Trading profitably: About a year of learning and practice.
Trading for a living: Well, that’s a life-long lesson, but one well worth learning.
Time is money!
Your time is valuable, and we certainly don’t like wasting time – so we designed this website to be a concise, time-efficent resource for developing professional traders and investors.
So first of all, everywhere on this website we’ll attempt to focus on how you can gain a positive edge from technical trading – without marketing waffle, pseudo science or claims of untold riches.
Where there are already good quality resources that explain a particular element of trading more comprehensively, rather than re-hash other people’s content, we’ll point you directly to best resources that we recommend you read up on, and we certainly won’t waste your time with unproven distractions or marketing hype.
On each page and article we will detail how much time we think you should reasonably expect to apply to learning and setting yourself up with each component, and how much time you may then need to allocate to each aspect for your trading and investment goals.
So, evaluate the time you need to commit to learning and organising your setup, and if our style of trading suits your goals then please do let us know how you progress…
What you learn comes before what you earn
Learning how to trade and invest safely, profitably and consistently is easy when you know how but can seem quite complex when you first start learning. However, trading successfully is certainly not impossible, nor is the market uncontrollably rigged – as those that are unsuccessful or less experienced may claim.
You do need to be prepared to do a reasonable amount of reading up on the subject, be quite confident with a computer and numbers (although if you’re here then you probably are), have the right tools to be time efficient in your trading, keep good records, and of course have tried and tested strategies that work well enough to keep you profitable for the long-term. All of which we aim to help you do through our humble website…
Our Analytic Trading website is an outlet for us to condense and share our experience and knowledge of trading, data analysis, programming, strategy formation, and tactics for managing investments. The clue is in the name really, we use technical analysis of markets (based on mathematical probabilities and price chart analysis) to find repeating patterns and high-probability trade set-ups to profit from.
Free to use with no advertising
The site does of course cost time and money to run and support, which we aim to partly-fund through commission payments from the commercial services we link to – if you choose to use them. However we do equally link to a significant amount of free and unaffiliated resources as well, and we only link to recommend services we actually use or have researched. Our aim is to remain impartial with our editorial, advert-free, and any commissions will have no influence upon our journalism ethics and recommendations, whether free or paid-for.
By sharing our experience and knowledge we hope to build our small private community of friends and colleagues trading online to help improve our own trading opportunities and the successes of those trading with us. It is nice to have successful friends and to help each other, as you’ll soon find.
Trading software development
We have invested significant amounts of time and money in research and developing our trading software, indicators, alerts and automated trading programs (MetaTrader Expert Advisors or EAs). We have decided to give away for free, or a very low cost, the ones that assist you in placing & managing your manual trades, and help you learn how to trade the markets more effectively.
For the more advanced development work, we will be asking for a small contribution towards our ongoing research, development and maintenance costs, this will be for software that gives you genuine time (and money) saving alerts, signals and automated management of your trades. We think that’s fair consideration, it is completely without obligation, and we will price all paid-for software at a level that we believe should only cost you a small proportion of the value that it will give you back in trading profits and time-savings.
If you do choose to be a customer for our advanced software services, then we will certainly work hard to make sure you are well supported in return. For everyone else, please do enjoy the free resources and perhaps be kind enough to point others in our direction if you find it helpful for yourself and them.
In the spirit of the website we’d like to use our contacts, experience and fortunate position to help with fundraising for some specific causes we believe strongly in supporting, including The Prince’s Trust, YMCA Camp America, Cancer Research UK, Children In Need and Parkinsons UK. There will be opportunities for you to get involved with helping us raise money for these very valuable organisations, after all there are many more riches in life than just money so we believe it is important to keep put back into the community something for all these things would be there for us if we needed them.
On the right hand side of each page on this site you will find links to tried and tested resources we think you should certainly review on your path to being a successful trader. We like to keep the list reasonably concise, there is a fair amount to learn from all of them but they are all good resources and are worth taking the time to glance through if you’re serious about being an informed trader and investor. You can have a look at things like Bloomberg and Reuters as well but we think that these sites will give you more specific knowledge on how to trade technically and we find a lot of the fundamental and news analysis can be distracting a for new traders, even though you do need to be reasonably aware of it.
Sharing knowledge and learning through feedback
It is often said that there’s no ‘secret sauce’ or ‘holy grail’ system but that’s most probably because the traders that do have a recipe for truly making money consistently very quickly lose the incentive to share their methods. There’s a few reasons for this; they may fear that their methods will stop working if too many others know them so they go off the radar; they could have learnt through, and be working for, firms with strict confidentiality enforcement; or like us they just move on to private forums and online trading rooms to try to only keep intelligent company online and not get distracted by too many newbies or sceptics asking the same questions over and over because they haven’t taken the time to read-up on the basics in the way that all profitable traders will have had to.
Becoming a profitable trader
We have included a small amount of introductory advice for new traders but this website is mainly targeted more towards those that know how to trade already or are actively investing their funds and want to improve their knowledge and strategies for improved returns. If you have a read through this site and those we have linked to, you’ll be surprised how quickly it all becomes quite easy to understand, plus you’ll become more confident with managing money and your finances too.
Those that can – do
Everyone has to pay their dues if they truly want to learn something thoroughly, so to give you a rough idea, our estimate is that anything worth knowing is going to take 1,000s of hours of study and experience (which only works out at about a year part-time) – some even say 10,000 hours (about 5 years full-time) is the magic number for success in any given field where you are competing against others.
Our aim here is to help you speed up your learning curve through others experience but without taking short-cuts; minimising wasted time and money on all the misinformation out there that we had to wade through in the early days and still proliferates online by those trying to make a quick buck.
So overall, if you include chart time from watching and trading the markets live, you could very well expect to spend a few hundred hours before you can realistically expect to be profitable and stay profitable. It is a profession like any other, and you wouldn’t expect your doctor or lawyer to have learnt their expertise from just one or two books!
Those that can’t…
Those ‘traders’ that don’t make money, or even just can’t trust themselves to avoid gambling tendencies when they do, will sometimes then look for other ways to monetise what have learnt by selling services to others to make risk-free money instead; hence the ridiculous amount of information online full of vague ‘advice’ like “find a trading style that works for you” “if this happens, that might happen, but the opposite might also” followed by lots of hindsight analysis on trades that work and little coverage on the same setups that don’t.
They may even sell strategies based on curve fitting a strategy to historical data or even just have such a short period of trading data so that any performance shown is statistically insignificant. Or they may actually have a lot of very good device and educational material and just be more interested in passing that on because their personality simply finds the actual trading too stressful or boring.
More than just money
Then there a few of us that do make money from trading but find that, as a solitary vocation, just making money alone isn’t much fun and, we learn quickly not to bore friends and family with it if they’re not interested – because if you do well then they think you got lucky, and if you don’t then you must be gambling and taking risks with hard-earned money.
So we form friendships with a small group of fellow traders online through forums, and now Twitter, where we share ideas and help each other spot great trade setups and keep a collective eye out for risky events to keep all our profits safe – because we might be doing well but do tend to do even better as a group.
How do we make money?
Easy really; we only trade very high probability setups, we don’t overtrade but we do make sure we have enough exposure to price movements as early as possible when they start and for as long as they continue until a reversal of our entry signal appears; then we exit the trade for the same reasons that we would enter a trade on the opposite direction. We don’t use fixed stop losses and profit target amounts, or lagging indicators of averages over a large number of price candles/bars; and we don’t trade when the markets are moving erratically based on news and rumours until they return to their normal technical ebb and flow.
…and minimise losses
If a trade goes against our original high-probability speculation we don’t panic and exit the trade too early, we simply flip our strategy and look for an exit for the minimum possible loss based on the same entry principles. This is what successful hedge funds do and with access to brokers online and charting tools now being very cheap or free nowadays it’s much easier for private individuals to do the same. (And like anything, those in-the-know always like to make out to others that it’s harder than it really is).
So far so good?…
We hope that you find that you can expect to see refreshing straight-talking from us, some much more specific and considered answers to popular questions like; “how much money do I need to start with?” “how long will it take me to be consistently profitable?” and “how much money can I make?”, and no vague answers like “anything from $100” “how long is a piece of string” and “as much money as you want”. No-one is making money from that kind of rhetoric!
With the right toolset and understanding of how the markets move, and where the winners and losers are positioned, it is certainly possible to make a very healthy return (we think ideally around 50-100% year on year growth is reasonable to aim for until you get to have a really big account), or even earn a living from trading (generally targeting about 10-30% growth per month to allow for regular withdrawals of about half of that for your ‘wage’ and to cover dry-spells).
Once you do have a ‘magic formula’ for your available time and money to invest, it can sometimes seem almost too easy – but the vast quantity of books, courses, information online, news, and chart data is almost infinite – so knowing where to start, how long it will take, and whether it is for you, can be an expensive learning curve in both time and money. Plus, the hardest part can often be knowing when not to get distracted by information that isn’t significant to your trading.
The wisdom of crowds
We’ve been through thousands of hours of research and development, and are now confident enough to help speed you through all of that, we’ll tell you about the vast amount of things that simply don’t work and you can safely ignore, and where the information gems are for you to build your own knowledge, toolset and strategy ‘secret sauce’ – so you can also focus on making actually money trading consistently and maybe even become one of our geeky online trader friends that we chat to in between trades and when waiting for perfect setups – to save boring family and friends!
They say 90% of ‘traders’ lose money or give up – although according to recent research it is actually more like 75%. The point is, committing your time and money to a method of investment that relies upon probability being on your side, and becoming one of the 10-25% that is consistently profitable, means we all need to be efficient in our learning curve and methodical in our decisions, otherwise we become one of the majority supplying the liquidity and profits to those that are profitable. This is just how all competitive free-markets work.
Still reading, still interested, what next…
To complete this introduction to our website, strategies and toolset we will be specific in declaring exactly what you can expect to learn and get out of reading on, because we don’t want to waste anyone’s time, including our own.
Essentially we’re going to show you how to do the exact opposite of what the 75% plus of people losing money trading do – because if they consistently lose money doing the opposite will in theory mean you can consistently be the other side of the trades that is making the profits from those losses – something many brokers (market makers) also do very well out of.
Some people may have a moral problem with this but do remember that the profits do have to come from somewhere and among the losers we include poor performing banks and pension fund managers that are better at selling investments than they are growing them.
This, for us, is the best reason why it is worth at least learning how to trade, even if you never then actually do yourself. You can then see how all these salesmen and middlemen take advantage of people’s lack of knowledge of how markets really works and money is made – by convincing the general public that things like a savings account or pension earning 5% per year is a good return when they are blatantly and easily making more like a 50-100% return on having your money in their accounts to play with.
If this all sounds like you’re kind of thing, please do take time to read through the site and feel free to recommend it to friends or link to us on any of the places you’re hanging out online – we’ll be flattered and it’ll keep us motivated to keep fine-tuning and improving our work with more people giving us feedback.
Now, get on with it, go and make your own luck!…