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MANUAL TRADING. The search for the Holy Grail. - page 4

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Steven Theobald
Steven Theobald 2013.03.20 17:02  


Glad you found the thread helpful.  Sounds like you have paid your dues.  Truly, the many failures are not completely wasted IF we learn something.

Thanks so much for sharing your experience on the thread.  Yours is exactly the kind of post I was searching for when I opened it.

I think I can "run circles" around any EA out there, but I know that I can never completely divorce myself from the emotional side of trading.  So the only thing to do is never move the stop loss and take the losses gracefully and move on to the next trade.

Keep us posted on your success.


Steven Theobald
Steven Theobald 2013.11.10 17:58  

After a 7 month hiatus, I am back.  In this time I have learned and relearned several important lessons regarding manual trading and the HOLY GRAIL.  Again, I propose that the Holy Grail is DISCIPLINE

Some of these ideas I mentioned before, but they are foremost on my mind as I get back into discretionary FX trading:

1.  SUCCESS OUTSIDE TRADING.  Having financial success outside of trading helps me while trading.  It takes the "I must make a profitable trade" idea and changes it to "I know if I follow all my rules that I will succeed long term."  There is a BIG difference in these two in the emotional impact on trading.  Therefore, I must compartmentalize and excel in my self-employed (real estate) activities IN ORDER to become a better trader.  So completely logging out of my trade account after X hours is vital.  You may disagree with this, but for me it has proven to be true.

2.  SMALL DAILY GAINS.  Earlier in this thread I talked about my great string of 6% daily gains.  While I can trade this way with higher leverage for many days at a time, it really is stressful when so much depends on each trade.  And between occasional random news events, potential technical errors, and simply having a "bad day," the risk is too high.  I conversed with a hedge fund manager and he persuaded me that "slow and steady wins the race" at least as far as attracting capital goes.  The big investors don't need 6% daily gains--they want SAFETY and returns that beat the averages.   He said that they will flee with more than a 5% max risk per trade and more than a 20% draw down in one day.   1% growth per day is absolutely excellent if sustained long term.

3.  NET DAILY GOAL.  I have resisted this idea for 7 years.  "Why should I stop if the market keeps handing me great setups?" I used to say.  Only recently have I realized that there are several benefits to stopping once I reach a pre-determined goal.  (1) Prevent catastrophe.  When you run a foot race you stop once over the finish line.  You don't keep going.  You are now tired and will probably trip!  How many times have I done great and then given it all back at the end of the day???  (2)  Psychological boost.  You met a goal.  "Success breads success."  Pat yourself on the back and feel great for 20+ hours until you do it again.  (3)  Get other stuff done.  By shutting MT4/5 down when you reach your goal, you can then move on to your other work.  (4)  Friends and Family.  By ending on a high note each day, you feel great and are much more likely to be a good spouse, parent, and friend.  You know it's true!  So even though you may have missed some great moves later in the day, you don't regret it one bit.  There will be other trades tomorrow and the next day.  This is a marathon, not a sprint.  Whether it's 10, 30, or 100 pips, set a goal and then stop when you reach it.

4.  ACCOUNTABILITY.  I trade better when I am being watched.  I really hate admitting this.  When no one is watching the account but me, I often "fudge" on my rules.   I am not sure how I talk myself into this.   For example, I might try martingale crap, or I don't wait for a break of support before "loading up" when I "know" the direction the market is going, etc.   It ALWAYS eventually ends in disaster.  I know several traders who are perfect in their rule following, but I am not--when I am not  being watched.  Sounds silly, but for me, one of the selfish reasons I am posting a signal is to make me justify each trade.  I know that if I break a rule, then any followers I may get will leave.  But more importantly, I know that my rules are sound and the obedience brings success.   So by posting I follow my rules better.  If you don't want to operate a signal like me, then I recommend daily reporting to someone else how you are doing.  Or at a minimum, keep a trading journal or spreadsheet to track your progress.  Be accountable.

5.  TAKE THE SMALL LOSSES AND MOVE ON.  I never move my stops any more.  I "trade scared" like all traders should.  I let my stops get hit.  I am scared that if I move my stops that the market will just keep on going.  I am not trying to be "right" anymore.  I am trying to make money!   Often I will now just "get out" when the trade goes against me, but at a minimum I never move my tight stops.  I know that because of my expectancy formula that I will win long term.  (win% * avg winner)-(lose % * avg loser).   Never move your stops.  There will be another trade.  Being stuck in a losing trade really drains you psychologically, but also prevents you for taking the other great setups that may come next.  Losses are part of the game.  Take them and don't look back.

Have a great day.

Ubzen 2013.11.10 19:10  

I like your blog. Even_if my approaches slightly differs from yours, it interesting.

-happy piping. 

Nour Adel Ghaleb Masoud
Nour Adel Ghaleb Masoud 2017.02.23 17:37  
Steven Theobald:

MANUAL TRADING.  The search for the Holy Grail.

I have looked high and low in the forum, but found only fragments of discussions on things that might end up here.  There are lots of present (and future) MQL5 members who have never really touched a line of MT4/MT5 code who love to trade - like me.  And we need a forum spot to discuss some very powerful  ideas.  I have a very unique perspective that I want to share with those who are interested--including my greatest trading epiphany.

Many of the principles discussed in this thread will be directly applicable to programming a great EA, but lets focus on the HUMAN side--since the market is truly the embodiment of human emotion.  Face it--the true value of the pork bellies or the EUR/USD really doesn't change that much in 60 minutes.  Its the humans who are shaking things up.  Just toss in a little fear and greed and stand back and watch in amazement.  Then the action really takes off-- like popcorn in a microwave!

That emotion drives many new traders crazy and close to the brink of destruction.  And some literally lose everything-including damaging relationships with loved ones.  Despair sets in.  They can lose thousands of dollars in mere minutes.  Personally, I lost over $100k in a just 24 months, so I am well qualified to talk about the all-encompassing emotional side of trading.  In a panic, I ran from one signal service to another (over 50), one guru to another, one EA to another, changing from stocks to options to FX to futures and back to FX again. 

Yes, I am embarrassed to share my story, but after talking with many traders, I realize that it is not just my story.  This is the story of 95% men and women who are successful in their professions and intelligent, but naively venture into the markets -- like sheep among the wolves.  And promptly get their heads handed to them on a platter.

So let's find some courage and deal with the realities of manual trading and stop denying the elephant in the room.


What is my unique perspective?  I have learned enough to be successful.  It has taken me 7 years and thousands of hours, but I am happy to report that I have become consistently profitable as a manual trader.  I can finally breathe and have some confidence again.

But where have I really arrived???  Surprisingly, back where I started:  EMOTION!   Now I can control mine, and I can truly understand the emotion of other traders and can turn it into a profit.  The very thing that did me in is now my strength. 

Several large trading services actually employ market psychologists.  I laughed in disbelief when I first heard it.  My arrogance and stupidity made me think that I was better than the average human filled with emotion.  But now I get it.  And I have finally admitted that I am filled with lots  of emotion.  And it's okay.  That is what it means to be human.

And ironically, in all my searching for perfection in an indicator, I have also come full circle:  Believe it or not, I can now trade with NO indicators at all - just price.  I thought it was impossible. 

So my huge epiphany is this:  There is no avoiding emotion in trading.  You have to go through it.  Emotion is to be embraced and then controlled.  And there no magic indicator.  The search may turn up improvements in entries and exits, but when all is said and done -- The Holy Grail is Discipline.

More to come...

Beautiful! Just beautiful. After four years, I've come to say this.
mrluck1 2017.02.23 20:08  

i trust more in my EA than me, emotion is a problem in this business, if the holy grail is discipline, then an algorithm can do it because there is nothing more disciplined, 

trading manually i think damages any health 

Yasin Oksuz
Yasin Oksuz 2017.03.14 21:26  

An algorith CAN NOT compete with human emotions.For this reason it is flawed and destined to destroy itself in time term.

And holy grails for sure exists.İt is just for your own character persona in trading style.Some scalp and fast some slow and steady or combination.

İf HOLY grails DONT exist for a human,how some have ultra-good life with nice family,beautiful cars,home,supermodels))‌

AND others dont have anything for a reason.

‌Be‌lieve it or not.İt exists for each person)

whiteking 2017.03.16 00:23  

i trust more in my EA than me, emotion is a problem in this business, if the holy grail is discipline, then an algorithm can do it because there is nothing more disciplined, 

trading manually i think damages any health 

What ea that you use to replace hand make transaction in the market, so far I am manual trade and also not always able make profit all the time

but using ea also need hiring vps and this is second cost use ea yet if ea working bad

Cuong Truong
Cuong Truong 2017.03.16 02:34  
So... How's your search? Have you find the Holy Grail yet?
Waseem Raza
Waseem Raza 2017.03.16 14:37  

Forum on trading, automated trading systems and testing trading strategies

how to control losses

Waseem Raza, 2017.03.09 09:12

Profit and loss are part of trade but facts telling only 10% peoples in success. What 10% peoples doing and they have success?

  • ‌Winner Trader means staying in profit more then 16 Months and facing draw down less then 25%. 
  • These winner traders actually earns average profit  around 5% or less a month.
  • T‌hey using lowest leverage 1:1  or 1:25
  • T‌hey holds long trades from 1 day to 60 days average (How they can hold long trades because they don't puts load on balance using less risk volume trade against balance)
  • T‌hey sets SL/TP  on weekly and daily chart base. 
  • Winner traders actually collects small profits and they don't waits for big turn. 
  • W‌inner traders actually copying simple banks strategy Supply and Demand.  
  • W‌inner Traders sometimes waits for long to open a trade. 
  • F‌or winner traders most difficult things is to set profit targets. 
  • W‌inner traders don't depends on news base trading, they only checks big events coming in a year like Brexit and they avoids to trade in big events. 
  • Successful traders don't depends on 1 broker they split capital with 3 to 4 brokers. 
  • In generally good starting balance for successful trading 10K USD.
  • Their average Money management .01 or micro lot against 2000 USD balance.  
  • Average successful traders gains experience after 3 years and their first 6 months always in loss. 


T‌ry these all and then come back with your results 

pgupta1646 2017.03.17 05:46  

Hi Steve

How can I get your manual system?

With regards,


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