I've had a number of people inquiring about the STA Training Program lately, so I thought this week I would change things up a bit. Instead of posting one of my regular day trading recaps, I thought it would be useful to focus instead on some of our student traders and their development. At this point many of our current group of traders have over a month of experience learning to trade with the STA approach and are progressing nicely towards their trading goals.
As I've talked about many times in the past, trading is a skill like any other and takes some time, effort, and persistence to develop to an elite level.
Although we do use a very structured approach to trading here at STA that can lead to rapid consistency, we still need to maintain that long-term focus and aim to build on our results week after week.
STA Student #1 - Björn
First up, let's take a look at what Björn's results were like last week. Björn is actually fairly new to the trading game overall but he has been improving at a rapid pace. There's no secret here - he works hard and is determined to improve. Lots of time testing and running simulated sessions has allowed Björn to quickly grasp many of the novice to advanced concepts we teach here at STA and his results continue to improve.
The journey is far from over however, and we will be continuing to work in the weeks ahead to build on these trading skills and improve both consistency and long-term profitability.
You can view Björn's trading charts for the week here. Comments are the trader's own (click to enlarge):
There's some very interesting things we can see from these results;
- Wednesday was a great day for many of the STA traders. A high win percentage combined with good reward/risk really made the week. It isn't uncommon for most of a trader's profits to come in 1 or 2 "big" days, but it's still important that we aim to make at least a small profit every day if possible.
- Friday is a great example of the importance of an excellent reward to risk ratio. As our wins at STA are much larger than the average loss, we can have days where we only win 2 out of 6 trades yet still end up profitable. This is very powerful when looking for day to day consistency which is what we look to achieve as day traders.
- Over time a developing trader can expect to increase their weekly win percentage higher than in Björn's example, but in the early weeks we simply want to aim for a good trading expectancy. The combination of winning more than we lose while having a high average win compared to our average loss will lead to excellent weekly profits. In Björn's case, these 11.5 points would equal $575 in profits (less commissions) with 1 contract, or $5,750 with 10 contracts for the week.
STA Student #2 - EL
EL is one of the traders I really enjoy working with because he is honest about his performance and seeks out advice on a regular basis. While we've hit a few sticking points along the way with EL's trading (a completely normal part of the process), he had seen substantial improvement in his trading discipline in recent weeks which is sure to pay off in the long term.
One thing to keep in mind about EL's results is that he only trades for 90 minutes most days and last week he didn't trade on Friday. As a developing trader it is more difficult to find consistency if you're only trading within a short window of time but with a bit more experience EL should be able to pull out solid profits in just an hour or two the vast majority of trading days.
Here's a couple things to take notice of with EL's week:
- Monday was actually a fairly difficult trading day but EL started to week off well. There's nothing better than getting the week going on the right foot and it usually makes a trader feel a lot more comfortable with the days ahead.
- Overall this was a good week in terms of win percentage. This percentage will continue to rise in time but winning more often than losing gives a trader a lot of flexibility, particularly during the development phase.
- Making 3.75 points in only 90 minutes per day is an excellent result. This is nearly a point per day and is enough to do very well in the markets once trading with a bit of size. The only thing that we really want to improve moving ahead is the reward to risk ratio, because there were a couple extra points left on the table.
STA Student #3 - Andraz
Andraz is one of our less experienced traders overall, but is very enthusiastic about learning to trade with our approach. He often seeks out feedback and advice which shows his willingness to learn and improve. Although new to futures, Andraz is showing excellent progress as well. Now it's just a matter of time, focus, and determination to keep the development curve (and equity curve) moving upward.
Here are some charts for the week. Keep in mind that some days have more than just one chart:
We see some similarities here with Björn's week but there's some differences as well:
- The week started very slowly for Andraz, with just a few trades on Monday and Tuesday and not much in terms of profits. That said, as long as you can be profitable most days and keep your equity climbing then you will do very well as a day trader. Consistency is about more than focusing on making bundles of points every day - it's about making sure that you can still make a small profit even when the market isn't really moving at its best.
- Wednesday was a good day that could have been great. Unfortunately Andraz had a couple of trades that didn't fill for him on the pullbacks. Sometimes this is unavoidable but in this situation and with a bit more experience, Andraz is likely to get filled on one or both of these trades due to his improved anticipation of the market action. With 4 or more points on this day an excellent week would have been fantastic.
- Probably the most interesting this about this week is the overall results. Andraz actually lost more often than he won yet he still had a great week overall in terms of his total points of profit. This shows the massive benefits of having a solid reward to risk ratio due to solid trading plan rules and good trade management decisions. Over time, Andraz can expect his win percentage to increase substantially. Just imagine the number of points that can be made if a trader is winning 60, 70, or even 80% of the time.
Learning to Trade The STA Way - A Natural Progression
At Samurai Trading Academy we understand that all traders develop at their own pace and in their own way. It doesn't make sense to force everybody to trade in the exact same way simply because as human beings we all think and act differently. To perform at our best, we need to be able to act within our psychological comfort zone.
Our approach at STA is to provide the trader the structure he needs to progress while having a trading plan that acts as a framework for further development.
The traders profiled here are starting to branch out a bit which is always a very exciting thing to see as a trading coach. While I'm quite pleased with their current progression and results, the thing I look forward to most is to see what sort of traders they become in the months ahead.
It should be a fun journey and I'm very thankful to be working with such enthusiastic and determined traders here at Samurai Trading Academy!