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  1. The sole reason for its popularity is that it's free and dumbed down. The vast majority of people who get into trading forex have very small accounts (this is why they do not open up futures or stock accounts). They are attracted to the "no deposit required" and "0.01 lot minimum trading size" brokers. These same people do not want to spend even a penny on a quality trading platform, so they will take whatever rudimentary software is available for free, like MT4. It's fine if they want to use it - that's their decision. It's just extremely annoying when they start comparing it to Sierra Chart, Tradestation, Multi Charts, Ninjatrader, etc.
  2. Are you serious with this post? Name one institution that trades with MT4. MT4 is a joke that is used by beginner forex traders for two reasons: 1) it is free, and 2) it is very simple to use. Institutions that are managing large amounts of money use custom platforms that are tailored for their needs, especially if these institutions are banks trading currencies with each other. MT4 doesn't even meet the standards to be called a serious retail trading platform. Comparing MT4 to something like Sierra Chart, Multicharts, Tradestation, etc., is like comparing a plastic tricycle to a Ferrari. I am going to go ahead and call you out on this - if you really think MT4 is the "best platform" you've ever tested, you have only used MT4. Tradestation and Ninjatrader and others like Sierra Chart and Multicharts are used by a large amount of professional traders who trade various markets like futures, stocks, commodities, forex, etc. MT4 is simply used by beginner forex traders. I'm sorry, but MT4 is one of the worst trading platforms out there. You won't find any serious professional trader using MT4... if they are using MT4, they are usually a beginner still new to trading.
  3. Not any more money than you would need to successfully trade/invest in other products. This is absolutely false, and shows severe ignorance regarding the diversity of the stock market. There are plenty of highly volatile and highly liquid stocks and ETFs with large daily ranges. Take a look at AAPL, for example. Or the SPY ETF. These are extremely suited for day trading. And then you're dealing with bucket shops and an unregulated market that can wreck you before you even have a chance to get good. Do you really think day trading spot forex (a market used primarily as a means for large firms to hedge risk and complete foreign transactions) is the answer for someone who is "trying to get rich quick"? Interesting...
  4. A simulation/demo account's purpose is to teach you the software, teach you how to place trades, teach you how to navigate the charts, etc. Don't try to stick there too long. After you learn the basics, and if you have been studying the markets long enough and have a plan ready, get out of the sim and use real money. Don't listen to people who think you should stick on the sim account for lengthy periods of time. 99% of trading is psychology and risk/money management. These two things go hand-in-hand, and you can NEVER learn this on the sim. If you are worried about losing money, trade micro lots.
  5. Hi everyone, I am interested in getting some input from people trading the KOSPI 200 Mini futures contract. I have a day job and want a liquid futures contract to do some evening trading to practice for the day I move to the ES, and from what I have read KOSPI 200 Mini is unparalleled among Asian instruments in the trading opportunities it offers. But I have some questions: 1) I see that the KOSPI 200 futures contract has incredible liquidity. The KOSPI 200 mini, on the other hand, has less intraday liquidity, though it is still considerably liquid from what I can see. What kind of slippage is expected on stop orders that are beyond 10 contracts in size? 2) Is the typical spread on the mini contract always 1 tick, similar to the ES? 3) I just opened an account with interactive brokers to trade this instrument (haven't funded yet). The commissions are around $1.62 per round trip (if I calculated this correctly). That's almost the value of one tick. Is there any cheaper alternative, or is this pretty cheap compared to brokerages in Korea? 4) For those using IB to trade the KOSPI - the data is free, but is the quality of the data decent enough for intraday trading? Is there any substantial delay between the Korean market value and the value that is displayed by IB? Thanks in advance for any replies.
  6. Seems to be the PERFECT instrument for people working 9-5 or going to school during the day. Trading for the E-mini Nikkei 225 starts at 8PM est. However, I can't find any futures broker that offers it, except one - Interactive Brokers. Are there any other brokers that give access to the E-mini Nikkei 225 on the Osaka Exchange?
  7. Why trade with relatively unknown brokers when you have well-established firms available to you?
  8. Oanda and FXCM both have solid reputations. Interactive Brokers is also highly recommended by bigger traders. Oanda has larger spreads, but very good data and solid execution. It's hard to find good charting software to use with them, though (I just started using MotiveWave, which can hook up to Oanda). I currently use Oanda and would recommend them to anyone who wants to learn to trade, since they do not have a minimum lot size or minimum deposit. This makes it really easy for a beginner to practice without losing more than a few cents per trade, if they really wanted to do that. Where else can you place a trade of 100 units or something ridiculously small? However, with FXCM you can get extremely tight spreads (some of the best I've seen). For that, you do have to pay commission. If you trade 1 lot of the EUR/USD, for example, your spread may only be between .2 and .5 of a pip, but you'll have to pay $8 roundtrip commission for this spread. You can use a lot of different platforms with FXCM, such as Sierra Chart, NinjaTrader, MotiveWave, etc.
  9. I didn't say that - I basically said that if you are going to backtest, it would make more sense to test in a manner that you would be trading. If you are a discretionary trader who is not using automation to execute trades, you should backtest your strategy by chart reading manually. That makes most sense to me, and I think a lot of people would agree with that. By discretionary, I don't mean that you don't have a plan - it means that you have the ability to use some subjective reasoning to read market context and setups. The best price action traders, for example, have worked out their setups in a pretty black and white manner, but knowing when to execute the setups and money management can be a highly subjective thing based on experience and individual skill. It's extremely difficult to automate strategies - it is not a simple issue of making a computer do A when B happens. Trading is far more complex than that. For that reason, it is going to be very tough to be able to rely on automated backtesting, unless you ARE going to be using automation and are going to be trading with that same automated strategy that you just tested.
  10. Automated backtesting any given strategy isn't a good idea unless you are going to be using that same automated system in live trading. In my opinion, if you are manually trading, manual backtesting is the way to go. Since you will be trading with your own discretion, I don't find automated backtesting useful, and even deceitful. You won't trade like a computer in a live environment, so you need to test in a way that most accurately imitates how you will trade or it isn't worth much. When I started trading currencies, I wanted to test some of the price action strategies I was going to be trading. So I just made an excel spreadsheet and put data in it. For example, I took a strategy and started like 2 years in the past on the 8 hour EUR/USD chart. Whenever I'd find it, I'd go through the strategy and find out if I would have won or lost, and how much I would have won or lost. You can plug this data into excel and calculate a whole range of different statistics. You will not only get useful data, you will also learn to become an excellent chart reader with a great feel for how the market you are trading moves. You can't get that sort of incredible utility from automation.
  11. If you have no trading experience, you are being extremely naive thinking that you can learn how to trade e-mini futures with a position size of 4 contracts. You might think a $200 stop loss is simply 1% of your account, but as a beginner (and in your case, someone without any real trading plan) you are likely to string together many losses in a row and destroy yourself from the beginning. From what I've seen and experienced, a 4 tick stop in the ES is pretty damn tight, and you would have to really know what you're doing, and entering on highly precise stop orders in order to stand any chance of not being stopped out quickly during a trade. The math rarely works out in your favor with tight stops. You will be playing more of a scalper's game, and with such tight stops you are going to be stopped out a lot. Combine that with the fact that you, as a beginner, will not be taking high probability trades, you are going to lose over the long run. In short, you will be in danger of blowing your account. You should take it slow, and start off with 1 (or AT MAXIMUM 2) contracts until you are consistently profitable. Develop your plan and your psychology. Only then should you even consider increasing your position size to 4 contracts (and beyond). You should also probably try starting off with the SPY, because that will allow you to trade very small (100 shares, for example). If you trade 500 shares of the SPY, that's like trading 1 contract of the ES (10 cents in the SPY being equivalent to 1 point in this scenario). The SPY trades exactly like the ES, but with tighter spreads and the ability to manage your exposure to even less than a 1 contract size.
  12. This seems to be correct. Again, I have no knowledge of options, but from my experience in the DOM, you are right.
  13. I might be understanding you incorrectly... so please ask further if I'm not answering your question: Whenever you are selling, you can sell at any price... perhaps you want to sell at the bid price. If that's the case, you can select a BID price and you can sell it at that price to the buyers who have orders at that BID price. For example, when I'm trading futures, I have a Depth of Market window (DOM) open, which has a column listing the BID prices and a column listing the ASK prices. If I click on a price on the BID side, then I will be SELLING at that price to the buyers who have placed buy orders at that price level. If I click on a price on the ASK side, then I will be BUYING at that price from the sellers who have placed sell orders at that pricelevel Make sure you remember: BID price = the price that buyers are willing to buy something at ASK price = the price that sellings are willing to sell something at So if you are a seller, you can ONLY sell something if a buyer has a BID open at the price you want to sell at. It won't lead to a sale if I have I am seller selling at $100 but the highest BID price is $99.99. So I would have to click on the $99.99 bid price to make a sale.
  14. When you BID, you are offering money to buy something. When you ASK, you are asking some amount of money to sell something. The BID price is the highest amount of money buyers are willing to spend for the purchase of something. The ASK price is the lowest amount that the sellers are willing to sell something. This is why the BID is less than the ASK price. When the BID price (from a buyer) and the ASK price (from a seller) become equal, you have a sale.
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