Starting out - what would you do differently?


Legendary member
8,394 1,170
mias said:
I have to agree with some of you new members on this thread. Invaluable info and I think the biggest danger to me is information overload.
Soaking in hours of reading and trying to find what works for me is a bloody nightmare.

It's all down to sifting what's useful. After a gap of a few months from t2w and only looking at the last 30 days in all the boards I'm interested in took a couple of days.

Yes, it's effort and it's time - and it's going to save you losses - no matter how experienced you are/are not.

I'm a 'newbie' with 6 years trading under my belt and some fairly catastrophic exits from the market.

Put in the time here and you'll save in the long-run.

As for making all those expensive mistakes in the beginning, I'd much rather use that money elsewhere.

I don't think there is a shortcut - you will still 'need' to make those mistakes. The important ones are the ones you've read about, heard about and even know you're making them WHILE you're making them. I'm not so sure you can bypass that process.

There's nothing like reality for ramming a lesson home!

Challenge for the more experienced traders out there;
:idea: what about trying to organize an open-day kind of thing where you allow new people to come and see how you put into practice all that has been said on these boards...? :idea:

Not a training course to teach you the basics of trading but more a day of sit in the corner and look at how it's done in the real world.

There would probably be very little in it for you. Each trader has markedly different views on just about everything (just check out the discussions/debates on these boards). You wouldn't be able to form any coherent picture of process or style and it's unlikely most traders could verbalise why they're doing what they're doing WHILE they're doing it.

I really do not believe there are any shortcuts. Read. Trainings. Maybe even 1-2-1 if you can afford it. Paper trade. Start small real trades. Watch the risk. Cut the losses.


5,741 506
Complete discipline on all trades all of the time without even a single exception, both upon sticking to a maximum stop loss and waiting for a maximum strength entry signal. There'd be no point in achieving a level of 90% profitable trades if the other 10% wipe out your profits.


Experienced member
1,159 42
I suspect most posting here would prefer not to have strangers in the spare bedroom/study, BUT Helen Quenet does something very similar to this a couple of times a year - next is due early July - where traders get together in/around Birmingham to swap ideas etc. pm me if you want more on it, various T2W members attend and/or present there and Helen usually charges a mere £25 or so for the day including lunch!


Senior member
2,536 254
Just been reading through this thread and interesting points coming out.
Here is my take.
I have found that there are 2 qualities that make somebody a success above all else and these are Discipline and Patience. If you have these qualities then you can use a variety of methods to take your signals and still make a success of it. An example of this is somebody who uses things like moon phase and still manage a +ve PnL.
It takes time to develop a "system" but you do need one, no matter how simple, and once you have it you better stick to it. A "system" does evolve over time but ideally it will remain as boring and easy to execute as possible.
Generating Long/Short signals is only one part of the system and often books pay far too much attention to this or that so called "winning" indicator. The entry signal is nothing if you do not employ a rigorous risk management system. The risk management is the real key and this of course is where the discipline really counts.
I spent so many hours backtesting tradityional indicators that it doesn't bear thinking about. My conclusions are the same as others in this thread. They do not work in the textbook sense. Anybody who has dabbled with Tradestations backtesting will tell you this. If I look at a chart these days I pay far more attention to price action than what any indicator might suggest. Actually now I only look at a slow stochastic and a single MA but pay a lot more attention to what the price is suggesting as it is the real product of buyers and sellers are thinking.

Never think you are right to run a stop because the market will bite you and if you get away with it once then the next loss will likely be far worse.
Paper trading can only get you so far. You will never know how you will trade with real money until you get stuck in.
Trade smaller than you think you should and do not trade with money you simply cannot afford to lose. There is a big difference between trading and punting. Every successful trader fully understands that.
Be proactive. If you can turn an in the money outright position into a better risk by employing a spread or options, do it.
Do not rely on only technical analysis or only fundamental analysis until you find what best suits you. Fundamentals are great in the commodities to provide a long term view and technicals are great for timing your entry and exits.
Never take boredom trades, these are punts and will net lose you money. Wait for the market to show you a trade, do not force yourself to find a trade in the market.

There are a lot of these "rules to live by" that I have discovered either from others or the hard way.

Good trading


Senior member
2,536 254
Here is something a friend of mine wrote a while ago. I kept it and have passed it on to several people who were about get involved.

Overtrading - Are you Guilty?

One of the most common mistakes I encounter in futures traders is overtrading. First, let me define what I mean by overtrading.
Overtrading - Initiating or maintaining a position too large relative to your account equity.
What is too large? In my accounts I don't like to risk more than 2% of the account equity on any single trade. I learned a while back that the worst enemy of a futures trader is fear (greed is easier to deal with). When you're scared, you're apt to display the following characteristics:

-Sweaty palms,a few palpitations here and there
-Staring at the ceiling at 2:00 am
-Maybe mumbling or yelling at your spouse
-calling your broker every 5 minutes during the day
-unwinding a position at a loss so you can feel "normal" again only to see it turn, right after you exit (the markets are conspiring against you, right?)
You get the picture. This is no way to live and the best defense is to trade small. Each position you carry should seem almost insignificant. You're probably thinking "How can I make any money this way?" or "How can I do that in a "5,000 account?". I'll address both these questions.

On trading small:
My thinking is that if you're a good trader with good ideas, each trade you make isn't significant. It's the sum total of a lot of good ideas over a lot of years that will make you wealthy. Everyone is wrong sometimes and what happens If you risk it all (or most of it) on a single trade, and you're wrong? Well, as my girlfriend says "you won't be able to play anymore". I think you might as well go to Las Vegas and have a good time (put it all on Red). If what I'm saying makes sense, then trading small makes sense. Good opportunities come along fairly often. If they didn't, then I might have a different opinion. As a professional, I would never intentionally expose a large portion of a managed account to one market or one trade. I always trade a variety of markets with a variety of positions.

On trading a small account: Here are some suggestions for trading a small account properly.

- Trade small contracts
- Look at the midam and mini contracts in other markets
- Trade deferred contracts that usually aren't as volatile as the front month
- Learn about option strategies to hedge risk
- Get familiar with vertical options spreads and ratio spreads to limit risk and volatility, while allowing you to stay in a trade for a long period of time.
Having said that, the problem with a small account is that slippage and transaction costs become larger relative to the trading gains. This problem is eased if you trade longer term in small accounts.

Good Trading
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Well-known member
491 10
Found this on a website today ........

:arrowr: My advice for new traders is simple - Don’t ever spend more than £500 on any seminar. - There are some good ones below that price. The right ones can certainly save you considerably more than that by just introducing you to the basics and financial control.

:arrowr: Never attend a seminar where someone is going to show you their theory or their system ( they are looking to part you with your funds only !! and it gives them an ego boost at the same time)

:arrowr: Never attend (and definitely never pay) for a seminar which is run or organised by any software company or by people promoting a software package - :mad: the following springs to mind Martin Cole - Updata - Traderhouse - who are all selling software packages and data feed - and locking you in to their systems - there are far better packages totally free - if you look hard enough! - I've no problem with courses recommended or free from Spread Betting Companies such as IG index Finspreads -index - Tom Hougards (Free ones only)

Never pay £2-3,000 for a course in the beginning :devilish: - Vince Stanzione and Darren Winters are two prime examples :devilish: - Read boards. Never join American Courses in this Country - They are pretty expensive and usually pretty poor with the orientation to USA established ideas - The UK mentality is different.

:arrowr: (Good courses don't ever hype. ;) If you have paid that amount you have to start betting in £10 or £25 stakes - you will soon learn the truth if you start at that level!! :rolleyes:

Never forget there is no mechanical trading systems that will work consistently over a period - so don't start investigating them :idea: - The Goldline system is a sample. Your just opting out looking for someone else to blame when it goes wrong - (And it will)

Intelligent traders learn to trade themselves- and it takes time. Takes seven years to be a "Beginner" Doctor or Lawyer - Don't expect success if you don’t personally put in the effort. Aim to train yourself within a year - and you are doing brilliantly - :LOL:

Don't start off at a complicated area which demands your time in front of a screen and requires skills which can only be learnt by practice :( - Example Level 2 - Why not start with simple spread betting at a low level - Not 1p a point - that’s rubbish - and they don't allow you to put stops and limits on at that level - so its a total waste of time!! :confused:

Try and find someone at the same level on a BB being the best - Download MSN messenger and/or so you can talk online and share experiences with them. Don't listen to any tips or advice on what to trade - forget share tips - learn to select your own. Rely on yourself not others. Develop a keen interest in trading – if you cant – don’t trade – :D

Remember as a beginner there are a sea of Sharks waiting to promise you the earth, the sky, the dream, the yacht – They are selling you fantasy :rolleyes: – They build pictures in your mind – They sell the sizzle that if you spend this then you will get this lifestyle…..Always counter it with - If I lose this then…… :( . Remember that spreadbetting and trading is just a short step in your journey to the Forex Fields - Z


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Established member
673 10
I would have read Van Tharp's "Trade your way to to financial freedom" right at the start (instead of tons of other junk trading material...).

I'd have kept my initial risk on each trade to 2.5%. I took on too much risk back then & I'm not even sure I knew how much it was ! It put me under a lot of pressure.

I would also have set myself much more realistic (lower) annual % goals, and formalised both my stops and my whole trading system. And kept to it. My exit strategy was just not good enough.

With the same entry system, I've since proved that I would have saved myself a shed load of money ! And stress....

Good luck & safe trading


Active member
185 0
Excellent advice.
I'm fairly new to spread betting. Wish I'd found these boards sooner, would have saved a lot of time and money.
Got burned last year trying to trade the Dow intra day.
Came back this year. I'm no expert.
I work off a 1K margin account and trade FTSE and individual shares.
I'm pulling a steady 5% per week net profit, out of four or five positions each week. I shall stay at this level for another few months. Strictly kindergarten stuff but I defy any bank to pay me this level of interest :)
Vince stanzioni still sends me invitations to give him bags of dosh and perhaps if I'm lucky to sit at his table for lunch :LOL:
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Experienced member
1,391 24
I'd buy a trader (in the market i was interested in) a meal and talk to him face to face.Its amazing what you can learn from doing that.


Senior member
2,212 274
Ok Naz,
What will it be French,Italian, your cuisine of choice and let's put this show on the road.

Footnote..the old adage never volunteer for anything may apply !



Experienced member
1,391 24
No i'm definitely not volunteering for it by the way,i've done all that before.But i've used it and i know others have used it on me. :)

It was going out for a meal with four traders in the city that made my mind up to trade the US markets.


Senior member
2,212 274
Ok cancel the order for the Chateau Neuf Du Pape,cancel the table at the Ba Rin Pa,cancel the plane tickets


Active member
133 1
Nice idea but the difficulty is finding one who's truly successful, willing & hungry enough.

Some time ago I tried coaxing a regular poster on these boards, who appeared to have a little worthwhile experience & was very local to me, into divulging a few 'secrets' or general anecdotes in return for beer/grub, but following a couple of PM's between us my requests fell on (ignorantly) deaf (blind) ears (eyes). Or maybe it's just me...? :cry:

If you’re new to the game just knowing where to look with any confidence can be a major problem.
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