CunParis ( should that read c u in Paris btw?) Excellent thread.
I don't know how much time you have but a great way to "perfect trade" is to use the market replay. That way it's 'semi' real time.
I wait until the next morning and then have a simple workspace set up with my 2 charts and connect to replay and then just vary the speed as I wish.
I found that a night's sleep means you can be much less aware of what went on in the day so oddly you "trade" without much reference to hindsight - except for where you know you foulded up or the High/low of the day which for some reason always sticks in the head.
Weekends are also good to go over various days trading.
I simply place arrows on entries and exits I would have taken and like you I found it very helpful to then review the whole day - it is amazing how wrong you can be!
Congratulations, you're one of the few who understand what cunparis means. The French are even worse at it.
Market Replay is a great way to practice, I've used it quite a bit. Now I work part time in the morning and then I trade live until dinner time and then I spend an hour or so watching the last hour of ES while I do my perfect trading. That makes a full day for me. I wish I had more time.
Well it's Sunday night and I'm catching up on my perfect trading charts. I fell behind this week. It all started with taking off for the FOMC day. If you miss one day it's hard to get back on track. That's what Sunday nights are for. So obviously the best plan is to do it every night without exception. Easier said than done.
I'm curious if anyone gave it a try? If not, why? If so did it help you? Post some charts if you feel like sharing and getting feedback.
Here's one of mine: From 9/23. I leave for work at 7:40 am which is 1:40 ET. I check my charts before leaving. I saw the Euro in this range and normally I'd do a bracket but the Ninjatrader DOM can't do brackets (if anyone knows why or if there's a workaround please let me know, maybe I could do two DOMs?). So I figured the most likely direction was down, I don't remember why. so I set a sell stop. It triggered as I was leaving for work.
At work I was checking my status and I don't remember why (again, this is why it's really important to do it at the end of the day and not Sunday night!!!) I took my profit thinking it wasn't going down any more.
Big mistake. As you can see it continued down quite a lot. Now I had a nice gain so I shouldn't complain too much but the thing is this huge run would have made up for lots of little loosing trades.
So this "perfect trading" exercise reinforced in me the old saying "let your winners run and cut your losers short". I figure if I keep reinforcing this it'll finally sink in. Funny thing is when I do my perfect trading, I almost always find that I would have done better just holding on rather than jumping in and out. It's not an easy habit to break but seeing how much better I could have done by this perfect trading exercise really helps. Every day.
I hope you find this interesting and that you'll consider doing your own perfect trading, and that you'll share it with the rest of us. Have a good week!
The following user says Thank You to cunparis for this post:
The perfect trade idea is brilliant and I have adopted this in conjunction with the Al Brooks thread that you also started. I have decided to just trade AAPL in the Sim using the Brooks method and then the next day go through the chart plot the perfect trades and then compare to my actual entries. The learning curve is steep but well worth the effort. Thanks again for being so generous with your ideas.
Glad it's working for you. I'm still doing them but I must confess to what I thought was a shortcut.. I thought I could do the perfect trading & my real trading on the same chart. I put my real trade results on the bottom and perfect results on the top. What ended up happening is they were practically the same except for missed trades or obvious mistakes. Some trades I elected not to take because they were say in a mini-consolidation, afterward I'd see it would have worked and then wonder if I should count that in perfect trading. I've debated this for a few weeks and I conclude that perfect trading should be done at the end of the day or the next day and should start from scratch and go bar-by-bar.
Some may have issue with the fact that we use hindsight like knowing the outcome of the example I gave, but I think it's a good thing because the goal of perfect trading is to find things we missed. For example maybe there was a clue in the mini-consolidation that it was going to breakout? I've found this exercise very helpful but time-consuming and it takes discipline.
The following user says Thank You to cunparis for this post:
I found the greatest impact on my trading was being more selective and eliminating mistakes. I went short on Friday and didn't cover when I was proven wrong by the market. It actually hit my disaster stop (6 pts). This wiped out earlier profits for the week and is a big setback. I hadn't made a mistake like that in over 4 months and I'm really disappointed with myself. This is the point of the perfect trading. When I do my perfect trading my stop will go above resistance and I'll take my 2 pt loss.
A few stops like that could destroy an account in a hurry. Sorry to here that you did not take your 2 point stop. To be honest I think we all do that every now and then. It might actually be a good thing. It will make you stick to your plan more and let us know that we really do not know what the market will do next. I looked over my charts from last week trying to do the "perfect trade" with my trading rules. I realized how sloppy I am with my entry but more so with my exit. If I would stick to my rules I would have made 6 points more last week. I trade the TF 100 dollars per point per contract. I will be doing this perfect trade idea of yours more often. I will also be focusing more on my exits then on my entries. I know I can get in good trades, I am just not the best at knowing when to get out of them. I usually exit way to early and leave money on the table.