Sunday, December 14, 2014

Challenge update: Phase 5 Complete

Hi traders!

We've finally reached the 5th target in our challenge!

The US$ 50,000 target has been met and we've started the 6th Phase on the challenge moving to our next target at US$ 75,000 trading 15 lots within a max period of 3 months.

Actually I really think we can make it much faster than that, to achieve the target of US$ 25,000 trading 15 lots I need to make less than 35 points on ES on full size, as we make an average of 10 points a week, do the math.

But, of course, we might lose on one of the weeks so, if that happens, it might take us a bit longer to achieve that target which we really think will be met sooner than most expect.

Our rules are very clear, we add to the number of lots we trade as we reach new targets and *IF* we lose we can also decrease the number of lots we trade which so far has never happened.

For those who are not familiar with our "Million Dollar Challenge", we started trading a US$ 10,000 account from the beginning of August  by trading only 2 lots on ES with the first target at US$ 12,000 ...and now we are at our 5th target at  US$ 50,000+ having reached the 6th Phase of the challenge.

If you want to see how the phases are set check this blog post below:

Walking the talk

I'm really happy to have been able to do that in real time in our trading room but I'll be very honest here, I could have done it even faster if I had religiously followed the Diamond Setups system. :)

I can explain.

Our system has several different strategies for taking profits according to each trader's own style, but one of the most common strategies is called: MT

The "MT" strategy consists in taking half off on all trades at +2 points (8 ticks) and then another 25% off at +3 points and trail the remainder 25%, really simple, but if we were able to hold FULL SIZE we'd do it much faster! But it's psychologically "easier" to scale out...

Even without a perfect execution I could move fast through the first 5 phases, let's see how we do now with 15 lots on the 6th phase.

If you want to learn how I do it, join us at the Diamond Setups website and learn a simple but effective system to trade and win consistently.

Best of luck!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Challenge update: Phase 3 Complete

Once again we made it way ahead of planned date to meet target in December, thanks to the volatility on ESZ4 giving traders several chances to make it big every single day, but the truth is in the great majority of trades we made were not big winners, but several small winners.

We made over 100% in a little over 2 months as we started the challenge on August the 4th.

Here we go on Phase 4 now, trying to take the US$ 20,000 account to the next target at US$ 30,000 trading 6 contracts, *IF* we lose and go back to US$ 15,000 then we would decrease size back to 4 contracts, but we are looking forward to finish one more phase, moving closer to our main target.

We don't know where market will turn, but we do know the "key levels" where it might, on most of the time we are right.

I'll keep you updated, best of luck.

"Don't ever quit. Success seems to be connected with action, successful people keep moving, they make mistakes but they don't quit."  Conrad Hilton

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Challenge update: Phase 2 complete

Phase 2, the second target on the challenge at US$ 15,000 was to be achieved in 4 months/16 weeks, this week has been the 7th week since we started the challenge and we are already there, way ahead of my time expectations.

When I started the challenge in our trading room, traders were really excited about having a doable plan to achieve targets and were ready to face the challenge no matter what, day after day, week after week we'd fight to meet those targets.

We had a tough start as we lost right on the first week, so psychological capital got low at the very beginning but we quickly recovered and now have achieved targets on Phase 1 & 2. The rules are very clear on position sizing and risk management and we are ready to move on to our next target at US$ 20,000.00 or double size of the initial investment.

Deadline to reach this target is 2 to 3 months and the number of contracts is set to 4 on ES (S&P500 e-minis) from now on, but in case we lose and go back to US$ 12,000 then we would decrease size back to 3 contracts.

We know discipline is key and although we are not disciplined 100% of the time, as we do take profits too early sometimes or give up on a trade before our STOP gets hit, we have been doing really well, way above expectations.

Have a great week everyone!

"I think to be in the upper echelon of successful traders requires an innate skill, a gift. It's just like being a great violinist. But to be a competent trader and make money is a skill you can learn." - Michael Marcus, Trader.

Michael Marcus is a commodity trader who, in less than 20 years, is reputed to have turned his initial US$ 30,000 into $80 million.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

First target met - Phase 1 Complete


I finally met my first target on Phase 1, three weeks ahead of time as my plan was to make it in maximum 8 weeks.

If I was able to meet the initial 20% target I know it is possible to meet any target as long as I move without rushing, slowly but steadily, having patience to go through the bad days with confidence on the system and the discipline to follow its rules, any trader can definitely make his way to success.

On Monday we continue our challenge and start Phase 2, the next target is US$ 15,000, I will increase the size by 1 contract and will now trade ES (S&P500 e-minis) with 3 lots, expecting to meet next target by maximum November, the 8th.

The rules are clear when I reach the next target at 20 ES points (US$ 150.00 per point trading 3 lots) I will increase size again by 1 more lot, but if I lose and go back to US$ 10,000 then I would have to decrease back to 2 lots and start all over again.

"We all have dreams. But in order to make dreams come into reality, it takes an awful lot of determination, dedication, self-discipline, and effort." - Jesse Owens

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Challenge update: Approaching First Target: US$ 12k

Hi folks!

After 3 weeks of hard work we still haven't reached the first target on the challenge! Wow!

So is trading... I tried to be conservative in the first week and ended up losing, made up the losses on the second one and now after 3 weeks I'm closer to our first target.

Just a quick reminder: I started trading a US$ 10,000 account on August, the 4th and now we are close to the first target of US$ 12,000, we have reached: US$ 11,506.46

I trade it live in our trading room and I think we will reach our first target next week (as I'm writing this post on Saturday).

If I am able to meet the first target, then for sure I will meet the last, no rush though, step by step.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Day 1 - Here we go!

This week we start trading our 1 Million Dollar Challenge, we're really excited about it as we know it is very doable and we will prove by doing it live in our trading room.

The main point is not the final target itself but the small intermediate targets we will meet along the way being the first one at US$ 12,000, or 20% of our initial investment, which will already be a very significant achievement, if we can reach the first target it means we can reach the last. The expected time to reach that initial target is from 1 to 2 months, but we do think we can make it much sooner than that.

The instrument we will use in our challenge is the ES (E-mini S&P500 futures) which is worth US$ 50/point, the average STOP out size is 2.50 points. When using the Diamond Setups System, by the experience we have using our system for four years now, we know that from 6 to 9 trades will work out of every 10 trades we take and that on every trade we can make from 3 to 10 points (or even more sometimes although it's much less often), although some of them will be closed at break-even level.

We also know that occasionally we might have some really bad days, once or twice every 3 to 5 months when we might get a sequence of losing trades, the infamous "losing streaks", when we could lose from 3 to 5 times in a row, so we are ready for tragedy, in case it happens we could lose up to 12.50 ES points or the equivalent of US$ 1,250.00 as we will start trading with 2 lots or US$ 100.00/point.

We do not know which setups will work so we will try to take them all during a trading day, it would be very unlucky if at the very beginning of our challenge we would start with a "real bad day" and have such a loss, but we'd ready for it if the market would play such a trick on us.

If everything goes as smoothly as expected, once we reach our first target of 20 points, or US$ 2,000.00, we will increase our trading size to 3 lots, so the risk will be totally off because then even if we get a "real bad day" we wouldn't lose any money, the worst thing if that happens once first target is met, would be to restart it all over again going back to the initial 2 lot size, we'll see, we're ready for both good or bad.

As I mentioned on our previous blog post I will post the results here on this blog on a weekly basis.

If you want to join us in the challenge and learn our system just sign up in our website: Diamond Setups.

We have traders from all over the world who will trade with us, for instance: USA, Canada, Australia, UK, Brazil, among some other countries, but the trading room is not crowded so I can give attention to everyone between trades and the calls I make are always ahead of time so that you can take them with me.

Best of luck!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Walking the talk: The Trading Business Plan

Hi traders!

After my previous blog post "The road map from US$ 5,000 to 1 M" I received several emails asking me if that was something really possible to achieve, yes, of course it is possible, but it's certainly not an easy task.

So, I decided to create a real trading business plan to show how we can go from US$ 10,000 to 1 M and we will execute it real time, me and the traders who trade together on a daily basis in our trading room, using our trading system, the Diamond Setups, to achieve the target that seems like a far away dream to most people, mainly with such a "small" amount of capital to start any business, if we think about it, what business would we be able to start with such capital?

With the experience we have in day trading, gathered in over 20,000 hours of screen time and day trading, and also from using the Diamond Setups system for more than 4 years now, I'm really positive we can reach that target in less than 2 years, but the worse expected scenario it could take around 40 months to complete our target of US$ 1 M.

Everything starts with an idea, a plan, and we will make it to powerful execution and results. The results will be posted weekly on this blog, the challenge starts on August, the 4th, 2014.

We will set targets and what we do when each target level is reached, and use a sound risk management methodology and proven day trading strategies is how we plan to reach our target in the least time possible.

Targets and trading sizes are calculated in such a way that even during the so-called "bad times"*, when we might get stopped out even 3 times in a row, we do not give all profits back and even if we do we would just scale down to the previous level, regroup and start over, it will not be an easy journey, but it will definitely be worth it. The hardest expected time is of course the beginning levels, but after we breakout 4th phase, the level of confidence will increase dramatically.

The instrument we've chosen to day trade is the ES (E-mini S&P500), each point on ES is equal to US$ 50.00 (fifty US dollars) below I outline the first part of the plan which is the 14 phases that separates us from our target, as each phase is finished we increase the size we trade, making it a safer way to cut time in our pursue by using compounded profits.

So here's the first part of the plan on our challenge:

The Diamond Setups Million Dollar Plan (Part 1: The Targets)

Phase 1 starts with: US$ 10,000 
Trade size: 2 lots
Target in US$: 12,000 – In ES points: 20
Time to reach target: 1-2 months

Phase 2 starts with: US$ 12,000
Trade size: 3 lots
Target in US$: 15,000 – In ES points: 20
Time to reach target: 1-2 months

Phase 3 starts with: US$ 15,000
Trade size: 4 lots
Target in US$: 20,000 – In ES points: 25
Time to reach target: 1-2 months

Phase 4 starts with: US$ 20,000
Trade size: 6 lots
Target in US$: 30,000 – In ES points: 35
Time to reach target: 2-3 months

Phase 5 starts with: US$ 30,000
Trade size: 10 lots
Target in US$: 50,000 – In ES points: 40
Time to reach target: 2-3 months

Phase 6 starts with: US$ 50,000
Trade size: 15 lots
Target in US$: 75,000 – In ES points: 35
Time to reach target: 2-3 months

Phase 7 starts with: US$ 75,000
Trade size: 20 lots
Target in US$: 100,000 – In ES points: 25
Time to reach target: 2-3 months

Phase 8 starts with: US$ 100,000
Trade size: 25 lots
Target in US$: 150,000 – In ES points: 40
Time to reach target: 2-3 months

Phase 9 starts with: US$ 150,000
Trade size: 30 lots
Target in US$: 200,000 – In ES points: 35
Time to reach target: 2-3 months

Phase 10 starts with: US$ 200,000
Trade size: 40 lots
Target in US$: 300,000 – In ES points: 50
Time to reach target: 2-3 months

Phase 11 starts with: US$ 300,000
Trade size: 50 lots
Target in US$: 400,000 – In ES points: 40
Time to reach target: 2-3 months

Phase 12 starts with: US$ 400,000
Trade size: 60 lots
Target in US$: 600,000 – In ES points: 65
Time to reach target: 4-5 months

Phase 13 starts with: US$ 600,000
Trade size: 80 lots
Target in US$: 800,000 – In ES points: 50
Time to reach target: 2-3 months

Phase 14 starts with: US$ 800,000
Trade size: 100 lots
Target in US$: 1.000,000 – In ES points: 40
Time to reach target: 2-3 months

*We know by experience that every couple of months market gets real tough for day traders, we need to be ready not to lose our shirts during those times, and, on the other hand, we need to make the best we can during the "good times".

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Road map: from US$ 5,000 to US$ 1 Million in 13 months

The sky is the limit.

Yes, that's possible (not easy, but it can be done) by trading the ES (S&P500 e-minis, futures).

All you need to make is 2 to 3 points a day.

ES is worth US$ 50.00/point/lot.

Month #1Start US$ 5,000
Trade size: 1 lot
Target in US$: 8,000 – In ES points: 60

Month #2 – US$ 8,000
Trade size: 2 lots
Target in US$: 12,000 – In ES points: 40

Month #3 – US$ 12,000
Trade size: 4 lots
Target in US$: 20,000 – In ES points: 40

Month #4 – US$ 20,000
Trade size: 6 lots
Target in US$: 30,000 – In ES points: 35

Month #5 – US$ 30,000
Trade size: 8 lots
Target in US$: 50,000 – In ES points: 50

Month #6 – US$ 50,000
Trade size: 10 lots
Target in US$: 70,000 – In ES points: 40

Month #7 – US$ 70,000
Trade size: 15 lots
Target in US$: 100,000 – In ES points: 40

Month #8 – US$ 100,000
Trade size: 20 lots
Target in US$: 150,000 – In ES points: 50

Month #9 – US$ 150,000
Trade size: 30 lots
Target in US$: 200,000 – In ES points: 35

Month #10 – US$ 200,000
Trade size: 40 lots
Target in US$: 300,000 – In ES points: 50

Month #11 – US$ 300,000
Trade size: 60 lots
Target in US$: 500,000 – In ES points: 70

Month #12 – US$ 500,000
Trade size: 80 lots
Target in US$: 700,000 – In ES points: 50

Month #13 – US$ 700,000
Trade size: 100 lots
Target in US$: 1,000,000 – In ES points: 60

The secret is to have a plan with an edge and the desire to get there, the drive to do it over and over again on a daily basis like a bricklayer.

When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.

Best of luck!

“The greatest danger for most of us is not that we aim too high and we miss it, but we aim too low and reach it.” - Michelangelo

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Statistics don't lie, play by the rules

We've been trading using the Diamond Setups system for nearly 4 years now, we know the the winning ratio ranges from 60 to 80%, market repeats patterns over and over again and we profit from that information, we take ALL setups that trigger according to our own trading style, be it scalping, day or swing trading.

OK. Now let's take a look at an example of a typical trading week on ES (S&P500 E-minis) using one of our day trading setups:

Day traders usually get at least 2 trades a day, sometimes 3 or even 4, but usually 2, so let's use an average of 2 as our example for a normal week.

One trading week would give us 10 trades, if we take them all we will be profitable on 6 to 8 of them but we'll use 6 here as our example.

We know that profits range from 3 to 7 points most of the time, sometimes we will see 10+ points trades, in our example let's use 5 points as our average on the winners.

On the losing side our max STOP is 3.50 points, but sometimes we use much less than that, so, as an average we'll use 3 points. Now let's do the math:

From the 10 trades on the week we would get:

6 winning trades at +5 each = +30 points

4 losing trades at -3 each = -12 points

On ES each point is equivalent to US$ 50.00 profit/loss, so 2 contracts would be US$ 100.00/point.

Result = +18 points on the week, if you trade 2 contracts, then you'd make: +US$ 1,800.00

If we play a little bit with the numbers, even if we make only 3 points instead of the 5 in the example above, which is the minimum we make on each winning trade, we would still be up +6 points on the week, or +US$ 600.00 if we trade just 2 contracts.

Trading is really not easy at all but if you apply a winning set of rules and follow them religiously, you will be profitable week in, week out.

Have a great trading week, best of luck.

In spite of your fear, do what you have to do. - Chin Ning Chu

Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Diamond Setups: Setup #2

If I had to mention only one of the characteristics of the Diamond Setups I would definitely say: Simplicity.

Let's talk a bit about the Diamond Setup #2 for instance: it's based on 1 chart only (I can't say which chart here, part of our little secret) and once price closes twice above/below the "key levels" it's the signal we need to take a short or long trade, depending on the time of the day we will use the "trend in play" to make a decision on which side the chances would be bigger, for instance, in a trend down day we'd look for a short entry.

When using the DS system we always have a t least 2 different approaches as to entering trades and using STOPs: Conservative X Aggressive.

Once decided which style fits better your OWN personality then use same approach on ALL trades you take, and as we know as traders, sometimes we will get stopped out and lose some money, that's just part of the game, no problem, the setups are designed to be profitable in the long run, from every 10 trades (or 100 trades if you prefer) we will be wrong on 20 to 30%, but on the 70 to 80% of the time we'll be right we make up the losses and soooooo much more!

As an example of a trade on ES (S&P500 e-minis), depending on your style you will use a STOP order from 6 (conservative) to max 10 ticks (aggressive).

So, you take the trade and market gives you say 6 points, or 24 ticks in profits, now you'd have to be wrong 4 times in a row, if trading the conservative style, to give all profits back, and I'm giving an example of 6 points only, but lately, with the higher volatility, it gives much more than that on a single trade.

One of the biggest problems I see in struggling traders is the "fear to pull the trigger" that keeps them away from being successful in this business...

Now tell me, would you be afraid to pull the trigger after a winner as in the example above knowing that the worse that can happen to your trade now is to lose 10 ticks?

Rules profit, make sure you use a system that fits your personality and leave opinions/emotions out of your trading.

Best of luck.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

10 characteristics of the Diamond Setups System

I really enjoy teaching my trading methodology to other traders, besides learning a lot more about it myself, I get precious feedback which allowed me to greatly improve the system taking it to a whole new level in these almost 4 years that I have been sharing it.

Many traders ask me if I give trials, I don't, because once you have access to our website you'll see all the documentation on the 10 setups I use on a daily basis to be consistently profitable in the markets.

Below I outline some key charactesristics of the system so that you can know a bit more about it:

1 - The system is based on important levels that markets tend to respect most of the time, time x CLOSE always key in each different timeframe.

2 - Patterns repeat themselves over and over again, just the numbers change, we use that knowledge to profit.

3 - Risk management is key, traders must respect their accounts size, small losses DO NOT blow them up, learn how to lose properly and on the trades that you are profitable you make up those losses and much more.

4 - We DO NOT know what markets will do, we just react to what it has just done.

5 - We do the very same thing on a daily basis, when we start a trading day we look for the "key levels", take notes and watch what the market is going to do, when we see a good setup in play we take it without hesitation.

6 - If/when we do not see any setup in play, then there is nothing to do but watch.

7 - Traders can adapt the system to their own trading style, no matter whether they are scalpers, day or swing traders.

8 - We do anticipate trades based on the type of market we have at the moment, just as chess players anticipate their next move.

9 - We are able to eliminate most of the stress and emotions by following preset rules on each trade, we do not jump the gun and will only trade when the setup matches our own trading style and rules.

10 - We know anything can happen, we take all good setups and when a certain setup does not work as expected we have no problem at all in taking a small loss and immediately get ready for the next setup, we know the Diamond Setups work over 80% of the time so we keep our confidence on the system.

Take advantage of the knowledge I've accumulated in over 10 years of trading futures and Forex daily from open to close, over 15,000 hours of screen time and hundreds of thousands of dollars lost have allowed me to put this simple system together.

"Insanitydoing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Our journey begins now

After having been trading for more than 15,000 hours and having mentored over 400 traders in 3 years I've found that the biggest problems that struggling traders face are psychological, such as: fear (by far the biggest account killer), trying to be perfect, gambling, not being able to pull the trigger, to name just a few.

The fear of losing is what kills them financially, it holds traders back from taking the good setups. They take several trades mentally just to see them working perfectly as they thought they would but when they take a real trade it fails, and that repeats itself over and over again making them think there is a plot against them in the markets to make them lose their hard earned cash, and it only gets worse, day after day.

Yes, unfortunately I have seen many traders going through that kind of problem, it goes on and on until they decide to change the way they trade and stop repeating the same type of mistakes over and over again.

" - But how can I change that?" - they ask me in agony when they first talk to me looking for a solution to their problem of continually losing money in the markets and the answer is quite obvious: "- By doing what has to be done!"

Trading is about having set rules and following them with the discipline to not change your tested rules to suit the present circumstance. Some trades will fail, period.

Market tend to repeat its behavior, if we understand how, then most of the time we are able to find good levels for our entries and exits in any liquid market. Every time it makes a certain type of move, that is, it triggers one of our setups, we will take a trade, but we DO NOT know whether the trade will work or not, so we have to take ALL GOOD SETUPS, according to our own trading style, be it scalping, day or swing trading, we have been doing that for years, so we now know that statistically from every 10 trades we take, 4 to 6 trades will work and make us money, 2 or 3 trades will give us a small profit or nothing when we leave at breakeven price, and 2 or 3 trades will fail and we will lose money. Traders need to know how to live with that and have no worries at all when the losing trades take place.

If a trader is not aware of this constant outcome, he ends up taking only the bad trades, and believe me, they do it with an amazing precision!
I have seen they do it many times when they start trading with us in our trading room, while we take all trades and "don't care" whether the market will pay us or not, we know that if we get stopped out using proper risk management according to our account size, we will lose without any problem and we will be ready for the next good setup, so that in the long run we will be profitable, but that is NOT what struggling traders do, if they lose in one trade they will skip the next trade and only "trade it" mentally just to see that setup work perfectly. That used to happen so frequently that if a newbie would tell me he skipped a certain trade I would hold the full position without scaling out because I knew that would be a winner.

If you don't have your own trading system, a set of rules you use to trade daily that work consistently, then get it from someone else, from a trader who has been there, done that. You may try to create your own system yes, why not? But it will take you years of study and cost a ton of money.

The trading system I've created is very simple to learn and use, traders usually take 2 weeks to understand the whole concept of the system.

Last year, from 45 weeks we traded; 43 were winners, that is NOT a coincidence or luck, we make it week in, week out by following religiously a set of rules, because we know rules profit.

Start off the year doing the right thing, this year you can receive what you ever hoped and wished for, go for it.

"People don't change when they feel good. They change when they're fed up." ~ Og Mandino