Best Day Trading Strategy / Indicators For ThinkorSwim


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Can someone share me with a day trading strategy that has worked for them. I have tried many strategies and used many indicators but ended up losing trades or the strategy didn't work good enough backtesting.
Best strategy is your own strategy. You will not see the same set up as someone else, even if you're staring at the exact same charts and signals. Gotta put in the grind my friend. Also, you should be more specific on the style of trading and assets you trade so people can at least direct you to relevant sources. You know do you trade stocks, options, etc.....?

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appreciate the help. I am interested and trade emini's and stocks only. tried scalping but mostly ends up with loss or even. And then tried to look for intraday trend that I can ride for mins or even hours but its hard to predict. seems like the stock I chose to focus on with all the right indications that It will go my way takes an opposite turn the second I get in the trade.
@TrueDepth, @Zedd, I don't mean to sound unsupportive, but you're in for a world of hurt if you think you can slap a couple indicators on a chart and become a successful trader. A good indicator confirms a decision to enter/exit a trade but shouldn't make those decisions for you. No strategy works on every time frame or every market condition. If you want to day trade successfully, you need to learn about price action.

For example, if the market is in a hard trend, a reversal strategy probably isn't your best choice. If you cannot identify what price is doing in a general sense, you cannot select the best strategy or indicator to confirm your trade decisions.

Also, no indicator can make a trading plan for you. If you want to succeed, you need a trading plan that is based on time of day, type of instrument, timeframe, price action, etc. You need to know when your trading style is likely to work and when it's a day to stay out. You need to know what your strengths/weaknesses are as a trader so that your plan is based on your strengths and has safeguards around your weaknesses. No indicator can make that self-assessment for you and build it into your trade plan.

I don't mean to discourage you. I just think it's misguided to expect indicators to make you a good trader. Your ability to understand what the market is doing will make you a good trader, not bells and whistles on the chart.

Finally, it seems unfair to call something "shitty" just because it doesn't give the results you hoped for. There is no shortcut to successful trading. It takes a lot of study, a lot of discipline, and the ability to make mistakes and learn from them. If you're serious about learning, please try reading some good books on price action. Instead of calling something "shitty," perhaps you could watch the indicator for a while and see what it tells you about price. For example, plot a DMI on your chart watch what price does when the (+) and (-) cross the ADX or the ADX flattens. Plot an Ehlers MAMA on your chart and watch what happens when the lines cross. I wouldn't use those as trading signals, but they may help you learn about price action and get a feel for what indicators can--and can't--tell you.

Best wishes.
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Start here...

Keep in mind even the best strategy will not work all the time. A profitable strategy for someone may not be profitable for you because it fits their trading style and the market they're trading among other things. Learn to spot areas of support and resistance and how price reacts around those areas. Make sure you're entering where your stop loss is the amount you're comfortable with losing to find out if the price doesn't hit your target. Lastly, wait for a pullback and trade in the direction of the overall trend. Money and risk management is key to staying in the game.
@Zedd I would concur with the above... I would also just say if you're going to trade the emini's without years of experience, I would suggest the micro's. There's simply too much leverage and fear factor involved with the emini without a lot experience. Learn on the micro's.... IMHO.
I feel like I've tried 20 indicators (not at once) and even with backtesting and strict entry requirements, my trades are 50/50.
I feel mesmerized by indicators that look like they predict the market perfectly, but when I try to use them it doesn't work out that well. Even being strict, using various indicators to help with entry/exits.

Every time I looked at some professional's charts from a picture taken from a trading desk they always have very little indicators. It looks like some sort of EMA/SMA cross, VWAP, volume, multiple time frames from a single stock, and the news bar.

So if these people doing 100K+ a month are using so little then what is their edge?

There must be so many different edges out there. If you are a successful trader, can you share your edge?
example: I scalp /ES on the 3m when RSI is below 30 and see a bump in volume. or I trade options verticle spreads with a %70 delta.

I just cant find my edge and its frustrating. I've been at this for over a year.. every day... I tried Futures now im trying to learn options.
@murkr Nothing will be able to predict the market perfectly. Keep that in mind :)

I always recommend people to start drawing trendlines, support, and resistance. I think it's a good starting place to get a feel of the chart, know your price levels, and understanding where price may likely to bounce or reverse from. For S/R, you must know how to draw them yourself, here is an excellent introduction post. There are various videos on YouTube regarding this subject as well.

VWAP is a great indicator; it's non-lagging and gives you an overall trend pretty well. It can also be used for counter-trend trading.
@BenTen Thanks, I already know a lot about charting S/R and different patterns like h&s, falling wedge, pennants, triangles.

Now I'm trying to learn about volume because I've always seemed to neglect that and turn it off on my charts. When I search "volume" in Thinkorswim there are so many volume indicators, I also see some are created here. Do you have a favorite volume indicator?
@murkr -- Trading/investing goes through cycles of whats popular and whats not. Many value/active investors have been blown out as the trend from active to passive has increased dramatically. So, many of those indicators may have worked but are worthless now, imo. I see many folks endlessly fine tuning 10,20,30 year old indicators and am absolutely lost why they do it. I'll just list some bullet points to make this easier to read-

1. You may want to read Virtu's ipo and other docs to see what they do. One of the important observations is that break even trades are as important as win/loss.
2. When you see a "professionals" chart, be aware that real pros wont let you near their screen due to NDAs. There are many "pros", my guess is they make a living from selling tools not trading. I'd also add consider changing colors on indicators as alot of apps use similar colors as casinos which affect your decisions. Many highly paid 'pros' eg, market makers, are executing customer orders and take very little exposure to the mkt.

2.a. If a "pro" shows a screen and says they make x, ask for their audited 1040s, I've never seen a guru respond to that.
2.b. Theres an academic paper posted here, somewhere, which describes the vaious MAs and rates the, worth a read even if you disagree.
3. Volume/money flow can be misleading as you simply dont know whats on the other side of the trade
4. Consider looking at the latest fad, and the mechanics of it, eg, gamma/vanna , its a big deal (for now)

And, never forget, as well-intentioned as some are, its your money, your decisions. I could be the biggest clown in the trading world, you simply dont know and should be a skeptic.
Which of the custom indicators available in this forum would you recommend for day trading and scalping for a new trader? Which have you found to give the most accurate signals? Which do you personally use? Thanks!
Bottom line, read all the books you can on trading. I've read hundreds of books. As you read, pick out strategies that sound like something you can live with. Can you sit and watch every tick? Will you swing trade, long term positions? There are some surprisingly easy emini systems that do work. Don't design the space shuttle if a model T will do the trick. And most importantly, losses are a part of the game. Controlling risk is what it is all about. If losses make you uncomfortable, you are in the wrong game. As all the other traders said, please put the work into your profession - trading. Good luck !!!!
Can someone share me with a day trading strategy that has worked for them. I have tried many strategies and used many indicators from this site but ended up losing trades or the strategy didn't work good enough backtesting.

Been trading for many decades, trade for a living now.

As has been said there is no magic indicator or strategy. Keep in mind you are in a battle when you are trading! A battle for cash - in order for you to win someone is losing. With that said it is best to learn the game by doing.

I went years losing and breaking even. There is no one indicator that will make you a long term winner - the market is ever changing and you must use different indicators that work with the change. In closing you must learn how to read the trend and then create a method that is yours to take advantage of the current trend.

There are many people on this site that share their work - learn from them and then create your masterpiece for success. It may take you years but if you are wise with money management success will come.
I'm a new trader. I desperately need an indicator to alert me when to buy and sell. My entries and exits are not consistent. Well, they're consistently terrible. I use a 1day 5min chart setup on TOS. 'm most comfortable with this setup. I read the posts on the forum and when I think I've found what I'm looking for; I continue to read and get confused as to what script is going to work for me. Someone here please help me. I don't want to give up trading.
@Six6God You shouldn't give up on trading but you should definitely try to do more research. There is more to just finding an indicator that will alert you when to buy and sell. If that is what you really want, there are plenty on this forum. But as you mentioned, that is not consistent. If you are basing your trading decision based on an indicator, that will not work. Learn to read price action, draw support and resistance levels, and risk management. Indicators should be used as a supplement.
@MerryDay I use a ! Day-5min chart. I have 9 ema, 21 ema and VWAP. I use MACD and RSI. I do not use higher time frame analysis. My strategy is to enter on what I think are confirmation candles above the 9ema. I exit on the first red candle below the 9 ema. I know what support and resistance lines are and what they mean. I know resistance can become support. I know the tradeline can become support, I know VWAP can become support. The trading guru ( group ) I paid has been a total letdown.
@Six6God @MerryDay

Was about to ask the same things.

I'm sure you have noticed trading is very mental. Assuming your strategy "works," it gives you reliable signals, you know how to execute them, and know what it looks like to get out I have a few thoughts on patience and management. Hopefully this isn't too clique, random and provokes some thoughts.

Love this quote, "people say they are trading for retirement, but trade like they are retiring tomorrow." Everyone has been infected with the get rich quick thing. It's those that are mature enough to fight it that are consistently profitable. Anyone can have a big winning day, but how many of those lose it by the end of the week? I know what my winning trades look like and it's when I trade against them that I regret it. If you miss an actionable signal there will be more. The pain of lost should out weigh the hope of gain.

Heard this said about management and stop losses: How far would you knowingly drive in the wrong direction before you turned your car around?
For there to be "profit" money made has to be more than the money loss. All things equal you can either earn more per trade or loss less per trade. I have been working on this. When a trade is knowingly going south, cut ties.

Basically how are you making sure you don't blow your account every 3 months?
There is no "holy grail" or magical strategy and much less a magical indicator. Even Warren Buffet loses. Key is to be patient, follow the rules of trading strategies along with excellent risk management, both of those are king... you master both and you will succeed. There is lots of reading and analysis involved in strategies. Patience is a virtue as you must WAIT for your setup and strategy to occur. Once you understand and diligently follow the guide and tips below trading will become easier to you. Warren Buffet says he spends most of his time reading. Welcome to the business and financial world where reading is endless, here are some wise words of wisdom below.

BTW: Not to pop your bubble, but over 90% of day traders fail, keep in mind over 90% of day trading are done by super computers on super fast internet lines that are 100's of times faster than your connection to the exchange and are normally ran by firms running the best of the best algorithmic analysis software to make money off your transactions and mistakes. Please dont day trade real money until you have a good strategy with even better risk management. I emphasize risk management, as that will never fail you, however your strategy can, with risk management you can sustain those loses and possibly even turn them to a gain. Good luck my friend and welcome.


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