On You Tube there are three opinions about trading:
I am in the #3 camp. Trading is not easy nor is it impossible. Somewhere in between there is doable. I haven't heard any intelligent argument as to why you cannot profit trading against Smart Money and their algorithms. If you approach trading by learning how money is made and lost and then learn how algorithms move price you can succeed in this cat and mouse money grab. You do have to bring your A game, however because you are trading with well capitalized Professionals with unlimited resources.
Trading is a mind game. The charts are real, the money is real, but the charts are not where the battle is fought. The battle is fought in your head. In order to succeed you have to reprogram your mind, understand risk and uncertainty and accept it (along with accepting losses as part of trading), and condition yourself to the mental rigors of trading.
When you enter an order on your trading platform you are being transferred to someone else's playing field as a guest. There are rules you have to play by. You have to pay an admittance fee. How you participate in the game (nothing else) determines your results.
Your approach to trading is important. You need to be aware of how winners and losers operate. You have to have realistic expectations. You need to know your own strengths and weaknesses and develop a trading style and system which fits you. You need to understand how to manage risk. You need to find a professional trading platform and a reliable broker. Once you have all of this in place you need to develop a trading system that you can count on.
Most trading gurus and educators sell basic trading information and simple Retail trading strategies in one form or another. Applying this widely known information will put you in with everyone else who are struggling to profit. You need to learn basic trading information but that is not where your power lies. Your power lies in knowing what everyone else is doing and going down a different path. You need to find a trading edge that on balance produces a reasonable profit for the time and effort you put in and can be repeated. And they do exist. When you find a trading edge you are on your way.
Your focus as a trader should be to find out how you are being baited into entering the market the wrong way and start to look for an alternative way to trade. This is a function of your trading psychology and not your strategy. While you are tweaking your strategy and sipping your latte Smart Money is setting up a stop run to trap you on an 8 hour chart. You are zapped out of the market in short order without understanding why. If you don't know why you are losing you will never be able to figure out how to win.
Focusing on technical analysis and wasting time studying "patterns" and trying to find them in your charts and waiting days and weeks for them to unfold is a waste of time. Most traders trade the common patterns and waste alot of screen time measuring the legs of the patterns and fighting the order flow looking for the big one which for some reason never seems to show up to give them the huge winning trade they hear so much about which erases the months of losing trades. The rest trade current price and focus on where the current price is and where it may be going without properly assessing general market conditions, Smart Money participation, order flow, liquidity, etc. They are only concerned with where price is and where it may go next. Not the path price took to get to where it is or the path it may go to get to the next target.
Traders who trade price will never be consistently profitable. Like a chess player you have to think 3-5 moves ahead so you can anticipate what is coming and craft a plan for yourself to enter and exit the order flow while managing your risk of loss. There is no system that works on a gut feeling or where price looks like is may go next. If only trading was that easy.
The way to succeed is to see what is unfolding on long term charts and scale down to lower time frames. The puzzle that needs to be solved is where to get into and out of the order flow repeatedly with a profit. Where is the ideal location to enter? Answer. Find out where there are already alot of trapped traders who will soon be taken out of the market by Smart Money. This is the ideal location to trade at, but very few traders have the knowledge, skill and mental conditioning to do it. This is not necessarily a price level. This could be a zone where orders have been accumulating for some time and where traders will eventually feel the heat when the price reverses and starts to move against them in a systematic squeeze.
If you take any simple trading idea, concept, "strategy", whatever you want to call what traders use to get into the market and really take a good look at it you will see that expectations are not in line with reality. Why would someone expect a simple crossover strategy to actually work and be profitable? If these strategies actually worked wouldn't everyone be using them? How long would you use something that doesn't work before you would look for something that does work and can be used repeatedly?
Every "strategy" which encompasses the use of chart studies, indicators, and other forms of technical analysis has a probability of success and using them will result over time in a certain percentage of wins and a certain percentage of losses. Although you can find a strategy that has a better than 50/50 success rate you still have many other factors to consider when you develop a trading system:
Always think outside the box and follow Smart Money and learn what they do. It will give you a tremendous advantage over the traders who trade price and the surface of the market and the common patterns. They are playing a game that they can't win.