IRONJAW's Day Trading Journey - From nothing to something (UK)

ironjaw

Member
60 9
Dear all,

I am new and will be documenting my personal journey to become a day trader. So if you, like me, want to get into day trading, or can dispense any advice, help, tips or words of encouragement, then you are more than welcome to follow this thread. The way it is going to work is that I am going to update this thread on an ongoing basis as I learn and go down this route.

Background
To start off, I know little about trading, but have always been curious and secretly wanted to go down that route, but life took me elsewhere. With a safe option, I ended up as a lawyer. I'm self-employed and deal with B2B litigations and regulatory investigations, in banking/finance and pharmaceuticals, which means (a) no one's shouting down my neck; (b) no dealings with private clients on private matters. What a relief!

In 2017, I received a taste in Forex from a former colleague that made it sound like the next best thing to sliced bread and get rich quick scheme bull. I was immediately cautious, but took a chance. I found it too intense, more like sitting in a F18 - too volatile for my taste. I disliked the leverage from the start, which made the entry larger than your initial capital, as I knew you were borrowing money to go in, and you know what happens next. Incidentally, he lost £600K and moved out of the UK. I knew absolutely nothing about the market, other than studying what I did on Babypips.com - The School of Pipsology. It's still unfinished. I made mistakes and sometimes traded without a stop loss. In short, I didn't know what the hell I was doing. Luckily I turned my £200 into £23 and got out. There's nothing wrong with Forex, I still do admire it, especially USD/JPY pair and the Tokyo session, and I liked that it's 24/7 and that you can see how things in the news and politics affect currency. I have no regrets as it was a learning curve and taught me that I needed to educated myself - much more. That got me thinking about a couple of questions:
  • What type of trader am I?
  • Do I want to go long or short?
  • Do I want to scalp?
  • Am I looking for quick profits or long term?
  • What do I want to do in the market?
  • What instruments excites me?
  • Do I like doing research?
With all those questions, I sat down and thought hard and came to the conclusion that I want to get into buying and selling stocks. US stocks for that matter. I believe, regardless of what other people say, that there is an opportunity to make money for anyone depending on what kind of person you are or personality type. You just have to find the right setup, instrument and market to trade - be it equities, forex, indices, commodities, or crypto, it will come to you.

Why am I changing career
I'm not entirely changing career, but will lesson down the legal side, as the trading becomes more profitable. Also, as I work from home, and with COVID19 forcing businesses and my clients to work remotely, it has turned out to be a blessing. No need to commute down to London 6 am in the morning in overly packed trains, with eye-watering odours, and non-consensual touching. This, coupled with my desire to get into trading, has given me the impetus to go ahead and make a start. I am committed for the longterm. I know the risks. In addition, as I'm already in front of the computer daily and have multiple computer monitors, this gives me the flexibility to follow the markets daily from 9 to 5 and after work. I can multitask easily.

What I want to achieve
I have found out that I like researching and have a personality of investing for the long term. That is going to be my main aim. However, I also want to dabble in daily trading to build the muscles and keep an eye on the market to organically grow the account. I think it's important to be practical about things and any hands-on experience trading daily would be beneficial. Here, I am not suggesting over-trading or any negative connotations, rather calculated, researched, well-executed trades with proper risk management, i.e., even before executing the order, you should know the entry, exit, and stop loss points.

My primary objective
To be a successful day trader that is consistently profitable, with minimal loses and with a proper executed risk management and portfolio. I want to be independently and financially free to be able to enjoy life and do the things that I want to do. Also, end up in the Caribbean with sunshine and white beaches, with a beverage to quench my thirst.🏖

Disclaimer: My opinions listed here are not to be construed as investment, financial and/or legal advise. Please consult a regulated expert about your own needs. The information listed is for educational and discussion purposes and reflect my personal opinion and journey. Investment equals risk and loses. You have been warned.
 
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ironjaw

Member
60 9
UPDATE 1: Broker

Hi all, first update. After researching potential brokers, I have chosen to go with IG. The main reason I went ahead was that they have Stocks and Shares ISA and zero commission on US stocks. There is a £24 custody fee per quarter that is waived the more active you are. So my transfer from Hargreaves and Landsdown (HL) is underway and I am really excited to get started. I also looked at Trading 212 (T212) but didn't feel that comfortable.

I wanted really to go for Interactive Brokers (IB) but found that their prices were a bit complex to understand. As I'm doing less than 100 shares per trade and have a small account, I wasn't able to calculate what I would be paying per month, even with the ca. $14 data package to live prices and min commission fees. It seems that everyone on the internet recommends them due to having the lowest fees, and the fact that you have the ability to have a customised API with their platform. There is a lot of possibility to grow with them once you become a seasoned trader. When I grow the account large enough that's where I will going. For now as a starter, IG will do.

In addition, I had a curtesy call this morning from IG from the person undertaking my ISA transfer. They seem quick to respond. Contact details and email were provided if I ever needed to raise any question.

One great tip I received was that on the Share dealing account, not the ISA, I should change manually the currency from automatic to manual in USD so that the account stays in USD. This is to avoid automatic currency conversion taking place in the account from USD to GBP saving some fees.

UPDATE 2: Amazon Web Services (AWS) Workspaces

I've also, signed up and installed and am ready to go with Amazon Web Services (AWS) Workspaces, which is a remote windows desktop in the Cloud. This is to separate my trading platform from my home computer, but also that I can still keep mobile if ever I need to check on the go and log in from anywhere. It's worth a try for me at least as it is free for the next 12 months, and the fact that some of applications that I've been researching about eg. TC2000 only run on Windows. I know that you can run Parallels Desktop and use Bootcamp on a Mac, but what I've heard from other users so far is that it is very slow, to the fact that they've dropped it.
 
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alan5616

Established member
754 79
UPDATE 1: Broker

Hi all, first update. After researching potential brokers, I have chosen to go with IG. The main reason I went ahead was that they have Stocks and Shares ISA and zero commission on US stocks. There is a £24 custody fee per quarter that is waived the more active you are. So my transfer from Hargreaves and Landsdown (HL) is underway and I am really excited to get started. I also looked at Trading 212 (T212) but didn't feel that comfortable.

I wanted really to go for Interactive Brokers (IB) but found that their prices were a bit complex to understand. As I'm doing less than 100 shares per trade and have a small account, I wasn't able to calculate what I would be paying per month, even with the ca. $14 data package to live prices and min commission fees. It seems that everyone on the internet recommends them due to having the lowest fees, and the fact that you have the ability to have a customised API with their platform. There is a lot of possibility to grow with them once you become a seasoned trader. When I grow the account large enough that's where I will going. For now as a starter, IG will do.

In addition, I had a curtesy call this morning from IG from the person undertaking my ISA transfer. They seem quick to respond. Contact details and email were provided if I ever needed to raise any question.

One great tip I received was that on the Share dealing account, not the ISA, I should change manually the currency from automatic to manual in USD so that the account stays in USD. This is to avoid automatic currency conversion taking place in the account from USD to GBP saving some fees.

UPDATE 2: Amazon Web Services (AWS) Workspaces

I've also, signed up and installed and am ready to go with Amazon Web Services (AWS) Workspaces, which is a remote windows desktop in the Cloud. This is to separate my trading platform from my home computer, but also that I can still keep mobile if ever I need to check on the go and log in from anywhere. It's worth a try for me at least as it is free for the next 12 months, and the fact that some of applications that I've been researching about eg. TC2000 only run on Windows. I know that you can run Parallels Desktop and use Bootcamp on a Mac, but what I've heard from other users so far is that it is very slow, to the fact that they've dropped it.
IG have been around for years. For spread betting, they are as good as anyone out there.
 
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ironjaw

Member
60 9
UPDATE 3: Charting software

Hi all, another update. After careful consideration, I decided to choose TrendSpider over TC2000. The main reason is that there are running a 30% off deal at the moment that ended Sunday, but has been extended for another day. Running a Mac, I decided to make it easier to choose a web-based charting software that can run anywhere. I chose the Elite option that allows backtesting and VWAP. There's quite a learning curve, so I will probably take a cup of tea and sit down to go through TrensSpider University and arrange a 1 to 1.

Let me know if anyone uses TrendSpider and what your opinion are.
 

ffsear

Senior member
2,170 447
UPDATE 3: Charting software

Hi all, another update. After careful consideration, I decided to choose TrendSpider over TC2000. The main reason is that there are running a 30% off deal at the moment that ended Sunday, but has been extended for another day. Running a Mac, I decided to make it easier to choose a web-based charting software that can run anywhere. I chose the Elite option that allows backtesting and VWAP. There's quite a learning curve, so I will probably take a cup of tea and sit down to go through TrensSpider University and arrange a 1 to 1.

Let me know if anyone uses TrendSpider and what your opinion are.

If you trade through IG enough you get pro real time charting software for free! Worth checking out
 
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alan5616

Established member
754 79
UPDATE 3: Charting software

Hi all, another update. After careful consideration, I decided to choose TrendSpider over TC2000. The main reason is that there are running a 30% off deal at the moment that ended Sunday, but has been extended for another day. Running a Mac, I decided to make it easier to choose a web-based charting software that can run anywhere. I chose the Elite option that allows backtesting and VWAP. There's quite a learning curve, so I will probably take a cup of tea and sit down to go through TrensSpider University and arrange a 1 to 1.

Let me know if anyone uses TrendSpider and what your opinion are.
I know that you're fairly new to trading.

You will learn, at some stage, that all these fancy charting packages are just window dressing. Learning how to read charts, and price action, is the best thing you can do to be a successful trader. If you then have enough discipline to manage risk effectively, you have a chance of making it work for you..
 

ironjaw

Member
60 9
Learning how to read charts, and price action, is the best thing you can do to be a successful trader.

You know what, that is exactly what I would like to learn. As I am new, could you lend a hand, and dispense advise on how I could go about this?
 

alan5616

Established member
754 79
You know what, that is exactly what I would like to learn. As I am new, could you lend a hand, and dispense advise on how I could go about this?
One of the best pieces of advice that I could give you is to buy a copy of "Reading Price Charts Bar By Bar" by Al Brooks. There is more to trading than this but, it's a good foundation to understand price action. I'm a great believer in "top down" analysis. Look at weekly, daily, 4 hr, 1 hr charts for trend but, make your entries and exits off the 5 min chart.

Another good piece of advice is NOT to rely on technical indicators to make your trading decisions. They lag the price, often by several bars. They should carry a health warning "using this indicator will cause you to lose your trading capital"

Good luck.
 
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timsk

Legendary member
7,390 2,172
You know what, that is exactly what I would like to learn. As I am new, could you lend a hand, and dispense advise on how I could go about this?
Hi ironjaw,
T2W has it's own trading by price guru, or at least we had - he's rarely seen nowadays: dbphoenix
As with any guru, he has his fans and his detractors so, as always in this game, do your own research and draw your own conclusions. He's started any number of threads on the topic; links to a few of the main ones below . . .
Price, (Volume), Support, Resistance, Demand, Supply . . . (Abridged)
A Beginner's Guide to Trading by Price
Straight Line Approach, The (the SLA)
Essentially, both barjon and tomorton are price action traders in that they utilise charts with no - or at least very few - technical indicators, other than perhaps a moving average. Both have either threads or articles in which they outline their approach. Both are very experienced traders and class blokes, T2W's finest IMO, so you could do a lot worse than to investigate their contributions.
Enjoy!
Tim.
 

alan5616

Established member
754 79
A good piece of advice for all traders, old and new. Don't try and pick tops and bottoms on any market. It's financial suicide. I tried to drum this into a good friend of mine but, he didn't listen. He has now blown his account and owes friends, and family, about £40k.

There's a saying from the early days of the US stock markets "Top and bottom pickers end up being cotton pickers"
 
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Kaeso

Established member
916 106
A good piece of advice for all traders, old and new. Don't try and pick tops and bottoms on any market. It's financial suicide. I tried to drum this into a good friend of mine but, he didn't listen. He has now blown his account and owes friends, and family, about £40k...
hi alan, out of interest, what was he betting on etc? do tell us more
 

alan5616

Established member
754 79
hi alan, out of interest, what was he betting on etc? do tell us more
He was trading the EU, which is notorious for being manipulated by the big players in the market. He, also, traded the SPX from time to time.
 

Kaeso

Established member
916 106
He was trading the EU, which is notorious for being manipulated by the big players in the market. He, also, traded the SPX from time to time.
I presume you mean the Euro 50 index ?
What you said brings up another subject... do you have evidence of this being a manipulated market or even being notorious for that? and manipulated in what way? i haven't heard that before
I've heard the word manipulated thrown about generally in markets and I think it exists to some extent, depending on the context
 
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alan5616

Established member
754 79
I presume you mean the Euro 50 index ?
What you said brings up another subject... do you have evidence of this being a manipulated market or even being notorious for that? and manipulated in what way? i haven't heard that before
I've heard the word manipulated thrown about generally in markets and I think it exists to some extent, depending on the context
EU is a common abbreviation for Euro-US dollar. It's the most widely traded currency pair and, creates the most daily trading volume in the forex market. I remember, last year, that Donald Trump accused the ECB of manipulating the currency. It's not just the ECB, the big banks, also, play around with the price. Better to trade other currency pairs.
 
 
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