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Why Do You Want to Become a Futures Trader?

Every trader has their own individual goals and aspirations that brought them into the Futures Market.

Please share why you have or want to become a futures trader and what lead you to this journey.

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To be location independent. I currently live in Florida, if I want to stay in Europe for two months I want to be able to continue trading and pulling an income fro the market.

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I’ve always traded stocks and as I’ve learned more and more about stocks, options, and now futures. I realized I like jobs nobody else wants :slight_smile: Now this game has money we all know that! But long term successful traders have done major work on how they think, how they look at things and their emotions.

I realized trading makes you really fix your sh%t, especially futures trading. You really have to be a master of your emotions, slay your demons, everything about your life, history, lifestyle spills into your trading. How you execute trades, how you handle loss, how you cut losers, how you let winners go. This game is a total mind f#ck, and you have a split second to make a decision in a zero sum game. That’s a challenge for me, I see all my faults in my trading and slowly I’m getting pass each and every one of them which is improving my trading.

Spin off - I was heavy all my life, I did the gastric sleeve and lost over 100 lbs. I realized to continue to lose and keep that weight off you have to really dig into who you are and how you got there.

I realized I have to have this same mindset in trading how I getting my body and mind right prior to surgery, and after surgery. I have to take that same energy and that same commitment into trading.

You have to treat this like a business, your business. Train, Train, Review, Practice, Commit, “kiss your booboos”, Execute Successfully, “enjoy your wins”, and “learn from your loses” and then Rinse and Repeat.

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I came to learn how the markets work, I stayed to learn how my brain works.

I first became interested in trading through Cryptocurrency. I’m an IT infrastructure specialist and developer, so blockchain was interesting to me. I held some Bitcoin; not for profit but for technical evaluation. However, I got caught up in the 2017 crypto bubble and started learning to trade.

Three years later and I feel I have a reasonable understanding of how markets moves and why, but what I need to work on is how to operate my brain properly. The markets are perfect and the strategies and games in play are fascinating to watch and participate in. However, trading has highlighted how stupid, irrational and illogical my brain is. So my mission is to understand how to program the brain to remove FOMO, bias, impatience, ego, etc. I’ve always been interested in psychology, so being able to combine technology, trading and psychology together is a dream job.

Most of my recent development has been on areas such as meditation, flow states, diet, NLP, and general psychology.

Regarding Futures specifically, I chose the MES and ES contracts because they are low cost, with the right balance of liquidity and volatility, yet highly leveraged.

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Originally, I just wanted to figure out what it meant to trade, stocks, and how the market functions. I started an MBA and I didn’t understand trading at all. It seemed like a mysterious and nearly fictitious world that very few people understood. The latter part is still true. I was determined to figure out how the market worked and wrap my brain around it. So I went OCD for months trying to figure things out. At first, I thought about getting into trading stocks and practiced paper trading with TOS. Soon after I compared my trading account size with the PDT rule and started exploring futures. Now, I’m glad I did.

I really like futures for three reasons at this point. One, it’s because it seems more understandable. Not easier, just more understandable. For the most part, I’m looking at a chart, indicators, and volume - I’m not as concerned with interpreting instant news, reading SEC reports, etc. That’s all cool stuff, and maybe I’ll want that someday, but futures really lets me focus on the chart and movement.

Two, working full-time, with kids, and hobbies, I like that you can trade off standard market hours. Between the ES and Forex, I can fit trading into my life without it negatively affecting the rest of my life. Sometimes it’s hit-or-miss if there is volatility when I’m on my laptop, but it’s really nice to have the opportunity. If there’s no volatility, I watch, wait, and try to learn.

And third, futures don’t seem as greedy. Thus far, when I watch YouTube videos, I haven’t seen someone with 50 contracts trading, it’s always 1-3 contracts. The people I’ve seen aren’t trying to pull a $150k day like Ross Cameron, instead, build longevity and consistency with reasonable risk management.

The one thing I don’t like about futures trading (and this is probably because I’m not very good at it yet) is the risk/reward of each trade. I’ve been trying to work on scalping techniques. Setting my TP 4 ticks out and my SL 8 ticks - If I don’t read the market right I’m at a 2-1 loss to win ratio. Starting out, that’s a pretty steep ratio for risk management.

My main goal as a futures trader is to become better and more consistent with my strategy (which is still evolving). My dream goal is to be consistent enough to be green at the end of the year or maybe at the end of each month. I’m more or less there already, but I would be lying if I didn’t claim that some of it was luck. I don’t like luck and I don’t want to base my trades on it. I either want to know I’m going to have a reasonable probability of a good trade or learn why I didn’t have a good trade so I can do better next time. Over time I’d like to have it as an alternate revenue stream. I’d also love to buy a Lambo and day trade from my yacht in the Caribbean - is that too much to ask?

Thanks for the session, Matt.

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I enjoyed the second lesson Matt and Jake, Thank you.

I like to be creative and finding out solutions on Trading because is not an easy game. Select the right challenge on the right day to trade is very important for me. Not every day is a trading day. I like to analysing different Charts and make my own conclusions. More a less most of the Traders do quit after awhile because of losing funds or stress. I do not want to get in that position which make me motivated. You can be a succesfull trader because in the book Market Wizzard they are mentioned. For me that is a challenge to find out what these traders are doing differently. Are their methods still applicable or do we have to modified it. Do they trade differently then the crowd? This is a question for me which make me motivated.

More of the succesfull traders are Swing traders instead of Scalpers. If i am wrong please correct me.

On the other hand, I like the mental game.I had no knowledge about this topic. Looking more and more videos on internet how our brain works. We have to change our standard way of thinking to be a succesful trader. As you mentioned in the first lesson, Matt.:The Brain takes over when you have large profit. How do you handle this situation? Do you go for the Home Run or do you let some chips on the table and walk away. To handle the Fight and Flight response is also a proces you have to get used to. I learned last week about Loss Aversion: that means You are not cutting your losses because of your Ego. You did something stupid which you will not except. I made the same mistake and learning by doing you find out what to do next time.

The more screen time i have the more you see charts differently. Every day is different day. Just like horse back riding. Every horse is different and the same horse the next day can also be different. I am still a beginner and learning every day. When you think you are the Man and the next day you are a Knight without a horse. As a person you are also evaluating because of trading which i like.

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I remember when I first interviewed at Kingstree, Chuck asked “If all jobs paid the same what would you do?”.

I answered poker at the time as that was what I was really into.

Now I’d say trading, for a number of reasons.

When it comes to actually trading, I like the challenge of it. I like the competitiveness of it and also the personal journey and growth that comes from observing yourself and how you react to situations.

I also deeply enjoy creating hypothesis on where the market will move and why. The “why” is huge because there are so many variables. However, that also creates a never ending opportunity to continually get better and take each day as a new one.

I think that’s why I mainly focus on order flow, because that is the raw data of what people and banks are actually doing and how that moves the markets.

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For the challenge and the freedom of daily activities!

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I want to become a futures trader for three reasons – access, leverage, and ego. Yes, ego. I’ll explain in a bit.

Regarding access - Futures trading is the only type of security and financial trading where the institutional and retail trader is (nearly) on the same footing. There is an extreme institutional bias AGAINST retail short-selling in equities. As a retail investor, if you want to short stocks, you have to beg your broker, have incredible amounts of margin, and hope the stock isn’t on a short-sale restriction. If your target stock HAPPENS to be difficult to borrow, you may have to pay large amounts of money to even have the OPPORTUNITY to short it. “Big boys” – institutional traders and market makers – may still have to pay something to locate a short, but they have TOOLS and FLEXIBILITY that retail just doesn’t have. They can STAY short on a stock for longer, they can short more, and have fewer restrictions. In fact, about the only RESTRICTION they face that is the same as retail is the short-sale uptick restriction. Futures, on the other hand, have NEARLY no such restrictions. Other than required margins, anyone – any trader in the futures market – can, effectively, short a commodity. I can go “long” on any commodity. And, ultimately, I can have the SAME upside and downside on a commodity. Equal access and (nearly) equal footing – that’s futures.

The second reason is leverage. Max leverage on any retail stock portfolio is 6x, and that is IF you have enough money AND can convince your broker to let you have portfolio margin. Leverage on futures is incredible. For a tiny fee and a small margin deposit, you can access a several-hundred-thousand dollar contract. The E-mini for the Dow is currently valued at approximately $150,000 – and intra-day margins can be as low as $1500 – 1% of the value of the contract. Where else could you trade a contract worth that much for that little? Not stocks, nor options, no. Futures!

My final reason is ego. Where else, other than futures, can I trade the commodities that feed and fuel the world? Stocks have become little more than measures of stored value. They convey no real control of an underlying company, especially with multiple share classes diluting publicly traded shares’ voting rights. Many stocks no longer pay dividends. What, then, are stocks good for other than storing and trading value? Futures – Gold, silver, copper, soybean, wheat, oil – these commodities FUEL the world, FEED its people, and provide the raw materials needed for industry. When I trade commodities, I’m providing needed liquidity and owning, just for a moment (or a day, or whatever) the chance for delivery of a piece of what fuels the world. That strokes my ego more so than options, stocks, or other securities, as that is POWER, even at a small scale.

There is, of course, a fourth reason to trade futures – money. Trading futures allows, if you are smart, quick, and disciplined, a trader to make money – money that can be used to fuel the freedom and lifestyle one wants. That being said, though, money is a given in ANY trading business. You can trade stocks to make money, you trade options to make money, You trade forex to make money, and you can trade futures to make money. Money is a given – that DESIRE to make money is a given. No, there have to be other reasons, and for me, those are access, leverage, and ego.

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Why I Want to Be a Trader

To be or not to be, that is the question? It starts with who you are, but not without understanding what it takes to develop you as an individual. Why I want to be a trader, a professional trader is the question being asked. There is a big difference between the trader and professional trader. I want to be a professional. Before going directly to the reason, let’s walk down the path that got me to where I am at in life.

I struggled as a young boy in school. I have dyslexia. When I was going through my primary grades (K-3rd grade) I was always in special classes. In the early 1960’s educators didn’t understand dyslexia, so students with it suffered because of the lack of knowledge. The approach in education at that time was to lump students together without individually working with them to develop each to their maximum potential.

So, imagine a student that fail academically in all grades from first grade through sixth grade. I became very introverted, and developed very low self-esteem. This is not to pull at anyone’s emotions, just stating facts as they were during that period of time in my life.

I do want to point out that research, from the 1960’s to present, has shown that most dyslexics are very brilliant individuals. I can’t say where I fall out on that body of research, but again, just building the facts as they reflect on our original question of why I want to be a professional trader.

It all started to come together academically around seventh grade. But by that time, I developed massive compensation skills. These skills have proven valuable as I grew into the man I am today. Needless to say, I was not considered a promising student, or even expected to enter or graduate from college.

I proved to be a profiled anomaly. I did go to college, graduated college, and received a commission into the military as an officer.

I served thirty (30) years in the military, I went to multiple military schools, promoted to the rank of full Colonel, lead hundreds of Soldiers in various assignments and deployments. The military developed my skills to lead, make decisions, problem solve under various rigorous conditions, remain poised and calm under very stressful environments. The military taught and expected discipline, developing individuals to their maximum potential was always the goal.

After retirement from the military in 2017, I looked for what my next season of life would be.

I have always educated myself on the stock market, but not to the detail I am now. There are so many facets it’s very difficult to be an expert in them all. So, with this brief background in mind, let me address the question of why I want to be a professional trader.

I intentionally make the distinction, professional trader. To be a professional means that you are committed to constant personal self-development. It means that you know, you can always learn more, and becoming a professional requires disciple, reflection, ongoing education, developing the proper mindset, determination, and humility. I may have been very successful in the military, but I’m just taking that experience to build towards my current challenge of becoming a professional trader. To be just a trader, is not what I want to be.

I want to master the skills of being a professional trader. Taking all that I have learned in the military, the discipline, personal and professional development, and channel it into subjecting myself to others and learn from them. I want to use my analytical skill, and apply them to trading. Understanding the “why” has become critical for me in learning. I like the challenge of learning a new skill. Doggedly going after it until it is consistently mastered by demonstrating that mastery.

I absolutely enjoy the journey that I am currently on, and look forward to being mentored into a professional trader.

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Futures trading provides me with an opportunity of risk and reward in a short period of time.

It allows me the opportunity to grow an investment within minutes or NOT and there in lies the challenge. For a period of time I traded in isolation and without a community. There were some wins and losses, primarily due to becoming over confident and not being disciplined in managing risk. It has been a positive learning curve listening to Matt’s unvarnished view on Futures trading during the virtual meetings.

My aim is to have more wins than losses in a more educated way and in an environment, that supports learning and the exchange of ideas.

Dean

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Why I trade future?

First of all, I never heard about futures trading until summer 2018 when one of my best friends showed me something new on his phone! The tt mobile app, which I see a couple of numbers and ladders moving up and down in a fraction of seconds as my friend’s P&L moving at the same time. Money was made so fast which made me curious if this is a video game or real money involved? Is this a casino or something else? Personally, I don’t have any experience about investing, daytrading stocks so that small TT app really impresses me somehow! So, my friend started to explain about it to me, but it all seems very difficult and new to me! So he told me to go to his school to learn more if I want to learn some new way to make money! At that time, I had nothing to do after I closed my twelve years retail business! Due to the online competition it is hard to operate a retail business. But 8k is still a lot for me as a tuition fee since I don’t have any source of income at that time! But I am still taking a bet to learn how to trade the future markets as my new hope of a job or source of income!

Since I have no fundamentals about micro-macro economics, it is very hard for me to start as a beginner to learn something new! There are a lot of things to be absorbed in a very short period of time! I was lost and don’t know if this is a good decision for me! As time goes I learn more and more and I feel less stressed than before! Trading is the same as other businesses which consist of risk management, buy low sell high, capital management, planning etc… As a business owner before I think this might be a good choice as my new carrier!

After 6 months of course, I was on simulation for trading futures! I was green almost every trading day which made me very confident about myself! I was thinking it is so easy to make money which I’m totally wrong since everything changes after I open my live account! It Has become day and night for me! I sent 2k usd as my first futures account and is totally different from what is in simulation! In simulation I barely applied risk management (no stop loss) but only a couple trade live bring my account to almost zero already! Which makes me scared again about trading futures! I was lucky enough to have friends which give me some support on psychology to push me going! I was still struggling and not profitable in the long run!

After a couple months of break, I found an optimus futures website by mistake which Mark gave a free webinar! I attended the last 2 webinars which gave me new hope about trading futures again! I’m still new and I think my newbie experience will give some insight for new traders about futures and I still have a lot to learn before making money!

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I like that you are conscious of the challenge you face.

It’s a challenge to us and to me despite all my years of experience in the business. You will always face new challenges as the market grows along with the technology it offers. However, I believe that the longer you are at this age, you should adhere to the basics. Trade the right size, trade when the method tells you, and admit when wrong.

People think when I say “basic” it’s easy, it is not easy to stick to simple rules.
Our emtions have an artist that says “just this time” and that one time that you deviate s where you pay the price.

Matt Z
Optimus Futures

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Im 63, live in Salisbury, UK, and my day job is physical, requires physical strength and stamina and is becoming increasingly painful. So I have been looking for a way of making some money but at the same time staying in charge of my time, which has been my way of working since I left the Royal Navy in 1988.
I was lucky enough that my nephew has been teaching himself how to trade for several years now and has helped me get started.
I developed a strategy and tested it and started demo trading for a while, very successfully…I was making money and the strategy was working!
So I decided to open an account and start trading for real. Perhaps a little early but I had already reasoned that trading on a demo is never going to simulate trading with my own money. How right I was. I was unfortunate (!) that I was immediately successful and made a couple of huge gains in a day on the Nasdaq 100 micros . My confidence soared and I started messing with the stop loss and then had a disastrous week that nearly had me cease trading due to my balance. FOMO big time, bad decisions under stress, even worse decisions in a bad mood.
I caught your latest seminar Matt on trapped traders and it exactly articulates where I am as a ‘newby’, I do get trapped mostly though on the fake out or buying the peak not the consolidation.
The upshot though is Im glad I decided to put money into it, I have learnt a lot about myself and realise that I have to get myself and my emotions under control if I am going to make money. Most of my ‘loss’ reasoning involves impetuous trading either trying to make up a loss or more certainly fear of missing out. Definitely not there yet but learning rapidly.
Lockdown here isnt helping as it allows me to become obsessed with it as I am isolated at home. I am fully aware now of my limitations, I have a good strategy but fail to follow it. Its very annoying that I am becoming increasingly adept at reading the right moments to trade but also failing to rein in my emotions at times which means I am bumping along at the bottom of being able to trade.
Thoroughly enjoyed the seminar video Matt, thanks very much for your input

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