Learning

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Greetings!

Each trading day I use an MS Excel spreadsheet to calculate the pivot levels that I want which makes life a lot easier than going to a pivot calc website & having to input the data market by market!

I’m happy to share my spreadsheet with everyone however please note that I am not an excel programmer nor will I offer any ongoing support for this spreadsheet. I have recorded a video which shows you how exactly I personally use this spreadsheet each day & if there are any changes or updates to this as time goes on then I’ll record another to reflect these changes.

Please click here to download your FREE trading pivot point calculator or right click & choose “save as” to download.

(Please note that this is an MS Excel file so will require either MS Excel or a program capable of opening MS Excel files)

Ensure you watch this short video which explains how I use this spreadsheet each day as there a couple of little tweaks you need to be aware of.

Hope you find the spreadsheet useful!

Damon

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Hi all!

Many will know that trading psychology is one of the most important aspects of being a full time trader & one of the most respected authors of this topic area is a guy called Mark Douglas. you may have heard of him as he wrote the book “Trading in the Zone”.

One of our members very kindly forwarded a link to a great interview with the man himself so please sit back, relax & enjoy this interview.(& thanks to Dave B for the link!)

Whilst we are on the topic of trading psychology check out this great interview with Joe DiNapoli here

Enjoy!

Damon

 

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Demo vs Live Trading Pt2

Following on from part one,  I’m going to be discussing what occurs after the period of 6weeks (minimum!) where you are now at the point of trading consistently & profitably. Now, this stage is actually a lot more key than most realise as in order to become an effective full time trader then you must develop your patience & discipline at an early stage. It is much better to develop good habits early rather when the stakes are high as this is where you hear about accounts being “blown up” etc – poor discipline.

I often wonder how many more people would be successful in trading if they adopted the approach of demo trading first instead of chasing the never ending flow of endless money! A lot more I’m sure you would agree!

Anyway, so you’ve now reached the point at where you have done at least 6weeks of consistency & profit or of course you are someone who prefers to trade at minimum stake instead of demo trading. This next stage is probably the most delicate stage as you are stepping out into the real world & that can seem really daunting however if, & only if you have done the first part right then everything should go to plan as after 6weeks of consistency you should be very well versed with you trading plan & methods so the prospect of real money shouldn’t affect anything.

Step 1. Ensure you have a compounding plan so you know exactly what your next stage is all about. If you enter this stage without an idea of where you are heading then you are effectively rudderless.

Step 2. Starting off on the minimum stake you can (for most this would be between 10p & 50p) you then level stake i.e don’t compound for a period of around 2-4weeks just to acclimatise yourself with real money.

Lots of people will discover that the wheels start to come off at this point & start to lose money. If this is the case then go back to the start of demo trading & start the process all over again.

By the way, this method works. The problem is that too many people give up too easily or fail to see the benefits.

Step 3. After a successful 2-4week level staking period then commence your compounding staking. Note – do not ever have the urge to jump up a few levels as you will be creating bad habits or at worse, take a heavier loss than your account is ready for.

Of course, the downside to all of this is time.

This can be a long drawn out process but when anyone looks at the progress they have made in trading you will often discover that if you had trod this path sooner then you would be in a much better position rather than wandering aimlessly in the trading world, hopping from one method to the next without clear guidance.

See once you are in the world of live trading properly then it is a serious business & you must start treating your trading like you would a business.

In the early stages of live trading, account growth is painfully slow which is why having a clear compounding plan is essential so you can see the “bigger” picture. Make sure you refer to this on a daily basis so you keep aligned with your goals & targets in trading.

In conclusion, demo trading has a very real & appropriate place in trading provided it is used correctly. This means not placing insane high amounts as your stake just to see what it feels like to win big but to ensure you have a roadmap even for the demo stage – treat it as real money & treat each trade as you would a real one.

Always remember this is about developing a skill first & then the rewards will follow.

I hope you enjoyed this topic & please feel free to post a comment below.

Damon

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Demo Trading vs Live Trading

It’s pointless,

It doesn’t replicate your emotional side of trading

It just wastes time enroute to vast riches

This is just some of the comments you will often hear when anyone mentions that dirty phrase of “demo trading”…

you said what!! “Demo trade!”.. what a loser you are, pah!, only real men trade live!

You have no business in the trading community if the best you can currently do is drag your pathetic self onto a demo platform.

 WRONG!

Ok, so I’ve put a fairly harsh assessment on what many think it the reality of demo trading & who can blame them? After all, many authors, trading educators, even most of the big name companies out there actively discourage demo trading citing any of the reasons above.

Ever since I started my trading journey & especially since training others to trade I’ve actively encouraged people to make the full use of demo platforms as they are hugely beneficial on a number of fronts & why you too should consider having one in your trading toolbox. One of the things I constantly refer to is that once you are in a trade, technically there is only 3 things that can go wrong;

  1. The Market
  2. The Method
  3. You

At this point I’m going to dispense with number 3 as this opens up the Pandora’s box of trading & personal psychology which I will talk about in a later post.

Number 1 – The Market

Essentially, what this refers to is those unscheduled news releases that suddenly spike you out of a position & you can do jack all about other than having an effective stop in place. Nobody can avoid these curve balls. No one! Provided you just didn’t goof up & have an open trade at a point of a scheduled news release then you just need to get over this one & accept it doesn’t happen often & for the times it runs against you, you are just as likely to have one run in your favour (we like them ones!)

So that’s the easy one out of the way.

Number 2 – The Method

Right, stop right here & I want you to be completely honest with yourself. Have you ever done any of the following;

  • Opted to trade with real money before you knew what you were doing?
  • Ditched a trading method off the back of several losses to go looking for another method without ever investigating what went wrong with the previous method?
  • Used a demo account but traded with significantly higher amounts than you would of if trading with real money?
  • Started on demo with good intentions & then got bored & placed any old trade in any direction as it wasn’t real money?
  • Used a demo account but developed reckless habits like chasing trades to reverse previous losses?

Now, I suspect that many will have one or indeed more of this list & can probably add a few more too!

So by now you are probably thinking, “alright smartypants, what the answer then?”…

Which in essence can also be the root cause of some traders issue in that they are seeking the golden egg – the one answer that solves it which in trading, there can never be. See, in trading you must develop a consistent method which you can then use to get rich slow & that is where demo trading provides the perfect foundation for most in trading.

Demo trading allows a person to develop, test & refine their method before letting themselves loose on a live account. The process that I teach is;

  • Find a method that you believe is best suited to your style of trading
  • Work with that method (You could even use Tuckmans Group Development model of forming, storming, norming, performing?)
  • Once you are in place, you then should be able to trade your method consistently & profitably for a minimum of 6weeks. Whether that means a daily profit or an alternative, which would be down to the individual trader & the method being deployed.
  • Once this level of consistency & profit is achieved then you can then move up to a live account.
  • If the required consistency is not achieved at any point then you go back to the start – think of it as a real version of the snakes & ladders game.

Great! But what if I get to 5weeks & 4 days before having a nightmare day?

Simple… back to the start it is. That way you start developing the discipline side of your personal development – again, another topic for another day.

As with all things in trading, there is no right or wrong answer & with this article I’m simply giving you, I hope, an idea which may change the direction or thought process in trading to a positive outcome. There will always be individuals that prefer to use low stakes on a live account than demo trade which is fine & I will discuss this in Part 2 later this week when we look at the live trading aspect.

Back to the original arguments against demo trading.

  1. It doesn’t replicate the emotions of real trading.

Correct it doesn’t. But then most full time traders aren’t emotional when it comes to trading. Unlike when we all first start out, anyone who trades full time will have a trading plan, will know when it enter, where to place stop, target area for trade & most importantly, know when to bail the trade if it is going belly up. We don’t tend to sit there soiling ourselves because the trade is not going for us as we are in there actively managing the trade which we have trained ourselves to do.

So, some good news for you – most full time traders don’t allow emotions to influence them in a trade. (bit like a trading version of The Terminator?..)

But, still a flimsy reply especially if that stage appears miles away. The most important factor to understand when using a demo platform is that it is not designed to replicate any “emotions” in trading. It is there for you to develop your trading until you are consistent & profitable via a process of nurturing your method – without losing any real cash!

Sure thing – it certainly is a “get rich slow” style of doing it & at times will appear to be laborious & never ending with no cigar forthcoming but the end result is truly worth it. Most people never get there as number 3 (You) isn’t developed in sync.

Focus on developing your trading skills not the profit. Most people who exit trading have tried to do it in reverse, i.e focusing on profit not developing the skills

  1. It isn’t real.

Your right! But then neither does a surgeon train on live patients, nor does an airline pilot train how to cope with emergency in a fully loaded aircraft at 30,000ft (although this would make for an interesting inflight announcement!)

For some reason within the home trading community there is an issue with realising this & one that is better discussed in a later psychology post.

So, in conclusion demo trading has a very valid place in any traders toolbox irrespective of level & ability provided it is utilized correctly & used as you would a live account. Yes, its tough to do that but then as the saying goes, if trading was easy then everyone would be doing it & there’s no fun in that!

In part 2 later this week I will be taking a look at what occurs after your consistent & profitable time on demo or if you are one of those that choose to trade with low stakes in preference to demo trading.

Damon

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Hurrah!

Summer is here & the time is right… for dancing in the streets..

ewww just when i had put those images of jagger & bowie out of my mind however there is a very important issue with summer for us traders & that is potentially less time at the screens & no more warming our feet on the laptop power pack during cold spells!

Anyway, take a look at this short video I have done which details some pointers for us traders during this hot spell.

Enjoy!

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Yo!

As promised in the previous article in how home traders can use the power of Twitter for up to date news feeds, today we will be exploring the important twitter broadcasters that you can “follow” in order to get these updates. So lets get cracking…

@teampiptastic

Ok, hope you’ve enjoyed this article & I’ll be back later this w….

Only kidding! Of course there is more…

In no particular order;

@Marketwatch

@WSJ

@ETXCapital

@IGUnitedKingdom

@DailyFX

@kathylienfx

@DavidJones_IG

These should be enough to get you started.

What about a daily shot in the arm from a self development perspective?

@OfficialJimRohn

@JackCanfield

@TheZigZiglar

@BrianTracy

@tonyrobbins

Please note – when searching for people or brands to follow, where possible make sure there is a blue tick next to the name which indicates that this is the official & verified channel for that account. For example, if you did a search for “Anthony Robbins”, there are quite a few but none with the blue tick. If you re run the search using just “Tony Robbins” then you will see the official channel with the blue tick. However, not all official channels have the blue tick as this is something that Twitter goes looking for rather than we, broadcasters can apply for. Twitter basically is on the look out for individuals or businesses that have an increased chance of impersonation to verify. One other way to seek the official channel is to look for a link to the official website. And lastly, just because a twitter feed isn’t the official channel, doesn’t mean to suggest it isn’t worth following. For example, I follow the official Southampton FC channel but also follow the unofficial channel which tends to have more views from the terraces than the clubs PR dept.

Remember back to the previous post when I suggested having multiple twitter accounts for different reasons, i.e personal & trading? Well, here is why.

One other way of discovering new channels to follow is to click on someones profile & then check out who they are following. So, if you was to check out who @teampiptastic is following as of today then you might find channels like @jordansibley which I haven’t mentioned above due to having nothing to do with trading whatsoever. But seeing this in my following channel means you too could click on the link to follow him (he’s the Saints FC club spokesman btw).

By clicking on my “following” link you can then choose which channels you might find of interest. By keeping my personal & trading profiles separate, no-one can see my personal “following” channels like @depechemode, @SamFoxCom or even @Rylanclark.. (joke btw!!)

So be aware, once you follow someone, they can see who you are currently following.

Have a great day!

Damon

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One of the funny things about being a home trader is that although we are, mostly, technically savvy, there are things in the digital age we prefer to avoid. Perhaps because we think of ourselves as too serious or maybe to mature to use these kind of advancements in technology?

But what if we are missing out on one of the easiest & up to date information sources to help us with our trading?

I am of course referring to Twitter.

For a lot of people this is still a bit of a mystery but to put it into perspective, Twitter is currently the fastest growing social media channel which means – yep you guessed it… it’s growing faster than Facebook. Scary huh?!

So what is all this Twitter about & how can it help us home traders?

Essentially, Twitter is a platform where users can share their thoughts, news and/or information all within 140 characters & pretty much instantaneous too. Obviously there are downsides to sharing your innermost thoughts as confirmed by Rio Ferdinand, Joey Barton, Ashley Cole, & a certain speaker of the House’s wife.

Do you have to do all of this just to use Twitter? Absolutely not. You can actually just be a “follower” & choose to just pick up the information rather than broadcast it which I’ll elaborate on later.

Another cool thing about Twitter is that being a follower of someone is not an admission of friendship which is the basis of which Facebook works. Being a follower simply affords interaction (1 or 2 way) & conversation if you wish.

When you set up your free account, your profile is usually public & anyone can see what you write unless you opt to make your profile private. That said, you would probably need to be broadcasting in order for someone to locate you & follow you.

The major hurdle with Twitter is the language. A quick guide;

Tweet: is a 140 message.

Retweet: re-sharing or forwarding somebody else’s tweet

Mention: A reference to another user by their username in a tweet. They are then notified. For example, if you was to tweet to a friend “that damon from @teampiptastic is sooo good looking” then I too would pick up that message.

Hashtag: This is a way to join in a larger trending topic with one of your tweets. For example, if on a Saturday I tweeted “c’mon Saints, lets get another goal! #premierleague” then anyone viewing the #premierleague topic would see my message thus exposing my profile to the outside world. You may not need to do this as its simply a way of gaining more followers. to gain even more exposure other than streaking across the pitch with a piptastic sandwich board on would have been to do the following “c’mon @southamptonFC, lets get another goal! #premierleague”, thus exposing myself not only to the trending topic but also directly to the club where if they was to retweet that message, I would be put in front of about 80,000 followers.

There is a lot more you can do with Twitter but these are essentially the basics which you would need to be aware of.

So what if you simply want to follow someone or a certain websites like trading for example?

I think it is important to know that you can register multiple twitter accounts for different purposes. For example you could register one for following traders & trading companies, then another account for following personal things like ahem.. justin bieber or Miss whiplash(I don’t!!!) but just an example of keeping your interests & profile separate if you wanted to.

When doing this, it might be an idea to pick a username that includes the words trader,fx or pips as an example – that way you know it is related to your trading interests.

As I said previously, just because you now have an account,it doesn’t mean you need to broadcast anything if you don’t want to. In fact, most home traders will use it to simply follow people which is absolutely fine.

How do you get the information?

Quite simply there are a number of ways to get this information; firstly, if you have  smartphone like an iphone or a samsung then you already have twitter built into the software. Just add in your username & password & you are ready to receive.

If you are based at home then it’s worth checking out the excellent (& free!) Tweetdeck. This will allow you to have an open console on your PC/ Mac which will keep tabs on all your news feeds. You can set it up to receive feeds from all your twitter accounts(if you have more than one) but also you can set up various other social media channels like Facebook for example. (note: you can only set up 1 facebook channel as officially you are only supposed to have 1. 😉

So there we go,a quick crash course to Twitter & tomorrow I will be sharing some of the important & useful users that you can start following including me of course (@teampiptastic).

For today, you can get yourself setup at www.twitter.com

Tweetdeck is available as  download from the app store for mac users. For smartphone users it should already be on there. PC users can also visit www.tweetdeck.com to download

Hope you’ve enjoyed this intro to the world of Twitter & hopefully you will now have an idea of your Twits from your twats! (FB friends..some of them anyway!)

Damon

 

 

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Greetings!

As technical traders it is vitally important that we not only keep a constant source of accurate data for things like pivots but also a good backup in case certain sites either “go down” or are unable to provide the data we require for whatever reason.

In this short video you will see where to find this alternative data for pivots so you can bookmark & use as a good solid backup.

The MS Excel spreadsheet used during this video for calculating the levels can be downloaded from here (right click & save as…)

Enjoy!

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you gotta wear shades!

& for us traders this can be quite literally! The glare from a PC screen is a real issue for us traders especially if you like to fire up the the ol charts at “early o clock” in the morning (not me!).  Check out this short video for some tips, tricks & useful knowledge before the PC glare of the screen reduces you to ash in a nuclear blast kinda way….

 

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Hi everyone!

It’s nearly Christmas so time for a small “gift” in the form of a podcast & hopefully this will give you some food for thought as to what you can be doing over the holiday period. Please feel free to either download it here (right click & save as..) or listen to the podcast via the play button below.

In the meantime, I would like to wish you all a very happy Christmas!

Damon

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