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Trading spot fx euro using price action
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Trading spot fx euro using price action

  #341 (permalink)
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Tuesday 2012-01-31

Sideways for 5 1/2 hours and then 1/2 hour of trend when I stopped. Nice for traders working later than that.

Overtraded today. I mean I made 2 trades that I shouldn't have done, although technically they were valid setups, just ill-judged.

I trade badly in sideways markets and I trade well in trending markets. I think I read in someone else's journal here on futures.io (formerly BMT) that in sideways markets, he trades PBs, and in trends he trades BOs. Guess I should do that too - although in trends, I can trade both.

Also need to watch my stops a lot closer, made some poor exits today and in almost every case I should have kept them tight instead of leaving them at their initial position.

Concious that this journal is probably beginning to sound repetitive and I'm not learning the lessons I'm teaching myself. I'm going to start going over my whole sessions now bar-by-bar after analysing it, to replay the 'correct' trades.

You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.
Attached Thumbnails
Trading spot fx euro using price action-2012-01-31-market-structure.jpg   Trading spot fx euro using price action-2012-01-31-trades-.jpg   Trading spot fx euro using price action-2012-01-31-trades-b.jpg  
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  #342 (permalink)
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Yesterday's trades with hindsight

Went over yesterday's session bar-by-bar to enforce the good signals and triggers I saw and to get a handle on what I was doing wrong.

I figured that there were 55 pips to be had, using my method - the YTC PAT methodology, BOs and PBs.

That's not just a loose estimate from "perfect trading" - that counts the losers as well, 13 in all out of 30 trades over 6 hours with only 7 trades being 'big winners', 8 pips and over.

I honestly think I should be able to achieve 75% of that.

Lots of good stuff came out of the exercise too - I noticed a few more bits of price action that I just completely missed in real time. Practiced the exits too, not jst the entries - I definitely have to keep tight stops - just behind the last trend bar - and to use reversal bars and dojis as exit triggers - in a sideways market for sure. In trends though I'll play a looser stop, using the expected PB distance from the extreme to trail the stop.

You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.
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  #343 (permalink)
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Still don't understand what happened on my first order today. Obviously I can blame NinjaTrader but honestly I have no idea how my entry got executed.

I was looking at a setup for a break-out on an S/R line with a setup stall range from 1.3188 down to 1.3179. Since my bias from the BO PB and stall were all neutral, I decided to bracket the setup zone with a buy stop and a sell stop. I placed them both and then suddenly I was long - what the hell?!?!

Checked the position I had got and flattened it and then checked the software to see what orders were placed and I see 3 orders were placed - the Sell stop, the Buy stop, and then mysteriously a Buy @ market order which I don't recognise.

Weird.

Not only am I sure I did not place the Buy market order, I didn't confirm it, and I certainly didn't set it up to cancel the other two orders which is exactly what happened. Can't prove it wasn't me going crazy so I doubt NinjaTrader support will give me any help.

Otherwise today was a short session because I had an appointment in the morning and wanted to go over yesterday's trading thoroughly to learn something from it. I think I did, I got more confidence that the setups have an edge with a few added extra rules I'm using to do with sideways vs trending markets.

Today though my trading was rubbish - four trades should have got me 30 pips but due to 3 errors, I ended up with -6 pips instead.

That's only counting the first part of the trades - with the second part I should have made an extra 15 pips but for the errors.

First error I described above - a technical glitch.

Second error: using my new rule for strict exit management on counter-trend trades and on sideways choppy days, I'll exit the position at a doji or a reversal candle. However the doji or reversal candle has got to be substantial - I'm not going to pay attention to a 2 pip candle, which is the exact error I made on trade 2 today. It was part of a stall - dumb error basically.

Third error: used strict exit management on a nice with-trend trade that I should have given a lot more room. Missed out on 20 pips there on the last setup I traded.

You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.
Attached Thumbnails
Trading spot fx euro using price action-2012-02-01-market-structure.jpg   Trading spot fx euro using price action-2012-02-01-trades-.jpg  

Last edited by Adamus; February 1st, 2012 at 01:30 PM. Reason: corrections
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  #344 (permalink)
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Thursday 2012-02-02

More crap trading.

Definitely on a plateau in terms of progress at the moment.

Got two sources of confusion that kills my performance:

(1) not committed to taking every YTC PAT setup that I see on offer - it's easy with hindsight to see what I could have done, but it's difficult to pull the trigger. I always have 2 things telling me not to - a) a sense of overtrading as soon as I've been whipsawed - which hurts but actually is not a problem, it just happens a lot and b) my own experience telling me it doesn't recognise it as a good entry (I stupidly keep telling myself I should only take trades I'm confident about - which in reality is only some of the pull-back entries and is wrong - I should try to take them all)

(2) over-analysing or worse forgettting what I've decided the market is doing in terms of trending or chopping, i.e. I end up using the wrong style of stop management - too strict when it needs room to let the pull-backs past or too loose when I should be grabbing the pips by the bar in a choppy phase.

I reckon the only way I can deal with this is to stick to the procedure following my latest up-to-date checklist. It's a long list at the moment but I do have some of it internalised which I could theoretically remove. Yes it will slow me down but I have to practice like this for a while and see how many setups I'm missing as a result.

The way I'm doing it at the moment gives me too much lee-way to chicken out of trades when hesitating, and that won't improve my skill levels.

Another thing - I'm also messing up my exits sometimes because I want to exit based on price action, but I don't want to judge the price action before the candle is complete - except of course when the bar is huge and runs straight into my stop. Not a massive problem but another thing to work out simultaneously. Guess I need to define what a bad enough big candle is so I can keep my stop that far away.

By my calculations this time adding together both halves of the trades I reckon there were over 100 pips on offer today in 22 trades - reasonable trades, not just theoretical ones.

I notched up an inglorious -24 pips on 14 trades (each trade had 2 parts), chickening out of 8 of them. I came close to but missed at least 4 big wins, annoying as hell initially but I can deal with that - small positive point I guess.

So tomorrow - follow procedure as fast as possible, don't hesitate because of anything else.

You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.
Attached Thumbnails
Trading spot fx euro using price action-2012-02-02-market-structure.jpg   Trading spot fx euro using price action-2012-02-02-trades-.jpg   Trading spot fx euro using price action-2012-02-02-trades-b.jpg   Trading spot fx euro using price action-2012-02-02-trades-c.jpg  
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  #345 (permalink)
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A very difficult trading day today IMO as we had an inside day. Lack of conviction and momentum. Only trade I saw was into London close but that ran too quick for me. On days like these you can look at your candles and say there was a good opportunity here and there but those candles do not show the rhythm of the market which is only evident at the time of trading so do not beat yourself up too much.

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  #346 (permalink)
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Trafford View Post
A very difficult trading day today IMO as we had an inside day. Lack of conviction and momentum. Only trade I saw was into London close but that ran too quick for me. On days like these you can look at your candles and say there was a good opportunity here and there but those candles do not show the rhythm of the market which is only evident at the time of trading so do not beat yourself up too much.

What time do you use for the London close?

It was difficult yesterday - but I need to learn to cope with those days, and of course first I need to be able to recognise them as early as possible. But the method I'm using offered at least 100 pips - obviously with hindsight but I think they were all possible as trades for someone more practiced. I would live happily ever after if I could achieve half of them.

You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.
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  #347 (permalink)
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I think the London close is a around 16:30 pm GMT

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  #348 (permalink)
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Friday 2012-02-03

Holy Bat Crap, Batman.

Still learning.

Root cause of all my problems is that I still didn't take trading seriously enough. When I look at it objectively, all the things I do wrong are basically a matter of control. I'm more or less 100% convinced that the methodology I have has an edge, so applying it correctly is all I need to do. In other words I need to control my train of thought better when I'm trading, and follow procedures.

I need to switch to a specific controlled state of mind when I sit down at my trading screen. I have to be able to get up, walk away and re-focus when I realise I've let that control slip.

Not only do I need that control when I sit down at my trading screen, I've got to respect that trading time and I have to refuse to let myself start unless I'm prepared. If I'm not prepared, I can't trade, I have to do the preparation.

That is hard because I've got a massive urge to trade. I want to trade a six hour session, and I want to start at 08:30 GMT, and today I did, by ignoring a bunch of other stuff I should have done including preparation involving writing up a new checklist for my trade entry procedure.

Today it was my 'new' rules giving me problems. I hadn't written up that trade entry checklist to include the new rules and the result was that I applied the rules when I felt like it instead of all the time.

The rules are:

(1) when it's trending, take break-outs and pull-backs, but when it's choppy, trade noly pull-backs.

(2) when trading with the trend, swing the trade and leave the stops loose to allow room for minor retraces, but when trading counter-trend or in a sideways market, keep tight stops.

(3) when trading tight stops, when a doji occurs with range > 3 pips and not in a stall, place the stops above / below it. Ignore small dojis and dojis in stalls.

Spot the logical error!

I haven't defined what my trending or choppy markets are. I'll figure that out and add a post about it later.

I realised this today as the market when dead before non-farm payrolls and I got whipsawed a record-breaking 5 times in a row on the interaction at S/R 1.3161 (cash price not futures).

If the market was choppy, I shouldn't be taking break-out setups.

I actually got bloody-minded about it and was determined to get in on the swing when it came. See chart. Painful. I have about 5 different tactics for entering after a break-out and I tried them all. This problem cropped up a couple of weeks ago but like I said, I never enforced the new rules properly. More on the break-out entry tactics in another post later.

So up until non-farm payrolls I lost a ton of sim dollars getting whipsawed but then when the NFP volatility hit, I made much of it back using the 1 second line chart to enter after pull-backs. This time the volatility lasted for about 40 minutes and as it slowly died off, I realised I could probably do a lot better on a different chart that showed pull-backs or swings more regularly, rather than relying on my judgement of the shape of the curves of the 1 second line. I don't know whether range bars or point-and-figure charts would work best. I'm playing with the point-and-figure charts in NinjaTrader.

Attached a chart of the last part of the volatile phase where my entries weren't so good.

I reckon I need a chart where it will be obvious that the primitive methodology isn't going to be profitable.

Got to go. Won't have time to enter my trades into the trade log - but I will run a review of what I should have traded, using the new rules with perfect definitions

Just got a phone call from my girlfriend who's been stopped by police. I told her to stop interrupting my trading. Struth.... well actually as a result I have to go and pick up the little one from the nursery myself since she is currently detained - hopefully not for long. She would have told me to call the lawyer if she was arrested, right? So basically a hell of a day on all fronts.

You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.
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Trading spot fx euro using price action-2012-02-03-trades-.jpg   Trading spot fx euro using price action-2012-02-03-trades-b.jpg  
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  #349 (permalink)
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Hope your girlfriend's problems will find a positive outcome soon

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  #350 (permalink)
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Nicolas11 View Post
Hope your girlfriend's problems will find a positive outcome soon

Thanks! Turns out it wasn't such a big deal. She rode past a policeman on her pushbike whilst in a pedestrian-only zone and was fined 30 - she started arguing and threatened to ride away so the cop threatened to take her to the police station.

Attached a chart of today's EUR/USD with the easily justifiable break-out pull-back setups and other pull-back setups marked with diamonds marking the first bar on the 3-min chart. They did not all work out but in a perfect world, I would have traded them all.

You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.
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