We’re now into our 5th year Day Trading Crude Oil, the E-Mini S&P,
Gold, EuroFX and the DAX, where we shoot for $300 to $400 a day in a LIVE! Trading Room and (hopefully) help others reach their goals of financial independence and security.
But it took awhile to get here. I started trading stocks in the 1980s and diversified into commodity futures for the first time in 1994. Because of a bad experience with someone who “managed” my account, I started learning everything I could about swing trading.
Then the day trading bug bit and since late-1999, I’ve been a full-time day trader AND continuing student of the markets.
What can trading do for you? Well, it’s the perfect “job” — either a new career or a steady second income. You can work the hours (or even days) you choose — and do it from anywhere in the world with reliable broadband Internet. It can quickly build your retirement or your kids’ college savings accounts. It can get you out from under crushing debt. And it’s fun!
So I’m glad you found us . . . and hope you’ll join in!
[Update: 5/5/2014]: Since Crude Oil has been much slower the last month and Gold has been insane we adapted and began focusing more on the Stock Indexes: E-Mini S&P (ES), E-Mini Russell (TF) and E-Mini NASDAQ (NQ), starting at 9:15 a.m. (EST) with a Market Preview and beginning our trading at 9:30 a.m. (EST) with the New York Open. I’m still available for Crude Oil and Gold traders who want to start earlier . . . on an individual basis.
April Success Continues
After a few tough weeks in February and March — good week, tough week, good week, tough week — April was a great month for us and that success is continuing into May.
Although I’ll do some Weekly Updates, this will probably be the last live video I post for awhile:
Spaces are now available– and you can join us tomorrow!
Just sign-up on the LIVE! Trading Room page.
Another GREAT Month!
We had another great month in April 2014.
Here are some videos from the beginning of April:
Here’s April 23rd — the best day all month!
And here’s another great Add-On Day on April 30th:
And here are some screen captures from a few of April’s other trading days:
You can join us tomorrow!
Just go to the LIVE! Trading Room page.
In answer to questions about a lack of updates since September 2013
I had to change servers recently and something happened to a lot of posts . . . POOF! Just gone.
Back-up was, somehow, corrupted so I am re-posting the charts and videos from April 2014 but the Fall 2013 charts and those from the December 2013 Holiday sessions all seem to be gone forever, as are the charts from February and March 2014 (not that there were many of those anyway).
April 2014 was pretty well-documented, so it gives prospective Members an idea of what we’ve done lately.
We kept trading right through August and when September finally arrived, liquidity and volume picked up nicely.
The Crude Oil (CL) market got a little whippy but we’ve changed our approach and adapted to the evolving market conditions. Same with Gold — we moved above the “noise” and are looking at larger profit targets with scalp trades still available. In the E-Mini S&P, we still look for scalp trades and 2-point (plus) trades.
We had a tough week ahead of Non-Farm Payroll but a nice NFP Friday to cap-off a profitable week.
The second week in September was hit-or-miss (a great day or a tough, losing day) but, overall, profitable.
Here are some charts from the last two weeks of September 2013. . .
Week of September 16-20, 2013:
September 20: We gave back two (2) small losers in Crude Oil on Friday and stopped — trading on a day when we should have skipped and played golf because of the GREAT week we just had — but we also had two new Members and I wanted to get their feet wet with the way we call and manage trades.
Week of September 23-27, 2013:
A new Member asked about the difference between what I sometimes call “more aggressive” trades and “regular” trades. So we did a little experiment on 9/26 . . . I called only more “conservative” trades in the Trading Room. The difference was pretty remarkable.
There are fewer “conservative” trades but they don’t run the risk of loss that more “aggressive” trades do. You would usually get a few more signals but for newer traders there are many ways to trade the signals I call.
September 30 (Monday):
We had a few losers in Crude Oil and Gold in the morning and stopped trading until the Afternoon Session but ES was very good to us in the afternoon . . . We ended the month of September strong!
To join us, just go to the next page: LIVE! Trading Room
P.S. — I don’t have as much time to update this blog because I have my 8-month old grandson full-time as well as his big sister. We still trade every day but after the markets close I’m usually chasing him so all Skype sessions and one-on-one will need to be during the daytime hours for the next few months. [Skype: chartskytrades].
Here they are:
Wow . . . Over 75 Twitter Followers!
You can follow too @ChartskyTrades
Tell Us Something We Don’t Already Know . . .
Something Is Wrong With Volume
As day traders, we’ve all known for years that an increasing percentage of trading volume is nothing but High Frequency Trading (HFT) Computers. It makes day trading for scalps a LOT harder.
But some like graphs to prove a point so here’s one that will cause most day traders to swallow hard. It shows a 10-week moving average of S&P volume. Straight down after the Lehman debacle. We’re in 2013 and trading at levels not seen since 1997!
Is this the “end of the markets?” No . . . but it’s a clear sign that we’re in serious trouble. And it’s proof why the Exchanges won’t allow anyone (i.e., politicians) to touch HFT. Without it, the Exchanges are hurting badly, maybe out of business.
And it shows part of the reason it’s harder and harder to day trade.
I can’t imagine learning to trade price action by myself with HFT computers whipping it around like they do every day.
State Pensions Are Now Nothing But HUGE Unfunded Liabilities
There’s more here . . .
It’s the same story for Social Security, but now on a state-by-state level, retirement benefits promised to millions of people who “paid into the system” for their entire working lives have been spent and the governments have substituted cash for worthless I.O.U.s.
A new assessment of state pension obligations suggests the problem is even worse than it already appears.
How much worse?
Using a more conservative method of accounting for financial gains in the marketplace, there is a $4.1 TRILLION gap between assets and liabilities — known as the “unfunded liability” — of all state-level pension systems in the United States, according to State Budget Solutions, a fiscally conservative think tank that deals with tax and spending issues at the state level.
But lets say they’re wrong . . . since they’re, you know, conservative. Let’s say they’ve doubled their math and it’s only 1/2 as bad. That still means there is a $2 TRILLION gap! $2 TRILLION that is coming due to retirees without any cash to cover. $2 TRILLION in checks about to clear with a ZERO balance in the checking account?!?!
Many states use an assumed return of 7 percent or 8 percent, though some are beginning to adjust those expectations downward. But every time the investments miss that mark, it widens the gap between the pension fund’s assets and liabilities.
For example, in Pennsylvania the official unfunded liability reported by the state’s two major pension systems is a combined $49 billion. That assumes pension funds will grow at a rate of 7.5 percent every year, forever. Ya’ think?
Using the lower, safer growth rate of 3.22 percent, the unfunded liability in Pennsylvania’s two pension plans grows to a combined $156 billion.
This different form of measuring liabilities produces some truly scary results. In five states, State Budget Solutions calculates pension liabilities represent more than 40 percent of the entire state economy. In two states — Ohio and Mississippi — the pension costs are equal to more than half the state’s gross production.
I have a good friend soon to be a retiree from the Mississippi College System. She, and her colleagues, are owed more than 1/2 of what the entire State of Mississippi brings in every year, forever! Think they will collect? Think you’ll get Social Security?
So how is this relevant?
If you can trade, you can create a stream of income for your retirement, your parents’ retirement when they get snookered by the state or federal governments, for the ever-increasing cost of college tuition, or for any income after you’ve been laid-off and can’t find a job even after 2-years (and are constantly told how much the unemployment situation is improving).
For more information go to the next page: Chartsky Trades LIVE! Trading Room.
Let’s All Pile On Nial Fuller . . .
“Why I Don’t Use the 2% Money Management Tool”
By now I’m sure you’ve gotten spam e-mail “criticizing” Nial Fuller for his recent e-mail “debunking the 2% money management rule that is so popular among much of the trading community.”
First of all, I never thought the “rule” said you HAD to risk 2% of your Account — just that you should not risk MORE than 2% on any trade. And I agree it is an arbitrary number. Why not 3%? Why not 1%?
But here’s the problem I have with it, and with any “fixed” amount stop loss that you use for all trades: Your stops should be based on specific market analysis you perform before entering a trade. Your stop should go as close to your entry as is reasonable but also in a place that won’t be hit unless you’re wrong about the trade.
For example, sometimes I use a 4-tick stop for ES Scalps and sometimes it’s 6-ticks — depending on where price should NOT touch if I’m right about the scalp. However, for a 2-Point trade in ES I use a 2-Point stop . . . not a 4-tick or 6-tick; and I don’t use the 8-tick stop for scalps. I certainly don’t risk 2% of the Account for a scalp! Now I might quickly reduce the size of my stop but that’s a topic for another day.
Mr. Fuller goes on to say, “The 2% rule is nothing more than propaganda spread by brokers to see you lose slowly, it helps you stay in the game longer… which is great for the broker because they collect more commissions and spreads.” And on this point I tend to agree. Brokers don’t care about you. All they care about is getting commissions or spreads as many times as possible. Maybe they did start the 2% Rule. It’s wrong no matter who started or spread it.
So I won’t be jumping on Nial Fuller . . . because what he’s really saying is what I say all the time: THINK about each trade, PLAN each trade, use a STOP for each trade, but don’t be mechanical and stubborn and don’t risk a single tick (or pip) more than you have to.
Here’s something else he didn’t say but I do: remember that having no active position is a position itself if you base that on indecision caused by poor price action.
We’ve been a little laid-back this Summer but still trading . . .
I haven’t posted any videos in awhile but will start this week.
Here are some trades we called in the LIVE! Trading Room this past week.
Remember, we trade Crude Oil, ES, Gold and the EuroFX (mostly) looking for a $300 to $400 Daily Profit Target, per position; and then call it a morning so we can enjoy the rest of our days.
The Weekly Recap:
And tow individual days showing specific live trades . . .
(Wednesday) August 14, 2013:
(Tuesday) August 13, 2013:
If you want to find out more about the LIVE! Trading Room, or to join us, just check-out the next page: LIVE! Trading Room
Big Announcement . . .
We’re starting a new and improved website very soon!
I think you’ll really like it and I’ll post the web address here when it’s time for the Grand Opening.
More on Trading For A Living . . .
As a reminder, here’s what we did yesterday and the day before. We’re enjoying a long Holiday Weekend . . .
Keeping A Trading Journal:
Thanks for the nice e-mails about my trading psychology articles.
Remember: NinjaTrader is turning off its access starting at 7:00 p.m. (ET) tonight until Sunday evening (at 7:00 p.m.?). So download your data before then or you’ll be shut-out.
Now why is that so important?
Well, it leads me to another thought about trading . . .
For many years I’ve kept a record of all my trades (well, most of ‘em) by taking screen shots and often putting some notes beside the trades. I always mark if it was a profitable trade (and how much), or if it was a losing trade (how much), or a BE trade.
I use these charts on the weekends to go back and review my performance for the week and see if there is any area, or areas, that I can improve. It doesn’t take long and it’s worth the time!
In my opinion, a trade shouldn’t necessarily end when you close it out. You should take the opportunity to learn from it, if possible. Many traders ignore trades already taken and just go on looking for the next one. This is especially true once you start making money regularly from what I’ve seen.
But the markets are always changing so you have to also be willing to change . . . your stop, your profit target(s), when you go to BE, when you trail, or when you skip trades.
Did you identify mostly good trades last week? Did you use indicators that were helpful, or not? How good was your entry? Was your protective stop too far away, or too close? WHY and how much? Did you go to break-even (BE) too soon, too late, or just right? Did you recognize the circumstances to exit your trade? Or were you following a set level to take profits? If so, was it too close, too far away, or just right? What did you FEEL during the stages of your trade(s)? This last analysis is a partial antidote against emotional trading — a real account killer. If you don’t have charts marked and saved, I’ll bet you can’t remember half of what happened last week. I know I couldn’t.
So I almost always recommend that traders keep a written Trading Journal . . . one they can use over a period of time to notice and correct any re-ocurring mistakes.
If you have any questions about a Trading Journal, send me an e-mail or join us in the LIVE! Trading Room where I talk about these (and other) things.
You can find out more on the next page.
Thursday — May 23, 2013
We made money again today in the LIVE! Trading Room!
I was looking for a better scalping day after the ES came off its all-time highs, but it sold-off big during the Asian Session, was choppy during the London Session (running the stops both ways) and tough during the U.S. Session. I sure hope it will be back to normal next Tuesday — when everyone returns from the long Memorial Day Weekend.
Still, making over $400.00 is OK too . . . and we ended another week with some good profits!
If you are interested in joining us, as we day trade Crude Oil, Gold, the E-Mini S&P, EuroFX, Swiss Francs, and E-Mini-Dow, just check out the next page.
I hope you all have a nice, long relaxing weekend!
P.S. No trading tomorrow (Friday) — Enjoy spending time, and some of the money you made, with your families.
ES Comes Off All-Time Highs
We’ve had a tough last week or so as the ES just kept making new all-time highs, causing other markets to chop. We’ve been waiting for it to top-out and retrace, it did this morning . . . and we pounced!
It kept coming down and closed nicely. Tomorrow should be fantastic!
Could Gold Drop 80% . . .
That’s one scenario in a well-written article by Trang Ho at Investors.com
Now that the yellow metal has melted nearly 30% from its September 2011 high, those who see the glass half-full claim gold will rebound from oversold levels on bargain buying and short covering. Those who see the glass half-empty say it stands to crash another 50% and as much as 80%.
Cheerleaders contend the fundamental reasons for gold remain: central banks around the world are slashing interest rates to new lows, buying debt and printing more money, thereby devaluing paper currencies and pumping inflation, which bolsters gold prices.
We scalp Gold for $200-$300-$400 a pop, so we don’t really care . . . as long as it moves.
To find out more or join us in the LIVE! Trading Room, see the next page.
Non-Farm Payroll Friday — 5/3/2013
Here’s a short video showing what we did on NFP Friday — 5/3/2013:
To join us, just check-out the next page: LIVE! Trading Room
We have a really big announcement coming in the next week or two so please check back here for more details . . .