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Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Swaps* (*But Were Afraid To Ask)

Hello, dummies
It's your old pal, Fuzzy.
As I'm sure you've all noticed, a lot of the stuff that gets posted here is - to put it delicately - fucking ridiculous. More backwards-ass shit gets posted to wallstreetbets than you'd see on a Westboro Baptist community message board. I mean, I had a look at the daily thread yesterday and..... yeesh. I know, I know. We all make like the divine Laura Dern circa 1992 on the daily and stick our hands deep into this steaming heap of shit to find the nuggets of valuable and/or hilarious information within (thanks for reading, BTW). I agree. I love it just the way it is too. That's what makes WSB great.
What I'm getting at is that a lot of the stuff that gets posted here - notwithstanding it being funny or interesting - is just... wrong. Like, fucking your cousin wrong. And to be clear, I mean the fucking your *first* cousin kinda wrong, before my Southerners in the back get all het up (simmer down, Billy Ray - I know Mabel's twice removed on your grand-sister's side). Truly, I try to let it slide. I do my bit to try and put you on the right path. Most of the time, I sleep easy no matter how badly I've seen someone explain what a bank liquidity crisis is. But out of all of those tens of thousands of misguided, autistic attempts at understanding the world of high finance, one thing gets so consistently - so *emphatically* - fucked up and misunderstood by you retards that last night I felt obligated at the end of a long work day to pull together this edition of Finance with Fuzzy just for you. It's so serious I'm not even going to make a u/pokimane gag. Have you guessed what it is yet? Here's a clue. It's in the title of the post.
That's right, friends. Today in the neighborhood we're going to talk all about hedging in financial markets - spots, swaps, collars, forwards, CDS, synthetic CDOs, all that fun shit. Don't worry; I'm going to explain what all the scary words mean and how they impact your OTM RH positions along the way.
We're going to break it down like this. (1) "What's a hedge, Fuzzy?" (2) Common Hedging Strategies and (3) All About ISDAs and Credit Default Swaps.
Before we begin. For the nerds and JV traders in the back (and anyone else who needs to hear this up front) - I am simplifying these descriptions for the purposes of this post. I am also obviously not going to try and cover every exotic form of hedge under the sun or give a detailed summation of what caused the financial crisis. If you are interested in something specific ask a question, but don't try and impress me with your Investopedia skills or technical points I didn't cover; I will just be forced to flex my years of IRL experience on you in the comments and you'll look like a big dummy.
TL;DR? Fuck you. There is no TL;DR. You've come this far already. What's a few more paragraphs? Put down the Cheetos and try to concentrate for the next 5-7 minutes. You'll learn something, and I promise I'll be gentle.
Ready? Let's get started.
1. The Tao of Risk: Hedging as a Way of Life
The simplest way to characterize what a hedge 'is' is to imagine every action having a binary outcome. One is bad, one is good. Red lines, green lines; uppie, downie. With me so far? Good. A 'hedge' is simply the employment of a strategy to mitigate the effect of your action having the wrong binary outcome. You wanted X, but you got Z! Frowny face. A hedge strategy introduces a third outcome. If you hedged against the possibility of Z happening, then you can wind up with Y instead. Not as good as X, but not as bad as Z. The technical definition I like to give my idiot juniors is as follows:
Utilization of a defensive strategy to mitigate risk, at a fraction of the cost to capital of the risk itself.
Congratulations. You just finished Hedging 101. "But Fuzzy, that's easy! I just sold a naked call against my 95% OTM put! I'm adequately hedged!". Spoiler alert: you're not (although good work on executing a collar, which I describe below). What I'm talking about here is what would be referred to as a 'perfect hedge'; a binary outcome where downside is totally mitigated by a risk management strategy. That's not how it works IRL. Pay attention; this is the tricky part.
You can't take a single position and conclude that you're adequately hedged because risks are fluid, not static. So you need to constantly adjust your position in order to maximize the value of the hedge and insure your position. You also need to consider exposure to more than one category of risk. There are micro (specific exposure) risks, and macro (trend exposure) risks, and both need to factor into the hedge calculus.
That's why, in the real world, the value of hedging depends entirely on the design of the hedging strategy itself. Here, when we say "value" of the hedge, we're not talking about cash money - we're talking about the intrinsic value of the hedge relative to the the risk profile of your underlying exposure. To achieve this, people hedge dynamically. In wallstreetbets terms, this means that as the value of your position changes, you need to change your hedges too. The idea is to efficiently and continuously distribute and rebalance risk across different states and periods, taking value from states in which the marginal cost of the hedge is low and putting it back into states where marginal cost of the hedge is high, until the shadow value of your underlying exposure is equalized across your positions. The punchline, I guess, is that one static position is a hedge in the same way that the finger paintings you make for your wife's boyfriend are art - it's technically correct, but you're only playing yourself by believing it.
Anyway. Obviously doing this as a small potatoes trader is hard but it's worth taking into account. Enough basic shit. So how does this work in markets?
2. A Hedging Taxonomy
The best place to start here is a practical question. What does a business need to hedge against? Think about the specific risk that an individual business faces. These are legion, so I'm just going to list a few of the key ones that apply to most corporates. (1) You have commodity risk for the shit you buy or the shit you use. (2) You have currency risk for the money you borrow. (3) You have rate risk on the debt you carry. (4) You have offtake risk for the shit you sell. Complicated, right? To help address the many and varied ways that shit can go wrong in a sophisticated market, smart operators like yours truly have devised a whole bundle of different instruments which can help you manage the risk. I might write about some of the more complicated ones in a later post if people are interested (CDO/CLOs, strip/stack hedges and bond swaps with option toggles come to mind) but let's stick to the basics for now.
(i) Swaps
A swap is one of the most common forms of hedge instrument, and they're used by pretty much everyone that can afford them. The language is complicated but the concept isn't, so pay attention and you'll be fine. This is the most important part of this section so it'll be the longest one.
Swaps are derivative contracts with two counterparties (before you ask, you can't trade 'em on an exchange - they're OTC instruments only). They're used to exchange one cash flow for another cash flow of equal expected value; doing this allows you to take speculative positions on certain financial prices or to alter the cash flows of existing assets or liabilities within a business. "Wait, Fuzz; slow down! What do you mean sets of cash flows?". Fear not, little autist. Ol' Fuzz has you covered.
The cash flows I'm talking about are referred to in swap-land as 'legs'. One leg is fixed - a set payment that's the same every time it gets paid - and the other is variable - it fluctuates (typically indexed off the price of the underlying risk that you are speculating on / protecting against). You set it up at the start so that they're notionally equal and the two legs net off; so at open, the swap is a zero NPV instrument. Here's where the fun starts. If the price that you based the variable leg of the swap on changes, the value of the swap will shift; the party on the wrong side of the move ponies up via the variable payment. It's a zero sum game.
I'll give you an example using the most vanilla swap around; an interest rate trade. Here's how it works. You borrow money from a bank, and they charge you a rate of interest. You lock the rate up front, because you're smart like that. But then - quelle surprise! - the rate gets better after you borrow. Now you're bagholding to the tune of, I don't know, 5 bps. Doesn't sound like much but on a billion dollar loan that's a lot of money (a classic example of the kind of 'small, deep hole' that's terrible for profits). Now, if you had a swap contract on the rate before you entered the trade, you're set; if the rate goes down, you get a payment under the swap. If it goes up, whatever payment you're making to the bank is netted off by the fact that you're borrowing at a sub-market rate. Win-win! Or, at least, Lose Less / Lose Less. That's the name of the game in hedging.
There are many different kinds of swaps, some of which are pretty exotic; but they're all different variations on the same theme. If your business has exposure to something which fluctuates in price, you trade swaps to hedge against the fluctuation. The valuation of swaps is also super interesting but I guarantee you that 99% of you won't understand it so I'm not going to try and explain it here although I encourage you to google it if you're interested.
Because they're OTC, none of them are filed publicly. Someeeeeetimes you see an ISDA (dsicussed below) but the confirms themselves (the individual swaps) are not filed. You can usually read about the hedging strategy in a 10-K, though. For what it's worth, most modern credit agreements ban speculative hedging. Top tip: This is occasionally something worth checking in credit agreements when you invest in businesses that are debt issuers - being able to do this increases the risk profile significantly and is particularly important in times of economic volatility (ctrl+f "non-speculative" in the credit agreement to be sure).
(ii) Forwards
A forward is a contract made today for the future delivery of an asset at a pre-agreed price. That's it. "But Fuzzy! That sounds just like a futures contract!". I know. Confusing, right? Just like a futures trade, forwards are generally used in commodity or forex land to protect against price fluctuations. The differences between forwards and futures are small but significant. I'm not going to go into super boring detail because I don't think many of you are commodities traders but it is still an important thing to understand even if you're just an RH jockey, so stick with me.
Just like swaps, forwards are OTC contracts - they're not publicly traded. This is distinct from futures, which are traded on exchanges (see The Ballad Of Big Dick Vick for some more color on this). In a forward, no money changes hands until the maturity date of the contract when delivery and receipt are carried out; price and quantity are locked in from day 1. As you now know having read about BDV, futures are marked to market daily, and normally people close them out with synthetic settlement using an inverse position. They're also liquid, and that makes them easier to unwind or close out in case shit goes sideways.
People use forwards when they absolutely have to get rid of the thing they made (or take delivery of the thing they need). If you're a miner, or a farmer, you use this shit to make sure that at the end of the production cycle, you can get rid of the shit you made (and you won't get fucked by someone taking cash settlement over delivery). If you're a buyer, you use them to guarantee that you'll get whatever the shit is that you'll need at a price agreed in advance. Because they're OTC, you can also exactly tailor them to the requirements of your particular circumstances.
These contracts are incredibly byzantine (and there are even crazier synthetic forwards you can see in money markets for the true degenerate fund managers). In my experience, only Texan oilfield magnates, commodities traders, and the weirdo forex crowd fuck with them. I (i) do not own a 10 gallon hat or a novelty size belt buckle (ii) do not wake up in the middle of the night freaking out about the price of pork fat and (iii) love greenbacks too much to care about other countries' monopoly money, so I don't fuck with them.
(iii) Collars
No, not the kind your wife is encouraging you to wear try out to 'spice things up' in the bedroom during quarantine. Collars are actually the hedging strategy most applicable to WSB. Collars deal with options! Hooray!
To execute a basic collar (also called a wrapper by tea-drinking Brits and people from the Antipodes), you buy an out of the money put while simultaneously writing a covered call on the same equity. The put protects your position against price drops and writing the call produces income that offsets the put premium. Doing this limits your tendies (you can only profit up to the strike price of the call) but also writes down your risk. If you screen large volume trades with a VOL/OI of more than 3 or 4x (and they're not bullshit biotech stocks), you can sometimes see these being constructed in real time as hedge funds protect themselves on their shorts.
(3) All About ISDAs, CDS and Synthetic CDOs
You may have heard about the mythical ISDA. Much like an indenture (discussed in my post on $F), it's a magic legal machine that lets you build swaps via trade confirms with a willing counterparty. They are very complicated legal documents and you need to be a true expert to fuck with them. Fortunately, I am, so I do. They're made of two parts; a Master (which is a form agreement that's always the same) and a Schedule (which amends the Master to include your specific terms). They are also the engine behind just about every major credit crunch of the last 10+ years.
First - a brief explainer. An ISDA is a not in and of itself a hedge - it's an umbrella contract that governs the terms of your swaps, which you use to construct your hedge position. You can trade commodities, forex, rates, whatever, all under the same ISDA.
Let me explain. Remember when we talked about swaps? Right. So. You can trade swaps on just about anything. In the late 90s and early 2000s, people had the smart idea of using other people's debt and or credit ratings as the variable leg of swap documentation. These are called credit default swaps. I was actually starting out at a bank during this time and, I gotta tell you, the only thing I can compare people's enthusiasm for this shit to was that moment in your early teens when you discover jerking off. Except, unlike your bathroom bound shame sessions to Mom's Sears catalogue, every single person you know felt that way too; and they're all doing it at once. It was a fiscal circlejerk of epic proportions, and the financial crisis was the inevitable bukkake finish. WSB autism is absolutely no comparison for the enthusiasm people had during this time for lighting each other's money on fire.
Here's how it works. You pick a company. Any company. Maybe even your own! And then you write a swap. In the swap, you define "Credit Event" with respect to that company's debt as the variable leg . And you write in... whatever you want. A ratings downgrade, default under the docs, failure to meet a leverage ratio or FCCR for a certain testing period... whatever. Now, this started out as a hedge position, just like we discussed above. The purest of intentions, of course. But then people realized - if bad shit happens, you make money. And banks... don't like calling in loans or forcing bankruptcies. Can you smell what the moral hazard is cooking?
Enter synthetic CDOs. CDOs are basically pools of asset backed securities that invest in debt (loans or bonds). They've been around for a minute but they got famous in the 2000s because a shitload of them containing subprime mortgage debt went belly up in 2008. This got a lot of publicity because a lot of sad looking rednecks got foreclosed on and were interviewed on CNBC. "OH!", the people cried. "Look at those big bad bankers buying up subprime loans! They caused this!". Wrong answer, America. The debt wasn't the problem. What a lot of people don't realize is that the real meat of the problem was not in regular way CDOs investing in bundles of shit mortgage debts in synthetic CDOs investing in CDS predicated on that debt. They're synthetic because they don't have a stake in the actual underlying debt; just the instruments riding on the coattails. The reason these are so popular (and remain so) is that smart structured attorneys and bankers like your faithful correspondent realized that an even more profitable and efficient way of building high yield products with limited downside was investing in instruments that profit from failure of debt and in instruments that rely on that debt and then hedging that exposure with other CDS instruments in paired trades, and on and on up the chain. The problem with doing this was that everyone wound up exposed to everybody else's books as a result, and when one went tits up, everybody did. Hence, recession, Basel III, etc. Thanks, Obama.
Heavy investment in CDS can also have a warping effect on the price of debt (something else that happened during the pre-financial crisis years and is starting to happen again now). This happens in three different ways. (1) Investors who previously were long on the debt hedge their position by selling CDS protection on the underlying, putting downward pressure on the debt price. (2) Investors who previously shorted the debt switch to buying CDS protection because the relatively illiquid debt (partic. when its a bond) trades at a discount below par compared to the CDS. The resulting reduction in short selling puts upward pressure on the bond price. (3) The delta in price and actual value of the debt tempts some investors to become NBTs (neg basis traders) who long the debt and purchase CDS protection. If traders can't take leverage, nothing happens to the price of the debt. If basis traders can take leverage (which is nearly always the case because they're holding a hedged position), they can push up or depress the debt price, goosing swap premiums etc. Anyway. Enough technical details.
I could keep going. This is a fascinating topic that is very poorly understood and explained, mainly because the people that caused it all still work on the street and use the same tactics today (it's also terribly taught at business schools because none of the teachers were actually around to see how this played out live). But it relates to the topic of today's lesson, so I thought I'd include it here.
Work depending, I'll be back next week with a covenant breakdown. Most upvoted ticker gets the post.
*EDIT 1\* In a total blowout, $PLAY won. So it's D&B time next week. Post will drop Monday at market open.
submitted by fuzzyblankeet to wallstreetbets [link] [comments]

My First Year of Trading

So here it is, three more days and October begins, which marks one year of trading for me. I figured I would contribute to the forum and share some of my experience, a little about me, and what I've learned so far. Whoever wants to listen, that's great. This might get long so buckle up..
Three years ago, I was visiting Toronto. I don't get out much, but my roommate at the time travels there occasionally. He asked everyone at our place if we wanted to come along for a weekend. My roommate has an uncle that lives there and we didn't have to worry about a hotel because his uncle owns a small house that's unlived in which we could stay at. I was the only one to go with. Anyways, we walk around the city, seeing the sights and whatnot.
My friend says to me "where next?"
"I don't know, you're the tour guide"
"We can go check out Bay Street"
"what's 'Bay Street?'"
"It's like the Canadian Wall street! If you haven't seen it you gotta see it!"
Walking along Bay, I admire all the nice buildings and architecture, everything seems larger than life to me. I love things like that. The huge granite facades with intricate designs and towering pillars to make you think, How the fuck did they make that? My attention pivots to a man walking on the sidewalk opposite us. His gait stood out among everyone, he walked with such a purpose.. He laughed into the cell phone to his ear. In the elbow-shoving city environment, he moved with a stride that exuded a power which not only commanded respect, but assumed it. I bet HE can get a text back, hell he's probably got girls waiting on him. This dude was dressed to kill, a navy suit that you could just tell from across the street was way out of my budget, it was a nice fucking suit. I want that. His life, across the street, seemed a world a way from my own. I've worn a suit maybe twice in my life. For my first communion, it was too big for me, I was eleven or whatever so who gives a shit, right? I'm positive I looked ridiculous. The other time? I can't remember.
I want that. I want the suit. I want the wealth, the independence. I want the respect and power, and I don't give a shit what anyone thinks about it.
Cue self doubt.
Well, He's probably some rich banker's son. That's a world you're born into. I don't know shit about it. \sigh* keep walking..*

A year later, I'm visiting my parents at their house, they live an hour away from my place. My dad is back from Tennessee, his engineering job was laying people off and he got canned... Or he saw the end was near and just left... I don't know, hard to pay attention to the guy honestly because he kind of just drones on and on. ("Wait, so your mom lives in Michigan, but your dad moved to Tennessee... for a job?" Yea man, I don't fucking know, not going to touch on that one.) The whole project was a shit show that was doomed to never get done, the way he tells it. And he's obviously jaded from multiple similar experiences at other life-sucking engineer jobs. My mom is a retired nurse practitioner who no longer works because of her illness. I ask him what he's doing for work now and he tells me he trades stocks from home. I didn't even know you could do that. I didn't know "trading" was a thing. I thought you just invest and hope for the best.
"Oh that's cool, how much money do you need to do that?"
"Ehh, most say you need at least $25,000 as a minimum"
"Oh... guess I can't do that..."
Six months later, I get a call and it's my dad. We talk a little about whatever. Off topic, he starts asking if I'm happy doing what I'm doing (I was a painter, commercial and residential) I tell him yes but it's kind of a pain in the ass and I don't see it as a long term thing. Then he gets around to asking if I'd like to come work with him. He basically pitches it to me. I'm not one to be sold on something, I'm always skeptical. So I ask all the questions that any rational person would ask and he just swats them away with reassuring phrases. He was real confident about it. But basically he says for this to work, I have to quit my job and move back home so he can teach me how to trade and be by my side so I don't do anything stupid. "My Name , you can make so much money." I say that I can't raise the $25,000 because I'm not far above just living paycheck to paycheck. "I can help you out with that." Wow, okay, well... let me think about it.
My "maybe" very soon turned into a "definitely." So over the next six months, I continue to work my day job painting, and I try to save up what I could for the transition (it wasn't a whole lot, I sucked at saving. I was great at spending though!). My dad gives me a book on day trading (which I will mention later) and I teach myself what I can about the stock market using Investopedia. Also in the meantime, my dad sends me encouraging emails. He tells me to think of an annual income I would like to make as a trader, and used "more than $100,000 but less than a million" as a guideline. He tells me about stocks that he traded that day or just ones that moved and describes the basic price action and the prices to buy and sell at. Basically saying "if you bought X amount of shares here and sold it at X price here, you could make a quick 500 bucks!" I then use a trading sim to trade those symbols and try to emulate what he says. Piece of cake. ;)
Wow, that's way more than what I make in a day.
He tells me not to tell anyone about my trading because most people just think it's gambling. "Don't tell your Mom either." He says most people who try this fail because they don't know how to stop out and take a loss. He talks about how every day he was in a popular chatroom, some noob would say something like, "Hey guys, I bought at X price (high of day or thereabout), my account is down 80% .. uhh I'm waiting for it to come back to my entry price.. what do I do??"
Well shit, I'm not that fucking dumb. If that's all it takes to make it is to buy low, sell high, and always respect a stop then I'll be fantastic.
By the end of September, I was very determined. I had been looking forward everyday to quitting my painting job because while it used to be something I loved, it was just sucking the life out of me at this point. Especially working commercial, you just get worked like a dog. I wasn't living up to my potential with that job and I felt awful for it every minute of every day. I knew that I needed a job where I could use my brain instead of slaving my body to fulfill someone else's dream. "Someone's gotta put gas in the boss's boat" That's a line my buddy once said that he probably doesn't know sticks with me to this day.
It ain't me.
So now it was October 2018, and I'm back living with Mom n' Pops. I was so determined that on my last day of work I gave away all of my painting tools to my buddy like, "here, I don't need this shit." Moving out of my rental was easy because I don't own much, 'can't take it with ya.' Excited for the future I now spend my days bundled up in winter wear in the cold air of our hoarder-like basement with a space heater at my feet. My laptop connected to a TV monitor, I'm looking at stocks next to my dad and his screens in his cluttered corner. Our Trading Dungeon. I don't trade any money, (I wasn't aware of any real-time sim programs) I just watch and learn from my dad. Now you've got to keep in mind, and look at a chart of the S&P, this is right at the beginning of Oct '18, I came in right at the market top. Right at the start of the shit-show. For the next three or four weeks, I watch my dad pretty much scratch on every trade, taking small loss after small loss, and cursing under his breath at the screen.
Click.
"dammit."
Click.
"shit."
Click. Click.
"you fuck."
Click.
This gets really fucking annoying as time goes on, for weeks, and I get this attitude like ugh, just let me do it. I'll make us some fucking money. So I convince him to let me start trading live. I didn't know anything about brokers so I set up an account using his broker, which was Fidelity. It was a pain and I had to jump through a lot of hoops to be able to day trade with this broker. I actually had to make a joint account with my dad as I couldn't get approved for margin because my credit score is shit (never owned a credit card) and my net worth, not much. Anyways, they straight up discourage day trading and I get all kinds of warning messages with big red letters that made me shit myself like oooaaahhh what the fuck did I do now. Did I forget to close a position?? Did I fat finger an order? Am I now in debt for thousands of dollars to Fidelity?? They're going to come after me like they came after Madoff. Even after you are approved for PDT you still get these warning messages in your account. Some would say if I didn't comply with "whatever rule" they'd even suspend my account for 60 days. It was ridiculous, hard to describe because it doesn't make sense, and it took the support guy on the phone a good 20 minutes to explain it to me. Basically I got the answer "yea it's all good, you did nothing wrong. As long as you have the cash in your account to cover whatever the trade balance was" So I just kept getting these warnings that I had to ignore everyday. I hate Fidelity.
My fist day trading, I made a few so-so trades and then I got impatient. I saw YECO breaking out and I chased, soon realized I chased, so I got out. -$500. Shit, I have to make that back, I don't want my dad to see this. Got back in. Shit. -$400. So my first day trading, I lost $900. My dumbass was using market orders so that sure didn't help. I reeled the risk back and traded more proper position size for a while, but the commissions for a round trip are $10, so taking six trades per day, I'm losing $60 at a minimum on top of my losing trades. Quickly I realized I didn't know what the hell I was doing. What about my dad? Does HE know? One day, in the trading dungeon, I was frustrated with the experience I'd been having and just feeling lost overall. I asked him.
"So, are you consistently profitable?"
"mmm... I do alright."
"Yea but like, are you consistently profitable over time?"
.........................
"I do alright."
Silence.
"Do you know any consistently profitable traders?"
"Well the one who wrote that book I gave you, Tina Turner.. umm and there's Ross Cameron"
......................
"So you don't know any consistently profitable traders, personally.. People who are not trying to sell you something?"
"no."
...................
Holy fucking shit, what did this idiot get me into. He can't even say it to my face and admit it.
This entire life decision, quitting my job, leaving my rental, moving from my city to back home, giving shit away, it all relied on that. I was supposed to be an apprentice to a consistently profitable day trader who trades for a living. It was so assumed, that I never even thought to ask! Why would you tell your son to quit his job for something that you yourself cannot do? Is this all a scam? Did my dad get sold a DREAM? Did I buy into some kind of ponzi scheme? How many of those winning trades he showed me did he actually take? Are there ANY consistently profitable DAY TRADERS who TRADE FOR A LIVING? Why do 90% fail? Is it because the other 10% are scamming the rest in some way? Completely lost, I just had no clue what was what. If I was going to succeed at this, if it was even possible to succeed at this, it was entirely up to me. I had to figure it out. I still remember the feeling like an overwhelming, crushing weight on me as it all sunk in. This is going to be a big deal.. I'm not the type to give up though. In that moment, I said to myself,
I'm going to fucking win at this. I don't know if this is possible, but I'm going to find out. I cannot say with certainty that I will succeed, but no matter what, I will not give up. I'm going to give all of myself to this. I will find the truth.
It was a deep moment for me. I don't like getting on my soapbox, but when I said those things, I meant it. I really, really meant it. I still do, and I still will.
Now it might seem like I'm being hard on my dad. He has done a lot for me and I am very grateful for that. We're sarcastic as hell to each other, I love the bastard. Hell, I wouldn't have the opportunity to trade at all if not for him. But maybe you can also understand how overwhelmed I felt at that time. Not on purpose, of course he means well. But I am not a trusting person at all and I was willing to put trust into him after all the convincing and was very disappointed when I witnessed the reality of the situation. I would have structured this transition to trading differently, you don't just quit your job and start trading. Nobody was there to tell me that! I was told quite the opposite. I'm glad it happened anyway, so fuck it. I heard Kevin O'Leary once say,
"If I knew in the beginning how difficult starting a business was, I don't know that I ever would've started."
This applies very much to my experience.
So what did I do? Well like everyone I read and read and Googled and Youtube'd my ass off. I sure as hell didn't pay for a course because I didn't have the money and I'm like 99% sure I would be disappointed by whatever they were teaching as pretty much everything can be found online or in books for cheap or free. Also I discovered Thinkorswim and I used that to sim trade in real-time for three months. This is way the hell different than going on a sim at 5x speed and just clicking a few buy and sell buttons. Lol, useless. When you sim trade in real-time you're forced to have a routine, and you're forced to experience missing trades with no chance to rewind or skip the boring parts. That's a step up because you're "in it". I also traded real money too, made some, lost more than I made. went back to sim. Traded live again, made some but lost more, fell back to PDT. Dad fronted me more cash. This has happened a few times. He's dug me out of some holes because he believes in me. I'm fortunate.
Oh yeah, about that book my dad gave me. It's called A Beginner's Guide to Day Trading Online by Toni Turner. This book... is shit. This was supposed to be my framework for how to trade and I swear it's like literally nothing in this book fucking works lol. I could tell this pretty early on, intuitively, just by looking at charts. It's basically a buy-the-breakout type strategy, if you want to call it a strategy. No real methodology to anything just vague crap and showing you cherry-picked charts with entries that are way too late. With experience in the markets you will eventually come to find that MOST BREAKOUTS FAIL. It talks about support/resistance lines and describes them as, "picture throwing a ball down at the floor, it bounces up and then it bounces down off the ceiling, then back up." So many asinine assumptions. These ideas are a text book way of how to trade like dumb money. Don't get me wrong, these trades can work but you need to be able to identify the setups which are more probable and identify reasons not to take others. So I basically had to un-learn all that shit.
Present day, I have a routine in place. I'm out of the dungeon and trade by myself in my room. I trade with a discount broker that is catered to day traders and doesn't rape me on commissions. My mornings have a framework for analyzing the news and economic events of the particular day, I journal so that I can recognize what I'm doing right and where I need to improve. I record my screens for later review to improve my tape reading skills. I am actually tracking my trades now and doing backtesting in equities as well as forex. I'm not a fast reader but I do read a lot, as much as I can. So far I have read about 17-18 books on trading and psychology. I've definitely got a lot more skilled at trading.
As of yet I am not net profitable. Writing that sounds like selling myself short though, honestly. Because a lot of my trades are very good and are executed well. I have talent. However, lesser quality trades and trades which are inappropriately sized/ attempted too many times bring down that P/L. I'm not the type of trader to ignore a stop, I'm more the trader that just widdles their account down with small losses. I trade live because at this point, sim has lost its value, live trading is the ultimate teacher. So I do trade live but I just don't go big like I did before, I keep it small.
I could show you trades that I did great on and make people think I'm killing it but I really just don't need the validation. I don't care, I'm real about it. I just want to get better. I don't need people to think I'm a genius, I'm just trying to make some money.
Psychologically, to be honest with you, I currently feel beaten down and exhausted. I put a lot of energy into this, and sometimes I work myself physically sick, it's happened multiple times. About once a week, usually Saturday, I get a headache that lasts all day. My body's stress rebound mechanism you might call it. Getting over one of those sick periods now, which is why I barely even traded this week. I know I missed a lot of volatility this week and some A+ setups but I really just don't give a shit lol. I just currently don't have the mental capital, I think anyone who's been day trading every day for a year or more can understand what I mean by that. I'm still being productive though. Again, I'm not here to present an image of some badass trader, just keeping it real. To give something 100% day after day while receiving so much resistance, it takes a toll on you. So a break is necessary to avoid making bad trading decisions. That being said, I'm progressing more and more and eliminating those lesser quality trades and identifying my bad habits. I take steps to control those habits and strengthen my good habits such as having a solid routine, doing review and market research, taking profits at the right times, etc.
So maybe I can give some advice to some that are new to day trading, those who are feeling lost, or just in general thinking "...What the fuck..." I thought that every night for the first 6 months lol.
First of all, manage expectations. If you read my story of how I came to be a trader, you can see I had a false impression of trading in many aspects. Give yourself a realistic time horizon to how progress should be made. Do not set a monetary goal for yourself, or any time-based goal that is measured in your P/L. If you tell yourself, "I want to make X per day, X per week, or X per year" you're setting yourself up to feel like shit every single day when it's clear as the blue sky that you won't reach that goal anytime soon. As a matter of fact, it will appear you are moving further AWAY from that goal if you just focus on your P/L, which brings me to my next point.
You will lose money. In the beginning, most likely, you will lose money. I did it, you'll do it, the greatest Paul Tudor Jones did it. Trading is a skill that needs to be developed, and it is a process. Just look at it as paying your tuition to the market. Sim is fine but don't assume you have acquired this skill until you are adept at trading real money. So when you do make that leap, just trade small.
Just survive. Trade small. get the experience. Protect your capital. To reach break even on your bottom line is a huge accomplishment. In many ways, experience and screen time are the secret sauce.
Have a routine. This is very important. I actually will probably make a more in-depth post in the future about this if people want it. When I first started, I was overwhelmed with the feeling "What the fuck am I supposed to DO?" I felt lost. There's no boss to tell you how to be productive or how to find the right stocks, which is mostly a blessing, but a curse for new traders.
All that shit you see, don't believe all that bullshit. You know what I'm talking about. The bragposting, the clickbait Youtube videos, the ads preying on you. "I made X amount of money in a day and I'm fucking 19 lolz look at my Lamborghini" It's all a gimmick to sell you the dream. It's designed to poke right at your insecurities, that's marketing at it's finest. As for the bragposting on forums honestly, who cares. And I'm not pointing fingers on this forum, just any trading forum in general. They are never adding anything of value to the community in their posts. They never say this is how I did it. No, they just want you to think they're a genius. I can show you my $900 day trading the shit out of TSLA, but that doesn't tell the whole story. Gamblers never show you when they lose, you might never hear from those guys again because behind the scenes, they over-leveraged themselves and blew up. Some may actually be consistently profitable and the trades are 100% legit. That's fantastic. But again, I don't care, and you shouldn't either. You shouldn't compare yourself to others.
"Everyone's a genius in a bull market" Here's the thing.. Markets change. Edges disappear. Trading strategies were made by traders who traded during times when everything they did worked. Buy all the breakouts? Sure! It's the fucking tech bubble! Everything works! I'm sure all those typical setups used to work fantastically at some point in time. But the more people realize them, the less effective they are. SOMEONE has to be losing money on the opposite side of a winning trade, and who's willing to do that when the trade is so obvious? That being said, some things are obvious AND still work. Technical analysis works... sometimes. The caveat to that is, filters. You need to, in some way, filter out certain setups from others. For example, you could say, "I won't take a wedge pattern setup on an intraday chart unless it is in a higher time frame uptrend, without nearby resistance, and trading above average volume with news on that day."
Have a plan. If you can't describe your plan, you don't have one. Think in probabilities. You should think entirely in "if, then" scenarios. If X has happens, then Y will probably happen. "If BABA breaks this premarket support level on the open I will look for a pop up to short into."
Backtest. Most traders lose mainly because they think they have an edge but they don't. You read these books and all this stuff online telling you "this is a high probability setup" but do you know that for a fact? There's different ways to backtest, but I think the best way for a beginner is manual backtesting with a chart and an excel sheet. This builds up that screen time and pattern recognition faster. This video shows how to do that. Once I saw someone do it, it didn't seem so boring and awful as I thought it was.
Intelligence is not enough. You're smarter than most people, that's great, but that alone is not enough to make you money in trading necessarily. Brilliant people try and fail at this all the time, lawyers, doctors, surgeons, engineers.. Why do they fail if they're so smart? It's all a fucking scam. No, a number of reasons, but the biggest is discipline and emotional intelligence.
Journal every day. K no thanks, bro. That's fucking gay. That's how I felt when I heard this advice but really that is pride and laziness talking. This is the process you need to do to learn what works for you and what doesn't. Review the trades you took, what your plan was, what actually happened, how you executed. Identify what you did well and what you can work on. This is how you develop discipline and emotional intelligence, by monitoring yourself. How you feel physically and mentally, and how these states affect your decision-making.
Always be learning. Read as much as you can. Good quality books. Here's the best I've read so far;
Market Wizards -Jack Schwager
One Good Trade -Mike Bellafiore
The Daily Trading Coach -Bret Steenbarger
Psycho-cybernetics -Maxwell Maltz
Why You Win or Lose -Fred Kelly
The Art and Science of Technical Analysis -Adam Grimes
Dark Pools -Scott Patterson
Be nimble. Everyday I do my research on the symbols I'm trading and the fundamental news that's driving them. I might be trading a large cap that's gapping up with a beat on EPS and revenue and positive guidance. But if I see that stock pop up and fail miserably on the open amidst huge selling pressure, and I look and see the broader market tanking, guess what, I'm getting short, and that's just day trading. The movement of the market, on an intraday timeframe, doesn't have to make logical sense.
Adapt. In March I used to be able to buy a breakout on a symbol and swing it for the majority of the day. In the summer I was basically scalping on the open and being done for the day. Volatility changes, and so do my profit targets.
Be accountable. Be humble. Be honest. I take 100% responsibility for every dime I've lost or made in the market. It's not the market makers fault, it wasn't the HFTs, I pressed the button. I know my bad habits and I know my good habits.. my strengths/ my weaknesses.
Protect yourself from toxicity. Stay away from traders and people on forums who just have that negative mindset. That "can't be done" mentality. Day trading is a scam!! It can certainly be done. Prove it, you bastard. I'm posting to this particular forum because I don't see much of that here and apparently the mods to a good job of not tolerating it. As the mod wrote in the rules, they're most likely raging from a loss. Also, the Stocktwits mentality of "AAPL is going to TANK on the open! $180, here we come. $$$" , or the grandiose stories, "I just knew AMZN was going to go up on earnings. I could feel it. I went ALL IN. Options money, baby! ka-ching!$" Lol, that is so toxic to a new trader. Get away from that. How will you be able to remain nimble when this is your thought process?
Be good to yourself. Stop beating yourself up. You're an entrepreneur. You're boldly going where no man has gone before. You've got balls.
Acknowledge your mistakes, don't identify with them. You are not your mistakes and you are not your bad habits. These are only things that you do, and you can take action necessary to do them less.
It doesn't matter what people think. Maybe they think you're a fool, a gambler. You don't need their approval. You don't need to talk to your co-workers and friends about it to satisfy some subconscious plea for guidance; is this a good idea?
You don't need anyone's permission to become the person you want to be.
They don't believe in you? Fuck 'em. I believe in you.
submitted by indridcold91 to Daytrading [link] [comments]

Finding Trading Edges: Where to Get High R:R trades and Profit Potential of Them.

Finding Trading Edges: Where to Get High R:R trades and Profit Potential of Them.
TL;DR - I will try and flip an account from $50 or less to $1,000 over 2019. I will post all my account details so my strategy can be seen/copied. I will do this using only three or four trading setups. All of which are simple enough to learn. I will start trading on 10th January.
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As I see it there are two mains ways to understand how to make money in the markets. The first is to know what the biggest winners in the markets are doing and duplicating what they do. This is hard. Most of the biggest players will not publicly tell people what they are doing. You need to be able to kinda slide in with them and see if you can pick up some info. Not suitable for most people, takes a lot of networking and even then you have to be able to make the correct inferences.
Another way is to know the most common trades of losing traders and then be on the other side of their common mistakes. This is usually far easier, usually everyone knows the mind of a losing trader. I learned about what losing traders do every day by being one of them for many years. I noticed I had an some sort of affinity for buying at the very top of moves and selling at the very bottom. This sucked, however, is was obvious there was winning trades on the other side of what I was doing and the adjustments to be a good trader were small (albeit, tricky).
Thus began the study for entries and maximum risk:reward. See, there have been times I have bought aiming for a 10 pip scalps and hit 100 pips stops loss. Hell, there have been times I was going for 5 pips and hit 100 stop out. This can seem discouraging, but it does mean there must be 1:10 risk:reward pay-off on the other side of these mistakes, and they were mistakes.
If you repeatedly enter and exit at the wrong times, you are making mistakes and probably the same ones over and over again. The market is tricking you! There are specific ways in which price moves that compel people to make these mistakes (I won’t go into this in this post, because it takes too long and this is going to be a long post anyway, but a lot of this is FOMO).
Making mistakes is okay. In fact, as I see it, making mistakes is an essential part of becoming an expert. Making a mistake enough times to understand intrinsically why it is a mistake and then make the required adjustments. Understanding at a deep level why you trade the way you do and why others make the mistakes they do, is an important part of becoming an expert in your chosen area of focus.
I could talk more on these concepts, but to keep the length of the post down, I will crack on to actual examples of trades I look for. Here are my three main criteria. I am looking for tops/bottoms of moves (edge entries). I am looking for 1:3 RR or more potential pay-offs. My strategy assumes that retail trades will lose most of the time. This seems a fair enough assumption. Without meaning to sound too crass about it, smart money will beat dumb money most of the time if the game is base on money. They just will.
So to summarize, I am looking for the points newbies get trapped in bad positions entering into moves too late. From these areas, I am looking for high RR entries.
Setup Examples.
I call this one the “Lightning Bolt correction”, but it is most commonly referred to as a “two leg correction”. I call it a “Lightning Bolt correction” because it looks a bit like one, and it zaps you. If you get it wrong.

https://preview.redd.it/t4whwijse2721.png?width=1326&format=png&auto=webp&s=c9050529c6e2472a3ff9f8e7137bd4a3ee5554cc
Once I see price making the first sell-off move and then begin to rally towards the highs again, I am waiting for a washout spike low. The common trades mistakes I am trading against here is them being too eager to buy into the trend too early and for the to get stopped out/reverse position when it looks like it is making another bearish breakout. Right at that point they panic … literally one candle under there is where I want to be getting in. I want to be buying their stop loss, essentially. “Oh, you don’t want that ...okay, I will have that!”
I need a precise entry. I want to use tiny stops (for big RR) so I need to be cute with entries. For this, I need entry rules. Not just arbitrarily buying the spike out. There are a few moving parts to this that are outside the scope of this post but one of my mains ways is using a fibs extension and looking for reversals just after the 1.61% level. How to draw the fibs is something else that is outside the scope of this but for one simple rule, they can be drawn on the failed new high leg.

https://preview.redd.it/2cd682kve2721.png?width=536&format=png&auto=webp&s=f4d081c9faff49d0976f9ffab260aaed2b570309
I am looking for a few specific things for a prime setup. Firstly, I am looking for the false hope candles, the ones that look like they will reverse the market and let those buying too early get out break-even or even at profit. In this case, you can see the hammer and engulfing candle off the 127 level, then it spikes low in that “stop-hunt” sort of style.
Secondly I want to see it trading just past my entry level (161 ext). This rule has come from nothing other than sheer volume. The amount of times I’ve been stopped out by 1 pip by that little sly final low has gave birth to this rule. I am looking for the market to trade under support in a manner that looks like a new strong breakout. When I see this, I am looking to get in with tiny stops, right under the lows. I will also be using smaller charts at this time and looking for reversal clusters of candles. Things like dojis, inverted hammers etc. These are great for sticking stops under.
Important note, when the lightning bolt correction fails to be a good entry, I expect to see another two legs down. I may look to sell into this area sometimes, and also be looking for buying on another couple legs down. It is important to note, though, when this does not work out, I expect there to be continued momentum that is enough to stop out and reasonable stop level for my entry. Which is why I want to cut quick. If a 10 pips stop will hit, usually a 30 pips stop will too. Bin it and look for the next opportunity at better RR.

https://preview.redd.it/mhkgy35ze2721.png?width=1155&format=png&auto=webp&s=a18278b85b10278603e5c9c80eb98df3e6878232
Another setup I am watching for is harmonic patterns, and I am using these as a multi-purpose indicator. When I see potentially harmonic patterns forming, I am using their completion level as take profits, I do not want to try and run though reversal patterns I can see forming hours ahead of time. I also use them for entering (similar rules of looking for specific entry criteria for small stops). Finally, I use them as a continuation pattern. If the harmonic pattern runs past the area it may have reversed from, there is a high probability that the market will continue to trend and very basic trend following strategies work well. I learned this from being too stubborn sticking with what I thought were harmonic reversals only to be ran over by a trend (seriously, everything I know I know from how it used to make me lose).

https://preview.redd.it/1ytz2431f2721.png?width=1322&format=png&auto=webp&s=983a7f2a91f9195004ad8a2aa2bb9d4d6f128937
A method of spotting these sorts of M/W harmonics is they tend to form after a second spike out leg never formed. When this happens, it gives me a really good idea of where my profit targets should be and where my next big breakout level is. It is worth noting, larger harmonics using have small harmonics inside them (on lower time-frames) and this can be used for dialling in optimum entries. I also use harmonics far more extensively in ranging markets. Where they tend to have higher win rates.
Next setup is the good old fashioned double bottoms/double top/one tick trap sort of setup. This comes in when the market is highly over extended. It has a small sell-off and rallies back to the highs before having a much larger sell-off. This is a more risky trade in that it sells into what looks like trending momentum and can be stopped out more. However, it also pays a high RR when it works, allowing for it to be ran at reduced risk and still be highly profitable when it comes through.

https://preview.redd.it/1bx83776f2721.png?width=587&format=png&auto=webp&s=2c76c3085598ae70f4142d26c46c8d6e9b1c2881
From these sorts of moves, I am always looking for a follow up buy if it forms a lightning bolt sort of setup.
All of these setups always offer 1:3 or better RR. If they do not, you are doing it wrong (and it will be your stop placement that is wrong). This is not to say the target is always 1:3+, sometimes it is best to lock in profits with training stops. It just means that every time you enter, you can potentially have a trade that runs for many times more than you risked. 1:10 RR can be hit in these sorts of setups sometimes. Paying you 20% for 2% risked.
I want to really stress here that what I am doing is trading against small traders mistakes. I am not trying to “beat the market maker”. I am not trying to reverse engineer J.P Morgan’s black boxes. I do not think I am smart enough to gain a worthwhile edge over these traders. They have more money, they have more data, they have better softwares … they are stronger. Me trying to “beat the market maker” is like me trying to beat up Mike Tyson. I might be able to kick him in the balls and feel smug for a few seconds. However, when he gets up, he is still Tyson and I am still me. I am still going to be pummeled.
I’ve seen some people that were fairly bright people going into training courses and coming out dumb as shit. Thinking they somehow are now going to dominate Goldman Sachs because they learned a chart pattern. Get a grip. For real, get a fucking grip. These buzz phrases are marketeering. Realististically, if you want to win in the markets, you need to have an edge over somebody.
I don’t have edges on the banks. If I could find one, they’d take it away from me. Edges work on inefficiencies in what others do that you can spot and they can not. I do not expect to out-think a banks analysis team. I know for damn sure I can out-think a version of me from 5 years ago … and I know there are enough of them in the markets. I look to trade against them. I just look to protect myself from the larger players so they can only hurt me in limited ways. Rather than letting them corner me and beat me to a pulp (in the form of me watching $1,000 drop off my equity because I moved a stop or something), I just let them kick me in the butt as I run away. It hurts a little, but I will be over it soon.
I believe using these principles, these three simple enough edge entry setups, selectiveness (remembering you are trading against the areas people make mistakes, wait for they areas) and measured aggression a person can make impressive compounded gains over a year. I will attempt to demonstrate this by taking an account of under $100 to over $1,000 in a year. I will use max 10% on risk on a position, the risk will scale down as the account size increases. In most cases, 5% risk per trade will be used, so I will be going for 10-20% or so profits. I will be looking only for prime opportunities, so few trades but hard hitting ones when I take them.
I will start trading around the 10th January. Set remind me if you want to follow along. I will also post my investor login details, so you can see the trades in my account in real time. Letting you see when I place my orders and how I manage running positions.
I also think these same principles can be tweaked in such a way it is possible to flip $50 or so into $1,000 in under a month. I’ve done $10 to $1,000 in three days before. This is far more complex in trade management, though. Making it hard to explain/understand and un-viable for many people to copy (it hedges, does not comply with FIFO, needs 1:500 leverage and also needs spreads under half a pip on EURUSD - not everyone can access all they things). I see all too often people act as if this can’t be done and everyone saying it is lying to sell you something. I do not sell signals. I do not sell training. I have no dog in this fight, I am just saying it can be done. There are people who do it. If you dismiss it as impossible; you will never be one of them.
If I try this 10 times with $50, I probably am more likely to make $1,000 ($500 profit) in a couple months than standard ideas would double $500 - I think I have better RR, even though I may go bust 5 or more times. I may also try to demonstrate this, but it is kinda just show-boating, quite honestly. When it works, it looks cool. When it does not, I can go bust in a single day (see example https://www.fxblue.com/users/redditmicroflip).
So I may or may not try and demonstrate this. All this is, is just taking good basic concepts and applying accelerated risk tactics to them and hitting a winning streak (of far less trades than you may think). Once you have good entries and RR optimization in place - there really is no reason why you can not scale these up to do what may people call impossible (without even trying it).
I know there are a lot of people who do not think these things are possible and tend to just troll whenever people talk about these things. There used to be a time when I’d try to explain why I thought the way I did … before I noticed they only cared about telling me why they were right and discussion was pointless. Therefore, when it comes to replies, I will reply to all comments that ask me a question regarding why I think this can be done, or why I done something that I done. If you are commenting just to tell me all the reasons you think I am wrong and you are right, I will probably not reply. I may well consider your points if they are good ones. I just do not entering into discussions with people who already know everything; it serves no purpose.

Edit: Addition.

I want to talk a bit more about using higher percentage of risk than usual. Firstly, let me say that there are good reasons for risk caps that people often cite as “musts”. There are reasons why 2% is considered optimum for a lot of strategies and there are reasons drawing down too much is a really bad thing.
Please do not be ignorant of this. Please do not assume I am, either. In previous work I done, I was selecting trading strategies that could be used for investment. When doing this, my only concern was drawdown metrics. These are essential for professional money management and they are also essential for personal long-term success in trading.
So please do not think I have not thought of these sorts of things Many of the reasons people say these things can’t work are basic 101 stuff anyone even remotely committed to learning about trading learns in their first 6 months. Trust me, I have thought about these concepts. I just never stopped thinking when I found out what public consensus was.
While these 101 rules make a lot of sense, it does not take away from the fact there are other betting strategies, and if you can know the approximate win rate and pay-off of trades, you can have other ways of deriving optimal bet sizes (risk per trade). Using Kelly Criterion, for example, if the pay-off is 1:3 and there is a 75% chance of winning, the optimal bet size is 62.5%. It would be a viable (high risk) strategy to have extremely filtered conditions that looked for just one perfect set up a month, makingover 150% if it was successful.
Let’s do some math on if you can pull that off three months in a row (using 150% gain, for easy math). Start $100. Month two starts $250. Month three $625. Month three ends $1,562. You have won three trades. Can you win three trades in a row under these conditions? I don’t know … but don’t assume no-one can.
This is extremely high risk, let’s scale it down to meet somewhere in the middle of the extremes. Let’s look at 10%. Same thing, 10% risk looking for ideal opportunities. Maybe trading once every week or so. 30% pay-off is you win. Let’s be realistic here, a lot of strategies can drawdown 10% using low risk without actually having had that good a chance to generate 30% gains in the trades it took to do so. It could be argued that trading seldomly but taking 5* the risk your “supposed” to take can be more risk efficient than many strategies people are using.
I am not saying that you should be doing these things with tens of thousands of dollars. I am not saying you should do these things as long term strategies. What I am saying is do not dismiss things out of hand just because they buck the “common knowns”. There are ways you can use more aggressive trading tactics to turn small sums of money into they $1,000s of dollars accounts that you exercise they stringent money management tactics on.
With all the above being said, you do have to actually understand to what extent you have an edge doing what you are doing. To do this, you should be using standard sorts of risks. Get the basics in place, just do not think you have to always be basic. Once you have good basics in place and actually make a bit of money, you can section off profits for higher risk versions of strategies. The basic concepts of money management are golden. For longevity and large funds; learned them and use them! Just don’t forget to think for yourself once you have done that.

Update -

Okay, I have thought this through a bit more and decided I don't want to post my live account investor login, because it has my full name and I do not know who any of you are. Instead, for copying/observing, I will give demo account login (since I can choose any name for a demo).
I will also copy onto a live account and have that tracked via Myfxbook.
I will do two versions. One will be FIFO compliant. It will trade only single trade positions. The other will not be FIFO compliant, it will open trades in batches. I will link up live account in a week or so. For now, if anyone wants to do BETA testing with the copy trader, you can do so with the following details (this is the non-FIFO compliant version).

Account tracking/copying details.

Low-Medium risk.
IC Markets MT4
Account number: 10307003
Investor PW: lGdMaRe6
Server: Demo:01
(Not FIFO compliant)

Valid and Invalid Complaints.
There are a few things that can pop up in copy trading. I am not a n00b when it comes to this, so I can somewhat forecast what these will be. I can kinda predict what sort of comments there may be. Some of these are valid points that if you raise I should (and will) reply to. Some are things outside of the scope of things I can influence, and as such, there is no point in me replying to. I will just cover them all here the one time.

Valid complains are if I do something dumb or dramatically outside of the strategy I have laid out here. won't do these, if I do, you can pitchfork ----E

Examples;

“Oi, idiot! You opened a trade randomly on a news spike. I got slipped 20 pips and it was a shit entry”.
Perfectly valid complaint.

“Why did you open a trade during swaps hours when the spread was 30 pips?”
Also valid.

“You left huge trades open running into the weekend and now I have serious gap paranoia!”
Definitely valid.

These are examples of me doing dumb stuff. If I do dumb stuff, it is fair enough people say things amounting to “Yo, that was dumb stuff”.

Invalid Complains;

“You bought EURUSD when it was clearly a sell!!!!”
Okay … you sell. No-one is asking you to copy my trades. I am not trading your strategy. Different positions make a market.

“You opened a position too big and I lost X%”.
No. Na uh. You copied a position too big. If you are using a trade copier, you can set maximum risk. If you neglect to do this, you are taking 100% risk. You have no valid compliant for losing. The act of copying and setting the risk settings is you selecting your risk. I am not responsible for your risk. I accept absolutely no liability for any losses.
*Suggested fix. Refer to risk control in copy trading software

“You lost X trades in a row at X% so I lost too much”.
Nope. You copied. See above. Anything relating to losing too much in trades (placed in liquid/standard market conditions) is entirely you. I can lose my money. Only you can set it up so you can lose yours. I do not have access to your account. Only mine.
*Suggested fix. Refer to risk control in copy trading software

“Price keeps trading close to the pending limit orders but not filling. Your account shows profits, but mine is not getting them”.
This is brokerage. I have no control over this. I use a strategy that aims for precision, and that means a pip here and there in brokerage spreads can make a difference. I am trading to profit from my trading conditions. I do not know, so can not account for, yours.
* Suggested fix. Compare the spread on your broker with the spread on mine. Adjust your orders accordingly. Buy limit orders will need to move up a little. Sell limit orders should not need adjusted.

“I got stopped out right before the market turned, I have a loss but your account shows a profit”.
This is brokerage. I have no control over this. I use a strategy that aims for precision, and that means a pip here and there differences in brokerage spreads can make a difference. I am trading to profit from my trading conditions. I do not know, so can not account for, yours.
** Suggested fix. Compare the spread on your broker with the spread on mine. Adjust your orders accordingly. Stop losses on sell orders will need to move up a bit. Stops on buy orders will be fine.

“Your trade got stopped out right before the market turned, if it was one more pip in the stop, it would have been a winner!!!”
Yeah. This happens. This is where the “risk” part of “risk:reward” comes in.

“Price traded close to take profit, yours filled but mines never”.
This is brokerage. I have no control over this. I use a strategy that aims for precision, and that means a pip here and there differences in brokerage spreads can make a difference. I am trading to profit from my trading conditions. I do not know, so can not account for, yours.
(Side note, this should not be an issue since when my trade closes, it should ping your account to close, too. You might get a couple less pips).
*** Suggested fix. Compare the spread on your broker with the spread on mine. Adjust your orders accordingly. Take profits on buys will need to move up a bit. Sell take profits will be fine.

“My brokers spread jumped to 20 during the New York session so the open trade made a bigger loss than it should”.
Your broker might just suck if this happens. This is brokerage. I have no control over this. My trades are placed to profit from my brokerage conditions. I do not know, so can not account for yours. Also, if accounting for random spread spikes like this was something I had to do, this strategy would not be a thing. It only works with fair brokerage conditions.
*Suggested fix. Do a bit of Googling and find out if you have a horrific broker. If so, fix that! A good search phrase is; “(Broker name) FPA reviews”.

“Price hit the stop loss but was going really fast and my stop got slipped X pips”.
This is brokerage. I have no control over this. I use a strategy that aims for precision, and that means a pip here and there differences in brokerage spreads can make a difference. I am trading to profit from my trading conditions. I do not know, so can not account for, yours.
If my trade also got slipped on the stop, I was slipped using ECN conditions with excellent execution; sometimes slips just happen. I am doing the most I can to prevent them, but it is a fact of liquidity that sometimes we get slipped (slippage can also work in our favor, paying us more than the take profit would have been).

“Orders you placed failed to execute on my account because they were too large”.
This is brokerage. I have no control over this. Margin requirements vary. I have 1:500 leverage available. I will not always be using it, but I can. If you can’t, this will make a difference.

“Your account is making profits trading things my broker does not have”
I have a full range of assets to trade with the broker I use. Included Forex, indices, commodities and cryptocurrencies. I may or may not use the extent of these options. I can not account for your brokerage conditions.

I think I have covered most of the common ones here. There are some general rules of thumb, though. Basically, if I do something that is dumb and would have a high probability of losing on any broker traded on, this is a valid complain.

Anything that pertains to risk taken in standard trading conditions is under your control.

Also, anything at all that pertains to brokerage variance there is nothing I can do, other than fully brief you on what to expect up-front. Since I am taking the time to do this, I won’t be a punchbag for anything that happens later pertaining to this.

I am not using an elitist broker. You don’t need $50,000 to open an account, it is only $200. It is accessible to most people - brokerage conditions akin to what I am using are absolutely available to anyone in the UK/Europe/Asia (North America, I am not so up on, so can’t say). With the broker I use, and with others. If you do not take the time to make sure you are trading with a good broker, there is nothing I can do about how that affects your trades.

I am using an A book broker, if you are using B book; it will almost certainly be worse results. You have bad costs. You are essentially buying from reseller and paying a mark-up. (A/B book AKA ECN/Market maker; learn about this here). My EURUSD spread will typically be 0.02 pips or so, if yours is 1 pip, this is a huge difference.
These are typical spreads I am working on.

https://preview.redd.it/yc2c4jfpab721.png?width=597&format=png&auto=webp&s=c377686b2485e13171318c9861f42faf325437e1


Check the full range of spreads on Forex, commodities, indices and crypto.

Please understand I want nothing from you if you benefit from this, but I am also due you nothing if you lose. My only term of offering this is that people do not moan at me if they lose money.

I have been fully upfront saying this is geared towards higher risk. I have provided information and tools for you to take control over this. If I do lose people’s money and I know that, I honestly will feel a bit sad about it. However, if you complain about it, all I will say is “I told you that might happen”, because, I am telling you that might happen.

Make clear headed assessments of how much money you can afford to risk, and use these when making your decisions. They are yours to make, and not my responsibility.

Update.

Crazy Kelly Compounding: $100 - $11,000 in 6 Trades.

$100 to $11,000 in 6 trades? Is it a scam? Is it a gamble? … No, it’s maths.

Common sense risk disclaimer: Don’t be a dick! Don’t risk money you can’t afford to lose. Do not risk money doing these things until you can show a regular profit on low risk.
Let’s talk about Crazy Kelly Compounding (CKC). Kelly criterion is a method for selecting optimal bet sizes if the odds and win rate are known (in other words, once you have worked out how to create and assess your edge). You can Google to learn about it in detail. The formula for Kelly criterion is;
((odds-1) * (percentage estimate)) - (1-percent estimate) / (odds-1) X 100
Now let’s say you can filter down a strategy to have a 80% win rate. It trades very rarely, but it had a very high success rate when it does. Let’s say you get 1:2 RR on that trade. Kelly would give you an optimum bet size of about 60% here. So if you win, you win 120%. Losing three trades in a row will bust you. You can still recover from anything less than that, fairly easily with a couple winning trades.
This is where CKC comes in. What if you could string some of these wins together, compounding the gains (so you were risking 60% each time)? What if you could pull off 6 trades in a row doing this?
Here is the math;

https://preview.redd.it/u3u6teqd7c721.png?width=606&format=png&auto=webp&s=3b958747b37b68ec2a769a8368b5cbebfe0e97ff
This shows years, substitute years for trades. 6 trades returns $11,338! This can be done. The question really is if you are able to dial in good enough entries, filter out enough sub-par trades and have the guts to pull the trigger when the time is right. Obviously you need to be willing to take the hit, obviously that hit gets bigger each time you go for it, but the reward to risk ratio is pretty decent if you can afford to lose the money.
We could maybe set something up to do this on cent brokers. So people can do it literally risking a couple dollars. I’d have to check to see if there was suitable spreads etc offered on them, though. They can be kinda icky.
Now listen, I am serious … don’t be a dick. Don’t rush out next week trying to retire by the weekend. What I am showing you is the EXTRA rewards that come with being able to produce good solid results and being able to section off some money for high risk “all or nothing” attempts; using your proven strategies.
I am not saying anyone can open 6 trades and make $11,000 … that is rather improbable. What I am saying is once you can get the strategy side right, and you can know your numbers; then you can use the numbers to see where the limits actually are, how fast your strategy can really go.
This CKC concept is not intended to inspire you to be reckless in trading, it is intended to inspire you to put focus on learning the core skills I am telling you that are behind being able to do this.
submitted by inweedwetrust to Forex [link] [comments]

My friend is caught up in a martingale "Investing" company, help needed.

A friend of mine and business associate, along with a good deal of his family has put a good deal of money in a 'investment company' that trades gold, silver & forex using a 'guaranteed system' that 'offers reliable returns.
All the buzz words are words that worry me, so after much asking, I finally took a look at the brochures the company puts out.
In the end, and it's even stated in the brochure I got, they are just using leverage with a martingale strategy. I have tried to explain to him that martingales work up until you're bankrupt, then you're lost with everything. His response (And those of all the family members he has), has been that it's impossible for any strategy to fail in this setup simply because gold and forex has value and isn't simple gambling. My response to them has been that since they're using margins, they more-or-less are trading in assets that can have $0, or even negative value should the market move very rapidly in one direction and wipe out the margin reserve.
I told him that I would ask a group of people that know more than I do, so here I am. I do not actively trade stocks (Only long term buy & hold), so this is all something I can't claim much knowledge on, but feel my thoughts are correct about this 'system'.
submitted by schockergd to investing [link] [comments]

The intelligent investors guide to cryptocurrency: Part 3b - Pricing and liquidity

*Introductions: I'm joskye. A cryptocurrency investor and holder. *
...
 
Hi again. This is the third part in our ongoing series on how to trade better and determine intelligent investments in cryptocurrency for the future.
 
 
Part 3b continues where I left off with a discussion about price metrics specifically, what determines the price and the importance of liquidity:
...
 
The day traders:
 
As I mentioned in my previous article, as of writing almost every cryptocurrency is determined purely by speculative value.
 
 
For instance in cryptocurrency Bitcoin is still the biggest player in the game. It carries a per unit price of $900 per coin. There are currently 16,090,137 (16 million) coins in circulation giving it a total marketcap value of [$900 x 16090137 =] $14481123300 or 14.48 billion USD.
 
 
Shadowcash looks even more meagre compared to the total cryptocurrency marketcap with only 0.048% of the total cryptocurrency sphere.
To any Shadowcash holders despairing at this point, relax. There are over 707 cryptocurrencies trading as of writing and SDC holds the 27th ranking in terms of market cap. In such a competitive field, filled with scams that's pretty good. Moreso when you consider that SDC is a legitimate technology and is currently probably very undervalued.
...
 
Lets look at the rich list for bitcoin:
 
Why did I just talk about this?
 
In cryptocurrency I see this happening on the markets all the time. Indeed market manipulation effects every single cryptocurrency eventually.
...
 
Market manipulation!
 
Large holders of valuable, high marketcap coins will often make multiple small volume purchases of less valuable, low marketcap coins. Often this will follow announcements regarding developments in that low marketcap coin.
 
 
Low volume buying in a market with low daily trading volume can gradually drive up the price attracting an influx of buyers into that coin; often they will make larger volume purchases of it which helps drive up the price much further. This will trigger a further chain of buyers experiencing FOMO (fear of missing out, detailed in Part 2) who will drive up the price even further. The price will pump. Often will smaller cap cryptocurrencies this may result in a sudden 20, 40, 60 or even +100% increase in value often over a very short time space (1-2 days, 1-2 weeks maximum).
 
 
The only way to discern if the sudden rise in coin value is due to pre-rigged market manipulation is to look at:
 
You are looking for organic, gradual growth based on a solid value proposition. Sudden large spikes in value should make you pause and wonder if it's worth waiting for a gradual correction (organic drop) in price before entering your buy order.
 
Do not fall for a pump and dump. Stick to the lessons covered in previous parts of this guide (especially part 3a and 2) and you will be much less likely to lose money in the long run trading and investing in cryptocurrencies.
...
 
The pattern of change on daily trading volume, the order book and liquidity:
 
Lets look at SDC and Bitcoin again. This time we are going to compare the daily trading volume (last 24 hours) in USD.
 
 
I'd just like to use this opportunity to point out and reinforce the idea that day traders not holders dictate the daily price of an asset. I'd also like to point out daily global trading volume on Forex is $4800 billion which makes Bitcoin a very small fish in the broader arena of global finance and trade i.e. Bitcoin is still very vulnerable to all the price manipulation tactics and liquidity issues I am going to be describing in this article by bigger players with richer pockets.
 
 
The daily trading volume also gives you an idea of how much fiat currency you can invest into a given cryptocurrency before you suddenly shift the price.
 
 
A sudden rise in coin price heavily out of proportion to the rise in daily trading volume should be the first sign to alert you to a pump & dump scam.
 
Daily trading volume should show a steady increase over time with sustained buy support at new price levels; this is a good marker of organic, sustainable growth.
...
 
For more detail you can now look at the depth chart:
 
The depth chart is very useful to know how much fiat currency is required to cause the spot price of a given cryptocurrency to rise or fall by a given amount.
 
NB the price of most cryptocurrencies is expressed in Bitcoin because it has the largest market cap and daily trading volume of all cryptocurrencies by a very large margin and because with a few exceptions (Ethereum, Monero) most cryptocurrencies do not have routes to directly purchase via fiat currency without first purchasing Bitcoin.
 
Liquidity is super important. People often complain about a market lacking liquidity but that is often because they are trading in fiat volumes which far exceed the daily trading fiat volumes of the cryptocurrency they are referring to. If you are investing or trading in a cryptocurrency, always factor in the your personal liquidity and need for liquidity relative to that of the cryptocurrency you are investing in. In other words don't expect to make a profit next day selling 'cryptocurrency x' if the size your single buy order composes >90% of the buy orders on the market for 'cryptocurrency x' that day (indeed in such a scenario be very prepared to sell at a loss next day if you absolutely have to)!
 
 
There are certain patterns on a depth chart that make me believe a significant, sustained price rise is imminent: One example occurs when there is a very large volume of buy orders (>25% of total buy volume within 5% of current price) very close to the current (spot) price, and a very large number of sell orders close to but significantly above the spot price (approx 25% total sell volume within 10% of current price) and especially if the total buy order volume is a significantly higher percentage than it has previously been. This simply indicates high demand at current price which may soon outstrip supply. Again I stress that these patterns can be manipulated easily by wealthy traders.
 
...
 
The order book is another way of looking at the depth chart and allows you to see the specific transactions occurring that compose daily trading volume by the second!
 
I find it useful because it allows me to identify:
 
...
 
The price charts:
 
Discussions about price charts could be endless. I'm not going to go into too much detail, mostly because I'm an investor who believes the value proposition, good consistent development, decent marketing and communications will ultimately trump spot prices and adverse (or positive) short term price trends in the future.
...
 
The news cycle:
 
...
 
Other interesting points: The 'coin x' scenario and the ridiculousness of marketcap:
 
'Coin X' is an imaginary hypothetical coin. There are only 10 in circulation. It has no value proposition beyond it's speculative value i.e. it will never generate a revenue independent of it's speculative value.
 
 
I'd like to point out the similarities between ZCash and 'coin x' (especially during it's launch).
...
 
Lessons:
 
 
...
 
References:
1. Coinmarketcap rankings: https://coinmarketcap.com/all/views/all/ 2. Coinmarketcap daily trading volumes https://coinmarketcap.com/currencies/volume/24-hou 3. Bitinfocharts - Top 100 Richest Bitcoin addresses: https://bitinfocharts.com/top-100-richest-bitcoin-addresses.html 4. Crypto ID - Shadowcash Rich list: https://chainz.cryptoid.info/sdc/#!rich 
 
...
 
Further articles in this series:
 
"The intelligent investors guide to cryptocurrency"
 
Part 0 -
Part 1 -
Part 2 -
Part 3a -
Part 3b -
Part 4 -
Part 5 -
Part 6 -
Part 7a -
 
"The intelligent investors guide to Particl -"
 
 
Full disclosure/Disclaimer: At time of original writing I had long positions in Ethereum (ETH), Shadowcash (SDC), Iconomi (ICN), Augur (REP) and Digix (DGD). All the opinions expressed are my own. I cannot guarantee gains; losses are sustainable; do your own financial research and make your decisions responsibly. All prices and values given are as of time of first writing (Midday 8th-Jan-2017).
 
Second disclaimer: Please do not buy Shadowcash (SDC), the project has been abandoned by it's developers who have moved on to the Particl Project (PART). The PARTICL crowd fund and SDC 1:1 token swap completed April 15th. You can still exchange SDC for PART but only if it was acquired prior to 15th April 2017 see: https://particl.news/a-community-driven-initiative-e26724100c3a for more information.
 
Addendum: Article updated 23-11-2017 to edit references to SDC (changed to Particl where relevant to reflect updated status) and clean up formatting.
submitted by joskye to Particl [link] [comments]

Marginal trading will save the crypto-investor’s deposit

The general enthusiasm for cryptocurrencies did not make all representatives of the crypto-community fabulously rich. Only a few of them managed to achieve a really good profit. Most crypto-traders were in the red. How and why did this happen? Has it happened due to the lack of professional actions of new stock players, or the roots of the problem lie much deeper? We talked about this and many other things with the representative of the Forex broker Larson Holz IT Ltd, the head of control and audit-Alexander Smirnov.
– Exchange trading of crypto assets made some traders. fabulously rich, but most of the others parted with the lion’s share of their deposits on the first fall of bitcoin and were disappointed in crypto-trading. Why did this happen? All the fault is solely the actions of the investors themselves, isn’t it?
– This is a very good question, which is much more difficult to answer than it seems at first glance. The rapid growth in the value of cryptocurrencies has turned many people’s heads. More recently, the price of the same bitcoin could increase by 20 – 25 percent in a week. The desire to earn well, while making a minimum effort, attract to crypto-exchanges lots of players who had little idea where they got and what they are going to do. Young crypto-traders who did not have time to rely on serious exchange battles really lost 70, or even 80 percent of deposits on the first fall of bitcoin. But this happened not only because the actions of investors were too risky or rash – just crypto -trading, in the form in which it was offered to them, turned out to be a one-way game, the rules of which are written so that an ordinary user in 99 percent of cases is more likely to lose than win.
– What do you mean by that?
– The functionality of the platforms on which crypto-traders started trading, simply did not assume any other development of events. Perhaps, if people had carefully studied the rules of the game, none of this would have happened, but all people rushed to trade, and only realizing that things were not going as well as we would like, began to delve into the essence of things. The reality turned out to be harsh: it turned out that behind the beautiful words about “freedom” from monopolists, about unhindered trade in high-yield assets and the movement to a new independent economy, there was a rather primitive design for pumping money out of the population.
– So you’re saying it was a trap?
– Think yourself: 99 percent of crypto-exchanges do not have functionality for both simple and technical analysis, it is impossible to put stop-losses on them, but there are big buttons “buy” and “sell”. For any more or less experienced trader at first glance it will be clear that it is not necessary to communicate with such sites, because it is not so much an exchange as a casino, where nothing depends on the actions of a player by and large.
– But crypto-traders who came to earn bitcoin,were not embarrassed by interface or a very limited functionality…
– Absolutely. Moreover, the loyalty of crypto-traders was almost boundless: people believed, and still believe that it is absolutely normal to have regular pauses on. platforms, “technical updates” at the wrong time, the inability to make transactions with assets over several days and even a large-scale hacking of crypto-exchanges! For 2 – 3 days, the cost of the crypto-asset can both soar to the skies and fall below the floor, and people humbly wait for the crypto-exchange to restart the servers! But any such “simple” costs tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars of net losses due to the inability to get rid of the asset that started to sharply become cheaper in time!
– It turns out that trading of cryptocurrencies is a true scam?
– Of course it is not. Do not turn away from crypto-trading after the first failures. As you know, they learn from mistakes, and those who managed to fill their bumps will continue to treat stock trading much more responsibly. The size of the initial deposit has decreased by half, three times? This doesn’t explain anything. Correct actions and several successful transactions will return you to success, and the deposit to its original state.
– But how to trade if the account is almost empty?
– Civilized trading environment knows the correct answer to this question: marginal trading. In a broad sense, it is making transactions on the stock exchange at the expense of credit funds provided to the trader by the broker under the guarantee of a certain deposit. The beauty of this trade is that with only $ 1,000 of your own funds, you can open a deal for $ 500,000 or even $ 1,000,000. If the transaction is successful-all. profit (minus interest on leverage) is yours, if not – by and large you risk only with your deposit.
– That is, the risk is present in any case?
– All stock trading is based on risk. The question is how big and justified it is. Marginal trading is a really handy tool that can give a trader a very good results if they follow a few simple but very important rules.
First, a successful trader does not care whether the market is growing or falling: he earns on price movements. An asset rises in price – a trader opens a long position, becomes cheaper – make it shorter. Second, a good trader never works with just one asset. He switches from cryptocurrency to Fiat and back. . But the most important thing is the understanding that the success of a trader depends not only on what he does, but also where. People who know how to count money will never get involved with sites that hang out at the most interesting place or from which someone can steal something.
– You would like to hint that it is better not to mess with crypto-exchanges?
– I am not hinting, but saying that brokerage companies that have functionality for working with crypto-instruments look much preferable to crypto-exchanges at least because of the use of Meta Trader 4 and Meta Trader 5 trading terminals. First broker with initially specializes in crypto-trading was LH-CRYPTO. It opens for a crypto-trader all currently known trading instruments from one crypto-account. At the moment, this site, both in terms of functionality and terms of trade, simply does not have worthy competitors.
Press about us:
http://cryptoconsulting.info/blog/2018/09/10/marginal-trading-will-save-the-crypto-investor-s-deposit/?noredirect=en_US
submitted by LHCrypto to u/LHCrypto [link] [comments]

Help me to choose a broker -- Oanda, FXCM, forex.com, FXDD

Hi all,
I posted this thread on a Forex forum, I re-post it here hoping to get more advice.
I live in China, and I'm a newbie to Forex trading. I plan to deposit 5,000 USD to experiment Forex trading after I get used to the demo account. After I'm OK with 5K USD, I may invest not less than 10K.
I'm struggling to choose a broker, here are my criteria,
1, Allow hedging. I'm 100% wanting this. Indeed I'm not going to hedge the same amount of money at the same time to earn quick money (which is often used in big news event). What I want to do is, I have a long term position which will be there for several weeks, then I do some short term positions (intraday or several days). That's possible that I have two positions in two directions at the same time.
2, Money safety. During my Googling, I found that some brokers close a trader's account just because he/she earns too much money.
3, 100:1 leverage. 50:1 is not too bad but 100:1 gives me more flexibility.
4, Prefer to NDD (ECN or STP), but DD and MM is acceptable if money safety is guaranteed.
5, Regulates with NFA or FCA.
6, Support depositing using credit card. This is cheapest way for me, at least cheaper than wire transfer.
7, Easy to open an account. I prefer to open an account via internet only so I don't need post a lot of certifications to the broker.
The other points except 1 are tolerant, but I really want point 1 and I think it will be important to me.
Now comes to the brokers I've done some research on. I've checked a little with Oanda, FXCM, forex.com, and FXDD.
Oanda, the most money safety one. 50 leverage. However, it doesn't allow hedging.
All other brokers in my list are not as same money safety as Oanda.
FXCM, the one that's really annoying me is the margin. Why margin for a lot of EURUSD is $750? That's really weird and is not connected to the real price. Can any one explain to me?
Forex.com, as big as FXCM, but in the event that ECB put down the interest to 0.25% at Nov.7 this year, a lot of Chinese traders get network error and lost money. That scared me.
FXDD, not as old as Oanda, and not as big as FXCM and Forex.com, and registered in Malta...
So, what's your advice of a proper broker for me? The one not on my list is OK too.
Thanks
EDIT: another disadvantage of Oanda is that they have 6 candles a week, but it's a trivial problem since I can use other broker's MT4 for technical analysis.
submitted by wqking to Forex [link] [comments]

[Table] IAmA full-time Bitcoin day-trader, blogger, and explainer. I was a pro TCG player. Here until Midnight EST. AMA!

Verified? (This bot cannot verify AMAs just yet)
Date: 2014-02-20
Link to submission (Has self-text)
Questions Answers
Let's say someone was looking for a stay at home computer job, would you recommend doing what you do? Is it something you can hop into, or is it something a lot of time must be put into before considerable income comes? You handle risk and pressure well, and you don't let your emotions guide your decision-making. Professional Poker and TCG players often develop this skillset.
You have experience working with stocks, bonds, derivatives, foreign exchange, or other financial instruments. If you have a strong mathematical background, that would also likely fulfill this.
You can invest significant capital into trading while remaining financially secure if it all suddenly vanishes.
You are capable of constantly monitoring a situation, waking up in the middle of the night if an alarm goes off, etc. It requires serious dedication.
You are good at keeping up with news, understanding market psychology, and "feeling" shifts in attitude and perception among other market participants.
Of those, I'd be most cautious if you don't meet no. 3. Going bust is a real possibility--day-trading a volatile commodity is inherently extremely high-risk. Nos. 2 and 4 are the easiest to learn or force through routine. No. 1 requires a person who approaches things in an emotionally detached manner. No. 5 is something that comes with investing enough time.
Second question: I'm answering this after that big block of text because this answer will come off like a get-rich-quick scheme. Yes, you can hop into it very quickly, and you can start making very high profits very quickly. I put in a small initial investment to test the waters, and made 10% on it in a few days. If you have the right skillset, composure, and resources, yes. It is a potentially very lucrative and exciting stay-at-home job. It is not for everyone, though.
As much as it would be beneficial for me (being in the industry and all), to tell everyone it's easy and that it will help them provide for themselves I feel that people need to know the real risks that are involved. Regardless, that's all a little irrelevant. We're not playing the house, and we're not flipping coins. We're playing other investors, and we're making actual decisions. You keep saying things like "98% lose money" and "Go onto any FOREX forum, and you will see from the users posts that they pretty much all lose money" but you don't back it up. Cool, yeah, it's a zero-sum game with a rake: a little more than half of the players will lose. That's expected. They'll probably complain about it, too, huh?
Retrospect can have a very positive effect. Got any real account trading statements I can have a look at? Let's see how fast you can come up with excuses not to show me ;) I only have and need one: I have chosen not to disclose my personal valuation for privacy reasons. Same reason I've had all along. I instead publicly disclose my trades, as they happen, on my website. The posts are timestamped, and the ones that are the start of a position contain the price I entered at. Go check the posts, then go check the charts, then go check my archive. But feel free to continue to arbitrarily call my credibility into question--that makes your argument better!
What leverage do you use? In Australia the leverage is typically 100:1, perhaps that's why your not seeing how risky I deem it to be. First, our argument so far has had nothing to do with risk. Second, I told you I am leveraged 2.5:1, two posts ago. Third, you realize I'm trading Bitcoin, not ForEx, correct? And that no one in their right mind would offer 100:1 leverage on Bitcoin due to its volatility?
What's your last year's hourly salary? A year ago I was finishing up college and extricating myself from the TCG business I'd co-founded. I took very little in take-home pay over that period, but kept part ownership of the continuing business. Money isn't just about the number on your bank account--it's also about residual future income.
How many hours a week are you typically on a computer? On a computer, probably 50-55, if you add in time I spend on my phone, I'd say 65-70. Day trading takes constant watchfulness. I imagine it's like an easier version of taking care of a baby.
What are your favorite to sources of news besides waiting for it to get to the front/hot page of /Bitcoin when it's several hours old? I have an IFTTT for /BitcoinMarkets and /Bitcoin that notifies me early on about some posts.
What's the weirdest thing about your mom? She started a bookselling business online in her 50s and makes more money than me.
Or.
She's a little old lady who loves gadgets and technology.
What are your thoughts on Dogecoin and other bitcoin competitors? Do you think any have staying value? LTC.
DOGE.
NXT.
VTC.
Coins that offer something different or that have a strong community to them can be valuable prospects.
LTC is the first-mover scrypt coin - DOGE has the most non-techies interested in its success and is spreading quickly as a result - NXT is a cool generation two coin that has a lot of features BTC doesn't have - VTC is ASIC-resistant
Ok, let me spell it out to you. The retail forex market only makes up 5% of the total forex markets liquidity. The other 95% is from hedge funds and institutions. Therefore, 99% of the retail market losing their money is very possible, as that only makes up 4.95% of the whole market. Is it possible that 4.95% of the market generally loses? Yes. How is that infeasible? Nope. That's a false equivalence. It is possible that 4.95% of the market loses. It is not feasible, that, say, 99% of people with blue eyes lose. What, exactly, in empirical terms, is the difference between retail investors and hedge/institutions that causes this INCREDIBLE disparity? Would you care to respond to my above empirical argument that demonstrates that a zero-decision system is flipping a losing coin? Do you consider it feasible for 99% of people playing a 45-55 game to lose?
Are there options and/or futures markets for Bitcoin? Not really yet, but there will be more prominent ones soon. I hear about a new one pretty regularly, it seems, but nothing that seems truly legitimate has come out. I'm certainly excited for them, though.
Eventually, once Mr. Lawsky and co. get things sorted out, I'm certain we'll see a big-name investment bank start offering them.
From the time you started trading until today, what is your overall percentage return? In USD, my percentage return calculated from investment to current valuation is about 300% over a little more than 2 months.
In BTC, my percentage return calculated from investment to current valuation is about 425% over a little more than 2 months.
Using my average per-coin buy-in price, if I had just bought-and-held, I would have lost about 27% of my initial investment value.
Ben, i told you I'd be here and asking about Hearthstone first. If there's one class that needs a bit of tuning, up or down, which is it and why? I think Mage needs basic, class-level tuning. I'm not sure what needs to be done exactly, but I don't like what the Mage class power does to gameplay. I've thought some about how different it would be if it could only hit minions, and I'd want to know if Blizzard had tried that out. The Mage power is too versatile, and over the long-term I think it will prove to be problematic.
What's your favorite card? Lord Jaraxxus is my favorite card. He has a truly legendary feel to him when you play him, but your opponent can still win, even though he's very powerful.
So, where do you think we go from here? I'm currently short, but I don't expect to be so for a lot longer. I don't think we'll get past 550. I also don't expect this drop to hold on for a really long time.
I haven't seen a good, substantive rationale for what the MtGox situation really has to do with Bitcoin price. Yes, it looks bad, it certainly doesn't help with our legitimacy, but is it really worth the incredible price declines we continue to see? I don't think so. I think we are seeing these impressive declines because the price on MtGox (which is a reflection of trust in MtGox relative to Bitcoin price, not just Bitcoin price) has been declining heavily. I don't expect it to continue forever, especially not with things like the Winkdex and the accompanying ETF launching.
MtGox is basically dead to me, for now at least. The sooner everyone stops paying attention to it, the sooner we can all get back on track, which I, for one, will be quite happy about.
Do you think that it's a good thing for a game when the developers of that game discourage certain playing styles (e.g. mill decks or decks that try to win in unconventional manners) whether in hearthstone, MTG, or other TCGs? It can be. I don't want the developers metaphorically over my shoulder outlawing strategies, but I don't mind if the strategies that are "less fun" for your opponent (Draw/Go, Mill, or Hard Combo from MTG, for example) are also less powerful. Most players prefer a game where the best decks are also among the most fun, because it means that they are playing against fun decks more often. Clearly the 2-cost 3/3 will be played most often. If you fix this by making both 2-cost guys 2/2s or 3/3s, or by making one a 2/3 and the other a 3/2, then you've done something--but it's not that interesting. If you instead make the 2-cost 2/2 have text that says "While you control the 3-cost 3/3, this gets +2/+2" and you give the 3 cost 3/3 text that says "While you control the 2-cost 2/2, it has Taunt" you now have more complex cards that reward players for doing something other than just playing the best stand-alone card.
Which do you think is a better option to encourage diversity in TCGs; improving/buffing cards/decks that hardly see any play versus weakening/nerfing cards that are overwhelmingly played? This is obviously a very simplistic example, but I hope it makes the point. Games are more fun when you give players more relevant choices: buffing and nerfing cards tends not to do that as well as promoting synergies does.
Where/what is the actual money behind bitcoin? If it does exist. You might need to rephrase your question for me to understand what you're asking. If you're asking why a Bitcoin has value, the answer is the same as any other good: because someone is willing to pay it.
If you're asking why someone is willing to pay that amount, my answer would be utility.
I just got started on Bitfinex (using your referral link) and am a little intimidated. What types of trades would I recommend I try as a beginner? From there, just keep careful watch, and see what happens. Be neutral and objective toward your own hypothesis, just like in science. Don't be biased by your hopes, be focused on the reality.
So far I've only done a liquidity swap offer to try it since it seemed (nearly) risk free. Have you done any liquidity swap or is it too low in profit? If I'm not going to be able to check my computer for a day or two, or I'm uncertain of what's going to happen the next few days, I do use the liquidity swap function. It's actually very profitable, relative to traditional investments. And you're right, it is low-risk. I'm a fan. Good job selecting it if you were intimidated--that's a good place to start. As far as actually starting trading, do science. Start with a hypothesis. If you were up at 5 AM today when MtGox published their announcement, a good hypothesis might have been something like: "This announcement is going to be a blow to their credibility, and might panic the markets. We'll probably drop by some amount as a result." Invest based on it, figure out around what price you want to take profits, and at what price you'll cut your losses and get out. Stick to those determinations unless something substantive changes. The time you tell yourself you can afford to not close your position because it will "rebound" back to where you want is also the time you lose your shirt.
Is it true that you like Balloons? No, I <3 them.
Lol to the question about your mom... Ben, from my understanding Bitcoin is anonymous, does this mean that you can avoid taxation when receiving payment? Bitcoin isn't anonymous. That's actually a common misconception. It's actually pseudonymous, like Reddit. You end up with an online identity--a wallet address--that you use with Bitcoin.
If I walk up to you on a street corner and buy Bitcoin with cash, then I'm pretty much anonymous. If I buy it from a large institution like Coinbase or some other company, they will have records of the address my Bitcoin was bought for. As a result, you can trace them down, generally speaking.
As for avoiding taxation, that's a general no.
What do you think Bitcoin's biggest hurdle is and how do you think it can be overcome? Are there any misconceptions about Bitcoin that you think people have? The biggest hurdle for Bitcoin to overcome is governments. Governments have a variety of reasons not to want an alternative currency. We seem to have done pretty well on that front here in the US, but for other countries (China) that is not the case. Past that, the other major hurdle is something I consider an inevitability: consumer adoption. Business adoption has begun in earnest, consumer adoption hasn't. It will when enough businesses take Bitcoin to give it sufficient utility for the average customer.
What trading platform do you use to daytrade Bitcoin? What is the standard margin that Bitcoin brokers offer? what's the typical ask/bid spread? I primarily use Bitfinex.
Very few Bitcoin brokers currently offer leverage, Bitfinex offers 2.5:1. Over time, I anticipate it will become more like current Forex, where 10:1 or greater leverage is common.
It varies by exchange depending on their fees. Huobi charges 0% fees, so their spread is generally tiny. Some exchanges can be as wide as 1.5%. Typically, I see spreads between .5 and .7%.
Do you invest in any other type of cryptocurrency? if so, which is your favorite besides bitcoin? I currently have no other holdings, but I've held DOGE and LTC at points and am considering VTC and NXT. DOGE is probably my favorite, because if the community can keep this up for a little longer it will snowball into amaze.
Can you trade me a Jace? TMS WWK, TMS FTV, Beleren, MA, or AoT?
Beleren. M10, M11, LOR, JVC, JVCJPN, or Book Promo?
M10 and if not possible then M11. Sure.
I've been reading your blog for quite some time and especially like your summaries for recent events. Keep up the good work! Do you use strict stop-loss orders for your trades? When do you decide to close a trade? Especially in situations where you can basically see you profit/loss grow by the minute. When is enough? Do you have a longterm bitcoin investment you don't touch or do you use everything you have for trading? I do use relatively strict stop losses, but they're not stop loss orders. My conditions usually aren't just the price hitting a certain point, but instead it sustaining for a brief period, or hitting it with a certain volume, or with a certain amount of resistance to retreat. I don't want my stop loss to be triggered by some idiot who dumps 300 BTC and temporarily drops the price 15, but only ends up really dropping it 3. I am very strict with myself about this, though, generally speaking--if I can't trust promises I make to myself, what good am I?
Let's say for example you have a sum x dollar and a sum y bitcoin on your trading account. How much % of x or y do you risk at every trade? I've seen a formula for the max. amount of investment and read numerous times that traders shouldn't risk more than one or two percent of their "bankroll". Do you generally have dollar and btc or just one of them at any given time? 100% of funds in every trade, so long as all funds are easily moved into the position. Common exceptions are lack of liquidity and funds being on other exchanges. My reasoning for being all-in all-the-time is that it's a profit-maximizing move. It is also risk-maximizing. My risk tolerance is infinite; most people's isn't. Only ever one. Generally BTC if I'm long, dollar if I'm short. I prefer to double-dip, as otherwise it would be in contradiction to the 100% plan. I use everything I have for trading. Again, profit-maximization, infinite risk tolerance.
I decide a closing price when I'm near either my stop loss or my profit aim. I place a limit order or multiple limit orders wherever I need to. I avoid market orders whenever possible. Enough is when I hit my goals or my loss tolerance. I decide these at the start, but I frequently re-evaluate them as news and market conditions develop.
What is a typical bid/ask spread for Bitcoin? It depends what exchange you're looking at, but generally .5-.7%.
What's the best way to popularize Bitcoin among the masses? Add your own but would love your thoughts on: -microtransactions developing nations -gift economy (tipping) I would suggest just running around shouting "You get to be your own bank" is probably the best way.
In all seriousness, though--we don't need to try. It's going to happen on its own from now on, as the news media slowly starts to pick up the story. People will start appearing on TV talking about it with more and more frequency. Things like the Dogelympic teams are great PR and help boost it up, as well, of course, but in general it's just going to follow the adoption curve of every other technology.
If it picks up in a few developing nations that have stable internet, it will be a massive revolution for them. Self-banking can do a huge amount of good for an economy like theirs. We might see reports on that. If a major newspaper decides to run a permanent paywall like what the Sun-Times tested recently, that could be big as well. The slow PR from tipping on Reddit is another way, to be honest. Every bit helps, but the cryptocurrency community is now large enough that we're going to do a significant amount of organic, word-of-mouth style growth.
Do you think that a magic game could beat harthstone? If they do a good job, absolutely. They have to focus on the right things. It needs to be mobile-available, easy to pick up and play, and fun.
Is there a good crypto currency to get in on now, before it explodes like bitcoin did? There are plenty of options. Check out coinmarketcap.com. Fair warning, there are plenty of horrible things there--treat it kind of like penny stocks. I like BTC, LTC, DOGE, NXT, and VTC.
Also, why is it such a pain in the ass to buy them with actual money? Like you have to have bitcoins to buy other crypto currency. It's such a pain to buy them with USD because no one has made a good system to do it on, like Coinbase. If you think there's a desire, go do it!
Well the way I look at it, is how the hell else would you be able to buy them? Not everyone has piles of bitcoins lying around and I really don't want to spend $600+ on a single bitcoin just to buy some other currencies. Ah, I see the problem! You can buy fractions of a Bitcoin using Coinbase--I think .01BTC (~$6) is their minimum.
The March 2013 appreciation was from American and European investors and November 2013 was mainly from Chinese investors. Which group of people do you think will be the next to buy (I hate using the word invest when talking about bitcoin) bitcoin for investment purposes? American institutional and hobby investors. That is, Wall Street and people who pay attention to Wall Street.
Which do you think will be a better long term (~5 years) investment, Bitcoins, Litecoins, Dogecoins, Fetch Lands, Shock Lands, or Original Dual Lands? Does it change for ~10 years? Either Bitcoin or Fetch lands for 5 years. For 10 years, Bitcoin. I'd be worried about the 10-year view for paper MTG.
Ive been mining Bitcoins for years now, i have a good sum im my wallet but i never plan to use them. Does this make me a bad person? Approximately yes.
Ben, I should've simultaneously copied and pasted all of my questions from the Spreecast over to here but here are a few... It seems like the conspiracy crowd has really latched onto the idea of Bitcoin as being a discreet form of currency. If Bitcoin is backed up by the internet why would people choose having a currency that's being tracked over say cash, gold, different commodities? Having a currency be tracked has negatives and positives, but it's overwhelmingly positive for the average consumer. Because it's tracked, you don't need to pay someone to move your money for you. There also are no chargebacks, which means merchants aren't getting scammed and passing those costs onto consumers. Theft costs everyone money. It's also very fast--transactions confirm in just 10 minutes, regardless of size or where it's going. Transferring dollars from here to China is very difficult--transferring Bitcoin? Just as easy as from anywhere else to anywhere.
My job is a mix of voodoo, intuition, science, and news. In USD, my percentage return calculated from investment to current valuation is about 300% over a little more than 2 months.
No, just gambling. In BTC, my percentage return calculated from investment to current valuation is about 425% over a little more than 2 months.
Anyway, how have the profits been from start to finish compared to the market? Using my average per-coin buy-in price, if I had just bought-and-held, I would have lost about 27% of my initial investment value.
Are you willing to disclose how much you have in your trading portfolio/what kind of profit you turn both % and $ wise? In USD, my percentage return calculated from investment to current valuation is about 300% over a little more than 2 months.
In BTC, my percentage return calculated from investment to current valuation is about 425% over a little more than 2 months.
Using my average per-coin buy-in price, if I had just bought-and-held, I would have lost about 27% of my initial investment value.
What would you say is the easiest method of shorting bitcoin or any other coin? For shorting Bitcoin or Litecoin, check here.
For other coins, there isn't really a good way yet, to the best of my knowledge. A few exchanges have plans to add short-selling, but Bitfinex is really the only one I know of that has.
What did you have for breakfast today. Didn't breakfast, was delicious.
Hey Ben, I know next to nothing about Bitcoin. I went to /bitcoin after seeing this AMA on your FB, and I noticed that everyone is going apeshit over "Gox". I have no idea what that means or why everyone is so sad/angry/suicidal. MtGox (which originally stood for Magic the Gathering Online eXchange) was the first prominent Bitcoin exchange. They've been going through some rather rough times lately, some of which I was an early cataloguer of here. In short, everyone is freaking out because the exchange may be insolvent. It's not really a big deal to Bitcoin as a whole, but it's certainly an obvious blow to credibility. In my view, people are primarily upset because MtGox has been a part of Bitcoin for a very long time, and it can be hard to let go of what we're used to. I expect that they will either fix the issues or will go out of business officially very soon.
Please explain what happened.
Tell me every artist in your iTunes. Daft Punk, detektivbyrån, Kid Cudi, Matisyahu, The White Panda.
Spotify for life, yo.
Follow up question, what % are you in BTC vs Fiat and when you are on the losing side of a trade do you find your self dumping in more to get right or do you pull the cord Unless my positions are on different exchanges or in different coins, they're all always 100% of what I'll put into that trade at entrance and exit. As a result, I end up with a binary choice: stay or reduce/close. I very rarely reduce position size, nearly always preferring to just end the position instead.
Last updated: 2014-02-25 04:57 UTC
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