The Trials and Tribulations of a Trainee Trader


OK it's time for another update

Over the last couple of days things have not been working too well for me - especially on the Nat Gas!

I got a bit bold with my winnings from last week and I've made three trades on gas all of which netted a loss and my total losses came to £2745.03 To be honest I m pretty much digusted with my performance this time.

The first of these bad trades was placed long $4.720 for 35000 contracts on 21/04 @ 18.24 but the gas price steadily declined that day and at a steeper rate than it was doing when I was trading against the market before that big jump. Because if that I was unable to get out of the trade at a profit and decided to leave it over night. If finally colsed out on a stop loss price of $4.677 at 09:26 and lost me £909.88

Unfortunately for me I then decided to place a position short $4.677 (when I had already told myself i would only trade long on Nat Gas) though i did put a guaranteed stop loss on this trade as I thought i would try that. This was placed on 22/04 at 09.38am as the decline in prices was still continuing. Of course the price instantly rallied, I placed another position short when it seemed to peak at $4.693 but it rallied again. The first of these closed out on me at $4.729 and I instantly closed the second one myself to prevent any further losses. However like I said I was £2745 down having had my fingers burnt badly.

I put this nasty little episode down to

Trying to trade a market after a big price jump when I couldn't see a clear pattern of trading

Bad discipline!! I twice went short in a market I had already decided to only trade long when conditions seemed favourable (market at or near previous support level). I also traded in an attempt to 'get back at the market' and cover my previous loss

The first of these three bad positions would have actually made me a decent profit if I had not set a stop loss - I need to think about the ramifications of that as I probably would not have entered the other two positions if I had let the first one pan out

OK some lessons learnt the hard way but in a strange way this maybe did me a favour. If things had gone well again I could easily start getting very over confident. And at least I still have a bit over £3000 of my previous gains so it's not all disaster.

I have also made three trades on shares again yesterday (Pandora /Ctrip) which netted me £140.98

Nothing too exciting to report about these but I have come to the realisation that I feel much more relaxed when I am in this sort of trade. Seeing as my intention is to earn £40 a day from trading I feel more confident I can achieve that goal in these sort of trades without ever riding the rollercoaster that seems to be Nat Gas prices!!

However I would still like to see if I can learn to effectively ride the rollercoaster, as a chllenge more than anything else

So what I have now done is to open a second demo account - I have two internet lines and 3PCs here in my office (the wife has her own PC) as I run my main business from home so one of these accounts is running on my 30m/bit cable line and the other on my 10m/bit DSL

I never set this up with the intention or even the idea of trading but from what reading I have done it could be an ideal setup for that purpose!

One demo account (the first one) I have £22.902.90 with no postions currently open and from henceforth I will use this one to hone my share trading techniques - with the intention of making £40 a day consistently. If this proves to be consistent and successful I will eventually graduate to a live account to trade by the same methodology

The other one has a fresh £20000 in it and I will use this for commodity trading only (Nat Gas for now but probably others later) and see whether or not I can learn to successfully ride that rollercoaster

I have by the way been watching the Nat Gas market today and very nearly placed a long trade $4.730 at around 11:35 this morning as I think I have spotted what looks like a new support level.

However I did not place it. If i had of done I could have closed out around $4.780 and netted £1750.00 on my usual contract size. Though I did not trade, I am encouraged by the fact I predicted a price rise in price coming. Prices have trailed off a bit now, if I see them hit what looks like the support level again I will certainly place a position this time

On the graph below you see the long position I did not place around 11:35 (though was extremely tempted) and S is the line where I perceived the support level to be



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OK guys just a quick report back

I did as I stated separate two trial accounts, one to trade shares and the other Nat Gas and other commodities

Sticking with what I am comfortable with, I place two four trades on Pandora and as I was not seeing much of interest on Ctrip I had a look around and found another likely candidate (share with a regular long term trend but just a nice amount of 'waggle' room) in a US clothing supplier called Abercrombie & Fitch

The result of these four trades was basically a £100 loss which I closed out myself and three gains totalling £98. The loss was my first trade which was Pandora. Interesting (to me) again, if I had not closed out that trade it would have made me a profit in 3-4hours

So pretty much break even there

The Nat Gas turned out to be much more interesting I think.

After I ducked out on a trade yesterday that would have made me a damn good profit (but at least I predicted it) I placed just three more trades as I found the market increasingly readable which made me respectively approx £80, £1200 and £600 so three winners on the run and a net gain of around £2000

I then saw a fourth trade looming as the pattern reset itself once again but this ime I didn't take it as I am about to fly out to the Canary Islands early in the morning for a week of sunshine

Howeve i 'gave' the tip to my friend who went 4K down last week when I got very lucky - he did take the trade and depending when he ducked out he could have made ~ £1000

The position sizes I am taking on Nat Gas BTW are around £650

I saved the graphs for these last few trades as I would like to discuss them here in a bit more detail when Iget back.... but for now it's sun sea, the other S word, and some trading related reading lined up on my Android Tablet

Back in a week and will post those charts of my latest trades

for now though.... see you all soon

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Well I am back from a week in the very sunny (and somewhat windy) Canary Islands and I have decided to look at the last few trades I made before I went on holiday to see if I can determine what went wrong (and right)

All these were placed on Natural Gas

The first one was a long position 35000 contracts approx £650 before leverage

Open $4.720 at 18:24 on 21/04 (point A on attached chart)
Close (on Stop Loss) $4.677 at 09:26 on 22/04 (point B attached on chart)
Net Loss £909.88
Chart is 1 hour candles

Looking at this trade in retrospect I can understand why I placed the position long at the point I did (price looked like it was at a support level and had been so for about 2 hours)

The market move rapidly and strongly against me at around 19:00 and my position closed on a stop loss I had set before 'hitting the sheets' for the night.

I'm extremely frustrated over this trade, as you will see from the chart my stop loss was placed very near or even at the lowest price point. Yet I placed it by looking back to the 17th April (first candle on this chart - point F) as this looked like a previous low point

If I had set my stop loss even a few tenths of a cent lower I would have still been in position. By 2pm the following day (point C) I would have broken even and by 21:00 that day (assuming I didn't close at a profit earlier) I would have a profit of £1120 as the price looks to have peaked around $4.752 at ponit D

My best guess is I shot myself in the foot with my own stop loss order. Or I was just damn well unlucky to the point of it all looking like a conspiracy agaisnt me lol

What lessons should I really learn from this trade though - that stop loss orders are not such a good thing? Did I place something wrong? Was I just really unlucky?

It's obvious in hindsite this could have been a winning trade (and a damn profitable one too) if I had just held the position a while longer - and the low point would not have been any worse than my chosen stop loss either

So from what little I learned so far this trade all looked like a good idea at the time. but what a mess!

I'd love to hear some advice over this from you guys, however I do have a few more charts to post yet... the next two were also losing trades on Nat Gas on 22/04


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Senior member
Rich, If your daily target is £40, why are you making such big trades on your demo ? you are trading with two accounts with 20k in each, Is this the account size you are planning to trade live with ? if not, why dont you try spreadbetting some of the stocks , 40 points at £1/point intraday should be achievable.
You would not need nowhere near that account size for £1 per point stakes, £500 area.


Next two trades went bad on me

I got onto what I thought was a bearish trend

I read that completely wrong

Having looked back at the chart for the hourly candles (and also the second one which is four hourly) I can see why I though that was the case as it looked like the big jump upward on the 17th April (which I profitted from nicely) was gradually being reversed

Despite making a rule that I would only go long on Nat Gas due to the Ukraine situation I then broke my own rules and placed two postions short. If i had not broken my own rule I would have waited a bit and probably gone long a couple of hours later

First Trade (A on hourly Chart)
Short 35000 contracts approx £650 before leverage
Open $4.677 on 22/04 @ 09:38
Close $4.729 on 22/04 @ 13:17 on Stop Loss Order (C on chart)
Net Loss £1139.16

Second Trade (B on Hourly chart)
Short 35000 contracts approx £650 before leverage
Open $4.693 on 22/04 @ 10:35
Close $4.730 on 22/04 @ 13:21 manually closed (C on Chart)
Net Loss £909.88

Looking at the charts I could have eventually have made a profit of around £3850 from these two positions combined if I had closed around midday of 25th - three days later however in the process I would have been about £8050 down at the worse point in between!!

To put these trades into the bigger picture, they were between points X and Y on the four hourly chart - which is why I thought prices were gonna fall. I was wrong,

The most sensible thing I think I did was get out of this trade. And I am not going short on again Nat Gas again while the Russia/Ukraine situation continues

So with that in mind, and licking my wounds, my next few trades on Nat Gas in the following days were good ones and recouped a large portion of my losses.....

Now let's see what if anything I did differently

To Be continued...


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Senior member
Thats the second time i've been ignored, wont be commenting again on this thread.


Hey Mike
Sorry you feel I was ignoring you this is not the case - I was doing something else at the same time and also creating these posts in a word processor then creating the graphs and uploading then post by copy pasting - so it took a little while to do

Hence I did not see your post between my own two! Please accept my apology, I can see why you think I ignored the post you made but that is not the case

Yeah I see your point

I'm playing with the two accounts mostly so I can try two different types of market and it helps me keep the results separate, that's all.

No in reality I would not be able to open a trading account of that size. I will be able to open one account of around £5000 but will not be able to do that until September as I need to use money that I can afford to lose and that is when my other business is at it's seasonal height

My idea at the moment is to see which market suits me best, try to analyze my results and worse exposure and then if I feel the risk vs reward is acceptable then trade in that market placing positions of 20% of what I am trying now (as my real account would be 20% of the size)

However if I can make more than 5x my intended profit from these paper positions I would then try a £5000 real account placing proportionally smaller positions (therefore less risk). If I can not make 5x intended profits with this play account then I would need to re-evaluate my opening capital, my risk level or reconsider my intended profits

I hope that offers some explanation of what I am doing and why. Whether It is really a sensible method to research my capabilities I don't know. It just makes sense to me.

That is why I post here so much - I want to learn and I trust you can see the reasons for my apparently ignoring your comments, which I was not. I actually value them.

PS Regards the first time I ignored you I'll go back and check, I didn't realise I had.
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Senior member
ok, no worries.

What i was trying to get across albeit pretty badly was, When I first started i was making a killing on the demo platforms, so much so that i couldnt wait to go live, I was angry with myself that i had not found out earlier about trading stocks and shares. But, i managed with help from many members on here to understand about trading more and more over the coming months, I read countless books, demo traded different strategies and eventually went live. In reality it is much harder than you could even imagine. trade the demo as if it was your live account, if you are going to put in 5k when you do go live then trade as if that is your balance and place trades within that margin, Forget about the 20k and making big money on some trades,Its totally meaningless.

focus on a strategy that gives you a constant amount of points/pips, not big gains and bigger losses. Once you have mastered that then you can steadily increase you're stake. money management is the key to trading, took me a long time to realise, but you will get there.


When I first started i was making a killing on the demo platforms, so much so that i couldnt wait to go live, I was angry with myself that i had not found out earlier about trading stocks and shares. But, i managed with help from many members on here to understand about trading more and more over the coming months, I read countless books, demo traded different strategies and eventually went live.[/unquote]

Can I take from that statement then at least it is possible with some hard work to actually do this

What's the difference between making a killing on demo platforms and doing it in real life, is it simply that having a smaller trading account limits you more (obviously I guess) or is it a more psychological thing - that even with a £20K real account it would not be possible to replicate the killing you made on a £20K paper account?

Anyway before you feel I am ignoring advice :innocent:, I did say I would post my other previous trades on Nat Gas - the ones that worked and recovered most of my previous losses - so I will do so

OK I had four trades that gave profit and no bad ones - With all these trades i went back to my original strategy of only Trading Long, andf giving the trades a bit of 'breathing room' to work rather than closing them at a loss

Nat Gas (A-B on attached chart)
Long 35000 contracts approx £650 before leverage
Open $4.766 on 23/04 @ 13:46
Close $4.770 on 23/04 @15:11
Profit £83.34 (maunually closed with double that profit at $4.772 but jittery price slipped on me)

Looking at the chart I could not have made any more once I placed the trade so I'm happy with it

Nat Gas (C-E on attached chart)
Long 35000 contracts approx £650 before leverage
Open $4.764 on 23/04 @ 15:24
Close $4.775 on 24/04 @ 03:20 (profit call)
Profit £229.33

Happy enough with that one, I woke up to find I ha banked my hoped for profit

Nat Gas (D-E on attached chart)
Long 70000 contracts approx £1300 before leverage
Open $4.745 on 24/04 @ 00:58
Close $4.773 on 24/04 @ 03:20 (profit call)
Profit £1157.50

I was a bit bold on that one just before retiring to bed, but all the signals (suppor, resistance etc) looked sop good I placed twice my normal position size, but again woke up to a nice profit as my Profit Call was hit

Nat Gas (X-Y on attached chart)
Long 35000 contracts approx £650 before leverage
Open $4.764 on 24/04 @ 09:45
Close $4.790 on 24/04 @ 12:13 (profit call)
Profit £541.57

Now this last trade I am actually proud of - I feel I called this one spot on - with my profit call (based on the bottom end of the overnight highs range) being absolutely spot on - not even 0.001 cents out! I hope that is a justifiable feeling

OK so that is the last of the Nat Gas trades I placed beofe I went on hols - ther are also a few more Shares trades (All good) I haven't posted.

So far I made 29 trades of which only 6 were loss making - however I made some quite big losses as well as profits

Running total so far £2916 profit

Now like you say that is with £20000 paper accounts (not £25000 as I mistakenly said previously)

So if I was placing positions a quarter of that size on a £5000 real accountI would so far be about £730 up with 16 days of actual trading - so a good way ahead of my £200 a week target.

However I'm now going to go back and have a look at my maximum exposure on all my trades, as a percentage of my trading account, as I think probably I was hitting levels I would not be comfortable with

Oh one other thing you said Mike - I'm also going to have a good look at my six bad trades as something possibly interesting has occurred to me

Back laters


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Senior member
Can I take from that statement then at least it is possible with some hard work to actually do this.

Absolutely, just a lot harder than you imagine at the moment.

What's the difference between making a killing on demo platforms and doing it in real life, is it simply that having a smaller trading account limits you more (obviously I guess) or is it a more psychological thing - that even with a £20K real account it would not be possible to replicate the killing you made on a £20K paper account?

The psychological thing is the biggest barrier here, ill give you a example below of a demo trade i made that opened my eyes.


I made this demo trade over a year ago, to cut a long story short, I wanted to jump on the bandwagon of the facebook ipo due to all the hype that surrounded it, i had been very successful on many other trades over previous months trading from gut feeling with no strategy, so i saw this as a big earner.

My thought process was that:- facebook chose nasdaq to float on, I checked nasdaq on the daily and h4 charts and found it was in a noticeable uptrend, So, with one of the biggest ipo's going live at a certain time of day this baby is going to sky rocket. I went long on the nasdaq about 50-100 £/point, not sure which.

I often felt smug that i was choosing all these winners and making all this money with virtually no experience, a natural one might say, ha ha .

Anyway, price began to steadily fall leading up to the open time, I wasn't worried though because it was going to spike through the top of the screen very soon, I held in as it continued to drop, the open was delayed for whatever reason and price was still falling, I am about 3k down now with no stoploss, no money management and no strategy, destined to fail. As the ipo went live it tanked like a brick, so did the nasdaq.

So now im down about 7k, It then becomes damage limitation, I kept saying to myself once it rises back to "x level" im out, Price would come within a few points of this level then drop even further. I eventually closed out about minus 9k. The whole trade was wrong from the open, did it bother me ? No!, because its only demo cash, did i learn from it ? Absolutely.


That's an interesting and sobering tale Mike

I could see myself right of now getting into the same problems

Only thing I would feel different is when you say 'Did it bother me? No! beacuse it's only demo cash'

From my point of view I can tell you now it would bother me - YES

Reason being if I can't get this paper account to work I probably will not trade live ever.

And it's something I want.

But I have to prove to myself I am capable first. If not I'll go back to antiques/collectables auctions and selling the goodies online - at least from prior experience I know I can make money on that as a 'sideline'

Seeing as we have a bit of an open rapport going here - or at least I would like to believe you are doing more than just 'humouring' me - how did you come back from that disaster and eventually go live?

Oh PS - not fully explained previously but something you said on an earlier post here regards risk management - has got me needing to go back and look at all my failed trades and do a bit of analysis regards P&L and maximum exposure levels . It's all tied in with my percentage risk on my demo account re my risk on my proposed live account, so I need to find out if I am on to something or not

PPS I mistyped my paper profits so far - they are £4916 or in other words not much short of a projected £1250 if I had used quarter sized positions on my proposed 'live' £5k account - well over double what I would have liked to achieve in 16 days.

This suggests to me if I could maintain this sort of performance then I can get away with about 1/8 the position sizes (or less) than I am now placing to generate my intended profit

So therefore I would be taking about half the current play account risk level on my quarter sized live account - or less.

I'm still yet to calculate if that would feel acceptable to me in real money terms

best regards
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Senior member
Firstly, every trader trades different, there is no right way but many wrong way's, so, find your own comfort zone, dont follow other peoples signals or strategies but work on your own.

ill explain my journey briefly, Firstly I traded various different instruments on demo using technical analysis.

When I did go live I finally settled for forex, why ? Probably because of its volatility and 24/5 market hours. I daytraded on a part time basis when i was off work and some evenings, vary rarely leaving a position open overnight, unless it was near my t/p and the stop was moved to b/e.

Due to this lack of free time, i was getting impatient sitting watching a trade all day and sometimes well into the night, I wanted to get stuck in and trade as much as possible with what little time i had.

I developed a scalping strategy which is still in its early days but am using now. It suites my trading style much better. I spreadbet the market due to the fact that its a great entry level vehicle to become involved using a small account size and i've not had a strong enough reason to move on to a forex broker as yet.

Everyone said that i would blow the account within a few weeks, well, i'm still here a year on, profitable, enjoying it and the laptop hasn't been thrown out the window as yet. :LOL:

P.S, A quote from a member on here that ill always remember. You mentioned earlier, "Is there much difference between a demo and when you go live ? "

Well...Imagine a close combat scenario, crouched behind a small wall in iraq taking incoming fire, Then compare that to playing call of duty.
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Tahnks for that insight Mike - as ever I find this site a great source of things to ponder and think about. Yes I am trying to develop my own style but info and guidance are a good thing. cheers

Right then....

I've been thinking and I've done some math'matics! too lol

As I was only trading before going on holiday (will recommence tomorrow) I actually placed 29 trades over 16 days

23 were good
6 were bad

So my success rate was 79%

Now looking back at those bad trades and analyzing what would have happened if I handled them differently

The first one lost £151.66 but would have made me a profit of about £150 if I had let it run for four more hours (assuming I got out at the right time) max exposure would have been £600

So in breif
First One (CTrip)
Loss was £151.66
Potential Profit was £150 (four hours after I closed)
Max Exposure would be £-600

Second one (Pandora)
Loss was £301.35
Potential Profit was £804 (13 days after I closed)
Max Exposure would be -£1551

3rd one (Nat Gas)
Loss was £909.88
Potential Profit was £1050 (15 hours after I closed)
Max Exposure WAS -£908.88 (as I managed to close at exactly the wrong point!)

4th one (Nat Gas)
Loss was £1139.16
Potential Profit was £1645 (3 days after I closed)
Max Exposure would be -£3605 (eeek!!)

5th One (Nat Gas)
Loss was £827.26
Potential Profit was £630 (3 days after I closed)
Max Exposure would be -£3045 (eeek!!)

6th One (Pandora)
Loss was £98.26
Potential Profit was --- would not have made a profit yet
Max Exposure (so far!) would be -£2136

Now on my Paper account I have been setting a stop loss of £1000 or there abouts for Nat Gas (and a smaller stop loss of £200 for shares) though i haven't religeously applied these limits. The difference was intended to handle the more volitile NAt Gas Market and stay in position long enough to make some profits

As my paper account of £20000 is four time the size of my proposed live account (£5000) then my current stops would be the equivalent a £250 stop loss on Gas and £50 on shares

Assuming I took contracts of 25% the size I have been taking on my paper account all these six bad trades would still hit my stop loss of course


Looking at my profits so far I have made a total of £4916 net profit (including the losses on the six bad trades)

Scale that down to my proposed live account That is a net profit of £1229

Now that was made over a period of 16 days but only 13 of those were trading days (I'm not counting Sat/Sun)

So my profit per trading day (scaled down to 25% for my live account) would have been £94.50 per day

My intended profit level is £40 per day so to be comfortable I would only need to place half the size positions I am now placing to achieve that profit and maybe a bit more.

So basically 12.5% the size of my current positions would need to be placed using my £5000 live account to generate £40+ per day, at my current performance level.

Now let's look back at the bad trades I made
If I placed the same positions with 12.5% the size, but kept my stop loss at £250 - so half the size positions with the same stop loss as before - and yes I realise it's 5% of my account size) and stuck religously to it then

Bad Trade 1: max exposure would have been £75
Bad Trade 2: max exposure would have been £193.88
Bad Trade 3: max exposure would have been £113.61
Bad Trade 4: max exposure would have been £450.53
Bad Trade 5: max exposure would have been £380.63
Bad Trade 6: max exposure would have been £267

So the first three would have been good trades, the last three would have all stopped out at £250 each assuming I didn't close them earlier

Additional profits from the bad trades that are now good because by taking smaller positions they didn't hit my stop loss... would be £2055.66 x 12.5% = £250.71 scaled to my live account

Success rate on positions placed so far would now be 26 good, 3 bad = 90%

So with all that lot reasoned out, and listening to what you say Mike (or at least applying my own take on it)

On my paper account I'm now gonna trade positions of 1/8th (12.5%) of my current contract sizes and set a fixed stop loss at £250 per trade - and let trades pan out to see if they profit, even if it takes some of them several days

Because my success rate has been high thus far, I want to try this as a trading plan for some weeks and see how it pans out. So let's call my paper account my 'simulated account' as I am henceforth trading it like a £5k live account

Oh With my other paper account - well I am gonna use that one to test new shares or commodities to see how they trade, and whether i can get a good success rate with these same stop loss levels, before trying them on simulated account

Let's face it if/when I go live I can still keep a paper account for testing so that seems realistic enough

Sorry for yet another long post while I deliberated this with myself, but I do find putting all this down in print helps ME to rationalise my own thoughts and maybe someone can point out any glaring errors I make.

Maybe it even helps or interests someone else to read this too so I'll keep posting

Whatever happens, it should be interesting.......

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Senior member
Your on the right track analysing all your trades, especially the bad ones.

What form of analysis are you using ? technical, fundamental or a mixture of both, to pick a trade and a entry ?

secondly, how many of the above trades were running simultaneously ? there's a lot of exposure when added together.


OK that's nice to know

Re: simultaneous trades mmmm let me check that - from top of my head I once ran three trades (yes just before that huge - to me - jump in nat gas prices) but other than that normally only one at a time and occassionaly two, sometimes on different shares/commodities.

I'll get back with an exact answer


Yep as I thought, I normally only have one position open at once, though I did have three positions opened simultaneously at one point

Regards method of placig trades - basically I am using technical analysis.

However in the case of Nat Gas I am only trading long as I expect sudden price jumps upwards if the Ukraine situation deteriorates further, rather than sudden jumps downwards - so I am trading long when the conditions in the technical analysis look promising. And ignoring short opportunities even if they look good.

So in that respect you could say I am using fundamental analysis too

On the shares it is purely technical analysis - I traded Pandora for several days before I even found out that it was not the Jewelery company. but an internet radio provider of the same name!!! :eek:

I'll make up a chart later and try to explain the trading system I am currently developing/using. Then someone can probably soot me down in flames :whistling

Anyway other than that, I placed the follwoing trade on Nat Gas yesterday evening as the indicators looked really promising. I meant to do this as though i was using my £5000 as discussed in the previous post.

However in a rush to get the position opened - which I did hit at pretty much the right moment if you look at the chart and allowing for the .004 spread on opening - I made a mistake of opening with 7000 contracts when my mathematics show I should have opened with 4375 contracts.

Actually in reality I would have to open with 4500 contracts as they are in lots of 500 and that is the nearest position size rounded up or down

So here is the first trade really sticking to my plan. And it worked nicely :)

Nat Gas
Opened long 7000 contracts price $4.686 on 05/05 @ 19:00
cost approx £200 (I must start noting these down as i can't get the data later)
Closed on profit call price $4.710 on 06/05 @ 05:20
Profit £96.59

Graph is attached, trade took place between points A and B

I think that looks pretty good - yeah if I extrapolate the line to point C then I could have made more by 07:30am but I am not dissappointed in the slightest, I placed my profit call where I best predicted it

I'll try another similar trade later today if indicators are good



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Well I just completed my first week on my simulated account, trading as though this was a £5000 account which is the size I will open with if I do eventually go live

It wasn't a bad week overall - and I learned something real important too!

I've been trading Natural Gas, plus shares in Pandora, Ctrip and Abercrombie & Fitch

I've placed 15 trades of which only one made me a loss

The 14 good trades made me £369.50
The one bad one lost me £257.37

So I have a net profit of £112.13

My Trading success rate was 93.33% I made a couple of trades I was really happy with, three of my best four trades were closed on profit calls and I seem to do better using this method than sitting watching the trade as I tend to get nervous and quit out sooner than I should

I also placed two totally automated trades, placing order price, profit and loss calls and just letting the trade sort itself out

One thing I really did notice, placing trades for a smaller number of contracts relative to my account size has made things seem a lot less like a rollercoaster ride and actually quite relaxing at times.

The trade that lost me a lot of money was on Natural Gas which took a strong dive on Thursday around 3:30pm.

Now the interesting things is I did a google search to see if I could shed any light on my sudden misfortune and found out that on Thursdays there is a weekly announcement regarding gas supply and reserves and this week the levels were higher than the market expected - so of course the price fell suddenly.
Storage build is slightly larger than market expectations. Market expectations called for a build of 71 Bcf. When the EIA storage report was released at 10:30 a.m., the price for the June natural gas futures contract fell 9 cents to $4.60/MMBtu on the Nymex. Prices continued trading around that level in the hour following the release.

Just looking back over the last few weeks, both times I have benefitted from sudden jumps in gas prices have been Thursday afternoons around 3:30pm!

So what did I learn, well I really need to know more about a market if I am trading in it and hope to be consistently successful. SImply but obvious.

I did previously post on this thread 'I'll keep a track of my progress on here and if nothing else it will give you all a good laugh when things go tits up for totally predictable reasons'.

Well sudden Nat Gas price jumps on Thursday afternoons should have been totally predictable. Not the direction of them, just the likelyhood of one occurring

OK so another lesson learnt - I'll make sure I don't have any open positions on Nat Gas on a Thursday afternoon - but I will make a point of watching what happens about 3:30pm GMT and see if I can jump onto the bandwagon if I see a sudden price shange occur.

If i had known before about these Nat Gas announcements I may well have had a 100% success rate on my first week of proper simulated trading, by simply making sure I was doing nothing at the critical time.

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Senior member
Well done Rich, looks like your coming on leaps and bounds, especially doing your due diligence on company profiles.

One concern is, and you know already what im going to say... such a huge loss on one trade, which nearly cancels out all the hard work from the other trades, learn to take small losses, If it goes against you, get out ! You can always jump back in when price starts to rise again. Don't sit and watch your account evaporate expecting price to turn any moment.


Wasn't so much that Mike - as mentioned in my previous post Nat Gas suddenly bombed on me, no chance of a loss call - but at least I did a little reseach and now I have learned the significance on Thursday 3:30pm re: Nat Gas, and won't be caught with that particular one again! Not to say there are not plenty of other holes to fall in.
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