How I found what works for me
How I found what (I think) works for me. (My appologies for the rambling and length).
When I first started trading Forex in August 2006 I did not know where to start. Although as a Yorkshireman I am very careful about spending money, I did the usual thing of buying systems and mentoring programmes. They nearly all seemed promising at first, but in the end I could not make them work for me.
Perhaps I was fortunate, but I don’t consider any of the ones that I tried to be rip-offs - they just didn’t work for me. The main problem was that I spent nearly as much money on losing trades as I did in buying the systems. Why was this? – It was because I could not take paper or Demo trades seriously - it was easy for me to live with a 200pip stop loss in Demo, not so when real money was involved (even at only £1 per pip at a UK Spreadbetting company).
I was fortunate to discover T2W, which led me to the Forex Factory where in May 2007 I discovered James16.
James16 says that you don’t have to go through hell to discover if you have it in you to become a successful Forex trader. I think that it really depends upon your personality.
I took everything James16 said to heart. I joined his Private Forum for 1 month, but could not justify the expense of continued membership at that time. He said you should demo first, and not trade shorter timeframes until profitable live in daily and weekly. I tried for 6 months to become profitable trading daily pin bars – could not afford the big stops for the weekly. This entailed never getting to bed before 01:00 hrs on Sunday through Thursday. I found this very hard, because I had to get up by 06:00 hrs and often found that it took me a good while to switch off after being on the PC looking at Forex. My other problem was in not having a means of determining a Take Profit target or a Trailing Stop method which backtested consistently. So I gave up and started to look for other systems because I did not (and still do not) trust 4hr charts because of the 4 different starts to the 4hr bar.
‘The_Wizard' said he ignored the advice about timeframes and found he had most success on the 1hr. He subsequently got a sufficiently good trade record as to get a job as a pro trader. But although tempted, I resisted the lure of PA off the 1hr charts.
But it took a long time before I found anything that backtested OK for me. I found that many/most indicator based systems were in actual fact just as discretionary as James16 Price Action and I could not get them to backtest consistently for me.
I discovered Jacko, whose method works but is discretionary, so I invested $500 in becomming one of his ‘turtles’. Unfortunately I found that I did not trust my own judgement and so found myself mainly just taking his signals. I am currently only at B/E after 6 months because I was away on Holiday when he had his biggest gains and I have been in all of his losing trades.
Then I came across FTI and Skunny:
FTI (who was a pro trader, then manager of traders for a major bank) said study ‘The Art of War’ and stay flexible in your thinking, but his method was ALL discretion and worse still used 5min charts and no stop losses – too fast and too dangerous for me.
Skunny said the longest timeframe universal charts are the 1hr, so thats what you should (mainly) trade from. He also said that if you draw a Fib between the correct S/R levels, and Price breaks (i.e. closes beyond rather than just pierces) the 0% or 100% line then it will continue until at least 38.2% beyond (within 5 pips for spikes and differing broker prices). I found that my backtesting worked best over large swings, where I could not afford the Stop Loss in a live account.
It was through Skunny that I came across Bobokus, whose Fibonnacci Trading method (again off 1hr charts) and Trading the Daily method (off daily charts) I have had some success with.
It was through the Bobkus threads that I heard about PeterCrowns (another pro trader) ,from Islander and discovered the DIBS method. And through Peter Crowns in the ‘No Free Lunch ....’ thread that I discovered Joel Rensink ako ‘TheRealThing’ (a pro trader for over 30yrs) and his ‘First Strike’ and ‘One Night Stand’ methods. He gives (for free), both the details of these and daily updates on progress at his Blog site.
*Update my results are shown in post #10.
I now have some methods which suit my personality, my capital and my timezone, and I can boost the returns by adding the flexibility of FTI, the Anti-Hedging of Jacko, the Fibs of Bobokus and Skunny and the PA of James16.
I truly believe that I am getting there!
P.S. If you want to find the details of methods mentioned above look up ForexFactoory the relevant FF username (I have highlighted in bold) and then search for threads started by them (or their posts) – or for their blog or website.
If you have a question then send me a PM, rather than post in this thread,since I do not look at it much.
Note that I may post anonymised PMs and replies in this thread.
Thanks for your post Ian,
please excuse my bad english
i'm new to forex and i've read a lot here on ff about many different things, but the most important posts were some like yours where someone shared his experience (mainly bad) but then learned from his mistakes. The subject what is most interesting to me is psychology. I traded a few trades on demo account but its not the same if it doesnt hurt to lose. So i will soon start a live-account, but with little money at stake, in other words: i stopped smoking and i will use the money i save every month to add it up to my account no matter how well or bad i'll do
But after i read you're story i have to say, though i am a newbie but from what i catched from others, i believe there is no manual on how to became this successful trader everyone wants to be. Everyone has to make his own experience with the market, his psychology or any combination of systems like you did. I can't imagine that there is success for sell, wheter in systems nor in training courses.
If it would be that easy, why is it that there are so few successful traders, or why are people struggling though they are for years in the market and just lately broke even.
Silverheat, thanks for posting
What you say is very true and it has taken me wasted years before I really believed it.
May I suggest if you want to trade for real but small money, then use OANDA and you can use a Demo account to get MT4 charting from InterBank FX, NorthFinance or one of the other Forex brokers (I have demos with both IBFX and NF). Even though I have not used them I hear good things about OANDA except for charting.
Thanks again for posting.
If any experienced trader want to post what works for them, or how they found what works for them, please feel free.
This is a great thread and hopefully a lot will learn from it. What works for one may not work for all, I am a firm believer that to trade successfuly there has to be some degree of discretion else everyone out there would be living off of automated systems which is a whole nother topic. Anyway, it's good to hear of other people that have put a lot of time and effort in to finding what works for them and not just asking for a 100% fool proof system because it doesn't exist. The discretionary part of a good system is what makes it or breaks it for each and every individual, it's just a matter of how one interprets/reads the market and adapts that system to their needs to what works for them. Anyway, great story!
Example of combining different methods
Here is a DIBS trade that I took (Jaroo and others also took it). I was slow to react to the 1hr Pin Bar. I should have at least taken profits or even reversed long, but all I did was tighten my SL to BE.
I had the daily floor pivots on my chart when I took the trade, but just look at all the confluence. PB off the 38% Fib retracement and the Daily floor pivot point (not a PPZ) then the Inside Bar and break of the short term down trend line.
You may think the trend line is a little strange, I know 5 ways of drawing trend lines and this is one of them.
Did you see how in that chart it hit the 138% ?
In the chart I posted above, did you see how well the 138% of the intraday fib (Bobokus/Skunny style) would have worked as a target?
Oh, I should mention that according to Bobokus, Fibs do not work so well on cross pairs like G/J because it is a combination of G/U and U/J. Also G/J 'likes' 50% retracements, so Iwould not have felt bad about this trade, if it were not for the additional confluence (Pivot and trend line).
Answers to questions - PMs I got
i was wondering what has worked best?
i am following jacko and found joel just recently..[/quote]
The question should really be what works best for me (or for you).
And that is THE question, and which I am as yet unable to answer.
The reason for me not knowing is that I have tried are at least partly discretionary, and it is the discretion part that needs continual improvement.
Take another look in the DIBS thread at SeekingLight's (and also my) post regarding Jaroo's GJ trade on 29th May
(edit - this is now posted above in this thread). I was also in that trade, but I merely tightened my SL to B/E when really I should have at least taken profits - if not reversed and gone long.
Of the methods, I have had most experience of Jacko's.
Jacko's method as done by Jacko works very well (for less than 1 trade per week) - meaning being able to follow all his trades (which I have not). It also has relatively shallow draw downs due to the AH. Though of course sometimes (like this last week) the AH is also a big loss.
I hope this helps,
I hope you don't mind my pm.
Thank you for your thread about how you found what's work for you. I think I'm on almost the same way but not so close yet. I am reading almost the same threads and slowly starting to understand what It's all about but I'm not as close as you are.....
I saw in your thread that you use a spreadbetting company. I just wonder wich one you prefer? I have an account by IG Index but I find it quite complicated and the demo period was to short for me. I now have a live acconut with the starting with £50. (It's now up to £54.90 after only one - and profitable trade.) (And that was a trade that raczekfx pointed out in the James16 thread. Quite dumb to take it because I hardly understood it by myself...) Yes, I would not try to follow most raczekfx trades because he moves so fast. If you feel that you MUST follow some trades out of J16, then ONLY take a trade where it is 'an A class Pin Bar' or a trade that MBQB11 would take.
I never know what to choose from among al their spots, near quarter, far quarter and so on. Now even bungee bets that seems tempting for a newbie.....Can you recommend them or another company? Or do you have some tips about what to start with in IG Index. I am also a member of the Trade2Win board but I think it's very time consuming to find anything valuble in there. T2W is not so good as FF for Forex.
I realise that using a spread betting company will be some more expensive because of the spreads and slippage but I think I'm willing to pay the price instead of calculate everything to pay my Swedish taxes. Can't even think of calculating the trades to convert them to SEK.....I'm not good at maths, only like to look at the charts and my style is quite cicken-like.
I'm not so fond of posting in threads thats why I pm you instead of post in your thread.
Thank you for reading my pm.
I have (only) had experiance of 4 spread bet companies. CMC (=Deal4free), Finspreads, Tradindex and IG Index.
They all have their advantages and disadvantages. For example, I require one that is open when Forex is being traded i.e. from around 16:00 EST Sunday to 16:00 EST Friday. So far as I am aware, that limits it to just CMC and IG Index.
When I used CMC (that was for UK shares only at that time) I got the feeling that they did some 'Stop Loss Hunting' overnight. Now This was some years ago when I knew less about the markets , so I may have been mistaken.
I must comment that £54 is not enough to trade either Forex or Shares (stocks) at £1 per point. And Financial Indexes ( Dow, S&P, Nasdaq, FT100, DAX, CAC40 etc. all require even bigger stop losses than Forex/Shares.
I strongly suggest that for Forex, you either :
A). Get an unlimited time demo account from one of the Forex brokers. I have 2 that I use for charting since IG index charts were not very good. They are from North Finance and InterBank FX. IBFX servers are run on GMT which I like, wheras NF have Commodities and Financial Indexes available as well as Forex.
B). Use OANDA, they allow very small trades, but you would probabley still want a demo account with an MT4 broker for charting.
When you are using real money, at first (I would say for at least the first 6 months) you need an account big enough so that you are never risking more than 1% of your account on any one bet - and no more than 5% at any one time. What I mean by this is that when you look at a potential trade the vrey first thing to do is to determine the Stop Loss - and if it would be more than 1% of the account then move on to another trade. You must never reduce your stop loss just so as to get it to be under the 1% - that will only get you stopped out much more often and make you certain to keep losing.
As to the types of trade available from the spread bet companies, I say that it is best to stick to the simple ones at first because they are cheaper:
For Forex, it moves fast so the Spot market bets are OK (on average you lose a little over 1/2 of the spread on Monday through Friday nights if you hold the bet overnight.
For Shares, because they usually move more slowly, I use either the near quarter Future, or if less than 1 month remaining on the near quarter I use the next quarter after it.
I hope that this helps you,
I enjoyed the post, it really does say a lot about the "process" of becoming a profitable trader. I would say this: If someone told me how much work went into this before I started - I probably would not have started!
I have to admit, I am a little biased - I am a Senior Member at James16. However, there are several threads or methods out there that I like a lot. Feb2865 is good. Jacko certainly is as well. I would be alright pointing any new trader to these threads to read. The DIBS method shows promise as well. (I really haven't tried it yet, but am reading up on it at the moment.)
The point is this: There are several ways to make money in this market. I am willing to bet that I could make money using any of those methods listed. In fact, there are times when I may "borrow" a rule or two to suit a trade set up from those. But ultimately, there is one thing that makes the difference:
Are you comfortable trading this "system"?
For me, that was the answer. There are several ways to come out ahead, but if you are not comfortable, then you will likely do all of the deadly "Forex Sins". You know, taking profits too early...taking losses too early, or letting them ride. All the things that lead to whipsaws.
Also, there are several similarities in these systems/styles of trading. For starters, they are all simple. You don't have charts that show you some many lines you can't see the price.
There are times when I might be down 150 pips, but it's alright...my risk was minimal. I know the new guys reading this will find that an odd statement, but it's true. That would be the whole "It's not pips that matter, but percentages..." discussion.
I would submit that we all trade a little differently, even those of us in a cult like J16! There are certain "nuances" to my trading that you won't see in mbqb11's trades, or James16's. However, we all use the same "foundation" to take these trades. Consequently, two things happen: We a lot of the time are in the same trades at the same time....and when I give my chat to the new traders, I feel that I am explaining things to them because they hear that I don't do it "exactly like Jim".
Markets are about perceived value of an item/currency/stock,etc. So because of this, we all see it differently. Even though all of us see the daily bar as a pinbar.
None the less, GREAT POST.
The sender of the PM said they could not find a broker with a convenient EOD for their time zone.
I replied that Price Action (as well as S/R, Fibs Floor Pivots etc.) work because lots of other people see the same thing and act upon it. So you need to have the same bars as lots of other traders.
The EOD is where the East Coast USA based J16 Pin Bar type traders have a big advantage. There are two (strictly 3 but effectively only 2) EOD worth using if you trade the majors:-
17:00 EST (a few use 16:00 but there is very little difference).
And 00:00 GMT
If it is not one of these, then there is no point in finding a broker with a convenient EOD for you if you are trading Daily Pin Bars.
This timing problem is why I personally do not trust PA on 4Hr charts. I will trust daily charts (using either EOD) because (all else being equal) daily is much stronger than 4Hr which is stronger than 1Hr etc. But 1Hr has the extra advantage that everyone is really seeing the same bars (give or take a few pips for broker differences).
I know that lots of people disagree with me on this point, but I would much rather be solvent than be in a majority. Remember the majority traders consistently lose money.
By request - an udate on my progress
I thought it was abou time I posted an update on my progress, since I feel I have grown a good deal towards being a trader in the last 5 months. I still don't feel I am a 'Trader' yet because my only consistently profitable method does not feel like trading to me.
I have at last developed my own personal trading method based upon Joel Rensink's First Strike which is described at http://infiniteyieldforex.blogspot.com/
I started by allocating a portion of my trading account to using his First Strike (FS) and One Night Stand (ONS) methods on 26th May 2008. I am restricted my (SpreadBet) Broker to a minimum position size of 1GBP per pip.
I decided to risk no more that 2% per trade (i.e. 10% for all of one week's ONS trades or 7.2% for the FS trades).
From 1st Semtember I started to diverge from his First Strike method by trailing my StopLoss.
Due to the extreme volatility of the markets, for the weeks of 6th October and 13th October, Joel changed his FS - basically halving the position size and doubling the break dstance and the stop loss.
On 20th October, Joel introduced First Strike Plus ( a version of FS based upon previous week's volatility). I traded this on that week, even though I should not have since my risk was far too high ( >20% for the 5 trades combined). This was very successful, but I was scared by how much risk I took.
So from 27th October onwards, I reverted back to the previous (high volatility) version of FS and experimented with different sizes of trailing stop.I have also done backtesting form 1/1/08 and as a result have dropped Joel's worst performing currency (U/C) and added the ones which backtested 'best and most evenly' - namely E/J and U/CAD ( A/U also backtested well, but the positive weeks were very few - and were clumped together - so it was not 'even').
I now have 'my method'. By this I mean that although I may modify the break, initial SL and trailing Stop values, I forsee that I will trade this method for the forseeable future.
OK now the results 26th May to 1st December 2008:-
+ 9118 pips or +182.36%
For the curious I attach a spreadsheet containing my weekly results (plus some backtest results for the different methods I have mentioned).
WARNING: Do not blindly trade ANY method. Backtest first to see if you think it is right for your personality and account size. Even very successful and simple methods can be very difficult to trade due to the mental pressures.
Find what is Right For You!
Many pips to All,
Please do not post in this thread, since I rarely check it. If you have a question, please send me a PM.
Note that I may post anonymised PMs and replies in this thread.
Hi Ian - great that you've now found something that suits you personally.http://www.forexfactory.com/images/icons/icon14.gif
As you may remember, I've always maintained that as we all "see the charts" differently, we all need to find out what actually works for us - this may just be a slight variation on an existing methodology or something more radical.
Either way, you have to work it out for yourself...http://www.forexfactory.com/images/icons/icon7.gif
My FS results been very similar to yours. I've been using similar risk parameters and managing my exits as the weekly P/A dictates for each pair. A lot of weeks I may be out of the trades a little sooner than most, but it's what I'm comfortable with.
Yes, fantastic results considering the amount of work involved
Good to here you are also doing well.
I think that these are fantastic results considering the amount of work involved. It is a shame that they won't continue like that. The market will change and become less volatile, which is why I have not added A/U to my currency list.
What I am now doing, since I can't increase my size gradually, is to gradually double up pair by pair starting with the most profitable ones. I have traded at 2x for G/J and G/U this week and I think I will also do that on E/J next week.
I'm honoured that you have visited.
I'm honoured that you have visited.
It was your sig back in April or May that led me to Perte Crowns and thus to Joel Rensink.
I know that your style is off much shorter TFs, but do you also trade DIBS or any of Joel's systems?
Glad to see you have settled into a trading method...... I have been following Joel's FS, ONS and FSP systems as well, plus one that I have developed and am still fine tuning.
I also made a spreadsheet for the FSP .... If you would like it let me know and I will send it to you.
This was a good read for me. I feel I am on the same journey. Got started in June, tried a bunch of different systems at baby pips (cowabunga, ultimate candlestick method, ect ect), stumbled across the alternative technical templates thread and really liked what I read, then paid for James's IB live trading room for one month, then went back to the att thread which intrigued me even more, so I searched 'naked trading' on google and found FTI's thread.
Spent the majority of my time with fti's teachings, but it is too dangerous for me at the moment so I started trying a bunch of other systems I found here on FF again (thv's, ccdudes, ect ect). Really liked phsilog's channels he drew on the chart, so started using those, and one by one the indicators have been cleared off my chart now except for channels and pivot points. Traded channels with daily pivots and IB triggers last week and felt the most comfortable. I am really digging the IB trading thread that has recently opened up here too. My most glaring weakness right now is taking profit at the right times, I guess greed is causing me to close out winners too soon.
I am close to getting to greak even again with the money I have invested in forex, would like to think I am on the path to trading full time, but I am so green I have a feeling I have not put in enough time yet to get there.
The journey so far has been great though, learned a lot about my self and grown a little bit in the process.
This gives me hope that one day i too can succeed with my multiple systems I like to trade. I am currently spending my time trying to identify the market conditions and then use the proper system.
The jacko turtle type trading did great with the brv no brainer system from august tell october, but since the US election day those systems have failed me in my part time trading. I am now trading aon a shorter TF and its much more work imho.
Reply to a PM sent to me - clarifies spreadsheet.
Hi Jxxx,my replies are in blue below.
Hope this helps,
For those with Microsoft Works, here are my actual results in pips (not multipliied by stake size) broken out from my spreadsheet workbook.
One Night Stand:
Week startingE/UG/JG/UU/CU/JTotalRunning Total
20/10/08481.55343.34627.33149.94-101.561,500.601,500.60Trl stops £1 per pip .
Official FSP gain was +4047 pips
forget about the bars/candles - its the price that matters. The price does not care whether you are in china or london. Neither does the price care whether you take H1, weekly or daily candles to try and measure it. One thing is for sure though: no matter which way you look at charts, eur/usd is at 1.2876 as I am writing this - everywhere. (and I am not arguing about +/- a few ticks because of quotational differences)
All one has to do is (without the necessity of a crystal ball) to build a frame around price movement - because that is one essential part of FX trading: movement happens all the time from sunday night to friday night nonstop.
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