I have no doubts that I am not there yet. Hence I am reading your journal, not vice versa.
It is amazing how even the slightest change can throw you off balance. I remember I changed the stocks I was following from the random order I had loaded them on my platform (and left them for 1 month) to alphabetized. I made several trade errors just getting used to the more intuitive order of tickers.
I guess what surprises me about your struggle is that you are there on your journal
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Not saying the Combine wasn't tough. Just surprised because you just have to keep doing what you have been doing. You pretty much hit $3500 in about two days...
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I went in truly with the thought that this was going to be a piece of cake. Any experienced trader will tell you that this kind of thinking is deadly to your performance.
I am glad I wasnt successful in the combine, now that i think about it. It has revealed to me a few things about my pattern of trading. In fact, a few signigficant lapses...call it complacency.
In the combine, I was forcing trades.
I'll give you a brief synopsis. cant get my actual trade report up, but suffice to say, the first 4 days are the most important.
Day 1 +920...Almost 1/3 of my goal
Day 2 +470 so far so good...40% of total target in 2 days.
Day 3 -830 Oh Oh.. Finished by 9:30 am...no more room. No time to trade, no way to make it back without risking over 1000 down and thats it...no more combine.
Day 4...1st trade was a loss... now I am full stop on 3 cars. So now I am break even after 4 days, 1 full stop out left...so now i trade less contracts with a tighter stop.
Day 5 I was profitable, but only 500 or so....but now i need around 3000 in 5 days with no heat. More than 1 %.
The rest dosnt matter.
Hindsight is 20/20...real time is much different. It is really very challenging. Seems simple, but I encourage you to try it in sim, and follow the rules exactly as printed out on the site.
In hindsight, I was done by day 4 at 9:30 am. I never gave up and it didnt work. I am fine with it. In fact, I am grateful because I learned some valuable lessons that didnt cost me a whole lot.
It was really the hardest thing in trading i have ever done.
There are people that are successfull at it. They do want to get traders to go live. but I realized, i am truly a rookie when it come to futures. I am glad it took this combine to help me realize this...and before i blew out my futures account. i realize i was living on borrowed time, and that i have a number of glaring errors in my approach to trading, even though I have enjoyed a modest amount of success. And I do mean modest.
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Had a ton of rain up here in my part of Canada. Some flooding and there was a state of emergency declared in some parts of the city. I am fine in my place...way up on a hill in the city. If I get flooded, the entire city is under water. cant say it will never happen, but very very unlikely.
Over the weekend, i reveiewed my trading very closely, and I have deceided to make a change in my entries. I am going to be more agressive in grabbing profits, and I am going to be much more didligent with reguard to R:R. I am not going to place a trade unless the R:R is at least 1:2, and then i am am going to be more agressive in moving my stop to BE after the trade is green.
Upon reviewing the last couple of weeks, i have been trading back and forth with teh market, adnd as well, the MFE on a large number of trades far exceeded the MAE, yet I took a number of full stops. Therefore, i am going to concentrarte on better trade management .
I beleive this will lead me to more BE trades.
I figure that I can get back in after a BE trade if the conditions still look favourable.
Had 1 full stop at -16.
+64 on 5 trades
Last edited by VinceVirgil; May 29th, 2012 at 04:05 PM.
Reason: Addition error...5 trades not 4
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I think the big mistake is to trade more than 1 car on CL and most of us are probably used to trading more than 1 car.. My average stop is about 20 ticks and that means on 1 car, 4 stop outs in a row allowed and 2 cars, 2 stop outs in a row.. 2 stop outs in a row is a tight noose for even the best traders.. Even the best traders can't cherry pick entries, they take their set ups and expect their edge to kick in.. However, 4 consecutive stop outs should be the exception not the norm on a day to day basis.. 2 stop outs on the other hand can be very random and you lose your edge if you must stop trading after 2 stop outs.... On ES, if you trade 3 cars and have a 2pt stop loss, that's 3 stop outs, which becomes more doable.. If you're a good trader, trading 1 car on CL or 2 cars on ES, you should be able to hit those goals, but absolutely no more if you're to have a statistical chance to leverage your edge.. I think the mistake many otherwise good traders make at Topstep is to oversize because that's what they're used to..
Those stats posted are impressive nevertheless and show results from a trader that has reached a certain level in trading and need to go live if he ever wants to progress beyond sim and get the same results live. More sim trading is prob not going to improve those numbers.. Like athletics, once a certain skill level is reached, trading performance is differentiated thru psychological edge.. trust in your judgement and confidence to hold is VERY different live than in sim...
Last edited by Jedi; May 31st, 2012 at 12:09 AM.
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I am going to start to add my MAE to my trade reports in my journal to serve as a reminder to as to the amount of heat i took in a trade statistically. I have them on a spreadsheet, but I want to extract this number as a metric. I think it will be benificial.
A few months ago, I emailed Panda Warrior and we had discussion about stop tightening. It came to mind what he said with reference to targets and r:r. Once you are green, its time to get to BE.
Other traders have echoed those same sentiments. In fact one long time trader (over 20 years man) told me he seldom...seldom is down more than 500 dollars on his account after a day of trading. in fact, he cant remember the last time he was down that much. .
Losses are a fact of trading, they happen. But instead of letting my trade take me all teh way down to hit my stop, i am determined to cut my losses short when the trade isnt in my favour. Hence the MAE metric. It will show how much heat i took compared to any profits i acheive in a trade, wiutht eh goal of being 1:2 risk.
That's very impressive but that's different from max drawdown which is much more difficult to achieve.. Do you know his max DD? Also, what instrument does he trade and what size? and congrats on a good day!
Can you give a bit more detail about your trailing stops? Are you using an auto ATM to trail or manually adjusting your stop as you trail a "runner"? Are you using a fixed trailing stop (ie. 10 ticks) or adjusting based on swings?
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For my runner, after my first target is hit, I will move it BE. I have a trail stop set at 15 ticks automatically, only because if it pops, I cannot move my stop up fast enough. I find that 15 ticks gives me time to adjust manually.
I will genneraly keep my stop 15 ticks away from the price, and I manage the trade while I am in it using a 5 momentum chart as well as VWAP as either a target or as a trail stop.
If volume starts to drop, I may tighten, depending on the magnitude of the move.
I will post an example of my last trade today, but I have to use my trading computer as that is where the momentum is saved.
Last edited by VinceVirgil; June 1st, 2012 at 03:00 PM.
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Trades the ES. Not sure of his max Draw Down, but from what I gathered, he trades less than 10 contracts. If it is more than a 2 point stop, i would be shocked. I never got into his method much, but he scales out on his trades.
He likely has a lot of scratch trades, and the discipline to stay out of the market if he dosnt get his setups.
He has all the rap down. Dont eat like a bird, and crap like an elephant. Protect your capital. Cant trade if you dont have capital. Dont worry about P and L, its about trading well. Never take a trade unless reward is 2 times your risk. Never ever add to a losing postion. You need to learn to take a loss, because taking a loss teaches you something about how to trade. He looks at losses as the cost of his education, and that that is the price you pay to trade, so learn something from it.
Easier said than done, of course.
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