We asked real fractalerts users to share their stories—and they answered. The following is Part I of an authentic, unpaid testimonial from Brent D.
First of all, I want readers to know that I have no relationship with fractalerts, other than paying my subscription fee for its trading alerts. I don’t know anyone at their firm, nor had I ever even heard of them before finding them in Twitter’s financial corners.
I’m sharing my background and thoughts to express my thanks for fractalerts’ service, and to inform other retail traders like me who might be interested in my experience with their products.
I don’t rush into things—especially when it comes to my finances. When I first learned about fractalerts on Twitter, where they have very active presence, I was a little skeptical. Most of their tweets are catchy phrases and thought-provoking bites of insights and advice, usually with a link to their minimalist website.
The tweet that finally made me click? “Are fractalerts ever wrong?… Of course.” A bit of brutal honesty always catches my attention.
When I landed on the fractalerts website, it had just enough information to whet my interest. I saw they had alerts for in stock indexes, commodities, and Forex —what really intrigued me was the bold claim that about “trading systematically and unemotionally.” Having only ever traded stocks and index options and futures, I clicked for more information on their indices services—only to land on an inquiry form.
Now normally, I’d never fill out a form without getting more information first, but my interest was piqued at this point. After submitting the form, I didn’t immediately get the information I was looking for—instead, they wanted to know more about me! What trading experience did I have? What was my personal trading style?
Again, I was intrigued, so I told them my story: most of my portfolio allocation is very conservative, but with a small portion, I like to actively trade both short and long positions. I’d only trade stocks and indices, mostly with options, sometimes futures. My style? I used targets and stops religiously—but the market always had an uncanny ability to sniff out my stops long before my targets. Tight or long, these trades were almost always losers.
When I tried trading without stops and targets, I struggled with when to exit. I always wanted to keep pressing my winners—usually until I surrendered my gains—and usually cut my losers too early, only to see the position return to profit without me. I was a purely emotional trader who deployed no systemic approach, and my emotions would often cost me dearly.
In return for sharing my style, I got a nice note back from the fractalerts team with a spec sheet on their trading plan for indices. Included was eight years of historical trading data. Let me repeat that—they sent eight years of their results for the S&P500, DOW, NASDAQ and Russell2000! Even more surprising, they informed me that they are always in the market, either long or short, and that they don’t use stops or targets of any kind.
No stops or targets at all?! fractalerts just waits for the next “signal” and then they reverse their position in the market. They encourage their users to trade ETFs, options or futures contracts associated with those 4 instruments, and use the signals to customize personal strategies and risk tolerance.
I sent the fractalerts team a few questions about their strategies, particularly about the whole “no targets or stops” shocker. They reassured me that over their many years of trading their strategy, unemotionally and systemically, they remain firmly convinced that targets and stops are not useful and in fact totally defeat the purposes of trading within the mathematical fractal framework.
Since this is so counter to what almost every other trading service or guru talks about — it not only spooked me greatly, but it caused me to really pay attention to what they were saying and start to research their 8 years of trades.
I decided to subscribe to their indices service in November so I could track their actual performance in real-time. I wasn’t ready to start trading yet, but what I saw seemed promising. Before I committed, I needed to really dive into fractalerts’ data—and that’s exactly what I did.