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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

  #3551 (permalink)
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I am in a trade. I know FOMC is coming. I am thinking to myself, "shhhhh".

I have a stop locked in.

Another exercise. Face the fear of the unknown at the worst posible moment. There are far easier times to sit still than right now.


Last edited by GaryD; August 1st, 2012 at 02:51 PM.
 
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good. shhh lol!!

 
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I did tighten my stop some, used the 30 minute top, so it looks random on a 6 range.


Last edited by GaryD; August 1st, 2012 at 04:29 PM. Reason: had another image I forgot about
 
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closed +57. (I had to look, thought I dropped it lower but missed.)

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I know FOMC could be violent


Last edited by GaryD; August 1st, 2012 at 04:32 PM.
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Far easier to guess what will happen leading up to FOMC than what will happen after, to me. Who was in and profitable, and did not want to risk it? Longs. And price was nailing top side resistance.

I really don't get post-FOMC trading for about the next hour. Wish I did, because the movements are fast and intense sometimes.

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In the final minute before the release, CL took another nosedive that would have netted me more on the trade, but I was done. I do not trust FOMC, lost a lot of money in the past trying to prove I could do it. After FOMC, back up to almost my entry price, so did I leave 60 ticks on the table, or take a bird in the hand?


Last edited by GaryD; August 1st, 2012 at 03:30 PM.
 
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Not touching this. But sitting here reminiscing about FOMC days. I don't remember when, a few years ago, I was all hyped up about the big move that would come from being in a trade chat room. We all were just counting the minutes, and then the seconds, like on the olympic swimming starting blocks. GO!

It's going up, I went long. Stopped out. OK it's going down, went short, stopped out.

OK, regroup, I'll double up and scalp back to breakeven. Ouch. It was horrible. I can't remember the dollar amount I lost, but 4 figures, fast. I have tried it since then, but just do not get it.

Now I have no interest in after the release, only before. Obviously someone trades it, or it could not move like it does, but I can't trade it with any feeling of understanding. Maybe if I approached it from a pure risk/reward setup and let it fly, but that is red or black.

Good week so far, up daily, good numbers for me in max DD, PF and %. And managed despite some intense distractions from a project in crisis mode in Boston. May fly out again tonight...

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Had an error in NT and restarted. Numbers actually a little light for Sunday through Wednesday.

Wins 60% - should be 65-70%, but I drop trades sometimes so fast it is hard to tell. -2 to me is not a "loss", even though I realize they add up over time.

PF 1.89 - target is minimum 1.7, but I would prefer 2 or higher. Really, I keep thinking this should be 2.5 - 3, but have never been able to get it there.

I am willing to give up a few percentage points for higher PF, in theory, but in practice it just does not happen naturally for me yet. Workng on it.

Received my copy of "Trading In The Zone" this week. Another purchase from the futures.io (formerly BMT) journal winnings. Have not opened it yet, way too crazy of a week. But I am thinking that is the direction to make the performance adjustments I am looking for.


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The reaction after was up, but it hit resistance again and turned...



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Last edited by GaryD; August 1st, 2012 at 04:25 PM. Reason: extended highlighting
 
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LOWER TIMEFRAME

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MEDIUM TIMEFRAME

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HIGHER TIMEFRAME

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I am not comfortable shorting CL with the Iranian issues, and this is only one possible view of chart analysis. This could also be a base for all I know. And 5 minutes from now the world can change...

But it is interesting how this is lining up. If crude does fall, the charts would not fight it.


Last edited by GaryD; August 1st, 2012 at 04:47 PM.
 
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RabC View Post
Hi GaryD,

I have been following your thread for awhile now, keep up the great work. At some point you should consider writing a trading book, there's more wisdom in what you've posted than in many of the trading books gathering dust on my shelves!

Cheers
Rab


Someone else mentioned that in this thread before, and maybe some day I will. My stepfather is an author, so the process would be well understood. But today I feel, I am just another trader. Just having stopped bleeding does not make me book-worthy. lol!

But, I do often read back through this to see where I am, what is going on, who recently said what. And your comment triggered some additional thought;



I have fear issues related to other losses, related to damaged confidence, and I am now in a stage where I am working through them. But, as of today, I am still in the process of discovering those issues. Not sure always how to go about facing them, or changing the reactions, or even that I want to change everything I think I might want to change. I am able to trade profitably, but not confidently, and never would have thought there was that much of a difference between the two. East coast - West coast...

I worked on getting out some details of why I hold fear, that helped, but only to where I understand what I am dealing with. It amazes me that I cannot do what I tell myself to do in many trade situations, despite all of the effort to shape my mind to behave in a certain way. And the times when I do, and the market goes against me, there are additional questions that come up that drive me back into my little corner of comfort again.



Here's an example of an internal conflict. Not that this is any conviction trade, but let's say I would like to short CL with a stop above 91.00, a 1st target of 84.50. Price is at 88.88. Would I be right, who cares? The RR is decent, the chart analysis could be argued to support it... But to me, today, there is no way I would let it go. An alternate, OK stop at 90.50, or 89.60 even with a 1st target at 86.00... No, I doubt I would hold that either. A part of me thinks it wants to.

A part of every trader probably longs for these long beautiful moves, and I am sure some do it. As of now, for me, experience gets in the way. I was "taught" to trade (as if that were possible), looking for ES targets of 1 point, 1.5, 2 maybe... chunk out $50 at a time, and here is what to watch. Looking back, that may be a mistake in the bigger picture of trading, but today it is an advantage for me. I can promise that I am far better at knowing what will happen in the next 5 minutes than the next 5 days. I see it happening right in front of me in real time.

Meanwhile, that experience of being rewarded, for developing that skill, becomes my biggest opponent in shifting my trading to longer moves. It has created an expectation of knowing the outcome within a certain amount of time, has solidified a belief that my "edge" resides in that mindset and timeframe, and causes me to not have the patience to go for bigger moves. You might think, I might think, "simple, just change it". And the less I care, the more likely I can change it. But when I look for consistency, I go back to what has proven itself thousands of times versus hundreds, or dozens even. Is that a weakness? Is it a strength? At what point is the pursuit of a greater reward worth abandoning a greater understanding?

Yesterday we had a minor H&S pattern in CL. I saw it before the day started, saw the neckline break, and had a target of 200% that created confluence in a zone down below... WHERE I WENT LONG?? Yes, I did. And I made money on both sides, small pieces at a time, when I thought I really had a moment that felt like what I have learned to do with repetition. How many times do we get a H&S on a 60 minute in crude? Certainly not once a week even. But inside of nearly every pattern there are places that it seems every trader out there is watching, and I have trained myself to trade around those. The belief was, I would trade from one place to the other, but it manifested into this experience of knowing what it feels like in those locations, more so than knowing what the outcome will be.

Maybe that is "success" in trading, finding your little niche and staying in it. I believe 100%, where I am today, that a succesful approach must be aligned perfectly to the individual, and has little or nothing to do with timeframes or SR or fundamentals or indicators or methods. So today, I have a little niche, and inside that I feel confidence, but I also feel restrained. And if I had to truly teach what I feel my niche is, it has so much to do with being in the moment that I don't believe it is possible to explain in a way that it would be of benefit to anyone but me. Maybe after years of it.


The point is, I am a trader who has studied to be one thing, desired to be another, and found something completely different than either. Serendipity (thanks to zt379 for educating me to that ) . And the fact that it works now feels, at times, it has me captive in this little box of comfort. And I keep trying to escape it, believeing that this little box is not where the world exists, seeing the proof of that every week as I track the charts religiously... and then later, feeling so good to be back in my box again.

So, keeping in mind I have a description of myself that " I open my mouth and the truth falls out ", I sometimes just start typing and who knows where I am going, and then I come back without warning...



When I do get to a point where I am satisfied with my journey enough, when I feel the story is engaging enough, when I believe that what I offer up as a book will be of some true value to someone who wants to know how to trade, or just what it is like to pursue becoming a trader, I do have that in the back of my mind. There are guys out there who know themselves well enough to write with that level of conviction. Today, I am not one of them. There are also guys who don't care about having the conviction as long as the book sells. I am not one of them either. If I ever do get there, remind me and your copy is free.




I am glad that you enjoy reading this. Sometimes it is for me, sometimes for you, sometimes I am sure I post things no one cares about, myself included. When it is for you (or anyone but me), it is because I know what it's like to not be able to find anyone who has the answers, but wish so much that someone like that could be found. How many traders will say, "If you will just tell me what to do, I will do it". No, most likely, they won't. It has to start from within, and oh how that sucks sometimes...

So if I see something I think I might be able to point out, I do. There are things I think could be beneficial and I really try to explain what is going on in my mind and on the charts. Today there was the look of buyers being absorbed on a 6 range chart, I came back and posted it hoping to "pay it forward" so to speak. That particular look on a chart is useful, when combined with a resistance area, and then a crossover signal. Price just banged against a solid wall of selling. How long will it last? Never know. But in that moment...

When I see something I do not understand, I try to express it, suggesting I am not the only one who is confused on a regular basis. This post is one of those.

I sometimes have this feeling that my ultimate discovery is going to be something like this;

1) Learn everything there is to know about trading.
2) Accept the fact that, even after that, you really know nothing.
3) Determine how to use those two in harmony to make money.
4) Discover that understanding yourself was all that was ever needed in the first place.

And if that is all there is, that is not enough material for a book anyway.


Seriously man, I take it as a great compliment. Thanks.


Last edited by GaryD; August 1st, 2012 at 09:29 PM. Reason: typos, poor explanations
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