(Photo was taken in Montenegro)
One of the main reasons why I decided to start this is because I am starting to really see and feel progress. I will get into the nitty gritty of exactly how I got up to this point soon, but for now, let’s just say that I’ve read the books you’re told to read, I joined the forums many join, paid for the strategies books, watched countless hours of video and I’ve thrown away a little bit of money tinkering on a few trades where I shouldn’t have. The moment I took what I needed from all of them and focused on me, is when I started to see and feel the work paying off. So yeah, no super millionaire penny stocker tradin’ for me. I guess I wasn’t up to the challenge. So sad that I won’t be uploading Ferrari pics on the Instragram with bricks of dolla bills stacked. Or on the beach in my undies, trading like a boss hog makin’ millions with my phone tethered 2g EDGE network on my iMac Pro 5 in a remote island in Mexico.
I am about 6 months into my journey. I started off around late June of 2016 really becoming interested in how this day trading thing works. I have an acquaintance who trades ES futures full time and when I decided that I am going to pursue this not as a quick buck, I had a sit down with him. Basically at the time he told me to take a look at Al Brooks’ stuff and concentrate on trading price action and not to get too caught up with indicators or other systems. He would later tell me that many of his friends would ask for trading advice, but just to make a quick buck – kind of like asking for the “hot tip.” And most wouldn’t return to see him after looking into or reading Brooks’ stuff (it’s not easy). So telling them to read Brooks was his filter to seeing what the person was really looking for. Smart. Because the Al really put me to sleep. I got all his books and couldn’t finish a single one of them. His voice, writing, his style… it’s just, well… *dozing off* huh?
So, I didn’t really have an immediate connection with what Brooks had to offer but it had me interested in price action. And I’m thankful to that friend for not getting me caught up in the wrong stuff. I would go on to purchase several other books and systems based around price action – sim trading them for a few weeks before moving onto the next one and so on….. because I need money to get rich. Quick.
This went on for a good 5 months. Mack’s PAT system, Lance Beggs YTC system, Al Brooks, Bob Volman, Adam Grimes, FT71, Tim Sykes, Nathan Michaud, Vince Virgil…. you name it and I’ve probably read it and tried it (again, will go into details with each in the future). I mean they’re all useful in one way or another. I wouldn’t get one thinking it’s gonna make you the next superstar trader.
Then towards the very end of 2016 in late December, I had been watching and following a guy who I said I like to e-mail as my therapy (will get to who this guy is in a later post). He does sell an eBook, which he offers your money back and although not really a system he has claimed to develop himself, it’s a book that compiles the strategies he has used throughout his years which he believes to hold an edge should you decide to focus your attention on trading one or a few of them. Anyway, I always felt a closer connection to the methods and way this guy would trade – and it’s not rocket science. Plus, he is a saint because he always answers my stupid ass e-mails that I don’t realize are pathetic and stupid until a few days later. I mean if I were him I probably would’ve told me to stop asking so many stupid f’n questions and to go play in traffic. So after I realized I should stop being lazy and expecting him to tell me some answer to the holy grail, I watched his videos 3, 4, 5 times, read the articles and combining pieces of information I had absorbed previously from other traders, had a small “light bulb” moment if you will.
I got on the simulator for Forex using MT4 trading the EUR/USD 1 min chart during the London session and gave it a week just really focusing my trades on the larger waves throughout the day and using prior tendencies as my guideline. I stayed as disciplined as possible, only taking the trades that met this criteria. I had a few winners and losers the first few days. To be honest, I was still kind of clueless and just entering where I felt might be a good spot – the typical price action areas like, oh it’s a pullback now, enter on a break of this. So I half knew what I was doing. Which is better than nothing. I suppose.
I reviewed my trades, saw my mistakes and worked on them. The following week though, it all came together. I could see and feel the moves and I planned ahead. I was able to enter a trade knowing exactly what I would do should the price do this or that. Super Saiyan mode, talkin like Goku vs Piccolo stuff. I had my exits and targets planned and I actively managed them. I knew what movement indicated a possible failure of my pattern and exited with small winners before it would stop me out. I could sit through a few “fakey” moves with complete confidence in the trade I entered, not wondering if I need to exit this. I could also re-enter a trade I just got stopped out on because it was still a good trade. So after 10 straight green days (a few were washes, to be honest) I have decided to take my trading live. It is so damn hard to stay disciplined. I can’t recall the number of times I was like that dog in UP, “squirrel!” It’s double topping, go short! OMG, ascending triangle, do it! The RSI is like totally oversold bro, total buy time dude. But no, I resisted.
I realize that many successful traders or people selling books tell you that you should have at least X months or weeks or whatever, of profitability before going live. I think prodding along, being up a few bucks a month doesn’t necessarily mean you’re ready. By sheer luck and undisciplined trades, you could be up a few dollars after two months but by no means are you ready. I did it for a month just putting on 100 contracts on the ES and exiting after it went my way just 1 tick for a $1,250 gain and then giggling because I would just trade 1 contract the rest of the month and ended up +$13.50 after commissions on the month. C’mon.
In my opinion being ready to go live is a mental state – not a number of green days/months. Knowing exactly where, when and why you entered a trade, what movements constitute a failure of why you entered, not panicking at every small price movement and having the confidence to execute are the reasons you should go live. And I check all of these boxes and the only way to take my trading to the next level is to use real capital – I have to feel the burn. And with real money, it’ll be better for me. I won’t have those “squirrel!” moments take advantage of me because my hard earned real dollars are at work here.
Of course, using real capital is a whole new set of challenges that will be presented. This is the next stage of my journey. I’ve read the books, sim traded them and took what I needed from them to make something my own. I don’t need anymore information or strategies or anything. I need to focus on me. So it’s time to move on – to make the leap to working on my psychology. How does real money affect my trading? How will a string of losses affect my confidence? Will I get over confident after a string of wins? These are all yet to be seen and I hope to share with everyone in the near future my experiences on this journey. And if I stop updating after a few weeks, it means I probably lost all my money. Or got frustrated and moved onto another hokey pokey price action system. Or maybe don’t want to show you guys how much I suck. Or hit the lotto. But I don’t play the lotto so you won’t have to worry about that. Ok, see ya next time shithead.