Thursday, August 28, 2008

The Goals: What are they, why do they matter, and how do we accomplish them?

Lets talk about the goals i've set, the entire point of this blog, this profession, this life i've chosen to pursue. This is necessary not only to explain the goals to you as it is to re-establish their importance for myself. The goals are not ranked in any order, all of them overlap, establish, and play on one another. But they all serve to establish the final goal, which is SUCCESS.

10 Lot Contract Trade Size:

This is a big one. This may be the biggest one. So lets spend some time on it.

I want to have built up my accounts to the point where I can trade with an adequate, proportionate, risk to my account size, 10 standard lots in both Forex, and in the E-Mini's. Why is this important? Well to accomplish this it would mean that i'm achieving some of my other goals like a 60% win rate, but more than that it would mean i've achieved consistent, demonstrateable success on a large scale. On a 10 lot basis I can pretty much make all of my dreams come true and work towards adding more size in the future. Lets take today, it was a crappy day with lots of mistakes, but I still came out ahead +21 pips. Ok, not great, but trading a 10 lot thats 2100.00. In one day. Yea. I could feed myself for awhile on that.

As i've spoken to before, and will undoubtedly again pros don't hunt massive amounts of pips everyday, they hunt a consistent small amount and do so with LARGE SIZE. Its much easier to get 10 pips a day than 100 pips. So why not get 10 pips a day using 10 lots and make your 1000.00 rather than try and make 100 pips a day using 1 lot. Its the same amount of money, except one has much more market risk involved and a much lower probability of consistent success.

60% Average Win Rate:

Pretty self explanatory. I feel that this system can be 60% successful in real time trading over time. If I can manage to achieve that it will not only prove the system but provide for an nice equity curve and constant account growth with the appropriate use of risk and reward on my trades.

Creation of an "Oh Shit" Fund:

I'd like to have a savings account created and built with trade profits that are put away for a rainy day. Not retirement or anything of that sort, but specifically relating to trading. Lets say taxes come due that I have a slush fund available to draw from to pay them off without touching my trade capital. Or if the worst should happen and I blow out an account, that I have enough put away to refund and start anew. And if I was unable to work for whatever reason that I could reasonably cover all of my expenses for over a year, if not two. I don't like playing things tight, and I like to have a big safety net. I don't have that net now but I want to re-establish one as soon as possible. Roughly, the fund should be at minimum 20,000.

Creation / Completion of LLC:

I'm working with Traders Accounting currently on setting up and establishing an LLC to house and incorporate all of my trading activities. There are lots of taxes involved with trading so doing whatever I can to minimize those costs proactively through the creation of an LLC should pay off huge dividends in the long run. Initial set up costs are projected at 1700.00 to go through with it.

New Trading Workstation:

Fairly simple... I'm currently trading off a laptop (with a semi-busted screen) and a second 17" flatpanel. Hardly ideal. I have to structure my charts in such a way that each currency pair takes up about a 3" X 3" square on my screen. I'd like to build a new trading workstation with 4 22" widescreen LCD's to trade off of. So I don't have to strain my eyes to see everything and everything can have a screen of its own so I don't have to go tabbing through various charts and broker applications. Conservatively this project would cost around 2500.00 depending on how carried away I get.

I'd also like to migrate over to the MultiCharts platform so I can just pay for a lifetime license and eliminate my monthly fees with Tradestation. However, I would have to find another brokerage that can provide data to feed MultiCharts. Multicharts licenses are 1500.00

Well that's about it... hopefully it will all start falling into place over the coming months!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Where to start?

I have been getting a surprising amount of emails and messages asking where I learned all of this stuff, how to get into trading, what kind of money can be made, etc. Its a great subject, and a daunting one for people trying to break into the profession. So I thought we could take some time and discuss the matter in brevity.

So why is this stuff so hard to get into? Information. Tons of it. The good news is it exists; the bad news is because you don't know anything about the topic you're unable to discern the scams and the crap strategies, analysis, and education you see laid out before you. Whats worse is for every piece of analysis, indicator, or strategy available there is someone, somewhere who disagree and has 9 different reasons why you should discard it and do what they do. It becomes a nasty catch 22 quite quickly.

Trading is simple. Not easy, just simple. At least it can be if you don't fall down the rabbit hole of using twenty different indicators, and a trading chart that rivals an air plane telemetry system. Less is more. The simplest strategies are outright the best. I talked to a trader yesterday who makes roughly 50k a week in the Forex markets trading 100 lots. His system was literally one of the most basic, rudimentary, simple systems ever devised. But thats why it works. If your system stops working, it is most likely how you are trading it, and not the system itself at fault. Emotions come into trading at each entry and exit. You need to be aware of this and how to handle it. Buy "Trading in the Zone" by Mark Douglas before you ever place a trade. If i had it would've saved me thousands in losses and months struggling to get back on my feet.

So you want to learn more? Here are the basics of where to start.

Babypips is a great new free educational site. The best i've ever found. If it was up when I started over a year ago it would've saved me months of research. Trade the Markets is a popular educational vendor. Their systems do work. Sign up for their free video webcasts and check out their archived videos here. Traders Laboratory is a relatively new site that is vastly expanding and has loads of great content, postings, and videos that should teach you a LOT.

If you're interested in trading the methodology I do with my mentor shoot me a message and i'll refer you too him. Its not cheap, but its the real deal. You can see his free public videos here.


This is the first post in the new blog. I've setup this blog to track the progress of my trading on a day to day basis. It will serve as a way of keeping my trades (and performance) accountable to myself and other traders tracking my progress.

This blog is a continuation of my old blog By Age 22, that wasn't updated faithfully and wasn't fulfilled as my trading career waned over the past year. I hope to pick up and start anew in this blog! I have a lot to achieve this year!