Bury Me Far from My Uniform

Won’t you bury me far from my uniform
So God might remember my face
I know God will remember my face
Merciful God please remember my face

– Joe Pug in “Bury Me Far”

Click here for the song.

This song illustrates the thoughts of a man who died in battle. His last request is to be buried far from his uniform.  The concern he has is that God won’t remember his face because of his past and the atrocities he committed.

Now, I have never been in battle and I wrestle with a lot ideas of what to think about war and armies, but I still appreciate the sacrifice that was given by those that have been called upon, my grandfather being one of them.  But these lyrics reach so much deeper than what is just said or heard.

Don’t you wish, when you die to be buried far from your past, far from all the wrong-doings and hurtful things that you’ve done?  I know I do.  I know God will remember my face, the Merciful God will remember my face.

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Drop All of Your Preconceived Ideas of … everything?

Ok, I am not saying that Bear or Bull markets don’t exist or that they don’t have a distinct look to them.  I am saying this, “IT DOESN’T MATTER.”

I have been a self-proclaimed “bear” since, at least, January this year and from about 1.3100 on the E/U.  What’s funny about this is we spent the majority of 2011 above the 1.40 mark.  All I can do is laugh.  Another example is I have initiated 237 short trades and only 23 long trades this year.  How am I not broke you ask?

Simple. Bears make money in Bull markets and Bulls make money in Bear markets.  This is one of the reasons I don’t listen to market commentators or take trading advice from other traders or the recommendations of OANDA or live my life according to a set of rules established my others.  A lot of people would have you believe that you have to be a Bear in a Bear market or a Bull in a Bull market, otherwise, you’ll get caught with your pants down as well as your account balance.

I guess what I am trying to say is this, it’s not the fact that you correctly “read” the trend or deciphered the chart so well that the side you picked was the right one. (When you stop caring if you are right, you’ll know you are on the right track.) The fact of the matter is this, if you get in at the right time and out at the righter time while not letting the market keep any of your money, it doesn’t matter what direction the last 1,500 bars were moving.

I started out as a very “by the books,” money management, risk/reward ratio nut job. I would argue that technical analysis was the only true was to make a dime in this industry, those fundies could go jump off a bridge for all I cared. Then I started listening to what was going on in the world from sources OTHER than traders and news anchors.  I slowly started shifting to a hybrid-method, adapting micro and macro economics into my trade plan.  I would beat the dead horse of having to have a stop-loss and take-profit in place with a 1:3 risk/reward ratio…then I would lose 2% of my account every trade.  I listened to everyone when they said a Martingale approach is suicide.  I listened to people when they said “trade with the trend, it’s the only way to make money.”  I lost money hand over fist for a year and a half.  I couldn’t give it away fast enough.

I gave up trading. I started observing. I really don’t know how to explain it.  A blogging buddy (@andrewunknown) just started a new blog about minimalism trading and he has a much better way with words so I’ll let him describe the theory of it.

Sometimes it is better to do something then nothing.  In other words, stop over-analyzing the situation and make a decision.  Stick with that decision until you see a reason it isn’t valid any more.

What I am trying to say is this, (and I have been beating a dead horse) don’t listen to anyone when it comes to your trading.  Trade what you see based on a system that you have developed.  And if you do start to take any advice at all, take this guys advice first.

Still here.

Still alive.  I moved (again.) Started a new job. Got a new puppy (almost a full-time job.) Remodeling our entire house. Way to close to launching a new business. Busy, just like the rest of you.

In case you are wondering, I am still VERY bearish on the Eur/Usd.  For many different reasons.  In fact, even more-so since my several posts in the recent past where I was selling.

FYI – The Philadelphia Union are in first place in the Eastern Conference…GO UUUUUNNIIIOOOOON… #doop

Keep it real. Keep it profitable. Keep it fun.

Yes, it is 2011!

Happy New Year!  This is going to be a GREAT year! You have to believe it to achieve it, say it again… “This is going to be a GREAT year!”

Ok, I am done with my super cheesy motivational speak for now.

In all seriousness, I am so happy that it’s 2011 because every year gets better.  There is always something new around the corner and everyday that I wake up is an opportunity to change my life and others lives around me.  The question becomes not “if” there is that opportunity, but when you see it, will you recognize it and how will you capitalize on it?

This is me wishing you the best and hoping you and I can take every chance we get to make this world better.

Talk to you soon!

Wait, draw on my charts by hand?!? YES!

So, I’ve been thinking of FINALLY joining in on EURO short party.  The music’s louder, the drinks are made just a bit stronger, I can hear people laughing…yes, I think I will join the party.

So, I’ve discovered that blogging with any frequency is difficult when I set up weekly (monthly) trading plans and wait for them to trigger.  Not to mention that once my plan is initiated, it doesn’t change much.  What should I write about??!!?? I don’t know, but I will write on here as best I can…I am trying to at least once a week.

I’ll give you another peek into my thought process as I am looking at the week(s) to come.

Check out the Chart first, print it out…get a ruler and a protractor.  That’s right, it is time to do some hand charting, I don’t do this every time, but it really helps me connect to the charts – removes the complexity of the computer, the clicking of the mouse, and the distractions of Facebook and twitter.  If you are losing money and feel out of tune with the markets, print them out and draw on them, even if it’s nonsense, it will help – I promise.

First,I  identify the areas of Support and Resistance on the weekly chart – S&R can be anything from where price stops and turns several times or where there is excess congestion before a breach of a certain line or price.  Whole numbers are important, but I find in the JPY crosses that the xxx.50’s are important too.  Then I check for Divergence between Price and the MACD.  Did Price make a new low but the MACD didn’t, if so then I qualify if and then quantify the discrepancy.  I draw my trend lines and my “anticipated” movement for the following week.  I always take into account the Fundamentals that are upcoming as well as what kind of correlation the 65 EMA is giving me with my S&R and Trendlines.

The only missing piece is how I draw my FIBs – I use Fib Retracement and Fib Fan.  I will explain these later since I don’t do them by hand and the way I draw them is extremely difficult to explain with a keyboard and mouse.  I will try, but tonight it is late and I am off to bed.

Print out the charts (or your own) and draw on them – I’d love to see what some people come up with.  Send me a comment if you will share them me, it would be much appreciated.  Also, let me know your experience with hand charting – I am sure it will open your eyes!

Conversation with a New Trader

Below is a conversation from Facebook that I had with a young trader and I felt that the questions he asked are questions that a lot of young traders have…

John Smith May 28 at 12:31pm
sry about the double message. hit enter by mistake. I have been looking for a broker for some time now and I was wondering how you picked yours? every time I look online at reveiws they are all mixed. It seems very few people like their broker and then there are 80% that give a bad reveiw.

How did you go about looking for yours?

My name is john and i would greatly appreciate any insite to what you have to say.

Michael Goldsborough May 28 at 1:00pm
Yeah, no problem. If you ask how long most people have been with their broker, it’s usually the rookies that complain. They have no idea what it used to be like. Today, most brokers are decent (at least the ones you hear about the most). I am with OANDA because I have had really great experiences with their customer service. What you need to look for is easy to withdraw/deposit money, order fills, slippage and availability. If you have over 1 million to invest you are going to want to look for an ECN (they are direct to market brokers). Under that amount a dealer desk like OANDA or FXCM are good choices.

I’d love to help you out where I can, please, ask me any questions you like. I never would have gotten started in the business if it weren’t for someone to answer my questions, so I guess I am paying it forward. Check out my blog if you haven’t yet, as well as all the links on the blog roll – great seasoned traders. See the link below.

John Smith May 28 at 1:27pm
Thank you very much. I was looking at those brokers but they seemed to have the most reviews but the worst reviews mixed in with really great reviews. but I am sure its because of what your saying about new comers. What would you say would be the best way to get started? How much is the least amount you think some one should start with? How was OANDA’s free account differ from the live account?

Thank you very much and I will check your blog out

John Smith May 30 at 2:15am
hi another Q. why does it seem that when im reading or watching live trades they seem to be talking about taking profit in a downward slope. i thought you could only make profit in an up trend.
if you could pls clear this up for me.

Michael Goldsborough June 1 at 4:09pm
The best way to get started is to trade on DEMO until you are consistently profitable for about 3 months. Then, based on what you’re comfortable with, deposit real money with the broker you choose. You’ll have to check with the broker to find out their live account cash minimums. The OANDA platform for Demo and Live are extremely similar- no problems transitioning. In fact, I still use my demo account to test out new trading ideas and strategy’s.

Michael Goldsborough June 1 at 4:13pm
If you are trading currency, there is always a downward AND an upward market. Since you aren’t just trading in one currency, in order for you to buy it, some one has to sell it – and vice versa. Let’s take the Eur/USD for example. If the chart is in a Downward Trend, then the EURO is LOSING value and the DOLLAR is GAINING value. Therefore, the EURO is in the Downtrend and the Dollar is in the Uptrend. What is beautiful about trading in currency is the markets are cyclical, i.e. there is no bottom and there is no top – a currency can NEVER (well rarely) go to ZERO.

Hope this helps.

John Smith June 1 at 4:38pm
if you dont mind me asking. do you do this full time?
“I have the demo open and learning while useing fibonacci tool.

Michael Goldsborough June 1 at 5:13pm
My income is derived mainly from Trading, but my style of trading allows me to carry a full time job that I enjoy. More like a hobby (and it pays the health insurance) then a job.

Keep learning Fibonacci. I use the Fibonacci Retracement and Fibonacci Fan as well as hand drawn Support and Resistance lines.

John Smith June 1 at 5:23pm
im really liking the fib style. I was just wondering how hard it would be to do this full time. I have plans of finishing school in PharmD/mba. I want to open independent pharmacies.

John Smith June 1 at 5:46pm
is it possible to get 10…20 pip trades a day?
if i had 100$ and 100:1 leverage. that would be 1000$ leveraged for a trade.( i wouldnt start with 100$ dont worry)
if i got 1$ per pip profit and made 200 pips a day that would be 200$ a day. times 5 days is 1000$ a week which is 4k a week and 48k a year…… right lol or im i off or unrealistic?
i know the numbers are low but im trying to see if my math is right.

Michael Goldsborough June 3 at 3:55pm
OK, sorry it took me a bit to get back to you…life is just busy sometimes.

I don’t want this to discourage you, but you need to be a bit more realistic with your expectations as to not get disappointed and leave the business of trading prematurely. I will help you as much as I can and let me know if there is anything else I can do.

First, your math is fine, it’s the logic behind it that is flawed. Remember, if it was that easy, everyone would do it and everyone would be successful and we would no longer have a market.

I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you that this very thought (how easy it looks to make money in FOREX) got me into trading. It would be foolish of me to not warn you that it is an extremely hard was to make an easy living. You can make 10 – 20 pips/day on average, but you can’t trade with $1/pip with $100. It is a numbers game, and you need the zero’s to make the necessary amount of money to sustain a living.

Think about what you’re saying, you want to triple your money everyday. People would kill for 15%/year and you want to make 300%/day. I average about 3%-5% each month, I compound my earnings and adjust my position exposure every 6 months.

Not to mention you need to have 6-12 months of expenses in a savings account in case you hit a real bad run…you still need to pay the rent and eat.

5/27 Update and Review

Slowly starting to pare back my positions as the weekend approaches. Usually I don’t mind leaving some “smaller” positions open, but the full lots and double lots I like to have closed. Unless of course there is an obviously blatant reason to leave them open.

Yesterday was a good day. Total of 187 pips.

Current Positions open –
1/4 Lot (Long) @ 119.26, TP @ 113.71 (I know the TP is lower then the original entry, I am satisfied with this, read below to find out why.)
1/2 Lot (Long) @ 110.63 – TP @ 113.49, SL @ 110.55 (I will trade with a tight Stop Loss when we near the weekend)

As for why I am happy to close out my 1/4 lot with -550 pip loss – Since I opened it on May 10th, I have gained over 1000 pips with an average position size of 3/4 of a Lot. My total pip loss will be 550 pips @ 1/4 Lot size…this is something I can easily absorb. This weekend I will get into my method a bit more.

Thanks!