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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

  #3471 (permalink)
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I was looking at charts and laughed at myself for the way I do things anymore. A few years ago if I was going to use an indicator, I would backtest the hell out of it, not hours, but weeks of testing and optimization.

I added three new indicators last week (two above). Ran about 30 minutes of backtests and then just threw them on a chart. I'll figure it out from there.

The concept of backtesting has it all wrong in my opinion. Let it tell me what it can't do so I don't put too much faith in it, find something that works sometimes, and then get to the point where the indicator makes sense to me.

So, I am watching three new indicators and two additional charts this week. And I am listening to what all of them have to say, similar to socializing at a big party. I may become friends with some, or not.

 
  #3472 (permalink)
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Meanwhile;

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I brought back a chart I used two years ago, but have changed it to be as basic as I can, and believe I could trade with this, a 1 minute volume, and a 120 minute chart, and forget everything else.

Price move in somewhat predictable patterns. When I align those patterns to the timeframe within which I am comfortable with the unknown, it becomes easier.

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  #3473 (permalink)
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I am rethinking resistance overhead. CL might have worked it's way through a corrective 5WM with a minimum 162 target at 88.35, OR, could complete a 100%app of W1 above the prior top, which coincides with the prior major low overhead. Until it clears 89.65 there is still a DT possibility in the way of a major W3.

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  #3474 (permalink)
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Even after the return to test it, I like this area as resistance.



Incredible down & up movement today.

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  #3475 (permalink)
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Despite having a good plan to short this morning, I had another case of missed opportunity as I am still pushing through three projects that have very tight delivery dates, and none of those projects seems to want to cooperate with my trading plan...

I had planned to then trade the afternoon session, but was just not sure what to think by that point, so I sat flat through 99% of the day. I got in and out of the market 7 times, but never would commit to any of them. Net was +11 ticks, max win 21 / max loss 8, but after commisions that is really close enough to zero. I am sure some trades would have come out better, as I never tried to fight direction, but I was not willing to find out for some reason. Missing my trade this morning I know has a lot to do with it. I have noticed that before, and possibly am even turning it into self-fulfilment by backing off from that point forward. I was prepared to press a short this morning, and when my time passed it seemed better to regroup?

I sat here saying to myself, "ES and CL are going to take out the HOD", but more from a viewpoint of sarcasm. Not that I did not believe it, I knew positively that I did not want to go short, and I believed entirely that it was going to be almost impossible to stop it from happening. But I did not have this scenario in my mind in advance. I seem to prefer to have a storyline mapped out the day or days or even weeks before. The trades I took were long...

I am glad that I knew the story had changed. There was no lack of flexibility in the area of inaction, only in the area of action, which perhaps was more caution than anything.

CL was not able to do much once it broke the high. Unless the zone overhead is broken, it still holds. A breakout higher should see some continuation, but trading a breakout before it breaks out...Not in this location anyway. The short term trend is up, but short stops are mostly blown already. And this is a return to a prior major low.


Last edited by GaryD; July 17th, 2012 at 09:07 PM.
 
  #3476 (permalink)
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I may be understanding something about trading that I did not get before. I have been going through a questioning of myself for months now regarding the logic behind, how does a trader scale up wihtout thinking about the money? Why scale up if it is not about money? And, how to keep the connection between scaling up and money from affecting my trade psychology.

I'm not saying I am there, but not saying I'm not... but at some point, the drive behind trading isn't money, at all. It is a way of life.

What I regret about all my financial losses of the past is not that I lost money. It is, that I lost a way of being, or maybe even, a way of feeling.

I was never intending to be an elitist, never even saw myself experiencing the level of succsess that I previously had. I just worked hard, did the right thing, and money just came. But somehow along that path I came to see myself as someone who had money. The reward for doing the right thing traded places with the goal of doing the right thing... and presto, my goal was money.

It sneaks in on you, starting as a sense of pride and accomplishment, and then makes it's presence more and more known as time passes... from the amount of money that had collected around me... in my bank accounts, lines of credit, financial statements... and also in the fact that other people who also had money were wanting to associate with me, banks were competing to loan to me, taking me to lunch, inviting me to vacations... Even simpler things, like how I viewed what was a reasonable car or house payment, or how much the dinner bill was at the types of restaurants we had become accustomed to... all started to shape the view of what my life was.

When I trade size my results are not worth doing yet. Something changes and I am no longer in touch with what the market is telling me. I don't want to listen when the stakes are raised, I just hope that I am right. Whlie in the 1-2 contract range, I almost never have a losing day. If I had one a week that would be high.

The good news is on trading one contract, I have focused on learning to expect 100-200 ticks a week. Yes I know, it nearly kills me that I know, that that amount is unusually high, and that just going to 5-10 contracts would be a huge change in value. HUGE. But at that moment, my focus becomes "how much can I make" as opposed to "how well can I trade". I have done meditations, visualizations, pep talks, deep breaths, mathematical studies... It does not matter as I am trying to make a change because, I think I want more money. But when I really think about it, with no one asking me "why?", I am not sure that I do want more money. I think what I want, is a certain feeling back.

I went through many rough times while making way more money than I needed. Money is not what brings happiness. Happiness is a state of mind. I have been nearly torturing myself at times to force myself to trade heavier, but for what?

I see my lack of ability to do that as a weakness, and believe that I should be able to work through that weakness with concentrated effort and discipline. And I should. But trading heavy also brings risk, and there comes a point where I have to ask myself, is making more worth risking more? My initial response is yes. But there is nothing really driving me to have more other than; I believe I should make more, because I believe I should want to make more, because I previously had more...

But really, deep down, maybe I don't believe any of that really matters anymore.

I enjoy trading. I hated it at first, I saw it as one of the hardest most frustrating pursuits and questioned my sanity for even continuing to put in 80 hours a week at it... but would not quit and knew that I could figure it out. I have figured it out, actually, in my own way. I know what works for me and what doesn't, I know how I interact and interpret, I know that I can trade profitably... as long as I am not concerned with how much...


I have these long talks with my wife, which sometimes she may not actually be listening, but lately I get the feeling she is listening more. She did not want to talk about trading. No one I know wants to. Maybe I don't even want to. But this past week as we were having drinks at a bar perched out on a pier jutting into the Atlantic, watching the real surfers do their thing, one guy with a longboard, probably 60+ years old, catching waves better than a lot of the kids... I told her trading was not really what I was talking about anyway. I was talking about life, and perception, and questioning my future, and wondering what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, how it felt to have had to start over, what happened to my sense of value?


I am good enough at reading a market today that I rarely have times where I just see chaos. I may not be looking at the market from the right perspective always, but I can also typically still understand what is happening as an alternate. The markets give me plenty of opportunities to feel validated about my analysis, and those are starting to accumulate and feel good. I knew when CL crossed a certain pont today, I think around 88.80 or so, that it was going to take out 89.30. I nearly knew.

I did not trade it, because of an issue I still have with missing a trade, but there was some deposit made to my self valuation account just by knowing not to short it until it did.

Sounds insane to type it, why not buy? The answer of the moment is, I felt no need to at that point. I feel better trading my plan for the day, and know I will have a better chance at reading things if I don't try to switch gears too quickly. Shifting fast enough to say "stop", but not "go", is still a win to me. Psychologically... And the not needing to be in is not a bad feeling.

How I got this far from where I started I don't know. Sometimes I just start to type and go with it.

Ther point is, I am about to go to trading full time, and am starting to see my reason for doing so may be different than what I always assumed it would be. And maybe even, better? I don't want money necessarily, I want something that I can be good at, do the right things and the money will come. That is how my mind works when you remove all the other things that seem like what I should want.

Pride in myself, peace with myself, confidence... Knowing I can pay the bills does not hurt, but I am not afraid of that.

First, I can make money if I trade at a size I am comfortable in. So what if it is less than what I thought I should make. And second, futures trading does not require that much size to make a decent amount, depending on the average swing size, and in a market where the ATR gives enough opportunity, relaxing can make more than leverage.

What I am afraid of is failing again, on a larger perspective. And I think that is the issue to scaling up. It is easier to fail. And so my fight-or-flight mechanism kicks in while I am in the trade, knowing that fact. And maybe it should kick in. I have been beat enough, maybe. OK, yes, I am scared of size right now. That will probably change though.

I bought a mountain bike when I was about 22, knew nothing about it, and went out with a guy who was an expert. I was clumsy, falling all over the place. He rode down things I said I would never consider. ( BTW he had lost his spleen in a bike accident). At the end of the ride as we were talking in the parking lot, loading back up, he said, "Don't look so hard at what you are going over right in front of you, you'll freeze up, it won't feel natural. Just keep your eyes focused futher down the path, think about controlling your speed, and you'll do much better". 10 years later I was leaving all my friends behind as I rode the toughest of the expert trails. One we called "The Vortex" that was designed to break your wrists... I loved that one.

If trading is what I am going to do for a living, there are years ahead of me, there is no requirement to ride the expert trails, or take the large risks. I need to just keep my eyes focused further down the path, control my speed, and have fun. Trade to a size where I ENJOY it. Who am I competing with anyway? Me? I know today, me against myself, I can probably win with less leverage. I feel happy and relaxed about it. Not so worried about what is right in front of me.

Quality versus quantity. Relaxation versus stress. Happiness versus...money.


Last edited by GaryD; July 17th, 2012 at 09:04 PM. Reason: typos
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  #3477 (permalink)
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GaryD View Post
I may be understanding something about trading that I did not get before. I have been going through a questioning of myself for months now regarding the logic behind, how does a trader scale up wihtout thinking about the money? Why scale up if it is not about money? And, how to keep the connection between scaling up and money from affecting my trade psychology.

I'm not saying I am there, but not saying I'm not... but at some point, the drive behind trading isn't money, at all. It is a way of life.

What I regret about all my financial losses of the past is not that I lost money. It is, that I lost a way of being, or maybe even, a way of feeling.

I was never intending to be an elitist, never even saw myself experiencing the level of succsess that I previousl had. I just worked hard, did the right thing, and money just came. But somehow along that path I came to see myself as someone who had money. The reward for doing the right thing traded places with the goal of doing the right thing... and presto, my goal was money.

It sneaks in on you, strating as a sense of pride and accomplishment, and then makes it's presence more and more known as time passes... from the amount of money that had collected around me... in my bank accounts, lines of credit, financial statements... and also in the fact that other people who also had money were wanting to associate with me, banks were competing to loan to me, taking me to lunch, inviting me to vacations... Even simpler things, like how I viewed what was a reasonable car or house payment, or how much the dinner bill was at the types of restaurants we had become accustomed to... all started to shape the view of what my life was.

When I trade size my results are not worth doing yet. Something changes and I am no longer in touch with what the market is telling me. I don't want to listen when the stakes are raised, I just hope that I am right. Whie in the 1-2 contract range, I almost never have a losing day. If I had one a week that would be high.

The good news is on trading one contract, I have focused on learning to expect 100-200 ticks a week. yes I know, it nearly kills me that I know, that that amount is unusually high, and that just going to 5-10 contracts would be a huge change in value. HUGE. But at that moment, my focus becomes how much can I make as opposed to how well can I trade. I have done meditations, visualizations, pep talks, deep breaths, mathematical studies... It does not matter as I am trying to make a change because I think I want more money. But when I think about it, with no one asking my "why?", I am not sure I do want more money. I think what I want is a certain feeling back.

I went through many rough times while making way more money than I needed. Money is not what brings happiness. Happiness is a state of mind. I have been nearly torturing myself at times to force myself to trade heavier, but for what?

I see my lack of ability to do that as a weakness, and believe that I should be able to work through that weakness with concentrated effort and discipline. And I should. But trading heavy also brings risk, and there comes a point where I have to ask myself is making more worth risking more. My initial response is yes. But there is nothing really driving me to have more other than I believe I should make more because I believe I should want to make more because I previously had more...

But really, deep down, maybe I don't believe any of that really matters anymore.

I enjoy trading. I hated it at first, I saw it as one of the hardest most frustrating pursuits and questioned my sanity for even continuing to put in 80 hours a week at it... but would not quit and knew that I could figure it out. I have figured it out, actually, in my own way. I know what works for me and what doesn't, I know how I interact and interpret, I know that I can trade profitably... as long as I am not concerend with how much...


I have these long talks with my wife, which sometimes she may not actually be listening, but lately I get the feeling she is listening more. She did not want to talk about trading. No one I know wants to. Maybe I don't even want to. But this past week as we were having drinks at a bar perched out on a pier jutting into the Atlantic, wacthing the real surfers do their thing, one guy with a longboard, probably 60+ years old, catching waves better than a lot of the kids... I told her trading was not really what I was talking about anyway. I was talking about life, and perception, and questioning my future, and wondering what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, how it felt to have had to start over, what happened to my sense of value?


I am good enough at reading a market today that I rarely have times where I just see chaos. I may not be looking at the market from the right perspective always, but I can also typically still understand what is happening as an alternate. The markets give me plenty of opportunities to feel validated about my analysis, and those are starting to acumulate and feel good. I knew when CL crossed a certain pont today, I think around 88.80 or so, that it was going to take out 89.30. I nearly knew.

I did not trade it, because of an issue I still have with missing a trade, but there was some deposit made to my self valuation account just by knowing not to short it until it did.

Sounds insane to type it, why not buy? The answer of the moment is, I felt no need to at that point. I feel better trading my plan for the day, and know I will have a better chance at reading things if I don't try to switch gears too quickly. Shifting fast enough to say "stop", but not "go", is still a win to me. Psychologically... And the not needing to be in is not a bad feeling.

How I got this far from where I started I don't know. Sometimes I just start to type and go with it.

Ther point is, I am about to go to trading full time, and am starting to see my reason for doing so may be different than what I always assumed it would be. And maybe even, better? I don't want money necessarily, I want something that I can be good at, do the right things and the money will come. That is how my mind works when you remove all the other things that seem like what I should want.

Pride in myself, peace with myself, confidence... Knowing I can pay the bills does not hurt, but I am not afraid of that.

First, I can make money if I trade at a size I am comfortable in. So what if it is less than what I thought I should make. And second, futures trading does not require that much size to make a decent amount, depending on the average swing size, and in a market where the ATR gives enough opportunity, relaxing can make more than leverage.

What I am afraid of is failing again, on a larger perspective. And I think that is the issue to scaling up. It is easier to fail. And so my fight-or-flight mechanism kicks in while I am in the trade, knowing that fact. And maybe it should kick in. I have been beat enough, maybe. OK, yes, I am scared of size right now. That will probably change though.

I bought a mountain bike when I was about 22, knew nothing about it, and went out with a guy who was an expert. I was clumsy, falling all over the place. He rode down things I said I would never consider. ( BTW he had lost his spleen in a bike accident). At the end of the ride as we were talking in the parking lot. loading back up, he said, "Don't look so hard at what you are going over right in front of you, you'll freeze up, it won't feel natural. Just keep your eyes focused futher down the path, think about controlling your speed, and you'll do much better". 10 years later I was leaving all my friends behind as I rode the toughest of the expert trails. One we called "The Vortex" that was designed to break your wrists... I loved that one.

If this is what I am going to do for a living, there are years ahead of me, there is no requirement to ride the expert trails, or take the large risks. I need to just keep my eyes focused further down the path, control my speed, and have fun. Trade to a size where I ENJOY it. Who am I competing with anyway? Me? I know today, me against myself, I can probably win with less leverage. I feel happy and relaxed about it. Not so worried about what is right in front of me.

Quality versus quantity. Relaxation versus stress. Happiness versus...money.

Well said....and very important...all of it.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
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  #3478 (permalink)
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GaryD View Post
I may be understanding something about trading that I did not get before. I have been going through a questioning of myself for months now regarding the logic behind, how does a trader scale up wihtout thinking about the money? Why scale up if it is not about money? And, how to keep the connection between scaling up and money from affecting my trade psychology.

I'm not saying I am there, but not saying I'm not... but at some point, the drive behind trading isn't money, at all. It is a way of life.

What I regret about all my financial losses of the past is not that I lost money. It is, that I lost a way of being, or maybe even, a way of feeling.

I was never intending to be an elitist, never even saw myself experiencing the level of succsess that I previously had. I just worked hard, did the right thing, and money just came. But somehow along that path I came to see myself as someone who had money. The reward for doing the right thing traded places with the goal of doing the right thing... and presto, my goal was money.

It sneaks in on you, starting as a sense of pride and accomplishment, and then makes it's presence more and more known as time passes... from the amount of money that had collected around me... in my bank accounts, lines of credit, financial statements... and also in the fact that other people who also had money were wanting to associate with me, banks were competing to loan to me, taking me to lunch, inviting me to vacations... Even simpler things, like how I viewed what was a reasonable car or house payment, or how much the dinner bill was at the types of restaurants we had become accustomed to... all started to shape the view of what my life was.

When I trade size my results are not worth doing yet. Something changes and I am no longer in touch with what the market is telling me. I don't want to listen when the stakes are raised, I just hope that I am right. Whlie in the 1-2 contract range, I almost never have a losing day. If I had one a week that would be high.

The good news is on trading one contract, I have focused on learning to expect 100-200 ticks a week. Yes I know, it nearly kills me that I know, that that amount is unusually high, and that just going to 5-10 contracts would be a huge change in value. HUGE. But at that moment, my focus becomes "how much can I make" as opposed to "how well can I trade". I have done meditations, visualizations, pep talks, deep breaths, mathematical studies... It does not matter as I am trying to make a change because, I think I want more money. But when I really think about it, with no one asking me "why?", I am not sure that I do want more money. I think what I want, is a certain feeling back.

I went through many rough times while making way more money than I needed. Money is not what brings happiness. Happiness is a state of mind. I have been nearly torturing myself at times to force myself to trade heavier, but for what?

I see my lack of ability to do that as a weakness, and believe that I should be able to work through that weakness with concentrated effort and discipline. And I should. But trading heavy also brings risk, and there comes a point where I have to ask myself, is making more worth risking more? My initial response is yes. But there is nothing really driving me to have more other than; I believe I should make more, because I believe I should want to make more, because I previously had more...

But really, deep down, maybe I don't believe any of that really matters anymore.

I enjoy trading. I hated it at first, I saw it as one of the hardest most frustrating pursuits and questioned my sanity for even continuing to put in 80 hours a week at it... but would not quit and knew that I could figure it out. I have figured it out, actually, in my own way. I know what works for me and what doesn't, I know how I interact and interpret, I know that I can trade profitably... as long as I am not concerned with how much...


I have these long talks with my wife, which sometimes she may not actually be listening, but lately I get the feeling she is listening more. She did not want to talk about trading. No one I know wants to. Maybe I don't even want to. But this past week as we were having drinks at a bar perched out on a pier jutting into the Atlantic, watching the real surfers do their thing, one guy with a longboard, probably 60+ years old, catching waves better than a lot of the kids... I told her trading was not really what I was talking about anyway. I was talking about life, and perception, and questioning my future, and wondering what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, how it felt to have had to start over, what happened to my sense of value?


I am good enough at reading a market today that I rarely have times where I just see chaos. I may not be looking at the market from the right perspective always, but I can also typically still understand what is happening as an alternate. The markets give me plenty of opportunities to feel validated about my analysis, and those are starting to accumulate and feel good. I knew when CL crossed a certain pont today, I think around 88.80 or so, that it was going to take out 89.30. I nearly knew.

I did not trade it, because of an issue I still have with missing a trade, but there was some deposit made to my self valuation account just by knowing not to short it until it did.

Sounds insane to type it, why not buy? The answer of the moment is, I felt no need to at that point. I feel better trading my plan for the day, and know I will have a better chance at reading things if I don't try to switch gears too quickly. Shifting fast enough to say "stop", but not "go", is still a win to me. Psychologically... And the not needing to be in is not a bad feeling.

How I got this far from where I started I don't know. Sometimes I just start to type and go with it.

Ther point is, I am about to go to trading full time, and am starting to see my reason for doing so may be different than what I always assumed it would be. And maybe even, better? I don't want money necessarily, I want something that I can be good at, do the right things and the money will come. That is how my mind works when you remove all the other things that seem like what I should want.

Pride in myself, peace with myself, confidence... Knowing I can pay the bills does not hurt, but I am not afraid of that.

First, I can make money if I trade at a size I am comfortable in. So what if it is less than what I thought I should make. And second, futures trading does not require that much size to make a decent amount, depending on the average swing size, and in a market where the ATR gives enough opportunity, relaxing can make more than leverage.

What I am afraid of is failing again, on a larger perspective. And I think that is the issue to scaling up. It is easier to fail. And so my fight-or-flight mechanism kicks in while I am in the trade, knowing that fact. And maybe it should kick in. I have been beat enough, maybe. OK, yes, I am scared of size right now. That will probably change though.

I bought a mountain bike when I was about 22, knew nothing about it, and went out with a guy who was an expert. I was clumsy, falling all over the place. He rode down things I said I would never consider. ( BTW he had lost his spleen in a bike accident). At the end of the ride as we were talking in the parking lot, loading back up, he said, "Don't look so hard at what you are going over right in front of you, you'll freeze up, it won't feel natural. Just keep your eyes focused futher down the path, think about controlling your speed, and you'll do much better". 10 years later I was leaving all my friends behind as I rode the toughest of the expert trails. One we called "The Vortex" that was designed to break your wrists... I loved that one.

If trading is what I am going to do for a living, there are years ahead of me, there is no requirement to ride the expert trails, or take the large risks. I need to just keep my eyes focused further down the path, control my speed, and have fun. Trade to a size where I ENJOY it. Who am I competing with anyway? Me? I know today, me against myself, I can probably win with less leverage. I feel happy and relaxed about it. Not so worried about what is right in front of me.

Quality versus quantity. Relaxation versus stress. Happiness versus...money.

Good to see you're well.. !


zt379 View Post
Hi GaryD.

The money isn't what we are creating, but rather we are creating the awareness to realize who we are.

What would be our motivation here then ?
To make money or to be aware ?
And in that awareness to learn to know ourself ?............

and
wishing you well GaryD.

shalom

Every moment I wake up I realize I know nothing, and then I smile...
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GaryD View Post

Even after the return to test it, I like this area as resistance.



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