top of page


One of the reasons why I share with you my students’ results is to show you that you don’t need to use standard, recommended settings to achieve success. Usually, we have 15- or 30-minute time frames (or one of their multiples), but you can also use some non-standard solution like using a 100-minute timeframe.

When you combine it with a 5-hour (or 300-minute) time-template (8:45am to 1:45pm), you will get just 3 bars per trading session. 15 bars per week. Which probably won’t be enough for intraday trading, but instead of closing the position on close each day, you can hold your positions overnight and close them on Friday (swing trading), before the weekend (unless your stop-loss or profit target are hit).

Let’s take a look at the setup:

  • Market: Soybeans (S)

  • Main time frame (data1): 100-minute

  • Secondary time frame (data2): N/A

  • Time template: 8:45am - 1:45pm

  • Profit factor: 1.43

  • Win %: 57.35%

  • 96.22 USD

  • Exit: stop-loss or on Friday at 1:45pm exchange time (avg. winning trade +674.78 USD)

  • Stop-loss: ATR-based (avg. losing trade -423.92 USD)

For an intraday strategy, you should have about 40-50 trades per year. This strategy has 596 trades in a little over 9 years, which is more than enough.

Some people are afraid that for swing trading you need bigger capital - when you hold the position over several nights (2-5), the drawdown can get bigger. But this always depends on the market. In this case, the close to close drawdown is $4,400 which is actually lower than some of the intraday strategies mentioned in this series.

What is the distribution of profits? Let’s take a look at the chart now:

On the chart you can see that the drawdown happened at about trade number 160, from that moment on there was pretty much a constant rise, with some minor drawdowns which are part of trading, and a flat period at the end - between trades number 500 and 550. But from there, we can see rise to $57,350. This profit was done in less than 9.5 years, which means an average annual profit of over $6,000 per year.

Let’s take a look at all the details in the TradeStation performance summary:

What I haven’t mentioned yet is that the strategy trades both long and short sides and the ratio between the short and long trades is quite balanced - 319/277. Most of the statistics looks better for short trades - higher net profit (despite lower number of trades), higher profit factor, higher avg. net profit and lower drawdown, but even the long side doesn't look bad.

What about other related markets? Like soybean meal and soybean oil? Will the system have similar results in these markets as well? Let’s take a look at the soybean meal first:

There are some similar points - slow start with the biggest drawdown followed by nice equity rise with flat period at the end. But the overall rising tendency is really positive.

Will the soybean oil look the same?

It looks slightly worse, especially the $5,000 drawdown at the beginning, but from that moment on, there is some increase, which is not perfect, but it is still reaching a new equity high, which is also a good sign.

In general, it is good to start with intraday strategies (as they usually have a lower drawdown), but over time, it is good to start adding some swing strategies as well and keep the profitable trades running - as you can see, not all of them have high drawdowns. The basic trick is really simple - instead of closing the position at the end of the day, you close it before the weekend. It is a good way to avoid some unpleasant surprises that can happen over the weekend.

This is how you do it in Easylanguage (used by TradeStation and Multicharts):

If DayOfWeek(Date) = 5 then begin SetExitOnClose;

You can learn how to build similar strategies here.

Happy trading!


Click here to read more success stories.

Get Social With Tom
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • LinkedIn
What others are saying

"Tomas is one of the most creative traders I know. He is able to generate unique trading ideas and elegant solutions to system development challenges."

Andrew Swanscott,

"Tomas has been a professional trader for more than a decade and I have had the privilege of monitoring his accounts in action since 2006. His systems are performing as some of the best I have ever monitored and executed. I have been in the trading industry since 2002 and worked with many developers from all over the world. Tomas is definitely the one to consider."

Martin Lembak,

Systems Trading Expert,


"Tomas is a professional trader, who for the last 10 years has specialized in developing trading systems. We have been tracking his trading systems for about 5 years and they generally show very robust, stable and above average performance. Striker is pleased to work with someone like him - a real professional with enthusiasm and deep knowledge of trading."

William Galwas, President Of Striker Securities, Inc 

"Personal consultation with Tom helped me to re-evaluate the complexity of my robustness testing and optimization processes. Plus, it has helped me with a specific plan on how to take things forward. It has given me some great ideas on how to avoid overfitting and make my testing more robust and provided tips on low hanging fruit in terms of the best markets to trade for intraday/short-term breakouts."

Craig Peters,

semi-advanced trader,

United Kingdom 

"Tom's approach to Automated Trading Strategies design, tests of robustness and portfolio diversification is really unique. He has been a professional trader for many years and the depth of his understanding of Breakout strategies and Market Internals is hard to find elsewhere."

Antonin Fisher,

Hedge Fund Manager,

Czech Republic 

"Tom´s systems and trading approach do really work and can bring good, stable and reasonable returns. I can highly recommend him as a teacher."

David Hruby,

Trader, Czech Republic 

Author: Tom Nesnidal (more about me
bottom of page