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Watch A Typical Day Of A Real Day Trader

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Been lurking around for a little while now, and I like what I see in terms of community, so I've decided to take it upon myself to try out a little experiment.


I'm going to take my analysis, AND my trading, out into public view on a pretty regular basis, to give some of you a good idea of how one trader runs their particular trading business. Since this is my first post here, i figure you might want some background info. I've been trading for almost 10 years now, successfully (more or less) for about 4.


Yes, I do this for a living, although this year has been particularly tough for me. In my primary account, I'm holding a double digit return for this year (just barely), although I had a time of it a few weeks ago, and halved my yearly profit in about 3 days. It was absolutely terrible of me to do so, but all things considered, it would have only been about a month of profits from 2011 (which was a much better year for me). I've traded just about everything under the sun, though I currently am trading primarily a few futures markets (currencies, equities, and crude primarily, though I do others sometimes), as well as the spot forex markets. I also am getting more involved with equity stat arb, though it's not something i'll be discussing much at this point. I've traded options, stocks, bonds, ETF's, currencies, futures, even softs, so i've been around the block.


My trading style : well, I really just focus on 3 indicators. The MACD, an RSI, and a 21 period stochastic.....


Just Kidding.


I'm primarily a technical trader, but I don't subscribe to a single system or method or anything like that. I also consider the underlying fundamental drivers in the market, as well as near term and mid term sentiment. I've found if one wants to get the best results in the market, one must have a comprehensive understanding of what information other people in the world are basing their trading decisions on. For the record, I don't use any "indicators" though I will use a couple moving averages on occassion to filter for a strong trend. I have a few other tools, but I'd say moving averages is the closest I come to any "indicator"


So, it probably seems like I should be doing pretty good eh? well, that's where you all come in.The problem is my head, and i've decided to really focus on some of the more positive aspects of the markets, as well as re-enforce all the necessary lessons and rules i've learned in the past... And the best way I know to do this is to teach it to those who care to listen. Not to mention trading is an isolated business, and I'm hoping this experiment here will give me an outlet to chat with like-minded folks. And most of you folks seem nice enough.


Here is what you can expect:


- Live, Realtime Trading in a real futures account.


- An open "forum" for discussing trading, mine, yours, market thoughts in general, trading aspirations, just to shoot the shit, or even the most painless ways to commit suicide (common discussion for the "i don't use stops" group usually)... whatever.


- A comprehensive trade analysis with some explanation behind it (as I feel compelled to do so anyway)


- trading and the head game discussions. This will probably be my favorite topic, but who knows.


- something akin to being a fly on the wall of the office of a real, full time trader.


I will go into many things here, including more info about my method, setup, rules, etc... but it'll be an organic process. The only thing is it will require some mutual participation. I'm not gonna get anything out of this if there arn't any "students" who care to participate, or at least others who care to debate the finer points of the capital markets. So, as long as there is some participation, I'll be happy to roll stuff out. If that ends, (or doesn't begin)...well, I probably won't stick around.


NOW: For the FIRST order of business:


I will be hosting a live trading "chat-minar" over at anymeeting.com. It's obviously free, though I don't plan on doing any talking... just typing.. It's easier to keep it more casual that way, and that way I don't have to worry about filling "dead air" time.


If you attend, you will get to see a general overview of my approach to trading, as well as watch, in real time, how I place my trades, and how much I make (or lose... as it very well may end up to be the case. we will just have to wait and see)


I'll be starting the "chat-minar" after toyko opens, but before europe opens. I'm just going to basically have a screen up the entire time with a chart and my orders (if there are any) on it... so, it'll be something like "TraderCam"


Here's a link to check out the TraderCam and learn how I trade from home:




Also, the chat function on anymeeting.com kinda sucks. I'd prefer to start a skype group for this webinar here, so you can use anymeeting.com to watch the screen, and we can all discuss the markets via skype. If that's too much for ya, there is a chat function in anymeeting.com, it's just not ideal. But, for now if you don't have skype, don't worry about it. Anymeeting will do for today


My skype name is: forextraderx


Oh, and lets keep this positive folks. I know some of you are probably really cynical about anything remotely close to vendorspeak (and rightfully so!) But I'm not selling anything, and for some crazy reason i'm actually going to be doing this live... probably 2-4 times a week for quite a while if everyone (including me) is getting something out of it.

While I'm not guaranteeing "A 93.6%+ win rate with my system!" I am guaranteeing live trading, in a real account, in real time, with plenty of premarket analysis, all just for the heck of it.


So stop by, and lets talk trading and make some money!



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Normally, the first order of business is to review any open orders, alerts, trades, etc... and see if anything has met the criteria for a stop to be moved, or partial profits taken, etc... but, today, there was none of that.


Next, I review all my losing trades from the previous day, but this was done yesterday (though don't worry, I expect at least a couple more losses during the rest of my trading career, so you'll see how I do my review then)


My 3rd step in my day is to review the markets I will be trading (primarily currency and currency futures), and make a longer term TF analysis based on daily, weekly, and monthly charts, and the recent candle PA, to determine a general sense of which currency is very strong right now, and which is not so strong.


For the currency markets, I do this for each individual currency... not a currency pair ;)

Just like the dollar index is a weighted basket of major currencies that fluctuate against the dollar,.. well, I use a "weighted basket of currencies" against each currency market I trade, which these days is: USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, CAD, NZD, JPY (I don't trade the franc due to the SNB peg)


I then take each currency, and pull up a monthly chart. I look at recent PA, and make a determination: what I'm looking at RIGHT NOW.... does the market look more bullish? more bearish? or "neutral": ie: I have no idea up or down.


for this process, I ONLY consider price action in the form of candlesticks and classical SR.


Here are some pictures to give you a better idea of what I'm talking about:




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If you have some experience reading price action, you will likely agree with me that the NZD looks pretty strong over all compared to a weighted basket of other G8 currencies.


In fact, I have a 7 point system that I apply to estimate just how bullish or bearish a market is. "very bullish" is the most it can be, and that scores a 7. "neutral" or "can't tell" is a score of 4, and "very bearish" is the weakest score, a 1.


So, when looking at the monthly chart for the NZD, i'd say it's bullish, the weekly chart is very bullish, and the daily chart is slightly bullish. Comes out to be about "bullish", which for me is a score of 6.


Why is this important to me? Well, it's all about stacking probabilities. I have found recent price action to be superior in determining the price action that is about to immediately follow. Better than "trend", better than moving averages, trendlines, indicators, fundamentals, etc. Now, 4 or 5 candles later? even 3 candles later? well, I can't say. But, if I can get a clear read on a market like this, I CAN say that the august candle will probably continue to set a new high for the summer, rather than a new low.


That's an edge, IMO.and it may only have a predictive value of 1 or two following candles... well, they are MONTHLY and WEEKLY candles folks. So, I can have a statistically valid idea that the NZD is more likley to make a new summer high than a new summer low, and I know that will continue to hold true for the next 30 days. Pretty cool.


But most of all, it tells me that against all other currencies, on the average, the NZD is showing bullish longer term price action. It scores a "6 out of 7" in fact. So, today, I will continue to rank each and every major currency, and I will ONLY trade the NZD long against anything with a score below a 6. If another market has the same score of 6, I can trade them either way. The only way I could take a short NZD trade today is if some other major currency looked "very bullish" on all 3 TF's.


But then, why would I do that... when I would be much better off trading the NZD long, against something like.... oh... the JPY today... which has the lowest "Strengh/Weakness" score of all the majors for today.


AUD and NZD look strong, the JPY looks the weakest, and close behind it is the USD.


It doesn't mean that I will take all my longs on AUD or NZD, and shorts on USD and JPY....


it just means that under NO circumstances will I go short the aud/usd, or the nzd/jpy.


I may go long, I may not... but no way will I go short. Simple. One quick little edge I now have, and one more way I know of to stay out of trouble for todays trading.



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Now, I go over all the currency pairs I trade (majors, comdolls, and most crosses)


I look at the daily charts for all of them. Just the dailies. And I look to answer one question and one question only:


Based on recent daily price action, as well as S/R level, are we more likley to have a bulllish day in this currency pair? or are we more likely to have a bearish day in this currency pair. What is the "Bias" for the day?


I look at about 22-26 forex pairs this way each day, and today, I have narrowed it down to 9 markets that I feel recent price action has given me a pretty clear indication of where it is likely to be moving today. It is these markets that I will find my trading opportunities in today.


HOWEVER, not all of them will be traded. In fact, of the 9 that I have isolated for today, 8 of them happen to correlate to being "long the stronger, short the weaker" as I deteremined in step one today.


But, one of them is a "bearish vs bearish" market... and therefore, I will most likely avoid it today, unless I find an very compelling reason to consider an opportunity in that market today.


So, I'm really down to 8 Forex markets. I still may find more opportunities in other futures markets, but I'll cover that some other time.... Now, I filter a bit further...

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At this point, I now take those same 9 markets, and check the weekly chart, AND monthly chart, for each of them.


While doing so, I noticed while looking at a monthly chart of EUR/JPY, It CLEARLY shows monthly price action is biased down.


So, this pair for today, which I did have on that list of 9 as being potentially good for a long trade.... just got disqualified. I don't care how good the daily chart looks, if the monthly looks bad, or the weekly, well, it doesn't get traded.


The weekly and monthly don't have to agree and have the same bias however! "neutral" or "i can't tell" is totally fine! it just can't be in opposition to the direction I'm looking to trade that market today.


The list is now narrowed down to 8... but we filter further still...

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Here's where the moving averages come into play. I lay a 20 on a 50 SMA, and look to see a strong trend. Defined by the fast above the slow in an uptrend, both sloping up, best of all after recent consolidation or congestion. In other words, a picture perfect, smooth, strong, channeling trend on a daily chart.


If this is the case, then I DON'T trade this setup against that trend. simple as that.


In doing this, I found the MA filter just disqualified the GBP/JPY from being a potential long trade today, as well as the USD/JPY (which was the one with a neutral strengh/weakness bias, so that makes it an official "no trade" market today.)


I am now down to 6 markets to look for opportunities... but they should be a very good 6.


Now, I go back over the daily charts on those 6 markets, to see if they are currently in some sort of congestion pattern, or a range, or strongly trending, etc. In other words, I'm loooking to draw trendlines, and specifically determine what types of possible opportunties exist.


If they are primiarily ranging, or even more to the point, in congestion... I will generally look to identify only the single best opportunity, and/or use intraday PA for confirmation that a level will hold/break as I need for a winning trade. If they have just broken out of a range, or are making a nice sloping trend, I may pick 2 or even 3 possible prices to place orders at, as I am more willing to get stopped out once or twice, if such a nice opportunity can give a 3, 4, or even 5+ reward for the risk.


Ranging markets this isn't wise to count on, but in a market breaking out, or strongly trending? the odds greatly increase that the pullbacks will be shallow, and the continuations powerful. So, these I will risk more "stabs" to catch the move.

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Finally, I look at the daily charts of the 6 markets I feel have the best chance to move in the direction of my bias... and look to see what could trip that up. Specifically, ranges, areas of S/R, stalling patterns on an intraday basis, congestion, etc.


With these considerations, I've found 3 markets look like they could be ranging, or stalling, or it isn't clear if we are possibly loooking for a deep retracement, a shallow retracement, or what. For these, I'll play the deeper levels, and I may require PA confirmation before entering.


However, for the best 3, AUD/USD, AUD/JPY, and NZD/USD, i'll look to get long at the first stalling point, but I'll have 1 or 2 deeper levels in mind, with written criteria for all possible entry points of what I will need to see in order to enter, including my stop, targets, and amount risked per trade.


There. Now. Finally, I have the technical aspects down to determine DIRECTIONAL BIAS FOR THE DAY. Just for the day, and just the bias. I still don't know levels, or if there is a possible warning, or even supprorting event going on in the real world.


At this point, I take a break away from the charts... and when I come back in 20-30 minutes, I open up bloomberg, forexfactory, the WSJ, and take a look at what events are moving the markets, what is coming up, what I should be concerned about, and what may further support the reasons for my directional bias.


More on that later...

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Oh, just for the record, i'm short CAD/JPY from 78.12, due to it setting up on a different setup of mine (a counter trend setup). This, combined with my overall analysis concluding a pullback likley, i'm short from 78.12, with a 34 pip stop 40 pip target. I'll have stops at BE at 30 pips.

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I've just copied and pasted this in here... I don't use this to get in any trades, but it gives me a great idea of what to expect, and what markets to favor to the long side. when it matches up with my tech analysis....BAM... those are great situations to trade. And for now, the AUD and NZD should really move up against the JPY, and the USD.


Here's my work for today. I do this all over every single day. It helps me trust my trades and stay away from trouble:




Seems now options dealers are charging the biggest premium in 4 months to protect against possible losses in chinese companies, amid growing concern that china is slowing down move, and more. the Hang Seng has slid 1.8% this month, the 3rd monthly drop in a row, and the asian volatility index has risen upwards of 32% higher than the CBOE volatility index, showing a disparate sense of fear regarding china when compared to the U.S. It’s the largest gap since march.


A govt report on July 27th showed chinese industrial profits fell for the 3rd month in a row, and the expansion is slowing more than it has in 3 years. This is combined with questions regarding chinese accounting, and it’s making it all the more negative for sentiment. To make it worse, chinese ETF’s are rising...causing more bubble talk, and more concerns.


This all is bad for the AUD, com dolls in general, and risk markets over all...except for one thing... comdolls, and the AUD in particular, is likly to get a boost due to the fact that the rumors are spreading quickly that China will have to lower it’s interest rate, and persue further aggressive stimulus. The interest rate decrease isn’t likley to be extremely strong for the AUD, but any direct easing WOULD be, and this plus the other positive aspects of the aussie economy and currency fundamentals are likely to over-ride chinese concerns, particularly as the AUD is gaining credibility as a more mainstream currency.


On the U.S. front, the ever steady 8%+ jobless rate since feb 09 is putting real pressure on the fed. They meet on July 31st and Aug 1st to discuss further stimulus. Watch for rumors of more easing, since they have continued to vocalize a willingness to do so, and now things are looking like they are getting worse. Market will likely react with some caution to the USD until the meeting is over, and lean on the safer risk currencies to move upward.


Also, world currencies and markets in general soared against the euro last week, on word that europe is committed 100% to saving the euro, and that they will start a bond purchase to stimulate things. THis will only bode poorly for the euro, but better for related markets like tha AUD, NZD, and the GBP. stability + a cheap euro = stronger risk markets around the euro. THe only interesting thing to note is the dollar has been so strong the last few months, that the euro bond buying to increase euro stability will likley reduce a lot of fear in the marketplace, and thus, without new and bigger problems developing to create euro panic selloffs, the short position being held will start to unwind, putting upward pressure on the euro. At this point, stability is more risk on than increased money supply of the euro is risk off.


Also, the GDP confirming the dire economic situation in the UK with a return to a recession was followed by a curious rally! this is ALWAYS telling sign, when such fundamentally negative and overarching news comes out about a market, but yet the market rallies up like the GBP has...it implies more upward movement over the next few weeks at least for the GBP. Consider this as a bullish bias.


SUMMARY: the dollar seems to be likley to be the weakest, along with the jpy. The euro has two opposing forces working on it, but for now, a choppy, slow rise wouldn’t surprise me with the hope of a bit more stability on the investment worlds mind. (and thus, and unwinding of shorts).


The real winners are likley to be the AUD, NZD, and the GBP, with the CAD not far behind. the AUD wins in ALL situations. a euro short squeeze, a chinese stimulus, a U.S. stimulus. and japenese stimulus, risk on in general...etc.


the GBP is pushing some impressive height given the new recession, and I’ve learned to not ignore it. I think in genereal, short USD and JPY for now, and look ot get long comdolls, or the GBP.

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Well, I was going to to some live trading tonight, but I was really unable to post any follow ups or notifications until now, so with such little notification of a start time or whatever, I'm going to hold off on tonight, and I will do it tomorrow. However, I'd like those who want to attend to post in this thread that you plan on stopping by.


I realized that I sat around since most of asia open waiting, and I don't think anyone came by! lol. Not too surprising, I just posted it up, but since I sit in from of a screen for enough time as it is... i'll post a time up tomorrow. either around the london or the NY open I'll do some live futures trading.


As for my orders, I'm looking to get long the sept kiwi futures at 0.8025, with about a 40 tick stop, 40+ tick target.


the GBP futures, 5685 long, 38 tick stop 50 and 75 target (2 contracts)


and the AUD futures getting long around 0345, 30-40 tick stop, and about 40-50 tick target.


I'm already long the NZD/JPY from around 63.30, and short the cad/jpy from 78.10. However, I have more of a belief that the NZD will target while the CAD/J stops out.... however, both trades had valid setups, just one is a counter trend setup I use, and the other a trend following setup.


So, we'll see. maybe I get really lucky and they both target.


Will post more later. Please feel free to ask questions or comment on anything you want to.



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One last thing tho....if anyone IS interested in seeing something today... just send me a PM here, and I'll get it set up. I'm not doing anything else for now except watching some news show and updating my trading plan. I'd rather be showing some folks some successful ways to speculate in the markets... so if you PM me and i'm at the computer, i'll fire up the webinar thing and we can talk trading and maybe get a few live ones in



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Looks like I missed my fill on crude by about 4 ticks...but, still may get it.. who knows. up on euro futures tho. nice start to the day... $100 bucks is never a bad thing.


Trader X


Now, just sitting back. If we get to 2297, i'll move my stop on to +5, which is 2290 on the 6E futures... whoops...there.


almost targetdd....

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seems EUR/JPY has a pretty big option expiring today at the NY cutoff I believe at 97.00... this will likely have an upward effect until 10 am EST.... which will only help my long euro trade in the futures...



moved my target up 5 more pips... stop still +6

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Seems risk on is in style today... not to mention with few interested in getting long the USD with the expectation of some sort of easing or stimulus... with the meeting coming up on wednesday thursday, and with the amount of euro shorts still in the market who likely are looking to cover, and the longer this goes, the more desperate they will get...


closed 6B at -12 ticks, and 6E at +7 or 8.... will update with a screenshot or something.


so far, up about $135 today... after comissions, likely about $110

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I reduced my 2 contract order at 5685 to 1 contract long at 5685, 35 stop, and 40+ target.


In case the 6B futs continues to move against me, I don't want more risk on this trade idea than I originally had, which was 2 contracts, at 35 tick each.

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    • None trader or broker can control the market. There is no single person who is behind the Forex market so there is no way to be controlled the market with a man power.
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    • I took this limit long on the retest of the earlier 123 and support area. Target is near top of the zone. I notice that my target needs to be more mechanical in the sense that I may be influence to have a more/less aggressive target based on the results of the last trade. I have collected some modifications for the next batch of trades. 
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