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Former investment bank FX trader: some thoughts

Former investment bank FX trader: some thoughts
Hi guys,
I have been using reddit for years in my personal life (not trading!) and wanted to give something back in an area where i am an expert.
I worked at an investment bank for seven years and joined them as a graduate FX trader so have lots of professional experience, by which i mean I was trained and paid by a big institution to trade on their behalf. This is very different to being a full-time home trader, although that is not to discredit those guys, who can accumulate a good amount of experience/wisdom through self learning.
When I get time I'm going to write a mid-length posts on each topic for you guys along the lines of how i was trained. I guess there would be 15-20 topics in total so about 50-60 posts. Feel free to comment or ask questions.
The first topic is Risk Management and we'll cover it in three parts
Part I
  • Why it matters
  • Position sizing
  • Kelly
  • Using stops sensibly
  • Picking a clear level

Why it matters

The first rule of making money through trading is to ensure you do not lose money. Look at any serious hedge fund’s website and they’ll talk about their first priority being “preservation of investor capital.”
You have to keep it before you grow it.
Strangely, if you look at retail trading websites, for every one article on risk management there are probably fifty on trade selection. This is completely the wrong way around.
The great news is that this stuff is pretty simple and process-driven. Anyone can learn and follow best practices.
Seriously, avoiding mistakes is one of the most important things: there's not some holy grail system for finding winning trades, rather a routine and fairly boring set of processes that ensure that you are profitable, despite having plenty of losing trades alongside the winners.

Capital and position sizing

The first thing you have to know is how much capital you are working with. Let’s say you have $100,000 deposited. This is your maximum trading capital. Your trading capital is not the leveraged amount. It is the amount of money you have deposited and can withdraw or lose.
Position sizing is what ensures that a losing streak does not take you out of the market.
A rule of thumb is that one should risk no more than 2% of one’s account balance on an individual trade and no more than 8% of one’s account balance on a specific theme. We’ll look at why that’s a rule of thumb later. For now let’s just accept those numbers and look at examples.
So we have $100,000 in our account. And we wish to buy EURUSD. We should therefore not be risking more than 2% which $2,000.
We look at a technical chart and decide to leave a stop below the monthly low, which is 55 pips below market. We’ll come back to this in a bit. So what should our position size be?
We go to the calculator page, select Position Size and enter our details. There are many such calculators online - just google "Pip calculator".

https://preview.redd.it/y38zb666e5h51.jpg?width=1200&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=26e4fe569dc5c1f43ce4c746230c49b138691d14
So the appropriate size is a buy position of 363,636 EURUSD. If it reaches our stop level we know we’ll lose precisely $2,000 or 2% of our capital.
You should be using this calculator (or something similar) on every single trade so that you know your risk.
Now imagine that we have similar bets on EURJPY and EURGBP, which have also broken above moving averages. Clearly this EUR-momentum is a theme. If it works all three bets are likely to pay off. But if it goes wrong we are likely to lose on all three at once. We are going to look at this concept of correlation in more detail later.
The total amount of risk in our portfolio - if all of the trades on this EUR-momentum theme were to hit their stops - should not exceed $8,000 or 8% of total capital. This allows us to go big on themes we like without going bust when the theme does not work.
As we’ll see later, many traders only win on 40-60% of trades. So you have to accept losing trades will be common and ensure you size trades so they cannot ruin you.
Similarly, like poker players, we should risk more on trades we feel confident about and less on trades that seem less compelling. However, this should always be subject to overall position sizing constraints.
For example before you put on each trade you might rate the strength of your conviction in the trade and allocate a position size accordingly:

https://preview.redd.it/q2ea6rgae5h51.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=4332cb8d0bbbc3d8db972c1f28e8189105393e5b
To keep yourself disciplined you should try to ensure that no more than one in twenty trades are graded exceptional and allocated 5% of account balance risk. It really should be a rare moment when all the stars align for you.
Notice that the nice thing about dealing in percentages is that it scales. Say you start out with $100,000 but end the year up 50% at $150,000. Now a 1% bet will risk $1,500 rather than $1,000. That makes sense as your capital has grown.
It is extremely common for retail accounts to blow-up by making only 4-5 losing trades because they are leveraged at 50:1 and have taken on far too large a position, relative to their account balance.
Consider that GBPUSD tends to move 1% each day. If you have an account balance of $10k then it would be crazy to take a position of $500k (50:1 leveraged). A 1% move on $500k is $5k.
Two perfectly regular down days in a row — or a single day’s move of 2% — and you will receive a margin call from the broker, have the account closed out, and have lost all your money.
Do not let this happen to you. Use position sizing discipline to protect yourself.

Kelly Criterion

If you’re wondering - why “about 2%” per trade? - that’s a fair question. Why not 0.5% or 10% or any other number?
The Kelly Criterion is a formula that was adapted for use in casinos. If you know the odds of winning and the expected pay-off, it tells you how much you should bet in each round.
This is harder than it sounds. Let’s say you could bet on a weighted coin flip, where it lands on heads 60% of the time and tails 40% of the time. The payout is $2 per $1 bet.
Well, absolutely you should bet. The odds are in your favour. But if you have, say, $100 it is less obvious how much you should bet to avoid ruin.
Say you bet $50, the odds that it could land on tails twice in a row are 16%. You could easily be out after the first two flips.
Equally, betting $1 is not going to maximise your advantage. The odds are 60/40 in your favour so only betting $1 is likely too conservative. The Kelly Criterion is a formula that produces the long-run optimal bet size, given the odds.
Applying the formula to forex trading looks like this:
Position size % = Winning trade % - ( (1- Winning trade %) / Risk-reward ratio
If you have recorded hundreds of trades in your journal - see next chapter - you can calculate what this outputs for you specifically.
If you don't have hundreds of trades then let’s assume some realistic defaults of Winning trade % being 30% and Risk-reward ratio being 3. The 3 implies your TP is 3x the distance of your stop from entry e.g. 300 pips take profit and 100 pips stop loss.
So that’s 0.3 - (1 - 0.3) / 3 = 6.6%.
Hold on a second. 6.6% of your account probably feels like a LOT to risk per trade.This is the main observation people have on Kelly: whilst it may optimise the long-run results it doesn’t take into account the pain of drawdowns. It is better thought of as the rational maximum limit. You needn’t go right up to the limit!
With a 30% winning trade ratio, the odds of you losing on four trades in a row is nearly one in four. That would result in a drawdown of nearly a quarter of your starting account balance. Could you really stomach that and put on the fifth trade, cool as ice? Most of us could not.
Accordingly people tend to reduce the bet size. For example, let’s say you know you would feel emotionally affected by losing 25% of your account.
Well, the simplest way is to divide the Kelly output by four. You have effectively hidden 75% of your account balance from Kelly and it is now optimised to avoid a total wipeout of just the 25% it can see.
This gives 6.6% / 4 = 1.65%. Of course different trading approaches and different risk appetites will provide different optimal bet sizes but as a rule of thumb something between 1-2% is appropriate for the style and risk appetite of most retail traders.
Incidentally be very wary of systems or traders who claim high winning trade % like 80%. Invariably these don’t pass a basic sense-check:
  • How many live trades have you done? Often they’ll have done only a handful of real trades and the rest are simulated backtests, which are overfitted. The model will soon die.
  • What is your risk-reward ratio on each trade? If you have a take profit $3 away and a stop loss $100 away, of course most trades will be winners. You will not be making money, however! In general most traders should trade smaller position sizes and less frequently than they do. If you are going to bias one way or the other, far better to start off too small.

How to use stop losses sensibly

Stop losses have a bad reputation amongst the retail community but are absolutely essential to risk management. No serious discretionary trader can operate without them.
A stop loss is a resting order, left with the broker, to automatically close your position if it reaches a certain price. For a recap on the various order types visit this chapter.
The valid concern with stop losses is that disreputable brokers look for a concentration of stops and then, when the market is close, whipsaw the price through the stop levels so that the clients ‘stop out’ and sell to the broker at a low rate before the market naturally comes back higher. This is referred to as ‘stop hunting’.
This would be extremely immoral behaviour and the way to guard against it is to use a highly reputable top-tier broker in a well regulated region such as the UK.
Why are stop losses so important? Well, there is no other way to manage risk with certainty.
You should always have a pre-determined stop loss before you put on a trade. Not having one is a recipe for disaster: you will find yourself emotionally attached to the trade as it goes against you and it will be extremely hard to cut the loss. This is a well known behavioural bias that we’ll explore in a later chapter.
Learning to take a loss and move on rationally is a key lesson for new traders.
A common mistake is to think of the market as a personal nemesis. The market, of course, is totally impersonal; it doesn’t care whether you make money or not.
Bruce Kovner, founder of the hedge fund Caxton Associates
There is an old saying amongst bank traders which is “losers average losers”.
It is tempting, having bought EURUSD and seeing it go lower, to buy more. Your average price will improve if you keep buying as it goes lower. If it was cheap before it must be a bargain now, right? Wrong.
Where does that end? Always have a pre-determined cut-off point which limits your risk. A level where you know the reason for the trade was proved ‘wrong’ ... and stick to it strictly. If you trade using discretion, use stops.

Picking a clear level

Where you leave your stop loss is key.
Typically traders will leave them at big technical levels such as recent highs or lows. For example if EURUSD is trading at 1.1250 and the recent month’s low is 1.1205 then leaving it just below at 1.1200 seems sensible.

If you were going long, just below the double bottom support zone seems like a sensible area to leave a stop
You want to give it a bit of breathing room as we know support zones often get challenged before the price rallies. This is because lots of traders identify the same zones. You won’t be the only one selling around 1.1200.
The “weak hands” who leave their sell stop order at exactly the level are likely to get taken out as the market tests the support. Those who leave it ten or fifteen pips below the level have more breathing room and will survive a quick test of the level before a resumed run-up.
Your timeframe and trading style clearly play a part. Here’s a candlestick chart (one candle is one day) for GBPUSD.

https://preview.redd.it/moyngdy4f5h51.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=91af88da00dd3a09e202880d8029b0ddf04fb802
If you are putting on a trend-following trade you expect to hold for weeks then you need to have a stop loss that can withstand the daily noise. Look at the downtrend on the chart. There were plenty of days in which the price rallied 60 pips or more during the wider downtrend.
So having a really tight stop of, say, 25 pips that gets chopped up in noisy short-term moves is not going to work for this kind of trade. You need to use a wider stop and take a smaller position size, determined by the stop level.
There are several tools you can use to help you estimate what is a safe distance and we’ll look at those in the next section.
There are of course exceptions. For example, if you are doing range-break style trading you might have a really tight stop, set just below the previous range high.

https://preview.redd.it/ygy0tko7f5h51.png?width=1200&format=png&auto=webp&s=34af49da61c911befdc0db26af66f6c313556c81
Clearly then where you set stops will depend on your trading style as well as your holding horizons and the volatility of each instrument.
Here are some guidelines that can help:
  1. Use technical analysis to pick important levels (support, resistance, previous high/lows, moving averages etc.) as these provide clear exit and entry points on a trade.
  2. Ensure that the stop gives your trade enough room to breathe and reflects your timeframe and typical volatility of each pair. See next section.
  3. Always pick your stop level first. Then use a calculator to determine the appropriate lot size for the position, based on the % of your account balance you wish to risk on the trade.
So far we have talked about price-based stops. There is another sort which is more of a fundamental stop, used alongside - not instead of - price stops. If either breaks you’re out.
For example if you stop understanding why a product is going up or down and your fundamental thesis has been confirmed wrong, get out. For example, if you are long because you think the central bank is turning hawkish and AUDUSD is going to play catch up with rates … then you hear dovish noises from the central bank and the bond yields retrace lower and back in line with the currency - close your AUDUSD position. You already know your thesis was wrong. No need to give away more money to the market.

Coming up in part II

EDIT: part II here
Letting stops breathe
When to change a stop
Entering and exiting winning positions
Risk:reward ratios
Risk-adjusted returns

Coming up in part III

Squeezes and other risks
Market positioning
Bet correlation
Crap trades, timeouts and monthly limits

***
Disclaimer:This content is not investment advice and you should not place any reliance on it. The views expressed are the author's own and should not be attributed to any other person, including their employer.
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Former investment bank FX trader: Risk management part II

Former investment bank FX trader: Risk management part II
Firstly, thanks for the overwhelming comments and feedback. Genuinely really appreciated. I am pleased 500+ of you find it useful.
If you didn't read the first post you can do so here: risk management part I. You'll need to do so in order to make sense of the topic.
As ever please comment/reply below with questions or feedback and I'll do my best to get back to you.
Part II
  • Letting stops breathe
  • When to change a stop
  • Entering and exiting winning positions
  • Risk:reward ratios
  • Risk-adjusted returns

Letting stops breathe

We talked earlier about giving a position enough room to breathe so it is not stopped out in day-to-day noise.
Let’s consider the chart below and imagine you had a trailing stop. It would be super painful to miss out on the wider move just because you left a stop that was too tight.

Imagine being long and stopped out on a meaningless retracement ... ouch!
One simple technique is simply to look at your chosen chart - let’s say daily bars. And then look at previous trends and use the measuring tool. Those generally look something like this and then you just click and drag to measure.
For example if we wanted to bet on a downtrend on the chart above we might look at the biggest retracement on the previous uptrend. That max drawdown was about 100 pips or just under 1%. So you’d want your stop to be able to withstand at least that.
If market conditions have changed - for example if CVIX has risen - and daily ranges are now higher you should incorporate that. If you know a big event is coming up you might think about that, too. The human brain is a remarkable tool and the power of the eye-ball method is not to be dismissed. This is how most discretionary traders do it.
There are also more analytical approaches.
Some look at the Average True Range (ATR). This attempts to capture the volatility of a pair, typically averaged over a number of sessions. It looks at three separate measures and takes the largest reading. Think of this as a moving average of how much a pair moves.
For example, below shows the daily move in EURUSD was around 60 pips before spiking to 140 pips in March. Conditions were clearly far more volatile in March. Accordingly, you would need to leave your stop further away in March and take a correspondingly smaller position size.

ATR is available on pretty much all charting systems
Professional traders tend to use standard deviation as a measure of volatility instead of ATR. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Averages are useful but can be misleading when regimes switch (see above chart).
Once you have chosen a measure of volatility, stop distance can then be back-tested and optimised. For example does 2x ATR work best or 5x ATR for a given style and time horizon?
Discretionary traders may still eye-ball the ATR or standard deviation to get a feeling for how it has changed over time and what ‘normal’ feels like for a chosen study period - daily, weekly, monthly etc.

Reasons to change a stop

As a general rule you should be disciplined and not change your stops. Remember - losers average losers. This is really hard at first and we’re going to look at that in more detail later.
There are some good reasons to modify stops but they are rare.
One reason is if another risk management process demands you stop trading and close positions. We’ll look at this later. In that case just close out your positions at market and take the loss/gains as they are.
Another is event risk. If you have some big upcoming data like Non Farm Payrolls that you know can move the market +/- 150 pips and you have no edge going into the release then many traders will take off or scale down their positions. They’ll go back into the positions when the data is out and the market has quietened down after fifteen minutes or so. This is a matter of some debate - many traders consider it a coin toss and argue you win some and lose some and it all averages out.
Trailing stops can also be used to ‘lock in’ profits. We looked at those before. As the trade moves in your favour (say up if you are long) the stop loss ratchets with it. This means you may well end up ‘stopping out’ at a profit - as per the below example.

The mighty trailing stop loss order
It is perfectly reasonable to have your stop loss move in the direction of PNL. This is not exposing you to more risk than you originally were comfortable with. It is taking less and less risk as the trade moves in your favour. Trend-followers in particular love trailing stops.
One final question traders ask is what they should do if they get stopped out but still like the trade. Should they try the same trade again a day later for the same reasons? Nope. Look for a different trade rather than getting emotionally wed to the original idea.
Let’s say a particular stock looked cheap based on valuation metrics yesterday, you bought, it went down and you got stopped out. Well, it is going to look even better on those same metrics today. Maybe the market just doesn’t respect value at the moment and is driven by momentum. Wait it out.
Otherwise, why even have a stop in the first place?

Entering and exiting winning positions

Take profits are the opposite of stop losses. They are also resting orders, left with the broker, to automatically close your position if it reaches a certain price.
Imagine I’m long EURUSD at 1.1250. If it hits a previous high of 1.1400 (150 pips higher) I will leave a sell order to take profit and close the position.
The rookie mistake on take profits is to take profit too early. One should start from the assumption that you will win on no more than half of your trades. Therefore you will need to ensure that you win more on the ones that work than you lose on those that don’t.

Sad to say but incredibly common: retail traders often take profits way too early
This is going to be the exact opposite of what your emotions want you to do. We are going to look at that in the Psychology of Trading chapter.
Remember: let winners run. Just like stops you need to know in advance the level where you will close out at a profit. Then let the trade happen. Don’t override yourself and let emotions force you to take a small profit. A classic mistake to avoid.
The trader puts on a trade and it almost stops out before rebounding. As soon as it is slightly in the money they spook and cut out, instead of letting it run to their original take profit. Do not do this.

Entering positions with limit orders

That covers exiting a position but how about getting into one?
Take profits can also be left speculatively to enter a position. Sometimes referred to as “bids” (buy orders) or “offers” (sell orders). Imagine the price is 1.1250 and the recent low is 1.1205.
You might wish to leave a bid around 1.2010 to enter a long position, if the market reaches that price. This way you don’t need to sit at the computer and wait.
Again, typically traders will use tech analysis to identify attractive levels. Again - other traders will cluster with your orders. Just like the stop loss we need to bake that in.
So this time if we know everyone is going to buy around the recent low of 1.1205 we might leave the take profit bit a little bit above there at 1.1210 to ensure it gets done. Sure it costs 5 more pips but how mad would you be if the low was 1.1207 and then it rallied a hundred points and you didn’t have the trade on?!
There are two more methods that traders often use for entering a position.
Scaling in is one such technique. Let’s imagine that you think we are in a long-term bulltrend for AUDUSD but experiencing a brief retracement. You want to take a total position of 500,000 AUD and don’t have a strong view on the current price action.
You might therefore leave a series of five bids of 100,000. As the price moves lower each one gets hit. The nice thing about scaling in is it reduces pressure on you to pick the perfect level. Of course the risk is that not all your orders get hit before the price moves higher and you have to trade at-market.
Pyramiding is the second technique. Pyramiding is for take profits what a trailing stop loss is to regular stops. It is especially common for momentum traders.

Pyramiding into a position means buying more as it goes in your favour
Again let’s imagine we’re bullish AUDUSD and want to take a position of 500,000 AUD.
Here we add 100,000 when our first signal is reached. Then we add subsequent clips of 100,000 when the trade moves in our favour. We are waiting for confirmation that the move is correct.
Obviously this is quite nice as we humans love trading when it goes in our direction. However, the drawback is obvious: we haven’t had the full amount of risk on from the start of the trend.
You can see the attractions and drawbacks of both approaches. It is best to experiment and choose techniques that work for your own personal psychology as these will be the easiest for you to stick with and build a disciplined process around.

Risk:reward and win ratios

Be extremely skeptical of people who claim to win on 80% of trades. Most traders will win on roughly 50% of trades and lose on 50% of trades. This is why risk management is so important!
Once you start keeping a trading journal you’ll be able to see how the win/loss ratio looks for you. Until then, assume you’re typical and that every other trade will lose money.
If that is the case then you need to be sure you make more on the wins than you lose on the losses. You can see the effect of this below.

A combination of win % and risk:reward ratio determine if you are profitable
A typical rule of thumb is that a ratio of 1:3 works well for most traders.
That is, if you are prepared to risk 100 pips on your stop you should be setting a take profit at a level that would return you 300 pips.
One needn’t be religious about these numbers - 11 pips and 28 pips would be perfectly fine - but they are a guideline.
Again - you should still use technical analysis to find meaningful chart levels for both the stop and take profit. Don’t just blindly take your stop distance and do 3x the pips on the other side as your take profit. Use the ratio to set approximate targets and then look for a relevant resistance or support level in that kind of region.

Risk-adjusted returns

Not all returns are equal. Suppose you are examining the track record of two traders. Now, both have produced a return of 14% over the year. Not bad!
The first trader, however, made hundreds of small bets throughout the year and his cumulative PNL looked like the left image below.
The second trader made just one bet — he sold CADJPY at the start of the year — and his PNL looked like the right image below with lots of large drawdowns and volatility.
Would you rather have the first trading record or the second?
If you were investing money and betting on who would do well next year which would you choose? Of course all sensible people would choose the first trader. Yet if you look only at returns one cannot distinguish between the two. Both are up 14% at that point in time. This is where the Sharpe ratio helps .
A high Sharpe ratio indicates that a portfolio has better risk-adjusted performance. One cannot sensibly compare returns without considering the risk taken to earn that return.
If I can earn 80% of the return of another investor at only 50% of the risk then a rational investor should simply leverage me at 2x and enjoy 160% of the return at the same level of risk.
This is very important in the context of Execution Advisor algorithms (EAs) that are popular in the retail community. You must evaluate historic performance by its risk-adjusted return — not just the nominal return. Incidentally look at the Sharpe ratio of ones that have been live for a year or more ...
Otherwise an EA developer could produce two EAs: the first simply buys at 1000:1 leverage on January 1st ; and the second sells in the same manner. At the end of the year, one of them will be discarded and the other will look incredible. Its risk-adjusted return, however, would be abysmal and the odds of repeated success are similarly poor.

Sharpe ratio

The Sharpe ratio works like this:
  • It takes the average returns of your strategy;
  • It deducts from these the risk-free rate of return i.e. the rate anyone could have got by investing in US government bonds with very little risk;
  • It then divides this total return by its own volatility - the more smooth the return the higher and better the Sharpe, the more volatile the lower and worse the Sharpe.
For example, say the return last year was 15% with a volatility of 10% and US bonds are trading at 2%. That gives (15-2)/10 or a Sharpe ratio of 1.3. As a rule of thumb a Sharpe ratio of above 0.5 would be considered decent for a discretionary retail trader. Above 1 is excellent.
You don’t really need to know how to calculate Sharpe ratios. Good trading software will do this for you. It will either be available in the system by default or you can add a plug-in.

VAR

VAR is another useful measure to help with drawdowns. It stands for Value at Risk. Normally people will use 99% VAR (conservative) or 95% VAR (aggressive). Let’s say you’re long EURUSD and using 95% VAR. The system will look at the historic movement of EURUSD. It might spit out a number of -1.2%.

A 5% VAR of -1.2% tells you you should expect to lose 1.2% on 5% of days, whilst 95% of days should be better than that
This means it is expected that on 5 days out of 100 (hence the 95%) the portfolio will lose 1.2% or more. This can help you manage your capital by taking appropriately sized positions. Typically you would look at VAR across your portfolio of trades rather than trade by trade.
Sharpe ratios and VAR don’t give you the whole picture, though. Legendary fund manager, Howard Marks of Oaktree, notes that, while tools like VAR and Sharpe ratios are helpful and absolutely necessary, the best investors will also overlay their own judgment.
Investors can calculate risk metrics like VaR and Sharpe ratios (we use them at Oaktree; they’re the best tools we have), but they shouldn’t put too much faith in them. The bottom line for me is that risk management should be the responsibility of every participant in the investment process, applying experience, judgment and knowledge of the underlying investments.Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital
What he’s saying is don’t misplace your common sense. Do use these tools as they are helpful. However, you cannot fully rely on them. Both assume a normal distribution of returns. Whereas in real life you get “black swans” - events that should supposedly happen only once every thousand years but which actually seem to happen fairly often.
These outlier events are often referred to as “tail risk”. Don’t make the mistake of saying “well, the model said…” - overlay what the model is telling you with your own common sense and good judgment.

Coming up in part III

Available here
Squeezes and other risks
Market positioning
Bet correlation
Crap trades, timeouts and monthly limits

***
Disclaimer:This content is not investment advice and you should not place any reliance on it. The views expressed are the author's own and should not be attributed to any other person, including their employer.
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Former investment bank FX trader: Risk management part 3/3

Former investment bank FX trader: Risk management part 3/3
Welcome to the third and final part of this chapter.
Thank you all for the 100s of comments and upvotes - maybe this post will take us above 1,000 for this topic!
Keep any feedback or questions coming in the replies below.
Before you read this note, please start with Part I and then Part II so it hangs together and makes sense.
Part III
  • Squeezes and other risks
  • Market positioning
  • Bet correlation
  • Crap trades, timeouts and monthly limits

Squeezes and other risks

We are going to cover three common risks that traders face: events; squeezes, asymmetric bets.

Events

Economic releases can cause large short-term volatility. The most famous is Non Farm Payrolls, which is the most widely watched measure of US employment levels and affects the price of many instruments.On an NFP announcement currencies like EURUSD might jump (or drop) 100 pips no problem.
This is fine and there are trading strategies that one may employ around this but the key thing is to be aware of these releases.You can find economic calendars all over the internet - including on this site - and you need only check if there are any major releases each day or week.
For example, if you are trading off some intraday chart and scalping a few pips here and there it would be highly sensible to go into a known data release flat as it is pure coin-toss and not the reason for your trading. It only takes five minutes each day to plan for the day ahead so do not get caught out by this. Many retail traders get stopped out on such events when price volatility is at its peak.

Squeezes

Short squeezes bring a lot of danger and perhaps some opportunity.
The story of VW and Porsche is the best short squeeze ever. Throughout these articles we've used FX examples wherever possible but in this one instance the concept (which is also highly relevant in FX) is best illustrated with an historical lesson from a different asset class.
A short squeeze is when a participant ends up in a short position they are forced to cover. Especially when the rest of the market knows that this participant can be bullied into stopping out at terrible levels, provided the market can briefly drive the price into their pain zone.

There's a reason for the car, don't worry
Hedge funds had been shorting VW stock. However the amount of VW stock available to buy in the open market was actually quite limited. The local government owned a chunk and Porsche itself had bought and locked away around 30%. Neither of these would sell to the hedge-funds so a good amount of the stock was un-buyable at any price.
If you sell or short a stock you must be prepared to buy it back to go flat at some point.
To cut a long story short, Porsche bought a lot of call options on VW stock. These options gave them the right to purchase VW stock from banks at slightly above market price.
Eventually the banks who had sold these options realised there was no VW stock to go out and buy since the German government wouldn’t sell its allocation and Porsche wouldn’t either. If Porsche called in the options the banks were in trouble.
Porsche called in the options which forced the shorts to buy stock - at whatever price they could get it.
The price squeezed higher as those that were short got massively squeezed and stopped out. For one brief moment in 2008, VW was the world’s most valuable company. Shorts were burned hard.

Incredible event
Porsche apparently made $11.5 billion on the trade. The BBC described Porsche as “a hedge fund with a carmaker attached.”
If this all seems exotic then know that the same thing happens in FX all the time. If everyone in the market is talking about a key level in EURUSD being 1.2050 then you can bet the market will try to push through 1.2050 just to take out any short stops at that level. Whether it then rallies higher or fails and trades back lower is a different matter entirely.
This brings us on to the matter of crowded trades. We will look at positioning in more detail in the next section. Crowded trades are dangerous for PNL. If everyone believes EURUSD is going down and has already sold EURUSD then you run the risk of a short squeeze.
For additional selling to take place you need a very good reason for people to add to their position whereas a move in the other direction could force mass buying to cover their shorts.
A trading mentor when I worked at the investment bank once advised me:
Always think about which move would cause the maximum people the maximum pain. That move is precisely what you should be watching out for at all times.

Asymmetric losses

Also known as picking up pennies in front of a steamroller. This risk has caught out many a retail trader. Sometimes it is referred to as a "negative skew" strategy.
Ideally what you are looking for is asymmetric risk trade set-ups: that is where the downside is clearly defined and smaller than the upside. What you want to avoid is the opposite.
A famous example of this going wrong was the Swiss National Bank de-peg in 2012.
The Swiss National Bank had said they would defend the price of EURCHF so that it did not go below 1.2. Many people believed it could never go below 1.2 due to this. Many retail traders therefore opted for a strategy that some describe as ‘picking up pennies in front of a steam-roller’.
They would would buy EURCHF above the peg level and hope for a tiny rally of several pips before selling them back and keep doing this repeatedly. Often they were highly leveraged at 100:1 so that they could amplify the profit of the tiny 5-10 pip rally.
Then this happened.

Something that changed FX markets forever
The SNB suddenly did the unthinkable. They stopped defending the price. CHF jumped and so EURCHF (the number of CHF per 1 EUR) dropped to new lows very fast. Clearly, this trade had horrific risk : reward asymmetry: you risked 30% to make 0.05%.
Other strategies like naively selling options have the same result. You win a small amount of money each day and then spectacularly blow up at some point down the line.

Market positioning

We have talked about short squeezes. But how do you know what the market position is? And should you care?
Let’s start with the first. You should definitely care.
Let’s imagine the entire market is exceptionally long EURUSD and positioning reaches extreme levels. This makes EURUSD very vulnerable.
To keep the price going higher EURUSD needs to attract fresh buy orders. If everyone is already long and has no room to add, what can incentivise people to keep buying? The news flow might be good. They may believe EURUSD goes higher. But they have already bought and have their maximum position on.
On the flip side, if there’s an unexpected event and EURUSD gaps lower you will have the entire market trying to exit the position at the same time. Like a herd of cows running through a single doorway. Messy.
We are going to look at this in more detail in a later chapter, where we discuss ‘carry’ trades. For now this TRYJPY chart might provide some idea of what a rush to the exits of a crowded position looks like.

A carry trade position clear-out in action
Knowing if the market is currently at extreme levels of long or short can therefore be helpful.
The CFTC makes available a weekly report, which details the overall positions of speculative traders “Non Commercial Traders” in some of the major futures products. This includes futures tied to deliverable FX pairs such as EURUSD as well as products such as gold. The report is called “CFTC Commitments of Traders” ("COT").
This is a great benchmark. It is far more representative of the overall market than the proprietary ones offered by retail brokers as it covers a far larger cross-section of the institutional market.
Generally market participants will not pay a lot of attention to commercial hedgers, which are also detailed in the report. This data is worth tracking but these folks are simply hedging real-world transactions rather than speculating so their activity is far less revealing and far more noisy.
You can find the data online for free and download it directly here.

Raw format is kinda hard to work with

However, many websites will chart this for you free of charge and you may find it more convenient to look at it that way. Just google “CFTC positioning charts”.

But you can easily get visualisations
You can visually spot extreme positioning. It is extremely powerful.
Bear in mind the reports come out Friday afternoon US time and the report is a snapshot up to the prior Tuesday. That means it is a lagged report - by the time it is released it is a few days out of date. For longer term trades where you hold positions for weeks this is of course still pretty helpful information.
As well as the absolute level (is the speculative market net long or short) you can also use this to pick up on changes in positioning.
For example if bad news comes out how much does the net short increase? If good news comes out, the market may remain net short but how much did they buy back?
A lot of traders ask themselves “Does the market have this trade on?” The positioning data is a good method for answering this. It provides a good finger on the pulse of the wider market sentiment and activity.
For example you might say: “There was lots of noise about the good employment numbers in the US. However, there wasn’t actually a lot of position change on the back of it. Maybe everyone who wants to buy already has. What would happen now if bad news came out?”
In general traders will be wary of entering a crowded position because it will be hard to attract additional buyers or sellers and there could be an aggressive exit.
If you want to enter a trade that is showing extreme levels of positioning you must think carefully about this dynamic.

Bet correlation

Retail traders often drastically underestimate how correlated their bets are.
Through bitter experience, I have learned that a mistake in position correlation is the root of some of the most serious problems in trading. If you have eight highly correlated positions, then you are really trading one position that is eight times as large.
Bruce Kovner of hedge fund, Caxton Associates
For example, if you are trading a bunch of pairs against the USD you will end up with a simply huge USD exposure. A single USD-trigger can ruin all your bets. Your ideal scenario — and it isn’t always possible — would be to have a highly diversified portfolio of bets that do not move in tandem.
Look at this chart. Inverted USD index (DXY) is green. AUDUSD is orange. EURUSD is blue.

Chart from TradingView
So the whole thing is just one big USD trade! If you are long AUDUSD, long EURUSD, and short DXY you have three anti USD bets that are all likely to work or fail together.
The more diversified your portfolio of bets are, the more risk you can take on each.
There’s a really good video, explaining the benefits of diversification from Ray Dalio.
A systematic fund with access to an investable universe of 10,000 instruments has more opportunity to make a better risk-adjusted return than a trader who only focuses on three symbols. Diversification really is the closest thing to a free lunch in finance.
But let’s be pragmatic and realistic. Human retail traders don’t have capacity to run even one hundred bets at a time. More realistic would be an average of 2-3 trades on simultaneously. So what can be done?
For example:
  • You might diversify across time horizons by having a mix of short-term and long-term trades.
  • You might diversify across asset classes - trading some FX but also crypto and equities.
  • You might diversify your trade generation approach so you are not relying on the same indicators or drivers on each trade.
  • You might diversify your exposure to the market regime by having some trades that assume a trend will continue (momentum) and some that assume we will be range-bound (carry).
And so on. Basically you want to scan your portfolio of trades and make sure you are not putting all your eggs in one basket. If some trades underperform others will perform - assuming the bets are not correlated - and that way you can ensure your overall portfolio takes less risk per unit of return.
The key thing is to start thinking about a portfolio of bets and what each new trade offers to your existing portfolio of risk. Will it diversify or amplify a current exposure?

Crap trades, timeouts and monthly limits

One common mistake is to get bored and restless and put on crap trades. This just means trades in which you have low conviction.
It is perfectly fine not to trade. If you feel like you do not understand the market at a particular point, simply choose not to trade.
Flat is a position.
Do not waste your bullets on rubbish trades. Only enter a trade when you have carefully considered it from all angles and feel good about the risk. This will make it far easier to hold onto the trade if it moves against you at any point. You actually believe in it.
Equally, you need to set monthly limits. A standard limit might be a 10% account balance stop per month. At that point you close all your positions immediately and stop trading till next month.

Be strict with yourself and walk away
Let’s assume you started the year with $100k and made 5% in January so enter Feb with $105k balance. Your stop is therefore 10% of $105k or $10.5k . If your account balance dips to $94.5k ($105k-$10.5k) then you stop yourself out and don’t resume trading till March the first.
Having monthly calendar breaks is nice for another reason. Say you made a load of money in January. You don’t want to start February feeling you are up 5% or it is too tempting to avoid trading all month and protect the existing win. Each month and each year should feel like a clean slate and an independent period.
Everyone has trading slumps. It is perfectly normal. It will definitely happen to you at some stage. The trick is to take a break and refocus. Conserve your capital by not trading a lot whilst you are on a losing streak. This period will be much harder for you emotionally and you’ll end up making suboptimal decisions. An enforced break will help you see the bigger picture.
Put in place a process before you start trading and then it’ll be easy to follow and will feel much less emotional. Remember: the market doesn’t care if you win or lose, it is nothing personal.
When your head has cooled and you feel calm you return the next month and begin the task of building back your account balance.

That's a wrap on risk management

Thanks for taking time to read this three-part chapter on risk management. I hope you enjoyed it. Do comment in the replies if you have any questions or feedback.
Remember: the most important part of trading is not making money. It is not losing money. Always start with that principle. I hope these three notes have provided some food for thought on how you might approach risk management and are of practical use to you when trading. Avoiding mistakes is not a sexy tagline but it is an effective and reliable way to improve results.
Next up I will be writing about an exciting topic I think many traders should look at rather differently: news trading. Please follow on here to receive notifications and the broad outline is below.
News Trading Part I
  • Introduction
  • Why use the economic calendar
  • Reading the economic calendar
  • Knowing what's priced in
  • Surveys
  • Interest rates
  • First order thinking vs second order thinking
News Trading Part II
  • Preparing for quantitative and qualitative releases
  • Data surprise index
  • Using recent events to predict future reactions
  • Buy the rumour, sell the fact
  • The mysterious 'position trim' effect
  • Reversals
  • Some key FX releases
***

Disclaimer:This content is not investment advice and you should not place any reliance on it. The views expressed are the author's own and should not be attributed to any other person, including their employer.
submitted by getmrmarket to Forex [link] [comments]

Never traded before - need help understanding if I’m being propositioned a scam or this is just how Forex works

My mother, being concerned for my future wellbeing, as I’m not a successful person by any means, has introduced me to a friend of hers that apparently is a “currency exchange” trader or something.
I’m generally a sceptical person so I put off the idea of having a zoom meeting with this person for a few weeks. But today I met him, he was a pleasant older man, apparently about 70 years old.
Essentially, he claims that he spent $40,000 ish about 7-8 years ago to be given a proper education in the whole Forex and analysis thing. Makes a decent living himself but as he’s nearing retirement he wants to offer me free tuition to essentially learn the ropes.
I don’t, at least yet, see where I am to lose money, unless it’s a really long game scam.
But in essence he wants me to go through the entire pips school thing, and if I manage to without finding it too difficult, understanding the basics, and showing that I’m actually up for putting the effort in, he will essentially teach me everything he knows etc, set up in modules. This won’t cost me anything other than my time.
Where I get a little confused and, as I’m completely oblivious to all of this, it may just be how these things work.
But he said, he’ll show me how to set up a Demo account and over the months learn how to try to make consistent growth on these demo account (I believe he spoke in the 3%+ per month range)
And here’s where I don’t know if it gets shady or if it’s ok. . . Once I’m relatively experienced in this, showing consistency on this etc, he says he can offer me access to a hedge fund or something? Where apparently I trade some other organisations money and not my own? Something like $100,000 per fund and I’d be expected to make profits, but never more than a 5% loss in a month or a 10% loss in any one day. Other than that, I would apparently receive 10% of profits from that.
Only thing is something to do with a server fee, something like to have access to those funds it’s something like $750 a month that’s deducted from your profit, so I don’t know if it’s a scam or it’s just how the professional world of this works.
Either way I’m keen to learn from the modules he’s sending me and so on, just not sure about any part once actual money, whether that be mine or someone else’s, is involved.
Any advice would be well received thanks
submitted by brooksjonx to Forex [link] [comments]

H1 Backtest of ParallaxFX's BBStoch system

Disclaimer: None of this is financial advice. I have no idea what I'm doing. Please do your own research or you will certainly lose money. I'm not a statistician, data scientist, well-seasoned trader, or anything else that would qualify me to make statements such as the below with any weight behind them. Take them for the incoherent ramblings that they are.
TL;DR at the bottom for those not interested in the details.
This is a bit of a novel, sorry about that. It was mostly for getting my own thoughts organized, but if even one person reads the whole thing I will feel incredibly accomplished.

Background

For those of you not familiar, please see the various threads on this trading system here. I can't take credit for this system, all glory goes to ParallaxFX!
I wanted to see how effective this system was at H1 for a couple of reasons: 1) My current broker is TD Ameritrade - their Forex minimum is a mini lot, and I don't feel comfortable enough yet with the risk to trade mini lots on the higher timeframes(i.e. wider pip swings) that ParallaxFX's system uses, so I wanted to see if I could scale it down. 2) I'm fairly impatient, so I don't like to wait days and days with my capital tied up just to see if a trade is going to win or lose.
This does mean it requires more active attention since you are checking for setups once an hour instead of once a day or every 4-6 hours, but the upside is that you trade more often this way so you end up winning or losing faster and moving onto the next trade. Spread does eat more of the trade this way, but I'll cover this in my data below - it ends up not being a problem.
I looked at data from 6/11 to 7/3 on all pairs with a reasonable spread(pairs listed at bottom above the TL;DR). So this represents about 3-4 weeks' worth of trading. I used mark(mid) price charts. Spreadsheet link is below for anyone that's interested.

System Details

I'm pretty much using ParallaxFX's system textbook, but since there are a few options in his writeups, I'll include all the discretionary points here:

And now for the fun. Results!

As you can see, a higher target ended up with higher profit despite a much lower winrate. This is partially just how things work out with profit targets in general, but there's an additional point to consider in our case: the spread. Since we are trading on a lower timeframe, there is less overall price movement and thus the spread takes up a much larger percentage of the trade than it would if you were trading H4, Daily or Weekly charts. You can see exactly how much it accounts for each trade in my spreadsheet if you're interested. TDA does not have the best spreads, so you could probably improve these results with another broker.
EDIT: I grabbed typical spreads from other brokers, and turns out while TDA is pretty competitive on majors, their minors/crosses are awful! IG beats them by 20-40% and Oanda beats them 30-60%! Using IG spreads for calculations increased profits considerably (another 5% on top) and Oanda spreads increased profits massively (another 15%!). Definitely going to be considering another broker than TDA for this strategy. Plus that'll allow me to trade micro-lots, so I can be more granular(and thus accurate) with my position sizing and compounding.

A Note on Spread

As you can see in the data, there were scenarios where the spread was 80% of the overall size of the trade(the size of the confirmation candle that you draw your fibonacci retracements over), which would obviously cut heavily into your profits.
Removing any trades where the spread is more than 50% of the trade width improved profits slightly without removing many trades, but this is almost certainly just coincidence on a small sample size. Going below 40% and even down to 30% starts to cut out a lot of trades for the less-common pairs, but doesn't actually change overall profits at all(~1% either way).
However, digging all the way down to 25% starts to really make some movement. Profit at the -161.8% TP level jumps up to 37.94% if you filter out anything with a spread that is more than 25% of the trade width! And this even keeps the sample size fairly large at 187 total trades.
You can get your profits all the way up to 48.43% at the -161.8% TP level if you filter all the way down to only trades where spread is less than 15% of the trade width, however your sample size gets much smaller at that point(108 trades) so I'm not sure I would trust that as being accurate in the long term.
Overall based on this data, I'm going to only take trades where the spread is less than 25% of the trade width. This may bias my trades more towards the majors, which would mean a lot more correlated trades as well(more on correlation below), but I think it is a reasonable precaution regardless.

Time of Day

Time of day had an interesting effect on trades. In a totally predictable fashion, a vast majority of setups occurred during the London and New York sessions: 5am-12pm Eastern. However, there was one outlier where there were many setups on the 11PM bar - and the winrate was about the same as the big hours in the London session. No idea why this hour in particular - anyone have any insight? That's smack in the middle of the Tokyo/Sydney overlap, not at the open or close of either.
On many of the hour slices I have a feeling I'm just dealing with small number statistics here since I didn't have a lot of data when breaking it down by individual hours. But here it is anyway - for all TP levels, these three things showed up(all in Eastern time):
I don't have any reason to think these timeframes would maintain this behavior over the long term. They're almost certainly meaningless. EDIT: When you de-dup highly correlated trades, the number of trades in these timeframes really drops, so from this data there is no reason to think these timeframes would be any different than any others in terms of winrate.
That being said, these time frames work out for me pretty well because I typically sleep 12am-7am Eastern time. So I automatically avoid the 5am-6am timeframe, and I'm awake for the majority of this system's setups.

Moving stops up to breakeven

This section goes against everything I know and have ever heard about trade management. Please someone find something wrong with my data. I'd love for someone to check my formulas, but I realize that's a pretty insane time commitment to ask of a bunch of strangers.
Anyways. What I found was that for these trades moving stops up...basically at all...actually reduced the overall profitability.
One of the data points I collected while charting was where the price retraced back to after hitting a certain milestone. i.e. once the price hit the -61.8% profit level, how far back did it retrace before hitting the -100% profit level(if at all)? And same goes for the -100% profit level - how far back did it retrace before hitting the -161.8% profit level(if at all)?
Well, some complex excel formulas later and here's what the results appear to be. Emphasis on appears because I honestly don't believe it. I must have done something wrong here, but I've gone over it a hundred times and I can't find anything out of place.
Now, you might think exactly what I did when looking at these numbers: oof, the spread killed us there right? Because even when you move your SL to 0%, you still end up paying the spread, so it's not truly "breakeven". And because we are trading on a lower timeframe, the spread can be pretty hefty right?
Well even when I manually modified the data so that the spread wasn't subtracted(i.e. "Breakeven" was truly +/- 0), things don't look a whole lot better, and still way worse than the passive trade management method of leaving your stops in place and letting it run. And that isn't even a realistic scenario because to adjust out the spread you'd have to move your stoploss inside the candle edge by at least the spread amount, meaning it would almost certainly be triggered more often than in the data I collected(which was purely based on the fib levels and mark price). Regardless, here are the numbers for that scenario:
From a literal standpoint, what I see behind this behavior is that 44 of the 69 breakeven trades(65%!) ended up being profitable to -100% after retracing deeply(but not to the original SL level), which greatly helped offset the purely losing trades better than the partial profit taken at -61.8%. And 36 went all the way back to -161.8% after a deep retracement without hitting the original SL. Anyone have any insight into this? Is this a problem with just not enough data? It seems like enough trades that a pattern should emerge, but again I'm no expert.
I also briefly looked at moving stops to other lower levels (78.6%, 61.8%, 50%, 38.2%, 23.6%), but that didn't improve things any. No hard data to share as I only took a quick look - and I still might have done something wrong overall.
The data is there to infer other strategies if anyone would like to dig in deep(more explanation on the spreadsheet below). I didn't do other combinations because the formulas got pretty complicated and I had already answered all the questions I was looking to answer.

2-Candle vs Confirmation Candle Stops

Another interesting point is that the original system has the SL level(for stop entries) just at the outer edge of the 2-candle pattern that makes up the system. Out of pure laziness, I set up my stops just based on the confirmation candle. And as it turns out, that is much a much better way to go about it.
Of the 60 purely losing trades, only 9 of them(15%) would go on to be winners with stops on the 2-candle formation. Certainly not enough to justify the extra loss and/or reduced profits you are exposing yourself to in every single other trade by setting a wider SL.
Oddly, in every single scenario where the wider stop did save the trade, it ended up going all the way to the -161.8% profit level. Still, not nearly worth it.

Correlated Trades

As I've said many times now, I'm really not qualified to be doing an analysis like this. This section in particular.
Looking at shared currency among the pairs traded, 74 of the trades are correlated. Quite a large group, but it makes sense considering the sort of moves we're looking for with this system.
This means you are opening yourself up to more risk if you were to trade on every signal since you are technically trading with the same underlying sentiment on each different pair. For example, GBP/USD and AUD/USD moving together almost certainly means it's due to USD moving both pairs, rather than GBP and AUD both moving the same size and direction coincidentally at the same time. So if you were to trade both signals, you would very likely win or lose both trades - meaning you are actually risking double what you'd normally risk(unless you halve both positions which can be a good option, and is discussed in ParallaxFX's posts and in various other places that go over pair correlation. I won't go into detail about those strategies here).
Interestingly though, 17 of those apparently correlated trades ended up with different wins/losses.
Also, looking only at trades that were correlated, winrate is 83%/70%/55% (for the three TP levels).
Does this give some indication that the same signal on multiple pairs means the signal is stronger? That there's some strong underlying sentiment driving it? Or is it just a matter of too small a sample size? The winrate isn't really much higher than the overall winrates, so that makes me doubt it is statistically significant.
One more funny tidbit: EUCAD netted the lowest overall winrate: 30% to even the -61.8% TP level on 10 trades. Seems like that is just a coincidence and not enough data, but dang that's a sucky losing streak.
EDIT: WOW I spent some time removing correlated trades manually and it changed the results quite a bit. Some thoughts on this below the results. These numbers also include the other "What I will trade" filters. I added a new worksheet to my data to show what I ended up picking.
To do this, I removed correlated trades - typically by choosing those whose spread had a lower % of the trade width since that's objective and something I can see ahead of time. Obviously I'd like to only keep the winning trades, but I won't know that during the trade. This did reduce the overall sample size down to a level that I wouldn't otherwise consider to be big enough, but since the results are generally consistent with the overall dataset, I'm not going to worry about it too much.
I may also use more discretionary methods(support/resistance, quality of indecision/confirmation candles, news/sentiment for the pairs involved, etc) to filter out correlated trades in the future. But as I've said before I'm going for a pretty mechanical system.
This brought the 3 TP levels and even the breakeven strategies much closer together in overall profit. It muted the profit from the high R:R strategies and boosted the profit from the low R:R strategies. This tells me pair correlation was skewing my data quite a bit, so I'm glad I dug in a little deeper. Fortunately my original conclusion to use the -161.8 TP level with static stops is still the winner by a good bit, so it doesn't end up changing my actions.
There were a few times where MANY (6-8) correlated pairs all came up at the same time, so it'd be a crapshoot to an extent. And the data showed this - often then won/lost together, but sometimes they did not. As an arbitrary rule, the more correlations, the more trades I did end up taking(and thus risking). For example if there were 3-5 correlations, I might take the 2 "best" trades given my criteria above. 5+ setups and I might take the best 3 trades, even if the pairs are somewhat correlated.
I have no true data to back this up, but to illustrate using one example: if AUD/JPY, AUD/USD, CAD/JPY, USD/CAD all set up at the same time (as they did, along with a few other pairs on 6/19/20 9:00 AM), can you really say that those are all the same underlying movement? There are correlations between the different correlations, and trying to filter for that seems rough. Although maybe this is a known thing, I'm still pretty green to Forex - someone please enlighten me if so! I might have to look into this more statistically, but it would be pretty complex to analyze quantitatively, so for now I'm going with my gut and just taking a few of the "best" trades out of the handful.
Overall, I'm really glad I went further on this. The boosting of the B/E strategies makes me trust my calculations on those more since they aren't so far from the passive management like they were with the raw data, and that really had me wondering what I did wrong.

What I will trade

Putting all this together, I am going to attempt to trade the following(demo for a bit to make sure I have the hang of it, then for keeps):
Looking at the data for these rules, test results are:
I'll be sure to let everyone know how it goes!

Other Technical Details

Raw Data

Here's the spreadsheet for anyone that'd like it. (EDIT: Updated some of the setups from the last few days that have fully played out now. I also noticed a few typos, but nothing major that would change the overall outcomes. Regardless, I am currently reviewing every trade to ensure they are accurate.UPDATE: Finally all done. Very few corrections, no change to results.)
I have some explanatory notes below to help everyone else understand the spiraled labyrinth of a mind that put the spreadsheet together.

Insanely detailed spreadsheet notes

For you real nerds out there. Here's an explanation of what each column means:

Pairs

  1. AUD/CAD
  2. AUD/CHF
  3. AUD/JPY
  4. AUD/NZD
  5. AUD/USD
  6. CAD/CHF
  7. CAD/JPY
  8. CHF/JPY
  9. EUAUD
  10. EUCAD
  11. EUCHF
  12. EUGBP
  13. EUJPY
  14. EUNZD
  15. EUUSD
  16. GBP/AUD
  17. GBP/CAD
  18. GBP/CHF
  19. GBP/JPY
  20. GBP/NZD
  21. GBP/USD
  22. NZD/CAD
  23. NZD/CHF
  24. NZD/JPY
  25. NZD/USD
  26. USD/CAD
  27. USD/CHF
  28. USD/JPY

TL;DR

Based on the reasonable rules I discovered in this backtest:

Demo Trading Results

Since this post, I started demo trading this system assuming a 5k capital base and risking ~1% per trade. I've added the details to my spreadsheet for anyone interested. The results are pretty similar to the backtest when you consider real-life conditions/timing are a bit different. I missed some trades due to life(work, out of the house, etc), so that brought my total # of trades and thus overall profit down, but the winrate is nearly identical. I also closed a few trades early due to various reasons(not liking the price action, seeing support/resistance emerge, etc).
A quick note is that TD's paper trade system fills at the mid price for both stop and limit orders, so I had to subtract the spread from the raw trade values to get the true profit/loss amount for each trade.
I'm heading out of town next week, then after that it'll be time to take this sucker live!

Live Trading Results

I started live-trading this system on 8/10, and almost immediately had a string of losses much longer than either my backtest or demo period. Murphy's law huh? Anyways, that has me spooked so I'm doing a longer backtest before I start risking more real money. It's going to take me a little while due to the volume of trades, but I'll likely make a new post once I feel comfortable with that and start live trading again.
submitted by ForexBorex to Forex [link] [comments]

5%ers Prop Shop: Money Management Plan for 5%ers Forex Funding

Trading for 5%ers Forex Prop Funding: Risk Management Plan.

Follow results here.

Plan will come into effect 24th October. First day risk settings were higher but sustained a 1% drawodwn. Bit too much for a one day drawdown with 4% drawdown limit. Position risk will be revised upon the closing of current open trades.

UR = "Units of Risk". Learn more about UR money management here.

Stage UR Value ($) Max Week Max Week Max Week Max Day
Qualifying 1 42 14 7 3
Funded 1 4 168 56 28 12
Funded 2 8 336 112 56 24
Funded 3 16 672 224 112 48
Funded 4 34 1344 448 224 96
Funded 5 68 2688 896 448 192
Funded 6 136 5376 1792 896 384
Funded 7 272 10752 3584 1792 768


Lot sizing for UR (Per 10 pips)

P = Pips
1 UR =$ 10 p 20 p 30 p 40 p 50 p 60 p 70 p 80 p 90 p 100 p
1 0.01 2 UR 3 UR 4 UR 5 UR 6 UR 7 UR 8 UR 9 UR 10 UR
4 0.04 2 UR 3 UR 4 UR 5 UR 6 UR 7 UR 8 UR 9 UR 10 UR
8 0.08 2 UR 3 UR 4 UR 5 UR 6 UR 7 UR 8 UR 9 UR 10 UR
16 0.16 2 UR 3 UR 4 UR 5 UR 6 UR 7 UR 8 UR 9 UR 10 UR
34 0.32 2 UR 3 UR 4 UR 5 UR 6 UR 7 UR 8 UR 9 UR 10 UR
68 0.64 2 UR 3 UR 4 UR 5 UR 6 UR 7 UR 8 UR 9 UR 10 UR
136 1.28 2 UR 3 UR 4 UR 5 UR 6 UR 7 UR 8 UR 9 UR 10 UR
272 2.56 2 UR 3 UR 4 UR 5 UR 6 UR 7 UR 8 UR 9 UR 10 UR

The above table calculates the lot size to be used for UR to be equal to 10 pips (On US majors) at each level. This can be used to select lot sizes set by the amount of pips that need to be risked.

Examples;
Desired risk is 5 UR. The stop loss is 10 pips. 5* 0.01 (Or 0.05) is appropriate lot size.
Desired risk is 5 UR. The stop loss is 50 pips. 0.01 is appropriate lot size.
Desired risk is 5 UR. On two trades stops are 20 and 30 pips. 5* 0.02 & 0.03 are appropriate lot sizes.

Results for my 5%ers Forex funded account.

submitted by db_aum to ForexFunding [link] [comments]

Let me show you how I make money.

Again within 24 hours of trying to work out a way to make this sustainable and workable for everyone I've noticed it's not worth the hassle to do so. It seems a lot of you expect everything for nothing.

I'm afraid that is not going to work for me. Nothing I am doing is free for me, and if people do not want to pitch in the tiniest bit to help with that I can only conclude one of two things;

1 - The info is not worth $50 to you. In which case it is not worth my time writing it.
2 - People are ungrateful. In which case it is not worth my time writing it.

If people were willing to meet me half way, I'd have went a lot further. People seem to want to stand where they are and shout over to me I'm a scammer for not bringing it all to their feet. That's a perspective. You can have it. I do not mind. But if this is your talk, I'll trade in silence. I'll also show you what happens with the "Scammy" info I was going to provide you for $50.
In the week ahead I'll set up an account with a similar amount to the amount of money people seem to think it's egregious to ask for, and I'll run the same trades on this as will be in the trading plans shared in the proposed offer. I'll use recognised results tracking programs that will automatically verify and display the results.

Build up phase:

I'll start with currency trades. These are the lowest barrier to entry since I can trade micro lots and also have access to leverage. Currency trades should give me about 400 'pips' margin of error. Realistically, I should not need more than 40. I think SPX will be up 2 - 4% next week, this should give gains to on the Aussie against the Swiss (AUDCHF) - I'll go long AUDCHF.

Margin up phase:

After the currency trades I should have enough to trade SPX. I'll start to position short on SPX around 3080 and I'll take a first target of 2377. Given the right setups I'll add to my SPX short as prices are falling to bulk up the net take profit on the trade if it works. I'll trail my stops on the first trades to mke sure I'm not increasing my risk .

Big up phase:

By this time I should have enough margin to trade the Dow. Here I can make some real money. Around 21,000 I'll start to short the Dow and I'll be targeting 10,000. This trade should pay me somewhere in the region of $50,000 per traded lot. During the move I should be able to build up a position of at least 4 - 5 lots on the margin I have. Should be over $200,000 if it hits.

Cash flow up phase:

Once the drop has happened, I will begin to go long and do it in ways that will generate me daily income. I'll do this by transferring about $100K into options account and selling puts for 100 SPY. I'll also switch back to currency trades and I'll engage in what are known as "Carry trades", these will pay me every day I hold the trade based upon the "Swap".
The best carry trades will depend upon what respective interest rates are at the time. Assuming things are similar (relatively) to how they currently are, I will be buying the Aussie, Kiwi and Turkish currencies and I'll be selling them against the dollar and Yen. This will be long AUDUSD, NZDUSD, AUDJPY, NZDJPY and short USDTRY. I'll allocate $50,000 to carry trades.

I'll use the remaining money to hedge and offset risks/losses on my cash flow trades if that is needed, and if not I will use it to make similar trades but ones based upon a short time frame and geared towards risk:reward based profit rather than passive cash flow. I'll keep doing this until the Dow is back to around 17,000 - 18,000.

Crash cash phase:

For the next phase of the drop I will again switch to trading the Dow. This is where I can make most money. I might also allocate $100 - 200K to OTM puts, but since this can be a slower more steady crash it will make more sense to build a position in the CFD market on the Dow. Again my Dow trade should pay over $50,000 per lot. This time building up over 20 lots should be fairly easy.

Cash flow decade phase:

Once the market has crashed I will start to become a big options seller. i'll also engage in carry trades if interest rates are not all screwed up (Which is there are 'currency wars' they could be). Being able to be on the right side of a carry trade will determine if this is viable or not - and that has some variables that can not be known at this time. I'd love to be able to just short USDTRY, though. If it's viable.

With options, I will be selling both put options and call options. I think once the crash has happened we will enter into a long term theta market last 10 - 15 years - this period is known as a 'Lost decade)'. I'll sell SPY puts for under the lows and I'll also sell SPY calls each time there is jumps in upside volatility. I'll be happy to sell SPY calls for 200 for literally years on end.

By this time I should have more than $50.

I'll update my swing plans either bi-weekly, weekly or monthly. Pending on how much free time I have. I'll edit this post to add in the results tracking material when I set it up.

Update: Here's the tracking link. http://www.myfxbook.com/members/2020sBeasomething-for-nothing/6040046

I set the copy software to invert trades & the first trades went short AUDCHF rather than long. That puts me on quite a substantial losing start, but it should not matter. Might push the start of SPX trades back a week. Probably won't. Let me just show the value of what I've been trying to teach you.
submitted by 2020sbear to u/2020sbear [link] [comments]

Forex Trading - Getting Started

Forex Trading: a Beginner's Guide
The forex market is the world's largest international currency trading market operating non-stop during the working week. Most forex trading is done by professionals such as bankers. Generally forex trading is done through a forex broker - but there is nothing to stop anyone trading currencies. Forex currency trading allows buyers and sellers to buy the currency they need for their business and sellers who have earned currency to exchange what they have for a more convenient currency. The world's largest banks dominate forex and according to a survey in The Wall Street Journal Europe, the ten most active traders who are engaged in forex trading account for almost 73% of trading volume.
However, a sizeable proportion of the remainder of forex trading is speculative with traders building up an investment which they wish to liquidate at some stage for profit. While a currency may increase or decrease in value relative to a wide range of currencies, all forex trading transactions are based upon currency pairs. So, although the Euro may be 'strong' against a basket of currencies, traders will be trading in just one currency pair and may simply concern themselves with the Euro/US Dollar ( EUUSD) ratio. Changes in relative values of currencies may be gradual or triggered by specific events such as are unfolding at the time of writing this - the toxic debt crisis.
Because the markets for currencies are global, the volumes traded every day are vast. For the large corporate investors, the great benefits of trading on Forex are:

From the point of view of the smaller trader there's lots of benefits too, such as:

How the forex Market Works
As forex is all about foreign exchange, all transactions are made up from a currency pair - say, for instance, the Euro and the US Dollar. The basic tool for trading forex is the exchange rate which is expressed as a ratio between the values of the two currencies such as EUUSD = 1.4086. This value, which is referred to as the 'forex rate' means that, at that particular time, one Euro would be worth 1.4086 US Dollars. This ratio is always expressed to 4 decimal places which means that you could see a forex rate of EUUSD = 1.4086 or EUUSD = 1.4087 but never EUUSD = 1.40865. The rightmost digit of this ratio is referred to as a 'pip'. So, a change from EUUSD = 1.4086 to EUUSD = 1.4088 would be referred to as a change of 2 pips. One pip, therefore is the smallest unit of trade.
With the forex rate at EUUSD = 1.4086, an investor purchasing 1000 Euros using dollars would pay $1,408.60. If the forex rate then changed to EUUSD = 1.5020, the investor could sell their 1000 Euros for $1,502.00 and bank the $93.40 as profit. If this doesn't seem to be large amount to you, you have to put the sum into context. With a rising or falling market, the forex rate does not simply change in a uniform way but oscillates and profits can be taken many times per day as a rate oscillates around a trend.
When you're expecting the value EUUSD to fall, you might trade the other way by selling Euros for dollars and buying then back when the forex rate has changed to your advantage.
Is forex Risky?
When you trade on forex as in any form of currency trading, you're in the business of currency speculation and it is just that - speculation. This means that there is some risk involved in forex currency trading as in any business but you might and should, take steps to minimise this. You can always set a limit to the downside of any trade, that means to define the maximum loss that you are prepared to accept if the market goes against you - and it will on occasions.
The best insurance against losing your shirt on the forex market is to set out to understand what you're doing totally. Search the internet for a good forex trading tutorial and study it in detail- a bit of good forex education can go a long way!. When there's bits you don't understand, look for a good forex trading forum and ask lots and lots of questions. Many of the people who habitually answer your queries on this will have a good forex trading blog and this will probably not only give you answers to your questions but also provide lots of links to good sites. Be vigilant, however, watch out for forex trading scams. Don't be too quick to part with your money and investigate anything very well before you shell out any hard-earned!
The forex Trading Systems
While you may be right in being cautious about any forex trading system that's advertised, there are some good ones around. Most of them either utilise forex charts and by means of these, identify forex trading signals which tell the trader when to buy or sell. These signals will be made up of a particular change in a forex rate or a trend and these will have been devised by a forex trader who has studied long-term trends in the market so as to identify valid signals when they occur. Many of the systems will use forex trading software which identifies such signals from data inputs which are gathered automatically from market information sources. Some utilise automated forex trading software which can trigger trades automatically when the signals tell it to do so. If these sound too good to be true to you, look around for online forex trading systems which will allow you undertake some dummy trading to test them out. by doing this you can get some forex trading training by giving them a spin before you put real money on the table.
How Much do you Need to Start off with?
This is a bit of a 'How long is a piece of string?' question but there are ways for to be beginner to dip a toe into the water without needing a fortune to start with. The minimum trading size for most trades on forex is usually 100,000 units of any currency and this volume is referred to as a standard "lot". However, there are many firms which offer the facility to purchase in dramatically-smaller lots than this and a bit of internet searching will soon locate these. There's many adverts quoting only a couple of hundred dollars to get going! You will often see the term acciones trading forex and this is just a general term which covers the small guy trading forex. Small-scale trading facilities such as these are often called as forex mini trading.
Where do You Start?
The single most obvious answer is of course - on the internet! Online forex trading gives you direct access to the forex market and there's lots and lots of companies out there who are in business just to deal with you online. Be vigilant, do spend the time to get some good forex trading education, again this can be provided online and set up your dummy account to trade before you attempt to go live. If you take care and take your time, there's no reason why you shouldn't be successful in forex trading so, have patience and stick at it!
submitted by Ozone21337 to WallstreetForexRobotf [link] [comments]

Leaving this thread

I joined this thread a few weeks ago. I thought it was a place where real traders hangout and actually learn from each other. Learning forex is not just strategy and psychology. I've learnt people here got a fixed state of mind about risk management and money management. Whereas I have been consistent with 10%, I have friends who trade 20%, 30% and as little as 5%.
Some who take the whole move and others who take whatever ago.
I would ask why, and they all reply,"My risk management."
What could be a learning moment always turns into an exchange of nasty conversation. My very memorable "nemesis" who told me I need to be saved, I'm too far gone, etc, also bragged he has been trading profitably for 2 years. He recently posted how he is depressed about trading and is actually afraid of the markets. hasn't trade for months now and when he did, it was only for 5 months.
Most of them are computer science and Finance students. They are quick to tell every newbie how they need such background to be succesful taders. Here's the kicker. Only one trader in my circle has a C.S background. All the others have A Bachelors of Obsession and Perseverance. Of course there are very few cool finance and CS students here. No beef.
At the end of the day, I'm only human. And these conversation, at the very least trigger a conversation. At the most annoys me. I know scalpers and swingers and I treat them equally. at the end of the day they are all securing the bag. I'm nice to them, so at the end of the day they drop me a nugget.
  1. The dude who turns 200 to 250k in under a month. "Dude, Icmarkets is great. but after opening with 200$, split that into ten accounts. and if you go bust then you have only lost 20."
  2. A 100 lots guy,"if you loose 3 trades in a row, go back to demo."
  3. my homeboy rockstar trader, I would call him up like yo I just had the biggest week ever, I.m 50% up. and he's like, withdraw and go treat yourself. It took me 2 years before my first withdrawal. you've made it in a year. And, I'm like," but I'm trynna compound.."
  4. And he's like,"At the very least open an extra account."
These look like simple remarks but mix em with your strategy and they take you a step further, control greed, give you a chance to stop and refine your strategy, Give you a chance to come back after a blown account, I could go on and on. there is so much I've learnt even from mediocre traders with flashy lifestyle on IG.
Now I just mentioned a guy who trades the 1 min and make 80-100+% per trade. instead of someone asking me how's that possible? Have you seen his Myfxbook? No He went on about how that's pure bullshit. Now my personality trait, I would wanna answer him that I have actually seen his myfxbook and that is how i actually keep track of each %age.
So basically this thread has consumed my time online and offline and in some way affected my trading. I remember closing a trade at 10 pips profit just so my account would be a solid 30 something %, when I was positive that the trade had higher chances of reaching 45 pips, I just didnt wanna risk the propbable chance of it reversing to my SL. so that i could sshot and post it to the few haters and non believers that I had earned in this thread. Now look at this, With the cute sshot I was 30%+ up, but without it and the haters, I would've been about 70% up that.
Whereas I had myself and my few trading friends who I actually reach out to ask questions. now I had a bunch of people to convince that there actually is money in forex. Even when I'm not online I find myself thinking about this thread. Wanting to come online to answer a few question or just read some posts.
I have caught myself checking this page first before starting my backtesting. we all know how a quick check can turn into minutes on the internet. I'd come online and see a "pro trader" telling a newbie how he needs a Finance or C.S background to succeed in this field, if not just foget about it. And these replies are always delivered with a touch of arrogance that makes me go like wtf?! and i would jump in and reply.
More power to those who can manage being apart of a toxic group. I have managed to help a few who reached out to me from this group but that's that. As for me I can manage the negative energy and trade and run a super productive life.
Anyways, I'm one strike away from a perma ban for posting profits. So...yeah
submitted by Gottagethard to Forex [link] [comments]

Started from the bottom and I finally made it! My tips for new traders starting.

A little background, 23 year old dude from Singapore with IT background (Ethical hacker), friend introduced me to Forex which he eventually quit but I didn't. I love challenges and now I plan on taking up Forex trading as a career apart from my passive income jobs.
When I first started trading, I was frustrated! I had so many unanswered questions, why do I keep getting stopped out? Why are my profits so low? Why was my trades always going opposite only once I opened. Is my broker trading against me? So I paused and walked away from the charts for a few weeks, in that break I took it upon myself to understand more about Forex before opening the charts again and here is what I learned. Mind you, I did not buy any course or Indicators! All I did was read articles on the internet, watch a ton of YouTube videos and tried almost all indicators .

Here we go, my tips. These are based on my views
  1. UNDERSTAND BANKS AND BIG FINANCIALS INSTITUTIONS MOVES THE MARKET - No retail traders will be able to move the market like how the Big Banks move the market. You need to understand how banks move smart money and dumb money.(Will explain more later in the post)
  2. STOP SEARCHING FOR THE HOLY GRAIL - No indicators is going to tell you where is the best entry or best exit. They often lag and are behind time so by the time you enter a trade, the trend has already moved a certain percentage causing you to lose precious pips that you could have gotten as profits. Instead look at the charts to search for "low risk, high probability trades" (Will explain more later in the post)
  3. LOOK OUT FOR NEWS (fundamentals) - Big impact news move the markets with big moves, don't get stopped out because you entered at the wrong time without knowing that there is a high impact news in a few minutes/hours. It might hurt your account badly even through you have a stop-loss. Understand the nature of the news and how it will impact the currency.
  4. DO NOT CHASE PROFITS - Chasing profits will be the number one reason you blow your account because no amount of money will satisfy you, you will always want more. Trust me, I've been there and done that . Instead start looking at percentage earned and loss, because in Forex you need money to make money. Lets say you have a target of 5% a month, with a $1000 account that is only $50 and doesn't seem significant but do that with a $100,000 account and you will get $5000 every month. I think you will get it by now. You can't just open a $1000 account and expect to be a millionaire in 1 month. Greed will take over you and you will blow every account you open.
  5. DO NOT OVER LEVERAGE YOU ACCOUNT - By over leveraging you will be able to open larger lot sizes and you will feel good that you can use less money to earn more profit! Then you will start trading, say you profited your first trade and you feel good about yourself. Profited your second trade and feel even better. So you go bigger in the third trade, and guess what? You lost this trade. And this one loss is enough to wipe out your whole $1000 account.
  6. MORE TRADES DOES NOT GIVE YOU MORE PROFITS - As a trader you should understand not every trade will turn out positive, there will always be negative trades. And at times you can have more negative trade than positive but still end up with profits at the end of the week? This is where quality over quantity trades comes in play. Lets say for example you had 4 losing trades and 2 winning trades, your losing trades are 2% each and your winning trades are 8% each, add them up and you will still have 8% profit. This is also a very important part called risk management. YOU MUST UNDERSTAND RISK MANAGEMENT ELSE YOU WILL ALWAYS FAIL IN FOREX.
  7. NEVER CHASE THE MARKET - Markets move 24/7 from Monday 5 AM to Saturday 5 AM (Singapore time, GMT+8). There will be plenty of opportunity to enter the market. You don't always need to have an open position during this time to feel like a trader. Smart traders look for the best opportunity to enter the market at certain levels. Missed an opportunity, don't worry! There will always be another opportunity, trust me! By chasing the market and always trying to open a position, it will only cause you to blow out your account faster.
  8. PATIENCE PATIENCE PATIENCE - I can't place more emphasis on this point. Once you have analysed the market and placed your trade, be patient and let the market work for you. By you sitting at the screen 24/7, the trade is not going to go by your way magically. Remember Bulls will Profit, Bears will profit, only Pigs will get slaughtered! Don't let greed eat you alive.

Now lets talk about the "low risk, high probability" trades and how I trade. Trading is easy, if you take some time to understand it.

How I trade? That's a simple question. I use supply and demand together with fundamentals. I keep my charts clean off indicators. I know I know as soon as I say supply and demand, some of you are going to be like supply and demand doesn't exist in the currency market. But I hope you understand this are my views.
Supply and Demand
Supply and demand levels are zones that tend to be tested again and again till its broken creating another level for supply and demand. You are basically trading against the trend and I know people will be scared and think I'm dumb for saying. But once I learned this theory and started practicing it, I kicked myself in the bum for being so dumb all this while. This zones are also known for when banks throw large amount of money into the market. Bank traders do not have their screen cluttered with tons of indicators like retail trades who is just in search for the holy grail. They practice supply and demand. Let me put it in a easier context, It is basically buying a currency at wholesale and selling it at a retail price. People always practice this everyday in life like buying more of a certain item just because it is on discount at a supermarket but I don't understand why they neglect it when it comes to Forex. It is no different here in the markets. I am not going to say no more, as I want you to google more about it and understand it yourself, that is the best way you will learn better. Watch YouTube videos, read articles, see how bankers trade, understand why they place the trade.
Also understand that there is no supply and demand in lower time frame like M1 or M5, its just noise. For myself, I use H1/H4/D1.
I make 100-200 pips per week and that is enough for me currently, Remember don't be greedy.
However when there is news events, supply and demand may be ignored due to the nature of how fundamentals affect the market differently. Understand the difference and with that I have came to the end.
Remember to treat yourself once in awhile when you do good each month, You will enjoy trading better. Let me tell you the best part about trading, is that you can work from anywhere in the world, be your own boss and never be pressured by anyone.
If you have made it this far, I thank you for taking your time to read this thread. This may be your first step to success.

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND AND HAPPY TRADING

submitted by Rishanan to Forex [link] [comments]

I am a professional Day Trader working for a Prop Fund, Hope I can help people out and answer some questions

Howdy all, I work professionally for a proprietary trading fund, and have worked for quite a few in my time, hope I can offer some insights on trading etc you guys might have.
Bonus for you guys
Here are the columns in my trading journal and various explanations where appropriate:
Trade Number – Simply is this the first trade of the year? The 10th?, The 50th? I count a trade
that you opened and closed just one trade number. For example if you buy EUUSD today and
sell it 50 pips later in the day and close out the trade, then that is just one trade for recording
purposes. I do not create a second trade number to describe the exit. Both the entry and exit are
under the same trade number.


Ticket Number – This is ticket number / order ID number that your broker gives you for the trade
on your platform.


Day of the Week – This would be simply the day of the week the trade was initiated


Financial Instrument / Currency Pair – Whatever Financial Instrument or currency pair you are
trading. If you are trading EUUSD, put EUUSD. If you are trading the EuroFX futures
contract, then put in Euro FX. If you are trading the emini S&P, then put in Emini S&P 500. If
you are trading a stock, put in the ticker symbol. Etc.


Buy/Sell or Long/Short – Did you buy or sell to open the new trade? If you bought something to
open the trade, then write in either BUY or LONG. If you sold(shorted) something to open a
trade, then write in SOLD, or SHORT. This is a personal preference. Some people like to put in
their journals as BUY/SELL. Other people like to write in Long/Short. My preference is for
writing in long/short, since that is the more professional way to say it. I like to use the lingo
where possible.


Order Type – Market or Limit – When you entered the trade was it a market order or limit order?
Some people can enter a trade using a combination of market and limit orders. If you enter a
trade for $1 million half of which was market order and the other half was limit order, then you
can write in $500,000 Market, $500,000 Limit as a bullet points.


Position Size / Units / Contracts / Shares – How big was the total trade you entered? If you
bought 1 standard lot of a currency pair, then write in $100,000 or 1 standard lot. If you bought 5
gold futures contracts, then write in 5 contracts. If you bought 1,000 shares of stock, then write
in 1,000 shares. Etc.


Entry Price – The entry price you received entering your opening position. If you entered at
multiple prices, then you can either write in all the different fills you got, or specify the average
price received.


Entry Date – Date that you entered the position. For example January 23, 2012. Or you can
write in 1/23/12

.
Entry Time – Time that you opened the position. If it is multiple positions, then you can specify
each time for each various fill, or you can specify the time range. For example if you got
$100,000 worth of EUUSD filled at 3:00 AM EST, and another $100,000 filled at 3:05 and
another $100,000 filled at 3:25, then you can write all those in, or you can specify a range of 3:00
– 3:30 AM EST.


Entry Spread Cost (in pips) – This is optional if you want to keep track of your spread cost in
pips. If you executed a market order, how many pips did you pay in spread.


Entry Spread Cost (in dollars) – This is optional if you want to keep track of your spread cost in
dollars. If you executed a market order, how many dollars did you pay in spread.


Stop Loss Size – How big is your stop loss size? If you are trading a currency pair, then you
write in the pips. If you are trading the S&P futures contract, then write in the number of points.
If you are trading a stock, then write in how many cents or dollars your stop is away from your
entry price.


% Risk – If you were to get stopped out of the trade, how much % loss of your equity is that?
This is where you input your risk per trade expressed in % terms if you use such a position sizing
method. If you risked 0.50% of your account on the trade, then put in 0.50%


Risk in dollars – If you were to get stopped out of the trade, how much loss in dollars is that. For
example if you have a $100,000 account and you risked 1% on a trade, then write in $1,000
dollars


Potential Reward: Risk Ratio – This is a column that I only sometimes fill in. You write in what
the potential reward risk ratio of the trade is. If you are trading using a 100 pip stop and you
expect that the market can reasonably move 300 pips, then you can write in 3:1. Of course this is
an interesting column because you can look at it after the trade is finished and see how close you
were or how far removed from reality your initial projections were.


Potential Win Rate – This is another column that I only sometimes fill in. You write in what you
believe the potential win rate of this trade is. If you were to place this trade 10 times in a row,
how many times do you think you would win? I write it in as percentage terms. If you believe
the trade has a 50% chance to win, then write in 50%.


Type of Inefficiency – This is where you write in what type of inefficiency you are looking to
capture. I use the word inefficiency here. I believe it is important to think of trading setups as
inefficiencies. If you think in terms of inefficiencies, then you will think in terms of the market
being mispriced, then you will think about the reasons why the market is mispriced and why such
market expectations for example are out of alignment with reality. In this category I could write
in different types of trades such as fading the stops, different types of news trades, expecting
stops to get tripped, betting on sentiment intensifying, betting on sentiment reversing, etc. I do
not write in all the reasons why I took the trade in this column. I do that in another column. This
column is just to broadly define what type of inefficiency you are looking to capture.


Chart Time Frame – I do not use this since all my order flow based trades have nothing to do
with what chart time frame I look at. However, if you are a chartist or price action trader, then
you may want to include what chart time frame you found whatever pattern you were looking at.


Exit Price – When you exit your trade, you enter the price you received here.


Exit Date – The date you exited your trade.


Exit Time – The time you exited your trade.


Trade Duration – In hours, minutes, days or weeks. If the trade lasts less than an hour, I will
usually write in the duration in minutes. Anything in between 1 and 48 hours, I write in the hours
amount. Anything past that and I write it as days or weeks as appropriate, etc.
Pips the trade went against you before turning into a winner – If you have a trade that suffered a
draw down, but did not stop you out and eventually was a winner, then you write it how many
pips the trade went against you before it turned into a profitable trade. The reason you have this
column is to compare it to your stop loss size and see any patterns that emerge. If you notice that
a lot of your winning trades suffer a big draw down and get near your stop loss points but turn out
to be a profitable trade, then you can further refine your entry strategy to get in a better price.


Slippage on the Exit – If you get stopped out for a loss, then you write in how many pips you
suffered as slippage, if any. For example if you are long EUUSD at 1.2500 and have your stop
loss at 1.2400 and the market drops and you get filled at 1.2398, then you would write in -2 pips
slippage. In other words you lost 2 pips as slippage. This is important for a few different
reasons. Firstly, you want to see if the places you put your stop at suffer from slippage. If they
do, perhaps you can get better stop loss placement, or use it as useful information to find new
inefficiencies. Secondly, you want to see how much slippage your broker is giving you. If you
are trading the same system with different brokers, then you can record the slippage from each
one and see which has the lowest slippage so you can choose them.


Profit/Loss -You write in the profit and/or loss in pips, cents, points, etc as appropriate. If you
bought EUUSD at 1.2500 and sell it at 1.2550, you made 50 pips, so write in +50 pips. If you
bought a stock at $50 and you sell it at $60, then write in +$10. If you buy the S&P futures at
1,250 and sell them at 1,275, then write in +25 points. If you buy the GBP/USD at 1.5000 and
you sell it at 1.4900, then write in -100 pips. Etc. I color code the box background to green for
profit and red for loss.


Profit/Loss In Dollars – You write the profit and/or loss in dollars (or euros, or jpy, etc whatever
currency your account is denominated in). If you are long $100,000 of EUUSD at 1.2500 and
sell it at 1.2600, then write in +$1,000. If you are short $100,000 GBP/USD at 1.5900 and it
rises to 1.6000 and you cover, then write in -$1,000. I color code the box background to green
for profit and red for loss.


Profit/Loss as % of your account – Write in the profit and/or loss as % of your account. If a trade
made you 2% of your account, then write in +2%. If a trade lost 0.50%, then write in -0.50%. I
color code the box background to green for profit and red for loss.


Reward:Risk Ratio or R multiple: If the trade is a profit, then write in how many times your risk
did it pay off. If you risked 0.50% and you made 1.00%, then write in +2R or 2:1 or 2.0. If you
risked 0.50% and a trade only makes 0.10%, then write in +0.20R or 0.2:1 or 0.2. If a trade went
for a loss that is equal to or less than what you risked, then I do not write in anything. If the loss
is greater than the amount you risked, then I do write it in this column. For example lets say you
risk 0.50% on a stock, but overnight the market gaps and you lose 1.50% on a trade, then I would
write it in as a -3R.


What Type of trading loss if the trade lost money? – This is where I describe in very general
terms a trade if it lost money. For example, if I lost money on a trade and the reason was because
I was buying in a market that was making fresh lows, but after I bought the market kept on going
lower, then I would write in: “trying to pick a bottom.” If I tried shorting into a rising uptrend
and I take a loss, then I describe it as “trying to pick a top.” If I am buying in an uptrend and buy
on a retracement, but the market makes a deeper retracement or trend change, then I write in
“tried to buy a ret.” And so on and so forth. In very general terms I describe it. The various
ways I use are:
• Trying to pick a bottom
• Trying to pick a top
• Shorting a bottom
• Buying a top
• Shorting a ret and failed
• Wrongly predicted news
• Bought a ret and failed
• Fade a resistance level
• Buy a support level
• Tried to buy a breakout higher
• Tried to short a breakout lower
I find this category very interesting and important because when performing trade journal
analysis, you can notice trends when you have winners or losing trades. For example if I notice a
string of losing trades and I notice that all of them occur in the same market, and all of them have
as a reason: “tried to pick a bottom”, then I know I was dumb for trying to pick a bottom five
times in a row. I was fighting the macro order flow and it was dumb. Or if I notice a string of
losers and see that I tried to buy a breakout and it failed five times in a row, but notice that the
market continued to go higher after I was stopped out, then I realize that I was correct in the
move, but I just applied the wrong entry strategy. I should have bought a retracement, instead of
trying to buy a fresh breakout.


That Day’s Weaknesses (If any) – This is where I write in if there were any weaknesses or
distractions on the day I placed the trade. For example if you are dead tired and place a trade,
then write in that you were very tired. Or if you place a trade when there were five people
coming and out of your trading office or room in your house, then write that in. If you placed the
trade when the fire alarm was going off then write that in. Or if you place a trade without having
done your daily habits, then write that in. Etc. Whatever you believe was a possible weakness
that threw you off your game.


That Day’s Strengths (If any) – Here you can write in what strengths you had during the day you
placed your trade. If you had complete peace and quiet, write that in. If you completed all your
daily habits, then write that in. Etc. Whatever you believe was a possible strength during the
day.


How many Open Positions Total (including the one you just placed) – How many open trades do
you have after placing this one? If you have zero open trades and you just placed one, then the
total number of open positions would be one, so write in “1.” If you have on three open trades,
and you are placing a new current one, then the total number of open positions would be four, so
write in “4.” The reason you have this column in your trading journal is so that you can notice
trends in winning and losing streaks. Do a lot of your losing streaks happen when you have on a
lot of open positions at the same time? Do you have a winning streak when the number of open
positions is kept low? Or can you handle a lot of open positions at the same time?


Exit Spread Cost (in pips) – This is optional if you want to keep track of your spread cost in pips.
If you executed a market order, how many pips did you pay in spread.


Exit Spread Cost (in dollars) – This is optional if you want to keep track of your spread cost in
dollars. If you executed a market order, how many dollars did you pay in spread.


Total Spread Cost (in pips) – You write in the total spread cost of the entry and exit in pips.


Total Spread Cost (in dollars) – You write in the total spread cost of the entry and exit in dollars.


Commission Cost – Here you write in the total commission cost that you incurred for getting in
and out of the trade. If you have a forex broker that is commission free and only gets
compensated through the spread, then you do not need this column.


Starting Balance – The starting account balance that you had prior to the placing of the trade


Interest/swap – If you hold forex currency pairs past the rollover, then you either get interest or
need to pay out interest depending on the rollover rates. Or if you bought a stock and got a
dividend then write that in. Or if you shorted a stock and you had to pay a dividend, then write
that in.


Ending Balance – The ending balance of your account after the trade is closed after taking into
account trade P&L, commission cost, and interest/swap.


Reasons for taking the trade – Here is where you go into much more detail about why you placed
the trade. Write out your thinking. Instead of writing a paragraph or two describing my thinking
behind the trade, I condense the reasons down into bullet points. It can be anywhere from 1-10
bullet points.


What I Learned – No matter if the trade is a win or loss, write down what you believed you
learned. Again, instead of writing out a paragraph or two, I condense it down into bullet points. it
can be anywhere from 1-10 bullet points. I do this during the day the trade closed as a profit or
loss.


What I learned after Long Term reflection, several days, weeks, or months – This is the very
interesting column. This is important because after you have a winning or losing trade, you will
not always know the true reasons why it happened. You have your immediate theories and
reasons which you include in the previous column. However, there are times when after several
days, weeks, or months, you find the true reason and proper market belief about why your trade
succeeded or failed. It can take a few days or weeks or months to reach that “aha” moment. I am
not saying that I am thinking about trades I placed ten months ago. I try to forget about them and
focus on the present moment. However, there will be trades where you have these nagging
questions about they failed or succeeded and you will only discover those reasons several days,
weeks, or months later. When you discover the reasons, you write them in this column.
submitted by Fox-The-Wise to Forex [link] [comments]

Let's Talk About Trading Reversals

Let's Talk About Trading Reversals
I feel I could have done much better this week. The retracement of GPJPY on Friday from the 132.15 high got me out of the week at a profit, but I really think I should have done better. I'll spend the whole weekend dissecting my trades and working out where I may have made mistakes and where I can improve upon these.

Part of my reason for joining here was to teach things that work for me, and to learn about things working for others. The best thing for me is for people to provide well thought out and well presented suggestions on ways I can improve upon weaknesses. I've always made my bigger major breakthroughs in trading based on this. Small observations, well explained by people who know what they're talking about.

I've had it said to me many times here that I can not take criticism, but that's not true. I assure you, I'll be 1,000 times more critical of my mistakes that anyone else. I will still be working on them long after others forget them. What I am not interested in is comments I've got here that usually amount to, "You're stupid, and I think I am a better person than you". I'm not here to learn how to be egotistical, I already know how to do that.

In this post I'll discuss how trading reversals, and particularly how I traded shorts on GBPJPY this week. I'll start by doing a run through of the trades I took.
Thing started well, shorting on Monday 129 - 128.25 (Here my sell was stopped out right before it dropped 100 more pips, so I was not happy with this winning trade. I view it as 100 pips loss in some ways).

Then I bought the low of 127 with a 128 target, but took profit and reversed 127.40.

Stopped out this trade, and sold 128.
Stopped out, and sold 128.50.
Stopped out, and decided to stop selling. Worked on a more developed plan in case the market continued to go up.
Bought 130 area, and took profit 131.
131.50 area started selling again, got some stop outs. Sold high 132.15.

All my stops were 10 - 20 pips. Very tight for this pair.

Where I'm going to focus here is 131.50 - 132 area. Getting stopped out for 10 pips when the market goes up 300 more is fine for me. I can work on filtering these trades, but as far as I'm concerned I am losing these well. Someone commented on one my GBPJPY sells signals from 128.50 saying I was "Rekt" when it went to 130 ... but I got out for 15 pips. This is exactly the type of useless "feedback" that's obviously worth ignoring. Hopefully this post can be a more constructive conversation.

So here is where I am starting to sell GBPJPPY and getting spiked out. I call myself out on the mistake I am making.
https://preview.redd.it/g3k0sfndi1l31.png?width=678&format=png&auto=webp&s=dfc6b9c8afeea66a4292301c5b3f143062bf02f7

I then took up my own advice, set some limits. Took some more nominal stop losses for 10 pips or less and got in a good trade 132.15.

https://preview.redd.it/87xbdrhcj1l31.png?width=815&format=png&auto=webp&s=33ca2e15bbe216f9fb3fe1b00e885a1c63aaafea
https://preview.redd.it/4rmiujljj1l31.png?width=758&format=png&auto=webp&s=7103dfefb681d8db748cefd3c6ab0fcae2b5fd2b
Source https://www.reddit.com/Forex/comments/czyoo6/i_think_a_huge_gbpjpy_sell_is_due/ez7any5/

I added to my sell 132, 132.05 and 131.90.

The end result of this was profitable, but I know I can do better. This is one of my known areas of improvement.
I'd be interested in sharing ideas and thoughts with people on how to improve here. These have to be comprehensive, though. Including entries, exits and Rprobability assessments. Saying things that amount to cliches and catchphrases do not help. I've also thought of the obvious things.

Options for Trading Reversals



So now we'll get onto some of the options we have to trade this move, and the risks and rewards we get in each one.
I've covered what I've done here. My risk is I am going to invariably get whipsaw stop outs, have to re-enter a few times and have random people telling me I got "rekt". I can deal with all of these, because I'm getting into RR situations that have 10 - 20 + pay outs with the ways I structure positions, add to winning trades and trail stops. I need to be successful something like 7% of the time doing this, and I am successful more than that. Makes sense, to me.

These are the other ways of trading this I am interested in speaking about.
https://preview.redd.it/namn0aahl1l31.png?width=743&format=png&auto=webp&s=02a972ce8f8f42110fb0a3eccf7122950cda68ba
We'll take them one at a time, and I will explain these setups as I think the people are saying to trade them. If I'm wrong, kindly correct me. I'm just basing this on what people who usually say this give when asked to elaborate (assuming they do).

So here is number one. We wait for a sell signal.

https://preview.redd.it/4x504q3ul1l31.png?width=1342&format=png&auto=webp&s=109a2440bd4a424c1e2577ab3ad69fcc76dd7ccb
What now? How do we enter?
If we enter at the low, we're fair game for stop hunting unless we use the highs. Inside of the swing down leg we can expect price to trade in there, even if it's going to fall more. So if we enter after the signal, we have high stop out probabilities unless above the high. Above the high, we have usually 80 - 100 pip stop.
So it seems this is not offering the same RR if we assume the market does top and then fall 500 pips. It's a less profitable trade, or the same, even accounting for it having higher win rate.
Our second option is to wait for the retrace and limit in. This is a great trade.
https://preview.redd.it/rumv8utfm1l31.png?width=1344&format=png&auto=webp&s=16245690beae9c11d10dc569f1e83e251127db6f
Trouble is, this does not always happen. The retrace is not always predictable. So when we use this method, our reward is good entries, good RR, "confirmed" signal. Our risk is missing a big move. For the highly risk adverse, this is probably ideal, but for those who can take small losses for a big win, this is not optimum.

Our other option is to place sell stops, so we enter into momentum. I've shown the areas for this in red.
https://preview.redd.it/kfyaqwsxm1l31.png?width=1036&format=png&auto=webp&s=b35911a87fe57e2ae1c153d368da2ea905f761c9
We have the same issue on RR. Where to place the stops. Has to be above the high, really. Or we have the same risk of small stop outs we have in my method, but we have a worse price.

Here I've circled all the points these alternative confirmed entry strategies flag up sells.
https://preview.redd.it/1zu6ydkcn1l31.png?width=819&format=png&auto=webp&s=184d17cb15574dccf5aa849b0cac74a36fd42f86
On all occasions using the breakout rules, they enter at almost the worst possible price. On the retrace rules, they enter at good price but lose. My trades have engaged the same levels of this (apart from me stopping selling before the 129 trap). I've lost 10 -20 pips on them, and these other signals generated losses of 60 - 80 pips. Same bets, same levels. 1/4 losses, and 400% more RR per trade.

Could those who have different ways in which they approach these reversals explain their rational for it in the same way I've went through mine here?

1 - What the entry signals is.
2 - Where to enter.
3 - Where to stop.
4 - Applying this to losing signals as well as winners (not cherry picking).

If you do this better than I do, I'd be interested in how you do it and your rational for it.
I'm also interested in well thought out explanations of mistakes I make/areas I can improve, as long as it's comprehensive. I'm not the best I can be. I want to get better. I am very keen to learn where I can. I always deeply consider constructive critics and ideas based on what I do (or things others do).
submitted by whatthefx to Forex [link] [comments]

Technical Strategy for High Impact News Trading

After my 1:20 RR buys on EURUSD after the ECB event, I got a lot of questions about news trading.
These buys were a slight adaption of a strategy I have that is only for trading news events. I've attached a write up of the strategies engagement rules and risk controls to explain things I do and do not do in news events (If I trade them at all).

News Momentum Follow / Fade


Strategy Objective
To find opportunities where high RR trades can be achieved in short periods of time, due to increased volatility in the market after news events.

Strategy Method
The strategy is fully technical analysis based, but uses a trigger of strong moves on high impact news events to filter for trading opportunities. The news events have to be important (interest rates etc). Price action has to make a consistent move in the first 10 minutes (no whipsaw ranges).
The strategy will define areas before the news event where price might breakout in a trend, or reverse after a trend correction. These areas will be marked in, if there is strong momentum into these areas after the news event, the strategy will place limit orders to enter at strong RR prices.
When the news is against the trend, we are looking to fade it from key retrace areas. When it’s with the trend, we look for continuations after breakouts.

Strategy Engagement Rules
There must be high impact, scheduled news. This will usually only be interest rate decisions, although there will be some exceptions to this.
The pairs on watch lists must have overall trending conditions on larger charts, and support/resistance zones taken from these charts.
No action can be taken before the news event, or in the 10 minutes after the news event.
Market entries are not permitted. Limit orders must be used to reduce slippage risks.
Strong moves are required. Over 100 pips in the first 15 minute close.
A brief period of consolidation has to follow the initial spike. Even using limits, orders are not placed while price has strong momentum.

Strategy Risks
The obvious risks for this strategy are volatility and execution. It deals with these in multiple ways. Since entries are made after the news and during consolidation with limit orders, slippage on entries is not a problem. The main threat is slippage on stops. These will usually be 50 pips or so, so are unlikely to massively rack up larger losses in slips. Fills on profitable exits should be fine. These will usually take a few hours at least, and liquidity will have returned to normal.
The added volatility can add some more possible variance, but this is balanced out by good entries being able to get 1:10 RR trades in only hours.

Strategy Trading Frequency and Duration
This strategy will usually only trade on a few occasions per month. It’s trading activity will be centralised around the times there are interest rate decisions from major central banks. Losing trades will usually be complete in under 4 hours. Winning trades 12 - 18 hours.

Position Structure
Positions for this strategy will be opened in block of five trades. These will be limit orders spaced out evenly in a grid formation in a possible reversal zone. All positions will be of equal size and use the same amount of pips in stops, but have different profit targets at various RR points.

Money Management
This strategy uses the same amount of risk in all net positions.
Stop losses are applied when opening all trades to cap risk.
This can be as low as 0.1%, or even lower (on suitable funds).
No more than 1 losing trade allowed on one day.
No more than 4 losing trades allowed in one week.
submitted by whatthefx to Forex [link] [comments]

How to get started in Forex - A comprehensive guide for newbies

Almost every day people come to this subreddit asking the same basic questions over and over again. I've put this guide together to point you in the right direction and help you get started on your forex journey.

A quick background on me before you ask: My name is Bob, I'm based out of western Canada. I started my forex journey back in January 2018 and am still learning. However I am trading live, not on demo accounts. I also code my own EA's. I not certified, licensed, insured, or even remotely qualified as a professional in the finance industry. Nothing I say constitutes financial advice. Take what I'm saying with a grain of salt, but everything I've outlined below is a synopsis of some tough lessons I've learned over the last year of being in this business.

LET'S GET SOME UNPLEASANTNESS OUT OF THE WAY

I'm going to call you stupid. I'm also going to call you dumb. I'm going to call you many other things. I do this because odds are, you are stupid, foolish,and just asking to have your money taken away. Welcome to the 95% of retail traders. Perhaps uneducated or uninformed are better phrases, but I've never been a big proponent of being politically correct.

Want to get out of the 95% and join the 5% of us who actually make money doing this? Put your grown up pants on, buck up, and don't give me any of this pc "This is hurting my feelings so I'm not going to listen to you" bullshit that the world has been moving towards.

Let's rip the bandage off quickly on this point - the world does not give a fuck about you. At one point maybe it did, it was this amazing vision nicknamed the American Dream. It died an agonizing, horrible death at the hand of capitalists and entrepreneurs. The world today revolves around money. Your money, my money, everybody's money. People want to take your money to add it to theirs. They don't give a fuck if it forces you out on the street and your family has to live in cardboard box. The world just stopped caring in general. It sucks, but it's the way the world works now. Welcome to the new world order. It's called Capitalism.

And here comes the next hard truth that you will need to accept - Forex is a cruel bitch of a mistress. She will hurt you. She will torment you. She will give you nightmares. She will keep you awake at night. And then she will tease you with a glimmer of hope to lure you into a false sense of security before she then guts you like a fish and shows you what your insides look like. This statement applies to all trading markets - they are cruel, ruthless, and not for the weak minded.

The sooner you accept these truths, the sooner you will become profitable. Don't accept it? That's fine. Don't bother reading any further. If I've offended you I don't give a fuck. You can run back home and hide under your bed. The world doesn't care and neither do I.

For what it's worth - I am not normally an major condescending asshole like the above paragraphs would suggest. In fact, if you look through my posts on this subreddit you will see I am actually quite helpful most of the time to many people who come here. But I need you to really understand that Forex is not for most people. It will make you cry. And if the markets themselves don't do it, the people in the markets will.

LESSON 1 - LEARN THE BASICS

Save yourself and everybody here a bunch of time - learn the basics of forex. You can learn the basics for free - BabyPips has one of the best free courses online which explains what exactly forex is, how it works, different strategies and methods of how to approach trading, and many other amazing topics.

You can access the BabyPips course by clicking this link: https://www.babypips.com/learn/forex

Do EVERY course in the School of Pipsology. It's free, it's comprehensive, and it will save you from a lot of trouble. It also has the added benefit of preventing you from looking foolish and uneducated when you come here asking for help if you already know this stuff.

If you still have questions about how forex works, please see the FREE RESOURCES links on the /Forex FAQ which can be found here: https://www.reddit.com/Forex/wiki/index

Quiz Time
Answer these questions truthfully to yourself:

-What is the difference between a market order, a stop order, and a limit order?
-How do you draw a support/resistance line? (Demonstrate it to yourself)
-What is the difference between MACD, RSI, and Stochastic indicators?
-What is fundamental analysis and how does it differ from technical analysis and price action trading?
-True or False: It's better to have a broker who gives you 500:1 margin instead of 50:1 margin. Be able to justify your reasoning.

If you don't know to answer to any of these questions, then you aren't ready to move on. Go back to the School of Pipsology linked above and do it all again.

If you can answer these questions without having to refer to any kind of reference then congratulations, you are ready to move past being a forex newbie and are ready to dive into the wonderful world of currency trading! Move onto Lesson 2 below.

LESSON 2 - RANDOM STRANGERS ARE NOT GOING TO HELP YOU GET RICH IN FOREX

This may come as a bit of a shock to you, but that random stranger on instagram who is posting about how he is killing it on forex is not trying to insprire you to greatness. He's also not trying to help you. He's also not trying to teach you how to attain financial freedom.

99.99999% of people posting about wanting to help you become rich in forex are LYING TO YOU.

Why would such nice, polite people do such a thing? Because THEY ARE TRYING TO PROFIT FROM YOUR STUPIDITY.

Plain and simple. Here's just a few ways these "experts" and "gurus" profit from you:


These are just a few examples. The reality is that very few people make it big in forex or any kind of trading. If somebody is trying to sell you the dream, they are essentially a magician - making you look the other way while they snatch your wallet and clean you out.

Additionally, on the topic of fund managers - legitimate fund managers will be certified, licensed, and insured. Ask them for proof of those 3 things. What they typically look like are:

If you are talking to a fund manager and they are insisting they have all of these, get a copy of their verification documents and lookup their licenses on the directories of the issuers to verify they are valid. If they are, then at least you are talking to somebody who seems to have their shit together and is doing investment management and trading as a professional and you are at least partially protected when the shit hits the fan.


LESSON 3 - UNDERSTAND YOUR RISK

Many people jump into Forex, drop $2000 into a broker account and start trading 1 lot orders because they signed up with a broker thinking they will get rich because they were given 500:1 margin and can risk it all on each trade. Worst-case scenario you lose your account, best case scenario you become a millionaire very quickly. Seems like a pretty good gamble right? You are dead wrong.

As a new trader, you should never risk more than 1% of your account balance on a trade. If you have some experience and are confident and doing well, then it's perfectly natural to risk 2-3% of your account per trade. Anybody who risks more than 4-5% of their account on a single trade deserves to blow their account. At that point you aren't trading, you are gambling. Don't pretend you are a trader when really you are just putting everything on red and hoping the roulette ball lands in the right spot. It's stupid and reckless and going to screw you very quickly.

Let's do some math here:

You put $2,000 into your trading account.
Risking 1% means you are willing to lose $20 per trade. That means you are going to be trading micro lots, or 0.01 lots most likely ($0.10/pip). At that level you can have a trade stop loss at -200 pips and only lose $20. It's the best starting point for anybody. Additionally, if you SL 20 trades in a row you are only down $200 (or 10% of your account) which isn't that difficult to recover from.
Risking 3% means you are willing to lose $60 per trade. You could do mini lots at this point, which is 0.1 lots (or $1/pip). Let's say you SL on 20 trades in a row. You've just lost $1,200 or 60% of your account. Even veteran traders will go through periods of repeat SL'ing, you are not a special snowflake and are not immune to periods of major drawdown.
Risking 5% means you are willing to lose $100 per trade. SL 20 trades in a row, your account is blown. As Red Foreman would call it - Good job dumbass.

Never risk more than 1% of your account on any trade until you can show that you are either consistently breaking even or making a profit. By consistently, I mean 200 trades minimum. You do 200 trades over a period of time and either break-even or make a profit, then you should be alright to increase your risk.

Unfortunately, this is where many retail traders get greedy and blow it. They will do 10 trades and hit their profit target on 9 of them. They will start seeing huge piles of money in their future and get greedy. They will start taking more risk on their trades than their account can handle.

200 trades of break-even or profitable performance risking 1% per trade. Don't even think about increasing your risk tolerance until you do it. When you get to this point, increase you risk to 2%. Do 1,000 trades at this level and show break-even or profit. If you blow your account, go back down to 1% until you can figure out what the hell you did differently or wrong, fix your strategy, and try again.

Once you clear 1,000 trades at 2%, it's really up to you if you want to increase your risk. I don't recommend it. Even 2% is bordering on gambling to be honest.


LESSON 4 - THE 500 PIP DRAWDOWN RULE

This is a rule I created for myself and it's a great way to help protect your account from blowing.

Sometimes the market goes insane. Like really insane. Insane to the point that your broker can't keep up and they can't hold your orders to the SL and TP levels you specified. They will try, but during a flash crash like we had at the start of January 2019 the rules can sometimes go flying out the window on account of the trading servers being unable to keep up with all the shit that's hitting the fan.

Because of this I live by a rule I call the 500 Pip Drawdown Rule and it's really quite simple - Have enough funds in your account to cover a 500 pip drawdown on your largest open trade. I don't care if you set a SL of -50 pips. During a flash crash that shit sometimes just breaks.

So let's use an example - you open a 0.1 lot short order on USDCAD and set the SL to 50 pips (so you'd only lose $50 if you hit stoploss). An hour later Trump makes some absurd announcement which causes a massive fundamental event on the market. A flash crash happens and over the course of the next few minutes USDCAD spikes up 500 pips, your broker is struggling to keep shit under control and your order slips through the cracks. By the time your broker is able to clear the backlog of orders and activity, your order closes out at 500 pips in the red. You just lost $500 when you intended initially to only risk $50.

It gets kinda scary if you are dealing with whole lot orders. A single order with a 500 pip drawdown is $5,000 gone in an instant. That will decimate many trader accounts.

Remember my statements above about Forex being a cruel bitch of a mistress? I wasn't kidding.

Granted - the above scenario is very rare to actually happen. But glitches to happen from time to time. Broker servers go offline. Weird shit happens which sets off a fundamental shift. Lots of stuff can break your account very quickly if you aren't using proper risk management.


LESSON 5 - UNDERSTAND DIFFERENT TRADING METHODOLOGIES

Generally speaking, there are 3 trading methodologies that traders employ. It's important to figure out what method you intend to use before asking for help. Each has their pros and cons, and you can combine them in a somewhat hybrid methodology but that introduces challenges as well.

In a nutshell:

Now you may be thinking that you want to be a a price action trader - you should still learn the principles and concepts behind TA and FA. Same if you are planning to be a technical trader - you should learn about price action and fundamental analysis. More knowledge is better, always.

With regards to technical analysis, you need to really understand what the different indicators are tell you. It's very easy to misinterpret what an indicator is telling you, which causes you to make a bad trade and lose money. It's also important to understand that every indicator can be tuned to your personal preferences.

You might find, for example, that using Bollinger Bands with the normal 20 period SMA close, 2 standard deviation is not effective for how you look at the chart, but changing that to say a 20 period EMA average price, 1 standard deviation bollinger band indicator could give you significantly more insight.


LESSON 6 - TIMEFRAMES MATTER

Understanding the differences in which timeframes you trade on will make or break your chosen strategy. Some strategies work really well on Daily timeframes (i.e. Ichimoku) but they fall flat on their face if you use them on 1H timeframes, for example.

There is no right or wrong answer on what timeframe is best to trade on. Generally speaking however, there are 2 things to consider:


If you are a total newbie to forex, I suggest you don't trade on anything shorter than the 1H timeframe when you are first learning. Trading on higher timeframes tends to be much more forgiving and profitable per trade. Scalping is a delicate art and requires finesse and can be very challenging when you are first starting out.


LESSON 7 - AUTOBOTS...ROLL OUT!

Yeah...I'm a geek and grew up with the Transformers franchise decades before Michael Bay came along. Deal with it.

Forex bots are called EA's (Expert Advisors). They can be wonderous and devastating at the same time. /Forex is not really the best place to get help with them. That is what /algotrading is useful for. However some of us that lurk on /Forex code EA's and will try to assist when we can.

Anybody can learn to code an EA. But just like how 95% of retail traders fail, I would estimate the same is true for forex bots. Either the strategy doesn't work, the code is buggy, or many other reasons can cause EA's to fail. Because EA's can often times run up hundreds of orders in a very quick period of time, it's critical that you test them repeatedly before letting them lose on a live trading account so they don't blow your account to pieces. You have been warned.

If you want to learn how to code an EA, I suggest you start with MQL. It's a programming language which can be directly interpretted by Meta Trader. The Meta Trader terminal client even gives you a built in IDE for coding EA's in MQL. The downside is it can be buggy and glitchy and caused many frustrating hours of work to figure out what is wrong.

If you don't want to learn MQL, you can code an EA up in just about any programming language. Python is really popular for forex bots for some reason. But that doesn't mean you couldn't do it in something like C++ or Java or hell even something more unusual like JQuery if you really wanted.

I'm not going to get into the finer details of how to code EA's, there are some amazing guides out there. Just be careful with them. They can be your best friend and at the same time also your worst enemy when it comes to forex.

One final note on EA's - don't buy them. Ever. Let me put this into perspective - I create an EA which is literally producing money for me automatically 24/5. If it really is a good EA which is profitable, there is no way in hell I'm selling it. I'm keeping it to myself to make a fortune off of. EA's that are for sale will not work, will blow your account, and the developer who coded it will tell you that's too darn bad but no refunds. Don't ever buy an EA from anybody.

LESSON 8 - BRING ON THE HATERS

You are going to find that this subreddit is frequented by trolls. Some of them will get really nasty. Some of them will threaten you. Some of them will just make you miserable. It's the price you pay for admission to the /Forex club.

If you can't handle it, then I suggest you don't post here. Find a more newbie-friendly site. It sucks, but it's reality.

We often refer to trolls on this subreddit as shitcunts. That's your word of the day. Learn it, love it. Shitcunts.


YOU MADE IT, WELCOME TO FOREX!

If you've made it through all of the above and aren't cringing or getting scared, then welcome aboard the forex train! You will fit in nicely here. Ask your questions and the non-shitcunts of our little corner of reddit will try to help you.

Assuming this post doesn't get nuked and I don't get banned for it, I'll add more lessons to this post over time. Lessons I intend to add in the future:
If there is something else you feel should be included please drop a comment and I'll add it to the above list of pending topics.

Cheers,

Bob



submitted by wafflestation to Forex [link] [comments]

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