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Does anyone really make money trading futures?


Does anyone really make money trading futures?

I am just wondering.

I know I don't. I have tried all the indicators and the chat room gurus, and none of them make money.

I have a suspicion that a lot of the chat rooms for emini trading are just for hobbyists and market enthusiasts and not for serious traders trying to make a business out of trading.

For any new traders out there please be very cautious of paying anyone to mentor you or signing up for training or a chat room. From what I have seen the only people making money in these deals is the mentor, the chat room owner or the author of the training manual.

I would love to hear from you if you are a successful trader making 20% off your account or better over the past year. I know only 5 to 10 percent of traders are supposed to be successful, but I am beginning to think that zero percent of traders are successful over the long haul. Certainly anyone can have a streak of luck and rack up a few good months where they dramatically increase their account size, but these people are normally big risk takers and eventually they blow out their accounts by taking the exact same risks that help double their accounts in the first place.

Thanks in advance for any response.
I used to have the same questions of who does make money and who the top 5% are since everyone says 95% lose money. You need to make sure where you go has a performance page that is real and accurate. [spam/shill link removed] does not kill it every day with 10 points a day, but they do grind out consistent smaller profits usually. Been a member there for about 5 months and I like it. I imagine there are some other good places out there, but more unethical websites than good ones for sure so be careful. I wasted plenty of money with the bad ones before I found [removed]. I plan to review the ES threads all well cause I want to trade all day and [removed] is only open the first 2 hours per day.
Futures trading provide a great earning opportunity but it requires great speculative skill to predict future moves. Experience matters in Future trading.
Originally posted by Bennie_aguilar

Futures trading provide a great earning opportunity but it requires great speculative skill to predict future moves. Experience matters in Future trading.

I too agree. It is like a two sided blade. Need to handle with care.
Here is my 2 cents :-)
I started trading in Oil futures Feb, of this year. I began with one contract, worked my way up to three, then back down to one again. I feel that I have developed a very solid strategy, yet could not stick to that strategy in the way that I should have to come away with a return on my investment. 10 months later and $2200 less than what I started with, I will say this: I agree with another comment posted here, expect to loose a couple thousand during an acclimation period. After you become a good student of the market, understanding that for the most part the price movements are indeed reflective of what is going on in the market (although a big part of price movement can be based on hypotheticals and not actual occurrences), and knowing other important characteristics such as trading times, average volumes during the different times of day, etc, then you should be able to develop a solid strategy to realize some good returns. Part of my strategy is to increase probability of return by going short distances in price movement, and buying most number of contracts as possible to maximize my return. I avoid, like the plague, periods of high volatility, such as when the EIA issues reports on Wed's, or when the API issues theirs on Tue's. Some of my mistakes were that I would at times listen to 'bad' news, going in a direction that many news sources were 'predicting', become too greedy, or stay in during volatile periods.

After 10 months, and countless hours, I feel ready to now begin to realize a significant return on my investment. The key for me will be to stick to the strategy I have developed, be patient, and over time I know I will generate a significant return.
You said " The key for me will be to stick to the strategy I have developed, be patient" . This is true for everyone. But winning strategies don't last forever. And it's impossible to know when they will fail until you have a drawdown and have to re-evaluate. It's a tough business - and to be successful you must be able to accept loss. Let's say you want to earn $100,000 from trading. You have to understand that you are going to lose at least $100,000 to do it. Not all at once. But over time throughout the year. Or lose more. Of course, you will win too, But face a streak of losers in a row and you will start to cut short you winners and running the risk of changing your performance metrics. The only way to win in the long term is to have winning trades that are mush larger than losing trades. And that is very tough to do. It requires painfully accepting that a winning trade will come back a stop you out - then go on to win once your stop is taken. It's a tough business and after 8 years with a major investment in time and money I was unsuccessful at it, I think swing trading on money you don't need with small risk is the only way (for me). I am trading CFD's now with a risk that is completly controllable and have much longer timeframes. (Example - been long corn for 2 months.) Good luck on your journey of self discovery - for that is what the markets offer you after time spent learning.
I consistently profit from futures/futures options, but it took me a long time to figure out the best way for me to do so.

While a set of trading rules is very important, I have found that it is just as, maybe even MORE important, to develop "trading callouses" from getting your butt handed to you repeatedly along the way.

Here's the thing: Any set of rules will only work until they don't. It is normal human psychology that there will come a time (again and again) where you deviate from the rules because A) you have had a string of losses, B) you have had a string of wins and now you have a loss and can't believe you're really supposed to "lose this one," C) you get greedy, D) you get scared for whatever reason, or E) any one of a thousand other things that will cause you to screw up.

I had ups and downs for many years until I thought I had it figured out and had a couple of years of really solid profits. I had my own private island picked out :) (not really, but I did have a condo in mind O/N an island). Then came the financial crisis of 2008 and I learned that while I had a generally good strategy, because times were good I had not developed an appropriate risk control system.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars later... (and that didn't take long at all!) I learned the hard way that my strategy was woefully inadequate when the unexpected happened. It took me a while to brush myself off, but eventually I did.

Since sometime in 2009 my cumulative returns are somewhere around 450%. Over the past 9 years I've found that proper risk control continues to be where I tend to fall short, so I've had some choppiness during this time. About two years ago I tightened things up some more to try to make for a smoother equity curve... this mean that, theoretically, my losing months should NOT be as large as in the past, but my winning months will also not be as large as they were in the past.

That's okay though -- even my cumulative success over the past 9-10 years, when averaged out by month, comes to < 2% a month. I suspect that 2% a month, long term, is about where I'll stay, but the ride should just be smoother along the way.

A return like that may or may not be enough for a particular person--it is for me--but keep in mind if you want to shoot for the stars there's a really good chance you're going to eventually crash land back on earth. It really does come down to being adequately capitalized and having a reasonable return be "enough" for you. By all means, trade even with a small account, because you need that experience to get to the point where you'll know what you're doing when you have the larger account. Just don't expect to turn a tiny account into a massive one along the way or you will probably be disappointed.

-PDG
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