Advice Needed


Active member
Can I please ask the advice of you experience members.

I regularly punt the S + P and Nas between the hours of 12.00 and 5.00 pm. Not large stakes but enough to make a difference.

My problem is that, although I quite often get the direction right, my management is c**p.

I place an emergency stop on opening the trade, then watch what it does (I only use the Fins Popular Markets screen, nothing else). I make a note of the movements and enter when I see a definite trend. I used to get in at top or bottom, but have improved lately.

BUT, what I am doing is letting a profit slide into either zero or loss. If it goes my way I change my stop to break even, but I seem incapable of taking a small profit when it offers :eek:

On the other hand, as yesterday, I shorted the S + P just off its height, but paniced when it appeared to go up again, closed out, for a profit, but, nevertheless, had I held out, I would have tripled my profit.

Are there any tips you can give me to stop my previous trades (i.e. closing out at zero after a potential profit) affecting my current trades. I seem to sit like a rabbit in headlights and watch it all trickle away :devilish:

have a profit target when you open the trade. Keep in the trade until you have hit your target or deem it to have failed (stopped out or discretionary close). When you hit the target do a quick review and choose an option from the following list and in the following preferred order :-

1) close half the trade and review the target for the balance.
2) close all the trade
3) close none of the trade and review the target


Set yourself defined targets and stops before entry...Sounds as if you are lacking confidence in your decisions....are you trading too large a stake?? forcing you to panic.... watch price action at defined levels
eg y'day SP's hit 1011 slight drop,then 2nd retest failed. short 1011....drop to 1004 next significant buyers,here you should have been confident correct trade...then swiftly down 994 comfort zone.
keep an eye on other indices also for confirmation...i.e Naz was under selling pressure all session...

Hi Orchard

Long time no speak. I hope your keeping well :)

I back-up what JPWone and 2468steve have said.
One thing I would add is put in a trailing stop. I know you can't do it with FINS, but that's no reason why you can't keep a mental note AND USE IT. This will build a good discipline base and also give you the confidence to go on from there. Think of it as putting stabilizers on a bike :)

You might already have an idea on the average pull back on the S&P, but if not have a look at the 10 period ADX and times it by 1.5 - In my view this is a good starting point for assessing a trailing stop, and you can then adjust it from there.

Take care
I wouldn't use a trailing stop. They stop you following trends on the S&P emini's.

Personally I use 5 min charts with nothing else and try to spot a reversal. If I'm wrong then I take a small loss, if I'm right then its often 8 points + coming to daddy.

For example yesterday short at 108.25 ( lower low) exit at 995.75 (break of trend on 5 mins)

12.5 easy points, but yesterday was a very very easy day, most are not.

Orchard. I agree with Steve lack of confidence in your trading plan. With the little information you have supplied & keeping to the same method its telling you take profits when you can even if its a few points. The alternative is to find another trading plan. However trying to scalp trades using spread betters spreads is doomed to fail i.e. until you gain experience. Try testing out your plan with markets with smaller spreads. ie U.K. stocks are even the FTSE. If you are successful the solution is there . If you cant make money with smaller spreads than I suggest you stop trading and seek out a more consistant plan. This should include what sort of trading brings you success. ( Based on time frames. 1 min charts, 5min charts, 30 Min charts or 60 Mincharts. Remember the more research you do the luckier you become. Good luck.
Many many thanks to you all for your very sensible and followable (if thats a word) advice.

JPW - I like your three choices, I shall print them out and use as my mantra.

2468 steve - I do try to set targets and definitely use limits on trade entry and my stakes are weeny :confused: That doesn't stop me at the moment from making mistakes :eek:

FTSE Hello again yourself. You can set a trailing stop with Fins, it's not automatic but very easy to amend your initial stop or any other stop in place and I use it to it's full potential. My problem is that I use a reasonably long stop on placement, then when I have about 75% increase I up it to break-even, then gradually reduce the stop as the profit rises. This certainly means I lose out on some profits by getting closed out on a spike, but better some than none. Like your 1.5 ADR for S + P. Will set up and use it (if I can find the daily ranges - I think sharescope does not do it)

Johnny T - as usual good advice but I don't work off charts for these trades, purely the numbers on Fins page, it will work with dicipline. I trade UK shares on a longer time basis, the spreads are not too great and, unlike the indices, they are a movable feast with SB companies.

Zigzag I trade UK shares on a longer time basis, the spreads are a moveable feast unlike the indices. I am doing ongoing research which I hope will cover a 6 months period (up to week 15) so I am learning.

Once again thanks all for your input - I'm sure that it will improve my confidence and profit margin :cheesy:
Hi Orchard

A couple of questions if I may:

  • Why do you have a long stop on placement - and what do you class as long.
  • What time-frame and holding period are you looking for.
  • What do you class as a 75% increase, as normally it takes decades for an index to rise or fall 75% ;)
Also I might have confused you - and me for that matter :eek:

It's not ADR I'm looking at. It's the ATR (average true range), and I'm measuring it on an intra-day basis. This is the chart from fridays action, and as JonnyT has said it was an easy day.


At the bottom of the trend, the ATR measured 0.66. So if times 0.66 x 1.5 = 0.99. So the trailing stop would be placed at 0.99 away from the current price. This would have got you out on the pull-back (the blue arrow), which looked a big pull-back. It was wide enough to keep you in during the drop :)

I hope this makes sense and apologies for any confusion.
Hi Mark,

It seems that I've managed to confuse you as well as myself :eek:

I meant ATR not ADR (being a bookeeper I often transpose figures and everything else.

Re your questions: A long stop for me on S+P is 5 full points. This is a firm stop and I often get out before it is reached if the trade heads quickly in the wrong direction.

Time frame is as long as it takes - i.e. if the trade is profitable and then moves against me I am out whether it be 5 mins or 5 hours.

The 75% refers to my stops. I start at 5 points, if the trade goes my way for 4 points I move my stop to break even, if it increases to 6 points I move it to 3away etc. This does stop me out early on some occasions but I am prepared to accept that.

Re the ATR :eek: cannot get either daily range or ATR on sharescope for indices, but I will have a look at other charting programmes I have to see if it is on them. Once I have the figures I can easily calculate the ATR as I already do on FTSE shares.

Thanks for your interest and explainations, your queries help me to keep it clear in my own mind (even if I confuse yours ;) )
Hi All,

Just thought I'd update you.

Thanks to the excellent advice given to me I have now thawed my finger :cheesy:

I am far more circumspect in my trading of the S+P and Nas, and I have also started SBing FTSE shares using a 'method'. :eek:

So far, so good, but it is mainly thanks to you all for giving me the encouragement to GO :!:

I have been dabbling for what seems like ages and, although I still get things wrong, when I check I can either find out what I did wrong, or find things that I did right but turned against me (sorry, a bit convoluted, but I think you'll understand).

I don't post all that often, but, believe me, I visit the boards on a very regular basis, absolutely invaluable :D

Once again, Thanks.