2020: September

Monthly Portfolio Chart

It’s not as bad as the picture of my chart looks. I promise. That being said, September was quite a month for my trading. I tried some new things, fell flat on my face, and realized I’m going to take my trading in whole different direction going forward. Overall, I ended the month in the red, but I couldn’t be more excited about it.

September Recap

  • Realized P&L: -$39.44
  • Trades Closed: 13

After my August snafus, you would think I would have started off the next month with some calm, measured decisions. Things had slowed down at my day job, I was perusing the job sites just to see what was out there, and then I had a flash of brilliance: I should try one of those trade to get funded combine sites! After reading several reviews I decided to try my luck with Earn2Trade.

They were running a promotion for their $25K funding combine for $90. I jumped in with hardly a second thought. I knew almost nothing about trading futures, I didn’t have a strategy, and emotionally I was feeling desperate. You can probably tell where this is headed. Before my first week was up, I had blown up the account. I did it by placing one trade in /ES without a stop loss, which unless you have a huge account, no stops in futures is a very dangerous move. That one trade blew up my account even though less than a minute later it came back and went in my direction.

I felt devastated for a while. I’d only lost $90 but it felt so much bigger. With a heavy heart I went back to trading options in Robinhood.

But I had gotten a taste of something . . . and I wanted more.

My Future . . . Is Futures

Just trading on a fully features platform for that week made me realize how much of a handicap I have trying to trade shorter term time frames on Robinhood. The freedom to place a trade directly on a chart, to not be concerned with breaking the Pattern Day Trader rule, the quick scalps in and out, all of these appeal to my nature.

Once I cooled down from my loss on Earn2Trade, I started to research futures trading in earnest. I found some videos on YouTube that made sense to me, I then found out that the guy in those videos most likely took his system from this guy. So I started watching his videos and while they are not nearly as flashy, Mack packs so much more info into his videos.

Price action trading has always made sense to me, and I had immediate success using my own poorly understood version Mack’s system right away. I also had a lot of losses, but these were all due to over trading and impulsive trading outside of the primary set ups.

(I’m still sim trading at this point, so I’m happily working out the kinks in the system and my own psychology without losing actual money. Also, I haven’t actually purchased his book yet. I may in the future, but for now I’m seeing how successful I can be just from learning from his videos. He is pretty detailed so I’ve been able to intuit quite a bit from him.)

Tradovate

Originally, I had planned on using NinjaTrader as that was the platform I used with Earn2Trade. However, their minimum deposit was higher, and to get access to the features I needed to trade I would have had to lease or purchase their license.

After more research I ended up going with Tradovate. You don’t have to purchase a license, you can access all of the platform features (granted there are not that many compared to NinjaTrader), and you only have to pay a small monthly fee for market data. Also, the Tradovate minimum deposit is only $250.

So, that’s where I’m at for the moment. I feel like I found the place in the market I was always looking for. (I could go on about the benefits of futures, but I’ll leave it here for now.) Now, I’m just learning. I’m hoping to start live trading a couple of contracts in the /MES futures by the end of October or so.

Robinhood

Meanwhile, back in my Robinhood account . . .

I’ll be slowly working on converting my Robinhood account into non IRA dividend income generator. During my forray into futures, I discovered that Robinhood has some truly stand out features. I think the problem with Robinhood is that most of its users misuse it. It was clearly not designed as a short-term trading platform. It was built for easy-to-use investments. And I think going forward I’m going to be a lot happier with it as longer-term investment platform.

I do still plan on selling options with Robinhood once I grow the account to a size that can absorb the statistics of that strategy. The other thing I really appreciate about Robinhood is the Cash side of it. I was able to fund both my Earn2Trade adventure and my Tradovate account using Robinhood.

I think using Robinhood as long-term, dividend earning checking account could become a truly powerful tool for personal finance.

Current Postions

Options
VXX $20 Put | 10/16 Exp · 5 Buys | -$58.00
VXX $28 / $30 Calls | 11/20 Exp • 1 Debit Spread | -$10.00
GE $11 Call | 1/15/2021 Exp · 4 Buys | -$38.00
NOK $7 Call | 6/18/2021 Exp · 2 Buys |-$21.00
F $10 Call | 6/18/2021 Exp · 2 Buys | $0.00

Cash: $13.47

Closing Thoughts

My total P&L for the month includes the $90 I spent on the Earn2Trade. From a pure trading point of view, I was actually profitable in September. I did jump into trading VXX options. My first few trades went very well, but I chalk that up to luck as I did not then (no now) fully understand how the VIX (and VXX) moves. I thought I did, but I still have a lot to learn. That being said, I think If I can keep my positions small and quick, I may be able to continue trading this ticker profitably.

I wanted to go into more detail about my options trades this month, but I also wanted to share about the new direction I’m taking and I didn’t want this post to get any longer than it already is. I’ll try to write a supplemental post this month, but in all honesty I probably won’t have time to get to it. Thanks for reading!

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