The Two Blokes Learn to Trade Traders Support Club We (Tom and Owen) have been learning to trade since June 2016 with mixed success. Coming up to one year of trading, we now realise that the best way to become profitable traders is by learning from profitable traders! Ali Crooks, founder of Traders Support Club, is supremely confident that he can add us to his growing list of profitable trading protegés. He is so confident that he is willing to put his reputation on the line and train us to trade while we report back to our thousands of weekly listeners! We are loving the course so far. Follow our progress week by week on the podcast and blog. You can also join us on our journey to becoming profitable traders by clicking the button below! DOWNLOAD Traders Support Club Brochure How to Backtest Webinar With Ali Backtesting Next Steps Week 1 After just under a year of trading, we felt that although our knowledge had advanced tremendously, we still were not trading for consistent profits. We needed to get professional help! We were casting about for options when we spoke to Ali Crooks of the Traders Support Club. Ali had been on Episode 31 to talk about the importance of backtesting, so we knew he was legit. Ali came on Episode 48 once again to offer us two spots on his ‘Professional Programme’ and spaces in his Live Online Trading Room. You can listen to Ali explain the idea behind Traders Support Club in Episode 48. Book Now! Week 2 When joining Traders Support Club, Ali’s first task for us was to fill in a detailed questionnaire about our trading experience, strengths and weaknesses. You can listen to our frank discussion of our personal trading strengths and weaknesses in Episode 49. Owen began his weekly Training Journal this week. He really thought about what it was that he needed as a trader. Owen is a fan of the concept of ‘Marginal Gains’ and wrote about how the pursuit of these marginal gains is what led him to seek a place on Ali’s course. Read it in the post - Increasing Profits Through Marginal Gains. Week 3 In Episode 50, Owen makes Tom vomit by referring to his ‘journey of self discovery’ while writing the Training Journal. This week the article builds on last episode’s discussion of trading weaknesses. Owen is a big fan of the ‘Pre-Mortem’ in business and trading is no different. By understanding how you might fail you can prevent it from happening before it is too late! Read all about The First Step to Becoming a Trader: Trading Pre-Mortem. Week 4 We begin the video learning course this week and mull it over in Episode 51. One of the first things any trader needs to establish is the time frame they wish to trade over. So, do you want to Position Trade, Swing Trade, Day Trade or Scalp? Owen is won over to Swing Trading by Ali’s convincing arguments about the initial skill level needed being lower, and the chances of success being higher. This week’s Training Journal explains the timeframe options in a little more detail and gives Owen’s reasons for switching from Day Trading to Swing Trading. Many traders are lured by day trading in the first instance, but maybe swing trading is the better starter option…. The Best Time Frame to Trade Forex Week 5 This week we switch from video learning to Webinars. In Episode 52 we tell you all about our first webinar with Ceri Byans (who you may remember from her interview in Ep 42). Ceri gave an introduction to the basic support and resistance and trend line concepts that their technical trading systems are based on. We enjoyed the ‘rules based’ approach to technical trading concepts that is employed by Traders Support Club. Rather than plotting support and resistance lines ‘by eye’ they utilise specific rules to select when a level truly is a level. These rules are mirrored in all the building blocks of their technical trading system. This creates the perfect framework for accurate backtesting. Removing the corrective nature of ‘hindsight’ when back testing is key, and having a rules based trading system is the best way to achieve that. 052 – Intuitive Trading with Andre Minassian Listen to this episode Play / pause 1x 1.5x 2x 0:00 0:00 0:00 volume 052 – Intuitive Trading with Andre Minassian Week 6 Episode 53 is an exciting one - we look ahead to some of the strategies that Traders Support Club use to make profit over various time frames. Our video course learning has progressed beyond the basics and Tom in particular is really getting into the meat of the technical trading strategies. Owen is pleased to be looking at Swing trading but also slightly bored by the lack of action! But, putting his childlike need to be entertained aside, he knows he has made the right choice… The focus on strict trading rules continues, this time with Consolidations and what actually forms one. Owen latest training journal entry is all about Why You Need Strict Trading Rules to be able to take the option of being ‘wrong’ out of your trading. This doesn’t mean never having a failed trade, but using objective analysis to remove the possibility of personal failure and the destructive ego-based trading this often causes. Week 7 The third webinar from Traders Support Club was all about backtesting. This reinforced last week’s theme on the need for strict trading rules. Quite apart from ensuring you don’t waste time on broken strategies, backtesting helps build confidence in your system. TSC showed that without that confidence there are some basic psychological mistakes that most traders will make. A big one is giving up in normal losing periods because you don’t know what a normal draw down looks like for your system. Basic errors like taking profits too early or moving stop losses incorrectly can be avoided too with good back testing. Read more in this week’s training journal - Why Backtesting Trading Strategies is Essential In Episode 54 we had Kym Watson on to talk about pivot points, but he also had something to say on backtesting. He believes that backtesting can be kept very simple, with ‘back of a cigarette packet’ testing being adequate if you aren’t a fan of Excel. Fortunately for us, Traders Support Club have built the complex Excel backtesting spreadsheet for their members, so we don’t have that problem! Week 8 Having completed the full webinar series we were presented with the stark reality of having to ‘get on with it’ and select a trading system. Owen, being the naturally decisive sort, pinpointed the exact strategy he wanted to Swing trade and cracked on with the backtesting. Tom, being weak and feeble, prevaricated and doesn’t appear to have decided if he wants to Day Trade or Swing Trade. (You can probably guess who writes these blurbs - ed.) Episode 55 sees Ivo Luhse come on the show to talk about how to create your first trading algorithm. This gets The Blokes wondering - can they apply some of the technical trading systems they learn with Traders Support Club to the work they have been doing on automated trading systems? As yet this remains unclear, but it is one of the questions that they will be answering in due course. 055 – How To Build Your First Trading Algorithm Listen to this episode Play / pause 1x 1.5x 2x 0:00 0:00 0:00 volume 055 – How To Build Your First Trading Algorithm Week 9 Tom and Owen spoke to Akil Stokes in Episode 57 of the Podcast and he made a very strong point - you have to be able to make money in up markets, down markets and sideways markets. It just so happens that Ali Crooks of Traders Support Club entirely agrees with him! The best way to make money in both trending and ranging markets is to trade both a trend following system and a range trading or counter trend system! In the Guided Strategy Programme with TSC we have learned two trend trading systems and one range trading system, putting us on the path to smoooooth returns. Owen wrote an article explaining in a bit more detail just why this is so vitally important. Survive in Forex: Use Both Trend Following and Range Trading Systems. Week 10 In Episode 58 we compare notes on our initial efforts at backtesting. Whilst we got similar theoretical profit results it was clear that we had interpreted the rules in completely different ways. Tom took over twice as many trades as Owen in the period being tested. But, the main thing was that both set of results showed the system to be profitable! This phenomenon prompted Owen to write his thoughts on the way you should receive your trader education. The issues with the backtesting and misinterpretation of the system were quickly fixed by going in the Live Online Trading Room and speaking to the experts. But without that live coaching we would have been stuck. Read the full piece here: Don't Buy Trading Systems 'Out of the Box' Week 11 In Episode 59 Ali returned to the Podcast to talk about one of the trickiest parts to get right in any effective trading strategy - Trade Management. This is something both Owen and Tom have struggled with, and probably most of you reading this as well. Trade Management strategies vary from non-existent - so called Trade-and-Leave (we prefer Fire-and-Forget!) - to hyperactive with moving stop losses, multiple targets and 'discretionary' interventions. Ali made the point (that he always makes!) that whatever you do, you must have data to back it up. You can backtest a trade management strategy in the exact same way that you can backtest your strategy for picking entries. This prompted Owen to think about what he believes are the 3 Hardest Skills in Trading and, sure enough, part one is Trade Management. Week 12 In episode 60 Owen reveals that he thinks he has got the Traders Support Club MPR system working and has begun forward testing it on demo. He hates demo, but everyone hates demo. The reason for a wee bit of demo trading is simple - it will help you stick to your system once you trade it for real. If you know what all of the possible trade setups look like, and you've traded them before, it is harder to lie to yourself and trade out of 'fear and greed'. Sticking to Your Trading System is one of Owen's '3 Hardest Things in Trading' and forms this week's blog post. Week 13 In episode 61 we interviewed Andy Demi, who, it turns out, was inspirational as hell. He inspired us to get our act together and nail down a proper trading routine. But first, we needed a life routine! Tom decided this meant disappearing to run Hadrian's wall (?) and Owen got philosophical about the difficulties of putting a routine together. Both of the The Blokes are big believers in self-improvement, and Owen wrote his thoughts on how to 'Build a Sticky Trading Routine', which he chose as his third and final 'Hardest Thing in Trading'. Week 14 Inepisode 64Martin Dimitrov from Traders Support Club came on the show for Part 2 of the Risk Management series. This week's focus was on Money Management, and in particular Position Sizing. Martin is clearly one of the smartest guys in the room! He believes in questioning everything and looking at the world in unconventional ways. But, beyond this, he believes in data. Data. Data. Data. Martin lives by the 'law of large numbers' and demonstrates just why this has enabled him to be a consistently profitable trader. 064 – Nail Your Position Sizing with Martin Dimitrov Listen to this episode Play / pause 1x 1.5x 2x 0:00 0:00 0:00 volume 064 – Nail Your Position Sizing with Martin Dimitrov Week 15 A typical new-trader's journey looks something like this: 1) Hear about trading and that they can 'get rich quick' 2) Deposit a chunk of their money with a broker 3) Trade a tip or possible a 'system' they got off the internet 4) Lose some or all of their money 5) Quit trading. Many may say that steps 1 to 4 are the dumb move. We would contest that it is only step 5 that is dumb. Everyone makes mistakes early in their trading career. But ALL successful traders have one thing in common: they never quit. In episode 67 Roy Sivertsen highlights this as the central tenet of the trading philosophy that enabled him to go from zero to hero in trading in a few short years. 067 – The Key to Successful Trading? Don’t Quit! Listen to this episode Play / pause 1x 1.5x 2x 0:00 0:00 0:00 volume 067 – The Key to Successful Trading? Don’t Quit! Week 16 If you can survive long enough in trading to have 'not quit' after a few weeks or months then you are doing well. The old adage '90 percent of traders lose 90 percent of their money in 90 days' is only a problem if you forget about the above lesson from week 15! But no-one wants to lose money they don't have to lose. We gently suggest that everyone considering learning to trade starts by familiarizing themselves with these 7 Beginner Trading Mistakes to Avoid. If you follow the advice within then you will be well on your way to moving from a beginner to intermediate trader. Week 17 In episode 68, Ali Crooks, Founder and Head Trainer at Traders Support Club returns to the show for his hat-trick ball! Owen has just launched a fully backtested TSC system live! Now that Owen is putting his real money on the line using 'MPR' - one of Ali's trading systems -he thought there was no better person to give him some starting tips than the creator himself! 068 – How to Launch a Live Trading System with Ali Crooks Listen to this episode Play / pause 1x 1.5x 2x 0:00 0:00 0:00 volume 068 – How to Launch a Live Trading System with Ali Crooks Week 18 We have learned how to make money, and we have learned how to not lose money with basic trading mistakes. But we also need to learn how to not lose money in the quickest, most efficient (and old fashioned) way possible: by getting scammed. If you Avoid These 4 Trading Scams you will fore-arm yourself against the con artists that sadly lurk in the dark corners of the internet, preying on new and gullible Forex traders. 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