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A Cautionary Tale: My 25-Year Struggle in Pursuit of Trading Success


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A Cautionary Tale: My 25-Year Struggle in Pursuit of Trading Success

  #1 (permalink)
 Trader146 
Shreveport, LA/USA
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: NinjaTrader
Broker: APEXTRADERFUNDING
Trading: NQ
Posts: 93 since Jan 2015
Thanks Given: 284
Thanks Received: 158

My story is long. Over 25 years long. It's so long that I've enlisted the help of Chat-GPT to make a palatable read out of my ramblings. However, she made things sound much better than they really are so I'm going to include both my ramblings and her rewrites. My version is more complete, however there may be grammatical errors. If I've left out anything you'd like to know, please ask later.

I've been wanting to vent for a long time and you guys are the only people on the planet that would understand. I finally wrote this today because I get so sad when I see the success of others I grew up with in ordinary careers, some of which I would have never expected to be successful, and how I avoid those type of careers like the plague to pursue trading, only to ultimately achieve nothing...yet. I'm closer to success at trading now than I've ever been, but it doesn't really feel like it and after all this time, is it really success?

I'm at that stage where I give back two weeks of profits in one trade because I'm unwilling to take a lose or some other dumb reason. And who knows how long that stage will last. I'm now 62 years old and I'm finally recognizing that I'm running out of time because I'm starting to have age related health issues. And if you are my age, you know how expensive health insurance is for us, so with the added health issues, I sometimes get very depressed.

I expect I will receive some negative feedback and that I probably should have spent this time reviewing my trades and working on a plan to avoid the mistakes that keep holding me back. Well I do that also and it has helped. Hopefully one day I will correct enough mistakes to allow me to actually make a withdrawal from my trading account.

I've done some things that nobody else I know would do in pursuit of a "career". Especially after failing at it for so long. To them...and to me...it's not passion. It's obession. And not a good obession. More like a gambling obession. But guess what, I know other traders that have done things just as crazy. I know drug addicts that have done things just as crazy. And I know alcoholics that have done things just as crazy. I read in some trading book that there is a thin line between trading and gambling. I think is was Alexander Elder. Well I crossed that line a long time ago and I'm still trying to get back.

Please read my story below. I don't know if this will be helpful to anyone but I know if I had read something like this when I got started I would probably have taken the 90% failure rate warning more seriously. Enjoy?

Me to GPT-4:

Below are some fact about my life that I want you to use to create a forum post to share my story. The forum is for futures traders. I may repeat some facts and get things out of order. I would like you to create a concise, legible story that readers may enjoy.

My facts:

I started pursuing a career in day trading back in 1998 and I've still not achieved success as of the year is 2023. I'm 62 years old now.

Although I quit trading a number of times to work in traditional careers so that I could actually earn money to survive, I kept returning to trading. I convinced myself that it was the only way I would ever get rich and that once I got the hang of it, it would be much easier than actually "working" for a living. Well as it turns out, making money trading has been the most difficult thing I've ever tried to do, and if I had known it would be this difficult, I would have definitely chosen a different path.

I was introduced to trading in 1998. It is now 2023. I am finally seeing glimpses of success. I'm at that stage of making money consistently for 1-2 weeks, and then losing it all in one trade.

I never thought it would take this long to learn to trade. To my friends and family I am a failure, and I've often thought so too. I've been very close to homeless several times because I refused to give up on trading. So I would only worked my day job when I have to. In 2016 I reduced my living expenses as much as possible by moving out of my $1300 per month apartment in Atlanta and moving into a small motorhome I bought 6 months earlier. My plan was to travel the country and enjoy national parks and hang gliding (something I've wanted to do all my life) while earning a living trading, but when the day came to move into my RV, I literally had a nervous breakdown because I knew I wasn't going to be able to survive from trading. I was not profitable, but I just couldn't go on paying $1300 per month, something I had been doing at that point for 10 years. But I felt that once I move into this RV, it would be the last time I'd live in a real house and that I would actually be just one step from homelessness. I mean, what would I do if the RV broke down.

When I moved out of my apartment in 2016, I sold everything I could to build a nest egg. So everything that wouldn't fit into my 22ft RV, I sold. I ended up with $14,000. I had even planned to sell my car but like I said, when it came time to move into the RV, I was so freaked out that I started looking for places I could rent to park it. I had practiced parking at different spots around the Atlanta metro area, but I felt like I was doing something wrong every night. I didn't sleep well because I expected someone to come knocking on my door at any moment to tell me to move or to tow my vehicle. It was a very uncomfortable feeling, so I reached out to several friends of mine to see if I could park in their drive way. Luckily for me, one of them said yes, and I felt so relieved. This was a guy I had known since high school and we were pretty good friends. In fact, I'm the one who convinced him to move to Atlanta. We were both from a small town in Louisiana. He agreed to let me park in his yard for $300 per month. I would have water and electrical hookups, and I could use his laundry room, so I was happy to pay him. Also, the feeling of homelessness went away and I got to keep my car now that I had somewhere to park it. I thought I'd only be there 2 years. I was there for 4.

Feeling better now that I had a place to park my RV, I started to travel to try and fulfill my dream. That helped but every time I had a bad trading day, I felt I'd be in that tiny RV forever (or until it broke down) and that I would never achieve my dream. One winter, it got so cold that I could barely keep warm in my RV, so I decided to drive to Florida as it was much warmer there. I spent two weeks visiting the cities along the eastern coast. Florida is very RV friendly and the roads are very flat and smooth. This is important in an old, underpowered RV. I made it all the way down to Palm Beach and although I had to get back to Atlanta because my tags on my RV expired in January, I knew that the next winter, I'd want to come back and stay even longer. But it was pretty warm in Florida, even during the winter, and I knew I would need air conditioning which means I needed a dependable generator. Since you could no longer get parts for the original generators designed for my RV or buy a new one made to fit it, I decided to design my own. Well, it came out so well that other owners of the same model of RV wanted one also. That's how I got into the generator business. This was right on time because I had lost interest in IT support. It was too demanding and required that I be in Atlanta all the time. With the generators, I could build them 3-6 months out of the year and still be able to travel. I say all that to say that while I had other sources of income, I still wasn't happy because it still didn't offer the freedom that trading was supposed to give me.

I quit my job at HP in 2003 so that I could receive the $36,000 severance packet which was supposed to allow me to trade fulltime. I thought that being about to focus on trading fulltime would allow me to achieve success. It didn't work. I ran out of money in just 2.5 years. During that time I rented rooms from friend and family until I finally gave up on trading and started offering onsite IT services. You don't know how good it felt to finally have money coming in instead of continuously going out. That business has supported me ever since to some degree, although the bulk of my income now days comes from another business I started building generators for tiny RV that had no other options. At that point I took a 10 year break from trading but I still kept an eye on the markets.

But while I was now living comfortability, my friends and family still seen me as a borderline failure because I didn't have the things that they had, like nice houses, cars, health insurance, security. I may as well been a drug addict or alcoholic or casino gambler, because I didn't look any different to those on the outside looking in. There's was no need in me telling them I'm starting to see some success, because I've probably said that before and it turned out not to be true, so why should they believe me now. And I'm even started to agree with them. I'm mean, I don't own anything. I live in a RV since 2015. I'm 62 and can't retire. I have no retirement savings. If it wasn't for my grandmother giving me a piece of property back in the 80's, I wouldn't have a place to live now. But that's another story.

So I've been wanting to come on here and tell my story because honestly, I think it's pretty sad. What has triggered it today is seeing a post on Facebook by a childhood friend of mine who was a hopeless casino gambler for many, many years who got clean about 10 years ago, got his real estate license, and is now a millionaire broker and investor. And it's not just him. Many of my childhood friends who would have probably been voted most likely to fail are doing better than me because I put all my eggs in the trading basket. Now I must admit, I would have given up on trading if I could have qualified for my dream job which was commercial pilot, but let's just say I couldn't qualify, and it wasn't because of skill. My fight instructor told me I was the most nature pilot he had ever worked with, and he had instructed for over 30 years. So I decided I would just buy my own plane when I made it as a trader. Well, let's just say I don't own a plane.

Ok, so that's my past. Let me tell you about my present. I'm now living in a much larger RV, a 36' fifthwheel by DRV. They make high-end, four season RV's designed for fulltime living. I got a 2008 used for $17,000 which was a fairly good deal considering its condition. It's parked on my property which was giving to me by my grandmother back in the 80's. There was a house on the property which I lived in from 82' to 87', but it burnt down in 1993. I was a welder when I lived there and I built a welding shop in the back yard. It is still standing and I have now removed the sheet metal, raised the roof, covered it with solar panels, and parked my fifthwheel under it. So I'm now living mortgage and rent free with only propane expenses in the winter time. I still build a few generators per year to keep food in my stomach and to now pay my Apex fees so I can pursue funding. I've learned that one of my problems achieving success as a trader was trading my own money. I didn't have money that I could afford to lose so with ever trade I would take a small loss to keep from having a big loss which I ended up with anyway because many small losses add up to one big loss. So far, trading with APEX has relieved some of that financial pressure although that might change once I'm funded. Because at that point you are trading your own money again, although it's house money actually. Maybe that's better. We will see.


Ok, below is what Chat-GPT put together from my ramblings above. I also ask for revisions so there are 3 different version. If nothing else, it's an interesting use of AI.

Title: The Long and Winding Road to Futures Trading Success

Hey fellow traders! I wanted to share my story with you all, as I think it's an interesting one and a testament to perseverance in this tough field of day trading.

I started my journey back in 1998 and have been trying to achieve success in trading ever since. I'm 62 years old now and throughout these years, I've quit trading multiple times to work in other careers just to make ends meet, but I always found myself coming back to it. I believed that trading was my ticket to wealth and an easier life.

It's 2023 now and after 25 years, I am finally starting to see glimpses of success. I can make money consistently for a week or two before losing it all in one trade. To my friends and family, I may seem like a failure, but I've never given up on my dream. At one point, I even downsized my living situation to a small RV and parked it on a friend's property to reduce expenses and stay focused on trading.

Over the years, I've held various jobs to support my trading endeavors. I quit my job at HP in 2003 to receive a $36,000 severance package and trade full-time, only to run out of money in 2.5 years. Eventually, I stumbled into a niche business building generators for a specific brand of RV, which now provides me with a decent income.

Despite my other sources of income, I still haven't achieved the level of freedom I hoped trading would give me. I've often felt like a borderline failure, especially when I compare myself to my peers who have built successful careers and lives outside of trading.

Currently, I live in a larger, more comfortable RV and have parked it on a piece of property that was given to me by my grandmother. I'm still building generators and trading with APEX in the hopes of achieving success in this field.

In summary, my journey has been a long and winding one. I've had to make sacrifices and find creative ways to support myself while pursuing my dream of becoming a successful trader. While I'm still not quite there yet, I'm determined to keep pushing forward and hope that my story can serve as an inspiration to those who may be struggling as well.

Let me know if you have any questions or if you'd like to share your own experiences in this challenging world of futures trading. Thanks for reading!

Me:
Please rewrite it, and include more of the information I provided you.

Chat-GPT:
Title: A Lifelong Journey: My Struggles and Pursuit of Success in Futures Trading

Hello fellow traders! I wanted to take the time to share my story with all of you in this futures trading forum, as I believe it's a unique and interesting tale that highlights the challenges, dedication, and perseverance required to succeed in this field.

My journey began back in 1998, when I started pursuing a career in day trading with high hopes and dreams of wealth and an easier life. Fast forward to 2023, and at the age of 62, I am still working towards that elusive success. Over the years, I've quit trading multiple times, opting to work in various other professions to earn a living, only to find myself returning to trading each time.

The road to success has been a difficult one, filled with countless setbacks and obstacles. Making money from trading has proven to be the most challenging thing I've ever attempted, but my determination and resilience have kept me going.

Despite my continued efforts, my progress in trading has been slow, often consisting of making money consistently for a week or two before losing it all in one trade. To my friends and family, I may appear as a failure, but I've refused to give up on my dream.

In order to stay focused on trading, I've made numerous sacrifices in my personal life. In 2015, I downsized my living situation, moving out of my $1,300 per month apartment in Atlanta and into a small RV. I sold everything that wouldn't fit in the RV, hoping that by reducing my living expenses, I could concentrate more on trading.

During this period, I parked my RV on a friend's property, paying him $300 per month for water, electrical hookups, and the use of his laundry room. I stayed there for four years, traveling occasionally to try and fulfill my dreams of exploring the country while earning a living from trading.

Throughout my journey, I've held various jobs to support my trading endeavors. I quit my job at HP in 2003 to receive a $36,000 severance package, which I hoped would allow me to trade full-time and achieve success. However, the money ran out in just 2.5 years, forcing me to rent rooms from friends and family until I eventually started offering onsite IT services.

Later, I stumbled into a niche business building generators for a specific brand of RV, which now provides me with a significant portion of my income. While this has allowed me to live comfortably, my friends and family still view me as a borderline failure because I haven't achieved the success and financial security they have.

Currently, I live in a larger and more comfortable RV, parked on a piece of property that my grandmother gave me years ago. I still build generators, and I'm trading with APEX in the hopes of finally achieving success in the world of futures trading.

Throughout my journey, I've realized that one of my main challenges has been trading with my own money. The fear of losing funds I couldn't afford to part with has often led me to take small losses, which would accumulate and result in significant overall losses. Trading with APEX has helped alleviate some of this pressure, but I still have a long way to go.

In summary, my lifelong pursuit of success in futures trading has been filled with hardships, sacrifices, and constant learning. Although I haven't achieved the level of success I initially hoped for, I remain dedicated and hopeful that my perseverance will eventually pay off. I share my story as a testament to the challenges and dedication required in this field and hope that it can serve as an inspiration to those who may be struggling with their own journey.

Me:
It's seems you are trying to make this story positive with a happy ending. I think it's more of a cautionary tale of what could happen to those who pursue this career. I've been at it 25 years on and off and still have not achieved success. And success for me at this point is definitely not guaranteed. This story is quite sad. I am not a happy or mentally healthy person. If there is a bright side to my story, it's what I've learned from it which is don't assume you will be successful, don't put all your eggs in one basket, don't attempt to learn by trial and error, find a mentor that you can confirm some level of success from, don't trade your own money, know that this is real work and it's not easy money, and so many other things. This story doesn't have a happy ending...yet. Just lessons learned so far. As I said, a cautionary tale.

Chat-GPT:
Title: A Cautionary Tale: My 25-Year Struggle in Pursuit of Trading Success

Dear fellow traders, I'm here to share my story with all of you in this futures trading forum as a cautionary tale that highlights the harsh reality, hardships, and potential pitfalls that one may face while chasing the elusive dream of success in this field.

My journey started in 1998 when I was introduced to day trading. With dreams of wealth and an easier life, I ventured into this world, believing it was the key to my future success. Now, in 2023, at the age of 62, I have yet to find the success I've been longing for after 25 years of on-and-off attempts.

Throughout the years, I've quit trading multiple times, seeking alternative careers to make a living, but always finding myself drawn back to trading. I've faced countless setbacks, and making money from trading has proven to be the most challenging thing I've ever attempted. It has taken a toll on my mental health, and I can't say that I'm a happy person due to the struggles I've encountered.

To support my trading aspirations, I've made significant sacrifices in my personal life. I've downsized my living situation, sold my belongings, and held various jobs to keep myself afloat while chasing my dream. However, these efforts have not led me to the success I hoped for, and I continue to struggle with feelings of failure.

The financial pressure of trading with my own money has been a constant challenge, leading me to take small losses that eventually accumulated into more significant overall losses. While trading with APEX has helped to alleviate some of this pressure, success is still far from guaranteed.

If there's any silver lining in my story, it's the lessons I've learned over the years. To those who are considering a career in trading or are already in the midst of their journey, I offer these insights:

Never assume success is guaranteed.
Don't put all your eggs in one basket.
Avoid learning by trial and error; seek guidance from knowledgeable sources.
Find a mentor with a proven track record of success.
Don't trade your own money if you can avoid it.
Recognize that trading is real work and not an easy path to wealth.
My story may not have a happy ending yet, but I hope that by sharing my cautionary tale, I can help others avoid the same mistakes I've made and the hardships I've endured. Remember that futures trading can be an unforgiving world, and it's essential to approach it with the right mindset, a solid plan, and an understanding of the potential challenges that lie ahead.

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  #2 (permalink)
 
bobwest's Avatar
 bobwest 
Western Florida
Site Moderator
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Sierra Chart
Trading: ES, YM
Frequency: Several times daily
Duration: Minutes
Posts: 8,174 since Jan 2013
Thanks Given: 57,578
Thanks Received: 26,303


Trader146 View Post
My story is long. Over 25 years long. It's so long that I've enlisted the help of Chat-GPT to make a palatable read out of my ramblings. However, she made things sound much better than they really are so I'm going to include both my ramblings and her rewrites. My version is more complete, however there may be grammatical errors. If I've left out any thing you'd like to know, please ask later.

Hi @Trader146,

Thanks for this. I hope that it will be helpful to new traders who imagine that easy money is available through trading, and wake them up to the reality that it can be a long effort, with no guarantee of success.

However, we will ask that, in future, you do not use chat AI tools to make any part of your posts. Your actual, real experience is what is valuable, no matter that it may not always be "grammatical," and that is what others will be able to benefit from. The homogenized, slicker version turned out by the AI may read more smoothly, but it isn't real. Your words are, and they are what have the value in your post.

Again, thanks for posting this.

Bob.

When one door closes, another opens.
-- Cervantes, Don Quixote
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  #3 (permalink)
 
maybeimajerk01's Avatar
 maybeimajerk01 
Toronto and Canada
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninjatrader
Broker: Rithmic
Trading: Futures, Stocks
Posts: 5 since Mar 2023
Thanks Given: 16
Thanks Received: 6



Trader146 View Post
My story is long. Over 25 years long. It's so long that I've enlisted the help of Chat-GPT to make a palatable read out of my ramblings. However, she made things sound much better than they really are so I'm going to include both my ramblings and her rewrites. My version is more complete, however there may be grammatical errors. If I've left out any thing you'd like to know, please ask later.

Thank you! he spoke the truth and let people understand these day traders say trading is easy on youtube, clearly they are scammers

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  #4 (permalink)
 ZB23 
Atlanta Metro Area
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Rithmic API
Broker: Ironbeam
Trading: Futures: CL spreads, IR outright.
Frequency: Never
Duration: Never
Posts: 145 since Feb 2017
Thanks Given: 60
Thanks Received: 198

The only failure is the one who fails to do what he wants. You lived life on your own terms. Not many people can say that, including the successful wage slaves you cited.

I started investing in 1999, immediately after college, because I hated having to get up at 6 a.m. to go to a job. Then I started trading (Forex) in 2003. In 2016, I learned about futures and never looked back. Twenty years later, I am still trying to be consistently successful trader and break away from the workforce. Like you, I'm close.

I'm starting to believe that the window to become a consistently successful trader ranges between 5 and 25 years. It makes sense, because we are trying to learn and be competent in something that demand full-time attention, on a less than part-time basis. We are trying to learn how to trade without the tutelage of a mentor or trading firm. Think about it.

We are on the right track, because, like in the TV series, Game of Thrones, Winter is coming. It's coming for all of us, in the form of retirement age.

I keep seeing articles and videos on how most Americans can't retire. They have to work for the rest of their lives.

Give yourself a pat on the back, because once you correct your trading errors, you'll be able to survive when Winter arrives.

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  #5 (permalink)
 
casey44's Avatar
 casey44 
Louisville KY
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: NT8
Trading: micros
Frequency: Daily
Duration: Minutes
Posts: 249 since Jan 2010
Thanks Given: 4,057
Thanks Received: 315

@ Trader146 ''I'm closer to success at trading now than I've ever been...”
There you have it. Add on to that, document your positive baby steps no matter how tiny for yourself. (And avoid those who are only negative of your path if their words do not serve you going forward.)

Be easy on yourself, at least you're trying, many only 'think about it' and you don't sound like you'd ever have been at peace with yourself if you'd only wondered 'what if...'

Read how many times Edison 'failed' to make a light bulb he was obsessed with. What about the musicians or athlete's you admire? What is the 'failure rate' of those who'd like to be paid to make music, play a sport, be an artist, start a business? Being self supporting in anything is something not many are able to do.

Good for you posting your raw reality, bound to be many here who'll read your post, and it may be a difference-maker for some of them in ways you cannot know. And your taking action to write will alter your thoughts in some way... Who knows, 6-12 months from now your world may look very different, something clicks and you now have a consistent nickel stream in trading and are connecting with others whom you can teach or help in some way.

May want to look at this insurance site: nomadinsurancegroup dot com
Learned of it some years ago from the Escapees RV club which is one of the better quality ones.
Has been the most helpful insurance person I've ever dealt with.

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  #6 (permalink)
 luv2trade 
Charlotte NC/USA
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Sierra chart, ninja trader, metatrader
Trading: Futures/forex
Posts: 5 since Jun 2012
Thanks Given: 1
Thanks Received: 13

I am the same age as you and have been trading nearly as long. I can totally relate and am in much the same boat as you. Thank you for sharing this.

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  #7 (permalink)
 BeetleBaum 
East Ridge, Tennessee, USA
 
Experience: Master
Platform: TradeStation
Trading: Futures, Stocks, Options, Forex
Posts: 17 since Nov 2022
Thanks Given: 4
Thanks Received: 4

Trader146, my story is longER! I felt your story and am just a bit older than you about to turn 64. I fell in love with the markets in 1969 (age 10), bought my first stock in 1972 (age 13), and started trading futures in 1982 (age 23). If you would like to share resources and collaborate, please message me back. I have winning methods and would love to share stories and ideas freely, no strings. I'm just up the road from you in the Chattanooga area (East Ridge). I also have chronic health problems and love the idea of RV living.

I use TradeStation and EasyLanguage.

Matt

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  #8 (permalink)
 Trader146 
Shreveport, LA/USA
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: NinjaTrader
Broker: APEXTRADERFUNDING
Trading: NQ
Posts: 93 since Jan 2015
Thanks Given: 284
Thanks Received: 158


BeetleBaum View Post
Trader146, my story is longER! I felt your story and am just a bit older than you about to turn 64. I fell in love with the markets in 1969 (age 10), bought my first stock in 1972 (age 13), and started trading futures in 1982 (age 23). If you would like to share resources and collaborate, please message me back. I have winning methods and would love to share stories and ideas freely, no strings. I'm just up the road from you in the Chattanooga area (East Ridge). I also have chronic health problems and love the idea of RV living.

I use TradeStation and EasyLanguage.

Matt

Thanks a lot. I will reach out to you.

Roland

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  #9 (permalink)
 Trader146 
Shreveport, LA/USA
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: NinjaTrader
Broker: APEXTRADERFUNDING
Trading: NQ
Posts: 93 since Jan 2015
Thanks Given: 284
Thanks Received: 158

Thanks to all of those who replied to my post and to all of those who offered "thanks." I was really expecting a negative backlash for "whining."

I know that there are plenty of profitable traders here and that it's my fault that it took me so long to learn to trade. I seriously underestimated how hard it would be to make money trading, and I made the even more serious mistake of trying to learn by trial and error. It must have really looked easy to me when I first got started, but it was so long ago, I really don't remember. But I do remember that my first trade (stock) was a winner and that I spent two days analyzing that trade, but immediately decided that two days was too long. From then on, I'm not sure how I made my trading decisions, but it was probably guessing. Again, it was so long ago that I don't remember. I just know that very few trades were profitable, and I estimate that I lost over $50,000 in my first 5 years.

When I started, the PDT rule hadn't been implemented. When it was, I upped my account balance to over $25k so I could day trade, but it kept dropping below that, so I switched to futures because the PDT rule didn't apply. Well, one thing I do remember is that I started losing money 2-3 times faster. I guess I didn't know about simulators back then, or maybe they didn't exist, but I traded live until my account got down to $10k, and then I closed it so I didn't lose everything. I don't remember what I did next, but at some point, I learned of simulators.

Here's an interesting memory I do have. I once ran into a young lady with whom I struck up a conversation and found out she was a trader. I said, "oh really? I'm a trader too." She said, "yeah, who do you trade for"? I said, "myself." She said, "yourself? You mean you trade your own money"? I said, "yes!" She said, "Why would you do that?" I was confused. I said, "To make a profit"? Then she asked me what "system" I used. I said, "what's a system?" She looked puzzled. I guess that told her all she needed to know. So I asked her who she traded for? She named some bank that I don't remember. I also don't remember the rest of our conversation, and I never saw her again, but I never forgot her question and how puzzled she was about me trading my own money. It wasn't until simulators came along and I noticed how differently I traded when there was real money on the line that it started to make sense. And it also started to make sense why we are warned repeatedly not to trade with money we can't afford to lose, because of the emotions that come into play and how they affect our actions and decision-making.

I do very well trading sim, but to this day, my performance still suffers when I'm trading my own money. The introduction of the MES and MNQ have helped a lot, and APEX has helped even more (allowing me to closely duplicate my sim trading), but my trading is still not as profitable as when I'm trading sim, because when there's no real money on the line, my thinking and focus are clear, and I can run the table on these markets. I'm sure many of you have had the same experience.

Now I didn't create this post to scare anybody away from trading, but I did want to share my story so anybody new to trading could see what "some" of us have gone through and how they can avoid the same fate. New traders today have quite an advantage over us old heads who started back before the turn of the century. With so many books and YouTube videos available, your only danger is following the wrong person. The only person I can recommend is Linda Raschke, but she's retired now. I joined her trading room and found that out first hand. But I'm sure there are other good sources of knowledge. I haven't tried everyone. Some I have tried were a waste of time and money. I won't name names because it was a while ago, and they may be better now. But I will say that trading isn't complicated, so if what they are telling you is confusing, look elsewhere because trading is not. It's all about probabilities and risk management. Oh, and technical analysis is the real deal. And while I don't use indicators (except ATR and moving averages), in my opinion, they can offer some value on the longer timeframe charts.

As you probably already know, there are many different ways to trade. For the record, I trade price action only. Now before I got good at price action, I wondered if I should try something else, but nothing ever really clicked for me, which is probably another reason why it took me so long to turn the corner. I told a friend that I guess I finally got in my 10,000 hours of screen time. In reality, I'm sure it's more than that.

Would you believe that up until just last December, I was still a losing trader? And I've still not made any withdrawals. I haven't even passed an eval yet, but I'm sure I will. I just need to make a few more adjustments to my trading. But until just recently, I wouldn't have bothered even attempting to get funded because I couldn't even make a profit trading sim. But then one day, I had a lightbulb moment, and my eyes were opened to a new way of looking at the markets. I did some quick backtesting, and it seems my observations were correct…at least most of the time. So I started applying my observations to my trading decisions, and look what happened to my equity curve (see chart below). It started on Dec 9th, 2022. I was trading micros at the time. On Monday, I started trading the E-mini, and my equity curve jumped even more. And it just kept going up. It appears I really was on to something. That's when I signed up with apex. They were having an 80% off sale, so I signed up for a $150K account. I blew it on the first day. Like I said, I still have some adjustments to make, not just to my trading style, but also to my attitude. I had to learn that I'm not always going to be right and it's sometimes better to take a loss than to wait to be proven right (see current equity curve below trading micros). By that time, I could have made money trading in the opposite direction. The market moves both ways, you know. Btw, my stats would look a lot better if I didn't have those big losses. That's what I'm working on avoiding now. Shouldn't be hard, I usually have an opportunity to get out breakeven or with a small loss. I just need to take advantage of those opportunities.

Anyway, one of the nice things about these eval accounts is you can still trade simulator. So instead of quickly resetting my account, I traded sim for a while to get back in the groove. I also decided that instead of resetting it, I would just purchase another account, this time a $50K account. I noticed it offered the best Target to Drawdown ratio, and APEX was offering another 80% sale, this time for the 1st month and each additional month. That meant I could get the Ninjatrader platform and live data for just $36 per month, plus a chance to get funded. It was worth it to me just to have Ninjatrader and live data, even if I was just trading sim. I did need the practice as I had been using TradeStation for the past few years, and the other reason I switched to the $50K account was because I had decided it was best if I traded the micros, as my strategy required me to scale in and out of my positions, and to do that with the E-mini was quite dangerous with the limited trailing drawdown the apex accounts have.

I now have 10 apex accounts. Why? Well it's because having multiple accounts allows you to multiple your profits (and losses) as well as your trailing drawdown. Apex has this trade copier that you can set up to copy the trades you make in one account to any or all of your other accounts. So a $50 profit in one account is multiplied to $500 across 10 accounts. This means that if I can average $50 per day, at the end of the month I can withdraw $10,000. While I haven't traded live for a full month yet (I take time off after I blew an account(s), or if I'm distracted, or not feeling well), $50 is not hard to achieve. So far I've blown up 3 times, and I can confirm that you really do learn more from your losing trades than you do from your winning trades.

Oh and did I mention that if you have multiple accounts, you get free resets when the accounts renew? I don't think apex advertises that but I can confirm it's true. They reset my 5 blown accounts when they renewed. Right now I only trade 5 at a time so I have some spares if I mess up. And when renewal time approaches, I am more comfortable being aggressive because the account will be reset upon renewal. And at $36 per account, I don't mind the fees although I don't plan on paying them very long. I'm just grateful for the opportunity.

Some of you might be surprised that I would skip days trading when I'm paying for these evaluations. Well, at this point I find no need to rush. In fact, I've learn that rushing or being anxious to trade is a recipe for mistakes. There will always be another trade and if I kick the bucket before I get profitable, then I won't need the money anyway. My best years are behind me. No need in rushing now.

Ok, I've typed another essay. I hope it helps some of you. It helps me to be able to talk about it. It also helps to know I'm not the only one. An all you guys that have been profitable for years or achieve profitability in a very short period of time, congratulations. We all weren't so lucky. Count your blessings!

Thanks for listening guys! Happy Trading!

Roland

PS - I apologies for the long paragraphs and run-on sentences. I'm just trying to get this stuff out of my head and on to paper, and if I spend too much time organizing it, I'll never finish. Thanks again!

PSS - When I use the trade copier, I only upload the trades from the primary account to Tradervue. So the balance shown in Tradervue will not match what's in my Apex accounts. Just FYI.

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Started this thread Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)
1stormrider
kokokookko
 
Posts: 1 since Dec 2017
Thanks Given: 2
Thanks Received: 1


HI Roland

Really appreciate your posting
I am in my 20th year without turning a profitable account.
I don't usually post in forums but i came across yours just becuase i saw it as i was reading Scott Pulcini thread.

I really sympathize with you , i guess there is a category for long term non profitable traders. But you have not given up, and that is the burning desire within.

I am too with Apex, bought my first eval in Dec 22 , was not ready to use it live until March, and i have blown through 5 already.

I can say for sure, that the no.1 factor for hitting drawdown is using full size contracts. The stubborn side within( ego) does not want to trade micros, because there is a desperate need to make a respectable income, like over 1k per month, for you it may be more.





Anyway i thought i would share the latest offer from Apex, got an email today ,


Apex Trader Funding SUPER FLASH SALE...90% Off! YES... Really 90%!!

90% OFF First Month and 80% OFF Renewing Months!

Any Size Evaluation Account! Does not apply to existing accounts, Resets or PA Fees.

Use your normal coupon code or use "SAVE90" at checkout

Flash Sale Ends 04/20/2023 at 11:59 PM ET-Don't Miss Out!




Thank you for including the auto reset advice, i never realised that the account resets on renewal, that makes Apex even more likeable !!

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Last Updated on March 14, 2024


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