Big Mike's Trading Blog

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

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.


100 commission free trades to be given away from Mirus Futures

As part of our ongoing 1-year anniversary on BMT, we're giving away a ton of cool stuff.  This includes one hundred commission free trades from Mirus Futures.  It will breakdown as 10 free trades to 10 lucky traders.

Mirus Futures will also be holding a webinar on Big Mike Trading on Thursday, June 17th at 3:00PM Eastern Time.  They will go over their infrastructure and service, and also include details about Zen Fire.  There will be a Q&A session at the end, so sign up to attend today!

To register for the webinar, go here and enter your email address:

To enter for a chance to win the commission free trades, go here and follow the directions:


A word about profit targets, stops, and finding the right method

I posted this on my forum advice thread today but wanted to copy it into the blog as well.

I primarily trade 3 targets because it fits my personality pretty well.

Target 1 is a quick winner, let's say 6 ticks on CL. If the trade has trouble reaching target 1, then it's a red flag for me to look to exit the position immediately and try to minimize losses and then look to re-enter again later.

Target 2 is set based on price action so it varies a lot depending on the day and what price is doing, but I think a good average is probably around 18 ticks. I set it by looking "to the left" on my chart. Where is price likely to run into a possible problem? Target this area to get out.

Target 3 is also based on price action. It is beyond target 2. The thinking is, ok, if we didn't encounter a problem at target 2's level then price is actually likely to run further. I again set it based on "looking to the left", where is the next major area of support or resistance? I would say a good average for target 3 is probably around 50 ticks.

My maximum stop is 24 ticks. Usually the stop is a bit less, but again it always depends on price action. Let's use worst case scenario. 3 lots @ 24 ticks = 72 ticks of risk. Using my averages above, if my targets are hit I get 6+18+50 which is 74 ticks. So let's just call it 1:1 risk to reward after commission and a tick of slippage.

Now, my stops are rarely full stops. Usually, like I said above, if price doesn't "pop" up to that first target almost immediately, I look to get out of the trade with a small loss usually less than 6 ticks. I will re-enter the same trade later if it still looks good. Sometimes I do get trapped and take a full stop, usually what happens is my first target is hit, but then price runs back down against me. I set my stop to the point where I would be "wrong" about the trade. If I were to get out in this scenario --- target 1 was hit, so it had some momentum -- but target 2 and 3 were not hit, and price is moved against me --- if I were to exit here before a 'full stop' then I would be doing a disservice to myself, because I would look at the signal and say "this signal is still fine, I should be in this trade". Sometimes I do this well, sometimes I make a mistake and get out when I shouldn't only to watch the trade not hit my stop and then turn around and run to targets. I'm not perfect 

Now also target 3 is not often hit. Let's say I trade five days a week. Target 3 is hit 3 out of 5 days probably. It is those days where usually I can be done for the day in that one single trade when target 1, 2 and 3 were all hit. I set myself up for this on purpose. That is the sole reason target 3 exists for me. CL often moves this much in a move, and when it does, I want to be able to have the opportunity to capture that move and then be done for the day. I realize only a handful of these trades come each week, but when they come I am usually in the trade.

Trading is about probabilities, right? But it's so much more. It's also a constant battle with yourself. Deep down. Your desires, your demons. Every trade you put on is a calculated risk. To me, I find that I perform better by reducing the exposure. I carry a pretty good sized risk per-trade, but I do not trade often. Maybe 1-3 times a day. If I have needed to put on five or six trades in a day, usually I am having a bad day.

Hope this helps.