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

  #671 (permalink)
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2014-04-19 Friday sim trading session


The Tao of Al (Page 407, Reading Price Charts BBB)
16. Beginners should consider swing trading stocks instead of scalping
or swinging Eminis because stock charts are usually easier to read
and often trend well. The Eminis or bond futures become important
when your trading volume gets too large to allow for good fills in
stocks.

What about forex, Al?

Lesson Learnt Last Session

I have to accept bigger risks if I want to take all the set-ups I see, which is difficult, juggling the desire to go short higher and closer to my stops against the desire to see the market stay relatively low and bearish.

Goal today

I like yesterday's goal, I'm keeping it today:

Stay focused.
Stay calm.
No distractions.
Be biased, but don't be certain.
Visualize where the traps are.
Wait til you see the money lying there on the floor and then just pick it up.
Deal with the fear at each set-up.
Don't mess with limit entries.
Don't bail out if a precise pattern doesn't trigger an immediate response, stay with it if it still feels right.
Trust the stops to be in a good place.


Risk Management

Account - sim: GBP 95,560
Position size: US$100K
Max risk per trade: $200
Daily time-out: -$400
Daily full stop: -$600

Session Details

Normal Friday, normal week. Late G20 meetings possibly influencing market closing price.


forexfactory.com
 
Code
07:00 	EUR 	Med	German PPI m/m
09:00 	EUR 	Med	Current Account
12:30 	EUR 	High	German Buba President Weidmann Speaks 					
Day 1 	ALL 	Med	IMF Meetings 					
Day 2 	ALL 	High	G20 Meetings 					
 17:00 	USD 	Med	FOMC Member Stein Speaks

Higher Time-frame

Still undecided whether this is a swing high on the way back down in the sell-off from Feb 1st, or a swing low in the rally from April 1st. Biased towards a sell-off I guess although I see the market just broke yesterday's high.

Volatility

20 day volatility 112 (10 year max 287)
20 hour volatility 25 (10 year max 96)
Was climbing until yesterday, daily is almost at year's high, but hourly is still well below Feb & Mar levels.

Asian Session

27 point range, 3.5 points volatility, bullish with a mid-session rally otherwise a bit choppier than usual with a few more tails and less rounded reversals, mostly abrupt.

London Session

Bullish but not trending well, no morning reversal of Asian session. Low volatility, sharp reversals in both directions, quite a few tails in there, long drawn out dead period after 10:30, interacting with S/R levels alright except shy of touching 1.31.

Trader State

Physical: good
Mental: good
Fatigue: got to bed OK but woken several times in the night, so better but nowhere near perfect.
Motivation: Do not follow the crowd, and reject pressure to conform or perform. Never let yourself slip into a position where you feel answerable for anything that you do. Total freedom from both personal and monetary obligations are vital. Disregard for this principle alone eliminates 99.9% of traders.


Session Notes and Review

There was no chance of doing anything on the first push-up after 13:00, and it turned around and came down too quick for any set-up, so then from 13:30 to 14:30 I was looking at set-up 1 - initially I was expecting it to follow through down to the lows of the day, judging from the sharp sell-off so far, and looking at the 60-min chart.

In principle this wasn't a high probability set-up anyway, since it was counter-trend on the day so far if today is a bull trend day, or at best this S/R is mid-range in a range day, which can go either way. There was a trigger to get short, a bounce of the EMA20 (almost) at 13:50 but I hesitated because it didn't actually cross the EMA.

The real trigger came after a whole series of lower tails pointing the way, at 14:30 it failed to bounce down off the EMA again. Stupidly I now can't remember what I was doing or thinking at that point - possibly taking a break, so anyway I missed it.

Set-up 2 was much more interesting - a triangle back up at the top. It broke downwards without any trigger at 15:27 and also crossed the EMA20 without any chance of doing anything. I had a stop in place above the triangle because I was bullish, but in retrospect I saw enough bearish signs too - the triangle was biased downward. Another one gone.

Set-up 3 was at the close of play for me and after it just touched support and bounced, I guess I had lost concentration. It just didn't look like anything.

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Today's Result

No trades.

Lessons Learnt

Slightly disappointed that I missed 2 opportunities, although I think if I'd taken them, I would have had to take a few others that didn't work out - but the only ones I can see now would have been B/E or light losses on bail-outs. I detect possibly signs of cowardice here, trying to prevent my equity curve from tanking by simply not trading. But on the other hand it would be stupid to force myself to take trades when I don't have the skill to recognise them. I can't believe the fear was completely masking any positive feeling I had about any of the possibly entries I didn't take.

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

Last edited by Adamus; April 19th, 2013 at 12:59 PM.
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  #672 (permalink)
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I'm not sure; I haven't purchased his newer books. I only have Reading Price Charts BBB and I got bogged down in the middle of it. To be honest, I can understand why he had a hard time conveying some of the information in book form. Video seems necessary and so much easier.

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  #673 (permalink)
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2013-04-22 Monday sim trading session



The Tao of Al (Page 407, Reading Price Charts BBB)
19. Buy low, sell high, except in a clear and strong trend (see chapter on
trends). In a bull trend, buy High 2 setups even if they are at the high of
the day, and in a bear, sell Low 2s. However, the market is in a trading
range for the vast majority of the time. For example, if the market has
been going up for a few bars and there is now a buy signal near the top
of this leg up, ask yourself if you believe that the market is in one of
the established clear and strong bull trend patterns described in this
book. If you cannot convince yourself that it is, don't buy high, even if
the momentum looks great, since the odds are great that you will be
trapped.

Lesson Learnt Last Week

Fear = deciding whether to take a trade that might lose $200. Consider it gone already.

Goal today

Consider $200 the price of taking the trade.

Take note of the notes I take, later on.

Don't consider how much profit the trade will make, before or during the trade.

Put the stops in the right place and trust them, even if an entry trigger doesn't trigger order flow.

Watch more carefully for trend-lines.

Risk Management

Account - sim: GBP 95,557
Position size: 2 x US$50K
Max risk per trade: $200
Daily time-out: -$400
Daily full stop: -$600

Session Details

Normal day, normal week.


forexfactory.com
 
Code
13:30 	USD 	Low	FOMC Member Dudley Speaks 					
15:00 	EUR 	Low	Consumer Confidence
	USD 	High	Existing Home Sales 	
19:30 	GBP 	Med	MPC Member Tucker Speaks

Higher Time-frame

More candlestick patterns on the daily. Friday made a big upper tail and is hanging there stupidly now. Looks like a convincing swing high. 1 big point down would take it to 1.2100 by end of June. It is also a swing low, so nothing's for certain.

Volatility

20 day volatility 108 (10 year max 287)
20 hour volatility 23 (10 year max 96)
daily is almost at year's high, but hourly is still well below Feb & Mar levels, sinking again.

Asian Session

Opened with a gap up that was quickly closed after 3 hours.
Range 21 points, 5 points volatility. Bearish.
Pretty choppy with acceleration and deceleration, mostly abrupt reversals, not so wild for a Monday.

London Session

Slightly choppy, sideways. Failed to make the morning reversal, abrupt and rounded reversals mixed up, some tails, not flowing at all. Range 1.3030 to '75

Trader State

Physical: cold - turned the heating off, maybe too early.
Mental: doing OK. Should be ready to not screw up anymore.
Fatigue: to bed late-ish, lots of interruptions = too much fatigue
Motivation: Do not trade with the goal of making money. Quite the opposite, you would be just as happy in any type of intellectual challenge that requires the extraordinary inverted thinking and brilliance required to win.

Session Notes and Review

Made a complete mess of it today. 4 trades, all losses. I need to review my analysis technique because I am not going to sit here and just look at what I should have done in hindsight. Of course that would help - to learn enough price action and get more experience. But that's not the issue here because I think I have the experience and I know the price action.

I feel like I'm trying to shoot an elephant, and it's so big I can't miss, so why do I miss? Of course I know the market is an evil place and it's not like trying to shoot an elephant at close range, but for me at this point in time that is definitely what it feels like.

OK, I have to do the hindsight analysis anyway and I'll try to get to the crux of my mistakes through that.

Set-up 1 entry was reasonable, I had a feeling I should be long after a succession of tails, but it was just wrong - there was one more push down. It bounced off the EMA20, but you never know if there's going to be one last bear attack. Got taken out just below the stall.

Set-up 2 entry was just a bit of a jumbled thinking - mostly I wanted to be in on a trade, and I justified it with the idea that my previous entry signal had failed, so the market had reversed. But I got in way too late, I should have reversed in that situation before it hit the stops. In hindsight, there wasn't enough evidence for that, the previous entry wasn't on a trigger or signal, it was mostly on a feeling. So, ill discipline cost me. I gave it as much room as I could to carry on with another 10 point push down - that was badly executed too, I gave it 4 more points than necessary. Too much "trusting my stops".

Set-up 3 was another late entry, I figured it was an interplay across the S/R zone I had there from 1.3022 to '36. Turns out the interplay was more like consolidation around the area rather than some kind of big retrace that I was thinking of - and I don't have such an idea in my trading plan officially anyway so it was just more ill discipline coming hard on the heels of the 2nd trade's bad practice.

Set-up 4 was yet another late entry. I figure I was kidding myself at this point about how in control I was. I was basing the idea on it being the low of the day at 14:30 and the 15:30 price action was a good trigger to get long.

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Today's Result

Trade 1: -7.5 & -7.5 points
Trade 2: -10 & -10 points
Trade 3: -3.5 & -6.5 points (slippage on the 2nd fill)
Trade 4: -9.5 & -9.5 points
Total: -64 points
New equity level: £95,330

Lessons Learnt

Need a second level check that I'm not out of control.
Did alright with fear of big stops, evidently.

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

Last edited by Adamus; April 22nd, 2013 at 02:27 PM.
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  #674 (permalink)
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Hi Adamus, have you considered trying tick chart or range chart? It may be these days there's too much HFT front-running and causing too many spikes and overlapped bars on minute charts. Maybe a 377 or 1131 tick chart (originally CJBooth's settings) on the 6E could help filter a little of the noise to help gauge the price action, or something like this: RangeNoGap | NinjaTrader Bar Chart By RJay

Here's also an auto-trendline drawer if you'd like to take a look.
https://futures.io/elite-trading-journals/18117-crosswind-trading-journal-18.html#post291731

Just an idea. Nice to see your s/r lines indicator on your chart! I enjoy it very much myself. Thanks.


Last edited by Cloudy; April 22nd, 2013 at 07:17 PM.
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  #675 (permalink)
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Cloudy View Post
Hi Adamus, have you considered trying tick chart or range chart? It may be these days there's too much HFT front-running and causing too many spikes and overlapped bars on minute charts. Maybe a 377 or 1131 tick chart (originally CJBooth's settings) on the 6E could help filter a little of the noise to help gauge the price action, or something like this: RangeNoGap | NinjaTrader Bar Chart By RJay

Here's also an auto-trendline drawer if you'd like to take a look.
https://futures.io/elite-trading-journals/18117-crosswind-trading-journal-18.html#post291731

Just an idea. Nice to see your s/r lines indicator on your chart! I enjoy it very much myself. Thanks.

I guess I should investigate the non-time-based bar types, although I can't see myself going that route if I go any route except straight on. Thanks anyway. I've been thinking hard too about why I messed up so badly yesterday and to be brutal, it was pathetic and I don't think it had too much to do with the market, it was all me. I was like a World War 1 general - I kept sending the men over the top to their certain death in contravention of everything that I am trying to learn. One of the reasons was fatigue, but I am not going to use that as an excuse. I'm going to do my analysis and post it in a while - I was too disgusted with myself to do it last night.

You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.
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  #676 (permalink)
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Yesterday's trading disaster post-mortem

After posting results like I did yesterday it makes me wonder why I bother using a public forum for my journal. No-one loves you when you're down and out, and making it all public makes it all the more cringeful.

But when I went to bed last night and read further in the book I'm reading "Willpower" by Baumeister and Tierney, completely co-incidentally the chapter was all about people using public declarations of intent to fortify their willpower. That is essentially what my journal on futures.io (formerly BMT) is all about. I'm trying to get myself to stick to the plan by telling the world what I'm trying to do.

What they don't mention in the book is that failure is taboo, and like any taboo, once broken, it's gone. If you fail badly once and post that, then the journal is not going to have the same effect on your subconscious at keeping you on the straight and narrow. There's a way around that, you have to re-affirm your commitment, forgive yourself your sins and come back stronger - all publicly obviously - who else is going to listen? My family have zero understanding of what I do, my friends think I'm gambler and an addict - so it's got to be Big Mike Trading.

However just a further public commitment to stick to my guns is probably not going to be enough, I sense. Psychologists refer to the problem as the "hot-cold empathy gap" - the inability during a cool rational peaceful moment to appreciate how we'll behave during the heat of passion and temptation, i.e. I can plan as much as I like, but I need to be able to execute it in the heat of the moment.

The way out of this - or the way around it - is to trade the 60 mins time-frame, which is my fall-back option if this problem can't be solved. But solve it I will. I have no valid reason I can think of to quit, except the lack of success so far.

So I have to find the way forward and establish a method to control this. What happened yesterday seems after the fact to be drunken trading. I missed out so many rules and procedures. I didn't reach my session time-out at -$400, I stopped at -$320 but that was a normal time constraint.

I hope I'll find more interesting and useful stuff from this Willpower book but in the meantime, I'm going to start tracking my "process performance", that is, how well I stick to the process in my trading plan. I'm going to draw up a checklist of process steps which need to be completed, firstly after each set-up (not just trade) but also for each trading day. I have a list of habits I want to form that I will do everyday which are designed to enhance my trading performance and I don't do them. Ever. Stupid or what? So I can chart them, a moving average for each. Say a 30 event MA for each, plotting how many of the last 30 trading days did I e.g. get to bed on time.

Same for process points for each set-up.

You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.
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  #677 (permalink)
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Those crazy neuroscientists

A bit of light relief after the gloom of my current trading disaster.


'Willpower' by Baumeister and Tierney
In setting rules for how to behave in the future, you're often in a calm, cool state, so you make unrealistic commitments. "It's really easy to agree to diet when you're not hungry," says Loewenstein, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University. And it's really easy to be sexually abstemious when you're not sexually aroused, as Loewenstein and Dan Ariely found by asking young heterosexual adult men some personal questions. If, say, they were attracted to a woman and she proposed a threesome with a man, would they do it? Could they imagine having sex with a woman who was forty years older? Could they ever be attracted to a twelve-year-old girl? To get a woman to have sex, would they falsely tell her they loved her? Would they keep trying after she said no? Would they try to get her drunk, or give her a drug to lower her resistance?

When the men answered these questions sitting by a comptuer in a laboratory - an eminently cold state - they honestly thought they would be quite unlikely ever to do any of those things. In another part of the experiment, however, the men were instructed to answer the questions while they were masturbating and in a state of high sexual arousal. In that hot state, they gave higher ratings to all those possibilities. What had seemed highly unlikely began to seem more within the realm of possibility. It was just an experiment, but it showed how the wilderness might find them out too [a reference to a previous chapter on Stanley in Africa]. Turn up the heat, and the unthinkable becomes surprisingly thinkable.

We've said that willpower is humans' greatest strength, but the best strategy is not to rely on it in all situations. Save it for emergencies. As Stanley discovered, there are mental tricks that enable you to conserve willpower for those moments when it's indispensable. Paradoxically, these techniques require willpower to impllement, but in the long run they leave you less depleted for those moments when it takes a strong core to survive.


You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.
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  #678 (permalink)
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Got this from Lance Beggs - straight from the horse's mouth.
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You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.
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2013-04-24 Wednesday sim trading session


The Tao of Al (Page 407, Reading Price Charts BBB)
18. If you find that you did not take a couple Emini trades in a row and
they worked, you are likely trading too large a position size. Switch to
trading 100 to 300 shares of SPY and swing for at least 20 to 50 cents.
Even though you won't get rich, at least you will make some money
and build your confidence.

Interesting thought that my position size is too big. Reducing it makes the commissions relatively bigger which is why I decided USD100K (2 x 50K) was good .... but can I handle it? Or could I do better with less? Even in sim?

Lesson Learnt Last Session
Tons, hopefully. Re-wrote my procedures manual which I print out on a set of postcards and have in front of me while trading. I also have a print-out with the list of steps I need to do before and during trades, which I will tick off if I did or cross if I didn't, and then chart as a moving average.

Goal today

Get back on the straight and narrow - the new straight and narrow

Risk Management

Account - sim: GBP 95,330
Position size: 2 x US$50K
Max risk per trade: $200
Daily time-out: -$400
Daily full stop: -$600

Session Details

Reduced session today because of extra time spent on getting my procedures manual in order


forexfactory.com
 
Code
09:00 	EUR 	High	German Ifo Business Climate
	EUR 	Low	Italian Retail Sales m/m
09:30 	GBP 	Med	BBA Mortgage Approvals
10:33 	EUR 	Low	German 30-y Bond Auction
11:00 	GBP 	Med	CBI Realized Sales
13:30 	USD 	High	Core Durable Goods Orders m/m
	USD 	Med	Durable Goods Orders m/m
14:00 	EUR 	Low	Belgium NBB Business Climate 
14:30 	USD 	Med	Treasury Sec Lew Speaks 					
15:30 	USD 	Med	Crude Oil Inventories

Higher Time-frame

Thanks to yesterday's bear day the recent consolidation looks all the more like a swing high leading us into bear trend.

Volatility

20 day volatility 109 (10 year max 287)
20 hour volatility 22 (10 year max 96)
daily is almost at year's high 119, but hourly is still well below Feb & Mar levels, sinking again.

Asian Session

Range 23 points, volatility 4 points, mostly sideways but ending up after a late rally, quite trending with chop and looked like it was trending lower until 06:00 when it rallied out of the last swing high.

London Session

Stopped the late Asian rally and went into chop for an hour, then sold off with some force into 09:00 but turned and rallied after that, leaving a big spike down behind. Some abrupt reversals and looking volatile, but not extending the trend, leaving it at the SMA50 or the swing high from yesterday PM and ranging for the rest of the day.

Trader State

Physical: OK
Mental: new resolution not to be sucked in
Fatigue: still not good - but will bear with it for now, take things slower or let them go
Motivation: Maintain the discipline to perform under pressure. You must have a perfectly clear head and understand fully what you do and how you do it. Battle wounds and memories of defeat are more valuable to you than the money.

Session Notes and Review

Nothing

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Today's Result

No trades

Equity still at £95,330

Lessons Learnt

In mid-range, best just to leave it.

You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.
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  #680 (permalink)
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Great thought-provoking posts these last few days @Adamus. Keep us posted after you've finished your Willpower book to let us know if it's worth reading. I heard an interesting podcast on willpower the other day as well: How Willpower Works | Stuff You Should Know: The Podcast. It is a fascinating subject and one that spans further than trading.

I also appreciate your post by Lance Beggs. So true. These sideways ranges really screw up support and resistance.

As far as fatigue is concerned, I hear you there. As you know, I've struggled with insomnia for years and finally kicked a 10-year ambien habit. In my estimation, it's all about getting to bed on time and staying consistent. Even on the weekend, I try to never stray more than 1 hour from my weekday bedtime and I find the closer I stick to it the better. As well, alcohol near bedtime messes with my sleep. It's fine for me to drink earlier, as long as I'm sober when I go to bed. That makes for a boring night life on the weekends but what can you do.

Keep on fighting the good fight!

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