In a live webinar or recording, you’ve probably heard John Paul discuss the importance of synchronizing your Windows clock with official time servers. Why is this important? Your data feed may use native time stamping, and if your Windows clock is off by only a small amount, NinjaTrader will display information differently. This applies to both real-time and historical data.
It’s best explained by NinjaTrader support rep. Matthew…
“You can also keep an eye on any discrepancies in real-time by first opening a Time and Sales window and comparing the real-time time stamps to your local PC clock. You will want to compare this down to the second. Note: this would only be true if your data provider offers native time stamping.”
We recommend the fix below regardless of whether your data feed is native or not. You could switch data feeds a month from now and forget about the importance of synchronicity.
What’s the best/easiest solution?
We recommend a free program called Karen’s Time Sync. The download link is below the screenshot image on the KTS site. Using the Auto Sync feature, KTS will automatically synchronize your Windows clock with ultra-precise official time servers in your time zone. Using the program is easy – select a server in your time zone, click Sync Now, optionally check “Automatically sync my clock…”. You should then see a report at the bottom indicating the success of the sync. If an error occurs or a connection cannot be established, find a new server in your area and try again. Once you find a server that works, jump over to the Settings tab and configure KTS to launch when Windows starts. We also recommended checking “Sync My Clock When This Program is Automatically Launched” and also checking “Then Exit This Program”.
Synchronizing your clock may also improve your experience with other trading platforms such as TradeStation and eSignal.
The E-Mini S&P is a great market to trade – unless it’s slow. Well, it’s been slow. There are numerous videos that I’ve created detailing when to just say NO to trading the E-Mini under undesirable conditions.
What is considered slow? I use a 5-Min chart in conjunction with the ATR (Average True Range) set to a 4-5 period. Refer to my previous blog post / video to find out more. If the ATR value is below 1 on the E-Mini, consider it dead and not worth trading. The dojis will come out and play along with the whipsaws. No one is trading and neither should you.
If the E-Mini just isn’t cutting it, then what do we do? Take a look at other markets. Here are a few of my personal favorite alternatives to the E-Mini. Utilize them to diversify your trading:
Euro Currency (6E) – $12.50 per tick increment Australian Currency (6A) – $12.50 per tick increment Swiss Frank Currency (6S) – $12.50 per tick increment Canadian Dollar (6C) – $10 per tick increment
What are the best times to trade? This depends on when the exchange opens for the market you wish to trade.
3:00 a.m. US/Eastern Time is when the Liffe exchange opens
9:30 a.m. US/Eastern is when the U.S. indices markets open
On currencies, the ATR works a bit differently, being denote in ticks instead of points. For currencies, again use a 5-Min chart with a period setting of 4-5. To determine tradeability, perform a simple mental calculation by moving the decimal point over four places to the right to know how many ticks the market can handle and what you can expect. As an example, 0.00080 is the equivalent of 8 ticks or 2 points. Anything below 5 ticks on the currencies is a dead market.
I also like the Soybean market and Treasury Notes as alternatives to the E-Mini S&P.
If you’re a beginner, I recommend avoiding energies like crude oil and natural gas.
Remember, you can use the Atlas Line, Trade Scalper and Power Price Action methods in these other markets. In the Private Mentorship Program (new group session begins Monday, Feb. 13), we discuss these markets in detail and how to tackle them on a day-by-day basis. Click here to find out more or register.
Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill, the STOCK (Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge) Act, to curb Congressional insider trading. Vote results indicate 417 Congress members in favor of the bill and two in opposition. This House version differs from that of the Senate, which includes provisions for financial data collectors to disclose their activities like lobbyists. Regarding the differences between both bills, critics claim the House version has “caved in to investment firms” with its exclusion of said provisions.
A political intelligence industry exists to monitor and sell data based on the financial activity of government officials. House Representatives have expressed concern that this “watered-down” version of the bill does not regulate the communication or financial exchanges between these industry members and government officials. Wall Street lobbyists have been accused of leading the “watering.” Nevertheless, both House Democrats and Republicans overwhelmingly support the bill, including the President’s stated endorsement.
The creation of the STOCK Act may have been the result of the CBS “60 Minutes” investigation that implicated that lawmakers enriched themselves based on information obtained through their official duties. Even without the bill being passed, members of Congress are by no means above the law when it comes to insider trading. Members of Congress face the same penalties as regular investors who attempt insider trading. For the last seven years, there have been no recent insider trading charges brought to Congressional delegates.
What do you think?
• Are you in favor of the legislation banning insider trading?
• If so, what should the penalty be for insider trading?
• If not, do you think government officials’ investments should be kept entirely private?
• If the investments of Congress members become free public information, how can an industry that sells this data exist? Does this imply a relationship of “shadiness” between these data miners and government officials?
John Paul once again proves that successful day trading can be easy. The video starts with showing you how to take advantage of the large bullish news event candle at around 8:30 a.m. US/Eastern. A common mistake is made when trying to interpret the news as either positive or negative, then entering based on your judgement. John shows a specific technique where the market can be used to provide direction AFTER the big move, when price movement becomes easier to predict. To keep track of news events, visit the Bloomberg Economic Calendar and note the red star announcements.
Another technique John discuss is the Yo-Yo effect. Based on buyer / seller exchange principles, this effect occurs when price bounces back and forth in a choppy succession. If you’re looking to enter a trade, this forecasting method will help you avoid problematic conditions. Start watching from around the 26 minute mark if you’re interested.
The final topic John touches on is market predictions for 2012. By the end of the year, John expects indices to climb to levels higher than those reached in January 2012. The pattern used for this prediction can be back-tested many years with a high degree of accuracy, as it’s used by professional market analysts.
As a trading coach, I get this question asked a lot – “how many contracts should I trade?” It may surprise you that there is no simple answer (one, two, ten, etc.). There are several factors to consider when answering this question.
Brokers usually advise clients on how many lots they are able to trade based on account balance and margin requirements. Some brokers offer as little as $500 margin per lot to trade E-Minis or currencies. Other brokers require much more. Want to hold a position overnight? Expect a change in margin requirement, as daytime and evening margins differ.
When discussing contract quantity with my students, I often point out the psychological requirement of trading multiple contracts – the “can you handle it?” factor. First, you must be comfortable with how it feels to take a loss with one contract. After trading one contract, taking a loss and then recovering, you will have gained confidence in surviving the trading game. Regardless of how much money you have in your trading account, you should be able to trade one contract with consistent success. Once satisfied, you should then stick with two contracts and advance accordingly. Again, the idea is to overcome the fear of losing by taking a loss while still following the rules, recover, then maintain consistency. You must work up to trading five or 10 lots by being successful with one or two. The amount of time you stay at each contract benchmark is entirely up to you. Traders who start out with 10 contracts get psyched out because of the overwhelming profit or loss in a short period of time. Instead, follow the trading rules (my courses are entirely objective) like a machine to reduce emotional mistakes. Start trading live with one contract, move to two when ready, and so forth. My goal is to start you off trading correctly and sustainably using methods that actually work. We want to be in this for the long haul.
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