Big Mike's Trading Blog

Day trading futures, discussing money management and trade management techniques, and more

Last Blog Post

Well guys, with the end of 2010 almost here I thought I would take this opportunity to make a "final post" in my blog.  The forum has completely taken over and it is quite obvious I no longer routinely update this blog, instead spending all my time on the forum.

So I just want to say thanks to all of my blog readers who have followed me for the last 18 months and that this is not "goodbye" but instead is just "see you soon" -- on the forum :)


Video recording yourself and your charts before, during, and after each trade

Recently reading Brett's middle book "Enhancing Traders Performance". In each of his books, Brett is a big fan of video recording trading sessions for later review.

I recently played with this, and I'm ready to start video recording myself as an experiment. Camtasia makes this easy, it can record your screen and your webcam simultaneously and then mux that into a single picture-in-picture video. It's not super difficult once you practice getting it setup and remembering to pause between trades. I find that when I talk things through outloud it reinforces them, so I am going to experiment with this and practice talking outloud about my trades, then review the recordings and analyze patterns in my trading.

I will keep the raw recordings around after the fact, but I think what is more useful is to keep a separate "Video Analysis Journal" so you can refer to a specific event within a specific video, and make notes. I'm thinking of creating some columns in a spreadsheet that might capture some typical behavioral or trading-related conditions, and either grading myself or something like this.

So the idea would be to set the recording each morning. When entering a trade, remember to unpause the video. Talk about the trade, let the webcam capture your audio and video (body language), and the software also capture your entry chart. Talk about the trade prior to putting it on, during, and after so you can go back and match up what you were saying (thinking) to what your actions where and what really happened in the market.

Does anyone have recommendations on how to do a "post-video analysis", like how to break down the trades/events in the video so I can measure them as metrics and run some sort of analysis once I have a large enough sample?

Speaking of Trade Metrics, check out a new thread I just created and chime in.


MultiCharts 6.0 Final Released

Today MultiCharts 6.0 Final has finally been released!  And with it, TSSupport has launched an all new website, too!

Download 6.0 final here:

For a list of changes in 6.0, see my forum post here:


Tired of NinjaTrader?

If you are tired of NinjaTrader, then check out a few of these new threads on the forum:

First up is an X-Trader thread which I started.  I'm looking at opening an account at Velocity Futures (see details here) and the logical platform was X-Trader.  You can read more about why I think this is the best choice for me in the threads, but the short version is "I'm done with NinjaTrader".  Even though for six months or so I've used MultiCharts exclusively for charting and backtesting, I still had to use NT for discretionary order entry (DOM).  I got tired of nagging problems with NT (both 6.5 and 7 have their own unique issues) and one day I just realized all the time I had spent battling this program and said enough was enough.

Second is a thread started by MetalTrade where he is specifically looking for NinjaTrader Replacements.  It's a new thread, but stop by and see if you can help him choose his next platform.

The third thread was also recently started by Mega, and he is on the search for a solid trading platform.  His needs are a bit different than MetalTrade's, so check out his thread as well.

I know many of you are happy with NinjaTrader.  Those that are happy are probably also the ones that don't experience constant problems :)  But, you don't have to read much more than the Truth about NinjaTrader thread to see all the widespread problems people constantly encounter.  If you aren't experiencing issues, count yourself lucky! :)


Naked Trading

I'm still using a 5 minute chart with nothing but an ema20 and pivots.

For my range charts, which I got back into the habit of using these last many months, I am now completely naked -- not a single indicator.

"Look ma, no indicators!"

The only indicator that has been on these range charts for months and months is my ADXVMA paintbar indicator. It sure was pretty. But also, more or less worthless in my opinion, at least with my trading method and style. It's gone now!

You can check out the Price Action thread on BMT for the method I've been primarily using the last six months or so.

The Trading Wiki is launched

Hey guys,

For many months now I've been wanting to add a Wiki to the site. For the past several weeks, I've finally had a chance to do that, and the moderating team and myself have been working on it.

I decided we needed a wiki because we needed to bring some structure to the forum. Right now, the forum itself is great for discussions, but not good for presenting or finding structured/organized information. It lacks the ability to present summarized information on topics. It's not the fault of the forum, it was designed as a discussion system after all.

A wiki can fix that. A wiki will act as a repository of information. The wiki itself is not meant for discussion, rather it is meant for organization and summaries of a wide range of topics. Let me try to paint a picture for you to give an example.

Right now, many traders on BMT come here looking for more exotic chart types (ie: Renko, MedianRenko, SbsRenko, WickedRenko, NoGapRangeBars, etc). Sure, there is information on these chart types spread out amongst 50,000 other posts on the forum. Sure, you can do a search for "medianrenko" and find information, but you'll get hits across hundreds of posts. It can be very difficult to find exactly what your looking for. Let's assume you are wanting to learn more about the advantages/disadvantages of each of these chart types, where to find them, and how to install and use them. That information is spread out across dozens and dozens, maybe 100+ posts.

Enter the wiki. With the wiki, a new article can be created for each of these chart types. An article for Renko, an article for MedianRenko, SbsRenko, WickedRenko, NoGapRangeBars, and etc. Within each of these articles an overview of the chart type can be presented, including advantages and disadvantages. It can also include links to downloading the indicator (still maintaining our Elite-only hierarchy where applicable), and/or links on discussion threads on the forum.

Since each of these articles have a similar core theme of "Bar Types", they can easily be placed in a category called "Bar Types". This way at the bottom of each of the article pages, the Category is shown, and clicking the category shows all the other articles that are also a member of the "Bar Types" category. This makes it very easy to find all these exotic chart types very easily.

That is just one example. Hundreds more exist, and I hope your creative juices are flowing  A wiki is globally editable. That means that any member of BMT can create a new wiki, or edit an existing wiki that was created by someone else. A moderation queue exists to prevent any bad things from happening. The principle behind a wiki is to allow everyone to participate to improve the article and make it as good as it can be.

As articles are created within the wiki, posts on the forum that contain matching keywords (article names) will be autolinked. For example, if I were to write a post discussing backtesting, the word backtesting is automatically linked to the wiki. When you mouse over the word, a brief description is shown, and when you click the link you are taken to the wiki article. This also helps facilitate finding information, because it is a natural extension of the posts themselves.

Here are some other key features of the wiki:
  • History/version control: see the article as it existed at each point-in-time, and exact changes that were made and by whom.
  • Supports redirects. Sometimes, an article topic may be frequently described using different words, for example backtest and backtesting. You can create a redirect so that these frequently used words redirect to the main article, just as backtest -> redirects to backtesting in my example.
  • Globally editable. Find an error? Care to improve an article? It's easy, just edit it and do fix it.
  • Watch wiki articles and receive notifications/updates if they change.
  • Autolinking: each word within a wiki that matches a keyword or phrase in the system will be autolinked to the article.
  • Searchable: you can use the same tools you use today to search posts, and they will now find wiki articles as well.
  • Discussions: you can discuss articles right from the wiki interface. The discussion feature is meant to talk about the layout or content of the article, not to talk about the topic itself. That is an important distinction.

Guys, I look forward to your feedback on the wiki. It is a big endeavor, but I've never shied away from challenging projects or time consuming ones. With your help, our wiki can make the entire site exponentially better!

The wiki is public. There is no Elite and non-Elite within the wiki. However, some articles may discuss Elite-only indicators or strategies, so should that be the case just remember to not post any attachments that you would not post out in the open. You can link to the attachments as they exist in the Elite sections of the forum, and that way only Elite members can access them.

I've created several videos to get you started. You can find them on the main Wiki page, which is accessible from the main navigation bar at the top of every BMT page.

How-to use the wiki
How-to create a wiki article
How-to attach images to a wiki article

I will be creating many more videos in the days and weeks ahead.

Please use this thread to ask questions or provide feedback on the wiki.

Thank you,

No shortcuts in trading

Just a few quick words...  As I was writing a bunch of replies tonight to peoples journals on the forum, one of them stuck and I wanted to share it here.

Often, I see the traders are in a hurry to make money and to be successful in trading.  The simple truth is, there are no shortcuts in trading.  You cannot rush things.  No matter how much you want to.

You can blow up a bridge in seconds with enough dynamite, but it can take years to build a bridge.

Think of it this way.  In very short order, you can do an enormous amount of damage to your trading account, and thus, your entire trading career.  A few bad decisions can lead to devastating losses.

Whereas building up your trading account and learning to make right decisions -- this process can take years. You must do everything right or it will lead to cracks in the foundation, problems in the support infrastructure, and that will lead to disaster in the future.  There are no shortcuts.