Grinding for me means daytrading about 2 hours or a touch more per day in 3 different markets at different start times and then doing my swingtrading stuff for 90+ minutes @the end of each day 4X's per week (M-Th) and then @my leisure on the weekend.
You know--like a job.
Say I risk 12 ticks in NQ--@100% of open profits (of initial risk)--so @+12ticks I then reduce my risk to just over 1/2 of my initial risk--then @150% of open profits or +18ticks I move my stop to theoretical entry minus 1 tick.
My final target(s) are always (if the session is fresh and NOT in deep lunch) 2.618 gross reward to risk (rounded up to the nearest tick). @times I catch a runner and close out 1/5th of my position (or 1/4th) @+423% gross reward to risk (rounded up to the nearest tick).
I am a breakout w/confirmation and pullback within confirmed trends trader and use 2 timeframes only. One is the bigger picture--the other is my trigger timeframe. I have good hand/eye coordination so I can use smaller tick/volume timeframes and I trade with SIZE.
Same thing for 6E, CL ZN ES or DAX or FTSE 100 or BUND or KOSPI or Hang Seng or GLD or daytrading high-beta stocks (though I stick mainly with derivatives).
I have found in daytrading that after throwing out scratches & 'near' b.e.'s that if I get my 30 trades per week in my edge GRINDS out big time.
I had a 'deep thoughts' thread in ET a few years ago that detailed my trading style and my size back then (in the psychology section) and it also went into sordid detail about my predilection for Green Dragon, young skanks & generally stalking 'meat' in various seedy areas of lakeshore towns in the midwest and S. Florida and California.
Though that was indeed 'deep thoughts.'
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Here are #'s for single lot traders; it is TRULY a numbers game imho.
If you can STOP giving a single shit about any day's trading outcome. Pure #'s game and NEVER hesitate on a legit setup--just take it and manage it and MOVE on!
12.5 hour per week is 2.5 hours per day--round down to 45 minutes max per session
3X sessions per day @avg. of 40 minutes per session
is--2 hours per day
We want a trade every 30 minutes or 4 trades per day
20 trades per week
avg. net net per trade over time should be in small timeframes around $20.00 net net or so
that is around $450 per week on 20 trades
on 25 trades per week that is $500 per week
Winning trades net +$92.50 per trade--they LOSE $41.00 per trade @2.5 to 1 gross reward.
20 trades per week should be
8 winners/6 losers/6 b.e.'s for 57% winners/43% losers (disregard b.e.'s)
40% winners--8 wins @+$97.50 wins so +740.00
30% losers--6 losers @$43.00 losses so -$258.00
30% b.e./scratch--6 b.e.'s @$7.50 losses so -$30.00
So around +$452.00 net per week on 20 trades
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Thanks for the explanation.
So with the 12 tick example the target is 31 ticks, and when open profit got to 30 ticks (250% of initial risk) your stop would be at +11 or 12. At certain points along the way your stop would be 23-24 ticks behind the last price until it clicked up to the next 50%, where it would be ~18 ticks behind. You'd then exit 3/4 of your contracts and continue on in the same way with the runner. Have I understood correctly?
Do you exit any other way, or just stick to the above format?
Good times it seems when you aren't in front of the computer.
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Random thoughts after reading the last few posts.....
Over a LONG period of time, my average profit per trade is around $34-36 and increasing as my wins get bigger....this is something I did not understand for a long time. Its ok to have a low per trade profit factor, as long as its increasing over time and you are executing on the edge without taking to much risk.
As a primarily single lot trader, I've found what you have written to be true....I am taking 1-5 trades per day. Most of the time its two or three.....small losers or scratches looking for the winner. Letting that single lot run can be tough, but in my mind, its the holy grail of trading....letting that winner run as long as you have the stomach for it.
My win rate is substantially lower than 57%.....its more like 37-40% and I'm having trouble getting it any higher, but I am profitable....more importantly, I haven't had a losing month since April last year....plenty of losing days, one losing week but no losing months.
Am I as profitable as i want to be...NOPE....I figure I have left around 300% or more above and beyond what I actually made if I had managed my trades differently....in this case, I mean leave them alone. Let them run at a minimum to my intended target. I know @tigertrader might say targets are ill advised....trade with no target is something he might say but leaving that aside for the moment, just using the targets I did use, letting the trades play out until either it was obtained or a full stop was taken would have produced MUCH better profit numbers.
To that end, I am attempting to slowly develop my emotional mindset and my skill set to actually allow this to become part of my 2014 trading plan. I can't seem to increase my win rate much, so I MUST increase the size of my winners in both ticks and contracts.....and in my case, ticks must come first.....then add on size as initial entries warrant and add on size as the trade progresses...however, this last bit seems ill advised until I am actually letting trades run further than I am now.
One thing I've finally come to grips with, a single bar opposite my trade direction does not a pull back or reversal make....I closed a LOT of trades after a single bar went against me only to see it continue on to my target zones.....I did this a LOT....more importantly, I knew I was doing the wrong thing when I did it but emotionally I was unable to let that happen.....but earlier this week, I was thinking about how wrong headed this was.....with some word of wisdom from @tigertrader thrown in..and something clicked inside....its ok to let price come back on you a little bit.....maybe even two or three bars. Its just that you need to be aware of the context and content of whats going on in the larger picture and behave accordingly. I'd say 90-95% of the time, I'd have been better off never moving the stops....the other times it would have been the "right thing" to do are just enough to convince myself that I should do it all the time....time to "reverse" that line of thinking.
The picture is just one more example of just leaving stops alone.....I added because its; 1. Sim and 2. Because I am good at letting NQ run....maybe thats due to #1 although thats not something I ever done well in CL even in sim.
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Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci
Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
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No, @200% I move stop to b.e. or +1tick and unless way TOO much time has passed or we go into massive consolidation--I take the full winner or b.e.
I only trade when volume and size traders are trading any market. Report times within 90 seconds of release EARLY London, 1st 90 minutes or less of old session opens such as DAX @3am est, FTSE @4am est, Notes @8:20am est CL @9am est NQ/ES @9:30am est or 10am est and used to do Beans & Corn sometimes @10:30am est but they changed that open to 9:30am est.
DO the same thing on foreign markets such as in forex for Aussie open/Yen open & if around and in my trading plan for the Hang Seng and Kospi et al.
p.s. Yea--I get high on my own supply (green dragon & vaporizing) 'cause my shoulders and back hurt even when working out alot and doing yoga--it is better for you than drinking and taking pills...I support anything one wants to put into their adult body--but that is my humble opinion and off topic.
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what is a target anyway, @PandaWarrior? it's an arbitrary line you've chosen to draw in the sand; some assumption laden decision you made during the analysis period prior to executing the trade - essentially a prediction of where the market is going to be at some point in the future. sometimes the market reaches the chosen target, sometimes it doesn't, and sometimes it blows right through it. now the market reaches your target, or it falls short and you get out, because your inherent risk-management instincts tells you to, not because of a strategic reason like changed fundamentals or expectation. the problem is that there are no logical underpinnings to the decision. its an emotional decision, that is fear based and shortsighted, especially if made during a period when the market is trending. if the market is in a range, it just may be the prudent choice, but an objective evaluation of the market should preclude any decision.
trading breaks down to the analysis stage i referred to above and the execution of the trade and its management. the first two parts are relatively devoid of stress. initially, your cool analytical side is control; it is a period of calm, quiet refection, that is summarily interrupted, once the trade is made and real money is on the line. they are 2 different modes as different as time and price, and can be viewed in much the same way:
analysis +, execution + = elation and self-satisfaction
analysis +, execution - = regret and sadness
analysis - , execution + = relief
analysis - , execution - = self-loathing and depression
obviously, the goal is to spend the majority of your time in the first quadrant. the way to meet the challenge is to treat the analysis side and the execution/management side of the equation in the same way.
Last edited by tigertrader; January 15th, 2014 at 06:06 PM.
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Lol... @tigertrader, I knew you'd have something to say about targets.....and I was right...analysis + execution = elation and self satisfaction.....
In all seriousness though, you are correct, trend days, targets are unnecessary and counter productive. On range days, maybe you can use them constructively...or you can just close the position when you feel like price has reached the maximum favorable excursion it will be going for that trade.
My point was as I know you surmised, was that even using fear based arbitrary profit targets, had I just allowed those to be hit, even on trend days where I left lots of money on the table, I would be much further ahead than I am now......not using targets on trend days would be even better.....by how much I do not know but it would be substantial to be sure....
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci
Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
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Would you mind going into detail on your personal method for objectively evaluating whether the market is trending or ranging. And how would you recognise during the trade that it's finally time to change that evaluation.
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its a topic thats been covered many times on this forum, but briefly speaking....
what we are looking for are departures in value that offer persistence while moving between two points, which is not as easy as it once was. so methods need to consider the constantly changing nature of a market's path dependency in terms of variability, duration and signal. a greatly reduced holding period and strategies that take account of variable future paths are now the rule rather than the exception.keep in mind that traders operate at different time-frames, markets are inter-connected, and themes abound, and that is the probabilities and departures from value that govern trading opportunities.
using es as proxy for the market
current trend of market- is the nascent trend consistent with the cyclical or secular trend
large contraction in range, especially a NR7- trend days are usually preceded by range contraction days price action during previous eth/ european price action
news- is there news that hasnít already been priced into the market
technical context / support and resistance- could the market be breaking out
inter-market price action- are there + correlated markets that are trending
seasonality- is it consistent with a possible trend move
price drivers/themes- convergent or divergent to price action
price action internals/ $ tick, i.e., opens positive or negative and stays that way vwap - consistent slope in the direction of the trend, expanding value area, price remains below/above the vwap
location/size of opening - relative to pivot benchmarks, i.e. market opens above/below pivot and never trades below/above and the relative size of the opg. relative volume and volatility- the greater the volume and volatility the greater the chance for a trend day
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@tigertrader the four quadrant metric stated here is brilliantly stated. Something I've always been aware of but without this specific and accurate metric upon which to build the critical or emotional response needed to move to and stay in the +,+ quadrant.
Someone will ask if there is programming help for an indicator that measures this and then what are the settings...lol.
Gary, is this part of your own cognition based on your experience. The idea incidentally, could be the topic for the next guru trading book...worth a chapter or two at least. I try very hard to make my cognitive process a response to what is empirically available from the market, rather than hope the market conforms to my method indication or view. The fluidity, or better the viscosity of that process is something I still get hung up on. For me anyway discretion of the precise and skilled guy will always beat "system". The current governing weakness is fear. I'm not consistently trading with authority and conviction. I sometimes take little winners and get happy, that will not provide over time. I almost always cut winners too soon as well and that good analysis, poor execution quadrant has become a familiar place.
Today for example, missed both nice moves in 6E because I recognized but I did not believe, then I thought it too late. I managed to be on the indicated but mediocre trades and even pressed the size at the right time. So 6/6 with one scratchish trade makes me almost 150 ticks gross and on review I regret the missed trades and I'm sad that I left so much on the table. Did not trade the long entry at 7:30 because of the numba...did not have the best entry short just after 9 am cause shit the response to the numba.
Does that make me a scalper...looking for 20-40 ticks followed up with just a one lot runner? I mean most guys, I believe, in the forum would say that 150 ticks should not make a guy regretful and sad, but I'm missing in similar ways every day and it is really pissing me off.
Should I consider a grey box type of program where I get prompted that a trade is indicated? Would that reminder be enough to trade what I see not what I think...or in my case trade not avoid due to fear? Feeling like an idiot at times.
So who has real experience with that type of thing and how do you best treat tiny ball syndrome. My wife says I need to go on vacation, but all I will do is check quotes and listen to financial news.
Last edited by wldman; January 16th, 2014 at 12:19 PM.
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