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Catching Big Waves - a trader's journal of surfing the the markets
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Catching Big Waves - a trader's journal of surfing the the markets

  #1811 (permalink)
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The lower side of the flag channel may provide a retrace to the upside, and there are enough shorts in the market to fuel it. But I still don't really see anything right now stopping it from reaching support eventually. Maybe not today though. The easy trade was this morning.

 
  #1812 (permalink)
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Price did consolidate around the lower edge, and I noticed there was a prior high pivot at 103.10 that I had not marked on the 120 minute, but did turn the market. Going into the close feels iffy to me; I still see support lower than it made it, and I see resistance around 104.60, and what lies in between is not so clear to me right now.



I felt very strong about the shortside today, never took a single long over a relatively large string of entries and exits. I was short very early, dropped it 2x, at 105.20 and again at 105.27, first two entries were losers, when all the time I kept saying to myself to relax, wait, it's ok. I anticipated the break of 104.30 already, as of the time I first turned on the computer, but did not have the confidence to go for it without the market giving me more confirmation.

While I had the best day this week regarding net, it brought an unexpected feeling of failure. I did not relax, I did not trust myself. I did not allow my trade to be free.

I had a penny resting on top of the pig, trying to decide if I was going in again today (in which case anything is possible). I took a break, walked around, came back to my desk and was going to look for a closing trade. But we have someone clean our house on Thursdays, and while I was not looking she put the penny in the bank for me.

So, that's it, she's cut me off for the day.

Summary:

-12
-10
+5
+16
-16
+29
+15
+21
+2
+2
+29
-14
-8
+41
-8
+5
+8
0

All short trades. Net 105 ticks.

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  #1813 (permalink)
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One caveat; if I see 101.95 - 102.55, stopping volume, I might go long into 2-2:30 and risk the penny.


Second thought, I'm outta here for the day. It's sunny outside.


Last edited by GaryD; March 29th, 2012 at 02:32 PM.
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  #1814 (permalink)
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GaryD View Post
Price did consolidate around the lower edge, and I noticed there was a prior high pivot at 103.10 that I had not marked on the 120 minute, but did turn the market. Going into the close feels iffy to me; I still see support lower than it made it, and I see resistance around 104.60, and what lies in between is not so clear to me right now.



I felt very strong about the shortside today, never took a single long over a relatively large string of entries and exits. I was short very early, dropped it 2x, at 105.20 and again at 105.27, first two entries were losers, when all the time I kept saying to myself to relax, wait, it's ok. I anticipated the break of 104.30 already, as of the time I first turned on the computer, but did not have the confidence to go for it without the market giving me more confirmation.

While I had the best day this week regarding net, it brought an unexpected feeling of failure. I did not relax, I did not trust myself. I did not allow my trade to be free.

I had a penny resting on top of the pig, trying to decide if I was going in again today (in which case anything is possible). I took a break, walked around, came back to my desk and was going to look for a closing trade. But we have someone clean our house on Thursdays, and while I was not looking she put the penny in the bank for me.

So, that's it, she's cut me off for the day.

Summary:

-12
-10
+5
+16
-16
+29
+15
+21
+2
+2
+29
-14
-8
+41
-8
+5
+8
0

All short trades. Net 105 ticks.


Thats funny about the penny, dont kno the full story? i'll havta read on.

 
  #1815 (permalink)
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I took this photo last night before going to bed. I got more than one good laugh out of the image (actually after a few beers laughed pretty hard at it, or myself, or both).

But, at the same time, he looked so pitiful, longing for that penny so he could stand back up. And I realized I was responsible.

I let it lay there all day today until I shut down NT. More than once it kept me out of another trade, just because I was at a point where all was good; I had made enough to not only get the penny back in, but enough to erase yesterday's losses from my account balance.

I realize it seems weird to be putting so much emphasis on pennies in a plastic piggy bank, but it is amazing to me how useful of a tool that could turn out to be. I'm not thinking about the money, but I am thinking about the game.

Object: Keep the pig's feet down. Easy. No stress.

Well, yes it was a bit of pressure this morning, feeling guilty about my little friend's compromised position. That may require some adjustment as I go along. Possibly he gets back on his feet in the morning before I take the first trade. I'll figure it out as I go...



Yesterday was my first loss for some time. I got tricked into feeling it was not "fair" that I studied so long and then had my internet go out, only to come back up hours after I missed a trade I was watching for. It was not me I had revenge for, it was my equipment.

"If I lose on a trade, that is fair, but it's not fair to me to have a system failure. That should be against the rules "

That seemed to be roughly the thought process that ran in my subconscious yesterday. Yet, I would have never known it was there, had I not gotten the chance to prove it.

I decided some time ago that my trading is not a battle against other traders, nor is it me against the market. To win at trading, I must battle myself. I put a lot of effort into maintaining healthy relations with all of the beliefs and emotions that live inside me. But, despite all of that hard work, at no point am I ever completely immune to a sneak attack of some weakness that exists purely by the fact that I am human.

As much as I would like it to not be true, as much as I respect myself and my abilities, and while I honestly believe that I am, by far, my best ally... I am also the enemy.

Staying aware of that at all times is mandatory if I expect to trade at my best.

Ahhh I get it, had to read up from ur last post to get the penny & pig thing..thats actually pretty clever..distract ur self w/ the game.

I do that by rewarding myself w/ a cigar, it works...if I dont do well I wont have one..Im going out now to puff, have a good one....Bill

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  #1816 (permalink)
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The lower side of the flag channel may provide a retrace to the upside, and there are enough shorts in the market to fuel it. But I still don't really see anything right now stopping it from reaching support eventually. Maybe not today though. The easy trade was this morning.



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Support was reached today ahead of 2pm, and the 2pm buy in support would have been a good trade.

 
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One caveat; if I see 101.95 - 102.55, stopping volume, I might go long into 2-2:30 and risk the penny.


Second thought, I'm outta here for the day. It's sunny outside.


The planning of that long trade ahead of time was good. The risking the penny is a choice I can make. The trade would have proved to be another winner for the day... But I was afraid of myself and the "need" to keep going. Similar issue to trading size, but on the other end, when I get ahead I tend to back off. That comes from more days than I can remember of being ahead 40-50 ticks, then letting it all slip away before the trading day ended.

Overtrading, getting greedy, starting to feel like it is "easy" and I have nothing but wins ahead of me. Those things becomes expensive.

I had a day years ago where I was up for the day, then took it into the red, then back to where I originally had it earlier. But I added so many RTs that commisisons ate up all of the profits by the time I got back there. (I had days of 100 RTs back when I was learning to scalp. I grabbed at every little move) I was "up" for the day, but my account balance went down.

I have old memories of things I have done in the past that I sometimes question if I really have corrected, and when I get that feeling I walk, think about it, just make sure. I wanted to take another trade, but could not be completely sure why I wanted to, so I left the house to think about it.

Today's missed trades do not matter in the big picture. What matters to me is that when I do trade, I am not questioning myself. And when I do have questions, I am becoming a better trader by taking the time to sort that out instead of trading through it. After doing that for awhile, the issue usually goes away. If I trade through it, it may never leave.


Last edited by GaryD; March 30th, 2012 at 01:45 AM.
 
  #1818 (permalink)
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Sometimes I get thoughts that will not fall easily into words. Some realization, or breakthrough, or difference in understanding. Those moments can shift how I process information from that point forward, and thus have incredible significance. However, digesting the message enough to repeat it remains nearly impossible.

I just had one of those experiences, and logged on to my journal to document it, allow myself to read it again over the next few days.

But then I just sat here and could not even begin to describe what I was thinking. The theme was uncertainty, and how uncomfortable it can be. It seems as a species we are wired to desire some version of certainty. Trading does not cater to that very well.

The thought that I cannot seem to place now, maybe never, but I am still benefitting from, involved an acceptance of uncertainty and a new belief that certainty can be found inside of that.

I know, makes no sense.


This may be an example, but not perfect; I know that price goes up or down. Some may argue sideways, but eventually; Up / Down. Knowing that there are two possible outcomes, and combining countless experiences in various forms, a trader can get to where they will excel far beyond what can be computer backtested. Because while there is uncertainty, it is certain that it will go up or down. Allowing all experience signals to fire in the trade decision process, and assuming those signals were carefully shaped by repeated intentional selection, and if risk is managed effectively and is the result of the above; performance can exceed anything believed possible by anyone other than the traders themselves.

I was right. It made no sense. But I am only saying what I have witnessed. And I may be realizing it cannot be communicated, but possibly understood.

IF I traded at the widely accepted ratio of 1 contract per $10k, I would be on track for 65%+ per month, with a 7% max drawdown. Impossible? Possibly it is impossible, had I used such leverage would I be as relaxed? If not, my total experience factor says I would be lucky to not be down for the month.

But the only difference, possibly, or I am beginning to believe even, is not in the account balance but the mental balance.

I think this thought direction is coming from recent discussions of position size, both mine and others, including @iqgod and @researcher247.



EDIT: Technically, if the max leverage was $10k per contract, the performance numbers mentioned above could be cut in half (32% per month, 3.5% drawdown). While by far the majority of my trades involve a single contract, I have found recently that I am adding in more frequently than I have in the past year.

And, while on that topic, I just discovered today that this month the add-in/exchange entry had a win/loss roughly 20% greater than the original position, while maintaining the same average win and loss sizes, and the same max win/loss.


Last edited by GaryD; March 30th, 2012 at 01:43 AM. Reason: math adjustment
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  #1819 (permalink)
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Back to the concept of Darwinian, the rules of survival are species specific. Consider, which is the better hunter; the shark, the lion, or the eagle? To me it is not a fair comparison. Each operates in completely different environments with skill sets unique to them. But all survive, and quite often, dominate their little piece of the world.


But if any of them traded places in their environment, yet kept the same skills and physical makeup, quite possibly all would perish.


The trader I believe I want to be may not be the trader that has the best chance of survival. It all depends on my specific internal wiring, my environment, my experiences, my beliefs. What I may think is best for me may not be best.


For example, I wish I only traded 200 tick moves. Animals that hunt for sustenance might prefer only large kills. But being picky could also mean going hungry.


As my trading advances, I am seeing a place for all sizes of trades. The smaller moves provide the daily meal. The larger moves are a welcome bonus, but not the norm.


My frustration over the past few months about target size might actually be analogous to one species wishing they were the other. The grass is always greener.


But really, the only thing that matters, walk, swim or fly; can you survive?

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  #1820 (permalink)
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So many choices...The best zones are the two at the daily chart, but crude fell to major support before teh close yesterday and found the expected reaction, so the path to either daily zone has a lot of options, thus the line mayhem on the 6 range. The picture is far more clear at the top chart, and get more complicated as it goes down in scale.

I start nearly every day this way, and slowly eliminate lines as the day gives more information. Reaction or lack of, volume or no volume, consolidation or directional.


Last edited by GaryD; March 30th, 2012 at 09:51 AM.

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