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Charts to start with?


First a quick summary of where I'm at...

About 6 months ago a friend invested in an Australian E-mini's course and hearing about it from him got me interested. I started watching free DVD's, I read a long eBook, I started paper trading forex (couldn't find any e-mini's brokers at the time that offered live simulation) using just a 1 minute chart to try and familiarize myself with how this trading business worked. So that's pretty much all the actual trading experience I have.

Recently I've been reading deeply through a couple of forums, watching some more free videos and browsing through articles that are around to try and get a better understanding of the technical analysis techniques that are applied to trading e-minis. I've been copy + pasting anything I want to refer to in the future into a word document.

Basically I now have a good understanding of how to utilize my chosen trading platform (Infinity AT) and charting software (Ensign), but I'm not sure where to start. I'm not necessarily even ready to be simulating, I just want to start looking at the market through certain charts (not sure what ones) so I can practice identifying what is going on.

My Questions

1) I realize there are many different trading setups and methods, but if I want to start with the absolute basics as far as reading the market goes, what charts do I start with? There are about 30 to choose from with Ensign but I have no idea what basic few are a good start to try and read the market trends, nor do I know what settings I would need? I've read that a good long term chart and a good short term chart are both good to have open, but what time settings would I apply to each? Also, what would be a good chart/s to start with to start recognizing buy signals? The very basics, just so I have at least something to look at for now.

2) I can't simulate the live market on my chosen platform until I have funded my account which I can't do for the moment. Can anyone recommend a good platform that will allow me to simulate the ES live without having to fund real dollars? I've been through many of the brokers recommended on the CME website but so far the simulations I have found have not been live.

I would be extremely grateful for any assistance you can offer.

Now I will go back to reading that lovely 44 page topic (up to page 30). :)

Cheers.
Just a couple of thoughts starting out, this is from my bias perspective so take my comments fwiw.

Since you mentioned forex and 1 minute charts, I am going to leap to an assumption that your goal is to trade intra-day and not holding positions across session breaks (overnight). My comments are based on that assumption.

My first suggestion is to close all the charts and come up with a trading plan. In your trading plan you can specify in detail your trade setup(s), trade and risk management. Once you have this worked out, then you can figure out the optimal trading workspace to support your plan. There is a bunch of questions you need to find answers to, and your trading plan will help you organize all this information.

While your working all that out, the combination of a 5 minute chart and a standard Market Profile chart is a good starting point. For more context you might add a 15, and either the 30 or 60 minute chart. So that would be the sum total of 4 charts on your workspace layout. With this workspace you will be looking for two or three high quality trade setups a day. Beyond this broad generalization, I do not have enough information about your trade setups to be more specific.... and we need a trading plan to know that so ....

The Infinity AT / TransAct live data feed will work with your Ensign charting platform. Until your account is funded and activated by your broker, you could temporarily drive the Ensign charts with the eSignal (or IQ) data feed. Depending on how long until your able to fund your account, another option might be to consider Mirus Futures as their initial account funding requirements are half that of Infinity. I am not aware of any free live CME data feeds, in general the CME likes to be paid for it's live market data.
Thanks PT. You are correct that I plan to trade intraday.

As far as a trading plan goes, what are my requirements that need to be organized? From what I've learned so far I plan on starting with a 2/1 r/r ratio, maybe 8 ticks as a target with a 4 tick stop. Aim for 2 points a day trading 1 contract, trading the open for around 3 hours each weekday. Is there anything else important I need to plan?

I've actually changed my platform now. I spent all of last night trying every platform I could find and I definitely prefer Ninja Trader now that I have figured it out (I couldn't suss out how to open the price ladder). It is far more feature filled and I like it works out your results for you very clearly. I'm still going to use my ensign charts for now because I've paid for a month, but do you think it would be worthwhile changing that to esignal as I will get the data feed with the charts, however I read it is $125 a month which is a lot on top of the cost of NT when I'm not making any money yet.

I did go and get a Zen-Fire 30 day trial which I will test tomorrow to see if it is a trial live data feed (I think it is but I'm not positive). If it isn't, are there any other cheaper data feeds that will work with NT, or is it possible to get Esignal cheaper as I will only be using it for E-mini's?

My final question, what is the abbreviation for the Russel 2000?

Thank you so much in advance for any advice you've given me and may continue to give me. I'm very grateful. From here I will type up what I know of my trading plan thus far and I will have a look at a 5 minute chart and read up a bit about market profile so I can also understand a MP chart.

Thanks mate. :)
Originally posted by Shaun MP

My final question, what is the abbreviation for the Russel 2000?

The E-mini Russell 2000 has a ticker symbol of TF. It's traded on ICE. More metrics here: ICE Russell 2000 Mini March 2010
The light version of NT is free for Mirus Futures account holders, thus is a cost effective solution for new traders. Also, the Zen-Fire feed will drive your Ensign charts. Once you have your trading plan / workspace, then you can better determine if you need the Ensign charting capability, or can save the $50/month and go with the NT charts alone.

My suggestion of looking into the eSignal data feed is as a work around to not having any other point of access to the CME live data feed. If you do choose to go with Zen-Fire, then you will not need the duplicate eSignal data feed.

I definitely prefer Ninja Trader now that I have figured it out (I couldn't suss out how to open the price ladder). It is far more feature filled and I like it works out your results for you very clearly. I'm still going to use my ensign charts for now because I've paid for a month, but do you think it would be worthwhile changing that to esignal as I will get the data feed with the charts, however I read it is $125 a month which is a lot on top of the cost of NT when I'm not making any money yet.

I did go and get a Zen-Fire 30 day trial which I will test tomorrow to see if it is a trial live data feed (I think it is but I'm not positive). If it isn't, are there any other cheaper data feeds that will work with NT, or is it possible to get Esignal cheaper as I will only be using it for E-mini's?
From what I've learned so far I plan on starting with a 2/1 r/r ratio, maybe 8 ticks as a target with a 4 tick stop. Aim for 2 points a day trading 1 contract, trading the open for around 3 hours each weekday. Is there anything else important I need to plan?


I recommend you read "ES Fun Math Facts" written by Jim Kane.
All I can say is:
Will do, thanks. :)
as someone mentioned earlier, Mirus offers free Ninja basic service. it's what i use and it's all that i need. Mirus has 500$ margin for the ES intraday and their round trip commission is like $4.60 (or $4.80). they always return my emails/questions within minutes. so i would definitely recommend checking them out...oh yea no lag or anything ever in the 10 months i've used them.

i would recommend instead of starting out and saying you would like to aim for "x" points with "y" point stop, you should figure out a plan first and then see what the realistic results are. with regards to that plan, go with what YOU are comfortable with and with what YOU understand. everybody has a different strategy and there is no right or wrong strategy to this, a lot of it IS smart money management and psychology. you're probably one of your worst enemies in this business.