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

  #811 (permalink)
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Thinking about this post again after looking at the day's chart after my setup 7 earlier.

Question is, I figured it would go up again but the move would have taken out my stop where I considered putting it. Is that because my stops are just too close or is it just 50% of all the situations I see like this work out that way?

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Last edited by Adamus; November 14th, 2013 at 03:18 AM.
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  #812 (permalink)
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2013-11-14 Thursday early session


Al Brooks, Reading Price Charts BBB
37. Discipline is the single most important characteristic of winning
traders. Trading is easy to understand but difficult to do. It is very
difficult to follow simple rules, and even occasional self-indulgences
can be the difference between success and failure. Everyone can be
as mentally tough as Tiger Woods for one shot, but few can be that
tough for an entire round, and then be that way for a round every day
of their lives. Everyone knows what mental toughness and discipline
are, and everyone is mentally tough and disciplined in some activities
every day, but few truly appreciate just how extreme and unrelenting
you have to be to be a great trader. Develop the discipline to take only
the best trades.

Can't put it more unambiguously. A corollary to that is:


James B. Rogers in 'Market Wizards'
Wait until there is money sitting there in the corner, and then just go over and pick it up. Don't waste time trying to trade, trade for no other reason than the occurence of an opportunity.


forexfactory.com
 
Code
00:00 	USD 	H	Fed Chairman Bernanke Speaks 					
06:30 	EUR 	M	French Prelim GDP q/q
07:00 	EUR 	M	German Prelim GDP q/q
07:45 	EUR 	M	French Prelim Non-Farm Payrolls q/q
	EUR 	L	French CPI m/m
09:00 	EUR 	M	ECB Monthly Bulletin
	EUR 	M	Italian Prelim GDP q/q
09:30 	GBP 	H	Retail Sales m/m
10:00 	EUR 	M	Flash GDP q/q
AllDay 	EUR 	M	Eurogroup Meetings
13:30 	USD 	H	Trade Balance
	USD 	H	Unemployment Claims
	USD 	M	Prelim Nonfarm Productivity q/q
	USD 	M	Prelim Unit Labor Costs q/q
15:00 	USD 	H	Fed Chairperson-Designate Yellen Testifies
15:30 	USD 	L	Natural Gas Storage
16:00 	USD 	M	Crude Oil Inventories
18:01 	USD 	L	30-y Bond Auction
18:45 	GBP 	M	MPC Member Miles Speaks

Position size: 2 x US$50K
Max risk per trade: 10 points (both parts) / 1% real money account size
Daily time-out: -20 points
Daily full stop: -40 points
Physical state: OK
Mental: better than yesterday
Fatigue: still the same, probably worse since didn't sleep well
Higher Time-frame: Same bias as yesterday, for consolidation with a bullish tendency. There's a great trend line under the last 4 days putting a floor on the day at around 1.3420 and rising. That's a long way from where it is now though.
20 day volatility: (10 year max 287) 91
20 hour volatility: (10 year max 96) 21.5
Asian Session: 33 point range, 3.75 points ATR. Bearish and quite choppy.
Pre-Session Summary: Difficult to say what the bias is. A range day with bearish bias after yesterday's bullish performance and the trend line building so far below - probably best to be bearish / ranging biased into the news at 13:30 and then see what unfolds.
Pre-Session Psych Issues: Getting a better grip on the idea of initial stops now, to neutralise the pain when the market cycles in the other direction towards the stops after entering on a show of strength in the direction of bias. Still combating the useless chit-chat of what-ifs, replacing it with definitive opportunity seeking. Still unknown problems with second trades after the mind-altering effects of the first trade.

Session Review

The opening action at setup 1 was slow and choppy, I tried placing an entry stop to short it a couple of times but pulled them when the PA didn't behave as expected. It did slowly look more and more bearish but those bull surges were unsettling so I didn't have a stop in position when the ultimate move down came. It didn't really break-out at all in the end, it just trended through the level from 5 points higher. I put some interesting PA in directly on the level, but it confused rather than helped.

The push down to 1.3450 was smooth but didn't hit, and bounced instead, then consolidated. Being bullish on that with the resistance immediately above, it wasn't good - no setup there. The following strong push back up into the Asian range left me pretty bullish though and I tried once after 4 candles for setup 2. There wasn't a trigger, just a higher low and a push up. Just not bullish enough. Swayed by FOMO thinking it was going to push up hard like the 8:03 candle, overestimated the bullish strength.

Probably should be waiting for triggers on these days. I was hoping for a swift resumption of the trend. Of course I'm always hoping for a great 15 candle in my direction. I put the stop at '61, 8 points below the entry and clear of the level. But it went nowhere and the PA started to look bearish so I bailed.

Then I slipped back into chit-chat mode. Stupido.

Without cautiousness of the first trade, I was opened up like a clam and unprotected. After the first trade was over, I had to take care of a distraction and when I came back, instead of going through the prep and mind-reset that I need after a trade, I just got straight back to watching the market - the unstructured chit-chat returned. Then I got hustled by a quick push up and ended up trapped, entering at a candle high in a panic / delerium. Argh. So many mistakes - I placed a trade based on nothing except the last two candles, and even one of them was suspect. I disregarded about 5 carefully thought-out rules. Not in sim either - cost a good 4 points of real cash. Maybe the real money loss will be a better lesson. Don't step out of your armour, and make sure you know how to recognise it when you do, so you can put it back on.

This is where higher time-frame traders have the advantage. Plenty of time to check they're doing the right thing. I've got a 3-min bell ringing summoning my attention back to the chart. Hopefully the sting here will change my attitude. Watch here for repeat mistakes.

I'm posting this now to gain closure. The session is finished. The rest of the trading day is a new session. I don't want the feeling I have to regain the losses, I want my subconscious to know those 2 losses are done and dusted, written in the book.

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PS and right after posting those great quotes too

Next trade

After 10:00am once I got settled again the market sold off and looked like making it all the way to the 60-min chart trendline. I failed to get in on any of the pull-backs on the way (around 3), they weren't offering the signals I wanted.

Then without much chop or resistance, it put in a down-up pair and reversed, not providing any opportunities for a setup, since it was way too much like a pull-back and didn't give much clue about its strength. It got up to the 60-min SMA-50 and put in a good impression of a break-out failure there as it pushed over the line at 1.3442, and failed at a second attempt 10 mins later, putting in a good push down for setup 4.

I can see I was a lot more cautious, I didn't put in the entry stop until the next candle - I guess that should be 'overcautious'. I had the entry stop below the last swing low and below the SMA-20 too. Only 1.5 points further so I can excuse myself that slight indulgence.

The market then pulled back a bit. I had my stops above the entry candle at 1.3443 so I had 9 points of risk. I was satisfied enough seeing the stop line as my baseline, rather than my entry point - it would be cool if Ninja let you remove the entry line - don't need it, just evokes useless worry seeing the trade in the red, and it's better for position management when I think about the trade neutrally. I can flip my bias and consider how it looks from the opposite bias, would it be more in favour of the opposite bias now, etc.

The market then went nowhere and started pushing up, so I pulled in my stop and bailed. I could have bailed at the close of the 13:03 candle at 1.3438 but I wanted to be sure I wasn't chicken, I put the stops above the candle and the market then tore its way up thro 'em leaving me glad I was out - momentarily since it then retraced back down but I kept my gun in its holster this time.

I was expecting volatility. I figured it would go my way which it didn't obviously, so I guess I'm glad I didn't get more than a tick slippage.

Then the unemployment news hit so I had to sit out that volatility, which was nothing compared to last week's. The jump up went straight through the '50 level and made like it was doing a big break-out but one touch of the Asian low was enough to cause it to dump. I'd been bullish ready for more rally, but the signs and triggers weren't there.

I figured a move below the '50 level counted as a break-out failure for this setup (5), even though it's actually touched two levels during the process. I targetted 1.3435, although I could have aimed at a new low for the day. I wasn't sure where the congestion from 12:00 til 13:00 around 1.3440 would build support. Looks like 1.3440 was right! I put the initial stops at the top of the entry candle ready for some sharp retraces but it went down fortunately. After it was held up by two candles around the 60-min SMA-50, I figured it might be all I would get and pulled the stops down a bit to a point just over the SMA. I was in 2 minds about bailing on the close of a bad candle or leaving it to hit the stops, but the market decided quicker than I did.

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Last edited by Adamus; November 14th, 2013 at 10:55 AM.
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  #813 (permalink)
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Ninjatrader is currently belly-up so while trying different ways of getting it going I've also got more to add to yesterday's review.

Lessons Learnt

First thing is trading is a bit like bomb disposal - you have to wear a ton of body armour. You take the padding and kevlar off, and you get ripped to shreds. The metaphor is discipline in trading = body armour for bomb disposal. The problem with trading is, you don't necessarily know when your body armour is missing. You put it on by going through the psych routines like top class athletes do. You rehearse the moves. You review past performance. Etc etc. So after every trade now I'm going to write a trade review. If booking profits or losses will change my risk awareness, then I need to stop and prepare again. I'll put it in my trading plan that every trade - win, loss or b/e - has to be reviewed in writing and chart mark-up.

I already have a quick psych prep routine that I should do when i have taken a break or been distracted. That's got to be implemented with rigor - I don't know how much a disturbance or a break is going to put my head out of trading mode. As I said above, you can't tell unless you have some sort of brain wave monitor. So every break from trading, where my thoughts of trading get interrupted - afterwards I do a psych-up.

The other mistake I made this session was going short mid-range. I'd identified a bullish bias for the day, OK it looked wrong after the sell-off but for the midday trade, the trend had turned around in the middle of nowhere between my S/R levels. Should have really heeded what I quoted from Al Brooks. Too keen to trade, overlooking important info like this (unconsciously or subconsciously?). Same applies for the last trade - in that situation I know I am being influenced by the info on Cashish's thread, in violation of psych. rule no 3 - trade your own plan, not anybody else's. Stick to it religiously! New stuff should be investigated and assimilated or rejected ASAP and I haven't got round to doing that yet.

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Adamus View Post
Ninjatrader is currently belly-up so while trying different ways of getting it going I've also got more to add to yesterday's review.

Quickest first spanner is to just delete the '_Workspaces' xml file from out of the Documents/NinjaTrader 7/workspaces folder. Just opens up with the ControlCenter alone and can then try manually opening any of your workspaces to start finding the enemy.

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  #815 (permalink)
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Quickest first spanner is to just delete the '_Workspaces' xml file from out of the Documents/NinjaTrader 7/workspaces folder. Just opens up with the ControlCenter alone and can then try manually opening any of your workspaces to start finding the enemy.

Thanks. It keels over when I connect to Interactive Brokers though. So I can get it up and running with the workspace, no problem, but then making the connection causes it to freeze.

I think I will do what you say from now on anyway everyday. I already delete the db cache so it's not hassle to delete the xml file too.

And now I'll make up my workspace as I want it and save it as a backup, so that I have a fresh copy of it that Ninja hasn't saved tons of changes to everyday when I close.



Done it. Now I'll stick with a start-up routine to copy backup files and to delete all these config and cache files for the program before I launch it! Good design, I don't think so

Hopefully in future it won't have so many problems and when it does I will be able to fix them in 10 mins.

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

Last edited by Adamus; November 15th, 2013 at 08:54 AM.
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  #816 (permalink)
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I'm going to stick this up here so I don't forget about it - @davesmith made me aware yesterday's sell-off found support right at an area of consolidation before the big volatility hit on Wednesday.

My S/R indy had the level in there, but had cancelled it due to the PA in the consolidation zone pushing down past it. The indy put in a new lower support level, and that too got invalidated as the big volatility pushed candles down and back up past it.

So why did the market reverse at 1.3418 yesterday? Why not 1.3410 where that big trend line is? There was nothing else in-between 1.3440 (the 60-min SMA50) and 1.3410 or even 1.3400 if you don't do trend lines.

Co-incidence, an outlier, or clearly a valid level still from that consolidation?

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  #817 (permalink)
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2013-11-15 Friday late session


Al Brooks, Reading Price Charts BBB
37. Discipline is the single most important characteristic of winning
traders. Trading is easy to understand but difficult to do. It is very
difficult to follow simple rules, and even occasional self-indulgences
can be the difference between success and failure. Everyone can be
as mentally tough as Tiger Woods for one shot, but few can be that
tough for an entire round, and then be that way for a round every day
of their lives. Everyone knows what mental toughness and discipline
are, and everyone is mentally tough and disciplined in some activities
every day, but few truly appreciate just how extreme and unrelenting
you have to be to be a great trader. Develop the discipline to take only
the best trades.

38. The second-most-important trait of great traders is the ability to do
nothing for hours at a time. Don't succumb to boredom and let it convince
you that it's been too long since the last trade.

39. Work on increasing your position size rather than on the number of
trades or the variety of setups that you use. You only need to make one
point in the Eminis a day to do well (100 contracts at 1 point a day is
seven figures a year).

Had to have those 3 together - put the one from yesterday in there too. Hopefully I won't let myself ignore them again.


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Code
09:00 	EUR 	L	Italian Trade Balance
10:00 	EUR 	M	CPI y/y
	EUR 	M	Core CPI y/y
AllDay 	EUR 	M	ECOFIN Meetings
13:30 	USD 	M	Empire State Manufacturing Index
	USD 	M	Import Prices m/m
14:15 	USD 	M	Capacity Utilization Rate
	USD 	M	Industrial Production m/m
15:00 	USD 	L	Wholesale Inventories m/m

Position size: 2 x US$50K
Max risk per trade: 10 points (both parts) / 1% real money account size
Daily time-out: -20 points
Daily full stop: -40 points
Physical state: OK.
Mental: death by Ninja. Frustrated but got it over with by coming up with a way of dealing with it better in future
Fatigue: OK. Accidentally forgot to set my alarm so woke up at 7 instead of 5:30.
Higher Time-frame: with no news events I guess it's likely to post an inside bar on the weekly. The daily has got me. I don't know what to think about that - slightly bearish but mostly ???s. The 60-min gives me the impression the bulls are taking a break, with that late swing high yesterday being lower than the earlier. Hazarding a wild guess, I'd say we're in for more consolidation and then next week it can have a crack at breaking that 60-min trend line.
20 day volatility: (10 year max 287) 91
20 hour volatility: (10 year max 96) 22
Asian Session: 19 point range, 2.75 points ATR. Slightly bearish with interesting early action not able to push higher.
London Session: 30.5 point range, 4.25 points ATR. Small enough Asian range that it could be reversed practically 4 times before breaking out. Not exactly pinpoint accurate PA though with the levels, always falling short. Good sign of more ranging to come. Setups half tricky, could be much worse.
Pre-Session Summary: Going to bank on a range day, not much bullishness anymore, a prominent trend line in the way of bearish moves.
Pre-Session Psych Issues: probably a no-trade day, starting so late because of Ninja issues and having to stop at 2:00pm, also still digested the encyclopedia of info yesterday's experiences threw at me, thus no doubt risk-levels stuck on ultra-cautious. Watch this space to see me prove the opposite

Session Review

Only managed to start at 12:30 and the price action around the Asian high was not inspiring. Couldn't get anything from my setup 1 at the break-out failure at 13:15 with a monster 3rd candle like that. I'll only take entries after the third candle closes - keeps me from being stupid while I still can't 100% control the hotwire between price surges and my subconscious.

So despite the monster red candle, the market then bounced short of what I was expecting and broke out again upward for setup 2. It's debatable whether this break-out at 13:40 is a valid setup or qualifies as chasing. The bulls posted an 8.5 point candle from above the level which I figured meant bye-bye but it then pulled back. Problems implementing my rules here - either I ignore it (which I did) or to satisfy my appetite for putting valid setups on the record, I define the big 8.5 point candle as my setup's definition bar, which tells me the momentum is about to kick off.

The problem is, that is momentum already. That surge is what I want to catch. Part of that surge is the order flow from shorts exiting their positions in a rush to get out.

Something else was going on here as well though, judging from the subsequent swift push all the way up.

So I answered my own question. A big candle that surges up for 8.5 ticks means hasta la vista setup. Definition bars that betray the start of a bit of momentum and can lead to trapped traders bailing out in a rush are small enough to give scope for putting my stop order in and catching the move. Guess I need to verify this in the historical charts to satisfy myself. Classic Lance Beggs though.

The move up threatened to be just a fly-past without any break-out at setup 3 at yesterday's high. Generally speaking though you don't get this close to a round number without actually touching it so I was quite bullish despite the fact that 3 candles failed to get any closer to breaking out. The candle lows gots higher and higher.

I had to double check the R:R on the trade with the targets at 1.3496 and the stop under the entry bar but it was all OK. Just a scalp though, no 30 points on offer. I debated putting the targets right on the resistance level border but I'm playing strictly by the book, so 1.5 points under the level they went. I actually got positive slippage on it.

I was seriously cautious all day and I could have lowered my entry stop into the setup action but instead I left it at 1.3491 and got swept into the trade. I didn't have to think about managing the position much except to decide to put both targets together since I'm not counting on this qualifying as a trend day.

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Last edited by Adamus; November 15th, 2013 at 08:21 PM.
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Trying different chart mark-ups

Credit to @Bacon for the colour scheme

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2013-11-19 Tuesday late EU/early US session


Tom Baldwin, Market Wizards
Make your own luck. You work hard, put in the time and effort, and you get lucky.


forexfactory.com
 
Code
02:00 	CNY 	L	Foreign Direct Investment ytd/y
10:00 	EUR 	H	German ZEW Economic Sentiment
	EUR 	M	ZEW Economic Sentiment
10:34 	GBP 	L	10-y Bond Auction
13:30 	USD 	M	Employment Cost Index q/q
13:45 	USD 	M	Treasury Sec Lew Speaks
15:00 	USD 	M	FOMC Member Dudley Speaks
19:15 	USD 	M	FOMC Member Evans Speaks
20:00 	USD 	L	President Obama Speaks

Position size: 2 x US$50K
Max risk per trade: 10 points (both parts) / 1% real money account size
Daily time-out: -20 points
Daily full stop: -40 points
Physical state: Good
Mental: OK
Fatigue: Some, seems OK. Sleep overnight was good, but sleep debt isn't so quickly paid off
Higher Time-frame: Boringly the weekly inside bar is already broken upwards. The daily only just failed to put in a trend bar, closing at Friday's high, still adhering to the rising trend channel floor. We now have a resistance level from the swing high before the ECB rate change event of Nov 7th (and the '50 level). But this morning's action already put in a big spike up to yesterday's high and no further, and fell back considerably so that might be it for the upside today.
20 day volatility: (10 year max 287) 88.5
20 hour volatility: (10 year max 96) 14.2
Asian Session: 25 point range, 2.6 points ATR. Quite a lot of good action, tendency bullish.
EU Session: initial push up at 6:30 ran quickly into resistance and stalled for a whole hour before bursting upwards again to beat yesterday's high and quickly retrace, completely reversing the Asian session and then rotating around '00 with extra chop.
Pre-Session Summary: Immediate bearish bias for the first hour but bullish for session. No special news though.
Pre-Session Psych Issues: Working on not trading, and using the time not in trades to practice not babbling away to myself excited. Trying to locate and sever the hotwire to my brain that receives a big pulse whenever I see a candle push up three consecutive points (I think it's 3 - that's 6 ticks in forex - might be even less )

Session Review

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Marking up the charts seems to take a bit longer than just writing down notes. I love the colours but if I can't get quicker at it, I'll have to ditch the idea.

Didn't pull the trigger on any trades today. Had a lot of stuff to take care of this morning and surprised how late I was starting, then never managed to get into it. Taking only the best setups is a great-sounding approach but if the end result is just sitting there watching the whole day go by like water under a bridge, then I'm just using it as an excuse not to do anything stressful like actually trade.

The one thing that I'd love to have is a library of all the setups from the past year so I could just go back over them looking for whatever info i needed. At this point right now, I need to work out what exactly the best setups actually are.

For instance, the main setup I should have taken today:

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I was looking at that 3-min signal candle at 15:12 that retraced to the '00 level which had just repelled the BO, and I thought, that candle should be green if it was an A1 perfect setup. It only needed 3 ticks and it would be a hammer and I'd go long. Slight difference between a perfect setup and an A1 setup. So the trading wizards say on the one hand, only take the best setups but on the other hand then say stuff like "Everything that you see is in a gray fog. Nothing is perfectly clear. Close is close enough. If something looks like a reliable pattern, it will likely trade like a reliable pattern."

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Last edited by Adamus; November 20th, 2013 at 08:41 AM.
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2013-11-20 Wednesday late European / early US session



Dr Van K Tharp, Market Wizards
Own your problems. If you do not own your problems, and embrace them, you cannot do anything to solve them next time they happen. Problem solving is a process - you made a decision at some point that made those results. Determine what that choice point was, which decision it was that lead to the problem, and then when you encounter a similar choice point in the future, you will change the results you get.


forexfactory.com
 
Code
00:00 	USD 	H	Fed Chairman Bernanke Speaks
02:00 	CNY 	L	CB Leading Index m/m
07:00 	EUR 	M	German PPI m/m
09:30 	GBP 	H	MPC Asset Purchase Facility Votes
	GBP 	H	MPC Official Bank Rate Votes
10:20 	GBP 	M	MPC Member Dale Speaks
13:30 	USD 	H	Core CPI m/m
	USD 	H	Core Retail Sales m/m
	USD 	H	Retail Sales m/m
	USD 	M	CPI m/m
15:00 	USD 	H	Existing Home Sales
	USD 	M	Business Inventories m/m
	USD 	M	FOMC Member Dudley Speaks
15:30 	USD 	M	Crude Oil Inventories
17:10 	USD 	M	FOMC Member Bullard Speaks
18:30 	GBP 	M	MPC Member Weale Speaks
19:00 	USD 	H	FOMC Meeting Minutes

Position size: 2 x US$50K
Max risk per trade: 10 points (both parts) / 1% real money account size
Daily time-out: -20 points
Daily full stop: -40 points
Physical state: Fine, hungry again.
Mental: OK.
Fatigue: OK.
Higher Time-frame: Same as yesterday. Bullish weekly chart, bullish daily chart, except for the fact that today looks like a decidedly bearish shooting star at this point in time, and bullish hourly chart with the market now reaching the lower bound of the up trend channel
20 day volatility: (10 year max 287) 87
20 hour volatility: (10 year max 96) 17.3
Asian Session: Bernanke must have given out a briefing before he got up to make his speech at midnight. Whatever. 45 point range, 4.5 point volatility. Bearish considering it retraced back to where it started from.
EU Session: 28 point range, 3.5 points ATR, not much going on with the 2 US news events later. No easy setups appeared, although the action at 9:30am looks interesting but doesn't really fit a setup. The turn-around at 10:00am at the 60-min SMA50 also looks obvious, although untradeable with bad R:R.
Pre-Session Summary: with the big Asian range, there's a lot of room to the upside for plenty more ranging action. A break below the big trend line would qualify it as a trend day, just in a new direction.
Pre-Session Psych Issues: Issue with judging the quality of a setup and whether to take it or not.

Session Review

Pretty convincing range day so far. Right into 13:00 the market touched the low of the day and then rotated back up to the double level of the Asian low and the EU opening range low just in time to allow the news event to causes all sorts of big candles that also went nowhere.

After that, the market put in a dubious looking break-out pull-back of this Asian low / opening low, and I had an order in there to go long just above the level but it never got hit since the first candle after 14:00 dropped down in a good impression of a break-out failure. Made me think I was dumb for being bullish, but then it too failed.

Price crossed over the opening range again, hit the ceiling, pulled back and looked good for a long. I actually foobarred the entry. Instead of using a stop as I should, I was getting a bit distracted (and thinking I could handle the distraction ) and used a market order. In hindsight I can't see why anymore since I wanted to enter if the market broke above the top of the stall on the 1-min chart, i.e. 1.3541'5 - ideal for a stop so what I was thinking I don't know. I hesitated and hit the enter market order key late, getting in at 1.3543.

Stops were automatically placed at 1.3533 and I pulled them right up. Then the break-out failed to trade higher and we got 5 mins of stall, at which point I should have exited at B/E - note to self: define exactly how many mins of stall is acceptable. Instead it dropped through my stops and cost me 3.5 points + comm. That's another 0.5 point slippage for the record.

Can't really fault the setup, just my execution. If I'd entered on a stop as per the plan, that would have been 1.3541'5 and the exit could have been a point higher easily, I would be looking at 0.5 points + comm. Such is the price of experience.

The ranging behaviour then continued, dropping back down to the Asian low level in time for the 15:00 US home starts data, listed as 'high impact' by forex factory but obviously today not causing much. The market then rotated choppily back up to the opening range high where we were before, and suddenly dropped out of the range, through the hourly trend line, through 1.3500 and pulled back before hitting 1.3450.

I'd hesitated to enter on the pull-back around yesterday's low, and missed it. Key psych point.

We then pulled back more slowly above 1.3450, rotating around the swings from Friday. I registered the 3-bar reversal pattern but disregarded it in a fervour to get in on another pull-back. In hindsight, I think I was working off some regret at missing the earlier pull-back - but I executed it the entry well and only lost 3 points + comm on the deal.

I could have bailed at the end of the 1-min candle before my actual exit but hesitated and hit the bail button at the same time as it hit my stop, so Ninja overfilled me and I then made 3 points on the move up before correcting the mess.

Basically it totally failed to drop out of the setup like the previous pull-back had done, instead hanging around too long. I'm going to go back and look at first pull-backs on big moves to see if there's a better way of trading the setup, with less risk. I want to see how big the upper tails on those bear candles get after it's made the entry candle. Vice versa for rallies. I'd like to be able to put in entries with 5 or 6 points risk max there rather than 10+.

The clock ticked on past 16:00 and into the late session where everything slows down but the volatility was still reasonable. As I came back to the screen, I saw price just moving down again over the main level here and breaking my quick trend line / triangle that I'd put on there. I'd figured the lower swing high meant there was more to come.

No surprises there, I hesitated at the key moment as the market had just retraced for a minute - 3 points up was enough to sow confusion in the ranks, and I missed the move.

The pull-back from 1.3450 looked good initially for another push down, so I was ready for it obediently following the plan with a short stop at '49 after 2 candles of pull-back. If the next candle had pushed down and stopped me in, that would have looked good for a smooth sell-off to the next level but it wasn't to be. I cancelled the entry when the candle failed to follow instructions. The next candle did carry on down a bit, but that wasn't enough momentum for me and it confirmed that by reversing again.

In fact it put in a big bullish tail below, but then only climbed slowly, so I thought got ready for another push down. This time I foobarred right from the start and accidentally placed a limit order which got filled right away. Not doing too well today. I didn't hang around to consider what the trade's prospects were, I just bailed straight away and counted myself lucky it didn't cost me anything.


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Lessons Learnt

On the face of it, more dumb trades for 3 point losses. Behind the scenes, a growing realisation that actually trading might be great for getting experience, but actually it's not getting me very far. There is an off-screen emotional input here. Before I even call up the trading screen, I'm making decisions about how to spend my time and the winner is trading 9 times out of ten.

What I am de-prioritising for the benefit of gaining screen-time is all the research into past setups. I told myself this before and shame on me for letting it slip and doing nothing about it. If I had more knowledge of the setups I am meant to be able to master, I wouldn't be so nervous about taking them. That would have a knock-on effect of making me less prone to foobars, and less prone to the reactive babble that goes round my head driven on by every candle larger than the ATR.

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