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Everything posted by raul

  1. Thanks TW. I have a chart of the ES but I trade the Russell, it usually has a larger range and thus more profits, I have read some articles that show the Russell trends better, less whipsaw, as with everything it's not 100%. On the ES one can see the major turning points and I believe the Russell follows the ES because of the larger volume. Today was very choppy and that is why I like having a chart of Crude Oil and Copper on another screen. While watching paint dry on the indices, crude oil took off and did well over $1k per contract. Unrelated to this thread, copper trends very well on Sunday afternoon (Pacific time) for reasons I don't understand (Asian markets?) so that's a trade to get a jump start on the week. Regarding upthrusts and springs, they are retests of a low or high with partial penetration (higher high or low but not a close) on the second attempt and then a full reversal, I think the same patterns go by other names like 123 patterns, failed or fake breakouts (thus a reversal). The mechanics of why these patterns are repeated have been explained as price manipulation by the professionals, they will buy at the bottom or near the bottom and then start a campaign to push prices higher, with some large orders injected here and there to get it going until the crowds finally join in, the professionals will then sell off partially at the top, prices come down, more retail (amateur) trades join in not wanting to miss out on the bull run, prices go up again but there is no follow up from the professionals (where large volume and money comes in), then the professionals sell off their remaining holdings and the trend reverses to repeat the cycle going down (to trap and milk the retail traders). Recognizing candles showing exhaustion selling or buying is key to identifying reversals - they have very large volume and large effort but poor results - candles with long wicks and small bodies with little progress in price gain - such as a shooting star or hammer. These candles are usually a few candles after a CCI peak (200 level) and well ahead of a MACD crossover. Better probability of a reversal if CCI and MACD are on the same extreme side of the scale (top or bottom). I should mention understanding CCI and MACD divergence also. Nothing works 100% of the time though, and tops and bottoms are not always easy to pick so wait for confirmation of a reversal or be willing to try again if wrong (use stop loss), one time it took me 3 tries before I got it, so while MACD is the slowest confirmation, it may be the most conservative and safest. I should note that there are large time periods (lunch hour) where trades should be avoided as the indicators are also not accurate due to low volume. Springs and Upthrusts I cannot recommend any books on Upthrusts and Springs as I have read many and it comes down to what I wrote. I purchased David Weis' book Trades About to Happen which explains Wyckoff in a more modern way. There is enough info on the web that it is not necessary to buy a book about these patterns.
  2. I would like to add my two cents. Trading e-mini futures like the ES and Russell (or Nasdaq and Dow) is simpler than following many stocks, and I believe in the end the commissions are lower. One problem is the minimum account balance necessary for swing trading, the daily margins are usually $500 USD (intraday trading) but the margin for an overnight contract is near $5K. An option would be to trade micro Gold (MGC) with a maintenance margin of $800. Another option would be to trade Nadex weekly binary options which do not require a large account. That takes care of what to trade. In regards to technical analysis, support and resistance, volume, candle patterns (specially reversal patterns). an oscillator and a trend follower indicator. Understand Upthrusts and Springs (Wyckoff). As some have mentioned, BEFORE you enter a trade, know why you are entering a trade and know what to do if things work out or don't, don't even go in if the reward is not larger than the risk, the larger the reward, the larger the stop loss has to be to give it room to work out (the chart will tell you, look at the previous low or high). Don't enter a trade if the stop loss is larger than what your account can handle, some say 1-3% of your account. Some say to not even move the stop loss until you are in profit.
  3. Not exactly a book but a tool to help automate trades: Bloodhound by Shark Indicators - only runs on Ninja Trader, it does the programming for you, you chose your strategy, parameters, etc. Also look up mql4, mql5 Tons of info in there.
  4. I was using a Pentium 4 computer running Windows XP Home, 4 screens, actually 5 at one point and it worked fine until my charts needed more time to refresh. I am now using a Quad Core with 4 Gb of RAM, Windows 7, it is not faster than my old Pentium but my charts have minimal lag now when I change to a different time frame. 4 screens for one instrument may not be necessary. You can split your screen to have a longer time frame chart on the top half and a shorter time frame on the lower half, expand and minimize screens as needed. Two screens would suffice (that's 4 charts), a third screen maybe for the DOM or trading dashboard. That computer from Wal-mart should be fine, you don't have to buy brand new, I prefer slightly used and save some money. I use 4 screens because I follow four different futures, one could spend all day waiting for a trade on the ES while things could be really moving in grains, metals, energies or currencies. Once I enter a trade, I concentrate on one futures instrument only and will not look at the other screens, maybe even turn them off. If the trade stalls, I start looking for other trades in the other screens.
  5. Do you want to invest (buy and hold) or trade? The e-mini futures have many advantages over trading stocks. There are studies that show that buying and holding can be beat by a wide margin by trading the up and down price swings (if done correctly).
  6. I switched from TradeStation to Daniels Trading, their platform is called dTPro which comes from OEC. Commissions are $5.90 but I think low commissions is not the only thing to go by. My broker does not charge me for the platform and I pay no fees for data feed. With TradeStation I had to pay for the platform (if not enough trades) and data fees to several exchanges, their commissions were much lower but if I called, I would get bounced around, my broker answers when I call. You are limited to only 10 charts with dTPro. You might want to look at the Russell 2000, there are many articles showing that it trends better. Crude Oil beats them both on potential profits though.
  7. – double the efforts and keep digging in (?) No, insanity is expecting different results by doing the same thing over and over. I think you need time to rest, regroup and review. It would help to know what you are trading and where you are. I personally would not trade Forex although some have success with it, I trade e-mini futures which covers just about everything. You are the holy grail, you have to find a method that you believe in, even if it is as basic as a moving average crossover or a CCI cross (they both work, properly managed). Start with a clean slate, be prepared, don't rush, let the trade come to you. If you fail, don't beat yourself up, move on. The psychological baggage will take time to overcome but you can make it. Most of all stop trading with real money. Paper trade until you are consistent, analyze your mistakes, overcome bad habits. There are thousands of vendors out there selling systems and training, very few can be trusted in my book, most I think are just out to take your money. .....or quit it for good and forget it as a worst nightmare (?). There is nothing wrong with walking away for a while and quitting is not failure either. You may have to stop and work a while to build up your account, that is not failure. Success: Fall down 6 times, get up 7 times.
  8. I would use daily charts and place positions based on break outs, since you can't be there, you would need to place your target and stop loss also (a bracket order), it may be possible to place orders for breakouts to the upside and downside (OCO?) but I have never done it.
  9. I found these sites interesting, you could test your strategies in Wealth-Lab either by buying the software or having an account with Fidelity. Google:alphapowertrading, Wealth-Lab Pro / Wealth-Lab Developer It would not hurt to have a back up plan, to specialize in computer security while also learning programming in financial markets. My neighbor works in internet security for AT&T and tells me that there are not enough people who really know the stuff, you want to be able to find a job that pays well and will allow you the funds to trade while you learn.
  10. raul

    Would You Share?

    What works for me is too look at longer time frames to see the previous tops and bottoms and trade such support and resistance ranges, as well as pullbacks along the way. I use Ichimoku clouds which gives a sort of moving support and resistance. The 200 MA is also quite often respected. Japanese candle patterns confirm turning points. This is nothing new. Also looking at different time frames, one can get lost inside the forest (small time frame charts) and not see the bigger picture. Avoid the lunch hour dull, usually between 11 to 1 CT. Give the trades enough room to move, too tight of a stop loss has gotten me out of profitable trades. Have a plan, know when to get out and why to get in.
  11. A university BS or Masters degree can be of little value in this economy, some degrees are better than others but it comes down to experience, the more the better, so if you can, start working in something right away because your future depends on it. A degree in accounting is not a bad option, better than one in finance, information systems or economics and you can always freelance once you are a CPA. What you want is something that you can do for a while to live and fund a trading account for e-mini futures, which to me is better than trading Forex or anything out there. You want more than a minimum account size, preferably in the 7-10K range or more, with a small account you cannot keep an overnight position, with a larger account -one able to maintain the overnight margin- you could ride a futures contract for days or weeks and make a larger profit (in theory), assuming you made the right call. You also need to have enough in the account to buffer your losses. Also, since you will be working, day trading is most probably not possible so swing trading with preset stop loss and target would be the only option. You could trade options but I still think e-mini futures are better, I'm sure some people will disagree. A solid trading plan, discipline, enough funds and perseverance will help you succeed in trading, it won't happen quickly or easily, that should be your long term goal.
  12. Steve, There are brokerages where you only need $500 for daily futures margin but that's cutting it close, you will need at least $2500 to open an account. You could try micro lot Forex at FXCM to get your feet wet. But paper trade until you are consistently profitable. You can start with as little as $50 to open an account but don't trade the account. I think the demo accounts are only good for 30 days but they may let you keep the demo account longer if you fund an account. Raul
  13. I agree with your analysis. On the weekly chart you can see that that prices are rejecting a previous resistance level from August-September. Make sure you have a stop just in case. Price could be taking a rest before heading for 50 or 61.8 level but the pin bar and decreasing volume are bearish.
  14. This comments are about Chart 1. I found the terminology in VSA needlessly confusing, so I use my own interpretation, I also use candles instead of bars. We have two bullish bars followed by a bearish bar, followed by an indecision bar that closes barely below the previous bar close, showing a low probability of the down move to continue. The next bar is bullish and strong but is followed by two Dojis (candlestick terminology), these bars have long tails which show that there is effort to pull the price down and little success to make the price go higher, a Doji usually signals the end of a move or that the end is near. Pin bar is a shooting star, great effort to push the price up but failed and prices closed even lower than previous two bars hinting that prices are going to fall and it does in the next two bars. Why did the down move not continue? I can only guess without seeing a bigger chart. It certainly exceeds a pullback to a .68 Fib level. A bigger picture might show a pivot point or a previous support/resistance level.
  15. Thanks Tim, I am not going through a router. My power settings are not the problem, neither is my firewall, that is why I think it is OEC. Will open an account with Mirus Futures, I have not seen a disconnect yet. I am now connecting to OpenDNS and so far I only had one short disconnect.
  16. JPhillips, What has really helped me: 1. The Opening Range 2. Using candles 3. Use a stop loss 4. Don't chase the market, usually a huge move means you need to go the other way. 5. Determine the trend and trade with the trend. 6. Learn to identify a choppy market and stay out. 7. Trade something less choppy like Soybeans. If trading futures, start with the Russell, YM or NQ. Identify best times to trade, learn when to be patient and when to act fast. 8. Demo trade but treat it as seriously as if it was real money. 9. Use a system that you like, say Moving Average crossovers, etc. the simpler the better. 10. Don't clutter your screen with more than two indicators.
  17. Jennie, No strategy works all the time, there are strategies for trending markets and there are strategies for choppy markets and mixed in there are pullbacks and retracements. When you started trading is not the problem. You can spread trade Binary Options at Nadex, I am sticking with futures, to me it seems that the risk is smaller and the rewards bigger.
  18. Lastninja, Your post did not ask for advice but I think you can save yourself a lot of heartache and financial losses if you concentrate on reading price action on charts, forget the DOM, your brain does not work like a computer, storing and remembering numbers, a chart gives you a bigger picture of where prices have been and where they may be headed. If you could trade the US market, concentrate on the hours between 8:30AM and 10AM (Central Time-Chicago) you could start at 7:30 also but that period of time has a better defined trend and cleaner reversals. Learn as much as you can about the Opening Range and trade against the support and resistance of the Opening Range. Learn your candles also, mainly reversal patterns: doji, engulfing candles, hammers, you only need a few.
  19. I have come to the conclusion that my OEC trading platform is the problem. I have read from other people (in other forums) that also had problems with OEC losing connection or freezing but their comments were from a while back. I am going to follow Jleon's suggestion and look at Advantage Futures. Perhaps other members can suggest who they use and if they have had disconnect problems. Thanks in advance.
  20. Yes, I agree that anything older than XP sp1 will be trouble, I have sp3 and so far no problems...I think. One problem I have not been able to figure out is why sometimes I lose my internet connection to the trading platlform and charts, it's only a few seconds and reconnects itself but I am troubled by the potential problem. I questioned my isp and they gave me a new modem but no difference. I asked my broker and they did not have any problems on their end. I've seen this with TradeStation and my present platform. I do not know where the problem is, has anyone else had this problem? I don't think my band width is the problem because the connection is never dropped on other programs. In regards to the time frame/method, maybe I made it sound too complicated, I just have a 1-2 minute chart with Ichimoku clouds and Stochastics below that. On another chart I have an hour chart so I can see the previous support and resistance levels and the larger trend. I hope this helps others. Thank you for this thread.
  21. Hello to everyone here. I've been trading for a little over a year now and finally seeing the light. I would like to share what I have learned. 3 - Timeframe/method If one looks at the Globex market, the moves (trend) are almost perfectly smooth unlike the US markets which can look like a train wreck. If one could stay up all night, one could start trading at midnight (pacific time), I've seen nice moves start then and then pick up speed around 5 and 7 AM, with a final good move before 10:30 to 11, when things get choppy. On occasion a nice reversal starts around 12:30 CT but these are rare. To combat boredom and getting killed by the chop, one should trade only the early morning or after lunch, but the mornings are best. Simple is better, when trading in real time there is no time to second guess, don't ask me how I know this. I trade Ichimoku cloud breaks, for the more aggresive trader, looking for candle reversal patterns along with Stochastics (fast line crossing slow) gives an good entry point. Know the target and be prepared to get out. I always use bracket orders and have my broker's number next to me in case my connections drops. Trade with the longer term trend (1 hour), buy/sell pullbacks and dips. The 20 to 50 day EMAs give good support and resistance. 5 - Money Management I don't think the often heard 1% or 2% risk on an account is practical, depending on where one enters, it may take more than to not get stopped out, therefore only enter a trade where the stop is as small as possible, on a trend reversal, sometimes easier said than done. 6 - Product The Russell 2000 is a lot less choppy than the S&P 500 E-mini, so I trade that. Crude Oil pays even more. I think last week I compared the moves, one trade in crude oil was $2600, Russell was 1400 and ES was 900. I don't carry my trades overnight since my account is small. 7 - Broker My broker is Daniels Trading, i switched to them after being with TradeStation because there is no charge for the platform (from OEC) and no charge for the data feed. The platform is only for Futures. Round trip cost per trade is 5.90 +/-. Another alternative is Infinity AT, it takes 2700 to start instead of 5K (Daniels Trading and most other brokers). I like and dislike the charting package which is Sierra Charts. You can have separate charts but the toolbars stay with only one chart. 10 - Computer I have several computers, all of them old, Pentium 4 with 2 to 4Gb of RAM, two computers I bought for $5 each, so there is no need for thousands of dollars of new equipment, we are looking at charts that don't move like video games. I use three screens, at times I had 5 screens but one should concentrate on only a few markets, preferably not all correlated. Oil seems to precede the ES when it moves. When the ES is not moving up, Oil will go down. So I look at Crude Oil, Russell, Soybeans. Have charts for 5 minutes or less and separate charts for 1 hour or longer to see the bigger picture (support and resistance levels to trade within). 11 - Internet I just have middle of the line cable, 100Mbps. 12 - Mentors I would stay away from the many services out there. I followed two for months and it was a waste of time and money. A real trader has no time to be talking, perhaps for longer term trading but not intraday. There are free resouces like Trade with Precision and icecommentary. ___________
  22. If I understand correctly, you are using price bars that are defined by contract size. I used 10,000 contracts on the ES before, once 10,000 contracts are traded, another bar prints. It is still the price action that you want to look at because that's the result of buying and selling. I hope that wasn't a useless answer.
  23. I think you are doing very well because you have not blown up your account, really, if you read about many successful traders, they lost a bundle. Marty Schwartz (who wrote Pit Bull) was a technical analyst and he traded for 9 years and did nothing but lose money. He figured it out eventually and did very well (even losing 800,000 in one day). I also traded the ES but am switching to the Russell 2000, there is less whipsawing, there are computerized systems trading the ES (large contracts for just a few ticks specifically in the choppy channels) and from what I have read, they cause a lot of the choppy and sideways market (some of it is of course also the result of accumulation/distribution). You should consider trading the NQ or YM as each tick is only $5 so if things go wrong, it's less of a loss. You will make less than trading the ES but capital preservation is key. I prefer to make only one trade and often it means being ready at market opening or before market opening for the trend reversal depending on where the chart is regarding S/R Since you are working, it may be better to work with a daily/4H/1H/30 min charts and place your trades ahead of time since you cannot be watching the charts, have your stop and target set. When you can watch the charts, use the ADX so you don't get caught in a choppy market (ADX below 20) - remember that ADX only works coming out of a choppy market and going into a trend, not trend reversal. The longer time frames (1H,4H, etc.) give you the bigger picture and go for the bigger moves. I realize you cannot hold overnight positions because of the account size. There is nothing wrong with trading a small account, that is how it should be done. CL is not as bad as Gold but it can kill your account, while you can make a lot of money, the moves can be too fast and crazy, it is not something that you should trade live at this time. While I do not trade Forex because I've read too many bad stories about brokers and slippage, etc. there are micro accounts where you would make less but also can control the losses to be even smaller, but I still don't like the spreads, I have not compared them to futures commissions, they may be more. Are you keeping a journal? To looks back and learn from what you are doing right and not? The psychological part is the toughest, I think you are doing well, refine your strategy and stick to the rules.
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