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Are you winning?

This post was prompted by something I read today. elite trader asked myptofvu if he was a profitable trader. myptofvu apparently gave an honest answer. No details, but quite frank. Well, this is something I would dearly like to know about all residents and visitors here. Are you winning or losing?

Many posts here have alluded to successes. Several contributors are revealing their basic strategies. PT is posting daily logs of his trades, both wins and losses. I think that's awesome and want to thank you all for sharing. But let's take it further.

We all keep pretty tight about our overall profits/losses. I've visited several trading rooms and it's the same. Not many traders will reveal their real performance. Over and over, we put these vendors under pressure to supply broker-verified statements. Well, without going to that extent, how about a general summation of your successes/failures? We'll take it on the honor system.

Now I realize that it may be considered extremely rude to ask a guy how much money he makes. It's kind of like asking a couple how often they have sex. Not only is it personal, but you will probably get a different answer from each participant! And of course, no one wants to appear a braggart, nor a loser.

But I'm curious. If 90% of traders lose money, does that statistic transfer into this forum? Or could it be that we are actually blessed with a high percentage of substantially profitable traders? I see a lot of intelligence here (beyond my level) but how about a dollar value? In the words of elite trader: "Are you a profitable trader?" That's what I want to know.

I propose a thread whereby anyone willing can brag about individual victories, cry about heavy losses, or simply reveal their long term performance. Bare your soul for the benefit of those who follow.

I will personally kick off the discussion with my own experience to date. If anyone else would care to contribute, here's to ya!
Great news 4bigmoney. Good luck for 2007 and I hope that it is a profitable year for you. Can I ask you some (probably rhetoric) questions and make some suggestions?

How well do you know Excel? If you can spend some time and master Excel then you can probably do a fair amount of back testing with the strategies that you are being shown by this friend. If you have already spent this amount of money (i.e. lost this amount of money) then you might want to hire someone to help you back test the more difficult parts of the strategies that you are being taught.

If you consider that you have come this far, i.e. 10 years, you would probably like to know how any strategy that you are about to start using would have worked over the past 10 years had you been privy to it.

My 2 cents worth is to try and create the entry/exit rules part of your trading plan as a separate and distinct part of the plan in such a way that you can then allow a machine to run it through the markets and tell you how you would have done last year or 10 years ago had you been using this.
Thank you Guy for your encourgement. The great trader I met is also a KF trader and I do know most of the set ups. I have back tested all kind of indicators using Excel but KF system cannot be back tested. Right now I'm just want to go back to the basics and to learn to crawl before I worry about walking.

My basics for the next few months are to be able to put on the trades, accept the losses, and put on the new trades. It is not easy but my friend is teaching me to be mechanical with everything and as you know we are human and the emotions get in the way and that is the biggest enemy when it comes to trading. I'm doing alot better and am still scared to put on trades but do it because I believe in my friend.
Are you keeping a dual diary or a dual entry diary showing the trades that mechanically triggered and also the trades that you took? That way you can forward test the system while trading it. If you have a log (in Excel) of each trade that triggered (including days that you didn't trade) then you will be able to forward test the system after a few weeks or months which will give you much more confidence in the system if it is working.
Yes I keep a log of all my trades going back all the way to 1998. Like I said KF's system is very hard to back test. All I know is my friend make alot of money every years and are very successful because I watched him trade for 5 months before approach him for help.
What I am talking about is that you should not only keep a record (log) of the trades that you take but also a record (which can be separated) of the trades that you should have taken according to the system. That way you will have a record of how the system performed irrespective of how your trading went. This will allow you to objectively measure the system even if it cannot be back tested.
I have so many fault as a daytrader so now my only concern for the next few months are to be able to put on the trades, accept the stop out, and able to put on the next trade. I'm trying to crawl first before I can walk.
Good luck 4bigmoney - I hope that you resolve the problems that you are currently facing. My only concern is that you are trading a winning strategy that will have a net positive outcome while you are resolving the psychological problems of pulling the trigger. Good luck!
OK. This is my second post on this forum and a new member.

I'm man enough to admit that I started out 2006 with about 70K in my IB trading account and was playing options on a hope and prayer (stupid premiums) and in April '06 discovered e-mini futures by accident. Before this, I have always though of the futures market belong to the 'big guys' and EXTREMELY dangerous for the little guy - so STAY OUT!!!

After using IB's sim for a couple of weeks, I had found that I like this e-mini game and started to first trade the YM's for 20-40 point swings. Won some, lost some and finally settled on the ER2's (Russell 2K mini). Reason? I like the 10 tick point of the Ym's and ER2's instead of the 4 tick points of the NQ's and ES's (personal preference).

I had three margin calls from IB since early summer which drew down my account to 13K as of the start of '07 which really sucks! I attribute this partly to the clunky IB BookTrader order executioning and my total in-experience as a trader.

The bright side is that I am learning how to trade more efficiently, though my decipline needs a lot more work.

So there you have it. Another newbie having someone else siphoning out his account.
Welcome to the forum Banchee! Sorry to hear about your 2006 trading results. Best of luck with 2007 - I hope that you turn it all around this year.

When you were trading options were you buying puts and calls or writing them? I am guessing that you were buying them because of the "stupid" premiums. I believe that the buying of options only pays off in trending markets and in others (i.e. sideways markets) you need to be writing them. But the $64,000 question is what type of market are we going into.

I know that one of the reasons that some traders prefer the ES over the YM and the ER2 is because it is not as volatile. This doesn't apply to the NQ which is just as volatile as the ES. They can let a trade develop over a longer time period in the ES without being stopped out which is sometimes not possible with the other 3.

What types of strategies are you using at the moment. Sorry to hear about your problems with BookTrader.
Hey DT,

You guessed right that I was buying, not writing because I would never want to be called on a naked option write, though the thought had crossed my mind. You're right about the trending market aspect of it but I was cheap and bought near term ITM and ATM contracts which I got chopped out of half the time. Yeah, What kind of market will '07 bring? My best guess is chop until there is a direction from the Feds.

I agree with you about the ER2 being volatile, hence my shrinking account;-) I've never traded the ES nor the NQ so I can't compare the volatility between the YM and ER2. Is this accurate that there may be less stopping out in the ES? Is this what you trade?

I find that I need a crap load of Alka-Seltzers at the end of the day trading the ER2 due to the sickening movements this sucker throws at me. It's like a bastard kid that won't behave like it's other cousins.

I'm using $Tick fades intraday along with pivots (daily and weekly) and a couple of basic indicators MACD and ADX, though I'm still tweaking.

No problems with BookTrader if these other resources pan out. I've been using IB for about two years now and have had no problems except for the BT part of it. It's clear that whoever wrote the damn thing is NOT a trader - what a clunker. Yuck.
Sure, I have no problem commenting. Sorry to hear you had a bad week and thanks for the kind words. I hope you are getting some value from these posts and glad to see you take responsibility for your trades and it sure sounds like you learn from others after investigating a methods effectiveness which is fantastic. That's what it's all about...

Anyway I have been "successful" since about the year 2000 but I define success as being able to follow a discipline, adapt to market conditions and make money while keeping my sanity. I started day trading in late 1997 and took a beating the firs 1.5 years or so...then I got better...for a In late 2001 I had my worst period as I had a new born at home and just didn't have my head in the own fault. Since then I keep evolving and have done well. I have a long way to go as the market is forever changing it's colors so I realize the need to be flexible and keep the market in it's proper context. What turned my trading around was having multiple contracts on and averaging into trades, this solved the fear and greed factor for me. I like daytrading a lot but lately ( last two years)I seem to be trying to hold positions longer as volitilty is lower and I can stomach that. I'm a fairly simple guy and I am conservative. I beleive slow and steady wins the race so I strive for consistency and make sure I follow rules that are comfortable for me. I don't beleive you have to make a certain amount of money to be considered a success as a trader. That's ridiculous as we all have different circumstances. Just because you think I have more knowledge or experience doesn't mean I am a better trader. This is why I try to encourage anyone to "make the setups your own" and do research.

As a side note I beleive it would be a greater value for me to post the ideas instead of my specific trades. I wouldn't want this to turn into a "posting and bosting " thing. I also beleve based on your comments that this isn't the thread for it. So I apologize for getting side tracked myself and taking this off of your original topic. I hope that helps and if you have specific questions I will be more than happy to answer them.

Originally posted by felix

[quote]One question, Bruce, if I may. When this thread was started, I was curious as to which contributors here were day-trading successfully. I have seen you put on some good trades. Of course you acknowledge that you have bad days too. But I'm curious if you are long-term successful.

Naturally, you have the right to remain silent, and I don't want to pry or put you on the spot publicly. But you have been at this a lot longer than I, and you have a lot more knowledge and experience with the markets. I'm wondering if your efforts have paid off for you. Care to comment?

To everyone: Have a great long weekend!