Did You Begin Day Trading As An Indicator Only Trader?
Did you start day trading after buying a book on technical analysis, and getting a charting program – probably a free one that you found online – in order to save money? While reading your book you learned about trading indicators which could ‘predict’ price movement, and what do you know, the ‘best’ indicators were actually included in your free charting program – let the games begin.
Now that you have all the day trading tools that are necessary, the book for education AND the free charting program with those ‘best’ day trading indicators, you now need a day trading plan so you can decide which ones of those ‘magic’ day trading indicators you are supposed to use. This really is a great book, besides telling you how to day trade using indicators to ‘predict’ price – it also said that you need a trading plan to day trade.
So what should this plan be? The book told you about trend following using an indicator called macd, and it also told you how it was possible to pick the top or bottoms using an indicator called stochastic; my guess is that you picked the stochastic indicator to start your day trading – this must be the ‘best of the best’ since this indicator was going to ensure you of entering your trades with the ‘best’ price. Amazing, simply amazing how easy this day trading stuff really is. In fact, why even bother taking the trades, each time your indicators give a signal – just call up your broker and tell him to stick $100 in your account.
My book was Technical Analysis of the Futures Markets. My charting program was TradeStation with an eSignal fm receiver; that was the one that if you hung the antennae wires just right, and you put enough foil on the tips, you might even get quotes. I had sold a business before I started trading so I did have some capital – isn’t that how everyone gets into trading, you either sell a business or you lose your job? My indicator was the macd as I had decided that I was going to be a ‘trend follower’ instead of a ‘top-bottom picker’. I also decided that I was going to be ‘extra’ clever, if one indicator was good than two indicators must be better, so I added a 20 period moving average. My first trade was a winner, then after many months of extensive therapy, I was finally able to forget the next twelve months – ahhh the memories
Learning To Day Trading – The Learning Progression
Beginning to day trade, or learning to day trade, as an indicator trader is very typical. This is also logical when you consider – HOW are you supposed to initially learn how to trade? Trading indicators are available to anyone who has a charting program, and simply using line crosses, or histogram color changes, provide ‘easy’ signals to understand. If you will also take the time to learn the arithmetic behind your indicators, as well as learning what each indicator is specifically intended to do, not only is this a logical way to begin, it is also a good ‘step’ in your learning progression – understanding the WHAT you are doing, instead of attempting to create ‘canned’ indicator only trading systems, without any regard as to WHY you are trading this way.
This does become one of the ‘sticking’ points in your learning progression, as you come to find out that you are unable to profitably trade indicators as signals only – now what? Now what – you ‘can’t’ develop your own indicators, so you start doing google searches for day trading indicators and start buying your ‘collection’ – they don’t ‘work’ either. Now what – you buy a mechanical trading system – what does hypothetical results may not be indicative of real trading or future results mean? Now what – you start subscribing to signal services OR you start joining the ‘latest and greatest’ chat room – am I really the only person using the signals who isn’t profitable?
Now what – you never learn how to trade.
I began trading as an indicator trader, and I did try to learn everything that I could about the various indicators, as well as trying to combine indicators that were consistent with how I wanted to trade – I just could never develop a mechanical day trading system from what was available to me. I read a couple more books that didn’t really help me, so I then started looking for someone who could teach me. From what I now know about gurus -vs- teachers, I am very lucky that I got involved with a money manager-trader who taught me a tremendous amount, but I still couldn’t get profitable, in part because there was also ‘pressure’ to learn how to trade using real money. As well, any discussions or thoughts about trading psychology and the issues involved, especially to beginning traders, was non-existent.
Now what – learning but losing – I stopped trading.
Learning to trading using real money, and ‘scoffing’ at trading psychology as simply individual weakness, really was something that I now regard as misinformation. I always mention this as I now feel that this cost me as much as a year of time, and was very close to costing me my trading future, as stopped trading was VERY close to quitting trading. How can’t trading psychology be real to a beginner, when you consider that you are risking losing money at a very fast pace as a day trader, and when you further consider that you are also doing this when you really don’t know what you are doing – this is NOT by definition being weak. And if trading psychology is real, how are you going to learn to make ‘good’ trading habits with real money while you are fighting the implications?
Now what – not trading and not ready [quite] to quit – still studying and searching.
Probably the single most important ‘thing’ that got me to a next step in learning how to trade, was the concept of a trading setup, and that a setup and a signal were not the same. This was extremely meaningful to me, as it also led to an understanding of how to better use trading indicators for the information that they can provide, but not to use them as trading signals – in essence I began learning about trading method where discretion could be consistently applied -vs- trading system that was mechanical and arithmetic rules.
Traders who are indicator only traders, are also what I refer to right side only traders, that is they are always looking at the right side of their charts for an indicator signal. BUT what about the left side of the chart, what about price and patterns, what about market conditions – WHAT about the relevant ‘things’ that are ‘moving’ price, instead of indicators only as an arithmetic derivative of price, and thus, one that is dependant on the time frame that you have chosen to trade from? These ‘thoughts’, along with the concept of trade setup, became instrumental in the development of a trading method, and how I came to turning my trading around.
When I think about the steps in my learning progression – I would list them as follows:
2/95 – 6/96
teaching service that included signals
learning to trading with real money and trading psychology issues
6/96 – 3/97
understanding of trading psychology issues
learning about trading setups concept
trading method -vs- trading system
trade setup – trade trigger are not the same
understand the importance of the left side of the chart and what is happening ‘across’ the chart
related trading setups and how/when they triggered
indicators + pattern
indicators + pattern + price
indicators + pattern + price + market conditions
3/97 – 11/97
able to paper trade profitably
able to real money trade profitably
able to trade for a living
Indicator Only Day Trader – Setup Including Indicators Method Day Trader
I have attempted to discuss the way I started day trading, and the way I think many-most traders typically begin. Along with this, I have pointed various issues and problems that I had – those regarding how to learn to trade, and then progressing into a profitable trader. My experiences have been both personal, as well as those of many traders that I have worked with over the last 8-9 years through Tactical Trading – that a very large number of these problems are due to day trading only with indicators, the specific indicators used, along with trying to turn these indicators into a mechanical trading system. This is not to say that this can’t be done – I simply couldn’t do it. However, I would strongly suggest that anyone who is in the early stages of day trading, or struggling with their day trading, consider these things that have been discussed.
It is one of the strongest currencies in the world, but the whole economy is not as powerful. It fluctuates up and down, along with trends in privately and publicly-owned companies. England’s economy has experienced some very high points, but has also experienced some low points as well.
No matter where you live, you must carefully consider your options before you try to earn a return on your investment; and England is no exception to that rule. But some people in the UK still like to take a risk with their money and one of these risks is day trading online.
Day trading online involves the process of buying and selling shares over the Internet at short notice. Day trading online has been seen by many as a way to get rich quick, but that isn’t the half of it. Statistics show that online day traders are having a rough ride, with 70% of online day traders losing money. So if you are looking at getting into the world of online day trading, then you should know the risks that are attached to the service.
But when you are in the world of online day trading then you will get some excellent services given to you. One of these services is a chat room, where you can talk to other buyers and sellers. This is a good way to find out what the next big time company might be, but you have to know if this person is “share ramping,” which is the process of talking up the shares artificially. So you have to take the risk of guessing if this person is correct or not and if the information hasn’t been authorized.
These days, online trading websites are somewhat risky and can be dangerous. But if you are a professional when it comes to buying and selling shares, then you will know all about the risks and you can make yourself a tidy profit. Day trading online should not be used by beginners, but more used by people that are heavily experienced in the stock market world.
Day trading online in the United States has become a powerful trend in recent years. And while growth rates in the US have been sluggish in recent years, the US has still maintained a strong dollar, which is still used as the unquestioned international standard.
Unemployment rates have been better than where they are now, but consumer spending is at a normal pace.
But what does all of this have to do with the stock market?-Surprisingly a lot. Macroeconomic trends are quite simply the sum of microeconomic decisions and realities. If the economy overall is suffering, there’s a good chance that most firms are also experiencing slow growth rates, which will be reflected in share prices on the NASDAQ.
This also means that day traders will feel the strain; some may even avoid trading altogether out of a sense of despair, which may further lag growth rates.
Most of stock trading websites are actually based in America. So that means that you will always have a huge selection of companies to choose between for your stock trading services.
Day trading online in the USA is a big business and a lot of people setting up online companies are making a lot of money, often through sign-up and service fees. But the real winner can be the consumer–the one who signs up for the website: these people get into the online stock trading world and can make a real killing when they are buying and selling all the right kinds of stock.
But you do need to have some kind of knowledge about buying and selling stocks when you are taking part in online stock trading. Brokers are available to give you any advice when you need it; and if you are always failing to earn, then you should really give a broker a call, just to see if they can help you out of your losing streak.
USA is recognized by many as the home of the strongest and largest stock market. This is why foreign investors from around the world choose to invest a good amount of their money in US-based business. For you to make the most out of the US stock market, you need to be able to know when to buy and sell. If you do not know when to say that enough is enough for that share, then you should not be trading at all. A lot of people have exact strategies-technical or fundamental-to determine exactly when to buy and to trade and exactly how much to diversify to manage risk appropriately; and these are the people who are usually earning a steady income.
Among those who buy and sell stocks there is an ongoing debate about whether the most profitable approach to stock market trading is short or long term investment. And the two sides rarely reach agreement, because one side is rather conservative in its approach, whereas the other has a more radical and freewheeling attitude. Day traders are usually considered the mavericks of the trading world, and they are known for taking gambler’s risks and making huge profits in short amounts of time – sometimes buying and selling the same stock several times in a single day. Those who prefer to buy and hold their stocks follow a more risk-averse path, and cite historical trends to back up their claim that their method is actually more reliable and is the real shortcut to wealth.
Most investors can enjoy the best of both worlds, by setting aside some of their money for day trades, and the balance of it for longer-term investment. Because day trading tends to be more volatile, and can result in quick profits or fast losses, most of us would be advised to put only as much of our investment capital as we can comfortably afford to lose, into this kind of trading strategy. That way, even if you encounter a worse case scenario, it will not adversely impact your overall financial situation.
There are pros and cons to both styles of investing. Those who do day trades enjoy the fact that they can get in and out of the market quickly, and make money without waiting for the results. But any kind of stock market investment strategy requires research into the companies you decide to invest in, and research can take time to do. If you are buying and selling so fast that you don’t have time to do adequate background analysis, day trading may not be a prudent approach.
Investing in companies that provide slow but steady returns is a time-tested approach to the stock market. In fact, most historical evidence supports the idea that if you buy quality stocks and hold them for long periods of time – at least five years or more – you will do very well in the stock market. For that reason, those who are young enough to have time on their side would probably be wise to buy some stocks and sock them away for retirement.
With most investments, it is usually best to diversify to minimize risk and maximize potential gains. One way to accomplish this in the stock market is to employ both strategies, and use a portion of your investment capital for short-term trades, while leaving another portion in long term investments. If one basket of investments doesn’t do well, the other probably will. And if both do well, you will enjoy twice as much success.
Is day trading penny stocks really a wise move for your investment activity? Many people are wary of this activity, and with good reason. While you certainly do hear the glamour stories of the many investors who’ve made fortunes with penny stocks, you often times don’t hear about the thousands who’ve lost a ton of money in the process.
Penny stocks are notorious for enabling you to make either huge gains or losses overnight. Many people hear stories about somebody who made a million dollars in a couple days day trading penny stocks, and become so enamored with that they don’t realize these same investors (gamblers, really) most often lose all that money soon after.
Believe it or not, penny stocks are nothing more, nothing less than glorified gambling. Yes, there are some investors who can make a lot of money with this avenue, but only if they are absolutely sure of what they are doing. The reason for their volatility is simple: every one of these companies that are trading for les than $1 per share got into the situation for a reason.
Usually, it was either bad management, poor economics, or a combination. Therefore, you’d better have a good reason for thinking a turnaround is about to occur before laying your money down.
The main reason day trading penny stocks is so risky is that it doesn’t take much to affect your investment. For instance, if you buy in at .25 cents, and the stock goes up to .50 cents, you’ve just doubled your investment just by a .25 cent gain! Of course, the same risks apply for it going down.
While a .25 cent swing for most stocks would be hardly noticeable, for penny stocks they can be either mega profitable or suicidal. Therefore, if you do plan on entering the exciting, non-stop action world of penny stocks, you need to be absolutely sure you are an expert at looking at a company and spotting a turnaround possibility.
Think about this: most of the world’s top investors have gotten to the point they are at by investing in good stocks that have exhibited a long term of profitability. When you invest in penny stocks, you voluntarily take yourself out of that realm and focus only on companies that have proven they can’t turn a profit. Yes, sometimes miracles or turnarounds do occur, but not very often.
If you do plan on entering this world of day trading penny stocks, you need to become an expert at spotting companies you are sure will turn things around, and jump in at the right time. No, making money with penny stocks is certainly not impossible, but you must know what you’re doing, and monitor your investments closely at all times.
A day trading robot? Gee Wiz! Sounds like science fiction, right? It did to me just a few years ago. I would have never imagined that such a thing was possible. First of all, I came from a school of thought that believed nothing could be programmed to trade the markets successfully. I strongly believed this and argued with anyone that crossed my path. “No automated day trading system could tackle the stock market; impossible!” or so I thought. I also said to myself, “How could a computer program successfully factor fear and greed [the emotions that move the market] into an equation designed to extract consistent short-term profits from the market each and every day?” Well…,
…the bad news is that there really isn’t a robot to day trade stocks. Sorry to burst your bubble.
But…the good news is that there is one that day trades currencies (you know, the great forex market that I love and have bored you over and over with throughout this website?).
No folks; this is not “Forex Made Easy.” This is “Forex Made Easier”- An automated day trading system that NOT ONLY comes with a highly sophisticated set of conditions to enter and exit the market, but one that also pulls the trigger (that is, executes the trades) for you, using proper money management without which day trading is doomed to failure. [If you have not read why I strongly believe that the forex (short for foreign exchange) market is the purest and best market to day trade in the world, go to the currency trading section of this website]. This automated system is also known as Forex Robot or FX Bot (for frequently asked questions about the trading robot, click here).
Yes day trading fans. This day trading robot (or bot) not only finds the trades, it takes advantage of them when it finds them.
When the forex trading robot was presented to me for the first time, it was difficult for me to accept the whole concept. I got to admit, I was pretty skeptical. If the explanation wouldn’t have come from the best two money managers and traders I know (and personal friends of mine), I wouldn’t have even listened. But after a while, I was sold. “You, Dan? Mr. Day Trading Tutor?” – “Telling us that you believe in a day trading robot after writing an endless amount of information about how people could learn how to day trade, how much you believe in day trading, how you have helped day traders in the past, etc., etc.?”
Whoa, whoa!!! People, don’t get so exited. All of these things are still true. There are people that will learn how to day trade successfully and become successful traders. I am still involved on a very limited basis on the training of some day traders. But there are also many people out there that will never succeed as day traders and others that, after having tried it, will realize that it is not for them.
This is the truth; plain and simple. And even if the day trading robot wouldn’t have existed, this would have still been reality. The FX robot is just something extra that I feel can help not just unsuccessful traders, but also investors who can add something different (a new component) to their investment portfolios; and believe me, this is completely different than any investment I have ever seen before.
I created Day Trading Tutor to give you the reality of trading. Well, talking about the trading Bot is an extension of this goal. Since it exists and can help you, I must tell you about it – period!
Ladies and gentlemen; I am sorry if I sound really exited about this trading Bot thing – so exited it made me that I even became part of it in order to be able to offer it to my clients, friends, and family members (read “How are you involved in the day trading Bot and are you doing it just for the money?” below. I like to be very clear about the things I say. It makes me sleep peacefully at night. The thing is that I haven’t been part of a great project like this for a long, long time. The money managers and traders that designed and monitor the day trading robot on a daily basis have become personal friends of mine in the last few years. They are great guys and exceptional traders. They have been top-ranked in the past in the forex money management industry. I don’t like recommending traders or money managers to people, but this is an exception.
The robot program rocks!
Origins of the Camarilla Equation
Discovered while day trading in 1989 by Nick Stott, a successful bond trader in the financial markets, the ‘Camarilla’ equation uses a truism of nature to define market action – namely that most time series have a tendency to revert to the mean.
The equation produces 8 levels that are meant to predict these reversal points allowing the trader to profit from them. The equation uses nothing more than the previous trading day’s open, close, high and low levels and some interesting mathematics to produce these supports and resistances.
Trading the Signals
Now these levels are numbered L1-4 for the supports and H1-4 for the resistances but it is really the L3, L4, H3 and H4 ones that are most important.
When the price level reaches the H3 level the theory behind the Camarilla Equation says that there is a strong resistance at this point and that a SHORT trade should be made with a stop loss at the H4 level.
Conversely, when the price drops to the L3 level there is a strong support and a LONG trade is the recommendation with a stop loss at the L4 level.
While the H4 and L4 levels should normally be reserved for setting stop losses on the above trades, occasionally there will come a point when these points are broken through. If this breakout is maintained for a significant amount of time and the price is still on the move then a LONG or SHORT trade should be entered respectively.
These trades are not so common but could provide massive profits (or so the Camarilla Equation suggests)
Choosing entry point with Camarilla Equation
There are two entry points that you may like to consider when using the Camarilla Equation. Firstly you could trade as soon as the market reaches either the L3 or H3 level and go AGAINST the current trend but there is more of a danger that the trend will continue and you will lose out if this is your preferred method.
The alternative is to wait after the market has broken the L3 or H3 level until the reverse actually occurs and enter the trade just as the market passes the respective level once again. This allows you to trade WITH the trend which should prove a safer option.
So does it Work?
If you are interested in whether or not the Camarilla Equation provides a viable trading method then you may wish to follow my experiment which is testing the given levels for the FTSE 100, Dow Jones and DAX 30 stock markets.
If you are interested in day trading you first need to know what it is all about and to understand the basics of day trading. For starters, a day trader is a person who is very active in the stock market and makes several trades a day in an attempt to make quick gains by buying and selling stocks in a short time span.
As the market is never the same day to day, no one particular day trading strategy will work each time. To be successful, you first need to understand how the market works and get a feel for the market.
This includes recognizing the stocks’ basic trend, the long and short setups, when to enter a trade, and where to place stops. Another very important basic is how to protect your profits and minimize losses.
Once you have learned the basics and are ready to try your first day trade, here are some tips and guidelines you should keep in mind that is essential to your success as a day trader.
Being a day trader requires a lot of time and practice before you get used to the everyday volatility in the market. Do not expect to become an expert day trader overnight. No matter how many books you have read or day traders you have watched, that will not make you an immediate expert.
There are day trading websites that simulate trading. Practice with their trading platform first before trying out the real thing. It could save you a lot of money and you will learn the ropes faster this way.
If you are ready for real live trading, do not be scared by the thought of losing money. There are ways to minimize your loss such as with stop orders.
If you lose money, do not worry, as some loss is to be expected. Just remember, with increased experience and sensitivity to the market, you will start turning a profit soon.
If you profit large sums of money, stop trading. Do not gamble it away by trying to gain even larger profits. You can always trade another day.
Sometimes the market will not perform as you expected. When you encounter this situation, it is best that you do not trade at all.
Once you gain more experience in day trading, you may be able to predict the direction of a stock price. However, try not to pick top stocks or bottom stocks. This is one of the most common mistakes of a beginner.
If you cannot predict where the market is heading, it is best if you stand aside and wait, or you can always go home and trade again another day.
It is a good idea to record all of your day trading results. This way you can learn what works and what does not, and be more effective in trading.
Observe good traders. Look at how and when they sell or buy. Generally, good day traders often buy on bad news and sell on good news.
Beginners often get emotional in their trades. Avoid this at all cost, stay emotionally detached and professional.
Learn to trust your instincts. Relying too much on analysis may mean letting a few good trades slip away from you.
As you gain experience, you will see that different day trading strategies are required on different days and required on different stocks. Be flexible.
Bad day traders often focus on too many stocks that are not manageable and often lose track on where each stock is heading. It is wise to limit your stocks in manageable numbers.
With patience and practice, you can be successful in day trading, and as your experience grows so do your profits. Everyday you can learn new day trading strategies in the market, which you can use to your advantage.