My Trading Quest - Profitability in 90 days!


Hi Everyone,

I am new to this forum and would like to journal my journey for a new trading quest I have been thinking about for a long time.

I have been trading on and off for over 20 years and I have many scars to prove it. Recently, I became a funded trader with Topstep Trader using my own scalping system on US 30 Year Bonds. In the past I have traded Futures and Forex manually and with my own coded systems.

I have completed many trading courses and seminars. Most of the time I could not replicate their results! They often promise the world but most do not deliver.

Like most of us, I have been burned by these trading companies.

It is time to test these trading companies and see who can deliver.

My journal will track my progression:
  • I will explain why I chose the courses on the short list and why I chose the first one to test.

  • Right through to setup, back-testing, live trading and hopefully to profitability

  • I will explain what works and what doesn't

  • I will not be sharing anything that is proprietary to the company


My goal is to see if I can become profitable in 90 days.

If I fail, then I will start again with another 90-day challenge ... until I find a profitable course.

I would love it if people have questions or can suggest things along the way.

If anyone would like to suggest a trading course to add to my list, I would appreciate it.

I am NOT associated with any Trading Company.

I am excited to share my journey and my results with you.

Come along with me on My Trading Quest!

Cheers
Garry
DAY 9 – Apex Sniper Trading Bootcamp – Studying the Setups …

Today, I continued to study the setups and review the trades for the last 24 hours.

Actions I took:

  • Listened to 2 new webinars on how to be successful on the Sniper Bootcamp

  • Clarified the setups in my trading plan

  • Watched the live market and the commentary during the first 90 mins of the market open

  • Reviewed the potential trades for Wednesday


New Webinars

This week Apex held a number of excellent webinars to help with my understanding of the setups. Learning when not to take a setup has been the most difficult part of learning to be successful.

Live Trade Room and Commentary

I found the moderators very helpful in clarifying the market during the US Open.

For a new person, the learnings were excellent but I still would recommend, first having a reasonable understanding of the rules before attending the sessions.

Live calls were made with explanations when possible. Some of these calls matched the Sniper Bootcamp setups and others were based on the experience of the moderators. Most of the calls would have allowed a trader to enter in time for the trade.

Wednesdays Potential Trades

Wednesday was an interesting day. I saw more chop in the market around setup bars. Chop is one of the reasons not to enter. The market chop kept me out of a lot of trades and if I had not have studied the Reasons Not to Trade, I am sure I would have had a number of losses.

Instead, I only identified winners, from the small number of trades.

Please consider this is on a static chart where I am moving it bar by bar to make my decision. So when in Sim or Live where the decision is needed quicker, I may have a completely different result.

That is why doing this Deliberate Practice is critical to my success.

Practice doesn’t make Perfect, Perfect Practice makes Perfect.


The other important process is having someone else check your practice of identifying valid trades. Feedback is critical to my growth.


The following is the trades sheet for Wednesday



I will report back tomorrow on my progress and any lessons I learn


Disclaimer

I am not affiliated with any of these companies.
DAY 10 – Apex Sniper Trading Bootcamp – More Testing and Learning …

Another day in a market that didn’t give many valid trades. But still a good day!

Actions I took:

  • Listened to more training webinars and refined my notes

  • Watched the live market and the commentary during the first 60 mins of the market open

  • Reviewed the potential trades for Thursday


Live Trade Room and Commentary

I find that listening to the Live Room when the two moderators are in the room highlight and reinforce the trading nuances necessary to be successful.

Thursday Potential Trades

Thursday was another slow day but full of lessons.

After I went through the daily process of bar by bar static chart review, I looked at the trades I didn’t take and asked myself what would have happened in the live market. There was one trade I am sure I would have taken and lost. This one was not on my sheet as I had sufficient time to analyze it on the static chart. This part of deliberate practice is proving to be critical for building my skills.

The major lessons are around … When not to take a trade.

The other important process is having someone else check your practice of identifying valid trades. Feedback is critical to my growth.

I added a second setup column so I could record if there were 2 setups on the same signal




I will report back tomorrow on my progress and any lessons I learn

Disclaimer

I am not affiliated with any of these companies.
DAY 11 – Apex Sniper Trading Bootcamp – More Testing and Learning …

Another day in a market that was slow and didn’t give many setups … but still enough!

Actions I took:

  • Watched another live webinar

  • Watched the live market and the commentary during the first 150 mins of the market open

  • Reviewed the potential trades for Friday


Live Trade Room and Commentary

With the speed of the market being slower, more time was spent on questions, reinforcing lessons form the market and the webinars along with trade calls.

Friday Potential Trades

Friday was another slow day but full of lessons. The slow days test your discipline.

Again, on review on the day’s trades I identified some trades that I may have taken live which were not valid. This highlights that I need more practice on both a static chart and with Market Replay using a fast speed to help my decision making reflections.

Identifying the trade is easy but seeing the reasons not to enter can sometimes be harder.



I will report back tomorrow on my progress and any lessons I learn

Disclaimer

I am not affiliated with any of these companies.
DAY 12 – Apex Sniper Trading Bootcamp – Review Day …

Time to review where I am currently at, in the challenge.

Actions I took:

  • Reviewed my current status with the course to see if I am on track to meeting my goals

  • Reviewed the 6:3 Apex Rule


Current Status

I am happy with my progress, having gone through:

  • all the online videos

  • updating with the weekly webinars

  • learning the setups and rules around entering and not entering

  • daily review of possible trades

  • peer to peer review of my daily review

  • sim trading for 1 day to check that the process works


Apex Investing

Generally, I am very happy with the course and Apex Investing.

Best Features:

  • The sniper setups appear to work (still to test in the live market)

  • There are plenty of people in the community who will answer any questions or give you advice or how to find out the answer

  • Apex team are very knowledgeable and want to help and make the information more understandable


Possible Improvements:

  • The Bootcamp Sniper Training page has all the information and links for the course. It could be simplified and reordered to make it easier to follow.

  • The course is evolving due to the market and Apex trying to simplify it for new people. This comes across as Apex changing things too often. They are only small changes but it can put you off. I find that they are just clarifying things to help the students

  • When the moderators are in the trade room it can get confusing for the new people, as some of the trades are not sniper trades.

  • If you miss the moderated room time then you will often miss great nuances to help you trade. I record the sessions so I don’t miss these gold nuggets.


What has held my progress up?

The biggest area that I have been slow to learn has been around when not to enter a trade especially around some types of chop. I have completed several other courses, but I find that in this course it is more important than in the others.

Am I on Track to my Goal?

At this time I see that I am on track to profitability within 90 days.

Review of the 6:3 Money Management Rule

The 6:3 ratio means that on any given day you can only lose 6 net trades and win 3 net trades before you stop trading. Apex state that is highly improbable to lose 6 net trades.

Too many people keep trading and don’t know when to stop.

Net 3 winners

This idea is based on wanting you to be profitable for 3 months before you start increasing your contracts. They also suggest that you withdraw 50% of your profit weekly.

If you trade ES with an 8 tick target the that means:

3 net winners = $12.50 x 8 = $100 x 3 trades = $300 per day minus commission.

Weekly = $300 x 5 = $1,500 – commission

Monthly = $1,500 x 4 = $6,000 – commission

Net 6 Losers

Again, If you trade ES with an 8 tick target the that means:

6 net losers= $12.50 x 8 = -$100 x 6 trades = -$600 per day plus commission.

Comment based on my Backtesting Results:

I like the idea of having the rule to stop trading. I have not seen any loss of 3 trades which resulted in 3 net losses. The only time this would occur would be if mistakes were made. So based on these results I will stop trading if 3 net trades occur on any 1 day. This will then allow me to identify and fix any problem before I lose too much financial or mental capital.

The idea of stopping when I make 3 net winners means that I will achieve my original goal and limit the risk of overtrading.



I will report back tomorrow on my progress and any lessons I learn


Disclaimer

I am not affiliated with any of these companies.
Very impressed with your APEX results so far. What's been the biggest challenge learning their system and how many hours outside of trading have your studied with the APEX sniper system? thanks
DAY 13 + 14 – Apex Sniper Trading Bootcamp – Testing and Focus …

Time to test my skills and focus to improve.

Actions I took:

  • Market Replay Testing to observe where I need to improve my skills

  • Daily Practice of identifying the trades for the day


Market Replay Testing

The purpose of the Market Replay testing is to identify if I currently have the skills to trade profitably at the speed of the market.

The results identified one main area that I need improvement:

The main skill is identifying a certain type of chop. I will create an indicator to flag the chop and that should help a lot

Sunday + Monday Potential Trades

I identified 11 valid trades of which 10 were winners.

Of the three types of trades (Enhanced, Trend, and Divergence), Five trades were Divergence trades.




I will report back tomorrow on my progress and any lessons I learn

Disclaimer

I am not affiliated with any of these companies.
DAY 15 – Apex Sniper Trading Bootcamp – Daily Review …

ES had a good day and NQ starting to deliver good signals!

Actions I took:

  • Good learning in the live trading room at US Open

  • Created and tested chop indicator – still some mods to do

  • Reviewed the potential trades for Tuesday


Live Trade Room and Commentary

Darrell was late to the room and Lori shared her experience with the room.

Tuesday Potential Trades

The ES had some slow periods bit still would be a profitable day..




I will report back tomorrow on my progress and any lessons I learn

Disclaimer

I am not affiliated with any of these companies.
DAY 16- Apex Sniper Trading Bootcamp – Daily Review …

ES had another good day!

Actions I took:

  • Good learning in the live trading room at US Open

  • Reviewed the potential trades for Wednesday

  • Continued using Market Replay to improve my live market decision making for the live market


Live Trade Room and Commentary

The US open started slow but some good trades could be made. Avoiding News was critical.

Wednesday Potential Trades

The ES could have been a profitable day as long as you followed the rules.




I will report back tomorrow on my progress and any lessons I learn

Disclaimer

I am not affiliated with any of these companies.
DAY 17- Apex Sniper Trading Bootcamp – Daily Review …

Not the best day for ES!

Actions I took:


  • Good learning in the live trading room at US Open – Lori shared some great lessons

  • Continued using Market Replay to improve my live market decision making for the live market

  • Reviewed the potential trades for Thursday


Live Trade Room and Commentary

ES gave a lot of opportunities to lose money.

NQ is trading well during the US trading session. Some people are starting to trade more NQ then ES. I will continue with ES and from Monday, I will start recording the Potential Trades for NQ as well as ES.

Market Replay Lessons

Have your trading plan in front of you when you trade. This may sound common sense but I see a lot of people who are taking trades that are not valid trades. Just because it wins doesn’t mean it was a valid trade and can create bad habits.

After, listening in the live trade room it is easy to want to take other trades that I have not tested and fully trust.

This was a problem for me today when I started my Market Replay! I stopped and clarified the trade setups I was using and took ownership of that. After that, it was easier to focus on my trading and I stopped making silly mistakes if, in doubt, I referred to my setup notes for confirmation.

Thursday ES Potential Trades

This is one of the lowest ES profitable trade day lists that I have tracked.




I will report back tomorrow on my progress and any lessons I learn

Disclaimer

I am not affiliated with any of these companies.
Most traders should have scars to prove on their learning experience.

The debate on whether to use a paid or free course runs wild in most discussions.

The folks against the paid courses, as OP mentioned, turn out to be trash.

But, like someone mentioned, you will learn faster when you ride on the back of an experienced trader who will mentor you to navigate the complex path to trading success.

All the best with your 90 day challenge to profitability, i hope you keep track of every trade in the journey with a trading journal
Apex Sniper Trading Bootcamp – Challenge Review …

Time to review my thoughts on the first challenge.

General Thoughts:

The challenge has been a great learning experience for me. Not just the trading experience and posting, but also the response from the people reading the posts.

I am disappointed that I lost continuity due to health and computer issues. I believe that my results would be better if I had not had those breaks.

I did not achieve my goal of making $200 per day average on 1 contract. During the last 7 trading days I averaged only $115.71 net per day.



Remember this is with 1 contract and trying to trade only 3 net trades per day.

The concept of only trading 3 net trades per day is based on the Apex philosophy of 3 and done. A number of other companies promote a similar concept.

Over the last couple of weeks, the number setups were present however the speed of the market in the current environment often prevented entering a trade. If I had been trading Simplicity, I would have entered more trades during the US market open time.

I believe that the main reason I failed to achieve my initial goal was me!. Just as I was getting good results, I stopped because of first my health and then the computer issue.


Apex Investing

I have been very impressed with Apex Investing, including:

  • The ability to try all their material before paying any money

  • The amount of work they put in and the contact they have with their students (free and paying).

  • They encourage everyone to ask questions and post charts. No question is dumb.

  • They are always trying to improve their material especially when the market changes

  • Darrell and Lori are trading in the room. Darrell has some huge winning days.

  • Skype mentor groups were small teams help each other. These are great.

  • The trading setups are profitable


I will continue to use Apex Setups in my own trading.

Things that I wasn’t as keen on:

  • The biggest drawback I had, was when Apex changes the rules. Mentally this upset my flow. Instead of just retesting the appropriate setups with any new rules, I became annoyed! It was not an Apex problem as they were trying to improve our profitability. I was not willing to go with the flow and grow into profitability.

  • The risk-reward is often 2:1 or more. This is OK when the win rate is high (it is) and number of trading opportunities is high. Currently, the number of opportunities has dropped.


What am I going to do different in the next challenge?
  • Approach with a growth mindset and be willing to be coached and learn

  • Improve my consistency

  • Ask better questions

  • Post more detailed information on my approach, processes, mindset, backtesting, etc


Ideas I am thinking about including:
  • Embracing the concepts in the “The Truth about Trading”, Trading the right way … from a business perspective. It is about asking the right questions and digging deep to find the real answer.

  • Possibly including a video review session


I welcome input into ideas on how to improve this process.

Questions Answered:

A number of people have asked questions:

How do I backtest the setups?

It all depends on the setup. If I can code the setup, then I will code it and then test it over a long period of data. In the Apex situation, I could not code the indicators as the code for those are hidden (proprietary). NinjaTrader is good for backtesting as it is harder to cheat. So I used NT7.

My Testing Process:

  • I had a written set of trading rules for each setup. Prerequisites, Reasons Not to Enter, Entry, Exit, and Management

  • I started approximately 3 months prior and went bar by bar recording the results on a spreadsheet

  • I then tested it again using Market Replay over a different period and market conditions

  • When I was happy with these results, I then walk forward in the live market, initially just marketing the entries/ exits on the chart. I progressed to sim trading when I was comfortable and the results were as expected form the backtesting.

  • I then started a Leeloo Evaluation Account for funding. The results above were for the last 7 days trading in the Leeloo account.

Note: All results were recorded on a spreadsheet.

Most people, I talked to in the course did not do much backtesting, if any.

I believe it is essential to backtest any system you are going to trade. To backtest you must understand your rules before you start.
This brings up one of the problems I mentioned above. Apex makes changes to the methodology as required by the market (good). The problem is that if I have spent all this time backtesting and the rules change what do I do?

My trading plan states that I must backtest the setup before I change any rule!

So, I don’t automatically change my rules with the Apex change. I will stop trading that setup or keep trading the old setup and backtest the new setup.

Is Sniper or Simplicity better than my own trading setups?

I like to have a portfolio of setups that I can use if any of my setups start to underperform.

The other benefit of testing other strategies and setups is that it gives me ideas for further development.

The real question is … Will I continue to use the Apex Strategies? Yes, I will at least until I pass the Leeloo Evaluation for funding.

Why did I focus on only taking 3 net trades per day?

I mentioned this above but it is worth going over again.

First, in the last couple of weeks, the market has been very fast especially during the US Open. Three items should be considered: speed of the market, liquidity of the market, and volatility of the market. Each creates a problem when entering/exiting a trade. It is best to sit on your hands until the market settles.

In Judy Van Niekerk's book: “The Truth about Trading” she states “you need to trade the right way”. What she is talking about is that you are trading for a purpose not just to trade. This is the business of Trading. If the market is too risky then don’t risk your business.

The concept of Net 3 and done is really about trading the right way. How many trades do you need to meet your $ goal? If you can consistently trade 3 trades to profit and then introduce compounding then you not only can reach your financial goal but it will free up your time.

Do I recommend the Apex Program or would I recommend something else?

I have completed many courses and have always learned something from them. NO Program is perfect!

It depends on you …

I think it was one the creators of the Turtle Program who said that he could put a money winning system with all the details in the New York Times and only a small percentage would make money from it.

Are you willing to put the work into a program to make it work?

The Apex Investing is free to try and a lot of people are making money with it.

Where to from here?


I believe I have unfinished business with the Apex Program. I want to pass the Leeloo funding Assessment.

I am currently looking at 4 other courses for the next 90 Day Challenge.

My Goals are to continue the Leeloo Funding Assessment to see if I can pass it in the next 30 trading days. I will continue to report on this daily.

During this time I will choose another course to start another 30-day Challenge

I will continue tomorrow posting my updates on my trades for the Leeloo Evaluation.


I will report back tomorrow on my progress and any lessons I learn

Disclaimer

I am not affiliated with any of these companies.