Free download of the 'Close-All' script by 'amrali' for ...

Looking back 18 months.

I was going through old emails today and came across this one I sent out to family on January 4, 2018. It was a reflection on the 2017 crypto bull market and where I saw it heading, as well as some general advice on crypto, investment, and being safe about how you handle yourself in cryptoland.
I feel that we are on the cusp of a new bull market right now, so I thought that I would put this out for at least a few people to see *before* the next bull run, not after. While the details have changed, I don't see a thing in this email that I fundamentally wouldn't say again, although I'd also probably insist that people get a Yubikey and use that for all 2FA where it is supported.
Happy reading, and sorry for some of the formatting weirdness -- I cleaned it up pretty well from the original email formatting, but I love lists and indents and Reddit has limitations... :-/
Also, don't laught at my token picks from January 2018! It was a long time ago and (luckliy) I took my own advice about moving a bunch into USD shortly after I sent this. I didn't hit the top, and I came back in too early in the summer of 2018, but I got lucky in many respects.
----------------------------------------------------------------------- Jan-4, 2018
Hey all!
I woke up this morning to ETH at a solid $1000 and decided to put some thoughts together on what I think crypto has done and what I think it will do. *******, if you could share this to your kids I’d appreciate it -- I don’t have e-mail addresses, and it’s a bit unwieldy for FB Messenger… Hopefully they’ll at least find it thought-provoking. If not, they can use it as further evidence that I’m a nutjob. 😉
Some history before I head into the future.
I first mined some BTC in 2011 or 2012 (Can’t remember exactly, but it was around the Christmas holidays when I started because I had time off from work to get it set up and running.) I kept it up through the start of summer in 2012, but stopped because it made my PC run hot and as it was no longer winter, ********** didn’t appreciate the sound of the fans blowing that hot air into the room any more. I’ve always said that the first BTC I mined was at $1, but looking back at it now, that’s not true – It was around $2. Here’s a link to BTC price history.
In the summer of 2013 I got a new PC and moved my programs and files over before scrapping the old one. I hadn’t touched my BTC mining folder for a year then, and I didn’t even think about salvaging those wallet files. They are now gone forever, including the 9-10BTC that were in them. While I can intellectually justify the loss, it was sloppy and underlines a key thing about cryptocurrency that I believe will limit its widespread adoption by the general public until it is addressed and solved: In cryptoland, you are your own bank, and if you lose your password or account number, there is no person or organization that can help you reset it so that you can get access back. Your money is gone forever.
On April 12, 2014 I bought my first BTC through Coinbase. BTC had spiked to $1000 and been in the news, at least in Japan. This made me remember my old wallet and freak out for a couple of months trying to find it and reclaim the coins. I then FOMO’d (Fear Of Missing Out”) and bought $100 worth of BTC. I was actually very lucky in my timing and bought at around $430. Even so, except for a brief 50% swing up almost immediately afterwards that made me check prices 5 times a day, BTC fell below my purchase price by the end of September and I didn’t get back to even until the end of 2015.
In May 2015 I bought my first ETH at around $1. I sent some guy on bitcointalk ~$100 worth of BTC and he sent me 100 ETH – all on trust because the amounts were small and this was a small group of people. BTC was down in the $250 range at that point, so I had lost 30-40% of my initial investment. This was of the $100 invested, so not that much in real terms, but huge in percentages. It also meant that I had to buy another $100 of BTC on Coinbase to send to this guy. A few months after I purchased my ETH, BTC had doubled and ETH had gone down to $0.50, halving the value of my ETH holdings. I was even on the first BTC purchase finally, but was now down 50% on the ETH I had bought.
The good news was that this made me start to look at things more seriously. Where I had skimmed white papers and gotten a superficial understanding of the technology before FOMO’ing, I started to act as an investor, not a speculator. Let me define how I see those two different types of activity:
So what has been my experience as an investor? After sitting out the rest of 2015 because I needed to understand the market better, I bought into ETH quite heavily, with my initial big purchases being in March-April of 2016. Those purchases were in the $11-$14 range. ETH, of course, dropped immediately to under $10, then came back and bounced around my purchase range for a while until December of 2016, when I purchased a lot more at around $8.
I also purchased my first ICO in August of 2016, HEAT. I bought 25ETH worth. Those tokens are now worth about half of their ICO price, so about 12.5ETH or $12500 instead of the $25000 they would be worth if I had just kept ETH. There are some other things with HEAT that mean I’ve done quite a bit better than those numbers would suggest, but the fact is that the single best thing I could have done is to hold ETH and not spend the effort/time/cost of working with HEAT. That holds true for about every top-25 token on the market when compared to ETH. It certainly holds true for the many, many tokens I tried to trade in Q1-Q2 of 2017. In almost every single case I would have done better and slept better had I just held ETH instead of trying to be smarter than Mr. Market.
But, I made money on all of them except one because the crypto market went up more in USD terms than any individual coin went down in ETH or BTC terms. This underlines something that I read somewhere and that I take to heart: A rising market makes everyone seem like a genius. A monkey throwing darts at a list of the top 100 cryptocurrencies last year would have doubled his money. Here’s a chart from September that shows 2017 year-to-date returns for the top 10 cryptocurrencies, and all of them went up a *lot* more between then and December. A monkey throwing darts at this list there would have quintupled his money.
When evaluating performance, then, you have to beat the monkey, and preferably you should try to beat a Wall Street monkey. I couldn’t, so I stopped trying around July 2017. My benchmark was the BLX, a DAA (Digital Asset Array – think fund like a Fidelity fund) created by ICONOMI. I wasn’t even close to beating the BLX returns, so I did several things.
  1. I went from holding about 25 different tokens to holding 10 now. More on that in a bit.
  2. I used those funds to buy ETH and BLX. ETH has done crazy-good since then and BLX has beaten BTC handily, although it hasn’t done as well as ETH.
  3. I used some of those funds to set up an arbitrage operation.
The arbitrage operation is why I kept the 11 tokens that I have now. All but a couple are used in an ETH/token pair for arbitrage, and each one of them except for one special case is part of BLX. Why did I do that? I did that because ICONOMI did a better job of picking long-term holds than I did, and in arbitrage the only speculative thing you must do is pick the pairs to trade. My pairs are (No particular order):
I also hold PLU, PLBT, and ART. These two are multi-year holds for me. I have not purchased BTC once since my initial $200, except for a few cases where BTC was the only way to go to/from an altcoin that didn’t trade against ETH yet. Right now I hold about the same 0.3BTC that I held after my first $100 purchase, so I don’t really count it.
Looking forward to this year, I am positioning myself as follows:
Looking at my notes, I have two other things that I wanted to work into this email that I didn’t get to, so here they are:
  1. Just like with free apps and other software, if you are getting something of value and you didn’t pay anything for it, you need to ask why this is. With apps, the phrase is “If you didn’t pay for the product, you are the product”, and this works for things such as pump groups, tips, and even technical analysis. Here’s how I see it.
    1. People don’t give tips on stocks or crypto that they don’t already own that stock or token. Why would they, since if they convince anyone to buy it, the price only goes up as a result, making it more expensive for them to buy in? Sure, you will have friends and family that may do this, but people in a crypto club, your local cryptocurrency meetup, or online are generally not your friends. They are there to make money, and if they can get you to help them make money, they will do it. Pump groups are the worst of these, and no matter how enticing it may look, stay as far away as possible from these scams. I even go so far as to report them when I see them advertise on FB or Twitter, because they are violating the terms of use.
    2. Technical analysis (TA) is something that has been argued about for longer than I’ve been alive, but I think that it falls into the same boat. In short, TA argues that there are patterns in trading that can be read and acted upon to signal when one must buy or sell. It has been used forever in the stock and foreign exchange markets, and people use it in crypto as well. Let’s break down these assumptions a bit.
i. First, if crypto were like the stock or forex markets we’d all be happy with 5-7% gains per year rather than easily seeing that in a day. For TA to work the same way in crypto as it does in stocks and foreign exchange, the signals would have to be *much* stronger and faster-reacting than they work in the traditional market, but people use them in exactly the same way.
ii. Another area where crypto is very different than the stock and forex markets centers around market efficiency theory. This theory says that markets are efficient and that the price reflects all the available information at any given time. This is why gold in New York is similar in price to gold in London or Shanghai, and why arbitrage margins are easily <0.1% in those markets compared to cryptoland where I can easily get 10x that. Crypto simply has too much speculation and not enough professional traders in it yet to operate as an efficient market. That fundamentally changes the way that the market behaves and should make any TA patterns from traditional markets irrelevant in crypto.
iii. There are services, both free and paid that claim to put out signals based on TA for when one should buy and sell. If you think for even a second that they are not front-running (Placing orders ahead of yours to profit.) you and the other people using the service, you’re naïve.
iv. Likewise, if you don’t think that there are people that have but together computerized systems to get ahead of people doing manual TA, you’re naïve. The guys that I have programming my arbitrage bots have offered to build me a TA bot and set up a service to sell signals once our position is taken. I said no, but I am sure that they will do it themselves or sell that to someone else. Basically they look at TA as a tip machine where when a certain pattern is seen, people act on that “tip”. They use software to see that “tip” faster and take a position on it so that when slower participants come in they either have to sell lower or buy higher than the TA bot did. Remember, if you are getting a tip for free, you’re the product. In TA I see a system when people are all acting on free preset “tips” and getting played by the more sophisticated market participants. Again, you have to beat that Wall Street monkey.
  1. If you still don’t agree that TA is bogus, think about it this way: If TA was real, Wall Street would have figured it out decades ago and we would have TA funds that would be beating the market. We don’t.
  2. If you still don’t agree that TA is bogus and that its real and well, proven, then you must think that all smart traders use them. Now follow that logic forward and think about what would happen if every smart trader pushing big money followed TA. The signals would only last for a split second and would then be overwhelmed by people acting on them, making them impossible to leverage. This is essentially what the efficient market theory postulates for all information, including TA.
OK, the one last item. Read this weekly newsletter – You can sign up at the bottom. It is free, so they’re selling something, right? 😉 From what I can tell, though, Evan is a straight-up guy who posts links and almost zero editorial comments.
Happy 2018.
submitted by uetani to CryptoCurrency [link] [comments]

How To Install Apache Tomcat 8 on CentOS 7

Introduction

Apache Tomcat is a web server and servlet container that is used to serve Java applications. Tomcat is an open source implementation of the Java Servlet and JavaServer Pages technologies, released by the Apache Software Foundation. This tutorial covers the basic installation and some configuration of the latest release of Tomcat 8 on your CentOS 7 server.

Prerequisites

Before you begin with this guide, you should have a separate, non-root user account set up on your server. You can learn how to do this by completing steps 1-3 in the initial server setup for CentOS 7. We will be using Data Center in Romania created here for the rest of this tutorial.

Install Java

Tomcat requires that Java is installed on the server, so any Java web application code can be executed. Let’s satisfy that requirement by installing OpenJDK 7 with yum.
To install OpenJDK 7 JDK using yum, run this command:
sudo yum install java-1.7.0-openjdk-devel 
Answer y at the prompt to continue installing OpenJDK 7.
Note that a shortcut to the JAVA_HOME directory, which we will need to configure Tomcat later, can be found at /uslib/jvm/jre .
Now that Java is installed, let’s create a tomcat user, which will be used to run the Tomcat service.

Create Tomcat User

For security purposes, Forex VPS in Romania should be run as an unprivileged user (i.e. not root). We will create a new user and group that will run the Tomcat service.
First, create a new tomcat group:
sudo groupadd tomcat 
Then create a new tomcat user. We’ll make this user a member of the tomcat group, with a home directory of /opt/tomcat (where we will install Tomcat), and with a shell of /bin/false (so nobody can log into the account):
sudo useradd -M -s /bin/nologin -g tomcat -d /opt/tomcat tomcat 
Now that our tomcat user is set up, let’s download and install Tomcat.

Install Tomcat

The easiest way to install Tomcat 8 at this time is to download the latest binary release then configure Windows remote desktop.

Download Tomcat Binary

Find the latest version of Tomcat 8 at the Tomcat 8 Downloads page. At the time of writing, the latest version is 8.5.37. Under the Binary Distributions section, then under the Core list, copy the link to the “tar.gz”.
Let’s download the latest binary distribution to our home directory using wget .
First, install wget using the yum package manager:
sudo yum install wget 
Then, change to your home directory:
cd ~ 
Now, use wget and paste in the link to download the Tomcat 8 archive, like this (your mirror link will probably differ from the example):
wget https://www-eu.apache.org/dist/tomcat/tomcat-8/v8.5.37/bin/apache-tomcat-8.5.37.tar.gz 
We’re going to install Tomcat to the /opt/tomcat directory. Create the directory, then extract the the archive to it with these commands:
sudo mkdir /opt/tomcat 
sudo tar xvf apache-tomcat-8*tar.gz -C /opt/tomcat --strip-components=1
Now we’re ready to set up the proper user permissions.

Update Permissions

The tomcat user that we set up needs to have the proper access to the Forex Dedicated Server installation. We’ll set that up now.
Change to the Tomcat installation path:
cd /opt/tomcat 
Give the tomcat group ownership over the entire installation directory:
sudo chgrp -R tomcat /opt/tomcat 
Next, give the tomcat group read access to the conf directory and all of its contents, and execute access to the directory itself:
sudo chmod -R g+r conf 
sudo chmod g+x conf
Then make the tomcat user the owner of the webapps , work , temp , and logs directories:
sudo chown -R tomcat webapps/ work/ temp/ logs/ 
Now that the proper permissions are set up, let’s set up a Systemd unit file.

Install Systemd Unit File

Because we want to be able to run Tomcat as a service, we will set up a Tomcat Systemd unit file .
Create and open the unit file by running this command:
sudo vi /etc/systemd/system/tomcat.service 
Paste in the following script. You may also want to modify the memory allocation settings that are specified in CATALINA_OPTS :
/etc/systemd/system/tomcat.service
# Systemd unit file for tomcat [Unit] Description=Apache Tomcat Web Application Container After=syslog.target network.target [Service] Type=forking Environment=JAVA_HOME=/uslib/jvm/jre Environment=CATALINA_PID=/opt/tomcat/temp/tomcat.pid Environment=CATALINA_HOME=/opt/tomcat Environment=CATALINA_BASE=/opt/tomcat Environment='CATALINA_OPTS=-Xms512M -Xmx1024M -server -XX:+UseParallelGC' Environment='JAVA_OPTS=-Djava.awt.headless=true -Djava.security.egd=file:/dev/./urandom' ExecStart=/opt/tomcat/bin/startup.sh ExecStop=/bin/kill -15 $MAINPID User=tomcat Group=tomcat UMask=0007 RestartSec=10 Restart=always [Install] WantedBy=multi-user.target 
Save and exit. This script tells the server to run the Cloud Server service as the tomcat user, with the settings specified.
Now reload Systemd to load the Tomcat unit file:
sudo systemctl daemon-reload 
Now you can start the Tomcat service with this systemctl command:
sudo systemctl start tomcat 
Check that the service successfully started by typing:
sudo systemctl status tomcat 
If you want to enable Forex Hourly Billing VPS service, so it starts on server boot, run this command:
sudo systemctl enable tomcat 
Tomcat is not completely set up yet, but you can access the default splash page by going to your domain or IP address followed by :8080 in a web browser:
Open in web browser:http://server_IP_address:8080 
You will see the default Tomcat splash page, in addition to other information. Now we will go deeper into the installation of Tomcat.

Configure Tomcat Web Management Interface

In order to use the manager webapp that comes with Tomcat, we must add a login to our Tomcat server. We will do this by editing the tomcat-users.xml file:
sudo vi /opt/tomcat/conf/tomcat-users.xml 
This file is filled with comments which describe how to configure the file. You may want to delete all the comments between the following two lines, or you may leave them if you want to reference the examples:
tomcat-users.xml excerpt
 ...  
You will want to add a user who can access the manager-gui and admin-gui (webapps that come with Tomcat). You can do so by defining a user similar to the example below. Be sure to change the username and password to something secure:
tomcat-users.xml — Admin User
   
Save and quit the tomcat-users.xml file.
By default, newer versions of Tomcat restrict access to the Manager and Host Manager apps to connections coming from the server itself. Since we are installing on a remote machine, you will probably want to remove or alter this restriction. To change the IP address restrictions on these, open the appropriate context.xml files.
For the Manager app, type:
sudo vi /opt/tomcat/webapps/manageMETA-INF/context.xml 
For the Host Manager app, type:
sudo vi /opt/tomcat/webapps/host-manageMETA-INF/context.xml 
Inside, comment out the IP address restriction to allow connections from anywhere. Alternatively, if you would like to allow access only to connections coming from your own IP address, you can add your public IP address to the list:
context.xml files for Tomcat webapps
   
Save and close the files when you are finished.
To put our changes into effect, restart the Tomcat service:
sudo systemctl restart tomcat 

Access the Web Interface

Now that Tomcat is up and running, let’s access the web management interface in a web browser. You can do this by accessing the public IP address of the server, on port 8080:
Open in web browser:http://server_IP_address:8080 
You will see something like the following image:
📷
As you can see, there are links to the admin webapps that we configured an admin user for.
Let’s take a look at the Manager App, accessible via the link or http://server_IP_address:8080/managehtml :
📷
The Web Application Manager is used to manage your Java applications. You can Start, Stop, Reload, Deploy, and Undeploy here. You can also run some diagnostics on your apps (i.e. find memory leaks). Lastly, information about your server is available at the very bottom of this page.
Now let’s take a look at the Host Manager, accessible via the link or http://server_IP_address:8080/host-managehtml/ :
📷
From the Virtual Host Manager page, you can add virtual hosts to serve your applications from.

Conclusion

Your installation of Tomcat is complete! Your are now free to deploy your own Java web applications!
submitted by namemk to u/namemk [link] [comments]

Useful Metatrader 4 Hotkeys and Shortcuts

If you want to know about the latest metatrader 4 hotkeys, then you have come to the right place. If you have been invested in the Forex trading scene for a while now, then you have probably come across the term MetaTrader 4 and have become pretty familiar with this standard Forex trading platform of MetaTrader 4. It is currently one of the most popular tools in the Forex trading platform.

Although there exist some limitations within the MetaTrader 4 trading platform, this is a free and very simple trading platform which is powerful enough and loaded with versatile options that are adequate for most traders in the Forex market. This is due to the thriving community of coders which have dedicated themselves to develop the many different scripts, and indicators in the MetaTrader 4 platform which adds a lot of functionality to it.

This article will about the latest forex news in the forex trading platform. Whether or not this platform will be adequate for you depends on the type of trading system that you are currently using, and how far you are willing to gain a small advantage in the Forex market. For people who are sticking with the MetaTrader 4 trading platform, for now, the various useful hotkeys and shortcuts below are a must try to ease your Forex trading operation.

These are some of the widely used metatrader 4 hotkeys:
Press the Ctrl plus E button to enable or disable the attached Expert Advisor.
Press the Ctrl plus I button to open the “Indicators List” window.
Press the Ctrl plus M button to open or close the “Market Watch” window.
Press the Ctrl plus N button to open or close the “Navigator” window.
Press the Ctrl plus T button to open or close the “Terminal” window.
Press the Ctrl plus Y button to show or hide period separators.
Press the F7 button to open the properties window of the Expert Advisor tab that you have attached to your current chart.
Press the F9 button to open the “New Order” window.
Press the F11 button to enable or disable the full-screen mode.
Press the F12 button to move the chart ahead by one candlestick/bar.
Press the Shift plus F12 button to move the chart back by one candlestick/bar.
Press the – – button to zoom out the chart.
Press the + – button to zoom the chart in and this must be used with the Shift key.
Press the Numpad 5 button to restore the automatic chart scale after it has been changed or return the chart into a visible range.
Press the F5 button to switch to the next profile.
Press the Shift plus F5 button to switch to the previous profile.
Press the Delete button to delete all selected graphical objects.


Other such useful metatrader 4 hotkeys that you can use:
Press the ← – button to scroll the left of the chart.
Press the → – button to scroll to the right of the chart.
Press the ↑ – button to fast scroll to the left or scroll up.
Press the ↓ – button to fast scroll to the right or scroll down.
Press the Page Up button to fast scroll to the left.
Press the Page Down button to fast scroll to the right.
Press the Home button to move the chart to the start.
Press the End button to move the chart to the end (current price).
Press the Backspace button to delete the last object added to the chart.
submitted by wiserock07 to u/wiserock07 [link] [comments]

Motivational Post No: 3 - Learning to Become a Successful Trader

Follow up from previous post: https://www.reddit.com/Forex/comments/5s0kamotivational_post_no_2_how_long_did_it_take_to/
Sharing another one I liked, I would pick this one as the best out of the 3 I've posted, this one is educational as well. Anyway, is the formatting alright, anything I can change to make it easier to read this wall of text? Thanks.
POST:
Learning to Become a Successful Trader
The following was posted as a comment by Ziad in reply to a post on Michael Brenke's Blog, but I'm posting it here (with Ziad's permission) because I believe it contains extremely valuable and genuine insights coming from a very disciplined and successful trader. I would also like to include the following quote by Dr.Brett Steenbarger
"Too many traders are looking for setups, when in fact they're the ones being set up."
Hi Michael,
I've been reading your blog for quite a while now but haven't commented yet. However, I feel I need to comment now.
If you don't mind I'm going to be very straight forward, and blunt even, but I hope you'll take it from a spirit of sincerity and genuine desire to help. It's going to be a long comment, so I'm going to break it up into 2 or 3 comments.
Here's the situation as I see it: For the last few months, and possibly much longer, you've just been spinning your wheels while thinking that you are getting somewhere. The reason for this is that you are going about learning how to trade in the wrong way, in my opinion. I say this because I've been trading much less than you, a little over 2 years now, and yet because of the way I went about learning and what I focused on, last year I netted $150k while nearly quintupling my account, without a single losing month, and while only risking a very small portion of my account on any single trade. Now there could be many reasons for the difference in performance, but I think one of the main reasons has to do with what you are focusing on and how you are going about the learning process.
To try to put it as succinctly as possible, in my view traders that are focusing all their attention on "set-ups" and finding out which combinations of indicators work are never going to become profitable. They are trying to follow the advice of trading books that say trading is simple and psychology is everything. So they search for set-ups that 'work', and that can take the guess work out of trading. They want to be "disciplined" and have simple rules that guide all their actions. But there's a few problems with this. Namely, while psychology is HUGE, it's not everything. And while trading is all about simple principles, actually having an edge is NOT simple. It's a myth that you can have a couple simple price or indicator set-ups and make money consistently if only you are disciplined. That's a load of crap. It keeps the dream alive for wannabe traders who never realize what it's truly about. Well let me tell you what it's truly about...
Trading is about being okay with ambiguity. It's about tolerating confusion. It's about sitting with discomfort and being at peace with it. It's about not having an exact script of when to trade or not to trade, or what's really a high odds trade, and being okay with that. It's about exceptions to the rules. It's about contradiction. It's about uncertainty.
And yet traders left and right want to make it simple. They want to reduce it to a few simple set-ups to trade with discipline. And yet the market is not simple. The market is all about uncertainty, and complexity, and ambiguity. Simple set-ups could never capture that, and they can never give you a true lasting edge.
So what's the solution? Is the problem in the simple set-ups themselves? No, it's in how they're being used. The bottom line is, every trader needs to learn to READ the markets. This means that simple rules will not do. There has to be a synthesis of different elements (whether they be price action, indicators, inter-market themes or whatever), and real-time interpretation must take place. It has to be all about CONTEXT. Once you can read the markets, and don't fool yourself it is a very complex process, then you can choose to employ "simple" set-ups to enter and exit. But the real work will be in interpreting the market to see when you should use which kind of set-up. Seeing a hammer or whatever near a support means nothing unless you've identified the broader picture and gotten a sense of the kind of tactics you should be using, and what the odds are for different scenarios unfolding.
Now I know you, and most traders do this to a certain extent, but your main focus is on the set-ups. It's not on reading the market from minute to minute, hour to hour, figuring out the odds of it doing this or doing that, adapting dynamically, and thinking of trade ideas from all your observation as the day unfolds. Rather, it's waiting for some simple set-up to pop up and then taking it.
Now is it easier emotionally to have clear set-ups to wait for and trade in this simple manner? Absolutely. But who said 'easy' would make you money. If I've learned anything, it's that the market rewards what is hard to do. It's hard to have ambiguity surrounding your market reads. It's hard being uncertain. It's hard dealing with competing and sometimes conflicting signs. And yet, this is what it's all about. You have to stop trying to avoid this by needing things to be clear cut. And is it hard to be disciplined when there's so much uncertainty about what is the right trade to make? Of course. But instead of trying to avoid the uncertainty by looking for simple set-ups, or some straight-forward method, train your mind to be able to deal with the uncertainty.
As for the learning process of how you go about doing this, it's all about being constantly engaged with the markets, trying to figure things out and learn from experience. For me, for instance, what I did was each and every day take notes in a journal all about market action and what I think it means, and how I should trade, and what is working and what's not. I didn't write a journal describing the trades I took, or what my emotions were during the day. It was all about market action. And it was all my perception and interpretation. Day after day, week after week, making mistakes, wrong calls, being clueless as to what was going on, not knowing how I should trade, not knowing if my views made sense or not, and yet I continued taking notes and learning. Then I would view charts and combinations of historical intraday charts, and I'd note certain behavior. For example, I'd study trend day after trend day and try to notice what they had in common and how I could have picked up on it in real time. Then I'd study range days. Then I'd study a price chart of the ES versus the Advance decline line and see what the relationship was across many different days. Then I'd do the same with the ES and TICK chart. And on and on. Over time, this gave me a feel for the markets, and a certain understanding of how certain days differ and many subtle signs and tells for each type of environment and context.
As for set-ups, I didn't use any predefined ones. I just formed trading ideas and then tried to get in at good trade locations. Even this, which is the art of execution, is quite complicated and not straight forward. I started realizing that in some environments it's best to wait for pullbacks, in others I need to get in at market or I'll be left in the dust. In some markets I can buy low and sell high, in other markets the opposite is in order. And so on.
I became consistently profitable in a timeframe of a few months by doing this. But of course before that I had read 30 or 40 books and so I had all the technical background. I had also worked a lot on my psychology and personal issues. But all of this was in conjunction with a method of learning and trading the markets that was mostly in opposition to what the general wisdom says about simple set-ups and exact rules.
Now of course you might say that everyone has their own style, some discretionary and some not. Absolutely. But even the purely mechanical traders are very adept at reading markets, and are aware of all of the complexity and ambiguity inherent in it. Their system might end up being simple, but it will come about through a very deep and complex understanding of markets. And usually this system will take the market environment (i.e. context) into account. It wont just be simple mindless set-ups.
In the end, all of what I am saying is meaningless unless you come to a personal realization. Take a look at your trading career thus far. Do you truly believe that if you just learn to focus and take all of your set-ups then your equity curve will reverse and you'll be a consistently profitable trader? Why would the world's top institutions spend millions and billions on R&D when a few simple set-ups could make them all of the money. This doesn't mean that to make money you need extremely complex mathematical models. Far from it. What it does mean is that you need extremely complex mental maps that take time and experience to develop, and that will never develop if you spend the whole trading day simply waiting for set-ups to materialize. That just won't cut it.
Right now your learning curve is stagnant because you're not truly studying the markets. Your day is wasted in waiting mode. It's not in observing and absorbing mode. Also, because you fear loss, you aren't willing to experiment. This means that you aren't making mistakes and failing regularly, which is what you need to do to learn quickly.
So to conclude, based on all of the above, my advice to you would be to stop trading and make a mental shift. Realize what you need to do to become successful, and it's definitely not staying on this endlessly unfruitful path being supported by the hope of future profits. You're just running in your place unless you change your focus and your learning method. And if you thought the journey was tough so far, you haven't seen anything yet. Get ready for uncertainty and ambiguity like you've never seen it before. But this shouldn't be scary. It should be exciting, because this is what trading is all about. This is why it's called an ART. And it truly becomes one when you change your focus and your learning process. Then everything, including success, becomes possible. And until then, it'll be a distant dream that keeps appearing to be so close and yet stays so far away.
So you need to re-align with a new thought system and then get on the simulator and trade. Take losses. Make mistakes. Be clueless. Don't be afraid of it. It's okay, that's the only way you'll progress. And trust me, progress you will.
Best of luck to you, and I wish you much success.
Ziad
ChuckJune 29, 2009 at 5:44 PM I re-read Ziad's post again today (and no doubt will re-read it many more > times) because it really makes me think about how I analyze the market > each day and how I fit my own setups inside a discretionary plan that has to take into account all the "reads" the market is giving, or at least how I interpret those reads. Ziad must be a brainy guy. I have described the market as being like a maze whereas we show up at the same front entrance every day, and we navigate the maze in the same way (i.e. the same timeframes and indicators every day), and we exit at the same place each day, but every day the walls of the maze are switched around so that the paths are different each day. That's how I see Ziad's premise (a correct premise I believe). We enter the maze each day with the same ability to turn right or left, but unless we see the bigger picture and learn to understand and "get a grip on it" on the bigger view mentally,the turns will lead us to dead ends. Maybe that's confusing but executing our setups without being able to interpret the bigger picture "good enough" will lead to frustration and a lot of "what the hell is going wrong?" frustration.
I'm glad you liked the post Chuck. I felt I had to write it because I know how bad I wanted to succeed at trading when I first started out and how I searched for every inkling of advice I could get. So when I have the chance to offer timely advice I always have to take that opportunity.
And since we're on the subject, I'll share a couple more things with you. Every day I psych myself up before the trading day and during it so that I can have that killer mentality needed to have peak performance in trading. One thing I read every day is something that I wrote to remind myself what trading is all about and where my focus should be. I wrote it because whenever I faced adversity and had ups and downs it always demotivated me and knocked the wind out of my sails temporarily. But I realized that to perform at a world class level I couldn't let that happen. So I wrote the following, and I read it every day at least once or twice:
"It’s not meant to be easy to do all of this; in fact it’s meant to be very hard. If it were easy anyone could do it. Almost everyone knows what it takes; few can actually do it consistently. That's the challenge. When adversity strikes even when you're doing the right things, it’s not unfortunate because greatness is not just about doing the right things, but about doing them even when they cause pain and discomfort- weathering the tough times is the inherent prerequisite for being great. Adversity is built into the game and therefore it’s not an unfortunate set-back that is keeping you from your potential; rather your potential is cut very short without being able to deal well with adversity. So expect great results long-term, but adversity and ups and downs short-term. It’s got to always be about doing the long-term beneficial, not the short-term pleasurable. And we don’t deviate from that, no matter the pressure. And we relish the opportunity to be mentally tough when adversity strikes when so many would wilt and when it feels so unnatural to be optimistic and confident. That is the real goal and priority. Now keep conditioning- constantly reprocess and replace any thoughts that aren’t in line with all of this. It will take a great commitment to unlearn old thinking patterns and instill a new way of thinking to the point of habit. And you can do it."
Reading this reminds me that I'm not a victim of circumstances. That adversity isn't some external factor sabotaging my results. It's part of the game. In fact, it's what the game is all about! You have to learn to relish the opportunity to remain poised when losses hit or when you make mistakes. Take pride in it and make it your main focus. Love trading's inherent difficulties because the ability to handle them is what will truly set you apart. And always remember: this is a game of hits, losses, and misses. Those that can take them best ARE the best.
I wish you all the best in your trading.
Ziad
Credits: http://www.eminiplayer.com/2009/06/learning-to-become-successful-trader.html
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