Hi guys,submitted by getmrmarket to Forex [link] [comments]
I have been using reddit for years in my personal life (not trading!) and wanted to give something back in an area where i am an expert.
I worked at an investment bank for seven years and joined them as a graduate FX trader so have lots of professional experience, by which i mean I was trained and paid by a big institution to trade on their behalf. This is very different to being a full-time home trader, although that is not to discredit those guys, who can accumulate a good amount of experience/wisdom through self learning.
When I get time I'm going to write a mid-length posts on each topic for you guys along the lines of how i was trained. I guess there would be 15-20 topics in total so about 50-60 posts. Feel free to comment or ask questions.
The first topic is Risk Management and we'll cover it in three parts
Why it mattersThe first rule of making money through trading is to ensure you do not lose money. Look at any serious hedge fund’s website and they’ll talk about their first priority being “preservation of investor capital.”
You have to keep it before you grow it.
Strangely, if you look at retail trading websites, for every one article on risk management there are probably fifty on trade selection. This is completely the wrong way around.
The great news is that this stuff is pretty simple and process-driven. Anyone can learn and follow best practices.
Seriously, avoiding mistakes is one of the most important things: there's not some holy grail system for finding winning trades, rather a routine and fairly boring set of processes that ensure that you are profitable, despite having plenty of losing trades alongside the winners.
Capital and position sizingThe first thing you have to know is how much capital you are working with. Let’s say you have $100,000 deposited. This is your maximum trading capital. Your trading capital is not the leveraged amount. It is the amount of money you have deposited and can withdraw or lose.
Position sizing is what ensures that a losing streak does not take you out of the market.
A rule of thumb is that one should risk no more than 2% of one’s account balance on an individual trade and no more than 8% of one’s account balance on a specific theme. We’ll look at why that’s a rule of thumb later. For now let’s just accept those numbers and look at examples.
So we have $100,000 in our account. And we wish to buy EURUSD. We should therefore not be risking more than 2% which $2,000.
We look at a technical chart and decide to leave a stop below the monthly low, which is 55 pips below market. We’ll come back to this in a bit. So what should our position size be?
We go to the calculator page, select Position Size and enter our details. There are many such calculators online - just google "Pip calculator".
So the appropriate size is a buy position of 363,636 EURUSD. If it reaches our stop level we know we’ll lose precisely $2,000 or 2% of our capital.
You should be using this calculator (or something similar) on every single trade so that you know your risk.
Now imagine that we have similar bets on EURJPY and EURGBP, which have also broken above moving averages. Clearly this EUR-momentum is a theme. If it works all three bets are likely to pay off. But if it goes wrong we are likely to lose on all three at once. We are going to look at this concept of correlation in more detail later.
The total amount of risk in our portfolio - if all of the trades on this EUR-momentum theme were to hit their stops - should not exceed $8,000 or 8% of total capital. This allows us to go big on themes we like without going bust when the theme does not work.
As we’ll see later, many traders only win on 40-60% of trades. So you have to accept losing trades will be common and ensure you size trades so they cannot ruin you.
Similarly, like poker players, we should risk more on trades we feel confident about and less on trades that seem less compelling. However, this should always be subject to overall position sizing constraints.
For example before you put on each trade you might rate the strength of your conviction in the trade and allocate a position size accordingly:
To keep yourself disciplined you should try to ensure that no more than one in twenty trades are graded exceptional and allocated 5% of account balance risk. It really should be a rare moment when all the stars align for you.
Notice that the nice thing about dealing in percentages is that it scales. Say you start out with $100,000 but end the year up 50% at $150,000. Now a 1% bet will risk $1,500 rather than $1,000. That makes sense as your capital has grown.
It is extremely common for retail accounts to blow-up by making only 4-5 losing trades because they are leveraged at 50:1 and have taken on far too large a position, relative to their account balance.
Consider that GBPUSD tends to move 1% each day. If you have an account balance of $10k then it would be crazy to take a position of $500k (50:1 leveraged). A 1% move on $500k is $5k.
Two perfectly regular down days in a row — or a single day’s move of 2% — and you will receive a margin call from the broker, have the account closed out, and have lost all your money.
Do not let this happen to you. Use position sizing discipline to protect yourself.
Kelly CriterionIf you’re wondering - why “about 2%” per trade? - that’s a fair question. Why not 0.5% or 10% or any other number?
The Kelly Criterion is a formula that was adapted for use in casinos. If you know the odds of winning and the expected pay-off, it tells you how much you should bet in each round.
This is harder than it sounds. Let’s say you could bet on a weighted coin flip, where it lands on heads 60% of the time and tails 40% of the time. The payout is $2 per $1 bet.
Well, absolutely you should bet. The odds are in your favour. But if you have, say, $100 it is less obvious how much you should bet to avoid ruin.
Say you bet $50, the odds that it could land on tails twice in a row are 16%. You could easily be out after the first two flips.
Equally, betting $1 is not going to maximise your advantage. The odds are 60/40 in your favour so only betting $1 is likely too conservative. The Kelly Criterion is a formula that produces the long-run optimal bet size, given the odds.
Applying the formula to forex trading looks like this:
Position size % = Winning trade % - ( (1- Winning trade %) / Risk-reward ratio
If you have recorded hundreds of trades in your journal - see next chapter - you can calculate what this outputs for you specifically.
If you don't have hundreds of trades then let’s assume some realistic defaults of Winning trade % being 30% and Risk-reward ratio being 3. The 3 implies your TP is 3x the distance of your stop from entry e.g. 300 pips take profit and 100 pips stop loss.
So that’s 0.3 - (1 - 0.3) / 3 = 6.6%.
Hold on a second. 6.6% of your account probably feels like a LOT to risk per trade.This is the main observation people have on Kelly: whilst it may optimise the long-run results it doesn’t take into account the pain of drawdowns. It is better thought of as the rational maximum limit. You needn’t go right up to the limit!
With a 30% winning trade ratio, the odds of you losing on four trades in a row is nearly one in four. That would result in a drawdown of nearly a quarter of your starting account balance. Could you really stomach that and put on the fifth trade, cool as ice? Most of us could not.
Accordingly people tend to reduce the bet size. For example, let’s say you know you would feel emotionally affected by losing 25% of your account.
Well, the simplest way is to divide the Kelly output by four. You have effectively hidden 75% of your account balance from Kelly and it is now optimised to avoid a total wipeout of just the 25% it can see.
This gives 6.6% / 4 = 1.65%. Of course different trading approaches and different risk appetites will provide different optimal bet sizes but as a rule of thumb something between 1-2% is appropriate for the style and risk appetite of most retail traders.
Incidentally be very wary of systems or traders who claim high winning trade % like 80%. Invariably these don’t pass a basic sense-check:
How to use stop losses sensiblyStop losses have a bad reputation amongst the retail community but are absolutely essential to risk management. No serious discretionary trader can operate without them.
A stop loss is a resting order, left with the broker, to automatically close your position if it reaches a certain price. For a recap on the various order types visit this chapter.
The valid concern with stop losses is that disreputable brokers look for a concentration of stops and then, when the market is close, whipsaw the price through the stop levels so that the clients ‘stop out’ and sell to the broker at a low rate before the market naturally comes back higher. This is referred to as ‘stop hunting’.
This would be extremely immoral behaviour and the way to guard against it is to use a highly reputable top-tier broker in a well regulated region such as the UK.
Why are stop losses so important? Well, there is no other way to manage risk with certainty.
You should always have a pre-determined stop loss before you put on a trade. Not having one is a recipe for disaster: you will find yourself emotionally attached to the trade as it goes against you and it will be extremely hard to cut the loss. This is a well known behavioural bias that we’ll explore in a later chapter.
Learning to take a loss and move on rationally is a key lesson for new traders.
A common mistake is to think of the market as a personal nemesis. The market, of course, is totally impersonal; it doesn’t care whether you make money or not.
Bruce Kovner, founder of the hedge fund Caxton Associates
There is an old saying amongst bank traders which is “losers average losers”.
It is tempting, having bought EURUSD and seeing it go lower, to buy more. Your average price will improve if you keep buying as it goes lower. If it was cheap before it must be a bargain now, right? Wrong.
Where does that end? Always have a pre-determined cut-off point which limits your risk. A level where you know the reason for the trade was proved ‘wrong’ ... and stick to it strictly. If you trade using discretion, use stops.
Picking a clear levelWhere you leave your stop loss is key.
Typically traders will leave them at big technical levels such as recent highs or lows. For example if EURUSD is trading at 1.1250 and the recent month’s low is 1.1205 then leaving it just below at 1.1200 seems sensible.
If you were going long, just below the double bottom support zone seems like a sensible area to leave a stop
You want to give it a bit of breathing room as we know support zones often get challenged before the price rallies. This is because lots of traders identify the same zones. You won’t be the only one selling around 1.1200.
The “weak hands” who leave their sell stop order at exactly the level are likely to get taken out as the market tests the support. Those who leave it ten or fifteen pips below the level have more breathing room and will survive a quick test of the level before a resumed run-up.
Your timeframe and trading style clearly play a part. Here’s a candlestick chart (one candle is one day) for GBPUSD.
If you are putting on a trend-following trade you expect to hold for weeks then you need to have a stop loss that can withstand the daily noise. Look at the downtrend on the chart. There were plenty of days in which the price rallied 60 pips or more during the wider downtrend.
So having a really tight stop of, say, 25 pips that gets chopped up in noisy short-term moves is not going to work for this kind of trade. You need to use a wider stop and take a smaller position size, determined by the stop level.
There are several tools you can use to help you estimate what is a safe distance and we’ll look at those in the next section.
There are of course exceptions. For example, if you are doing range-break style trading you might have a really tight stop, set just below the previous range high.
Clearly then where you set stops will depend on your trading style as well as your holding horizons and the volatility of each instrument.
Here are some guidelines that can help:
For example if you stop understanding why a product is going up or down and your fundamental thesis has been confirmed wrong, get out. For example, if you are long because you think the central bank is turning hawkish and AUDUSD is going to play catch up with rates … then you hear dovish noises from the central bank and the bond yields retrace lower and back in line with the currency - close your AUDUSD position. You already know your thesis was wrong. No need to give away more money to the market.
Coming up in part IIEDIT: part II here
Letting stops breathe
When to change a stop
Entering and exiting winning positions
Coming up in part IIISqueezes and other risks
Crap trades, timeouts and monthly limits
Disclaimer:This content is not investment advice and you should not place any reliance on it. The views expressed are the author's own and should not be attributed to any other person, including their employer.
submitted by kayakero to makemoneyforexreddit [link] [comments]
How to trade Forex and be profitableHello and thank you for being here again!
In this article I want to show you how I structure my operations by trading in the currency market. If it can give you ideas or help you in your process, the objective of this post will be more than fulfilled. I will try to be as clear and direct as possible. I'll go point by point:
1. How to trade the Forex MarketFocusing on the basics and keeping it simple. Let me explain, you don't have to rely on hyper-complex strategies, use the software that PETA it and put it on the server next to your broker ... you don't have to be the best programmer, much less get dirty on the graphics of your platform to win money in Forex.
You need systems. The systems work. Results-oriented companies and work methods are systems-based. You should start applying and creating systems because they will allow you:
2. Intraday or swing trading in Forex?This question is an interesting question and I make a small indent if you are just starting out. Swing trading are operations that usually last several days and when we talk about intraday or day trading we refer to operations that are closed on the same day.
Well, which one then? Like everything in life, it depends (we are). You have to learn that there is no “best for all”. In my case I combine both operations because I dedicate myself full time to this, but if you are just starting out or are one of the people who get stressed out with trading, I recommend that you focus on swing trading.
As you consolidate here you can start to scale and seek to diversify by doing intraday. But again, this is just something that I recommend based on my own experience and from people I have known over the years.
3. Automatic or Manual Forex TradingNot all automated Forex trading systems are a panacea, nor are all discretionary or manual systems bad. Stop looking at it like that, we're only talking about execution. This is precisely why I am opting for automated execution. We could talk at length about this and if you find it interesting I can dedicate an article just to it. But think that automation is just how strategy is carried out. Whether this is a winner or a loser is the basis of everything.
Automating a losing strategy does not make it a winner, it is only about applying strategies that are profitable and ensuring that they are executed in the best way (in manual we always cheat alone).
4. Is analysis the key to Forex trading?Many people think that technical analysis is the key to beating the market and defend it to the last consequences. The same happens with those who think that the only way to make money in the foreign exchange market is through fundamental analysis.
So what really works? What really works and you can check. What good is it if you tell me that this or the other is the best method if you haven't even sat down to draw numbers. Many times it is not with what, but how. That is, they can be different valid methods if they are done well. But for this you need statistics of what you are doing.
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5. Learn to create robust trading strategiesLet's first see what a robust trading strategy is all about. As traders, we know what has happened in the past, but we don't know what will happen in the market tomorrow. That is why we need systems that are well adapted to changing market circumstances.
How can we know systems adapt well to alterations in the spread, prices ...? Simulating those alterations, something like simulating those conditions and seeing how they behave. There are different tests for this such as: Walk Forward test, Montecarlo, and Multimarket.
These tests give us an idea of how robust our created trading system is and give us a reference. Be careful, I said reference, not absolute truth. Then we will test them, our goal is to leave as little space as possible to chance.
6. Best Forex Trading StrategiesYou may be wondering how you are going to manage to create profitable strategies and start with all this. Calm down, there are tools for this, but the important thing here is that you know that the strategies that tend to be more stable over time and give better results are:
6.1. Trading strategies with very simple entry and exit criteriaThe opposite of what you may have been told. The simpler our Forex trading systems are, the more likely they will continue to work overtime. I have seen this myself and I know it first hand.
Also, which is more likely to stop working, a system based on six indicators or a system based on one or two? That six indicators continue to give results for years and years is not easy. Instead, only one or two are more so. Still, trading systems should always be supervised.
6.2. Systems with a not very high number of operations or tradesSometimes when we become obsessed with being in the market constantly making gazillions of trades, we are giving our broker money and taking it out of our pocket. More is not better in trading, better is better. This is about getting the most money with the least risk, not giving it to your broker.
6.3. Strategies with a controlled return/riskYou see a strategy, you look at its profit in the last months and years and you are already thinking about connecting it. Error, always look at the return associated with the drawdown. The drawdown of your system is, in short, the maximum consecutive drop it has had. Because it is important? Because if that fall has occurred in the past, it can happen again (and bigger, believe me). Now you may be thinking, what if this happens to me?
Next, I will explain it to you, but first an example of a system that meets all these characteristics (so you can see that it is simpler than it seems:
Here more statistics:
7. Establish connection and disconnection rules for your systemsAll methods of trading sound great. The problem is when they start to lose. Some tell you that you have to continue, that the system is the system… But what if the system is stopping working? After all, we live in a changing world and our money is not infinite.
The reality is that many people do not know how to determine when the system is failing or when this happens because they are applying it incorrectly. If you execute the strategies in an automated way you are already saving this, then what you need is a rule to deactivate your strategies at a certain point. To do this, it is enough to monitor them with platforms such as Bluefox or Myfxbook to know what the performance of each is.
8. Diversify in ForexIf we deactivate a Rubén strategy, we stop trading. Not if you activate another that has been doing it well. It is not about you running a Forex trading system or two, it is about having different systems: the best in real and a demo base created that you can include in your real account when you deactivate one because their performance has dropped.
You can diversify by you I frame (temporality time) on assets (currencies) or types of systems (trend, mean reversion ...).
The objective of diversifying is to seek a more stable return, many people do for this is to introduce many systems without more, if you do this you will achieve the opposite, you will be increasing the risk.
9. What currencies to trade on ForexI recommend that you focus on the majors or major currency pairs, especially if your broker has a high spread, as it is usually lower on these. One of the advantages of automating is that you can scale your trading and do it in different currencies, diversifying as I said before. These are the assets that I have traded in recent months:
It starts with being profitable with a few (one or three assets) and as you evolve you can grow your portfolio.
10. Why invest (only) in ForexI will not be the one to tell you that you should invest in Forex and not in another market. Each one belongs to his father and mother and has its good and not so good things. Of course, one thing is clear, wherever you do it, remember the power of specialization. There are traders who focus on one or two assets and they are profitable. In the end, that's what it's all about, isn't it?
This operation can be extrapolated to different assets such as raw materials, indices and cryptocurrencies. Yes, cryptocurrencies too. In fact, my operations are mainly based on currencies and cryptocurrencies (85% in the first group and 15% in the second). But I have to say that cryptocurrency trading has given me a pleasant surprise this year.
Again, if you are starting, do not do it with many assets or you will saturate yourself. Start step by step and diversify as you evolve. Jack of all trades, master of none.
11. Steps to trade Forex RedditIf you've gotten this far, it may not be entirely clear to you how the hell I trade, then I'm going to summarize it in steps:
12. How to start trading Forex Reddit as a professional trader (without knowing how to program)But Rubén, I haven't studied computer science and I'm not particularly good at math. Don't worry if you don't know how to program, it is possible to do all this using tools that will do it for you. For years I have programmed my own systems myself and that's fine, but now I'm concentrating on managing them and getting the most out of them. Do not think that this is the robot that will make you earn millions of euros while you drink the gin and tonic on the beach.
We will read soon with new posts about trading, Forex, cryptocurrencies, platforms ...
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