At the end of the road and really need help

Ive just had a margin call after six months of big losses and dont know where to go. The first half of last year I tripled my modest 2k account but then blew it all the second half of last year. I then put in another 2k and have just had a margin call. Ive done so much self analysis and journalling but I could do with help as to where I need to make changes. I realise it could be because my account is too small, that I sometimes dont put in stop losses (yes I know this is a definite problem, but one I struggle to adhere to) or that I need to refine my trading system. But ill put out a brief profile in the hope someone can see an issue that I can’t:

  • 2K account
  • Trading JPY pairs on 15 min chart, breakout strategy in LON and NY opening sessions.
  • Because of yen volatility I either get stopped out too early or take huge losses
  • I struggle to stick to putting stop losses in due to this as I can’t refine where the SL needs to be
  • 66% success rate, but my losses are often bigger than my wins

Ive reached a point that I need to make the money back that ive just lost but with so many big losses I dont trust that I can. Ive also invested so much of my time to trading, Im determined to make this work, but at a loss as to what direction to take now. I feel like a failure. Any help greatly appreciated x

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How did you test your strategy? how long you trade?

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Sounds like you are risking too much per trade. I would look to a longer term trend trading strategy.

Forget about making that money back. Get that out of your head because it will just lead to bigger and bigger losses. You need a longer term plan here to help recover those losses.

I would start by looking at this one :Losing money and ready to quit? Try this first

It’s not fast money but it’s consistent.

Good luck.

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Combination of manual backtesting and forward testing. Ive been trading for coming up to 3 years. The trades themselves usually last from minutes to a couple of hours.

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how many years you are used in backtest?

Probably two years. Quite a lot of trades in that time though.

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two years is not enough focus on 10-15 years, probably your strategies unseen current market condition and it could be a problem.

Thank you. Would you recommend any particular backtesting software?

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MT5 with clear data should be ok. Do you use the same settings for all instruments ( SL, TP, entry exit points and so on)?

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Get serious.

Push the time-frame out to at least 4 hours, preferably D1.

Set a SL just below recent support. Always set a stop-loss.

The SL must be at least 1 x ATR(14) away from entry.

The loss if the SL is hit must be not more than 1% of your account’s current capital.

Look for consistent uptrends to follow but get out when they plateau. It doesn’t matter where you get in but there would be two easy choices - either as a pull-back is ending or when a recent swing high is broken. In both cases you can set and forget an entry order until the morning.

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Your probably more advanced than you think , trading is about self awareness ,you always need to keep in check ,the appropriate mindset ,or all the good work can go down the drain.

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Well, here’s one obvious problem. You know you should, yet you still don’t. Find a way to improve your discipline.

Second, stop trading live and switch to demo. Immediately.

So, you’ve been trading three years, and you’re not sure what you’re doing wrong? You’ve journaled, and? What patterns do you notice in your journal?

What’s your analysis process like?

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Somehow I see myself from your post, big lost, no stop loss, losses are often bigger than wins.

USDJPY is the most volatility pair, even though a small up/down trend, it could be 800-1000 points. If you want to set SL, you should use support/resistance zone. Use D1 or H4 or H1 to analyse the trend then you can find entry point from M5, M15, M30 or even M1.

Always has SL for all trades and do not let the big lost run. It’s not easy but you have to try your best until it becomes discipline. Honestly, only you know where is your problem.

Do not give up and keep going.

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Use of stops is to do with daytraders experience and style,Steve Rufftey for example trades in volitile markets big “bets”, if he had a stop he may blown out on numerous occasions before it reverses . He uses his intuition and experience, but even he will have a threshold.This is nt recommended for newbies though.We all find our own style through experience.

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Sorry to hear about the losses. I know you address this in your opening post, but really I wouldn’t trade without a stop/loss. For me it’s 1%, means I’m taken out if it moves against me. I always feel that if trading without a SL you’re risking being triggered into a move where the market hasn’t yet decided what it’s going to do. I have 1% on everything. It’s automatic muscle memory, so not something I can forget or relax as it’s an essential part of every trade I place.

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Ah, Simon, good to hear from you!!

Hope you have a great year! We had some great conversations before… though it feels like a lifetime away!

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now matter how hard you try ,the outcome will always same ,eventually you will 1.give up trading 2.give up analysis and journalling and take other path. this process could last 10years above ,i wish you advance to other phase soon.

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A few things for what it’s worth.

  1. Money management is key. If you are gettingargin calls this tells me you have held on to a losing position far too long hoping the market will bounce back and possibly added to this losing position attempting to use dollar cost averaging.

  2. Your strategy is probably missing a key point such as checking a higher time frame for structure. The higher the time frame the stronger the reaction to structure. If you haven’t already done so, learn market structure and consider Smart Money Concepts, combining these with your strategy may help.

  3. Use a risk calculator, there is possibly a script for MT5, I use one with MT4 and I only risk half a percent on 100k account which is my FTMO account size.

  4. Test yourself out on an FTMO free trial and keep testing until you can pass 3 consecutive free trials, only then buy an account off them to try to become a professional trader roaming someone else’s money. If you fall down 7 times get up 8 and carry on. This is how we learned to walk.

  5. Never forget to pay the trader, if you can get paid 10pips a day rather than holding for it to turn back on you, take the money. Do everything you can to protect the account, that way you can trade another day.

  6. Do not focus on winning the money, focus on the process, the money will come if you get the process right.

  7. Be comfortable losing, to do that set the risk to an acceptable level, set and forget your trades and move to break even or last swing low when two swings are complete.

  8. Consider a short time frame entry from a higher time frame analysis, so if there is a bounce area on H1 or a Fair Value Gap, look for a structure break on M5 then enter on a small pull back.

  9. DO NOT CHASE THE MARKET, let it come to you or do not trade, you can not force anything in the markets.

  10. Be patient.

Hope that helps you, never ever ever ever ever give up.

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The lower the time frame, the more you need to be glued to the screen.
Being glued to the screen is generally a bad thing.

Consider moving to higher time frames. Perhaps look at the weekly for trend identification and trigger off the 4H?
Maybe look at more instruments than just JPY pairs?

If you know you should use the SL but don’t, because you get stopped out all the time, then there’s something not right with how you trade. A SL should be placed where, if it’s hit, that invalidates the trade. If your SL gets hit and then it turns around and goes on to where you wanted, then it’s a SL placement issue. Getting margin called also likely means you trade bigger than you should.

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1-hedge your account
2-learn how to trade

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