Welcome! We're really glad you're getting started with Base Camp Trading. Here’s a few suggestions on how to get up to speed as quickly as possible so you can begin to learn and use the BCT Trading Methodologies.
First, watch the Welcome - Start Here video in your member Dashboard, which you can reach via the “Access Member Area” link at the top of most BCT website pages. The video is the first link in the upper left of your Member Dashboard.
Next, start your learning fundamentals by completing the Naked Trading Mastery course. This provides the foundation for all the trading we do here at Base Camp Trading. While you may be tempted to briefly watch it and consider it done, we've found that many of our best traders have watched training like Naked Trading Mastery many times over so that they fully understand the concepts. You may find that after you learn more about BCT's trading style, and get more experience in its trading methodologies, you'll pick up more subtleties from training each time you watch it.
Some other starting points as a new BCT Member:
- You can watch our instructors reviewing the live markets from 8 AM to 4 PM ET each day. We have both a Futures room and a Stocks & Options room. The afternoon session in the Futures room covers both Futures and Stocks & Options. Our rooms are often fast moving, and it takes a while to get up to speed, but jump in and absorb what you can, and you’ll start to pick up more and more with experience. You can even chat with other BCT Members in the chat room. Please don't be afraid to ask questions in the room. The instructors will do their best to answer your question, and sometimes other BCT Members can answer questions as well. To reach the trading room, click on the "Access Member Area" link from the BCT website menu at the top right of most pages, and select the Live Trading Rooms button.
Weekly Live Session Schedule:
- Futures AM Session: Weekdays 8am - 12pm ET in the Futures Room with Thomas
- Stocks & Options Weekdays 9am-1pm ET in the Stocks & Options Room with Dave
- Futures & Equities PM Session: Weekdays 12pm - 4pm ET in the Futures Room with Gary
- TNT / Office Hours: Tuesdays 8pm - 9pm ET in the Futures Room with John
- At the start time of each daily room session, the instructor goes over the markets in general to get a feel for the overall markets. These overviews are often recorded and are available under the "Morning Market Recap" link on the BCT Website.
- An End of Day video is usually recorded and available for viewing via the "Daily Videos" button on the Member Dashboard by 6pm ET.
- You'll notice that all of our room instructors are using older versions of trading platform software. If you want to minimize differences between their charts and yours, you might consider using the same version that they are using. In TradeStation, we are not yet running the new version, which looks and operates quite differently from the older version. Thomas, Dave, and John are still using TradeStation 9.5, which can be downloaded as the "legacy" version on the TradeStation download page (it's beneath the Version 10 download link on their site). Gary prefers to use NT7 at this time, but you may find that the newer NT8 is very close to what he's using. More information about trading platforms is included later in this article.
- Watch your email for messages from BCT about end of day videos and other important information. Make sure you whitelist our email addresses (e.g. email@example.com) so our messages don't go to your spam folder (check there if you don't see messages soon)
- Every Tuesday Night at 8pm ET we host a live "Tuesday Night Training" event in the Futures Room, where a selected topic is discussed, and attendees can ask questions about trading, platforms, etc. Even though these are held in the Futures Trading Room, the content is typically focused on both Futures and Stocks & Options, or sometimes even other topics. These sessions are recorded, with the last 4 week's worth of recordings being made available via this "Office Hours" link: https://basecamptrading.com/member-home/office-hours/
- Get access to SlackChat by requesting it via firstname.lastname@example.org. SlackChat is a chat tool that lets Base Camp Trading members communicate with one another, ask questions, share your ideas and your expertise, etc. There are various "channels" within slackchat that focus on futures and options, for example. SlackChat is available 24 hours a day.
- Answers to frequently asked questions are maintained in our growing custom knowledge base, which you can reach at http://support.basecamptrading.com. Feel free to search there for immediate answers to common questions on BCT and trading in general.
- As a BCT Member, you also enjoy end of day market analysis, market weekly outlooks, member-only webinars, push notifications, discounted prices off of training in addition to the Naked Trading Mastery course you already have access to, and much more.
Important Note About Getting Your Computer Ready to Match What You See in our Trading Rooms
We realize that our traders have a great variance in their experience in trading, and also in computer technology. We have an expectation that our traders have at least some experience with computers, or have access to someone nearby who can help them with the technical aspects of computers. If you have questions about how fast of a processor is needed, or how much hard drive space is needed, or how to use a Mac instead of a PC, or how much memory (RAM) is needed, we encourage people to look at the specifications posted for the particular trading platform they are planning to use. You can also ask other traders in our trading rooms and chat rooms about what computer they are using, though you’ll undoubtedly find a large variance between what other traders are using, as they’ll have different needs, budgets, etc.
We also know that some users are completely “green” when it comes to trading, and that they may not know some of the basics that a trader with even just a month of experience would take for granted. For example, we often find new traders who haven’t yet realized that a trading platform needs to be installed before you can use our indicators. That’s okay – we’ve all been there, and we all just needed a little bit of info to get us moving in the right direction at times.
Some of the best training for how to get trading platforms installed, or how to do basic platform functions, will come directly from the platform providers. They typically have a large library of resources and a large staff that can help with educating users about how the platform itself works. Most platforms offer a wealth of structured learning videos, courses, guides, etc. that can bring any new trader up to speed on the fundamentals of the platform they choose. We hope that users will take advantage of that resource from the platform providers to learn the fundamentals. When you have questions about our specific indicators, courses, etc., we encourage you to turn to us, and we look forward to helping you. So if you contact our support teams with generic or fundamental platform questions, we may direct you to the platform’s library of resources that do a wonderful job of educating new users about their platforms. This way, our staff can focus on our specific custom offerings and new students can take advantage of those highly informative platform-based resources.
For those very new to trading, our indicators require that a base “platform” be installed on your computer. You may hear us reference these platforms in the rooms, such as “TradeStation”, or “Ninja Trader”, “thinkorswim”, or “Sierra”, to name a few. The platforms a specific indicator is compatible with is listed in the details for each indicator in our store. Platforms are standalone programs, or sometimes web-based tools, provided and maintained by each individual platform maker. Trading platforms create an environment of charts, trading systems, and other tools to help traders work with the markets they choose. Each platform is somewhat unique in its specific features, and there’s no single best choice that fits all traders. The choice of which platform is best for each person depends on the individual’s needs. For example, for some traders, trading in an IRA is important, so a platform that supports trading in an IRA may be more important than finding one with the fanciest stock option analysis tools. One trader may value a responsive support desk with a short hold time, while another would be drawn to the one with the absolute lowest commissions even though you may not be able to reach their support team as quickly. The trick is finding a balance that is right for you.
You may also notice that many platforms offer more than one version of their software. Sometimes the differences between versions is slight, while other times there are significant changes in the look and feel of the platform, and even in the compatibility of the indicators between versions. We suggest that you observe the trading rooms to see what the platforms the room hosts are using – and even which version of the platforms they are using. You’ll likely find that our instructors are not always running the very latest versions of the platforms, for various reasons. The platform makers are usually interested in getting as many of their users onto the newest version of their platform so they can retire the old version sooner, but there may be instances where there are advantages to staying with the older version a bit longer as the new version matures. If you want the charts on your system to look as close as possible to the ones you see in the trading rooms, then you may want to match the specific versions of the platforms you see in use. If this creates an issue, it’s not a requirement, for even if you don’t exactly match the platforms in the rooms, you can usually get very similar charting results on other platforms.
There will be lots of other things that you’ll learn as get you started and the information above should be enough to get you well on your way.
Trading involves risk, and it’s important that you properly manage your risk in your trading. You will hear occasional mentions of risk management in the trading rooms, but it’s surely factored into each and every trade taken in the rooms. It’s important that you know how to properly manage risk in your own account. Like many aspects in trading, what works well for others may not apply to you or your account. Risk management is more than just determining where the stop is placed. Your risk-based rules need to be adjusted to match your trading style, account size, and lots of other factors. So, learn about proper position sizing, exit management, reward to risk ratios, etc. Ask questions in the room, and take training to accelerate your learning curve.
Many new traders are tempted to jump into “real” trading and do their learning with real money. We firmly believe that any new trading system should be proven in paper trading before even thinking about using real money. Even if the system works for others, it’s imperative that you prove to yourself that you can make the system work. That’s an important part of building the confidence it takes to follow the trading rules. There’s no sense in risking real money until you do. In fact, due to the added challenges of “real” trading, it’s more challenging to make money in real trading than in paper. So prove that you can comfortably and correctly work the strategies to generate consistent profits in paper before you switch to real trading. Have fun doing it, too, because once you understand the rules and how to follow them, trading can get a lot less stressful, and that’s a great way to trade. We look forward to showing you how to trade this way.
Again, welcome, and remember to ask questions in the rooms when you need clarification, and give yourself time to gain an understanding of BCT's trading approach. We're confident that we'll be soon counting you among our many members who've learned that BCT offers a great way to trade.