I currently manage around half a million dollars and have been trading for 6+ years with 3 years of consistent profitability. Paid for my trading lessons the hard way by losing a lot of money at first. Here's some advice that might help you. 1) Treat trading like a business. I know you probably heard this 100 times before but I feel like I should emphasize this point. Majority of traders overestimate their ability to make money and underestimate their risk exposure. 2) Think long term. The more complex your trading system is, the less freedom it has in terms of flexibility because of too many variables in your analysis. So, keep your trading system simple. 3) Do not rationalize or predict the market. Do not look for comfort in your strategy. In fact, do the reverse. Find comfort in the thought that markets are chaotic and there's always a good chance of you losing a lot of money. This should keep you up on your toes and controls your greed during a profitable streak (You are not a money printing machine, trust me. ) 4) Every trade you open should be assumed as a loss. This is very important in terms of having a healthy mindset towards managing risk. I never open a position based on how much money I can make. I do it based on how much I can afford to lose in this particular trade. 5) Biggest mistake I have observed while working with other traders is not doing their homework. If you don't plan your trades before the day even began, then you will develop a mindset of chasing the market which will lead to your downfall. Which brings me to my next point 6) Maintain three things - a) your daily trading notes that you read before you begin trading b) market observation notes which includes particular strategies and observations in specific markets and c) a full fledged trading journal where you record everything you traded. Always remember that majority of your trading work is done when you're not trading. 7) Journaling is the most important and also most neglected part of trading and most traders, including some very good traders do it in a wrong way. How do I know that? Let me ask you something : Tell me about what kind of trading setups were the most and least profitable in the last 100 trades. Explain them to me in detail including your analysis and opinion on what you think might have happened. If you can answer this in detail and with specific examples from your last 100 trades then I know you have a good journaling habit. If you cannot , then it's time to improve on your record keeping. Remember that your journals are the only way you can guarantee that you will grow as a trader. 8) Remember this no matter what - Not having a position in the market is itself a position if you know what you are doing. There's no need for you to always trade all day everyday and try to make money. In fact, I can guarantee you that markets will not always behave according to your trading system and during those times trying to "find a needle in a haystack " type of behavior is reckless and will take an emotional toll on your mind. Just sit on the sidelines if the market isn't moving according to your system. 9) There's no thing as overbought or oversold scenarios especially in forex. Heaving a bearish bias because the market moved up by a lot is just ridiculous and most likely guarantee that you miss out on bullish scenarios. If you start developing a bearish bias after a huge bullish move then you better have a damn good reason for it instead of just saying " It moved up by a lot so I'm expecting a reversal". 10) This one is a personal opinion. Always remember to take breaks and relax during the weekends. Managing stress while maintaining performance is a huge part of the job and I don't want you to burn out after a few months of serious trading everyday. Maintain a decent social life outside of trading to keep your sanity intact. Get some hobbies. Your health and well being is very important to your long term performance as a trader so don't neglect it.
Hello, I‘m on this algotrading journey starting with crypto for exactly one year now. My strategies have not been profitable yet. I have programmed my bot, teached it all the technical indicators I got to know myself first, have left it live trading and losing half of its assigned budget. I‘ve read alot about backtesting on this forum and started learning this wierd pine script language on Tradingview. I got good looking backtest results based on some simple RSI/MACD scripts. The bot got some fresh budget assigned to lose some of it again. Leaving it running for three months the blue backtest profit hill is slowly turning red as well in the meantime. Overfitted to the max obviously. I tried implementing my own backtester to add some machine learning to even more overfit the overfitted values. I somehow left it in the dark for now and have never used it for live trading yet reading so much about overfitted backtesting within this sub. Since two months I have now completely stopped using backtesting due to this disappointing experience and completely went towards paper trading (using virtual budget on my bot). I have also tried to minimize usage of technical indicators because of the lagging. I consider all the coins instead of only BTC now. The price action is clearly linked to BTC tho (very visible!). Managing my (virtual) budget and allocation towards trades is a big learning for me as well. I slightly look into backtesting again to validate my strategies. Still not profitable but won‘t give up there. I feel heavy doubts sometimes using it but it gives back hope as well. How do you balance your efforts from backtesting compared to live/paper trading? With my full time job I have somehow developed a ritual when coming home the first thing in wifi range is checking the paper trades that my bot has done over the day. Most often re-writing the whole strategy due to bad performance. I need to get more patient on that. Next I want to read more about Forex. Ordered my first book about it yesterday. Just wanted to share my story. Hope it can motivate or helps in some way.
Hello everyone, I have $2000, spendable is $1000. I am not an American to talk about paying debts. I do not have any debt or loan. I am working as a freelancer, make mostly artwork and music, with a not so well income, because I am suck at advertising and do not do it. With $2000 in hand to profit, I am thinking about making fast-food breakfast, or buying a laptop (I am using a desktop). Of course are many options out there, but I hate to compete, so I prefer to do things that only I can do. So options like selling sparkling things before Christmas will be passed, because there are people who are way better than me at selling them. Put my head in this industry will only make me headless, so, I'll pass it. So, back to selling fast food breakfast. In my town there is no Shawarma, Russian fast food. I had been in Russia for years so there is only me in my town who knows how to make Russian fast food. The downside, I do not have a car, truck, but a scooter. I will have to buy a popup screen tent to have a portable booth, one or two different grill machines, food ingredients. Move to a place near the school at dawn. Find or steal some electricity. I am not sure that Asian people will eat Russian fast food. But that can be experimented in the beginning days, I think. I am Asian yet I love Russian fast food. About buying a laptop. That is what I want for a long time. But it is not a good option for making money. Just to satisfy myself, for ideas, for working anywhere with the not-so-well-income freelance job. Both are nice with which I can do my job while waiting for the next fast food customer, but it will be over the spendable money. Sometimes I think about forex, stock, or some investing, trading stuff. But the risk is too high. I once lost $1000 in forex and still scared of putting any penny in it. Besides those options, can you please give some advice? Thank you.
Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Swaps* (*But Were Afraid To Ask)
Hello, dummies It's your old pal, Fuzzy. As I'm sure you've all noticed, a lot of the stuff that gets posted here is - to put it delicately - fucking ridiculous. More backwards-ass shit gets posted to wallstreetbets than you'd see on a Westboro Baptist community message board. I mean, I had a look at the daily thread yesterday and..... yeesh. I know, I know. We all make like the divine Laura Dern circa 1992 on the daily and stick our hands deep into this steaming heap of shit to find the nuggets of valuable and/or hilarious information within (thanks for reading, BTW). I agree. I love it just the way it is too. That's what makes WSB great. What I'm getting at is that a lot of the stuff that gets posted here - notwithstanding it being funny or interesting - is just... wrong. Like, fucking your cousin wrong. And to be clear, I mean the fucking your *first* cousin kinda wrong, before my Southerners in the back get all het up (simmer down, Billy Ray - I know Mabel's twice removed on your grand-sister's side). Truly, I try to let it slide. Idomybit to try and put you on the right path. Most of the time, I sleep easy no matter how badly I've seen someone explain what a bank liquidity crisis is. But out of all of those tens of thousands of misguided, autistic attempts at understanding the world of high finance, one thing gets so consistently - so *emphatically* - fucked up and misunderstood by you retards that last night I felt obligated at the end of a long work day to pull together this edition of Finance with Fuzzy just for you. It's so serious I'm not even going to make a u/pokimane gag. Have you guessed what it is yet? Here's a clue. It's in the title of the post. That's right, friends. Today in the neighborhood we're going to talk all about hedging in financial markets - spots, swaps, collars, forwards, CDS, synthetic CDOs, all that fun shit. Don't worry; I'm going to explain what all the scary words mean and how they impact your OTM RH positions along the way. We're going to break it down like this. (1) "What's a hedge, Fuzzy?" (2) Common Hedging Strategies and (3) All About ISDAs and Credit Default Swaps. Before we begin. For the nerds and JV traders in the back (and anyone else who needs to hear this up front) - I am simplifying these descriptions for the purposes of this post. I am also obviously not going to try and cover every exotic form of hedge under the sun or give a detailed summation of what caused the financial crisis. If you are interested in something specific ask a question, but don't try and impress me with your Investopedia skills or technical points I didn't cover; I will just be forced to flex my years of IRL experience on you in the comments and you'll look like a big dummy. TL;DR? Fuck you. There is no TL;DR. You've come this far already. What's a few more paragraphs? Put down the Cheetos and try to concentrate for the next 5-7 minutes. You'll learn something, and I promise I'll be gentle. Ready? Let's get started. 1.The Tao of Risk: Hedging as a Way of Life The simplest way to characterize what a hedge 'is' is to imagine every action having a binary outcome. One is bad, one is good. Red lines, green lines; uppie, downie. With me so far? Good. A 'hedge' is simply the employment of a strategy to mitigate the effect of your action having the wrong binary outcome. You wanted X, but you got Z! Frowny face. A hedge strategy introduces a third outcome. If you hedged against the possibility of Z happening, then you can wind up with Y instead. Not as good as X, but not as bad as Z. The technical definition I like to give my idiot juniors is as follows: Utilization of a defensive strategy to mitigate risk, at a fraction of the cost to capital of the risk itself. Congratulations. You just finished Hedging 101. "But Fuzzy, that's easy! I just sold a naked call against my 95% OTM put! I'm adequately hedged!". Spoiler alert: you're not (although good work on executing a collar, which I describe below). What I'm talking about here is what would be referred to as a 'perfect hedge'; a binary outcome where downside is totally mitigated by a risk management strategy. That's not how it works IRL. Pay attention; this is the tricky part. You can't take a single position and conclude that you're adequately hedged because risks are fluid, not static. So you need to constantly adjust your position in order to maximize the value of the hedge and insure your position. You also need to consider exposure to more than one category of risk. There are micro (specific exposure) risks, and macro (trend exposure) risks, and both need to factor into the hedge calculus. That's why, in the real world, the value of hedging depends entirely on the design of the hedging strategy itself. Here, when we say "value" of the hedge, we're not talking about cash money - we're talking about the intrinsic value of the hedge relative to the the risk profile of your underlying exposure. To achieve this, people hedge dynamically. In wallstreetbets terms, this means that as the value of your position changes, you need to change your hedges too. The idea is to efficiently and continuously distribute and rebalance risk across different states and periods, taking value from states in which the marginal cost of the hedge is low and putting it back into states where marginal cost of the hedge is high, until the shadow value of your underlying exposure is equalized across your positions. The punchline, I guess, is that one static position is a hedge in the same way that the finger paintings you make for your wife's boyfriend are art - it's technically correct, but you're only playing yourself by believing it. Anyway. Obviously doing this as a small potatoes trader is hard but it's worth taking into account. Enough basic shit. So how does this work in markets? 2. A Hedging Taxonomy The best place to start here is a practical question. What does a business need to hedge against? Think about the specific risk that an individual business faces. These are legion, so I'm just going to list a few of the key ones that apply to most corporates. (1) You have commodity risk for the shit you buy or the shit you use. (2) You have currency risk for the money you borrow. (3) You have rate risk on the debt you carry. (4) You have offtake risk for the shit you sell. Complicated, right? To help address the many and varied ways that shit can go wrong in a sophisticated market, smart operators like yours truly have devised a whole bundle of different instruments which can help you manage the risk. I might write about some of the more complicated ones in a later post if people are interested (CDO/CLOs, strip/stack hedges and bond swaps with option toggles come to mind) but let's stick to the basics for now. (i) Swaps A swap is one of the most common forms of hedge instrument, and they're used by pretty much everyone that can afford them. The language is complicated but the concept isn't, so pay attention and you'll be fine. This is the most important part of this section so it'll be the longest one. Swaps are derivative contracts with two counterparties (before you ask, you can't trade 'em on an exchange - they're OTC instruments only). They're used to exchange one cash flow for another cash flow of equal expected value; doing this allows you to take speculative positions on certain financial prices or to alter the cash flows of existing assets or liabilities within a business. "Wait, Fuzz; slow down! What do you mean sets of cash flows?". Fear not, little autist. Ol' Fuzz has you covered. The cash flows I'm talking about are referred to in swap-land as 'legs'. One leg is fixed - a set payment that's the same every time it gets paid - and the other is variable - it fluctuates (typically indexed off the price of the underlying risk that you are speculating on / protecting against). You set it up at the start so that they're notionally equal and the two legs net off; so at open, the swap is a zero NPV instrument. Here's where the fun starts. If the price that you based the variable leg of the swap on changes, the value of the swap will shift; the party on the wrong side of the move ponies up via the variable payment. It's a zero sum game. I'll give you an example using the most vanilla swap around; an interest rate trade. Here's how it works. You borrow money from a bank, and they charge you a rate of interest. You lock the rate up front, because you're smart like that. But then - quelle surprise! - the rate gets better after you borrow. Now you're bagholding to the tune of, I don't know, 5 bps. Doesn't sound like much but on a billion dollar loan that's a lot of money (a classic example of the kind of 'small, deep hole' that's terrible for profits). Now, if you had a swap contract on the rate before you entered the trade, you're set; if the rate goes down, you get a payment under the swap. If it goes up, whatever payment you're making to the bank is netted off by the fact that you're borrowing at a sub-market rate. Win-win! Or, at least, Lose Less / Lose Less. That's the name of the game in hedging. There are many different kinds of swaps, some of which are pretty exotic; but they're all different variations on the same theme. If your business has exposure to something which fluctuates in price, you trade swaps to hedge against the fluctuation. The valuation of swaps is also super interesting but I guarantee you that 99% of you won't understand it so I'm not going to try and explain it here although I encourage you to google it if you're interested. Because they're OTC, none of them are filed publicly. Someeeeeetimes you see an ISDA (dsicussed below) but the confirms themselves (the individual swaps) are not filed. You can usually read about the hedging strategy in a 10-K, though. For what it's worth, most modern credit agreements ban speculative hedging. Top tip: This is occasionally something worth checking in credit agreements when you invest in businesses that are debt issuers - being able to do this increases the risk profile significantly and is particularly important in times of economic volatility (ctrl+f "non-speculative" in the credit agreement to be sure). (ii) Forwards A forward is a contract made today for the future delivery of an asset at a pre-agreed price. That's it. "But Fuzzy! That sounds just like a futures contract!". I know. Confusing, right? Just like a futures trade, forwards are generally used in commodity or forex land to protect against price fluctuations. The differences between forwards and futures are small but significant. I'm not going to go into super boring detail because I don't think many of you are commodities traders but it is still an important thing to understand even if you're just an RH jockey, so stick with me. Just like swaps, forwards are OTC contracts - they're not publicly traded. This is distinct from futures, which are traded on exchanges (see The Ballad Of Big Dick Vick for some more color on this). In a forward, no money changes hands until the maturity date of the contract when delivery and receipt are carried out; price and quantity are locked in from day 1. As you now know having read about BDV, futures are marked to market daily, and normally people close them out with synthetic settlement using an inverse position. They're also liquid, and that makes them easier to unwind or close out in case shit goes sideways. People use forwards when they absolutely have to get rid of the thing they made (or take delivery of the thing they need). If you're a miner, or a farmer, you use this shit to make sure that at the end of the production cycle, you can get rid of the shit you made (and you won't get fucked by someone taking cash settlement over delivery). If you're a buyer, you use them to guarantee that you'll get whatever the shit is that you'll need at a price agreed in advance. Because they're OTC, you can also exactly tailor them to the requirements of your particular circumstances. These contracts are incredibly byzantine (and there are even crazier synthetic forwards you can see in money markets for the true degenerate fund managers). In my experience, only Texan oilfield magnates, commodities traders, and the weirdo forex crowd fuck with them. I (i) do not own a 10 gallon hat or a novelty size belt buckle (ii) do not wake up in the middle of the night freaking out about the price of pork fat and (iii) love greenbacks too much to care about other countries' monopoly money, so I don't fuck with them. (iii) Collars No, not the kind your wife is encouraging you to wear try out to 'spice things up' in the bedroom during quarantine. Collars are actually the hedging strategy most applicable to WSB. Collars deal with options! Hooray! To execute a basic collar (also called a wrapper by tea-drinking Brits and people from the Antipodes), you buy an out of the money put while simultaneously writing a covered call on the same equity. The put protects your position against price drops and writing the call produces income that offsets the put premium. Doing this limits your tendies (you can only profit up to the strike price of the call) but also writes down your risk. If you screen large volume trades with a VOL/OI of more than 3 or 4x (and they're not bullshit biotech stocks), you can sometimes see these being constructed in real time as hedge funds protect themselves on their shorts. (3) All About ISDAs, CDS and Synthetic CDOs You may have heard about the mythical ISDA. Much like an indenture (discussed in my post on $F), it's a magic legal machine that lets you build swaps via trade confirms with a willing counterparty. They are very complicated legal documents and you need to be a true expert to fuck with them. Fortunately, I am, so I do. They're made of two parts; a Master (which is a form agreement that's always the same) and a Schedule (which amends the Master to include your specific terms). They are also the engine behind just about every major credit crunch of the last 10+ years. First - a brief explainer. An ISDA is a not in and of itself a hedge - it's an umbrella contract that governs the terms of your swaps, which you use to construct your hedge position. You can trade commodities, forex, rates, whatever, all under the same ISDA. Let me explain. Remember when we talked about swaps? Right. So. You can trade swaps on just about anything. In the late 90s and early 2000s, people had the smart idea of using other people's debt and or credit ratings as the variable leg of swap documentation. These are called credit default swaps. I was actually starting out at a bank during this time and, I gotta tell you, the only thing I can compare people's enthusiasm for this shit to was that moment in your early teens when you discover jerking off. Except, unlike your bathroom bound shame sessions to Mom's Sears catalogue, every single person you know felt that way too; and they're all doing it at once. It was a fiscal circlejerk of epic proportions, and the financial crisis was the inevitable bukkake finish. WSB autism is absolutely no comparison for the enthusiasm people had during this time for lighting each other's money on fire. Here's how it works. You pick a company. Any company. Maybe even your own! And then you write a swap. In the swap, you define "Credit Event" with respect to that company's debt as the variable leg . And you write in... whatever you want. A ratings downgrade, default under the docs, failure to meet a leverage ratio or FCCR for a certain testing period... whatever. Now, this started out as a hedge position, just like we discussed above. The purest of intentions, of course. But then people realized - if bad shit happens, you make money. And banks... don't like calling in loans or forcing bankruptcies. Can you smell what the moral hazard is cooking? Enter synthetic CDOs. CDOs are basically pools of asset backed securities that invest in debt (loans or bonds). They've been around for a minute but they got famous in the 2000s because a shitload of them containing subprime mortgage debt went belly up in 2008. This got a lot of publicity because a lot of sad looking rednecks got foreclosed on and were interviewed on CNBC. "OH!", the people cried. "Look at those big bad bankers buying up subprime loans! They caused this!". Wrong answer, America. The debt wasn't the problem. What a lot of people don't realize is that the real meat of the problem was not in regular way CDOs investing in bundles of shit mortgage debts in synthetic CDOs investing in CDS predicated on that debt. They're synthetic because they don't have a stake in the actual underlying debt; just the instruments riding on the coattails. The reason these are so popular (and remain so) is that smart structured attorneys and bankers like your faithful correspondent realized that an even more profitable and efficient way of building high yield products with limited downside was investing in instruments that profit from failure of debt and in instruments that rely on that debt and then hedging that exposure with other CDS instruments in paired trades, and on and on up the chain. The problem with doing this was that everyone wound up exposed to everybody else's books as a result, and when one went tits up, everybody did. Hence, recession, Basel III, etc. Thanks, Obama. Heavy investment in CDS can also have a warping effect on the price of debt (something else that happened during the pre-financial crisis years and is starting to happen again now). This happens in three different ways. (1) Investors who previously were long on the debt hedge their position by selling CDS protection on the underlying, putting downward pressure on the debt price. (2) Investors who previously shorted the debt switch to buying CDS protection because the relatively illiquid debt (partic. when its a bond) trades at a discount below par compared to the CDS. The resulting reduction in short selling puts upward pressure on the bond price. (3) The delta in price and actual value of the debt tempts some investors to become NBTs (neg basis traders) who long the debt and purchase CDS protection. If traders can't take leverage, nothing happens to the price of the debt. If basis traders can take leverage (which is nearly always the case because they're holding a hedged position), they can push up or depress the debt price, goosing swap premiums etc. Anyway. Enough technical details. I could keep going. This is a fascinating topic that is very poorly understood and explained, mainly because the people that caused it all still work on the street and use the same tactics today (it's also terribly taught at business schools because none of the teachers were actually around to see how this played out live). But it relates to the topic of today's lesson, so I thought I'd include it here. Work depending, I'll be back next week with a covenant breakdown. Most upvoted ticker gets the post. *EDIT 1\* In a total blowout, $PLAY won. So it's D&B time next week. Post will drop Monday at market open.
[P] Forex machine learning strategy with Python: features processing
Hi, i’m preparing data (in Pandas) for a machine learning Forex strategy. Data comes from FRED, FXCM, Alpha vantage ecc. How could different features be aggregated in a pandas dataframe? For example fundamental data with price time series (GBPUSD + technical indicators + GDP + interest rates ecc). There is a problem with date adaptation, a feature is daily while others generally monthly. I know scaling and features selection/reduction with PCA but i’m interested in preprocessing and joining of features with different scale/values/timeframe. Please tell me a detailed process in pandas or Scikit Learn to obtain fundamental and price features perfectly merged and ready for a machine learning training/test. From cleaning to scaling. Then many ML models like Random trees or Svm will be compared choosing the best performer. Thank you very much.
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Just some inspirations / reminders on strategy development
I just talk about really major pairs like EURUSD, USDJPY, etc. Forget about catching a trend, if you wanna trade trends, commodities, stocks, index funds trend way better, a lot more opportunities than forex. Major currencies range at least 70% of the time, if not more. Learn how to make money from ranging markets and hold a trend once you catch it. The biggest purpose of currency is for settling transactions, not for scalping profits. That's why it doesn't trend (aka remaining stable). Stability is why a currency being "major". Therefore most indicators don't work well with these currencies because first they are not designed for forex, second most of them only tell trends or overbought/oversold. Unless you are Soros or central banks etc no major currency can be overbought or oversold. Take advantage of "fakeout" (I still wonder if it's the right way to call it so, Trump's Tweets are one of the sources IMO). Accept the fact that it happens and think about how to profit from it. Market makers and big banks are also just market players, even though very much bigger, they are also profiting from each other. If you can't beat them, join them. Choppy market is still better than a still market. No market maker cares about support or resistance. Like no insider or institutional money (i mean human not machines) would spend hours and hours on charts drawing trend lines before they place an order. Why would you? Planning how to react in different scenarios after a position is opened is much better than trying to act like a crystal ball by looking at history when you trade something that ranges most of the time. The moment you observe a trend, chances are the trend is (almost) over. Even if things are against you, most of the time you can turn it to break even without using lots of margin. (Most news are just as big as baby's cough.) But still, very few news are really big (911, fukushima, brexit, covid, name it), don't ignore the news completely. Money management is very important. Most traders (of course including many of those on reddit) just talk about how to make an entry but seldom talk about how to manage an already open position or how to close a trade. The latter is way more important than the former. Besides japanese candlesticks, there are a lot more charting options out there. Be creative and know what you are trading to the deepest !
Hello here I am back with the Bitero program. The team behind this project has already proven itself with a very good project this year ... For more information, please come and see me in private ... Their story : Bitero is a company that started from an idea, around which a team of enthusiastic visionaries has been built. This team, made up of various investment experts, has experimented and developed new frameworks to create diversified investments with high return and high security. The most successful frameworks have been solidified and have worked (and still function) as the backbone on which this investment platform now known as Bitero was built. This company has brought together the brightest minds from multiple fields to ensure that all their decisions and actions are always supported by experience, analysis, research and math. By combining the knowledge and experience of financial trading with the possibilities offered by Blockchain technologies. Their team is made up of several trading experts and financial analysts who work hand in hand with their technical staff to master the possibilities offered by the Blockchain. With each other, they share a combined experience of over two decades of asset management in Forex, stocks, stocks, bonds, futures, gold and more. Their dedicated team of technicians, specializing in machine learning and artificial intelligence. Every day, their specialists tweak and improve their neural network algorithms to maximize their efficiency. To this extent, they plan to add further diversification to their already existing strategy to provide even higher security to their investors. The Investment Plan: In Bitcoin Only The investment package has a duration of 30 days with a daily profit of 2% on working days and 1% on Saturday Sundays. Instant withdrawals. Investors can get their initial deposit back at any time with a 10% charge during the first 30 days. Beyond these 30 days, the invested capital will be returned to you free of charge directly to your Back-Office. Additional Information : Domain registered for 3 years SSL valid from 01 September 2020 to 03 October 2021 Unique Script The team behind Bitero has this time tailored its investment plan to aim for the Long term ... What to make all good profits! Forward the Gains! ;)
eToro: impressions, doubts and (ignored) lessons from copy trading
(no promotional content, no affiliate links) Hi, exactly four years ago, I started copying eToro investors / traders that I selected using the broker's built-in search engine (profitable in last two years, already being copied by others), followed by manual filtering, to take into account fluctuations in yearly returns, composition of their portfolios etc. With that, I got a list of 10 people whom I started to copy on a demo account: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1u52f0XHfr-LauIscKcFDYF0yGTTUr6VY/view?usp=sharing In the screenshot you can see that in case of the first two of them the amount invested was $10,000, while for the rest it was just $100. This is because I started copying the first two a couple of weeks earlier; eventually I changed this into $100 the same day I made the screenshot and this is when my calculations start - so this thing is irrelevant, I just cannot travel in time to make another screenshot. What I did after that? Well, within the next six weeks my profits oscillated between -$11 and +$9.50 (the biggest profit was on Nov 9, a day after US presidential elections). I found this "boring" and discontinued experimenting with copy trading. Today I looked back at those ten traders. Here is what I found. Firstly, seven of them are not with eToro anymore; investorNo1, Simple-Stock-Mkt, tradingrelax, 4exPirate, primit, Gallojack, xjurokx. The other three traders are:
toppertrader: not being copied by anyone and for a good reason: his loss this year alone is 61.16%!
Jean-marcLenfant: copied by only 67 people; his loss this year is -1.09% but in general he is quite successful, with yearly profits ranging from 3.57% to 7.32%.
Girem2: he has no copiers, his profit this year is 41.45% but in 2018 he experienced a loss of 83.15%!
My observations and thoughts are as follows:
Seven out of ten traders are not with eToro anymore, which makes me wonder why. I have no proof but my guess is they simply performed poorly, lost their copiers and closed their accounts. This is already alarming but what if they opened another account? Or, even worse, multiple accounts? They could be investing small money and try different risky approaches, hoping that at least one account will turn out profitable in the long turn, attracting potential copiers. (I'm not claiming that those 7 particular traders did this, it's just my general suspicion regarding some of eToro traders)
I'm unable to calculate what would be my profit if I never stopped copying them, because I cannot check at what day and with what profit those seven traders left eToro. I'm guessing this would be an immense loss. On the other hand, considering the three traders who are still with eToro, I would lose more than a quarter of my assets!
What now? I must be a quite adventurous person or at least an incorrigible optimist, because a month ago (exactly on Aug 26th) I started copying three traders with real money. Here is who they are. rubymza (Heloise Greeff)
invests in stocks, with GOOG, INTC, BLDP, MA, MSFT, AMZN, V, MU, IBM and NXPI making up 50.3% of her portfolio (allocation of each of them is in between 3.02% and 6.85%)
active since 2016 (only the year 2016 ended with a loss)
has 3044 copiers and $2M-$5M of copy assets under management
strategy (her own words): "My investing strategy focusses mostly on US indices, tech and pharma, promising future (5-10years) growth. My trades are based on technical analysis using machine learning to understand patterns and trends in the markets. I prefer to keep a diverse portfolio to spread risk while achieving great returns."
he is a Forex trader, making typically 21 trades per week; his favorite currency pairs are EURCHF (12% of trades), CADCHF and GBPUSD; the trades, however, typically make up below 5% of his portfolio (at least whenever I'm checking it), making most of my funds unused
active since January 2017: surprisingly enough, he has every single month profitable, though monthly profits are in the range of 0.03% to 3.34% only
has 8977 copiers and more than $5M of copy assets under management
strategy (his own words): "I monitor currency pairs all day to find the best entry. There is some management/scaling position for perfect entry. The risk control is a big part of my strategy," (quite vague, to be honest)
commodities compose 76% of his portfolio and his favorite assets are Gold and Oil (at the moment, Gold makes up half of invested amount)
active since July 2016, with the following yearly profits, starting from 2016: 6.56%, 10.05%, 13.09%, 32.26% and -2.03% (the current year)
has 1493 copiers and $1M-$2M of copy assets under management
strategy (his own words): "My system is based on patterns, and a variety of technical analysis tools and some fundamental analysis. I primarily trade in commodities. " (quite vague as well)
own experience: my profit with rayvahey is 2.56%
What was my strategy to hand-pick these particular traders? First I did some basic scanning using eToro's built-in search engine. The most important filter was that the trader was profitable within the last two years: unfortunately, eToro does not allow to reach details of earlier performance automatically. To know how the trader performed before 2019, I had to look at stats in the profile of each of them. I was also taking into account how often they trade (to avoid those who do only a couple of trades yearly), whether they were trading recently and whether they write posts regularly in their feed. With this, I got a list of fifteen candidates to copy:
As you already know, I finally chose three of them. Rubymza seemed to be the most trustworthy stock trader, based on profits, posts feed and regular trading, among other things. Regarding OlivierDanvel, his uniqueness is the ability to record continuous profits with the Forex market. Finally, with rayvahey I wanted to increase my exposure to the commodities market. Wish me good luck! Michael P.S. You might find those copy-trading related readings interesting:
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Elliott Waves Series Part 2 - The Broad ConceptYou can find Part 1 here: https://www.reddit.com/Forex/comments/hieuyw/introduction_to_elliott_wave_theory_overview_of/ The primary value that the Wave Principle (from here on out, abbreviated to WP) confers on market analysts is the ability to provide context for market behaviour. Having context is incredibly important. To put it simply, the WP can be thought of as a compass. Whenever you feel lost looking at a chart (ANY chart, ANY market!), the WP will help get you back on track. Clearing Up Some Misconceptions About Elliott Wave Theory:
R.N. Elliott first discovered the WP in the 1930s using charts of the stock market. Many misinformed people believe that the WP works “best” on stocks and has been adapted for use in other markets. This is simply false. To be clear - Elliott discovered the WP. He did not invent the WP. The WP is based on human social nature and therefore it cannot be invented. It has always existed. What Elliott did was to start codifying rules and guidelines around how human social nature can be charted. Ultimately, Elliott’s objective was to be able to predict future human behaviour using the historical record. The expression of human social nature generates forms and patterns. As these forms and patterns repetitive, they have enormous predictive value.
Another major misconception around the WP is that it requires a lot of discretionary analysis, and more often than not, analysts shoehorn price action to fit the Elliott Wave model. In fact, the WP has very clear rules (these rules are inviolate under any circumstance) and guidelines (these guidelines should be adhered to almost 100% of the time). While there is a discretionary element involved in counting waves, properly trained wave analysts will ultimately arrive at a consensus because following the rules and guidelines narrows the possible wave counts very quickly. Very often Wave analysts will have 2 counts at hand in terms of where they think the market is presently situated. These counts are known as the preferred count and the alternative count. These counts are validated and invalidated using price levels derived from Elliott’s rules and guidelines. The most dissent I expect from two educated Wave analysts is that one analyst’s preferred count could be the other’s alternative count. This dissent quickly resolves itself as the price action develops and validates or invalidates one count or the other. This dissent usually occurs based on wave patterns of one higher degree. It is very rare that I have seen dissent on immediate market movements.
I didn’t know this was a major misconception, but someone brought this up in my first post, “I stated that Elliott Theory has better success when working in consolidations or extreme ranging markets.” This is completely false. The WP doesn’t work better or worse regardless of the market or the market conditions. That would be like saying that breathing air only works occasionally. The WP is NOT a strategy, it is the definitive model for charting human herding behaviour. Human behaviour does not show up only in periods of consolidation or range-bound markets. The markets are themselves driven by human behaviour, therefore the WP is always equally applicable. From a trading perspective, the WP is perfectly suited to capturing trends.
Well, what about news events? What about supply and demand theory? What about fundamentals?! Doesn’t any of this stuff matter?? In short, the answer is no. I have previously stated that I am a macro-based investor. This is certainly true. Much of the research I consume has to do with market fundamentals and global-macro analysis. This research helps me form a view that I can overlay with the WP. From a trading perspective, when it comes to actually pulling triggers and taking positions, my decisions are always guided first and foremost by the WP. Here is a fantastic quotation from Bob Prechter on this topic, “Sometimes the market appears to reflect outside conditions and events, but at other times it is entirely detached from what most people assume are causal conditions. The reason is that the market has a law of its own. It is not propelled by the external causality to which one becomes accustomed in the everyday experiences of life. The path of prices is not a product of news. Nor is the market the cyclically rhythmic machine that some declare it to be. Its movement reflects a repetition of forms that is independent both of presumed causal events and of periodicity.”
The Bottom Line: Elliott Wave Theory is the best forecasting tool in existence. It has determined that the market’s progression unfolds in waves. Waves can be thought of as patterns that carry the market in a direction. There are a fixed number of the different kinds of patterns these waves can take. If you really boil this down to its essence, successfully applying the WP is as simple as identifying what kind of wave the market is currently in. I will end this now. The next part will deal with the overriding wave structure that the market is in, the different kinds of waves we will see, and why this wave structure exists in the first place.
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