(tl;dr: Trying to decide whether to sim trade the Nikkei emini (since I have time at night when it's liquid) or the ES. Also, IB doesn't have tick charts so should I just use TOS for ticks, or just use time charts?)
Hi! I'm going to try to keep this short-ish without rambling. Here's my quick history: First of all, I have a full time day job, and a family of which I am the sole financial supporter. The dream is to, you know, get good at trading so I can have more freedom. For now it's a fun hobby, but I'm not making any money. (I'm either breaking even, or trying new things by paper trading.) I'm into nerdy stuff like strategy games, music theory, programming… It just feels
like trading is something I can get good at. I get pretty obsessive when I put my mind to learning something, so I think I might have a chance.
I've been playing around in the markets for a few months. A friend of mine is into options, and got me into doing iron condors, diagonals ("Poor Man's Covered Calls"), etc. I opened up an account at TDA (TOS), did the options thing for a couple months, and it was fun but stressful. (My short options would get tested, I'd freak out and take a loss, and then the price would move back… etc.) I opened an account at IB to get lower commissions, and overall I like them better, except for the charting.
Then I made a couple thousand bucks in a few days on cryptos…. which got me seriously hooked on swing trading. Then I made a thousand in a day on cannabis stocks. (And these were small positions!) Typical story: beginner's luck, inflated confidence, then start losing.
I kept looking for my comfort zone, watching tons of YouTube vids on technical analysis--basic price action patterns, indicators, divergence, harmonics… Around this time (a couple months ago), the stock market started getting super volatile and I found a safe zone in forex. I like that it's open at night, when I have free time to trade. I got pretty comfortable doing some swing trades there, with small positions, but still mostly lost. I've also been paper trading some mechanical strategies (e.g. ORBs on certain pairs), having some success, but nothing I'd pay the rent with.
Fast forward a few hundred more YouTube videos, a few periods of feeling like this is impossible (all these youtubers are frauds!! I am not going to buy your course!), and now.. I really want to day trade. Forex isn't seemingly well geared toward it, and everyone says the ES is perfect for it. I've also been looking at the Nikkei e-mini, since it is active at night (when my free time happens to be--after the kids are in bed). Scalping is super fun, and that's what I want to get good at. I wish I had free time during US market hours so I could just practice on the ES. I should mention that posts by members such as yoyoitsjoe
are very inspiring. It's that type of short-term trading that feels the most comfortable to me--quick, technical, and not requiring running a bunch of scanners. Sticking to one (or a few) familiar instrument.
So my current plan is to sim trade scalping futures for as long as it takes to get good.
Because of the day job and family, I can't really practice trading the ES in realtime. I can use TOS OnDemand to sim trade previous sessions of the ES, or I can use my IB account to paper trade the Nikkei at night (when it's the most liquid thing going). Unfortunately, by the time I'm free (i.e. the kids are in bed), it's already afternoon in Japan and things are slowing a little.
I just came across Mack's PAT channel that was recommended in the stickied "beginners" post in this sub, and it looks great! I'm definitely going to watch a bunch more of those. The consensus seems to be: Pick one market and learn it. I'm thinking that even though I can't daytrade the ES yet
because of the day job, I can sim trade it for a few months (or years, gulp) until I'm ok at it, and then maybe try to carve an hour or two out of my weekdays, here and there….
So, on to my questions! 1) does anyone here trade the Nikkei e-mini? Does it move similarly to the ES, or is it a different ballgame? 2) Tick charts: Can I just stick to 1m/5m charts and apply the same ideas to them? Since IB doesn't have tick data, I'd have to use TOS--which is fine for my sim trading, but when I move to real trading, I'd like to stick with IB (I hear their execution is better, not to mention fees). I could be way off here though, and maybe I'm getting ahead of myself… 3) Any other advice, given my situation? If one of you said "seriously, here's what I'd do: ...", hearing that from a real person who has been in my shoes, would be worth a lot to me.
Thank you very much in advance! :-)
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