Brandleesee - My Active Trading Journey

I don’t think it’s uncommon for traders to continually make mistakes ,I far from an expert, but people come on here expecting to ‘click into’ trading straight away and are disappointed if the don’t, it like learning a musical instrument, painting a "masterpiece’,been a very good sportsmen, it usually takes lots of practice and experience

In complete agreement.

During my studies and reading comments (mostly on Reddit or comments to articles) the general consensus is that trading is a get-rich-fast system followed by disappointment after having their first couple of trades go south.

Studying this subject requires a long time, just as you say. Drawing from my personal experience, I have been intrigued by this industry for the last seven years. Only lately have I started trading actively while along those years I only did so sporadically to test the waters. Mind you, I am still testing the waters only now more frequently.

Like you say you want to day trade ,more emphasis is the experience of actually watching the charts as oppose to.mechanical set up s

It also works the other way around. I get multiple losses then I completely lose confidence and just don’t place any new trades for WEEKS. In general, it’s so so terrible. Self-awareness is the first step but you really gotta do somethign about it. :joy:

Also have you considered renaming your thread? Maybe calling it a trading journal might help other newbies read through your helpful posts! :slight_smile:

I am trying to avoid this mind frame because I opted to earn a living out of this activity of trading. Needless to say that the road ahead is very challenging. Currently, I am at a perceived loss of funds for a self-inflicted erroneous manoeuvre which is demoralising because my misplaced confidence led me to a poor choice. I will let it play out and eventually write a post about this to show the readership and myself the outcome of poor choices.

For the time being, it should suffice to say that it is one thing to write three posts on the psychology of trading from the perspective of others and wholly another when experiencing red with diminshed capability to act as a consequence of the waiting game.

I really want to but am unable to - probably because of my user designation (member).

And thank you very much for labelling my posts as helpful - I am grateful for I am trying my best to write in a sincere fashion even using my mistakes as an example.

I can safely say that I will be writing certain imagery and comments with a certain sense of shame because I had the arrogance to think that I would not do certain mistakes which are currently compromising a considerable portion of the available funds - I can assure that this is a humbling experience.

Thank you once again! :blush:

Oh gosh you sound just like me! It sounds like you like to give yourself a very hard time too when you make mistakes. While I think it is good, it can also be bad just because of that negative self-talk we do. I’m working my way through this toxic trait of mine lol.

Ohhh! Maybe we can ask the mods here! @Pipstradamus or @Penelopip or @Jess !

I bet they can change it and you can just tell them what you want the title changed to!

I do!

This really gets me to learn from my mistakes. Then again, I recognise that this is toxic and that it needs to be curbed.

There is certainly no harm in trying, so please, @Pipstradamus, @Penelopip, & @Jess would you be so kind as to change the name of this thread to Brandleesee - My Active Trading Journey. If you feel that its placement should be somewhere else than the Introduce Yourself section, please do your magic!

Thank you all!

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May I thank @Jess for taking the time to do my proposed changes. I am grateful.

And also @ponponwei for the suggestion!
(forgot to include you in my initial posting of this message!)

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Oh wow! That’s amazing they updated it! YAY! Now time for more entries!!! Thank you @Jess !

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You said the right thing! This should be renamed as “Trading Tips For Beginner Traders.” Some posts are really helpful though.

Thank you very much for these kind words. I cannot say I am an experienced trader but I do document my shortcomings and research here for my personal use and anyone who wishes to consume.

Wish to invite the following guests because earlier on I referenced their comments to build up my argument in the above-provided post.

@jayohe12, @Jungletrader & @SovoS, thank you for your insightful and inspiring contributions.

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Hi @brandleesee, and thank you for your kind comments!

I am happy to offer my thoughts on your trading if you wish, although I am not sure that it will prove to be very helpful!! :slight_smile:

Firstly, I would suggest that it is not worth getting too wrapped up in the pyschological issues relating to trading. Certainly, they are real issues but they can be approached pragmatically rather than emotionally. The real issues underlying this particular area is building confidence - Confidence in your strategy, and confidence in your ability to trade your strategy as it is intended (that might sound silly but it is not always so easy to do!).

The strategy
I haven’t seen much here yet about your actual trading strategy except that you wish to day trade. So firstly, you need to decide whether you are looking for a mechanical system where you just implement the signals as the strategy generates them or a discretionary method where you, as the trader, have the final say on whether to take a trade suggested by the method and where to set targets and stops and when/if to adjust them.

I assume you are probably developing a discretionary approach. If so, then your method should be capable of offering clear and unambiguous suggestions/indications of suitable trade set-ups.

Then you need to stick to your rules and journal your trades, even the ones that you decide not to take.

Because trading is all about probabilites then it is essential to accept that there will be both gains and losses and therefore the outcome of any individual trade is not relevant on its own. The objective is to evaluate your method over time and a series of trades so that you can build confidence in its overall profitability rather than being drawn into emotionalising over each and every trade as they occur.

In a way, this is what we mean when we say that trading succeeds better when it becomes boring! But it is not really a question of being boring, rather, it is the way trading becomes very routine when going through the preparations, demanding patience when waiting for the right set-up and discipline when applying the rules and risk/funds management parameters.

But without a consistent approach to all these aspects, it is impossible to evaluate your method’s true potential and develop the necessary confidence needed to trade - especially if your aim is to trade full-time for a living.

One of the benefits of day trading is that this process of evaluating your method and developing confidence is quite fast because the results come on a daily basis instead of waiting days or even longer for each trade to work out. :slight_smile:

The question of whether to day trade is really purely pyschological. It does not mean having to sit by a computer or smartphone all day and trade loads of ins and outs (although that is also a day trading approach!)

I have always been a day trader even though I would really like to trade longer term. I simply cannot keep trades open when I am not around to monitor them and I like to have “neutral” periods in between trading periods when my mind is free to focus on other things. Other people are very different. You have to decide this yourself.

If you are going to day trade then I would suggest that you do not try to be a trend trader. Day trading usually means looking for a trading opportunity every day and markets do not trend every day. However, one should be aware of what the current longer term trend is and what stage it is at. This does not mean you cannot day trade against the main trend, it just means that you know whether you are trading with or against the trend! :smiley:

Instead of trying to trade the trend, I would suggest that, as a day trader, you look for a set value for the day and when you have banked it you finish for that day. Your approach is more oriented towards earning an income from your trading “job” rather than speculating how much you might be able to gain out of the trend (if there is one).

The key issue here is how to earn sufficient from the day. This is a question of balancing pips distance with position size. e.g. 10 pips with 10 lots or 100 pips from 1 lot. By definition, if you are looking to eventually earn a full-time salary from day-trading then your position size will need to be quite large to gain sufficient profit from, say, 20-30 pips on the day. (For this reason, I migrated from forex to indices where the daily movements are much wider and with more opportunities).

Regarding the method used for day trading, you need to decide whether PA or indicators are more effective, or a combination of both. Personally I use a combination of PA-based levels and candles from the daily chart combined with just a few MAs on the shorter term charts: I-hour is the my anchor chart and then dropping to the 15m/5m to fine tune entry timing and exit levels. But that is just a personal approach.

There is, of course, a lot more that can be talked about but that would depend on a clearer idea of how you are trading and your particular method.


Dear @SovoS, I wish to thank you for the long comment. Its length is the reason I took my time to reply - not that it took me ten days to read but to ensure that I would find a suitable time to dissect the knowledge you imparted to me.

I am in complete agreement with your commentary. Hereunder are some notable points that I wanted to discuss further.

Building confidence in my strategy is at times hard in the sense that when the progression is in the positive I have no complaints but my brain starts to bluster as soon as the red reaches a considerable level. To be honest, I think this is easy to counteract: by setting stop losses at an appropriate level. The difficulty I find is that I have adopted a system where I have to bide my time which is a smoother way of writing that on those occasions I would be hoping that red turns to green in a short period.

Regarding my confidence in my ability to trade, I would argue that this could be my capability to follow my trading plan. While I make sure to follow it, there are times when I err and do the exact opposite (leading me into trouble).

This is correct.

So, the stick-to-your-rules portion is covered above, where I declare that I need to be stricter in my adherence to the trading plan. With regards to journalling trades, I initially want to take then opt not to, I want to thank you for the suggestion because what usually happens is that I would believe that opening a position would be beneficial than I observe something to the contrary and refrain from doing so. While I feel that not opening said position would be a positive action in itself, I tend to forget the rationale behind such a decision. So, yes, this is something I should start to do.

This is very beneficial advice. I recognise that in my inexpert condition, not only do I need guidance but also the necessity to not obsess over every mistake. Essentially, I have to learn the lesson, absorb it, apply it and then look ahead for the next opportunity (or mistake).

This. I have a similar attitude as yours. Many a time am I uncomfortable ending a trading day or session with an active spot. This is because allowing so means that a particular trade would affect me negatively. This means that I would have had a tranquil trading session when everything is sold and no trades are pending.

Another lesson to be learnt. This requires research of the current trends, a grasp of current affairs and more knowledge overall.

For now, I am only delving into Forex because I feel it is an easier instrument than stocks. Now, what I mean is that my experience is only with Forex, Stocks and ETFs. And out of these three, I find forex to be more manageable. So, yes, eventually as I garner more experience I would be exploring other options. Your path is a tip I shall keep in mind.

May I conclude this post by thanking you for taking the time to write me back. Hopefully, my responses prove fruitful to carry on with more posts should you feel the wish to do so as I have found your knowledge very useful.

Kindest of regards,


Regarding losses:
I would guess that most traders hate having losing trades and consider them to be failures and generally the consequence of bad trading. But this is not so (at least, not always!). And I think it is worth taking time to think about this aspect.

Trading can be considered a business like any other business and there are many similarities. And losses can be viewed as just a component of doing business. In this sense, losses should be renamed as part of the “overheads” of doing business.

What business does not incur costs in order to make profits? Every business computes both its gross profits and its net profits. Why should trading be any different? It is a delusion if one aims for a 100% success rate, but more to the point, there is no need to even consider that. The only objective is to maximise the income and minimise the costs associated with earning that income - just like in any other type of business!

And, like in any other business, one needs to monitor and control the overheads, the costs of doing business, in order to be a profitable business.

Our business product is simply “probability” This is what we buy and sell regardless of which instruments we trade. We know that we cannot always be right and that losses will occur even when we get the direction correct. We cannot make money unless we are active in the markets, but being active in the markets means we will incur costs/losses. In order to succeed all we need to achieve is a gross profit that exceeds our gross costs.

Therefore controlling these expenses/losses is an extremely important component in our total trading strategy.

Any retail shop owner has to carefully evaluate when buying stock for sale what they buy in and at what price and in what quantities. If they do this without any homework then they will always end up with more purchase costs than sales income. E.g they might not be able to sell at a profit if they buy too expensively, they may order more stock than they can sell and dump the remainder at a loss, or they may order too little stock and miss out on potential profits.

Trading is exactly the same. We need to do our homework. What instruments are currently worth buying/selling? what is a good price? At what price should I take profits on my positions? How many should I buy/sell? What needs to happen that determines that I made a wrong entry and I should “dump” my “stock”?

“Probabilities” means, by definition, more likelihood of success than failure, so we need to build a strategy that reflects that and maintains the costs of doing business lower than the income generated…


@SovoS may I thank you once again for your comprehensive explanations. Admittedly, I do not reply as fast as I wish - as I do in other threads - but I always make sure to have suitable time to dissect the message, learn and reply accordingly.

I shall be honest with you. Your analogy never crossed my mind. And it is helping me change my perspective on trades that go south. Calling the act of trading a business, profits as profits and losses as overheads is a really good interpretation to appease the resultant frustration.

At this point I want to take a moment and add to the wisdom you have shared with regards to overheads. This article, proposes each loss as advice given by the closest friend we have. That is, the loss that we would be grieving on turns out to be advice masked as a negative trade. We have to consider each loss as a source of inspiration and as a nugget of knowledge. We have to learn from it. So, not only should I think of a resolved negative position as business overhead but also as an opportunity to examine where I went wrong with my initial trading decision and subsequent actions taken.

These two paragraphs are a shout out to correct due diligence. I see these questions as typical last minute risk assessment notions prior opening a position. Very recently I opened a new thread in the forum because my due diligence was flawed and needed reasons how it was flawed. Essentially I relied on news and an economic calendar to find prospective positions to trade. It turns out that just observing news and calendars and guessing where the market will go is poor fundamental analysis. So I have now learnt that to answer those questions I need to look at numbers and charts, technical analysis, and other sources of fundamental knowledge while still observing the news and the economic calendar.

The below are notable points on this subject that I feel are worth a second and a third read through.

To sum up this post I wish to quote one of your own nuggets of wisdom from another thread and add some commentary of my own.

Before opening that particular thread (my amateur mistake), I was trading on lines similar to the mechanics of the general trading environment (holidays meetings, etc). The problem is that I did not apply the necessary common sense that those are not the only contributory factors that may sway the market, let alone any technical analysis. So know I have gone back to the basics and am consuming more attentively learning materials because it is now that I understand that numbers do matter.

I shall end this post the same way I started: thank you, @SovoS for taking the time to read through my comments and disseminate your logic and good wisdom with me… with us :slight_smile: