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Follow my personal challenge, $100 - ?

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  • Follow my personal challenge, $100 - ?

    Anyone that has read my bio or has followed me in the chat is aware that I am attempting to trade a $100.00 account to something substantial. I don't know how long it will take or what the account will grow to, but it will be a challenge!

    This is more a journey to learn about myself. This is about patience, tenacity and discipline. It's about learning my strengths and weakness as a trader and a person. So far it had been interesting and I have learned quite a bit!

    In this thread I will begin to post my results daily so that anyone interested can follow along. My info is also on Just a quick explanation for those that are interested in following from "Day 1"

    1) I started with $100 on November 21, 2011. I switched to an FXCM micro account in March 2012. Unfortunately I do not have a trade history for that period to put on myfxbook.

    2) The account peaked in August 20, 2012 at $821.00...this was a 721% gain.

    3) I had a 60% DD from that point, taking the balance to $328.00 I stopped trading on September 21 2012, that DD fried my brain and i got really busy with my "real job".

    4) I took an 8 month layoff from trading. I came back with the main goal of keeping DD's below 25%. I realize this will slow my growth rate, but capital preservation needs to come first.

    5) I resumed trading on May 14, 2013 with the balance at $328.00, the account is currently at $540.00, the account is up about 65% since I started back

    6) So far max DD has been contained to about 10%...this is the goal.

    7) Last month I switched to a MT4 account which was needed in the event Nick and I decide that members can benefit from taking signals. As of now there is no set plan for that. My purpose here is really to help Nick further the site. I really believe in Nick and what he is trying to achieve. You guys (and girls) are fortunate to be part of something unique and I am privileged to contribute.

    My "old" FXBook is here.

    The current MT4 account is here

    The "big picture" is that the account is +440% in about 11-1/2 months of trading. The account has been recovering from the August 2012 DD for about 2.5 months.

    Until the account balance is above $821, the account is still in a DD. When I fully recover I will be throwing a party. Too bad most of you guys are in Australia!

    I've said that its not good to set goals as far as money, but one goal I have is to make enough from this account to fly to Oz and buy Nick a beer before I turn 50...I got 713 days to do that...;-)

    Happy Trading!

    "The trend is your friend - until it bends at the end"

  • #2
    Originally posted by TraderFX65 View Post
    This is more a journey to learn about myself. This is about patience, tenacity and discipline. It's about learning my strengths and weakness as a trader and a person. So far it had been interesting and I have learned quite a bit!
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your journey, Joe!

    I wanted to reply to your post because I have the same primary goal for trading: use the trading results as a mirror for myself, with the intent to drive personal growth. Basically I can blame my boss or even the whole company for its policies, but in the markets it's just you with yourself. You can chose to blame something outside of yourself, indeed, but it's not helpful at all. Once one realizes that, trading becomes an awesome tool for personal growth


    • #3
      Hi Next!

      Appreciate the reply! Your 100% correct about trading and how you can apply it to your life and vice versa. We all have blamed the market at one point or another for our errors. It took a long to for me to realize the the market is always right!

      Being successful at trading is very simple...but not easy. At the simplest level it only requires:

      1) A method of entry/exits that gives your a statistical edge (positive EV). It can be any method; technical, fundamental or a combination of the two. I'm personally comfortable with technicals.
      2) The ability to execute that method flawlessly every time.

      Thats it. You do that, you will profit. Sounds easy enough, eh?

      I now know that I don't need to know what the market is going to do. I only need to know what I'm going to do. The distribution of wins and losses will be random. All I need is the discipline to follow my trading plan and the results should be a nice steady rising equity curve with some modest DD in between. While I am happy with my overall % gain, I am unhappy with my equity curve. I'll gladly sacrifice astronomical gains for a steadier equity curve! In reality an 800+% gain in under a year is simply not sustainable, I had to get away with murder a couple times and risk way too much to achieve that. I mentioned in another post that I feel a realistic, sustainable annual gain for an outstanding forex trader would be 200-300% on a small to medium sized account with a max DD of 25-30%. If you want 500+% annual, you better be willing to risk at least 50% of your account at any given time to achieve it. It will happen.

      While my only goal is to plan my trade and trade my plan, I am hoping to see a 150-200% gain on my account over the next 8-12 months. At that point I can examine my track record and adjust my risk accordingly if I want to try for more, but I will try to be happy with "only" 200-300% per year...hehehehe.

      Happy trading! Hope to see you around the live trading room and live screencast!

      "The trend is your friend - until it bends at the end"


      • #4
        July 8-9 Results

        Ran into an unfortunate situation where a trade that was about +1% wound up a 3.3% looser. I entered a JPY long trade (short EURJPY and GBPJPY) looking for 50-60 pips shortly after the market opened Monday. The trades went nowhere and it got past my bedtime. I figured since nothing was due out to move things and I still had the option to enter a recovery trade, I'd get a few hours sleep and reassess things.

        Well I woke to find that I had a decent enough move to have pulled about 50 pips...only I was not there to catch it. I really dont like setting limit orders but I am thinking that if I have to leave the trade unattended (which I do not do very often) I need to set stops an limits, after all, anything can happen!.

        Long story short, the trade moved enough against me to enter a recovery on both positions. I actually had a second chance to get out with a few pips but was with a client and missed that too! I guess sometimes you run into a bit of bad luck to go with some not-so-good trade management. Bottom line, after looking at JPY on the Strength Meter later in the evening, I decided it was not looking favorable and cut the trades for a 3.3% loss. Right after that JPY moved down sharply so I guess I had a bit of good luck...had I hesitated by 20 minutes things would have been a whole lot worse!

        This is two consecutive losses over 3% for me and now I am at an 11%DD on this new account...not really how I wanted to start things off but it is what it is. Here are the trades:


        This Friday will mark 1 full year trading since I started this challenge. Right now the challenge stands at +424%. However I am still 36% drawn down from the peak +721% that was made 9 months into the challenge.

        Since keeping any future DD's below 25% is my primary objective moving forward, I am still trying to figure out things a bit. In the past I would be very aggressive coming off losses but I want to try to keep that aggression contained and try to be patient. However I am entertaining the notion of using more leverage with tighter stops and lower profit targets since about 90% of my trades move in my direction. This may help me out in a choppy trade like I had today.

        Happy Trading!

        Last edited by Turtle Forex; 07-09-2013, 07:00 AM.
        "The trend is your friend - until it bends at the end"


        • #5
          July 9 part II

          Took a nice EURUSD short scalp from 2900 for 9 pips last night...then tried a EURUSD long from 2800...not so good...gave back close to 60 pips total. I am really going to have to start looking for very high percentage scalp setups until I can get in tune with the market...right now I'm having a hard time getting tuned in!


          No reason to get alarmed...remember rule #3:

          "There is a random distribution between wins and losses for any given set of variables that define an edge"

          When I resumed my trading in May after a long layoff, I immediately went on an 18 day winning streak and ran my account up 73% in under a have to take the good with the bad and stick with the program..these things can and will happen. The only thing is that I did not play my edge with this EURUSD long...I was trying to bottom pick a bounce at 2800...there was no signal at all to buy EUR, so that 60 or so pips is my bad, not my systems.

          Happy Trading!

          "The trend is your friend - until it bends at the end"


          • #6
            July 10 - Back on track!

            I had some time to reflect on my trades the last couple days and realized that I had been trying to force the issue and it was my lack of patience in waiting for the proper setup that put me in the hole. I got up this morning (USA time) decided to "trade my plan".

            I have 2 optimal set-ups:

            1) Play a bounce off the daily ATR using the Dynamic ATR indicator. This is a very high percentage set-up however it cannot be entered blindly. I need to see the the currency in question is showing some kind of sign of reversing.
            2) A strong currency on the Daily Strength Meter moving up from below 35 on the 15 Minute Strength Meter, or a weak currency on the Daily Strength Meter moving down from above 65 on the 15 Minute Strength Meter. I look for price action to confirm the indicator for entry.

            These setups are my statistical edge. They have a higher percentage of going in my direction than against me. What is unknown is how much in my direction it will go.

            Since rule #3 says that there will be a random distribution between wins and losses, I try to find 2-3 currencies to trade against the main currency. This should increase my odds of success. I look at this as a "Trade Group". I really dont care what the individual pairs do, I look at the total pips.

            Today I eyed the NZD. It has been on a rampage moving up the ranks on the Daily SM. On the 15 Minute SM, NZD had pulled back and was moving up thru 35. Because of the beating I took the last couple sessions, I was hesitant to enter but finally sucked it up and entered long NZD against EUR, GBP and JPY.

            I have had a tendency lately to hold out for too much on a trade. I decided today that if things moved quickly in my direction, as they do probably 80% of the time, that I was just going to take the quick pay-off. I think I will be doing this for the next week or so until I get my confidence back and also get a feel for some of these currencies. In all honesty I don't trust any of the moves and obviously the market has been choppy most of the time since FOMC last month.

            Bottom line my "NZD long group" offered me 25.6 pips 7 minutes into the trade. I took the quick payoff, which was my plan:


            I've said before that trading is simple, but it is not easy. For me it is very difficult to be patient. As many times as I have lost pips being impatient and as many times as I have earned quick and easy pips waiting for the right setup, I still sometimes jump the gun or enter ill-advised positions. But thats the point of this learn over time to be patient, trust my system, plan my trades and trade my plan....

            Happy Trading!

            "The trend is your friend - until it bends at the end"


            • #7
              Nearly derailed

              Well I guess they all can't be easy. Later in the trading session I had a nearly identical set-up from earlier and went long NZD angainst EUR and GBP. I decided not to mess with JPY. I was looking for a quick 25-40 pips and what I wound up with was a multi-position all day slug-fest with a growth hormone injected EUR. While the trade never went 10% against me, I would have let it run 15% so had this not worked out I would have had an uphill battle to even have a chance at closing July positive. Fortunately a couple well timed recovery positions helped me end the day with 109 total pips. But trust me it was not easy.

              July10-2.jpg July10-trades.JPG
              "The trend is your friend - until it bends at the end"


              • #8

                This GBPNZD trade did not go was almost like the previous EURNZD, the only difference I was not able to make a full recovery.

                This trade was immediately up 10 pips but with just a couple minutes was -40...from there things went from bad to worse as GBP made muti-day highs on the SM at the same time NZD made multi-day lows. Before I knew it I was looking at an 11% floating DD...

                Fortunately one well timed recovery position helped me out...average loss was 45 pips on 5 positions (225 total pips). On top of this I ran into a bit of bad luck..I had positioned myself so that a move to the 38.2% fib would get me out even...I went to bed and set a limit in case it hit. It came within 5 pips and

                But then some good luck. After watching this bob around the daily pivot and looking at my equity, I decided that from a psychological perspective that since today marked 12 full months of trading the challenge and I wanted to go into the weekend with at least a 400% gain so I closed out the trade with an equity balance of $508.88. As far as I am concerned I am starting a new year on Monday. Anyhow as I was typing this, GBPNZD has shot up over 100 pips! This would have killed my balance and my current DD would be huge. Now I will go into the weekend feeling like I won!

                I also decided to close out the AUDUSD "position trade" which was -35 pips...I realized that trade would really screw up what I'm trying to accomplish on this account.

                closed here:July11-12.jpg 20 minutes later:July11-12b.jpg

                Looking forward to a new trading year and hopefully another 400%!

                Happy Trading!

                Last edited by Turtle Forex; 07-12-2013, 11:03 AM.
                "The trend is your friend - until it bends at the end"


                • #9
                  $100 Challenge Annual Report...hehehe

                  OK folks, I have wrapped up 12 full months of trading as of today (20 months total but there was an 8 month period I didn't trade). For the first 12 months:

                  408% overall gain
                  721% peak high
                  2 - 60% draw downs

                  Now you know that I am not into setting goals, but for fun we can make some assumptions after 12 months and 100's of trades that this method can yield 408% in a year, even with some bad trades and large dd's

                  With an approximate current balance of $500 and assuming that my trading will only improve, at 400% per year compounded:

                  2014 balance = $2,500
                  2015 balance = $12,500
                  2016 balance = $62,500
                  2017 balance = $312,500
                  2018 balance = $1,562,500

                  I'm not about to put the cart before the horse and I don't think the above is realistic but it is possible...I'd need more than a bit of luck to achieve it...lets see where we stand next year at this time and then we can revise projections. I think my trading will only improve over the next year...which means I will probably have smaller DD's and also means smaller gains but lets see where we wind up!

                  For me this is a new trading year with a fresh start and clean slate. My only goal is to do better than the last 12 months. This does not mean turning a higher % gain, this means continuing to strive to plan my trade and trade my plan which will hopefully result in a steadier equity curve with smaller DD's

                  I don't think the method I will be using for my personal challenge will be suitable for most traders. Although I do not think I will be experiencing any 60% DD's, it is quite possible that I will see a couple 30-40% DD's over the course of trading these next 12 months. We'll see how it goes!

                  Happy Trading and have a great weekend!

                  "The trend is your friend - until it bends at the end"


                  • #10
                    Same sentiment


                    • #11
                      July 14-15

                      Decided to get a bit more aggressive than normal on a couple trades. I was liking the set-ups on GBPAUD and GBPNZD shorts, so I went in and as usual found myself up a few pips rather quick but today my plan was to add if they trades went my way. No sooner did I add then the trade took a 180 degree turn and while pip wise it was nothing to worry about, I was positioned quite a bit heavily and my floating $ DD quickly got close to 5%.

                      I hung in there and the trade came back my way and added a bit more. I had a target on these but it was way past my bedtime so I took about 120 pips total off the table...woke up this AM and saw that they both in fact did go where I thought, but as I refer to rule #1 "Anything can happen". Better to take it off the table.

                      July 15.jpg

                      The good news is the new trading year is off to an awesome start...Just 398% more to go!....hehehehehe

                      Happy Trading!

                      "The trend is your friend - until it bends at the end"


                      • #12
                        July 15

                        Took a conservative 19.5 pips on a couple "JPY longs"

                        July 15-2.jpg
                        "The trend is your friend - until it bends at the end"


                        • #13
                          A couple NZD shorts got a boost from a weaker than expected kiwi CPI. Nice to have the news help me out for a change...:-)

                          July 15-3.jpg
                          "The trend is your friend - until it bends at the end"


                          • #14
                            July 16 Part 1

                            Last night I thought I'd try out a CADCHF long of a SM divergence. While overnight the trade got me into positive territory, it went south on my. Entered a recovery trade and got a nice new spike that would have got me out in positive territory but was focusing on AUD short positions and missed it. The trade started to get a bit away from me, but a nice move up on CAD Stength Meter and a well timed second recovery allowed me to get out with a 21 total pips loss...considering it was -90 at one point, I was happy to take this small loss.

                            I put in 4 AUD short positions, AUDUSD, AUDJPY, EURAUD(long EUR) and GBPAUD(longGBP). EUR gave me some nice quick pips and I took that off the table early for +43.5 pips total on 2 positions. Then things got choppy I did have a chance to get out of AUD all together but felt this had a chance to be a big trade. More chop but finally got out of GBPAUD with 13.3 pips a few minutes ago. Still hold 2 AUDJPY and AUDUSD positions and am still confident I can get out better than I could have a couple hours ago...time will tell. So far about +36 pips on closed trades for the day and -20 on open trades.

                            AUD Shorts: July-16-AUD-Shorts-1.jpg
                            CADCHF: July-16-CADCHF.jpg

                            More to come...;-)
                            "The trend is your friend - until it bends at the end"


                            • #15
                              July 16 Closed out rest of AUD shorts

                              Closed out AUDJPY 24.9 total and AUDUSD for a whopping .2 pips! All things considered not a bad day, about 60 pips total.

                              "The trend is your friend - until it bends at the end"