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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

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  #2621 (permalink)
 GaryD 
Orlando, Florida
 
Experience: None
Platform: shoes
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Posts: 6,462 since May 2011


GaryD View Post

I really do not understand the euro enough to trade it, but have watched it daily for roughly 3 years. The pattern today I could not name, but it looked like a blowout was coming. Buy it in the face of the headlines seems like madness...


GaryD View Post
To ignite that fire would require some news...


GaryD View Post
Tonight as I fight to keep my eyes open, the 6E is what I am watching. I do not know it's more intricate behavior, and can already see the charts for CL are not a direct hit. But I find it as entertaining as any show out there.


GaryD View Post



There


GaryD View Post
Oh no, my desktop crashed overnight.


GaryD View Post




Reading back through my journal, this has to be one of the lengthiest multiquotes. But I was pulling everything back together as I read, and the comment had to do with the series.

I don't trade the euro, yet that was my trade of the day. I came up with a plan, knew my trigger would be news, stared at it until after midnight, and back again at 6:30am, watching, thinking.

For whatever reason, news drove a huge burst of volume, it fit my "plan" (about a news driven event), and I was ready to enter. I went to my desktop, it was locked up.

Timing was critical on a trade like this. I had a plan for that too. I always have two machines running when I take a trade. I restarted the desktop, meanwhile watching for an entry on the laptop. The entry came, my desktop not quite there yet. I entered 2 contracts on the second machine, changed the "workspace" to trade management on that machine (typically for watching other markets and news), and went to work. (That is why two of the stop loss order looked different in the chart above).

When the desktop was ready, I took a 3rd contract (the single stop line), switched workspaces back to normal on the laptop to see what else was happening, and continued to manage the trade on the desktop. All the while, posting live in this journal. Intense. 5 minutes later, over.

Lucky, yes. Turned on me, yes. Insane to buy the euro, possibly. Not my best trade, maybe not even a good trade. But on 5 hours sleep, thinking back I felt pretty calm in the face of chaos. I knew in advance 1) why I would enter, 2) how I would exit, 3) that the odds were against it, 4) that timing was everything if I wanted the best chance of getting something out of it, 5) that I had alternate settings for crisis mode workspaces, 6) I had checked that my phone was up and broker number ready.

It was the start of the day, if I am going to have a loss, that is when I would prefer it.

Not so thrilled with the size of the move after so much study and anticipation. It was a longshot. What I saw that I liked, though, was a calm under fire, and preparedness came in handy. Very happy with the focus.

Next time, maybe, I'll pick something a little more sensible.

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  #2622 (permalink)
 GaryD 
Orlando, Florida
 
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Deucalion View Post
50/50 chance that this accelerates to the downside (DX to the upside), but no longer interesting (to me). Instead time for me to go back in my hole and see how things go from here. Cover all swing cars on QM this morning. The multiple car 3rd entry made a difference. 84 is still in the cards IMO.


Yes, I keep coming back to that number too.

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  #2623 (permalink)
 GaryD 
Orlando, Florida
 
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Posts: 6,462 since May 2011



Deucalion View Post
50/50 chance that this accelerates to the downside (DX to the upside), but no longer interesting (to me). Instead time for me to go back in my hole and see how things go from here. Cover all swing cars on QM this morning. The multiple car 3rd entry made a difference. 84 is still in the cards IMO.


Cool trade too.

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  #2624 (permalink)
 GaryD 
Orlando, Florida
 
Experience: None
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Posts: 6,462 since May 2011

I decided to fly to DC tomorrow. Just too rushed, and would only get there in time to get a hotel anyway. That means I will most likely miss the EIA, and even the entire day tomorrow. If I was going to choose a day to miss, I would have preferred Friday, but the client is not available.

Like it or not, I sometimes have to deal with the reality that I have other obligations besides trading. Maybe not so much in the near future. Although, the main account we had that is ending is sounding like it might be replaced with another account. We became "available", possibly, and we have been approached a little more aggressively to sort out our pricing differences. A part of me wants to secure the replacements account, even though the project size is about half the previous, yet the workload is about the same and the margins are based on percentage. Twice the work, or half the pay.

I isn't that I could not find more money. I had an inquiry recently from headhunter, about leaving the country... I have built work up in the past and know how. We still have other accounts, just not the main one. But I see myself hesitating to do it. Maybe sad to see the projects go, with my fingers crossed. Maybe I want the push. Maybe I need the push.

My concern about contract size is fading, not really a thought that much recently. Today I traded a market I do not know, and 3 contracts was a walk in the park. My belief that my daily goal is reasonable and, probable even, is taking hold. I am afraid of pushing myself too hard to trade, but what seems to be occuring is the pressure is resulting in my looking at trading differenty, and the pressure is not really presure to make money, as I would have thought. It is just normal pressure to find a trade that makes sense to me. The full time issue coupled with the increased size issue has sharpened my focus, to put it mildly. But, also my confidence.

I played with a spreadsheet over the weekend, finally locking in a daily goal, something I despised in the past. Today I know myself a lot better though, I know roughly what I accomplish on a consistent basis, I know what my weak areas are and I work on them. I decided trading 3-6 contracts, managing the risk, $1000 a day is not that difficult. I don't mean that it is easy, or guaranteed, or that I won't get nailed sometimes. But, trading with focus, 4 contracts, that is 25 ticks a day. I might start with 2 contracts, scalp one, find something worth 4... and mix the "how" with the feeling, scale up or down within limits that make sense, honor the max down...

My average daily win trading 1 contract over time is 47 ticks. I need half that in distance, and have several ways to get there. I will make mistakes, I will hit max down. I might even revenge trade once or twice. But overall, I am a far better trader than I ever have been up until now, and I am becoming better on a reguar basis. And, I really enjoy it. Maybe a love/hate enjoyment sometimes... it wears me out lately, because it is not as "casual", not just when I have time. I am pushing into fulltime regimen, and this keyboard is within my sight 16 hours a day sometimes. Not trading, but thinking about trading.

I am in the market an average of 10 minutes a day. What in the hell do I do with all those other hours? lol! I work. I study, I contemplate, I analyze, I read news...I try to find my weak spots and push my face into them. No hiding.

As uncomfortable as it was at the start, I now almost look forward to dragging my issues out here in this journal, making them known to the world. "These are my issues, and by accepting them, and dealing with them, I become a better trader", is almost what the act seems to state. With no remorse. Get them out there, look them in the eyes, admit that they scare me sometimes. So what? I'm not so afraid that I pretend they aren't there. I'm not so afraid that it bothers me to acknowledge them. I take them on head first.

I have referred to trading issues as "demons", a term another trader used years ago, and it seemed to fit. @iqgod met his. I told a friend I had met all mine by now. It's funny to me, maybe not to all.

Initially I was outnumbered by trading flaws. A war that seemed impossible to win. But today, I know without a doubt, there are far less than there were last year, or the year before... I am executing them, one by one.

The few that remain I may just decide to have a truce with. Let the "rules" provide the protection. Fear, greed, overconfidence, underconfidence. Maybe those are just part of being human.

I re-thought fear and greed recently, now accepting that I need to stay frightened to some degree. And greed, depends on the definition. If I did not want to make money, seriously, why the fuck would any of us trade? There is no greed in that? Of course there is, at least some definition of it. But, money pays the bills, money feeds the family, money provides security, money allows us to live a life that is different, if not better.

So that leaves two.

Overconfidence is probably the weaker of them, but sneaks up on me regardless. Underconfidence is really enemy #1. Where in the world did I find that one. I never lacked confidence in much of anything in the past, until I took a life-changing financial blow. Wounded, as I have thought of it. Add the fact that I traded miserably for the first few years, and it is not that hard to understand.

So, another post, another purposeful move to purge myself of anything that might still need to get out. Another page in a ridiculously long journal. And another step in the right direction.

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  #2625 (permalink)
 researcher247 
Chicago, IL
 
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Deucalion View Post
LOL...see...egg on my face.....covered at 89.67ish) this morning, and now she is at 200ticks lower in one session...make me look like a scaredy cat for covering too quickly...amateur. Covering at end of today would have been better, after she blew the stops

Wait a second.

You executed your initial entry, added on in a pre-planned manner and took final profits at a logical spot (according to your 'real-time' analysis)

OR

You pulled out early predicting/thinking that this was an intermediate-term bottom?

Question, if you anticipated future price movement to do ??? in an objective 'rule-based' manner (swingtrading plan)-- would you have done the same thing again?

Think on it some. Was there any reason (logical reason) to take those early profits based on either your pre-planned and real-time analysis or were you just taking the cents and running because it was enough for you?

Did you have a risk:reward profile on this trade for your 3 entries and did your final profit taking meet those minimum requirements?

Those are questions I would be asking myself before and during the large impulsive day down in CL.

I am a real prick though when it comes to my 'campaign' swingtrades; learned lessons many years ago--and I was glad to get that knowledge then.

peace

hedvig

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  #2626 (permalink)
 GaryD 
Orlando, Florida
 
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researcher247 View Post
I am a real prick though when it comes to my 'campaign' swingtrades; learned lessons many years ago--and I was glad to get that knowledge then.

Hedvig, can you give an example of that? Or two? Describe what went wrong.

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  #2627 (permalink)
 Deucalion 
Calgary, Canada
 
Experience: Intermediate
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researcher247 View Post
Wait a second.

You executed your initial entry, added on in a pre-planned manner and took final profits at a logical spot (according to your 'real-time' analysis)

OR

You pulled out early predicting/thinking that this was an intermediate-term bottom?

Question, if you anticipated future price movement to do ??? in an objective 'rule-based' manner (swingtrading plan)-- would you have done the same thing again?

Think on it some. Was there any reason (logical reason) to take those early profits based on either your pre-planned and real-time analysis or were you just taking the cents and running because it was enough for you?

Did you have a risk:reward profile on this trade for your 3 entries and did your final profit taking meet those minimum requirements?

Those are questions I would be asking myself before and during the large impulsive day down in CL.

I am a real prick though when it comes to my 'campaign' swingtrades; learned lessons many years ago--and I was glad to get that knowledge then.

peace

hedvig

I pulled early in anticipation of a pin bar on either DX or CL (neither of materialized). So technically, bad exit. However, I don't really feel bad about this swing trade at all (and that's because the 3rd entry with size was perfect in my book, it was the correct place and the correct size (tripled my size).

 
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  #2628 (permalink)
 GaryD 
Orlando, Florida
 
Experience: None
Platform: shoes
Trading: happy
 
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Posts: 6,462 since May 2011


Deucalion View Post
I pulled early in anticipation of a pin bar on either DX or CL (neither of materialized). So technically, bad exit. However, I don't really feel bad about this swing trade at all (and that's because the 3rd entry with size was perfect in my book, it was the correct place and the correct size (tripled my size).

D, that was a winning trade. And not 5 ticks. With the trend. ADDED, not averaged. If CL had run with that 6E burst, you would have been a genius. Right?

If you feel it, from experience and not emotion, there's the trade. Trying to engineer it is what we all do, despite how silly it is. If you felt "enough", some day, some trade, that will make the difference.

We don't have to be "right".

You were "wrong", you made money. Smile, and do it again. Perfection just gets in the way.

I went long the euro today. Who's the better trader? lol!!

You are.

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  #2629 (permalink)
 researcher247 
Chicago, IL
 
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GaryD View Post
Hedvig, can you give an example of that? Or two? Describe what went wrong.

--------------
Sure!

1) Getting emotional, you're doing it wrong!

Fictional but prescient 'GG' (Gordon Gekko--courtesy of Oliver Stone screenwriting said it best)--paraphrasing--NEVER get emotional about a stock {I extrapolate that to 'any' position--be it scalp or monthly chart long-term 5-8 month+ trade}.

2) Moving inital stop loss too quickly because one 'just cannot stand the ponderous--f'ing ponderous' nature of a trade that one has multiple positions on & it just won't move. Inside days, consolidations--a false breakout or two w/no follow through and because one may be 'worthless and weak' (psychologically)--you puke it out and go flat.

Wealthy traders have no use, no f'ing use for those 2 fatal flaws. And if they continue to make 'mental errors' in such a large time frame {at least a 12 hour+ timeframe up to daily or weekly or monthly timeframe} why are they wasting their precious time pissing away their edge by overthinking or over emoting?

3) Listening to others or media or ??? when locked in your trade. If you are a technical trader the question of fundamental/news 'what comes 1st chicken or egg (T.A or News) is a mute issue. There is no need for this potential minefield within one's mind when trading a swingtrading campaign; there is none.

I could go on for hours--but I am not going to.

I trust you get the idea.

These are my personal opinions of how to 'do it wrong.'

3-4 'swingtrading campaigns' can make one's year if done properly. Flipside is the losers are very small and you know you are wrong very quickly so you can then MOVE on to the next 'sniper' assignment.

peace

hedvig

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  #2630 (permalink)
 GaryD 
Orlando, Florida
 
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Trading: happy
 
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Posts: 6,462 since May 2011



researcher247 View Post
--------------
Sure!

1) Getting emotional, you're doing it wrong!

Fictional but prescient 'GG' (Gordon Gekko--courtesy of Oliver Stone screenwriting said it best)--paraphrasing--NEVER get emotional about a stock {I extrapolate that to 'any' position--be it scalp or monthly chart long-term 5-8 month+ trade}.

2) Moving inital stop loss too quickly because one 'just cannot stand the ponderous--f'ing ponderous' nature of a trade that one has multiple positions on & it just won't move. Inside days, consolidations--a false breakout or two w/no follow through and because one may be 'worthless and weak' (psychologically)--you puke it out and go flat.

Wealthy traders have no use, no f'ing use for those 2 fatal flaws. And if they continue to make 'mental errors' in such a large time frame {at least a 12 hour+ timeframe up to daily or weekly or monthly timeframe} why are they wasting their precious time pissing away their edge by overthinking or over emoting?

3) Listening to others or media or ??? when locked in your trade. If you are a technical trader the question of fundamental/news 'what comes 1st chicken or egg (T.A or News) is a mute issue. There is no need for this potential minefield within one's mind when trading a swingtrading campaign; there is none.

I could go on for hours--but I am not going to.

I trust you get the idea.

These are my personal opinions of how to 'do it wrong.'

3-4 'swingtrading campaigns' can make one's year if done properly. Flipside is the losers are very small and you know you are wrong very quickly so you can then MOVE on to the next 'sniper' assignment.

peace

hedvig

Yes.

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