My story of progression - forex

JTrader

Guest
My story of progression (spot EUR/USD)

The trade entry signals that I don't take, go on to make what could have been a 15-20-30+ pips nice swift profit.

The trade entry signals that I do take (the ones that don't hit your stop-loss level), really make you sweat :eek: (for up to 30-60 minutes) for whatever gains I may or may not make. Hovering perilously close to my entry point and stop-loss level, then maybe entering a price range, breaking that range before heading into profit, only to pull-back leading to a exit at or very close to break-even?

I think that the difference between a very successful - successful - unsuccessful - loss-making trading day can boil down to a few minute random details on the chart, and whether or not these minute details go for or against me.

Last week these minute details went for me, and I made a level of profit that I am expecting to make.

This week these minute details (such as stop-loss, breakeven stop-loss, or a trailing stop-loss being hit - whatever exit strategy/s that you use - then the price immediately retraces back in the original direction of entry for what would have been a 20+ pips) have gone against me. Had they gone for me, I could have made 100+ pips, as it stands I am struggling to breakeven.

I then decide that a trailing stop-loss only cramps the trade, so I do not use one, but then see my profit withdraw to breakeven.
Similarly, if I could decide not to use the breakeven stop-loss and only a stop-loss, but then what was a potential profit can becomes a loss!

Is it just me or can all traders relate to these regular frustrations?

All feedback welcome!

Cheers
jtrader.
 
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Jack o'Clubs

Experienced member
jtrader said:
Is it just me or can all traders relate to these frustrations?
:LOL: just going through the same myself with a short copper trade. Nice to know other people out there feeling the same!

On a serious note though, it's just playing the averages isn't it. You know your strategy's robust, you know it works in time, there'll just be a few bumps along the way.
 

JTrader

Guest
On a serious note though, it's just playing the averages isn't it. You know your strategy's robust, you know it works in time, there'll just be a few bumps along the way.

Thats what I hope and thats what the historical charts tell me.

The frustrating thing is that over the last two weeks of proper trading with my best strategy to date, I haven't been able to ride on the crest of a profitable trade for 20+ pips, I'm just being made to sweat it out for less!

I'm starting to think that a breakeven stop-loss and a trailing stop-loss are too inhinative of my trades.,,,,,,,,,,,,,,And don't get me started on profit targets!!!

The trouble is, when I use them, unfolding events make me wish I hadn't, and when I don't use them the events that unfold make me wish that I had!............Sods law I suppose................
 

Jack o'Clubs

Experienced member
If its any consolation, I'm not sure the last couple of weeks have been particularly easy, particularly in the currencies. A quick look at the posts on the currency thread would indicate that, aside from my own experiences (which are slightly different as I position trade rather than intra-day). Last week was the worst I've had for ages, across various markets, and all because of the characteristics you referred to in your first message. But I've traded the strategy long enough to know that you get bad weeks, fortnights, even months, but keep plugging away consistently applying it and you'll pull through eventually. Doesn't mean there's anything wrong with reviewing your strategy, but I'd be cautious of chucking it out because of a poor couple of weeks.
 

andycan

Established member
jtrader

the emotional frustration is just that, you are expecting!! part of trading is to remove the emotion, though this is hard its what to aim for, because clearly if you had no emotion in the trade then this point would never be raised and it would be just another blip in a days work.
but all that said there are times in a market where irrespective whether you are 'emotionless' of the trade, the frustration stems from a directionless market or a topping/bottoming/trading range market
and looking at the eur/usd looks like its looking for a top which cuts traders to ribbons unless you are longer term trading
 

garethb

Well-known member
You've written about alot of feelings in that post and first thing to say is that most of it is fairly common stuff for many traders at some point in their development, so don't feel you are alone. I am hardly qualified to give you the answers as my own trading mindset is still work in progress but I will make a few observations.

1) Murphy's law doesn't exist. Probability and a wide range of trade outcomes within an overall trade plan does exist. When you say that the trades you don't take go on to make huge amounts but the ones you do take are not performing, this just isn't true. It is a common feeling and it is common for traders to joke about it but it must not become a part of your beliefs. I think there are many reasons why you can feel this including:-

- there are infinite theoretical positions you could have held and it is inevitable that your attention will be drawn to great possible trades you weren't in but you fail to notice all the times it crosses your mind to take a position, you don't and it goes nowhere anyway. It is also easy to assume if you were in that position you would have taken your money near the top but actually iy might have become one of those which tortured you all the way back to breakeven before you jumped off.

- your attention is on the position you are in and every twist and turn can be felt in your stomach. You may only look back at the theoritical winners in hindsight, whereas if you were in them there would probably have been many twists and turns possibly even enough to have thrown you out of the winning opportunity with only a breakeven.

2) There will always be good weeks and bad weeks. You need to plan your income on the average of these not feel that the results of one good week are now the target for all future weeks.

I went on to write some words about having a plan and stuff, but to be honest there are better qualified people to advise you on the way forward and opinions differ about to what extent plan leads to good mindset or good mindset leads to plan so I have deleted it.

I think the difference between very good and rather poor results doesn't come down to a few minute details on the chart but a few rather large things well hidden in the traders mind. Until your mind is clear to think freely you can't even see the small details of a chart.

Hope some of this helps a bit

Best of Luck

Gareth
 

JTrader

Guest
Thanks guys.

I believe in my strategy, as my entry signals work well on historical charts, and I use a clear cut maximum stop-loss that fits the charts well so to speak.

This week has been more difficult than last due to EURUSD trend strength. +50 pips last week, -12 pips so far this week.

Once i decide upon what fits best in terms of my position management (trailing stops, breakeven stops, profit targets), things should improve.

My strategy pinpoints turns, and works best in non-strong trending markets.

Last week I made 50 pips, but could have made double if I had been more decisive.

This week I am -12 pips so far. But were it not for a few small details on the chart, and I suppose my not knowing/not having a clearly defined understanding of whether I am best using or not using a trailing stop, breakeven stop and profit target, I could have also had a 50+ pip week this week.

Also, when I become more accustomed at not fighting a trend upon trade entry, such as yesterday, but standing aside and waiting for the trend to end or - waitng for a reversal - buying dips in an uptrend, selling rallies in a downtrend, things should improve.....

Thanks.
 

JTrader

Guest
Things improved slightly this afternoon, from only -12 to -5 pips for the week at close of play.

Still, a bit jumpy when there is a pull-back when in profit though, as I want to lock in some, but don't want to miss out on more!

Learnt a lot this week.

Generally, I'm fine in a ranging market, but strong trends perplex me slightly, as i usually end up overboard, and trying to fight the tide. But have become a lot better at recognising the trend and standing aside.

Would like to be able to jump on board when momentum picks up when key support and resistance brakes, though haven't often had the balls to in the past. Maybe I can add this as I pick up more EURUSD screen time. Looking at historical charts is one thing, but instrument specific live screen-time is another, when it comes to picking up the instruments dynamics.


Have 7 more days this year to convince myself i can do this or thats it!!! :eek:
 

andycan

Established member
jtrader said:
Things improved slightly this afternoon, from only -12 to -5 pips for the week at close of play.

Still, a bit jumpy when there is a pull-back when in profit though, as I want to lock in some, but don't want to miss out on more!

Learnt a lot this week.

Generally, I'm fine in a ranging market, but strong trends perplex me slightly, as i usually end up overboard, and trying to fight the tide. But have become a lot better at recognising the trend and standing aside.

Would like to be able to jump on board when momentum picks up when key support and resistance brakes, though haven't often had the balls to in the past. Maybe I can add this as I pick up more EURUSD screen time. Looking at historical charts is one thing, but instrument specific live screen-time is another, when it comes to picking up the instruments dynamics




Have 7 more days this year to convince myself i can do this or thats it!!! :eek:
jtrader

a charts is a chart
sure they all have their quirks but in general they pretty much do the same things


ps glad things look better
 

JTrader

Guest
a charts is a chart
sure they all have their quirks but in general they pretty much do the same things

I know you're right.
Its just a case of watching, learning and being aware of the possible and likely scenarios in the future.

When I used to trade FTSE100 stocks, I had charts and level 2, but mainly ignored the charts, and used L2 only!

+2 for the day, when I could have had 100, if 'd caught the trend and road it to shore!
Though braking even is far better than losing!

Thanks.
 

andycan

Established member
jtrader said:
I know you're right.
Its just a case of watching, learning and being aware of the possible and likely scenarios in the future.

When I used to trade FTSE100 stocks, I had charts and level 2, but mainly ignored the charts, and used L2 only!

+2 for the day, when I could have had 100, if 'd caught the trend and road it to shore!
Though braking even is far better than losing!

Thanks.
indeed it is jtrader
 

chump

Senior member
JT,
Let me tell you what I have found out about people and see if this helps you in anyway.
We always want more information before we want to make a decision. Think about it , it's as though just that extra little piece of information is suddenly just going to blow away the thing that is worrying us which is basically we can't tell the future so we are confronted with uncertainty , the uncertainty of not KNOWING the outcome. On one level we all readily admit this ,but then our performance as you describe yours belies the fact that we continue to not accept it.
It's ironic though that typically no amount of extra information can solve that particular issue until of course what we were uncertain about is with hindsight made very transparent to us. You could put it this way information and price risk are inversely correlated. Every extra piece of information costs you price opportunity because it involves a time lag on your action.

What I am driving at here is quite simple. We hesitate because essentially we do not trust what we know at the time to be sufficient on which to make a decision , but of course it never can be in an absolute sense.
How does this connect to you ?
Those trades you did not take because you hesitated , do you now know why you hesitated ?
:) Yes I bet you do ,but you know you can never get what you would really like ,you will never have the degree of absolute certainty that we all would like. The best you can do is suck it in and breathe it that you can with work put together a system that you can trust in sufficiently to match your personal needs.
Hope this helps.
 

dbphoenix

Legendary member
chump said:
JT,
Let me tell you what I have found out about people and see if this helps you in anyway.
We always want more information before we want to make a decision. Think about it , it's as though just that extra little piece of information is suddenly just going to blow away the thing that is worrying us which is basically we can't tell the future so we are confronted with uncertainty , the uncertainty of not KNOWING the outcome. On one level we all readily admit this ,but then our performance as you describe yours belies the fact that we continue to not accept it.
It's ironic though that typically no amount of extra information can solve that particular issue until of course what we were uncertain about is with hindsight made very transparent to us. You could put it this way information and price risk are inversely correlated. Every extra piece of information costs you price opportunity because it involves a time lag on your action.

What I am driving at here is quite simple. We hesitate because essentially we do not trust what we know at the time to be sufficient on which to make a decision , but of course it never can be in an absolute sense.
How does this connect to you ?
Those trades you did not take because you hesitated , do you now know why you hesitated ?
:) Yes I bet you do ,but you know you can never get what you would really like ,you will never have the degree of absolute certainty that we all would like. The best you can do is suck it in and breathe it that you can with work put together a system that you can trust in sufficiently to match your personal needs.
Hope this helps.

Another excellent post, chump. You're on a roll :)

Db
 

chump

Senior member
"You're on a roll "..my preferred position is usually underneath it where I can't be seen ..I must have eaten something that caused my attention seeking sensor to malfunction.
 

dbphoenix

Legendary member
chump said:
"You're on a roll "..my preferred position is usually underneath it where I can't be seen ..I must have eaten something that caused my attention seeking sensor to malfunction.

Good sense always attracts attention :)

Db
 

andycan

Established member
chump said:
JT,
Let me tell you what I have found out about people and see if this helps you in anyway.
We always want more information before we want to make a decision. Think about it , it's as though just that extra little piece of information is suddenly just going to blow away the thing that is worrying us which is basically we can't tell the future so we are confronted with uncertainty , the uncertainty of not KNOWING the outcome. On one level we all readily admit this ,but then our performance as you describe yours belies the fact that we continue to not accept it.
It's ironic though that typically no amount of extra information can solve that particular issue until of course what we were uncertain about is with hindsight made very transparent to us. You could put it this way information and price risk are inversely correlated. Every extra piece of information costs you price opportunity because it involves a time lag on your action.

What I am driving at here is quite simple. We hesitate because essentially we do not trust what we know at the time to be sufficient on which to make a decision , but of course it never can be in an absolute sense.
How does this connect to you ?
Those trades you did not take because you hesitated , do you now know why you hesitated ?
:) Yes I bet you do ,but you know you can never get what you would really like ,you will never have the degree of absolute certainty that we all would like. The best you can do is suck it in and breathe it that you can with work put together a system that you can trust in sufficiently to match your personal needs.
Hope this helps.

perfectly said!!
we all at some stage say 'at this point we buy or sell' and then when it actually hits there you think what if im wrong? what if? so forth
but there comes a time when there is clarity in thought the criteria is met and the execusion is flawless
this is harmony this is what i aim for this is what we all strive for it does not matter whether you are right or wrong the aim is to execute the plan
we may lose the occassional battle but the war is far from over
 

JTrader

Guest
andycan - What if I'm wrong? What if? So forth...........
The aim is to execute the plan.

Chump was right, I tend to think that that next slice of info will prepare me better for a trade.
However, when my signal is met, I am looking for an entry, so as long as that entry looks reasonable in terms of the general trend picture, I am likely to get on board and hope the trade goes my way.

The really good news is that I have no problem with my stop-loss being hit. I'd prefer it not to happen, but I refuse to let the loss become bigger than my maximum stop-loss - by thinking my stop-loss level has been met, I'll just wait and see what happens next, it might pullback by 1 pip for me. I am fully aware that the loss is just as likely to grow by 1 more pip also, so as soon as the level is hit - I'm out of the trade.

Therefore my SL discipline is good, and has to be good.
I've been disciplined in waiting for the correct chart formation to enter a trade.
I hope to improve my reading of the general picture to avoid some of those trades that make a loss. If this is possible.

I really need to decide upon if and how it is best for me to manage trailing stops, breakeven stops and profit targets. This is difficult, because some of these work best for one trade, while the complete opposite will be best for another trade. Once I have a clearer policy on these, the picture should become a lot clearer.

Finally, with experience, I'd like to become successful at knowing when to jump on board when momentum picks up in a certain direction. I am not comfortable with this right now, as often when I have tried this, I have found that the momentum stops as I come on board, and the price reverses against me!!
With time I may or may not become better at this, and may or may not add this element to my trading plan.

The last two days have been good for this on EURUSD. The daily trend has topped and become a a bit of downtrend over the last couple of weeks. When support levels have been breached, there has been a bit of a price collapse.....
 

chump

Senior member
Jt,
Trade management strategy.
The financial markets are in a way rather strange in that they operate in a way that is at odds with the way general life works.

What I am saying is this. Imagine you had two girls whom you're interested in . You choose to pursue A and subsequently date and marry her. In this choice you never have a chance to evaluate how your choice worked out against the alternative that was available. Basically , you made your choice (took the trade)and got on with it and perhaps only occasionally will you wonder how it might have worked out with choice B. Something you can wonder about ,but never form any real conclusion about.

The markets don't work like that though. They hold up for you like a mirror how your choices worked out ,both those you took and those that you might have taken as an alternative. That is your trade selection and your trade management.
On the one hand this is a positive as it gives you ample opportunity to to analyse the data and make conclusions as to which choices were the 'best' to make. Unfortunately , as with much of life their always seems to be the a balancing negative which in this case is you are also offered the potential opportunity to view those prior choices as a mechanism on which you can hang your ego. That is , damn I'm useless ,see how I got it wrong again. I sense that this is where your frustration is coming from. You can deal with it simply by acknowledging the fact that we will always make mistakes , it's our human nature to do so because most of the time it's how we actually learn. If you can acknowledge this , smile that this is the way it is , then just turn your attention to the positive aspects of this feature of the markets that you can evaluate choices and refine your strategic approach on the strength of what you find then you might find that frustration starts to go away. In other words don't take it so personally ,not only are you trying to deal with a facet of human nature to err in learning , you also have to deal with a market feature which offers ample opportunity to you to berate yourself over that , be kind to yourself .
 

JTrader

Guest
chump - That is , damn I'm useless ,see how I got it wrong again. I sense that this is where your frustration is coming from.

Thanks chump

i think this is it. Seeing how the chart unfolded, and what could/should have been achieved but wasn't. Why didn't I see this coming. Hindsight is a ...................

Cheers
JT.
 
 
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