In order to make it clear to my audience, I have changed the way I label my trades. From now on they will be labeled as follows:
First place marker = Trade No.
Second place marker = Indicates the entry or exit
“1L, 101.50” = Trade No.1, long @ 101.50
“1E, 101.75” = Trade No.1, exit @ 101.75
“2S, 101.50” = Trade No. 2, short @ 101.50
“2E, 101.25” = Trade No. 2, exit @ 101.25
I like to keep things simple. I use very few indicators. They are lagging, and by the time they give a signal, in many cases, its too late. They are based upon price action, so why not just use price action? Let your eyes be your guide. There are literally hundreds of indicators out there and they can really get your head spinning. Don’t get me wrong, if you use them and can profit with them, by all means, continue to rock on with them…..they’re just not for me. I will use some moving averages to give me a feel for the direction/strength of a trend.
I use basic support/resistance, trend lines and fibonacci. I will also try to detect momentum shifts in the price action by comparing the angles of the of the advances and declines. But really, the most important thing of all is money and risk management. You must be able to accept losses. You must go into a trade being ok with accepting a loss. You must be willing to take that loss without hesitation. Its not about one trade, but what you do over the course of “x” number of trades. Losing is part of this business. It will happen…..many, many times…..just accept it. Its part of the cost of doing business. I see many traders who cannot take a loss and “average down” by entering more positions as price goes against them. This method will work for you for awhile, but eventually it will get the best of you and you will suffer a HUGE loss that will bring a grown man to his knees crying…..so don’t EVER average down. If you’re wrong, get the hell out. If you are getting stopped out too much, then you need to work on your trade placement and I would recommend that you stop trading with real money and go back to the simulator until you can get profitable. And when you do use the sim, do not trade like you’re some millionaire. Trade exactly like you would if it was with your REAL money.
Your reward/risk ratio should be at minimum 2:1. With this, you can still win only 40% of the time and be profitable.
Do not ever trade to just get back even and re-coup your losses. Every trade is a separate event, and mutually exclusive of your last trade. Forget about that last loss and DO NOT let it affect the decisions involved in your next trade. That last trade is over and in the past and has nothing to do with your next trade.
Do not ever take a trade based on a hunch. Do not ever take a trade to “try” something. Before you place your trade, be DAMN SURE that your profit target will meet your minimum reward/risk ratio. Example…..don’t enter a trade if you think you can only make 8 ticks in crude oil and you’re risk is 10 ticks. You will eventually blow out your account like that.