I began financial spread betting on indices at the end of July 2013 on IG and Intertrader after a conversation with a potential client and a full time trader. The reason for the conversation was actually unrelated to trading but the topic popped up in passing.  I had some experience with Forex, equities and sports trading so I was naturally intrigued and wanted to find out more. My educational background is Risk Management and I had some experience with identifying, analysing and evaluating financial risk so when I was offered some pointers and encouragement from a serious trader it was hard to turn it down, particularly because it was something I had thought about pursuing in the past.

I knew that learning to trade would take up the majority of my time but since I was already infront of a  screen a lot due to my other business, I thought I could do both. The first month was quite tough as I had to invest a lot of time learning and watching the market. After market close, I worked on my other online business and also tried to read as much information as I could on trading during the little spare time I had.

The Beginning

My first month of trading was pretty bad. I probably made every mistake there is to make in trading over the course of those 30 days. I took breakouts in rangebound markets, went long on downtrends, traded news and even hit buy instead of sell on more than one occasion. A blind monkey mashing a keyboard would have probably beat my P/L at the end of month 1.

By the end of month 2 my trading had taken a turn. I began noticing patterns and movements that would repeat over and over again during the course of the week. I noted down different types of setups and movements and began trading them solely. I also read a couple of books on trading and had some lengthy discussions with other traders which helped reinforce what I had learned at the screen.

After the initial couple of months, losing weeks were almost non-existent and losing days became rarer. Although I’d like to eliminate losing days completely, I know it would be impossible to not have a losing day once in  a while.  Losing days are bad but they don’t have an affect on my emotions or faith in trading ability as much as they used to do now. The worst thing for me is taking trades that are not technically correct. There’s always a chance that a trade could lose, that’s just variance, but continually making bad trades with no technical basis is destructive. As long as I keep executing the right trade regardless of whether it is a winning or losing one, I know that I will make gains over the long term.

Trading Style

I don’t have a name for my style of trading and I’m not a fan of labeling traders by type such as a momentum trader or swing trader because  every day the market is different and I don’t believe that having such a rigid strategy is smart or the most efficient use of screen time.  If I had to give a name to my style of trading it would be pattern trading because it’s rules based, almost mechanical-like and emotionless.  Basically, If I see X then I will do X.

The trades I take are mostly price action based. I use a large variety of set ups which are constantly changing and updated on an almost weekly basis.  I have trades that help me to get on momentum, reversals and news. I also have trades for rangebound markets and take binary options occasionally. However, even with over 10 different types of trades at my disposal, I still have some days with no trades. I guess you could call that a type of trade too. The “No” Trade.

Why Create This Site?

I enjoy writing and it helps to have my trading thoughts down. Instead of wasting trees by writing on paper, I thought it would be a good idea to create a site. Since I started this site, my trading has improved and I find myself with something extra to do during quiet periods in the market. My goal is to write one post every week and publish it every Friday.

I created EngulfingCandle.com to share the lessons I’ve learned from the markets and also detail my journey to becoming a consistently profitable trader. I hope I will be able to achieve my personal trading goals and also inspire others to do the same.

– Sam

P.S I also tweet live trading analysis and trading thoughts on twitter.

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