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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
Why use the economic calendar
Reading the economic calendar
Knowing what's priced in
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
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.
Profitable forex strategy: it is a type of instruction for the trader, which helps to follow a clearly verified algorithm and safeguard his deposit from emotional errors and consequences of the unpredictability of the Forex currency market.
Thanks to her, you will always know the answer to the question: how to act in certain market conditions. You have the conditions of opening a transaction, the conditions of its closing, likewise, you do not guess if it is time or not. You do what the trading strategy tells you. This does not mean that it cannot be changed. A healthy trading scheme in the forex market must be constantly adjusted, it must comply with the realities of current market trends, but there must be no unfounded arguments in it. >>> Forex Signals With Unbeatable Performance: Verified Forex Results And 5° Rated OnInvesting.com|Free Forex Signals Trial:CLICK HERE TO JOIN FOR FREE
Profitable Forex Strategy Reddit
Types of trading strategies The forms of a trading strategy can combine a variety of methods. However, several of the most commonly used options can be highlighted.
Trading strategy based on various complementary technical indicators
Trading strategy using Bollinger Bands
Moving Average Strategy
Technical figures and patterns
Trading with Fibonacci levels
Candlestick trading strategy
Trend trading strategy
Flat trading strategy
Fundamental analysis as the basis of the strategy
Three most profitable Forex strategies
Important!These strategies are the basis for building your own trading system.Indicator settings and recommended pending order levels are for consultation only.If you do not get a satisfactory outcome in the test result or in a live account, that does not mean that the problem is the strategy.It is enough to choose individual parameters of indicators under a separate asset and under the current market situation.
1. “Bali” scalping strategy
This strategy is one of the most popular, at least its description can be found on many websites. However, the recommendations will be different. According to the author's idea, "Bali" refers to scalping tactics, as it facilitates a fairly short stop loss (SL) and take profit (TP). However, the recommended time frame is high, because the signals appear not very often. The authors recommend using the H1 interval and the EUR / USD currency pair. Indicators used:
Linear Weighted Moving Average. Period 48 (red line).
Important!Note that the indicators for the “Bali” strategy are chosen in such a way as to ultimately give an early signal.This gives the trader time to confirm the signal and check the fundamentals.
MA is one of the basics on MT4, the other two indicators can be found in the archive for free here. To add them to the platform, click on MT4: "File / Open data directory". In the folder that opens, follow the following path: MQL4 / Indicators. Copy the flags to the folder and restart the platform. Also Read: Make Money With Trading Conditions to open a long position:
Price penetrates the orange Trend Envelopes line from the bottom up. At the same time in the same candle there is a change of the orange line that falls to a growing celestial.
The candle is above LWMA. Once the above condition has been met, we wait for the candle to appear above the moving one. It is important that it closes above the LWMA red line. It is mandatory to have a Skyline Trend Envelopes on a signal candle.
The additional DSS of momentum line on the signal candle is green and is above the dotted line of the signal (that is, it crosses or crosses it).
We open a trade at the close of the signal candle. The recommended stop level is 20-25 points in 4-digit quotes, take profit at 40-50 points. https://preview.redd.it/t48d55s8faw51.jpg?width=1000&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=1e93863745e74dec536178539817225767cbeb1c The arrow indicates a signal candle where a Trend Envelopes color change occurred. Note (purple ovals) that the blue line is below the orange line and goes upwards (in other cases the signal should be ignored). In the signal candle, the green DSS of momentum line is above the dotted line. Conditions to open a short position:
Price penetrates the Trend Envelopes sky line from top to bottom. At the same time in the same candle there is a change from the increasing celestial line to the falling orange.
The candle is below LWMA. Once the above condition has been met, we wait for the candle to appear below the mobile. It is important that it closes below the LWMA red line. It is mandatory to have an orange Trend Envelopes line on a signal candle.
The additional DSS of momentum line on the signal candle is orange and is below the dotted line of the signal (i.e. crosses or crosses it).
This profitable Forex strategy is weekly and can be used on different currency pairs. It is based on the spring principle of price movement, what went up quickly, sooner or later must fall. To trade you will only need a schedule on any platform and W1 time frame (although the daily interval can be used).
The bearish candle, which signifies last week's movement, has a relatively large body.
Open a long position early next week. Make sure to place a stop loss at 100-140 points and a take profit at 50-70 points. When it is midweek, close the order if it has not yet been closed at take profit or stop loss. After that, wait again for the beginning of the week and repeat the procedure, in any case do not open operations at the end of the current week. https://preview.redd.it/vuihnqspfaw51.jpg?width=1000&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=7641e9d7701911cc255c4f0c8a53e1660c35c9fe On this chart it is clearly seen that after each large bearish candle there is necessarily a bullish candle (although smaller). The only question is what period to take where it makes sense to compare the relative length of the candles. Here everything is individual for each currency pair. Note that a rising candle was observed followed by a few small bearish candles. But when it comes to minimizing risks, it is best not to open a long response position, as the relatively small decline from the previous week may continue. Conditions to open a short position:
The bullish candle, which signifies last week's movement, has a relatively large body.
We open a short position early next week. https://preview.redd.it/tv4zmf5ufaw51.jpg?width=1000&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=61cd1dcfc4aebfa6f80343b6c51f7a6e46358602 The red arrows point to the candles that had a large body around the previous bullish candles. Almost all signals turned out to be profitable, except for the transactions indicated by a blue arrow. The shortcomings of the strategy are rare signs, albeit with a high probability of profit. The best thing is that it can be used in several pairs at the same time. This strategy has an interesting modification based on similar logic. Investors with little capital opt for intraday strategies, as their money is insufficient to exert radical pressure on the market. Therefore, if there is a strong move on the weekly chart, this may indicate a cluster of large strong traders. In other words, if there are three weekly candles in one direction, it is most likely the fourth. Here you also have to take into account the psychological factor, 4 candles is equal to one month, and those who "push" the market in one direction, within a month will begin to set profits. Strategy principle:
A "three candles" pattern (ascending and descending) formed on the weekly chart.
It is preferable that each subsequent candle was larger than the previous one. Doji is not taken into account (disembodied candles).
Stop is placed at the closing level of the first candle of the constructed formation. Take profit at 50-100% of the last candle, but it is often better to manually close the trade.
This strategy is universal and is usually given as an example for novice traders. It uses classic EMA (Exponential Moving Average) indicators for MT4 and Parabolic SAR, which acts as a confirmatory indicator. The strategy is trend. Most sources suggest using it in "minutes", but price noise reduces its efficiency. It is better to use M15-M30 intervals. Currency pairs - Any, but you may need to adjust the indicator settings. Indicators used:
EMA with periods 5, 25 and 50. EMA (5) in red, EMA (25) and EMA (50) in yellow. Apply to Close (closing price).
Red EMA (5) crosses the yellows from bottom to top.
Parabolic SAR is located under the sails.
Conditions to open a short position:
Red EMA (5) crosses the yellows from top to bottom.
Parabolic SAR is located above the candles.
The transaction can be opened on the same candle where the mobile crossover occurred. Stop loss at the local minimum, take profit at 20-25 points. But with the manual management of transactions you can extract great benefits. For example, close at the time of the transition from EMA (5) to a horizontal position (change of the angle of inclination of the growth to flat). https://preview.redd.it/4un92jlegaw51.jpg?width=1000&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=406a700c00722349622d031e20d0858e4196d18b This screen shows that all three signals (two long and one short) were effective. It would be possible to enter the market on the candle by following the signal (in order to accurately verify the direction of the trend), but you would then miss the right time to enter. It is up to you to decide whether it is worth the risk. For one-hour intervals, these parameters hardly work, so be sure to check the performance of the indicators for each period of time in a minimum span of three years. And now that you know the theory, a few words about how to put these strategies into practice. Ready? Then let's get started!
From the theory to the practice
Step 1. Open demo account It's free, requires no deposit, takes up to 15 minutes, and no verification required. On the main page of your broker there is for sures a button "Register", click and follow the instructions. An account can also be opened from other menus (for example, from the top menu, from the commercial conditions of the account, etc.). Step 2. Familiarize yourself with the functionality of the Personal Area. It won't take long. It is at the most user friendly and intuitive. You just need to understand the instruments of the platform and understand how the trades are opened. Step 3. Launch the trading platform. The Personal Area has the platform incorporated, but it is impossible to add templates. Hence, the "Bali" and "Parabolic Profit" strategies can only be executed on MT4.
Characteristics of an effective Forex strategy Reddit
And finally, let's see what makes a profitable Forex strategy effective. What properties should it have? Perhaps three of the most important characteristics can be pointed out.
The minimum number of lag indicators. The smaller they are, the greater the forecast accuracy.
Easy. Understanding your strategy is more important than your saturation with complex elements, formulas, and schematics.
Uniqueness. Any trading strategy must be "tailored" to your trading style, your character, your circumstances, and so on.
It is very important to develop your own trading strategy, but it is necessary to test a large number of already available and proven strategies. On the Forex blog you will find trading strategies available for download. Before using a live account, test your chosen strategy on the demo account on the MetaTrader trading platform. Conclusion. To successfully trade the Forex currency market, create your own trading strategy. Learn what's new, learn out-of-the-box trading schemes, and improve your individual action plan in the market. Only in this case, the trading results will satisfy you to the fullest. Success, dear readers! >>> Forex Signals With Unbeatable Performance: Verified Forex Results And 5° Rated OnInvesting.com|Free Forex Signals Trial:CLICK HERE TO JOIN FOR FREE Join the community for more articles on trading and making money on the Forex and Stock market. ------------------------------------------------ ------------------------------------------------ Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, if you click and make a purchase I may receive a commission - This has NO extra cost for you.
Just some inspirations / reminders on strategy development
I just talk about really major pairs like EURUSD, USDJPY, etc. Forget about catching a trend, if you wanna trade trends, commodities, stocks, index funds trend way better, a lot more opportunities than forex. Major currencies range at least 70% of the time, if not more. Learn how to make money from ranging markets and hold a trend once you catch it. The biggest purpose of currency is for settling transactions, not for scalping profits. That's why it doesn't trend (aka remaining stable). Stability is why a currency being "major". Therefore most indicators don't work well with these currencies because first they are not designed for forex, second most of them only tell trends or overbought/oversold. Unless you are Soros or central banks etc no major currency can be overbought or oversold. Take advantage of "fakeout" (I still wonder if it's the right way to call it so, Trump's Tweets are one of the sources IMO). Accept the fact that it happens and think about how to profit from it. Market makers and big banks are also just market players, even though very much bigger, they are also profiting from each other. If you can't beat them, join them. Choppy market is still better than a still market. No market maker cares about support or resistance. Like no insider or institutional money (i mean human not machines) would spend hours and hours on charts drawing trend lines before they place an order. Why would you? Planning how to react in different scenarios after a position is opened is much better than trying to act like a crystal ball by looking at history when you trade something that ranges most of the time. The moment you observe a trend, chances are the trend is (almost) over. Even if things are against you, most of the time you can turn it to break even without using lots of margin. (Most news are just as big as baby's cough.) But still, very few news are really big (911, fukushima, brexit, covid, name it), don't ignore the news completely. Money management is very important. Most traders (of course including many of those on reddit) just talk about how to make an entry but seldom talk about how to manage an already open position or how to close a trade. The latter is way more important than the former. Besides japanese candlesticks, there are a lot more charting options out there. Be creative and know what you are trading to the deepest !
Summarizing some free trading idea resources I've been using
I've been following many free resources on youtube and twitter to generate trading ideas. Some of them are suspicious; some are more like boasting their wining trades but never post any losing trades. I see many people ask about trading ideas/resources, so I want to briefly share some resources I find useful. Twitter resources:
Instrument: Mostly SPX/SPY/ES
Highlights: TicTocTick is amazingly good at levels, spotting sellers and buyers levels. Everyday he posts his plan for the next day of the following format: If open above X, long/short bias, target Y. If open below X, short/long bias, target Z. Intraday he sometimes send "warnings" of potential big sellers / buyers at certain level. His price target and long/short bias is often right in my experience. His levels are useful for day trades IMHO.
Notes: (1) even with his plan, one needs an actionable plan. (2) He sometimes delete his tweets. His day-by-day and intraday tweets are more actionable than his longer term view. (3) he sometimes tweets political and controversial non-stock related things.
Trade transparency: 0/5 (doesn't post any trades)
Live update in-time: 5/5 (updates very frequently)
Actionable trading plan: 1/5 (good at levels and price targets. need your own plan)
Live interaction: 0/5 (no interaction)
Educational: 2/5 (can learn the technique from other resources. TicTock doesn't teach you directly)
Instrument: Mainly SPY/SPX/ES
Technique: candlestick patterns, Fib levels, support and resistance levels etc
Style: only day trading
Highlights: he diligently post daily plan and many educational resources, sometimes intraday updates. Had many good trades.
Notes: I haven't followed him long but so far so good. He also recently has educational youtube videos.
Trade transparency: X/5 (hard to measure)
Live update in-time: 2.5/5 (updates frequently)
Actionable trading plan: 3.5/5
Live interaction: X/5
Educational: 5/5 (youtube videos)
Technique: candlestick patterns, support and resistance levels, trendlines, channels etc
Instrument: SPX/SPY, Forex, Cryptocurrency,, Gold and Silver.
Style: holding for a few hours for SPX/SPY, swing trade for all
Timeframe: 8H for analysis. Lower time frame for entry.
Trading frequency: 1-2 trades per week.
Highlights: For SPX, he rode the big drop down in March; rode the rally up, and rode some pullbacks down in April. Got chopped in May. Now he's positinoning long. He also did well in Gold and Silverthis month. He only uses candle sticks, support and resistance lines, trendlines, and sometimes true trend indicator. He doesn't use volume though.
Youtube style: 2 videos every trading day: (1) live at 9am ET for 1-2 hours and talk about his plan and market analysis. Sometimes he trades during the live session (enter / exit). (2) after market closes he summarizes the day, and talks about plans for the next day. (3) Every weekend he gives out his technical analysis for the next week.
What I like: His levels on the chart are very good. He is also very transparent about his trades no matter whether it's winning or losing. He also explains the general economic environment.
Trade transparency: 4/5 (not knowing trading size; but knowing entry/exit)
Real-time update: 2.5/5 (two times a day)
Actionable trading plan: 5/5
Live interaction: 3.5/5 (some interaction on youtube live; Jordan responses to youtube comments)
Timeframe: all time frames. Mostly 5min, 1H, 1D, 1W, 1M.
Trading frequency: very frequent. multiple trades per day.
Highlights: Justin is very good at seeing through market maker manipulation and highly manipulated stocks. He often explained his plan and his outlook (especially in OPEX days) in his YouTube channel. The stocks on their weekly watchlist tend to do very well. He does live Q&A on youtube as well everyday where one can ask him to look at a chart.
Youtube style: Three videos by his team every trading day: (1) live at 9:30am ET; does 1-2 live scalping trades. Explains what he thinks of the market. (might discontinue) (2) at noon: summarizes what happened and what he sees is happening later in the day. Some of his trading plans. (3) 4:15pm ET: summarizes today and looking forward to the rest of the week. Videos (1) and (2) include live Q&A. I've asked many questions on youtube. Every weekend has two videos talking about plans for the next week.
What I like: The Q&A and Justin's outlook of the market, his team's stock pick.
The scalping trades in the morning is not very suitable for small accounts since they will trade for example 100 shares of BA (~160) to scalp a few dollars per share.
Even though the stocks on their weekly watchlist does well very, one still need to come up with an actionable plan. Very often say they recommend stock A on Sunday, and on Monday it already gaps up big. They sometimes do YOLO options -- big risk big rewards-- options can go to 0.
Besides the free content, everyone can get a free one-week trial for their paid membership, or a 2-week free trial by winning a lottery game on their youtube ( what I did) or knowing someone in their group and get a referral. What I like about the group: (i) very frequently updates each day on SPY and stocks on the watchlist. (ii) all their positions, Profit / Loss are very transparent. I learned a lot about how to manage trades by observing their live trades. (iii) There are many very experienced traders in the group posting their trading ideas, plans, entry/exit, and there are many live discussions. (iv) There's a "helpdesk" in the group where members' questions will be answered in minutes. I often ask about my trading plan, entries/ targets.
Trade transparency: 0/5 (free content: not knowing entry/exit nor position size);5+/5 (membership\*)*
Live update in-time: 3.5/5 (free content: three times a day);5+/5 (membership\*)*
Highlights: I follow their free Shadow trader swing newsletter, where every few days they post some trading ideas and analysis with actionable plan. Their twitter account will also real-time update their entry/exit and trade management.
What I like: I enjoyed learning what they look at to find a good set-up and how to manage a trade. They also have a spreadsheet tracking all their positions and profit/loss. All the winning/losing trades are transparent.
Notes: Because of the current market volatility, during certain weeks the swing trading performance is quite shaky. Profits (per 100K account with no more than 30K invested each time): 2020YTD: +9K, 2019: +6K; 2018: +30K; 2017: +3K; 2016: +2.5K; 2015: -1.8K.
Trade transparency: 5/5
Live update in-time: 5/5 (updates frequently)
Actionable trading plan: 5/5
Live interaction: 0/5 (newsletter and twitter alerts only)
Educational: 4.5/5 (the newsletter explains set-ups, what sectors they are looking at)
I've spent much time looking for free contents, and I like the ones above. Also looking forward to hearing about other good/bad resources. I might also update this post if there are enough interests. NFA
Some trading wisdom, tools and information I picked up along the way that helped me be a better trader. Maybe it can help you too.
Its a bit lengthy and I tried to condense it as much as I can. So take everything at a high level as each subject is has a lot more depth but fundamentally if you distill it down its just taking simple things and applying your experience using them to add nuance and better deploy them. There are exceptions to everything that you will learn with experience or have already learned. If you know something extra or something to add to it to implement it better or more accurately. Then great! However, my intention of this post is just a high level overview. Trading can be far too nuanced to go into in this post and would take forever to type up every exception (not to mention the traders individual personality). If you take the general information as a starting point, hopefully you will learn the edge cases long the way and learn how to use the more effectively if you end up using them. I apologize in advice for any errors or typos. Introduction After reflecting on my fun (cough) trading journey that was more akin to rolling around on broken glass and wondering if brown glass will help me predict market direction better than green glass. Buying a $100 indicator at 2 am when I was acting a fool, looking at it and going at and going "This is a piece of lagging crap, I miss out on a large part of the fundamental move and never using it for even one trade". All while struggling with massive over trading and bad habits because I would get bored watching a single well placed trade on fold for the day. Also, I wanted to get rich quick. On top all of that I had a terminal Stage 4 case of FOMO on every time the price would move up and then down then back up. Just think about all those extra pips I could have trading both directions as it moves across the chart! I can just sell right when it goes down, then buy right before it goes up again. Its so easy right? Well, turns out it was not as easy as I thought and I lost a fair chunk of change and hit my head against the wall a lot until it clicked. Which is how I came up with a mixed bag of things that I now call "Trade the Trade" which helped support how I wanted to trade so I can still trade intra day price action like a rabid money without throwing away all my bananas. Why Make This Post? - Core Topic of Discussion I wish to share a concept I came up with that helped me become a reliable trader. Support the weakness of how I like to trade. Also, explaining what I do helps reinforce my understanding of the information I share as I have to put words to it and not just use internalized processes. I came up with a method that helped me get my head straight when trading intra day. I call it "Trade the Trade" as I am making mini trades inside of a trade setup I make from analysis on a higher timeframe that would take multiple days to unfold or longer. I will share information, principles, techniques I used and learned from others I talked to on the internet (mixed bag of folks from armatures to professionals, and random internet people) that helped me form a trading style that worked for me. Even people who are not good at trading can say something that might make it click in your head so I would absorbed all the information I could get.I will share the details of how I approach the methodology and the tools in my trading belt that I picked up by filtering through many tools, indicators strategies and witchcraft. Hopefully you read something that ends up helping you be a better trader. I learned a lot from people who make community posts so I wanted to give back now that I got my ducks in a row. General Trading Advice If your struggling finding your own trading style, fixing weakness's in it, getting started, being reliably profitable or have no framework to build yourself higher with, hopefully you can use the below advice to help provide some direction or clarity to moving forward to be a better trader.
KEEP IT SIMPLE. Do not throw a million things on your chart from the get go or over analyzing what the market is doing while trying to learn the basics. Tons of stuff on your chart can actually slow your learning by distracting your focus on all your bells and whistles and not the price action.
PRICE ACTION. Learn how to read price action. Not just the common formations, but larger groups of bars that form the market structure. Those formations carry more weight the higher the time frame they form on. If struggle to understand what is going on or what your looking at, move to a higher time frame.
INDICATORS. If you do use them you should try to understand how every indicator you use calculates its values. Many indicators are lagging indicators, understanding how it calculates the values can help you learn how to identify the market structure before the indicator would trigger a signal . This will help you understand why the signal is a lagged signal. If you understand that you can easily learn to look at the price action right before the signal and learn to watch for that price action on top of it almost trigging a signal so you can get in at a better position and assume less downside risk. I recommend using no more than 1-2 indicators for simplicity, but your free to use as many as you think you think you need or works for your strategy/trading style.
PSYCOLOGY. First, FOMO is real, don't feed the beast. When you trade you should always have an entry and exit. If you miss your entry do not chase it, wait for a new entry. At its core trading is gambling and your looking for an edge against the house (the other market participants). With that in mind, treat as such. Do not risk more than you can afford to lose. If you are afraid to lose it will negatively effect your trade decisions. Finally, be honest with your self and bad trading happens. No one is going to play trade cop and keep you in line, that's your job.
TRADE DECISION MARKING: Before you enter any trade you should have an entry and exit area. As you learn price action you will get better entries and better exits. Use a larger zone and stop loss at the start while learning. Then you can tighten it up as you gain experience. If you do not have a area you wish to exit, or you are entering because "the markets looking like its gonna go up". Do not enter the trade. Have a reason for everything you do, if you cannot logically explain why then you probably should not be doing it.
ROBOTS/ALGOS: Loved by some, hated by many who lost it all to one, and surrounded by scams on the internet. If you make your own, find a legit one that works and paid for it or lost it all on a crappy one, more power to ya. I do not use robots because I do not like having a robot in control of my money. There is too many edge cases for me to be ok with it.However, the best piece of advice about algos was that the guy had a algo/robot for each market condition (trending/ranging) and would make personalized versions of each for currency pairs as each one has its own personality and can make the same type of movement along side another currency pair but the price action can look way different or the move can be lagged or leading. So whenever he does his own analysis and he sees a trend, he turns the trend trading robot on. If the trend stops, and it starts to range he turns the range trading robot on. He uses robots to trade the market types that he is bad at trading. For example, I suck at trend trading because I just suck at sitting on my hands and letting my trade do its thing.
Trade the Trade - The Methodology
Base Principles These are the base principles I use behind "Trade the Trade". Its called that because you are technically trading inside your larger high time frame trade as it hopefully goes as you have analyzed with the trade setup. It allows you to scratch that intraday trading itch, while not being blind to the bigger market at play. It can help make sense of why the price respects, rejects or flat out ignores support/resistance/pivots.
Trade Setup: Find a trade setup using high level time frames (daily, 4hr, or 1hr time frames). The trade setup will be used as a base for starting to figure out a bias for the markets direction for that day.
Indicator Data: Check any indicators you use (I use Stochastic RSI and Relative Vigor Index) for any useful information on higher timeframes.
Support Resistance: See if any support/resistance/pivot points are in currently being tested/resisted by the price. Also check for any that are within reach so they might become in play through out the day throughout the day (which can influence your bias at least until the price reaches it if it was already moving that direction from previous days/weeks price action).
Currency Strength/Weakness: I use the TradeVision currency strength/weakness dashboard to see if the strength/weakness supports the narrative of my trade and as an early indicator when to keep a closer eye for signs of the price reversing.Without the tool, the same concept can be someone accomplished with fundamentals and checking for higher level trends and checking cross currency pairs for trends as well to indicate strength/weakness, ranging (and where it is in that range) or try to get some general bias from a higher level chart that may help you out. However, it wont help you intra day unless your monitoring the currency's index or a bunch of charts related to the currency.
Watch For Trading Opportunities: Personally I make a mental short list and alerts on TradingView of currency pairs that are close to key levels and so I get a notification if it reaches there so I can check it out. I am not against trading both directions, I just try to trade my bias before the market tries to commit to a direction. Then if I get out of that trade I will scalp against the trend of the day and hold trades longer that are with it.Then when you see a opportunity assume the directional bias you made up earlier (unless the market solidly confirms with price action the direction while waiting for an entry) by trying to look for additional confirmation via indicators, price action on support/resistances etc on the low level time frame or higher level ones like hourly/4hr as the day goes on when the price reaches key areas or makes new market structures to get a good spot to enter a trade in the direction of your bias.Then enter your trade and use the market structures to determine how much of a stop you need. Once your in the trade just monitor it and watch the price action/indicators/tools you use to see if its at risk of going against you. If you really believe the market wont reach your TP and looks like its going to turn against you, then close the trade. Don't just hold on to it for principle and let it draw down on principle or the hope it does not hit your stop loss.
Trade Duration Hold your trades as long or little as you want that fits your personality and trading style/trade analysis. Personally I do not hold trades past the end of the day (I do in some cases when a strong trend folds) and I do not hold trades over the weekends. My TP targets are always places I think it can reach within the day. Typically I try to be flat before I sleep and trade intra day price movements only. Just depends on the higher level outlook, I have to get in at really good prices for me to want to hold a trade and it has to be going strong. Then I will set a slightly aggressive stop on it before I leave. I do know several people that swing trade and hold trades for a long period of time. That is just not a trading style that works for me.
Enhance Your Success Rate Below is information I picked up over the years that helped me enhance my success rate with not only guessing intra day market bias (even if it has not broken into the trend for the day yet (aka pre London open when the end of Asia likes to act funny sometimes), but also with trading price action intra day. People always say "When you enter a trade have an entry and exits. I am of the belief that most people do not have problem with the entry, its the exit. They either hold too long, or don't hold long enough. With the below tools, drawings, or instruments, hopefully you can increase your individual probability of a successful trade. **P.S.*\* Your mileage will vary depending on your ability to correctly draw, implement and interpret the below items. They take time and practice to implement with a high degree of proficiency. If you have any questions about how to do that with anything listed, comment below and I will reply as I can. I don't want to answer the same question a million times in a pm. Tools and Methods Used This is just a high level overview of what I use. Each one of the actions I could go way more in-depth on but I would be here for a week typing something up of I did that. So take the information as a base level understanding of how I use the method or tool. There is always nuance and edge cases that you learn from experience.
I keep a general high level Macro outlook for currencies. I dont get too deep into Fundamentals and just keep an eye out for news. If I am already in a trade I will hold it if its far enough away from my entry. However, I wont enter right before/during news as it can invalidate your setup.
I started with the basics of learning the standard price action formations/patterns and candles. You can find tons of free info on that online, google is your friend. Then I stared at charts and said "why did the price do that or do this etc" then after a while I started to understand what's happening without having to think about it and I can see the market structure without having to look as closely as I did in the past.
After many many hours of staring at 5 min charts for 15 hours a day 5 days a week I learned how to look at 5 min charts and be like "Oh that's a hammer on the 15 min etc. If you keep track of time you can do the same for hourly candles as well and you will start to see market structure naturally. However I typically trade in a two chart panel window so I have a 15 min and 5 min chart up when trading intra day so I dont have to think too hard about it.
Draw support resistance lines on Daily/4hr timeframes. I prefer to use body of the candle instead of the wick for support/resistance.
You can find support/resistance liquidity levels through out the day as well and trade those if the price retraces back through levels its already been through that same day.
It would be a bit length to explain exactly the best place to draw them. If your unsure there is plenty of free resources on the internet. Just try to use your head and look for price levels where the price was "Supported" or it "Resisted" that price level then slap a line on it. Draw as few or as many lines as you feel helps you and your style. I tend to lean on the side of fewer. I typically do about 6 lines main support/resistances (3 of each).
Draw two Fibonacci Extensions. One on the daily timeframe, and then one on the 4hr time frame. Then you can trade the Fibonacci levels and use them for TP targets or entry zones if price action respects the level. Also you can use it along with support/resistance and pivots if they happen to line up or are very close.
I cannot really figure out how to put it into words how to draw a Fib if you dont know how. I will have to make a picture to demonstrate it. If your interested post below and I will draw one up and post a link. Probably the easiest way to understand. Just keep in mind the Fib you draw on the 4hr time frame will be inside the daily timeframe one.
The TradeVision2020 dashboard that I use just helps me keep a tab on the current market post plus any swing strength/momentum a currency might have on higher time frames. Helps me look for shifts in the market or confirmation that the bias it already has in momentum is continuing. I have found that often currencies when they get really/weak or strong might continue for several days or even longer like a full week or more. We recently had what felt like 1 week or so of flat out Yen weakness which was making some things wonky. All it does is allow me to look at the dashboard instead of a million other charts.
I use two that work well for my intra day style. The Stochastic RSI is just like a RSI but its faster. The second is the Relative Vigor Index which I use to detect swings in momentum and divergences in bullish/bearish momentum. I have used many others in the past, but as I have grown and got better as a trader I have found making my analysis simpler has improved my trading.I dont like the whole idea of have 43 different indicators on 32 different time frames light up a dashboard to be green for me to enter a trade. With how I do it now, I have a clear understanding of what I expect to happen and why. That way when it does happen I understand the move and dont get freaked out if the market moves funny after I am in the trade.
Conclusion I use the above tools/indicators/resources/philosophy's to trade intra day price action that sometimes ends up as noise in the grand scheme of the markets movement.use that method until the price action for the day proves the bias assumption wrong. Also you can couple that with things like Stoch RSI + Relative Vigor Index to find divergences which can increase the probability of your targeted guesses. Trade Example from Yesterday This is an example of a trade I took today and why I took it. I used the following core areas to make my trade decision.
Fundamental Bias: I already had a bullish fundamental outlook on EUUSD with expecting the markets to price in future similes due a higher an higher chance of Biden winning on paper as the election closed in and a "Blue wave" coming which would lead to a weaker dollar. Also, the Euro Zone is getting hammered with COVID pretty hard plus Brexit drama so I had a strong Euro bias.NOTE: As frame of reference, all the other pairs I trade I traded as if they were ranging and trade a range. Markets are messed up right now.
Currency Strength/Weakness: I use a tool that gives me a currency strength/weakness dashboard called TradeVision2020. Helps me track individual currency strength/weakness intra day. Took me about a month to get used to it, but helps me keep track of intra day strength/weakness that can add a bias to trade direction as the day unfolds. Like "Will this run have a 2nd or 3rd push higher" or "I should look to TP at the first sign of weakness in the push" type bias data. You still got to use your brain and figure out the best decision. It wont make choices for you, its only a guide.NOTE: I am not trying to adverse the tool (if providing the code is against sub rules let me know), its just a tool I use every day that helps me with directional bias calls. I am sharing the coupon code that was given to me when I found out about the tool in the TradingView forex chatroom and the guy gave me the code to use when I signed up. I dont want someone to read the name and want to try it out then overpay for no reason. The coupon will give you 40% off. Coupon Code: 3F7A0T5T
Higher Timeframe Analysis: Detected some early signs of Bearish Divergence on the 1hr chart using a on a higher time frame using a Stochastic RSI. Then I saw more confirmation on 5 min charts using Relative Vigor Index to help time my entry mid session.
Pivot Points: I treat pivot points like support/resistance and trade them as such using price action to give me some idea how its being treated by the market. Pretty straight forward.
It may seem like a lot of stuff to process on the fly while trying to figure out live price action but, for the fundamental bias for a pair should already baked in your mindset for any currency pair you trade. For the currency strength/weakness I stare at the dashboard 12-15 hours a day so I am always trying to keep a pulse on what's going or shifts so that's not really a factor when I want to enter as I would not look to enter if I felt the market was shifting against me. Then the higher timeframe analysis had already happened when I woke up, so it was a game of "Stare at the 5 min chart until the price does something interesting" Trade Example: Today , I went long EUUSD long bias when I first looked at the chart after waking up around 9-10pm Eastern. Fortunately, the first large drop had already happened so I had a easy baseline price movement to work with. I then used tool for currency strength/weakness monitoring, Pivot Points, and bearish divergence detected using Stochastic RSI and Relative Vigor Index. I first noticed Bearish Divergence on the 1hr time frame using the Stochastic RSI and got confirmation intra day on the 5 min time frame with the Relative Vigor Index. I ended up buying the second mini dip around midnight Eastern because it was already dancing along the pivot point that the price had been dancing along since the big drop below the pivot point and dipped below it and then shortly closed back above it. I put a stop loss below the first large dip. With a TP goal of the middle point pivot line Then I waited for confirmation or invalidation of my trade. I ended up getting confirmation with Bearish Divergence from the second large dip so I tightened up my stop to below that smaller drip and waited for the London open. Not only was it not a lower low, I could see the divergence with the Relative Vigor Index. It then ran into London and kept going with tons of momentum. Blew past my TP target so I let it run to see where the momentum stopped. Ended up TP'ing at the Pivot Point support/resistance above the middle pivot line. Random Note: The Asian session has its own unique price action characteristics that happen regularly enough that you can easily trade them when they happen with high degrees of success. It takes time to learn them all and confidently trade them as its happening. If you trade Asia you should learn to recognize them as they can fake you out if you do not understand what's going on. TL;DR At the end of the day there is no magic solution that just works. You have to find out what works for you and then what people say works for them. Test it out and see if it works for you or if you can adapt it to work for you. If it does not work or your just not interested then ignore it. At the end of the day, you have to use your brain to make correct trading decisions. Blindly following indicators may work sometimes in certain market conditions, but trading with information you don't understand can burn you just as easily as help you. Its like playing with fire. So, get out there and grind it out. It will either click or it wont. Not everyone has the mindset or is capable of changing to be a successful trader. Trading is gambling, you do all this work to get a edge on the house. Trading without the edge or an edge you understand how to use will only leave your broker happy in the end.
I am currently happy with my Forex trading (examples in comments). I'm wanting to expand to stocks but I feel lost.
TL;DR I feel brand new to day trading anything other than currencies and I'm having trouble finding the right resources to get started. Help? Will trade answers regarding trend trading. Hey folks, I've been involved in Forex for about 6-7 years now. Light bulb moment happened right around 2 years ago and I'm content with the growth rate of my account since then. I trade very, very simply. I look for established trends on higher timeframes (8h, 12h, daily, weekly), wait for a pullback, and then enter with fib retracements and supp/resistance on what I perceive as momentum. The moving average serves no technical purpose. It's simply a different type of visual representation of price movement. There's nothing revolutionary here. eurjpy example https://preview.redd.it/hmko1b2t3id51.png?width=624&format=png&auto=webp&s=56ecf58261f211f7e7f6468507ce7a0edce779b3 audusd examples: https://preview.redd.it/rkifv53v3id51.png?width=774&format=png&auto=webp&s=315f2b381c7240cbcc23f49944f356faa8d4c5ef nzdcad https://preview.redd.it/uuzcshs4aid51.png?width=601&format=png&auto=webp&s=bbf806a28f5fe2bddf5e630da7f7d3f744ee9084 I want to expand into day trading but again, I feel lost. Small cap? Large cap? Reading tape? Scrapers? Volume aggregation? stock scanning scripts? Runners? Bag holding? Apparently shorting is a big deal? Penny stocks compared to "normal" stocks? which brokers offer what? ALSO, some of these charts feel chaotic at best. The choppiness just appears unreal. Price action in Forex can be choppy, but at least it's "smooth" in the sense that price opens at the same price the previous candle closed at 99% of the time. It doesn't really help that most of the youtube resources I've come across focus on getting rich quick, or aspects of trading that I do believe are important (psychology, money management, FOMO, indicators, etc.) but I do not need help with. I'm still improving, but I've got a solid grip on these aspects and they are not what I'm looking for. I guess what I'm looking for specifically is information on the nuances, technicals, vernacular, and details that are inherent in day trading stocks that don't exist in forex. Most of the stuff I listed in the above paragraph are accurate examples. I have zero interest in scalping Forex. I'm active duty with a full time day job which is part of the reason I strictly trade higher time frames. I've also found that the manner in which I prefer to trade is more reliable at higher time frames. That being said I am interested in getting into stocks as well as Forex and will have the option to move to second shift and trade the morning bell and all the liquidity that comes with it in the next couple months. I'm looking to get educated in the interim. It's likely that I'll eventually move into long-term trading with stocks as well, but who knows. Does anyone have any resources or suggestions for materials that touch on topics similar to what's listed above that they found helpful when first jumping in? I'm looking for the option to trade stocks, commodities, penny stocks, etc. Oh, I currently trade with Oanda through Tradingview and I'm considering TDAmeritrade. I can get around the PDT rule but I'm not in a hurry and would probably like to start with penny stocks with something like $5-10k I think? The problem is I'm just unsure. My personal philosophy is that demo trading is useless after buttonology. Instead I have found that trading small amounts of real money provides much better results in the long term.
The majority of this sub is focused on technical analysis. I regularly ridicule such "tea leaf readers" and advocate for trading based on fundamentals and economic news instead, so I figured I should take the time to write up something on how exactly you can trade economic news releases. This post is long as balls so I won't be upset if you get bored and go back to your drooping dick patterns or whatever.
How economic news is released
First, it helps to know how economic news is compiled and released. Let's take Initial Jobless Claims, the number of initial claims for unemployment benefits around the United States from Sunday through Saturday. Initial in this context means the first claim for benefits made by an individual during a particular stretch of unemployment. The Initial Jobless Claims figure appears in the Department of Labor's Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report, which compiles information from all of the per-state departments that report to the DOL during the week. A typical number is between 100k and 250k and it can vary quite significantly week-to-week. The Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report contains data that lags 5 days behind. For example, the Report issued on Thursday March 26th 2020 contained data about the week ending on Saturday March 21st 2020. In the days leading up to the Report, financial companies will survey economists and run complicated mathematical models to forecast the upcoming Initial Jobless Claims figure. The results of surveyed experts is called the "consensus"; specific companies, experts, and websites will also provide their own forecasts. Different companies will release different consensuses. Usually they are pretty close (within 2-3k), but for last week's record-high Initial Jobless Claims the reported consensuses varied by up to 1M! In other words, there was essentially no consensus. The Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report is released each Thursday morning at exactly 8:30 AM ET. (On Thanksgiving the Report is released on Wednesday instead.) Media representatives gather at the Frances Perkins Building in Washington DC and are admitted to the "lockup" at 8:00 AM ET. In order to be admitted to the lockup you have to be a credentialed member of a media organization that has signed the DOL lockup agreement. The lockup room is small so there is a limited number of spots. No phones are allowed. Reporters bring their laptops and connect to a local network; there is a master switch on the wall that prevents/enables Internet connectivity on this network. Once the doors are closed the Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report is distributed, with a heading that announces it is "embargoed" (not to be released) prior to 8:30 AM. Reporters type up their analyses of the report, including extracting key figures like Initial Jobless Claims. They load their write-ups into their companies' software, which prepares to send it out as soon as Internet is enabled. At 8:30 AM the DOL representative in the room flips the wall switch and all of the laptops are connected to the Internet, releasing their write-ups to their companies and on to their companies' partners. Many of those media companies have externally accessible APIs for distributing news. Media aggregators and squawk services (like RanSquawk and TradeTheNews) subscribe to all of these different APIs and then redistribute the key economic figures from the Report to their own subscribers within one second after Internet is enabled in the DOL lockup. Some squawk services are text-based while others are audio-based. FinancialJuice.com provides a free audio squawk service; internally they have a paid subscription to a professional squawk service and they simply read out the latest headlines to their own listeners, subsidized by ads on the site. I've been using it for 4 months now and have been pretty happy. It usually lags behind the official release times by 1-2 seconds and occasionally they verbally flub the numbers or stutter and have to repeat, but you can't beat the price! Important - I’m not affiliated with FinancialJuice and I’m not advocating that you use them over any other squawk. If you use them and they misspeak a number and you lose all your money don’t blame me. If anybody has any other free alternatives please share them!
How the news affects forex markets
Institutional forex traders subscribe to these squawk services and use custom software to consume the emerging data programmatically and then automatically initiate trades based on the perceived change to the fundamentals that the figures represent. It's important to note that every institution will have "priced in" their own forecasted figures well in advance of an actual news release. Forecasts and consensuses all come out at different times in the days leading up to a news release, so by the time the news drops everybody is really only looking for an unexpected result. You can't really know what any given institution expects the value to be, but unless someone has inside information you can pretty much assume that the market has collectively priced in the experts' consensus. When the news comes out, institutions will trade based on the difference between the actual and their forecast. Sometimes the news reflects a real change to the fundamentals with an economic effect that will change the demand for a currency, like an interest rate decision. However, in the case of the Initial Jobless Claims figure, which is a backwards-looking metric, trading is really just self-fulfilling speculation that market participants will buy dollars when unemployment is low and sell dollars when unemployment is high. Generally speaking, news that reflects a real economic shift has a bigger effect than news that only matters to speculators. Massive and extremely fast news-based trades happen within tenths of a second on the ECNs on which institutional traders are participants. Over the next few seconds the resulting price changes trickle down to retail traders. Some economic news, like Non Farm Payroll Employment, has an effect that can last minutes to hours as "slow money" follows behind on the trend created by the "fast money". Other news, like Initial Jobless Claims, has a short impact that trails off within a couple minutes and is subsequently dwarfed by the usual pseudorandom movements in the market. The bigger the difference between actual and consensus, the bigger the effect on any given currency pair. Since economic news releases generally relate to a single currency, the biggest and most easily predicted effects are seen on pairs where one currency is directly effected and the other is not affected at all. Personally I trade USD/JPY because the time difference between the US and Japan ensures that no news will be coming out of Japan at the same time that economic news is being released in the US. Before deciding to trade any particular news release you should measure the historical correlation between the release (specifically, the difference between actual and consensus) and the resulting short-term change in the currency pair. Historical data for various news releases (along with historical consensus data) is readily available. You can pay to get it exported into Excel or whatever, or you can scroll through it for free on websites like TradingEconomics.com. Let's look at two examples: Initial Jobless Claims and Non Farm Payroll Employment (NFP). I collected historical consensuses and actuals for these releases from January 2018 through the present, measured the "surprise" difference for each, and then correlated that to short-term changes in USD/JPY at the time of release using 5 second candles. I omitted any releases that occurred simultaneously as another major release. For example, occasionally the monthly Initial Jobless Claims comes out at the exact same time as the monthly Balance of Trade figure, which is a more significant economic indicator and can be expected to dwarf the effect of the Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report. USD/JPY correlation with Initial Jobless Claims (2018 - present) USD/JPY correlation with Non Farm Payrolls (2018 - present) The horizontal axes on these charts is the duration (in seconds) after the news release over which correlation was calculated. The vertical axis is the Pearson correlation coefficient: +1 means that the change in USD/JPY over that duration was perfectly linearly correlated to the "surprise" in the releases; -1 means that the change in USD/JPY was perfectly linearly correlated but in the opposite direction, and 0 means that there is no correlation at all. For Initial Jobless Claims you can see that for the first 30 seconds USD/JPY is strongly negatively correlated with the difference between consensus and actual jobless claims. That is, fewer-than-forecast jobless claims (fewer newly unemployed people than expected) strengthens the dollar and greater-than-forecast jobless claims (more newly unemployed people than expected) weakens the dollar. Correlation then trails off and changes to a moderate/weak positive correlation. I interpret this as algorithms "buying the dip" and vice versa, but I don't know for sure. From this chart it appears that you could profit by opening a trade for 15 seconds (duration with strongest correlation) that is long USD/JPY when Initial Jobless Claims is lower than the consensus and short USD/JPY when Initial Jobless Claims is higher than expected. The chart for Non Farm Payroll looks very different. Correlation is positive (higher-than-expected payrolls strengthen the dollar and lower-than-expected payrolls weaken the dollar) and peaks at around 45 seconds, then slowly decreases as time goes on. This implies that price changes due to NFP are quite significant relative to background noise and "stick" even as normal fluctuations pick back up. I wanted to show an example of what the USD/JPY S5 chart looks like when an "uncontested" (no other major simultaneously news release) Initial Jobless Claims and NFP drops, but unfortunately my broker's charts only go back a week. (I can pull historical data going back years through the API but to make it into a pretty chart would be a bit of work.) If anybody can get a 5-second chart of USD/JPY at March 19, 2020, UTC 12:30 and/or at February 7, 2020, UTC 13:30 let me know and I'll add it here.
So without too much effort we determined that (1) USD/JPY is strongly negatively correlated with the Initial Jobless Claims figure for the first 15 seconds after the release of the Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report (when no other major news is being released) and also that (2) USD/JPY is strongly positively correlated with the Non Farms Payroll figure for the first 45 seconds after the release of the Employment Situation report. Before you can assume you can profit off the news you have to backtest and consider three important parameters. Entry speed: How quickly can you realistically enter the trade? The correlation performed above was measured from the exact moment the news was released, but realistically if you've got your finger on the trigger and your ear to the squawk it will take a few seconds to hit "Buy" or "Sell" and confirm. If 90% of the price move happens in the first second you're SOL. For back-testing purposes I assume a 5 second delay. In practice I use custom software that opens a trade with one click, and I can reliably enter a trade within 2-3 seconds after the news drops, using the FinancialJuice free squawk. Minimum surprise: Should you trade every release or can you do better by only trading those with a big enough "surprise" factor? Backtesting will tell you whether being more selective is better long-term or not. Hold time: The optimal time to hold the trade is not necessarily the same as the time of maximum correlation. That's a good starting point but it's not necessarily the best number. Backtesting each possible hold time will let you find the best one. The spread: When you're only holding a position open for 30 seconds, the spread will kill you. The correlations performed above used the midpoint price, but in reality you have to buy at the ask and sell at the bid. Brokers aren't stupid and the moment volume on the ECN jumps they will widen the spread for their retail customers. The only way to determine if the news-driven price movements reliably overcome the spread is to backtest. Stops: Personally I don't use stops, neither take-profit nor stop-loss, since I'm automatically closing the trade after a fixed (and very short) amount of time. Additionally, brokers have a minimum stop distance; the profits from scalping the news are so slim that even the nearest stops they allow will generally not get triggered. I backtested trading these two news releases (since 2018), using a 5 second entry delay, real historical spreads, and no stops, cycling through different "surprise" thresholds and hold times to find the combination that returns the highest net profit. It's important to maximize net profit, not expected value per trade, so you don't over-optimize and reduce the total number of trades taken to one single profitable trade. If you want to get fancy you can set up a custom metric that combines number of trades, expected value, and drawdown into a single score to be maximized. For the Initial Jobless Claims figure I found that the best combination is to hold trades open for 25 seconds (that is, open at 5 seconds elapsed and hold until 30 seconds elapsed) and only trade when the difference between consensus and actual is 7k or higher. That leads to 30 trades taken since 2018 and an expected return of... drumroll please... -0.0093 yen per unit per trade. Yep, that's a loss of approx. $8.63 per lot. Disappointing right? That's the spread and that's why you have to backtest. Even though the release of the Unemployment Insurance Weekly Claims Report has a strong correlation with movement in USD/JPY, it's simply not something that a retail trader can profit from. Let's turn to the NFP. There I found that the best combination is to hold trades open for 75 seconds (that is, open at 5 seconds elapsed and hold until 80 seconds elapsed) and trade every single NFP (no minimum "surprise" threshold). That leads to 20 trades taken since 2018 and an expected return of... drumroll please... +0.1306 yen per unit per trade. That's a profit of approx. $121.25 per lot. Not bad for 75 seconds of work! That's a +6% ROI at 50x leverage.
Make it real
If you want to do this for realsies, you need to run these numbers for all of the major economic news releases. Markit Manufacturing PMI, Factory Orders MoM, Trade Balance, PPI MoM, Export and Import Prices, Michigan Consumer Sentiment, Retail Sales MoM, Industrial Production MoM, you get the idea. You keep a list of all of the releases you want to trade, when they are released, and the ideal hold time and "surprise" threshold. A few minutes before the prescribed release time you open up your broker's software, turn on your squawk, maybe jot a few notes about consensuses and model forecasts, and get your finger on the button. At the moment you hear the release you open the trade in the correct direction, hold it (without looking at the chart!) for the required amount of time, then close it and go on with your day. Some benefits of trading this way: * Most major economic releases come out at either 8:30 AM ET or 10:00 AM ET, and then you're done for the day. * It's easily backtestable. You can look back at the numbers and see exactly what to expect your return to be. * It's fun! Packing your trading into 30 seconds and knowing that institutions are moving billions of dollars around as fast as they can based on the exact same news you just read is thrilling. * You can wow your friends by saying things like "The St. Louis Fed had some interesting remarks on consumer spending in the latest Beige Book." * No crayons involved. Some downsides: * It's tricky to be fast enough without writing custom software. Some broker software is very slow and requires multiple dialog boxes before a position is opened, which won't cut it. * The profits are very slim, you're not going to impress your instagram followers to join your expensive trade copying service with your 30-second twice-weekly trades. * Any friends you might wow with your boring-ass economic talking points are themselves the most boring people in the world. I hope you enjoyed this long as fuck post and you give trading economic news a try!
One of my favourite ways to enter a trade - what market makers do
Hey Forex. Been a while since I've made an actual post. I still think 90%+ of the posts in here are a toxic wasteland, unfortunately. That being said, I wanted to share one of my entry tips with all of you. This is especially helpful given the dramatic increase in volatility we have seen across the currency markets. This isn't technical, there's no magic chart pattern or indicator. Rather, it is a concept. From what I've seen posted here, a common struggle is "where and how do I enter the trade?". This is a big question... and it can separate the analysts from the traders. How often have you had a view that xxx/xxx is going up/down and in fact... it does just that? The only problem is, you weren't onboard the trade. You either missed out entirely, or you chased it and bought the high/sold the low. The title for this post isn't just clickbait, this is in fact what market makers do. I have to emphasize this point once more, this is NOT a technical strategy. It is a different perspective on risk management that the retail crowd is largely unfamiliar with. I'm going to use point form to cover this concept from now on: Don't (DO NOT DO THESE THINGS): - Think of your entry as an all-or-nothing proposition - Think that you must shoot your entire shot all at once - That there's a perfect point at which you must pull the trigger, and if you miss this point then you miss the trade Do: - Split your risk allocation for a specific idea into different parts (for example if you want to risk $100,000 notional value on a USD/JPY trade, split your entry into 4 parts. Maybe that means each tranche is 25k, maybe it means that you go 10k, 20k, 30k, 40k) - Be a scale down buyer and a scale up seller - Pick bands in which you want to take action. For example if you think USD/JPY is a buy from 108.5 to 110, then pick a band in which you will be a buyer. Maybe it is between 108.5 and 108. That gives you a lot of room to stack orders (whether these are limits or market orders is up to you). The best case scenario is that all your orders get filled, and you have a fantastic overall average price point. The worst case scenario (other than simply being wrong) is that only your initial order is filled and price starts running away. Remember, you'll always be too light when it is going your way and too heavy when it is going in your face. - This also works on the way out when you want to exit. You can scale out of the trade, just as you scaled into it. This takes a lot of pressure off in terms of "sniping" an entry. I hear that term a lot, and it drives me crazy. Unless I'm hedging my options in the spot and I'm scalping for small points here and there, I'm not looking for a "sniper" entry. I'm looking for structural plays. Other hedge funds, banks, central banks, they're not dumping their entire load all at once. This approach allows you to spread your risk out across a band rather than being pigeonholed into picking a perfect level. It allows you to improve your dollar-cost average with clearly defined risk parameters. Unless you are consistently getting perfect entries with zero drawdown, this method just makes so much sense. The emotional benefit is incredible, as you don't have to worry about the price moving against you. Obviously you pick a stop where your idea is simply wrong, but otherwise this should help you remain (more) relaxed.
Hi there. so first off a little background information, I am currently 16 years old and I got into forex trading about 6 to 7 months ago. I've spent the past few months doing the babypips course as well as taking online lessons to learn things such as harmonic patterns, support & resistance, using fibs and stuff like that. Along with this, I've been trading on a demo account with pepperstone to see what kinds of strategies work for me, which is mostly scalping as well as trading on the 15m tf. But here lies my problem. I want to move on to a live account, which, as recommended, obviously means I'm going to need a strategy. I've experimented and tried to find what works for me and I've understood very well what environment and timeframe I like to trade on, but I'm unsure how to form a strategy which I can follow and play by. I've tried multiple strategies such as the 3EMA(8,13,21) strategy on the 15m tf as well as strategies based on indicators, but nothing seems to work. Everything I try works for about 2 to 3 days, but eventually turns around really really fast. I was wondering if anyone could help me or give me tips on how to, or rather, the steps to building my own strategy. I decided to come here as I browse this subreddit a-lot and I've met and seen some of the nicest and most humble people here, hence coming here and not going to some baby pips forum. Any help is appreciated, thanks so much if anyone replies!!! EDIT : Hey guys so I have in fact gotten the advice I was seeking for, and like I mentioned below, I was practicing S/R over the weekend and tried planning ahead for this once, these are my profits for today with only half the knowledge as well as half the time due to school as well as no strategy. So I'd say pretty good returns on a 200$ demo account with 1:500 leverage who gets barely any time to trade....and is testing a strategy. Anyways, thank you so much to those who responded and helped out!!!!
The Daily Autist, By An Autist, For Autists. 03/24/20
The Daily Autist
Hot Off The Spectrum
TLDR of the News to Inform Your Moves (Monday was a lot. Even my post is long)
What’s up sluts. I’m back with another burst of autism. I’ve been Rick fuggin Rollin in the tendies (AKA not hemorrhaging money) and these posts have been fairly accurate. I’ll be adding plays to the NostraLosses section as a result to bring more clarity to my dumbass takes. FIRST THINGS FUCKING FIRST THE ORIGINAL AUTIST ARTIST WHO DREW THE OLD LOGO HAS COME TO LIGHT IM SO FUCKING HAPPY. We’ll never get it back, but sometimes closure on it’s own feels good enough. What am I a fucking teenager? The rest of the sub was shit yesterday/this morning.I was shadowbanned for posting “Fear mongering Corona Content,” and yet 75% of the sub’s hot posts are exactly that but with even less info than I had. Rest is memes. No plays or info. Honestly kinda sad. https://www.reddit.com/wallstreetbets/comments/fnpz20/hey_yall_i_drew_the_original_baby_ama/ Obligatory Corona Dump (Monday news could not stop throating COVID content) Things are in such a Twilight Zone State Amazon is getting credit for being “altruistic,” like they didn’t hike up prices since late January themselves and only altered their practices once Trump threatened Defense Production Act (DPA) notice they’re also only suspending, so once things are just slightly back to normal please price gouge errthang. https://www.scmp.com/tech/big-tech/article/3076638/amazon-suspends-almost-4000-seller-accounts-unfairly-priced-products Costco is also getting unwarranted credit. They won’t take back your tower of toilet paper or tub of hand sanitizer, which COSTS them money they already made. Did they have any problem hiking the price, refusing to limit sales per person, not give their employees PPE, or donate any relief from their excess food products due to banning eating at the location and numbers going down? Nah? ok. So the good guy is the company that profited off of fear and won’t provide the minimum financial relief to those who thought it was that extreme. Stop demonizing your fellow worker citizens. https://brobible.com/culture/article/costco-toilet-paper-returns-hoarders/ Companies getting high praise and both articles implying a return to normalcy soon. How does that affect the markets? Normies are being told everything is okay and they will follow suit. Is everything okay? Absolutely not. These MFs in charge just announced unlimited QE yesterday nothing’s okay financially. Retard normie pump coming in. Financial News: Trump is saying that unless 10,000 die in the streets soon he’s gonna “re-open” the economy after the 15 days. At this point it’s a bit of a walking Onion article. Thursday?” ITS A WAR WE WILL CAPTURE AND KNIFE COVID’S ASSHOLE”. Friday? “This is serious. I do not want to use any drastic measures but I will. This is very verry serious.” Monday? “Isn’t being stuck inside fucking wack? Let’s open the pit up bro” I recommend watching the video with subtitles to get a transcript of his speech patterns. https://www.reuters.com/video/watch/america-will-again-and-soon-be-open-for-id701434357?chan=9qsux198 I predicted the Fed couldn’t devalue the dollar as fast as other countries could want it and it seems to be holding up. A very small dip from the news they’re willing to print unlimited moneys? The global economy is in trouble if that's still the stability bearer. Puts are lookin good, but they need to be farther out. 04/17 soonest for my comfort. Especially with the temporary re-open of the US economy. Seeing Reuters use “money bazooka,’ multiple times in the last week has been fantastic. https://www.reuters.com/article/global-forex/forex-dollar-slips-as-feds-money-bazooka-raises-hopes-of-easier-cash-supply-idUSL4N2BH2AF Italy’s debt, tax, and unemployment relief are all being held up by congressional disputes and an ability to only handle a tenth of the paperwork that comes in. Sound familiar? Maybe ominous? The population density in regions of Italy is our closest analog to how a free (eat my dick South Korea) country is gonna get hit. Their healthcare system is also tainted by for-profit companies and insurance so it’s also pretty similar medical coverage wise per capita. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-health-coronavirus-banks-insight/banks-struggle-to-ride-to-the-rescue-in-europes-cash-crunch-battle-idUSKBN21B0OE United Airlines is threatening to fire workers if they don’t get a bailout. I hope to fuck this is the tipping point and the government forces United to hand over their payroll list so the gov. Provide financial relief to their employees while United liquidates their assets or sells to some Saudi Conglomerate. Effect on market? PUTS ON UNITED BITCH THEY GOIN OUT https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2020/03/20/819401028/united-airlines-threatens-to-cut-jobs-if-coronavirus-aid-package-isnt-passed(From 03/20 but was drowned out by other news. Looks more and more likely airlines won’t be bailed out) Everyday Fox business posts something for Boomers to buy more Ford or Dine stocks (idk what old people buy) and today they have some good ammo. Overnight futures were up. Pre-market today as of 06:31 EST is $234.72 after touching 238. Looks like today is going to be the bull trap day as the rumors of stimulus are hot again. If it gets passed I expect a 245-248 top before the unemployment numbers Thursday fist everyone. Market effect? Short term calls as everyone gets high on optimism and long term puts for when they come down. https://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/stock-futures-gain-ground-as-congress-moves-closer-to-a-stimulus-deal Crypto is taking off after tanking yesterday. Overnight rally (NZ markets followed by Asian markets) carried it up 14% in the last 16 hours. It started to rise slowly after the QE announcement but really flew overnight and this morning. Cooling off now but already had a dip to 6650 and right back up to 6700+ While not always correlated, crypto is a key indicator right now in speculative confidence while people are budgeting for maintaining their lives versus increasing their future wealth. No link because every crypto site is owned by a Ponzi schemer. Fight me and my tinfoil fucking hat. Here are some squigglies and bars https://www.tradingview.com/symbols/BTCUSD/?exchange=BITBAY My NostraLosses Prediction? The rumors of stimulus and the passed unlimited QE will provide market optimism today and tomorrow. Thursday’s unemployment numbers is the next scheduled big news so I wouldn’t get any short term puts unless scalping. If anything unexpected news could bring the market even higher with it being random good news versus any random catastrophic news. Market open will be up about 6% from the previous day’s close, so I expect a short term dip at open which would be a good spot to get quick calls to then ride the pump. Market closes above 235 and if stimulus passes along with more false optimism statements by Trump there’s possibly a sharp bull run to 245-248 by end of Wednesday. Plays to follow: SPY: 240c 03/27 once the first dip of day happens. If your bankroll allows for a few days farther out I would go for it. If SPY does hit 240, SELL call and BUY put for 228 04/01 at soonest. DIA: 190P 04/17 It hasn’t fallen nearly as hard as it should (another 5% imo) and the industries making it up are going to have numbers showing how bad the payroll cuts and profit loss has been. During today’s pump get some not so fucking expensive puts (made sure not to say cheap) Any Stupid Tech Company: Retarded OTM call for 03/27 or later. With so many people being stuck at home the last week or so the tech companies are outperforming the market with the idea that: The high user rate means more $$$, but if there’s more people on because they are not working or laid off, how do they have the money to buy shitty sponsored products on their feed? The kicker here is ads have always had near useless efficacy rates on social media so the fact they will continue to do a shit job might not change much. Anyway people are fucking dumb and tech gonna continue to rally this week. Signed, someone with 1.5k in TWTR Puts expiring over next 4 weeks. Most people don’t even give you one play. I’m giving you multiple ways to lose your money. TLDR of my TLDR: Companies who profited off the crisis getting karma points for no reason. Normies think the crisis will be over next Friday. International currencies are still erratic but the markets are rallying today globally (sign of lacking underlying stability for said rally). Italy can’t pass anything or handle the paperwork from their previously set up process (AKA USA in 7-10 days under current stimulus proposals) and they don’t have a solution in sight. Stimulus has everyone rock hard for calls again, ride the short term rise and pick up puts while you’re up there. Just be a long term gay bear experimenting with bulls depending on the day. Results on my thoughts from last post 03/23: I was incorrect on circuit breaker open but was only 1% away and it did run up mid-day as called. So if you sold at 218 to buy calls to sell a few hours later, we nailed it boys. If you were aiming for price instead of time, it never hit 234 again which was a key test and you’re likely sitting on a fat red option right now. I was about half right which is all you need to be. I’ve also switched up Market affect and effect because I’m retarded and am unsure which is right anymore. Nvm grammarly fixed it. And again, I mean this sincerely,
[LONG] My Story of Disillusionment with and Disappointment in the World and Myself
Intro. This might be a long one. I hope someone reads the thing, I put like 3 hours into writing it. A brief story of my life and how it all led up to this moment, where I am disillusioned with my self-image, my life choices, and certain aspects of the world, and have no idea what to do next. Warning: this whole thing might be a little depressing to read. Childhood. I am a 20yo Russian male. During my childhood, I was made to believe that I am capable of doing something great and doing better than anyone. At the same time I developed a very non-conformist life stance and very often rejected things and ideas simply because they were too popular for my taste, and I couldn't feel special whilst enjoying them. Of course, in turn, society rejected me, as it does with anyone who doesn't play by the rules. Oh well. My only redeeming quality was that I considered myself pretty smart. Which is even easier to assume, when at the same time you think that you're different from everyone else. Now, I know that to some extent, I was indeed smarter than most people in certain areas. Unlike most people I knew back then, often with bare minimum efforts I was able to maintain near perfect grades at school. I was also enjoying learning new things and reading more than an average person. So, let's just say, I had a basis to assume I was a smart dude. I wasn't happy and content with my life, though. I never had real friends, because I only hung out with people when they were my classmates/roommates/co-workers, and after we parted ways, I rarely if ever contacted them afterwards. I always enjoyed doing things you usually do in solitude more, because when I was alone, I wouldn't be afraid that someone could hurt me for being different. Because of that, I was never in a romantic relationship. High School. Still, life was going okay. By the end of school, I kind of accepted my social deficiency and I wanted to focus on improving the world and become a successful person - for myself. I was facing a dilemma, though. Despite the fact that I was doing great in school, the idea of having to invest four years of my time into studying something really specific, and then having to work another 20-30 years on the same job was terrifying, because I had no idea what I liked to do! Nothing seemed interesting to me, I didn't have a passion for doing anything... Thanks to my video game addiction, which made me lazy as fuck, probably. I also needed to meet my criteria for success with my future job, which included being financially successful. I grew up in top 1% income family, so... I always felt the pressure to outperform or at least match my parents' income. Enter trading. My dad discovered investing several years ago (we don't live in US, so most of the people aren't as financially savvy, so he never thought about investing before then). I was always curious about financial independence and markets, but now I was seeing it all done in front of me, I realized that it might be a good opportunity to make a lot of money and become successful without being socially adept, which is something absolutely required in business or politics. So, I asked my father to open a brokerage account for me in the US, and started swing trading (trading in weekly/monthly time frames). I could only trade slow and small because of the trade restrictions put on accounts <$25k and <21yo in the US. Still, it was going well, but in hindsight I was just lucky to be there during a great bull market. Even before I thought trading and more importantly investing were the ways smart people make money. I thought simply because I was conventionally smart, I had a talent or an innate ability to pick innovative stocks and do venture investing when I grow some capital. I truly believed in that long before I was introduced to financial markets, I believed that my surface level understanding of multiple areas of cutting edge and emerging technology would give me an edge compared to all the other investors. US Community College and Return Back. In the end, I've decided I want to go to a US community college and study finance and become a trader and later an investor, but I didn't want to work for a fund or something like that (lazy ass). I wanted to use my knowledge and skill and my own money to grow my net worth and make a living. I didn't really like the process of trading, I just needed the money to live by while I was trying to figure out what else to do with my life. Because I thought I were smart, I thought this would come easily to me. Boy was I wrong. From the nicest of conditions in my hometown, I was suddenly moved into a foreign setting, on the other side of the planet away form my family and mates, with a video game addiction and laziness that ruined my daily routine and studying as well. The fact that I didn't like my major was not helping. My grades fell from A- in the first quarter to C+ in the last. I gained +30% from my normal weight. I was stressed out, not going outside and sitting at my computer desk for days at a time, skipping all the classes I could if they were not absolutely essential for my grades, living on prepared foods. I never got out of my shell and barely talked to anyone in English, all of my friends were Russian speaking. I wasted an opportunity to improve my speaking, although aside from that my English skills satisfy me. By the end of community college, last summer, I was left with B grades that wouldn't let me transfer anywhere decent, and the extreme stress that I put myself through started taking a toll on my mental health. I was planning to take a break and go back to Russia for several months, and transfer back to a US uni this winter. Needless to say, you can't run from yourself. It didn't really become much better after a few months in Russia. I didn't want to study finance anymore, because it was boring and I was exhausted. I still had the video game addiction, still was lazy and gained some more extra pounds of weight. I was not sleeping at all, extremely sleep deprived for months. Because of this and lack of mental stimulation I started to become dumber. And all that was happening where I didn't really have to do anything: not study or work, just sit around the house and do whatever I wanted. Turns out, these conditions didn't help me to get out of the incoming depression. Finally, around November, when I already sent out all of my transfer applications and already got some positive answers from several universities, I knew I didn't have much time left at home, and I had to leave soon. But I really, really didn't want to go back. It was scarier than the first time. I was afraid of new changes, I just wanted for the time to stop and letting me relax, heal... I was having suicidal thoughts and talked about it with my family and my therapist. They were all supportive and helped me as much as they could. But I was the only person who could really help myself. If I wanted to breathe freely, I had to admit defeat and not go back to the US to continue my education. It was extremely hard at first, but then I just let go. I decided to find a temporary job as an English tutor and give myself time to think. Then I remembered that I had a bunch of money in my trading account. I still thought that I was pretty smart, despite failing college, so I figured, why not try move it to Russian brokers who don't have trading restrictions, and do it full time? Which is exactly what I did. And I started to study trading all by myself at a fast pace. I was now trading full time and it was going sideways: +10% in December, -20% in January. Then, something incredible happened. I was already in a shitty place in life, but I still had some hope for my future. Things were about to get much worse. I'm in the late January, and I discovered for myself that the whole financial industry of the world was a fraud. Brief Explanation of My Discoveries. In the image of the financial industry, there are several levels of perceived credibility. In the bottom tier, there is pure gambling. In my country, there were periods when binary options trading and unreliable Forex brokers were popular among common folk, but these were obvious and unsophisticated fraudsters who were one step away from being prosecuted. There are also cryptocurrencies that don't hold any value and are also used only for speculation/redistribution of wealth. There is also a wonderful gambling subreddit wallstreetbets where most users don't even try to hide the fact that what they are doing is pure gambling. I love it. But the thing is, this is trading/investing for the people who have no idea what it is, and most people discredit it as a fraud, which it, indeed, is. These examples are 99% marketing/public image and 1% finance. But these offer x10-1000 returns in the shortest time span. Typical get-rich-quick schemes, but they attract attention. Then, there is trading tier. You can have multiple sub levels here, in the bottom of this tier we would probably have complex technical analysis (indicators) and daily trading/scalping. I was doing this in the DecembeJanuary. At the top would be people who do fundamental analysis (study financial reports) and position trade (monthly time frames). Now, there is constant debate in the trading community whether technical analysis or fundamental analysis is better. I have a solid answer to the question. They work in the same way. Or rather, they don't work at all. You'd ask: "Why you didn't discover this earlier? You were in this financial thing for several years now!" Well, you see, unlike on the previous level, here millions of people say that they actually believe trading works and there is a way to use the available tools to have great returns. Some of these people actually know that trading doesn't work, but they benefit from other traders believing in it, because they can sell them courses or take brokerage fees from them. Still, when there are millions around you telling you that it works, even a non-conformist like me would budge. Not that many people actually participate in the markets, so I thought that by being in this minority made me smart and protected from fraudsters. Lol. All it took for me to discover the truth is to accidentally discover that some technical indicators give random results, do a few google searches, reach some scientific studies which are freely available and prove that technical and fundamental analysis don't work. It was always in front of me, but the fucking trading community plugged my ears and closed my eyes shut so I wasn't able to see it. Trading usually promises 3-15% gain a month. A huge shock, but surely there was still a way for me to work this out? Active investing it is! The next level, active investing, is different from trading. You aim for 15-50% yearly returns, but you don't have to do as much work. You hold on to stocks of your choice for years at a time, once in a while you study the markets, re balance your portfolio, etc. Or you invest your money in a fund, that will select the stocks of their choice and manage their and your portfolio for you. For a small fee of course. All of these actions are aimed at trying to outperform the gain the market made as a whole, and so called index funds, which invest in basically everything and follow the market returns - about 7-10% a year. And if I ever had any doubts in trading, I firmly believed that active investing works since I was a little kid (yes I knew about it back then). And this is where the real fraud comes in. The whole Wall Street and every broker, every stock exchange in the world are a part of a big fraud. Only about 10-20% of professional fund managers outperform the market in any 15 year period. If you take 30 years, this dwindles to almost nothing, which means that no one can predict the markets. These people have no idea what they are doing. Jim Cramer is pure show-business and has no idea what's going on. Warren Buffet gained his fortune with pure luck, and for every Buffet there are some people who made only a million bucks and countless folks who lost everything. Wall Street. They have trillions of dollars and use all that money and power and marketing to convince you that there is a way to predict where the stocks are going without being a legal insider or somehow abusing the law. They will make you think you can somehow learn from them where to invest your money on your own or they will make you believe that you should just give it to them and they will manage it for you, because they know how everything works and they can predict the future using past data. They won't. They don't. They can't. There are studies and statistics to prove it countless times over the span of a 100 years. But they will still charge you exchange fees, brokerage fees and management fees anyway. And they also manipulate certain studies, lobby where and when they need it, and spread misinformation on an unprecedented scale, creating a positive image of themselves. And everyone falls for that. Billions of people around the globe still think it's all legit. Passive index investing is the last level. You just put your money in the market and wait. Markets will go up at a predetermined rate. If there's a crisis, in 10 years no one will even remember. Markets always go up in the end. But passive index investing can only give you only 7% inflation-adjusted returns a year. Not enough to stop working or even retire early, unless you have a high-paying job in a first-world country. I don't. Despite all that, to put it simply, this is the only type of investing that works and doesn't involve any kind of fraud or gambling. It's the type of investing that will give you the most money. If you want to know why it is like that and how to do it, just go to financialindependence. They know this stuff better than any other sub. Better than investing, trading or any other sub where non-passive-index investing is still discussed as viable strategy. Back to me. My whole being was fucked over, my hopes and dreams and understanding of success and how this world works were shattered. I realized, I had no future in financial industry, because only middlemen make money in there, and I quit college needed to get there. Frankly, I wouldn't want to work there even if I had the opportunity. The pay is good, but the job is boring and I wouldn't want to be a part of this giant scheme anyway. But even if I wanted to go back, I also couldn't. Russia is in a worsening crisis and my parents could no longer afford a US university and now with coronavirus it's even worse. Good thing I quit before it all happened. I learned a valuable lesson and didn't lose that much money for it (only about 10% of my savings). God knows where it would lead me if I continued to be delusional. But now that my last temporary plans for the future were scrapped, I had no idea what to do next. The future. With the reality hitting me, I would lie if I say it didn't all come full circle and connect to my past. I realized that I was stupid and not intelligent, because I was living in a made-up world for years now. But even if I were intelligent, pure wit would not give me the success and fortune that I was craving, because trading and active investing were a no-go for me, and business/politics require a very different, extroverted mindset, different education and interest from my own. My only redeeming quality in a hopeless introvert world, my perceived intelligence was taken away from me and rendered useless at the same time. Besides, failing at that one thing made me insecure about everything and now I think of myself as an average individual. So, if 8 out of 10 businesses fail, I shouldn't start one because I will probably fail. And if most politicians don't get anywhere, why should I bother? If average salary in my country is X, I shouldn't hope for more. I stopped believing in my ability to achieve something. First, I failed at education and now I failed... Professionally? I don't know how to describe it, but my life recently was just an emotional roller coaster. I just feel like a very old person and all I want calmness and stability in my life. I was very lazy before just because, but now I feel like I also don't want to do anything because I feel I would just fail. It feels better now I don't have to worry about trading anymore and I got rid of that load... But I am still miserable and perhaps worse than ever, maybe I just don't understand and feel it because I've become slow and numb. The only positive thing that happened to me recently, is that I finally started losing weight and about 1/4 of the way back to my normal weight. As for my future, am looking at several possibilities here. So far the parents are allowing my miserable life to continue and they let me live with them and buy me food. I don't need anything else right now. But it can't go on like this forever. The thought of having a mundane low-paying job in this shithole of a country depresses me. I will probably temporarily do English tutoring if there's demand for such work. My old school friends want me to help them in their business and my dad wants me to help him in his, I and probably should, but I feel useless, pathetic and incapable of doing anything of value. And business just seems boring, difficult and too stressful for me right now. Just not my cup of tea. I am also looking at creative work. I love video games, music, films and other forms of art. I love the games most though, so I am looking into game dev. I don't really like programming, I have learned some during school years, but the pay would probably be higher for a programmer than an creator of any kind of art. However, I think I would enjoy art creation much more, but I don't have any experience in drawing and only some limited experience in music production. And I am not one of these kids who always had a scrapbook with them at school. Having to make another life choice paralyzes me. I am leaning towards art. I don't feel confident in my ability to learn this skill from scratch, but I think it's my best shot at finding a job that would make me happy. So perhaps, when this whole pandemic is over, I'll go to Europe and get my degree, get a job there and stay. American Dream is dead to me, and Europe is cheaper, closer, safe and comfortable. Just the thing for a person who feels like they are thrice their real age. Outro. Thanks for coming to my TED Talk. Special thanks if you read the whole thing, it means a whole lot to me, an internet stranger. But even if no one reads it, feels good to get this off my chest. I actually cried during writing some parts. Holy shit, this might be the longest and smartest looking thing my dumbed down head could manage to generate since college. I hope that you're having a great day. Stay healthy and be careful during this fucking pandemic. All the best.
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