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Setting Trades and Walking Away
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Setting Trades and Walking Away

  #1 (permalink)
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Setting Trades and Walking Away

I'm wondering if anyone has had experience placing trades before RTH opens and logging out for the day.

I'm talking about truly letting these trades work out as they may and focusing on something else for the remainder of the day.

I'm asking this because I feel one of the major problems I've had as a trader is that when I'm sitting at my computer all day watching the market action I will get emotional (which is a waste of time) or even worse make adjustments to the trade or even change my hypothesis altogether based on the immediate market action.

I feel that if I identify areas of interest where I want to trade and put substantial effort into my homework identifying these areas then further focus on the market is unnecessary.

I think as a trader there is this feeling that if you don't watch your trades pan out live and sit at your computer throughout the day then you are not putting 100% effort into ensuring your success. But why is more better? All the effort should be spent on homework and figuring out the market context, identifying areas to trade and then setting stops and targets around whatever entry point is chosen based on all this homework.

Immediate market action will always (at least for me) instantly erode whatever contextual framework I formed previously. The markets are full of contradictions since they are fractal in nature. So I feel like setting my trades before the open and walking away and focusing on something else would be a huge step in the right direction for me as trader.

If you aren't a scalper what good does sitting in front of your computer all day accomplish besides flooding your mind with emotions (either good or bad), taking time away from other activities and creating further uncertainty, because nothing will unfold truly as you had planned.

I'm thinking about starting a journal where I place my trades by 7AM EST in the ES using server-side bracket orders and walking away, but first I wanted to see if anyone has had experience doing this.

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  #3 (permalink)
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UnderPar View Post
I'm wondering if anyone has had experience placing trades before RTH opens and logging out for the day.

I'm talking about truly letting these trades work out as they may and focusing on something else for the remainder of the day.

I'm asking this because I feel one of the major problems I've had as a trader is that when I'm sitting at my computer all day watching the market action I will get emotional (which is a waste of time) or even worse make adjustments to the trade or even change my hypothesis altogether based on the immediate market action.

I feel that if I identify areas of interest where I want to trade and put substantial effort into my homework identifying these areas then further focus on the market is unnecessary.

I think as a trader there is this feeling that if you don't watch your trades pan out live and sit at your computer throughout the day then you are not putting 100% effort into ensuring your success. But why is more better? All the effort should be spent on homework and figuring out the market context, identifying areas to trade and then setting stops and targets around whatever entry point is chosen based on all this homework.

Immediate market action will always (at least for me) instantly erode whatever contextual framework I formed previously. The markets are full of contradictions since they are fractal in nature. So I feel like setting my trades before the open and walking away and focusing on something else would be a huge step in the right direction for me as trader.

If you aren't a scalper what good does sitting in front of your computer all day accomplish besides flooding your mind with emotions (either good or bad), taking time away from other activities and creating further uncertainty, because nothing will unfold truly as you had planned.

I'm thinking about starting a journal where I place my trades by 7AM EST in the ES using server-side bracket orders and walking away, but first I wanted to see if anyone has had experience doing this.

I have some experience with this, so I will offer my opinion on this subject. After reveiwing many trades, I realized that often I would tweak trades and interfere with many which would have eventually worked out.
The benefits of Set and forget trading are:
1. Less stressfull: It can be rather nerve wracking watching price gyrate on it's way to the target.

2. Solves prematurely closing out a trade.: Many trades can start out very slow and appear to not be going anywhere or move against you a few ticks. This can cause one to lose faith in the trade and prematurely close it out..when it may indeed be a winning trade.

3. More free time: You don't have to sit glued to your screen for hours on end.
The drawbacks are:

1. Misses target by a few ticks and retraces to entry or worse..your stop: If you were watching , it is doubtful you would let that happen.

2. You lose your data feed connection with a possible potential of your trade not having a stop loss.: This can happen and if you aren't aware it's happening, you could suffer a serious loss.

3. Sometimes a massive price spike can blow through your stop without triggering it. Again a potential account disaster.

I had a platform called lightwave a few years back that could send a text to my cell phone when a certain price was hit. I would walk away from my room, and whenever either my stop or target was hit, I would get a text on my cell phone. Then i would walk back and make sure everything executed like it should. I don't have that platform anymore. So now, instead of walking away, I set price alerts through Ninja trader. It makes a tone when a price is reached. For example, lets say my minimum target is 20 ticks, I will set my trade and not watch it too closely untill it hits the 20 ticks. Then I will look at it and evaluate the conditions..and decide whether I will let it continue to run.
Or I have a minimum target of maybe 10 ticks..which after that I will set my trailing stop program.. I have one called Profit Manager that allows me to trail my stop to various parameters such as an Ema or Supertrend etc. That way, if I don't hit my target, the trail will usually give me some good profit.
So, I stay within the vicinity of my trade desk (in the event of an emergency), but I try not to watch every tick of price movement. Once I am up a certain amount (and my price alert signals me), I decide whether or not to engage my auto trail. I also like my price alerts to be set at areas of price congestion. That way, I can see if the price will advance through the area..or retreat. I also sometimes will monitor a trade by watching a chart where I can't see my P&L or stop and target. Psychologically, it's easier to watch a trade unfold without seeing you profit and loss fluctuating every few seconds.

This is what works well for me and allows me to manage a trade without getting too caught up in all the little "noise" and fluctuations that can psyche you out and make you ruin a good trade . But I no longer like the idea of just walking away.

Now, when you say server side bracket orders, are you talking about setting entry orders or just your stop and target orders once you've already entered? I doubt I would ever just leave entry orders on and walk away. You wouldn't know if the session was going to have any momentum, speed or trend. Maybe it will just chop. 7 am est for ES is way too soon to set entry orders before the market establishes itself and shows context.

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UnderPar View Post
All the effort should be spent on homework and figuring out the market context, identifying areas to trade and then setting stops and targets around whatever entry point is chosen based on all this homework.

Immediate market action will always (at least for me) instantly erode whatever contextual framework I formed previously. The markets are full of contradictions since they are fractal in nature. So I feel like setting my trades before the open and walking away and focusing on something else would be a huge step in the right direction for me as trader.

If you aren't a scalper what good does sitting in front of your computer all day accomplish besides flooding your mind with emotions (either good or bad), taking time away from other activities and creating further uncertainty, because nothing will unfold truly as you had planned.

I'm thinking about starting a journal where I place my trades by 7AM EST in the ES using server-side bracket orders and walking away, but first I wanted to see if anyone has had experience doing this.

I think you make some very compelling arguments in your post, and I have often experienced that if I had done what you said, I would have made quite some nice profits, but instead I sabotaged my work by interfering.

First of all, while I agree with the overall spirit of your post, I disagree with the first line I quoted above. All the effort should not be spent on homework and context and so on, in my humble opinion. Perhaps a lot or even most of the effort, but not all. Your homework can identify potential trade location, entry/exit points, and even a plan to manage that trade (with a trailing stop or targets, etc.), but it can't identify market state, and it can't read the market in advance. It might have an idea what type of day it will be, but analysis/homework does not reliably enough address market behavior enough for me, as a short-term trader (I take 1-3 trades a day usually), to rely on it alone.

That being said, I think you present a good case, and all I can say is, go for it, and report on how it works for you. I'd love to hear, and while I'm not willing to place orders before the open and log out, I myself have been trying to trust my analysis to a greater degree and allow my objectively-formed ideas to have a larger influence than any subjective ideas that develop while I'm waiting for or already in a trade.

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  #5 (permalink)
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UnderPar View Post
I'm wondering if anyone has had experience placing trades before RTH opens and logging out for the day...

Hi @UnderPar

Your approach is not far from mine. I had quite good results with doing a similar one trade per day (see journal here
in the journal section) which announces trades here for more than a year.
The difference is in the decision making time. My decision for the intraday trade is 30 minutes after opening. From there
I decide WHEN the trade starts, the direction/SL and the exit TIME. That made - the trade will start and end by
definition. The rules were done by statistical homework to find out high expectancy intraday periods.
On futures.io (formerly BMT) I got many inputs from members to move stops or to take more points when the trade turns before my
exit time has arrived and more...
But this is beyond the goal to NOT stare the whole day at the screen and interfere somewhen which mostly turns
out to suboptimal.

Go for your own journal - looking forward to it!
GFIs1

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  #6 (permalink)
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I've heard Al Brooks recommend walking away after entering a trade and setting your stop and target in several of his webinars as an antidote for the fear that manifests itself as counter productive behavior.

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  #7 (permalink)
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Value Your Time

Hi Underpar

Great question thanks.

As traders we don't get paid for time. That being the case, assuming the method is at least as profitable, our time is more valued using set and forget methods because we leave our trades alone to let themselves play out and minimise the time we spend trading.

Being a great trader is not about sitting in front of computer screen(s). I suggest we all treat our trading as a business and utilize our time effectively.

Cheers Rachel

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  #8 (permalink)
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Wise trading imho

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  #9 (permalink)
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In general: It depends.

When you set a trade and walk away, you've limited yourself to only one of two possible outcomes: getting stopped out, or the market hits your take profit.

The market, however, can change drastically within the time-frame your trade is on. And by limiting yourself to just two outcomes, you've also limited your ability to adapt to the market as it changes.

For instance: if my trade rocketed straight up to near my target nearly instantly after putting it on, I sure as hell would want to put my stop to break even and extend my target a bit (maybe taking a little off at my initial target, but not the whole position.) Some of my best trades come from situations just like this. The trade looked like it wanted to run further and faster, so I let it.

Another thing to consider: sometimes people like setting their orders and walking away because they can't handle sitting by their computer and watching each tick... or they are more likely to mess with the trade because they feel uncomfortable watching it in action and haven't yet gotting to the level of self disipline required to do things like the profit target extension I talked about in the previous paragraph. For this kinda thing, on one hand you do remove yourself from the equation and probably get better results this way, HOWEVER, by forcing yourself to sit there and follow a plan you help build the discipline you need to execute well later... and if done enough, eventually you stop feeling as uncomfortable when you're watching a trade.

The key take away point here is not limiting yourself to just two outcomes in a market that has near infinite possible outcomes.

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I really feel this should be thoroughly taken into account in ones trading plan.

Based on the traders particular style/strengths/and weaknesses.

For example:

Trader A is extremely adept at picking zones that illicit reactions and his/her trading strength is assessing the highest probability areas price will move to/from based on their analysis. They are also somewhat weak in their reading of Price action(identifying tech entries/continuations/reversals/ etc..) This trader would be wise to maximize their strength by having more of a "set and forget" type strategy and should trade as such. This trader can capitalize on trading larger moves and also can trade more markets and hence more opportunities may present themselves with this "hands off" approach

Trader B is very good at price action but is weak in regards to being able to consistently predict where price will react. This trader would be better off actively trading the PA, allowing price to show him where to enter/exit. This trader can best capitalize by also utilizing scaling in type strategies when PA dictates.


Personally I do actively trade but I make certain that every 60-90 minutes I leave the screen( walk outside on the beach, play with my dogs, go read a magazine, do some flexibility exercises or some housekeeping). Typically no more than 10-15 min of a break is needed before I can sit back down and stay very clear for the duration I am trading.

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