So you wanna trade Forex? - tips and tricks inside
Let me just sum some stuff up for you newbies out there. Ive been trading for years, last couple of years more seriously and i turned my strategies into algorithms and i am currently up to 18 algorithms thats trading for me 24/7. Ive learned alot, listened to hundreds of podcasts and read tons of books + research papers and heres some tips and tricks for any newbie out there.
Strategy - How to... When people say "you need a trading strategy!!" Its because trading is very hard and emotional. You need to stick to your rules at all times. Dont panic and move your stop loss or target unless your rules tell you to. Now how do you make these rules? Well this is the part that takes alot of time. If your rules are very simple (for example: "Buy if Last candles low was the lowest low of the past 10 candles." Lets make this a rule. You can backtest it manually by looking at a chart and going back in time and check every candle. or you can code it using super simple software like prorealtime, MT4 ++ Alot of software is basicly "click and drag" and press a button and it gives you backtest from 10-20-30 years ago in 5 seconds. This is the absolute easiest way to backtest rules and systems. If your trading "pure price action" with your drawn lines and shit, the only way to truly backtest that kind of trading is going in a random forex pair to a random point in time, could be 1 year ago, 1 month ago, 5 years ago.. and then you just trade! Move chart 1 candle at a time, draw your lines and do some "actual trading" and look at your results after moving forward in the chart. If you do not test your strategy your just going in blind, which could be disaster.. Maybe someone told u "this is the correct way to trade" or "this strategy is 90% sure to win every trade!!!" If you think you can do trading without a strategy, then your most likely going to look back at an empty account and wonder why you moved that stop loss or why you didnt take profit etc.. and then your gonna give up. People on youtube, forums, interwebz are not going to give you/sell you a working strategy thats gonna make you rich. If they had a working strategy, they would not give it away/sell it to you.
Money management - How to.... Gonna keep this one short. Risk a small % of your capital on each trade. Dont risk 10%, dont risk 20%. You are going to see loosing trades, your probably gonna see 5-10 loss in a row!! If your trading a 1000$ account and your risking 100$ on each trade (10%) and you loose 5 in a row, your down -50% and probably you cant even trade cus of margin req. Game over.. Now how does one get super rich, super fast, from risking 1-3% of your account on each trade?? Well heres the shocking message: YOU CANT GET RICH FAST FROM TRADING UNLESS YOUR WILLING TO GO ALL IN! You can of course go all in on each trade and if you get em all right, you might get 1000%, then you go all in 1 more time and loose it all... The whole point of trading is NOT going bust. Not loosing everything, cus if you loose it all its game over and no more trading for you.
Find your own trading style.... Everyone is different. You can have an average holding period of 1 month or you could be looking at a 1 min chart and average holding time = 10 minutes. For some, less volatility helps them sleep at night. For others, more volatility gives them a rush and some people crave this. There is no "correct" timeframes, or holding periods, or how much to profit or how much to loose. We are all individuals with different taste in risk. Some dont like risk, others wanna go all in to get rich over night. The smart approach is somewhere in the middle. If you dont risk anything, your not gonna get anything. If you risk everything, your most likely going to loose everything. When people are talking about trading style, this is kinda what that means.
There are mainly 2 ways to trade: Divergence and Convergence. Or in other words: Mean reversion or trend following. Lets talk about them both: Trend following is trying to find a trend and stay with the trend until its over. Mean reversion is the belief that price is too far away from the average XX of price, and sooner or later, price will have to return to its average/mean (hence the name: MEAN reversion). Trend following systems usually see a lower winrate (30-40% winrate with no money management is not uncommon to see when backtesting trend following systems.. You can add good money management to get the winrate % higher. Why is the % winrate so low? Well a market, whatever that market is, tend to get real choppy and nasty right after a huge trend. So your gonna see alot of choppy fake signals that might kill 5-6 trades in a row, until the next huge trend starts which is going to cover all the losses from the small losses before the trend took off. Then you gotta hold that trade until trade is done. How do you define "when trend starts and stops"? Well thats back to point 1, find a strategy. Try defining rules for an entry and exit and see how it goes when you backtest it. For mean reversion the win % is usually high, like 70-90% winrate, but the average winning trade is alot smaller than the average loosing trade. this happens because you are basicly trying to catch a falling knife, or catch a booming rocket. Usually when trading mean reversion, waiting for price to actually reverse can very often leave you with being "too late", so you kinda have to find "the bottom" or "the top" before it actually has bottomed/ topped out and reversed. How can you do this you ask? Well your never going to hit every top or every bottom, but you can find ways to find "the bottom-ish" or "the top-ish", thens ell as soon as price reverts back to the mean. Sometimes your gonna wish you held on to the trade for longer, but again, back to point 1: Backtest your rules and figure that shit out.
Read these 4 points and try to follow them and you are at least 4 steps closer to being a profitable trader. Some might disagree with me on some points but i think for the majority, people are going to agree that these 4 points are pretty much universal. Most traders have done or are doing these things every day, in every trade. Here is some GREAT material to read: Kevin Davey has won trading championship multiple times and he has written multiple great books, from beginner to advanced level. Recommend these books 100%, for example: Building winning algorithmic trading systems" will give you alot to work with when it comes to all 4 of the above points. Market wizards, Reminiscences of a stock operator are 2 books that are a great read but wont give you much "trading knowledge" that you can directly use for your trading. Books on "The turtles" are great reading. Then you have podcasts and youtube. I would stay away from youtube as much as possible when it comes to "Heres how to use the rsi!!!" or "this strategy will make you rich!!". Most youtube videoes are made by people who wanna sell you a course or a book. Most of this is just pure bullshit. Youtube can very harmfull and i would honestly advice about going there for "strategy adivce" and such. Podcasts tho are amazing, i highly recommend: Better systems trader, Chat with traders, Top traders unplugged, We study billionairs, to name a few :) Also, on a less funny note.. Please realize that you are, and i am, real fucking stupid and lazy compared to the actual pro's out there. This is why you should not go "all in" on some blind stupid strategy youve heard about. This is why this is indeed VERY FUCKING HARD and most, if not everyone has busted an account or two before realizing just this. Your dumb.. your not going to be super rich within 1 year.. You can not start with 500$ account and make millions! (some might have been able to do this, but know that for every winner, theres 999 loosers behind him that failed... Might work fine first 5 trades, then 1 fuckup tho and ur gone.. And lastly: Try using a backtesting software. Its often FREE!!! (on a demo account) and often so simple a baby could use it. If your trading lines and such there exists web broweser "games" and softwares that lets you go "1 and 1 candle ahead" in random forex pairs and that lets you trade as if its "real" as it goes. A big backtesting trap however is backtesting "losely" by just drawing lines and looking at chart going "oh i would have taken this trade FOR SURE!! I would have made so much money!!" however this is not actually backtesting, its cherry picking and its biased beyond the grave, and its going to hurt you. Try going 1 candle at a time doing "real and live" trades and see how it goes. Bonus point!! many people misunderstands what indicators like the RSI is telling you. Indeed something is "overbought" or "oversold" but only compared to the last average of xx amounts of bars/candles. It doesn't tell you that RIGHT NOW is a great time to sell or buy. It only tells you that the math formula that is RSI, gives you a number between 1-100, and when its above 70 its telling you that momentum is up compared to the last average 14 candles. This is not a complete buy/sell signal. Its more like a filter if anything. This is true for MOST indicators. They INDICATE stuff. Dont use them as pure buy/sell signals.. At least backtest that shit first! Your probably gonna be shocked at the shitty results if you "buy wehn rsi is undeer 30 and sell when RSI is above 70". Editedit: Huge post already, why not copy paste my comment with an example showing the difference in trend following vs mean reversion: The thing about trend following is that we never know when a trade starts and when it ends. So what often happens is that you have to buy every breakout going up, but not every breakout is a new trend. Lets do an example. Check out the photo i included here: https://imageshost.eu/image/image.RcC THE PHOTO IS JUST AN EXAMPLE THAT SHOWS WHY A TYPICAL TREND FOLLOWING STRATEGY HAVE A "LOW" WINRATE. THE PHOTO IS NOT SHOWING AN EXAMPLE OF MY STRATEGIES OR TRADING.
We identify the big orange trend up.
We see the big break down (marked with the vertical red line) this is telling us we are not going higher just yet. Our upwards trend is broken. However we might continue going up in a new trend, but when will that trend come?
We can draw the blue trend very earyly using highs and lows, lines up and down. Then we begin to look for breakouts of the upper blue line. So every time price breaks upper blue line we have to buy (cus how else are we going to "catch the next trend going up?)
As you can see we get 5 false breakouts before the real breakout happens! Now if you could tell fake breakouts from real breakouts, your gonna be rich hehe. For everyone else: Take every signal you can get, put a "tight" stop loss so in case its a fake signal you only loose a little bit. Then when breakout happens as you can clearly see in chart, your going to make back all the small losses. So in this example we fail 5 times, but get 1 HUGE new trend going further up. This 1 huge trade, unless we fuck it up and take profits too early or shit like that, is going to win back all those small losses + more. This is why trend following has a low winrate. You get 5 small loss and 1 big win. Now lets flip this! Imagine if your trading Mean reversion on all the same red arrows! So every time price hits the blue line, we go short back to the bottom (or middle) again! You would have won 5 trades with small profits, but on that last one you would get stopped out so hard. Meaning 5 small wins, 1 big loss (as some have pointed out in comments, if you where trading mean reverting you would wanna buy the lows as well as short the tops - photo was suppose to show why trend following strategies have a lower % winrate.) Final edit: sorry this looks like a wall of text on ur phones.
A Quick List of the Best Forex Signal Service Providers (Paid and Free)
https://preview.redd.it/8xclw78vdxt41.jpg?width=294&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=59181d876b45b3a7b5a7524454f4dae6baf65dfb Already opened an account and ready to try your luck and polish your skill in Forex trading platforms? In case you are a newbie you have to take support of the expert trader to gain as much experience as possible. Even this will help you to be successful in the long run. But have you ever thought about the ways to start trading? Probably, following trading style of any experienced trader will be really helpful and saves much energy and time as well. Moreover, you can come to learn several new as well as efficient trading strategies at the same time. Sounds great and pretty simple, right? But the troublesome is regarding the selection of the trustworthy Forex signal service provider. While you are in trouble this blog is perfect for you! It entails the leading and best Forex trading signal service providers from both paid and free category. So what are you waiting for! Just go through it once to narrow your choice and select the most coherent one to enjoy trading.
While you are hunting for a reliable as well as profitable online trading signals provider along with track record there is the team of JKonFX lead by Joel Kruger. This personality has a reputation in this type of trading with about 59.16% of journal performance for the year 2016. He has offered real-time fundamental and technical insights and that too in an utmost transparency to its 30000 subscribers. Being the lower frequency trader, sending trading alert is only a minor part of this Forex trading signal provider. If it is about comparing numerous options to choose from then you may look for other reliable ones.
Verified statistics: Not verified independently
Price: $30 monthly
Year founded: 2014
Suitable for beginners: Yes (including easy-to-follow video updates)
2. Forex Signals
Since its establishment in 2012, it is the top trading signals provider to provide 24-hour accessibility to the trading rooms and that too live. There you get the chance to observe the ways by which experienced trading coaches execute the trade and share the market action whenever it gets revealed in real time. Besides signal service, it also offers access to the track record of the profits where investment can be made through the managed account. It is only signal provider that owns verified statistics independently on myfxbook. The link is also given to their respective live account of the master. As it offers everything in such a transparent way, Forex trading by selecting this provider becomes much easier and profitable in the long run.
Verified statistics: Yes
Price: $97 every month
Year founded: 2012
Suitable for beginners: Yes
Since May, 2014, DDMarkets (Digital Derivatives Markets) is offering the trading alert services in the form of a detailed document regarding the respective trading ideas in utmost explicit manners. Its procedure is quite simple all you have to do is to perform an extensive research for sharing the analytics while delivering the triggered trading signal. After its get issued, you will receive daily updates via email. It doesn’t bear floating of the open drawdown to put effort to make profit anyhow. This technique is only followed by the renowned providers for fudging the trading performances.
Verified statistics: Not verified independently.
Price: plans from $74.40 monthly
Year founded: 2014
Suitable for beginners: Yes (including easy-to-follow trade analysis)
4. 1000pip Builder
The leading trading signal provider is 1000pip Builder and is one of the few to offer independently verified and tracked results. It focuses on developing potential as well as consistent outcome with little to no drawdown. By following this strategy they are the only one to generate about 6000 pips in just 1 and half years. Every complicated analytics (key component of the Forex trading) are done by the leading trader Bob. Whenever you take a trade via this trading signal provider, an instant message filled with other crucial pieces of information will be sent via SMS or email. Generally, it includes taking of profit level, stop loss and entry price so that these can be followed by you in an appropriate way.
Verified statistics: Yes
Price: $97 monthly along with 30% discount
Year founded: 2016
Suitable for beginners: Yes
5. Traders Academy Club
Previously known as Vladimir Forex Signals, the Traders Academy Club is established in 2011. It offers standard signals which are sent to the traders via a specific Skype group or Email. But primarily it is an online Forex trading education centre. As there isn’t any verified statistics statistically, it exhibits every previous signal and trade through which comparison will be much easier with your original outcome. Live trading experience and hundreds of educational trading videos are offered via this signal.
Verified statistics: No
Price: $97 annually
Year founded: 2011
Suitable for beginners: Yes
6. Forex Mentor Pro
Play every day videos of the team of Forex Mentor Pro for listening into their insights of the market for upcoming weeks and days. Since its introduction in 2008, the team offers the accessibility to 3 trading systems by eradicating the necessity of the performance statistics. But step-by-step guide of the training videos will be posted so that you can attain the much-required speed.
Verified statistics: No statistics mentioned
Price: from $16.40/month annually or $47/monthly
Year founded: 2008
Suitable for beginners: Yes (including training videos and systems)
7. Honest Forex Signals
Since 2011, Honest Forex Signal commences offering a trade copier signal service. It has developed a specific page dedicated to the trading statistics that comes with links for displaying the last return on the myfxbook. But it never link myfxbook directly and hence it doesn’t look so independent. However, certain good reviews have acquired by it on the web and several traders comment that its services are quite helpful.
Verified statistics: No
Price: $177 per month
Year founded: 2011
Suitable for beginners: Yes
8. Daily Forex
Apart from offering free signals, both video and written instructions are provided by it which makes it unique from others. It will interact with you regarding the ideas under the traders which things are important to look for to enter this market. Other crucial pieces of information can be also gained on its site. This will be quite interesting if you still stuck to it on completion of trial period.
Verified statistics: No-free service offers market feedback
Year founded: 2006
Suitable for beginners: Moderate
9. Baby Pips
This signal provider considers every trader as newbie and so offers detailed information in the “About Us” section. Even the information is really helpful to train the novice Forex traders. Also market signals and analysis is provided by them which can be easily founded under “Pick of the Day” section. Its main motto is to teach the relevant reasons underneath every decision of trading so that you can become an expert one soon. Signals can be received via their posted blogs on the site via Facebook and Twitter.
Verified statistics: No-free service offers market feedback
Year founded: 2005
Suitable for beginners: Yes
10. Forex Peace Army
Though it is popular for the recorded reviews on the Forex yet it offers a few free trading signals as well. It has a set up of its forum style where an article is posted every day filled with detailed instructions on the way to act on every particular bit of news on the basis of the immediate effects. Even summary of the tradable news is posted on a weekly basis where you can come to know about what is coming up next week as well. Verified statistics: No-free service offers market feedback
Year founded: 2006
Suitable for beginners: Moderate
These are the best Forex trading signal service providers you can ever find. However, you are not insisted to choose any of them if you can find much better than these then, you are supposed to choose that one. But you should look for a reliable signal provider on the basis of the considerable aspects. Technical Trading Signals is also there which can be your perfect trading partner as well. Even it offers both automated and manual system of sending notification to the traders via Telegram, Email, SMS and WhatsApp regarding every step of trading. As it comprises of maximum risk it is not an ideal option for every investor. Every sort of leverage gets against your trading step. You may lose consecutively your investment as well. Financial advice is better to seek before starting trading.
How to get started in Forex - A comprehensive guide for newbies
Almost every day people come to this subreddit asking the same basic questions over and over again. I've put this guide together to point you in the right direction and help you get started on your forex journey. A quick background on me before you ask: My name is Bob, I'm based out of western Canada. I started my forex journey back in January 2018 and am still learning. However I am trading live, not on demo accounts. I also code my own EA's. I not certified, licensed, insured, or even remotely qualified as a professional in the finance industry. Nothing I say constitutes financial advice. Take what I'm saying with a grain of salt, but everything I've outlined below is a synopsis of some tough lessons I've learned over the last year of being in this business. LET'S GET SOME UNPLEASANTNESS OUT OF THE WAY I'm going to call you stupid. I'm also going to call you dumb. I'm going to call you many other things. I do this because odds are, you are stupid, foolish,and just asking to have your money taken away. Welcome to the 95% of retail traders. Perhaps uneducated or uninformed are better phrases, but I've never been a big proponent of being politically correct. Want to get out of the 95% and join the 5% of us who actually make money doing this? Put your grown up pants on, buck up, and don't give me any of this pc "This is hurting my feelings so I'm not going to listen to you" bullshit that the world has been moving towards. Let's rip the bandage off quickly on this point - the world does not give a fuck about you. At one point maybe it did, it was this amazing vision nicknamed the American Dream. It died an agonizing, horrible death at the hand of capitalists and entrepreneurs. The world today revolves around money. Your money, my money, everybody's money. People want to take your money to add it to theirs. They don't give a fuck if it forces you out on the street and your family has to live in cardboard box. The world just stopped caring in general. It sucks, but it's the way the world works now. Welcome to the new world order. It's called Capitalism. And here comes the next hard truth that you will need to accept - Forex is a cruel bitch of a mistress. She will hurt you. She will torment you. She will give you nightmares. She will keep you awake at night. And then she will tease you with a glimmer of hope to lure you into a false sense of security before she then guts you like a fish and shows you what your insides look like. This statement applies to all trading markets - they are cruel, ruthless, and not for the weak minded. The sooner you accept these truths, the sooner you will become profitable. Don't accept it? That's fine. Don't bother reading any further. If I've offended you I don't give a fuck. You can run back home and hide under your bed. The world doesn't care and neither do I. For what it's worth - I am not normally an major condescending asshole like the above paragraphs would suggest. In fact, if you look through my posts on this subreddit you will see I am actually quite helpful most of the time to many people who come here. But I need you to really understand that Forex is not for most people. It will make you cry. And if the markets themselves don't do it, the people in the markets will. LESSON 1 - LEARN THE BASICS Save yourself and everybody here a bunch of time - learn the basics of forex. You can learn the basics for free - BabyPips has one of the best free courses online which explains what exactly forex is, how it works, different strategies and methods of how to approach trading, and many other amazing topics. You can access the BabyPips course by clicking this link: https://www.babypips.com/learn/forex Do EVERY course in the School of Pipsology. It's free, it's comprehensive, and it will save you from a lot of trouble. It also has the added benefit of preventing you from looking foolish and uneducated when you come here asking for help if you already know this stuff. If you still have questions about how forex works, please see the FREE RESOURCES links on the /Forex FAQ which can be found here: https://www.reddit.com/Forex/wiki/index Quiz Time Answer these questions truthfully to yourself: -What is the difference between a market order, a stop order, and a limit order? -How do you draw a support/resistance line? (Demonstrate it to yourself) -What is the difference between MACD, RSI, and Stochastic indicators? -What is fundamental analysis and how does it differ from technical analysis and price action trading? -True or False: It's better to have a broker who gives you 500:1 margin instead of 50:1 margin. Be able to justify your reasoning. If you don't know to answer to any of these questions, then you aren't ready to move on. Go back to the School of Pipsology linked above and do it all again. If you can answer these questions without having to refer to any kind of reference then congratulations, you are ready to move past being a forex newbie and are ready to dive into the wonderful world of currency trading! Move onto Lesson 2 below. LESSON 2 - RANDOM STRANGERS ARE NOT GOING TO HELP YOU GET RICH IN FOREX This may come as a bit of a shock to you, but that random stranger on instagram who is posting about how he is killing it on forex is not trying to insprire you to greatness. He's also not trying to help you. He's also not trying to teach you how to attain financial freedom. 99.99999% of people posting about wanting to help you become rich in forex are LYING TO YOU. Why would such nice, polite people do such a thing? Because THEY ARE TRYING TO PROFIT FROM YOUR STUPIDITY. Plain and simple. Here's just a few ways these "experts" and "gurus" profit from you:
Referral Links - If they require you to click a specific link to signup for something, it means they are an affiliate. They get a commission from whatever the third party is that they are sending you to. I don't care if it's a brokerage, training program, hell even an Amazon link to a book - if they insist you have to click their super exclusive, can't-get-this-deal-any-other-way-but-clicking-my-link type bullshit, it's an affiliate link. There is nothing inherently wrong with affiliate programs, but you are literally generating money for some stranger because they convinced you to buy something. Some brokers such as ICMarkets have affiliate programs that payout a percentage of the commission you generate - this is a really clever system - whether you profit or blow your entire account, the person who referred you to the broker makes a profit off you. Clever eh?
Signal Services, Education & Training Programs, Courses - If somebody is telling you they are making a killing with a signal service and are trying to convince you to join it, I guarantee they are getting a piece of your monthly fee. And better still, these signal services often work...for about a week. Just long enough to suck a bunch of poor fools into it. You see people making money, you want in so you agree to pay the $200+/month subscription fee. You follow the signals and it looks like it's making money for a few days or weeks. Then it turns sideways, you start losing money hand over fist. Pretty soon you have lost most of your trading account because you blindly followed a signal service. And better still - when you go screaming at the person running the signal service they will be very quick to point you to their No Refunds policy. To add insult to injury, the buttfucker that referred you to the signal service in the past will likely listen to you getting mad, and then come back with something like "Sorry it didn't work out, but I just joined this other amazing service and it's working great, you should come join it to earn your money back. Here's my link..." You get the point here right?
Multi-Level Marketing (MLMs) - These people are scum. They are going to offer you training and education, signals, access to forex experts and gurus, and all kinds of other shit with the promise that you will live the dream and become financially free. They are also loading you into a pyrmaid scheme where you will be hounded to recruit other people and make money off them just like you got roped into it. A really prime example here is iMarkets Live (or IML for short). Don't touch this shit with a 10 foot pole. I don't care what they are claiming, you will lose everything using them.
Fund Managers - These people make my skin crawl. It's a classic scam and it works like this - somebody will post online about how much money they are making trading forex/commodities/stocks/whatever. Most of the time they won't explicitly post they are offering a trading service, rather they just put the message out there and wait for the ignorant masses (that's you) to contact them. They will charm you. They will lie to you. They will promise you the moon if you simply wire them some money or give them API access to your trading account. Care to guess what happens next? If you send a wire transfer (or Western Union...hell any kind of payment to them) they will vanish. Happens usually after they take a bunch of suckers for the ride. You sent them $2,000 and so do 9 other suckers. They just made $20,000 and are gone. With API access to your account, you will find your account gets blown super fast or worse - possibly leaving you open to persecution by the broker you are using.
These are just a few examples. The reality is that very few people make it big in forex or any kind of trading. If somebody is trying to sell you the dream, they are essentially a magician - making you look the other way while they snatch your wallet and clean you out. Additionally, on the topic of fund managers - legitimate fund managers will be certified, licensed, and insured. Ask them for proof of those 3 things. What they typically look like are:
Certified - This varies from country to country, in the US it's FINRA (http://www.finra.org). They need to have their Series 7 certification minimum. You can make the case that other FINRA certifications are acceptable in lieu of Series 7, but the 7 is the gold standard.
Licensed - They need to have a valid business license issued by the government. It must clearly state they are an investment company, preferrably a hedge fund because they have some super strict requirements to operate (and often require $25,000+ in fees just to get their business license, so you know they at least have some skin in the game).
Insured - They need to be backed by an insurance company. I'm not talking general insurance for shit like their office burning down. I'm talking about a government-implemented protection insurance program - in the US I believe that is issued by the Securities Investment Protection Corporation (https://www.sipc.org/).
If you are talking to a fund manager and they are insisting they have all of these, get a copy of their verification documents and lookup their licenses on the directories of the issuers to verify they are valid. If they are, then at least you are talking to somebody who seems to have their shit together and is doing investment management and trading as a professional and you are at least partially protected when the shit hits the fan. LESSON 3 - UNDERSTAND YOUR RISK Many people jump into Forex, drop $2000 into a broker account and start trading 1 lot orders because they signed up with a broker thinking they will get rich because they were given 500:1 margin and can risk it all on each trade. Worst-case scenario you lose your account, best case scenario you become a millionaire very quickly. Seems like a pretty good gamble right? You are dead wrong. As a new trader, you should never risk more than 1% of your account balance on a trade. If you have some experience and are confident and doing well, then it's perfectly natural to risk 2-3% of your account per trade. Anybody who risks more than 4-5% of their account on a single trade deserves to blow their account. At that point you aren't trading, you are gambling. Don't pretend you are a trader when really you are just putting everything on red and hoping the roulette ball lands in the right spot. It's stupid and reckless and going to screw you very quickly. Let's do some math here: You put $2,000 into your trading account. Risking 1% means you are willing to lose $20 per trade. That means you are going to be trading micro lots, or 0.01 lots most likely ($0.10/pip). At that level you can have a trade stop loss at -200 pips and only lose $20. It's the best starting point for anybody. Additionally, if you SL 20 trades in a row you are only down $200 (or 10% of your account) which isn't that difficult to recover from. Risking 3% means you are willing to lose $60 per trade. You could do mini lots at this point, which is 0.1 lots (or $1/pip). Let's say you SL on 20 trades in a row. You've just lost $1,200 or 60% of your account. Even veteran traders will go through periods of repeat SL'ing, you are not a special snowflake and are not immune to periods of major drawdown. Risking 5% means you are willing to lose $100 per trade. SL 20 trades in a row, your account is blown. As Red Foreman would call it - Good job dumbass. Never risk more than 1% of your account on any trade until you can show that you are either consistently breaking even or making a profit. By consistently, I mean 200 trades minimum. You do 200 trades over a period of time and either break-even or make a profit, then you should be alright to increase your risk. Unfortunately, this is where many retail traders get greedy and blow it. They will do 10 trades and hit their profit target on 9 of them. They will start seeing huge piles of money in their future and get greedy. They will start taking more risk on their trades than their account can handle. 200 trades of break-even or profitable performance risking 1% per trade. Don't even think about increasing your risk tolerance until you do it. When you get to this point, increase you risk to 2%. Do 1,000 trades at this level and show break-even or profit. If you blow your account, go back down to 1% until you can figure out what the hell you did differently or wrong, fix your strategy, and try again. Once you clear 1,000 trades at 2%, it's really up to you if you want to increase your risk. I don't recommend it. Even 2% is bordering on gambling to be honest. LESSON 4 - THE 500 PIP DRAWDOWN RULE This is a rule I created for myself and it's a great way to help protect your account from blowing. Sometimes the market goes insane. Like really insane. Insane to the point that your broker can't keep up and they can't hold your orders to the SL and TP levels you specified. They will try, but during a flash crash like we had at the start of January 2019 the rules can sometimes go flying out the window on account of the trading servers being unable to keep up with all the shit that's hitting the fan. Because of this I live by a rule I call the 500 Pip Drawdown Rule and it's really quite simple - Have enough funds in your account to cover a 500 pip drawdown on your largest open trade. I don't care if you set a SL of -50 pips. During a flash crash that shit sometimes just breaks. So let's use an example - you open a 0.1 lot short order on USDCAD and set the SL to 50 pips (so you'd only lose $50 if you hit stoploss). An hour later Trump makes some absurd announcement which causes a massive fundamental event on the market. A flash crash happens and over the course of the next few minutes USDCAD spikes up 500 pips, your broker is struggling to keep shit under control and your order slips through the cracks. By the time your broker is able to clear the backlog of orders and activity, your order closes out at 500 pips in the red. You just lost $500 when you intended initially to only risk $50. It gets kinda scary if you are dealing with whole lot orders. A single order with a 500 pip drawdown is $5,000 gone in an instant. That will decimate many trader accounts. Remember my statements above about Forex being a cruel bitch of a mistress? I wasn't kidding. Granted - the above scenario is very rare to actually happen. But glitches to happen from time to time. Broker servers go offline. Weird shit happens which sets off a fundamental shift. Lots of stuff can break your account very quickly if you aren't using proper risk management. LESSON 5 - UNDERSTAND DIFFERENT TRADING METHODOLOGIES Generally speaking, there are 3 trading methodologies that traders employ. It's important to figure out what method you intend to use before asking for help. Each has their pros and cons, and you can combine them in a somewhat hybrid methodology but that introduces challenges as well. In a nutshell:
Price Action Trading (Sometimes called Naked Trading) is very effective at identifying when trends will start and finish. This gives you the advantage of staying ahead of the market and predicting when a change in trend direction will occur. It has the disadvantage of being really easy to screw it up if you don't plot your support and resistance lines properly and interpret the chart wrong. Because you can identify a change in trend direction, you'll generally make more profit on a new trend than a technical strategy will.
Technical Analytics (or TA) uses math and statistics to try and identify where the market is headed or confirm/reject whether a trend is happening. It has the advantage of being very math and stat driven which is hard to refute the numbers, but it has the disadvantage of being late to the party when it comes to identifying trends (hence why people call TA a lagging strategy). When people fail using TA, it's not because of the math - it's because you misinterpreted what the math is telling you.
Fundamental Analysis (or FA) uses news and macro scale events to predict what is going on. A really good example right now is Brexit, what a clusterfuck that is. Every time some major brexit news breaks it causes all sorts of choas in almost every currency pair. Fundamental trading has the highest potential profitability per trade but it also has the highest potential drawdown per trade.
Now you may be thinking that you want to be a a price action trader - you should still learn the principles and concepts behind TA and FA. Same if you are planning to be a technical trader - you should learn about price action and fundamental analysis. More knowledge is better, always. With regards to technical analysis, you need to really understand what the different indicators are tell you. It's very easy to misinterpret what an indicator is telling you, which causes you to make a bad trade and lose money. It's also important to understand that every indicator can be tuned to your personal preferences. You might find, for example, that using Bollinger Bands with the normal 20 period SMA close, 2 standard deviation is not effective for how you look at the chart, but changing that to say a 20 period EMA average price, 1 standard deviation bollinger band indicator could give you significantly more insight. LESSON 6 - TIMEFRAMES MATTER Understanding the differences in which timeframes you trade on will make or break your chosen strategy. Some strategies work really well on Daily timeframes (i.e. Ichimoku) but they fall flat on their face if you use them on 1H timeframes, for example. There is no right or wrong answer on what timeframe is best to trade on. Generally speaking however, there are 2 things to consider:
Speed - If you are scalping (trading on the really fast candles like 1M, 5M, 15M, etc) odds are your trades are very short lived. Maybe 10 minutes to an hour tops. For the most part, scalping strategies will produce little profit per trade but make up for it in the sheer volume of trades. Whereas swing trading may only make a few trades but each one could be worth a significant amount of money.
Spread (the fee you pay to the broker when you trade) - If you are a scalper, the spread is your worst enemy because you have to overcome it very fast to make a profit on your order. Whereas swing trading the spread hardly impacts you at all.
If you are a total newbie to forex, I suggest you don't trade on anything shorter than the 1H timeframe when you are first learning. Trading on higher timeframes tends to be much more forgiving and profitable per trade. Scalping is a delicate art and requires finesse and can be very challenging when you are first starting out. LESSON 7 - AUTOBOTS...ROLL OUT! Yeah...I'm a geek and grew up with the Transformers franchise decades before Michael Bay came along. Deal with it. Forex bots are called EA's (Expert Advisors). They can be wonderous and devastating at the same time. /Forex is not really the best place to get help with them. That is what /algotrading is useful for. However some of us that lurk on /Forex code EA's and will try to assist when we can. Anybody can learn to code an EA. But just like how 95% of retail traders fail, I would estimate the same is true for forex bots. Either the strategy doesn't work, the code is buggy, or many other reasons can cause EA's to fail. Because EA's can often times run up hundreds of orders in a very quick period of time, it's critical that you test them repeatedly before letting them lose on a live trading account so they don't blow your account to pieces. You have been warned. If you want to learn how to code an EA, I suggest you start with MQL. It's a programming language which can be directly interpretted by Meta Trader. The Meta Trader terminal client even gives you a built in IDE for coding EA's in MQL. The downside is it can be buggy and glitchy and caused many frustrating hours of work to figure out what is wrong. If you don't want to learn MQL, you can code an EA up in just about any programming language. Python is really popular for forex bots for some reason. But that doesn't mean you couldn't do it in something like C++ or Java or hell even something more unusual like JQuery if you really wanted. I'm not going to get into the finer details of how to code EA's, there are some amazing guides out there. Just be careful with them. They can be your best friend and at the same time also your worst enemy when it comes to forex. One final note on EA's - don't buy them. Ever. Let me put this into perspective - I create an EA which is literally producing money for me automatically 24/5. If it really is a good EA which is profitable, there is no way in hell I'm selling it. I'm keeping it to myself to make a fortune off of. EA's that are for sale will not work, will blow your account, and the developer who coded it will tell you that's too darn bad but no refunds. Don't ever buy an EA from anybody. LESSON 8 - BRING ON THE HATERS You are going to find that this subreddit is frequented by trolls. Some of them will get really nasty. Some of them will threaten you. Some of them will just make you miserable. It's the price you pay for admission to the /Forex club. If you can't handle it, then I suggest you don't post here. Find a more newbie-friendly site. It sucks, but it's reality. We often refer to trolls on this subreddit as shitcunts. That's your word of the day. Learn it, love it. Shitcunts. YOU MADE IT, WELCOME TO FOREX! If you've made it through all of the above and aren't cringing or getting scared, then welcome aboard the forex train! You will fit in nicely here. Ask your questions and the non-shitcunts of our little corner of reddit will try to help you. Assuming this post doesn't get nuked and I don't get banned for it, I'll add more lessons to this post over time. Lessons I intend to add in the future:
Why you will blow your first account and what to do when it happens
Trading Psychology (this will be a beefy one and will take a while to put together)
Exotics vs Majors and which you should focus on as a newbie (aka how to blow your account in a single trade with exotics)
Finding Trading Edges: Where to Get High R:R trades and Profit Potential of Them.
TL;DR - I will try and flip an account from $50 or less to $1,000 over 2019. I will post all my account details so my strategy can be seen/copied. I will do this using only three or four trading setups. All of which are simple enough to learn. I will start trading on 10th January. ---- As I see it there are two mains ways to understand how to make money in the markets. The first is to know what the biggest winners in the markets are doing and duplicating what they do. This is hard. Most of the biggest players will not publicly tell people what they are doing. You need to be able to kinda slide in with them and see if you can pick up some info. Not suitable for most people, takes a lot of networking and even then you have to be able to make the correct inferences. Another way is to know the most common trades of losing traders and then be on the other side of their common mistakes. This is usually far easier, usually everyone knows the mind of a losing trader. I learned about what losing traders do every day by being one of them for many years. I noticed I had an some sort of affinity for buying at the very top of moves and selling at the very bottom. This sucked, however, is was obvious there was winning trades on the other side of what I was doing and the adjustments to be a good trader were small (albeit, tricky). Thus began the study for entries and maximum risk:reward. See, there have been times I have bought aiming for a 10 pip scalps and hit 100 pips stops loss. Hell, there have been times I was going for 5 pips and hit 100 stop out. This can seem discouraging, but it does mean there must be 1:10 risk:reward pay-off on the other side of these mistakes, and they were mistakes. If you repeatedly enter and exit at the wrong times, you are making mistakes and probably the same ones over and over again. The market is tricking you! There are specific ways in which price moves that compel people to make these mistakes (I won’t go into this in this post, because it takes too long and this is going to be a long post anyway, but a lot of this is FOMO). Making mistakes is okay. In fact, as I see it, making mistakes is an essential part of becoming an expert. Making a mistake enough times to understand intrinsically why it is a mistake and then make the required adjustments. Understanding at a deep level why you trade the way you do and why others make the mistakes they do, is an important part of becoming an expert in your chosen area of focus. I could talk more on these concepts, but to keep the length of the post down, I will crack on to actual examples of trades I look for. Here are my three main criteria. I am looking for tops/bottoms of moves (edge entries). I am looking for 1:3 RR or more potential pay-offs. My strategy assumes that retail trades will lose most of the time. This seems a fair enough assumption. Without meaning to sound too crass about it, smart money will beat dumb money most of the time if the game is base on money. They just will. So to summarize, I am looking for the points newbies get trapped in bad positions entering into moves too late. From these areas, I am looking for high RR entries. Setup Examples. I call this one the “Lightning Bolt correction”, but it is most commonly referred to as a “two leg correction”. I call it a “Lightning Bolt correction” because it looks a bit like one, and it zaps you. If you get it wrong. https://preview.redd.it/t4whwijse2721.png?width=1326&format=png&auto=webp&s=c9050529c6e2472a3ff9f8e7137bd4a3ee5554cc Once I see price making the first sell-off move and then begin to rally towards the highs again, I am waiting for a washout spike low. The common trades mistakes I am trading against here is them being too eager to buy into the trend too early and for the to get stopped out/reverse position when it looks like it is making another bearish breakout. Right at that point they panic … literally one candle under there is where I want to be getting in. I want to be buying their stop loss, essentially. “Oh, you don’t want that ...okay, I will have that!” I need a precise entry. I want to use tiny stops (for big RR) so I need to be cute with entries. For this, I need entry rules. Not just arbitrarily buying the spike out. There are a few moving parts to this that are outside the scope of this post but one of my mains ways is using a fibs extension and looking for reversals just after the 1.61% level. How to draw the fibs is something else that is outside the scope of this but for one simple rule, they can be drawn on the failed new high leg. https://preview.redd.it/2cd682kve2721.png?width=536&format=png&auto=webp&s=f4d081c9faff49d0976f9ffab260aaed2b570309 I am looking for a few specific things for a prime setup. Firstly, I am looking for the false hope candles, the ones that look like they will reverse the market and let those buying too early get out break-even or even at profit. In this case, you can see the hammer and engulfing candle off the 127 level, then it spikes low in that “stop-hunt” sort of style. Secondly I want to see it trading just past my entry level (161 ext). This rule has come from nothing other than sheer volume. The amount of times I’ve been stopped out by 1 pip by that little sly final low has gave birth to this rule. I am looking for the market to trade under support in a manner that looks like a new strong breakout. When I see this, I am looking to get in with tiny stops, right under the lows. I will also be using smaller charts at this time and looking for reversal clusters of candles. Things like dojis, inverted hammers etc. These are great for sticking stops under. Important note, when the lightning bolt correction fails to be a good entry, I expect to see another two legs down. I may look to sell into this area sometimes, and also be looking for buying on another couple legs down. It is important to note, though, when this does not work out, I expect there to be continued momentum that is enough to stop out and reasonable stop level for my entry. Which is why I want to cut quick. If a 10 pips stop will hit, usually a 30 pips stop will too. Bin it and look for the next opportunity at better RR. https://preview.redd.it/mhkgy35ze2721.png?width=1155&format=png&auto=webp&s=a18278b85b10278603e5c9c80eb98df3e6878232 Another setup I am watching for is harmonic patterns, and I am using these as a multi-purpose indicator. When I see potentially harmonic patterns forming, I am using their completion level as take profits, I do not want to try and run though reversal patterns I can see forming hours ahead of time. I also use them for entering (similar rules of looking for specific entry criteria for small stops). Finally, I use them as a continuation pattern. If the harmonic pattern runs past the area it may have reversed from, there is a high probability that the market will continue to trend and very basic trend following strategies work well. I learned this from being too stubborn sticking with what I thought were harmonic reversals only to be ran over by a trend (seriously, everything I know I know from how it used to make me lose). https://preview.redd.it/1ytz2431f2721.png?width=1322&format=png&auto=webp&s=983a7f2a91f9195004ad8a2aa2bb9d4d6f128937 A method of spotting these sorts of M/W harmonics is they tend to form after a second spike out leg never formed. When this happens, it gives me a really good idea of where my profit targets should be and where my next big breakout level is. It is worth noting, larger harmonics using have small harmonics inside them (on lower time-frames) and this can be used for dialling in optimum entries. I also use harmonics far more extensively in ranging markets. Where they tend to have higher win rates. Next setup is the good old fashioned double bottoms/double top/one tick trap sort of setup. This comes in when the market is highly over extended. It has a small sell-off and rallies back to the highs before having a much larger sell-off. This is a more risky trade in that it sells into what looks like trending momentum and can be stopped out more. However, it also pays a high RR when it works, allowing for it to be ran at reduced risk and still be highly profitable when it comes through. https://preview.redd.it/1bx83776f2721.png?width=587&format=png&auto=webp&s=2c76c3085598ae70f4142d26c46c8d6e9b1c2881 From these sorts of moves, I am always looking for a follow up buy if it forms a lightning bolt sort of setup. All of these setups always offer 1:3 or better RR. If they do not, you are doing it wrong (and it will be your stop placement that is wrong). This is not to say the target is always 1:3+, sometimes it is best to lock in profits with training stops. It just means that every time you enter, you can potentially have a trade that runs for many times more than you risked. 1:10 RR can be hit in these sorts of setups sometimes. Paying you 20% for 2% risked. I want to really stress here that what I am doing is trading against small traders mistakes. I am not trying to “beat the market maker”. I am not trying to reverse engineer J.P Morgan’s black boxes. I do not think I am smart enough to gain a worthwhile edge over these traders. They have more money, they have more data, they have better softwares … they are stronger. Me trying to “beat the market maker” is like me trying to beat up Mike Tyson. I might be able to kick him in the balls and feel smug for a few seconds. However, when he gets up, he is still Tyson and I am still me. I am still going to be pummeled. I’ve seen some people that were fairly bright people going into training courses and coming out dumb as shit. Thinking they somehow are now going to dominate Goldman Sachs because they learned a chart pattern. Get a grip. For real, get a fucking grip. These buzz phrases are marketeering. Realististically, if you want to win in the markets, you need to have an edge over somebody. I don’t have edges on the banks. If I could find one, they’d take it away from me. Edges work on inefficiencies in what others do that you can spot and they can not. I do not expect to out-think a banks analysis team. I know for damn sure I can out-think a version of me from 5 years ago … and I know there are enough of them in the markets. I look to trade against them. I just look to protect myself from the larger players so they can only hurt me in limited ways. Rather than letting them corner me and beat me to a pulp (in the form of me watching $1,000 drop off my equity because I moved a stop or something), I just let them kick me in the butt as I run away. It hurts a little, but I will be over it soon. I believe using these principles, these three simple enough edge entry setups, selectiveness (remembering you are trading against the areas people make mistakes, wait for they areas) and measured aggression a person can make impressive compounded gains over a year. I will attempt to demonstrate this by taking an account of under $100 to over $1,000 in a year. I will use max 10% on risk on a position, the risk will scale down as the account size increases. In most cases, 5% risk per trade will be used, so I will be going for 10-20% or so profits. I will be looking only for prime opportunities, so few trades but hard hitting ones when I take them. I will start trading around the 10th January. Set remind me if you want to follow along. I will also post my investor login details, so you can see the trades in my account in real time. Letting you see when I place my orders and how I manage running positions. I also think these same principles can be tweaked in such a way it is possible to flip $50 or so into $1,000 in under a month. I’ve done $10 to $1,000 in three days before. This is far more complex in trade management, though. Making it hard to explain/understand and un-viable for many people to copy (it hedges, does not comply with FIFO, needs 1:500 leverage and also needs spreads under half a pip on EURUSD - not everyone can access all they things). I see all too often people act as if this can’t be done and everyone saying it is lying to sell you something. I do not sell signals. I do not sell training. I have no dog in this fight, I am just saying it can be done. There are people who do it. If you dismiss it as impossible; you will never be one of them. If I try this 10 times with $50, I probably am more likely to make $1,000 ($500 profit) in a couple months than standard ideas would double $500 - I think I have better RR, even though I may go bust 5 or more times. I may also try to demonstrate this, but it is kinda just show-boating, quite honestly. When it works, it looks cool. When it does not, I can go bust in a single day (see example https://www.fxblue.com/users/redditmicroflip). So I may or may not try and demonstrate this. All this is, is just taking good basic concepts and applying accelerated risk tactics to them and hitting a winning streak (of far less trades than you may think). Once you have good entries and RR optimization in place - there really is no reason why you can not scale these up to do what may people call impossible (without even trying it). I know there are a lot of people who do not think these things are possible and tend to just troll whenever people talk about these things. There used to be a time when I’d try to explain why I thought the way I did … before I noticed they only cared about telling me why they were right and discussion was pointless. Therefore, when it comes to replies, I will reply to all comments that ask me a question regarding why I think this can be done, or why I done something that I done. If you are commenting just to tell me all the reasons you think I am wrong and you are right, I will probably not reply. I may well consider your points if they are good ones. I just do not entering into discussions with people who already know everything; it serves no purpose. Edit: Addition. I want to talk a bit more about using higher percentage of risk than usual. Firstly, let me say that there are good reasons for risk caps that people often cite as “musts”. There are reasons why 2% is considered optimum for a lot of strategies and there are reasons drawing down too much is a really bad thing. Please do not be ignorant of this. Please do not assume I am, either. In previous work I done, I was selecting trading strategies that could be used for investment. When doing this, my only concern was drawdown metrics. These are essential for professional money management and they are also essential for personal long-term success in trading. So please do not think I have not thought of these sorts of things Many of the reasons people say these things can’t work are basic 101 stuff anyone even remotely committed to learning about trading learns in their first 6 months. Trust me, I have thought about these concepts. I just never stopped thinking when I found out what public consensus was. While these 101 rules make a lot of sense, it does not take away from the fact there are other betting strategies, and if you can know the approximate win rate and pay-off of trades, you can have other ways of deriving optimal bet sizes (risk per trade). Using Kelly Criterion, for example, if the pay-off is 1:3 and there is a 75% chance of winning, the optimal bet size is 62.5%. It would be a viable (high risk) strategy to have extremely filtered conditions that looked for just one perfect set up a month, makingover 150% if it was successful. Let’s do some math on if you can pull that off three months in a row (using 150% gain, for easy math). Start $100. Month two starts $250. Month three $625. Month three ends $1,562. You have won three trades. Can you win three trades in a row under these conditions? I don’t know … but don’t assume no-one can. This is extremely high risk, let’s scale it down to meet somewhere in the middle of the extremes. Let’s look at 10%. Same thing, 10% risk looking for ideal opportunities. Maybe trading once every week or so. 30% pay-off is you win. Let’s be realistic here, a lot of strategies can drawdown 10% using low risk without actually having had that good a chance to generate 30% gains in the trades it took to do so. It could be argued that trading seldomly but taking 5* the risk your “supposed” to take can be more risk efficient than many strategies people are using. I am not saying that you should be doing these things with tens of thousands of dollars. I am not saying you should do these things as long term strategies. What I am saying is do not dismiss things out of hand just because they buck the “common knowns”. There are ways you can use more aggressive trading tactics to turn small sums of money into they $1,000s of dollars accounts that you exercise they stringent money management tactics on. With all the above being said, you do have to actually understand to what extent you have an edge doing what you are doing. To do this, you should be using standard sorts of risks. Get the basics in place, just do not think you have to always be basic. Once you have good basics in place and actually make a bit of money, you can section off profits for higher risk versions of strategies. The basic concepts of money management are golden. For longevity and large funds; learned them and use them! Just don’t forget to think for yourself once you have done that. Update - Okay, I have thought this through a bit more and decided I don't want to post my live account investor login, because it has my full name and I do not know who any of you are. Instead, for copying/observing, I will give demo account login (since I can choose any name for a demo). I will also copy onto a live account and have that tracked via Myfxbook. I will do two versions. One will be FIFO compliant. It will trade only single trade positions. The other will not be FIFO compliant, it will open trades in batches. I will link up live account in a week or so. For now, if anyone wants to do BETA testing with the copy trader, you can do so with the following details (this is the non-FIFO compliant version). Account tracking/copying details. Low-Medium risk. IC Markets MT4 Account number: 10307003 Investor PW:lGdMaRe6 Server: Demo:01 (Not FIFO compliant) Valid and Invalid Complaints. There are a few things that can pop up in copy trading. I am not a n00b when it comes to this, so I can somewhat forecast what these will be. I can kinda predict what sort of comments there may be. Some of these are valid points that if you raise I should (and will) reply to. Some are things outside of the scope of things I can influence, and as such, there is no point in me replying to. I will just cover them all here the one time. Valid complains are if I do something dumb or dramatically outside of the strategy I have laid out here. won't do these, if I do, you can pitchfork ----E Examples; “Oi, idiot! You opened a trade randomly on a news spike. I got slipped 20 pips and it was a shit entry”. Perfectly valid complaint. “Why did you open a trade during swaps hours when the spread was 30 pips?” Also valid. “You left huge trades open running into the weekend and now I have serious gap paranoia!” Definitely valid. These are examples of me doing dumb stuff. If I do dumb stuff, it is fair enough people say things amounting to “Yo, that was dumb stuff”. Invalid Complains; “You bought EURUSD when it was clearly a sell!!!!” Okay … you sell. No-one is asking you to copy my trades. I am not trading your strategy. Different positions make a market. “You opened a position too big and I lost X%”. No. Na uh. You copied a position too big. If you are using a trade copier, you can set maximum risk. If you neglect to do this, you are taking 100% risk. You have no valid compliant for losing. The act of copying and setting the risk settings is you selecting your risk. I am not responsible for your risk. I accept absolutely no liability for any losses. *Suggested fix. Refer to risk control in copy trading software “You lost X trades in a row at X% so I lost too much”. Nope. You copied. See above. Anything relating to losing too much in trades (placed in liquid/standard market conditions) is entirely you. I can lose my money. Only you can set it up so you can lose yours. I do not have access to your account. Only mine. *Suggested fix. Refer to risk control in copy trading software “Price keeps trading close to the pending limit orders but not filling. Your account shows profits, but mine is not getting them”. This is brokerage. I have no control over this. I use a strategy that aims for precision, and that means a pip here and there in brokerage spreads can make a difference. I am trading to profit from my trading conditions. I do not know, so can not account for, yours. * Suggested fix. Compare the spread on your broker with the spread on mine. Adjust your orders accordingly. Buy limit orders will need to move up a little. Sell limit orders should not need adjusted. “I got stopped out right before the market turned, I have a loss but your account shows a profit”. This is brokerage. I have no control over this. I use a strategy that aims for precision, and that means a pip here and there differences in brokerage spreads can make a difference. I am trading to profit from my trading conditions. I do not know, so can not account for, yours. ** Suggested fix. Compare the spread on your broker with the spread on mine. Adjust your orders accordingly. Stop losses on sell orders will need to move up a bit. Stops on buy orders will be fine. “Your trade got stopped out right before the market turned, if it was one more pip in the stop, it would have been a winner!!!” Yeah. This happens. This is where the “risk” part of “risk:reward” comes in. “Price traded close to take profit, yours filled but mines never”. This is brokerage. I have no control over this. I use a strategy that aims for precision, and that means a pip here and there differences in brokerage spreads can make a difference. I am trading to profit from my trading conditions. I do not know, so can not account for, yours. (Side note, this should not be an issue since when my trade closes, it should ping your account to close, too. You might get a couple less pips). *** Suggested fix. Compare the spread on your broker with the spread on mine. Adjust your orders accordingly. Take profits on buys will need to move up a bit. Sell take profits will be fine. “My brokers spread jumped to 20 during the New York session so the open trade made a bigger loss than it should”. Your broker might just suck if this happens. This is brokerage. I have no control over this. My trades are placed to profit from my brokerage conditions. I do not know, so can not account for yours. Also, if accounting for random spread spikes like this was something I had to do, this strategy would not be a thing. It only works with fair brokerage conditions. *Suggested fix. Do a bit of Googling and find out if you have a horrific broker. If so, fix that! A good search phrase is; “(Broker name) FPA reviews”. “Price hit the stop loss but was going really fast and my stop got slipped X pips”. This is brokerage. I have no control over this. I use a strategy that aims for precision, and that means a pip here and there differences in brokerage spreads can make a difference. I am trading to profit from my trading conditions. I do not know, so can not account for, yours. If my trade also got slipped on the stop, I was slipped using ECN conditions with excellent execution; sometimes slips just happen. I am doing the most I can to prevent them, but it is a fact of liquidity that sometimes we get slipped (slippage can also work in our favor, paying us more than the take profit would have been). “Orders you placed failed to execute on my account because they were too large”. This is brokerage. I have no control over this. Margin requirements vary. I have 1:500 leverage available. I will not always be using it, but I can. If you can’t, this will make a difference. “Your account is making profits trading things my broker does not have” I have a full range of assets to trade with the broker I use. Included Forex, indices, commodities and cryptocurrencies. I may or may not use the extent of these options. I can not account for your brokerage conditions. I think I have covered most of the common ones here. There are some general rules of thumb, though. Basically, if I do something that is dumb and would have a high probability of losing on any broker traded on, this is a valid complain. Anything that pertains to risk taken in standard trading conditions is under your control. Also, anything at all that pertains to brokerage variance there is nothing I can do, other than fully brief you on what to expect up-front. Since I am taking the time to do this, I won’t be a punchbag for anything that happens later pertaining to this. I am not using an elitist broker. You don’t need $50,000 to open an account, it is only $200. It is accessible to most people - brokerage conditions akin to what I am using are absolutely available to anyone in the UK/Europe/Asia (North America, I am not so up on, so can’t say). With the broker I use, and with others. If you do not take the time to make sure you are trading with a good broker, there is nothing I can do about how that affects your trades. I am using an A book broker, if you are using B book; it will almost certainly be worse results. You have bad costs. You are essentially buying from reseller and paying a mark-up. (A/B book AKA ECN/Market maker; learn about this here). My EURUSD spread will typically be 0.02 pips or so, if yours is 1 pip, this is a huge difference. These are typical spreads I am working on. https://preview.redd.it/yc2c4jfpab721.png?width=597&format=png&auto=webp&s=c377686b2485e13171318c9861f42faf325437e1 Check the full range of spreads on Forex, commodities, indices and crypto. Please understand I want nothing from you if you benefit from this, but I am also due you nothing if you lose. My only term of offering this is that people do not moan at me if they lose money. I have been fully upfront saying this is geared towards higher risk. I have provided information and tools for you to take control over this. If I do lose people’s money and I know that, I honestly will feel a bit sad about it. However, if you complain about it, all I will say is “I told you that might happen”, because, I am telling you that might happen. Make clear headed assessments of how much money you can afford to risk, and use these when making your decisions. They are yours to make, and not my responsibility. Update. Crazy Kelly Compounding: $100 - $11,000 in 6 Trades. $100 to $11,000 in 6 trades? Is it a scam? Is it a gamble? … No, it’s maths. Common sense risk disclaimer: Don’t be a dick! Don’t risk money you can’t afford to lose. Do not risk money doing these things until you can show a regular profit on low risk. Let’s talk about Crazy Kelly Compounding (CKC). Kelly criterion is a method for selecting optimal bet sizes if the odds and win rate are known (in other words, once you have worked out how to create and assess your edge). You can Google to learn about it in detail. The formula for Kelly criterion is; ((odds-1) * (percentage estimate)) - (1-percent estimate) / (odds-1) X 100 Now let’s say you can filter down a strategy to have a 80% win rate. It trades very rarely, but it had a very high success rate when it does. Let’s say you get 1:2 RR on that trade. Kelly would give you an optimum bet size of about 60% here. So if you win, you win 120%. Losing three trades in a row will bust you. You can still recover from anything less than that, fairly easily with a couple winning trades. This is where CKC comes in. What if you could string some of these wins together, compounding the gains (so you were risking 60% each time)? What if you could pull off 6 trades in a row doing this? Here is the math; https://preview.redd.it/u3u6teqd7c721.png?width=606&format=png&auto=webp&s=3b958747b37b68ec2a769a8368b5cbebfe0e97ff This shows years, substitute years for trades. 6 trades returns $11,338! This can be done. The question really is if you are able to dial in good enough entries, filter out enough sub-par trades and have the guts to pull the trigger when the time is right. Obviously you need to be willing to take the hit, obviously that hit gets bigger each time you go for it, but the reward to risk ratio is pretty decent if you can afford to lose the money. We could maybe set something up to do this on cent brokers. So people can do it literally risking a couple dollars. I’d have to check to see if there was suitable spreads etc offered on them, though. They can be kinda icky. Now listen, I am serious … don’t be a dick. Don’t rush out next week trying to retire by the weekend. What I am showing you is the EXTRA rewards that come with being able to produce good solid results and being able to section off some money for high risk “all or nothing” attempts; using your proven strategies. I am not saying anyone can open 6 trades and make $11,000 … that is rather improbable. What I am saying is once you can get the strategy side right, and you can know your numbers; then you can use the numbers to see where the limits actually are, how fast your strategy can really go. This CKC concept is not intended to inspire you to be reckless in trading, it is intended to inspire you to put focus on learning the core skills I am telling you that are behind being able to do this.
I'm doing a tribute to the 24 days of Christmas by going over the financial statements of 24 companies that are considered downrange, speculative, and just plain high risk. The legal cannabis industry already has a ton of risk in it - but this stuff - is only for thrill seekers. All opinions are my own, and certainly not a recommendation for or against any of them, or to buy or sell. I've limited myself to 45mins to each, and kept to most recent financial statements You'll likely know more about the company than me if you're following them. This is only my reactions with a brief commentary about what I see in their financial statements. I haven't been consistent in following them all over the past year: some I have, others not. The first one this year.....is here LDS - Lifestyle Delivery Systems Price Then: $0.34 - Price Now: $0.37
They call themselves a pharmaceutical company. Ok. Yet R&D as a percentage of expenses is less than 5% of total. Guessing they discovered what they were looking for.
SBC $1.8MM last quarter.
Revenues have been languishing until this quarter. $600k reported, double the first 6 months of their year.
Gotta say, related party transactions seem to be an emerging theme of this year’s crawl. Note 7.
At the burn rate they have (consulting fees per note 7), they’re gonna have to go back to the well pretty quick.
PP&E increased by $6MM, to $16MM.
Capital structure is a steaming pile (Note 8). Should have a warning statement in front of it before reading.
Speaking of which, immediate vesting of stock options for management is waaay cute.
And unlike most of the year, share price decay is going to be shutting down any fun that could’ve been had.
Almost all o/s warrants exercised. Only 5MM left now.
Bleh. Still looks like a very expensive front office for a million a year in revenue and 50% margin. Leverage is nose bleed inducing, $26MM in accumulated deficit, and no real end in sight. If I was a shareholder - I’d be all over mgmt. As in: ‘when will a business actually emerge here?’. Still looks like an ATM for mgmt. RTI - Radient Technologies Price Then: $1.54 - Price Now: $0.77
Buckets and buckets of cash. $47MM. 2 large raises, one each previous quarter.
Revenue flat yoy. $3.5MM in operating expenses last quarter. Expenses suggest operational build out occurring.
Given quarterly sales of $100k - that build out will need to do something. Sometime. Soon.
SBC is down from $4.2MM to $800k same period. Hmm.
Margin no hell.
Share printer on overdrive (glowing white hot really. Probably could be deployed as a cogen for heat recapture).
Long term debt is cheap.
Share capital in Note 10: an abominable snowman. Really. And since so many of these seem to land in the #10 slot, I’m going to avoid that number on all lotto tickets I buy from here on out.
Take out the bank balance, the market is valuing the business at about $0.50. For 2 years of stagnant revenue and billowing losses...$7MM last 2 quarters alone...meh. They do look to be operationalizing, perhaps that’s the dev cycle this industry business model is within. If that’s the case, I’m looking to see what happens over the next year - and if the spend justifies the returns. Investors should be hoping their sales pipeline doesn’t turn into a TransMountain. TNY - Tinley Beverage Company Price Then: $0.85 - Price Now: $0.46 Funny enough, Tinley came across the radar a few months ago, and the elves took a stab at it. A couple of fans of this outfit took umbrage with their characterization at the time. They still didn’t put up any math though. Nor referenced the financials. I was talking with u/GoBlueCdn the other day on the phone, and in conversation, he said: ‘fundamentals will always bear out.’ I couldn’t agree more. The noise and heat and smoke and knees and elbows of the intra-houday/week/month price moves….will always get throat-punched by solid ops. Never a question of it. It’s simply a function of time. The question of whether fanboys (and their accusations) will still be there when night turns to day….is an answerable one. They usually melt like toilet paper put into water. I stick to financials. If they're rocking it, I'll say so. If they're not......same deal. I haven’t looked at these guys since then. Let’s do it again…..
Cash issues on back burner, they have some now. Given they need it to operate, that’s a good thing.
Intangibles mercifully low (fresh as a spring rain in this crowd).
$30MM deficit in S/E. A pretty large bump under the corner of the rug.
Lost $1.1MM on $52k of sales. Been a year now. And they’ve had the margaritas out now for a quarter. Maybe haven't shown up yet.
Net $100k loss on forex. Sigh. Just like the good ol’ days of last year's Crawl.
Props to them for a SBC and G&A. If this thing looked like an actual business, I suspect it’d be higher.
Shares o/s metastatic. Shares that are issued are seemingly born pregnant.
Godammit. Another Note ’10’. This one is like staring at the sun. Where’d I put those welding glasses…..
CFO is cheap relative to others in c-suite. Bad negotiator, or, value for money? Your choice.
G&A inelegant. See for yourself….Note 15. Honest.
Ok. I could wax poetic for awhile on this, nothing other than incremental at this point really. I don’t have anything against it. I like the idea of drinkables, but I've never tried one. And….I’m woefully ignorant about emulsions and such. If it’s a good product: I’m there. Probably like most people. The reality is that these guys have tripped and slipped and reset several times…and aren’t delivering. Maybe I have expectations that are unreasonable (like the one’s they’ve established in the investor decks?). One way or the other, limping along with no sales will eventually catch up with you. Despite the pitch. Revenues fix almost everything. Onward: iAn - Ianthus Capital Holdings Scratched! Now post merger with MPX - and that I’ve already done that one - means redundancy at this juncture. We’ll skip this, and add a newcomer to the list at the end. Xmas surprise time! CHV - Canada House Wellness Group Inc Price Then: $0.37 - Price Now: $0.13
Lots of cash atm. That’s definitely gonna be needed as we’ll see. Sales Tax rec’ble says they’ve had sales too. They're gonna need every cent.
Liabilities remain as big of yoke as last time. An ox pulling a dull plough through compacted soil is the mental image I get.
$32MM in accumulated deficit in S/E. Plenty of ‘junk in the trunk’.
$1.2MM in revenue. $1.4MM in salaries.
That $1.4MM in salaries is only 38% of total operating expense.
Love the detail in financials. Remember it from last year. All companies can do this. And it’s appreciated.
Interest expenses are from another planet. A very, very big planet.
These guys need a tourniquet. Hemorrhaging from every limb, orifice, window, door, niche and crevice.
Seeing SBC of $1.4MM - in this operational state - C’mon. Seriously. There’s pushing envelopes, and then there’s that.
Added $1.1MM in ‘intellectual property’ - but it’s not itemized. WTF. Did I miss it? Curious if actually omitted. ?
Another Note 10 setting new benchmarks of vulgarity….I got light headed reading it.
This one could have a sign over it’s Note 10 portcullis: ’Abandon all Hope Ye Who Enter Here.’
Interest free loans to a director (when an outfit is in this shape????)
“You are now entering Liquidation City” Population: CHV Home of the ‘cash only’ auction. All purchases must be removed by 5PM or goods and purchase price will be forfeited From doing these guys last year, I recall vividly how much I appreciate good disclosure. With it, there’s not only many more items to divine the entrails of - it also allows one to get a 3D look at an outfit. Often, business dislikes this for obvious reasons (it signals activities/plans/competitive advantages), but also because many people are uncomfortable taking a shower in public. I took my foot off the throttle though after a certain point with these guys - there’s much more to speak to. All of it negative. I went a little overtime on this one, because I like the idea of a patient-centric Canadian producer. But. If these guys last a year….there’s going to have to be capital infusion, and Note 10 will probably expand to the size of a large city’s phone book. It’s looking as proof that c-suite changes don’t change underlying business realities. And these guys need major changes, in far more than management. LIB - Liberty Leaf Holdings Price Then: $0.48 - Price Now: $0.10
not much cash, all they had seems to have gone into ‘facility equipment’.
Since they don’t seem to have a facility (on their books anyhow) that makes sense.
Appears to have pivoted (the elves always chuckle hearing that word) from aspiring producer, to ‘cannabis business accelerator’.
I read this as that they took a couple of runs at getting a grow op up, but got high centred on the meridian of ACMPR licensing delays (Pivot Time!)
Note 8 & 9 cover their ‘investing activities’. But it’s mainly transactional. If they’re ‘building value’ for shareholders, odd way to do it using paper on non-operating assets, and no apparent uplift able to be predicted.
CEO has gotten some help - he’s gone from ‘Chief Cook & Bottle Washer’ to mainly big chair activities.
SBC of a million dwarfs all other income statement spends
60% of assets is their own paper, issued as ‘investment in associate’
$26MM of S/E? Please meet $26MM deficit in S/E. LIB’s capital is ostensibly only paper, and more paper.
If liquidated on hard assets, company would realize $2MM. I didn't have time to look into unconsolidated subs.
The loading of optionality in 2019? Pretty much all struck. Most of management's fruit has been shaken from the tree.
Whoop. Spoke too soon. Still 5MM of $0.17 options left to go. Looks like there’s still a lot of fruit up top yet
Note 19 is all one needs to read on this thing.
This feels like a squatter-aspiring-to-be-taken-out…..shifted to……business-accelerator-ATM-for-mgmt. The businesses they’ve invested in could use a lot of accelerating btw, they’ve picked ones that are like cars rusting in a field. The blockchain outfit has shed half its value since listing, and the late stage applicant’s business(es) appear to be suspended in amber. They’re also connected to some clinical trials, a retail facing outfit, among several others. All paper, all the time. If there’s a business in here outside of a cashlessly fuelled pitch deck (written on lots of paper), I can’t see it. Perhaps something will happen someday. Nothing has in the last 365 of them. Excepting SBC of course. It's been busy there. QCC - Quadron Cannatech Corp Price Then: $0.38 - Price Now: $0.12
Cash and inventory and liabilities and S/E relatively flat.
A/R shows sales throughput
30% margins. G&A lean. SBC exemplary for industry.
SBC might also be low because share price has tanked.
Sales needed. Slower industry ramp has slowed industry need for equipment. Should be stronger year if the underlying operational capacity begins to expand, and demand for units cranks.
Very clean financials. Not much else to say or see.
This one is dead simple in the financial statements. Love love love. Whether they’ll start extracting revenue, is solely a function of their sales channel. As I’ve learned over the past year - everybody (and I mean everybody) - is in the extraction space. Operating in this industry sub-sector is like being in a sardine can without any oil (pun intended). Crowded space indeed. Cashflow is the core of business, and, if QCC can compete and succeed within what is a very competitive landscape - all power to them (and Canadian manufacturing as well). Calling this a ‘challenging environment’ is an understatement. Sales need to begin growing. Another year in the same general state will test market patience, which, is looking like its' already becoming impatient. Disclaimer - I've met Rosy several times now, and have come to respect her very much. I believe she’s a class act: both professionally, and personally. FWIW, full disclosure. I’m gonna go have some egg nog with the elves and compliment them on their behavior. They don't start drinking until after 1PM most days now. That they get out of bed around noon, it's not really saying much. Still, a big improvement over last year.
Slightly different flavour here, which I hope will be insightful to those who take the time to read. Tonight I'm going to talk about my learnings in this market so far; my biggest mistakes; how you can avoid making them yourself; and the strategy I intend to follow from now on. It’s a long old read, but it contains months worth of knowledge, which could only be gained from first-hand experience. So pour yourself a drink, settle in, and let me take you through a brief history of my first two months in crypto.
TL;DR: Been in crypto 2 months, after years trading forex. Learnt a lot, and passing on the knowledge. Hope it helps some of you to become better investors.
CHAPTER 1: New market; new opportunity
I came into crypto with a real excitement. Finally a market that resonates with me. The ability to buy into something I believe in - something that could change the world for the better - and to make money along the way. I was excited that I could apply my trading background, something that not many in the market possess, to my advantage. I was excited at the prospect of being on the curve of early adoption, in a market that had demonstrably meteoric potential. But I was patient. I knew that I would be risking a substantial amount of money in this space, and potentially other peoples’ too, so I had to approach it sensibly. I was going to invest (hold long-term) the vast majority and day trade just a small portion. I spent many weeks researching before considering pulling the trigger even once. I didn’t come into this without a plan. But looking back on it now, it really was only scratching the surface on what a serious investment strategy should be.
CHAPTER 2: Early Strategy
In brief, my plan was to research a load of coins that I’d heard have good potential – solid projects which make unique & warranted use of blockchain technology; are disruptive to their industry; are developed by a competent & active team; and are backed by a loyal community. I shortlisted maybe 40 coins through articles, videos and general conversation, and I added them to my watchlist. Admittedly I became a bit lax in completing the deep level of research I told myself I’d do for each – scrutinizing the whitepaper became skimming the whitepaper, which then became watching a video analysis, which then became “oh that sounds interesting I’ll keep an eye on it”. But this was just a watchlist. And still an educated one.
I knew that I wanted to wait for an inevitable dip in Bitcoin’s value to enter the market, but it just wasn’t coming. $6k, $8k, $10k… the bullish momentum couldn’t be tamed. Was I missing out? Was Bitcoin going to continue its parabolic move while I sit here waiting for a dip that could never come?
LEARNING 1: There are an unlimited number of opportunities
At this stage I was ready to get involved, and I’d scouted a few alt coins that had good technical entry points approaching. Do I need to keep waiting for a good Bitcoin price even when there’s a good alt price? In short, if you’re confident enough about a trade, it doesn’t really matter what price you pay to get the BTC (or other major alt coin) needed to trade it, as long as you believe that your trade will outweigh any potential drop in Bitcoin’s value. If your trade goes up 100% and BTC’s value drops 50%, at that point you’re break even. Plus if you keep holding and BTC returns back to its previous value, now you’re in 100% profit. For me this meant that even after buying some Bitcoin at its ATH (all-time high) and having it correct over 40%, I was still in profit, because this particular trade was up over 100%. More on this later.
So I bought some Bitcoin! Not all at once – generally a decent strategy is called dollar-cost averaging. In essence, buying a little bit every week at whatever the price at the time is, so that your entry price averages out over time. A better strategy is to only buy if it’s at a good price, or when you need it for a trade setup – not just arbitrarily every week even if the price is high. But I digress, I had some Bitcoin now and I wanted to diversify. Time to buy some alts.
LEARNING 2: Every trade is a decision to have the coin you’re buying instead of the coin you’re using to buy it
If an alt coin is gaining value against Bitcoin, it’s better to be holding that alt coin than Bitcoin. And if it’s losing value against Bitcoin, you’d be better off keeping it as BTC. Simple, but easy to forget when you load up Coinmarketcap and see all of the price changes in USD. You’ve gone up by 4% today – great! But BTC went up 10%, so you’d have been better off holding BTC. Buying a coin is an active decision that you make to hold the coin you’re buying instead of the coin you’re selling for it, for the period of time until you close that position. So if I buy 1000 XEM using BTC, that XEM/BTC trade is me saying “I think that XEM will increase in value at a greater rate than BTC will”. If both of them increase in value but BTC does it faster, that was a sub-optimal decision.
LEARNING 3: Satoshis are your friend. Accumulate as many of them as possible
So how does one measure profit on a trade? It’s intuitive to think of it in fiat terms – how many £££ did I make? Something tangible. But really everything should be measured in the smallest unit of Bitcoin (1 satoshi = 0.00000001 BTC). It’s easier to migrate to this way of thinking if you think of your total investment as the total amount of BTC (or the other major alt coin) that you were able to buy with it. Say I invested £1000 in crypto, and with that I managed to buy 0.1 BTC – that’s my total investment. If I want to diversify and put 10% of that into each of my favourite alt coins, I’d buy 0.01 BTC worth of each of them. Let’s say Litecoin was one of them and I got 1 LTC for my 0.01 BTC. Litecoin’s rocket then fuelled up and started on its journey to the moon, and I decide to bank my profit. I now trade it back for 0.015 BTC. From 0.01 BTC to 0.015 BTC is a profit of 0.005 BTC, or 500,000 satoshis!
“But why not just measure it in £££ - that’s far less complicated?!”
Well here’s the kicker. Let’s say Bitcoin’s value plummeted over the course of that trade. I’ve got more BTC, but because the value of each one decreased, I may still have lost money. So does that mean that trade was a bad decision? Not at all. That trade was a decision between BTC and LTC, and you made the right call. LTC held its value better than BTC did, so you would have lost more if you didn’t take the trade. Profit measured in satoshis allows you to strip away the financial layer and answer the most important question – “was it a good decision to make that trade?” A gain in satoshis is always a win. A gain in £££ is not.
Taking that same scenario in which I’ve got an equal amount of my 10 favourite alt coins. Let’s say 9 out of 10 of them stay at exactly the same value, but the other one shoots to the moon on a lambo all the way to 100%. Woohoo! Shame that was only 1/10 of my portfolio - overall it’s worth 10% more now – but if I’d have invested all my money in that one coin I’d be up 100% overall. Now I’m certainly not advocating putting all your eggs in one basket. Rather, in reference to my previous learning, this helped me realised another very important point.
LEARNING 4: Understanding opportunity cost is a must
Any trade I make is not only a decision between the two coins I’m trading; it’s also a decision to buy that coin instead of any of the other coins I might be interested in. I have 0.1 BTC to spend and 10 alts I want to spend it on – should I just divide it equally? Not necessarily. If you’re super confident about a couple of them, but not so much on the others, spreading it equally doesn’t sound like such a good plan after all does it? Take your time analysing each trade / investment and rank them in order of confidence. In order of potential (risk:reward if you’re a trader). Invest more in the ones you’re more confident in. It’s a really basic point, but one that’s so often forgotten when there are so many exciting prospects out there. Holding a particular coin doesn’t just cost the price that you paid for it, it costs the opportunity to buy something else instead. One of the first things I learnt in trading was to cut your losers short and let your winners run. Why should crypto be any different? Even when you’re in a trade, every moment is an active decision to keep holding it instead of trading it for something else. Don’t blindly HODL hoping for a bad decision to improve, when there are better decisions you can take to re-coup that loss. Equally, don’t sell for a loss just because the value goes down. Re-analyse. Has anything changed? If every reason you had to buy it in the first place still applies, HODL. If something’s changed, including your confidence in it compared to other cryptos, consider switching it for a better opportunity.
So I learnt all of this in my first month – December 2017. Did I make optimal decisions all the time? Absolutely not, but with cryptos riding to all-time highs, my investors were very happy, as was I. It’s not often that you can get a 100% return on investment in just one month in a market. But it’s easy to profit in a bull market.
CHAPTER 3: It’s not all sunshine and lambos
It was around the end of December in which things started to get a bit too parabolic, and I was naturally suspicious of how long this could last. But you find yourself, inexperienced in a new market, eager to see how far you can ride the wave. The fear of missing out on further exponential gains becomes as much of a psychological challenge as taking a loss. In short, you get greedy. Highs that I had once been ecstatic with, a few days later became lows. I told my investors not to expect anything like this in future months. In my monthly summary I said “we are in perhaps the most bullish market the world has ever seen”, and I estimated that we had “a maximum of 1-2 more weeks to ride this momentum”. Prophetic, no? Well it’s easy to make predictions that come true – even a broken clock is right twice a day. What’s difficult is having enough conviction to take your own advice.
LEARNING 5: Make your rules and stick to them, no matter what
This is without a doubt the biggest thing I’ve learnt over the months. If one day you set yourself a target of £X profit – a level you’d be really happy to achieve, be that on a trade or overall – take it. Cash out as soon as you reach it and buy yourself something nice. Make it tangible. It’s easy for the world of online trading to feel gamified, but remember what you’re staking – this is real money. But it’s easier said than done. If you rise suddenly to that target I can tell you your first thought will be “whoa look at it go, I’m gonna see how much further it can get before I cash in”, rather than “mission accomplished, time to get out”. Humans are greedy. We want to take shortcuts – to our dreams, to wealth – but this isn’t a get rich quick scheme. If someone told you they could get you 10%/month gain on your savings (that triples your money every year) you’d probably bite their hand off. So why in crypto would you not be chuffed with 50%, or 20%, or 10%? Don’t move the goalposts. Decide in advance when to take profit and take it.
First off, it’s always a good idea to take out your initial investment at a level after which you’d be psychologically happy if the market goes down or up. For example, if I took out my initial investment (say £1000) when it went up 50% to £1500, and then the market went lunar and doubled the next month, I’d personally feel a bit annoyed at myself for not leaving more money in. That £1000 would’ve been £3000 had I kept it invested…shit. However if I took out my initial investment when it went up 200% - I’d now have £2000 left of my £3000 investment, and if it doubled the next month, I’d be happy with the stake I had remaining, not regretting my decision. That level can only be decided by you, based on your attitude towards risk. Obviously the higher that value is before you cash out your profits, the greater the risk you’re taking since it may never reach that level. Taking out your investment as soon as you’re happy to is a good move because from then on in you’re riding on pure profits. If the market were to crash to zero, you’d still be break even, so it’s much easier to detach yourself from the emotions involved (and we all know how emotional this market is). And if you’re a technical trader, rejoice at the fact that this market is hugely technical, and you can very often predict good levels to get out at – often doubled with buying back in cheaper. I highly recommend for everyone to spend some time learning to analyse charts - even at a basic level. It works. And for heaven's sake if you're day trading don't do what I did and "neglect" to apply basic trading principles like setting a stop loss and sizing each position at maximum ~1% risk. You can call it investing; you can call it speculative buying; but at the end of the day that's just gambling. Don't be lazy. Don't be wreckless. Apply what you've learnt in other markets - crypto is no different.
And for context, no I did not take my own advice. The correction shocked me. Not the fact that it happened, but the fact that it happened so hard and fast. At first I thought it was a healthy dip, and that the uptrend would resume soon enough – no reason to sell. But then the bears took over, and we were in a full on downwards movement. News emerged from South East Asia which caused a great deal of negative sentiment, and Bitcoin’s value tumbled (even when some of the speculation was later deemed invalid), and with that I realised how inherently linked to Bitcoin that all other cryptocurrencies are. You may dislike Bitcoin - the slow transactions; the high fees – but you can’t argue how critically important it is to this market.
LEARNING 6: 40+% market corrections are normal in crypto, but they still hurt
I neglected to mention earlier, but I have a background in trading forex. I understand market patterns, cyclicity and technical analysis such as Elliott Wave Theory and Fibonacci ratios. It is foolish to think that charts will continue indefinitely in a given direction – there will always be corrections and reversals. All through the correction we’ve started this year with, I have remained very optimistic. Nothing at all has changed to make any of the leading crypto projects less credible or via as future industry disruptors. This is why it’s important to do your own research on coins you invest in – so that you’re psychologically happy holding them long term through price corrections. But I’ll be honest, when Bitcoin broke down through several technical support levels a few days ago, I became apprehensive. Not even close to panic, or tempted to sell. After all I am investing long term, and I still see this as a requisite correction in a much larger up-trend. Or at least the upside potential of that outcome is comfortably worth the risk for me – it’s the opportunity of a lifetime. But even as an experienced trader, doubts can set in. All of the profits I had gained in month 1 were gone, and I have now slightly dipped into loss. As I say, I’m not selling, and my analysis is still very bullish. But HODLing is not always the best strategy.
LEARNING 7: When things are looking bearish, consider the trade to fiat
With the benefit of hindsight, and now having dedicated substantially more time to learning Elliot Wave Theory and studying crypto charts, there were a number of points at which you could have predicted a big ol’ correction was on the cards, before it fully developed. A quick ‘n dirty rule of thumb, for those of you who don’t know how to read charts, is: “Don’t buy into a parabolic market or at an all-time high – it’ll likely correct soon”. But I’d also like to add an addendum to what is a common mantra in the crypto community: “Buy the dip” – this is for day trading. If you’re intending to hold a coin long term, zoom right out and look at the entire coin’s price history. Wait for a macro scale correction, not a micro scale dip. A lot of people got excited the other day at Bitcoin rising 10% - I saw tonnes of calls saying “the correction is over” or “Bitcoin to the moon” – but when you zoom out, we’re still in a downtrend with room to go lower, and substantial resistance to get through before we can rise to new highs. Play the long game and look for long-term signals. And if you are in that subset of people who can predict an imminent correction, or indeed if you’re halfway through a correction with a good chance of it continuing, the best decision may well be to get out of the market until it’s over. Trade your positions back to fiat, and wait for clear recovery to the upside. It’s much more difficult to trade profitably in a down-trend. Most of us could have doubled our BTC holdings just by getting out of crypto before the correction and buying back in cheaper now. So make sure you have an exit plan. Know the steps that you’d need to take to get your money off exchanges / wallets and back into your bank account. Getting out of crypto doesn’t have to be a permanent move. There’s no harm in waiting things out until you’re confident again. After all, refer back to Learning 1 – there are always more opportunities.
CHAPTER 4: Moving forwards
At last, filled with learnings and plenty of inactive time spent refining my strategy, I’ve gone back to my technical analysis roots and really analysed why I’m in my positions.
LEARNING 8: Never stop analysing. You will make mistakes. Learn from them.
Does my portfolio need to be this diverse? Are my invested amounts proportional to my confidence in them? Probably not, so I’ve taken this opportunity to start shifting around. Don’t be precious about losses – losing is a natural part of trading – you only need one 10:1 winning trade to offset ten losing ones. So take some losses and make some mistakes. I’m sure glad I did, because it’s made me a much more confident and competent investor today.
And since everyone always looks around for opinions on the market, I will leave you with one bit of bullish technical insight on our King, Bitcoin. Basic Elliot Wave Theory says that markets move in ebbs and flows – 5 waves in the direction of the trend, followed by 3 waves of correction. And these waves are fractal in nature, meaning that a full 5-wave pattern forms a single larger wave within a higher degree pattern. All that being said, IF Bitcoin’s run up to its ATH in December constitutes a completed 5-wave pattern, we could consider that history as Wave 1 of a larger up-trend. Using Fibonacci extension ratios that appear in all markets (including crypto, very prominently, even with BTC), we can project the likely extensions of the Wave 3 that would come after we’re done correcting here. Based on analysis run by eSignal, a popular trading platform, the length of Wave 3 will likely reach either 1.62, 2.62 or 4.25 times the length of Wave 1. That means our Wave 3 high would take the price of a single Bitcoin to roughly $32,000, $64,000 or $98,000.
Technical analysis is very subjective, this is merely one possible outcome. But ask yourself, if you had the chance to invest in something with global reach that could make a 5x or even 10x return on your investment, what would you risk for that opportunity?
Thanks for taking the time to read, and I hope this helps some of you.
Hey everyone. A while back I made the decision to moderate this subreddit because I was once in your shoes. I honestly did not know where to begin. I would type in “daytrading” in google and come up with so many companies trying to sell me the dream. “Make $$$ while you sleep!” “Look at how much I made today!!” etc. I wanted to make this post to first give new people a place where to start and to even offer some resources that can get you started in the right direction. If I have anything else to add I will add it here.
Open up a papertrading account with Think or Swim. It is free and you can get live data just by requesting it from support. All you have to do is ask them to add live data to your papertrading account. Do not pay monthly for any papertrading account. There are a lot of free videos out there that can help you get started with Think or Swim. The program looks complicated at first but it is very powerful. I spent a few days with the program and at the end of the week I was fairly comfortable with understanding where everything was. I have never had a 60-day limit with my papertrading account by the way. https://www.thinkorswim.com/t/pm-registration.html Start here and start taking trades! It is all fake money and will give you some insight into how the program works as well as how the markets move.
One other tip for setting up your papertrading account is to only set it up with a reasonable amount of money. I know a lot of papertrading accounts give you 100k right off the bat but realistically, how many of us are going to have that much money to start out with? Set it to something more reasonable like 10-20k if you are trading forex (or even less if all you have is 1-5k to trade with) or 25k+ if you are going to daytrade stocks only because the regulations require you to have at least 25k in your account at all times to daytrade (In this case, I would probably give yourself 30k just to be safe). If you are looking for a stock screener, ThinkorSwim has a pretty good one. A personal favorite of mine is www.FINVIZ.com which has an awesome screener for finding different chart patterns and conditions (such as prices crossing above 20 bar EMA, trending up, etc) Think or Swim has stocks, forex, futures, and options. Options are an entirely different beast all together but stocks, forex, and futures are all "yes-no" type of trading while options give you a little more leeway with your mistakes. If you are interested in learning about options, message me and I can help guide you with the right direction and best resources I used to learn options. EDIT: Due to the amount of PM's I was getting, I have decided to post the options course I started with here https://www.udemy.com/learn-options-trading-courses/ You shouldn't pay more than 10 bucks for it as Udemy does a ton of sales throughout the year. You can also just do a "Udemy coupon" search on google and see what you pull up. Its about 10 hours worth of content and in my opinion it is worth every penny if you are wanting to learn more about options. There are a ton of other great classes on Udemy as well for learning just about anything. Just make sure to read the reviews! Stocks is kind of the well known market for new comers but I would argue that Forex can also just as easily be traded by a newcomer. Also the benefit of trading Forex is that there is no commission off the bat. Most brokers will charge what is called a spread of some number of pips that you are essentially paying back. Futures trade in ticks and each tick nets you a gain of some amount or a loss of some amount so I do not suggest any new person to jump into futures until you understand the way markets work. Futures charge commission on each contract you buy or sell. It can be sort of related to Forex since a tick and a pip are essentially the same. The huge benefit to trading Futures and Forex is that there is NO pattern day trading rule. This means you can buy and sell as many times as you want without being flagged for not having 25k in your account.
Tradimo is a great resource for getting your feet wet with technical analysis. It is free and shows you the ropes with how you can start looking at prices and charts: https://learn.tradimo.com/courses
If there is ever a company you want to pay to help you learn, please do your research first. Type in the company’s name along with “review” at the end of your search and make your educated decision off of that. A lot of these companies have amazing advertising but will never teach you the right way to trade. A lot of them are scams too. I read that there was one trading system which the guy had the secrets of the “code of trading” and only he knew the code but would sell it to you for hundreds of dollars. So many people come into trading with high expectations that if I just pay this company to teach me, I can be like them when in reality that may never happen. Always look at their testimonials with a grain of salt. Read the reviews just like you would on amazon for buying a product. I also like to type in the company's name and add "scam" at the end to see if I get any hits on that. Read the good reviews but also the bad to understand the bigger picture here. Very few will actually teach you how to trade. Also, Reddit is a great place to read up on things like this too. Just add "Reddit" at the end of your search and read up on other users reviews.
Investimonials is also a good place to use as well (but do not use it as your only review source!!! Fake reviews are everywhere) http://www.investimonials.com So before you drop that 1-2k on a course, make sure you do your homework. Don't be fooled by smooth advertising.
A high probability indicator or a holy grail strategy is not out there. If it was, everyone would be using it and making money. And if there does happen to be one, do you really think anyone will want to share it? The only way to get good at trading is to be able to read the charts and read where prices are going. This is through support and resistance and understanding channels. I cannot recommend Mack’s price action YouTube channel enough. https://www.youtube.com/usePATsTrading I am a firm believer that price action is the basis for understanding price movement. Reading an indicator may help but you should not rely on solely indicators to guide you with trading as they may give you a signal to buy when you are at a major resistance level or sell when you are at a major support, both of which could burn you.
My only other advice is to look into markets that let you maximize profits. For some, it is not possible to buy 1000 shares of Apple. While trading low priced stocks lets you buy hundreds and maybe even thousands of shares at once, those stocks are too unpredictable because they can be influenced by individuals who do what is called a "pump and dump" schemes. Plus they can be difficult to read as far as what they are going to be doing next (going up or going down). My recommendation (and it is only my recommendation so only use this as guidance to make your own decision) would be to look into trading forex if you do not have a lot to start out with as some brokers (like FXCM) allow you to buy "micro" lots which let you invest as little as 100 dollars in some cases and have a much better chance of working in your favor due to the amount of people trading the same instrument. Note: There are some discussions about forex market makers adjusting the markets so you get stopped out prematurely. While I have not experienced this, it could theoretically happen? So if you do decide to trade Forex make sure you pick your broker carefully and again read the reviews!
EDIT: I have read that what I mentioned above about Forex is outdated and the brokers are under stricter regulations. Do your own investigation and do not let what I said steer you away from trading forex if you really want to. The big Forex brokers you are able to open an account with in the US are FXCM, Oanda, and Forex.com. You have a lot more options if you are in another country. EDIT 2: Well it looks like FXCM may get banned from having clients in the US. Apparently they took some trades against their clients to profit on their end and have been using clients accounts to fund their extra expenses. Tread on your own risk.
Above all, do not invest money that you are not willing to lose. I cannot emphasize this enough. Work on a simulator until you feel that your strategy works. This means putting in the time to sit down and analyze every trade you took which worked as well as the ones that didn't work. You need to go back over your mistakes and review why your trade did not work the way you thought it would. Was it because you bought at a high and sold at a low? Was it because you bought at a major resistance level thinking the stock would still go up? Was it because you were impulsive and entered in too early? Was it because you were too slow and entered in too late? This is the most important part about learning how to trade. Putting in the time and work to analyze what you did right and what you did wrong. You will never get better if you do not do this.
Consider subscribing to a free daily financial newsletter such as The Morning Brew. It’s a free subscription that is delivered Monday through Friday to your email before the markets open around 5-6 am central time. It summarizes the big financial topics of the morning in short easy to read sections that you can read over a cup of brew.
I wouldn’t say this is essential for daytrading but it’s nice to read if you are wanting to stay up to date on the financial markets as they will write about companies and stocks to look out for. It’s also not spammy or filled with ads though there are one or two that are listed as “sponsored”. They don’t typically put out a weekend read but instead send it M-F. https://www.morningbrew.com/?kid=08944ba0 I want to make this subreddit not only as a resource for newcomers but also for those who wish to improve their skills with learning how to day trade. I do not want this subreddit to become spam and companies trying to sell dreams. We all need to keep a realistic vision on what learning the market entails because this is a journey. No one becomes a doctor in a day or even a week and you should expect the same becoming a trader. Making consistent money in the markets can be very challenging and most wont ever make it, but it can be very satisfying once things start to click and you can live a very different life if this ever happens.
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Forex How to Make 6 Figures in 10 Months Forex Trading ...