How (And Why) I Come Up With Fresh Trading Ideas

In the past 8 years, I’ve used a variety of different trading systems… often at the same time.

Why? Because situations are changing all the time… and if my trading doesn’t adapt accordingly, I’ll get left behind.

What No Serious Trader Has Been Willing To Tell You

The truth is, it isn’t enough trade with one fixed system.

To illustrate why, here’s a quick example from my trading history:

When I first started out, I traded exclusively on the intraday timeframes.

Things were going well for a while, but I eventually found that the intensity of my trading was affecting the quality of my life.

As a relatively young lad (at the time), I didn’t have the experience to walk away from the trading screen when I should have — increasingly, my life had became centered around every 30-pip price move.

On top of that, as I started traveling more often, I found myself unable to spend as much time trading as I used to.

It came to a point where my trading was holding me back from doing the other things in life I wanted to do… and that was when I realized I had to completely change the way I was trading — I had to find a different approach.

New Ideas = New Methods

Eventually, I learned how to to trade off the ‘big picture’ market themes by understanding economic data and market sentiment.

I’m a slow learner so it took me a while to get it all down… but once I pieced everything together, I got exactly what I was looking for – a trading system that fit my situation perfectly.

I could finally transition away from spending hours every day trading the intraday charts, into spending just 15 minutes each day trading off the daily chart.

But while this approach had served me well for years, I now find that my personal circumstance is changing once again.

Continuous Evolution

Now, after years of trading on-the-go and rarely staying in one place for longer than a few months, I’m getting tired (and frankly, bored) with such a lifestyle.

This is perhaps another story for another day, but the bottom line is that after years of exploration abroad, I am now thinking about settling back down in Singapore for a bit.

Perhaps, this means that I will start trading on the intraday timeframes again… hmm… we’ll see!

Is this going to be permanent? Does this mean that my travel “itch” has been sufficiently scratched and will never return?

I don’t know. Either way, I’m ready for whatever comes next.

You see, because I’ve had an extensive “taste” of a variety of trading methods over the years, I am able to design new systems to suit my changing preferences and situation.

That’s the point I want you to get.

Like in many areas of life, the broader the scope of your (trading) education, the better you’ll be able to deal with changing circumstances.

“But Shouldn’t I Be Focusing On Just ONE Method?”

Well at first, yes. But that’s just half the answer.

The thing is, if you want to be an effective trader for the rest of your life you’ll need BOTH specialization and diversification in your trading methods.

You must be the soldier AND the strategist: Your tactics inform your strategy, and your strategy guides your tactics – it’s this feedback loop that keeps your system relevant to changing circumstances.

As you might imagine, this isn’t something that can be picked up overnight – you’ll not only have to come up with new ideas for trading systems, but to also keep testing them.

And while I can’t help you with the latter, I can suggest a shortcut for the former.

How To (Easily) Get New Trading Ideas

Here’s what I do: I join newsletters and trade signal services, and try to figure out the thinking process behind them.

That’s it.

The idea is to expose myself to as many trading methods as I reasonably can, while minimizing the downside risks of trying them out.

My criteria of joining these services is simple. They must offer:

  • A low-cost trial (less than $50); OR
  • A full money back guarantee

Strictly speaking, it doesn’t matter whether these services actually make money or not. I don’t join them to make money – I join them to expose myself to fresh ideas, so I can come up with new ideas of my own.

For example, last year I joined the DreamSphere trade copier service. By watching how they took trades, I gained a few new ideas to incorporate into my own trading methods.

And now, even though the DreamSphere guys have since crashed out of the scene, I’m still using those modified methods in my own trading.

How come? Because while I don’t fully understand how they trade, I know exactly how the new ideas work in the context of my own trading systems.

That’s the key to all this. Regardless of the outcome of joining, I’m always progressing and adding on to my knowledge and experience.

To me, this is a good deal because the downside risks are minimized, while the potential rewards can be pretty big.

Give It A Go

So if this idea has never crossed you mind, try it out. I can’t overstate how many trading systems I’ve come up with, simply by building upon the ideas of others.

In trading, you don’t have to be original to make money. You just have to find something that works for you, and keep doing it.

In this sense, the more trading systems you study, the better.

It doesn’t matter where the idea comes from – once you apply it, it becomes yours.

By |2019-04-03T01:13:47+00:00April 3rd, 2019|Philosophy|12 Comments


  1. Martin Jones March 17, 2014 at 5:28 am - Reply

    Hi Chris -Dreamsphere – have had a go with there services myself , figured out that they were getting their trades from another service called Bank Flow – guy called Jonathon Silver – They wouldn’t confirm this but they were the exact same trades. Not sure how they defined the Bank Flow levels , but possibly using order flow/ option expiry principles. Hope this helps -Regards MJ

    • Chris March 17, 2014 at 8:52 am - Reply

      Hi Martin,

      Thanks for the input! I’ll check this out.

  2. Roy March 17, 2014 at 6:01 am - Reply

    Hey Chris,

    What do you mean “crashed out” ? What happened to Dreamsphere after that successful trial you had over a year back citing it was legit?

    • Chris March 17, 2014 at 8:50 am - Reply

      Hi Roy,

      During the period I was testing them out, they posted consecutive positive returns.

      Towards the end of 2013 however, after I stopped following them, their performance began to nosedive. I don’t know what happened to them.

  3. victoria March 17, 2014 at 6:28 am - Reply

    thanks for your blog,iam looking for a group to join that is not costly can you give me an idear thanks.

    • Chris March 17, 2014 at 8:51 am - Reply

      Hi Victoria, if you can be a little bit more specific as to what you’re looking for, I’ll see if I can give you some suggestions.

  4. Kevin March 17, 2014 at 10:54 pm - Reply

    Hi Chris
    You have touched on something(s) that are very important here
    Very much agree Trading is a journey not a sprint and along that journey all kinds of changes are very likely to take place.
    For what ever reasons or personal circumstances can change sometimes quite dramatically … Time available to trade ..Capital available to trade with .. health / fitness issues and so on

    But don’t change a trading method that’s working just for the sake of change

    Great topic just like the psychology of trading that doesn’t get any where enough attention overall in trading circles

    Kevin (TDT) Harper

    • Chris March 18, 2014 at 4:13 am - Reply

      Hi Kevin,

      Good point. What I find works for me is to modify what’s already working to suit my changing circumstances.

  5. Andrew March 18, 2014 at 9:51 am - Reply

    Hi Chris
    I fully agree – we need to be continuously testing new strategies. I started doing that with all sorts of technical indicators, some of which I did not understand. So I have gone back to using three standard and time-tested ones and combined those in various ways and various mixes.
    That started to create a lot owf work so I built an EA that can do the testing for me after I have decided on the strategy. So now I can run dozens of trials simultaneously on demo, and then pick the successful ones to run on live. But it i still a process of continuous monitoring since as you say, conditions keep on changing.
    I really enjoy your posts and share your passion for travel!
    Keep up the great work.

    • Ross March 25, 2014 at 7:51 am - Reply

      I hate having to work out abreviations. This one has me beat. Your comment “That started to create a lot owf work” has got me stumped.
      What is “owf work”

      • Chris March 29, 2014 at 8:39 am - Reply

        I think that was a typo, and he meant “of”.

        • Ross March 31, 2014 at 8:34 am - Reply

          thanks Chris, makes sense now.

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