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Stocktastics Focus Sessions

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  #1 (permalink)
 Stocktastic 
Perth, Western Australia
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader
Trading: Forex
 
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Hi All,

So this is the start of my trading journal. The 1st post is gonna document my journey so far. I have a bad habit of writing too much detail, which also shows in my trading style I will try and keep in shorter, but the 1st post is gonna be a bit longer. I suspect my trading journey is similar to many.

Been learning about trading since January 2010. Started off learning about stocks and specifically the ASX stockmarket as I am based in Perth, Australia. Didn't have much capital to trade with, which is probably a good thing, so stumbled over CFDs, very appealing because of the risky high leverage, ie. I could control a 10k share position on a $500 margin!

So highlights of my journey on how I got to this point being on futures.io (formerly BMT)'s forums writing my trading journal.

By April 2010, I had read about 10 books and countless websites, probably putting at least 20 hours a week on top of fulltime job. I am a IT Technical Consultant and have quite a demanding job in the daytime. Anyway, thought that I was all set to go, understood charts, patterns all the technical stuff, didn't get too bogged down in multiple technical indicators. So started looking at Australian CFD providers and learn about difference between market maker and Direct Market Access CFD providers. Preferred DMA providers as I didn't like the idea of a MM taking the opposite hedge position on your trade. I.e. they profit more if you lose.

So took the plunge with a really great and flexible company, which I will not name just in case I would be breach of something on the forum. A prominent CFD DMA provider. They were really flexible as I started with only $2000 AUD, and the first 3 months of trades would charge me only 0.10% of trade or minimum $1 AUD per trade!!! So $2 AUD risk in transaction cost, 500 shares on 5% margin ment that I would earn or lose(!) $5 AUD per cent change in share price, so 1 cent profit covered transaction costs. Sounds like a dream doesnt it, well enter the novice trader who knows it all.......

So started trading with CFD DMAs, had a couple of little wins, tiny actually, then put in a trade based on a load of positive news I think Seven Network were acquiring some industrial company (freight ?? or something). So media hyped it up and guess who bought it at the top at about 7.88 per share.

Only bought 300 CFD shares, so initial risk was probably $40 or so about 2% of my account size, so sensible position sizing. But, I was so focused on the news I didn't look at the price action properly (i.e. charts) and the next day it dropped like to within 1 cent of my stop loss!

I panicked and then thought that because the news was so good it was going to come back, so I left it a couple of days, actually cancelled the stop loss order 10 mins before it triggered. After 3 days I was nursing a loss of -$240, so my risk should have been $40, but was now 6x that, those that read Van Tharp will know about r multiples. So I was holding a -6R lost and not knowing what to do. My previous wins were really like +0.08R type affairs, $30 was maximum i had earned up till this point which would be +0.75, so -6R which was also about 25% of my 2k equity it was a monster trade...killing 1 quarter of my account in one trade!

So I actually closed my eyes and clicked sell, ouch, it was gut wrenching. lots of things went through my mind, I thought god I can't do this, I can't learn to trade, its too hard etc etc

Had a horrible 24 hours worrying about it all, getting loads of self doubt about being able to be profitable ......

So, after a few days started trading live again. Similar story, started reading alot more, everytime I had a loss, I would start reading and learning more, making it more complex.

What I wasn't enjoying especially was only been able to trade from 8am to 2pm WA time. 8am is when I have to take the kids to school, if youve traded stocks and single country markets you will be aware of gap ups and gap downs!!!! So I was always trying to watch the open and close and it was at such an inconvenient time, family time and work hours.

Then started chatting to guy in office about trading and found out he had moved to another CFD provider, one that was a very well known MM, but you could trade ASX Shares, Indicies, Forex and Commodities all from one platform.

With ASX share trading, I was always at the mercy of gap opens, I didn't why the market would jump 3.40 to 3.59 today and then open at 3.38 the next day. There was no news I could find on web that was particular discussing that company to make it move like that. Didnt really think about Volality, ATR, etc etc back then.

Started following google finance for world economic events when the UK and US markets opened particularly. I was finding it fascinating, seeing how all the economic news was moving stock prices.

Continued to do crap with first account and eventually got it from $2000 AUD to $1200 AUD before I closed the account and took out my remaining capital. No reflection on the company, just decided that world events and being able to trade that was much more interesting and viable a trading option for me, because :

1) Trading Indices allowed me to trade MM spot futures contracts on all world indexes and the major ones being 24 hours.

2) I was understanding basic chart patterns and technical analysis, but I didnt get why prices moved in the way they did. Particularly in the 2010 market April to September it was quite volatile, not unusual to see a -150 drop in dow overnight. Great if you were shorting it, which my mate at work was doing. He started with $2000 like me and made $2000 profit in about 5 weeks! Took that out and basically continued to trade with the 2k profit. I was finding that index moves in dow, sp500, asx200, dax, ftse were looking highly correlated with the main economic news coming out of google finance every night. Obvious now, but it was a golden moment for me where a piece of the trading puzzle fell into place, i.e. macroeconomics.

So opened an account with said provider that mate at work was using. Transferred $1200 from other account and started trading the indices mainly. 1st 6 weeks allowed you to trade very small contract sizes (micro account), so I could trade with a 0.05 contract or 5 cents risk per index point.

So, as soon as the small contract size ran out, I continued with my very poor Risk/Reward trades and eventually dropped the account to $860. Yet again I did one trade on an ASX company based on rumour and lost $100 in the single trade. This time I honoured the stop loss, but nevertheless I was risking 10% of my account in a single trade.

So I stopped trading live and started searching more, as all platforms I had so far traded with allowed demo trading for only about 30 days. Then I started to focus more on forex and found that almost all the providers offered demo accounts and many were non-expiring. So from about September 2010 I began demo trading only....

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  #3 (permalink)
 Stocktastic 
Perth, Western Australia
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader
Trading: Forex
 
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Posts: 35 since Oct 2011
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As I learnt that forex was even more closely correlated with world events than the regional stock markets. I got more and more interested in forex, especially as they offered demo accounts. Started trading a demo account with one broker. Was still very cautious, and would slowly get the account in positive, say basically drawdown to 10% and then up to 3-5% profit on account, before doing stupid trades and dropping the account by 15-20% in about a week.
Bizarrely, in the space of september 2010 - June 2011 I repeated the same mistake, did well and just as I was getting successful I overtraded and took some bigger losses. Didnt really increase position size, but let losses run much longer then necessary. Discipline again was not my strongpoint.

Was I mad ? Because after 2 demo accounts I decided to move back to live, a micro account with $1000 AUD since beginning of July. Again started off well, then did a few bad trades and one on the CFD for SPX500 which I didnt notice was the wrong contract size, so it was moving $1 every 0.1 of SPX, or $10 per whole point. On a $1k account, that was just silly. Below is my journal entry from that day when I made the trade.
----------------------------
23rd August 2011

SPX500 in live. Followed this through the day in my real account. Placed Buy order at 1150, didnít like the way the 1150 figure was not bouncing very high. Then after 3 retests of 1150 level I jumped in long and then it immediately went the opposite way!

Then I checked the pip cost and it was 0.96 a pip. This was way too high, I am normally trading in micro lots in currencies so 0.10 a pip is ok, maximum 200 pips for $20. So 0.96 a pip is way too high, $20 is only 20 pips or 2 points on SPX500. Given volatility in the last few weeks this was not a good trade to be in. But I moved the stop to -50 or $50 risk (5%). So 5% gave SP a bit of room, but the next price structure level was right on 1145 and I accordingly got stopped out at that level before the move higher. See the chart for the painful trade

So, whats the verdict here, very bad trading or just unlucky. I would say bad trading, as my original trade idea and entry order would have played out perfectly, as it did in the demo, had I not played with it and then not paid attention to risk management parameters. Discipline is still clearly lacking in my trading.

But I am actually happy with this, as as I journal my trades I am understanding that my trading is not consitent because I am not consistent. My trade ideas are technically sound, and are definitely getting better, but my management and/or execution is horrendous. So I am going to continue to journal privately, and sometimes publicly, as it really is starting to give me insights into my trading.
------End of Journal

I havent taken a live trade again since 28th August 2011. In the end it wasnt that bad, sure it was a mistake because of the risk size and it showed that I am not happy emotionally when trading above my risk tolerance which is not more than 2% in any trade. So again, I learnt from this trade a big lesson in risk management and having a plan and sticking to it.

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  #4 (permalink)
 Stocktastic 
Perth, Western Australia
 
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So I came to realise (at last), that what is really lacking in my trading is a consistent trading plan and method. I need one that suits me and one that I can follow. Without this its just like gambling, how can I measure or improve if I don't consistently trade the same way. What I have going for me in trading is that I really enjoy it, I love learning about the markets, tools, platforms etc. I used to follow alot of websites on economic indicators and trade ideas, but have come to the conclusion that all of it is just a distraction away from a consistent trading approach.

I have become increasingly interested in purer price action trading, in particular supply/demand zones and this has been largely influenced by Sam Seidens work. It seems to be a natural progression from my charts I had on the micro account where I largely viewed price movements against weekly and daily pivots.

I recently attended a free 2 week event put on by triplethreattrading called protraderbootcamp. This covered all aspects of trading, but what I particular enjoyed was 1) The use of Ninjatrader for chart trading and ATMs 2) The use of Range Bars and fibs for price action.

So, my current forex account didn't have range bars and I found that most of the platforms coming from brokers also didnt provide this. So I kept coming back to NinjaTrader. So, my next mission was to learn to use Ninjatrader over the last few weeks and test out some broker feeds.

This is largely what I have been doing over the last few weeks and have settled on using PFG as my broker for forex trading via Ninjatrader. What I particularly like about the PFG API is that I can place ATM strategies in Ninjatrader and once trades are triggered I can quickly log into BestDirect8 and join orders via OCO just in case. I may not use it, but I like the idea of this additional protection if I hold longer positions in the market.

So, after all this rambling whats the point ? The point is that I now need to form that trading plan and follow it and I am hoping that I can find some feedback and discussions to guide me in the right direction.

I have funded my PFG account with $5k, but I don't intend to trade live yet until I can "sign-off" on a consistent trading plan, which I will hopefully document here.

I still have my micro account with $930 in it, think I will close it and move the money back or should I keep the micro and trade live in there ? Thing is I want to trade solely in Ninjatrader as if I become the successful trader I want to be, then I will eventually be able to trade futures via ninjatrader as well.

Well, off to a halloween party now and will try and write up some actual trade plan ideas over the next few days. Any comments/samples on structuring a trading plan would be appreciated.

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  #5 (permalink)
 Eric j 
NY
 
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Excellent journal so far , Im enjoying it thoroughly and keep it up ! Sounds like tenacity alone will keep you in the game so it looks like you're most of the way there .

I think you struck the gold vein when you wrote - "So, whats the verdict here, very bad trading or just unlucky. I would say bad trading, as my original trade idea and entry order would have played out perfectly" . Probably the hardest part of trading is letting the trade unfold .

Be careful adopting someone elses approach . Remember , its their "vision" you're learning and its tough to adopt or adapt to their way of doing things .

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  #6 (permalink)
 Stocktastic 
Perth, Western Australia
 
Experience: Beginner
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Trading: Forex
 
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Posts: 35 since Oct 2011
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So back to work today, so didnt have time to do too much work on my setups. Did spent some time looking at how to setup daily and weekly pivots. You will see that this has been a favourite of mine, and the previous chart with the SPX500 chart shows pivots.

I found the excellent SessionPivots by FatTails and set them up. I had a question about the meaning of PW-PRL, and had very quick and clear explanations from Fat Tails and Sylvester17.

Used the current weekly pivots to look at going short on EUR/USD in 1st 2 hours or so of Asia session. Since it hadnt breached the PW-Close, the RR looked good. Didnt expect it to play out quite as quickly as it did! With hindsight, I could have got a lot more pips, but I should be happy with my trade as both targets were hit.



Well its late and I need to rest. Still have contract work that I need to do instead of trading, but just couldnt resist ... addict....

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  #7 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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Good job with your journal, I look forward to reading it.

Mike

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  #8 (permalink)
 Stocktastic 
Perth, Western Australia
 
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So, last night I wrote about my EURUSD trade, nighttime for me is really a couple of hours into the US session. Looking at where the EURUSD has ended now (in the 1.3830 level), I can't help regretting taking profit on both parts of my short.

This is a common feeling I get on successful trades, as many times I have entered at a good level only to take profit too early. A common inexperienced traders folly. However, this trade hit both my targets, I did not adjust anything on the trade. So in terms of following the trade idea and letting it play out I should give myself A+.

But, do I feel regret for not setting the TP targets wider ? Well yes I do, but this would seem to be a negative trait to my trading ? Of course, other trades when I have set the TPs to be wider, the targets didnt get hit and a retrace back to BE and take me out are more frustrating.

So, I am assuming that my focus is wrong here, the profits or otherwise are not important, what is important is sticking to the plan ? I had a few good reasons for the entries and TPs according to pivot levels etc, and they played out perfectly. It is only with hindsight that you feel you could have done better.

How do you train yourself to be grateful for what the market gave you and feel satisfaction on sticking to the plan rather than missing out on profits ? I think I know the answer, but welcome peoples comments.....

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 Stocktastic 
Perth, Western Australia
 
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As mentioned before, I currently have a fulltime job and an additional technical writing contract job that I have to do in evenings and weekends. This is really distracting me from developing my trading plan, or trading is distracting me from my contract work... you get the picture.

I am still in simulation mode and will likely be for sometime until I get some dedicated time to write up some rules. Like a kid in a toy shop, I have been experimenting largely for Ninjatrader and lots of indicators to find the ones I am most comfortable with. I am trying to get to a stage where I have a workspace setup that I "set in stone" and just trade off that.

Interestingly, at least for me, I find yet again I am most comfortable with Pivots and Fibs. What I really like are the indicators from Fat Tails, the anaCurrentWeeklyOHL and anaPivotsWeekly. They add an extra dimension to measuring price action for me as they include PW levels as well.

I am also incorporating Big Mikes futures.io (formerly BMT)EnvelopeExpansion and experimenting on different timeframes in conjunction with the pivots and fibs. All of this just helps to guage likely price action levels, but I feel that I may be able to use the futures.io (formerly BMT)Envelope to help me set some criteria for entry, such as shorts below CMA line etc.

Attached image shows a trade I took in EURUSD, following futures.io (formerly BMT) rule. CMA line was turning over, waited for retest of CMA line and then shorted. Target was 1st fib line, which was also (at that time) the weekly 38.2. It hit perfectly.

Then took a trade tonight (as I was itching for one), and went long (yes long!) EURUSD. I went long as the market had found support at 1.580, in the 8 range bar it was consolidating an the futures.io (formerly BMT) lines angle were starting to straighten out. Of course I knew it was risky since such a strong down move all day, but there are always buyers at some point, just as there are sellers. What I like about the trade was that I had a stop of only 18 pips, so if I was wrong I was out quickly. Its not the winning or losing, its the following the plan ......

Stops .... I will need to start to document this when I have freed myself from the contract work, but I am finding that alot of my entries are too early. Where my stops are, are frequently where my entries should be!! Always easy to see that with hindsight, but thats why we sim trade and journal isn't it ? The issue I have with this, is I find it hard to put entry orders in at those levels as I dont want to miss the move.....Better to miss the move than get whipsawed out me thinks....

Anyway, big thanks to Fat Tails and Big Mike for the indicators, now where did I leave that discipline to trade with them Good night .

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 Stocktastic 
Perth, Western Australia
 
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Watched the markets on and off today. In morning had a quick play with ATM Strategies. Main reason was I had a trade in last night short EURUSD at 1.36010 or something. 2 contracts 30 stoploss each and 50 and 100 target. Went to bed and left it running.

Hit my first target of 50, then retraced and stopped me out for 30. So leaving me only with net +20 pips. If I had had a breakeven trigger on the 2nd contract I would have made +50. I like the way I can use ATM to manage 2 contract trades better. Will experiment more with it over next few weeks. By the way I am primarily trading Sim101 and a Demo account at the moment. I have realised that one of my big drawbacks in learning to trade is fear of my account going into negative, even in demo and sim !

I think now that this is holding me back in my trading development. I need to balance the need to not lose compared to the need to learn and develop a plan and a system that I have faith in. To learn to trade, the account balance should not matter so much as finding a consistent and repeatable trading process.

Ok, attached trade is 2 mini-lots on the EURUSD, just 20 minutes before US open. Although its veterens's day, so is there a US Open. I'm long at 1.3630 and trade has been in profit and sitting on 1.3640. Funnily I put on an ATM put but the Autobreakeven stops at 25 and 30, which as I am trading to TenthPip, its onlt 2.5 and 3.0 pips. Amazingly, I didnt get stopped out. I feel that I will be whipsawed out, which would give me a 6 pip win or so, but hey 1st target is 1.3680 (+50) so RR is very good.

Happy weekend everyone. I'm out all weekend with my eldest son, who is competing in U13 state athletics championships. Speak again soon.

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 Stocktastic 
Perth, Western Australia
 
Experience: Beginner
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Quick update. Watching the trade too much as I always do. Moved one part of stop loss up to lock in 10 pips or so. Counting on 1.3650 holding as support for a test of 1.3680.

See 1.3650 is Yesterdays High and this is the 5th attack on this level.

Emotions

In general like the look of the trade, feeling nervous its going to come back and take me out for tiny profit.
Need to not pile on so much pressure over a single trade. 1.3670 looks tough to crack with Daily R1 and W-Mid (50% fib).

Expansion bands are turning up on the 8 Range chart

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 Stocktastic 
Perth, Western Australia
 
Experience: Beginner
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Ok,

EURUSD trade played out reasonably well. Got chopped out of one mini-lot for 11 pips and hit my +50 pip target on the other half.

A lot of unecessary emotion and watching trade was had to get those pips. If I had left the trade to play out, the outcome would be the same, except I wouldn't have been chopped out of a contract on the way up.

Anyway, it will do for this week. Getting happier with my trades nearer the end of the week. Why ? I feel like I am getting a consistent set of charts together, and this is the foundation of my trading system, I believe.

Easy to be positive when you didn't lose, lets see what I write when the trade goes against me.

So also attached is weekly summary of trades. For the whole week, earned $4.10. Cool!!! But, what I have learnt is much more valuable. The trade on the 10th was a good short entry, but I was on the wrong side of the market in the end. Should have had smaller stops, but easier to say that after the trade has completed.

cya

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  #13 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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How was Monday/Tuesday?

Mike

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  #14 (permalink)
 Stocktastic 
Perth, Western Australia
 
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Hey.

Thanks Mike for the prompt I have been following markets, but mainly trying to finalize my chart setups in Ninjatrader. These will be the setups I will use to start trying to form a trading system and plan.

Before I recap that, what else have I been doing with regard to trading. Well not too much, in terms of following the markets, from a fundamental/news perspective I pretty much only follow forexlive and forexfactory economic news. Apologies if this is considered advertising or something, if so please let me know.

I also watched over a couple of days posted by kbit ( A Trader's Guide to Self-Discipline) by Dr. Brett Steenbarger. Very interesting with the concept of vertical split personality. I recognise a large degree of self sabotage in my trading and am working on my emotional triggers for a while. What I havent been able to do is have any real constructive approach to address these issues. The video helped me to see this and look at taking note of emotions and what triggers me to impulse trade or take trades without a consistant signal. Of course, if you have had the time (or interest) to read my journal so far you will know that the lack of system is one of the root causes of this lack of consistency.

Anyway, so I know I have a heap of emotions to deal with in my trading, and I have moved from overtrading or trading on impulse to not wanting to pull the trigger on many trade ideas I see, due to lack of confidence and NOT WANTING TO BE WRONG..... Pure poison to a successful trade. Thing is though, as I standardize my charts and follow the market looking at signals, I seem alot of great trades, many of which play out. I'm not in the trades, but its the consistent view of a price chart that I am currently interested in.

I realise I write alot of detail, but I find it very cathartic and it helps me focus on what I should be doing in developing my trading plan. As usual, its getting late, 10pm here in Australia, so I am going to chuck a couple more posts in on my chart setups and the 2 trades I have taken so fact this week.

cya

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 Stocktastic 
Perth, Western Australia
 
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Trading Style

1. I prefer short term trades, ideally 1-5 hours.
2. Happy to hold longer if trade is going my way, but so far never been able to hold for longer than a day or two.
3. I have a strong interest in price action and my use of indicators is largely as a guide to assist in following the price relative to its value. I largely do this by following daily, weekly and monthly pivots, as well as weekly fib levels.

Charts

Single Pair

For a complete view of levels and price action I have 4 charts of different timeframes on a single screen. Not sure how they will load but 1st attachment shows the 4 screens in action on EURUSD, bit of a gigantic chart as in full HD mode (sorry). I will go through each chart individually, 1) For indicators on the chart 2) My reasoning for choosing this chart.

1. Daily (1440 Min)

Daily chart for overall trend (of course).

Indicators

SMAs (50, 100, 200) - Green, Blue, Red respectively
ATR (14)
anaPivotsMonthlyV37 - Important Monthly levels, also shows Previous Month levels. You can see that EURUSD has been trapped in a range from 1.3850 - 1.3480 until a break lower today.
anaCurrentMonthOHLV37 - Dynamic Fib Levels.

2. 60 Min

I did originally have this as 240 min chart, but felt that given my preference for intraday trading that 60 mins was better at allowing be to see the trend. It probably looks quite busy, but when I really want to study I will maximize the single chart.

Indicators

BarTimer - When's the next hourly candle going to close.
anaSuperTrend - Just look at the clean intraday trends supertrend has shown in the last few weeks. Very helpful indicator to guage price. Entries still need refinement, but my trading style would probably try and enter near the trend change level (i.e retest) rather than when the signal is first generated as that by its nature will generate false signals where you buy at the top, sell at the bottom etc.
MultiPeriodCandles - Really like this one, I have it set to 24 periods, so each larger shaded candle represents a days trading. Look at Mon, Tue where both daily candles were formed with straight sell offs. Todays candle is red but the market has bounced around to form that candle.
anaPivotsMonthlyV37 - S/R levels
anaPivotsWeeklyV37 - S/R levels

3. 30 Min

Down to 30 mins now and I can also flip the time on this to 15 min, 5 min etc when looking for entries.
This is more where I will be looking for entries.

Indicators

BMAEnveloperExpansion - Love this indicator. Finding it very powerful for price action, generates alot of signals particularly of the Base bar (black dotted). The fib lines allow you to too how extreme the move is and set targets and stops around those bands. Still refining how to enter and exit, but again this is about have a standard setup and sticking to it.
anaCurrentWeekOHLV37 - Usual reasons.
anaPivotsWeeklyV37 - Usual reasons.
anaPivotsDailyV37 - For intraday, again a good picture of where we are. For example, EURUSD today opened just below PP, market went down to 1.3428 through Asia session, then came all the way back up in Europe to kiss 1.3560 which is daily PP. Still holding bearish....

4. 8 Range Bars

In a way the chart setup is quite similar to the previous one, just this time we are focused on just price not time.

BMAEnveloperExpansion - Main indicator for this chart, again very reliable, especially when market is trending intraday.
anaPivotsWeeklyV37 - Usual reasons.
anaPivotsDailyV37 - For intraday, again a good picture of where we are. For example, EURUSD today opened just below PP, market went down to 1.3428 through Asia session, then came all the way back up in Europe to kiss 1.3560 which is daily PP. Still holding bearish....
anaCurrentWeekOHLV37 - Usual reasons.

So there you go, probably looks overly complex for most people, but it is actually simpler than it looks, as it is largely pivots and fibs automatically plotted. I guess the issue it does cause me is which timeframe to I take my trade in, relative to stops and targets ?

The answer to this I do not know yet, but what I like is that I have many options with this setup and largely they all focus on the same principles. Well, we will see how we go with it, but I am happy that I have finally fixed on something that I am comfortable with.

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 Stocktastic 
Perth, Western Australia
 
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Phew that took too long to write up.

Trade 1 Long EURUSD at 1.3650. On the 30 Min chart the EURUSD was in a strong downtrend, so why did I take the trade ? Well there was an hour or 2 pause around that level, and 1.3650 has been quite significant in last few days, so was counting on a bounce at least to 1.3700 (which was my 1st target). Stop was 30 pips but I has to mini-lots.
I had set an autobreakeven strategy on the 2nd lot at 25 pips profit, just to be save, but it didnt reach it as this trade happened overnight when I was sleeping. Chart is attached. With hindsight I shouldn't have taken it, as price was below BMCollective line, but as it was 2 fibs down a retrace looked possible, but not enough.

Trade 2 Long EURUSD at 1.3450. This was today and I had been watching the market on and off while working from home on other stuff. EURUSD certainly got hammered in Asia and it looked ripe for a retest of at least yesterdays low (Y-Low) at 1.3499 before more downside. Well as I had had a loser earlier in the week, I went to a single contract and put a stop just below the low of the week (made in asia earlier that day). The chart tells the picture where it took me out before doing the move I was trading for (and then some)......

So I got punished so far this week, but not majorly. My first trade didnt turn out well, but then since being stopped out on monday it still hasnt come back up to that level, so without the discipline to take the loss, it would have hurt alot more. So very happy that I kept to that plan.

2nd trade - these are the ones I don't like. When I first started trading I would say, ooohh the broker hunted my stop :-) Yeah right....by entry level was ok, but my stop was not wide enough thats all. Painful, but thats the joy of trading. Next time I will do better, or I might lose again, just make sure I know why I am taking the trade.

Good Night

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 Stocktastic 
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Evening,

Well I seem to keep going for countertrend reversals.

I have got 3 2 mini lot orders in the market at the moment. Bit of a trading experiement, if they all went against me it would be like 3 % account loss. However, the EURUSD 30 Min is a straddle trade. If it pops up, i'm counting on some good selling pressure around the 1.3640-1.3650 level. Other buy order is at 1.3554 if trade triggered first, then will cancel the other one.

AUDUSD short order at 1.0111. Quite a significant level in last 2 weeks. Looks like I am going to be in that one in a few minutes. See attached chart.

Emotions : Little bit worried that I am going to miss the AUSUSD short, or be totally wrong and be blown through. All 3 entries are good levels of S/D levels. I am going to record emotions as I watch this trade idea develop.

Any outcome is a good outcome if I stick to my trade plan. I'll write out the ATM strategy attached to the trades as well.

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 Stocktastic 
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AUDUSD take a look at the chart.

Emotions: Think I have missed the AUDUSD, short if drops far and returns, maybe cancel order. I don't have a criteria in my trade plan to cancel a limit order when missed in a certain range, do I need one ?

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 Stocktastic 
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So, none of my trades triggered, but missed by EURUSD long so far by 4 pips.
Missed the AUDUSD by 3 pips.

Time to call it a day and cancel all 3 orders ?

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 Stocktastic 
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Cancelled the AUDUSD short and the EURUSD short, but EURUSD long triggered, hence reason to cancel the others to reduce risk.

Immediately broke through my by level and bounced off 1.3520, which has been important this week. With hindsight, I should have looked at a long closer to that level. But whenever i look at taking a trade I think I am going to miss the move. BMACollective is ast 1.3520, with my stop at 1.3510. Ok, well Im going to let it play out but probability is I will be stopped out for 80 pips or 1.3% ... boooooo! That would make no winning trade for the whole week.

No worries, its demo, and I am not making stupid trades I am waiting for the market to come to me, so I am learning, you cant always be wrong and and you cant always be right.

Ok, gonna let the market decide, easier with demo, but I need to go to sleep and its not over till the fat lady sings.

Cya

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 Stocktastic 
Perth, Western Australia
 
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Well, the fat lady did sing and unfortunately not to my tune... lol

I got stopped out of both parts. What I am enjoying here is that I am seeing good levels in the market and I am either (1) Just a little bit too accurate with the level, such as the AUDUSD short at 1.0111 that missed my entry by 3 pips. (2) Impatient. When I am looking at the levels I can see the major level and my secondary level, but always seem to get the feeling that if I don't take the secondary level then I won't get filled. Time and time again I have seen my trades play out well, but my entries are at the secondary level not the first.

I have written before in this journal that it seems that my entries should be where my stops are. EURUSD attached chart shows my EURUSD long that took me out. Interestingly, on friday night I saved this file as EURUSD-GetOut, but I decided to stay in the trade. I notice that I have this type of feeling a number of times and more often or not, my gut instinct that the trade is playing as expected is correct. But 9 times out of 10 I hang in there until I am stopped out.

When the chart is moving live, as I said above, I feel I will miss the move. This doesnt mean that I jump into trades, just that I am putting limit/stop orders at a secondary quality level.

For last week, my results were not so encouraging with a loss of $173.00, on a 5k account that would be a drawdown on -3.5%. So not very good at all, but than this is demo and the trades I am taking are not haphazard or carefree. Remember I am trying to devise a consistent rule bases discretionary system, and this is part of the learning curve.

Its tuesday morning, 7:40 am here in australia, kids ready for school and 20 mins before I need to go. Better go and get ready. I am behind in this journal slightly, as I did have a limit sell order on EURUSD over night (US Session), so far stopped out for 30 pips on 1st half and +10-14 pips on the other as that had a wider stop.
This trade again is the same story, where I should have entered where my stop loss was. I guess you just have to keep repeating the same mistake until you can train yourself to take the highest quality trades only.

cya

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 Big Mike 
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Nice work, just keep at it. You are doing good.



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 Bermudan Option 
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Great journal. One of my favorites already. I like how frank and honest you are with yourself in your posts. I plan on sticking to sim trading until successful as well so you aren't alone in that aspect. Good luck and I'll be tuned in.

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 Stocktastic 
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Well here I am back again for another update. Probably tell by the title that I am not too happy with my trading.

Anyway, so as I mentioned I had gone short on EURUSD yesterday at 1.3496.
So 2nd leg of trade I held throughout the day. I didnt watch the market too much, as my stops were in place even though I didnt like the area I was short in. At one point through the day I was up +20 pips, only to go and play squash in the evening and see me perfectly stopped out at 1.3560, still the top now in the EURUSD

Ok, so still like the short side, after the US GDP data, this time short at 1.3522. Much happier with this level as knew it was a level market has paused at quite a few times this week and last. Had an ATM strategy running on it so I could sleep safely in bed

ATM is 2 Mini-Lots (SL30-60TP60-145-AUTOBE)
SL1 30 pips TG1 45 pips with Auto Breakeven if in profit by 30 pips
SL2 60 pips TG2 145 pips with Auto Breakeven if in profit by 40 pips

Woke up in the morning to have been stopped out of SL1 but only for $0.60 as Auto Breakeven had been triggered when I was in profit of 30 pips. 60c was obviously slippage.

Other half was in profit by 7 pips. Was working from home today so was able to watch the charts. The trade was largely respecting the BM Collective center line, so I got worried I would take another loss. I actually monitored it for 1 hour or so after asia open until I took profit at 7 pips!! Shortly after EURUSD tanked, without me.

Last Trade just after UK open went long in EURUSD at 1.3452 with 2 mls. Was expecting a short bounce up, which it did indeed do. But soon as I saw the bouce thought I would change the trade idea and hang in longer. Moved stops on both parts manually to BE and got stopped out 4 mins later. Ok, well decided to leave the market alone for a while.

So here I am. Looking back at the trades its hard to believe how I have such an uncanny knack of missing the moves. Yet again managing to pick the intraday tops and getting stopped out before the move goes my way.

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 Stocktastic 
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To be honest I feel quite bewildered by my failure to make any profit in the market so far this week.

Is it the EURUSD just killing me, well yes and no, as keeps happening my entries end up being in the middle of the range, although at the time I am looking at the trade they do look reasonable.

I am stuggling to find my style in the markets, and this has been common for a while. I MUST keep to my chart setups as that has been my normal escape when I feel I am not being successful. This is why this public journal is here, if someone sees me changing chart setups for taking trades, please tell me to stop as this is not the answer.

A big thanks to Big Mike and Bermudan Option who at least give me some confidence someone is reading my ramblings. I hope some will be able to chop in and give me some advice as my journey progresses.

OK, in two minds whether to look at trades now or not. Still want to get some trades in that work, but this type of desire doesn't turn out too well as you all know.

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 Stocktastic 
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Ok, today I had a decent trade with the EURUSD.

Put a limit order in at 1.3401 in asia session, usual 2 mini lots.

Also using ATM strategy again :-

ATM is 2 Mini-Lots (SL30-60TP60-145-AUTOBE)
SL1 30 pips TG1 45 pips with Auto Breakeven if in profit by 30 pips
SL2 60 pips TG2 145 pips with Auto Breakeven if in profit by 40 pips

So UK session pushed it up and it spent quite a bit of time off the 1.3400 level, no big rejection at that level, so I moved my limit order up a little bit 1.3410.

Was a good decision as got it back at resistance from US Session last night.

30 pips profit in and ATM SL1 moved to BE.
45 pips profit and TG1 was closed taking 45 pips off the table.

At 40 pips the second SL2 moved to BE. This is where the trade stands now. I am tempted to take the other half for around 25-30 pips and just be happy with that given my woeful trading so far this week. But this wouldnt even cover my losses. The range chart (8 bar) is finding support, which is also the Weekly 23.6 level, so it does look like it wants to go higher in US.

Even with the SL2 at BE, it maybe safer to move that back up to 1.3425 or more, to allow US to test that area again ?

This is one of my issues with trades, the second half is a runner, but I could have closed the whole position at +90 pips and stopped trading for today.

Need to make a decision, but if I just leave it for a while, lets see where it goes. Should be happy as it is nor often that I get to think what to do with the unrealized profits in a trade (not the last 2 weeks anyway).

Back later.

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 Stocktastic 
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So, still in the EURUSD trade, missed stopping me out on 2nd lot by fraction of a pip see attached chart.

Looks like market is going to rest on the center line BMA to await full US open. Slight turning down of futures.io (formerly BMT)Envelope, but gut feeling is it will break through the 1.3410 level before it heads lower again.

This is where I struggle with the trade, I really want to TP on a retest of the 1.3320ish level, but will I get that or out at BE. I am feeling stressed now as I want to make the right decision. !.3380 is where BMA is and where support is holding at the moment. A break through that level should take us at least back to 1.3365.

How do you write this sort of trading decision up in a trading plan ? If I had a set of rules I would know what to do and that is the problem. Keeping at BE maybe is the right thing to do for now.

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 Stocktastic 
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Well, I held on to the trade after the retrace and then felt it was finding support at 1.3360 again.
Moved stop to 1.1394 above swing high in 8 range.

Then was ready to go and play xbox live with my mate and therefore decided to take profit at +39 pips. So total profit was +84.50. So quite happy with that. Normally I would have panicked on the retraces and got out for 15-25 pips profit on the other half.

Of course, reading last post my plan was for a retest of 1.3320 which is currently where it is finding support again. So could have bagged +90 instead of +38 on the 2nd leg.

With hindsight I should have left the trade to play out, but panicked and didnt want the worry to watch the market while playing xbox with my mate If you look at where I got out, it made sense as it did look like it was bouncing for a retest, but the market always knows best.

Well, its demo but I still seem to employ the same level of emotions as if it was real. I need to get over this, not the demo thing, but attaching so much importance to a single trade. The trade entry was almost perfect, but the exits could have been much better. Another thing to be wary of is how happy I am when a trade goes well, as conversely I am very angry/upset if it goes wrong. Neither emotions serve any purpose in trading except to cloud your judgement.

OK, thats me done, I will leave the market to do its thang. EURUSD really looking like it wants to have a poke at 1.3300 before the end of the session, but I am not looking to trade it.

Good night.

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 Stocktastic 
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Ok, 3 mins to nfp.

Watching hourly charts, straddle trade short at 1.3599 or long at 1.426.

Lets see which way it goes.

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 Stocktastic 
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Ok,

Well happy with my limit orders at the moment, market is probably done for this week. Stuck around the 1.3500 level.

Long to 1.3560 looks like a good play, but i'm gonna leave the screens and play Call of Duty Black Ops. Dont expect to be in any position, but will close order before market close, given the 100 pip gap we had last monday!

laters

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 Stocktastic 
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Just quick recap on the EURUSD trade. Didn't get triggered either way on the trade during nfp which was the plan.
I note that when I decided to leave the market for the evening, I wrote I would cancel the orders. However, when I was going to bed I checked and saw the EURUSD dropping but I hadnt been filled on the long. Decided to leave it to trigger and went to bed. Why ?

Well, I did get filled and stopped out quite quickly. In a lucky break my second contract had a auto BE of 4 pips instead of 40 and I got stopped out at BE for 1 half. This only made the loss -30 pips, but I could have avoided any loss at all if I followed the plan.

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 Stocktastic 
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Finding keeping up with journaling live via the website a bit cumbersome, so I am going to go back to use OneNote through the day and will try to upload the results daily. This is what I wrote in my journal so far today :-


Monday, 5 December 2011
8:56 AM

Ok, need to start journaling again. So this is the beginning of the new journal.
I still need to copy this up to Big Mikes Trading Forum when I have time.

I have a standard set of charts that I MUST stick to, I can't now see any other reason to change them.

Early Asia small gap up in some pairs, probably looking for shorts only at the moment.

GBPUSD 1.5640 is a key intraday area for shorting.
futures.io (formerly BMT) 30 min 1.5639, futures.io (formerly BMT) 60 min 1.5638 60min SuperTrend Short Stop 1.5638
Daily PP 1.5634

Of course, finding that waiting for trades to come to me has not been working so much, maybe should be looking at long from here to 1.5635 zone ?

5/12/2011 9:07 AM

Ok went long on the 1.5605 level in early asia session, I am on the train going into work. I have Target 1 at 1.5634 and Target 2 at 1.5660. Expecting bounce at least to 1st level before real shorting strength comes in.


5/12/2011 7:12 PM
Trade Idea of going long at 1.5600 was good.
However, was watching charts on and off at work. As Europe session neared felt it was coming back down. Moved both SLs to BE, but even then thought it was coming down more so closed both positions. As the chart shows it would have hit both targets if I had left it. Profit was only $14.80 instead of $28 Target 1 and $54 for 2nd target, making $80.

Now

I notice the way that I wrote, "felt" that it was coming down. This is an important comment, as again emotion must have been rolled up in this trade. I panicked as it was coming down and I wanted to make some profit. I didn't even wait for the 30Min candle I was watching to complete before deciding to bail.

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 Stocktastic 
Perth, Western Australia
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader
Trading: Forex
 
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Notice this pattern on the GBPUSD on the 8 Range bars. This is around 4:20 NY time I think (5:20 AM WAST) on Fridays session. You would think some nice Algo programs just drove this up and down for some quick 60 pips profit up and down when little or no liquidity .... nice work if you can get it.

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 Stocktastic 
Perth, Western Australia
 
Experience: Beginner
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Trading: Forex
 
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Ok. Liked the look of the EURJPY for a long. Was above daily PP, above 15 min, 30 min and 60 min futures.io (formerly BMT) line.
A little far from the 60 min line which I didnt like while I was in the position.

I was reading stuff on futures.io (formerly BMT) forum while watching the trade. Was still bouncing of the entry area (104.83), so looked ok, but again while I am in the trade I seem to find ways not to like the entry. As always I was nervous when the trade was on. Keep on trying as its only proven results, based on consistency that will rid me of that issue.

ISM Non Facturing on the way so I wanted to be out of the trade. A quick spike up to resistance at 105 in the 8 Range bar was enough for me to jump out with $35 profit. This gives me a total of +$51 for day.

Nothing special and took profit too early on the GBPUSD trade, but I am happy with my entries off the charts, as I am using the futures.io (formerly BMT) line on the different timeframes as well as Pivots etc to guage the entry and exit. This is my intention so I can eliminate one part of my trading mistake, which is changing chart setups everytime I start to lose a few trades.

I need to start actually posting my origin SL and TPs, but I manage that largely on the the Ninjatrader chart so dont see the need to write it down. Will look at posting the chart and updating if I move SLs/TPs.

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