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Former investment bank FX trader: Risk management part 3/3
Welcome to the third and final part of this chapter. Thank you all for the 100s of comments and upvotes - maybe this post will take us above 1,000 for this topic! Keep any feedback or questions coming in the replies below. Before you read this note, please start with Part I and then Part II so it hangs together and makes sense. Part III
Squeezes and other risks
Crap trades, timeouts and monthly limits
Squeezes and other risks
We are going to cover three common risks that traders face: events; squeezes, asymmetric bets.
Economic releases can cause large short-term volatility. The most famous is Non Farm Payrolls, which is the most widely watched measure of US employment levels and affects the price of many instruments.On an NFP announcement currencies like EURUSD might jump (or drop) 100 pips no problem. This is fine and there are trading strategies that one may employ around this but the key thing is to be aware of these releases.You can find economic calendars all over the internet - including on this site - and you need only check if there are any major releases each day or week. For example, if you are trading off some intraday chart and scalping a few pips here and there it would be highly sensible to go into a known data release flat as it is pure coin-toss and not the reason for your trading. It only takes five minutes each day to plan for the day ahead so do not get caught out by this. Many retail traders get stopped out on such events when price volatility is at its peak.
Short squeezes bring a lot of danger and perhaps some opportunity. The story of VW and Porsche is the best short squeeze ever. Throughout these articles we've used FX examples wherever possible but in this one instance the concept (which is also highly relevant in FX) is best illustrated with an historical lesson from a different asset class. A short squeeze is when a participant ends up in a short position they are forced to cover. Especially when the rest of the market knows that this participant can be bullied into stopping out at terrible levels, provided the market can briefly drive the price into their pain zone. There's a reason for the car, don't worry Hedge funds had been shorting VW stock. However the amount of VW stock available to buy in the open market was actually quite limited. The local government owned a chunk and Porsche itself had bought and locked away around 30%. Neither of these would sell to the hedge-funds so a good amount of the stock was un-buyable at any price. If you sell or short a stock you must be prepared to buy it back to go flat at some point. To cut a long story short, Porsche bought a lot of call options on VW stock. These options gave them the right to purchase VW stock from banks at slightly above market price. Eventually the banks who had sold these options realised there was no VW stock to go out and buy since the German government wouldn’t sell its allocation and Porsche wouldn’t either. If Porsche called in the options the banks were in trouble. Porsche called in the options which forced the shorts to buy stock - at whatever price they could get it. The price squeezed higher as those that were short got massively squeezed and stopped out. For one brief moment in 2008, VW was the world’s most valuable company. Shorts were burned hard. Incredible event Porsche apparently made $11.5 billion on the trade. The BBC described Porsche as “a hedge fund with a carmaker attached.” If this all seems exotic then know that the same thing happens in FX all the time. If everyone in the market is talking about a key level in EURUSD being 1.2050 then you can bet the market will try to push through 1.2050 just to take out any short stops at that level. Whether it then rallies higher or fails and trades back lower is a different matter entirely. This brings us on to the matter of crowded trades. We will look at positioning in more detail in the next section. Crowded trades are dangerous for PNL. If everyone believes EURUSD is going down and has already sold EURUSD then you run the risk of a short squeeze. For additional selling to take place you need a very good reason for people to add to their position whereas a move in the other direction could force mass buying to cover their shorts. A trading mentor when I worked at the investment bank once advised me: Always think about which move would cause the maximum people the maximum pain. That move is precisely what you should be watching out for at all times.
Also known as picking up pennies in front of a steamroller. This risk has caught out many a retail trader. Sometimes it is referred to as a "negative skew" strategy. Ideally what you are looking for is asymmetric risk trade set-ups: that is where the downside is clearly defined and smaller than the upside. What you want to avoid is the opposite. A famous example of this going wrong was the Swiss National Bank de-peg in 2012. The Swiss National Bank had said they would defend the price of EURCHF so that it did not go below 1.2. Many people believed it could never go below 1.2 due to this. Many retail traders therefore opted for a strategy that some describe as ‘picking up pennies in front of a steam-roller’. They would would buy EURCHF above the peg level and hope for a tiny rally of several pips before selling them back and keep doing this repeatedly. Often they were highly leveraged at 100:1 so that they could amplify the profit of the tiny 5-10 pip rally. Then this happened. Something that changed FX markets forever The SNB suddenly did the unthinkable. They stopped defending the price. CHF jumped and so EURCHF (the number of CHF per 1 EUR) dropped to new lows very fast. Clearly, this trade had horrific risk : reward asymmetry: you risked 30% to make 0.05%. Other strategies like naively selling options have the same result. You win a small amount of money each day and then spectacularly blow up at some point down the line.
We have talked about short squeezes. But how do you know what the market position is? And should you care? Let’s start with the first. You should definitely care. Let’s imagine the entire market is exceptionally long EURUSD and positioning reaches extreme levels. This makes EURUSD very vulnerable. To keep the price going higher EURUSD needs to attract fresh buy orders. If everyone is already long and has no room to add, what can incentivise people to keep buying? The news flow might be good. They may believe EURUSD goes higher. But they have already bought and have their maximum position on. On the flip side, if there’s an unexpected event and EURUSD gaps lower you will have the entire market trying to exit the position at the same time. Like a herd of cows running through a single doorway. Messy. We are going to look at this in more detail in a later chapter, where we discuss ‘carry’ trades. For now this TRYJPY chart might provide some idea of what a rush to the exits of a crowded position looks like. A carry trade position clear-out in action Knowing if the market is currently at extreme levels of long or short can therefore be helpful. The CFTC makes available a weekly report, which details the overall positions of speculative traders “Non Commercial Traders” in some of the major futures products. This includes futures tied to deliverable FX pairs such as EURUSD as well as products such as gold. The report is called “CFTC Commitments of Traders” ("COT"). This is a great benchmark. It is far more representative of the overall market than the proprietary ones offered by retail brokers as it covers a far larger cross-section of the institutional market. Generally market participants will not pay a lot of attention to commercial hedgers, which are also detailed in the report. This data is worth tracking but these folks are simply hedging real-world transactions rather than speculating so their activity is far less revealing and far more noisy. You can find the data online for free and download it directly here. Raw format is kinda hard to work with However, many websites will chart this for you free of charge and you may find it more convenient to look at it that way. Just google “CFTC positioning charts”. But you can easily get visualisations You can visually spot extreme positioning. It is extremely powerful. Bear in mind the reports come out Friday afternoon US time and the report is a snapshot up to the prior Tuesday. That means it is a lagged report - by the time it is released it is a few days out of date. For longer term trades where you hold positions for weeks this is of course still pretty helpful information. As well as the absolute level (is the speculative market net long or short) you can also use this to pick up on changes in positioning. For example if bad news comes out how much does the net short increase? If good news comes out, the market may remain net short but how much did they buy back? A lot of traders ask themselves “Does the market have this trade on?” The positioning data is a good method for answering this. It provides a good finger on the pulse of the wider market sentiment and activity. For example you might say: “There was lots of noise about the good employment numbers in the US. However, there wasn’t actually a lot of position change on the back of it. Maybe everyone who wants to buy already has. What would happen now if bad news came out?” In general traders will be wary of entering a crowded position because it will be hard to attract additional buyers or sellers and there could be an aggressive exit. If you want to enter a trade that is showing extreme levels of positioning you must think carefully about this dynamic.
Retail traders often drastically underestimate how correlated their bets are. Through bitter experience, I have learned that a mistake in position correlation is the root of some of the most serious problems in trading. If you have eight highly correlated positions, then you are really trading one position that is eight times as large. Bruce Kovner of hedge fund, Caxton Associates For example, if you are trading a bunch of pairs against the USD you will end up with a simply huge USD exposure. A single USD-trigger can ruin all your bets. Your ideal scenario — and it isn’t always possible — would be to have a highly diversified portfolio of bets that do not move in tandem. Look at this chart. Inverted USD index (DXY) is green. AUDUSD is orange. EURUSD is blue. Chart from TradingView So the whole thing is just one big USD trade! If you are long AUDUSD, long EURUSD, and short DXY you have three anti USD bets that are all likely to work or fail together. The more diversified your portfolio of bets are, the more risk you can take on each. There’s a really good video, explaining the benefits of diversification from Ray Dalio. A systematic fund with access to an investable universe of 10,000 instruments has more opportunity to make a better risk-adjusted return than a trader who only focuses on three symbols. Diversification really is the closest thing to a free lunch in finance. But let’s be pragmatic and realistic. Human retail traders don’t have capacity to run even one hundred bets at a time. More realistic would be an average of 2-3 trades on simultaneously. So what can be done? For example:
You might diversify across time horizons by having a mix of short-term and long-term trades.
You might diversify across asset classes - trading some FX but also crypto and equities.
You might diversify your trade generation approach so you are not relying on the same indicators or drivers on each trade.
You might diversify your exposure to the market regime by having some trades that assume a trend will continue (momentum) and some that assume we will be range-bound (carry).
And so on. Basically you want to scan your portfolio of trades and make sure you are not putting all your eggs in one basket. If some trades underperform others will perform - assuming the bets are not correlated - and that way you can ensure your overall portfolio takes less risk per unit of return. The key thing is to start thinking about a portfolio of bets and what each new trade offers to your existing portfolio of risk. Will it diversify or amplify a current exposure?
Crap trades, timeouts and monthly limits
One common mistake is to get bored and restless and put on crap trades. This just means trades in which you have low conviction. It is perfectly fine not to trade. If you feel like you do not understand the market at a particular point, simply choose not to trade. Flat is a position. Do not waste your bullets on rubbish trades. Only enter a trade when you have carefully considered it from all angles and feel good about the risk. This will make it far easier to hold onto the trade if it moves against you at any point. You actually believe in it. Equally, you need to set monthly limits. A standard limit might be a 10% account balance stop per month. At that point you close all your positions immediately and stop trading till next month. Be strict with yourself and walk away Let’s assume you started the year with $100k and made 5% in January so enter Feb with $105k balance. Your stop is therefore 10% of $105k or $10.5k . If your account balance dips to $94.5k ($105k-$10.5k) then you stop yourself out and don’t resume trading till March the first. Having monthly calendar breaks is nice for another reason. Say you made a load of money in January. You don’t want to start February feeling you are up 5% or it is too tempting to avoid trading all month and protect the existing win. Each month and each year should feel like a clean slate and an independent period. Everyone has trading slumps. It is perfectly normal. It will definitely happen to you at some stage. The trick is to take a break and refocus. Conserve your capital by not trading a lot whilst you are on a losing streak. This period will be much harder for you emotionally and you’ll end up making suboptimal decisions. An enforced break will help you see the bigger picture. Put in place a process before you start trading and then it’ll be easy to follow and will feel much less emotional. Remember: the market doesn’t care if you win or lose, it is nothing personal. When your head has cooled and you feel calm you return the next month and begin the task of building back your account balance.
That's a wrap on risk management
Thanks for taking time to read this three-part chapter on risk management. I hope you enjoyed it. Do comment in the replies if you have any questions or feedback. Remember: the most important part of trading is not making money. It is not losing money. Always start with that principle. I hope these three notes have provided some food for thought on how you might approach risk management and are of practical use to you when trading. Avoiding mistakes is not a sexy tagline but it is an effective and reliable way to improve results. Next up I will be writing about an exciting topic I think many traders should look at rather differently: news trading. Please follow on here to receive notifications and the broad outline is below. News Trading Part I
Why use the economic calendar
Reading the economic calendar
Knowing what's priced in
First order thinking vs second order thinking
News Trading Part II
Preparing for quantitative and qualitative releases
Data surprise index
Using recent events to predict future reactions
Buy the rumour, sell the fact
The mysterious 'position trim' effect
Some key FX releases
*** Disclaimer:This content is not investment advice and you should not place any reliance on it. The views expressed are the author's own and should not be attributed to any other person, including their employer.
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[educational] Stretgies for day trading based on Technical Analysis
Breakout strategies center around when the price clears a specified level on your chart, with increased volume. The breakout trader enters into a long position after the asset or security breaks above resistance. Alternatively, you enter a short position once the stock breaks below support. After an asset or security trades beyond the specified price barrier, volatility usually increases and prices will often trend in the direction of the breakout. You need to find the right instrument to trade. When doing this bear in mind the asset’s support and resistance levels. The more frequently the price has hit these points, the more validated and important they become.
This part is nice and straightforward. Prices set to close and above resistance levels require a bearish position. Prices set to close and below a support level need a bullish position.
One of the most popular strategies is scalping. It’s particularly popular in the forex market, and it looks to capitalise on minute price changes. The driving force is quantity. You will look to sell as soon as the trade becomes profitable. This is a fast-paced and exciting way to trade, but it can be risky. You need a high trading probability to even out the low risk vs reward ratio. Be on the lookout for volatile instruments, attractive liquidity and be hot on timing. You can’t wait for the market, you need to close losing trades as soon as possible. https://preview.redd.it/dzaf7t1nvdh31.png?width=653&format=png&auto=webp&s=f3d96d74311de806c3809698df2a964e3eb4db5e
Popular amongst trading strategies for beginners, this strategy revolves around acting on news sources and identifying substantial trending moves with the support of high volume. There is always at least one stock that moves around 20-30% each day, so there’s ample opportunity. You simply hold onto your position until you see signs of reversal and then get out. Alternatively, you can fade the price drop. This way round your price target is as soon as volume starts to diminish. This strategy is simple and effective if used correctly. However, you must ensure you’re aware of upcoming news and earnings announcements. Just a few seconds on each trade will make all the difference to your end of day profits. https://preview.redd.it/z4r2o6covdh31.png?width=600&format=png&auto=webp&s=b054c77c4bc5978821e879eff73d613d728cb0cf
Although hotly debated and potentially dangerous when used by beginners, reverse trading is used all over the world. It’s also known as trend trading, pull back trending and a mean reversion strategy. This strategy defies basic logic as you aim to trade against the trend. You need to be able to accurately identify possible pullbacks, plus predict their strength. To do this effectively you need in-depth market knowledge and experience. The ‘daily pivot’ strategy is considered a unique case of reverse trading, as it centers on buying and selling the daily low and high pullbacks/reverse. https://preview.redd.it/4ya3txcpvdh31.png?width=776&format=png&auto=webp&s=f40216413b1376b2d6d5a67e4d09057f55be6ba1
5. Using Pivot Points
A day trading pivot point strategy can be fantastic for identifying and acting on critical support and/or resistance levels. It is particularly useful in the forex market. In addition, it can be used by range-bound traders to identify points of entry, while trend and breakout traders can use pivot points to locate key levels that need to break for a move to count as a breakout.
Calculating Pivot Points
A pivot point is defined as a point of rotation. You use the prices of the previous day’s high and low, plus the closing price of a security to calculate the pivot point. Note that if you calculate a pivot point using price information from a relatively short time frame, accuracy is often reduced. So, how do you calculate a pivot point?
Central Pivot Point (P) = (High + Low + Close) / 3
You can then calculate support and resistance levels using the pivot point. To do that you will need to use the following formulas:
First Resistance (R1) = (2*P) – Low
First Support (S1) = (2*P) – High
The second level of support and resistance is then calculated as follows:
Second Resistance (R2) = P + (R1-S1)
Second Support (S2) = P – (R1- S1)
When applied to the FX market, for example, you will find the trading range for the session often takes place between the pivot point and the first support and resistance levels. This is because a high number of traders play this range. It’s also worth noting, this is one of the systems & methods that can be applied to indexes too. For example, it can help form an effective S&P day trading strategy
6. Moving Average Crossover
You will need three moving average lines:
One set at 20 periods – This is your fast moving average
One set at 60 periods – This is your slow moving average
One set at 100 periods – This is your trend indicator
This is one of the moving averages strategies that generates a buy signal when the fast moving average crosses up and over the slow moving average. A sell signal is generated simply when the fast moving average crosses below the slow moving average. So, You’ll open a position when the moving average line crosses in one direction and you’ll close the position when it crosses back the opposite way. How can you establish there’s definitely a trend? You know the trend is on if the price bar stays above or below the 100-period line. the source : https://www.daytrading.com/strategies
First off, let me state that I am not even close to a professional when it comes to trading. I got in a few months ago for passive income from copying 3.14fx and have come a long way since then, quadrupling my initial investment and losing half of it. I've watched traders such as cfdtrader, Lumyo, Robot, and crypto_chris lose several hundred percent after a fail from opening multiple positions. I got into 1broker to make money without monitoring it, but instead I learned a lot about trading and risk management, even profiting off several of my own trades. It's a valuable experience in itself even if you're not profiting and I wouldn't give it up for anything. If these losses are enough to make you quit, so be it. Investing comes with risks that some people can't handle. It's not free money. https://www.dailyfx.com/calendar is the economic calendar that I use while trading. High importance events can easily trigger a 80% loss or gain depending on the direction you choose. It's highly risky to trade when someone of great importance such as Draghi or Yellen are speaking. Even if you follow a general MAX 5% rule, you will still lose up to 16% of your account if somebody opens 4 of the same positions and they stop at 80%. Making back money is also tougher than losing it, as once you lose 16% of your account, 5% of your account is a lot less than before. Therefore, you have less capital per trade. Also, be careful when changing your copy amount. I often see copiers saying things like "Great work, I'm upping my copy amount" and "Increased copy amount from x to x". In my opinion, increasing a copy amount should only be done when your initial amount is already low. Losses on a higher copy amount may wipe out the gains on a smaller copy amount. (-50% loss with 0.1 btc = +100% gains with 0.05 btc) Always stick to a 5% max rule unless you're feeling risky. Then, there comes the gambling/greed phase that many new copiers often do. (Guilty of this myself). After extreme success, a copier may feel the need to upgrade their copy reward to maximize profit. Or after extreme failure, a copier may feel they need to upgrade their copy reward to make up for losses. All of these are mistakes. 1broker is not filled with market professionals. Most of us here are either self taught or complete novices. Professionals would not be sharing their trades for about $70-80 for each trade (at best). They won't be asking for copiers on other traders' profiles. They won't be using a Pikachu as their profile picture. They won't be using a broker that isn't heavily regulated and insured. They would be using their own capital to make millions off of trades. Remember, any newbie can easily accumulate winning trades by gambling with high leverage. As long as they have around $1300 as of now, they can easily create a profile that suggests that they are a professional, when in reality they are entering at random points and exiting when a position turns into profit, rather than using technical analysis and watching economic calendars. And even the best of traders will have their ups and downs. I've stuck with 3.14FX even when he reached -100% this month because he's had a great history on this site. I feel that he can make the money that he loses back. And even though he has doubled up on a position yesterday (not sure why, probably was extremely confident), it was a success. Can you really trust anyone? No way! Unlike regular trading, 1broker is more unregulated. Signing up requires no personal information so any user with malicious intent can build up a steady reputation and perform an exit scam (or have a massive failure) without any reparations. Robot has no link to any social media or anything in his profile. For all we know, he could own another account that has -100%, and he is depending on luck while opening multiple positions to accumulate followers. (I just used Robot as an example, my intent is not to accuse him of multiple accounts) Then there are potential exit scams (from a trader, not 1broker itself) that will drain a decent portion of your account. There's a reason why you have a choice to choose how many trades maximum you can copy per day. This hasn't happened yet, but it will definitely happen in the foreseeable future. Somebody will set up an order for 50 shorts and 50 longs and set the take profit and stop loss the opposite of each other. Then after closing, they'll withdraw their bitcoin never to be heard of again. When you put your trust in a trader, you should trust them to carefully monitor a trade. Unfortunately, there's currently no way to tell if your copied trader is online or not, so you'll never know if they're in a coma and won't be back for another 6 months. My suggestion is to either take profit when you think that the conditions are correct or just trust the trader. Nobody can see the future. If you think that you'll rather close the trade before the weekend, it's your choice. If you think upcoming news will destroy the trade, feel free to close early. However, be prepared for regret if it goes up, or a great feeling that you dodged a bullet if it goes down. It's all a part of trading. 1broker's copy system is seriously flawed at the moment. Of course, there's no easy way to fix it. Why would a great trader want to share one of their trades if they're not getting much out of it? This encourages opening multiple positions to maximize copy rewards, which can result in massive losses. Robot is one of the traders exploiting this. So how can you prevent massive losses? There's really no way. You're putting your trust in random people without an identity, who can easily be a scammer. When it comes to people like Robot, I put 1-2% of my funds because I know that he opens multiple positions. This is why I'm always sticking with 3.14FX, he established himself a long time ago and he knows what he is doing. Somebody who has been on the platform for over 3 years with several losses is preferable to an anonymous newcomer who just registered but appears to be good at trading. Also, the percentage on 1broker is misleading. You may think "Wow, I'm going to get an 500% of my initial investment if I copy Lumyo!" In reality, you should only be using 5% max of your capital per trade. If you copied him from the beginning (I started copying at around 90%), you should have only gained 25% rather than 500%. But still, 25% of your initial investment is huge.
My opinion on several traders
vits2015: If you watched vits2015 from the beginning, you would know that their style of trading is... off. 15 positions on UK100, all short, some of them at -30% when I first saw him as a successful trader. What does that tell me about him? He can open up to 6 positions on the same trade at once, and is willing to hold them as long as possible to get a profit. (Average holding time 8 days) gtfann: Even with recent losses, he still appears to be a decent trader. It seems that he upped his usual leverage due to the crowds of traders flocking to copy him though. Multiple positions with a lower leverage isn't really something that I like either, but I'm sticking with him for now until there's a drastic change. vaiono: He lets his losses play out and even though he has a decent track record,it's still risky to play with. Silver is extremely volatile and due to leverage, a small move in any direction can either be a huge loss or huge gain. Snortex: Pretty much a meme on 1broker. He acknowledges his trading style and warns his copiers. I like him as a person due to his warnings, but still wouldn't recommend copying him unless you can afford to lose a lot. Edit: After examination of his trades, I feel like he's not only gambling like his description suggests. His entries are planned out carefully (Although that has hurt him when there was a flash crash). You'll take several 80% losses but you may take several 400% gains. He seems to have a habit of chasing a trade, which can lead to multiple 80% losses. However, once the trend reverses, his profits go through the roof. When you're copying, copy for the long term! Of course, feel free to uncopy if you feel that the bottom is still far away. noIDea: He has had bad stretches in the past, but still makes his way back. I think he's a good trader and even though he opens multiple positions, he's one of the best at setting stop losses so the risk is not as high as others who open multiple trades. Gold_Gangsta: Name change from Crypto Chris for some reason? Be wary of multiple positions as the USDJPY fiasco shows. Seems to be doing fairly well with gold as of now. 1monk2: Multiple positions fairly often, even says that he's drunk in the description. This is gambling. knightlife999: The description definitely shows promise. There is no proof to those claims on the site, but I feel it's safe to allocate some of your funds toward copying him with his track record. HedgeCryFx Risk 5: Decent trader, pays attention to economic calendar as well. The only problem is that he lets losses play out to 80% boogi: I would be wary about the higher losses, but then again, there's a good track record. sergiomc: Seems to be decent at trading stocks. With an average holding time of 14 days and leverage of 10, you should be expecting to lose about ~3.92% of your gains to financing, which is not actually that much. Cool Hand Luke: Low leverage trading. If you were to copy him, I would recommend only using 1% or 2% of your account max per trade if you plan on copying others as well. He's a great trader for slow steady gains, but if you're looking to get rich fast or go broke trying, this is not the guy for you. eylemc: Quick trades with minimal profit and no losses so far. As of now, it may be too early to judge, but I think that he's somebody that might be worth copying. Edit: Seems to let losses play out to 80%. Be wary. 3.14fx: Back in the game, doing well with stocks and USDJPY recently. High leverage, but usually stops losses within a reasonable range. SunnyNet: Small gains, huge losses. Be wary as your first copied trade could easily be a -80%. SatoshiReport: Trading using a neural network, after looking deep into the trade history, I'm not so sure about it. Correct me if I am wrong, but the bot doesn't take into account important news and events. Edit: This bot has too many flaws to continue copying in my opinion. Even with the previous gains, it opens the same position as soon as one closes, negating the 33% stop loss AND forcing a loss due to the spread. The only thing that keeps it out of the negative is the rare 80% gains that you might find once in a while. CryptoMessiah: The image being shown on his twitter has weird numbers on it (USDJPY at 100-103 in the matter of minutes), I think it's a simulator so it isn't actually "proved". Also, asking people to copy for "free money" is misleading as anything can go wrong in the forex market, there is no guaranteed money. I copied with a minimum 0.001 btc and will update this post if the bot proves to be successful. Edit: Tons of losses trying to get the right direction and then huge wins. I would say it's ok, but you're better off with a human capitalizing on gains. The only advantage to this bot is 24/7 hour trading. kosanet: His description says it all. Be careful while copying, but don't be discouraged to place an amount you can afford to lose. He seems to have a great history of monitoring losses (positions never get below 20%) but it's still a new profile who clearly states that he's not a pro. May open multiple trades and trading with USDJPY a lot. His scalping strategy means that overnight fees won't be an issue. Edit: Now he's starting to be a little more risky with his trades as more copiers arrive. Be careful, he never reached liquidation at 80% yet but he could at any moment. google: A bit late to the party, but what can I say? I honestly can't believe he accumulated 190 copiers but he seems to have faded out quickly. Golgo13 is having a fun time on all of his trades KillerWhale: Extremely high risk with all of those multiple positions. Like google and robot, don't be fooled by performance recently and look through their whole account. People who saw the 220% recently may have missed when he was in -475% a few days ago. SoontobeWW3: Great trader in my opinion. However, I think emotion plays a role in his trading as every huge loss is often followed by more. APPoh: Seems to know what he's doing. However, there is a very short trading history and we're never sure. Positions can reach 50% without closing, so it's very possible that he might let losses play out to 80%. dingo: Not much to say. Good with 1 position at a time, and even with the 80% loss last month, still ended in profit. Be careful as he might sometimes not stop a position and instead wait for it to recover and a 80% loss is huge compared to his gains. Edit August 12: Will stop adding new traders now. Before copying someone, remember:
Check their trading history, ALL OF IT. You're entrusting them with your money, you should be 100% sure.
Wait until they've established themselves. Sure, you can be frustrated about potentially losing 200% profit, but it sure beats 700% losses.
I already expressed my views on Robot and 3.14FX above. Lumyo is currently inactive. Last tip: Don't uncopy people if you feel like they can make it back. If you choose to copy someone, you're in it for the long run. Now this may contradict some of my earlier statements, but if you have somebody that you believe in, don't uncopy them after a loss. Eventually, they will make their way back up and after you see their success again, you'll be tempted to copy again. Of course, if you are copying somebody who you have no faith in, feel free to drop them. Cutting your losses short is important to learn in trading.
James Stanley's "Fingertrap" Scalping Strategy (also good for longer term trading)
I posted this elsewhere a while back, but I thought I'd put it in /forex and not on the blog, because it's my absolute favourite tool in all of Forexland. James Stanley is a (very good) trader and educator at DailyFX (Twitter: @JStanleyFX). He's also very friendly and helpful on Twitter if you have serious questions. Here's the link to the original article but what I'm going to do is explain it in a little more detail, show you how James uses it, and then explain how I use it for finding entries on longer term trades and breakouts. There's also this helpful video you can watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrxOiAhIlaQ Right, so before I explain what it is, here's a checklist for WHEN the Fingertrap strategy is effective:
Is the market trending TODAY? (short term trend, not choppy action)
Is it nowhere near a place it could? stop (important fib, trendline, the basic stuff)
Is it the morning of the NY session? (it works best during this time)
Is it a fairly active pair with a tight spread? (if you're going to be scalping)
If the answer to all those questions is yes, you're ready to go: 1: switch to an hourly or 2hr chart, so you can see what movement on the day is like. You should be able to spot a strong directional bias if there is one, and you may have already done analysis to find important support and resistance. 2: Add two indicators: an 8 period EMA (Exponential Moving Average) and a 34 period EMA. I don't know why those numbers, and different combinations might work better on different pairs (EUJPY tends to throw a lot of false signals with this, as does gold, so it's worth experimenting). We use EMAs and not SMAs because they respond more quickly. Here I'm looking at EUJPY on 2hr chart, on 26 April 2013): http://i.imgur.com/9wqd36U.png 3: Is price clearly above or below BOTH moving averages (eg. it's a downtrend and price is below both, or an uptrend and it's above) AND has the 8 EMA crossed over the 34 EMA (crossed to the downside if you're looking at a downtrend). These two factors are a strong confirmation of a trend, if you need one. 4: Once you have confirmed that a trend is in place, switch to your preferred scalping timeframe. I usually use 5m or 1m charts. You'll now see that the 8EMA (which is the only one we're looking at from now on) hugs the price quite closely. 5: If we're in a downtrend, what we are looking for is for price to ideally break through some kind of support, and then to rebound to the 8EMA. It can push through it, even close a whole candle above it, but should eventually move back down below it. This is your signal to enter short. As you can see from the chart below (same time, 5m chart), it's essential that you determine that there is a trend first and not just some jumping around. http://i.imgur.com/pvjgeKg.png 6: The idea is to use relatively small trade sizes, and scale in and out of the trade rapidly. When price extends quite a bit away from the 8EMA, that's the time to take partial profits, wait for a rebound to the 8EMA, and then enter again. 7: The game ends when the 8EMA crosses the 34EMA again, and price is on the other side of both of them The idea is that, even with strong moves, there are quick pullbacks. This strategy helps to give you an edge in determining where those pullbacks are likely to stop. It's not perfect, but no strategy is. The point is that it gives you a higher probability of entering at a good time (buying relatively low, or selling relatively high), and it also means you can have a lower risk entry (being closer to the last swing high). Now, I don't get to do a lot of scalping because I have a day job, but I do use this for breakouts, and just any regular old entry as a matter of habit (unless I'm doing a fairly long term trade and 10 pips either way doesn't matter that much to me). What I will do is wait for a breakout or a strong move in the direction I want. Then I put my Fingertrap template on, and wait for price to "reload" to the moving average before getting in, placing my stop above a nearby swing high. My stop will always be placed while thinking about how long I plan to hold the trade. If I'm looking for a move in GBP/USD from 1.56 down to 1.50, I'm not going to place my stop above the nearby swing high on the 5m chart - I'm going to place it around 1.5650. So you have to use your discretion obviously. For example, I will be watching EUUSD very closely for a break of 1.3000 or 1.2950, and then employ it from there. For scalping, the nearby swing high is definitely a good place to put it - if the trade goes that badly away from you, you definitely want to be out. Give it a try, and let me know if you find it to be helpful! Let me know if you have any questions.
Hey everyone, first things first - I've already read through the sidebar & have done plenty o' research on my own. I started trading in April, worked with a coach all summer, and have been daytrading with a PDT account since August. I'm looking into expanding or switching to forex, and I'm hoping some of you could provide me with some insight into a few concepts. I've been papertrading w/ ToS this past week to see how applicable my strategy is. Before you tear me apart for using a demo account - this is the first demo account I've used, and I've built up enough emotional scar tissue to where money is now just numbers on a screen to me. I had a mild, big loss + stress fueled breakdown in September and had to take a brief sabbatical to contemplate and consider my life's path (a few days of heavy drinking, a few more of sobering up, and a week of self reflection), but I got all that figured out so yeah... Anyway!
Has anyone done real trading with TD Ameritrade? I already have an account with them so it would be sooo nice if I didn't have to open ANOTHER brokerage account (it would be #5 for me... too many to keep track of). In addition, I'm 20, so I'm not able to trade Forex with IB. Once I turn 21 I'll obviously be moving to them. For now, though, TD sounds alright because I know ToS inside and out, I've had an account with them for years, and the spread doesn't seem too bad as it's usually about 1 pip.
Is there an accurate, reliable, real-time source for volume data? Volume is of course a pretty important part of trading, but as far as I can tell, most brokers only provide volume data for trades placed through their system. I understand that this is a result of the lack of a central forex market, so what can I do to compensate? Is there an aggregation service that pulls volume from multiple sources? Or do I have to rely on volume approximations based on spread, time of day, ticks, etc?
Is there any sort of L2 for Forex? Again, a decentralized exchange problem.
For those who are profitable - what's your average hold time? I try to keep it under a day, and that's always worked for me.
Again, for those who are profitable - what's your thing? Order flow? Price action? TA? Not looking for specific strategies, just a general view of what works.
Has anyone made the switch from stocks to Forex? What was your experience like? How much did you have to learn/relearn to adjust to the FX market?
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