Can I scalp consistently?

This week ended with very good result (+13 PLN), but as always errors have been made.
Results first, as Friday evening is good moment to have a small celebration.

  • Few (relatively) very high profits allowed to get great net result. I must admit, that one of these was a trade let loose with higher SL than usual and left alone due to some urgent matters outside of trading.
  • I’ve booked medium losses due to wishful thinking about what is going to happen. After closing good, profitable trade, I have unnecessarily jumped back in AND averaged down during the process. As a result losses were slightly larger than profit from the first trade - very disappointing from my side.
  • Rules are good so far - it’s following them in such fast pace is difficult. On 1H-1D charts, where I usually trade, I have more than enough time to stop and really think WHY and WHAT I am doing. In 1M it is really hard for me to reach the same level of self awareness and keep up.
  • I am considering changing the pace a little by looking also to 5M chart and extending the SL. Having 3PLN - 5PLN SL would allow me to take only three consecutive losses in a week, but it may increase overall expectancy.

I really like your analysis and the way the summary information is presented. You would shame a data analyst. Please continue to post.

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Getting back with update after two weeks.
Last week with zero trades and this one with very few. I see new problem with trading this short term scalping - it requires more and more time during the day. Quality trades require a lot of patience and active chart time to catch. On the other side having little time for sitting in front of charts cause the urge to take what it is - not always best trades. This week results are very good, but I feel more lucky than prepared :slight_smile: I’ve also allowed myself wider initial stop losses. Very narrow stop loss allows to profit only from awesome momentum trades where first pips appear immediately in green. Trades, which start with markets indecision (good/mediocre ones) usually hit SL and then go either way.

Well done, we all need some successes. Really like your executive summary data. Quick question - is the realized gain/loss in dollars or percentage of funds allocated to the trade account?

I use percentage only in win rate. All other data points are in currency (PLN).

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Hope you limit your max drawdown otherwise it’s a game until a heavy trend against you.

Could you please elaborate?

If you trade with loose stop loss stubbornly waiting for a reversal of bad trend in losing position, you may succeed in some trades but the more trades you make the higher is probability there will be a losing trade from which you won’t recover and get margin call or even stop out.

I think you took many incorrect assumptions :slight_smile:
Have you read the post from beginning including the explanation of trading plan and money management framework?

There is no chance for margin call and risk is carefully kept in check week by week.


Another week bites the dust.
All losses have been recovered (almost). It’s been seven weeks so far and few observations below:

  • This way of scalping requires extremely high win rate (> 80%) to keep head above the water
  • Almost all trades are at least for a short while positive or near zero - due to extremely unfavorable risk reward ratio trades must be closed as soon as possible with little loss or little gain. Very hard from psychological point of view.
  • Moving stop loss to break even is suboptimal - almost always it would be better to just take the profit instead of securing scraps. Spreads are huge and will close out profitable trades due to just natural market moves. At 1 minue each pip in plus matters. There is no swing trading, as often spread is larger than swings :slight_smile:
  • Trading this way requires screen time. As my dream goal would be to live off the forex - I don’t want to change my regular job to “forex 9 to 5”. This may be a good experience to be able to jump between breakfast and coffee and bite some pips, but I doubt to ever make it a relevant strategy in my arsenal.
  • It requires well developed resiliency. One bad trade can wipe few profitable ones and this just hurts. Natural consequence of high win rate / low RR strategies. This week I’ve had 7 profitable trades and one loss… Yet, the loss took away almost 50% of profits :slight_smile: The more I trade this way, the more I feel I need a strategy with balanced win rate and risk reward.

Summary below:

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Congratulations on coming back over that zero line. Also on surviving four weeks without a loss week. That looks positive, but I gather from what you have written you think this is still in the realm of statistical noise. But if you continue with this strategy whilst trying to refine your rules, and you maintain the win rate at 65% or above, it could be the start of a plan that would generate a positive outcome overall.
Just a daft idea really, but instead of scalping based on pips, have you thought of back testing a strategy based on length of time the trade is held? For example, what happens if you close a trade exactly 5 minutes after you bought, if it has not reached SL by then?

So after several months you are slightly above breakeven right? I see that your performance improved greatly in the couple of last months, what did you change in your approach?

Changes and lessons learned are already scattered in above posts, but I believe three are main contributors:

  • Patience - I took too many trades too fast
  • Taking trades more from M5 chart than 1M - M5 gives me slightly better feeling for scale of spread
  • Increasing Stop Loss and actually reducing the risk to reward - taking smaller profits and allowing bigger risk seems counterintuitive, but the increase in win rate so far is compensating this unfavorable risk:reward bias.

Your journalling is very good which is really positive. You are giving yourself actionable items which is the way to progress!

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Yes that’s pretty much the definition

It’s really cool to keep a journal helps to understand your thinking process

Keep going mate looks great

@wilczasty Good pointers!
You need to have a lot of patience while scalping because everything is so quick. Also, you need to be quicker in your decisions to make profits.
Increasing your stop loss and reducing your reward risks seems a good move too. In this way, you scalp multiple times to win more profits if your strategy is good. On the other hand, scalping with a higher reward to risk ratio is riskier than that.

Unfortunately I need to suspend this experiment, as I simply don’t have time.
Scalping is possible and so far I’ve managed to lose, learn and get back to zero. I am pretty sure, that further improvements could lead to profitability, yet the screen time requirement is hard to meet. I will look to scalp some during holidays, so hopefully this thread is not dead for good :slight_smile:

Thank you all for comments and encouragement so far!

I believe you can scalp consistently, however it requir plenty of skills and experience, because scalping is one of the most difficult kinds of trading. I tried to scalp but I don’t have any proper result, everything because that times I didn’t have knowledge and skills, I just tried to open position and then closed them in case of minor profits. Scalping implies the multiple position on the short time frame, for example on 1m. The price goes down, you open long, the price goes up, you open short and so on so forth. That’s why scalping can’t be called a consistent kind o trading, it’s really dynamic and unpredictable.