Trading Strategies FOREX.com

#EURNZD is one of the least tracked pairs but can that stop #NeuralTrader. It spotted a charming 124 #pips sell-off in EUR/NZD. Neural Trader performs the best irrespective of the asset class. It's time to get it now. https://wetalktrade.com/velocity-finder-best-forex-trading-strategies/

#EURNZD is one of the least tracked pairs but can that stop #NeuralTrader. It spotted a charming 124 #pips sell-off in EUNZD. Neural Trader performs the best irrespective of the asset class. It's time to get it now. https://wetalktrade.com/velocity-finder-best-forex-trading-strategies/ submitted by Wetalktrade to u/Wetalktrade [link] [comments]

#NeuralTrader comes out in style. Scores 297 pips in a minor pair like #GBPNZD. It is an indicator for every pair and every trader. So, get it now. https://wetalktrade.com/velocity-finder-best-forex-trading-strategies/

#NeuralTrader comes out in style. Scores 297 pips in a minor pair like #GBPNZD. It is an indicator for every pair and every trader. So, get it now. https://wetalktrade.com/velocity-finder-best-forex-trading-strategies/ submitted by Wetalktrade to u/Wetalktrade [link] [comments]

Forex_Traders use a number of strategies to #Trade_Currency pairs successfully.

Forex_Traders use a number of strategies to #Trade_Currency pairs successfully. submitted by ronykhanfx to PipsWin [link] [comments]

Gold Forex Pair Correlation Trading Strategy

Gold Forex Pair Correlation Trading Strategy submitted by vinr2018 to u/vinr2018 [link] [comments]

Gold Forex Pair Correlation Trading Strategy

The forex and commodity correlation can be beneficial in formulating gold trading strategies as it helps traders and investors to understand the effect of movement and fluctuation of underlying commodity i.e. gold or crude oil and the impact it has on the forex currency market.
Investors can thus effectively plan their gold trading strategies or forex trading strategies to make the best of their investment.
For more info, please visit - https://www.mmfsolutions.sg/blog/gold-forex-correlation-trading-strategy/
submitted by vinr2018 to Gold [link] [comments]

Morning exercise: If p =0.25 is the probability of hiting a forex limit order during a particular week , what is the total probability distribution if we trading 6 pairs with same strategies** ( **obsevingn 5 years of daily data we buy or sell on. ly 25% of the time)

Morning exercise: If p =0.25 is the probability of hiting a forex limit order during a particular week , what is the total probability distribution if we trading 6 pairs with same strategies** ( **obsevingn 5 years of daily data we buy or sell on. ly 25% of the time) submitted by mgtrades to Forex [link] [comments]

Forex Demo Accelerator - Forex Demo Accelerator. Learn to trade quickly using accelerated time frame and autotrader hints. Practice on the most popular indicators and currency pairs! Fine-tune your strategy, and then take it live!

Forex Demo Accelerator - Forex Demo Accelerator. Learn to trade quickly using accelerated time frame and autotrader hints. Practice on the most popular indicators and currency pairs! Fine-tune your strategy, and then take it live! submitted by dejobaan to WhatsOnSteam [link] [comments]

Trading strategy and signals for the currency pair EURTRY 3-9-2017 by AzaForex forex broker

Trading strategy and signals for the currency pair EURTRY 3-9-2017 by AzaForex forex broker submitted by theitalianbot to italypremium [link] [comments]

I have an 89% win rate over 18 trades, with a 27% profit. How many trades should I do before going live?

So I've been doing some scalping on pairs with high spreads in cryptocurrencies previously with great success, but I finally figured I'd give forex a real shot (was into it a few years ago, but didn't go live). Last time I scalped in crypto, I had 14 out of 14 successful trades, but only about a 10% profit. I haven't heard about anyone scalping the way I do in crypto, but I find my method extremely reliable when I just find the right pair to trade. This is just to say I have some experience with trading, but I'm by no means an expert.
Now, I've been scalping the past few days with a paper trading account on TradingView. I've mostly been trading the US Currency Index, S&P 500 and some crypto pairs thus far. I'm scalping on the 1m time frame using bollinger bands and looking at trends, price action and stoch RSI for confirmation on my entries. I started out with 100k a few days ago and first doubled my account to around 200k and then did a 1,3 mill trade, but I was running like 500-1000 USD per pip, so if the market turned against me, I'd be liquidated real quick. While the trades were good, I figured I was disconnected from the risk I was taking because it isn't real money, and I wanted to try doing more conservative and realistic trades, so I reset the account yesterday.
Edit (more trades done): Since the account was reset, I've done 45 trades where I've lost on two of them. If my math serves me right, that's about an 95.5% win rate. I'm up around 77.5% currently. I did lose 1500 on one trade, but that's because I by mistake placed a sell order when I was supposed to add another buy order double down on my long position, so I'm not counting that one in (but I'm not counting the 1500 I lost as profit either). I have a very strict strategy I'm sticking to when doing these scalps. I realize 45 trades is not a huge sample size, but that is kinda why I'm asking:
How many trades should I do on the paper trading account before I should run it live with confidence?
For anyone who might be interested, here's my account history: https://imgur.com/a/zuRSWwd
Edit: here's 6 trades more: https://imgur.com/a/CmbyU6n
Edit2: some more trades: https://imgur.com/a/q9xqVyq
Edit3: I think we're up to 45 trades now: https://imgur.com/a/CsWZEN7
submitted by imawfullyaverage to Forex [link] [comments]

New to Trading? Here's some tips

So there seems to be a lot of new people on this sub. And makes sense if you have questions a lot of time you'll turn to reddit for the answers (I know I do). Well here are some tips that I think would benefit new traders.
  1. Don't trade ANY Euro pairs. Look I know it's the most traded pair it goes up and down really fast and there's so much potential for you to make money. Turns out there's even more for you to lose money. It's way too volatile specially if you don't know what you're doing. EUUSD is the worst offender.
  2. Trade the Daily. Might think you're cool looking at charts every x amount of times during the day. You get to tell your friends and family that you trade all day and they might be impressed at what you're doing but unless you have some years under you stick to the daily. There's less noise. You can see clearer trends and when you don't stare at the screen all day you're less emotional therefore a more effective trader. I only look at the chart 15 minutes a day to either enter close or manage my trades. Whatever happens when I'm gone is what happens.
  3. There is no holy grail indicator Look for it all you want. It doesn't exist. There are good indicators. There are bad indicators. There are some indicators that are so broken if you do the opposite of what they're intended for you'll actually make a profit. But the fact remains that there's no perfect one. Stop looking. What you should be looking for is an indicator that fits with your strategy.
  4. What currencies to pick. I actually never see this brought up. The notion in forex is that all pairs can be traded equally. To a certain extent that's not false. But until you get the hang of it stick to a strict trading diet. Look for pairs that trend a lot. Duh look for the trend I can hear you say. When I say trend I don't mean a couple of days or weeks. I mean a couple of months. Half a year. Pairs that do that have a higher tendency to stick with one direction for a while. That's where you make your money. An easy way to identify those pairs as well is putting together a volatile currency (USD) with a less volatile one(JPY).
  5. USE YOUR SL Trust me even if not putting a SL has netted you all kinds of gains eventually the market will turn around and bite you. With no safety net you'll lose most if not all your profit. The best offense is a good defense.
  6. How to pick your TP and SL level. Most new traders care so much about that. I put it near the bottom because in my opinion you should know everything listed first. This is my opinion and I use it for my strategy I use the ATR(average true range) indicator. It's a really helpful tool that helps you identify the range at which the candles will either rise or fall. Obviously you want to set your TP inside of that range and your SL slightly outside of it.
  7. Lot sizes. Everyone has a different story about how they pick their lot size. The general consensus is don't risk over 2% of your account. But I'm a simple man and I can't be bothered to figure out what my risk is every single time. So what I do is I put $0.10 for every $100 I have on the account. I then assign $300(minimum) to each pair. That's $0.30 per pair. It's easy to remember. 10 cent for every $100. If you're able to blow $100 with $0.10 then you probably shouldn't trade.
  8. How to avoid reversals. Tbh you can't. There's no way to predict the future so eventually you'll get hit by one. What you can do however is minimize the blow. How I do it is for every pair I take two trades. If you remember in the previous tip is said I do about$0.30 per pair well I divide it 2:1. I take one trade with a TP(2) and one without (1). If my TP is hit I pocket that amount and if the trend keeps going in my direction I make even more. If the trend decides to end or reverses my losses are minimal because at least I kept half.
  9. There is NO right way to trade. Stop listening to people telling the best way to trade is fundamentals or naked charts of to use some specific indicator. There are no right way to do this. It's as flexible and unlimited as your imagination. I personally use indicators but if that's not your thing do YOU! Just remember to manage your trades properly and be level headed when trading. Hell if your trading strategy is flipping a coin with proper trade management you'd probably make some money (don't quote me on that).
  10. Trade money you're willing to lose Don't trade your rent money.
That's all I have for now. If anyone sees this and wants to add more feel free. Hope this helps someone.
submitted by MannyTrade to Forex [link] [comments]

The importance of backtesting and sticking to a strategy

Hi all,
I just wanted to share my trading experience with you so far, and maybe help some people who may be in the situation as I am. I started trading about 2-3 months ago. I started with baby pips, opened a demo account, and got cocky a couple weeks into it and made a live account with $100, and every other week or so put $20 extra in. (thank God I didn’t put it more than that). Today, my account stands at around $68, with a total P/L of -$131.76. I have been really uncomfortable losing money, even if it’s not a lot, and that uncomfortableness forced me to realize my mistake.
I thought I could half ass a strategy and be a winner in forex, and the market humbled me extremely quickly. I actually didn’t have a strategy at all. It was a lazy mix of a bunch of different typical strategies I saw on YouTube. I also let my emotions get into trades, after a losing trade I would get back in the market in the opposite direction to try and make up for my loss. All bad, I know. I was too cocky.
Just like anything difficult in life, you cannot half ass forex. I spent all of Friday testing an EXTREMELY simple strategy on 4 major pairs, and out of 93 total trades over the last 6 months, the win rate of my strategy is 73%. From now on, I vow to ONLY make a trade when my strategy presents itself. Moral of the story is, if you think you can half ass forex, you better wake up right now. Find a strategy, backtest it, and only trade said strategy. Have some discipline.
Here is my extremely simple, backtested strategy with a 73% win rate that I got from The Trading Channel on YouTube:
Indicators: 200 EMA
Requirements: 2 wicks IN A ROW that TOUCH the 200 EMA, that have candle bodies that both close above or below the 200 EMA. If both candles close above the 200 EMA, go long. If both candles close below the 200 EMA go short. Stay extremely strict with the rules of the strategy.
Here are the pairs that I have tested this strategy on over the past 6 months, that total a 73% win rate:
-GBP/USD: 18/27 winning trades (67%)
-NZD/USD: 15/27 winning trades (71%)
-EUUSD: 15/20 winning trades (75%)
-EUGBP: 20/25 winning trades (80%)
All backtesting was done on the H1 chart. I tried on the daily and H4 charts but the frequency just wasn’t enough. In the video that I got this strategy from he was trying to highlight the importance of the frequency of your strategy. Even if it may have a really high winning percentage, if it only happens once a year it’s not a good strategy.
Also on a side note, I’ve seen a lot of conflicting opinions on whether or not the US election will effect USD pairs, do you guys think the election will mess with my strategy this upcoming week, or should I just trade my strategy and pay not attention to the results of the election?
Thanks for reading, and happy trading
Sincerely, u/emopatriot
submitted by emopatriot to Forex [link] [comments]

How do you guys backtest a strategy?

I'm new to the forex trading and one of the advices that I often come across is to always backtest a strategy first.
First thing that came to mind is to just go through the chart and start moving forward, simulating a trade and logging if the strategy wins or loses. I actually did this in a 15M chart for a range of 3 months, and while the results were enlightening (my strategy sucked only 36% win rate for that pair and strategy), I found the process very tedious.
So my question is are there automated ways to back test a strategy? Like maybe excel or an application?
I was looking into mt5 and expert advisors the other day, and I tried the strategy tester using a free expert advisor. Should I create a script that mimics my strategy and test it using mt5? I have a bit of programming but I don't know where to start.
submitted by Ogre-kun to Forex [link] [comments]

Double Supertrend Strategy Backtest (8500+ Trades on 28 Pairs)

Hi everyone, so a few months ago I discovered this post by u/AHoomanBeanz which is a strategy I've never heard of before. Basically, you have 2 Supertrends, a short-term one, and a long-term one and when both Supertrends go in the same direction you take a trade.
I took the liberty of modifying the strategy by setting fixed TPs instead of trailing SL with the short-term Supertrend. Check out his post for more info about entries, SL, etc.
In order to determine what way is the most efficient, I backtested this exact strategy on all 28 Majors and Minors and took five different approaches to TPs and moving of SL:
- 1:1 RRR, No Breakeven SL - 1:1.5 RRR, No BE SL - 1:2 RRR, No BE SL
- 1:1.5 RRR, Move SL to BE at 1:1 RRR - 1:2 RRR, Move SL to BE at 1:1RRR
There would be many other ways to handle the TPs and SLs but it already took me months to backtest this but if anyone wants to extend this backtest, feel free.

The Results
Using all 5 ways there were 8 out of 28 pairs that weren't profitable at all. (EURGBP, EURCAD, GBPAUD, GBPNZD, AUDCHF, NZDJPY, CADCHF, CHFJPY)
The remaining 20 pairs were profitable with at least one of the 5 ways. So I combined all 20 pairs and their most profitable TP/SL management methods and it turns out that the strategy isn't even that bad considering that you really just have to understand how Supertrends work.
Now here are some quick stats: Backtest Period: Jan 2017 - Aug 2020
- Risk Per Trade: 1% - Winrate: 44.66% - Profit Factor: 1.65 - Average Monthly Return: 5.81% - Max Drawdown: 18.4%

Notice that the drawdown is pretty high so if you're trading with a prop firm like FTMO you could just risk half as much (0.5% per trade) and your max DD would be 9.2%. Keep in mind that the return would also get cut in half.
If you want to get a more detailed view, here's the backtesting spreadsheet
(Before anyone asks: I spent 2-4h per day for around 6 weeks backtesting and tracking this stuff.)
submitted by FxRaHe to Forex [link] [comments]

Slack Group For Learning Crypto Technical Analysis

Hi, we have a group of 10 people in our Slack. We are looking to expand this number and hopefully you will be a good fit :) . We are searching for people who have some experience with technical analysis based trading or are at least experienced with paper trading. This could either be in Cryptocurrencies which is the main focus of the group. Or could be in other markets like Forex or Stocks.
We have a variety of skill levels in the group from beginners through to profitable, we all want to improve quickly. Ideally you would have the same aspirations. One of the main goals of this group is to help each other to become consistently profitable traders who can trade as their full time job.
Everyone in the group trades separately and has their own accounts. We don't want to sell you anything, we are just building a community that aims to help each other succeed.
Some of the things we do in the slack are:

If you are interested in finding out more about the group or want to join, either comment below or Pm me with the below template.
Expression of interest template:
Name:
Country:
Time Zone:
How much experience you have in trading:
What you trade:
Additional comments:
---
Example expression of interest:
Name: Ben.
Country: Australia.
Time Zone: AEDT (GMT+11).
How much experience you have in trading: 6 Months.
What you trade: Cryptocurrency spot and futures. Mostly BTC, ETH, ADA, LTC, ATOM, XTZ, ETC, LINK, THETA.
Additional comments: I have been trading as a pair with 1 other person for the last 6 months. We have been meeting 5 days a week for those 5 months. Working together has been really beneficial for us. The slack group has been around for nearly 2 months now and has made a positive difference to my trading. It took the benefits I was getting from trading with 1 other person and multiplied them.
If you have any other questions ask below :)
submitted by Bensetera to ethtrader [link] [comments]

Website listing probability of various indicators?

Hi everyone,
Hope you're having a good day.
I'm looking to tweak my trading strategy so that my trade execution becomes more dependant on a simple probability percentage which will ideally be a combination of different indicators.
Does anyone know if there is a website/post that has listed the probability of various 'common' indicators/buy signals? This would be on a very macro scale & include all major currency pairs, but I'm just curious to know if something like this exists before I begin my own research & back testing.
If there is no specific site with such data available, I would also love to be pointed in the direction of any sites that you consider useful that contains useful historical forex data.
Cheers!
submitted by Brickfieldpark to Forex [link] [comments]

Read Carefully Experts!

This may appear to be a noob question, but read on carefully and please try and understand the point I'm trying to make! I'm hoping your answers might be helpful to people both learning Forex and looking to get into it, so please don't hate on me for this post.
I am relatively new to FX and have learned about break and retest strategies, MACD crossovers and stop losses below structure and risk to reward ratios (usually going for 1:1 or 2/3:1) and so on. I say this only so you know I've a general (very basic) understanding of charts, price action etc.
I definitely do NOT expect to step into the markets and instantly win a majority of my trades, however, to illustrate my thoughts please note the example below.
If I am winning 2% on a winning trade and losing 1% on a losing trade (2:1 reward risk per trade), a strategy that wins just 50% of the time trading once per trading day would be +10% each month. (10 days of -1%, 10 days of +2%). +10% is a HUGE increase in accounts and if a $1000 account was +10% per month for 12 months the end of year balance would be over $3138.43 or a 213.84% return!
This leads me to a theory that almost NO system can be returning 50% on a 2:1 reward risk, even with careful trade selection (let's say I monitor the 7 major pairs, gold and GBP/JPY as I do and pick one entry a day) Am I wrong? I appreciate it is a hypothetical example designed to make a point, but my thoughts are if you monitored lots of pairs and took only ONE entry a day, we might expect to win 50% of the time.
Let's expand this further. I have seen numerous algos (can't name them but looking like they win at LEAST 50% of the time) which tempt me because they appear to indicate moves I could jump on and where I could pull a bunch of pips out of the market. However, there surely cannot be a holy grail or are people making this type of insane return? It cannot be as easy as buying an algo, signing up to $300,000 worth of FTMO funding and earning 10% per month for an easy $21,000 per month income with profit share. Or maybe it is and I'm just cynical?! I end up getting tempted by courses etc. in the hope that if I spent £400 on a good course it would open the door to what I need to do, but I'm nervous this is just another huge mistake.
I genuinely would love to trade Forex for a living. Really I would. I hope it's possible and I hope to learn a strategy I can wash, rinse and repeat. I love watching videos and live streamers who seem to have a great understanding of what's going on but I wonder if it's really possible. It seems a million miles away but I'm determined to keep learning and trading.
Reading your considered thoughts to this post would be helpful for me and I'm sure others and thank you for reading it.
submitted by mal4291 to Forex [link] [comments]

Monthly Performance Discussion

Monthly Performance Discussion

https://preview.redd.it/e5n8a9bpggw51.png?width=1644&format=png&auto=webp&s=b55191100dbdb9fda112c2c0dfc5871ff50aafd0
I see a lot of people posting one-off trades on this subreddit, which aren't really representative of much in Forex. So I am posting a month of performance data, in the hopes that others do the same to start a discussion around longer-term performance.
  1. This was taken from my FX Blue account which tracks this trading account via Mt4 (for those unaware and want to give it a try).
  2. I should say that I am not taking the trades myself, the trades were done by an algorithm I programmed. It closes all trades on Friday hence the sometimes sharp declines in the balance. For anyone interested it is a simple trend-following strategy with some secret sauce.
  3. This month was very choppy (from my perspective) and it was quite evident in my equity.
  4. The account is a 1:100 leverage account but the strategy doesn't use more than 1:20. (Risk Management)
  5. The performance ended at +2.2% for the month (on a large account balance). I think this is important for people to see/know. Many newbies want to do 50% in a month and more power to them if they can over a long period of time.
  6. I trade 7 currency pairs (NZDUSD, EURUSD, AUDUSD, USDCHF, EURJPY, GBPUSD, AUDCAD). Although GBPUSD has been very mean to me the last three months I may remove him lol.
  7. The portfolio traded 202 trades.
  8. I must have spent 1 hour this month involved with it, which makes me happy.
As you can see you need a strong stomach to trade my strategy lol.
How has October been for you? How many trades did you take? What's your performance like? What do you think of my performance? (I know the equity curve sucks but *shrug* I'm fine with it)
submitted by lifealumni to Forex [link] [comments]

Gold Trading Strategies

I’ve been doing quite a lot of digging around looking for ways to trade gold, I have been mucking around with forex for about 4-5 months now and i’m really trying to buckle down and find a profitable strategy for trading gold.
I love how volatile it is because it leads me to believe that it would be a good pair to trade daily.
I understand there is some correlation between gold and oil prices as well as gold and the USD and the AUD. I just do not understand how to form a proper strategy.
I’m shooting to make 100 pips a day consistently so if anyone has any advice on how I could make this goal a reality it would be more than appreciated.
submitted by Slatcentral to Forex [link] [comments]

Looking For People To Join Our Crypto Technical Analysis Slack Group.

Hi, we have a group of 10 people in our Slack. We are looking to expand this number and hopefully you will be a good fit :) . We are searching for people who have some experience with technical analysis based trading or are at least experienced with paper trading. This could either be in Cryptocurrencies which is the main focus of the group. Or could be in other markets like Forex or Stocks.
We have a variety of skill levels in the group from beginners through to profitable, we all want to improve quickly. Ideally you would have the same aspirations. One of the main goals of this group is to help each other to become consistently profitable traders who can trade as their full time job.
Everyone in the group trades separately and has their own accounts. We don't want to sell you anything, we are just building a community that aims to help each other succeed.
Some of the things we do in the slack are:
If you are interested in finding out more about the group or want to join, either comment below or Pm me with the below template.
Expression of interest template:
Name:
Country:
Time Zone:
How much experience you have in trading:
What you trade:
Additional comments:
---
Example expression of interest:
Name: Ben.
Country: Australia.
Time Zone: AEDT (GMT+11).
How much experience you have in trading: 6 Months.
What you trade: Cryptocurrency spot and futures. Mostly BTC, ETH, ADA, LTC, ATOM, XTZ, ETC, LINK, THETA.
Additional comments: I have been trading as a pair with 1 other person for the last 6 months. We have been meeting 5 days a week for those 5 months. Working together has been really beneficial for us. The slack group has been around for nearly 2 months now and has made a positive difference to my trading. It took the benefits I was getting from trading with 1 other person and multiplied them.
If you have any other questions ask below :)
submitted by Bensetera to CryptoMarkets [link] [comments]

Former investment bank FX trader: Risk management part II

Former investment bank FX trader: Risk management part II
Firstly, thanks for the overwhelming comments and feedback. Genuinely really appreciated. I am pleased 500+ of you find it useful.
If you didn't read the first post you can do so here: risk management part I. You'll need to do so in order to make sense of the topic.
As ever please comment/reply below with questions or feedback and I'll do my best to get back to you.
Part II
  • Letting stops breathe
  • When to change a stop
  • Entering and exiting winning positions
  • Risk:reward ratios
  • Risk-adjusted returns

Letting stops breathe

We talked earlier about giving a position enough room to breathe so it is not stopped out in day-to-day noise.
Let’s consider the chart below and imagine you had a trailing stop. It would be super painful to miss out on the wider move just because you left a stop that was too tight.

Imagine being long and stopped out on a meaningless retracement ... ouch!
One simple technique is simply to look at your chosen chart - let’s say daily bars. And then look at previous trends and use the measuring tool. Those generally look something like this and then you just click and drag to measure.
For example if we wanted to bet on a downtrend on the chart above we might look at the biggest retracement on the previous uptrend. That max drawdown was about 100 pips or just under 1%. So you’d want your stop to be able to withstand at least that.
If market conditions have changed - for example if CVIX has risen - and daily ranges are now higher you should incorporate that. If you know a big event is coming up you might think about that, too. The human brain is a remarkable tool and the power of the eye-ball method is not to be dismissed. This is how most discretionary traders do it.
There are also more analytical approaches.
Some look at the Average True Range (ATR). This attempts to capture the volatility of a pair, typically averaged over a number of sessions. It looks at three separate measures and takes the largest reading. Think of this as a moving average of how much a pair moves.
For example, below shows the daily move in EURUSD was around 60 pips before spiking to 140 pips in March. Conditions were clearly far more volatile in March. Accordingly, you would need to leave your stop further away in March and take a correspondingly smaller position size.

ATR is available on pretty much all charting systems
Professional traders tend to use standard deviation as a measure of volatility instead of ATR. There are advantages and disadvantages to both. Averages are useful but can be misleading when regimes switch (see above chart).
Once you have chosen a measure of volatility, stop distance can then be back-tested and optimised. For example does 2x ATR work best or 5x ATR for a given style and time horizon?
Discretionary traders may still eye-ball the ATR or standard deviation to get a feeling for how it has changed over time and what ‘normal’ feels like for a chosen study period - daily, weekly, monthly etc.

Reasons to change a stop

As a general rule you should be disciplined and not change your stops. Remember - losers average losers. This is really hard at first and we’re going to look at that in more detail later.
There are some good reasons to modify stops but they are rare.
One reason is if another risk management process demands you stop trading and close positions. We’ll look at this later. In that case just close out your positions at market and take the loss/gains as they are.
Another is event risk. If you have some big upcoming data like Non Farm Payrolls that you know can move the market +/- 150 pips and you have no edge going into the release then many traders will take off or scale down their positions. They’ll go back into the positions when the data is out and the market has quietened down after fifteen minutes or so. This is a matter of some debate - many traders consider it a coin toss and argue you win some and lose some and it all averages out.
Trailing stops can also be used to ‘lock in’ profits. We looked at those before. As the trade moves in your favour (say up if you are long) the stop loss ratchets with it. This means you may well end up ‘stopping out’ at a profit - as per the below example.

The mighty trailing stop loss order
It is perfectly reasonable to have your stop loss move in the direction of PNL. This is not exposing you to more risk than you originally were comfortable with. It is taking less and less risk as the trade moves in your favour. Trend-followers in particular love trailing stops.
One final question traders ask is what they should do if they get stopped out but still like the trade. Should they try the same trade again a day later for the same reasons? Nope. Look for a different trade rather than getting emotionally wed to the original idea.
Let’s say a particular stock looked cheap based on valuation metrics yesterday, you bought, it went down and you got stopped out. Well, it is going to look even better on those same metrics today. Maybe the market just doesn’t respect value at the moment and is driven by momentum. Wait it out.
Otherwise, why even have a stop in the first place?

Entering and exiting winning positions

Take profits are the opposite of stop losses. They are also resting orders, left with the broker, to automatically close your position if it reaches a certain price.
Imagine I’m long EURUSD at 1.1250. If it hits a previous high of 1.1400 (150 pips higher) I will leave a sell order to take profit and close the position.
The rookie mistake on take profits is to take profit too early. One should start from the assumption that you will win on no more than half of your trades. Therefore you will need to ensure that you win more on the ones that work than you lose on those that don’t.

Sad to say but incredibly common: retail traders often take profits way too early
This is going to be the exact opposite of what your emotions want you to do. We are going to look at that in the Psychology of Trading chapter.
Remember: let winners run. Just like stops you need to know in advance the level where you will close out at a profit. Then let the trade happen. Don’t override yourself and let emotions force you to take a small profit. A classic mistake to avoid.
The trader puts on a trade and it almost stops out before rebounding. As soon as it is slightly in the money they spook and cut out, instead of letting it run to their original take profit. Do not do this.

Entering positions with limit orders

That covers exiting a position but how about getting into one?
Take profits can also be left speculatively to enter a position. Sometimes referred to as “bids” (buy orders) or “offers” (sell orders). Imagine the price is 1.1250 and the recent low is 1.1205.
You might wish to leave a bid around 1.2010 to enter a long position, if the market reaches that price. This way you don’t need to sit at the computer and wait.
Again, typically traders will use tech analysis to identify attractive levels. Again - other traders will cluster with your orders. Just like the stop loss we need to bake that in.
So this time if we know everyone is going to buy around the recent low of 1.1205 we might leave the take profit bit a little bit above there at 1.1210 to ensure it gets done. Sure it costs 5 more pips but how mad would you be if the low was 1.1207 and then it rallied a hundred points and you didn’t have the trade on?!
There are two more methods that traders often use for entering a position.
Scaling in is one such technique. Let’s imagine that you think we are in a long-term bulltrend for AUDUSD but experiencing a brief retracement. You want to take a total position of 500,000 AUD and don’t have a strong view on the current price action.
You might therefore leave a series of five bids of 100,000. As the price moves lower each one gets hit. The nice thing about scaling in is it reduces pressure on you to pick the perfect level. Of course the risk is that not all your orders get hit before the price moves higher and you have to trade at-market.
Pyramiding is the second technique. Pyramiding is for take profits what a trailing stop loss is to regular stops. It is especially common for momentum traders.

Pyramiding into a position means buying more as it goes in your favour
Again let’s imagine we’re bullish AUDUSD and want to take a position of 500,000 AUD.
Here we add 100,000 when our first signal is reached. Then we add subsequent clips of 100,000 when the trade moves in our favour. We are waiting for confirmation that the move is correct.
Obviously this is quite nice as we humans love trading when it goes in our direction. However, the drawback is obvious: we haven’t had the full amount of risk on from the start of the trend.
You can see the attractions and drawbacks of both approaches. It is best to experiment and choose techniques that work for your own personal psychology as these will be the easiest for you to stick with and build a disciplined process around.

Risk:reward and win ratios

Be extremely skeptical of people who claim to win on 80% of trades. Most traders will win on roughly 50% of trades and lose on 50% of trades. This is why risk management is so important!
Once you start keeping a trading journal you’ll be able to see how the win/loss ratio looks for you. Until then, assume you’re typical and that every other trade will lose money.
If that is the case then you need to be sure you make more on the wins than you lose on the losses. You can see the effect of this below.

A combination of win % and risk:reward ratio determine if you are profitable
A typical rule of thumb is that a ratio of 1:3 works well for most traders.
That is, if you are prepared to risk 100 pips on your stop you should be setting a take profit at a level that would return you 300 pips.
One needn’t be religious about these numbers - 11 pips and 28 pips would be perfectly fine - but they are a guideline.
Again - you should still use technical analysis to find meaningful chart levels for both the stop and take profit. Don’t just blindly take your stop distance and do 3x the pips on the other side as your take profit. Use the ratio to set approximate targets and then look for a relevant resistance or support level in that kind of region.

Risk-adjusted returns

Not all returns are equal. Suppose you are examining the track record of two traders. Now, both have produced a return of 14% over the year. Not bad!
The first trader, however, made hundreds of small bets throughout the year and his cumulative PNL looked like the left image below.
The second trader made just one bet — he sold CADJPY at the start of the year — and his PNL looked like the right image below with lots of large drawdowns and volatility.
Would you rather have the first trading record or the second?
If you were investing money and betting on who would do well next year which would you choose? Of course all sensible people would choose the first trader. Yet if you look only at returns one cannot distinguish between the two. Both are up 14% at that point in time. This is where the Sharpe ratio helps .
A high Sharpe ratio indicates that a portfolio has better risk-adjusted performance. One cannot sensibly compare returns without considering the risk taken to earn that return.
If I can earn 80% of the return of another investor at only 50% of the risk then a rational investor should simply leverage me at 2x and enjoy 160% of the return at the same level of risk.
This is very important in the context of Execution Advisor algorithms (EAs) that are popular in the retail community. You must evaluate historic performance by its risk-adjusted return — not just the nominal return. Incidentally look at the Sharpe ratio of ones that have been live for a year or more ...
Otherwise an EA developer could produce two EAs: the first simply buys at 1000:1 leverage on January 1st ; and the second sells in the same manner. At the end of the year, one of them will be discarded and the other will look incredible. Its risk-adjusted return, however, would be abysmal and the odds of repeated success are similarly poor.

Sharpe ratio

The Sharpe ratio works like this:
  • It takes the average returns of your strategy;
  • It deducts from these the risk-free rate of return i.e. the rate anyone could have got by investing in US government bonds with very little risk;
  • It then divides this total return by its own volatility - the more smooth the return the higher and better the Sharpe, the more volatile the lower and worse the Sharpe.
For example, say the return last year was 15% with a volatility of 10% and US bonds are trading at 2%. That gives (15-2)/10 or a Sharpe ratio of 1.3. As a rule of thumb a Sharpe ratio of above 0.5 would be considered decent for a discretionary retail trader. Above 1 is excellent.
You don’t really need to know how to calculate Sharpe ratios. Good trading software will do this for you. It will either be available in the system by default or you can add a plug-in.

VAR

VAR is another useful measure to help with drawdowns. It stands for Value at Risk. Normally people will use 99% VAR (conservative) or 95% VAR (aggressive). Let’s say you’re long EURUSD and using 95% VAR. The system will look at the historic movement of EURUSD. It might spit out a number of -1.2%.

A 5% VAR of -1.2% tells you you should expect to lose 1.2% on 5% of days, whilst 95% of days should be better than that
This means it is expected that on 5 days out of 100 (hence the 95%) the portfolio will lose 1.2% or more. This can help you manage your capital by taking appropriately sized positions. Typically you would look at VAR across your portfolio of trades rather than trade by trade.
Sharpe ratios and VAR don’t give you the whole picture, though. Legendary fund manager, Howard Marks of Oaktree, notes that, while tools like VAR and Sharpe ratios are helpful and absolutely necessary, the best investors will also overlay their own judgment.
Investors can calculate risk metrics like VaR and Sharpe ratios (we use them at Oaktree; they’re the best tools we have), but they shouldn’t put too much faith in them. The bottom line for me is that risk management should be the responsibility of every participant in the investment process, applying experience, judgment and knowledge of the underlying investments.Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital
What he’s saying is don’t misplace your common sense. Do use these tools as they are helpful. However, you cannot fully rely on them. Both assume a normal distribution of returns. Whereas in real life you get “black swans” - events that should supposedly happen only once every thousand years but which actually seem to happen fairly often.
These outlier events are often referred to as “tail risk”. Don’t make the mistake of saying “well, the model said…” - overlay what the model is telling you with your own common sense and good judgment.

Coming up in part III

Available here
Squeezes and other risks
Market positioning
Bet correlation
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 getmrmarket to Forex [link] [comments]

Some trading wisdom, tools and information I picked up along the way that helped me be a better trader. Maybe it can help you too.

Its a bit lengthy and I tried to condense it as much as I can. So take everything at a high level as each subject is has a lot more depth but fundamentally if you distill it down its just taking simple things and applying your experience using them to add nuance and better deploy them.
There are exceptions to everything that you will learn with experience or have already learned. If you know something extra or something to add to it to implement it better or more accurately. Then great! However, my intention of this post is just a high level overview. Trading can be far too nuanced to go into in this post and would take forever to type up every exception (not to mention the traders individual personality). If you take the general information as a starting point, hopefully you will learn the edge cases long the way and learn how to use the more effectively if you end up using them. I apologize in advice for any errors or typos.
Introduction After reflecting on my fun (cough) trading journey that was more akin to rolling around on broken glass and wondering if brown glass will help me predict market direction better than green glass. Buying a $100 indicator at 2 am when I was acting a fool, looking at it and going at and going "This is a piece of lagging crap, I miss out on a large part of the fundamental move and never using it for even one trade". All while struggling with massive over trading and bad habits because I would get bored watching a single well placed trade on fold for the day. Also, I wanted to get rich quick.
On top all of that I had a terminal Stage 4 case of FOMO on every time the price would move up and then down then back up. Just think about all those extra pips I could have trading both directions as it moves across the chart! I can just sell right when it goes down, then buy right before it goes up again. Its so easy right? Well, turns out it was not as easy as I thought and I lost a fair chunk of change and hit my head against the wall a lot until it clicked. Which is how I came up with a mixed bag of things that I now call "Trade the Trade" which helped support how I wanted to trade so I can still trade intra day price action like a rabid money without throwing away all my bananas.
Why Make This Post? - Core Topic of Discussion I wish to share a concept I came up with that helped me become a reliable trader. Support the weakness of how I like to trade. Also, explaining what I do helps reinforce my understanding of the information I share as I have to put words to it and not just use internalized processes. I came up with a method that helped me get my head straight when trading intra day.
I call it "Trade the Trade" as I am making mini trades inside of a trade setup I make from analysis on a higher timeframe that would take multiple days to unfold or longer. I will share information, principles, techniques I used and learned from others I talked to on the internet (mixed bag of folks from armatures to professionals, and random internet people) that helped me form a trading style that worked for me. Even people who are not good at trading can say something that might make it click in your head so I would absorbed all the information I could get.I will share the details of how I approach the methodology and the tools in my trading belt that I picked up by filtering through many tools, indicators strategies and witchcraft. Hopefully you read something that ends up helping you be a better trader. I learned a lot from people who make community posts so I wanted to give back now that I got my ducks in a row.
General Trading Advice If your struggling finding your own trading style, fixing weakness's in it, getting started, being reliably profitable or have no framework to build yourself higher with, hopefully you can use the below advice to help provide some direction or clarity to moving forward to be a better trader.
  1. KEEP IT SIMPLE. Do not throw a million things on your chart from the get go or over analyzing what the market is doing while trying to learn the basics. Tons of stuff on your chart can actually slow your learning by distracting your focus on all your bells and whistles and not the price action.
  2. PRICE ACTION. Learn how to read price action. Not just the common formations, but larger groups of bars that form the market structure. Those formations carry more weight the higher the time frame they form on. If struggle to understand what is going on or what your looking at, move to a higher time frame.
  3. INDICATORS. If you do use them you should try to understand how every indicator you use calculates its values. Many indicators are lagging indicators, understanding how it calculates the values can help you learn how to identify the market structure before the indicator would trigger a signal . This will help you understand why the signal is a lagged signal. If you understand that you can easily learn to look at the price action right before the signal and learn to watch for that price action on top of it almost trigging a signal so you can get in at a better position and assume less downside risk. I recommend using no more than 1-2 indicators for simplicity, but your free to use as many as you think you think you need or works for your strategy/trading style.
  4. PSYCOLOGY. First, FOMO is real, don't feed the beast. When you trade you should always have an entry and exit. If you miss your entry do not chase it, wait for a new entry. At its core trading is gambling and your looking for an edge against the house (the other market participants). With that in mind, treat as such. Do not risk more than you can afford to lose. If you are afraid to lose it will negatively effect your trade decisions. Finally, be honest with your self and bad trading happens. No one is going to play trade cop and keep you in line, that's your job.
  5. TRADE DECISION MARKING: Before you enter any trade you should have an entry and exit area. As you learn price action you will get better entries and better exits. Use a larger zone and stop loss at the start while learning. Then you can tighten it up as you gain experience. If you do not have a area you wish to exit, or you are entering because "the markets looking like its gonna go up". Do not enter the trade. Have a reason for everything you do, if you cannot logically explain why then you probably should not be doing it.
  6. ROBOTS/ALGOS: Loved by some, hated by many who lost it all to one, and surrounded by scams on the internet. If you make your own, find a legit one that works and paid for it or lost it all on a crappy one, more power to ya. I do not use robots because I do not like having a robot in control of my money. There is too many edge cases for me to be ok with it.However, the best piece of advice about algos was that the guy had a algo/robot for each market condition (trending/ranging) and would make personalized versions of each for currency pairs as each one has its own personality and can make the same type of movement along side another currency pair but the price action can look way different or the move can be lagged or leading. So whenever he does his own analysis and he sees a trend, he turns the trend trading robot on. If the trend stops, and it starts to range he turns the range trading robot on. He uses robots to trade the market types that he is bad at trading. For example, I suck at trend trading because I just suck at sitting on my hands and letting my trade do its thing.

Trade the Trade - The Methodology

Base Principles These are the base principles I use behind "Trade the Trade". Its called that because you are technically trading inside your larger high time frame trade as it hopefully goes as you have analyzed with the trade setup. It allows you to scratch that intraday trading itch, while not being blind to the bigger market at play. It can help make sense of why the price respects, rejects or flat out ignores support/resistance/pivots.
  1. Trade Setup: Find a trade setup using high level time frames (daily, 4hr, or 1hr time frames). The trade setup will be used as a base for starting to figure out a bias for the markets direction for that day.
  2. Indicator Data: Check any indicators you use (I use Stochastic RSI and Relative Vigor Index) for any useful information on higher timeframes.
  3. Support Resistance: See if any support/resistance/pivot points are in currently being tested/resisted by the price. Also check for any that are within reach so they might become in play through out the day throughout the day (which can influence your bias at least until the price reaches it if it was already moving that direction from previous days/weeks price action).
  4. Currency Strength/Weakness: I use the TradeVision currency strength/weakness dashboard to see if the strength/weakness supports the narrative of my trade and as an early indicator when to keep a closer eye for signs of the price reversing.Without the tool, the same concept can be someone accomplished with fundamentals and checking for higher level trends and checking cross currency pairs for trends as well to indicate strength/weakness, ranging (and where it is in that range) or try to get some general bias from a higher level chart that may help you out. However, it wont help you intra day unless your monitoring the currency's index or a bunch of charts related to the currency.
  5. Watch For Trading Opportunities: Personally I make a mental short list and alerts on TradingView of currency pairs that are close to key levels and so I get a notification if it reaches there so I can check it out. I am not against trading both directions, I just try to trade my bias before the market tries to commit to a direction. Then if I get out of that trade I will scalp against the trend of the day and hold trades longer that are with it.Then when you see a opportunity assume the directional bias you made up earlier (unless the market solidly confirms with price action the direction while waiting for an entry) by trying to look for additional confirmation via indicators, price action on support/resistances etc on the low level time frame or higher level ones like hourly/4hr as the day goes on when the price reaches key areas or makes new market structures to get a good spot to enter a trade in the direction of your bias.Then enter your trade and use the market structures to determine how much of a stop you need. Once your in the trade just monitor it and watch the price action/indicators/tools you use to see if its at risk of going against you. If you really believe the market wont reach your TP and looks like its going to turn against you, then close the trade. Don't just hold on to it for principle and let it draw down on principle or the hope it does not hit your stop loss.
  6. Trade Duration Hold your trades as long or little as you want that fits your personality and trading style/trade analysis. Personally I do not hold trades past the end of the day (I do in some cases when a strong trend folds) and I do not hold trades over the weekends. My TP targets are always places I think it can reach within the day. Typically I try to be flat before I sleep and trade intra day price movements only. Just depends on the higher level outlook, I have to get in at really good prices for me to want to hold a trade and it has to be going strong. Then I will set a slightly aggressive stop on it before I leave. I do know several people that swing trade and hold trades for a long period of time. That is just not a trading style that works for me.
Enhance Your Success Rate Below is information I picked up over the years that helped me enhance my success rate with not only guessing intra day market bias (even if it has not broken into the trend for the day yet (aka pre London open when the end of Asia likes to act funny sometimes), but also with trading price action intra day.
People always say "When you enter a trade have an entry and exits. I am of the belief that most people do not have problem with the entry, its the exit. They either hold too long, or don't hold long enough. With the below tools, drawings, or instruments, hopefully you can increase your individual probability of a successful trade.
**P.S.*\* Your mileage will vary depending on your ability to correctly draw, implement and interpret the below items. They take time and practice to implement with a high degree of proficiency. If you have any questions about how to do that with anything listed, comment below and I will reply as I can. I don't want to answer the same question a million times in a pm.
Tools and Methods Used This is just a high level overview of what I use. Each one of the actions I could go way more in-depth on but I would be here for a week typing something up of I did that. So take the information as a base level understanding of how I use the method or tool. There is always nuance and edge cases that you learn from experience.
Conclusion
I use the above tools/indicators/resources/philosophy's to trade intra day price action that sometimes ends up as noise in the grand scheme of the markets movement.use that method until the price action for the day proves the bias assumption wrong. Also you can couple that with things like Stoch RSI + Relative Vigor Index to find divergences which can increase the probability of your targeted guesses.

Trade Example from Yesterday This is an example of a trade I took today and why I took it. I used the following core areas to make my trade decision.
It may seem like a lot of stuff to process on the fly while trying to figure out live price action but, for the fundamental bias for a pair should already baked in your mindset for any currency pair you trade. For the currency strength/weakness I stare at the dashboard 12-15 hours a day so I am always trying to keep a pulse on what's going or shifts so that's not really a factor when I want to enter as I would not look to enter if I felt the market was shifting against me. Then the higher timeframe analysis had already happened when I woke up, so it was a game of "Stare at the 5 min chart until the price does something interesting"
Trade Example: Today , I went long EUUSD long bias when I first looked at the chart after waking up around 9-10pm Eastern. Fortunately, the first large drop had already happened so I had a easy baseline price movement to work with. I then used tool for currency strength/weakness monitoring, Pivot Points, and bearish divergence detected using Stochastic RSI and Relative Vigor Index.
I first noticed Bearish Divergence on the 1hr time frame using the Stochastic RSI and got confirmation intra day on the 5 min time frame with the Relative Vigor Index. I ended up buying the second mini dip around midnight Eastern because it was already dancing along the pivot point that the price had been dancing along since the big drop below the pivot point and dipped below it and then shortly closed back above it. I put a stop loss below the first large dip. With a TP goal of the middle point pivot line
Then I waited for confirmation or invalidation of my trade. I ended up getting confirmation with Bearish Divergence from the second large dip so I tightened up my stop to below that smaller drip and waited for the London open. Not only was it not a lower low, I could see the divergence with the Relative Vigor Index.
It then ran into London and kept going with tons of momentum. Blew past my TP target so I let it run to see where the momentum stopped. Ended up TP'ing at the Pivot Point support/resistance above the middle pivot line.
Random Note: The Asian session has its own unique price action characteristics that happen regularly enough that you can easily trade them when they happen with high degrees of success. It takes time to learn them all and confidently trade them as its happening. If you trade Asia you should learn to recognize them as they can fake you out if you do not understand what's going on.

TL;DR At the end of the day there is no magic solution that just works. You have to find out what works for you and then what people say works for them. Test it out and see if it works for you or if you can adapt it to work for you. If it does not work or your just not interested then ignore it.
At the end of the day, you have to use your brain to make correct trading decisions. Blindly following indicators may work sometimes in certain market conditions, but trading with information you don't understand can burn you just as easily as help you. Its like playing with fire. So, get out there and grind it out. It will either click or it wont. Not everyone has the mindset or is capable of changing to be a successful trader. Trading is gambling, you do all this work to get a edge on the house. Trading without the edge or an edge you understand how to use will only leave your broker happy in the end.
submitted by marcusrider to Forex [link] [comments]

Former investment bank FX trader: Risk management part 3/3

Former investment bank FX trader: Risk management part 3/3
Welcome to the third and final part of this chapter.
Thank you all for the 100s of comments and upvotes - maybe this post will take us above 1,000 for this topic!
Keep any feedback or questions coming in the replies below.
Before you read this note, please start with Part I and then Part II so it hangs together and makes sense.
Part III
  • Squeezes and other risks
  • Market positioning
  • Bet correlation
  • Crap trades, timeouts and monthly limits

Squeezes and other risks

We are going to cover three common risks that traders face: events; squeezes, asymmetric bets.

Events

Economic releases can cause large short-term volatility. The most famous is Non Farm Payrolls, which is the most widely watched measure of US employment levels and affects the price of many instruments.On an NFP announcement currencies like EURUSD might jump (or drop) 100 pips no problem.
This is fine and there are trading strategies that one may employ around this but the key thing is to be aware of these releases.You can find economic calendars all over the internet - including on this site - and you need only check if there are any major releases each day or week.
For example, if you are trading off some intraday chart and scalping a few pips here and there it would be highly sensible to go into a known data release flat as it is pure coin-toss and not the reason for your trading. It only takes five minutes each day to plan for the day ahead so do not get caught out by this. Many retail traders get stopped out on such events when price volatility is at its peak.

Squeezes

Short squeezes bring a lot of danger and perhaps some opportunity.
The story of VW and Porsche is the best short squeeze ever. Throughout these articles we've used FX examples wherever possible but in this one instance the concept (which is also highly relevant in FX) is best illustrated with an historical lesson from a different asset class.
A short squeeze is when a participant ends up in a short position they are forced to cover. Especially when the rest of the market knows that this participant can be bullied into stopping out at terrible levels, provided the market can briefly drive the price into their pain zone.

There's a reason for the car, don't worry
Hedge funds had been shorting VW stock. However the amount of VW stock available to buy in the open market was actually quite limited. The local government owned a chunk and Porsche itself had bought and locked away around 30%. Neither of these would sell to the hedge-funds so a good amount of the stock was un-buyable at any price.
If you sell or short a stock you must be prepared to buy it back to go flat at some point.
To cut a long story short, Porsche bought a lot of call options on VW stock. These options gave them the right to purchase VW stock from banks at slightly above market price.
Eventually the banks who had sold these options realised there was no VW stock to go out and buy since the German government wouldn’t sell its allocation and Porsche wouldn’t either. If Porsche called in the options the banks were in trouble.
Porsche called in the options which forced the shorts to buy stock - at whatever price they could get it.
The price squeezed higher as those that were short got massively squeezed and stopped out. For one brief moment in 2008, VW was the world’s most valuable company. Shorts were burned hard.

Incredible event
Porsche apparently made $11.5 billion on the trade. The BBC described Porsche as “a hedge fund with a carmaker attached.”
If this all seems exotic then know that the same thing happens in FX all the time. If everyone in the market is talking about a key level in EURUSD being 1.2050 then you can bet the market will try to push through 1.2050 just to take out any short stops at that level. Whether it then rallies higher or fails and trades back lower is a different matter entirely.
This brings us on to the matter of crowded trades. We will look at positioning in more detail in the next section. Crowded trades are dangerous for PNL. If everyone believes EURUSD is going down and has already sold EURUSD then you run the risk of a short squeeze.
For additional selling to take place you need a very good reason for people to add to their position whereas a move in the other direction could force mass buying to cover their shorts.
A trading mentor when I worked at the investment bank once advised me:
Always think about which move would cause the maximum people the maximum pain. That move is precisely what you should be watching out for at all times.

Asymmetric losses

Also known as picking up pennies in front of a steamroller. This risk has caught out many a retail trader. Sometimes it is referred to as a "negative skew" strategy.
Ideally what you are looking for is asymmetric risk trade set-ups: that is where the downside is clearly defined and smaller than the upside. What you want to avoid is the opposite.
A famous example of this going wrong was the Swiss National Bank de-peg in 2012.
The Swiss National Bank had said they would defend the price of EURCHF so that it did not go below 1.2. Many people believed it could never go below 1.2 due to this. Many retail traders therefore opted for a strategy that some describe as ‘picking up pennies in front of a steam-roller’.
They would would buy EURCHF above the peg level and hope for a tiny rally of several pips before selling them back and keep doing this repeatedly. Often they were highly leveraged at 100:1 so that they could amplify the profit of the tiny 5-10 pip rally.
Then this happened.

Something that changed FX markets forever
The SNB suddenly did the unthinkable. They stopped defending the price. CHF jumped and so EURCHF (the number of CHF per 1 EUR) dropped to new lows very fast. Clearly, this trade had horrific risk : reward asymmetry: you risked 30% to make 0.05%.
Other strategies like naively selling options have the same result. You win a small amount of money each day and then spectacularly blow up at some point down the line.

Market positioning

We have talked about short squeezes. But how do you know what the market position is? And should you care?
Let’s start with the first. You should definitely care.
Let’s imagine the entire market is exceptionally long EURUSD and positioning reaches extreme levels. This makes EURUSD very vulnerable.
To keep the price going higher EURUSD needs to attract fresh buy orders. If everyone is already long and has no room to add, what can incentivise people to keep buying? The news flow might be good. They may believe EURUSD goes higher. But they have already bought and have their maximum position on.
On the flip side, if there’s an unexpected event and EURUSD gaps lower you will have the entire market trying to exit the position at the same time. Like a herd of cows running through a single doorway. Messy.
We are going to look at this in more detail in a later chapter, where we discuss ‘carry’ trades. For now this TRYJPY chart might provide some idea of what a rush to the exits of a crowded position looks like.

A carry trade position clear-out in action
Knowing if the market is currently at extreme levels of long or short can therefore be helpful.
The CFTC makes available a weekly report, which details the overall positions of speculative traders “Non Commercial Traders” in some of the major futures products. This includes futures tied to deliverable FX pairs such as EURUSD as well as products such as gold. The report is called “CFTC Commitments of Traders” ("COT").
This is a great benchmark. It is far more representative of the overall market than the proprietary ones offered by retail brokers as it covers a far larger cross-section of the institutional market.
Generally market participants will not pay a lot of attention to commercial hedgers, which are also detailed in the report. This data is worth tracking but these folks are simply hedging real-world transactions rather than speculating so their activity is far less revealing and far more noisy.
You can find the data online for free and download it directly here.

Raw format is kinda hard to work with

However, many websites will chart this for you free of charge and you may find it more convenient to look at it that way. Just google “CFTC positioning charts”.

But you can easily get visualisations
You can visually spot extreme positioning. It is extremely powerful.
Bear in mind the reports come out Friday afternoon US time and the report is a snapshot up to the prior Tuesday. That means it is a lagged report - by the time it is released it is a few days out of date. For longer term trades where you hold positions for weeks this is of course still pretty helpful information.
As well as the absolute level (is the speculative market net long or short) you can also use this to pick up on changes in positioning.
For example if bad news comes out how much does the net short increase? If good news comes out, the market may remain net short but how much did they buy back?
A lot of traders ask themselves “Does the market have this trade on?” The positioning data is a good method for answering this. It provides a good finger on the pulse of the wider market sentiment and activity.
For example you might say: “There was lots of noise about the good employment numbers in the US. However, there wasn’t actually a lot of position change on the back of it. Maybe everyone who wants to buy already has. What would happen now if bad news came out?”
In general traders will be wary of entering a crowded position because it will be hard to attract additional buyers or sellers and there could be an aggressive exit.
If you want to enter a trade that is showing extreme levels of positioning you must think carefully about this dynamic.

Bet correlation

Retail traders often drastically underestimate how correlated their bets are.
Through bitter experience, I have learned that a mistake in position correlation is the root of some of the most serious problems in trading. If you have eight highly correlated positions, then you are really trading one position that is eight times as large.
Bruce Kovner of hedge fund, Caxton Associates
For example, if you are trading a bunch of pairs against the USD you will end up with a simply huge USD exposure. A single USD-trigger can ruin all your bets. Your ideal scenario — and it isn’t always possible — would be to have a highly diversified portfolio of bets that do not move in tandem.
Look at this chart. Inverted USD index (DXY) is green. AUDUSD is orange. EURUSD is blue.

Chart from TradingView
So the whole thing is just one big USD trade! If you are long AUDUSD, long EURUSD, and short DXY you have three anti USD bets that are all likely to work or fail together.
The more diversified your portfolio of bets are, the more risk you can take on each.
There’s a really good video, explaining the benefits of diversification from Ray Dalio.
A systematic fund with access to an investable universe of 10,000 instruments has more opportunity to make a better risk-adjusted return than a trader who only focuses on three symbols. Diversification really is the closest thing to a free lunch in finance.
But let’s be pragmatic and realistic. Human retail traders don’t have capacity to run even one hundred bets at a time. More realistic would be an average of 2-3 trades on simultaneously. So what can be done?
For example:
  • You might diversify across time horizons by having a mix of short-term and long-term trades.
  • You might diversify across asset classes - trading some FX but also crypto and equities.
  • You might diversify your trade generation approach so you are not relying on the same indicators or drivers on each trade.
  • You might diversify your exposure to the market regime by having some trades that assume a trend will continue (momentum) and some that assume we will be range-bound (carry).
And so on. Basically you want to scan your portfolio of trades and make sure you are not putting all your eggs in one basket. If some trades underperform others will perform - assuming the bets are not correlated - and that way you can ensure your overall portfolio takes less risk per unit of return.
The key thing is to start thinking about a portfolio of bets and what each new trade offers to your existing portfolio of risk. Will it diversify or amplify a current exposure?

Crap trades, timeouts and monthly limits

One common mistake is to get bored and restless and put on crap trades. This just means trades in which you have low conviction.
It is perfectly fine not to trade. If you feel like you do not understand the market at a particular point, simply choose not to trade.
Flat is a position.
Do not waste your bullets on rubbish trades. Only enter a trade when you have carefully considered it from all angles and feel good about the risk. This will make it far easier to hold onto the trade if it moves against you at any point. You actually believe in it.
Equally, you need to set monthly limits. A standard limit might be a 10% account balance stop per month. At that point you close all your positions immediately and stop trading till next month.

Be strict with yourself and walk away
Let’s assume you started the year with $100k and made 5% in January so enter Feb with $105k balance. Your stop is therefore 10% of $105k or $10.5k . If your account balance dips to $94.5k ($105k-$10.5k) then you stop yourself out and don’t resume trading till March the first.
Having monthly calendar breaks is nice for another reason. Say you made a load of money in January. You don’t want to start February feeling you are up 5% or it is too tempting to avoid trading all month and protect the existing win. Each month and each year should feel like a clean slate and an independent period.
Everyone has trading slumps. It is perfectly normal. It will definitely happen to you at some stage. The trick is to take a break and refocus. Conserve your capital by not trading a lot whilst you are on a losing streak. This period will be much harder for you emotionally and you’ll end up making suboptimal decisions. An enforced break will help you see the bigger picture.
Put in place a process before you start trading and then it’ll be easy to follow and will feel much less emotional. Remember: the market doesn’t care if you win or lose, it is nothing personal.
When your head has cooled and you feel calm you return the next month and begin the task of building back your account balance.

That's a wrap on risk management

Thanks for taking time to read this three-part chapter on risk management. I hope you enjoyed it. Do comment in the replies if you have any questions or feedback.
Remember: the most important part of trading is not making money. It is not losing money. Always start with that principle. I hope these three notes have provided some food for thought on how you might approach risk management and are of practical use to you when trading. Avoiding mistakes is not a sexy tagline but it is an effective and reliable way to improve results.
Next up I will be writing about an exciting topic I think many traders should look at rather differently: news trading. Please follow on here to receive notifications and the broad outline is below.
News Trading Part I
  • Introduction
  • Why use the economic calendar
  • Reading the economic calendar
  • Knowing what's priced in
  • Surveys
  • Interest rates
  • First order thinking vs second order thinking
News Trading Part II
  • Preparing for quantitative and qualitative releases
  • Data surprise index
  • Using recent events to predict future reactions
  • Buy the rumour, sell the fact
  • The mysterious 'position trim' effect
  • Reversals
  • Some key FX releases
***

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.
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