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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!
To get a feel for volatility between each symbol compare the Range % figure on the Daily Notes page. This will show you how much the symbol moved between its high and low as a percentage of its base. The higher the percent the more volatile - usually.

The comment about getting stopped out less on the ES relates to the volatility just mentioned. If the symbol moves a "shorter" distance then by definition your stop is less likely to be hit. The downside is that your target will also be harder to hit so this "less stop out" is not for free.

Yes I trade the ES. I have traded the ER2 in the past but after initial success with it I ended up net negative. My advice would be to pick a symbol and get to know it intimately. Trade it exclusively and don't jump from instrument to instrument. Focus all of your energy in this one area. Draw an analogy to sports. You can be a good all-rounder if you play/do a few sports but you can be exceptional if you focus on just one discipline.
Good comment DT. Maybe I'll go over to TTM and ask how they derive the monthlies (is that a word?).

I have been trading the ER2 exclusively but I watch the YM at the same time. Do you just take intraday trades? Or do you swing trade as well?
I rarely hold a position overnight. In fact, I would estimate that half of the positions that I am holding after the 16:15 EST close are not intentional but due to a hardware/software or other issue that prevented me from getting out of the trade.
quote:
Originally posted by day trading

Thanks for starting this thread Felix!

I don't like to discuss what I am making or losing so I will not go into figures and facts. I also don't make any claims about what I am making so I do not feel that I am under no moral obligation to reveal or support the figures.

However, I would like to contribute to this thread so I will confirm that 2006 is a profitable year for me trading the E-mini S&P500's only.

How profitable in absolute dollars?
Why?
quote:
Originally posted by felix

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!


felix, my guess is the 90/10 numbers apply to this forum and any other similar rooms whether forums or trading chats where speculators gather. I've yet to see or read anything that refutes the 90/10 theory. In fact, some people say the odds against winning are higher than 90%. Futures brokers could probably confirm this since they see a large sample of customer accounts.

When I first started to trade, I spent a lot of time thinking about "them" or "they." The professionals who consistently win and take the pot from the other players. They're a good group to emulate, but finding them is another story.
You can get the hard numbers about the percentage of winners and losers from The Futures Game. I can't remember the facts because it's been a while since I read it but the author (or someone) got access to the records from a brokerage firm and they analysed exactly what those figures were. The book is sub-titled Who wins, who loses, and why.
Here's my results for Jan 07:
Up $3435 on a $5K account. I'd attach a copy of my statement but I don't know how.

Disclaimer: This is a paper account. Yes, it's like trading masturbation, but I needed to go back to the drawing board. If anyone wants to chide me for paper trading, feel free, but not on this thread please.

How was your month?

That's a great return felix. Good trading! Why was it such a profitable month? Anything in particular you can attribute it to?
I like your idea about individuals posting their results. I was up for it. Can you explain the ground rules? Is it only a monthly posting?
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 while...lol. 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 game...my 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.

Bruce
quote:
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!