Frustrated trader, need advice

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Old Dec 16, 2010, 1:03pm   #1
Joined Sep 2010
Frustrated trader, need advice

Hi guys hows it goin?

I'm a newish trader in Forex who's been trading demo and micro accounts on and off over the last year and a half. I have developed an overwhelming passion for trading during the last year and i'm very determined to succeed and become a successful trader, and honsetly my passion is not for the financial rewards but for my own self pride and confidence and to hopefully master a unique(what i feel it to be) skill that eludes 90% of people who try. It's not for arrogance or for ego but self reward in being successful at what i'm most passionate about, the financial rewards of being successfull are a merely a bonus to me.

My trading journey so far has been dificult for me, being that i'm learning/trying to teach myself alone through research and study on any information i can find on the internet and then applying that knowledge i've learnt in to practice on demo accounts and live micro accounts. Unfortunately i'm alone in my studies as i can't afford a mentor over the internet and that no one person i know actively trades or invests or even has any interest in the subject what so ever. And i mainly keep my trading to myself as i know when it's mentioned around to friends it's usually met with "Oh.. yeah you probably shouldn't, you wouldn't know what you're doing" or "It's probably a bit over your head".

In the last 8 months or so i've been devoting many hours each week after work to study and have completely transformed my trading from basically a trader with out a plan into an organised trader with a plan.

I have a detailed trading plan written down and in arms reach which consists of my goals, personal trading qualities - good and bad, what type of trader i want to be, where i want to be in the future ect and most improtantly to my discipline and money/risk management. My traing plan is my bible and has helped me grow as an aspiring trader.

My frustration comes from my lack of success(haha i know, obvious right!), lately i've been so frustrated to the point where i'm contemplating my worst fears "Maybe i'm just not a trader" that it just don't have 'IT' what it takes to be a successful trader.

I was day trading the 5 - 15 minute minutes charts for a while as i felt it fit with my trading style and sense of patience.

My style consisted of,

TA and Fundamentals.

TA for observaitons of where the market is and what it's currently doing on non major news days.

I don't use indicators what so ever as i prefer a naked chart with candle sticks.

I don't look for patterns in the charts( head and shoulders, ect), i look for what the market is currently doing being is it up, down or sideways.

I look for Volume in the bars relative to the time frame for momentum, i look for pivot points, breakouts, support and resistance, daily/previous day swing highs and lows.

I look for where i think people would place stops for if the trade turns on them it mive give a quick squirt of momentum when they get stopped out.

I look for pull backs for entry

I use fundamentals for major news days(Rate decisiosns, CPI ect) and anouncments.
Mainly just use my economic calender, wait for the out come of a release then to the charts for entry if i feel it will be market moving data.

Money/risk management,

I only trade money i can afford to lose

Resk reward is Minmum 2:1(was usually risk 15points for 30P reward) i always watched my trades so if i meet my target i'd continue to activly trade in hope of 3:1, but i'd always lock in and close my position if it threatens to move back below 2:1. If it moves against i'll just let it get stopped, move on and try and review my trade to see if i can work out were i went wrong.

As a newbie i only look to make Max 5 trades a day so i have to make each trade count.
I log all my trades and in sets of 15 to establish a percentage of success versus loss for a sense on probability of success on my entry strategys.

And i have just a general all round perception of 'The markets always right'.

I later leanrt that psychologically day trading and activley managing trades was not for me due to the fact i was always taking profits too early or at breakeven in fear of going back in to negative territory, which %70 of the time if i had just let it run it's course i would have taken my target profit or potentially more. On the other hand if a trade just never went my way i would just let it run and be stopped, it never bothered me being stopped as i just shrugged it off as a loss and that i was wrong... funny that.

So i now swing trade the daily charts, and have banned my self for looking at lower time frames when in an open position, just so i cant see all the little niggling pullbacks and small reversals along the way that would stress me out to close the position early if it were a successful trade. I now either hit target or get stopped, and hope for a high probability of successful trades.

But latley i've been frustrated and stressed with my entrys.

See i'll enter a trade and generally the trade starts to move my way but extremely slow, i mean as an example say it takes half an hour to move ten points my way but then if it wants to reverse on me it will lose those ten points in 2 minutes and i'm back were i started.

You see in a losing trade i'll lose 20 points in 5 minutes, but in a winning trade it'll take 3 hours to make 20 points... i just don't understand what i'm doing so wrong. And this happens consistantly all the time to me.

Or trades seem the perfect setup, i enter, they turn against me i get stopped.. the with in ten points of being stopped it turns back to what would have been my a lovely little profit. And i mean i'll see a setup that meets my criteria, then watch it and wait for a pullback to the opposite direction i intend to trade, then look for it to gain back good momentum back in my direction. So the setup is there, momentum in my direction, i'll open the position then BANG moves against me out of the blue and stops me, then straight away back on it's merry little way to where i thought it was going to head, and i do place all my stops to allow for a possible short lived reversal.

Just the other day i made a trade that was in a clear down trend, it had just had a short reversal and was heading back down in the direction of the down trend, i went to a lower time frame to look for a entry point based on my criteria, prices were showing clear a rejection of a resistance level twice and had strong momentum moving short and the current bar had just moved lower than the previous bar that had also closed low. so it was looking good for me on the daily and the lower time frames to sell short. So i did... Then F**kin BANG soon as i place my trade 5 minutes later it turns and busts through the
resistance level. Within 20 minutes i'm stopped out for a 50 point loss... it then only rises another 2 points higher and proceeds to head back to where i thought the trade was going to head. If it wasn't for that unlucky breakout and just being stopped by 2 points i would have made 120 points giving me my 2:1.

All this happens all to often a winning trade takes for ever if it makes it, a losing trade will get stopped as quick as you would ever see and i get the unluckiest of reversals stop me out with in 10 points usually then head into the direction i want.

I'm generally just breaking even with the account or losing money now. profitable days are short lived.

So i dont know what to do anymore, am i just not a trader? am i the unluckiest person alive? is this normal for newbies? Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

I havent traded for a few days since that last one knocked me out by 2 points, i'm afraid what ever i do i'll be chewed up and spit out again by the market. And i'm sure my monitor could do with out a hole in it of the shape of a

Well sorry for the rant guys.. just really needed to vent to someone, as i don't get to talk to anyone i know about trading.

Oh well, least i have my health.. for now till my head explodes!

Cheers guys,

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Old Dec 16, 2010, 2:17pm   #2
Joined Apr 2008
Re: Frustrated trader, need advice

Just skimmed over your post but how wide are your stops when trading the dailies and what markets do you trade?

I got anhialated trading the 4HR TF on EUR\USD because my stops were too tight. If you trade long TF's your stop must be protected by a decent support\resistance level or you'll get screwed. Also, ditch the notion that you need a certain RR ratio - 3:1 etc is ********.. If you have a 100 pip stop and market gives you 90 pips profit and you can see it turning then cut it quick... Don't wait for it to either stop you out or hit your 3:1 because the market couldn't give a **** about where your targets and stops are. It simply goes where it goes but gives plenty of clues on the way!
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Old Dec 16, 2010, 2:31pm   #3
glyder's Avatar
Joined Apr 2008
Re: Frustrated trader, need advice

I skim read your post, really i think you are going through what many go through, nothing out of the ordinary. 8 months is not a long time to be learning. It can take years. And then at the end of that you might find it is far more simple than the time and effort would imply. But thats a road that has to be travelled.
If you really want it you can only get it if you don't give up.

live in the charts, see how they behave on different time spans
when they repeat themselves what they do at popular S/R levels
and at round numbers
remember the obvious.....
find and know your edge
cut your losses,
let your winners run
(using break even stops works for me).

You really do not need to pay a mentor because there is enough info on the net for free.
No mentor can give you experience.That comes from your own time, trial and error.

take a look at this.

Good luck.
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Old Dec 16, 2010, 2:37pm   #4
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timsk's Avatar
Joined Mar 2002
Re: Frustrated trader, need advice

Hi AspTdr,
Worry not, everyone (apart from some smart so 'n so who'll now post saying 'it's never happened to me'!) has experienced the problem you describe. If the problem really is as frequent as you imply (and your meticulous records indicate), then this suggests to me that either the timing of your entry needs to be tweaked - and/or the position of your stops.

Go back over all the trades where you've been stopped out in the way you describe and move your stop 50% further away. What are the results now? If they're not significantly better, double the stop size. Does this solve the problem? Obviously, if your stop size doubles, you'll need to reduce your position size by 50% to maintain the same amount of risk per trade. Also, if you use a dynamic stop, based on the volatility of the instrument traded, you'll gain a lot more control over the number of trades you're stopped out of. Read this excellent article by Trader333 which explains precisely how to do this: Position Sizing as an Approach to Risk Management

Lastly, your OP was very long. I suggest 2 things:
1. Summarize your main issues into a new post of few short paragraphs.
2. Include a few charts illustrating the problem, clearly annotated with your entry and stop etc.
This will increase the probability of getting a better response.
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Old Dec 16, 2010, 2:47pm   #5
Joined Nov 2008
Re: Frustrated trader, need advice

Originally Posted by glyder View Post
Live in the charts..

Amen to that man..
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Old Dec 16, 2010, 3:03pm   #6
Joined May 2010
Re: Frustrated trader, need advice

Hi AT,
I have no practical advice I'm afraid, being in a similar position to you.
There's a recentish thread, though, about whether people believe there's a 'holy grail' in trading - the interesting thing I took from it is that most of the 'real' traders here say there is no secret to this game. You make of it what you can/want and to become consistantly profitable is a matter of hard graft and trial and error and finding what works for you.

I, like you, am learning from books and sites like this and can't help feeling sometimes that I'm missing the vital factor that everyone else knows.

Perhaps not particularly useful advice, but thought it might help get your head back up.
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Old Dec 16, 2010, 3:47pm   #7
Joined Nov 2010
Re: Frustrated trader, need advice

Here is my assumptions.
4 weeks of trading (20 days), 5 trades per day = 100 trades
Probability to lose 15 points 0.63
Probability to win 30 points 0.37
So that gives us very generous positive expected value (11%)

Put this figures into simulator and the probability of loss after 100 trades is 24%

What you experience is called variance and you do not have enough of data to make any meaningful conclusion about your strategy.
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Old Dec 16, 2010, 3:51pm   #8
Joined Apr 2008
Re: Frustrated trader, need advice

Originally Posted by 6am View Post
Here is my assumptions.
4 weeks of trading (20 days), 5 trades per day = 100 trades
Probability to lose 15 points 0.63
Probability to win 30 points 0.37
So that gives us very generous positive expected value (11%)

Put this figures into simulator and the probability of loss after 100 trades is 24%

What you experience is called variance and you do not have enough of data to make any meaningful conclusion about your strategy.
You can't possibly say that because you don't know if his strategy has a positive expectancy in the first place... These calculations only mean something if you have a massive sample size from testing\live trading to give realistic win\loss ratios.
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