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2 months back at trading (update) and some new questions
Hi all, I posted a thread back a few months ago when I started getting seriously back into trading after 20 years away. I thought I'd post an update with some notes on how I'm progressing. I like to type, so settle in. Maybe it'll help new traders who are exactly where I was 2 months ago, I dunno. Or maybe you'll wonder why you spent 3 minutes reading this. Risk/reward, yo. I'm trading 5k on TastyWorks. I'm a newcomer to theta positive strategies and have done about two thirds of my overall trades in this style. However, most of my experience in trading in the past has been intraday timeframe oriented chart reading and momentum stuff. I learned almost everything "new" that I'm doing from TastyTrade, /options, /thetagang, and Option Alpha. I've enjoyed the material coming from esinvests YouTube channel quite a bit as well. The theta gang type strategies I've done have been almost entirely around binary event IV contraction (mostly earnings, but not always) and in most cases, capped to about $250 in risk per position. The raw numbers: Net PnL : +247 Commissions paid: -155 Fees: -42 Right away what jumps out is something that was indicated by realdeal43 and PapaCharlie9 in my previous thread. This is a tough, grindy way to trade a small account. It reminds me a little bit of when I was rising through the stakes in online poker, playing $2/4 limit holdem. Even if you're a profitable player in that game, beating the rake over the long term is very, very hard. Here, over 3 months of trading a conservative style with mostly defined risk strategies, my commissions are roughly equal to my net PnL. That is just insane, and I don't even think I've been overtrading. 55 trades total, win rate of 60%
33 purely directional trades - 57.5% win
18 long call or long put positions, +692, 55% win
15 call or put verticals, -121, 60% win
22 neutral / other trades
13 iron condors, +345, 77% win rate
7 strangles, -163, 71% win rate
1 straddle, -310, 0% win rate
1 butterfly, -83, 0% win rate
PTON call purchased and held through earnings, sold the morning of announcement +410
Trading the range on the daily chart in GLD from 158 up to 165, a mix of various calls +245
NKLA 30 put purchased before the close on the day it went north of 100, just a pure fade +215
EWZ 22/26 strangle that I held just way too long as it beat me up day after day from May 20-Jun 3, -316
ZM pre earnings vertical, fading another 2 SD move (the day it hit 200 for the first time). Was expecting a post-earnings selloff given the magnitude of the up move. Stock basically hasn't had a down tick since. Max loss -247
EWW 29 straddle, put on around the same time as the EWZ strangle. Rolled from Jun to Jul to no avail. Out at a -310 loss.
This is pretty much where I expected to be while learning a bunch of new trading techniques. And no, this is not a large sample size so I have no idea whether or not I can be profitable trading this way (yet). I am heartened by the fact that I seem to be hitting my earnings trades and selling quick spikes in IV (like weed cures Corona day). I'm disheartened that I've went against my principles several times, holding trades for longer than I originally intended, or letting losses mount, believing that I could roll or manage my way out of trouble. I still feel like I am going against my nature to some degree. My trading in years past was scalping oriented and simple. I was taught that a good trade was right almost immediately. If it went against me, I'd cut it immediately and look for a better entry. This is absolutely nothing like that. A good trade may take weeks to develop. It's been really hard for me to sit through the troughs and it's been even harder to watch an okay profit get taken out by a big swing in delta. Part of me wonders if I am cut out for this style at all and if I shouldn't just take my 5k and start trading micro futures. But that's a different post... I'll share a couple of my meager learnings:
Larger bid/ask spreads make it almost impossible to trade the higher priced names, even if you have a correct assumption. I have traded some bigger underlyings during this time like LULU and NVDA. They are just tough fills, both getting in and getting out. I almost want to say that you shouldn't even bother trading underlyings bigger than a 10 cent bid/ask spread with a small account.
Get an idea of the timeframe you're interested in holding before putting anything on. Have a plan for entering and exiting everything that goes beyond "I'll take this trade off at 50%". You can use TA, you can use a news catalyst, a binary event, just have something. Countless sources out there talk about trading a plan. It doesn't have to be the perfect plan, it just has to be "a" plan.
Undefined risk trades in tiny accounts need hard stops. Yes, some of the studies say that you'll do better without having fixed stop loss rules (50% of max loss, 100% of max loss) -- but what the studies don't say is the effect that it will have on you, mentally. I got pretty bent out of shape over how badly EWZ and EWW went against me -- much more than I expected. It made no sense, as I've lost way more on the turn of a card in .5 seconds and been unfazed. I was unprepared for the mental toll that it took waking up day after day, watching positions move further and further against me. Great time to be short calls during the mother of all rallies.
My initial plan for undefined risk trades in my account was that I would only do them in ETFs. Logic being that I'm just not going to wake up to an accounting scandal or a buyout and take a $1k loss on the chin. I later expanded my range into lower priced underlyings like BBBY, TLRY, and yes, AAL. But these ETFs can and do move (I learned the hard way) and can soak up a surprising amount of BP. It might be better to have 5 iron condors taking up $1000 of BP @ 200 each instead of 2 strangles @ 500 each.
My new questions :
My big wins felt like I simply leaned on my TA background or got lucky. My big losses, I sure felt like I earned those, through mistakes I've definitely since identified. The stuff in the middle, I'm just not sure. I'm up money, but it feels like I'm just spinning my wheels. My win rate is good, but I still struggle with expectations about how quickly a trade should progress. What is the next step of the process for a newer options trader? I've read some stuff on narrower spreads + more contracts vs. wider spreads and fewer contracts. Is there a number where I should just keep doing what I'm doing until I reach a specific # of occurrences? Should I even think about branching out into different strategies yet (ratio spreads, jade lizards, etc) or continue to work on these basics?
I still feel like I am super weak in delta management. In some cases I feel like I've taken a loss simply because I didn't know what the proper management techniques were. I understand the concept of rolling out in time for a credit, but I just don't think it's in my nature to hold trades for longer than a month, and even that is hard for me. At what delta is it appropriate to start thinking about hedging?
Every time I put on a credit spread for a 2-3 day move and am directionally correct, I often wish that I had just bought a naked option. I've caught several big moves this way in things like AAPL; most recently I bought the FB dip to the 50 day MA around 215 and took it off today at 225 (which was always my plan) -- it leads me to wonder if my expectations for credit spreads are completely out of line. I can't lie, it feels bad to catch a 10 point move and only make $40, haha. What is the ideal timeframe for a credit spread to be left on? Is it better to just buy premium with a stop loss and have a more profitable risk/reward equation for situations like the above where the only intent is to hold for a couple days?
Here's a random question -- other than when the BPR hit is too much (ie names over $50) for undefined risk, would you rather hold 1) a strangle for 10-14 days or 2) an iron condor for 25-30 days? So far my criteria for IC vs strangle has largely been driven by the risk profile and BPR and not so much profit potential in X number of days. If you're collecting the standard 1/3rd on the IC and taking the trade off at 50% (if you're lucky) , it seems like it takes about a month to get there, most of the time.
That's enough of this wall of text for now. If you made it this far, I salute you, because this shit was even longer than my last post.
XE TRADER Sept.2015 REVIEW | A Scam Review? | Under The Bonnet Investigation
I personally don’t have time or money to waste on anything that smells like a scammy product or service. That’s why in early September when this product first flashed across my screen, I was compelled to investigate. “What the……. is this?” was my initial response. This might sound harsh, however, if you, the consumer are looking for shortcuts to earn and learn how to get rich overnight using Binary Option Trading as your vehicle, you really need to ask yourself the hard questions before incinerating money on products that promise quick riches. Now, fast forward to today, my comments are still emphatic, however once you read this article and review my findings you will be surprised. Throughout this article we will identifying and asking the hard questions one should ponder before purchasing any type of Auto or Semi-Auto-Trader based software. Please read and pay special attention to this article, by the end you will be educated enough to decide whether or not this product is worth investing your time and money in.
WARNING: If you are a new or an existing Binary Options trader, you must be well aware that 90% of people trading Binary Options lose their money. To avoid black holes one should train their minds to acquire a tool set that will not only assist you identifying daily trades, but also provides you the the ability to read the markets, simplifying trend analysis and most importantly educating oneself to trade effectively. Don’t fall into the trap of receiving signals and resorting to blind trading, i.e. roll the dice, cross your fingers and hope for the best.
Q1. In a competitive market, what is the purpose and point of difference with XE Trader? Answer: As a trader you have a collection of tools you use to trade, to illustrate you may have a set of tools, i.e. a knife, screw driver, pick, metal file, corkscrew etc. XE Trader is packed with many all in one features similar to that of a Swiss Army Knife, features that will enhance your trading experience. XE Trader is delivered to you as a platform not an application with its versatility you can install third party applications within this platform. September 2015, the claim has been made that “XE Trader is the world's most advanced currency pair trend indicator and signals robot designed specifically for binary options trading”. How so? “XE Trader is packed with feature rich enhancements that improve your trading experience”. The main purpose behind XE Trader is to serve as an aid in assisting traders with their understanding of trades, where the information comes from, so they can spot opportunities on their own as they arise within the markets.
Q2. Who’s behind this product, what’s their history? are they known criminals/scammers? Answer: XE Trader is brought to you by the world's largest privately owned binary options trader education company Options XE. Education in the form of Trading Webinars is a core part of Option XE's business. Following 3 years of development EX Trader is now the successor of the worlds first binary options robot Optionbot 2, their first creation. Over the years many trading bots have been released into the market, within weeks/months they crash and burn, never to be seen again. Optionbot 2 on the other hand has been and still in circulation, very popular and profitable since day one. This in itself attributes to the success of OptionXE’s first live OptionBot. “In short the XE Trader platform is more than a trading tool, it’s an all encompassing service which will help you win more trades and learn how to become a more effective trader”. The brains and brawn behind OptionBot2 and XE Trader include.
Keith Wareing.............CEO of OptionXE Jack Travers................Services Director Ben Newman...............Operations Director
As a collective these guys have been in the trading and training business for decades. Now totaling 30 staff, and a trained based of over 20,000 students, these guy’s leave no stone upturned when it comes to providing great support and training backing a solid product. The XE Trader product is a culmination of all of that work that as company Option EX achieved to date. All of their trading experience have been encapsulated into a single computer Window so you the trader can learn how to trade more effectively from home.
Q3. What are the key product features and how will these prove advantageous to me? Answer: a. Trend Indicator in also build in across 15 currency pairs. b. Push signals are available across all 30 assets, All signals provided within this platform are passed on via proven leading signal providers. c. Copy trade signals are also made available. These are particularly useful when you are attending one of Ben Newman's webinars, all of which live trading is performed on behalf attendees as they learn how to become familiar with the XE Trader trading platform. d. SMS Alerts e. Economic trading calendar: To keep you apprised of market conditions ahead of time at a glance. f. Market opening times alarm clock g. Accurate Zoomable Price Charts h. Embedded trader insight videos and bulletins surrounding market announcements and events, videos and bulletins are available on the fly.
Q4. If this is a signal service how does it connect with my existing broker? Answer: As an improvement from OptionBot2’s costly and strict broker entry requirements of 3 to 5 must have registered brokers The entry requirement for XE TRADER is just the one broker. You can even use your existing broker.
Q5. How much does this product cost? Are there any hidden costs? What’s the catch? Answer: You can pay an all up lifetime licence of 2,999 pounds, includes 1 month subscription to their daily training webinars or you can opt in for the a Free Licence offer, how long this window stays open is anyone’s guess. If this product meets popular demand and takes off as a roaring success, or if it flops, either scenario will undoubtedly have a determination as to this product windows life-cycle period.
Q6. If this sounds like a “Too good to be true” offer, what's the angle, how do the promoters profit? Answer: If the OptionBot2 is anything to go by I don’t believe this product falls into that category.
Q7. What realistically can my expectations be by connecting with this product/service? Answer: Please view the product video. Here you will find reviews by beta testers.
WARNING: As video has been published by OptionsXE, a pinch of salt could be in order, unbiased content? Well you decide. Historical sales and ITM performance form OptionBot2, would suggest that after years of further research and development of XE Trader could be a promising in this industry. What we have here is now called a platform, somewhat more than a trading tool, an all encompassing service that will help you win more trades and learn how to become a more effective trader.
Q8. If I invest in this product and it all goes very wrong, what are my options? Answer: The XE Team behind the development and support for this product are very credible, collectively they have years of knowledge and experience. Ben Newman provides live assistance and training via his complimentary webinars as a service once you register with XE Trader.
To conclude it is refreshing to see a sold rounded product unlike the other scams on the internet. Thank You for reviewing this article, I hope you have found it informative. Please leave a comment below, all the best as you complete you own due diligence and move forward.
1. Always remember when testing out any new trading ventures, manual or automatic, make sure you have a money management plan, once you have a strategy in place stick with it.
2. A FREE trading DEMO account is a great way to test out new strategies so you don’t go bust in the process. 3. Not all brokers are made equal when it comes to great customer service, being able to withdraw funds, having a user friendly, easy to use trading platform to work with. I have traded with a countless number of brokers, some I have had nightmare experiences. I prefer to trade only using industry regulated brokers tick all the boxes, as above ( I have listed these below). If you are not sure, try out one of the brokers listed below, do a background check as required, they will provide you with a demo account on request.
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