Why Should You Keep a Trading Journal?

A trading journal is a document where traders record everything they do during a trading session. This includes strategy, risk management, psychology, and more. Many traders rely on their journal as a “trading roadmap” to help determine the path to reach their trading goals.

Watch this 2-minute video to learn more about keeping a trading journal.

Benefits of Keeping a Trading Journal

Track Trade Details – Keep a daily trading journal to keep track of the details of your trading experience. It helps to put a focus on post-trade analysis.

Use Pen & Paper – Use pen and paper when creating your trade journal. Your brain processes information differently when you write things down thus improving understanding and memory retention.

Track Time – Keep track of the time of day you open and closed your positions. Are you a better trader in the morning or later in the day?

Review Often – Review your trading journal and see if you can identify your strengths and common mistakes. Reviewing often can also help you avoid repeating mistakes.

Write Down Observations – Make sure to write down trading observations. For example “was my stop too tight?” or “my pre-open counter trend didn’t work again” can help you refine your strategy.

Don’t Deviate From Your Plan – Did you deviate from your initial trading plan by moving a stop or profit target mid-stream? If so, why?

There are many great reasons to keep a trading journal and we just covered a few. If you aren’t currently keeping a trading journal, try it out! NinjaTrader even has built-in journal capabilities where traders can simultaneously journal while trading and conducting market analysis.

Get Started with NinjaTrader

NinjaTrader supports more than 500,000 traders worldwide with a powerful and user-friendly trading platform, discount futures brokerage and world-class support. NinjaTrader is always free to use for advanced charting & strategy backtesting through an immersive trading simulator.

Download NinjaTrader’s award-winning trading platform and get started with a free trading demo with real-time market data today!

This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only and should not be viewed as a solicitation or recommendation of any product, service or trading strategy. It includes content from independent persons or companies that are in no manner affiliated with NinjaTrader Group (NTG) or any of its affiliates. The content and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of NinjaTrader or any of its affiliates.

Source link

Easy Steps to Futures Paper Trading

If you’re new to trading futures, you’ve probably heard of paper trading. Put simply, paper trading is practice trading without risking any real money. Both new and seasoned traders can practice trading live markets, playback historical market moves in real-time, and even test automated trading strategies with historical market data.

Watch this short video on how easy it is to paper trade with NinjaTrader:

SIM101: Your Paper Trading Account

The NinjaTrader platform lets you create and customize simulated accounts to mimic live trading as closely as possible. NinjaTrader’s built-in Sim101 account behaves like a live account in that it monitors cash balance, profit & loss, and other financial parameters. It can also be modified to closely resemble your investment. Before connecting to market data, you can customize the Sim101 account in a few easy steps.

  1. Navigate to the Accounts tab from the bottom of the Control Center
  2. Right-click on the Sim101 account
  3. Select “Edit Account”

Paper Trading

Access the Sim101 account properties window to customize initial cash value and more.

From the account properties window, you can adjust all aspects of the Sim101 account, including initial cash value, a simulated commission rate, risk profile, and a minimum account balance to mimic margin requirements. Once these are set, click OK, then connect to data to start paper trading!

Chart Trader: Doing it Live

Now that your paper trading account is configured properly, head on over to your favorite futures chart, or create a new one from the “New” menu of the Control Center. At the top of the chart, click on the 5th icon from the right to enable Chart Trader.

Paper Trading

Chart Trader enabled on an E-mini S&P 500 chart.

Chart Trader’s intuitive interface allows you to quickly place market orders. You can also right-click on the chart itself to reveal a context-sensitive menu of limit, stop, and market-if-touched orders. If you’d like to learn more about all the different functions of Chart Trader, check out this short video.

Lines, Shapes, and Indicators… Oh my!

The NinjaTrader platform comes stocked with over 100 indicators, dozens of drawing tools , and several different chart bar styles.

To add indicators to your new chart, right-click anywhere in the chart window, and select “Indicators”. In the pop-up window you can choose all the standard NinjaTrader indicators, configure their values, and define colors & visual properties.

You can add multiple indicators at once by selecting all the indicators you want to add to the chart before clicking OK at the bottom of this window. Paper trading is a great way to test out different indicator signals and settings, so feel free to experiment with all the options available.

Paper Trading

E-mini S&P 500 chart with 2 simple moving averages, a volume indicator, and a trend channel.

Don’t Paper Trade Alone

There are infinite combinations of indicators, technical analysis, and methods you can apply to your paper trading. Fortunately, you can join NinjaTrader’s daily livestream event as we prepare, analyze, and trade the futures markets in real-time.

Interested in learning more about using all the features of the NinjaTrader platform? Visit our New User Video Guides to find short videos covering many helpful topics.

Get Started with NinjaTrader

NinjaTrader supports more than 500,000 traders worldwide with a powerful and user-friendly trading platform, discount futures brokerage and world-class support. NinjaTrader is always free to use for advanced charting & strategy backtesting through an immersive trading simulator.

Download NinjaTrader’s award-winning trading platform and get started with a free trading demo with real-time market data today!

Source link

How to Choose Your Technical Indicators

NinjaTrader’s award-winning platform offers over 100 technical indicators equipping traders with a vast array of powerful analysis tools. Based on your trading approach and level of experience, you may be wondering which indicators best fit your needs. A few simple rules can go a long way in helping you make this decision based on your timeframe, trading style and the market you are trading.

Watch this 2-minute video to learn more about how to chose your technical indicators when trading futures –

Timeframe & Style

Much of the decision of which indicators to choose can be based your answers to the following questions:

  • Are you a scalper, swing trader or position trader?
  • How much time do you have to trade?
  • How long do you want to be in a trade?
  • Do the indicators you are considering provide to many signals…or not enough based on your timeframe?

Market

All futures markets have distinct personalities. Which market fits your personality? Some markets are very volatile while others are not. Indicators also have a personality that may match up well with certain futures markets.

As an example, an indicator that works well in the Treasury market may not be as effective in the Nasdaq market. While the Nasdaq is very volatile, the Treasury market is not. As a result, your selected indicator should fit with the frequency of signals you are hoping to receive based on market activity. This is why your timeframe and trading style are critical components when identifying your markets of choice and ultimately, the indicators for your trading strategy.

Remember trading is personal and indicators are in the eye of the beholder. It is not the indicator that makes the strategy, but rather how the trader executes using their indicators.

Get Started with NinjaTrader

NinjaTrader supports more than 500,000 traders worldwide with a powerful and user-friendly trading platform, discount futures brokerage and world-class support. NinjaTrader is always free to use for advanced charting & strategy backtesting through an immersive trading simulator.

Download NinjaTrader’s award-winning trading platform and get started with a free trading demo with real-time market data today!

This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only and should not be viewed as a solicitation or recommendation of any product, service or trading strategy. It includes content from independent persons or companies that are in no manner affiliated with NinjaTrader Group (NTG) or any of its affiliates. The content and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of NinjaTrader or any of its affiliates.

Source link

Commitment of Traders (COT) Financial Futures Report

The Commitment of Traders (COT) Financial Futures Report is published by the CFTC to help the public understand market dynamics. It is published every Friday at 3:30 pm ET to provide a breakdown of each Tuesday’s open interest for markets in which 20 or more traders hold positions equal to or greater than the reporting levels established by the CFTC.

Learn more about the COT Financial Futures Report by watching this 3 -minute video –

Trader Classification

The COT Financial Futures Report divides the financial futures market participants into the “sell side” and “buy side.” This traditional functional division of financial market participants focuses on their respective roles in the broader marketplace, not whether they are buyers or sellers of futures or option contracts.

Sell Side

  • Dealer/Intermediary
    These participants are typically described as the “sell side” of the market. Though they may not predominately sell futures, they do design and sell various financial assets to clients. They tend to have matched books or offset their risk across markets and clients. Futures contracts are part of the pricing and balancing of risk associated with the products they sell and their activities. These include large banks and dealers in securities, swaps and other derivatives.

Buy Side

  • Asset Manager/Institutional
    These are institutional investors, including pension funds, endowments, insurance companies, mutual funds and those portfolio/investment managers whose clients are predominantly institutional.
  • Leveraged Funds
    These are typically hedge funds and various types of money managers, including registered commodity trading advisors (CTAs), registered commodity pool operators (CPOs), or unregistered funds identified by CFTC. The strategies may involve taking outright positions or arbitrage within and across markets. The traders may be engaged in managing and conducting proprietary futures trading and trading on behalf of speculative clients.
  • Other Reportables
    Reportable traders that are not placed into one of the first three categories are placed into the “other reportables” category. The traders in this category mostly are using markets to hedge business risk, whether that risk is related to foreign exchange, equities or interest rates. This category includes corporate treasuries, central banks, smaller banks, mortgage originators, credit unions and any other reportable traders not assigned to the other three categories.

Get Started with NinjaTrader

NinjaTrader supports more than 500,000 traders worldwide with a powerful and user-friendly trading platform, discount futures brokerage and world-class support. NinjaTrader is always free to use for advanced charting & strategy backtesting through an immersive trading simulator.

Download NinjaTrader’s award-winning trading platform and get started with a free trading demo with real-time market data today!

This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only and should not be viewed as a solicitation or recommendation of any product, service or trading strategy. It includes content from independent persons or companies that are in no manner affiliated with NinjaTrader Group (NTG) or any of its affiliates. The content and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of NinjaTrader or any of its affiliates.

Source link

Commitment of Traders (COT) Financial Futures Report

The Commitment of Traders (COT) Financial Futures Report is published by the CFTC to help the public understand market dynamics. It is published every Friday at 3:30 pm ET to provide a breakdown of each Tuesday’s open interest for markets in which 20 or more traders hold positions equal to or greater than the reporting levels established by the CFTC.

Learn more about the COT Financial Futures Report by watching this 3 -minute video –

Trader Classification

The COT Financial Futures Report divides the financial futures market participants into the “sell side” and “buy side.” This traditional functional division of financial market participants focuses on their respective roles in the broader marketplace, not whether they are buyers or sellers of futures or option contracts.

Sell Side

  • Dealer/Intermediary
    These participants are typically described as the “sell side” of the market. Though they may not predominately sell futures, they do design and sell various financial assets to clients. They tend to have matched books or offset their risk across markets and clients. Futures contracts are part of the pricing and balancing of risk associated with the products they sell and their activities. These include large banks and dealers in securities, swaps and other derivatives.

Buy Side

  • Asset Manager/Institutional
    These are institutional investors, including pension funds, endowments, insurance companies, mutual funds and those portfolio/investment managers whose clients are predominantly institutional.
  • Leveraged Funds
    These are typically hedge funds and various types of money managers, including registered commodity trading advisors (CTAs), registered commodity pool operators (CPOs), or unregistered funds identified by CFTC. The strategies may involve taking outright positions or arbitrage within and across markets. The traders may be engaged in managing and conducting proprietary futures trading and trading on behalf of speculative clients.
  • Other Reportables
    Reportable traders that are not placed into one of the first three categories are placed into the “other reportables” category. The traders in this category mostly are using markets to hedge business risk, whether that risk is related to foreign exchange, equities or interest rates. This category includes corporate treasuries, central banks, smaller banks, mortgage originators, credit unions and any other reportable traders not assigned to the other three categories.

Get Started with NinjaTrader

NinjaTrader supports more than 500,000 traders worldwide with a powerful and user-friendly trading platform, discount futures brokerage and world-class support. NinjaTrader is always free to use for advanced charting & strategy backtesting through an immersive trading simulator.

Download NinjaTrader’s award-winning trading platform and get started with a free trading demo with real-time market data today!

This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only and should not be viewed as a solicitation or recommendation of any product, service or trading strategy. It includes content from independent persons or companies that are in no manner affiliated with NinjaTrader Group (NTG) or any of its affiliates. The content and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of NinjaTrader or any of its affiliates.

Source link

Gold Futures Roll Date – February 2022

Monday, January 31st marks the first notice for the February 2022 Gold Futures contract. GC Traders can roll to the succeeding contract before the open on Thursday, January 27th.

Standard trade execution fees & commissions apply.

For up-to-date information on contract expirations, roll dates, news announcements & more, visit and bookmark the NinjaTrader Trade Desk Calendar!

Source link

Understanding Micro Treasury Yield Futures

Micro Treasury Yield Futures from the CME Group provide market participants an efficient and cost-effective method to trade the U.S. Treasury benchmark rates. These innovative contracts are based directly on yields of the most recently auctioned Treasury securities including the 2-Year Note, 5-Year Note, 10-Year Note & 30-Year Bond.

Watch this 3-minute video to learn more about trading Micro Treasury Yield Futures.

What is a U.S. Treasury Benchmark Rate?

The U.S. Treasury benchmark rate are the current yields on the most recently auctioned treasury securities at certain locations along the treasury yield curve. Micro Treasury Yield futures will reference the benchmark yield for the 2-Year Note, 5-Year Notes, 10-Year Note, and 30-year U.S. Treasury Bond.

Treasury Yield Basis Points

A basis point represents 0.01% of yield. Therefore, 100 basis points equals 1%. A basis point value, also referred to DV01, represents the financial change of an instrument to a one basis point change in yield. Each Micro Treasury Yield futures contract unit size is equal to a $10 value of a basis point.

Micro Treasury Yield futures trade in a direct relationship to changes in yield, unlike the traditional U.S. Treasury Futures contracts, which trade in price terms and as an inverse relationship to yield.

A trader buying the futures contract could benefit from rising yields. Whereas, a short position could benefit from falling yields.

Treasury Yield Settlement

Micro Treasury Yield futures will settle daily to BrokerTec’s 3 p.m. ET fixings of Treasury benchmark yields. Contracts cease trading at 3 p.m. ET on the last business day of the contract month.

These contracts are financially settled. Final settlement value is determined by BrokerTec’s 3 p.m. ET fixing on the last business day of the month.

Benefits of Trading Micro Treasury Yield Futures

  • Smaller size
  • Track OTR benchmark Treasury Yields
  • Trade in yield rather than in price terms
  • Financially settled, eliminating any delivery risk

Micro Treasury Yield futures are available to trade on CME Globex from Sunday through Friday, nearly 24 hours a day. Micro Treasury Yield futures provide access to a contract that is pegged to OTR yields, but with less capital requirements than traditional US Treasury futures contracts.

Get Started with NinjaTrader

NinjaTrader supports more than 500,000 traders worldwide with a powerful and user-friendly trading platform, discount futures brokerage and world-class support. NinjaTrader is always free to use for advanced charting & strategy backtesting through an immersive trading simulator.

Download NinjaTrader’s award-winning trading platform and get started with a free trading demo with real-time market data today!

This article is intended for educational and informational purposes only and should not be viewed as a solicitation or recommendation of any product, service or trading strategy. It includes content from independent persons or companies that are in no manner affiliated with NinjaTrader Group (NTG) or any of its affiliates. The content and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of NinjaTrader or any of its affiliates.

Source link

Holiday Reminder – Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2022

Monday, January 17th is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Trading times for many products will change in observance of the holiday. For details, please visit the CME Group Holiday Calendar.

For up-to-date information on contract expirations, roll dates, news announcements & more, visit and bookmark the NinjaTrader Trade Desk Calendar!

Source link

Use Wiseman Fractals to Identify Bullish and Bearish Reversals

The Wiseman Fractal is one of the easiest reversal signal indicators to read. This indicator performs best in trending markets where volatility is low and choppiness is at a minimum.

Fractal Geometry

A fractal is a recurring geometric pattern that echoes ever smaller with each repetition. Often found occurring in nature, technical analysts have also detected these patterns in the markets. Fibonacci is a more well-known example of a fractal patterns in technical analysis.

The Wiseman Fractal indicator was created by Bill Williams who is considered to be one of the forefathers of modern trading psychology. Williams used his expertise in psychology along with applied technical analysis and chaos theory in developing his trading approach.

How Does the Wiseman Fractal Indicator Work?

The Wiseman Fractal plots as simple either upward or downward pointing arrows over historical price data. Bearish reversals are signaled by upward pointing arrows and bullish reversals are signaled by downward pointing arrows.

The arrows, or fractals, are formed when a certain number of repeated bars align in a distinct manner. This number of repeating bars is configured by the Strength parameter in the Wiseman Fractal’s settings.

Using Wiseman Fractal with Other Technical Indicators

In the example below, the Wiseman Fractal is used together with the Relative Strength Index (RSI) Indicator plotted in the lower panel. The bullish and bearish reversal arrows serve as a potential buy and sell points, while the RSI crosses can serve to confirm or deny the thesis provided by the Wiseman Fractal.

This is just one of the countless examples where the Wiseman Fractal can be used in combination with other native NinjaTrader indicators for enhanced technical analysis. As always traders should be aware of the financial risks involved and the possibility of losing money. All indicators have the possibility of producing false signals, and the Wiseman Fractal is no exception.

Add the Wiseman Fractal Indicator to Your NinjaTrader Chart

  1. Right-click within any chart
  2. Select “Indicators”
  3. Locate “Wiseman Fractal” from the available list of indicators in the upper left-hand section
  4. Add the indicator by double-clicking it and click OK

Get Started with NinjaTrader

NinjaTrader supports more than 500,000 traders worldwide with a powerful and user-friendly trading platform, discount futures brokerage and world-class support. NinjaTrader is always free to use for advanced charting & strategy backtesting through an immersive trading simulator.

Download NinjaTrader’s award-winning trading platform and get started with a free trading demo with real-time market data today!

Source link

Understanding Pivot Points for Support & Resistance Based Trade Management

Pivot Points are a popular method for determining market trends, as well as short-term support and resistance levels using numerical averages of an instrument’s high, low and close.

The term “pivot” is often thought of as reaching a pre-determined point (support or resistance) then reversing course.

Not only can day traders use Pivots to help determine bullish or bearish trends, but they are also commonly used as trade entry and exit guidelines. Different from a number of indicators that update dynamically throughout the trading day, Pivot Points remain static on a chart.

Watch NinjaTrader’s Pivot Point indicator in action:

NinjaTrader plots a total of 7 points based on the previous high, low and close values. Below is a breakdown of how each pivot is calculated:

  • PP = (High + Low + Close) / 3
  • S1 = 2 * PP – High
  • R1 = 2 * PP – Low
  • S2 = PP – (High – Low
  • R2 = PP + (High – Low)
  • S3 = PP – 2 * (High – Low)
  • R3 = PP + 2 * (High – Low)

* PP = Pivot Point

While there are many methods of trading Pivots, a prime example of how day traders can possibly use Pivot Points for entry and exit signals is to short an instrument as it nears resistance levels with a stop placed just above the R1 level and a profit target placed at the PP. The opposite strategy might be used in the case of a long trade.

Leveraging the power of NinjaTrader ATM Strategies coupled with the Data Box, Pivot trading can be a simple to follow process. Before entering a buy market order, take the market price less the R1 level to determine the stop loss placement. Next, do the same for the PP level to determine the profit target!

Pivot Point Indicator Example

In most scenarios, should price action break a Resistance level, the resistance then (theoretically) turns to a support level. Because the Pivots are static by day, this will not dynamically update should the breach occur.

To demonstrate how a market can react to Pivots, here is a 5-minute E-mini S&P 500 chart from the open at 7:30 MT to market close. One can easily identify the three support and resistance trading channels outlined by the leading Pivot indicator.

Support and Resistance Pivot Points Chart

As the trading session begins (Yellow), the ES quickly tests the PP level but “Pivots” to R1. Price action then bounces above and below the R1 level before establishing itself as a clear line of resistance around 10:00 AM (Blue). During this period of consolidation, it’s vital to incorporate complementary forms of technical analysis to avoid over-trading, getting stopped out and choppy markets in general.

Just before 11:00 AM, the ES breaks the R2 level, tests it, then goes on a solid bullish run before stopping out at the R3 level (Red).

Because Pivot Points are considered to be predictive in nature as a leading indicator…they are not always 100% accurate. As with any trading methodology, proper risk mitigation efforts are necessary before placing any live trades.

Get Started with NinjaTrader

NinjaTrader supports more than 500,000 traders worldwide with a powerful and user-friendly trading platform, discount futures brokerage and world-class support. NinjaTrader is always free to use for advanced charting & strategy backtesting through an immersive trading simulator.

Download NinjaTrader’s award-winning trading platform and get started with a free trading demo with real-time market data today!

Source link