA is pretty competitive on majors, their minors/crosses are awful! IG beats them by 20-40% and Oanda beats them 30-60%! Using IG spreads for calculations increased profits considerably (another 5% on top) and Oanda spreads increased profits massively (another 15%!). Definitely going to be considering another broker than TDA for this strategy. Plus that'll allow me to trade micro-lots, so I can be more granular(and thus accurate) with my position sizing and compounding.
A Note on Spread
As you can see in the data, there were scenarios where the spread was 80% of the overall size of the trade(the size of the confirmation candle that you draw your fibonacci retracements over), which would obviously cut heavily into your profits. Removing any trades where the spread is more than 50% of the trade width improved profits slightly without removing many trades, but this is almost certainly just coincidence on a small sample size. Going below 40% and even down to 30% starts to cut out a lot of trades for the less-common pairs, but doesn't actually change overall profits at all(~1% either way). However, digging all the way down to 25% starts to really make some movement. Profit at the -161.8% TP level jumps up to 37.94% if you filter out anything with a spread that is more than 25% of the trade width! And this even keeps the sample size fairly large at 187 total trades. You can get your profits all the way up to 48.43% at the -161.8% TP level if you filter all the way down to only trades where spread is less than 15% of the trade width, however your sample size gets much smaller at that point(108 trades) so I'm not sure I would trust that as being accurate in the long term. Overall based on this data, I'm going to only take trades where the spread is less than 25% of the trade width. This may bias my trades more towards the majors, which would mean a lot more correlated trades as well(more on correlation below), but I think it is a reasonable precaution regardless.
Time of Day
Time of day had an interesting effect on trades. In a totally predictable fashion, a vast majority of setups occurred during the London and New York sessions: 5am-12pm Eastern. However, there was one outlier where there were many setups on the 11PM bar - and the winrate was about the same as the big hours in the London session. No idea why this hour in particular - anyone have any insight? That's smack in the middle of the Tokyo/Sydney overlap, not at the open or close of either. On many of the hour slices I have a feeling I'm just dealing with small number statistics here since I didn't have a lot of data when breaking it down by individual hours. But here it is anyway - for all TP levels, these three things showed up(all in Eastern time):
7pm-4am: Fewer setups, but winrate high.
5am-6am: Lots of setups, but but winrate low.
12pm-3pm Medium number of setups, but winrate low.
I don't have any reason to think these timeframes would maintain this behavior over the long term. They're almost certainly meaningless. EDIT: When you de-dup highly correlated trades, the number of trades in these timeframes really drops, so from this data there is no reason to think these timeframes would be any different than any others in terms of winrate. That being said, these time frames work out for me pretty well because I typically sleep 12am-7am Eastern time. So I automatically avoid the 5am-6am timeframe, and I'm awake for the majority of this system's setups.
Moving stops up to breakeven
This section goes against everything I know and have ever heard about trade management. Please someone find something wrong with my data. I'd love for someone to check my formulas, but I realize that's a pretty insane time commitment to ask of a bunch of strangers. Anyways. What I found was that for these trades moving stops up...basically at all...actually reduced the overall profitability. One of the data points I collected while charting was where the price retraced back to after hitting a certain milestone. i.e. once the price hit the -61.8% profit level, how far back did it retrace before hitting the -100% profit level(if at all)? And same goes for the -100% profit level - how far back did it retrace before hitting the -161.8% profit level(if at all)? Well, some complex excel formulas later and here's what the results appear to be. Emphasis on appears because I honestly don't believe it. I must have done something wrong here, but I've gone over it a hundred times and I can't find anything out of place.
Moving SL up to 0% when the price hits -61.8%, TP at -100%
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account): 5.36%
Taking half position off at -61.8%, moving SL up to 0%, TP remaining half at -100%
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account): -1.01% (yes, a net loss)
Now, you might think exactly what I did when looking at these numbers: oof, the spread killed us there right? Because even when you move your SL to 0%, you still end up paying the spread, so it's not truly "breakeven". And because we are trading on a lower timeframe, the spread can be pretty hefty right? Well even when I manually modified the data so that the spread wasn't subtracted(i.e. "Breakeven" was truly +/- 0), things don't look a whole lot better, and still way worse than the passive trade management method of leaving your stops in place and letting it run. And that isn't even a realistic scenario because to adjust out the spread you'd have to move your stoploss inside the candle edge by at least the spread amount, meaning it would almost certainly be triggered more often than in the data I collected(which was purely based on the fib levels and mark price). Regardless, here are the numbers for that scenario:
Moving SL up to 0% when the price hits -61.8%, TP at -100%
Winrate(breakeven doesn't count as a win): 46.4%
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account): 17.97%
Taking half position off at -61.8%, moving SL up to 0%, TP remaining half at -100%
Winrate(breakeven doesn't count as a win): 65.97%
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account): 11.60%
From a literal standpoint, what I see behind this behavior is that 44 of the 69 breakeven trades(65%!) ended up being profitable to -100% after retracing deeply(but not to the original SL level), which greatly helped offset the purely losing trades better than the partial profit taken at -61.8%. And 36 went all the way back to -161.8% after a deep retracement without hitting the original SL. Anyone have any insight into this? Is this a problem with just not enough data? It seems like enough trades that a pattern should emerge, but again I'm no expert. I also briefly looked at moving stops to other lower levels (78.6%, 61.8%, 50%, 38.2%, 23.6%), but that didn't improve things any. No hard data to share as I only took a quick look - and I still might have done something wrong overall. The data is there to infer other strategies if anyone would like to dig in deep(more explanation on the spreadsheet below). I didn't do other combinations because the formulas got pretty complicated and I had already answered all the questions I was looking to answer.
2-Candle vs Confirmation Candle Stops
Another interesting point is that the original system has the SL level(for stop entries) just at the outer edge of the 2-candle pattern that makes up the system. Out of pure laziness, I set up my stops just based on the confirmation candle. And as it turns out, that is much a much better way to go about it. Of the 60 purely losing trades, only 9 of them(15%) would go on to be winners with stops on the 2-candle formation. Certainly not enough to justify the extra loss and/or reduced profits you are exposing yourself to in every single other trade by setting a wider SL. Oddly, in every single scenario where the wider stop did save the trade, it ended up going all the way to the -161.8% profit level. Still, not nearly worth it.
As I've said many times now, I'm really not qualified to be doing an analysis like this. This section in particular. Looking at shared currency among the pairs traded, 74 of the trades are correlated. Quite a large group, but it makes sense considering the sort of moves we're looking for with this system. This means you are opening yourself up to more risk if you were to trade on every signal since you are technically trading with the same underlying sentiment on each different pair. For example, GBP/USD and AUD/USD moving together almost certainly means it's due to USD moving both pairs, rather than GBP and AUD both moving the same size and direction coincidentally at the same time. So if you were to trade both signals, you would very likely win or lose both trades - meaning you are actually risking double what you'd normally risk(unless you halve both positions which can be a good option, and is discussed in ParallaxFX's posts and in various other places that go over pair correlation. I won't go into detail about those strategies here). Interestingly though, 17 of those apparently correlated trades ended up with different wins/losses. Also, looking only at trades that were correlated, winrate is 83%/70%/55% (for the three TP levels). Does this give some indication that the same signal on multiple pairs means the signal is stronger? That there's some strong underlying sentiment driving it? Or is it just a matter of too small a sample size? The winrate isn't really much higher than the overall winrates, so that makes me doubt it is statistically significant. One more funny tidbit: EUCAD netted the lowest overall winrate: 30% to even the -61.8% TP level on 10 trades. Seems like that is just a coincidence and not enough data, but dang that's a sucky losing streak. EDIT: WOW I spent some time removing correlated trades manually and it changed the results quite a bit. Some thoughts on this below the results. These numbers also include the other "What I will trade" filters. I added a new worksheet to my data to show what I ended up picking.
Total Trades: 75
TP at -61.8%: 84.00%
TP at -100%: 73.33%
TP at -161.8%: 60.00%
Moving SL up to 0% when the price hits -61.8%, TP at -100%: 53.33%
Taking half position off at -61.8%, moving SL up to 0%, TP remaining half at -100%: 53.33% (yes, oddly the exact same winrate. but different trades/profits)
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account):
TP at -61.8%: 18.13%
TP at -100%: 26.20%
TP at -161.8%: 34.01%
Moving SL up to 0% when the price hits -61.8%, TP at -100%: 19.20%
Taking half position off at -61.8%, moving SL up to 0%, TP remaining half at -100%: 17.29%
To do this, I removed correlated trades - typically by choosing those whose spread had a lower % of the trade width since that's objective and something I can see ahead of time. Obviously I'd like to only keep the winning trades, but I won't know that during the trade. This did reduce the overall sample size down to a level that I wouldn't otherwise consider to be big enough, but since the results are generally consistent with the overall dataset, I'm not going to worry about it too much. I may also use more discretionary methods(support/resistance, quality of indecision/confirmation candles, news/sentiment for the pairs involved, etc) to filter out correlated trades in the future. But as I've said before I'm going for a pretty mechanical system. This brought the 3 TP levels and even the breakeven strategies much closer together in overall profit. It muted the profit from the high R:R strategies and boosted the profit from the low R:R strategies. This tells me pair correlation was skewing my data quite a bit, so I'm glad I dug in a little deeper. Fortunately my original conclusion to use the -161.8 TP level with static stops is still the winner by a good bit, so it doesn't end up changing my actions. There were a few times where MANY (6-8) correlated pairs all came up at the same time, so it'd be a crapshoot to an extent. And the data showed this - often then won/lost together, but sometimes they did not. As an arbitrary rule, the more correlations, the more trades I did end up taking(and thus risking). For example if there were 3-5 correlations, I might take the 2 "best" trades given my criteria above. 5+ setups and I might take the best 3 trades, even if the pairs are somewhat correlated. I have no true data to back this up, but to illustrate using one example: if AUD/JPY, AUD/USD, CAD/JPY, USD/CAD all set up at the same time (as they did, along with a few other pairs on 6/19/20 9:00 AM), can you really say that those are all the same underlying movement? There are correlations between the different correlations, and trying to filter for that seems rough. Although maybe this is a known thing, I'm still pretty green to Forex - someone please enlighten me if so! I might have to look into this more statistically, but it would be pretty complex to analyze quantitatively, so for now I'm going with my gut and just taking a few of the "best" trades out of the handful. Overall, I'm really glad I went further on this. The boosting of the B/E strategies makes me trust my calculations on those more since they aren't so far from the passive management like they were with the raw data, and that really had me wondering what I did wrong.
What I will trade
Putting all this together, I am going to attempt to trade the following(demo for a bit to make sure I have the hang of it, then for keeps):
"System Details" I described above.
TP at -161.8%
Static SL at opposite side of confirmation candle - I won't move stops up to breakeven.
Trade only 7am-11am and 4pm-11pm signals.
Nothing where spread is more than 25% of trade width.
Looking at the data for these rules, test results are:
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account): 47.43%
I'll be sure to let everyone know how it goes!
Other Technical Details
ATR is only slightly elevated in this date range from historical levels, so this should fairly closely represent reality even after the COVID volatility leaves the scalpers sad and alone.
The sample size is much too small for anything really meaningful when you slice by hour or pair. I wasn't particularly looking to test a specific pair here - just the system overall as if you were going to trade it on all pairs with a reasonable spread.
Here's the spreadsheet for anyone that'd like it. (EDIT: Updated some of the setups from the last few days that have fully played out now. I also noticed a few typos, but nothing major that would change the overall outcomes. Regardless, I am currently reviewing every trade to ensure they are accurate.UPDATE: Finally all done. Very few corrections, no change to results.) I have some explanatory notes below to help everyone else understand the spiraled labyrinth of a mind that put the spreadsheet together.
I'm on the East Coast in the US, so the timestamps are Eastern time.
Time stamp is from the confirmation candle, not the indecision candle. So 7am would mean the indecision candle was 6:00-6:59 and the confirmation candle is 7:00-7:59 and you'd put in your order at 8:00.
I found a couple AM/PM typos as I was reviewing the data, so let me know if a trade doesn't make sense and I'll correct it.
Insanely detailed spreadsheet notes
For you real nerds out there. Here's an explanation of what each column means:
Pair - duh
Date/Time - Eastern time, confirmation candle as stated above
Win to -61.8%? - whether the trade made it to the -61.8% TP level before it hit the original SL.
Win to -100%? - whether the trade made it to the -100% TP level before it hit the original SL.
Win to -161.8%? - whether the trade made it to the -161.8% TP level before it hit the original SL.
Retracement level between -61.8% and -100% - how deep the price retraced after hitting -61.8%, but before hitting -100%. Be careful to look for the negative signs, it's easy to mix them up. Using the fib% levels defined in ParallaxFX's original thread. A plain hyphen "-" means it did not retrace, but rather went straight through -61.8% to -100%. Positive 100 means it hit the original SL.
Retracement level between -100% and -161.8% - how deep the price retraced after hitting -100%, but before hitting -161.8%. Be careful to look for the negative signs, it's easy to mix them up. Using the fib% levels defined in ParallaxFX's original thread. A plain hyphen "-" means it did not retrace, but rather went straight through -100% to -161.8%. Positive 100 means it hit the original SL.
Trade Width(Pips) - the size of the confirmation candle, and thus the "width" of your trade on which to determine position size, draw fib levels, etc.
Loser saved by 2 candle stop? - for all losing trades, whether or not the 2-candle stop loss would have saved the trade and how far it ended up getting if so. "No" means it didn't save it, N/A means it wasn't a losing trade so it's not relevant.
Spread(ThinkorSwim) - these are typical spreads for these pairs on ToS.
Spread % of Width - How big is the spread compared to the trade width? Not used in any calculations, but interesting nonetheless.
True Risk(Trade Width + Spread) - I set my SL at the opposite side of the confirmation candle knowing that I'm actually exposing myself to slightly more risk because of the spread(stop order = market order when submitted, so you pay the spread). So this tells you how many pips you are actually risking despite the Trade Width. I prefer this over setting the stop inside from the edge of the candle because some pairs have a wide spread that would mess with the system overall. But also many, many of these trades retraced very nearly to the edge of the confirmation candle, before ending up nicely profitable. If you keep your risk per trade at 1%, you're talking a true risk of, at most, 1.25% (in worst-case scenarios with the spread being 25% of the trade width as I am going with above).
Win or Loss in %(1% risk) including spread TP -61.8% - not going to go into huge detail, see the spreadsheet for calculations if you want. But, in a nutshell, if the trade was a win to 61.8%, it returns a positive # based on 61.8% of the trade width, minus the spread. Otherwise, it returns the True Risk as a negative. Both normalized to the 1% risk you started with.
Win or Loss in %(1% risk) including spread TP -100% - same as the last, but 100% of Trade Width.
Win or Loss in %(1% risk) including spread TP -161.8% - same as the last, but 161.8% of Trade Width.
Win or Loss in %(1% risk) including spread TP -100%, and move SL to breakeven at 61.8% - uses the retracement level columns to calculate profit/loss the same as the last few columns, but assuming you moved SL to 0% fib level after price hit -61.8%. Then full TP at 100%.
Win or Loss in %(1% risk) including spread take off half of position at -61.8%, move SL to breakeven, TP 100% - uses the retracement level columns to calculate profit/loss the same as the last few columns, but assuming you took of half the position and moved SL to 0% fib level after price hit -61.8%. Then TP the remaining half at 100%.
Overall Growth(-161.8% TP, 1% Risk) - pretty straightforward. Assuming you risked 1% on each trade, what the overall growth level would be chronologically(spreadsheet is sorted by date).
Based on the reasonable rules I discovered in this backtest:
Date range: 6/11-7/3
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account): 47.43%
Demo Trading Results
Since this post, I started demo trading this system assuming a 5k capital base and risking ~1% per trade. I've added the details to my spreadsheet for anyone interested. The results are pretty similar to the backtest when you consider real-life conditions/timing are a bit different. I missed some trades due to life(work, out of the house, etc), so that brought my total # of trades and thus overall profit down, but the winrate is nearly identical. I also closed a few trades early due to various reasons(not liking the price action, seeing support/resistance emerge, etc). A quick note is that TD's paper trade system fills at the mid price for both stop and limit orders, so I had to subtract the spread from the raw trade values to get the true profit/loss amount for each trade. I'm heading out of town next week, then after that it'll be time to take this sucker live!
Date range: 7/9-7/30
Adjusted Proft % (takes spread into account): 20.73%
Starting Balance: $5,000
Ending Balance: $6,036.51
Live Trading Results
I started live-trading this system on 8/10, and almost immediately had a string of losses much longer than either my backtest or demo period. Murphy's law huh? Anyways, that has me spooked so I'm doing a longer backtest before I start risking more real money. It's going to take me a little while due to the volume of trades, but I'll likely make a new post once I feel comfortable with that and start live trading again.
MT5 international foreign exchange trading platform, recently the foreign exchange gold market is also on the rise
What is the foreign exchange market?Foreign exchange market (FOREx market) refers to the place or network where foreign exchange transactions take place.Mainly between local currency and foreign currency, foreign exchange transactions between different currencies.The foreign exchange market can be divided into two parts, namely the inter-bank foreign exchange market and the retail foreign exchange market.Interbank foreign exchange market can also be acquired as an inter-bank wholesale foreign exchange market, which is the uppermost market in foreign exchange transactions and the market for foreign exchange transactions among Banks, forming a relatively centralized foreign exchange market.In the interbank market, there is no such thing as margin trading.Retail forex market refers to the market between forex trading institutions and their clients. The most basic class in this market is individual traders, characterized by wide and dispersed distribution. The modern international foreign exchange market is generally distributed in major cities in the world, such as London, New York, Paris, Vertical, Zurich, Wellington, Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong and other world-famous financial centers and foreign exchange centers. The interconnections and influence of these centers form a foreign exchange network covering the whole world.Due to time zones and time differences, such a horizontal global market is almost always open and close one after another, forming a circular 24-hour foreign exchange market.In the global market, the UK, the US, Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan accounted for 77% of the global forex trading volume.At present, China's foreign exchange market is a market system centered on the inter-bank market. In the foreign exchange market, the exchange rate fluctuation refers to the exchange rate of changing currencies. The change in exchange rate is the decrease in the value of one currency and the increase in the value of another currency.A currency does not become a waste of paper, or even a dwindling currency, but it will always represent a certain value, unless the abolition of the currency is declared.You've had negative interest rates, you've had a plunge in stocks, you've had zero futures, you've had real estate, you've had a question mark as an investment hedge, and in many cases rents may not be worth the mortgage index.For domestic investors, the currency market is the most "clean" speculative market with little risk but great opportunity. Investors need not bother in the performance of each stock, futures long-short don't have to worry about both sides of the insider trading, daily turnover of huge, make any also does not have the dealer's courage, soros, buffett can learn about the information, as well as ordinary investors can learn, global investors and speculators are in the same time looking at the same price and graphics, several thousands of marketmakers network trading platform and the world millions of investors and speculators have together.
I’ve been reading these posts on an off for quite some time now and it saddened me to see someone had recently posted their “I quit the game” statement. We all walk through fire to stand in the green valley...and the journey has to be made on foot. And alone. And it’s tough. In response, I wanted to add a list of pointers for people starting out in this insane game and to address what I’ve learned from over a decade of trading Forex. It’s long-ish but it’s based on reality and not a bunch of meaningless retail junk systems and “insider knowledge” by nitwits on YouTube or some 19-year old “whiz kid” who apparently makes ten billion dollars a week with a mystical set-up that’ll only cost you $1,999 to buy! I became a profitable trader by keeping everything simple. I lost thousands when I started out, but I look back now and realise how easily I could’ve avoided those losses. Keep Everything Simple. For the sake of disclosure, I worked for Morgan Stanley for over a decade in fixed income but learned almost everything I know from the forex guys whom I got to know as good friends. They make markets but there’s still a lot to learn from them as a small fry trader. I got into all this as a hobby after annoying the traders with questions, and all these years later it still pays me. There are still occasional nightmare accidents but they’re far rarer to the point where they don’t affect my ROI. Possibly the most clear statement I could make about Forex trading in the large institutional setting is actually a pretty profound one: Forex traders are not what you think they are: every single forex trader I ever worked with (and who lasted the test of time) had the exact same set of personality traits: 1. NOT ONE of them was a gung-ho high-five loudmouth, 2. Every single one of them analysed their mistakes to the point of obsession, 3. They were bookish and not jocks, 4. They had the humility to admit that many early errors were the result of piss-poor planning. The loudmouths last a year and are gone. Guys who last 5, 10, 20 years in a major finance house on the trading floor are nothing like the absurd 1980s Hollywood images you see on your tv; they’re the perfect opposite of that stereotype. The absolute best I ever met was a studious Irish-Catholic guy from Boston who was conscientious, helpful, calm, and utterly committed to one thing: learning from every single error of judgement. To quote him: “Losing teaches you far more than winning”. Enough of that. These points are deliberately broad. Here goes:
Know The Pairs. It amazes me to see countless small account traders speak as though “systems” work across all pairs. They don’t. Trading GBP/CHF is an entirely different beast to trading CHF/JPY. If you don’t know the innate properties of the CHF market or the JPY or the interplay between the AUD and NZD etc then leave them alone until you do. —There’s no rush— Don’t trade pairs until you are clear on what drives ‘commodity currencies’, or what goes on behind currencies which are easily manipulated, or currencies which simply tend to range for months on end instead of having clear trends. Every pair has its own benefits and drawbacks. Google “Tips on trading the JPY” etc etc etc and get to know the personality of these currencies. They’re just products like any other....Would you buy a Honda without knowing a single thing about the brand or its engine or its durability? So why trade a currency you know nothing about?
Indicators are only telling you what you should be able to see in front of you: PRICE AND MARKET STRUCTURE. Take everything off your charts and simply ask one question: What do I see happening right here and right now? What time frame do I see it on? If you can’t spot a simple consolidation, an uptrend, or a downtrend on a quick high-versus-low time frame scan then no indicator on the planet will help you.
Do you know why momentum indicators work on clear trends but are often a complete disaster on ranges? If not, why not? Do you know why such indicators are losing you tons of trades on low TFs? Do you actually understand the simple mathematics of any indicator? If the answer to these questions is “no” then why are you using these things and piling on indicator after indicator after indicator until you have some psychedelic disco on your screen that looks like an intergalactic dogfight in Star Wars? Keep it simple. Know thy indicator.
Risk:Reward Addiction. The greatest profit killer. So you set up your stops and limits at 1:1.5 or whatever and say “That’s me done” only to come back and see that your limit was missed by a soul-crushing 5 pips before reversing trend to cost you $100, $200, $1000. So you say “Ah but the system is fine”. Guys...this isn’t poker; it doesn’t have to be a zero sum game. Get over your 1:1.5 addiction —The Market Does Not Owe You 50 Pips— Which leads to the next point which, frankly, is what has allowed me to make money consistently for my entire trading life...
YOU WILL NEVER GO BROKE TAKING A PROFIT. So you want to take that 50-pip profit in two hours because some analyst says it’ll happen or because your trend lines say it has to happen. You set your 1:1.5 order. “I’ll check where I’m at in an hour” you say. An hour later you see you’re up 18 pips and you feel you’re owed more by now. “If I close this trade now I could be missing out on a stack”. So what?! Here’s an example: I trade in sterling. I was watching GBP climb against it’s post-GDP flop report and once I was up £157 I thought “This is going to start bouncing off resistance all morning and I don’t need the hassle of riding the rollercoaster all day long”. So I closed it, took the £157, went to make breakfast. Came back shortly afterwards and looked at the chart and saw that I could’ve made about £550 if I’d trusted myself. Do I care? Absolutely not...in fact it usually makes me laugh. So I enter another trade, make another quick £40, then another £95. Almost £300 in less than 45 mins and I’m supposed to cry over the £250 I “missed out on”?
£300 in less than an hour for doing nothing more than waiting for some volatility then tapping a keyboard. It’s almost a sin to make money that easily and I don’t “deserve” any of it. Shut off the laptop. Go out for the day. Does the following sound familiar? “Okay I’m almost at my take-profit...almost!.....almost!....okay it’s bouncing away from me but it’ll come back. Come back, damnit!! Jesus come back to my limit! Ah for F**k’s sakes!! This is complete crap; that trade was almost done! This is rigged! This is worse than poker! This is total BS!!” So when you were 50% or 75% toward your goal and could see the trade slipping away why wasn’t $100 or $200 enough? You need more than that?...really?! So point 6:
Tomorrow Is Another Day. Lordy Lordy, you only made $186 all day. What a disaster! Did you lose anything? Nope. Will the market be open again tomorrow? Yep. Does London open in just four hours? Yep. Is the NOK/SGD/EUR whatever still looking shitty? Yep. So let it go- there are endless THOUSANDS of trades you can make in your lifetime and you need to let a small gain be seen for what it is: ANOTHER BEAUTIFUL PROFIT.
Four or five solid but small profits in a day = One Large Profit. I don’t care how I make it, I don’t care if it’s ten lots of £20, I don’t care if I make the lot in a single trade in 30 seconds either. And once I have a nice sum I switch the computer off and leave it the Fk alone. I don’t care if Brexit is due to detonate the pound or if some Fed guy is going to crap all over the USD in his speech; I’ve made my money and I’m out for the day. There will be other speeches, other detonations. I could get into the entire process by which I trade but it’s aggravatingly basic trend-following mostly based on fundamentals. Losing in this business really does boil down to the same appalling combination of traits that kill most traders: Greed, Impatience, Addiction. Do I trade every day? Absolutely not; if there’s nothing with higher probability trades then I just leave it alone. When I hit my target I’m out for the day- the market doesn’t give a crap about me and I don’t give a crap about the market, if you see my meaning. I played poker semi-professionally for two years and it’s absolutely soul-destroying to be “cold decked” for a whole week. But every player has to experience it in order to lose the arrogance and the bravado; losing is fine as long as you learn from it. One day you’ll be in a position to fold pocket Kings because you’ll know you’re dead in the water. The currency markets are exactly the same in that one regard: if you learn from the past you’ll know when it’s time to get out of that stupid trade or that stupid “system” that sounded so great when you had a demo account. Bank a profit. Keep your charts simple. Know the pairs. Be patient. Touch nothing till you understand it inside out. And if you’re not enjoying the game....STOP PLAYING. [if people find this helpful I might post a thread on the best books I’ve studied from and why most forex books are utterly repetitious bullshit]. Peace.
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22 year old friendship ruined, need your thoughts....
I'd love some perspective on a recent story that's bothering me. Any and all perspectives welcomed. In August last year an old friend (we're 38 now and 16 when we met) had been doing a guidance ritual with his mum who is trained to be a shaman… she gave him LSD as part of the ritual- and I haven't tried it so I don't know what it's like. Anyway, for some reason I contacted him out of the blue the next day when he was still feeling some of the effects. He told me that he loved me, probably always had and it had been a long time coming. I was really surprised, but it was lovely. On some level I'd always felt like that about him (I denied it a lot over the years) but really didn't think that he would ever say or feel something like that. In that convo he said I'd make a great girlfriend and he'd be lucky to have me, I was really smart and lovely but intense and opinionated. Also, that ironically he thought he'd missed his one chance at happiness with me (you can understand the ironically part when you know the backstory). He said I was beautiful and he was stupid for not being completely in love with me. He said he was sure we'd known each other in past lives. I was very touched by all of this because I adore him but I took it with a pinch of salt, and tried to find out if it was just a fleeting feeling. But he also said that his life is on a dark path, and that in this lifetime he is only meant to suffer, maybe he'll be dead by 50 and we should see each other in the next life. He said he has huge issues (lots of drink and drugs of many types), is also very intense, and I'd never be able to handle the up and down of his lifestyle. I got the feeling that he was having those thoughts about loving me for the first time right then, so I asked him if he’d felt like that before, or just that night. And he said he’d thought it the last time we spoke when I’d interviewed him for a book a couple of years previously. But I didn’t get the impression he’d really felt like that when we were younger. I checked a month or 2 later if he remembered what he said because I thought maybe he had just been high. He said he thought he remembered everything he had said, and said I wasn't very nice for not believing him, so I was really happy and decided to go and see him. Fast forward a couple months to after Christmas - I hadn't been to see him yet- but we’d been messaging and sending photos. For Christmas, his mum had bought him a tarot card reading with a chocolate ritual with a shaman or a psychic lady, and he was sharing with me that he'd done it and that it said his head was really messed up. He seemed quite upset. So me being 5% moron, my nervousness and excitedness had returned (I was always very, very nervous around him when we were young) and I made a joke he really didn't appreciate, offering to shoot him in the head if he wanted (I was trying to lighten the mood, and also we seemed to be getting a bit more gentle, intimate and less jokey in the way that we were talking to each other, which freaks me out. He's much sweeter than he used to be, and it kind of makes me freeze up a bit). Well! Bang. It was like I stabbed him in the chest or something. It seemed to instantly remind him of all the things that annoy him about me, and after 5 months being really sweet he went cold on me. Really, really cold. From there I got very confused and kept making worse mistakes because I got nervous, and kept trying to fix it. I sent him some long, weird email which I’m sure made things worse. I also posted something on Facebook which made it look like I was chatting to other guys. All very silly. It's ridiculous. I'm an adult and am pretty confident these days. But suddenly I was really nervous again feeling like a kid and like there’s something terribly wrong with me. I arranged to go and see him for a few days in Tenerife, and before I went it was pretty tense between us and I couldn't tell if he wanted me to go or not- I did everything I could to try and find out if he actually wanted me to go or not- but he was his usual tight-lipped self. When I got there, he was very hospitable, apologized for being off-radar and showed me round, we went out to bars and the beach... We spent four days (before he had to go home to England) as a quasi-couple, and it was a very surreal experience. It was bizarrely intimate, sweet but tense, with someone I know very well... naked. For the first time I realised how peace-loving and gentle he is- which I never saw before. He can't stand a lot of the more boisterous things I do, which is fair, but ironically they're things I tended to do from nerves and trying to get his attention. I kind of got it after that- why he finds me so aversive sometimes, it's like we're stuck in a negative feedback loop, and he thinks I’m too harsh for his delicate constitution. Which, he might just be right about. In between the fun, laughing, joking, drinking, sex and bonding- of which there was lots and it was really nice - he was filled with sadness and depression, grumpiness, and a funny attitude from him that seemed to shout: "yuck, it's you, you're more like a sisteannoying irritation than a woman to me." He said that it was because his life was falling apart- and he was obviously very very depressed but trying to show me a good time and doing a good job of it too, I might add. But so many things pointed to the fact that he mainly just felt annoyed by me, found me totally unsuitable, and kind of pitied me, rather than feeling any love for me, and that he finds me generally very annoying. Wall up, blinds closed, aint comin' in. He also kept telling me about his lifestyle of drink and drugs and how everyone he knows is a junky or a crazy person. It felt like he was trying very hard to make me see reality and put me off him, or save me from him, or warn me, or see how I would react and if I would run. Or save himself from what he sees as inevitable hostility and rejection (as well as from me and how annoying I am). "Be careful what you wish for" and "curiosity killed the cat" seemed to be his repetitive catchphrases when I showed an interest in him. Apparently, his ex thinks he's a bastard, he would tell me. I think, ideally, if he could change me (he used to talk a lot about me doing DHT to rebalance myself) he would want to be in a relationship, because we enjoy each other’s company. But it could only work if he was tougher and I was less harsh. I think he sees these things quite clearly as they are – that he’s got a delicate constitution, and I’m far too frustrated by him to be delicate enough for things to work out. I’d soon get pissed off and ditch the situation, rather than sweep things under the rug and carry on from day to day in a carefree world of consumption- I just couldn’t do that. I’m a strategic future-planner. At one point we played some intimacy/trust game with lots of questions, and he loosened up a little... but the way he would answer questions like "Name 3 things you like about your partner" was like "well you ARE very caring" in the same way that someone might say "Well, Hitler WAS very spiritual." It's funny because in relationships I'm very soft in general, in recent years, but I do still get very harsh and frustrated when problems don’t seem solvable. But with him I just can't seem to relax and trust him enough to be soft with him at all, and he didn't give me a chance anyway. We just don’t trust each other- we’re not safe for each other. After I went home he checked in with me a couple times, which I liked. He tried to share some things with me that interest him, about quite spiritual or unusual subjects (trees being interconnected, aliens having been involved in human development, DHT, the memory of water… stuff that as someone who studied physics I don’t normally hear about, but I’m pretty open to hearing about them)- he's very soft and very chilled- doesn’t like stress at all. But every time I tried to dig a bit deeper and engage with him to see what it was about them that interested him - he completely ignored me. Didn’t try, nothing. Me trying to talk with him about the things he shared seemed to send the walls up and just bug him. Really really frustrating. It's like I couldn't do anything right. Particularly frustrating when he said he was trying to open up my mind- but then wouldn't connect or follow through. So, for a couple months, for the first time in 20 years I seemed to be chasing him. It's like he promised me something, judged me for being nervous and "annoying" and not perfect, and then instead of being understanding, he ran. Yikes. Eventually I got so confused I sent him screenshots of the conversation where he'd said he loved me and he didn't even remember it! He was shocked, blamed it on the drugs and mental illness saying that he was "not a well person." He said he was beginning to get the feeling that he'd "annoyed me" now, and that he sees me as a friend, and he didn't mean to piss me off. Then he changed the subject. He finished up that conversation by saying "we're on different paths and in different places", and he needs to sort himself out and that's that. The backstory goes like this… The first year we knew eachother he nicknamed me “TT” which meant “no tits and no teeth” (I had big gaps before I had braces). He used to do things like hit me on the butt with a stick and then I’d punch him and go nuts. He really took the piss out of me with his friends and girlfriends because I had a huge crush on him (he thought it was hilarious that I felt like I’d been struck by lightning when I first saw him). They used to put me on speakerphone and laugh. He was the only guy I ever asked out – which I did on his answer machine!! Ugh. So, yeah, really humiliated me actually and I’ve never asked anyone out since (thank goodness I’m a woman, haha). After that I had braces and turned into a social person who had lots of parties and friends. He started being really nice to me. But I didn’t forgive him very easily, and we had a big bust up and weren't friends for a year or so. I did a pizza leaflet with his phone number on it. And I banned him from my 18th birthday party to which all our friends were going, and he was pretty upset. I felt bad once when I saw him outside one of my parties on the curb holding his head in his hands saying “why does she hate me so much?” Well, deep down I loved the guy, but he’d humiliated me, so I guess there was a thin line between love and hate. I don’t know if that would have made him feel any better, but hopefully. From some point on, we made up and we always had great chemistry after that... we did things like hanging out and smoking some weed in his car together with other people, going out in London with our mutual friends, him giving me lots of lifts home from pubs and friends houses, me driving his car drunk and pretending I was going to crash it to wind him up (that was stupid and irresponsible). Looking back I think he kind of liked me at that point but was scared of me, didn’t know how to make a move as I had moved on and had given him such a hard time, but at the time I really didn't have a clue whether he liked me or not, I was always just very, very feisty and energetic around him (after all the humiliation I guess) so I could never be calm. Then we went to the same uni town, texted constantly for a year, and even then he said he thought we’d known each other in past lives. To my friends I gave him the nickname "my future husband", he asked me out in the cutest way by saying that if I had the guts and the inclination to go out with him, then we should go for a drink. I was soooo excited.. Well, we almost went out and then he dropped out of uni because of an argument with a lecturer or something. I honestly believe everyone has to follow their own path, so for me it was just sad for him that he had so much stress, and it was disappointing about the date. Our first kiss was when he came up to the uni town again and we did a pub crawl, and he seemed to want to go and sit somewhere and be sweet but I was too nervous so we just kept doing the pubcrawl and ended up spooning on a friend’s floor (just hugging and kissing). We almost went on a date in our home area but he cancelled without suggesting an alternative, and I got annoyed so he stopped talking to me- surprisingly easily- it’s like he has a very low threshold for any kind of angst, and isn’t able to soothe himself or the other person, so just bails. Which, considering the fact that he creates a lot of angst-provoking situations means that he kind of expects to go through life without facing any consequences for his actions. Pretty frustrating for someone like me, who expects quite a lot of openness and honesty. We eventually hooked up once and he never called me after so after waiting for a while, I reluctantly moved on and ended up with someone else for 4 years. I have no idea how he felt about this, but a couple of small things surprised me and I wondered if he had actually felt more than I gave him credit for. I mean, that love confession blew me away, I wouldn't have thought for a moment that he had been harbouring any thoughts like that about me, I thought for him it was all a big joke and meant nothing, so maybe he did feel something other than annoyance for me when we were younger. It's hard to tell as he's been with a lot of women, is very tight-lipped and doesn’t put himself on the line, or take any risks at all. But in those days I was always so nervous around him that any signs would have just gone completely under the radar anyway. A few years later, after lots of traveling, he popped up working in the office down the hall from me at this random summer job I took and we started emailing lots. He seemed disappointed with how life was not as exciting as he'd expected. Then he disappeared one day- he was living with his ex at the time (very lovely girl) and I was with the same guy (the 4 year one). A few years after that we were back hanging around in the same social circle until everyone, including him, moved abroad, and eventually, so did i. It was funny, I would always be able to talk to him if I was upset about, say, moving to uni or something. It didn't happen often but a couple of times. Most of this he probably wouldn't even remember because I think he's been with a lot a lot of girls. He has low self-esteem, apparently. He thinks he has bad luck with women even though women adore him (he's exceptionally easy on the eyes. He’s beautiful actually)- and according to a mutual friend of ours, when he was a teenager he always worried that no decent women would want someone like him. Recently (in the past 15 years, which isn’t so recent, lol) we didn't really hang out much but we became more normal adults. I went down quite a dry academic path and got a BSc in physics with astrophysics and an MSc in clinical research, and ended up stuck in a corporate job I hated until I quit to become a writer, whereas he had more balls than me and did what he wanted much earlier- becoming an entrepreneur trading stock, gold, Forex, imports and exports... at times making a fortune and at other times going bust and beating himself up for it, but always finding something new to try, which I think's pretty damn cool (but try convincing him of that). It's pretty normal for entrepreneurial people to have ups and downs in their success-levels I think, but he seems to judge himself very harshly. The last couple of years he’s been making more money than I’ve ever been able to shake a stick at! I really don’t think he should feel ashamed at all (which he seems to), I think he should feel proud that he’s so dynamic. Good for him. He’s awesome. The only thing I wish is that he had heavy enough emotional armor that he could deal with more difficult situations without bailing. Anyway. Over the years I stopped being super into him and we had a nice, pretty normal friendship -we chatted sometimes on messenger and would always have nice chemistry when we saw each other. He's been trying to arrange a visit for about 10 years or so between the various countries we've been living in (we're both expat people and he wanted to come see me in Madrid and Amsterdam when I lived there, then he wanted me to go seem him in Tenerife for a few years) and I've avoided it, as although I wanted to see him I was scared of a casual fling with him as it’s not what I wanted, and I really don’t like that kind of thing anyway (tried it once or twice thinking I could handle it and I was being all “modern” and cool and everything – because I think I’m a bit old fashioned deep down - but I got emotionally attached and then end up hurt. So now I accept myself for who I am- someone who doesn’t really like flings or casual stuff, but someone who is into monogamy. Whoops! How very boring and unfashionable, and I don’t give a shit. Rayyyy for the love. Whoop whoop.). A couple years ago I interviewed him for a book I wrote about ADHD entrepreneurs. His lifestyle was pretty cool making a lot of money through affiliate marketing and living near the beach in hot sunny Tenerife in an apartment with a pool. But he seemed to think that he sucked for some reason (everyone else seems to think it's pretty darn cool). He said that when he grew up he was under a lot of pressure and that it seemed to have messed up his head. He said that to do well in life you need to do what you want to do, because if you listen to other people you are only going to be messed up. When he was on LSD he said that he had thought he loved me during that interview. This year, his life as an expat abroad basically fell apart as the affiliate marketing scheme crashed and he had to move home to live with his parents, which has brought him really, really down into depression. He said he keeps being told he is going to end up working in McDonalds, and being reminded of the fact that he’s almost 40, and this seemed to be weighing on his mind. It sounds like a lot of pressure. But anyway, for about 5 months after the conversation when he was on LSD he opened up to me, and he was really lovely to me. It was so nice. I guess it was because I was more relaxed and the main thing I wanted was to check up on him and see that he was ok. I didn’t have an agenda to see if he would be a match for me or anything like that- I was just really worried about him. So maybe he felt safe enough to relax. I said that I always imagined that we would end up as platonic roommates when we were 50 and I would make him sandwiches and listen to all his funny antics – which he thought was cute. Actually, I really did like that idea- because it would take away the underlying obligations that a relationship brings that we couldn’t deliver for each other. And friendship is what relationships turn into anyway. For my part, it's really disturbed my sleep for months since I came back from visiting him. Now after trying to message in a friendly way during the coronavirus quarantine (er, I am very very bored) and being annoyed by his total lack of supportiveness, I've recently just told him that I don't want to be friends any more. Too painful. He says I have anger issues and I think he sees himself as an innocent victim. Actually, if I'm honest, I've been pretty angry at a lot of people for a few years, so, maybe he has a point. I guess I'm being a bit selfish. It's not really fair expecting anything from a self-confessed depressed, unwell person. He's "in his pit of despair" as he calls it for 6 months and he has zero interest in me. I'm utterly irrelevant to him. He's snippy, rude, ignores me, and then seems to offer a little bit of an olive branch in the smallest of ways. Excuse the really long story, would be interested in any insight people have on this situation, particularly with respect to how you think he feels and why he acts the way he does. If I feel like I understand this situation then hopefully I can stop thinking about it, because for the past 10 years I've just had the odd nice thought every now and then about him- and would like that to become the status quo again.
What Price Does is Real, and Everything Else is Only a Thought.
At the start of the week I made posts saying I thought USDJPY was heading to 110 - 111 this week. I later revised that. At the start of today I said I thought USDJPY would be up, with a low of 105.40 (it'd been at 105.30 already, actually. I was buying 105.40). This had a 7 pip stop and I'd posted another pending order to buy 105.15. This filled, but later in the day I posted I was exiting all USDJPY. Furthermore, I went short. I have some questions about this (and some accusations), and I think what it boils down to really is, "What's with the random flip flopping?" I'd be happy to explain. First we'll chart up the trade themselves. Let's map out clearly the events and outcomes we're talking about here. Here I'll only use the actionable entries and exits. By which I mean, the times I specifically said XXX price enter, XXX price stop. These are the only times I've been engaging the market. The rest has been discussing plans, not executing them. Signals I gave; USDJPY buy 104.60. Stop 104.20 USDJPY buy take profit 106.06 USDJPY buy 105.75 stop 104.20 USDJPY buy updates, tight stop entry 105.75 - 105.80. Stop 105.60 USDJPY take profit 106.50 USDJPY sell 106.50. Stop 106.80 USDJPY take profit 105.35 USDJPY buy 105.35. Stop 105.27 USDJPY stop hits. 8 pips loss. USDJPY sell 105.35. Stop 105.48 USDJPY take profit 105.20 (There was one more trade planned and possibly executed on by some people. I've not included it since there was no exits given. Just a price action condition to enter. I'll touch on that trade too a little) I can't be bothered getting all the stuff together to show this, but it is in my weeks posting history. Those of you who followed closely what I was posting this week and had these trade plan discussion with me where we defined the actual entry and exits, please confirm in the comments this is at least reasonable accurate. https://preview.redd.it/110x6tohnnj31.png?width=814&format=png&auto=webp&s=4a346672f67dadb585f7b1738f8d8802a996b987 White, green winning buys. Yellow winning sell. Red Losing buy. (The final scalp I've not added because it's too small. It was from about the last high to last low, though. You can check) I think these are good trades. Throughout my posts talking about these trade setups I think I've presented solid reasoning, and good information on risk awareness and control. I think that, but we all have perspectives. Here's an exchange with someone with another perspective thinking my way of trading (I don't think they read 1/4 of my posts to know what I am doing) is harmful to explain. Only to those who do not consume the full explanation., would be my thought. https://preview.redd.it/6r6h9wwhonj31.png?width=813&format=png&auto=webp&s=48465a16cc34a2a4b426b727c00d9641da73ac9c https://preview.redd.it/niv3ce6lonj31.png?width=803&format=png&auto=webp&s=c6ecc2acfef538da3fa8406a7620e39efd15469e The entries that are being criticised here are the white buy, the green buy and the yellow sell. When we look at these on a chart, it is clear this was not teaching people to reverse because price was not going there way. It was teaching them to take profits at good places, and enter into new trades with good probabilities. There was only one time the market moved against the direction I'd given in trading signals, it was the buy today. It was from 135.27, and it hit a 8 pip stop. After the stop hit, price retested the entry level and then continued to head lower into the close of the week (we sold, profiting from this and covering the loss on the buy). Everyone has their own ideas about how things can and can not be done, but the raw facts here are none of my signals exposed to large risks, and the trades entered and exited at excellent prices. Whether or not this is gambling depends on how often I can do it. I done exactly the same trade pattern last week. Before I executed the trade plan last week, I explained every aspect of it. I even drew the chart. Literally. I covered all my forecasts in the close of this post.. Through this week, I've explained the exact same thing step by step, and again entered precisely at the start and end of swings. If you think this is gamblers luck, I don't fancy your odds. They odds will get longer. I'll keep posting forecasts, execution and reports. I may win or lose, can never know ... but I know the long term trend. After getting stopped out, I reversed. This was not a great trade because it was late in the week, but is part of an established trading pattern I use. I don't know why you guys stop loss, but I do it because the market has proved me wrong. Usually I have reasons I'd be wrong and why they'd change my view on the market. Here was the specs I wanted to see to keep this trade active. https://preview.redd.it/lqywirooqnj31.png?width=709&format=png&auto=webp&s=224038831b6421d71e757b8a0b655fe760868f3b Source: https://www.reddit.com/usewhatthefx/comments/cx7gun/usdjy_now_we_sell/ When the London low broke, the entire strategy this trade was based upon failed. Signals from it became invalid. The stop loss this strategy used is placed purposefully. When it hits, price very often will retest the entry but never go back into profit before gathering a far larger loss than the 8 pips would be. So this is the kill point, and also the point at which the market shows counter momentum. When it does this, I then deploy a contingency strategy where I look for small chart trend and corrective patterns to reverse on the position. I've practised this a lot, and tested many variant of stops, re-entries and reversal. What I do is highly efficient at getting out of the market and covering the loss in the following trading pattern. All of the trades I posted this week won (even the losing one was dealt with in a winning way). Even though my overall forecast was incorrect, I used strategies and designed trading patterns to adapt my thoughts to profit from what the market was actually doing. Where price really goes is where we really make money. Not in all the reasons we think things about what price can do. I spend a lot of time on what I do. I've been posting here for a month now, and objective review of my entries and exits shows they have done well. Please .... please, can people stop telling me in absolute terms what "can't be done". You have to start to do one of two things; 1 - Relate the real analysis and entries and exits of what I do to your opinion of what I do. 2 - Start to use the words, "I think ..." if you're making speculations that do not relate to current facts.
I was going through old emails today and came across this one I sent out to family on January 4, 2018. It was a reflection on the 2017 crypto bull market and where I saw it heading, as well as some general advice on crypto, investment, and being safe about how you handle yourself in cryptoland. I feel that we are on the cusp of a new bull market right now, so I thought that I would put this out for at least a few people to see *before* the next bull run, not after. While the details have changed, I don't see a thing in this email that I fundamentally wouldn't say again, although I'd also probably insist that people get a Yubikey and use that for all 2FA where it is supported. Happy reading, and sorry for some of the formatting weirdness -- I cleaned it up pretty well from the original email formatting, but I love lists and indents and Reddit has limitations... :-/ Also, don't laught at my token picks from January 2018! It was a long time ago and (luckliy) I took my own advice about moving a bunch into USD shortly after I sent this. I didn't hit the top, and I came back in too early in the summer of 2018, but I got lucky in many respects. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- Jan-4, 2018 Hey all! I woke up this morning to ETH at a solid $1000 and decided to put some thoughts together on what I think crypto has done and what I think it will do. *******, if you could share this to your kids I’d appreciate it -- I don’t have e-mail addresses, and it’s a bit unwieldy for FB Messenger… Hopefully they’ll at least find it thought-provoking. If not, they can use it as further evidence that I’m a nutjob. 😉 Some history before I head into the future. I first mined some BTC in 2011 or 2012 (Can’t remember exactly, but it was around the Christmas holidays when I started because I had time off from work to get it set up and running.) I kept it up through the start of summer in 2012, but stopped because it made my PC run hot and as it was no longer winter, ********** didn’t appreciate the sound of the fans blowing that hot air into the room any more. I’ve always said that the first BTC I mined was at $1, but looking back at it now, that’s not true – It was around $2. Here’s a link to BTC price history. In the summer of 2013 I got a new PC and moved my programs and files over before scrapping the old one. I hadn’t touched my BTC mining folder for a year then, and I didn’t even think about salvaging those wallet files. They are now gone forever, including the 9-10BTC that were in them. While I can intellectually justify the loss, it was sloppy and underlines a key thing about cryptocurrency that I believe will limit its widespread adoption by the general public until it is addressed and solved: In cryptoland, you are your own bank, and if you lose your password or account number, there is no person or organization that can help you reset it so that you can get access back. Your money is gone forever. On April 12, 2014 I bought my first BTC through Coinbase. BTC had spiked to $1000 and been in the news, at least in Japan. This made me remember my old wallet and freak out for a couple of months trying to find it and reclaim the coins. I then FOMO’d (Fear Of Missing Out”) and bought $100 worth of BTC. I was actually very lucky in my timing and bought at around $430. Even so, except for a brief 50% swing up almost immediately afterwards that made me check prices 5 times a day, BTC fell below my purchase price by the end of September and I didn’t get back to even until the end of 2015. In May 2015 I bought my first ETH at around $1. I sent some guy on bitcointalk ~$100 worth of BTC and he sent me 100 ETH – all on trust because the amounts were small and this was a small group of people. BTC was down in the $250 range at that point, so I had lost 30-40% of my initial investment. This was of the $100 invested, so not that much in real terms, but huge in percentages. It also meant that I had to buy another $100 of BTC on Coinbase to send to this guy. A few months after I purchased my ETH, BTC had doubled and ETH had gone down to $0.50, halving the value of my ETH holdings. I was even on the first BTC purchase finally, but was now down 50% on the ETH I had bought. The good news was that this made me start to look at things more seriously. Where I had skimmed white papers and gotten a superficial understanding of the technology before FOMO’ing, I started to act as an investor, not a speculator. Let me define how I see those two different types of activity:
Investors buy because the price is less than the value they see in the investment. Speculators buy because they think that someone will pay more in the future than they are paying now.
Investors trade on information (The white paper was really well-written, had a clear technical advantage over other alternatives, and addresses a need that I can understand and value.) Speculators trade on sentiment. (Buy the rumor! Sell the news!)
Investors usually look at the investment and themselves and can describe why they purchase in those terms (ABC-Coin provides (service) that isn’t addressed yet and matches (requirements) for an investment.) Speculators usually describe why they bought something in terms of how other people think (I think that other people think that the price will rise, so I want to get ahead of that.)
Investors don’t necessarily check the price every day. The can, and very often I do, but it isn’t required because fundamentals don’t often change on a dime. Speculators need to be glued to a price feed, because sentiment very often changes on a dime.
Investors like ideas, people, business plans, and market opportunities. Good ones are like Spock. Speculators like trends. They are tribal.
Investors have a longer time horizon than speculators. In cryptoland, the notion of a “longer” time horizon is still laughably small (months) compared to traditional markets, but it certainly isn’t weeks or days or hours, which is whre speculators often live.
So what has been my experience as an investor? After sitting out the rest of 2015 because I needed to understand the market better, I bought into ETH quite heavily, with my initial big purchases being in March-April of 2016. Those purchases were in the $11-$14 range. ETH, of course, dropped immediately to under $10, then came back and bounced around my purchase range for a while until December of 2016, when I purchased a lot more at around $8. I also purchased my first ICO in August of 2016, HEAT. I bought 25ETH worth. Those tokens are now worth about half of their ICO price, so about 12.5ETH or $12500 instead of the $25000 they would be worth if I had just kept ETH. There are some other things with HEAT that mean I’ve done quite a bit better than those numbers would suggest, but the fact is that the single best thing I could have done is to hold ETH and not spend the effort/time/cost of working with HEAT. That holds true for about every top-25 token on the market when compared to ETH. It certainly holds true for the many, many tokens I tried to trade in Q1-Q2 of 2017. In almost every single case I would have done better and slept better had I just held ETH instead of trying to be smarter than Mr. Market. But, I made money on all of them except one because the crypto market went up more in USD terms than any individual coin went down in ETH or BTC terms. This underlines something that I read somewhere and that I take to heart: A rising market makes everyone seem like a genius. A monkey throwing darts at a list of the top 100 cryptocurrencies last year would have doubled his money. Here’s a chart from September that shows 2017 year-to-date returns for the top 10 cryptocurrencies, and all of them went up a *lot* more between then and December. A monkey throwing darts at this list there would have quintupled his money. When evaluating performance, then, you have to beat the monkey, and preferably you should try to beat a Wall Street monkey. I couldn’t, so I stopped trying around July 2017. My benchmark was the BLX, a DAA (Digital Asset Array – think fund like a Fidelity fund) created by ICONOMI. I wasn’t even close to beating the BLX returns, so I did several things.
I went from holding about 25 different tokens to holding 10 now. More on that in a bit.
I used those funds to buy ETH and BLX. ETH has done crazy-good since then and BLX has beaten BTC handily, although it hasn’t done as well as ETH.
I used some of those funds to set up an arbitrage operation.
The arbitrage operation is why I kept the 11 tokens that I have now. All but a couple are used in an ETH/token pair for arbitrage, and each one of them except for one special case is part of BLX. Why did I do that? I did that because ICONOMI did a better job of picking long-term holds than I did, and in arbitrage the only speculative thing you must do is pick the pairs to trade. My pairs are (No particular order):
I also hold PLU, PLBT, and ART. These two are multi-year holds for me. I have not purchased BTC once since my initial $200, except for a few cases where BTC was the only way to go to/from an altcoin that didn’t trade against ETH yet. Right now I hold about the same 0.3BTC that I held after my first $100 purchase, so I don’t really count it. Looking forward to this year, I am positioning myself as follows:
ETH will still be my core holding. It is the “deepest in the stack” crypto investment that I have. “Deep in the stack” is a programming term that gets at the idea that most software is built on other software. If you just think about your notebook, you have your OS, and programs run on that. But even inside the OS there is a stack. The bottom of your stack is the kernel, and on top of that are the drivers, protocols, and other layers that allow the programs to talk to the OS, the hard drive, the screen, the mouse, your printer, etc. You can change your mouse or printer easily. Changing things deeper in the stack becomes harder and harder. ETH is deep in the crypto stack, so is very hard to dislodge – Around 60 of the top 100 cryptocurrencies by market cap run on top of Ethereum, so getting rid of Ethereum is something that would take a long time to do.
DNT, QTUM, ZRX, and OMG are all, to varying degrees, “deep in the stack” tokens that, once established, will be very hard to dislodge.
That said, I am peeling away some of my holdings into USD right now, because big changes are afoot and they are going to cause market disruptions. I’m going to come right out and admit that this is speculative, but I’m also going to back it up with some non-speculative facts.
The SEC has been sending out hundreds of subpoenas to cryptocurrency organizations over the past 3-4 months. These subpoenas are simply asking for information and nobody has been charged with any crimes or misdoings, but it is clear that the SEC is getting together information so that they can begin to regulate cryptoland. When that happens, other countries will follow, and that means:
Some tokens will be deemed outright scams and people will be prosecuted.
Some tokens will be deemed securities and will be regulated.
Some tokens will not be deemed scams or securities and will continue as they have.
Looking at this, it is clear to me that the tokens that escape prosecution and regulation should do better, but the short-term impact will be brutal and ugly. It would not surprise me at all to see a 50% drop in overall market cap within Q1-Q2, with Q1 being more likely.
Cryptoland has always been a bit nuts, but it is more nuts now than I have ever seen it. Back in 2011-2014 it was a freaks-n-geeks show where people were all about the technology and I would sit around for a 3-day weekend installing a *nix VM on my Windows machine so that I could compile the most recent source and run a CUDA SHA-256 routine rather than thrash my CPU. If that doesn’t make sense to you, you wouldn’t have even thought about being involved.
Now, people see Bitcoin advertisements in their Facebook feed and think “I gotta get on the BTC train!” before going to Coinbase and buying some with a credit card. They don’t know anything about crypto, and they are getting eaten alive – It is no coincidence that BTC peaked after the Thanksgiving holidays when people sat around the table and Janice got Uncle Mike and Cousin Bob all excited as she talked about going to Cancun for Christmas because of her crypto winnings. Huge amounts of fiat got transferred from newbies to BTC whales during this period, and once the whales were done, BTC had dropped from $20,000 to $12,000. It’s now back at $15,000, but for people who bought at a higher level, this sucks. As a result many have moved from BTC to ETH, with the single biggest money flow in crypto in December being the BTC à ETH flow. As a result, it’s no coincidence that ETH is at all-time highs now. The thing is, though, that even most people that moved from BTC to ETH really have no idea what they are doing. They are acting on buzzwords and emotion. They are speculators and are going to get crushed.
The stock market is quite high right now, but people are starting to worry that it is too high and that we are going to enter into a period of inflation again. This has caused gold to go up a lot the last quarter and is likely also responsible a bit for the rise in cryptos. If this view is correct, then cryptos stay stronger than if that pressure wasn’t there. If wrong, then cryptos will swing down as money exits cryptoland for more traditional markets.
I am spending most of my time and money on the arbitrage effort. The nice thing about arbitrage is that it works as the markets go up, and it works as the markets go down. When markets are too volatile, however, arbitrage can get very messy and dangerous, with each trade generating a loss instead of a profit, so I am working right now to tune the algorithms to take into account rate-of-change and add in some circuit breaker triggers. Once this is done I will expand those operations.
I am getting much more serious about systems security.
I have a Nano Ledger and recommend that anyone with >$1000 of crypto have one. The Trezor is also supposed to be good, but I haven’t used it.
I will set up a dedicated *nix notebook that is used for nothing except my crypto work. All it takes is one keylogger to get on your PC/Mac and your crypto is gone. What is on your Nano Ledger will be OK, but they will sweep out your exchange account or Coinbase account faster than you can type. A standard Linux installation with Chrome and nothing else is as about as secure as you can get in the civilian world.
If you don’t use LastPass or a similar password manager yet, you need to do that. Your password to LastPass should be at least 16 characters long and should not have a recognizable English word in it. If you think that “Iluvu4evah” is a secure password, you’re wrong.
Hackers know that “4”=”for” and “u”=”you”. Writing a script to substitute those in is trivial if they want to write the script, but it’s much easier for them to download one of the many, many programs out there that already do this.
If your password contains any string of numbers from anything that can be associated with you at any time in your life, it is insecure. Take those numbers out of the character count because they are an insignificant barrier to cracking your account.
The good news is that you probably won’t be targeted, but if you ever mention online that you are doing anything significant in crypto, that chance increased enormously.
*Never* talk with *anyone* about how much you have in crypto. You’ll notice that I haven’t here. There is no reason to tell even a family member how much you have unless you are sharing a tax form. Sure, you may trust them, but all it takes if for someone to overhead someone else mention at a party that a relative got into crypto a long time ago and made a bunch of money. That person can also then be subjected to the $10 hack and force you to send all your crypto to them.
Your password to LastPass (Or equivalent.) should look something like this -> 6k0jQMoziX&D#4W8
Yes, it’s a headache. Imagine your headache, though, were you to open your account one day and find all of your money gone.
Looking at my notes, I have two other things that I wanted to work into this email that I didn’t get to, so here they are:
Just like with free apps and other software, if you are getting something of value and you didn’t pay anything for it, you need to ask why this is. With apps, the phrase is “If you didn’t pay for the product, you are the product”, and this works for things such as pump groups, tips, and even technical analysis. Here’s how I see it.
Technical analysis (TA) is something that has been argued about for longer than I’ve been alive, but I think that it falls into the same boat. In short, TA argues that there are patterns in trading that can be read and acted upon to signal when one must buy or sell. It has been used forever in the stock and foreign exchange markets, and people use it in crypto as well. Let’s break down these assumptions a bit.
i. First, if crypto were like the stock or forex markets we’d all be happy with 5-7% gains per year rather than easily seeing that in a day. For TA to work the same way in crypto as it does in stocks and foreign exchange, the signals would have to be *much* stronger and faster-reacting than they work in the traditional market, but people use them in exactly the same way. ii. Another area where crypto is very different than the stock and forex markets centers around market efficiency theory. This theory says that markets are efficient and that the price reflects all the available information at any given time. This is why gold in New York is similar in price to gold in London or Shanghai, and why arbitrage margins are easily <0.1% in those markets compared to cryptoland where I can easily get 10x that. Crypto simply has too much speculation and not enough professional traders in it yet to operate as an efficient market. That fundamentally changes the way that the market behaves and should make any TA patterns from traditional markets irrelevant in crypto. iii. There are services, both free and paid that claim to put out signals based on TA for when one should buy and sell. If you think for even a second that they are not front-running (Placing orders ahead of yours to profit.) you and the other people using the service, you’re naïve. iv. Likewise, if you don’t think that there are people that have but together computerized systems to get ahead of people doing manual TA, you’re naïve. The guys that I have programming my arbitrage bots have offered to build me a TA bot and set up a service to sell signals once our position is taken. I said no, but I am sure that they will do it themselves or sell that to someone else. Basically they look at TA as a tip machine where when a certain pattern is seen, people act on that “tip”. They use software to see that “tip” faster and take a position on it so that when slower participants come in they either have to sell lower or buy higher than the TA bot did. Remember, if you are getting a tip for free, you’re the product. In TA I see a system when people are all acting on free preset “tips” and getting played by the more sophisticated market participants. Again, you have to beat that Wall Street monkey.
If you still don’t agree that TA is bogus, think about it this way: If TA was real, Wall Street would have figured it out decades ago and we would have TA funds that would be beating the market. We don’t.
If you still don’t agree that TA is bogus and that its real and well, proven, then you must think that all smart traders use them. Now follow that logic forward and think about what would happen if every smart trader pushing big money followed TA. The signals would only last for a split second and would then be overwhelmed by people acting on them, making them impossible to leverage. This is essentially what the efficient market theory postulates for all information, including TA.
OK, the one last item. Read this weekly newsletter – You can sign up at the bottom. It is free, so they’re selling something, right? 😉 From what I can tell, though, Evan is a straight-up guy who posts links and almost zero editorial comments. Happy 2018.
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