No pain no gain. We've all heard it before, whether it was while working out, making that difficult decision, or staying up late to finish that project for school. Well this saying  holds very true in trading as well and we were reminded of that in the live room today.  Today was sort of a milestone in the Live Trading room. Why? Well because it was the first time that I had it open on a Monday. Honestly I didn't know what expect since Monday's historically known to be slow, but then again with the way everything has been as of late it feels like anything can happen. Going against the notion that Monday's are slow days we opened up the start of the session with two at market trades.  As the second hour began we entered a third. As I told the traders in the room, today seemed like one of those days where the market would decide to test our trading discipline because we sat and watched all three trades bounce up and down in a range over and over again. One even tried to stop us out multiple times. However, we stayed true to our professionalism and with the last 5 mins of the session one of the trades finally broke out of it's channel (if we can even call it that) and hit our first target. It was funny because I wasn't even paying attention to the actual pair at the time, I simply saw an onslaught of message saying "Ring the Register." (I ring a cash register sound every time we make money in the room). Soon after the room closed that same trade continued to rollover and hit target two, along with one of the other trades hitting it's first target. It wasn't our most profitable day in the room, but exciting none the lesson because during days like these, it really feels like you're earning your money. 
"Trading is simple, but not easy." Whoever said this hit the nail on the head. In fact, I would say that this is one of the key factors that separates successful traders from struggling traders. After all (as a member of the Live Room said today) if trading was so easy then we all would have made a million dollars yesterday. One of the hardest yet most crucial aspects of being a successful trader is maintaining a high level of focus.  For longer term swing traders, this means consistently reviewing your charts and adjusting your notes due to the most recent changes is price action. For day traders... it's a little tougher than that.

One of the reasons I started out as strictly a swing trader (1 hour to 4 hour charts) was because those timeframes really gave me time to sit back and think about my analysis. Since I was pretty new to the concept of technical analysis I would constantly have to refer to my notes when analyzing charts. Because I was on the longer timeframe charts I would have hours or even days before my predicted moves would occur so it wasn't a big deal.  However, if you're a day trader then you're well aware that we don't have that luxury of time.  I've only been day trading for about six months now, but in that time I've noticed that the level of focus required from me was a lot more than what was needed before.  Although, I'm using the same techniques and strategy it's still a whole different beast. To be a successful day trader, you need to be on point at all times and today I wasn't at my best.

Although it seemed like a good day in the Live Room today (despite our disappointing GBPAUD debacle), I was pretty upset because I missed out on two trades that would have netted another 100pips.  Now when I say upset, I'm not going to beat myself up and get discouraged over these two 5min trades. I don't get upset because of pips lost, I get upset because these were two opportunities that I should have been in and simply missed due to lack of focus. Whenever I make a trade in the market (win or lose) I like to go back and review it in order to see if I could learn anything from it.  When I went and did this today, I noticed that one trade was missed due to me having a limit order 1pip too high, and the other was due to me forgetting to put in a fib retracement. Seems pretty simple right? Hey well after all "Trading is simple, but not easy."

Lastly, I friend of mine in the room also became pretty upset today because he missed an entry that went on to win.  He said that the reason he missed it was because he was busy typing something on facebook.  This friend of mine is a good trader, so I'm sure multi-tasking isn't anything new to him. But for those who are new to trading, especially if you're day trading, my advice would be to shut everything in the house/office down.  No other internet site, no text message or phone conversations, and no TV. It could just be me, but when I used to do this I had plenty of times where I missed trades because I was distracted by something else. Even today, I still find it difficult to manage the markets while answering questions in the chat forum. Trading takes a lot focus, and day trading takes every ounce of it. So either you're all in, or you're not in at all. 

P.S. I know a lot of you are going to respond by saying "Akil you're a good trader, and you shouldn't be so hard on yourself." Although I am very confident in my trading ability (as every trader should be), I do always strive for continuous improvement (KAIZEN) so although I do find myself making less mistakes in than in the past, I still strive to be as efficient as possible in the future and getting on myself is my way of motivating myself to reach that point. 

Yesterday was a true test of character type of day in the Live Room. Usually finding a valid trade setup to enter during the first few minutes of class is a good thing, but today that gift was also a curse. Okay, it wasn't a curse to us in the room because we are all disciplined traders... or at least working to be; but for those who are not, I'm not sure if they would have been able to pass this test. Below are the charts of the three trades that I called and entered during today's session. EURUSD & USDCHF were retest of structure trades and the USDCAD was a 26-18 setup.  As I mentioned earlier we entered these trades (EURUSD & USDCHF) at the very beginning of class (about 30mins in) and the market forced us to watch our positions float about half way to our profit taking levels and literally a few pips away from our move to break even points for the majority of our three hour session.  Not only did it tease us at these levels for a while, but during our last hour the market actually went against us putting us within a few pips of being stopped out.  With that being said we never flinched. 

 I've been through many situations such as this one in the past and I've learned the hard way to stay in my positions until they are either stopped out or profit is hit. And of course when I say the hard way I mean closing out of my position because I was scared only to see the market rally and hit the area where I should have been taking profit. However today we didn't make that mistake. We stayed true to our trading strategy and because of that we had profit targets hit on all three trades. 

As I told the traders in the room. These are the days that you learn from. These are the days that when you think about punking out of a position, you look back and say "wait a minute, last time I held on and it ended up being very profitable." Sure, maybe the next time you may actually get stopped out. It happens, but if you trust yourself and more importantly your analysis, then in the long run you will turn out profitable.  Trading isn't about how many great trades you take, it's about how many dumb decisions you don't make. 

GREAT DAY in the room today Trader's. Days like these are when you really feel like you earned your money. After all who ever said this profession was easy. 
Is this it? Is this what you traders wanted? I'll tell ya, it seems that all people care about is money money money.  Nobody wants to know about the valuable lessons learned in the room. Nobody wants to hear about the psychological battles we fought day in and day out this month. All you guys want to know is did we turned a profit.  Well then answer is yes!

Hey traders thought I'd joke around with you a little bit before writing this post, but as Rick said in the live room today. "Hey it's the last trading day of the month, let's all have a laugh."  As I mentioned, we were able to end in the green once again making us 3 for 3 since the room started in January (+26%).  With that being said this month wasn't all good. About half way through March we hit a tremendous period of drawdown losing 11 out of 12 trades at one point. Talk about being frustrated. But we kept doing what good traders do and that's continuing to pull the trigger. Being in a drawdown is no different than a baseball of basketball player being in a slump. The best way to get out of it is to keep swinging or keep shooting. After all, I'm sure Michael Jordan had a bad shooting day once in a while right? I also bet that missing a few shots (which keep in mind is very different from taking bad shots) didn't stop him from pulling the trigger on a wide open three pointer. I'm no Michael Jordan by far, but just like him we kept pulling the trigger in the room and as a result of staying consistent we pulled ourselves out of the draw down and ended up winning 9 of the final 15 trades taken for the month.

Although our winning percentage in the Live room was only 41% this month we were still able to produce a positive change in equity. Yup winning less than half the trades we took and still making money. Silly right? Currently we're standing at +2% with a single trade still in progress and waiting for either second targets or trail stops to be hit. If we're stopped out we'll end the month +3% and if target 2 is hit we'll be at +4%.

Overall I'm pretty satisfied for the month. Not only did we survive a drawdown (which you can't avoid), but we fought back and were able to make it a positive month. A 3% change in equity with a 41% win percentage may not seem like much, but that's right around the zone that I'm use to seeing on a consistent basis. Remember, trading is about slowly growing your account not getting rich overnight. Sure we had a major month in February and those are fun to catch every now and then, but what's more important is staying away from those big negative numbers. Aside from that, what I really use to measure whether I had a successful month or not is the feedback I get from my clients. Between the live room and the Syndicate program, I've received many positive emails and messages and no pip amount can make me feel better than knowing that I'm helping to chance lives. I can't even start to explain how proud it makes me feel when a trader tells me that they made 13% this month not because I told him what trades to take, rather because I helped them stick to their rules.  Win lose or draw, that's how I profit from the room! See you guys next month. 


P.S. Please visit the homepage and answer the Poll Question if you haven't done so already. I do this site for you guys, so I would like your input on a new idea. 

Hey traders, it's been a while since I've updated this section of the site but I've been super busy with trying to put the finishing touches on an introductory trading project we're working on for the Forex Market Preview site call Trading How To: Something something something. As you can see I still need to iron some things out.  However, I wanted to hit you with a brief post, not because we've been destroying the market these past few days, but rather because yesterday I switched up my trading style for the room and we were still able to make some profits. Usually I am a counter-trend trader, which is a simple way of saying I go against the market. I sit back and allow the market to do it's trending thing then I jump in when I feel as if it's over extended and look to make money on the retracements.  There are many ways to do this such as trading a retest of structure, advanced patterns, abcd completions, etc. Even though I am a counter trend based trader I do know some trend following techniques and can adapt my counter-trend style to hop on an existing trend if need be.  That's exactly what we did in the room yesterday.   If I remember correctly, we missed out on a counter-trend trading opportunity, (and by missed out I mean that the market didn't give us a valid entry reason), so we decided to wait for a chance to hop in with the existing trend using a structure based technique. We had two trades like this and 1 of them made us some money. The other hit the target area that I project, but do to my risk ratio rules I couldn't take profit off.  So no it wasn't a big deal but I received a pretty good response from traders because we were able to make money a different way, yet still stay consistent in our rules and approach.  I've done this a few ways on my swing trading setups with the most recent one being the NZDUSD. (Syndicate Members know what we're talking about), but this was my 1st time testing it out on the day-trading charts. Anyway that's it. 

Keep an eye out for a post in the next few days. If you've been following me regularly, or are a member of the live room then you know that last month was very profitable and this month...well not so much. However over the past week we have made an incredible comeback and well... I won't say anything until we actually make it through the month. Fingers Crossed!
Today was a very exciting day in the market. So excited that I started the session a good five minutes early in order to hop in a trade. Usually I would wait until the 8:00 hour hits to start day trading, but this opportunity was to good to pass up. What I came across was an abcd pattern, at a 161.8 extension, with a double bottom containing RSI divergence. I mean, what else can you ask for to start your day off with.  After entering the trade I began making my way around my other pairs and noticed another pretty good potential setup.  I rarely take an aggressive trading approach, but for some reason I felt really good about this trade so I went ahead and set my limit orders.  While waiting for both of these trades to play out we had some pretty good conversation in the room, but to make a long story short, the trade that I was in came within 6 pips of target 1 (75pips) then came back down to break even. While this was happening, the trade that I set limit orders for just missed getting filled by 1 pip before rolling over to achieve what would have been another 75 pip target 1.  So what was a break even day in the room for me (some people grabbed some profit) could have easily been a 150 pip day.  Sometimes we just come up a little short. Great test of psychology though. ;_
It feels like forever since I've been in the Live Room. Although I did host a European session for three days last week, it just didn't feel the same. I'm not sure if it was the time difference or the fact that I was in a makeshift office, but today I felt back at home and back in my comfort zone. I also ended a 1 win out of the last 9 trade drawdown streak from last week by bagging 2 winners out of the three trades taken today.  More importantly than ending our drawdown, (which would have happened eventually), we proved once again that each pair should be looked at as an individual by simultaneously entering the GBPUSD short and the GBPJPY long. 

Trades like these are often difficult to take, especially when you're a young trader.  At first glance we automatically want to assume that if the GBPUSD is going long, then every other GBP pair should be long as well. It takes time to break this mindset, but trading days like today start you on that path to free thinking. 
Today was a very interesting day to say the least. If you're a member of the live room, or have been following my latest post that you know that I'm out of town for the week. Yup, I'm down in Myrtle Beach South Carolina in a fabulous beach house right off of the beach. I'm also with a group of 45 college athletes that I coach, but let's pretend that they don't exist so I can continue with my peace of mind. Anyway, because of our practice schedule, I had two choices; cancel the live room for a week , or trade the London session. 

This morning I woke up bright...well dark and early at 3am in order to prepare to trade the London session. To my surprise I didn't feel as exhausted as I thought I would feel. If that being said I didn't feel as sharp as I usually do.  Today's session was pretty rough as I went 0/4 in trading.  On the bright side of things, the room is still up for the month and this triggered some pretty good discussions about risk ratio's, targets and other trading psychology topics with the best being dealing with draw down months.  Despite losing money (which comes with the territory) I was happy with how everything went. I even did a half hour of overtime discussion with a few of the newer members of the room. Hopefully tomorrows profits will match up with the rooms positive vibe and I can write another good post. 

Trading at this time in the morning is a new experience for me and many members of the room were happy we made the switch because it works better with their schedules. As I told them, I can't see myself making a permanent switch to trading the Euro-Session consistently, but I wouldn't mind doing it every once in a while.

See you tomorrow traders and Insiders if you haven't done so make sure you check out the Syndicate post I put up earlier this afternoon. 
I really struggled to get out of the bed this morning. I don't know if it was because I had an intense workout yesterday or if it's because I just wanted to sleep in. Either way I was pretty upset about getting up, That is until I turned my computer on. The first two things I don when I wake up is load up my charts and check our Facebook Group Page . After loading both up, I was pretty excited to see that all of my limit orders were filled which meant that target 1 profits we obtained. Two of these trades were Live Room trade and gave us 175 more pips of profit. (Not to mention a personal trade of mine). 

Needless to say there were some very happy characters in the room this morning.  Not only did they take profit off of those two trades but they also made some good pippage off of a few other trades that we discussed during the session. 

As far as trades taken in the room today. Well there were none. And I'm completely fine with that. As a trader in the room said this morning "no trade=no loss." Despite not having any new signals, we had some really good conversations about sports and trading along with some training on different entry techniques. All in all it 
About darn time! I'll say that again, ABOUT DARN TIME!. For those of you that have been following me in the live room, you know that as of late I've been involved in some epic battles with the AUDUSD and have lost.  Some of you have even shared that pain with me.  Well today we finally got some revenge. Three 5min chart trades were taken today with the two winners both being on the AUDUSD in total we were able to get 65 pips out of that pair on two consecutive moves and you know what, it felt darn good. Aside from the second position leftover from a trade taken in February we only have two wins for the month so far. Sounds bad, but the account is still up 4%  so I'll throw that win percentage out the door as long as the account stays green.  Anyway great job traders and hopefully we'll have another good day tomorrow.