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The PandaWarrior Chronicles
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The PandaWarrior Chronicles

  #1891 (permalink)
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David_R View Post
Panda,

Question for you. In the emini-watch.com thread I posted a link to 10 days to better emini trading. This is a series of videos created by Barry Taylor to help others improve their trading. One of the videos is regarding targets. He suggests shooting for a small targets and letting the market take you out instead of a trailing stop. He also advocated not moving ones stop because one can get stooped out prior to hitting target. The other component to this is that he says "stop assuming each trade will be a huge winner or trend move". He's saying that the market goes from contraction to expansion, so always assuming a large move is detrimental. This coincides with your comment on outliers. It makes sense that an outlier will come along only on occasion. He trades the ES, so it's a different animal, but I think the application applies to any market.

What do you think about this? I tend to think one needs to maximize profit potential and always taking small profits could be a bad habit. I've always thought that scaling out was the way to go much like Vance does. My impression is that TST likes small targets. Not sure about scaling. What do you think.

Congrats on the combine.

David

I think small targets are the domain of the fearful. I believe in targets...somewhere on the chart that seems to make sense. Also I believe in the idea of backtesting as well as forward testing MTFE, a term I invented to describe the Maximum Total Favorable Excursion or the total distance a trade went before reversing and before hitting your stop regardless of where you exited. In my case, this amounts to around 50-70 ticks on average a typical winning trade will progress before some sort of major pull back or reversal.

I also agree that markets are constantly contracting and expanding. Therefore many of my small losers or winners are probing attempts to find the point at which the market will expand out of consolidation. I of course have ideas about how to do this but they are by no means conclusive and exhaustive.

Its this probing that results in a series of small losers and winners that essentially offset each other and allows the profit generating power of the outliers. The scatter graphs of my trades are remarkably similar to Don Millers that he demonstrated several years ago. Obviously his numbers were quite a bit larger than mine but the principal is the same. Lots of smallish winners and losers followed by some really large gains.

My gains have come with single lots on larger wins for the most part....but the reality is this, those larger wins could have been multiplied several times by scaling INTO the trade as it progressed....something Don Miller advocates as well as Phantom of the Pits and any other professional trader will tell you.

Essentially its eating like an elephant and shitting like a bird. Lose small and often, win big less frequently and with as big a size as you can safely put on. Counter intuitive but highly effective. If there's a holy grail in trading, its this.

As to the idea of always assuming every move will be a large one, you cannot assume that but you almost must work your trades with the idea that it COULD be the big one. Otherwise why take it? Of course a small percentage of those will turn into larger winners but it happens often enough to offset the small losers.

TST does seem to favor smaller winners but I won my combine trading exactly the opposite of this. I think the reason it seems TST favors smaller wins is because they are trying to get people to be consistent and control risk at the same time and most traders can't control risk well enough to place themselves in position to achieve those larger trades. Example. The loss limit for my combine was $500 a day and $1500 over all. My largest drawdown was -$85 or so. I'd have loser days of -$250 and I'd quit knowing I could make $500 the next day. It didn't work out that way over time but it worked well enough. Most people lose $495 and make $50 the next day. They won't quit at -$250. They keep trying but they end up losing it all. Those probe trades didn't work that day but they refuse to acknowledge this and just keep going. Today three trades might fail and I quit and tomorrow one trade ends up being the big winner and I'm up for the two days.

TST also has their program set up to scale out. The rules say not to add to a trade unless you're up $500. On a single lot trade, I'm pretty much done if its in profit $500 so adding in was not an option. If you trade multiple lots up front on the larger accounts, no problem. However, I pretty much think this rule is to keep the amateurs from completely blowing themselves up. While I was doing my combine with a single lot, I traded on my own and a few times I was able to scale in and make significantly more money than I did in the combine account. One day in particular, I made the entire combine profit objective on one trade by scaling in.....but no way to take that trade in the combine, the rules didn't allow me to scale in the way I did on my own.

Done properly, scaling IN is far superior to scaling out. As is all in all out. Scaling out is an emotional crutch...a valuable crutch to be sure and one that works wonderfully to allow traders to get the risk off if that's what it takes to allow a runner to develop its full potential. However the way most people do it is wrong, most people think a runner is 20 ticks. I know Vance doesn't think like that but many do. So a 15 tick 1st target and a 20 tick secondary target is foolish.

Assuming a full stop out on 2 lots of say 15 ticks, you need a win rate at +/-50% to make money and cover expenses. The only way this makes any sense at all is if that runner is allowed to run and run. On a 250 tick day in CL, it needs to run all day. Most don't have this ability to hold a runner that long....me included. So for me, scale in or all in all out is better as I rarely allow runners to go to their natural conclusion. If I did, my trading would be significantly superior to what it is now. Its something I am working on.

For a combine, I would suggest the $30,000, trade one lot until you have enough money banked to afford a few stop outs on 2 lots and then add another one. I would use fixed targets but make them large enough that your winning trades are 2-5 times larger than your typical loser....and if you are trading at the extreme edges like the MP people say they do, then your profit targets should be 5-10 times bigger than your stops.

And never lose more per day than half your typical winning day. Never.

Hope that helps.....

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
 
  #1892 (permalink)
Elite Member
Nashville, Tennessee
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninja / Jigsaw / 9G
Broker/Data: AMP / CQG
Favorite Futures: NQ, YM and ES
 
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Posts: 1,589 since Sep 2010
Thanks: 4,260 given, 2,527 received

Would you say, then, that all scalpers are fearful ? I think there may be a few millionaires trading huge size for a
few points

]I think small targets are the domain of the fearful.


For me, with my current risk tolerance, I must straddle the fence. This means 2 cars initially. One to nail
2 points and the other to run until a large pullback breaks the classic PA rules - scaling in when the odd classic
trend happens in NQ.

I think CL runs more consistently for you and more extreme , letting you wait for the big hits.

Trading the equity index for me, means taking money fast and often , but always giving your runner a chance
to catch a full session run ( Rare )

I agree the runner needs to be open ended. I rarely pick the top of a BO correctly. Let PA take you out.

Happy Thanksgiving, my friend !!!



PandaWarrior View Post
I think small targets are the domain of the fearful. I believe in targets...somewhere on the chart that seems to make sense. Also I believe in the idea of backtesting as well as forward testing MTFE, a term I invented to describe the Maximum Total Favorable Excursion or the total distance a trade went before reversing and before hitting your stop regardless of where you exited. In my case, this amounts to around 50-70 ticks on average a typical winning trade will progress before some sort of major pull back or reversal.

I also agree that markets are constantly contracting and expanding. Therefore many of my small losers or winners are probing attempts to find the point at which the market will expand out of consolidation. I of course have ideas about how to do this but they are by no means conclusive and exhaustive.

Its this probing that results in a series of small losers and winners that essentially offset each other and allows the profit generating power of the outliers. The scatter graphs of my trades are remarkably similar to Don Millers that he demonstrated several years ago. Obviously his numbers were quite a bit larger than mine but the principal is the same. Lots of smallish winners and losers followed by some really large gains.

My gains have come with single lots on larger wins for the most part....but the reality is this, those larger wins could have been multiplied several times by scaling INTO the trade as it progressed....something Don Miller advocates as well as Phantom of the Pits and any other professional trader will tell you.

Essentially its eating like an elephant and shitting like a bird. Lose small and often, win big less frequently and with as big a size as you can safely put on. Counter intuitive but highly effective. If there's a holy grail in trading, its this.

As to the idea of always assuming every move will be a large one, you cannot assume that but you almost must work your trades with the idea that it COULD be the big one. Otherwise why take it? Of course a small percentage of those will turn into larger winners but it happens often enough to offset the small losers.

TST does seem to favor smaller winners but I won my combine trading exactly the opposite of this. I think the reason it seems TST favors smaller wins is because they are trying to get people to be consistent and control risk at the same time and most traders can't control risk well enough to place themselves in position to achieve those larger trades. Example. The loss limit for my combine was $500 a day and $1500 over all. My largest drawdown was -$85 or so. I'd have loser days of -$250 and I'd quit knowing I could make $500 the next day. It didn't work out that way over time but it worked well enough. Most people lose $495 and make $50 the next day. They won't quit at -$250. They keep trying but they end up losing it all. Those probe trades didn't work that day but they refuse to acknowledge this and just keep going. Today three trades might fail and I quit and tomorrow one trade ends up being the big winner and I'm up for the two days.

TST also has their program set up to scale out. The rules say not to add to a trade unless you're up $500. On a single lot trade, I'm pretty much done if its in profit $500 so adding in was not an option. If you trade multiple lots up front on the larger accounts, no problem. However, I pretty much think this rule is to keep the amateurs from completely blowing themselves up. While I was doing my combine with a single lot, I traded on my own and a few times I was able to scale in and make significantly more money than I did in the combine account. One day in particular, I made the entire combine profit objective on one trade by scaling in.....but no way to take that trade in the combine, the rules didn't allow me to scale in the way I did on my own.

Done properly, scaling IN is far superior to scaling out. As is all in all out. Scaling out is an emotional crutch...a valuable crutch to be sure and one that works wonderfully to allow traders to get the risk off if that's what it takes to allow a runner to develop its full potential. However the way most people do it is wrong, most people think a runner is 20 ticks. I know Vance doesn't think like that but many do. So a 15 tick 1st target and a 20 tick secondary target is foolish.

Assuming a full stop out on 2 lots of say 15 ticks, you need a win rate at +/-50% to make money and cover expenses. The only way this makes any sense at all is if that runner is allowed to run and run. On a 250 tick day in CL, it needs to run all day. Most don't have this ability to hold a runner that long....me included. So for me, scale in or all in all out is better as I rarely allow runners to go to their natural conclusion. If I did, my trading would be significantly superior to what it is now. Its something I am working on.

For a combine, I would suggest the $30,000, trade one lot until you have enough money banked to afford a few stop outs on 2 lots and then add another one. I would use fixed targets but make them large enough that your winning trades are 2-5 times larger than your typical loser....and if you are trading at the extreme edges like the MP people say they do, then your profit targets should be 5-10 times bigger than your stops.

And never lose more per day than half your typical winning day. Never.

Hope that helps.....



AJ
Nashville, Tennessee


"Life On The Edge of SR"
The following 8 users say Thank You to tderrick for this post:
 
  #1893 (permalink)
Elite Member
In the heat
 
Futures Experience: None
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PandaWarrior's Avatar
 
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tderrick View Post
Would you say, then, that all scalpers are fearful ? I think there may be a few millionaires trading huge size for a
few points

]I think small targets are the domain of the fearful.


For me, with my current risk tolerance, I must straddle the fence. This means 2 cars initially. One to nail
2 points and the other to run until a large pullback breaks the classic PA rules - scaling in when the odd classic
trend happens in NQ.

I think CL runs more consistently for you and more extreme , letting you wait for the big hits.

Trading the equity index for me, means taking money fast and often , but always giving your runner a chance
to catch a full session run ( Rare )

I agree the runner needs to be open ended. I rarely pick the top of a BO correctly. Let PA take you out.

Happy Thanksgiving, my friend !!!

Well perhaps I overspoke about all small target traders being fearful...but I do think it applies to most retail traders just starting out or struggling to risk tiny amounts of money and trading really small charts in an attempt to have a high win rate and small stops.....I know the aglos are scalping all day long but of course I think its pretty obvious I didnt mean the HFT algos.

I still think the runner needs to be big enough to make up for the occasional stop out with a full position on....on NQ, it looks like available ticks are around 25-50 ticks most days...this means your risk needs to be in the 5-15 range.


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etc, etc, etc......

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris

Last edited by PandaWarrior; November 27th, 2013 at 04:33 PM.
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  #1894 (permalink)
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Absolutely awesome stuff guys!

Trade to live. Not live to trade.
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  #1895 (permalink)
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I have spent a day programming my strategy in Ninja to full automation, well my most mechanical strategy. So I did a lot of back tests and some real time tests. From back tests I could see that going for an outlier indeed can squeeze a bit more profit per car but also increases drawdowns a lot as well as number of subsequent losers. From I see if you can get smaller profit per car with less drawdown and higher win rate, then look if increasing size will be more beneficial than going for larger runners with less size. It was certainly the case for me. Thus said I still look for more win than losers and larger win than losers.

Trade to live. Not live to trade.
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  #1896 (permalink)
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I agree with your assessment of NQ completely. The risk reward values are spot on for that market and
the way I trade. Thank you for taking the time to work up the charts. Most useful.

This ain't your first rodeo, hoss....


AJ
Nashville, Tennessee


"Life On The Edge of SR"
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  #1897 (permalink)
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tderrick View Post
I agree with your assessment of NQ completely. The risk reward values are spot on for that market and
the way I trade. Thank you for taking the time to work up the charts. Most useful.

This ain't your first rodeo, hoss....


Question : being absolutely terrified of taking BO trades, do you use a stop order on either side of the
consolidation range, or do you wait for the BO, then place a limit order at the edge of the range at wait
for the PB to the old SR top / bottom ?

I Feel I'm always chasing and late to the party when trying to enter at the BO point,
because, as you know, I like to trade the edges of consolidation inward. I call this ping pong trading
as I can have orders on either side for hours sometimes just trading the balanced market range.

The BO leg (still within the consolidation zone)
always has a different "feel" to it. Tape is accelerated, the dom order flow will have a steady,
large contract count with little to zero on the opposite side. Bars will be stacked with little retracement.
This is when I get ready to start scaling in. I am already in the trade.

Just sitting and watching a perfect consolidation range is maddening to me. It's typically very easy to see
on the VP where to place the edge limit orders and targets in a balanced market. After price breaks, I switch
to trend / PB mode, which for me, is placing limit orders at strategic locations following the trend - using PA
stair step patterns and volume mountains and valleys in VP.

Man... is trading great or what !!!


AJ
Nashville, Tennessee


"Life On The Edge of SR"
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  #1898 (permalink)
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PandaWarrior View Post
I think small targets are the domain of the fearful. I believe in targets...somewhere on the chart that seems to make sense. Also I believe in the idea of backtesting as well as forward testing MTFE, a term I invented to describe the Maximum Total Favorable Excursion or the total distance a trade went before reversing and before hitting your stop regardless of where you exited. In my case, this amounts to around 50-70 ticks on average a typical winning trade will progress before some sort of major pull back or reversal.

I also agree that markets are constantly contracting and expanding. Therefore many of my small losers or winners are probing attempts to find the point at which the market will expand out of consolidation. I of course have ideas about how to do this but they are by no means conclusive and exhaustive.

Its this probing that results in a series of small losers and winners that essentially offset each other and allows the profit generating power of the outliers. The scatter graphs of my trades are remarkably similar to Don Millers that he demonstrated several years ago. Obviously his numbers were quite a bit larger than mine but the principal is the same. Lots of smallish winners and losers followed by some really large gains.

My gains have come with single lots on larger wins for the most part....but the reality is this, those larger wins could have been multiplied several times by scaling INTO the trade as it progressed....something Don Miller advocates as well as Phantom of the Pits and any other professional trader will tell you.

Essentially its eating like an elephant and shitting like a bird. Lose small and often, win big less frequently and with as big a size as you can safely put on. Counter intuitive but highly effective. If there's a holy grail in trading, its this.

As to the idea of always assuming every move will be a large one, you cannot assume that but you almost must work your trades with the idea that it COULD be the big one. Otherwise why take it? Of course a small percentage of those will turn into larger winners but it happens often enough to offset the small losers.

TST does seem to favor smaller winners but I won my combine trading exactly the opposite of this. I think the reason it seems TST favors smaller wins is because they are trying to get people to be consistent and control risk at the same time and most traders can't control risk well enough to place themselves in position to achieve those larger trades. Example. The loss limit for my combine was $500 a day and $1500 over all. My largest drawdown was -$85 or so. I'd have loser days of -$250 and I'd quit knowing I could make $500 the next day. It didn't work out that way over time but it worked well enough. Most people lose $495 and make $50 the next day. They won't quit at -$250. They keep trying but they end up losing it all. Those probe trades didn't work that day but they refuse to acknowledge this and just keep going. Today three trades might fail and I quit and tomorrow one trade ends up being the big winner and I'm up for the two days.

TST also has their program set up to scale out. The rules say not to add to a trade unless you're up $500. On a single lot trade, I'm pretty much done if its in profit $500 so adding in was not an option. If you trade multiple lots up front on the larger accounts, no problem. However, I pretty much think this rule is to keep the amateurs from completely blowing themselves up. While I was doing my combine with a single lot, I traded on my own and a few times I was able to scale in and make significantly more money than I did in the combine account. One day in particular, I made the entire combine profit objective on one trade by scaling in.....but no way to take that trade in the combine, the rules didn't allow me to scale in the way I did on my own.

Done properly, scaling IN is far superior to scaling out. As is all in all out. Scaling out is an emotional crutch...a valuable crutch to be sure and one that works wonderfully to allow traders to get the risk off if that's what it takes to allow a runner to develop its full potential. However the way most people do it is wrong, most people think a runner is 20 ticks. I know Vance doesn't think like that but many do. So a 15 tick 1st target and a 20 tick secondary target is foolish.

Assuming a full stop out on 2 lots of say 15 ticks, you need a win rate at +/-50% to make money and cover expenses. The only way this makes any sense at all is if that runner is allowed to run and run. On a 250 tick day in CL, it needs to run all day. Most don't have this ability to hold a runner that long....me included. So for me, scale in or all in all out is better as I rarely allow runners to go to their natural conclusion. If I did, my trading would be significantly superior to what it is now. Its something I am working on.

For a combine, I would suggest the $30,000, trade one lot until you have enough money banked to afford a few stop outs on 2 lots and then add another one. I would use fixed targets but make them large enough that your winning trades are 2-5 times larger than your typical loser....and if you are trading at the extreme edges like the MP people say they do, then your profit targets should be 5-10 times bigger than your stops.

And never lose more per day than half your typical winning day. Never.

Hope that helps.....


@PandaWarrior

One of the best posts written all year. This post should be read over and over to grasp the wisdom contained. Many many gold nuggets in this one.

Thanks Brian.....

Wolf

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  #1899 (permalink)
Elite Member
In the heat
 
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tderrick View Post
Question : being absolutely terrified of taking BO trades, do you use a stop order on either side of the
consolidation range, or do you wait for the BO, then place a limit order at the edge of the range at wait
for the PB to the old SR top / bottom ?

I Feel I'm always chasing and late to the party when trying to enter at the BO point,
because, as you know, I like to trade the edges of consolidation inward. I call this ping pong trading
as I can have orders on either side for hours sometimes just trading the balanced market range.

The BO leg (still within the consolidation zone)
always has a different "feel" to it. Tape is accelerated, the dom order flow will have a steady,
large contract count with little to zero on the opposite side. Bars will be stacked with little retracement.
This is when I get ready to start scaling in. I am already in the trade.

Just sitting and watching a perfect consolidation range is maddening to me. It's typically very easy to see
on the VP where to place the edge limit orders and targets in a balanced market. After price breaks, I switch
to trend / PB mode, which for me, is placing limit orders at strategic locations following the trend - using PA
stair step patterns and volume mountains and valleys in VP.

Man... is trading great or what !!!

Al Brooks has done the trading community a disservice by stating that 80% of breakouts fail. His definition is every bar whose high is broken is a break out and under that definition I suppose he might be right. But real breakouts have tell tale signs. A fast tape, clear consolidation areas, and occasionally a false breakout followed by the real one much like we saw on one of the NQ charts.

I do not use bracket orders. I try to figure out which way it's going and go that way with a confirmed breakout.

Yes you can use limit orders on the breakout pullback but depending in the nature of your instrument, you may not get those very often.

Typically, I am only interested in the initial breakout. Once in, I want to add to the position, not exit and re-enter on every leg. This is something I did for a long time and could never make it work. I never chase an entry, if you miss it, you miss it. And limit orders mean you will miss a fair number of good trades. So I just click In or use a stop market order.

I can't speak to VP or the other items you mentioned but I'm sure they're beneficial in timing this stuff.

Have a wonderful holiday!

Brian

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris

Last edited by PandaWarrior; November 28th, 2013 at 01:32 PM.
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  #1900 (permalink)
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Traderwolf View Post
@PandaWarrior

One of the best posts written all year. This post should be read over and over to grasp the wisdom contained. Many many gold nuggets in this one.

Thanks Brian.....

Wolf

So well said. Golden!

Assume your analysis is fragile (low win rate)
Take small stops.
Build large expectancy.
And for heaven's sake stop scaling out.
Build size only when you realize dangerous it can be, which implies its taken rarely (when the stops are slammed on major frames). Recognize misdirection
Above all be simple.

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