Forex Early Bird Breakout Trading Strategy – ForexMT4Systems
Forex Early Bird Breakout Trading Strategy – ForexMT4Systems
100 pips daily Trading System - Forex Strategies - Forex
The "So Easy It’s Ridiculous" Forex Trading System
100 pips Trading System - Forex Strategies - Forex
Feeling good lately. Wanted to share my personal checklist for what I do in leading up to a trade in case there might be someone who finds it helpful.
So, in short about me, Im in my mid 20s, and have been trading for about 5 years. The first 2 I did not take seriously at all, I was in college, working a lot and had a lot happening, long story short, I have given it my all the past 3 years and have done really well to the point Im starting to have close friends/family ask me to teach them or how to get started. Im not here to teach anyone or promote anything so please do not PM me asking for my strategy or for help on any of the things I mention. My only reply would be to use your friends google and youtube to do your own research into each checklist item, if I even responded at all. Anyways, today id like to just try to give back to this sub a little bit. I see a good bit of negativity on here and have even found myself bickering with users on here which has led me to pay a lot less attention to this sub altogether. One thing I recently noticed is that we are at 80k members in here! I think I subscribed just 2-3 or so years ago and it was around 15k. So that tells me that up to ~80% of this sub probably has less than 3 years experience. So obviously a ton of people are all here debating/arguing/attacking/trolling ideas/topics or users that are likely still in the learning phase so this sub I feel like can often discourage or delay a new persons chances of success because everything about forex is subjective, Technicals, Fundamentals, RM/Psychology, all of it is subjective and when users clash it often ends up toxic and someone that is new may completely give up just because they ran into some asshole on here. I believe what I share could benefit this community and if it happens to do so I may post more breadowns on different topics. For me personally, I enjoy daytrading. I've tried all types and find daytrading to be the best fit for me. I trade the London/NY crossover, for me that is 5-9:30am central time. Occasionally ill come in an hour early or stay an hour late. I trade 18 pairs, majors, crosses and gold, occasionally silver. No CHF and only few NZD. I know countless people who do just fine with CHF and NZD but from my results over time I do the least well with those. The RSI is mainly the only indicator I use, occasionally an EMA or Bollinger band. Also I have a sessions indicator I sometimes use that I had a friend make for me that outlines a box around my 5-9:30 time and range. My list of factors in being a successful trader, in order are
*Ill go ahead and state, directed to newbies, that strategy is important but is one of the lesser important factors in the sense of thinking long term, most new traders are out strictly searching for the golden strategy, which doesn't exist or it would be well known, even my best strategy is around 80% which I believe is awesome but without having 1-3 covered, any strategy is useless. This is my checklist, in order, although some are kind of closely related. I could go on and on about every point but ill try to keep it short and let you use your friends google and youtube to go further into any point you are more interested in understanding better. Before the trade/before I start trading this takes around 15 minutes for me to have all these in check, so I arrive at my desk around 4:30-4:45am to get all these in check
Psychology- your mental state is the most important factor. You need to be in a clear state of mind and not have anything heavy weighing on you.
News- Go ahead and be aware of upcoming news events, I use forexfactory.com and only takes me a minute or 2 to review the news and get a bias on what might happen or if any currency should be avoided due to high impact news.
Risk Management- Never take a trade risking over 1-2% of your account is kind of known standard for decent risk management. I would mostly agree but I'm personally super conservative and trade 0.25-1% per trade. Also I aim for trades with at least a 1:2 Risk:Reward, never ever less than a 1:1. When trading most days, I already kinda have the pip value and expected risk lot size in my head before im even at my desk, just because its fresh on my mind. I use https://www.myfxbook.com/forex-calculators/position-size to calculate my risks if i'm unsure.
*The more data you can gather about the pairs you trade the more you can use RM to your advantage, For instance, I backtest ALL THE TIME, constantly trying to learn as much as I can about my pairs such as: How many trade setups did each pair produce each week, month year? What pair produced the most setups? What pairs provided the most wins, losses or breakevens? What time during my session did the trade setup form? How many trades went for 20 pips, 40 pips or 100 pips? (for swing traders or scalpers you may want to adjust these numbers) Did news affect my trades? What happened in the Asian session? Early London session? Knowing this information allows me to organize my attention to the more profitable pairs for my strategy. I'm almost certain very very few people may have the same exact strategy I use but just as a tid bit out of my 18 the best ones for me in 2019, not necessarily in order, were GOLD, GBP/AUD, GBP/CAD, GBP/USD, GBP/JPY, EUAUD, EUCAD. These 7 have been my favorites and most reliable, so I will do 0.75-1% risk for these. Next preferred, in no particular order, are EUGBP, CAD/JPY, AUD/JPY, AUD/CAD, EUNZD, GBP/NZD, GOLD/EURO. For these 7 I use a 0.25-0.75% risk. The last 4 are EUUSD, USD/JPY, USD/CAD, EUJPY, which I use a 0.25% on typically. This doesn't mean the pairs suck or anything, again this was based off my strategy, could be completely different for you but I hope you can see how this improves your odds vs just slapping a 2% trade across all pairs. If you do some research you'll find my best ones were also some of the most volatile and had higher ADRs.
Trend. Since I daytrade I don't pay as much attention to H4, D1, W1, M1 although I do establish a bias for these timeframes, and I typically don't check these everyday honestly, because Ill already know in my head where these are. So I check H1, M30, M15 for my daily bias, Trying to establish a good trendline on the H1, preferably a nice channel.
What did Asian/Early London sessions do? My trades typically form bettemore often/more reliable when the Asian session is mostly flat or around a 20-50 pip range, more or less depending on the pair and ADR.
So these are before, this section is about being aware of news and establishing bias'. Also note other than news, your bias' may or may not be correct, this is simply just getting an idea before we jump into ouyour session. It takes me a short while and it worth doing, especially the psychology part, I probably spend half of the time just on number 1, not to watch some motivation video or get super pumped but more so just getting relaxed, putting worries aside if there are any, getting rid of distractions, maybe some light/short meditation. 4:30-5am is definitely a quiet time so its relatively easy to do. I might have a cup of coffee but no more than 1-2 to not get jitters or too much hype in me. During my session/preparing for a trade. I wont go in to my specific strategy but I believe the checklist can work with many strategies.
Wait for overbought/oversold on RSI, over 75 or below 25. I don't trade in the middle of the range, simple rule we all know buy low, sell high. I set an alert for when the RSI hits either 75 or 25 so I can start to pay attention to it. I simply wait for an RSI alert then bring that pair to my attention. THIS DOES NOT MEAN ENTER AS SOON AS RSI IS TOUCHED, It just tells me I may potentially have a setup form on that pair soon. The alert allows me to trade 18 pairs relatively easily because there's no way I could sit there and constantly be flipping through charts for hour on end. I have been (what I feel like is) more aggressive in the recent years trading this many pairs. I have a reliable strategy that I could easily cut the the latter 4-11 pairs I mentioned out and just get paid off my best 7 which I probably will in the future as i've gotten more involved in other businesses and opportunities. For now and recently it hurts worse than a loss to know there was a clean trade setup that I missed just because I didn't have it up on MT4. A loss I can study and identify why I was wrong or what went wrong, a missed clean pattern just sucks lol
Pattern/Setup. There's a ton of candlestick/pattern formations that happen and people learn an example here where a user posts a lot of charts and examples of all kids of patterns. https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=4846473.0 So again for new traders, This can be incredibly overwhelming to attempt to learn everything and every pattern. I trade 4 patterns total, 2 when buying , 2 when selling. My advice is find a pattern or 2 and stick to them for a decent amount of time before switching or trying others, I know plenty of traders that stick to 2 patterns, 1 buy, 1 sell and are set. I've studied many but have found my favorite 4. You have to pick a pattern and pay attention to it over time gathering all the info you can to understand if that pattern works well. Every single pattern you can find online has happened on every single pair before, often times over and over and over. Find a pattern/setup, study how much it moves, if news affects the pair, how many times that patterns forms, how it acts around trendlines, etc.
Once I have identified a clean setup I begin to think risk/reward, SL/TP, entries/exits, having clear risk and targets in mind instead of jumping in and hoping it goes well. I pay attention to recent levels, Support/Resistances, Trendline touches and news to get an idea to where to place my SL/TP. I wouldn't recommend just using a flat amount for an example such as a 40 pip SL and a 80 pip TP across all pairs. A value of a pip changes across different pairs (An entire topic that should be learned but the calculator from myfxbook I stated takes care of the pip value for you.
I check other pairs that have the same currencies involved from the pair I received an alert on to see if there are similar setups forming on those. Currencies have positive and negative correlations, meaning some pairs move together and some pairs move opposite. For instance typically EUUSD and GBP/USD move in the same direction and EUUSD and USD/CHF typically move in opposite directions. This is largely due to economic factors. Here's a link that gives a little more insight but this one doesn't list all of the correlations out there. https://www.markettraders.com/blog/understanding-currency-pairs-correlation/. So if I see or get alerted for a potential setup on EUUSD I can check GBP/USD to see if there is a setup there too.
Enter after patten had been confirmed and is clean.
So these 5 are leading up to entering the market. Based on my backtesting, I typically get around 3-4 setups per day. Sometimes theres none, sometimes theres 10. I never ever force a trade on a slow day, I know that my pattern will happen eventually so I never take a setup I think is iffy or that im forcing. Also that is another reason I keep my risk low incase there are days where 10 trades happen that all look good. So for my session I place my trades around 5-9:30am central time and I usually close them by noon cst when NY session has ended and prices start to go flat. Occasionally I might hold for a day or 2 if I took a good trade in line with the trend and other factors. So after the trades are placed I have just one thing left
Psychology- I said this was the most important, it comes full circle for me and many other. Trading my session and my strategy means my trades could be open for 5 minutes or up to 7 hours. A good trader needs to be able to handle his emotions and trust the process. This means trusting in your setup and let it run while also knowing when to get out in case it show signs of going against you. A traders real job is to manage risk, not to make big trades or a ton of trades. The more selective you are after you've learned a pattern and having everything else in line, the better. There are 5 outcomes of every trade Big win, small win, breakeven, small loss, big loss. To become a successful trader you just need to eliminate the big losses. For me I look at a small win and a small loss basically as breakeven trades. This helps with my psychology because to me it all ends up evening out, just the cost of business. If you take a small loss or small win and let that affect your psychology going to the next trade youre hurting yourself. Sometimes I take a 5-10 pip profit instead of holding and then it going against me for a loss and sometimes I take a 5-10 pip profit and it could've been 100 pips in my favor. Oh well, I protected my account and I know more setups will come tomorrow or later this week.
That is my complete checklist for entering the market. 11 bullets to cover, 5 before you start your session, 5 leading up to entering and 1 during/closing the trade. I hope this will be beneficial to some and may try to post a little more if I see it is helpful. Thank you for still reading this far! Best wishes in your trading endeavors and 2020! Edit: I forgot to mention for a beginner or any skill level I highly highly recommend getting a simulator. There’s several out there, I don’t want to break any rules by naming which one I use, but they basically all work the same, all close to $100 which if you understand the power of backtesting you realize how necessary it is to have and that cost is nothing. A simulator allows you to download the candlestick tick data for any pair, for as far back as the pair’s chart goes. So then you can pick a day in the past, any day, pick your timeframe, and press play and the chart will start playing out like it actually did on the day it happened. So you see every little tick up and down. You can control the speed and speed it up fast so you can cover a years worth of trading of a currency in just a few hours. This makes it really easy to get a ton of accurate data in a short time. Demo trading is cool but fully controlled simulated trading kicks ass. I can’t recommend it enough. Edit 2: my apologies for showing my ass in the comments right after I spoke about the negativity in here. I posted this at local time 4 am right after I stayed up finishing my 2019 backtest results and then I noticed the 80k members and felt an inspiration to post something what I thought could be helpful. I spent over an hour on this post and the lack of sleep and 2 straight all-nighters allowed me to allow others to get under my skin after they come at me with some dumb shit. If you see a post from me just know I’ve put some thought into it and am attempting to bring value. Haters gone hate. If I see some are receiving value I’ll keep it up as long as I know it’s something valuable. Again I have nothing to sell or promote even though others assume I do just for posting this. I specifically said stay out of my inbox. Whatever I decide to teach it will be fo free. Thanks again for your time.
I’ve been reading these posts on an off for quite some time now and it saddened me to see someone had recently posted their “I quit the game” statement. We all walk through fire to stand in the green valley...and the journey has to be made on foot. And alone. And it’s tough. In response, I wanted to add a list of pointers for people starting out in this insane game and to address what I’ve learned from over a decade of trading Forex. It’s long-ish but it’s based on reality and not a bunch of meaningless retail junk systems and “insider knowledge” by nitwits on YouTube or some 19-year old “whiz kid” who apparently makes ten billion dollars a week with a mystical set-up that’ll only cost you $1,999 to buy! I became a profitable trader by keeping everything simple. I lost thousands when I started out, but I look back now and realise how easily I could’ve avoided those losses. Keep Everything Simple. For the sake of disclosure, I worked for Morgan Stanley for over a decade in fixed income but learned almost everything I know from the forex guys whom I got to know as good friends. They make markets but there’s still a lot to learn from them as a small fry trader. I got into all this as a hobby after annoying the traders with questions, and all these years later it still pays me. There are still occasional nightmare accidents but they’re far rarer to the point where they don’t affect my ROI. Possibly the most clear statement I could make about Forex trading in the large institutional setting is actually a pretty profound one: Forex traders are not what you think they are: every single forex trader I ever worked with (and who lasted the test of time) had the exact same set of personality traits: 1. NOT ONE of them was a gung-ho high-five loudmouth, 2. Every single one of them analysed their mistakes to the point of obsession, 3. They were bookish and not jocks, 4. They had the humility to admit that many early errors were the result of piss-poor planning. The loudmouths last a year and are gone. Guys who last 5, 10, 20 years in a major finance house on the trading floor are nothing like the absurd 1980s Hollywood images you see on your tv; they’re the perfect opposite of that stereotype. The absolute best I ever met was a studious Irish-Catholic guy from Boston who was conscientious, helpful, calm, and utterly committed to one thing: learning from every single error of judgement. To quote him: “Losing teaches you far more than winning”. Enough of that. These points are deliberately broad. Here goes:
Know The Pairs. It amazes me to see countless small account traders speak as though “systems” work across all pairs. They don’t. Trading GBP/CHF is an entirely different beast to trading CHF/JPY. If you don’t know the innate properties of the CHF market or the JPY or the interplay between the AUD and NZD etc then leave them alone until you do. —There’s no rush— Don’t trade pairs until you are clear on what drives ‘commodity currencies’, or what goes on behind currencies which are easily manipulated, or currencies which simply tend to range for months on end instead of having clear trends. Every pair has its own benefits and drawbacks. Google “Tips on trading the JPY” etc etc etc and get to know the personality of these currencies. They’re just products like any other....Would you buy a Honda without knowing a single thing about the brand or its engine or its durability? So why trade a currency you know nothing about?
Indicators are only telling you what you should be able to see in front of you: PRICE AND MARKET STRUCTURE. Take everything off your charts and simply ask one question: What do I see happening right here and right now? What time frame do I see it on? If you can’t spot a simple consolidation, an uptrend, or a downtrend on a quick high-versus-low time frame scan then no indicator on the planet will help you.
Do you know why momentum indicators work on clear trends but are often a complete disaster on ranges? If not, why not? Do you know why such indicators are losing you tons of trades on low TFs? Do you actually understand the simple mathematics of any indicator? If the answer to these questions is “no” then why are you using these things and piling on indicator after indicator after indicator until you have some psychedelic disco on your screen that looks like an intergalactic dogfight in Star Wars? Keep it simple. Know thy indicator.
Risk:Reward Addiction. The greatest profit killer. So you set up your stops and limits at 1:1.5 or whatever and say “That’s me done” only to come back and see that your limit was missed by a soul-crushing 5 pips before reversing trend to cost you $100, $200, $1000. So you say “Ah but the system is fine”. Guys...this isn’t poker; it doesn’t have to be a zero sum game. Get over your 1:1.5 addiction —The Market Does Not Owe You 50 Pips— Which leads to the next point which, frankly, is what has allowed me to make money consistently for my entire trading life...
YOU WILL NEVER GO BROKE TAKING A PROFIT. So you want to take that 50-pip profit in two hours because some analyst says it’ll happen or because your trend lines say it has to happen. You set your 1:1.5 order. “I’ll check where I’m at in an hour” you say. An hour later you see you’re up 18 pips and you feel you’re owed more by now. “If I close this trade now I could be missing out on a stack”. So what?! Here’s an example: I trade in sterling. I was watching GBP climb against it’s post-GDP flop report and once I was up £157 I thought “This is going to start bouncing off resistance all morning and I don’t need the hassle of riding the rollercoaster all day long”. So I closed it, took the £157, went to make breakfast. Came back shortly afterwards and looked at the chart and saw that I could’ve made about £550 if I’d trusted myself. Do I care? Absolutely not...in fact it usually makes me laugh. So I enter another trade, make another quick £40, then another £95. Almost £300 in less than 45 mins and I’m supposed to cry over the £250 I “missed out on”?
£300 in less than an hour for doing nothing more than waiting for some volatility then tapping a keyboard. It’s almost a sin to make money that easily and I don’t “deserve” any of it. Shut off the laptop. Go out for the day. Does the following sound familiar? “Okay I’m almost at my take-profit...almost!.....almost!....okay it’s bouncing away from me but it’ll come back. Come back, damnit!! Jesus come back to my limit! Ah for F**k’s sakes!! This is complete crap; that trade was almost done! This is rigged! This is worse than poker! This is total BS!!” So when you were 50% or 75% toward your goal and could see the trade slipping away why wasn’t $100 or $200 enough? You need more than that?...really?! So point 6:
Tomorrow Is Another Day. Lordy Lordy, you only made $186 all day. What a disaster! Did you lose anything? Nope. Will the market be open again tomorrow? Yep. Does London open in just four hours? Yep. Is the NOK/SGD/EUR whatever still looking shitty? Yep. So let it go- there are endless THOUSANDS of trades you can make in your lifetime and you need to let a small gain be seen for what it is: ANOTHER BEAUTIFUL PROFIT.
Four or five solid but small profits in a day = One Large Profit. I don’t care how I make it, I don’t care if it’s ten lots of £20, I don’t care if I make the lot in a single trade in 30 seconds either. And once I have a nice sum I switch the computer off and leave it the Fk alone. I don’t care if Brexit is due to detonate the pound or if some Fed guy is going to crap all over the USD in his speech; I’ve made my money and I’m out for the day. There will be other speeches, other detonations. I could get into the entire process by which I trade but it’s aggravatingly basic trend-following mostly based on fundamentals. Losing in this business really does boil down to the same appalling combination of traits that kill most traders: Greed, Impatience, Addiction. Do I trade every day? Absolutely not; if there’s nothing with higher probability trades then I just leave it alone. When I hit my target I’m out for the day- the market doesn’t give a crap about me and I don’t give a crap about the market, if you see my meaning. I played poker semi-professionally for two years and it’s absolutely soul-destroying to be “cold decked” for a whole week. But every player has to experience it in order to lose the arrogance and the bravado; losing is fine as long as you learn from it. One day you’ll be in a position to fold pocket Kings because you’ll know you’re dead in the water. The currency markets are exactly the same in that one regard: if you learn from the past you’ll know when it’s time to get out of that stupid trade or that stupid “system” that sounded so great when you had a demo account. Bank a profit. Keep your charts simple. Know the pairs. Be patient. Touch nothing till you understand it inside out. And if you’re not enjoying the game....STOP PLAYING. [if people find this helpful I might post a thread on the best books I’ve studied from and why most forex books are utterly repetitious bullshit]. Peace.
Finding Trading Edges: Where to Get High R:R trades and Profit Potential of Them.
TL;DR - I will try and flip an account from $50 or less to $1,000 over 2019. I will post all my account details so my strategy can be seen/copied. I will do this using only three or four trading setups. All of which are simple enough to learn. I will start trading on 10th January. ---- As I see it there are two mains ways to understand how to make money in the markets. The first is to know what the biggest winners in the markets are doing and duplicating what they do. This is hard. Most of the biggest players will not publicly tell people what they are doing. You need to be able to kinda slide in with them and see if you can pick up some info. Not suitable for most people, takes a lot of networking and even then you have to be able to make the correct inferences. Another way is to know the most common trades of losing traders and then be on the other side of their common mistakes. This is usually far easier, usually everyone knows the mind of a losing trader. I learned about what losing traders do every day by being one of them for many years. I noticed I had an some sort of affinity for buying at the very top of moves and selling at the very bottom. This sucked, however, is was obvious there was winning trades on the other side of what I was doing and the adjustments to be a good trader were small (albeit, tricky). Thus began the study for entries and maximum risk:reward. See, there have been times I have bought aiming for a 10 pip scalps and hit 100 pips stops loss. Hell, there have been times I was going for 5 pips and hit 100 stop out. This can seem discouraging, but it does mean there must be 1:10 risk:reward pay-off on the other side of these mistakes, and they were mistakes. If you repeatedly enter and exit at the wrong times, you are making mistakes and probably the same ones over and over again. The market is tricking you! There are specific ways in which price moves that compel people to make these mistakes (I won’t go into this in this post, because it takes too long and this is going to be a long post anyway, but a lot of this is FOMO). Making mistakes is okay. In fact, as I see it, making mistakes is an essential part of becoming an expert. Making a mistake enough times to understand intrinsically why it is a mistake and then make the required adjustments. Understanding at a deep level why you trade the way you do and why others make the mistakes they do, is an important part of becoming an expert in your chosen area of focus. I could talk more on these concepts, but to keep the length of the post down, I will crack on to actual examples of trades I look for. Here are my three main criteria. I am looking for tops/bottoms of moves (edge entries). I am looking for 1:3 RR or more potential pay-offs. My strategy assumes that retail trades will lose most of the time. This seems a fair enough assumption. Without meaning to sound too crass about it, smart money will beat dumb money most of the time if the game is base on money. They just will. So to summarize, I am looking for the points newbies get trapped in bad positions entering into moves too late. From these areas, I am looking for high RR entries. Setup Examples. I call this one the “Lightning Bolt correction”, but it is most commonly referred to as a “two leg correction”. I call it a “Lightning Bolt correction” because it looks a bit like one, and it zaps you. If you get it wrong. https://preview.redd.it/t4whwijse2721.png?width=1326&format=png&auto=webp&s=c9050529c6e2472a3ff9f8e7137bd4a3ee5554cc Once I see price making the first sell-off move and then begin to rally towards the highs again, I am waiting for a washout spike low. The common trades mistakes I am trading against here is them being too eager to buy into the trend too early and for the to get stopped out/reverse position when it looks like it is making another bearish breakout. Right at that point they panic … literally one candle under there is where I want to be getting in. I want to be buying their stop loss, essentially. “Oh, you don’t want that ...okay, I will have that!” I need a precise entry. I want to use tiny stops (for big RR) so I need to be cute with entries. For this, I need entry rules. Not just arbitrarily buying the spike out. There are a few moving parts to this that are outside the scope of this post but one of my mains ways is using a fibs extension and looking for reversals just after the 1.61% level. How to draw the fibs is something else that is outside the scope of this but for one simple rule, they can be drawn on the failed new high leg. https://preview.redd.it/2cd682kve2721.png?width=536&format=png&auto=webp&s=f4d081c9faff49d0976f9ffab260aaed2b570309 I am looking for a few specific things for a prime setup. Firstly, I am looking for the false hope candles, the ones that look like they will reverse the market and let those buying too early get out break-even or even at profit. In this case, you can see the hammer and engulfing candle off the 127 level, then it spikes low in that “stop-hunt” sort of style. Secondly I want to see it trading just past my entry level (161 ext). This rule has come from nothing other than sheer volume. The amount of times I’ve been stopped out by 1 pip by that little sly final low has gave birth to this rule. I am looking for the market to trade under support in a manner that looks like a new strong breakout. When I see this, I am looking to get in with tiny stops, right under the lows. I will also be using smaller charts at this time and looking for reversal clusters of candles. Things like dojis, inverted hammers etc. These are great for sticking stops under. Important note, when the lightning bolt correction fails to be a good entry, I expect to see another two legs down. I may look to sell into this area sometimes, and also be looking for buying on another couple legs down. It is important to note, though, when this does not work out, I expect there to be continued momentum that is enough to stop out and reasonable stop level for my entry. Which is why I want to cut quick. If a 10 pips stop will hit, usually a 30 pips stop will too. Bin it and look for the next opportunity at better RR. https://preview.redd.it/mhkgy35ze2721.png?width=1155&format=png&auto=webp&s=a18278b85b10278603e5c9c80eb98df3e6878232 Another setup I am watching for is harmonic patterns, and I am using these as a multi-purpose indicator. When I see potentially harmonic patterns forming, I am using their completion level as take profits, I do not want to try and run though reversal patterns I can see forming hours ahead of time. I also use them for entering (similar rules of looking for specific entry criteria for small stops). Finally, I use them as a continuation pattern. If the harmonic pattern runs past the area it may have reversed from, there is a high probability that the market will continue to trend and very basic trend following strategies work well. I learned this from being too stubborn sticking with what I thought were harmonic reversals only to be ran over by a trend (seriously, everything I know I know from how it used to make me lose). https://preview.redd.it/1ytz2431f2721.png?width=1322&format=png&auto=webp&s=983a7f2a91f9195004ad8a2aa2bb9d4d6f128937 A method of spotting these sorts of M/W harmonics is they tend to form after a second spike out leg never formed. When this happens, it gives me a really good idea of where my profit targets should be and where my next big breakout level is. It is worth noting, larger harmonics using have small harmonics inside them (on lower time-frames) and this can be used for dialling in optimum entries. I also use harmonics far more extensively in ranging markets. Where they tend to have higher win rates. Next setup is the good old fashioned double bottoms/double top/one tick trap sort of setup. This comes in when the market is highly over extended. It has a small sell-off and rallies back to the highs before having a much larger sell-off. This is a more risky trade in that it sells into what looks like trending momentum and can be stopped out more. However, it also pays a high RR when it works, allowing for it to be ran at reduced risk and still be highly profitable when it comes through. https://preview.redd.it/1bx83776f2721.png?width=587&format=png&auto=webp&s=2c76c3085598ae70f4142d26c46c8d6e9b1c2881 From these sorts of moves, I am always looking for a follow up buy if it forms a lightning bolt sort of setup. All of these setups always offer 1:3 or better RR. If they do not, you are doing it wrong (and it will be your stop placement that is wrong). This is not to say the target is always 1:3+, sometimes it is best to lock in profits with training stops. It just means that every time you enter, you can potentially have a trade that runs for many times more than you risked. 1:10 RR can be hit in these sorts of setups sometimes. Paying you 20% for 2% risked. I want to really stress here that what I am doing is trading against small traders mistakes. I am not trying to “beat the market maker”. I am not trying to reverse engineer J.P Morgan’s black boxes. I do not think I am smart enough to gain a worthwhile edge over these traders. They have more money, they have more data, they have better softwares … they are stronger. Me trying to “beat the market maker” is like me trying to beat up Mike Tyson. I might be able to kick him in the balls and feel smug for a few seconds. However, when he gets up, he is still Tyson and I am still me. I am still going to be pummeled. I’ve seen some people that were fairly bright people going into training courses and coming out dumb as shit. Thinking they somehow are now going to dominate Goldman Sachs because they learned a chart pattern. Get a grip. For real, get a fucking grip. These buzz phrases are marketeering. Realististically, if you want to win in the markets, you need to have an edge over somebody. I don’t have edges on the banks. If I could find one, they’d take it away from me. Edges work on inefficiencies in what others do that you can spot and they can not. I do not expect to out-think a banks analysis team. I know for damn sure I can out-think a version of me from 5 years ago … and I know there are enough of them in the markets. I look to trade against them. I just look to protect myself from the larger players so they can only hurt me in limited ways. Rather than letting them corner me and beat me to a pulp (in the form of me watching $1,000 drop off my equity because I moved a stop or something), I just let them kick me in the butt as I run away. It hurts a little, but I will be over it soon. I believe using these principles, these three simple enough edge entry setups, selectiveness (remembering you are trading against the areas people make mistakes, wait for they areas) and measured aggression a person can make impressive compounded gains over a year. I will attempt to demonstrate this by taking an account of under $100 to over $1,000 in a year. I will use max 10% on risk on a position, the risk will scale down as the account size increases. In most cases, 5% risk per trade will be used, so I will be going for 10-20% or so profits. I will be looking only for prime opportunities, so few trades but hard hitting ones when I take them. I will start trading around the 10th January. Set remind me if you want to follow along. I will also post my investor login details, so you can see the trades in my account in real time. Letting you see when I place my orders and how I manage running positions. I also think these same principles can be tweaked in such a way it is possible to flip $50 or so into $1,000 in under a month. I’ve done $10 to $1,000 in three days before. This is far more complex in trade management, though. Making it hard to explain/understand and un-viable for many people to copy (it hedges, does not comply with FIFO, needs 1:500 leverage and also needs spreads under half a pip on EURUSD - not everyone can access all they things). I see all too often people act as if this can’t be done and everyone saying it is lying to sell you something. I do not sell signals. I do not sell training. I have no dog in this fight, I am just saying it can be done. There are people who do it. If you dismiss it as impossible; you will never be one of them. If I try this 10 times with $50, I probably am more likely to make $1,000 ($500 profit) in a couple months than standard ideas would double $500 - I think I have better RR, even though I may go bust 5 or more times. I may also try to demonstrate this, but it is kinda just show-boating, quite honestly. When it works, it looks cool. When it does not, I can go bust in a single day (see example https://www.fxblue.com/users/redditmicroflip). So I may or may not try and demonstrate this. All this is, is just taking good basic concepts and applying accelerated risk tactics to them and hitting a winning streak (of far less trades than you may think). Once you have good entries and RR optimization in place - there really is no reason why you can not scale these up to do what may people call impossible (without even trying it). I know there are a lot of people who do not think these things are possible and tend to just troll whenever people talk about these things. There used to be a time when I’d try to explain why I thought the way I did … before I noticed they only cared about telling me why they were right and discussion was pointless. Therefore, when it comes to replies, I will reply to all comments that ask me a question regarding why I think this can be done, or why I done something that I done. If you are commenting just to tell me all the reasons you think I am wrong and you are right, I will probably not reply. I may well consider your points if they are good ones. I just do not entering into discussions with people who already know everything; it serves no purpose. Edit: Addition. I want to talk a bit more about using higher percentage of risk than usual. Firstly, let me say that there are good reasons for risk caps that people often cite as “musts”. There are reasons why 2% is considered optimum for a lot of strategies and there are reasons drawing down too much is a really bad thing. Please do not be ignorant of this. Please do not assume I am, either. In previous work I done, I was selecting trading strategies that could be used for investment. When doing this, my only concern was drawdown metrics. These are essential for professional money management and they are also essential for personal long-term success in trading. So please do not think I have not thought of these sorts of things Many of the reasons people say these things can’t work are basic 101 stuff anyone even remotely committed to learning about trading learns in their first 6 months. Trust me, I have thought about these concepts. I just never stopped thinking when I found out what public consensus was. While these 101 rules make a lot of sense, it does not take away from the fact there are other betting strategies, and if you can know the approximate win rate and pay-off of trades, you can have other ways of deriving optimal bet sizes (risk per trade). Using Kelly Criterion, for example, if the pay-off is 1:3 and there is a 75% chance of winning, the optimal bet size is 62.5%. It would be a viable (high risk) strategy to have extremely filtered conditions that looked for just one perfect set up a month, makingover 150% if it was successful. Let’s do some math on if you can pull that off three months in a row (using 150% gain, for easy math). Start $100. Month two starts $250. Month three $625. Month three ends $1,562. You have won three trades. Can you win three trades in a row under these conditions? I don’t know … but don’t assume no-one can. This is extremely high risk, let’s scale it down to meet somewhere in the middle of the extremes. Let’s look at 10%. Same thing, 10% risk looking for ideal opportunities. Maybe trading once every week or so. 30% pay-off is you win. Let’s be realistic here, a lot of strategies can drawdown 10% using low risk without actually having had that good a chance to generate 30% gains in the trades it took to do so. It could be argued that trading seldomly but taking 5* the risk your “supposed” to take can be more risk efficient than many strategies people are using. I am not saying that you should be doing these things with tens of thousands of dollars. I am not saying you should do these things as long term strategies. What I am saying is do not dismiss things out of hand just because they buck the “common knowns”. There are ways you can use more aggressive trading tactics to turn small sums of money into they $1,000s of dollars accounts that you exercise they stringent money management tactics on. With all the above being said, you do have to actually understand to what extent you have an edge doing what you are doing. To do this, you should be using standard sorts of risks. Get the basics in place, just do not think you have to always be basic. Once you have good basics in place and actually make a bit of money, you can section off profits for higher risk versions of strategies. The basic concepts of money management are golden. For longevity and large funds; learned them and use them! Just don’t forget to think for yourself once you have done that. Update - Okay, I have thought this through a bit more and decided I don't want to post my live account investor login, because it has my full name and I do not know who any of you are. Instead, for copying/observing, I will give demo account login (since I can choose any name for a demo). I will also copy onto a live account and have that tracked via Myfxbook. I will do two versions. One will be FIFO compliant. It will trade only single trade positions. The other will not be FIFO compliant, it will open trades in batches. I will link up live account in a week or so. For now, if anyone wants to do BETA testing with the copy trader, you can do so with the following details (this is the non-FIFO compliant version). Account tracking/copying details. Low-Medium risk. IC Markets MT4 Account number: 10307003 Investor PW:lGdMaRe6 Server: Demo:01 (Not FIFO compliant) Valid and Invalid Complaints. There are a few things that can pop up in copy trading. I am not a n00b when it comes to this, so I can somewhat forecast what these will be. I can kinda predict what sort of comments there may be. Some of these are valid points that if you raise I should (and will) reply to. Some are things outside of the scope of things I can influence, and as such, there is no point in me replying to. I will just cover them all here the one time. Valid complains are if I do something dumb or dramatically outside of the strategy I have laid out here. won't do these, if I do, you can pitchfork ----E Examples; “Oi, idiot! You opened a trade randomly on a news spike. I got slipped 20 pips and it was a shit entry”. Perfectly valid complaint. “Why did you open a trade during swaps hours when the spread was 30 pips?” Also valid. “You left huge trades open running into the weekend and now I have serious gap paranoia!” Definitely valid. These are examples of me doing dumb stuff. If I do dumb stuff, it is fair enough people say things amounting to “Yo, that was dumb stuff”. Invalid Complains; “You bought EURUSD when it was clearly a sell!!!!” Okay … you sell. No-one is asking you to copy my trades. I am not trading your strategy. Different positions make a market. “You opened a position too big and I lost X%”. No. Na uh. You copied a position too big. If you are using a trade copier, you can set maximum risk. If you neglect to do this, you are taking 100% risk. You have no valid compliant for losing. The act of copying and setting the risk settings is you selecting your risk. I am not responsible for your risk. I accept absolutely no liability for any losses. *Suggested fix. Refer to risk control in copy trading software “You lost X trades in a row at X% so I lost too much”. Nope. You copied. See above. Anything relating to losing too much in trades (placed in liquid/standard market conditions) is entirely you. I can lose my money. Only you can set it up so you can lose yours. I do not have access to your account. Only mine. *Suggested fix. Refer to risk control in copy trading software “Price keeps trading close to the pending limit orders but not filling. Your account shows profits, but mine is not getting them”. This is brokerage. I have no control over this. I use a strategy that aims for precision, and that means a pip here and there in brokerage spreads can make a difference. I am trading to profit from my trading conditions. I do not know, so can not account for, yours. * Suggested fix. Compare the spread on your broker with the spread on mine. Adjust your orders accordingly. Buy limit orders will need to move up a little. Sell limit orders should not need adjusted. “I got stopped out right before the market turned, I have a loss but your account shows a profit”. This is brokerage. I have no control over this. I use a strategy that aims for precision, and that means a pip here and there differences in brokerage spreads can make a difference. I am trading to profit from my trading conditions. I do not know, so can not account for, yours. ** Suggested fix. Compare the spread on your broker with the spread on mine. Adjust your orders accordingly. Stop losses on sell orders will need to move up a bit. Stops on buy orders will be fine. “Your trade got stopped out right before the market turned, if it was one more pip in the stop, it would have been a winner!!!” Yeah. This happens. This is where the “risk” part of “risk:reward” comes in. “Price traded close to take profit, yours filled but mines never”. This is brokerage. I have no control over this. I use a strategy that aims for precision, and that means a pip here and there differences in brokerage spreads can make a difference. I am trading to profit from my trading conditions. I do not know, so can not account for, yours. (Side note, this should not be an issue since when my trade closes, it should ping your account to close, too. You might get a couple less pips). *** Suggested fix. Compare the spread on your broker with the spread on mine. Adjust your orders accordingly. Take profits on buys will need to move up a bit. Sell take profits will be fine. “My brokers spread jumped to 20 during the New York session so the open trade made a bigger loss than it should”. Your broker might just suck if this happens. This is brokerage. I have no control over this. My trades are placed to profit from my brokerage conditions. I do not know, so can not account for yours. Also, if accounting for random spread spikes like this was something I had to do, this strategy would not be a thing. It only works with fair brokerage conditions. *Suggested fix. Do a bit of Googling and find out if you have a horrific broker. If so, fix that! A good search phrase is; “(Broker name) FPA reviews”. “Price hit the stop loss but was going really fast and my stop got slipped X pips”. This is brokerage. I have no control over this. I use a strategy that aims for precision, and that means a pip here and there differences in brokerage spreads can make a difference. I am trading to profit from my trading conditions. I do not know, so can not account for, yours. If my trade also got slipped on the stop, I was slipped using ECN conditions with excellent execution; sometimes slips just happen. I am doing the most I can to prevent them, but it is a fact of liquidity that sometimes we get slipped (slippage can also work in our favor, paying us more than the take profit would have been). “Orders you placed failed to execute on my account because they were too large”. This is brokerage. I have no control over this. Margin requirements vary. I have 1:500 leverage available. I will not always be using it, but I can. If you can’t, this will make a difference. “Your account is making profits trading things my broker does not have” I have a full range of assets to trade with the broker I use. Included Forex, indices, commodities and cryptocurrencies. I may or may not use the extent of these options. I can not account for your brokerage conditions. I think I have covered most of the common ones here. There are some general rules of thumb, though. Basically, if I do something that is dumb and would have a high probability of losing on any broker traded on, this is a valid complain. Anything that pertains to risk taken in standard trading conditions is under your control. Also, anything at all that pertains to brokerage variance there is nothing I can do, other than fully brief you on what to expect up-front. Since I am taking the time to do this, I won’t be a punchbag for anything that happens later pertaining to this. I am not using an elitist broker. You don’t need $50,000 to open an account, it is only $200. It is accessible to most people - brokerage conditions akin to what I am using are absolutely available to anyone in the UK/Europe/Asia (North America, I am not so up on, so can’t say). With the broker I use, and with others. If you do not take the time to make sure you are trading with a good broker, there is nothing I can do about how that affects your trades. I am using an A book broker, if you are using B book; it will almost certainly be worse results. You have bad costs. You are essentially buying from reseller and paying a mark-up. (A/B book AKA ECN/Market maker; learn about this here). My EURUSD spread will typically be 0.02 pips or so, if yours is 1 pip, this is a huge difference. These are typical spreads I am working on. https://preview.redd.it/yc2c4jfpab721.png?width=597&format=png&auto=webp&s=c377686b2485e13171318c9861f42faf325437e1 Check the full range of spreads on Forex, commodities, indices and crypto. Please understand I want nothing from you if you benefit from this, but I am also due you nothing if you lose. My only term of offering this is that people do not moan at me if they lose money. I have been fully upfront saying this is geared towards higher risk. I have provided information and tools for you to take control over this. If I do lose people’s money and I know that, I honestly will feel a bit sad about it. However, if you complain about it, all I will say is “I told you that might happen”, because, I am telling you that might happen. Make clear headed assessments of how much money you can afford to risk, and use these when making your decisions. They are yours to make, and not my responsibility. Update. Crazy Kelly Compounding: $100 - $11,000 in 6 Trades. $100 to $11,000 in 6 trades? Is it a scam? Is it a gamble? … No, it’s maths. Common sense risk disclaimer: Don’t be a dick! Don’t risk money you can’t afford to lose. Do not risk money doing these things until you can show a regular profit on low risk. Let’s talk about Crazy Kelly Compounding (CKC). Kelly criterion is a method for selecting optimal bet sizes if the odds and win rate are known (in other words, once you have worked out how to create and assess your edge). You can Google to learn about it in detail. The formula for Kelly criterion is; ((odds-1) * (percentage estimate)) - (1-percent estimate) / (odds-1) X 100 Now let’s say you can filter down a strategy to have a 80% win rate. It trades very rarely, but it had a very high success rate when it does. Let’s say you get 1:2 RR on that trade. Kelly would give you an optimum bet size of about 60% here. So if you win, you win 120%. Losing three trades in a row will bust you. You can still recover from anything less than that, fairly easily with a couple winning trades. This is where CKC comes in. What if you could string some of these wins together, compounding the gains (so you were risking 60% each time)? What if you could pull off 6 trades in a row doing this? Here is the math; https://preview.redd.it/u3u6teqd7c721.png?width=606&format=png&auto=webp&s=3b958747b37b68ec2a769a8368b5cbebfe0e97ff This shows years, substitute years for trades. 6 trades returns $11,338! This can be done. The question really is if you are able to dial in good enough entries, filter out enough sub-par trades and have the guts to pull the trigger when the time is right. Obviously you need to be willing to take the hit, obviously that hit gets bigger each time you go for it, but the reward to risk ratio is pretty decent if you can afford to lose the money. We could maybe set something up to do this on cent brokers. So people can do it literally risking a couple dollars. I’d have to check to see if there was suitable spreads etc offered on them, though. They can be kinda icky. Now listen, I am serious … don’t be a dick. Don’t rush out next week trying to retire by the weekend. What I am showing you is the EXTRA rewards that come with being able to produce good solid results and being able to section off some money for high risk “all or nothing” attempts; using your proven strategies. I am not saying anyone can open 6 trades and make $11,000 … that is rather improbable. What I am saying is once you can get the strategy side right, and you can know your numbers; then you can use the numbers to see where the limits actually are, how fast your strategy can really go. This CKC concept is not intended to inspire you to be reckless in trading, it is intended to inspire you to put focus on learning the core skills I am telling you that are behind being able to do this.
Quick background for those new here. This started with me saying that if a person gets suitable good at entering the market and finding places to get high RR trades, it is entirely possible to flip small amounts of money into larger ones relatively quickly. To demonstrate this, I said Id flip $40-50 into over $1,000 over a year and link up Myfxbook to track all my trades. I’d also run versions of the strategy with the info posted for people to log into the accounts, see the trades and copy them if they want (see ForexCopy). The first one I bust on day one. I tried to do it really quickly ($1,000 in a week or so from $40). I got up around 200% - 250% and then zero’d it. The trades I lost in where not really good opportunities, and I as overly aggressive with them. Was dumb. The second one I tried running via a copy trader, it messed up early trades and vitaly went bust in the opening hours (I do not think it ever went into profit). The “I can flip $40 to $1,000 as long as I can keep reloading $40s” challenge is far less impressive. So, I have been reloading that account with tiny amounts, trying to get from $2 or so up to a more useful equity figure. I have failed doing this various times, but it has been down to accuracy being less sharp that it may have been rather than this not being viable. This is viable. It is fucking hard. Don’t get me wrong. Entering the market when you have 5 - 7 pips before you get margin called is tricky. Kinda fun, too. Good training in getting entries. With a couple good entries, though, entirely viable. $2 can get to $5, $5 can get to $15 and that is enough pips at 0.01 to have a damn good cracking at catching some big moves. Realistically, I think it only takes 10 really good trades to have a fairly useful bankroll. So let’s just write the $40 - $1,000 thing off. I bombed that. I am willing to up the ante. Rather than $40 - $1,000 over 12 months, I think I can do $2 or $3 to $5,000 in 18 months. This is contingent upon a couple things;
I may need to rebuy a few more times (although, maybe not).
I need the markets to trend in the nice structured way that currently are through the next year (or be super volatile and be well positioned for that).
This may sound outlandish and crazy, but the maths behind this are fairly solid. All it takes is catching a few 50 - 100 pip trades. A few of these can take $2 to $30, a few more and it is over $100. I can get 1:10 - 1:15 risk reward trades, and can increase risk:reward with in-trade management and adding positions (or hedging positions in profit). So using 5 - 10% risk in really prime opportunities, and it does not take many of them in a row to make some decent money compounding an account from $100. Technical Details on Margin Requirements You may be wondering how this can even be feasible. It may seem logical that even the best trader in the world could not get started from $2, but actually with the right brokerage conditions and pair selection, this can be done. I am using IC Markets. I have 1:500 leverage. Commission per trade is 0.6 of a lot (so, about $0.04-0.06 per trade with my position sizes). My spreads are usually under a pip. They sometimes go to zero spread. Pair selection. NZD and JPY are the lowest margin requirement currencies, and these can trend well. So I focus on these for starting out. I am trading NZDJPY, I require $1.33 margin to open 0.01 lots. So this means if I close all my trades and have under $1.33 I can not open any more trades. However, my stop out level is 50% of my margin requirements. So I get stopped out when I have $0.65 equity. This gives me about 15 pips from $2. I can also hedge this, and can use ways to manipulate margin requirements to get the most bang for my buck (which can be good or bad, it goes both ways, but it gives me more options). So with these settings, to take $2 to $10 is not all that hard. Catch 50 pips or so a couple times without the first trade drawing down 10+ pips. With $10, I have 100 pips at 0.01 (or the option of far more creative positioning), I think 100 pips is plenty margin for error to get into a few good trades and get going. I’ve pinned the Myfxbook for this to start from today (16th January 2019) since this is the first day I am taking this seriously. https://www.myfxbook.com/members/inweedwetrust/40-1000/2893650 Deposit $1.50 + account balance $0.65 = Slightly over $2 to start. The net deposit on this account is now around $66. Update. I want to quash this idea that the only way someone can make large returns in FX is using reckless risk and gambling. Obviously many people do this ,but some just know ways to get far more reward for their risks. Here is a trade I am. I had about $3.50 equity when opening the first two trades. 5 pips and 2 pips stops. I was risking about $0.50. https://preview.redd.it/ljohtjwqdwa21.png?width=1366&format=png&auto=webp&s=24d62c7296c8afdc15907dbe42a18a37f389e1fd Then as the move has developed, I have adjusted my stops and added to the position. I am targeting 60 pips or so here, about $20 pay off. I have nothing at risk now. I will end the trade really close to breakeven, if not slightly up. I have turned $0.50 risk into potentially $20 profit, and done this in the space of 10 pips. **I am not saying this is easy**. It has taken me years of studying price moves to know how, and far more importantly when to do this. I am saying it something that can be learned, and when applied well ... can be surprisingly profitable. Update. https://preview.redd.it/1jptz02cfwa21.png?width=1366&format=png&auto=webp&s=a8af8bd06a16058ae2369fe634215116d806fc31 Now I have set hedging orders on an area I know price often pulls back from. If it pulls back to the level I expect, I can exit the hedges and have the buy stops under there. If it then goes higher, I banked an extra X% on the gain with the hedges. I have set a hedging order above the high for if price blows through the take profits (making me short) and continues upwards. The worse case scenario sees me lose rather little, the best case (price filling take profits and then coming down to make the sells profitable, or the price retracing so the sells are profitable then it making a high) yield substantial profit potential. Piling up potential profit, without adding on much potential risk. Update. https://preview.redd.it/v70pqc9qiwa21.png?width=1362&format=png&auto=webp&s=a252499e2dc4f5ffc782fb6e44ffc5d8b8fb0fa6 Then I use the rules of the Extreme Edge strategy to trail stops. To get my line in the sand. I now have locked in a profti (albeit small) and can potentially make somewhere in the $25 - $30 range or perhaps more from my $0.50 risk. https://www.reddit.com/Forexnoobs/comments/af15l9/extreme_edge_strategy_detailed/ Update. This never worked out (I screwed it up). It is a lot harder with $2 on a 1 minute chart whilst posting live updates. However later you will see how I can take these same principles that can make $0.50 risk into $20 and use them to get into positions where $10 risk can be $300. Or where $100 can be several thousand. Update. So I was a bit early on that move, but this is what it looks like when it works. Occasions to position like this happen fairly frequently. I can get myself into these positions where I am risking a nominal amount for much larger gains many times in a day. I can take the same principles and apply them to weekly charts and position for "flash crashes", and other volatile moves. This is obviously on an account with more equity, I got margin called on the small one, will try again tomorrow. I was probably 2 pips away from going to $2 to close to $100 today (assuming the trades come through as I think). Will be abl to check what it could have been. If I'd hit the first trade, it would have mirrored the trades in the account that is copying my account *2 risk. If these swings hit, this account may make about $50 in them. Which will put it up about 100% (trading only 2x 0.01 at any time) since we fixed the margin/FIFO copying issues. Bit early to be counting chickens, but we'll see. https://www.myfxbook.com/members/drcherrypoppemt4-9084923/2910254 https://preview.redd.it/xhqv5tf55za21.png?width=1359&format=png&auto=webp&s=e63d97b4d7ef32573071afff3c31f67a98f725e6
Although it might seem easy to invest in Forex nowadays, by just logging into an account with a broker, deposit some money and start actively trading; it has not always been like this, as forex industry has rapidly changed in the past three decades. Before technology and free-floating currencies took over the industry, world currency exchanges were operating under the Bretton Woods System of Money Management. This agreement established rules for commercial and financial relations among top economies, tying their currencies to gold. Hence, a currency note issued by any world government represented a real amount of gold held in a vault by that nation. When in July 1944 delegates from all over the world sign off the pact, the main goal was to reduce lack of cooperation between countries and therefore avoiding currency wars. This process of regulating the foreign exchange brought to the foundation of the international money fund (IMF) and the International Bank of Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), today part of World bank Group. However, in the early 70s the real-world economics outpaced the system, dollar suffered from severe inflation cutting its value by half. At that time unemployment rate was 6.1% and inflation 5.84%. Finally, in August 1971, U.S. government led by Richard Nixon took away gold standard, creating the first fiat currency and replacing Bretton Woods System with De Facto. Together with this there were other important measures taken by the USA president to combat that high inflation regime:
This decision was driven by many European nations asking to redeem their dollars for gold, till leaving Bretton Woods System. This had an enormous impact on USD which plunged against European currencies. Consequently, USA congress release a report suggesting USD devaluation to protect the currency from foreign gougers. However, dollar dropped again, and Treasury Secretary was directed to suspend the USD convertibility with gold; hence foreign governments could no longer exchange their USD with gold.
The inflation level was skyrocketing and one more action taken by Nixon was to freeze all wages and prices for 90 days, this was the first time since WWII.
Import surcharge of 10% was set up to safeguard American products ensuring no disadvantage in trades.
Today, USD dominates financial markets, accounting together with the EURO, for approximately 50% of all currency exchange transactions in the world. 1971 represents the beginning of a new forex trading era, bringing this market to be the largest and most liquid in the world, with an average of daily trading volume exceeding $5trn. All the world’s combined stock markets don t even come close to this, what does this mean to you? In an environment which is controlled by free-floating currencies moving constantly, following principles of supply and demand, there are constant and exciting trading opportunities, unavailable when investing in different markets. In this article are shared main features of what is forex trading today and how can be an incredible new source of income for everyone who is into financial markets.
What Is Forex?
Forex is the acronym for foreign exchange which intends to be a decentralized or over the counter (OTC) marketplace, where currencies from all over the world are traded 24 hours, five days a week. Main financial centres include New York, Chicago, London, Tokyo and Frankfurt for Eurozone. It is by far the largest market in the world in terms of volume, followed by the credit market. Being highly liquid is an important feature that allows traders to be able to enter and exit their positions very quickly. Nevertheless, while trading forex, an investor should be aware of several components: Dynamicity – forex is an extremely fast environment, this means that currency rates can move very fast, influenced by price action signals and fundamental factors. Therefore, going into forex trading, one needs to be aware of adopting serious risk and money management strategies in order to be effective, limiting losses. Zero Sum Game – trading forex is not like investing in the stock market but is known to be a zero-sum game. For example, going into the equity market buying some tech shares, they could both rise or decrease in value. In forex is different because currencies work in pairs; for instance, an investor decides Euro will go up he or she is doing it against another currency. Thus, in this specific marketplace one currency will rise while the other will fall, meaning an investor is buying the currency hoping it will appreciate to the other, or selling the one that will depreciate. See image below: Figure 1: Main traded currency pairs https://preview.redd.it/vu77ziuoyle31.png?width=574&format=png&auto=webp&s=9b1693bf27508fcb142705c309de1fc5b3e8fa19 Currency pairs are composed by a base and a price currency. Main forex trading principle is how much price currency an investor can buy using 1 unit of the base, thus, the base currency, which is the first one in line within the quotation, is always equal to 1. Because like every financial instrument currency pairs are driven by fundamentals of supply and demand, forex is intensively influenced by geopolitical and macroeconomic factors. Capital Markets – these are the most visible indicators of a country economic health, where usually the healthier the economy the stronger the currency. For example, a rapid sell-off from a country will show that nation is not economically stable, subsequently investors will think negatively of it depreciating its currency. Moreover, many countries are sector driven, this means that their currencies are strictly correlated with certain resources. For instance, Canada which is a commodity-based market, CAD is strictly linked to price of Brent and metals, a swing in those will affect the Canadian currency. Finally, credit market is also connected to forex since also relies heavily on interest rate so, a change in bond yield will have major impact on currency prices. like increase in yield will favour bullish market for USD International Trade – Trade levels serve as a proxy for relative demand of goods from a nation, a country which goods and services that are in high demand internationally, will experience an appreciation to its currency. This is an effect driven by all other countries converting their currencies into the one of that state to purchase its goods and services. Let’s say a product from USA is in high demand globally, all the other countries must sell their currencies to buy dollars to then see their goods shipped, thus USD will appreciate. Trade surplus and deficit also indicate a nation competitive standing in international trade. Countries with a large trade deficit are usually importers resulting in more of their currencies being sold to buy goods worldwide, thus they will see their currencies devaluate. Geopolitics – The political landscape of a nation places a major role in the economic outlook for that country and consequently, the perceived value of its own currency. Beside building up price action strategies, based purely on price levels, forex traders constantly look at economic calendars and news to gauge what could move currencies. A geopolitical event which is having a great impact on GBP, is the election of Boris Johnson as UK prime minister, driving the local currency to 2 years low, yesterday 29th of July 2019. Therefore, when investors observe instability from a nation political environment, there are high chances that the currency of that country will depreciate.
Why Trading Forex
Beside swapping from a gold standard to free-floating, which change the whole forex trading game, technology is another crucial factor that helped this financial sector to spread globally. With the introduction of internet in the 90s forex opened to retail investors giving access to various trading platforms. The introduction of online platforms and retail investments have increased forex market volume by 5%, up to $250bn of its daily turnover. Different traders may have different reasons for selecting forex, however, mostly is because this is a fertile market plenty of daily opportunities to gauge price action and profit from it.
How traders profit from trading forex? Basics of trading are rather simple to understand. An investor buys an asset at a certain price hoping to get rid of it for a higher price. The more volatile is the market for that specific financial instrument, the more revenue is possible to make. Therefore, a trader is looking for long up and down moves rather than market fluctuating sideways. Volatility is great in forex and a trader can expect to regularly see prices oscillating 50-100 pips on major currency pairs almost any day of the week. Yet again, due to this enormous constant fluctuation, potential losses or gains can be very high thus, rigours money management must be applied to avoid major damages and become a profitable trader. To conclude, volatility is the main characteristic investors are looking at and that is why it is one of the main feature traders can take advantage. See image below: Figure 2: FDAX Volatility, H4 (30th May 2019, 16:00, 30th July 2019, 16:00)
Accessibility & Technology
While volatility is the most important element out in the market that tell us why forex is the best market to trade, accessibility comes straight after. This market is more accessible than all the others, trading forex requires an online desk position and as little as $100 to start off an account. In comparison with the other financial markets, forex requires a rather low trading capital. Moreover, trading forex can be easily accessible from your PC, tablet or mobile since most of retail broker firms operate online. Although, accessibility cannot tell the quality of the market by itself, it definitely shows a reason why many investors try their first trading experience on forex. Also, the rapid introduction of technology since the 90s, made trading much easier. There are every year more advanced online platforms to trade on with many possible updates and that is why trading forex is edging for many global investors.
Before the introduction of free-floating currency and more importantly cutting hedge technology, forex was a market that could have been traded only by institutional investors. Nowadays however, even retail and individual investor can take advantage of the huge volume forex offers every day. Banks Interbank market is the major responsible for the high volume registered daily in forex. This is the place where banks exchange currency among each other, facilitating forex transactions for customers and speculate for their trading desks.
Clients transactions: in this case banks of all size act as dealer for clients, where the bid-ask spread represents the profit for the institutions.
Speculation: currencies are traded to profit from their price fluctuations as well as to increase diversification on their portfolio
Because banking institutions are the biggest players in foreign exchange market, they are able to push up and down the price of currencies giving an extreme advantage and higher volatility to individual traders who are trying to gauge price moves. Central Banks Central banks representing their nation’s government, are crucial in forex. They oversee monetary and fiscal policies having massive influence on currency rates. A central bank is responsible for fixing the price level of its native currency on the market, in other words they take care of the regime currencies will float in the open market.
Floating: these are the currencies which price floats on the open market based on principles of supply and demand relative to other currencies
Pegged (fixed exchange rate): opposite to floating currencies pegged ones are not free-floating in the open market however, their government rather tie them to the value of a stronger foreign currency. Pegged currencies are more seen in developing countries (CYN to USD).
Because central banks manage interest rates in order to increase the competitiveness of their native nation to another.
Dovish: these policies will be lowering down interest rates. A central bank which applies dovish conditions aims to give economic stimulus and guard against deflation. Usually a policy intended to give economy stimulus will weakening the currency value.
Hawkish: on the other hand, hawkish policies lead to an increase in interest rate. A central bank that uses hawkish measures aims to reduce inflation. Typically, this kind of policies will reinforce the country currency value.
Investment Managers & Hedge Funds Portfolio managers and hedge funds are the second investors in forex after central and investment banks. They are hired by huge institutions such as pension to manage their assets. However while portfolio managers of pool funds will buy currency to speculate on foreign securities, hedge funds execute speculative trades as part of their strategies. Corporations Also international corporation play a big role in forex. Those firms operating globally, buying and selling goods and services are involved in forex transactions daily. Imagine an American company producing pipes that imports Japanese components and sell the finished product to China. After the sale is closed the CYN must be converted back to USD, while the American company must exchange USD into JPY to repay for the components supply. Moreover, company involved in international trade have an interest in forex in order to hedge the risk associated with currencies fluctuations making several foreign exchange transactions. For instance, the same American company might buy JPY at spot rate, or enter a swap agreement to obtain JPY in advance, overtaking the risk of the Japanese currency to rise in the future. Therefore, forex become crucial to run companies with many subsidiaries and suppliers all over the word. Individual & Retail Investors Even though this investor cluster brings to forex a very limited volume compared to financial institutions and corporations, it is rapidly growing in numbers and popularity. These base their trades on a mixture of fundamentals and technical analysis. Bottom line, main reason why forex is the most traded market in the world is because gives everyone, from top financial institutions to retail and individual trades, opportunities to make returns on capital invested from currencies price fluctuations related to global economy.
How to be an Edgy Trader: Producing Positive Probabilities
After a relatively short time in Forex, most people will have heard of traders using the term "edge". "You have to have an edge", "I gotta protect my edge, man" and so on. What traders mean when they say this is something that gives them a calculated (in their perspective, anyway) reason to believe they should be profitable over enough trades. If this whole concept is completely new to you, read this for simplified explanation [link to add]. How do you actually get an edge, though? What does it mean? How does one goes about "finding their edge"? I can only speak from a personal perspective on this, I am sure there are many more ways people have edges outside of what I am going to talk about. There will be people who have edges that are outside of my comprehension. They may be able to tell you some far cooler stuff, but I personally decided to focus on entering. It is not a unique thought, I know. I never tried to trade-mark "enter well" but it is something I have paid particular attention to detail on. Not only how to get areas of the market that by default offer better risk reward (see more on this later in this post), but then how to put them on steroids was dialled in entries allowing for larger lots. Note, this is not to say "larger lots" means "risk everything in your account". You can risk exceptionally little as a percentage doing this, and still have the chance of good gains. This has been something of a three part process for me. Here is how it has went; Find areas where price is likely to reverse from where you can quickly know if you are wrong to get out. This does not have to trend reversals, it is usually better to look for the ends of trend corrections, and enter for a new trend leg reversal. I worked out how to do this reasonably early, I think. Relative to what I have seen from others when they are starting up, I would say I was maybe on the upper end of the bell-curve in being able to broadly identify good support/resistance levels while still quite a newbie. This might have worked out for me, if it was not for the fact I was really wanting to get tiny stops and would put far too much weight on just the levels I was selecting. Sometimes they were astonishingly accurate, which encouraged me to begin to put too much faith into them. Through this time, I was getting punked a lot in the markets. I would start to buy, get stopped out a few times and then just as I gave up buying, it would make a massive move upwards. This was so frustrating. This went on for a long time, with me constantly trying to make the forecasting of specific levels more accurate, which was what I thought the fix was. This was a good first step. Although it felt hellish at the time, I can see now that getting a good general grasp of levels price may bounce from, or make significant breakouts through, is a good fundamental skill to have. Expecting and accounting for spikes. Turning my foe to a friend. So basically what happened is it got smacked with so many spike outs that I started to look at it as "it will be the place I think, plus a dirty spike" (me and spikes were not on speaking terms, at this point). This part there was a lot of arbitrariness. At the time I probably thought of it as "more art than science", but looking back on it I see while I was focusing on how unfair the spikes were and basically just "fuck you" selling into spikes. This was going a bit better, meh ... well, no this also kind sucked. At this point I would sometimes get rock'n'roll star entries. This made me feel good. Very clever. I was not actually doing all that well, though. I could just sometimes get the spectacular entry I'd been on the hunt for. So there were times I felt particularly smug and clever during this time, but overall I was still losing. The real bane of this part became targeting. Once I'd got my rock'n'roll star entry, what now? It may sound like a good problem to have, but having risk set for a 5 pips stop and a trade up 25 pips with the potential to drop 100 more presents some serious problems. There is a lot of scope to make mistakes here. Also, even if you do what I would now consider to be the right thing (and clearly so), there is a lot of scope to do the right thing and end up feeling like you screwed up. This was what was getting me mostly in this time. My entries were good enough for me to cover my losses in big winning trades, but I was not managing big winning trades efficiently. On a psychological note, when I'd get these big decisions (having to be made in seconds sometimes) wrong, I would often lose my cool and any sense of actual trading rational. This time was hard. I felt like what it must feel to be tired climbing a mountain, and find your intended route blocked. You can see the summit right there, but you lack a way to get there. You have already drained so many of your physical and mental resources to get where you are and now it is seriously time to ask yourself is it time to climb back down. I decided to climb up. Then I fell a bunch of times. Licked my wounds. Fell again. Felt uber sorry for myself, and then finally got a grip and started to climb again. Specific Entry Strategies It was someone else who told me, they said something to me and it was really a very simple thing. I think others must have said the same thing to me many times also, but it flew in the face of my general idea of "I want to be selling the end of the spike for best possible entry". I won't go into the details of what it was, but it basically amounted to making me see that not having a predicable and repeatable level to set my stops and targets was preventing me from being able to create an edge, or even if I did; I could not understand what it was. I started to notice things, that I'd literally watched 1,000s of times happen before and see them as nuisance rather than opportunity. I noticed the levels I'd pick price would often stall at them. Then quickly wick (which was why the "fuck you" selling into spikes worked from time to time). I further noticed that a lot of the times I was getting in at the optimum price (and I was getting rather good at this by now), when I was having big profitable trades come back against me and stop me out at tiny break even profits only to then trend for what would have been $$$, 80% or so of the time it seemed to reverse right off the original level, or close enough anyway. These two things had been killing me. The spike out of my entry level and the retrace of my profits to be slight + break even stop outs (I'd panic and close them before they went bad ... or sometimes, I'd not, and they'd go bad). I came to see that these two things I'd blamed for being the reason I was losing were actually assets to be within my scope to benefit from. If rather than doing what I was doing and getting full risk on too early, I waited to see if it wicked through, made a convincing move and then retested my original level. If it did, the wick could be my stop loss. This was tiny. This was so much better than selling into the wick and "guesstimating" the stop ... by which of course I mean "fucking it right up". Practical Chart Examples https://preview.redd.it/i1551s1z9c821.png?width=1360&format=png&auto=webp&s=acaa7e80f94dfe2ba056833cd8788ba006528387 Let's say on this chart I has hypothetically selected the blue level as my sell level. This is obviously a great level if I can target close to the lows and get it even 40% of the time. My stops are tiny, and my reward is big. Here is how I'd lose all my money while being fundamentally right here; In phase one, I am selling 2 bars before the high, where there is the doji sort of candle. I am short, I have sold the top pip and I feel smug. Then I get spiked out. I sell a few other times with same results, then probably switch long to just completely trash my day. In phase two, I am doing the same kinda thing but I am thinking I have out foxed the market by waiting and I start to sell into big candle breaking out of the doji. Here I have more chance of getting the trade, but often price just presses a bit too far with me being squeezed out at the high. This chart does not really give a good representation of how things would work in phrase three, because I would be using smaller charts and looking for the signs of price action reversing, and then looking for the spots where I can get in tucking stops behind a close high. Essentially it is just added patience and being more tactical when it comes to entering. You can see if the pay off for a "normal stop" risk reward trade would be a good one here (probably 1:3 or 1:4), the overall scope for massive profit potential (without massive risk) is humongous. Often this will be decreased because you have to trail up stops and price retraces, but if price trends aggressively, 1:20 sort of risk:reward trades can be found here. 1:10 are a lot more common. 1:5 are somewhat frequent. Through dedicated study to how to enter and target from these sort of moves, I have gotten to a point where I can hit that 1:5 trade more than 20% of the time. Over long periods of time (assuming markets continue to be as they were), I should expect to break even by getting this 20% win rate, and when times are good, win rates like 40 - 50% lead to extraordinary profits, without extraordinary risks. This is where I have carved out my edge in trading. It is largely based on the concepts of swings/trends formation, support and resistance and classic reversal patterns. All widely available to learn about. Then I put excessive hours of focus on how to turn that common knowledge into uncommon ability. A determined person reading this, should be able to go and do that for themselves, based on the information provided here to get them started. (Disclaimer, it took me YEARS, the roses here have thorns ... I want to reiterate, expect this to take some time. Even with me telling you the mistakes I squandered so much time on and how to hack past them)
Hey everyone. A while back I made the decision to moderate this subreddit because I was once in your shoes. I honestly did not know where to begin. I would type in “daytrading” in google and come up with so many companies trying to sell me the dream. “Make $$$ while you sleep!” “Look at how much I made today!!” etc. I wanted to make this post to first give new people a place where to start and to even offer some resources that can get you started in the right direction. If I have anything else to add I will add it here.
Open up a papertrading account with Think or Swim. It is free and you can get live data just by requesting it from support. All you have to do is ask them to add live data to your papertrading account. Do not pay monthly for any papertrading account. There are a lot of free videos out there that can help you get started with Think or Swim. The program looks complicated at first but it is very powerful. I spent a few days with the program and at the end of the week I was fairly comfortable with understanding where everything was. I have never had a 60-day limit with my papertrading account by the way. https://www.thinkorswim.com/t/pm-registration.html Start here and start taking trades! It is all fake money and will give you some insight into how the program works as well as how the markets move.
One other tip for setting up your papertrading account is to only set it up with a reasonable amount of money. I know a lot of papertrading accounts give you 100k right off the bat but realistically, how many of us are going to have that much money to start out with? Set it to something more reasonable like 10-20k if you are trading forex (or even less if all you have is 1-5k to trade with) or 25k+ if you are going to daytrade stocks only because the regulations require you to have at least 25k in your account at all times to daytrade (In this case, I would probably give yourself 30k just to be safe). If you are looking for a stock screener, ThinkorSwim has a pretty good one. A personal favorite of mine is www.FINVIZ.com which has an awesome screener for finding different chart patterns and conditions (such as prices crossing above 20 bar EMA, trending up, etc) Think or Swim has stocks, forex, futures, and options. Options are an entirely different beast all together but stocks, forex, and futures are all "yes-no" type of trading while options give you a little more leeway with your mistakes. If you are interested in learning about options, message me and I can help guide you with the right direction and best resources I used to learn options. EDIT: Due to the amount of PM's I was getting, I have decided to post the options course I started with here https://www.udemy.com/learn-options-trading-courses/ You shouldn't pay more than 10 bucks for it as Udemy does a ton of sales throughout the year. You can also just do a "Udemy coupon" search on google and see what you pull up. Its about 10 hours worth of content and in my opinion it is worth every penny if you are wanting to learn more about options. There are a ton of other great classes on Udemy as well for learning just about anything. Just make sure to read the reviews! Stocks is kind of the well known market for new comers but I would argue that Forex can also just as easily be traded by a newcomer. Also the benefit of trading Forex is that there is no commission off the bat. Most brokers will charge what is called a spread of some number of pips that you are essentially paying back. Futures trade in ticks and each tick nets you a gain of some amount or a loss of some amount so I do not suggest any new person to jump into futures until you understand the way markets work. Futures charge commission on each contract you buy or sell. It can be sort of related to Forex since a tick and a pip are essentially the same. The huge benefit to trading Futures and Forex is that there is NO pattern day trading rule. This means you can buy and sell as many times as you want without being flagged for not having 25k in your account.
Tradimo is a great resource for getting your feet wet with technical analysis. It is free and shows you the ropes with how you can start looking at prices and charts: https://learn.tradimo.com/courses
If there is ever a company you want to pay to help you learn, please do your research first. Type in the company’s name along with “review” at the end of your search and make your educated decision off of that. A lot of these companies have amazing advertising but will never teach you the right way to trade. A lot of them are scams too. I read that there was one trading system which the guy had the secrets of the “code of trading” and only he knew the code but would sell it to you for hundreds of dollars. So many people come into trading with high expectations that if I just pay this company to teach me, I can be like them when in reality that may never happen. Always look at their testimonials with a grain of salt. Read the reviews just like you would on amazon for buying a product. I also like to type in the company's name and add "scam" at the end to see if I get any hits on that. Read the good reviews but also the bad to understand the bigger picture here. Very few will actually teach you how to trade. Also, Reddit is a great place to read up on things like this too. Just add "Reddit" at the end of your search and read up on other users reviews.
Investimonials is also a good place to use as well (but do not use it as your only review source!!! Fake reviews are everywhere) http://www.investimonials.com So before you drop that 1-2k on a course, make sure you do your homework. Don't be fooled by smooth advertising.
A high probability indicator or a holy grail strategy is not out there. If it was, everyone would be using it and making money. And if there does happen to be one, do you really think anyone will want to share it? The only way to get good at trading is to be able to read the charts and read where prices are going. This is through support and resistance and understanding channels. I cannot recommend Mack’s price action YouTube channel enough. https://www.youtube.com/usePATsTrading I am a firm believer that price action is the basis for understanding price movement. Reading an indicator may help but you should not rely on solely indicators to guide you with trading as they may give you a signal to buy when you are at a major resistance level or sell when you are at a major support, both of which could burn you.
My only other advice is to look into markets that let you maximize profits. For some, it is not possible to buy 1000 shares of Apple. While trading low priced stocks lets you buy hundreds and maybe even thousands of shares at once, those stocks are too unpredictable because they can be influenced by individuals who do what is called a "pump and dump" schemes. Plus they can be difficult to read as far as what they are going to be doing next (going up or going down). My recommendation (and it is only my recommendation so only use this as guidance to make your own decision) would be to look into trading forex if you do not have a lot to start out with as some brokers (like FXCM) allow you to buy "micro" lots which let you invest as little as 100 dollars in some cases and have a much better chance of working in your favor due to the amount of people trading the same instrument. Note: There are some discussions about forex market makers adjusting the markets so you get stopped out prematurely. While I have not experienced this, it could theoretically happen? So if you do decide to trade Forex make sure you pick your broker carefully and again read the reviews!
EDIT: I have read that what I mentioned above about Forex is outdated and the brokers are under stricter regulations. Do your own investigation and do not let what I said steer you away from trading forex if you really want to. The big Forex brokers you are able to open an account with in the US are FXCM, Oanda, and Forex.com. You have a lot more options if you are in another country. EDIT 2: Well it looks like FXCM may get banned from having clients in the US. Apparently they took some trades against their clients to profit on their end and have been using clients accounts to fund their extra expenses. Tread on your own risk.
Above all, do not invest money that you are not willing to lose. I cannot emphasize this enough. Work on a simulator until you feel that your strategy works. This means putting in the time to sit down and analyze every trade you took which worked as well as the ones that didn't work. You need to go back over your mistakes and review why your trade did not work the way you thought it would. Was it because you bought at a high and sold at a low? Was it because you bought at a major resistance level thinking the stock would still go up? Was it because you were impulsive and entered in too early? Was it because you were too slow and entered in too late? This is the most important part about learning how to trade. Putting in the time and work to analyze what you did right and what you did wrong. You will never get better if you do not do this.
Consider subscribing to a free daily financial newsletter such as The Morning Brew. It’s a free subscription that is delivered Monday through Friday to your email before the markets open around 5-6 am central time. It summarizes the big financial topics of the morning in short easy to read sections that you can read over a cup of brew.
I wouldn’t say this is essential for daytrading but it’s nice to read if you are wanting to stay up to date on the financial markets as they will write about companies and stocks to look out for. It’s also not spammy or filled with ads though there are one or two that are listed as “sponsored”. They don’t typically put out a weekend read but instead send it M-F. https://www.morningbrew.com/?kid=08944ba0 I want to make this subreddit not only as a resource for newcomers but also for those who wish to improve their skills with learning how to day trade. I do not want this subreddit to become spam and companies trying to sell dreams. We all need to keep a realistic vision on what learning the market entails because this is a journey. No one becomes a doctor in a day or even a week and you should expect the same becoming a trader. Making consistent money in the markets can be very challenging and most wont ever make it, but it can be very satisfying once things start to click and you can live a very different life if this ever happens.
Let's Talk Fundamentals (because they might be important this week)
This is more of a brain dump to encourage discussion, so I'd love to hear your thoughts. Something strange happened this week. Stocks fell off - mostly Japanese stocks, but equity markets everywhere suffered nasty losses. The S&P 500 shat a nasty reversal candle on Thursday, and the Nikkei posted one of its largest falls in history on Friday. At the same time bonds fell (yields rose). The US Dollar also fell. That's not how it's supposed to work. When stocks fall, bond yields fall (bond prices rise) because more people buy them. Where the hell was the money going? Into the Yen and the Swiss Franc, mostly. The Yen because most of the action was in Japan. The USD/JPY and Nikkei 225 are HEAVILY correlated. I can't tell if the fall in stocks preceded the fall in USD/JPY (and AUD/JPY, which many say led the way), or if it was the other way around, but either way we had classic risk aversion kicking in. USD/JPY posted its largest weekly decline since 2011. There was some jawboning, and data from Japan to suggest that the new QE measures are working. But wait a second: they've only just started. That money hasn't really filtered down to anywhere where it's actually being used to power the economy. The only real effect so far has been a massive uplift in stocks. This is because a lot of the Nikkei 225 is made up of exporters and multi-nationals, and a falling Yen boosts their expected profits - nobody's actually made any money yet. The technicals still only say "retracement", not "reversal", but we're hanging in by a thread - especially USD/JPY. If we break Friday's low, 100 is in sight. If this break is for real, this psychological barrier will mean absolutely nothing. After this 97.00 is next, then 95.00/94.50, then 92. I don't think any fall would get down to 92, or even 94, but 97 is highly possible by the end of this week - and if we get there, it could be in a matter of minutes. Before I go on, COT data (For newbie traders, COT means Commitment of Traders, and it's a series of complicated charts showing net speculative futures positioning. When you overly it onto price data, you will find that extremes of short positioning tend to precede massive rallies. This is because a LOT of people get increasingly short as price starts to fall, which reaches an extreme as it continues to fall. Price starts to come back up, and the extreme extends a little bit more, before you get a short squeeze and everyone buys furiously to get out of unprofitable short positions) Aussie COT showed a massive extreme in short positioning: http://stocktwits.com/message/13774559 So did the Japanese Yen: http://stocktwits.com/message/13774580 The most telling is the S&P500: http://stocktwits.com/message/13774599 The light blue line says that the big money is getting more and more out of stocks (or since it's futures positioning, they're starting to bet it will fall) All other things being equal, this means these two are probably due a large correction. All other things might not be equal, however. Extremes in quiet times can become the norm in unusual circumstances - bear this in mind. This is the scenario if Asian stocks lead the fall. Longs are clearly nervous, but the docket is light this week. This alone could be enough - with minor bad news sparking panic selling. The US Dollar could see some initial selling purely on USD/JPY, pushing the majors higher. This will happen during the Asian session. If it happens in the morning, you will see European markets open lower, and we might get early USD weakness as USD/JPY sells off. But it won't last. The risk aversion will spill into European and US stocks as these markets open, and they may gap significantly lower. In this case the Swiss Franc will strengthen first, followed by the US Dollar. So I don't like USD/CHF so much here. The US Dollar will almost certainly surge once US markets open. If this is the real deal, (and that is the biggest fucking "IF" ever because many have called this reversal lots of times and have given up after being wrong repeatedly) this dollar surge will be enormous. The world will be waking up from its dream of a fragile recovery that has been overblown by surging stock markets. Stock markets have been rallying for mixed reasons. Some of it is investor confidence, but most of it is simply the search for yield, which most cash investments can't provide at the moment. Dividend yields in stocks are good, and fund managers have been buying them because they need to beat indices, which are rising more quickly than the values of their portfolios. This cycle has fed itself, and stocks have risen, even though demand for those companies' products and services has remained tepid. If this happens, the Yen crosses will be blown to bits, as will the majors. But don't just go short everything if you see it falling. It will be difficult to know whether it's the real thing, and you'll have to be in front of your trading screen at the time (unless you want to set breakout orders) We are seeing all the signs of a minor bubble bursting. The headlines have been all about markets hitting new highs, and everybody buying stocks. That is usually a sign that the smart money has started selling their large holdings to incoming retail investors, and that a lot of the profit from the bull run has been made. If stocks start to look wobbly up here, the last ones in will be the first ones out. Look at USD/JPY or the other Yen crosses zoomed out to 2005. The rise is absurd. I showed it to my girlfriend, who doesn't know the first thing about Forex, and she said it looked unnatural and if she had to guess, the next move would be "down a bit". This kind of woke me up a little - it was so obvious because the move up seems to be against the laws of nature, even if backed by fundamentals. Humans are good at pattern recognition, and even she could look at previous price action and recognize that a sharp rise like this almost never happens without a bit of falling. It all depends on where you bought. For example, if you had held USD/JPY since 92.00, and you planned to hold it for the rest of the year, you wouldn't worry so much about a drop to 97 (though it would be annoying). If you were long on a break of 100.00, you would be getting the fuck out. Your stop might be at 100, or maybe you'd locked in 50 pips. The point is that longs are now nervous, and bids will be hard to find below 100. Most people are probably prepared to take a chance buying a dip into around 100 (I know I am), but not below there. Below there are stop losses. Hundreds of millions of them. So that's my take on things. I'm not saying the world will end this week, but we all know that what goes up very quickly when there isn't a good reason to do so, usually comes down pretty quickly as well. Others would argue with my fundamentals. I've seen articles saying that the rise in stocks can be attributed to companies holding on to cash reserves and paying high dividends, because they are worried that the recovery might not come. When they finally do see it coming, they will start spending that cash on growing and employing people - so maybe stocks are leading the global economy in this recovery. I say horse shit. Demand has to precede supply, and right now the powerhouses of the global economy have more supply capacity than there is demand for. We have got into this situation because corporate profits have stayed very good during the last few years, but household incomes have fallen in real terms, and the average consumer is no better off, even though central bank governors are starting to say otherwise. You and I are still earning far less money than we should be, and spending proportionally more and more of it every year as wage growth struggles to keep up with inflation, which is already low in most developed countries. Corporate profits continue to do well, but this money is not being spent in the real economy and used to create jobs. I'm not going to go all marxist here for my last thoughts, but it is important to realise that there is a continuing and growing concentration of wealth in the hands of the few. They might say that they are the job creators, and many of them are. But for the most part they are the wealth hoarders. That money goes into things that cause the economy to appear to be growing, but do not actually grow the real economy - company stock, large assets, investments. They also buy things from companies that are seeing their profits grow faster than the wages they pay. Where a dozen board executives get huge bonuses and a hundred thousand shareholders see their balance sheets grow, the people who are actually spending their portion of that company's profits (the employees) don't have any more money to inject into the economy than they did last year. These market forces are going to collide sooner or later. Either:
Wage growth and unemployment suddenly improves, and the middle and working classes will actually be able to provide the demand that the supply side needs to see to continue growing, or
the middle classes will start to spend money they don't have as a result of stimulus programs, which will kick in as central banks realise that they are failing to restart economies through austerity. This will sustain the recovery and it might work, but sovereign balance sheets are already stretched ridiculously far, or
stocks will crash before that happens, causing a resurgence of widespread unemployment.
I'm not saying it will happen this week, or at all. All I'm saying is that stocks are rising very quickly on not much at all. There are precedents for this throughout history, and it never ends well. When you hear hoof beats, don't think zebras. TL;DR Forecast is choppy, with a light chance of apocalypse
One key philosophy that defined me as a retail trader. Always Remember: Conviction is important.
On here early this morning (light data day so we've got some downtime before our coverage) and wanted to post something I notice A LOT amongst the online comments and retail crowds. Don't be so quick to abandon ship or change the direction of where you see price action moving. By that, I don't mean this in the sense of sticking with losing trades, averaging down (losers average losers), or bad strategies. I mean this with regards to people that are far too easily convinced at the slightest dip, a full trend change has occurred. Whether its because of some indicator they look at that they want to tell the future or because a specific line was broken that they drew... Remember, market trends don't change because you think they do. Markets change when the expectations of the whole of the market participants turn. First, keep in mind that just because you have a particular trendline off two arbitrary points doesn't mean Joe Shmo at xyz capital and the 50 others in a PM position like him who's dropping $500 million USD on daily position movements is seeing the same line... or using a line at all. An example this week has been with USDJPY. I have seen plenty of comments floating around (not necessarily here) like this where a perfectly reasonable correction in a strong fundamentally backed USD bull trend leads to an "all aboard the short train". I'm not doing this to single anyone out... plenty of comments like this can be seen over at ForexLive (been friends with a couple of the contributors over the years and occasionally post comments) where purely stop driven short selling on the first retest of 100 since it gapped 60 pips across the line all of a sudden means we're going to revisit 95's and to sell everything with a pulse because "the trend has changed". Then comes the flurry of "confused" comments wondering why the USD isn't sinking. Ultimately, this comes down to basic market discipline of having objective judgement skills. Not getting swept up in the motion of the price action or more importantly... not getting swept up just because you have a position/financial stake in one answer or another (fading trends is a perfectly fine strategy so long as you don't presume each fading moment is a paradigm shift in the price's future movements). You need to be able to step back to determine without prejudice, if the trend truly is in fact broken. If you can't make a definitive conclusion on this from an objective point of view, then don't trade. Trading on guessing is flat out gambling. You're flipping a coin and hoping your guess is the same as the side of the coin. I'll tell you right now... Multi year currency trends don't change direction just because an indicator is overbought or a convergeance/divergeance of "insert random arbitrary measure here". If you mark the G10's major pair trends over the past 5 years, you can isolate the true changes in trends with shifts in the global paradigm of market flows. You can usually isolate shifts like this to policy shifts as well. This was the case in the constant up and down of the EUUSD over the course of the EU Sovereign Debt crisis. Each shift came from a change/agreement in how to further handle the crisis (ESM, etc). This is also why so many large macro funds made an ungodly amount of money during the past 6 months on the JPY. They recognized when the shift came from the large picture and chose entry points on the small picture. Yesterday proved a great example of this challenge to new traders in USD/JPY action with the ISM. It's been getting beaten on pretty badly with the large downward push in the Nikkei and had been sitting at 100.40 with buying attempts finding no ground. This indicated a good presence of market mind wanting to move downwards (with obvious stops at 100 being the obvious goal) and just waiting on a catalyst. If you stepped back for a moment though, nothing had changed. The largest QE program in history was still in full swing and USD yields were still rising (general gauge of attraction from jpy to USD can be viewed as the differential of JGB 10 years and 10 yr US Treasuries). I posted this prior to the 10am ISM report when it was still floating in the 100.40's and sure enough, we had a nice bounce when we ran into buyers and short profit takers below 99. Even for you guys that love the tech/trendline trading, this showed a bounce at the 55 day EMA and close to the daily trendline spanning from last November. This board should have been filled with comments about how great a chance this USD dip is to get a position in (or take profits if you're fading).... yet the retail comment consensus seemed to be swept up in a flurry of "yay short USD" and "sell bounces!", despite no fundamental landscape change or even technical viewpoint supporting greater breaks lower than yesterday's lows. As we sit right now, I could be completely proven wrong and this could be a trend change. Price could go back below 100 and push further lows into the mid 90's for all I know... and I will be the first to admit I am wrong when that happens. That doesn't change the point of this wall of text though. Bottom Line: Profitable traders let the price trend actually change direction before they change convictions. They do NOT change convictions and then wait for price trends to subsequently confirm.
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