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  1. Point taken. I will stand by my stance because what you understood from my post is not what I have meant. Instead of starting a trend (regardless of the fact that a single trader is unable to initiate a trend; he would be engaging in picking tops or bottoms at the very least), I was insinuating to enter a position at the beginning stage of a new trend. You can detect reversals as soon as we shift from a pattern of higher low and higher high (uptrend) to a break of the aforementioned higher low to a pattern of lower high and lower low (downtrend). Take any chart in the 1H or 4H time frame, for example, and you surely spot the patterns I am talking about. We will never be able to know for sure how long a trend will last, but that is not the agenda either. The agenda is to trade in a way as to give us the best risk to reward ratio. This leads me to your second critique. By knowing when to exit, I was referring to using a stop loss, or another method of limiting your risk. You enter a position after you have elaborated on the potential outcomes; most of all the maximum tolerated loss. Trend followers do give back profits which is a striking characteristic with this approach. What is of significant difference to other approaches is that they know their potential risk in advance and how much potential profit they are going to give away should the trend reverse against their position (trailing stop).
  2. I can fully support RealDemo's advice. Make physical printouts of charts and study them vigorously until you seem to understand the underlying market forces. You might want to use the 1H or 4H time frames to really see clear trends in the market, as the daily chart may hide promising entry opportunities with the best risk to reward ratio. Go with the trend, not against it. Enter at the starting point of a trend whenever possible, not in the middle or toward the end. This gives you the relaxed state of mind you need to manage your position properly. If you enter toward the end of a trend, you are forced to fast adjustments. Before you enter a trade, know when to exit. This complies well with Sun Tzu's "The Art of War". The battle is already won or lost before it has even begun. The entry decides upon success, so choose wise entries. Don't trade out of gut feeling.
  3. The first image that comes to mind of an independent trader is the one who stares at his 6 monitors around the clock with blinking cells all over. Obviously you tend to believe that being a day trader is the only way to live off the financial market. If I can give you one advice: This is a myth, therefore please stay away from day trading. It is the only way for marketers to portray some excitement in this job, so don't get the wrong expectation. Find a time frame that exploits trends in the broader perspective of several days to weeks. It is good to observe the market closely in the beginning of your trading career, but that does not necessarily require you to go in and out every minute. When watching price action, mind the following concept: The market is a battleground for two opposing parties consisting of bulls and bears, who each fight for control. Bullish participants want the price to rise because only then they will make money, but they will forfeit money if the price falls. Bearish participants, on the other hand, have the exact opposite interest. The price action we are witnessing every day is a consequence of this dynamic fight which gets especially intense at certain zones called "support" and "resistance". If a trend is going higher according to the Dow Theory of higher highs and higher lows, you have bulls in a more advantageous position than bears. Nevertheless, bears counter against this influence at every opportunity of resistance and yield back, then regroup higher from where a fresh attack is more sensible and push the bulls back down to support. They in turn will regroup in larger numbers with the ambition to push prices back to resistance again, and beyond. This explains the frequent setbacks and ranges in an uptrend, but are not a reason to short altogether. The actual shift takes place when support is broken and bulls have lost the fight for control. According to my understanding, these are the best trade entries for short. Once a trend is in place, it will not easily stop. Think about Newton's law of motion: a body wants to retain its current velocity until enough external force has acted on it to reverse. Imagine a freight train which, once at full speed, will need to bring up a lot of force and time to halt, let alone reverse its direction. Numerous wagons are attached to the locomotive which also need to be halted first, before the train has a chance to change its direction. Inertia does not allow anything else. The same applies to a market which involves so many participants who need to gradually change their bias and position first. The common worry among newbie traders of a trade going against them any time is unjustified. Reversing constantly and setting tight stops leads to an accumulation of losses which by all means could be avoided if the focus was more on the forest than the trees.
  4. First of all, do you have a method (sound strategy) already? Or are you trading off gut feelings?
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