This is a question I receive often and unfortunately I can no longer give an honest answer which is the only answer that I ever want to give. This is due to the fact that I haven’t dedicated myself to Rob Booker’s training since 2006 making my experiences outdated. The good news is that over the coming months, I will be able to give you an honest opinion because I am in the initial phases of giving his tutelage another go. This is possible because he has no expiration date on his training. According to his training contract, "You have as long as you need. You never have to pay me anything again…."
At first glance, there have been many changes to his training. His chart school, which are Rob’s trade ideas for students in video format appear to be more interactive. He provides a web conferencing platform where any of his students can attend and ask questions via messenging or voice. Other basic course materials seem unchanged such as the course introduction, FX basics, backtesting, support and resistance, moving averages, and similar topics. These are really basic though and I don’t see any reason why these would ever change. The course materials are also for the totally inexperienced forex trader, someone who has really never explored Forex outside of this course.
His primary trading system which has many components to it is called the Arizona Rules. He was just developing this system back when I lost interest in his training so I haven’t really explored it. If anything, it seems like Rob’s attempt is to provide his students with a well tested and possibly profitable trading system while also providing a comprehensive trading plan and system that one can take knowledge from to develop their own forex trading system.
I’m just getting involved again so I cannot comment further at this time but keep checking back here in the upcoming days and weeks for more details on Rob Booker Training. You can also read my previous and new experiences at http://www.forexproject.com/category/rob-booker-training/.
Welcome Ryan, the author of this Forex Project guest post. Ryan trades from a quiet country lake house and helps traders through his blog at http://www.ryanokeefe.com.
Does your trading plan encourage you to over trade?
Recently I started a survey on my website asking traders to answer this question:
“What is holding you back from trading successfully?”
Currently the number one answer is “I make some money, and then I give it all back.”
Multiple factors contribute to this result however over trading is the most frequent concern struggling traders email me with. I have some thoughts to avoid over trading I hope you’ll find useful.
Consider Your Trading Plan
Over trading may be baked into your trading plan without you realizing it. I received an email from a concerned trader who struggled with taking too many trades although they were following their trading plan. I asked to look at their trading plan and found it was built around the 60 minute chart, the opening of each trading session, support and resistance levels plus the MACD indicator. How many opportunities do you think their trading plan generated on a daily or weekly basis?
I’m a big fan of slowing things down with longer time frames. Using a longer time frame automatically reduces the number of trades you will consider which reduces your trading plan’s built in propensity for over trading. You won’t be tempted to take a “valid signal” 10 times a day trading a daily chart. The vast majority of my trades are planned on the daily chart with the entry taken on a four hour chart.
Consider a Weekly Goal
In my trading plan I have a weekly goal of 50 to 100 points. This is a realistic goal for me to achieve and having the number written down reminds me that once I’ve made my weekly goal there is no reason to place it at risk. When the goal is achieved it is time to do anything other than trade. If you’re trading a lower time frame I think setting a weekly goal is even more critical because as we have discussed, shorter time frames offer more “trading opportunities” which place your profit at risk. I’ve had this weekly goal established for years and it works well against over trading.
Some traders may think a goal of 50 to 100 points a week is too low but keep in mind there are as many ways to configure a trading account as there are ways to trade it. With the right mix of leverage, lot size and risk capital you can do a lot with a goal of 400 points a month. Most important is to set your goal according to your personality; whatever you believe you can achieve and doesn’t stress you out in the process is best.
Do you really need to take that trade?
Before I open a trade I ask myself this question every time without fail. It seems obvious but so is lowering the landing gear before landing yet some pilots still manage to land with the gear up. Consider your emotions before you take a trade. Are you tired? Are you angry? Did you miss a good trade and now desperate to make some pips? Have you made your weekly or monthly goals? If you have met your goals you don’t need to trade, period. If you can honestly answer this question with a “yes” then pull the trigger but if not, don’t put your capital at risk.
Be accountable to somebody other than yourself.
Rob Booker pitched this idea in a presentation I watched online and I believe it is the strongest action you can take to eliminate any propensity you have to over trade. Whoever you report to should have a basic understanding of your trading plan and be able to question you on each trade in a constructive setting. This is a full disclosure exercise so find somebody you can trust.
I report to my Wife every Friday morning with a print out of our account statement. We go through every trade while I explain what system I used, why I took the trade, what mistakes I made and what I could do better next time. We also discuss what I should be doing during the upcoming week if goals are already exceeded.
If knowing you need to explain why you put hard earned profit at risk for an unnecessary trade at the end of the week can’t keep you from pulling the trigger, nothing will.
I must change the way I've been trading. First, I have to stop trading with reckless abandon or I won't be doing this much longer. I have not made any trades this week but in evaluating my performance over the previous months, I'm not ready to throw all of my money away. I'm not ready. Something I'm taking away from the FXCM expo is Jes Black's comment to trade more in your demo account and less in your live account. So here is a quick list of what I'm going to try to do in the upcoming weeks:
- Trade exclusively in my demo account except for the following:
- I'm going to take a chance and try trading the news with fxengines. I feel the risk of only 10 pips to trade the EUR/USD during market moving news releases is just to good to pass up. I'll be sure to let everyone know how that goes.
- I'm only going to trade the AUD/USD during the US session. Why?
- I've found over the past months that the AUD/USD is a relatively stable pair compared to others during the US session. There are certainly not the wild swings seen with the GBP/USD and I believe it moves more consistent in a direction than the EUR/USD. The profit potential is less with this pair compared to the GBP/USD but I believe the risk to reward to be a very good 1 to 2. In fact, if the pair gets going a bit in the morning, I can realistically see capturing at least 40 pips of profit. There are obviously no guarantees with anything and I could be wrong but this is my plan.
I must remain disciplined and stick to just these 3 tasks. I do not think it would be beneficial for me to jump into anything just for the sake of doing it. I think these 3 tasks actually encompass the following:
- Trading Live to learn to control my emotions
- Continued studies to learn how to trade discretionary
- Continued experimentation to see if the possibility of a mechanical system exists