So after three weeks trying to trade, I haven't blown my account yet.
On Feb 24 I started trading Forex with an account funded with €30. I know, I do not belong to those who put 10,000 into a forex account, as a noob, but to mee the learning curve and the ride feels the same.
On day one, I lost €4.17, the next days I made profits, so the P/L balance was + €0.8. Ok, I did not blow my account the first days. But then and unfortunately, I began trading just days before the EUUSD was on a jump from 1.09 to ~1.15. I sold EUUSD at 1.09042. With a lot more experience I could have avoided this trade. Even worse I did not realize a loss quickly, but carried the losses to this day.
Reddit experts said I should realize my loss, but I didn't want to. My account needed some more funding, so I added additionally €10, to avoid the liquidation of my position.
My available trading resources went into the red, mayking it impossible to trade. I am trading 1,000 units (EURUSD) with a 33.3% leverage. the margin reguirement is about the same at ~€33.30. I was basically locked out from trading since Feb 28.
Days later, when the uptrend was slowing down, I added another €40 (now total €120), enough to open a second position. The rationale was, I do not want to wait until, and if any maybe my losses disappear, but instead I believed that after such a strong week for the € there has to be some consolidation. I wanted to sell euros again, to work towards a quicker break even.
On March 9, after a week of being incapable to trade because of insufficient funds, I opened a new sell position. just to lose another €2.40 that day. Still, to me the charts looked like the euro would go down.
Fortunately, I did not realize my loss, when reddit experts suggested to do so at the hight of my loss (€-52.18). The last week was great. I made profit every day trading the 1 minute chart. Still I use a number of indicators, support and resistances, ranges and trends. So this week i realised a loss of €-2.40 and made profits of €13.79. Trading only a micro lot in with margin of €33.30, that's a 41,41% profit since Tuesday. So actually I am happy about that.
After three weeks, I did not blow my account. My unrealised loss is, as of now, down from max €-52.18 to €-18.49, (which is my poor man's profit) and I was able to have more profitable trades than losing trades.
I only traded Sell positions with the trend. Although my available trading resources would have allowed 2,000 units to trade since Wednesday, (+ the 1,000 units from Feb 28), I did not feel comfortable to trade the other direction, once I "figured out" how to trade "my pattern".
|Date ||Avail. TR ||Total Margin ||Net Equity ||P/L (unreal.) ||Cash ||Realised ||Financing ||Funding |
|before ||€70 - €26.96 ||€33.~~ ||€70 to €59 ||€0.5 to€-21.17 ||€70 - €81.27 ||€-4.17 - €0.8 || || |
|05.03.20 ||€17.95 ||€33,16 ||€51.11 ||€-30.27 ||€81.38 || ||€0.11 || |
|06.03.20 ||€13.96 ||€33,08 ||€47.04 ||€-34.38 ||€81.42 || ||€0.04 || |
|07.03.20 ||€1396 ||€33.08 ||€47.04 ||€-34.38 ||€81.42 ||saturday || || |
|08.03.20 ||€1396 ||€33.08 ||€47.04 ||€-34.38 ||€81.42 ||sunday || || |
|09.03.20 ||€-0.05 ||€66.92 ||€66.87 ||€-52.18 ||€119.05 ||€-2.40 ||€0.03 ||€40.00 |
|10.03.20 ||€59.75 ||€32.65 ||€92.40 ||€-33.13 ||€125.53 ||€6.40 ||€0.08 || |
|11.03.20 ||€65.43 ||€33.08 ||€98.51 ||€-32.75 ||€131.26 ||€5.69 ||€0.04 || |
|12.03.20 ||€80.34 ||€33.30 ||€114.07 ||€-18.49 ||€132.56 ||€ 1.70 ||~€0.04 || |
Now, when I look at my performance it looks great. However, I want to be honest with myself. At a second look, my trading day performance it's not that great anymore.
If I look at the first trade that turned from an unrealized loss of €-3.47 (from opening to day close) to a profit of €4.00.
The EURUSD was at 1.14544. It's at the time of writing this post ~1.11117. ~304 pips since I traded on March 9. If I had just kept open that one position, I would have made ~€27 (€0.09 / pip). Trading daily, losing my mind and risking my money I made only €13.79.
Say, I feel more comfortable and trade the other direction, whatever that direction might be. I could have made maybe twice as much, which is still below what I could have made if I only kept the first postion in that series open and waited three days.
The conclusion after a week of somehow successful trading to me as a noob is that if i could identify atrend reversal that would last a few days, it really isn't worth trading for hours a day. you can have the same with less risk and less stress.
it may look very different in a range scenario. in a ranging week, i would have outperformed the euusd pair easily.
my net equity is only ~2% in the red (€117 from €120, was €47 from €80 at worst point). which is so much better than a few days ago and if i had realised the loss. what i learned this week is of great valuable too. so i am happy with the result, but i also have to say it was a bit of a useless endavour moneywise compared to the simple performance of the currency pair.
conclusion: mixed feelings about my performance as a forex noob.
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.
"dammit." Click. "shit." Click. Click. "you fuck."
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?"
................... 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.
*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.
- In part 1 I talked about the importance of selling enough to make back your principle investment i.e. if you buy something at $300 and it rises to $600 in value, sell $300 to eliminate all future risk of personal loss e.g. if that asset falls to $150 in value after (which can happen easily since suchvolatility is very common in cryptocurrency). In cryptocurrency trading/investments a 100% return of investment should always prompt you to consider selling 1/2 your stack.
- In part 2 I talked about the psychology behind fear of missing out; i.e. the dangers of buying during a sudden rise in an asset's price and how to make the most of such rallies whilst minimising the risks involved in joining them.
- In part 3a I discussed The importance of a value proposition and the absolute need for any cryptocurrency you invest in to already generate or have the potential to generate revenue in a manner completely independent of it's speculative value as dictated by daily market prices.
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.
- Thus the absolute price of a given cryptocurrency is determined solely by the day traders and specifically the last price it was agreed that currency would be sold at with confirmation of that price by a buyer who bought it.
- People say lots of things determine the price; marketcap, liquidity, value proposition, revenues generated by the coin, the number of said coin in circulation but ultimately it comes down to the number of buyers and number of sellers competing for that coin.
- Perhaps the other thing is the size of said market relative to the money held by the players in it.
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.
- This is 85% of the current cryptocurrency marketcap. (The total marketcap of all cryptocurrencies as of writing is 17.17 billion USD.)
- Compare and contrast Shadowcash (SDC) which has a unit price of $1.27 with 6,616814 coins in circulation giving it a total marketcap value of [$1.27 x 6616814=] $8392766 or 8.39 million USD.
- Thus Shadowcash in comparison to Bitcoin is a tiny cap of the cryptocurrency sphere. Shadowcash has a total value that is only 0.06% of Bitcoin when comparing marketcap's.
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?
- The top holder has 124,956 Bitcoin valued at $1,12460400 or 1.24 billion USD.
- The top SDC holder has 1027261 SDC valued at $1,304621 or 1.4 million USD.
- Thus the wealth of the top SDC holder is 1.16% that of the wealth of the top Bitcoin holder.
- Well they say that a big fish can easily occupy, make a splash in and empty a small pond just by diving in.
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.
- An example of low volume ordering is buying 1 SDC at $1.20, 0.5 SDC at $1.2001, 5 SDC at $1.2010, 3 SDC at $1.21, 10 SDC at $1.22 and 0.11 SDC at $1.24, but then leaving someone else to fill the order for 100 SDC priced at $1.242.
- Thus by spending $23.77, in low volume purchases the buyer can raise the market cap of SDC from ($1.20 * 6,616814 coins) $7.94 million to (1.24 * 6,616814) $8.20 million! (4.2% increase).
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:
- Often the original purchaser who triggered these events will have accumulated a lot of said cryptocurrency cheaply prior to or during the early stages of the pump and will wind up selling the majority of his/her's purchases when the price reaches a peak; usually when the daily/hourly trading volume on that coin starts to decline but sufficient buyers are still available.
- This results in a sudden or often more gradual dump in the coins value, usually by falling by 75% or more of the rise.
You are looking for organic, gradual growth based on a solid value proposition.
- the value proposition of that coin (discussed extensively in part 3a of this guide)
- the order book
- the depth chart
- the pattern of change on daily trading volume (and liquidity)
- the price charts (15 minute, hourly, 1 day, 3 day, 7 day, 1 month, 6 months)
- the news cycle relevant to that coin
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.
- In the last 24 hours (dated 8th Jan 2016), SDC traded a total volume of $26,033. This is 0.01% of all USD daily trading volume on exchanges and only 0.39% of the total marketcap of SDC.
- In contrast Bitcoin traded $163,306,776 ($0.16 Billion) over the same 24 hour period. This is 76.15% of USD daily trading volume on exchanges and only 1.12% of it's total marketcap.
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.
- The numbers means that just because the marketcap of Bitcoin is $14 billion, that does not mean that there is truly $14 billion worth of fiat currencies (USD, Yuan, Euro etc) in Bitcoin; the total fiat volume is merely an estimate based on current price and number of Bitcoin in circulation.
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.
- For example based on the 24 hour daily trading volume for SDC I know that if I blindly spent $15,000 (57% of the daily trading volume) buying SDC without any regard to the price, I can be confident that I will likely cause the price of SDC to go up significantly.
- In contrast spending $15,000 to buy Bitcoin (0.0092% of the daily trading volume) without regards to it's price, I can be confident that it will not likely cause a significant rise in the daily spot price of Bitcoin.
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.
- It implies a low volume trading at low prices to trick the unseasoned trader to perpetuate higher volume, high price buys.
- If daily trading volume cannot organically increase to sustain the price, it will eventually fall when the original pumper (or group of pumpers) sell to take their profits.
- This does not always have to be the case! Sufficiently large price movements (several 1000%) can significantly raise the next absolute low in price for the mid-term (months) even if that is several 100% lower than the peak!
- Conversely declining trading volumes indicate loss of interest in the coin and a price that is potentially more prone to and at risk of price manipulation with smaller amounts of fiat/bitcoin (than if higher daily trading volumes existed).
- Finally the fact that daily fiat trading volume for Bitcoin and Shadowcash is such a small percentage of it's total marketcap reinforces the idea that price is set by day traders not by holders!
... 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
- The depth chart groups different bids (buy orders) and asks (sell orders) by price and volume e.g. 17.739 bitcoin worth of SDC are currently on sale at poloniex for 0.00117500 bitcoin each ($1.07 per coin) and 0.149 Bitcoin are on sale at the current spot price of 0.00135750 Bitcoin ($1.24)
- So as of writing, I can see (from the charts) to raise the price of SDC from 0.00135750 Bitcoin ($1.24) to 0.00181381 Bitcoin ($1.66) I would need to spend 26 Bitcoin ($23783).
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.
- The depth chart shows me how many coins I can buy without significantly increasing the price and how many coins I can sell within a given price range. It gives me an idea of the liquidity and volatility of the market i.e. if I buy SDC right now and need to sell it later today or tomorrow for fiat, what is the realistic probability I can get my entire amount in fiat returned to me in the amount originally spent.
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)!
- The depth chart also gives me an idea of where significant supports exists (price zones with large buy orders relative to the depth chart) to determine the true base price (in conjunction with daily trading volume) and where significant resistances exist (price zones with large sell orders relative to the rest of the depth chart) to determine what the majority of sellers think the coin is truly worth. Be wary though as buy walls (large supports) and sell walls (large resistances) can be moved at any time.
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.
- It is up to you to study the depth charts and discern the patterns. You will learn more about day trading this way.
... 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:
- If there is a string of low volume orders that can be filled to pump the price (or conversely a string of low volume sell orders to dump it). This can play on the psychology of the entire market as many people aren't simply aware of how the manipulations occur; most people simply look at the price!
- Where resistances to price change occur and how much money it will take to break them (i.e. if I am day trading to make a profit via pumping, is it worth me spending X to clear a sell wall to encourage others to buy and push up the price further or do I need to spend so much of my capital that should I fail to stimulate buy orders, I become vulnerable to a dump in coin price with effective subsequent loss of fiat money).
- The presence of automated trading bots rapidly cycling a buy or sell order of fixed volume between a series of prices that dynamically adjust with the overall trend in price movements. Bots can be your best friend (to pumping or dumping price) if you know how to manipulate them!
... 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.
- I'm also going to skim this because I'm not as versed in this subject as I'd like to be.
- I personally use the candle bar charts on Poloniex to look at 15 minute and daily candles on the hourly, daily, weekly and monthly charts.
- I combine this with charts on Bittrex which can calculate the RSI (to estimate if a coin is overbought or oversold) and Bollinger Bands (again to help estimate if a coin is overbought or oversold).
- I usually look at the overall direction of trading over a period of several days, compare it to the direction and trends over the last month. I then try to interpret it in the context of the daily trading volume and depth charts.
- I often get my predictions on short term price movement wrong if I only look at candle charts without factoring in depth charts, order book and daily trading volume patterns! I have a lot more learning to do on technical analysis.
- The charts do often reveal mid/long term supports and resistances in price!
- Investopedia is a good place to start learning about different mathematical techniques to analyse charts (including any terms used in these articles).
- I'm a big fan of u/kustonoy who inhabits the Ethtrader sub. I personally feel his analysis of the short term markets are generally pretty good. You should never be too lazy to not do your own regular market analysis especially if trading short term, but if you want a good reference point, I suggest following him.
... The news cycle:
- I've mentioned this lower down the list because for intra-day and day traders and even to some extent investors, the news cycle matters very little unless it directly affects the value proposition in some way.
- If a news event does result in real maturation of the proposed value proposition (such that the technology has confirmed a new sustained user base or revenue stream) then it might justify a sustained rise in price regardless of the volatility achieved reaching and following the peak.
- Some assets may have nothing but an endless stream of good news which meets the above criteria yet it's valuation fails to increase. This is likely a sign that a larger player is deliberately manipulating the market to accumulate more of that asset to sell very high later (I believe Ethereum has fallen victim to this recently) or that it is occuring during long period of consolidation is where diversification of asset ownership is happening which means a new price floor is being set for much larger increases later on. The lowest most frequently occurring point which the price repeatedly bounces off of (stops falling below) is the new floor.
... 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.
- If 'coin x' had only 10 in circulation, was indivisible and each coin had a value of $3 billion, the market cap of 'coin x' would surpass Bitcoin!
- If all 10 coins were not on sale then 'coin x' would have a value of zero.
- If 9 people had bought 'coin x' at $1 and the 10th person bought it at $3 billion, it's marketcap would still be $30 billion. This does not mean there is $30 billion of fiat stored in coin X.
- If an 11th buyer came along and bought 'coin x' at $1.20 the price of coin X would fall to $1.20 and the marketcap of 'coin x' would be $12.0.
- This still does not mean there is $12 of fiat stored in coin x.
- This does not mean everyone can sell 'coin x' at $1.20.
- A new buyer blind to the purely speculative nature of 'coin x' looking at the trend charts could try to argue it is now extremely undervalued and a great buy or possibly was a grand scam and untouchable.
- Either way the next price at which 'coin x' is bought/sold is purely arbitrary and determined by the patience of the seller and the impatience of the buyer.
- [Edit]: I could also issue 10 more of 'coin x' and if it's unit price remained $1.20 the market cap would instantly double from $12 to $24!
I'd like to point out the similarities between ZCash and 'coin x' (especially during it's launch).
- Marketcap is derived from the price, not the other way around. Until a cryptocurrency generates significant revenue independent of it's speculative valuation this will remain the case.
- Price is determined by the day traders, not by the holders.
- The spot price of any given cryptocurrency is determined by the patience of the seller and the impatience of the buyer.
- Price of most cryptocurrencies is derived from bitcoin unless they have a direct fiat gateway. Unless a significant amount of trading volume occurs via the fiat gateway, the price of that cryptocurrency is still heavily dependent on the price of bitcoin.
- Bitcoin is (for now) is the gold standard of cryptocurrencies. Because it has the largest marketcap (by a very massive margin).
- Market manipulation means that large holders in more valuable currencies (large marketcaps) can tamper with and set the value of much smaller currencies (i.e. smaller marketcaps).
- Bitcoin's price itself can be manipulated by investment banks, governments or firms who trade in multi billions of USD daily. This is because the daily trading volume is almost 5 trillion trillion USD (which is several thousand times larger
- There is nothing wrong with investing or trading in cryptocurrencies with low daily trading volumes and marketcaps, just be concious not to put more money into them than their long term buy support can handle and only invest what you can afford to lose.
- The concept of liquidity in a market is important relative to the amount of fiat you are planning to invest or trade in it.
- Whether day trading or investing, pick cryptocurrencies with good fundamentals i.e. excellent development teams, good marketing and strong value propositions that will provide the cryptocurrency in question use and value independent of speculative valuations. You are less likely to get manipulated or scammed in the long run that way especially if you are a holder.
- Be very weary of trading or investing small amounts of money in larger markets that allow leveraged trading. Those markets will behave irrationally and not follow the fundamentals in the short term.
- It is up to you to study the depth charts, order books, candle bar charts, daily trading volumes and news cycle to discern the patterns. The price is a composite of this and the psychology of people who don't understand this. You will learn more about day trading this way and more importantly learn to trade/invest independent of the price.
- Coin market capitalisations and data including rich lists derived from:
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.
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