How many times do you pass on a good setup for fear of a loss – creating reasons why that setup shouldn’t be traded?
How often do you move your stop loss when a trade is in profit, so the worst-case scenario is a break-even trade; or perhaps a few pips gained?
And, the last question, how many trades do you place, or not place, where you are concerned about being wrong?
For most retail traders, the honest answer to all those questions will be “more often than not”. For most professional traders, the answer will be “never”.
Trades have to be placed and managed without fear of loss. You can not possibly succeed as a trader if you’re trading with ‘scared money’. Losses are just a part of the business. Call them what they are: ‘losing trades’. They don’t need an excuse, or blame, or other names to lessen their effect.
The markets will always be random, often doing what you least expected, Their negative effect on your trading account doesn’t mean that you’re wrong, or have a bad trading system; or, more importantly, need to add additional squiggly line indicators to eradicate future losses. You will never avoid losing trades - attempts to do so will likely increase the occurrence of losses, until you eventually forget what terrific setups you originally had in your trading arsenal.
Of course, it's not just the fear of losing trades, that bother so many traders; it's also the fear of missing out. You think price is going to make a big move so you quickly jump in with a trade, even if it's not part of your plan or a known setup. So you have both a fear of losing and a fear of not winning.
If you find yourself having a losing streak, your initial mild fear will likely grow to the extent that it turns into aggression, in defence of your treasured account balance. And that’s where it all falls apart. Sound familiar?
The best trades, in my own personal experience, are the ones where you set and forget. You find a good setup, as per the rules of your own trading plan; you’ve already identified a high-probability price magnet; you put your stop loss in a logical place; you forget about the trade: accepting the outcome with the same grace for a loss as you do for a win. If you’re unable to do that, then you’re in the wrong game.
Trading should be like having your morning shower; brushing your teeth or making a cup of tea. It’s a relatively-mundane sequence of tasks that you do without subjective thought.
Every trader knows about gaps ... right?
Does every trader know the different types of gaps and how they might be used for identifying potential turning points, the start of new waves or to forecast the end of a move, long before price has got there?
Most traders will only see the gaps that happen when the Forex market opens after the weekend; or perhaps the odd gap that happens when there is a major news release. They miss some of the most important gaps because those gaps are filled quickly or are too small to seem relevant. Those seemingly-irrelevant gaps can provide incredible information about where price might be going next..
Gaps play an important role in my trading decisions, so I thought they deserved a new button in eWH: a feature that shows newly formed gaps and closed gaps. For anyone who admits to not really understanding how gaps can be used for trading decisions, I've added a new course module, in the trader training, that explains the different types and how they can be used; as well as how the new feature can be used in eWH test mode.
The eWH Beta upgrade is available for download; the video available for viewing (if you have access to the training course).
Mind the gap! You'll be glad you did.
MT5 has been available since 2010, long before eWaves v1.0 for MT4 was released. There are still many brokers who don't offer MT5 and, as such, I don't get many requests for any MT5 programs; in fact, I know few people who use, or have used, MT5.
I don't relish the thought of converting everything to MT5 but will have to get around to it over the coming years. For the moment though, I am more than happy to continue using MT4, so the sense of urgency to suffer the laborious coding conversion is somewhat absent.
To get the conversion ball rolling, I thought it would be a good idea to work on eWaves. I've done some limited testing and it appears to be doing all the things it should do. The Advanced Trade Manager and eWavesHarmonics will be very big jobs, so they are on the back-burner for a while.
You can get your copy of the new eWaves from the MT5 indicators page (the only thing there at present). I have been compelled to introduce some anti-piracy into it (because there are too many scallywags who love to share and steal indicators), which has meant I can't keep the price as low as the MT4 version - I apologise to all the good guys for that; the bad guys can sit in the naughty corner and feel guilty.
For a bit of fun, and as a little incentive for people to buy it, there is a hidden 'easter egg' - a feature that's not in the original eWaves but offers similar testing capabilities as found with eWavesHarmonics. The first person to discover this feature, and how to use it, will get a full refund on the cost of purchase.
This is a first release and, as with all programs, there might be the odd glitch or gremlin. Just drop me an email if you find any issues and I'll get on to it.
Whilst I don't like the idea of Stop-and-Reverse trading, I've had quite a few requests for this feature; and so ... the Advanced Trade Manager (ATM) now has a Stop and Reverse button: available from the download area, as part of the latest Beta upgrade v2.9.
I call this the "Shit! What have I done?" button - for those crazy moments when you accidentally pressed the 'Buy Market Order' button, when you meant to hit 'Sell'. Now you can quickly reverse that error with one click.
The S&R button is displayed next to the 'Close Op' button, when ATM sees that there is just one open trade. It won't display if you have more than one trade running, or no trades at all.
As all traders know, there are several order types. For the avoidance of doubt, I’ll define them : -
Here’s a quick reference ..…
Most of the traders that I communicate with will say they prefer stop orders – they find a trade setup and place buy stop orders just above a key bar; or sell stop orders just below that bar. The goal here is to minimise the number of losing trades by making sure that price really is moving in the favoured direction. There is nothing wrong with that approach; I do it a lot as well. There is however a drawback in that you’ll be reducing the potential risk:reward on a trade.
Let’s look at a great eWave4 to eWave 5 TZ1 trade, on EU M15, in June (spread is not factored in the prices quoted).
A typical buy stop entry would have been at 1.16080. The stop loss would have been placed at 1.15930 and target price set at 1.16720 (or perhaps a few pips below).
Risk is 1.16080 - 1.15930 = 15 pips.
Reward is 1.6720 – 1.16080 = 64 pips
That’s a healthy R:R of 4.27:1 – a pretty good trade.
Of course, if you’d waited for the high of eWave 3 to be broken, at 1.16330, your R:R would have been less than 1 – that’s definitely not a good trade.
On many occasions (I won’t quote stats that I can’t back up but it could be around 50% of the time), an impulsive move will retrace to where it originated– back to the supply or demand zone. You can see that it happened at the start of the eWave 3 – that only took 2 bars; and it happened at the start of the eWave 5 – that took about 20 bars and was tested again later before the price really moved. This is why eWavesHarmonics (eWH) draws the zones relatively quickly, rather than wait for them to be confirmed in the traditional sense.
Knowing that these zones are often tested (an SD bounce) or can be reversed and tested (an SD flip) we can anticipate where price is likely to go and place limit orders; or, if we’re quick, we can place market orders. Using the same EU example but this time placing a market order (note the BRN confluence for entry) …
Risk is 1.16020 - 1.15930 = 9 pips.
Reward is 1.6720 – 1.16020 = 70 pips
That’s a healthy R:R of 7.8 to 1 … not far off double your profit. by improving your entry by a mere 6 pips; assuming that your lot size is calculated as a percentage of account divided by pip risk. If you just did a fixed lot size on every trade (not a recommended approach), you’d be risking much less and making a little extra profit, which is not to be sneezed at.
There will be times when you could increase your returns by many times more than that – a typical 2:1 trade could easily be 15:1, for example, by waiting for the best possible entry; or much much more.
Yes, you risk having more losing trades by using limit or market orders. The upside though, speaks for itself. If you can be getting triple your normal returns, on average, you can afford to have a few more losing trades.
Perhaps you might want to mix your order types: a pending order as usual followed by a limit order should price retrace on itself. That way you’ll be covering it both ways, in case price doesn’t come back.
Don’t get stuck in a rut with how you place trade orders. Always look for the best possible returns on your investment by being adept with your order types.
See the Trader Training course to learn how we trade with eWH, as in the above example.
I’ve just uploaded a new video to the Trader Training course, which shows a trade, that I took last week, where you could have doubled your trading account with one trade by only risking 3% (not that I would risk 3% on one trade, so this is theoretical but very possible).
The trade was taken on a DAX 1-minute chart with a risk/reward of nearly 37. Don’t let anyone tell you that the lower timeframes are ‘just noise’ – I really hate that expression. The lower timeframes provide a ton of information that can enable trading at the very best levels with the tightest of stops – as the video shows. The video also shows the importance of not having too-tight a stop loss.
The type of setup was a simple W4 TLB– nothing complicated and a setup that happens plenty of times, on all timeframes and all symbols.
The following have been updated this week and are available for download: -
I'm always looking to improve the tools, so please get in touch if you have any good ideas for enhancements that you think others will benefit from as well.
ATM and eWH have had a couple of minor upgrades this week - nothing too exciting but they are available for download, still as Beta files.
And in other news ...
I've made some modifications to Snorm Object Extender script, specifically for eWH, to copy the Supply & Demand zones from one timeframe, so they're available when you switch timeframes. I've used it a lot this week and it's saved me a lot of time. The script has the following options:
This script is free and available in the eWH download page. I hope you find good use for it.
Have a great weekend.
What’s the best advice that a weather-beaten Forex trader can give to the new guys? And …How to get guaranteed success at Forex trading.
We all have great ideas and plans, when we first discover the wonders of Forex trading. Dreams soon become dashed, after throwing hard-earned money at scammers and down the drain of brokers who willingly accept new credit-card-funded account applications from the naive. Yet, when things haven't gone to plan and you're unwilling to tell your family and friends that your dreams have been scuppered, you go in search of some trading system or mentor that’s ‘guaranteed’ to give you the financial returns that ‘you deserve’.
A google search of Forex-related terms will reveal the following …
Top of the list will be the Forex brokers; the ones who have the marketing budget to keep themselves at the top of every google search that’s loosely related to Forex but not even close to what you were searching for.
Then, there will be a myriad of forums and Forex thieves (‘scammer’ would be too kind a word for them).
Forums can be a mixed blessing: you get the occasional genuine and intelligent trader, willing to share some wise advice. You might also get useful information about forthcoming news that might move the currencies. Some of the better forums even offer proper trading advice and education. For the most-part though, you get ignorant people posting stupid trading ideas with a thread that lasts for a few months, at best, sucking in many ardent followers, only to gradually disappear into obscurity; all previously enthusiastic followers have long-since lost interest. The forums are invariably dog shit for hungry flies: a vacuum for ignorant wannabe traders who think they’ll find the golden goose, either by reading every thread going or begging for someone to illegally share the greatest indicator or robot ever made.
Forex thieves need no introduction. How many ‘next-best-thing’ $69 indicators / systems / EAs have you bought? How many thousands of bucks have you thrown at so-called mentors / coaches who don’t really have a clue how to trade but are masters at selling their bullshit? How much have you lost by subscribing to trade alerts that promise great monthly returns but deliver only despair? In Forex trading, this adage is most pertinent: if it seems to good to be true, it probably is. Unfortunately, the genuine good guys in this business are few and far between. They might appear on page 26 of your google search, if you’re lucky. In my very humble opinion, a google search for the golden Forex goose is like handing your wallet and credit cards to a heroin addict.
But … come on guys, how many of you have gleefully shared an indicator that’s not yours to share; or used someone else’s without paying? Some of you deserve to be scammed by the Forex thieves and don’t cry when you have been, since you’re as guilty as any other thief. How do you really expect to succeed at this game when you have so little regard for what’s right and wrong?
I know of no shortcuts to earning the stripes of a veteran Forex trader (or trader of any financial instrument). For many, the learning time will be twice as long as that of a brain surgeon; for most it will be a like trying to build a perpetual motion machine: it just won’t happen, despite all the promises found by a google search.
The university of Forex trading is split into three subjects: fundamentals; technical analysis; self.
Self? What’s that got to do with it? It’s only the most important part of being a successful trader. It is also the hardest part to get an A+ score in. You might have a doctorate in fundamentals and a first-class degree in technical analysis; but if you haven’t got a masters in ‘self’, you won’t succeed in trading … full stop.
What’s the good of first class setups, in the right fundamental conditions, if you’re too scared to risk 1% of your trading account for a 5% return, because you either see ‘something that you don’t like’ or because you want to protect every pip when price moves in your preferred direction? What’s the point of knowing about first class setups when you’re too keen to chase pips from less-than-second rate setups? How on earth do you expect to succeed when you’re trading ‘scared money’: money that you can’t afford to lose or must protect as if it’s the last human child on planet earth? How good is life when you’re addicted to trading like many are addicted to slot machines: you have no idea when to stop due to losses or profits? How useful is the best trading approach in the world when you bin it after three losing trades and go looking for something else or succumb to adding extra indicators in search of those fantastical guaranteed profits?
You must master ‘self’ if you want to succeed at trading. You must; you must; you must.
It need not be that hard, if you have a trading plan and can abide by it.
When do you trade?
What do you trade?
Why do you enter, manage and exit a trade?
When will you stop trading?
When will you start trading again?
How will you review your trades and improve the rules?
etc. etc. etc …
If you don’t have, at least, these rules agreed with yourself, you have no chance at all.
So, what’s the best advice for new traders?
Wear sunscreen … while you’re enjoying the rewards of having mastered self.
And … How to get guaranteed success at Forex trading? If you found this blog post by googling those very words, then more fool you. There are no guarantees of success in this business; but covert guarantees of failure and thievery are plentiful. We place trades based on probabilities, not certainties. Having said that, there are approaches to trading (such as those covered in the Trader Training course) that have better-than-average probabilities of success. When you know what those approaches are, and have mastered self, then dreams really can become reality – but it’s not guaranteed.
Sorry if you've only just upgraded but I've made some more changes to ATM, that I hope some of you will find useful (I made the changes for my own trading needs, so I'm certain others will like them).
You can now temporarily select half or quarter of your usual percentage risk, just by clicking the Percent Risk button. Plus, there is now an option to auto-close pending orders when the stop loss level is hit.
This latest version has been uploaded to the download page, for those of you who would like to do some beta testing; it has worked well for me today.