A week and a half into our August graduate trading program there are already many lessons to be learnt. Rather suprisingly myself, the boss with lots of experience is leading by bad example while the graduates are 2 up and 1 down and looking promising.
Here we will share the key lessons learned that apply to all forex traders.
Lesson 1 - Have a plan and stick to it.
Those of us that executed on their planned trading strategies performed the best making profit whereas those who strayed to the plan showed losses.
Lesson 2 - Don't trade with distractions.
Trading can be a full time job or something that is executed in 5 minutes planning with working orders. What is key is making sure that you plan for enough time to execute your intended strategy. Those of us that were busiest with other tasks tended to trade with the worst performance.
Lesson 3 - Money management.
It's clear that having a good money management strategy is as important as a trading strategy. Since we didn't have this in place I traded with far too much invested in single trades resulting in sharp losses. All the graduates who are more conservative with their funds executed winning trades but in such small sizes they failed to show decent returns.
Lesson 4 - Don't over trade.
This one is such a common piece of advice but it so often gets missed. Over trading simply results in increased commission and aying more in the spread often without any gains. Once a trading strategy is inplace stick to it and once a trade is entered stick to the reasons why with some good money management. Overtrading an account is a guaranteed way to lose so don't do it.
Now that we have looked at the lessons we have leart so far we can quickly review the individuals performance.
Graeme; Rating D-
Most of the lessons learned were from me. The initial plan was to take some long term positions due to limited time to actively trade the market. Positions were taken long EURUSD, long EURAUD, long AUDUSD, long GBPCHF and short USD against a basket of currencies. While we saw some retracments last week these trades are still with the long term trend. Trading too large positions for my accounts size resulted in drawdowns of 20%. This then lead to a desire to make it back quickly and US Non Farm Payrolls presented an opportunity. Some short term overtrading almost gambling lead to another 30% drawdown. This then set in desperation and an all in long position wiped out another 20% of the account. In short a disaster trading but some fantastic lessons shared with the graduates.
Lauren; Rating B+
The second most profitable trader of the week. Lauren stuck exactly to the plan trading around news releases. Specifically the US Initial Jobless Claims and US Non Farm Payrolls. The only negative marks come from trading in such small size that the profits were small and only trading on two days when news trading opportunities are present on almost every day.
Bryan; Rating A-
Bryan was last weeks most profitable trader making most of his money with some small opportunites around placing stop entry orders with attached stop loss orders and then closing out manually after being triggered. Bryan made a return of 6.2% on his account which is a very solid return for one week. The only mark down was Bryan was not very active and so there is a high risk his trading can't be consistently replicated.
Christine; Rating B-
Christine broke from strategy by running trades for many days continually instead of sticking to intraday trading. This most likely resulted in her being married to a few positions instead of taking all her opportunities. Since Christine has only traded in the smallest lot size available of 0.01 the loss on account is less that 1% and so is still very much in the competition.
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