Best 6 Ways To Backtest Forex Trading Strategies Manually
Best 6 Ways To Backtest Forex Trading Strategies Manually
Forex Backtesting: The A-Z Guide to Backtesting Your Strategy
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I'm new to the forex trading and one of the advices that I often come across is to always backtest a strategy first. First thing that came to mind is to just go through the chart and start moving forward, simulating a trade and logging if the strategy wins or loses. I actually did this in a 15M chart for a range of 3 months, and while the results were enlightening (my strategy sucked only 36% win rate for that pair and strategy), I found the process very tedious. So my question is are there automated ways to back test a strategy? Like maybe excel or an application? I was looking into mt5 and expert advisors the other day, and I tried the strategy tester using a free expert advisor. Should I create a script that mimics my strategy and test it using mt5? I have a bit of programming but I don't know where to start.
Hi guys, I have been using reddit for years in my personal life (not trading!) and wanted to give something back in an area where i am an expert. I worked at an investment bank for seven years and joined them as a graduate FX trader so have lots of professional experience, by which i mean I was trained and paid by a big institution to trade on their behalf. This is very different to being a full-time home trader, although that is not to discredit those guys, who can accumulate a good amount of experience/wisdom through self learning. When I get time I'm going to write a mid-length posts on each topic for you guys along the lines of how i was trained. I guess there would be 15-20 topics in total so about 50-60 posts. Feel free to comment or ask questions. The first topic is Risk Management and we'll cover it in three parts Part I
Why it matters
Using stops sensibly
Picking a clear level
Why it matters
The first rule of making money through trading is to ensure you do not lose money. Look at any serious hedge fund’s website and they’ll talk about their first priority being “preservation of investor capital.” You have to keep it before you grow it. Strangely, if you look at retail trading websites, for every one article on risk management there are probably fifty on trade selection. This is completely the wrong way around. The great news is that this stuff is pretty simple and process-driven. Anyone can learn and follow best practices. Seriously, avoiding mistakes is one of the most important things: there's not some holy grail system for finding winning trades, rather a routine and fairly boring set of processes that ensure that you are profitable, despite having plenty of losing trades alongside the winners.
Capital and position sizing
The first thing you have to know is how much capital you are working with. Let’s say you have $100,000 deposited. This is your maximum trading capital. Your trading capital is not the leveraged amount. It is the amount of money you have deposited and can withdraw or lose. Position sizing is what ensures that a losing streak does not take you out of the market. A rule of thumb is that one should risk no more than 2% of one’s account balance on an individual trade and no more than 8% of one’s account balance on a specific theme. We’ll look at why that’s a rule of thumb later. For now let’s just accept those numbers and look at examples. So we have $100,000 in our account. And we wish to buy EURUSD. We should therefore not be risking more than 2% which $2,000. We look at a technical chart and decide to leave a stop below the monthly low, which is 55 pips below market. We’ll come back to this in a bit. So what should our position size be? We go to the calculator page, select Position Size and enter our details. There are many such calculators online - just google "Pip calculator". https://preview.redd.it/y38zb666e5h51.jpg?width=1200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=26e4fe569dc5c1f43ce4c746230c49b138691d14 So the appropriate size is a buy position of 363,636 EURUSD. If it reaches our stop level we know we’ll lose precisely $2,000 or 2% of our capital. You should be using this calculator (or something similar) on every single trade so that you know your risk. Now imagine that we have similar bets on EURJPY and EURGBP, which have also broken above moving averages. Clearly this EUR-momentum is a theme. If it works all three bets are likely to pay off. But if it goes wrong we are likely to lose on all three at once. We are going to look at this concept of correlation in more detail later. The total amount of risk in our portfolio - if all of the trades on this EUR-momentum theme were to hit their stops - should not exceed $8,000 or 8% of total capital. This allows us to go big on themes we like without going bust when the theme does not work. As we’ll see later, many traders only win on 40-60% of trades. So you have to accept losing trades will be common and ensure you size trades so they cannot ruin you. Similarly, like poker players, we should risk more on trades we feel confident about and less on trades that seem less compelling. However, this should always be subject to overall position sizing constraints. For example before you put on each trade you might rate the strength of your conviction in the trade and allocate a position size accordingly: https://preview.redd.it/q2ea6rgae5h51.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=4332cb8d0bbbc3d8db972c1f28e8189105393e5b To keep yourself disciplined you should try to ensure that no more than one in twenty trades are graded exceptional and allocated 5% of account balance risk. It really should be a rare moment when all the stars align for you. Notice that the nice thing about dealing in percentages is that it scales. Say you start out with $100,000 but end the year up 50% at $150,000. Now a 1% bet will risk $1,500 rather than $1,000. That makes sense as your capital has grown. It is extremely common for retail accounts to blow-up by making only 4-5 losing trades because they are leveraged at 50:1 and have taken on far too large a position, relative to their account balance. Consider that GBPUSD tends to move 1% each day. If you have an account balance of $10k then it would be crazy to take a position of $500k (50:1 leveraged). A 1% move on $500k is $5k. Two perfectly regular down days in a row — or a single day’s move of 2% — and you will receive a margin call from the broker, have the account closed out, and have lost all your money. Do not let this happen to you. Use position sizing discipline to protect yourself.
If you’re wondering - why “about 2%” per trade? - that’s a fair question. Why not 0.5% or 10% or any other number? The Kelly Criterion is a formula that was adapted for use in casinos. If you know the odds of winning and the expected pay-off, it tells you how much you should bet in each round. This is harder than it sounds. Let’s say you could bet on a weighted coin flip, where it lands on heads 60% of the time and tails 40% of the time. The payout is $2 per $1 bet. Well, absolutely you should bet. The odds are in your favour. But if you have, say, $100 it is less obvious how much you should bet to avoid ruin. Say you bet $50, the odds that it could land on tails twice in a row are 16%. You could easily be out after the first two flips. Equally, betting $1 is not going to maximise your advantage. The odds are 60/40 in your favour so only betting $1 is likely too conservative. The Kelly Criterion is a formula that produces the long-run optimal bet size, given the odds. Applying the formula to forex trading looks like this: Position size % = Winning trade % - ( (1- Winning trade %) / Risk-reward ratio If you have recorded hundreds of trades in your journal - see next chapter - you can calculate what this outputs for you specifically. If you don't have hundreds of trades then let’s assume some realistic defaults of Winning trade % being 30% and Risk-reward ratio being 3. The 3 implies your TP is 3x the distance of your stop from entry e.g. 300 pips take profit and 100 pips stop loss. So that’s 0.3 - (1 - 0.3) / 3 = 6.6%. Hold on a second. 6.6% of your account probably feels like a LOT to risk per trade.This is the main observation people have on Kelly: whilst it may optimise the long-run results it doesn’t take into account the pain of drawdowns. It is better thought of as the rational maximum limit. You needn’t go right up to the limit! With a 30% winning trade ratio, the odds of you losing on four trades in a row is nearly one in four. That would result in a drawdown of nearly a quarter of your starting account balance. Could you really stomach that and put on the fifth trade, cool as ice? Most of us could not. Accordingly people tend to reduce the bet size. For example, let’s say you know you would feel emotionally affected by losing 25% of your account. Well, the simplest way is to divide the Kelly output by four. You have effectively hidden 75% of your account balance from Kelly and it is now optimised to avoid a total wipeout of just the 25% it can see. This gives 6.6% / 4 = 1.65%. Of course different trading approaches and different risk appetites will provide different optimal bet sizes but as a rule of thumb something between 1-2% is appropriate for the style and risk appetite of most retail traders. Incidentally be very wary of systems or traders who claim high winning trade % like 80%. Invariably these don’t pass a basic sense-check:
How many live trades have you done? Often they’ll have done only a handful of real trades and the rest are simulated backtests, which are overfitted. The model will soon die.
What is your risk-reward ratio on each trade? If you have a take profit $3 away and a stop loss $100 away, of course most trades will be winners. You will not be making money, however! In general most traders should trade smaller position sizes and less frequently than they do. If you are going to bias one way or the other, far better to start off too small.
How to use stop losses sensibly
Stop losses have a bad reputation amongst the retail community but are absolutely essential to risk management. No serious discretionary trader can operate without them. A stop loss is a resting order, left with the broker, to automatically close your position if it reaches a certain price. For a recap on the various order types visit this chapter. The valid concern with stop losses is that disreputable brokers look for a concentration of stops and then, when the market is close, whipsaw the price through the stop levels so that the clients ‘stop out’ and sell to the broker at a low rate before the market naturally comes back higher. This is referred to as ‘stop hunting’. This would be extremely immoral behaviour and the way to guard against it is to use a highly reputable top-tier broker in a well regulated region such as the UK. Why are stop losses so important? Well, there is no other way to manage risk with certainty. You should always have a pre-determined stop loss before you put on a trade. Not having one is a recipe for disaster: you will find yourself emotionally attached to the trade as it goes against you and it will be extremely hard to cut the loss. This is a well known behavioural bias that we’ll explore in a later chapter. Learning to take a loss and move on rationally is a key lesson for new traders. A common mistake is to think of the market as a personal nemesis. The market, of course, is totally impersonal; it doesn’t care whether you make money or not. Bruce Kovner, founder of the hedge fund Caxton Associates There is an old saying amongst bank traders which is “losers average losers”. It is tempting, having bought EURUSD and seeing it go lower, to buy more. Your average price will improve if you keep buying as it goes lower. If it was cheap before it must be a bargain now, right? Wrong. Where does that end? Always have a pre-determined cut-off point which limits your risk. A level where you know the reason for the trade was proved ‘wrong’ ... and stick to it strictly. If you trade using discretion, use stops.
Picking a clear level
Where you leave your stop loss is key. Typically traders will leave them at big technical levels such as recent highs or lows. For example if EURUSD is trading at 1.1250 and the recent month’s low is 1.1205 then leaving it just below at 1.1200 seems sensible. If you were going long, just below the double bottom support zone seems like a sensible area to leave a stop You want to give it a bit of breathing room as we know support zones often get challenged before the price rallies. This is because lots of traders identify the same zones. You won’t be the only one selling around 1.1200. The “weak hands” who leave their sell stop order at exactly the level are likely to get taken out as the market tests the support. Those who leave it ten or fifteen pips below the level have more breathing room and will survive a quick test of the level before a resumed run-up. Your timeframe and trading style clearly play a part. Here’s a candlestick chart (one candle is one day) for GBPUSD. https://preview.redd.it/moyngdy4f5h51.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=91af88da00dd3a09e202880d8029b0ddf04fb802 If you are putting on a trend-following trade you expect to hold for weeks then you need to have a stop loss that can withstand the daily noise. Look at the downtrend on the chart. There were plenty of days in which the price rallied 60 pips or more during the wider downtrend. So having a really tight stop of, say, 25 pips that gets chopped up in noisy short-term moves is not going to work for this kind of trade. You need to use a wider stop and take a smaller position size, determined by the stop level. There are several tools you can use to help you estimate what is a safe distance and we’ll look at those in the next section. There are of course exceptions. For example, if you are doing range-break style trading you might have a really tight stop, set just below the previous range high. https://preview.redd.it/ygy0tko7f5h51.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=34af49da61c911befdc0db26af66f6c313556c81 Clearly then where you set stops will depend on your trading style as well as your holding horizons and the volatility of each instrument. Here are some guidelines that can help:
Use technical analysis to pick important levels (support, resistance, previous high/lows, moving averages etc.) as these provide clear exit and entry points on a trade.
Ensure that the stop gives your trade enough room to breathe and reflects your timeframe and typical volatility of each pair. See next section.
Always pick your stop level first. Then use a calculator to determine the appropriate lot size for the position, based on the % of your account balance you wish to risk on the trade.
So far we have talked about price-based stops. There is another sort which is more of a fundamental stop, used alongside - not instead of - price stops. If either breaks you’re out. For example if you stop understanding why a product is going up or down and your fundamental thesis has been confirmed wrong, get out. For example, if you are long because you think the central bank is turning hawkish and AUDUSD is going to play catch up with rates … then you hear dovish noises from the central bank and the bond yields retrace lower and back in line with the currency - close your AUDUSD position. You already know your thesis was wrong. No need to give away more money to the market.
Coming up in part II
EDIT: part II here Letting stops breathe When to change a stop Entering and exiting winning positions Risk:reward ratios Risk-adjusted returns
Coming up in part III
Squeezes and other risks Market positioning Bet correlation Crap trades, timeouts and monthly limits *** 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.
This thread is the direct continuation of my previous entry, which you can find here. I have the feeling my rambles may be long, so I'm not going to repeat anything I already said in my previous post for the sake of keeping this brief. What is this? I am backtesting the strategy shared by ParallaxFx. I have just completed my second run of testing, and I am here to share my results with those who are interested. If you want to read more about the strategy, go to my previous thread where I linked it. What changed? Instead of using a fixed target of the -100.0 Fibonacci extension, I tracked both the -61.8 and the -100.0 targets. ParallaxFx used the -61.8 as a target, but never tried the second one, so I wanted to compare the two and see what happens. Where can I see your backtested result? I am going to do something I hope I won't regret and share the link to my spreadsheet. Hopefully I won't be doxxed, but I think I should be fine. You can find my spreadsheet at this link. There are a lot of entries, so it may take a while for them to load. In the "Trades" tab, you will find every trade I backtested with an attached screenshot and the results it would have had with the extended and the unextended target. You can see the UNCOMPOUNDED equity curve in the Summary tab, together with the overall statistics for the system. What was the sample size? I backtested on the Daily chart, from January 2017 to December 2019, over 28 currency pairs. I took a total of 310 trades - although keep in mind that every position is most often composed by two entries, meaning that you can roughly halve this number. What is the bottom line? If you're not interested in the details, here are the stats of the strategy based on how I traded it.
Extended: 223.46 R of return, 2.34 of profit factor, 0.72 R of expected value, 46.13% winrate. The average win is 2.72 R while the average loss is -1.00 R.
Unextended: 172.20 R of return, 2.19 of profit factor, 0.56 R of expected value, 53.23% winrate. The average win is 1.92 R while the average loss is -1.00 R.
The highest drawdown for both systems was 18 R. This seems like a lot, but remember you're splitting risk in half.
Here you can see the two uncompounded equity curves side by side: red is unextended and blue is extended. Who wins? The test suggests the strategy to be more profitable with the extended target. In addition, most of the trades that reached the unextended target but reversed before reaching the extended, were trades that I would have most likely not have taken with the extented target. This is because there was a resistance/support area in the way of the -100.0 extension level, but there was enough room for price to reach the -61.8 level. I will probably trade this strategy using the -100.0 level as target, unless there is an area in the way. In that case I will go for the unextended target. Drawdown management The expected losing streak for this system, using the extended target, is 7 trades in a row in a sample size of 100 trades. My goal is to have a drawdown cap of 4%, so my risk per trade will be 0.54%. If I ever find myself in a losing streak of more than 8 trades, I will reduce my risk per trade further. What's next? I'll be taking this strategy live. The wisest move would be to repeat the same testing over lower timeframes to verify the edge plays out there as well, but I would not be able to trust my results because I would have vague memories of where price went because of the testing I just did. I also believe markets are fractals, so I see no reason why this wouldn't work on lower timeframes. Before going live, I will expand this spreadsheet to include more specific analysis and I will continue backtesting at a slower pace. The goal is to reach 20 years of backtesting over these 28 pairs and put everything into this spreadsheet. It's not something I will do overnight, but I'll probably do one year every odd day, and maybe a couple more during the weekend. I think I don't have much else to add. I like the strategy. Feel free to ask questions.
TL;DR Just got into Naked Forex trading but I am stuck on backtesting. Can't correctly identify critical zones (supp and res zones) and I haven't found the criteria for my trading system (wammies and moolahs) on the charts that I have back tested. Any advice? Hi there, I started learning about forex awhile back from a friend and he began to show me the basics while also directing me to babypips for the free course they put you through. Although I got into all of this awhile back, I have been stuck in the stages of finding my own strategy and backtesting it. At first, I was very much into using the basic indicators (RSI, MACD, SMA/EMA) but then I came across a recommendation in this sub to read 'Naked Forex' and I was hooked. Not in a sense that now I knew exactly what my strategy was and how to implement it, but hooked in the idea of being able to read a chart and make trades based on price action and reversals. Of course while reading the book, understanding the concepts, and looking at all the examples of the different trading strategies i'm getting hyped in my mind to get to the backtesting stage to see if I can put this knowledge to somewhat of a test. Now here I am, staring at tradingview's daily and 4h charts from 2006 onward. Here's where I get stuck. I understand identifying critical support and resistance zones and it all made sense to me in the book, but as I am backtesting I find that the zones are either always changing or I can't figure out which ones are critical. On top of that, my trading system looks something like this (advice is welcome on how this could be improved or if you see any glaring "wtfs" in it) I trade wammies & moolahs (market touches supp. or res. zone twice, second touch is lowehigher with a bearish/bullish candlestick printed on the 2nd touch) and use either a kangaroo tail or big shadow for confirmation to initiate the trade. The buy/sell stop is set 8 pips above/below the bearish/bullish candlestick and the stop loss is placed below/above the first touch. The profit target is the following zone. There's a bit more criteria for the trade but that's the blueprint of it. I apologize if it either doesn't make sense or confuses you but even after sifting through months/years of backtesting data my eyes never caught any of this action happening in the zones I've identified. Any help would be appreciated as I am a sponge and will soak in as much criticism and advice as I can.
The majority of this sub is focused on technical analysis. I regularly ridicule such "tea leaf readers" and advocate for trading based on fundamentals and economic news instead, so I figured I should take the time to write up something on how exactly you can trade economic news releases. This post is long as balls so I won't be upset if you get bored and go back to your drooping dick patterns or whatever.
How economic news is released
First, it helps to know how economic news is compiled and released. Let's take Initial Jobless Claims, the number of initial claims for unemployment benefits around the United States from Sunday through Saturday. Initial in this context means the first claim for benefits made by an individual during a particular stretch of unemployment. The Initial Jobless Claims figure appears in the Department of Labor's Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report, which compiles information from all of the per-state departments that report to the DOL during the week. A typical number is between 100k and 250k and it can vary quite significantly week-to-week. The Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report contains data that lags 5 days behind. For example, the Report issued on Thursday March 26th 2020 contained data about the week ending on Saturday March 21st 2020. In the days leading up to the Report, financial companies will survey economists and run complicated mathematical models to forecast the upcoming Initial Jobless Claims figure. The results of surveyed experts is called the "consensus"; specific companies, experts, and websites will also provide their own forecasts. Different companies will release different consensuses. Usually they are pretty close (within 2-3k), but for last week's record-high Initial Jobless Claims the reported consensuses varied by up to 1M! In other words, there was essentially no consensus. The Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report is released each Thursday morning at exactly 8:30 AM ET. (On Thanksgiving the Report is released on Wednesday instead.) Media representatives gather at the Frances Perkins Building in Washington DC and are admitted to the "lockup" at 8:00 AM ET. In order to be admitted to the lockup you have to be a credentialed member of a media organization that has signed the DOL lockup agreement. The lockup room is small so there is a limited number of spots. No phones are allowed. Reporters bring their laptops and connect to a local network; there is a master switch on the wall that prevents/enables Internet connectivity on this network. Once the doors are closed the Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report is distributed, with a heading that announces it is "embargoed" (not to be released) prior to 8:30 AM. Reporters type up their analyses of the report, including extracting key figures like Initial Jobless Claims. They load their write-ups into their companies' software, which prepares to send it out as soon as Internet is enabled. At 8:30 AM the DOL representative in the room flips the wall switch and all of the laptops are connected to the Internet, releasing their write-ups to their companies and on to their companies' partners. Many of those media companies have externally accessible APIs for distributing news. Media aggregators and squawk services (like RanSquawk and TradeTheNews) subscribe to all of these different APIs and then redistribute the key economic figures from the Report to their own subscribers within one second after Internet is enabled in the DOL lockup. Some squawk services are text-based while others are audio-based. FinancialJuice.com provides a free audio squawk service; internally they have a paid subscription to a professional squawk service and they simply read out the latest headlines to their own listeners, subsidized by ads on the site. I've been using it for 4 months now and have been pretty happy. It usually lags behind the official release times by 1-2 seconds and occasionally they verbally flub the numbers or stutter and have to repeat, but you can't beat the price! Important - I’m not affiliated with FinancialJuice and I’m not advocating that you use them over any other squawk. If you use them and they misspeak a number and you lose all your money don’t blame me. If anybody has any other free alternatives please share them!
How the news affects forex markets
Institutional forex traders subscribe to these squawk services and use custom software to consume the emerging data programmatically and then automatically initiate trades based on the perceived change to the fundamentals that the figures represent. It's important to note that every institution will have "priced in" their own forecasted figures well in advance of an actual news release. Forecasts and consensuses all come out at different times in the days leading up to a news release, so by the time the news drops everybody is really only looking for an unexpected result. You can't really know what any given institution expects the value to be, but unless someone has inside information you can pretty much assume that the market has collectively priced in the experts' consensus. When the news comes out, institutions will trade based on the difference between the actual and their forecast. Sometimes the news reflects a real change to the fundamentals with an economic effect that will change the demand for a currency, like an interest rate decision. However, in the case of the Initial Jobless Claims figure, which is a backwards-looking metric, trading is really just self-fulfilling speculation that market participants will buy dollars when unemployment is low and sell dollars when unemployment is high. Generally speaking, news that reflects a real economic shift has a bigger effect than news that only matters to speculators. Massive and extremely fast news-based trades happen within tenths of a second on the ECNs on which institutional traders are participants. Over the next few seconds the resulting price changes trickle down to retail traders. Some economic news, like Non Farm Payroll Employment, has an effect that can last minutes to hours as "slow money" follows behind on the trend created by the "fast money". Other news, like Initial Jobless Claims, has a short impact that trails off within a couple minutes and is subsequently dwarfed by the usual pseudorandom movements in the market. The bigger the difference between actual and consensus, the bigger the effect on any given currency pair. Since economic news releases generally relate to a single currency, the biggest and most easily predicted effects are seen on pairs where one currency is directly effected and the other is not affected at all. Personally I trade USD/JPY because the time difference between the US and Japan ensures that no news will be coming out of Japan at the same time that economic news is being released in the US. Before deciding to trade any particular news release you should measure the historical correlation between the release (specifically, the difference between actual and consensus) and the resulting short-term change in the currency pair. Historical data for various news releases (along with historical consensus data) is readily available. You can pay to get it exported into Excel or whatever, or you can scroll through it for free on websites like TradingEconomics.com. Let's look at two examples: Initial Jobless Claims and Non Farm Payroll Employment (NFP). I collected historical consensuses and actuals for these releases from January 2018 through the present, measured the "surprise" difference for each, and then correlated that to short-term changes in USD/JPY at the time of release using 5 second candles. I omitted any releases that occurred simultaneously as another major release. For example, occasionally the monthly Initial Jobless Claims comes out at the exact same time as the monthly Balance of Trade figure, which is a more significant economic indicator and can be expected to dwarf the effect of the Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report. USD/JPY correlation with Initial Jobless Claims (2018 - present) USD/JPY correlation with Non Farm Payrolls (2018 - present) The horizontal axes on these charts is the duration (in seconds) after the news release over which correlation was calculated. The vertical axis is the Pearson correlation coefficient: +1 means that the change in USD/JPY over that duration was perfectly linearly correlated to the "surprise" in the releases; -1 means that the change in USD/JPY was perfectly linearly correlated but in the opposite direction, and 0 means that there is no correlation at all. For Initial Jobless Claims you can see that for the first 30 seconds USD/JPY is strongly negatively correlated with the difference between consensus and actual jobless claims. That is, fewer-than-forecast jobless claims (fewer newly unemployed people than expected) strengthens the dollar and greater-than-forecast jobless claims (more newly unemployed people than expected) weakens the dollar. Correlation then trails off and changes to a moderate/weak positive correlation. I interpret this as algorithms "buying the dip" and vice versa, but I don't know for sure. From this chart it appears that you could profit by opening a trade for 15 seconds (duration with strongest correlation) that is long USD/JPY when Initial Jobless Claims is lower than the consensus and short USD/JPY when Initial Jobless Claims is higher than expected. The chart for Non Farm Payroll looks very different. Correlation is positive (higher-than-expected payrolls strengthen the dollar and lower-than-expected payrolls weaken the dollar) and peaks at around 45 seconds, then slowly decreases as time goes on. This implies that price changes due to NFP are quite significant relative to background noise and "stick" even as normal fluctuations pick back up. I wanted to show an example of what the USD/JPY S5 chart looks like when an "uncontested" (no other major simultaneously news release) Initial Jobless Claims and NFP drops, but unfortunately my broker's charts only go back a week. (I can pull historical data going back years through the API but to make it into a pretty chart would be a bit of work.) If anybody can get a 5-second chart of USD/JPY at March 19, 2020, UTC 12:30 and/or at February 7, 2020, UTC 13:30 let me know and I'll add it here.
So without too much effort we determined that (1) USD/JPY is strongly negatively correlated with the Initial Jobless Claims figure for the first 15 seconds after the release of the Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report (when no other major news is being released) and also that (2) USD/JPY is strongly positively correlated with the Non Farms Payroll figure for the first 45 seconds after the release of the Employment Situation report. Before you can assume you can profit off the news you have to backtest and consider three important parameters. Entry speed: How quickly can you realistically enter the trade? The correlation performed above was measured from the exact moment the news was released, but realistically if you've got your finger on the trigger and your ear to the squawk it will take a few seconds to hit "Buy" or "Sell" and confirm. If 90% of the price move happens in the first second you're SOL. For back-testing purposes I assume a 5 second delay. In practice I use custom software that opens a trade with one click, and I can reliably enter a trade within 2-3 seconds after the news drops, using the FinancialJuice free squawk. Minimum surprise: Should you trade every release or can you do better by only trading those with a big enough "surprise" factor? Backtesting will tell you whether being more selective is better long-term or not. Hold time: The optimal time to hold the trade is not necessarily the same as the time of maximum correlation. That's a good starting point but it's not necessarily the best number. Backtesting each possible hold time will let you find the best one. The spread: When you're only holding a position open for 30 seconds, the spread will kill you. The correlations performed above used the midpoint price, but in reality you have to buy at the ask and sell at the bid. Brokers aren't stupid and the moment volume on the ECN jumps they will widen the spread for their retail customers. The only way to determine if the news-driven price movements reliably overcome the spread is to backtest. Stops: Personally I don't use stops, neither take-profit nor stop-loss, since I'm automatically closing the trade after a fixed (and very short) amount of time. Additionally, brokers have a minimum stop distance; the profits from scalping the news are so slim that even the nearest stops they allow will generally not get triggered. I backtested trading these two news releases (since 2018), using a 5 second entry delay, real historical spreads, and no stops, cycling through different "surprise" thresholds and hold times to find the combination that returns the highest net profit. It's important to maximize net profit, not expected value per trade, so you don't over-optimize and reduce the total number of trades taken to one single profitable trade. If you want to get fancy you can set up a custom metric that combines number of trades, expected value, and drawdown into a single score to be maximized. For the Initial Jobless Claims figure I found that the best combination is to hold trades open for 25 seconds (that is, open at 5 seconds elapsed and hold until 30 seconds elapsed) and only trade when the difference between consensus and actual is 7k or higher. That leads to 30 trades taken since 2018 and an expected return of... drumroll please... -0.0093 yen per unit per trade. Yep, that's a loss of approx. $8.63 per lot. Disappointing right? That's the spread and that's why you have to backtest. Even though the release of the Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report has a strong correlation with movement in USD/JPY, it's simply not something that a retail trader can profit from. Let's turn to the NFP. There I found that the best combination is to hold trades open for 75 seconds (that is, open at 5 seconds elapsed and hold until 80 seconds elapsed) and trade every single NFP (no minimum "surprise" threshold). That leads to 20 trades taken since 2018 and an expected return of... drumroll please... +0.1306 yen per unit per trade. That's a profit of approx. $121.25 per lot. Not bad for 75 seconds of work! That's a +6% ROI at 50x leverage.
Make it real
If you want to do this for realsies, you need to run these numbers for all of the major economic news releases. Markit Manufacturing PMI, Factory Orders MoM, Trade Balance, PPI MoM, Export and Import Prices, Michigan Consumer Sentiment, Retail Sales MoM, Industrial Production MoM, you get the idea. You keep a list of all of the releases you want to trade, when they are released, and the ideal hold time and "surprise" threshold. A few minutes before the prescribed release time you open up your broker's software, turn on your squawk, maybe jot a few notes about consensuses and model forecasts, and get your finger on the button. At the moment you hear the release you open the trade in the correct direction, hold it (without looking at the chart!) for the required amount of time, then close it and go on with your day. Some benefits of trading this way: * Most major economic releases come out at either 8:30 AM ET or 10:00 AM ET, and then you're done for the day. * It's easily backtestable. You can look back at the numbers and see exactly what to expect your return to be. * It's fun! Packing your trading into 30 seconds and knowing that institutions are moving billions of dollars around as fast as they can based on the exact same news you just read is thrilling. * You can wow your friends by saying things like "The St. Louis Fed had some interesting remarks on consumer spending in the latest Beige Book." * No crayons involved. Some downsides: * It's tricky to be fast enough without writing custom software. Some broker software is very slow and requires multiple dialog boxes before a position is opened, which won't cut it. * The profits are very slim, you're not going to impress your instagram followers to join your expensive trade copying service with your 30-second twice-weekly trades. * Any friends you might wow with your boring-ass economic talking points are themselves the most boring people in the world. I hope you enjoyed this long as fuck post and you give trading economic news a try!
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.
Hey everyone! New to the subreddit, I've been lurking for a couple of weeks and picking up some good stuff, so thank you all for your contributions. A little background on me. I've been trading on and off for over 20 years. Made and lost several hundred thousand dollars while trading futures and equity options. I've never really gotten into forex before other than to do a little research and testing. I personally don't like to take pure directional bets so with futures I traded spreads and with options I was a premium seller. But I'm giving it a try now and my first month (January) I'm up 6% on my demo account. So I thought I'd start a fresh account for February and share how things go. I've set up a myfxbook too if you're interested. If things go well I'll probably go live in March or April with a small account. As indicated in the title I'm swing trading the daily charts, mostly holding trades for a few days although backtesting there are multi-week trends that I may have caught too, although I put much stock in backtesting. For trade entries I keep things very simple with just Support/Resistance and using Heikin Ashi to identify strength or weakness. I'll then check IG and Oanda open positions to confirm I'm taking a position opposite most retail traders. For TP I'm experimenting with multiples of ATR to take up to 2/3's off and allowing the remainder to ride with a trailing stop. For initial SL I've been using the high/low of the previous bar but I'm also experimenting with ATR there too since I've noticed that my trades tend to either go quickly right or quickly wrong and when they go wrong they don't come back and when they go right they don't retrace back to entry, so a tighter SL may be wise. Finally, I'm risking 1% of my account per trade. Tomorrow I'll post the pairs that I'll be looking to get into Monday. I think that's about it. If you have any questions or suggestions please feel free!
So here it is, three more days and October begins, which marks one year of trading for me. I figured I would contribute to the forum and share some of my experience, a little about me, and what I've learned so far. Whoever wants to listen, that's great. This might get long so buckle up.. Three years ago, I was visiting Toronto. I don't get out much, but my roommate at the time travels there occasionally. He asked everyone at our place if we wanted to come along for a weekend. My roommate has an uncle that lives there and we didn't have to worry about a hotel because his uncle owns a small house that's unlived in which we could stay at. I was the only one to go with. Anyways, we walk around the city, seeing the sights and whatnot. My friend says to me "where next?" "I don't know, you're the tour guide" "We can go check out Bay Street" "what's 'Bay Street?'" "It's like the Canadian Wall street! If you haven't seen it you gotta see it!" Walking along Bay, I admire all the nice buildings and architecture, everything seems larger than life to me. I love things like that. The huge granite facades with intricate designs and towering pillars to make you think, How the fuck did they make that? My attention pivots to a man walking on the sidewalk opposite us. His gait stood out among everyone, he walked with such a purpose.. He laughed into the cell phone to his ear. In the elbow-shoving city environment, he moved with a stride that exuded a power which not only commanded respect, but assumed it. I bet HE can get a text back, hell he's probably got girls waiting on him. This dude was dressed to kill, a navy suit that you could just tell from across the street was way out of my budget, it was a nice fucking suit. I want that. His life, across the street, seemed a world a way from my own. I've worn a suit maybe twice in my life. For my first communion, it was too big for me, I was eleven or whatever so who gives a shit, right? I'm positive I looked ridiculous. The other time? I can't remember. I want that. I want the suit. I want the wealth, the independence.I want the respect and power, and I don't give a shit what anyone thinks about it. Cue self doubt. Well, He's probably some rich banker's son. That's a world you're born into. I don't know shit about it. \sigh* keep walking..* A year later, I'm visiting my parents at their house, they live an hour away from my place. My dad is back from Tennessee, his engineering job was laying people off and he got canned... Or he saw the end was near and just left... I don't know, hard to pay attention to the guy honestly because he kind of just drones on and on. ("Wait, so your mom lives in Michigan, but your dad moved to Tennessee... for a job?" Yea man, I don't fucking know, not going to touch on that one.) The whole project was a shit show that was doomed to never get done, the way he tells it. And he's obviously jaded from multiple similar experiences at other life-sucking engineer jobs. My mom is a retired nurse practitioner who no longer works because of her illness. I ask him what he's doing for work now and he tells me he trades stocks from home. I didn't even know you could do that. I didn't know "trading" was a thing. I thought you just invest and hope for the best. "Oh that's cool, how much money do you need to do that?" "Ehh, most say you need at least $25,000 as a minimum" "Oh... guess I can't do that..." Six months later, I get a call and it's my dad. We talk a little about whatever. Off topic, he starts asking if I'm happy doing what I'm doing (I was a painter, commercial and residential) I tell him yes but it's kind of a pain in the ass and I don't see it as a long term thing. Then he gets around to asking if I'd like to come work with him. He basically pitches it to me. I'm not one to be sold on something, I'm always skeptical. So I ask all the questions that any rational person would ask and he just swats them away with reassuring phrases. He was real confident about it. But basically he says for this to work, I have to quit my job and move back home so he can teach me how to trade and be by my side so I don't do anything stupid. "My Name, you can make so much money." I say that I can't raise the $25,000 because I'm not far above just living paycheck to paycheck. "I can help you out with that." Wow, okay, well... let me think about it. My "maybe" very soon turned into a "definitely." So over the next six months, I continue to work my day job painting, and I try to save up what I could for the transition (it wasn't a whole lot, I sucked at saving. I was great at spending though!). My dad gives me a book on day trading (which I will mention later) and I teach myself what I can about the stock market using Investopedia. Also in the meantime, my dad sends me encouraging emails. He tells me to think of an annual income I would like to make as a trader, and used "more than $100,000 but less than a million" as a guideline. He tells me about stocks that he traded that day or just ones that moved and describes the basic price action and the prices to buy and sell at. Basically saying "if you bought X amount of shares here and sold it at X price here, you could make a quick 500 bucks!" I then use a trading sim to trade those symbols and try to emulate what he says. Piece of cake. ;) Wow, that's way more than what I make in a day. He tells me not to tell anyone about my trading because most people just think it's gambling. "Don't tell your Mom either." He says most people who try this fail because they don't know how to stop out and take a loss. He talks about how every day he was in a popular chatroom, some noob would say something like, "Hey guys, I bought at X price (high of day or thereabout), my account is down 80% .. uhh I'm waiting for it to come back to my entry price.. what do I do??" Well shit, I'm not that fucking dumb. If that's all it takes to make it is to buy low, sell high, and always respect a stop then I'll be fantastic. By the end of September, I was very determined. I had been looking forward everyday to quitting my painting job because while it used to be something I loved, it was just sucking the life out of me at this point. Especially working commercial, you just get worked like a dog. I wasn't living up to my potential with that job and I felt awful for it every minute of every day. I knew that I needed a job where I could use my brain instead of slaving my body to fulfill someone else's dream. "Someone's gotta put gas in the boss's boat" That's a line my buddy once said that he probably doesn't know sticks with me to this day. It ain't me. So now it was October 2018, and I'm back living with Mom n' Pops. I was so determined that on my last day of work I gave away all of my painting tools to my buddy like, "here, I don't need this shit." Moving out of my rental was easy because I don't own much, 'can't take it with ya.' Excited for the future I now spend my days bundled up in winter wear in the cold air of our hoarder-like basement with a space heater at my feet. My laptop connected to a TV monitor, I'm looking at stocks next to my dad and his screens in his cluttered corner. Our Trading Dungeon. I don't trade any money, (I wasn't aware of any real-time sim programs) I just watch and learn from my dad. Now you've got to keep in mind, and look at a chart of the S&P, this is right at the beginning of Oct '18, I came in right at the market top. Right at the start of the shit-show. For the next three or four weeks, I watch my dad pretty much scratch on every trade, taking small loss after small loss, and cursing under his breath at the screen. Click. "dammit." Click. "shit." Click. Click. "you fuck." Click. This gets really fucking annoying as time goes on, for weeks, and I get this attitude like ugh, just let me do it. I'll make us some fucking money. So I convince him to let me start trading live. I didn't know anything about brokers so I set up an account using his broker, which was Fidelity. It was a pain and I had to jump through a lot of hoops to be able to day trade with this broker. I actually had to make a joint account with my dad as I couldn't get approved for margin because my credit score is shit (never owned a credit card) and my net worth, not much. Anyways, they straight up discourage day trading and I get all kinds of warning messages with big red letters that made me shit myself like oooaaahhh what the fuck did I do now. Did I forget to close a position?? Did I fat finger an order? Am I now in debt for thousands of dollars to Fidelity?? They're going to come after me like they came after Madoff. Even after you are approved for PDT you still get these warning messages in your account. Some would say if I didn't comply with "whatever rule" they'd even suspend my account for 60 days. It was ridiculous, hard to describe because it doesn't make sense, and it took the support guy on the phone a good 20 minutes to explain it to me. Basically I got the answer "yea it's all good, you did nothing wrong. As long as you have the cash in your account to cover whatever the trade balance was" So I just kept getting these warnings that I had to ignore everyday. I hate Fidelity. My fist day trading, I made a few so-so trades and then I got impatient. I saw YECO breaking out and I chased, soon realized I chased, so I got out. -$500. Shit, I have to make that back, I don't want my dad to see this. Got back in. Shit. -$400. So my first day trading, I lost $900. My dumbass was using market orders so that sure didn't help. I reeled the risk back and traded more proper position size for a while, but the commissions for a round trip are $10, so taking six trades per day, I'm losing $60 at a minimum on top of my losing trades. Quickly I realized I didn't know what the hell I was doing. What about my dad? Does HE know? One day, in the trading dungeon, I was frustrated with the experience I'd been having and just feeling lost overall. I asked him. "So, are you consistently profitable?" "mmm... I do alright." "Yea but like, are you consistently profitable over time?" ......................... "I do alright." Silence. "Do you know any consistently profitable traders?" "Well the one who wrote that book I gave you, Tina Turner.. umm and there's Ross Cameron" ...................... "So you don't know any consistently profitable traders, personally.. People who are not trying to sell you something?" "no." ................... Holy fucking shit, what did this idiot get me into. He can't even say it to my face and admit it. This entire life decision, quitting my job, leaving my rental, moving from my city to back home, giving shit away, it all relied on that. I was supposed to be an apprentice to a consistently profitable day trader who trades for a living. It was so assumed, that I never even thought to ask! Why would you tell your son to quit his job for something that you yourself cannot do? Is this all a scam? Did my dad get sold a DREAM? Did I buy into some kind of ponzi scheme? How many of those winning trades he showed me did he actually take?Are there ANY consistently profitable DAY TRADERS who TRADE FOR A LIVING?Why do 90% fail? Is it because the other 10% are scamming the rest in some way? Completely lost, I just had no clue what was what. If I was going to succeed at this, if it was even possible to succeed at this, it was entirely up to me. I had to figure it out. I still remember the feeling like an overwhelming, crushing weight on me as it all sunk in. This is going to be a big deal.. I'm not the type to give up though. In that moment, I said to myself, I'm going to fucking win at this. I don't know if this is possible, but I'm going to find out. I cannot say with certainty that I will succeed, but no matter what, I will not give up. I'm going to give all of myself to this. I will find the truth. It was a deep moment for me. I don't like getting on my soapbox, but when I said those things, I meant it. I really, really meant it. I still do, and I still will. Now it might seem like I'm being hard on my dad. He has done a lot for me and I am very grateful for that. We're sarcastic as hell to each other, I love the bastard. Hell, I wouldn't have the opportunity to trade at all if not for him. But maybe you can also understand how overwhelmed I felt at that time. Not on purpose, of course he means well. But I am not a trusting person at all and I was willing to put trust into him after all the convincing and was very disappointed when I witnessed the reality of the situation. I would have structured this transition to trading differently, you don't just quit your job and start trading. Nobody was there to tell me that! I was told quite the opposite. I'm glad it happened anyway, so fuck it. I heard Kevin O'Leary once say, "If I knew in the beginning how difficult starting a business was, I don't know that I ever would've started." This applies very much to my experience. So what did I do? Well like everyone I read and read and Googled and Youtube'd my ass off. I sure as hell didn't pay for a course because I didn't have the money and I'm like 99% sure I would be disappointed by whatever they were teaching as pretty much everything can be found online or in books for cheap or free. Also I discovered Thinkorswim and I used that to sim trade in real-time for three months. This is way the hell different than going on a sim at 5x speed and just clicking a few buy and sell buttons. Lol, useless. When you sim trade in real-time you're forced to have a routine, and you're forced to experience missing trades with no chance to rewind or skip the boring parts. That's a step up because you're "in it". I also traded real money too, made some, lost more than I made. went back to sim. Traded live again, made some but lost more, fell back to PDT. Dad fronted me more cash. This has happened a few times. He's dug me out of some holes because he believes in me. I'm fortunate. Oh yeah, about that book my dad gave me. It's called A Beginner's Guide to Day Trading Online by Toni Turner. This book... is shit. This was supposed to be my framework for how to trade and I swear it's like literally nothing in this book fucking works lol. I could tell this pretty early on, intuitively, just by looking at charts. It's basically a buy-the-breakout type strategy, if you want to call it a strategy. No real methodology to anything just vague crap and showing you cherry-picked charts with entries that are way too late. With experience in the markets you will eventually come to find that MOST BREAKOUTS FAIL. It talks about support/resistance lines and describes them as, "picture throwing a ball down at the floor, it bounces up and then it bounces down off the ceiling, then back up." So many asinine assumptions. These ideas are a text book way of how to trade like dumb money. Don't get me wrong, these trades can work but you need to be able to identify the setups which are more probable and identify reasons not to take others. So I basically had to un-learn all that shit. Present day, I have a routine in place. I'm out of the dungeon and trade by myself in my room. I trade with a discount broker that is catered to day traders and doesn't rape me on commissions. My mornings have a framework for analyzing the news and economic events of the particular day, I journal so that I can recognize what I'm doing right and where I need to improve. I record my screens for later review to improve my tape reading skills. I am actually tracking my trades now and doing backtesting in equities as well as forex. I'm not a fast reader but I do read a lot, as much as I can. So far I have read about 17-18 books on trading and psychology. I've definitely got a lot more skilled at trading. As of yet I am not net profitable. Writing that sounds like selling myself short though, honestly. Because a lot of my trades are very good and are executed well. I have talent. However, lesser quality trades and trades which are inappropriately sized/ attempted too many times bring down that P/L. I'm not the type of trader to ignore a stop, I'm more the trader that just widdles their account down with small losses. I trade live because at this point, sim has lost its value, live trading is the ultimate teacher. So I do trade live but I just don't go big like I did before, I keep it small. I could show you trades that I did great on and make people think I'm killing it but I really just don't need the validation. I don't care, I'm real about it. I just want to get better. I don't need people to think I'm a genius, I'm just trying to make some money. Psychologically, to be honest with you, I currently feel beaten down and exhausted. I put a lot of energy into this, and sometimes I work myself physically sick, it's happened multiple times. About once a week, usually Saturday, I get a headache that lasts all day. My body's stress rebound mechanism you might call it. Getting over one of those sick periods now, which is why I barely even traded this week. I know I missed a lot of volatility this week and some A+ setups but I really just don't give a shit lol. I just currently don't have the mental capital, I think anyone who's been day trading every day for a year or more can understand what I mean by that. I'm still being productive though. Again, I'm not here to present an image of some badass trader, just keeping it real. To give something 100% day after day while receiving so much resistance, it takes a toll on you. So a break is necessary to avoid making bad trading decisions. That being said, I'm progressing more and more and eliminating those lesser quality trades and identifying my bad habits. I take steps to control those habits and strengthen my good habits such as having a solid routine, doing review and market research, taking profits at the right times, etc. So maybe I can give some advice to some that are new to day trading, those who are feeling lost, or just in general thinking "...What the fuck..." I thought that every night for the first 6 months lol. First of all, manage expectations. If you read my story of how I came to be a trader, you can see I had a false impression of trading in many aspects. Give yourself a realistic time horizon to how progress should be made. Do not set a monetary goal for yourself, or any time-based goal that is measured in your P/L. If you tell yourself, "I want to make X per day, X per week, or X per year" you're setting yourself up to feel like shit every single day when it's clear as the blue sky that you won't reach that goal anytime soon. As a matter of fact, it will appear you are moving further AWAY from that goal if you just focus on your P/L, which brings me to my next point. You will lose money. In the beginning, most likely, you will lose money. I did it, you'll do it, the greatest Paul Tudor Jones did it. Trading is a skill that needs to be developed, and it is a process. Just look at it as paying your tuition to the market. Sim is fine but don't assume you have acquired this skill until you are adept at trading real money. So when you do make that leap, just trade small. Just survive. Trade small. get the experience. Protect your capital. To reach break even on your bottom line is a huge accomplishment. In many ways, experience and screen time are the secret sauce. Have a routine. This is very important. I actually will probably make a more in-depth post in the future about this if people want it. When I first started, I was overwhelmed with the feeling "What the fuck am I supposed to DO?" I felt lost. There's no boss to tell you how to be productive or how to find the right stocks, which is mostly a blessing, but a curse for new traders. All that shit you see, don't believe all that bullshit. You know what I'm talking about. The bragposting, the clickbait Youtube videos, the ads preying on you. "I made X amount of money in a day and I'm fucking 19 lolz look at my Lamborghini" It's all a gimmick to sell you the dream. It's designed to poke right at your insecurities, that's marketing at it's finest. As for the bragposting on forums honestly, who cares. And I'm not pointing fingers on this forum, just any trading forum in general. They are never adding anything of value to the community in their posts. They never say this is how I did it. No, they just want you to think they're a genius. I can show you my $900 day trading the shit out of TSLA, but that doesn't tell the whole story. Gamblers never show you when they lose, you might never hear from those guys again because behind the scenes, they over-leveraged themselves and blew up. Some may actually be consistently profitable and the trades are 100% legit. That's fantastic. But again, I don't care, and you shouldn't either. You shouldn't compare yourself to others. "Everyone's a genius in a bull market" Here's the thing.. Markets change. Edges disappear. Trading strategies were made by traders who traded during times when everything they did worked. Buy all the breakouts? Sure! It's the fucking tech bubble! Everything works! I'm sure all those typical setups used to work fantastically at some point in time. But the more people realize them, the less effective they are. SOMEONE has to be losing money on the opposite side of a winning trade, and who's willing to do that when the trade is so obvious? That being said, some things are obvious AND still work. Technical analysis works... sometimes. The caveat to that is, filters. You need to, in some way, filter out certain setups from others. For example, you could say, "I won't take a wedge pattern setup on an intraday chart unless it is in a higher time frame uptrend, without nearby resistance, and trading above average volume with news on that day." Have a plan. If you can't describe your plan, you don't have one. Think in probabilities. You should think entirely in "if, then" scenarios. If X has happens, then Y will probably happen. "If BABA breaks this premarket support level on the open I will look for a pop up to short into." Backtest. Most traders lose mainly because they think they have an edge but they don't. You read these books and all this stuff online telling you "this is a high probability setup" but do you know that for a fact? There's different ways to backtest, but I think the best way for a beginner is manual backtesting with a chart and an excel sheet. This builds up that screen time and pattern recognition faster. This video shows how to do that. Once I saw someone do it, it didn't seem so boring and awful as I thought it was. Intelligence is not enough. You're smarter than most people, that's great, but that alone is not enough to make you money in trading necessarily. Brilliant people try and fail at this all the time, lawyers, doctors, surgeons, engineers.. Why do they fail if they're so smart? It's all a fucking scam. No, a number of reasons, but the biggest is discipline and emotional intelligence. Journal every day.K no thanks, bro. That's fucking gay. That's how I felt when I heard this advice but really that is pride and laziness talking. This is the process you need to do to learn what works for you and what doesn't. Review the trades you took, what your plan was, what actually happened, how you executed. Identify what you did well and what you can work on. This is how you develop discipline and emotional intelligence, by monitoring yourself. How you feel physically and mentally, and how these states affect your decision-making. Always be learning. Read as much as you can. Good quality books. Here's the best I've read so far; Market Wizards -Jack Schwager One Good Trade -Mike Bellafiore The Daily Trading Coach -Bret Steenbarger Psycho-cybernetics -Maxwell Maltz Why You Win or Lose -Fred Kelly The Art and Science of Technical Analysis -Adam Grimes Dark Pools -Scott Patterson Be nimble. Everyday I do my research on the symbols I'm trading and the fundamental news that's driving them. I might be trading a large cap that's gapping up with a beat on EPS and revenue and positive guidance. But if I see that stock pop up and fail miserably on the open amidst huge selling pressure, and I look and see the broader market tanking, guess what, I'm getting short, and that's just day trading. The movement of the market, on an intraday timeframe, doesn't have to make logical sense. Adapt. In March I used to be able to buy a breakout on a symbol and swing it for the majority of the day. In the summer I was basically scalping on the open and being done for the day. Volatility changes, and so do my profit targets. Be accountable. Be humble. Be honest. I take 100% responsibility for every dime I've lost or made in the market. It's not the market makers fault, it wasn't the HFTs, I pressed the button. I know my bad habits and I know my good habits.. my strengths/ my weaknesses. Protect yourself from toxicity. Stay away from traders and people on forums who just have that negative mindset. That "can't be done" mentality. Day trading is a scam!! It can certainly be done. Prove it, you bastard. I'm posting to this particular forum because I don't see much of that here and apparently the mods to a good job of not tolerating it. As the mod wrote in the rules, they're most likely raging from a loss. Also, the Stocktwits mentality of "AAPL is going to TANK on the open! $180, here we come. $$$" , or the grandiose stories, "I just knew AMZN was going to go up on earnings. I could feel it. I went ALL IN. Options money, baby! ka-ching!$" Lol, that is so toxic to a new trader. Get away from that. How will you be able to remain nimble when this is your thought process? Be good to yourself. Stop beating yourself up. You're an entrepreneur. You're boldly going where no man has gone before. You've got balls. Acknowledge your mistakes, don't identify with them. You are not your mistakes and you are not your bad habits. These are only things that you do, and you can take action necessary to do them less. It doesn't matter what people think. Maybe they think you're a fool, a gambler. You don't need their approval. You don't need to talk to your co-workers and friends about it to satisfy some subconscious plea for guidance; is this a good idea? You don't need anyone's permission to become the person you want to be. They don't believe in you? Fuck 'em. I believe in you.
Hello, I'm a newbie, as you may have guessed by the title. I've just finished the School of Pipsology, have to say this is amazing free knowledge. I've also read a bit of forex FAQ's. I've opened a demo account but frankly i'm still overwhelmed in front of the charts. I think the next logical step for me is to find a good strategy/good mechanical system and backtest it for at least 2 years to be sure that it is good. I'm searching for a swing mechanical system. Problem is i'm not having any luck finding one right now or i'm i suppose to create my own? I mean there are so much indicators. Is there a way for me to save time? What should i do? I'm trying to get the maximum value here, i'll consider everything so don't hesitate to comment.
Hello world. Long time lurker here. Wanna give a huge tip to all newbies out there thats thinking about strategies. (like "Buy when price crosses above moving average 10" or whatever) If you think you have a strategy (a set of rules) then theres no excuse not to backtest the rules! Lets say you wanna "Buy when moving average crosses over moving average" or whatever numbers or indicators or rules youre thinking about. All you gotta do is sign up with a broker (demo account!! free) that provides you with a software that allows you to backtest! The coding is 9/10 times super duper easy to learn and use. Just google for it and you should find multiple brokers that can provide different types of software to run backtests. "Cant you just backtest manually looking at chart?" - Well, you can! But this takes a long long time and you will not see exact results. Using a software you can test your strategy on all the different timeframes, multiple years back in time, on all the currency pairs you want to test it on. Heres an example, its my own algorithm (algorithm just means "set of rules") that i have created for USD/JPY, backtested from 2004 -> 2019 thats 15 years of backtesting! My system seemed profitable and robust so i decided to run this system live and its actually in a trade right now. So far its been profitable and good to me. For all you traders that do not rely on fixed systems/set of rules: Backtesting is very hard because if you rely on your own drawings and support/resistance lines, then backtesting is biased before you even begin.. unless your testing in "real time" which of course is much more valid. Non the less you should just scroll "back in time" on chart and start "trading" with "paper money" and just move 1 and 1 candle forward until you either see that your system is working or not. https://imgur.com/a/p8aVdIT Edit: Guess i never answered "Why" you should backtest. I started out trading stocks, then i realized "patterns" was a thing in every chart on all timeframes and i started to look at forex cus markets are plentiful and open 24/5. After a few hit and missed and busted tiny accounts i realized i needed to test my theories and strategies. Thats when i discovered that coming up with a strategy that actually works, year after year on multiple pairs, is not only hard, its realy fucking hard! And thats also when i realized how flawed my "plans to get rich in trading" really was.. When your just charting and drawing lines and trading on them, you dont really have a plan, and without a firm strict plan (at least for me) the pitfalls are many, and devastating. So i started looking at how to actually make profitable strategies, reading books and listening to podcasts, and today im running multiple strategies in multiple markets on multiple timeframes. So far ive been profitable. definitly not gonna quit my dayjob tomorrow, just so thats clear.. trading is risky and having a dayjob and monthly income is definitly something im gonna continue with lol.
Can the simplest forex indicators make you a millionaire?
This was a question on Quora I have recently answered for and thought some of you here might find it useful. So I insert it here: ##### Do you want to be a millionaire trading Forex with indicators? Well, of course, you do...why would you post this question to Quora otherwise? The REAL question is – how do you do it? There are countless different technical indicators out there, so where do you start? Where do you focus your valuable time and money? Let's understand first what Forex indicators are. In essence, they are tools that turn the already available price data into something else. You've read it right. They don't provide any new information you couldn't get simply by looking at the chart. But there are still people who get amazing results with indicators. Have they invented a secret tool that actually moves the needle? I'm not Tyrion Lannister to tell this to you, but it's probably not the case. As far as I know, there tends to be one reason why somebody is crushing it with technical indicators while others don't. And it has nothing to do with the indicator or indicators being used. So what I am talking about? It's the personality of the trader that matters. Just think about it: Indicator-based trading is more objective than price action trading. You can argue about whether a chart pattern is present, but there's no argument about an indicator's direction. I really don't want to get into the age-old debate of which one is better because the answer varies from person to person. The point is that you have to find out which works for you. It's not a complicated process, although requires a lot of time. Can you guess what it is? I know you can, it's called testing. If I told you to start boxing because it works for Mike Tyson, chances are you would laugh at me. Then, in the same way, don't put money into random indicator just because somebody allegedly makes millions using it. That somebody might has a large trading capital, a perseverant attitude, years of experience and a system you will never able to follow because it goes against everything you are comfortable with. You have to test different indicators as well as price action techniques. By doing so, you will know which approach best suits you. Also, you will naturally figure out which of the specific indicators, chart patterns, candlestick patterns, etc., performed the best. You can use free tools like MetaTrader's strategy tester feature or TradingView's market replay. Also, you can invest in backtesting software such as ForexTester. #### Have a nice day!
Hey all, First time poster, long time lurker. Just learning until I think of useful/interesting post. I just finished Babypips school. No this isn’t another, “What do I do next?!” eager to consume posts. More just introducing myself and share methods as I progress and chat more in this sub. It’s been a super helpful research tool with just the sidebar alone, but the interactions are also generally positive and research engaged. Forex was on my list of active/sidehobby/internet ideas to try. (Along with selling on Ebay and learning/teaching languages) I’ve always been into stocks/finance and I’m open still open to continuing learning past forex into futures and/or cryptocurrency. Forex to me is kind of an intro to price action and charts for me. Also the physics of it all that I’m hoping to apply more as time goes on. Anyways , started forex 2 years ago. Saw I needed disposable income you could lose (which I didnt have at the time) and put it off. Now I’m about 3 months in with my rediscovery of it with a lot more financial cushion/discipline.I finished the babypips school and try to practice 25-45 mins a day of something forex related the last 90 days or so. Here is my routine and some things I”ve learned since starting. Demo Trading is overrated. And then it becomes the best thing ever. I’m gunna just go out and say it. IF you’re trading for 9 months on demo you should’ve stopped 8 months ago. I mean don’t get me wrong 9 months, that shows alot of persistence in your habits, but you’re spending time on a variable that doesn’t exchange certainty in the real system. I only even say this because you could be like me. Trade demo all this time then find out the leverage you wanted isn’t even available in your country. (U.S here) So I felt like a dummy from the jump, but that’s part of the learning curve you should be doing sooner rather than later. This does not mean fund your account fully. No, put just $200. I trade with my initial capitol @ $200 and I won’t add a penny more until I’ve developed a profitable system with what’s already in there. A good investment is a good investment and throwing more money doesn’t actually add value to the growth return on your investment.(In most cases) So what’s the big deal with Demo? Well for one you want to work with a system that’s tangible in your country. U.S is capped at 1:50 leverage. I don’t know other countries regulations but it’s something I wish someone told me to look out for before I started testing financial strategies. Another thing is the spreads are often very different from what you find in demo (attention scalpers out there) sometimes dramatically. (After NY close of the day /Weekends ) You have to implement all of these factors to your strategy. Now what is demo good for? Starting out! Learning how to set indicators, trades, stop losses and so on. I’d say 60 days max if you can’t donate much time. Even less than 60 days if you have more free time but then after that it’s time to get your feet wet. One other good thing about demo accounts is that it allows you to practice fundamentally different trading ideas out before trying them out on your actual account. An example would be a scalper trying a new position strategy he learned in demo to set some long term positions next year. I enjoy trading because it’s a discipline on your anxiety. When you deposit your first amount, any amount that's more than a new video game or dvd collection, your brain is going to fire off “Hey you bought something new that can make money let’s test it out! It could be making you money” You have to calm this voice first. IF you even can. This voice makes you check the charts 3x more than you did in demo and caused at least me to trade just so the money’s not going to waste. I lost 40% of my account the first week. I would’ve called myself mentally stable before this too. But that voice broke me and you have to confront it because it’s the impatience in all of us and causes you to force your view of the markets to fit your system. Demo is a great tool but shouldnt be held on longer than it’s purpose. Immersion This is going to be a little shorter than my last topic because this is more something everyone has to find and listen to. Don’t just study the same website or forum for forex everyday. Try to get a wide view of the financial markets as a whole and various media input. Subscribe to a couple good youtube channels maybe a visual representation of what you’ve been learning could help solidify it. Maybe a podcasts personality makes your brain react differently to topics where a bland textbook reading didnt excite you the same. Watch a documentary on trading one week and hell maybe even Wolf of Wall Street another week, whatever it is that gets your whole body involved in the feeling of trading so 1) you don’t get burned out on the topic and 2) you find more ways to connect with the information you find. Whether emotional or visually. Here are two recommendations of channels that help me break the norm of my study routine: “Two Blokes Trading” Podcast I discovered these guys a while back in a comment thread. I would recommend this podcast to beginners because you can start from the very beginning of their series and learn with them. They’re young, enthusiastic and open to exploring alot of areas to trading and different philosophies. So sometimes you can find gems in subjects you didn’t expect to encounter. They also bring in advisors and brokerage managers to feature on their subjects. And it’s not all forex focused. Check them out: http://twoblokestrading.com/podcast-episodes/ Barry Burns “Top Dog Trading” Barry Burns I like because you have him walking you through the charts on youtube. One of the few videos I watched on Price action were by him where the lightbulb went off. He offers a great free resource and sometimes I even feel guilty getting it on youtube for free before sharing it because it feels like the things he touches on and how he explains them, even paid classes probably couldn’t get right. He has so many videos on different markets and how to read them just apply them to the type of trader you are. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcjyImdSWDTCGCa7G24faIQ Routine ( final topic on this post) So every week I try to keep a basic routine of forex and ways to practice. I try to wake up early as I’m on the Pacific Coast so I get up 2 hours early before I have to head to work. 20-30 mins of this time I do something related to forex education. The rest of the time I gather my foundation for the week and arrange goals / meditate/ journal. I’ll look at the charts, when I still had Babypips to finish I’d set a time and study through what I could of the course through that time. Now that I’m finished I’ll either check this sub, watch a video/podcast or try to read something related fundamentally to trading or finance. (I’d like to get some more book ideas about trading and it’s psychology) So that’s one habit. You’ve got to be able to at least schedule 20-45 minutes a day to consistent study + practice time to acquire new skills. 20 minutes uninterrupted is enough. Wake up early if you have to. Then throughout the day you’ll find time to reflect or research more and soon the time will start to add up. This also works on the other extreme too. If you have alot of free time I’d say starting out 1 hour to 2 hours max is what you should dedicate to studying. Forex is a very mentally fatiguing process skill. You’ve got to let your brain recharge (need those MP potions it seems) the whole currency system is heavy and complex enough that starting from scratch you couldn’t learn everything in 24 hours straight. I’d say even a week straight wouldn’t work. It takes time and a habitual familiarity. It’s not dissimilar to learning a language. Where concepts become stacked on a foundation of understanding to be acted upon through your day to day. Even if you can name all the working parts, experience build with how much time you think in that language per day. There’s a reason I chose the word “Immersion” for my second topic. Moving along. Another part of my routine is backtesting 40-50 trades a week of my strongest system. This equates to a little under 10 trades a day. I completely journal and track profits like they were live. Some suggest using a simulator, while that is a great practice for timing entries, I’ve found just using the Metatrader 4 Desktop and using the F12 key to progress forward one tick at a time has been sufficient for my backtesting needs. Backtesting gives you an opportunity to practice way more trades in a week than live session will be able to provide. I’m using M15 - H1 intraday strategies and maybe pull off 5-6 trades a week. BUT I practice 10x that amount per week. Soon you’ll find your live performance is really only a display of how your last week backtesting went. It’s like football practice for the gameday. Now which system I test varies, like I said I’ll try my strongest, but that changes. Just grab any system you think you can pull off and backtest it. Babypips gave me my first few, then I created some ridiculous ones, but over time your experience of a system and how to get them to work for you grows by running test trades. Systems I’ve found and backtested that are online are: the “So Easy It’s Ridiculous” system and the Cowabunga System, both found on babypips and a simple google search. Easy. I know, and really a system is just supposed to make having trading decisions easier for you. But your participation and exit are equally important. Can you follow easy rules you or others make? No questions asked? So that concludes my post. I hope in the future when I’ve backtested 1,000 trades I can post some of my personal systems I’ve followed, right now they feel to amateur to even share. I am the humble fool, so any ideas on my style or feedback on where I should head are greatly appreciated. I’m open to questions and dialogue so feel free to send a PM or comment. Hearing from other traders is the reason I even started this account to post and interact. This post and future ones I have planned are kind of a new element I wanted to try of journaling that allows me some social accountability and feedback from a community rather than all my entries being hoarded in my notebooks, so my apologies if it’s more wordy than usual on here. Thanks everyone and have fun! -AP TL:DR Just browse over the bold sections
I've recently been working on creating and refining a new edge. Journaling is an essential part of that process and it inspired me to make this post since some people might not see the importance of keeping one.
Journaling is one of the most important aspects of your trading.
It can be a chore, but keeping a trading journal is incredibly useful.
Because if you set one up and use it correctly, that's where you'll find patterns. Patterns in the markets, patterns in your trades, and patterns in your trading behaviour. You can use a journal find new edges. Or to refine your entries, exits, SLs, TPs, holding times, etc. Or to find and address any bad trading behaviours (eg. moving SLs when you shouldn't be, or skipping valid set ups out of fear). You get the idea - it's really handy.
What should you put in your journal?
As much as you can - without discouraging yourself from actually using it consistently. That's going to differ for everyone. Do some googling (or ask people here on reddit) to see what other people have found useful variables to track. There's also lots of templates available online to copy (eg. here or here). Keep in mind that different technical set ups will require different variables to track. A few that I think are very useful yet often overlooked include - maximum adverse excursion, maximum favourable excursion, tracking the performance (using R multiples) of a few alternative exit methods, and the name of the day of the week at entry.
So what should you do?
Step 1 - Think long and hard about the appropriate variables you think you should track - ones that could influence your trade performance. Step 2 - Update your journal regularly. I like to do it at the end of every trading day while the trades are still fresh in my mind. Find what works for you. Step 3 - Periodically go back and analyse your journal. You might find that your win rate drops significantly on Fridays and thus makes your Friday trades have a negative expectancy. You might find that having RSI divergence at your entry signal increases the expectancy of the trade by 13%. You might find that exiting at ATR significantly outperforms both exiting at your Bollinger bands or exiting at a 161.8% fib extension. You get the idea? Step 4 - Act on the information provided by your journal. Skip those Friday trades. Add RSI divergence to your entry requirements. Exit at ATR. Whatever.
Journaling is incredibly useful for backtesting, forward testing, and live trading. Your journal is your best friend. Use one.
Create a folder for trading screenshots. Take a screenshot of the chart every time you enter, exit or modify a trade. Annotate the screenshots in an image editor (eg. MS Paint) if you want. Find a naming convention that works. Here's an example from my folder. Sort this folder in numerical order and you'll have a chronological chart book of all your trades which can be useful for visually searching for patterns.
I use a paid program called Edgewonk as my journal. It's just a glorified excel document that makes the analysis easier. You can just use the filter feature in excel to see how variables (and combinations of variables) affect your trades. Here's an export of some of the things I track in it for one of my set ups.Notethisspreadsheetdoesn'tincludethetrackingofdifferentexitmethods,ortradescreenshots,oranyanalysis.
If you feel like sharing the variables you track in your trading journal, I'm sure people would like to read about them in the comments.
Traders who depends on ROBOTS, i have some questions.
i have been trading forex for 2 years, tried most of the things out there but still lost my first 2 live accounts i quite my job 3 months ago so i can be free to explore the possibilities of succeeding in this market and in this period i realized robot trading would be better for me, why? Technical Analysis require me to be looking at the chart a lot and manual trading in general require my presence at a specific time for the trade to be a good entry, and i lake the discipline for that unfortunately. On the other hand if i have a strategy with Specific rules then there is no point in manual trading, i can program the robot with my rules and it will do the trading for me and it is way faster to find a bad strategy through the back test and move on to continue searching for a good one. these are my point of view on that matter please tell me what do you think about it. Now After Exploring with my old and new strategies i found a strategy that i think should work depending on the backtest results, if you have experience with EAs Please Review it and tell me if i should go live with it the strategy only Works on USDJPY M5 time frame, WHY??? I keep asking myself Why would a strategy only works on a specific time frame on a specific pair and won't work on any other pair even the jpy pairs won't succeed with them, i can't understand it, WHY? the strategy is based on price action with couple of indicators so why it performs different in different pairs? here is the 10 Years back test results from (20 August 2007 to 20 August 2017) http://i.imgur.com/JOIMyGn.png and here is 5 years back test from 20 August 2012 to 20 August 2017 http://i.imgur.com/NpzKKxZ.png is this a good result to go live with the strategy? I back tested it with average spread, and found out if i change the spread the results change, why? I risk only 1% per trade and i have a fixed 2.67R per trade and it's averages a trade a week should I increase the risk maybe to 5-10% ? and what is the minimum capital for a strategy like this? sorry if there are stupid questions i am still new to EAs idea, and if you guys have any other tips please share it, thanks.
I made my first profitable Robot and i have some questions.
I posted this in forex but they told me about this reddit so i will post it here i have been trading forex for 2 years, tried most of the things out there but still lost my first 2 live accounts i quite my job 3 months ago so i can be free to explore the possibilities of succeeding in this market and in this period i realized robot trading would be better for me, why? Technical Analysis require me to be looking at the chart a lot and manual trading in general require my presence at a specific time for the trade to be a good entry, and i lake the discipline for that unfortunately. On the other hand if i have a strategy with Specific rules then there is no point in manual trading, i can program the robot with my rules and it will do the trading for me and it is way faster to find a bad strategy through the back test and move on to continue searching for a good one. these are my point of view on that matter please tell me what do you think about it. Now After Exploring with my old and new strategies i found a strategy that i think should work depending on the backtest results, if you have experience with EAs Please Review it and tell me if i should go live with it the strategy only Works on USDJPY M5 time frame, WHY??? I keep asking myself Why would a strategy only works on a specific time frame on a specific pair and won't work on any other pair even the jpy pairs won't succeed with them, i can't understand it, WHY? the strategy is based on price action with couple of indicators so why it performs different in different pairs? here is the 10 Years back test results from (20 August 2007 to 20 August 2017). http://i.imgur.com/JOIMyGn.png and here is 5 years back test from 20 August 2012 to 20 August 2017 http://i.imgur.com/NpzKKxZ.png is this a good result to go live with the strategy? I back tested it with average spread, and found out if i change the spread the results change, why? I risk only 1% per trade and i have a fixed 2.67R per trade and it's averages a trade a week should I increase the risk maybe to 5-10% ? and what is the minimum capital for a strategy like this? sorry if there are stupid questions i am still new to EAs idea, and if you guys have any other tips please share it, thanks.
Technical & fundamental news on currencies.I would advise newer traders not to trade solely on external opinions because that won't cement your own methodology or reasons for trading.Excellent website for if you want an overview of the markets and daily reports. Also includes a trading journal and a lot of media attention.
This is absolutely amazing! I can't put a value on this! It's one of the best gems of the internet. Podcasts interviewing successful traders, some are notable such as 50pips, Walter Peters & Chris Kapre.
One of the best free online schools which tracks your progress and teaches you heaps on information. The forum is the gem, where many people keep trade journals and put up their strategies. Don't copy them but borrowing concepts and ideas is good.
SUPER IMPORTANT This website is paramount to your success, still in development but will provide users with an easy way to document trades. Success is determined by your willingness to follow through with the boring bits so keep this one in your bookmarks.
The common trait he sees in successful traders, how long it took him to become profitable, the most important trade that made him successful, his favourite books and why they both like Jessica Peletier.
A warehouse worker went through his trials and tribulations to be given the offer of managing an $80 million fund. How he started with $800 and no clue what to do, 2 biggest mistakes he sees traders making, how he continues to improve and what has happened to his lifestyle since becoming a full-time trader.
How Timothy Sykes inspired her, what minimalism is all about and how it's spread to every facet of her life, what her single pair to trade is, what the 2 best traits for successful traders are and plenty more!
What plastic bottles have to do with trading, how much money you need to have to be properly funded and go full-time, how much work you have to do and how long it'll take to get there, 2 best traits to have and loads loads more!
Can you actually trade from a beach? The use of hypnosis to make him a better trader, the method that works with his psychology, how much you need to get started, how long it took him to become profitable and what he would do differently if he had to start over! plus loads more!
Personal Favorite I love this guy because he's true and noble. He is philanthropic, offers trading courses that are cheap and really knows what he's talking about. He explains how a 3 second glance can stop you 2nd guessing yourself, how much he made with $3000 in 6 months and plenty more!
How he's turned some traders around in 30 minutes, why you never trade on a monday, the courses he bought, why he teaches outside the classroom and why he sent his kids to learn chinese.
Edit - I've spent about 2 hours making this now. I hope you guys find it useful! I'll continue to update it and may you all find trading success. If you want to help me out spread the link! put it on forums or share it with friends. Good luck to you all and happy trading! Edit 2 - My brain is fryed... time for a rest. Edit 3 Once I've categorized this post making it easier to navigate i'll be adding books to read, videos to watch & the traders that will help on your journey to self-sufficiency. Happy trading everybody!
How do I backtest, i.e. TradingView, ForexTester, or ??? and how do I get data?
As a newbie, I have been reading books and learning as much as possible before entering the market. I've got an Oanda demo account, but when I'm ready to test my strategy I don't want to test it in real-time, or at least as much as the demo allows, because that is too slow. As a complete newbie, here is the way I imagine backtesting should work. I'm curious to see how this compares to reality:
Load up charting software (which, I don't know).
File→Load market data from the past, i.e. 2012-present.
Go to the start of the chart, set the chart/bar time.
Hit the left cursor button, or whatever button, each time I want the chart to proceed forward one bar.
Take my time between each bar analyzing whether I should get in, out etc.
The above system would let me test my system without waiting the full 4 or n hours before bars like a demo account would require. Plus, I'm a programmer so I'd like to try and eventually write an indicator and test out other indicators. In my title I put TradingView and ForexTester because those are the only two I've come across so far that might do this. Do I have to pay for back data, or do people just record it themselves and offer it for free online? While I don't want people to do my work for me, it just seems like this question might be one that a lot of other people are wondering about and I haven't seen one like it so far on this subreddit. Thanks!
I just turned on a few anti-spam settings for this subreddit and we're dedicated to keeping this sub active & focused on daytrading. We've always allowed users to post their youtube videos, there's a lot you can learn from watching someone else day trade, but if you're going to push your products/services in your video, then we're going to mark your post as spam & ban you. Now there's other subs out there that you should also subscribe to that we added to the sidebar (updated). I personally would love to become something better than TheWallStreet one day, but right now they're doing a phenomenal job and I commend them. Other subreddits updated in the sidebar:
Added algotrading & left forex since both subs have a history of automating day trades, and also forex has great posts on technical analysis & backtesting strategies
Added pennystocks since penny stocks have their own strategies and most subs redirect users there
Moved wallstreetbets to a link in the rules to redirect users who want to meme
Removed rule that required users to add images to self posts, now you can just post the image. Orignally this was our anti-meme rule, but we have a rule for that already, so feel free to post technical chart images directly.
Please continue to use the report button (report button getting an update soon). Also take this as an opportunity to provide feedback on this sub, thanks! Update: I removed the discord chat from the sidebar since we lost the mods there.
Web-Based Backtesting Forex Simulator Trading Strategy Analytics Try it Free Backtesting Watch Intro Forex Simulator. Develop profitable trading strategies. Whether you want to learn forex trading or to improve a trading strategy. You need the right tools to succeed. We see demo-trading provided by most brokerage firms as a trap. Our team is determined to reveal and resolve the problems with ... Forex Backtester free download - BackTester, Robot Forex 2014 Profesional, Forex All-In-One-Widget, and many more programs Launched in 2011, the TradingView platform is a good option for free Forex backtesting software. This Forex trader software is best known for its advanced charting tools. Real-time data and browser-based charts make research from anywhere possible, since there is nothing to install, and no complex setups to be taken care of. It is a social platform, where you can even share, watch or ... Software that will allow you to find the working methods and dismiss the losing ones while you backtest your strategies. Get Forex Tester, the best trading simulator for backtesting, a training platform and a prediction app all in one, and make every trade work for your total success on the currency market There is a free version that you can use to follow this guide. However, if you ... Forex backtesting shows you the validity of your strategy and gives you the information you need to make it better. Even more importantly, it helps you understand your strategy and what you can expect from it. The latter is crucial because no matter how awesome an analyst you become, you will never be able to ... Adding extra charts when backtesting: You have to do it in the first place: Objects such as TL appear on all timeframes: When you draw an object, it’s only on that timeframe : Open trades on several pairs at the same time: You can only open trade on one pair: 6- Forex Tester Backtesting Software. Forex tester 4 is the most complete tool you can find for backtesting Forex trading strategies ... If you have heard of Forex backtesting, but always wondered how to do it, then this guide is for you. Just like everything in trading and in life, there is no one-size-fits-all. Backtesting will not work for every trader or every trading system. However, there is nothing that I have seen that has universally helped more people become successful in trading, than backtesting. I consider it vital ...
Backtesting + Forex Trade Journal Template Using Notion ...
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