EWY, went to non + boundary, but had sold earlier component calendar or two at a loss.
IWM, went to non + boundary.
Sold everything. went flat. If this was live, would have been much harder to sell positions due to the market makers (or now exchange computers). Would have to sell at an even worse loss.
Actually lost about 20k due to bad positions. The extra 6k was due to selling at bad bid/ask prices which you always give to the market makers when you close a position. That's why a big % of p/l graph is needed to even stay in profit or one ends up with bad sells only and a net loss.
Yes , of course gold will probably shoot up tomorrow and Friday now that I'm flat. hahaha. drives one mad.
Anything I learned?
Don't bet on gold (GLD) or oil (OIH) unless one know what they're doing. I was betting gold would stay sideways for a bit longer... timing off.
- the same advice from all option "gurus" and general free option advice. Try to sell before expiration week.
I could have accepted the smaller gains I had last week for the month. Now I pretty much lost the last two months gains instead.
-options is highly leveraged and still highly risky. During expiration week, the Delta and Gamma's were immense so any major move like what happened today and yesterday can still decimate an account.
- options like many detractors have said, can have leveraged higher gains for a while, then a blowup where initial capital and everything else can be lost.
- glad I didn't trade this way live even if I had enough funds to do so. I still have a lot to learn.
- when one thinks they made it in trading, the market will humble 10 more times down the road until one is convinced trading is impossible (or one becomes one of the 1% of the consistent winners or the other 4% who start "trading education/indicator rent-own/newsletters-signalservice" businesses. wgreenie's "making my millions" thread comes to mind) . It reminds me of tennis. How long can you stay in the top 10 pr 100 ,and for how many years?A champion can win a major and then never win a major again. Or comparing to a retail trader, how long can one play tennis professionally and still make a buck to make a living paying off living expenses and for how long? i.e. making it to the qualifiers of most tournaments or not. Getting some sort of paycheck every month. Maybe once in while, making it to the 4th round , then getting wiped off the court by Federer or Sampras, haha.
- who is winning in the markets long term(meaning mostly a month or two)? In the past I've tried plain calls and short puts, and covered calls and always lost money. I've tried newsletters, option spread newsletters , directional advice, directional stock play systems, and they've always lost money. Only the list sellers and educators were making money...off me and other "clients".
- CNBC news about markets is mostly speculation. But when they say most fund managers have lost money and are having trouble trading profitably this year. If that's true, I shouldn't feel that bad.But I get the sinking feeling there's really no consistently profitable way to trade with options or stocks. there's always going to be black swan , or mistakes in an ever changing market that decimates an account.
- Based on my feelings at the moment, I don't feel like continuing this journal since I feel like a loser and a fool right now. After a day or so, I may push myself to continue and try again.
A preliminary plan:
- only 1 or 2 positions as calendars and to adjust for the month. Do not hold past the end of the week before expiration week.
- most new positions , hold for 5-15% profit; Try to aim for maximum holding time 1 week. I haven't done a good job of that lately. But an option trader told me he does that and has done 700+ trades that way. (sounds like a "scalper" options trader, haha)
- maybe 1 or 2 positions with BWBs or modified iron condors.
Last edited by Cloudy; December 14th, 2011 at 12:49 PM.
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So I decide to start over on my paper ThinkOrSwim demo account at the default, $100k. My previous losses had brought my profit total back to 2k, so back to the beginning. At least I hadn't ended up negative.
I had started three new positions on Dec. 16th.
GLD , bwb
RUT , bwb
IWM , double calendar
On the 19th, sold GLD "gld_121911.jpg"
Later on adjusted IWM with another dbl calendar, with that big move to the upside. I was aiming to holding on shorter, but instead of 3 days, I had to hold IWM for 13 days.
Sloppy and I wasn't really watching everyday. A mistake of the average investor/options trader? I put on an FXE trade again and got killed. I was lazy and just put it on. I did not examine vegas nor even looked at the chart; the daily pa of the underlying itself over the past few months, nor checked the implied vs. historical volatility of the inside vs. outside month. Added another double calendar to adjust and try to salvage the p/l and it was a loser up to expiration as well. And I stupidly used the rest of my margin instead of just going flat and taking a smaller loss. Did not stick to my new fuzzy strategy of 60% max limit on adjustment use of total margin available with 30% initial position margin use.
Back to the beginning. Probably shouldn't have put on a trade at all if I was busy prioritizing on other things.
Maybe another trading "strategy" to take note of. Or secondary but necessary trading lessons to be reminded of until learned. Not trading when one isn't really into trading at the moment or time period. And also not to keep trying to trade a presently hard-to-trade instrument (calendars on FXE) out of ego to revenge trade said instrument only because of memories of previous losers of the same instrument. The act of picking which instruments to trade calendars on each month is critical to the overall trading strategy. I recall on CNBC they were asking a NYSE trader on the floor back in Dec. and he said he hadn't been back in the markets for months. Since the game is about losing less, i.e. being a "better" loser/ preserving capital i.e. money/loss management. And self-admission that the market isn't probably going to consistently reward a trader who doesn't do the work required to improve the odds when placing a trade just hoping to win continually by luck or circumstance.
FXE: - 9838
Last edited by Cloudy; January 26th, 2012 at 05:05 PM.
I haven't read the whole journal, so i apologize if i missed, but have you tried applied Al Brooks' methods and how did it work out for you? Did you apply certain strategies? like H1, H2 or moving average gaps? Just curious..
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Hi antichuka, np . My journal is practically starting over again. At the start of this journal, I started trying futures, day trading options on stocks, then finally just doing calendar spreads on some indexes. All on sim. I "gained" profits then lost it all, then did it again, then lost it all again. Which I've heard is common with most people who try to trade with regular option spreads. I have not journaled until now, live trades.
As for Brook's price action. I didn't do enough (probably none) analyzing the daily price action of the indexes I put calendars on. As for learning Al Brook's bpa, it turned my trading around. Before I read his book, I had no idea except trying to follow lagging indicators and bounces off of bollinger bands and some divergences. The things I look for the most using BPA are H2 entries, M2S or M2L, staying alert for 3 pushes, looking for breakout pullbacks, and a 2leg breakout of a wedge. And also good reversal bars especially off of bollinger bands or off a s/r level. I mainly scalp. I'm not used to holding on for measured moves or swings. The only swings I've tried are based on CJ Booth's 6E setups for more than 10 ticks and they're not working reliably anymore or only with a lot of heat and scares. I'm not comfortable with EMA gaps. I'm not comfortable with micro-channels. I'm still not sure how Al comes up with "always in long" or "always in short" in his live webinars based on how many bull bodies or bear bodies in the previous bars; it feels so vague and intuitive. Measured moves is also vague, maybe just based on Al's experienced intuition because they weren't really emphasized in the original book. I probably need to work on those bpa concepts I'm uncomfortable with.
I found I can't trade like Al exactly as he does on the 5 min ES waiting so long like he does, but using concepts of bpa helps greatly on other instruments and in combo with an indicator and/or MA method like Perry's or CJ Booth's 6E.
So now I'll be trying yet again. This time I'll start a futures journal as well. I am inspired by VinceVirgil's journal on the CL. However, I'm still new to CL so it's a gradual process. I use a 5min CL however my futures daytrading is mostly scalping. So I may only go for 4 ticks at a time. Letting a trade run at full or partial contracts is something I have yet to learn.
Options trades: no trades today. been lazy , probably demoralized about the whole options thing.
I would get to 25% sometimes even 50% , 75% in 6 months on sim, then lose half or all of it in a day or few with a few suddenly turned bad trades. Position option spreads is risky. It only just takes a black swan day where the overall market drops like a rock or shoots up and one's positions can be mostly destroyed just like that even after waiting weeks or months to let the positions mature.
About five years ago, I had doubled my sim account using risky short puts in 5 months, just to lose most of it in two days, when the market decided to turn a bend. Here's an example of a guy who traded big size single options and made a ton live, but now lost more than half of it within the last year.
+ 4.5 ticks on the CL this early morning. Then I got scared. Then practiced sim.
Then some trading on the YM today. I use a 5min YM and attempt to use a combo of BPA along with a few other ideas.
+6 ticks on YM.
Last edited by Cloudy; February 1st, 2012 at 07:19 AM.
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I made a mistake in starting to post live results yesterday. I'm not ready for it. I was having nightmares while sleeping and was frozen in today's session making mistakes. It was worrying about having to post my live trades today that got me scared to trade today. And when I pushed myself too, I was totally wrong in the next swing's direction for the most part.
I stopped trading live quick and did simu trading. And still did very poorly.
I must have ranged about 50 ticks in my simu trading. Overall gained 50 ticks and lost 52 ticks. in about 32 trades. I would make 4 ticks , 4ticks here and there and then get stopped out for 8 ticks in equal amounts. Sorry, I won't be posting live results again for now.
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Not great, but a little better overall than yesterday. I had two major losers. I revenge traded the opposite direction then held on. And I traded at a bad time. Probably trying to prove to myself I could trade other periods than the optimum periods. So basically I had a couple of two consecutive sets of losers which was demoralizing. At that point I'm thinking should I continue trading or "cut my losses". After the revenge trade, I kept going and stopped looking at my cumulative total for the day.
I didn't do as much quick scalping. Just trading based off the 5 min CL somewhat similar to VinceVirgil. Thanks to VinceVirgil' sharing and his journal with his interesting perspective from the finance industry. I would go for a 15 tick target if not scalping, then place initial stop at signal bar end, then moved to BE+1 if it went up 5 ticks. Then trailing up every 3 ticks or so. So I was trying to catch bigger moves than 5 ticks. So I got a couple, but also lost to bigger stopouts. Last trades was scaling in twice and doubling so not good trading there. That's where I should have stuck to my SL and looked for another entry scalp since I'm not a 15 min chart trader.
I very much liked Pandawarrior's post in the thread "Losers Anonymous". Thanks. Choices to think about. And the trader identity concept was new to me and it's still resonating with me and I'm still struggling with it psychologically. I also initially thought the title of the thread was comical in a way. https://futures.io/elite-circle/17085-losers-anonymous.html
(then asynchronous took over the thread introducing his self-made trading platform/app which was an impressive individual feat, even if kind of straying from the thread title..)
I still did live trades. But for now I will post the total live and sim. It just makes me feel less exposed and comfortable posting in this journal for now.
I will get back to options trading again (while also continuing journaling the daytrading). I guess I'm still putting it off for now. Reviewing my options "training material".
Last edited by Cloudy; February 3rd, 2012 at 01:09 AM.
A little better. Went back to scalping and more scaling in and shorter stops. As a result I usually don't get more ticks than 5 at a time on a good trade, and miss out on swings, but I try to scalp a re-entry.
+4 -2 +5 +4 +3 +1 +5 -1 +4 +4 = +27
I also used a 250 tick chart. I noticed comparing the 250 tick to the 5 min chart, there was an area where CL swung down that while it had a curved shape on the 5min, it uncannily looked straight sloped on the top of many bars on the 250 tick. Could this be an algo selling by HFT based on tick charts? Attached both charts.
And of course as I got this journal typed and my charts screencapped, Non-Farm Payroll news caused Crude to rocket up 100 ticks.
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Went on to do some scalping on the YM. Not very good trading this morning. Very tight range and choppy yet the volume is big. This is what Al Brooks calls when the "bulls and bears are in balance". He likes to think the "institutions" have orders on both sides pretty much equally. There was a failed bull breakout near the end of my session.
I mainly tried to scalp short at high of trading range and scalp long at low of trading range mainly looking at strength of candle bodies and wicks.
Al Brooks usually says the phrase "buy low, sell high, scalp" for tight trading ranges, if there are any opportunities.. I know he only goes for 4 ES ticks minimum, but I'm happy to go for 2 to 4 ticks on the YM.
I didn't perform good trading today again. I felt like I was doubling down too much rather than "advanced scaling in". I had heat for -15 ticks or so which I ignored my stop again gambling on the tight trading range for a swing back. So I ended up taking a bunch of +1 ticks overall after doubling down which is probably a terrible way to trade. Didn't trade at better times for the CL again. Missed the cleaner runs and delved right into trying to trade chop on YM too.
Had some regular winners, but I did too much doubling down past SL which if one failed could have wiped out most of my gains. I have a lot to work on on my trading plan and StopLoss "discipline". Also it could be I just don't know what I'm doing and have no real edge nor good entry method. Just "buy low, sell high, scalp" and hope for the best.. dartboard.
-1 +3 +4 +2 -10 -3 +9 +7 +5 +5 = +21
-2 +1 +3 +1 +3 +2 +5 -2 +1 +4 +1 = +17
Losing a lot to commissions and fees from too many trades too.
Last edited by Cloudy; February 6th, 2012 at 06:00 PM.