Tuesday, June 30, 2009

10% Account Growth in 40 minutes? Yup.

Ok, so its easy to do when you've got a 90.00 account I suppose, and you don't have to factor in the psychology of a 90,000 account, but still... growth is growth. Not to mention I reigned in my sizing to 2,000 rather than 3,000. So the profits are even smaller. I haven't posted in awhile since my last price action presentation and I wanted to share what i've been up to. I've been working feverishly on perfecting my price action indicator "Synergy". I've also been working on improving a couple of the setups to make them even higher odds, primarily focused on taking trades that can achieve a 2X target rather than just getting to par. The best part is I think I came up with some really cool stuff.

And I should get this out in the open right now - I am planning on launching a web site offering my indicator and method for sale within a few months. I know, i'm a douchebag right? The simple fact is this - I posted my webinar content a couple different places and got swamped with emails and messages wanting to know where they could get the indicator from and more information on the approach. I feel that there is a market for it, and i'm not going to charge what I feel is an outrageous price, but a reasonable amount even a cheap ass like myself has paid for other indicators before. I see no reason why I should feel guilty about trying to make a little profit off the work i've put into it. And before you honest and trustworthy followers mutiny on me - massive discounts if not outright giveaways to all of you who have been posting comments on this blog all along. You guys are the reason i'm still around and I see no reason why that shouldn't be rewarded with everything I have to give.

But lets get another thing crystal clear - I am a trader first and foremost now and always. My primary goal has been and continues to be becoming a consistently profitable trader. I can make exponentially more trading than I can selling a few indicators a month and I recognize this. Furthermore, i've no aspirations of helping others learn to trade if I myself am useless at it. But this has only forced me to step up my game even more. Yesterday I made a paltry 1.5% on my account - BUT it was growth via textbook trade setups. Today i'm up 10% so far. What I have spoken about before is becoming all the more apparent - this stuff works with my application and i've only just begun. Its too soon to pop champagne but i'm happy with what i'm seeing thus far. But enough boring life aspirations...

Three simple setups today, two winners, one par, +52 pips. The first was a GBP short off my new IB Fakeout Trend signal for +22, and then a long in the GBP off a Synergy setup on the double bottom it formed. The last was a inside bar reversal short in the EUR that got taken out at par. Simple.

*Edit* - Make that 15% by lunchtime!!! the GBP is being too easy this morning!!! Pinbar S at prior highs. Simple +20 pips. Net +73 thus far today.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Busy Day Pre-FOMC

Setups have never been so plentiful, so powerful, or so profitable. You know that giddy feeling you get in your stomach when you really feel like you can make money trading? Typically that feeling is followed by massive losses in my accounts. Hasn't been the case with this price action nonesense just yet. Why?

I think it is a combination of a lot of things, but primarily: Taking trades at decision points in the market (i.e. S/R), using proper risk:reward for the first time in my life, NEVER fighting the trend, letting actual price action tell me their is something amiss at these decision points before I jump in, and getting in MUCH MUCH SOONER!!!

More sim trading today... the Oanda platform really isn't too ideal for placing buy/sell stops accuratly. Open E Cry is far superior but for the time being, i'm with Oanda. I had TONS of trades today and really got my pure price action goggles cemented into my head even moreso.

I continue to be staggered by the amount of good trades offered. And when I think about where I would be getting into trades using my old methodologies it isn't suprising I lost money constantly.

Heres a new video I made going over a live trade I took as I was making it and then explaining more of the trades I took this morning. I've spent the last night trying to tweak camtasia so I can give you all high quality, high resolution videos. So many trading videos on youtube and other sites may have good information, but if you can't tell whats in the videos because its too small and blurry whats the point? Especially when we are dealing with small price action signals, clarity is important. I haven't perfected it just yet, but I think you'll find its a vast improvement over even last nights presentation.

Video Down. Making a UBER webinar to be released in a bit.

And after receiving some questions on pinbars I thought I would do a quick video on the mechanics behind pinbars and how and where to use them on your charts.

Video Down. Making a UBER webinar to be released in a bit.

Thats all for today... Its FOMC as we all know so things are bound to get a little nutzo in the next hour. I'm planning on going live with this on my tiny Oanda account next week. Until then its just practice, practice, practice!!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Video Update Outlining New Setups

I wish I would've blown out my account months ago because i've learned more in the past 48 hours than I have in the past 48 months.

I've been working crazy amounts of time developing an all inclusive Show Me indicator that could cut down on backtesting and make it very easy to not only scan markets but visually see at a glance potential trade setups. As I mentioned previously i'm focusing on pure price action entries around areas of support and resistance or pure trend entries. I'm putting a definitive effort on truly getting 2X reward on every trade - something i've never done before in my life.

The craziest thing about trading pure price action for me is how simple it really is. I had avoided it like the plague because I never wanted to put in the time to learn the setups and how and why they work. I was content to complicate my life with indicators.

But once you make that initial effort they are simple, they are everywhere, and i'm really able to get into trades with less risk than ever before. I used to wait for price to do X, Y, and Z on the indicators to get me into a trade. By the time the move was "confirmed" and I got in price had typically already made one hell of a move. This usually meant I was caught on the wrong side of the market once again and stopped for a loss. The best signals are the ones that occur right after the rejection where you can get in as the move builds from its point of origination. If you aren't in there - you aren't in soon enough.

It truly is a completely different mindset to anything and everything i've ever done before. But its so simple. I think the biggest difference in this approach is the avoidance of counter trend setups and the reliance on using prior S/R areas to define and qualify price action setups. I don't fight the trend anymore. I took so many great little IB Fakeout moves today with the trend it was crazy. I had 1 of 7 that didn't work. As far as the prior S/R is concerned with double bottoms and double tops i'm amazed at how often they coincide with price action setups together at turning points.

One of the other big things that I feel makes a huge difference in the approach is the idea of being the contrarian with these setups. I don't mean contrarian in the sense of shorting a rising market or randomly trying to catch tops or bottoms, but the idea of waiting for the market to fake people into doing just that, and then taking that group of traders money. I've never done that before. I did it a shit ton today and it easy as hell. Except I had always been on the other side of that equation. One of the things i've always heard is that the pros are always the contrarian point of view. I just never knew what it really meant or how to apply it.

The video is 10 minutes long but its well worth it. I feel like this is the most substance and profitable advice i've ever presented anywhere to anyone. I'm trying a new video host that should avoid the bandwidth issues I was having as well as being fast, free, and able to show HD quality.

Here's a new better quality video link as of 4:45PM.

Video Down. Making a UBER webinar to be released in a bit.

I thought I was going to have to hold off and only trade 60min/240min/Daily time frames but its just not the case. I think I can be just as effective and profitable trading the lower timeframes as well. For now, i'm doing it more for exercise getting used to the setups and can see myself drifting towards longer timeframes for bigger setups but i'm content to trade small and fast for the time being.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Focus

Small update. Just wanted to mention that the real stock trade that I went with (DRI) is still active with a long position from 33.54 in my demo account. The other play KIM was off a speculative idea I was messing around with but ended up scrapping. DRI is off of that intraswing S/R test idea i've been working on, with the trend.

My focus is on trading pure price action setups. I feel that's where I need to develop my skills and kill my reliance all together on indicators (save for maybe 1 MA). So i'm focusing on inside bar fakeouts, pin bars, and my fakeout signals for potential trades. The other thing is that i'm going to be slowing down the action. 1 HR, 4HR, and Daily charts for me for the time being. I stumbled onto http://www.learntotradethemarket.com which focuses on trading pure price action in the forex markets and ironically enough he uses the same idea i've been developing (he calls them fakey setups). But the main thing is that his setups and trades are the kind of stuff I want to exploit. I am planning on signing up for the course as its relativily inexpensive and its building on concepts and ideas that seem sound. Check out his youtube channel here for some of his trade ideas... I really think they have merit. http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=OzTrader&view=videos

So, other than that, i'm just in rebuild and relearn mode for the time being. I'm not live in any markets (including Forex) and won't be until I can cement a method down without relying on indicators.

If you guys know of any other good price action trading resources let me know!

In other news, there were no valid trades based off the scans tonight for equities tomorrow.


DRI @ 33.54, Stop 32.25, Target 36.81

Sunday, June 21, 2009

What i've been working on...

Ok, so as you can well imagine i've been a busy little kid planning my next moves. I want to get a lot of this stuff nailed down and finalized before I start work in July which gives me one more week to do just that. But before I go into any of that - THANK YOU TO EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU WHO LEFT A COMMENT ON MY PREVIOUS POST!!! The comments were heartfelt and sincere and went a long way towards reinforcing the positive aspects of my current situation rather than dwelling on the self-perceived negatives. This is a new opportunity for me plain and simple. And it sounds like a lot of you have been at these kind of spots in your lives and the key is to just keep pushing forward. So onto the broker debacles.

Last week I took all of my money out of TradeStation and they called back promptly wanting to close out my account. I told them I had already paid them hundreds in commissions this month and the next months data and platform fees should be waived regardless. So it gave me a month to migrate to a new platform. Putting 99.00/month towards their platform (no matter how accustomed i've come to it) is ridiculous for someone in my situation. But I have a copy of Multicharts and its almost the same thing. Furthermore I found out that I can open up a Mini-FX account (250.00 minimums) with Open E Cry and get free data (Including tick and volume) for all the currency pairs and nearly every futures contract you can dream up all for free and no platform fees!!!

Best part? Multicharts can use the data stream from Open E Cry which means I can essentially keep the same charting and workspaces and simply feed them data from elsewhere for free. Also, I can use their "Free Quotes" for charting daily and weekly timeframes for stocks as I pursue swing trading equities.

On that note i've been searching high and low for good low-commission equity brokers that have low account minimums. I have an account with TD Ameritrade but at 9.99 a side its too expensive when you consider the size of the trades i'll be putting on. I stumbled onto SogoTrade which offers 3.00 flat fee commissions on trades, 500.00 account minimums to open and all the features I need. Since i'll probably only be putting 500.00 or so into the positions i'll be buying the 6.00/rt isn't too ridiculous. This is more to get my feet wet and mess around for the time being. So what strategies am I pursuing?

Well I do plan on using the ChannelingStocks.com site for a 1 month trial run and see if I can't find a simple way to utilize their picks and my analysis but for the time being i'm not starting that service yet.

I've been focuses HEAVILY the past week on developing the "intraswing support/resistance" idea I was talking about. I really feel that my best bet for success is to keep my risk parameters low and aim for 2:1 returns. The only way I can realistically do that in my mind is to try and find swing highs and lows so I can have a defined stop and risk.

So I put on my EasyLanguage pants and started coding up my ideas. I came up with some really cool stuff and the best part was yesterday I figured out how to modify the code so I can just pull up a list of 500-1000 stocks every night in the scanner and be alerted to the 10 that put up potential trade signals that day. I am also going to cross apply this to the forex markets and use big scanning windows on different pairs and timeframes to search for trades.

My big idea is trying to find essentially candlestick patterns that identify areas within a swing where buyers or sellers are interacting and one side has clearly tried to push lower or higher and failed to do so.

Heres my scanner window right now with the stocks that fired off one of the two signals i'm looking for on Friday. Now this scan is of the entire S&P 500 and these were the only ones with signals. So its fairly selective to begin with. But added to the mix is that fact that i'm only taking signals that are following trends (H, HL, L, LL, or DB/DT's) and I look for one more secondary indicator to confirm they swings are at extremes and I just generally check that the swing is fairly smooth and concise. Of these 20 that fired off potential entries, only 2 ended up to be valid trades.

Trades for Monday:
Long DRI @ 33.54

These prices are at the close on Friday, so technically I would just be buying them at the opening prices on Monday.

I'm using this same strategy for the Forex markets intraday as well and i'll be posting up outcomes in those markets starting Monday.

So to recap, i've been a busy little beaver. I've put my ideas into code, expanded on them, backtested further, and created a rule set around them. I'm focusing on these types of trades only and not anything else I have used prior.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Throwing in the Towel

If you've got 10 minutes to devote to reading this update please take the time to do so.

Today marks the occurrence i've been fearing for the past six months. It ended today. I promised my parents when they offered up capital to get me above margin requirements back in January that I wouldn't put their capital at risk. Over the past six months i've gradually drawn down my accounts in a slow and steady fashion. Today after taking another loss in the NQ I called it quits. I canceled my real time data feeds for the CME and withdrew my parents deposit from the account to hand back to them with a "Sorry, and thank you".

I'm planning on keeping my account with tradestation open and pay the 99/mo for the platform and use their free forex data. Starting next week i'll be going back to my old job working at a country club as an opportunity to make some cash. I will still trade forex on an experimental and small (i.e. my 100.00 account) basis in the mornings during the weekdays and work afternoons and evenings at the country club.

My sister is getting married in August and I don't want to go out and look for a "real" job knowing that I would have to ask for two weeks off days after taking a position with a new company. Furthermore, the country club offers a unique networking opportunity to bounce career ideas off of successful people in different industries and in some cases line up job offerings. In fact, I got my job at TD Ameritrade a couple years back as a direct result of cleaning the golf clubs of the former CFO. Its a deadend job but it pays well and will give me a little bit of income, sun, social interaction, and networking that's probably been overdue for sometime now. Furthermore, I need some time to plan out my next moves.

Let me make this very clear right here and now. While defeated, I am NOT giving up on this dream. I know its possible to make money in the markets. I've seen people do it. I've traded with some of the very people that follow this blog and seen them do incredible things with their equity curves. And to some extent i've had a taste of success personally. For myself, I have to simply rationalize the last four years of my life devoted this career as finding 10,000 ways how not to make money in the markets. However, i'm still in search of that one way that will make money.

As far as possible interim career choices for me i'm really at a loss for pursuing anything in finance. While I have a degree in finance, investments, and banking every job opening in the field where I live is for "Financial Advisers" which to me is basically a fancy way of dressing up a used car salesman and giving him life insurance and crappy mutual funds to shove down the throats of others rather than kicking the tires on a used Chevy. Not for me. I've seen what these people have done for my parents - which is why I fired all of them. So that's out. I'm actually thinking maybe about some kind of pharma rep. Something that i'm not stuck in a cubicle all day and I can get out and interact with people.

If you all have any ideas or recommendations for potential jobs to pursue please let me know!

So how does trading tie into this plan? Great question. The first thing I have to come to terms with right now is that any 9-5 will kill my ability to trade as I know it. At best it would be scaled back to Forex markets after hours and that's not really a prime time as far as i'm concerned. Here are the other ideas i'm considering after I get capital re-established.

The other idea i'm considering is to start back swing trading equities. Back in the day I used a service called ChannelingStocks.com. The idea being they gave you a list of stocks each week that basically would just ping back and forth between support and resistance levels. Now back when I traded with these picks I didn't know how to spot reversals and confirmed bottoms. I knew even less about risk:reward, momentum, and stop placement. The big thing they always said on the site was make sure to wait for the stock to reverse. Back then I had no idea what this really meant.

So today I took a look at a couple of their more recent picks from the last month and pulling up a daily chart of the three symbols yielded very easy entry methods by either 1) Waiting for a "Scalper" alert to confirm the bottom or 2) waiting for a fast HMA to cross over. Basically stupid stuff that if you stayed with the trade until the HMA flipped yielded some nice gains over a month period. And it wouldn't require me to do anything more than check charts once a night. Furthermore, there are lots of automated pattern scanning websites available out there for free so the idea of just looking for trades like this on a swing basis kind of appeals to me.

The other idea is to start up with Bright Trading and some of their "Pairs Trading" courses. I have a friend who has been trading with them for almost a year now and as far as I know hes been making consistent money every week since he started with them. But the course is pricey and Bright requires you have your Series 7 to join.

Here comes the most important part of this post. Thank you to all of you who read it weekly and commented over the past six months. Its been an emotional roller coaster for me and without the feedback you all have given me I probably wouldn't have lasted as long as I did. I wish you all the best and luck in your current and future endeavors.

The blog will stay alive and I wish to continue documenting my trial and error attempts at becoming a professional trader.

In truth its actually a bit of a relief. I can't tell you the last time I stepped foot in a mall, went out for a beer with friends, or enjoyed a movie. I have spent the past years avoiding all unnecessary expense and living like a monk in hopes of figuring this out. But it became a Catch 22. I would go treat myself to a movie, or a night out with friends as soon as I got profitable. But it never happened. All that did happen was me spending even more time in front of the charts and me missing out on the more important things in life outside of the screens. So this break is a needed one - if not simply for a mental rejuvenation and a way to find more balance in my life. Success in one area shouldn't mean utter failure in another and unfortunately i've let that become my life.

So the moral of the story is this: Thank you for watching. I'm only sorry I couldn't provide more insight into the markets and profitable ideas to apply in your own trading. I've not failed at this but merely found way too many ways that didn't work.

Down but not out.

Cheers folks,

- Matt

Monday, June 15, 2009

Down in Forex, Pars a plenty in NQ

Took a relatively small loss in the Forex markets today and four pars in the NQ. Over the weekend I did testing on longer timeframes in the NQ and ES and am now trading charts similar to a 5 minute timeframe. My goal is to try and filter out the noise and get the bigger, stronger moves that will pay me better. This should cut down on comissions significantly, choppy trades, and trying to trade for ticks rather than points.

More in depth explanations available in the video. Its short at 5:51 and recaps the trades of the day and talks about the timeframe change in more detail.


Trade Results:

Forex: -21 Pips
NQ: +0.00

Friday, June 12, 2009

+29 pips... or $8.70... wtf?

So I went live today in FX and ran into the reality of margin I hadn't quite planned on. For some reason in my tiny little math confused brain I thought I could come in here with 100.00 and be able to trade 10,000 lot size with 50:1 margin. Durrrrrr no I can't. I can trade 3,000 lot size.

So I traded this morning, took some good entries, all winners and walked out with 29 pips after an hour and half. And on 3,000 lot size that is... 8.70. Saweet! But lets think about this in terms of percent return for a second. After the paypal fees the actual deposit was $97.80. Which means my 8.70 profit was actually a 8.8% return on the account. Not shabby I suppose.

In the future i'll add more funds to it so I can up the size buy for right now I think its probably a really good exercise for me to trade with this small size and see what I can do. No sense adding funds to an account that I can't grow. I need to be able to prove a distinct change in my profitability in both my futures accounts and my Forex account if i'm going to move forward trading.

Have a great weekend guys!

Trade Results:

NQ: +0.00
Forex: +29 Pips

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Up in FX, Down a smidge in NQ

Not a bad day, things were much choppier in the currency markets than yesterday all out directional slam fest. Took some pretty nice losses early in the day but kept with it and made it all back and then some. In fact, I had 4 losses in a row this morning... one winner erased them all. Thats the kind of stats I want to get behind. Ended out the day with +46 pips.

In the NQ it was not a bad day (ended down a point) but I just didn't get fills on 90% of the moves and the ones I did get in didn't really go anywhere and at the end of the day I caught a smaller loser for -1.5.

I am getting much better on the execution of these trades and the analysis. I had to work out kinks the hard way earlier this week with losses to figure out I needed to relax stops, and focus on the good directional moves, but i'm getting things nailed down. Furthermore, the currency markets are proving to be really good practice on the entries, management, and analysis in getting me back on my feet.

4 days of losses isn't anything i'd brag about - but if it was for a purpose and it taught me something its fine by me.

Trade Results:

NQ: -20.00

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Quick Update

Got nailed hard in the futures today. A stupid idea to try and limit risk ended up costing more money than it was worth. GIVE YOUR TRADES ROOM TO WORK. Lost enough to limit me to the NQ only for the time being.

In FX land walked away netting +187 pips today. Yup. While on sim, the fills are as real as they can get in forex unlike some futures account simulations. If I could do 1/10th of that each day i'd be stoked. Just waiting on my account verification to start funding.

Video is high resolution (close to 1400 X 700) but relativly short (8:05). Make sure you click the "Full Size" button at the top of the screencast page to view it correctly so it doesn't look janky.

Link deleted due to bandwidth concerns.

Trade Results:

I don't want to talk about it.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Papa Got Camtasia

I finally got Camtasia studio so I can finally embed videos and share them with you. The video is 21 minutes long. I know. I'm not that interesting.

First couple minutes are a daily recap of the action and signals, the opening of a new Forex account and then I delve into my new "discovery".

Probably the most "DUHHHHHHH" discovery I could ever share with you all. But its enough to get me back into the signals and methodology I was using at the beginning of the year.

You get a e-high five if you actually making it through the entire video without punching your screen or thinking "why won't this douchebag stop talking?"

P.S. I promise my other video updates (baring break throughs) won't be nearly as long. It took damn near a half hour for this video to render on my laptop!

Link deleted due to bandwidth concerns.

Cheers folks!

Trade Results:

ES: -62.50
NQ: +0.00

Monday, June 8, 2009

Day 1

Another video update and explanation of trades taken today.

Link deleted due to bandwidth concerns.

Trade Results:

ES: +0.00
NQ: -80.00

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Video Update + My New Method Explained

I decided to do videos tonight for the first time. I finally got my mic working and thought i'd give ole Jing a try again and get some videos explaining updates on this blog, my deadlines, profitability, etc as well as my new found discovery which i'm trading from here on out.

This came out of the blue, it goes against everything i've ever looked at or tried but I like it, its consistent, it works and its going to be my winning method from here on out. Oh yea, and i'm going to share it with you all.

I recently started reading this blog http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/. I highly recommend checking it out. Its from author Tim Ferriss of the "4 Hour Work Week" and while some of the blog is focused on business, marketing, traveling, random pen tricks, it was just a really good place I stumbled onto when I was depressed after having a losing streak on monday prior to this discovery. Reading a few of his posts on mental performance, stories of overcoming opposition and making the biggest discoveries in the 11th hour really got me back into it.

I may fail at this profession this time around - but i'm going to give it hell for the next two weeks and either rebound or go out with a bang. I've got nothing to lose and everything to gain. Stay tuned.

Part 1: Update on blog, my deadline.

Part 2: The new discovery - Intraswing S/R.

Part 3: More examples.

Please give me feedback on this methodology!!!