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Day Trading Stocks with Discretion

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  #1 (permalink)
 bijeremiad 
San Francisco, CA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: IB
Trading: Stocks
 
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Posts: 410 since Jul 2011
Thanks: 284 given, 338 received

I will be trading US equities: discretionary on a 3-minute chart, but using a 30-min to identify support/resistance. I will be looking for pullbacks in trends, rejection of S/R, or break outs of S/R. I have a frustrating tendency to seek counter-trend trades, as you will see.

Here are a few rules to start:
  • No more than 0.5% of capital at risk on any trade ($100 max, but so far it has been $20-50)
  • Trading for the day stops at a loss of 0.75% capital loss
Suggestions and questions welcome. I have many myself. I will post today's results later tonight.

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  #3 (permalink)
 bijeremiad 
San Francisco, CA
 
Experience: Beginner
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Posts: 410 since Jul 2011
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I have been using tradervue.com to track some statistics on my trades in February. Here are some headline numbers from last month that I will try to be improving on:

Net: $820.79 = Gain of 2,461.24 less a loss of 1,640.45 (profit factor of 1.5)
45 Winners, 45 Losers, so 50% win/loss
Average win $54.69, average loss $36.45 W/L ratio: 1.50

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 bijeremiad 
San Francisco, CA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: IB
Trading: Stocks
 
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Posts: 410 since Jul 2011
Thanks: 284 given, 338 received

Net: $199.8 from gain of $286.20 less loss of $86.40; profit factor 3.3
5 winners, 3 losers; 62.5% win ratio
Average win $57.24, average loss $28.8; W/L ratio of 2.0

Traded two stocks today: APA and V


APA
Trade 1 | Had a sell stop set up at $108.92 and was waiting to see how APA would behave as it approched resistance of $109.30, which had been rejected about 20 minutes into the session. Was a little surprised to get hit. Protective stop was about $109.25. Took some heat, but was lucky and it played through. Trailed stop down manually from there. Risk: $38, Reward: $66.

Trade 2 | Was getting set up for a buy stop around $108.25, as what could be a double bottom not far from $108 support. Protective stop at 108.10, 3 lots. Had to chase it a little to get a fill at $108.30, also took a second to drop order to 200 shares from 300 because risk was increasing as price went up. Sold half at $108.51. In retrospect seems like a pretty bullish run up, but when I saw the previous bar top out at $108.60 - exactly where it had stalled about 40 min earlier, I got rid of half and moved remaining stop to just under break even. After I hit $0.40 of profit on the remaining lot, I rode the stop pretty close and got hit on the first retrace. Risk: $40, Reward $61.

Trade 3 | This was more a series of trades - 4 in fact. For the first 3, I was trying to catch the failure to break resistance off of $109.25-109.30. So three shorts where I scratched for B/E. Then around 2PM I got the sense that I was fighting the wrong trend. And if APA was able to break resistance (it was grinding ever so slightly higher highs and higher lows) there was nothing but open space for about $1. So trade 4, I get long at a mediocre price. I received 3 warnings that things were not going my way, but I got this idea in my head that the big boys were going to come back from lunch, flush out the weak longs by taking APA lower, and then rocket upwards to $110.50. Held it all the way to what I thought was a wide stop. Risk $120 over 4 trades for a net loss of $40.

Trade 4 | Scratch trade, not going to post. I did chase the entry more than I would have liked. But I have been running into trouble getting set up of my entry and protective stop. Seems like as soon as I start to see an interesting situation, it moves pretty quickly and I have to scramble to get everything set up. need to be ready beforehand.


V
Trade 1 | This was an underwhelming entry; although, had I gotten in any earlier, I probably would have been stopped out after moving my stop to B/E. Anyway, trailed stop manually. Once V was at 118.60, not far from support of $118.50, I was ratcheting the stop tighter after each doji bar that closed. Risk: $30, Reward $50.20.

Trade 2 | One scratch trade, one fat-finger trader where my stop was set such that the trade closed immediately after it was placed. This happens more than it should. The short was not going to work out. I was looking for a continuation of the down trend... meanwhile the market had already formed bottom.

Trade 3 | I really wanted the market to go down. Lost $46 nursing that belief.

Trade 4 | Finally accepted the notion of a rising market. $117 had been a point of resistance, looks like it was going to be broken. Trade at 117.06, protective stop at $116.98, 3 lots. Scaled out of those lots as price rose, and particularly when price stalled. Ratcheted stop up manually.

Now that I have been through this process of writing up all the trades once, it will remind me to trade less!

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  #5 (permalink)
 bijeremiad 
San Francisco, CA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: IB
Trading: Stocks
 
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Posts: 410 since Jul 2011
Thanks: 284 given, 338 received

Net: -$133.02 from gain of $153.60 less loss of $286.62; profit factor 0.54
3 winners, 6 losers; 33.3% win ratio
Average win $51.20, average loss $47.70; W/L ratio of 1.1

Late here, will post screen shots tomorrow.

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  #6 (permalink)
 bijeremiad 
San Francisco, CA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: IB
Trading: Stocks
 
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Posts: 410 since Jul 2011
Thanks: 284 given, 338 received

Traded 4 stocks today: LH, M, V, VFC


LH
Trade 1| Set up: Pullback after breakout. Stock opened lower than prior-day close. Shoots up to $89.50, passing yesterday's high, drops down to $88.95 (higher than todays open bar and higher than yesterday's low. Then gaps up to $89.20 and pauses there, pulling back ever so slightly for 4 minutes, then taking off again.

Entry: stop, 1 tick above the bar 10 minutes earlier. Looked good: prior day's high broken, found support off yesteday's low and forming a higher low, strong price movement past yesterday's and a slight pull back.

Exit: Stopped out, not 30 seconds into the trade.

Risk: $0.19 x 300; Reward: -56.91



Trade 2| Set up: Continuation of trend

Entry: 4 minutes later was trying a short

Exit: As price approached and slowed around resistance of $88.50, I scaled out of my position.

Risk: $0.15 x 200, Reward: $86.00


Trade 3| Set up: Countertrend reversal. I shouldn't but the drop down felt climactic.

Entry: Stop entry as price crossed the bar 4 minutes earlier.

Exit: Because this was countertrend, I rode the stops pretty tight and ended selling with limts around $89, where price had seen congestion previously and price appeared to be slowing.

Risk: $0.18 x 200, Reward $48.00




Trade 4| Set up: Pullback in trend. After a higher low was registered

Entry: Limit price entry.

Exit: I pulled my stop up. After I saw a lower high and a strong bear bar, I pulled the plug. Had I stuck with my stop at $88.96, I would have been ok and a gradual trend ensued shortly after, but I decided to take the $8 loss. Seems silly in retrospect given that total risk was $22.

Risk: $0.11 x 200, Reward $-7.96




VFC
Trade 1| Set up: Pull back in trading range. After price had failed to challenge a resistance level from yesterday ($147.50), and I saw a lower high, I decided to enter short to see if the trade would continue downward towards $146.25 where support was found yesterday.

Entry: Slippage was present on entry. I tried entering on a stop at $147.18. Didn't get filled until $147.06.

Exit: Slippage on exit too. Stop was set at $147.29, but no fill until $147.32. Not the end of the world, but what should have been a $33 risk trade ended up being a $69 risk trade with $78.76 loss.



I wonder if I had been paying closer attention, I would have seen the double bottom prior to my trade, and the higher low after my entry. Both suggest the trade probably wasn't the best for what I hoped it to do (continue trading downward towards next support). Actively managing this trade would have helped, but I have that whole regular job thing "getting in the way." So this was more of a set-and-forget result.



Trade 2| Set up: Pullback after breakout. Back at 10AM, market failed to break resistance from prior day. An hour later second run was made with some pretty bullish bars leading up, and even a pullback to Resistance, which held. So around $147.70 price pulls back and stalls.

Entry: Limit order.

Exit: I intended to put my stop at $147.49. As price dropped through resistance, i was wondering why I wasn't getting filled. Turns out stop was at $146.49. So a $40 risk trade turned into a $74 loss.



Observation: both VFC trades were made intrabar. On the historical charts they look like downright awful entries. But at the time, they didn't look as bad. If I waited for bars to close before any trade, I would probably not make some trades, but my prices would be worse for many more.



If any one has any thoughts on trading intrabar or waiting for the current bar to close, I would be interested in your experience.


M
The Macy's trade was interesting because about 5 minutes after putting the trade on, I was asked to step into a meeting for a few minutes. At that point, the trade had already run against me. But I also felt like if the market held support of $38.30 for the third time, it could continue trending upward like it had been for the last week. Should I just close it immediately out for a loss or step a away for a few minutes and let my stop do its thing? Tighten my price target?

If you have to step away from your desk mid-trade, how do you handle it? Why?


APA
Set my stop a little tight on this pullback trade. The trend had already run down, but seemed like 106.65 would have to be at least tested again. But what I neglected to consider is that after you have seen 3 legs down, the likelihood of a complex pullback is higher. So as much as I want a tight stop to get as many contracts as possible, if the trend is getting a little old, I shouldn't expect a plain vanilla pullback. Leave some room in the stop at that point.

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  #7 (permalink)
 bijeremiad 
San Francisco, CA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: IB
Trading: Stocks
 
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Posts: 410 since Jul 2011
Thanks: 284 given, 338 received

Net: $164.13 = Gain of $254.03 less a loss of $80.90 (profit factor of 3.1)
4 Winners, 3 Losers, so 57% win/loss
Average win $61.26, average loss $26.97 W/L ratio: 2.27

Traded 5 stocks today: APA, AKS, LH, WHR, VFC


APA
Trade 1 | Set up: 3 executions, all looking to short with trend on pull backs.
Entry: Stop sells
Exit: Each time I had enough room in my stops to catch the next leg down, to the extent they happened. But I would tighten my stop as i saw price action start to reverse. Three trades cost $17.

Trade 2 | Set up: Pull back with bullish trend, after fighting the v-shaped recover, I got my orientation straight and went long after seeing a pullback form a higher low.
Entry: Stop buy a tick higher than the previous bar's high.
Exit: I pulled my stop up after a bearish outside bar formed after a brief leg up. Would have been nice to catch that run at the end of the day. Need to remember that a break even trade isn't so bad.


LH
Trade 1 | Set up: Rejection of resistance at $87.90, after LH formed a lower high.
Entry: Did not have my trade set up when the move down started, so chased entry with my stop.
Exit: I scaled out of parts after price reached a local resistance point from yesterday. Last piece was stopped out at where I had moved my stop to about 10 minutes into the trade.

Trade 2 | Set up: Pullback of downward trend after rejection of Resistance at $89.60.
Entry: I missed the first leg down to $89.43. Did not chase this time. Waited for a pullback and took one after price hung around $89.50 for 4 minutes or so.
Exit: I scaled out of parts as they approached the recent low of $89.37. It was getting close to end of day, and I was being called away from my desk, so I exited both pieces on limit orders.


WHR
Two trades on this chart. One rejection of resistance. The second one should have been a pullback, but I chased the entry a little.


VFC
Was looking for a pullback on the downward trend. 5 minutes too early Stopped out. Second trade was a fat finger trade where my PT or stop loss was set to close the trade as soon as it was executed. I would like to think IB would warn you of this before executing, but mostly I just need to pay more attention.


AKS
Big drop. This was a counter trend trade. Stock had been leveling off for a while after selling off. Tried to go long. Got a pretty good, patient price. Price moved up shortly thereafter, but did not sustain. Price action is harder for me to discern on these lower-$-price equities.

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  #8 (permalink)
 bijeremiad 
San Francisco, CA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: IB
Trading: Stocks
 
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Posts: 410 since Jul 2011
Thanks: 284 given, 338 received

Statistics for today are pretty one sided:
Net: -$267.00 = Gain of $254.03 less a loss of $80.90 (profit factor of 3.1)
0 Winners, 3 Losers, so 0% win/loss
Average win $0, average loss $89 W/L ratio: 0

Seems ironic to lose money shorting stocks on the biggest down day we have had in two months. It is possible. I think I let that expectation draw me into a lax exit management. I was so intent on catching what I hoped would be a large draw down, that I was lax managing my stops and trades where I probably would have scratched, I scaled out slower and let trades go against the full stop.

Also a frustrating day because the loss of $267 is -1.3% - well in excess of my day limit of -0.75%. I was at my limit and I saw two set ups that I thought were compelling: the temptation to dig out. So it was good they were both losers. Nice reminder. If they had been successful, I would have the temptation to try again on another occasion where the stakes would be higher and the losses worse.

Traded two stocks today: CMI and FST


CMI
Trade 1 | Set up: In retrospect, tough to see what the set up here was, looks more like a breakout with trend.
Entry: Admittedly fear driven, didn't want to miss the next leg down.
Exit: In the higher volatility, it was tough to get a trade on with the size I wanted. Probably should have passed.
Risk: $80, Reward: -$80.

Trade 2 | Set up: After two failed shorts, started to look for longs
Entry: Bought after lows that did not penetrate prior lows
Exit: Scratched 1, full loss on the second.


FST
Trade 1 | Set up: Three executions, all looking for shorts
Entry: 1st entry was rediculous. #2, #3 were ok, off pullbacks.
Exit: I tightened my stops on both #1 and #2, which prevented more favorable exit opportunities. So I left the stop untouched on #3, got run over.

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  #9 (permalink)
 bijeremiad 
San Francisco, CA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: IB
Trading: Stocks
 
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Posts: 410 since Jul 2011
Thanks: 284 given, 338 received

Net: $68.90 from gain of $183.04 less loss of $114.14; profit factor 1.6
5 winners, 3 losers; 62.5% win ratio
Average win $61.01, average loss $22.83; W/L ratio of 2.7

I traded 3 stocks today: CMI, M, WHR


CMI
Trade 1 | Set up: I thought I saw price stalling after a run up. Should have seen it as a bullish triangle.
Entry: Got trapped on the false breakout
Exit: Stopped out. Risk: $0.25 x 200, Reward $-54.

Trade 2 | Set up: Two trades here. One fat finger where my stop automatically triggered when I entered. The second was right behind that to play a pull back on a bullish trend.
Entry: got in at the same price as the fat-finger trade.
Exit: Scaled out. Half at a pause in the run up, the other half when I got close to $118 and the high for the day.

Trade 3
| Set up: Missed the first leg down from $118.10. Got in what I thought was a pull back, fortunately stop was wide.
Entry: Shorted after third bar failed to break the previous two bars.
Exit: There is a fine line between cutting your losers and letting your winners run. This probably should not have been a scratch trade. Let it retrace way too far. Pull the plug after $117.65


M
Trade 1 | Set up: This trade is embarassing in retrospect. You have this huge bull trend, and I decide to short because there is a pause in the rally and it happens to be near a resistance point from yesterday. Oh well.
Entry: Stop
Exit: stopped out, at least kept it small Risk $400 x $0.06. Reward -$24

There was another Macy's trade, but it was a coutnertrend -$6 scratch on 600 shares, no chart below.

WHR
Trade 1 | Set up: After a double top, which cam after a high at resistance. A little risky b/c there was a higher low just prior.
Entry: stop. Chased this entry a little, was trying to get set up at the close of the prior bar..
Exit: Stop after market had slowed and started back up. Risk was $0.18 x 200, reward: $88.

Trade 2 | Set up: This was a countertrend trade after a strong run up, making a newer high for the day. Don't know why I thought that was a good idea at the time.
Entry: stop after price action was stalling and headed down
Exit: Took the full stop of $0.07 x 400. Should have been more aggressive with my stops, given the countertrend nature of the trade.

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  #10 (permalink)
 bijeremiad 
San Francisco, CA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: IB
Trading: Stocks
 
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Posts: 410 since Jul 2011
Thanks: 284 given, 338 received


Net: -$111.85 from gain of $4 less loss of $115.85; profit factor 0.03
1 winner, 4 losers; 20% win ratio
Average win $4, average loss $28.96; W/L ratio of 0.1

I traded three stocks today: APA, LH, V

APA
Trade 1 | Set up: This set up was more of a breakout than a pullback.
Entry: Stop
Exit: let my stop sit out there the full run against it. Don't know why i think that will let me catch a big runner. If it is moving against me it should be cut off eventually. In this case, around $116+.

LH
Traded 1400 shares for a gain of $3, all scratch trades

V
Trade 1 | How do you lose money on a bull trend day buying? Buy at the very tippy top of the bar.

There was another trade in V, $4 scratch. It was a countertrend short.

Trade 2 | All I had to do was buy a pull back and hold on. Instead I take a top of the market entry like this.

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  #11 (permalink)
 bijeremiad 
San Francisco, CA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: IB
Trading: Stocks
 
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Posts: 410 since Jul 2011
Thanks: 284 given, 338 received

Net: $339.56 from gain of $492.46 less loss of $152.90; profit factor 3.2
7 winners, 3 losers; 70% win ratio
Average win $70.35, average loss $50.97; W/L ratio of 1.4

I traded four stocks today CMI, M, V, VFC

CMI
Trade 1 | CMI had been in a two day bull run. I wanted to catch the continuation of that. I watied until I saw two bars that had higher lows than the open and when the third bar failed to go lower, I got long. I had an entry stop set at $120.14 and an exit stop at 119.99, for total risk around $45. Slippage on the entry and slippage on the exit left me out of pocket about $51.

Trade 2 | Just a few minutes later after CMI put two bars with lows at $119.60 and started running up, I got long again. Was right on my expectation for a continuation of the run up. Ratcheted my stops tighter during the run, let myself get trapped out before retesting the high near $121.40. But was in place to go long again for a complex correction but the lower high just after entry spooked me and I tightened my stop to breakeven. Boy was I picked off. I have saved a screen shot of that one. Called and complained to the exchange. "Just providing liquidity" was the response. Thanks for nothing.


Trade 3 | I don't know why I feed my tendency to trade counter trend. But this was a failed test of the high, so I took the scalp. Ran a little more than I thought it would. Scaled out after I saw a double bottom put in.

Trade 4 | I thought there was going to be another leg up on the 30 minute chart. Waited and waited for it to get close to the trend line on the 30min chart. Took 3 round lots with $0.10 of risk per lot. Nope, that failed top from trade three was the reversal.


M
Trade 1 | Lousy entry, but hung in there. Wasn't easy give that I was taking heat for the first half hour of the trade. Then it took off. Then it started going even steeper. Then it went steeper still. Scaled off 200 of my 400 shares. Then I became distracted at work and got hit on where I had left my stop last.

Trade 2 | Still wanted to see if M would retest the highs, but I whimped out after a lower high and scaled half out. Then after a bar started to retrace off of what looked at the time as a second lower higher, I bailed for a small profit.


V
Trade 1 | Three longs here. Got in after a lower high.

Trade 2
| My entry for the first of two shorts was the exit of the last long in the previous set of trades. Usually don't flip positions, but I had been fighting the down trend for an hour. The exit on the last trade was driven by the lows of the day, but the market still carried lower.


VCF
Trade 1 | Started with with a short after stock failed to trade higher. But after I saw 4 bars stopping on Support from the prior day, I closed and reversed within 3 minutes. Was the best move of the day.

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  #12 (permalink)
 bijeremiad 
San Francisco, CA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: IB
Trading: Stocks
 
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Posts: 410 since Jul 2011
Thanks: 284 given, 338 received

I will tack on Thursday and Friday of last week for this week's stats.

Net gain $260. Average daily gain: $37.22. 23 winners, 27 losers. Average holding time for winners 44min, average holding time for losers 34min.

Stats show that the first hour of trading are not working well for me, which fits my recollection. Lots of big bars in the first 30 minutes and stops have to be large.

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 bijeremiad 
San Francisco, CA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: IB
Trading: Stocks
 
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Posts: 410 since Jul 2011
Thanks: 284 given, 338 received

Net: -$167.24 all loss
0 winners, 6 losers; 0% win ratio
Average win $0, average loss $27.87; W/L ratio of 0

Traded three stocks: APA, V, VCF


APA
Trade 1 Fat finger trade. Set up a trade for V, realized I had done it in APA. Got out in about 2 minutes. Just commission costs on that one.
Trade 2 Bought after a higher low. Moved stop up and was taken out early. Didn't miss much.


V
Trade 1 Bought after a higher low. Got out for $10 loss vs risk of $35.
Trade 2 Thought I had caught a turn down. Strong bars beforehand perhpas should have made me cautious. Biggest loss of the day at $72 on 800 shares, was supposed to be $48 risk


VCF
Trade 1 Was terribly late on the short. Finally got the right trade - long, but let myself get shaken out.
Trade 2 Fighting the trend on this short. Not enough of a broken trend line to justify it in hindsight.

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  #14 (permalink)
 bijeremiad 
San Francisco, CA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: IB
Trading: Stocks
 
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Posts: 410 since Jul 2011
Thanks: 284 given, 338 received

Net: -$158.80 from gain of $182.02 less loss of $340.82; profit factor 0.5
3 winners, 6 losers; 33% win ratio
Average win $60.67, average loss $56.80; W/L ratio of 1.1

I traded FST, JPM, M, WHR, V, VFC (really need to focus on one or two, but never know where the next set up will be. Six is too much given where I am at this stage). Also need to do these the night of, rather than the morning after on the train.

WHR
Trade 1 Set up: Got in after triple bottom and failed push down.
Entry: limit
Exit: Scaled out in three peices. The first near a local high and R:R of 1. The second after a LL and LH shook me. Kept the third for a flier, and even managed to cut that one $1.50 short.

JPM
I will save this screen shot and hopefully look back at it to fondly remember my days as a retail trader. JP Morgan announced an increased dividend and $15BN stock buyback program. The stock took off - the markets with it. I watched trade up with barely a down tick for 15 minutes. I think about getting in. Nah, it will just trade down once I do, don't chase. The another 3 minutes pass. Still no down bars. Ok, why not. Closed out for a small loss $0.06. But I usually just have my stop loss that I drag up over time. However I added a limit to close out quicker. Forgot to kill the stop loss, which also got hit. Left me short a pretty bullish situation. $88 loss. Could have been worse.

That is all the time for today. Others had some ok set ups but just didn't work. Others were just the usual nonsense.

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 bijeremiad 
San Francisco, CA
 
Experience: Beginner
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Trading: Stocks
 
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Posts: 410 since Jul 2011
Thanks: 284 given, 338 received

Net: $121.85 from gain of $223.45 less loss of $101.60; profit factor 2.2
4 winners, 2 losers; 66% win ratio
Average win $55.86, average loss $50.80; W/L ratio of 1.1

Traded LH, WHR, V, a little more focused today, few trades. Luckily one of them had a good run.

LH
Trade 1 | Set up: Bought on a failed push up after failing to break the high of the opening bar.
Entry: Stop
Exit: Scratched at break even. Risk was 200 x $0.15. I thought it would have run further given the run up at the end of the day yesterday, but turns out other buyers had different ideas. Glad I got out when I did. Unfortunately, my bearish bias prevented me from seeing the bullish triangle forming into the first leg up of a big run.

Trade 2 | Set up: Missed the first leg up. Was expecting more of a pullback after the first push. Held pretty flat for about 12 min.
Entry: Stop on first push out of trading range.
Exit: scaled first peice at R:R of 1:1, was intent on holding this through the next two legs up. Only one more materialized. Second scale out was a little panicky, need more patience, there was nary a pullback. Last exit was more patient. If I had been watching, perhaps I would have gotten a better exit point.


WHR
Trade 1 | Set up: Really don't know what I was doing for almost an hour as I top ticked the market and didn't move my stop once in response to not very promising price action. This should not have been a $50 loss. Perhaps it was the gap up and the two big wicks that formed right after i entered that made me think WHR was going to run higher. But not a single reaction... not good. The second trade was taken after a higher low. Trade was only on for 12 min, so not as much time to react, but after the failed push up, I should have been more defensive. I had one more trade in WHR, scratched.


V
Trade 1 | Set up: lacking, I was early. Even as I got in I saw the move down and I thought maybe I should wait until price gets to $116.60, rather than $116.70. Fear of missing out. Admittedly I took on a little more risk than I would have liked $60, rather than $40. So as the trade ran against me, I opportunistically trimmed my position down. Kept the last lot just in case it really did turn. It did, and I got out half way up. No trendline broken, no local resistance, no idea why I bailed here. Pullbacks are part of the tempo, need to remember that while trending up. Made $5 on this trade. Take what I can get, but this could have been a $100 trade if handled better for only $15 of risk. Instead it was a scratch for $60 of risk.

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 bijeremiad 
San Francisco, CA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: IB
Trading: Stocks
 
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Posts: 410 since Jul 2011
Thanks: 284 given, 338 received

Net: -$134.91 from gain of $41.00 less loss of $175.91; profit factor 0.2
1 winner, 3 losers; 25% win ratio
Average win $41, average loss $68.44; W/L ratio of 0.6

I traded APA, WHR, V, VFC today.

Of the mistakes made today, being long 4 positions simultaneously was the most frustrating. Too many balls in the air. 3 ran against me. Stopped the day 38 minutes into the trading day $16 away from my daily stop loss.

APA
Four words: caught in a bear trap. I thought was continuing the down trend off a pull back. Totally ignored the sharp decline, long tail, and sharp retracement that all indicated a reversal had taken place. Hats off to the bulls that set that up. You deserve my $84.


WHR
Looking back at this chart, I can't even remember what I was thinking. Part of the discrepancy is that these charts are 2min. I am watching a 3min during the day. But the program I use to plot the trades doesn't have a 3min option. Ugly entries either way. Glad I had stops. There were very few ticks in my favor.


V
Late entry here. Fortunate exit. I also tried to play the pullback, expecting a continuation of trend that never materialized. But I was able to get out without too much pain.

VFC
Typically, I want to trade at the extreme of trading ranges. The entry for this trade was smack in the middle of the trading range at the time. Also signs of a reversal, similar to that seen in WHR. I did have the lower high to my back, but the reversal and higher low preceding my trade should have warranted more respect.

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 bijeremiad 
San Francisco, CA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: IB
Trading: Stocks
 
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Posts: 410 since Jul 2011
Thanks: 284 given, 338 received

Net: $130.14 from gain of $224.14 less loss of $94.00; profit factor 2.38
6 winners, 2 losers; 75% win ratio
Average win $37.36, average loss $47; W/L ratio of 0.8

I traded APA, CMI, V, WHR


APA
Trade 1 | Set up: bought after the first pullback after APA breeched resistance around $108.10.
Entry: Stop 1 tick above previous down bar.
Exit: Dragged stop up as APA began pulling back, wasn't sure it would hold resistance, took profit. But ended up getting in for a second run up about 10 minutes later.


CMI
Trade 1 | Set up: bought after first pullback after CMI broke out above resistance from prior day. First two trades were trying to catch a swing up, which didn't pan out. First trade close to B/E, second stopped out quickly. Third caught, and held through 1 small pullback. Lots of trades for small profit, but tight risk management allowed a small net profit of $15.


Trade 2 | Set up: after a high with a long-tailed bearish bar, entered short.
Exit: Stop after CMI began pulling up.

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 bijeremiad 
San Francisco, CA
 
Experience: Beginner
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Trading: Stocks
 
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Posts: 410 since Jul 2011
Thanks: 284 given, 338 received

Net loss $208.96. 15 winners, 18 losers. Average holding time for winners 60 min, average holding time for losers 32min.

Attached is the equity curve for the month of march so far: gain $51.

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 bijeremiad 
San Francisco, CA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: IB
Trading: Stocks
 
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Posts: 410 since Jul 2011
Thanks: 284 given, 338 received

Net: -$130.82 from gain of $5 less loss of $135.82; profit factor n/a
1 winners, 5 losers; 17% win ratio
Average win $5, average loss $27.16; W/L ratio of 0.2

Traded CMI, LH, V, WHR

WHR
Trade 1 | Steep sell off had me looking for a v-shaped reversal. Too early. Better reversal bar just minutes later.

Trade 2 | Unfortunately, rather than see that reversal bar, I flipped from long to short on the same transaction, which left me short for the actual reversal.


LH
Trade 1 | Bought this one after bouncing off the low of the day. But I held it through a higher high, retrace below entrey, and a lower high, retrace into losses. Ridiculous. If a trade goes my way and pulls back, it gets one more chance to pull ahead and then I should be at breakeven. If it takes off, great. If not, I should be out looking for a better entry.

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 bijeremiad 
San Francisco, CA
 
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Only stat I need for today is -$143.86. 2 trades.

They say you learn more from the ones that go against you. I look at the screen shots and don't even know how they happened. At least I stayed within my max daily loss.

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  #21 (permalink)
 bijeremiad 
San Francisco, CA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: IB
Trading: Stocks
 
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Posts: 410 since Jul 2011
Thanks: 284 given, 338 received

Net: $55.14 from gain of $150.04 less loss of $94.90; profit factor 1.6
3 winners, 3 losers; 50% win ratio
Average win $50.01, average loss $31.63; W/L ratio of 1.6

Traded APA, LH, V, WHR

APA
Trade 1 | Was in the right place, right direction. 6 min too early. Got caught by a complex pullback. Could have been a $200 trade.

Trade 2 | Gave up a lot on that second leg waiting for the pullback to set in and reverse back up. Was pennies away from my price target; never made it.

WHR
Trade 1 | Caught a good run down on this one. Second one should have been a break even. Last one was close to B/E.

LH
Trades 1 & 2. LH was in a bullish trend all day. I watched it all day waiting for a short. Took two opportunities. Netted $20 out of the two trades, but wish I had just woken up and got long!

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 bijeremiad 
San Francisco, CA
 
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Net loss of $154. No winners, just 4 quick losses. Stopped out for the day.

Traded LH, V, VFC, WHR

V
Thought the big tailed bullish bar a few minutes earlier would provide some trapped traders to push things back downward. Ended up being trapped myself. Tried to give the trade some room, and took a full stop loss.

VFC
Thought that once the gap down had retraced back to the yesterday's close and then started retreating, I would see a rejection of that level. No go. Stop hit.

LH
Thought that the gradual uptrend off the gap down would eventually fill like many of the other stocks I was watching. Never panned out.

WHR
Thought that I would see a rejection of support level at $76. WHR was down strong, while most of the other stocks I was watching had recovered from opening lower on the day. This was probably the closest set up to one that I should have taken, of the four today, but the signal bar was weak.

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  #23 (permalink)
 bijeremiad 
San Francisco, CA
 
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Net loss of -$236. 2 scratch trades and three losses.

But one big loss really did me in today. I was down $100 for the day. So I put trading off for a bit. When I cam back towards the end of the day, I discovered I was still short 100 shares of CMI. Of course this happens on a bull trend deay. Lost $135. Think that is my biggest loss this month on a single trade.

APA
Trade 2 I thought resistance had been rejected, so I shorted. Bull rally was just getting started. Stopped out.

VFC
Two scratch trades.

V
Did see rejection of resistance. Saw a decent short. But as I was about to close it out, I shorted more shares rather than buying to close out. This fat-finger mistake slowed my execution, so i didn't keep as much of my profits. I saw resistance rejected once more and shorted. No turning point, just a pause in a rally. Stopped out.

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 bijeremiad 
San Francisco, CA
 
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This will be a tough week to recover from. Only one remotely positive day. Attached are the win/loss ratio and equity curve for the week. Ugly.

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 bijeremiad 
San Francisco, CA
 
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$111 loss, quit for the day after 3 losers.

Traded APA and V

APA
Thought the big bull bar that broke a couple trendlines down would be enough to put in a reversal. Bought after APA appeared to form a higher low. Initial stop hit.

V
Tried twice to catch a run up in Visa. Would have been nice to be in right off the rejection of resistance. Instead I was trying to play a breakout above the high of the day. Unsuccessfully so.

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  #26 (permalink)
 bijeremiad 
San Francisco, CA
 
Experience: Beginner
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Trading: Stocks
 
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Posts: 410 since Jul 2011
Thanks: 284 given, 338 received

Net -$83.87 from 144 gain less 237 loss
3 winners, 5 losers 37.5% win
Average win $48, average loss $45

Traded CMI, LH, V, WHR

CMI

Trade 1 | Continuation of trend, entered on pullback. Probably should have been more aggressive on exit near support.

Trade 2 | Tried trading countertrend. Thought I saw CMI put in a double bottom higher than a recent low. Got trapped, big time. Was only in the trade for a minute or so. Full stop loss.

Trade 3 | Tried trading with trend after the previous countertrend failure. Was trapped going the other way.


LH

Trade 1 | Another trade where I grabbed the top tick and traded immediately to full stop. Double bottom was no help.


V

This first trade was poorly place - right near the top of the trading range of the day so far. The second trade was a flip to short from long. Lost on that one two. Rarely seems like a good idea in retrospect.


WHR
Trade 1 | Kind of counter trend trade. I gave up way too much waiting for the stock to retrace to the EMA only to discover there was no bounce. Tough to call when to let it swing and when to cut the trade.

Trade 2 | Not the runner I hoped, but a small win.

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 bijeremiad 
San Francisco, CA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: IB
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$100 loss, 1 winner 4 losers. Something is definitely wrong/broken. 7 of the last 8 days have been down days. Had another down day on 3/29. Probably not going to trade tomorrow.

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 Big Mike 
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Congratulations on your journal!



In the spirit of our March Trading Journal contest, I am asking everyone to spend a few minutes and share their journaling experience.

A) What are the top five benefits you have seen as a result of regularly posting in this journal?

B) What are the top five problem areas you have identified as a result of regularly posting in this journal?

C) Were you initially reluctant to start this trading journal? If yes, why?

D) How do you feel, overall, about your journaling experience?

E) Would you recommend to others that they should also start a trading journal?

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I appreciate your posts, and I hope you have benefited from your journal. I also know that others will benefit as well, just by reading about your own experiences.

Enjoy your weekend,
Mike

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 bijeremiad 
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4 trades 2 scratches, 2 losers.

Will post the two losers in WHR

Trade 01 | Trying to find a short. Took one during a triangle - maybe not the best time, but rest of market was going down, and I thought WHR would eventually follow suit. Got trapped out on the other attempt short.

Trade 2 | Lots of stocks were putting in higher lows. WHR was doing the same. I bought a pullback but before the resistance line had been broken. Always so tough to wait for the pullback after breakout.

So gave up right as the rally up began for the day.

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 bijeremiad 
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Against better judgment I traded today. Two trades, two losers $40 loss. To cap off the month with 9 of the last 10 days.

Trade 1 | Good trade, but let myself get trapped out.

Trade 2 | Don't know why I thought this was a good entry. Countertrend trade.

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 bijeremiad 
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Not a fun week.

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bijeremiad View Post
Not a fun week.

Sorry. Thanks for posting.

Important to determine what happened. You need to understand if the losses are part of a normal cycle, or if the method is no longer working either because market conditions have changed, or because of the way you are executing the method.

Mike

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 bijeremiad 
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At the beginning of the month I put up some results from February:
Net: $820.79 = Gain of 2,461.24 less a loss of 1,640.45 (profit factor of 1.5)
45 Winners, 45 Losers, so 50% win/loss
Average win $54.69, average loss $36.45 W/L ratio: 1.50

Here are those same numbers for March:
Net: -$1,005.81 = gain $2,394.20 - loss $3400.01
49 winners, 78 losers; 39% win rate
Average win $48.86, average loss $43.59, W/L ratio: 1.12

Ugh. Attached is the equity curve for the last two months. I wish there were more learning curve visible in the equity curve. But at least Interactive Brokers is happy with the $841 they have now.

The last two weeks have been frustrating. I have been paper trading, and things seem ok there. Here are the stats for the last two days of paper trades in the six stocks I have been watching:
Net $1,219 = gain $1,809 - loss $590
20 winners, 19 losers, 51% win rate
Average win $90.45, average loss $31.05, W/L ratio: 2.9

Paper trading is far from perfect, but even if you assume $15/trade for slippage/commission, that would leave me with about a 50% win rate and a W/L of 1.64. Close to what I saw in February. That would be great. I will post my hypotheses of what happened a little later.

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 bijeremiad 
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I began with two stated rules:
  • No more than 0.5% of capital at risk on any trade ($100 max, but so far it has been $20-50)
  • Trading for the day stops at a loss of 0.75% capital loss
I had three violations of max loss on a trade of $100: 3/6, 3/14 (only $1 over), 3/23. One of these was an "honest" mistake: left a trade on that I thought was closed, and it ran $158 against me before I realized what happened. The other two were the result of getting in late or lots of slippage that left me with more risk than I should have had based on where my stops needed to be and then having those stops hit. I knew my risk was too big at execution. There were a couple other trades where that happned, but all I need to do is sell one or two lots and bring risk back in.

I had five violations of max day loss of $150: 3/6 (-$267), 3/12 (-$167), 3/13 (-$159), 3/22 (-$154), 3/23 (-$235). Only two "flagrant" violations. 3/6 was the result of multiple orders open in excess of the days risk. I have no means to track risk in open trades. I could be down $100 for the day and have two trades with positive P&L at the moment, but $80 worth of loss possible. That $80 loss would take me passed the daily limit. 3/23 would not have happened without the CMI loss mentioned above. The three "small" violations were slippage taking me past limit.

I look at those days and think, boy it would be nice to have $232 (1.1% of capital) back. All I have to do is follow my rules.

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 bijeremiad 
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A) What are the top five benefits you have seen as a result of regularly posting in this journal?
  • The forced tempo of reviewing trades. It is too easy to let days slip. Knowing that I was expected to post helped me review trades that otherwise would have slipped into a fast-fading memory.
  • I have seen weaknesses in my "program", see part B below.
  • I have a better idea of what I don't know. For example I know that almost all of my trades were exited on a stop just by how I set them up, but I have no idea how many of those were my initial stop level, breakeven, just below the EMA20, just below a prior swing hi/lo, etc. I need tags to track how I exit trades to better understand how I am doing in that aspect of trading. I don't know now.
  • Seeing that I need to know my set ups better. As I look back at some trades I struggle to see any type of set up. Part of this stemmed from my trading on 3min charts and the trades that are autogenerated for me are 2min charts, but some of those "set ups" are pretty wanting.
  • I have gotten the sense that if I really track my trades, this whole trading thing just might be possible. I think up until now I was always a little skeptical that it was all pipe dream, but the process of journaling has made becoming a profitable trader seem like a remote possibility. It is real work, but with a real outcome.

B) What are the top five problem areas you have identified as a result of regularly posting in this journal?
  • I have no tool to measure how much risk exposure I have on at any point in time. Not a huge problem now given the small account size, but that did contribute to a blown limit.
  • I do not have contingencies for many cases, like what to do with a trade if I am pulled away from my desk? Need to identify those and write them down.
  • Trading set up is weak. I don't have real time quotes on IB. I have Bloomberg at work with real time. But I have to manually key in orders and stops. This led to several errors where my the handle of my stop was off (121.66 vs 120.66) or I submitted a limit order that immediately closed my position rather than a stop. It would be easier and less error prone to trade off a chart, like in NinjaTrader.
  • I am prone to over trading and putting on several correlated trades. While the journal did curb some of that problem because I knew I would have to put together another chart, that was not a complete fix. I chose to focus on six stocks in different sectors, but they are still pretty correlated. If I had three longs on, it felt like I just had a large position that was tied to what the e-mini was doing.
  • Lack of time. On the train at 4:30a off the train at 5:30-6:30p, put the kids to bed, eat and be in bed early enough to stay awake the next day puts journaling crammed in on the train or late night - never seemed to have the time to do it justice. Probably means I don't have time to trade properly right now.

C) Were you initially reluctant to start this trading journal? If yes, why?
Yes. Time commitment of producing charts and commentary.

D) How do you feel, overall, about your journaling experience?
I have been posting headline stats and P&L, posting screen shots, and writing commentary on those trades as time permitted. But I really need a trade journal. I have almost no means to go back and systematically see how many of my failed breakout set ups works or how many were even valid. I have no idea how changing my stop strategy could impact my results. I have no idea how my decision to stop using price targets and only trailing stops impacted results, because I did not capture any of that in a reviewable format. I have put in some "screen time" and ridden the emotional roller coaster of live $ trades, but I am still far away from having the tools I need to improve. I am a little worried that continuing the public journal will take up time in producing a public post that could otherwise be used to do personal analysis.

E) Would you recommend to others that they should also start a trading journal?
I have a few things I need to get in place before I will benefit from the public trading journal. If others have those tools in place, yes, a trading journal makes sense. If you aren't sure where to start, the forced tempo of a trading journal will point out pretty quickly where you need to start. It is a nice "jump in the water to learn to swim" method of teaching. Not fun, but it gets you in the water.

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 bijeremiad 
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Just paper this week. Print out charts at the end of the day; cover up and go bar-by-bar, enter on stops and move stop loss defensively.

Arrow indicates direction up=long down=short. Numbers on the top are risk of the trade (eg., 2x20 = 200 shares with $0.20 of risk per lot, so $40 total risk). The numbers at the bottom of the pager are the P&L for the trade.

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 bijeremiad 
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More paper trades. Stats and charts attached.

Same drill as last week. Print out charts at the end of the day; cover up and go bar-by-bar, enter on stops and move stop loss defensively.

Arrow indicates direction up=long down=short. Numbers on the top are risk of the trade (eg., 2x20 = 200 shares with $0.20 of risk per lot, so $40 total risk). The numbers at the bottom of the pager are the P&L for the trade.

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 bijeremiad 
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Same drill as the last few weeks.

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 bijeremiad 
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I read about this drill on a trading site. I don't follow the drill exactly: I use a 1 tick profit target and a 2 tick stop. So I have to be right about the short-term direction 66% of the time to break even.

Attached are screen shots of four hours of sim: 195 trades, about once every 75 seconds. For only 1 of the half hours was I under 66%. So I am getting a better sense of short term movements.

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 bijeremiad 
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Just getting caught up.

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 bijeremiad 
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More catch up.

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 bijeremiad 
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Continuing the paper exercise.

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 bijeremiad 
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Last week of paper trades.

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 bijeremiad 
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So every day for the past 7 weeks, I printed out 3min charts for 6 stocks. Covered up and went stock by stock, bar by bar. That gave me 35 trading days and 210 charts. I felt like it was a good learning experience, and helped me see the price action in each stock.

The headline numbers for the 7 weeks are attached. Net profit of $19,948 from $26,067 of gains offset by $6,119 of losses; profit factor 4.3x. The capital risked to make the $19k was $16,878 - so R:R ~1.2.

The average win was $114.83 vs the average loss of $28.86 on risk per trade that was $38.45. W/L was 4.0x. Win rate was 52% of 439 trades.

Shortcomings
This version of paper trading has its obvious shortcomings:
  • Commissions. Commissions would likely trim the net gain to $19,070 from $19,948.
  • Slippage. I don't have a good estimate for slippage yet. If i guess $0.10/round trip (about the bid/ask on these names), then that would cut another $4,390 dollars off the gain, ugh...
  • Context. Having the day printed out on paper lets you know 1) a rough estimate of the day's trading range, 2) a premonition of volatility for the day, 3) an unfair advantage looking for reversal signals when you are at the top or bottom of the page. I tried hard to focus on the price action and not the location on the paper. However even having clues on those things ahead of time, it is still very possible to lose money - amazing.


Next steps
  • I need to get a little closer the the hard right edge. So I am going to focus on 1 chart during the day real time. Take entries as they come along. I think one of the short comings of my trading in Feb/Mar was trying to look at too many names.
  • I am still missing states on MAE, efficiency, etc. and I don't have a journal to capture trades in. Need to fix that.
  • I also wish I had stats per set up. My "set ups" are not well defined at all, even for a discretionary trader. I have come up with a better definition of set ups so I can track them.
  • I should come up with stats on the stock I will focus on (VFC), so I can tell how my sim trades compare to my recent paper success.
  • Comparing my Feb/Mar results to the paper trades, the one number that stands out first is average winner: ~$50 real time, $114 on paper. "Let the winners run". The losers were cut short about the same: ~$44 live vs $38 on paper.

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 bijeremiad 
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The notations on this first one are not very good. 1 winner for $200, 4 losers of $160. Net $40. A 29th percentile performance compared to the paper trades of the last few weeks.

5 trades is overtrading. Looking back at my paper trades 3% of the days had 0 trades, 9% had 1 trade, 56% had 2 trades, 24% had 3 trades, and 9% had 4 trades. Never did I make 5 trades.

First trade was on a small pullback. Price failed up 3 times and took a bar down. Set a sell stop after two more failed pushes up. Got direction right, but magnitude was off.

The second trade obviously worked. Caught it on a pull back after a strong move up. Simple set up with stop behind the 21 moving average. A little anxious with my stops. In paper trading i moved my stop about once every 30 minutes, but market was moving up fast.

Third trade was a little anxious to catch a continuation of the trend. Probably blinded me to the blue resistance line from prior day.

Fourth trade was unnecessary. After a $3.50 move up and a sell of, I had no business getting short this quick afterwards. Being short blinded me to the channel break and move up.

Fifth trade was ok. Moved in my direction. Perhaps should ahve been more defensive on my stop after taking heat half an hour into the trade. If it was coming back, it was going to take my stop, which it did.

I was too focused on the downtrend to see the second channel break and a reverse up.

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 bijeremiad 
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Took Tuesday off work to teach daughters preschool. So nothing for May 22.

3 trades Wednesday: 1 winner for $185, 2 losers for $80 total ($40 each), net $145. 58th percentile day compared to my paper trades.

First trade was supposed to be a pull back bounce off the 21 SMA for continuation of up trend. Ended up being a trap. Stopped out in about 6 minutes, so not much could be done.

Second trade was admittedly a bit of a chase on my part. Late after the pause down, and pretty far away from the 21 SMA. It did go in my favor for 1 bar, but was stopped out in about 15 minutes.

Third trade was a more pronounced pull back and bounce off the 21 SMA. Was in the trade for about 2 hours. Only moved my stop 5 times, so moving my stop about once every 24 minutes - patient enough. I did tighten my stop more than usual as price approached the blue resistance line from the prior day, which helped capture a little more of the move.

Stayed out of the chop for the 90 minutes that followed. Was a little surprised by the run at the end of the day. Probably could have entered on the break above $138 for a $1 run, but I was away from my desk at the time.

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 bijeremiad 
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3 Trades on Thursday. 2 winners for $210. 1 loser of $40. Net $170, which is 61st percentile of the paper trades I am trying to match.

Trade 1 was not what I was looking for. The first 18 minutes shot price up $4 from yesterday's close. I was looking for a pullback to get long, but when I saw the high volume at 6:45 and how quickly the following bar fell off in price, I went short. The trade went almost $1.00 in my favor in 6 minutes. On paper it would be easy to let the trade run out, or uncover bars faster to see what happens next sooner, but in real time, it always feels like the current bar is coiling up like a spring to jump back up and take out your stop. I was a little worried that price would bounce off my 21 SMA and take my stop out, so I moved my stop to break even. On paper, I had a rule of thumb that I would not move my stop until a swing high or low was put in that was not challenged for 3 bars (9 min). But I was getting fidgety with my stops; I moved my stops twice in 18 minutes. Too much. I got stopped out on the now lower stop for $50 of profit.

Trade 2 was only a few minutes behind my stop out. As I saw price bounce off of a resistance point from a prior day, I got short again. The in-and-out maneuver cost me $17 - $2 commission and $15 lost price. Not the end of the world. I only moved my stops 6 times or about once every 28 minutes. Much more patient than trade 1.

Trade 3 was a little premature. I was worried about the first higher low after a down trend. Not an invalid worry, but if the day is going to be V-shaped, I can wait until price bounces off the 21 SMA, rather than trying to catch the reversal. Seems like usually price chops at the bottom for a bit.

I looked for the reversal, but I already had 3 trades in, and I overtraded the two prior days. Stopped looking a little after noon. Today would have been two trades if I hadn't worried about the stop in trade 1.

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 bijeremiad 
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Three losers: 2 full stops, 1 break even. $80 loss, which is a 1 percentile day vs the paper trading.

Trade 1 was a pullback to the 21 SMA. Trade went in my favor - took a little heat on the second bar. Perhaps the approach of resistance from the prior day should have signaled that needed to be more defensive with my stop.

Trade 2 was underwhelming. I was looking for a pullback and bounce off the SMA21; never quite got there. Stopped out in about 10 min.

Trade 3 was break even. After two loses, was a little more defensive with my stop.

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 bijeremiad 
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Three losers. Three full stops. -$120 makes for a 1 percentile trade day.

First trade was a little earlier in the day than I usually trade. I typically wait a little longer to see how price action for the opening develops. This should have been my first warning that I was harboring a bias for the day: short.
Biases are great when you are right and downright miserable when wrong. Best to trade without. I should have exited at BE for this trade. I can take heat once, but there is no point taking heat a second time. Get out, and wait for the next set up. Another suggestion for being defensive on my stop was the resistance from two days prior at $141. Had I been just a few pennies higher on my stop, this trade could have run all day, which would have saved me the two trades that followed.

Second trade went immediately in my direction but only for a few bars and $0.30. Can't really take profit on those and expect to survive, so the first pullback took out my stop.

Third trade I got a little greedy and tried taking 200 shares with only a $0.20 stop and got "sticked" out 3 bars later. This probably would have been a marginally profitable trade with a stop $0.03 wider. At least a BE.

"Fourth trade" was the best trade I made all day: sitting on my hands. I thought about buying at 10:40 and thought about selling at 11:45, but neither would have done very well. The day just traded too tight. Even under ideal entries, the most I would have made on a day like this would be $30-60.

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 bijeremiad 
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1 winner. 1 loser. $10 net. 24th percentile day vs paper trades.

I was not watching the market for the first 90 minutes. missed a nice failed break out around 7:40.

Trade 1 was an attempt to play a pull back. Stock did not go much further. Stopped out.

Trade 2 was a bounce off the 21 SMA. Was pretty patient with the stops.

Was very (too) focused on the 140 line as resistance. Probably kept me from looking for a long 11:06 or 11:36. In fact I was considering a short. The higher low at 11:30 should have clued me in more to the possibility.

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 bijeremiad 
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1 Winner. 3 Losers. $65 net. 33 percentile day.

Frustrating day. These are the kind of days you need $200-300.

Trade 1 was premature. Still pretty far away from the 21 SMA. A little bit of a pullback. I think it would have been tough to find an entry before 7:09 that would have not been taken out by the trap in that bar.

Trade 2 was a great set up. Failed breakout, with trend, bounce of the 21 SMA 1 bar of heat, and off it goes. Felt patient with stops. As price approached $135.50 resistance from a prior day, I tightened my stop. Mistake in hindsight. The last two pull backs had been about $0.80. But for some reason I was worried about a reversal. Never got back in.

Then the frustration set in as I waited for the next pull back. After 2 hours of waiting, the closest I came was at $135 around 10am.

Trade 3 was desperation. Poor trade mentally. After three failed pushes up, I thought the price might roll over. I did only take a $15 loss, not a full loss.

Trade 4 was still me worrying about a reversal later in the day. Went long after a higher low. Come to think of it after so much down movement, the reversal is going to be rather complex, rarely a straight V reversal. So the first low was an admirable thought. But I stopped it out break even.

I considered 1 more trade around 12:06 at 134.70, but let it go.

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 Big Mike 
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What charting platform is that?

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 bijeremiad 
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What charting platform is that?

Mike

Bloomberg Terminal.

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I thought so but wasn't 100%.

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Bison42
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You have to be mindful of your trading costs as you decide when to enter and exit the marketplace. Staying on the bid or offer is cheaper than taking an offer or hitting a bid. Sometimes you have to bite the bullet and take offers or hit bids, but if you can create a pattern it will save you some cash in the long run.

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 bijeremiad 
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2 winners, 2 losers. Net $120. 48th percentile day.

Trade 1 was a break out trade, past the $134 resistance level from a prior day. Got down to $135.50 and failed. Full retrace to stop.

Trade 2 was supposed to be a failed break out after failing to take out the days then high of $137.75 at 6:36am. This move had 2 more legs up before turning back down.

Trade 3 was a failed break out off the $135.50 resistance from a prior day. I ended up tightening my stop, as price got closer to support of $134.

Trade 4 was after a second higher low. If I had been paying attention at the time, I hope I would have seen the high volume and small-range bar at 11:36am, as a clue to exit sooner.

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 bijeremiad 
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4 losers. Net loss $40. 9th percentile day.

Was a little more aggressive with stops today. Overtraded in a tight range. Was a little to bent on catching a short. After 4 trades, I shut down for the day, and missed the best move.

Trade 1 was supposed to be a pull pack. Bounce off the 21 SMA. Part way through, the broader market was not being very supportive of that trade. Price action was weak, so I flipped short. Something I should rarely do, and again indicative of overtrading.

Trade 2 was that flip. Got a good initial move. Price went into a swing low level from yesterday and failed to go further. I moved my stop to break even. Stopped out.

Trade 3 was trying to catch that short again. Failed break out above $136.50. Lower high, and towards the top of the trading range thus far in the day. Took a little heat on sideways action, then moved my stop down to BE on a good move down. Price snapped back to take out my stop, which should have been an indicator of reversal. Strong up and down move in just 3 bars (at 8:54).

Trade 4 was made ignoring the snap back. I thought I was trading a failed break out off the swing high of the day so far. That didn't 1 bar.

I kept looking for a larger move (down today) because the range seemed so tight, but in reality, I have no context for what constitutes a tight range for VFC. Is it the $1.50 I was seeing at the beginning of the day, or more, or less. I will need to look into that.

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 bijeremiad 
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2 winners. 3 losers $135 net. 54th percentile day.

Trade 1 was hoping to play a pull back. The S&P 500 was ripping, but VFC was lagging. Thinking it would catch up, I went long. Got 1 or two bars in my favor, but stopped out full. I struggle with how to incorporate things that I observe while I trade. On paper, I rarely moved my stop after small moves. Either the trade would run, or the full stop would get hit. But, seems like I could benefit from implementing a "take heat once, but not twice rule." I guess I could go back and test my trades, to see how they would do, but that would be over 400 trades to review manually...

Trade 2 was also hoping to catch whatever was going on in the S&P (need to remember I am trading VFC, not ES). This was hoping to be a break out trade. Nothing, full stop.

Trade 3 was a little better, at least up against the $138.50 resistance from a prior day and a swing low today. Here I used a tighter $0.20 stop, rather than $0.40, and used twice the shares. Fair run. Might have exited a little higher when I saw that the penetration through $139.50 was not going to hold

Trade 4 was a with trend pullback. I ratcheted my stop tighter as price approached the $138.50 resistance level, which had proven significant.

Trade 5 (5 trades means I am overtrading) was an attempt to play off of the higher low put in at 11:15am. Market was still doing well, but VFC did not participate, so I was hoping for some catch up. Not too much hope, because I stopped out for BE.

There was some interesting price action on the 12:24am bar. Lots of bids were hit in quick succession and in size (multiple 200-400 lot trades vs the typical 100) as price bounced off the 21 SMA downward. Very well position for a breakthrough of $138.50. But it never happened. Price traded up pretty quickly after than. Someone got trapped. Was nice to see it not be me once. Wish I had the tick chart to show it.

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 bijeremiad 
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2 winners. 2 losers. Net $210 gain. 64th percentile day.

Trade 1 was intended to be a with trend pullback off the 21 SMA. Once I saw it push into prior day's resistance of $138.50, I dropped my stop to BE.

With a higher low in place and a pretty strong reversal bar at 7:21am, I was looking for longs. But Trade 2 was just desperate and greedy. I was worried about missing the move up and made a poor entry with a tighter stop. Just needed to wait for a pull back. Wait for the pull back; if it runs away, let it - its not your trade.

Trade 3 was the pullback I was supposed to wait for. Nice bounce off the $138.5 resistance, higher low, strong reversal bar at 7:18am (after a big bearish bar at 7:15am). Was fairly patient with moving my stop after swing lows were put in place. But once price started spiking up, I became more aggressive with my stop placement. Moved my stop to be hit after I saw the high volume and mildly bearish bar at 10:36am.

Trade 4 was after a lower high and some bearish price action. Didn't seem like the uptrend was gong further. Had a $1 fall, followed by a $0.95 retrace, and a pretty quick sell off after that swing high. So I got in on a short during a tight trading way.

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 bijeremiad 
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5 losers. Wow. Net lost $100. 1 percentile day.

$138.50 has been a significant level over the past few days. When the market opened below that level, I was looking to short.

Trade 1 was a little quicker out of the box than usual. Usually I will let half an hour of bars set up before first trade. I need to look at that stat. But the trade went in my direction, and after price came back to my entry point, I moved to BE.

Trade 2 may have been ill conceived. After price failed to make a lower low at 6:57 and 7:00, I should been more weary of taking the bounce off the 21 SMA. Although if I had waited for a second retest, I likely would have shorted at 7:15. I did ratchet my stop after the first push up. So only lost half of my full stop.

Trade 3 punched straight up. As it climbed I became complacent and simply moved my stop to break even. Volume on any of the bars down was not particularly high. But my stop was about $0.08 too high. Would have been a $1 run after that.

Trade 4 was biased by what happened yesterday where there was a spike and a sell off. But today was spike and channel. Tried to play the stop tight and got whacked.

Trade 5 was a revenge trade. Convinced it was headed lower, I jumped in again. To no avail.

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 bijeremiad 
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3 losers. Net loss $100. 1st percentile day.

Trade 1 was intended to be a pullback on the way down. Perhaps not the best trade after a gap up and a higher high, but ended up losing the full stop.

Trade 2 was taken after the lower low and lower high. But after a higher low was put in, I moved the stop to only lose half of the loss.

Trade 3 was a long after two wrong shorts. This was very short lived and full stop resulted.

Basically I tried to trade a fairly narrow range. All 3 trades are within $1.50 high to low. I did not like how little time was spent between trades either. Only 3 minutes between trade 1 and trade 2. Trade 1 -> 2 was particularly bad because the stop was hit after taking out a local swing high. It is one thing if you are using a fixed stop and get taken out and still want to jump back in, but when you have the luxury of seeing the swing highs and lows taken out, then use that information to bias the next trade, which should probably be waiting

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 bijeremiad 
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1 winner, 3 losers. Net gain $220. 76th percentile day.

Trade 1 was a failed breakout above $139.30, which was S/R from a prior day. A little slow on the trigger getting in. I met my own resistance around $138 and price pushed all the way back to my entry point. By that time I had impatiently moved my stop loss to BE and was taken out. Either way, the next push down wouldn't go much further.

Trade 2 looked like a breakout pullback trade at $139.30. I was looking for another failed breakout and a continuation of the trading range, but when I saw the tail bullish bar at 8:18, I jumped on a offer right towards the end of the bar. Price ran $0.60, and I moved to BE - no point in losing a full $1 when the market moves so favorably. But back to BE.

Trade 3 was a simple pullback trade. After the lower high registered at 8:24, I thought we might see more of a sell off. After price retraced to my entry point. I moved my stop to BE. Hit again. So three trades. Pretty good set ups. Pretty patient and defensive with stops.

All in all, fairly pleased with the three trades, even with no $ to show for them.

Trade 4 was taken after seeing the strong support at $138.50 and a tight trading channel developing at around 11:00am. Took 200 shares with a $0.20 stop. Took a little heat on the first bar, and then it took off from there. Very patient with stops. Ratcheted tighter in the last 20 minutes of the session.

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 bijeremiad 
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So I have 14 days of watching VFC in real time. I have compared the results of each day to my paper trading results, to see where the day's results stand versus the paper results. Here are the percentile ranks of each day so far:

29 58 61 1 1 24 33 48 9 54 64 1 1 76

The median is 33. Not quite 50, as you would expect if I were replicating the paper trade system. But I also took the time to enter the daily P&Ls for paper and real time into an unpaired t-test to compare the the means of the two methods. The null hypothesis being that they are trades from the same "population". If the means are very far apart, I would have evidence to reject that hypothesis.

Paper trades have a daily mean of $124.44, a standard deviation of $121.07, and N of 34. The real time trades have a daily mean of $53.93, a standard deviation of $118.54, and N of 14.

So the difference between the two means is $70.54, which is not statistically significant at 95%. So I can't conclude yet that they are different. But I suspect that could change with more samples of the the real time trading.

The other question is "Are my real time trading results, while positive, significantly different from $0?" For the paper trades they were, with a p-value of less than .0001. However, the real time trades have a p-value of 0.3214, so not really that different, but that could also change with a larger sample size.

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 bijeremiad 
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3 trades. 2 Winners. 1 Loser. Net gain $110. 45th percentile day.

Trade 1 was a bit of a conflicted trade. Part pullback after 2-3 HH/HLs and part breakout above $140.35. Ended up being a trap.

Trade 2 was a failed break out of $140.35. Price traded back to test the low of the day and stopped just short. I might have inched my stop a little tighter, but that was about all I was going to get out of it.

Trade 3 was a sad trade. Traded on a test of the high of the day. Nice short went immediately and forcefully in my favor. As price approached $139, I got worried about giving back profits if VFC stayed in a trading range. So I jammed my stop up to the offer, when price got close. Sat around for half an hour, during which I only would have taken $0.10 of heat, and then watched price trade off. The CWSMFE (coulda woulda shoulda maximum favorable excursion) was $2. Ugh.

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 bijeremiad 
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4 trades. 3 winners. 1 loser. Net gain $175. 62nd percentile day.

Trade 1 was supposed to be a with trend pull back off the EMA21. turned out to be a trap. Was stopped in about 5 min.

Trade 2 was a test of the intraday low and recent swing low at around $139. I probably could have been more aggressive on a tighter stop with twice the shares. But for how price behaved, I got out of it what my plan allows.

Trade 3 was a failed break out, after price just barely pushed past the recent swing high at around $140.40. I became anxious as price approached the low for the day a third time. I played off this anxiety to tighten my stop, which was hit. Had I left to stop an the recent swing high in the down trend, I probably would have picked up another $0.70.

Trade 4 was a breakout. The G20 banks said they would coordinate a reaction if needed to the Greek elections. Markets went nuts. After price had gone up $1.00 in 2 bars, I jumped in with a $0.20 stop and 200 shares. I ended up bailing on the trade 3 bars later as price failed to follow through, and I was stepping away from the desk for a meeting.

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 bijeremiad 
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4 trades. 1 winner. 3 losers. Net -$70 2nd percentile day.

Two of the trades were countertrend and probably shouldn't have happened.

Trade 1 was supposed to be a with trend pullback, but trend hadn't really been established.

Trade 2 was also looking for a reversal after a swing high 4 bars earlier and another failed attempt up 2 bars earlier. Ended up being a trap.

Trade 3 was little more patient, after 3 failed pushes up after rejecting $140.40. Pretty patient with stops.

Trade 4 was blatantly countered. I was looking for a test of $140.40. Just kept chugging.

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 bijeremiad 
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3 trades. 1 Winner. 2 Losers. $60 net gain. 33rd percentile day.

Trade 1 was supposed to be a with trend pull back after the gap-down open. Price bounced off the 21 EMA, went in my favor but did not follow through. Stopped out at full.

Trade 2 was a little late after the pull back, but jumped on the trend that took me out of Trade 1. After going $0.50 in my favor, I moved to BE, and was taken out there.

Trade 3 was somewhat of a breakout trade. I felt a little antsy on moving my stop, but got out at a fair place given the price action.

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 bijeremiad 
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4 losers. Net loss -$120. 1 percentile day.

Usually I don't post two charts, but today it was necessary because the VFC chart is the one I used to place my trades, but the SPX chart was that one I used to identify trend and set my bias for the day. This did not go well. When I was paper trading, I was ignorant of what the S&P did, all I watched was price. But online I have the markets to bias me real time.

Today the S&P was up, up, up from 6:30 to 10:30, but VFC was up only for the first hour of trading. I kept going long, and long, and long, waiting for VFC to reintegrate with the market trend. After my fourth trade I realized I had my EMA 21 turned off. Hindsight is hindsight, but the trades at 8:00, 8:57, and 10:57 stood out pretty starkly once it was on.

Trade 1 was a pullback off a strong open (100,000 shares on the gap open). Went $0.95 in my favor. Based on what I saw in SPX, this could be a strong trend up day, so I wanted to give it room to run, only moved my stop to BE. Ended up getting stopped out there. Probably should have made at least $20-30 on this trade.

Trade 2 was really off the SPX again. I got stopped out in less than 1 bar.

Trade 3 was rediculous. Again, angling for the reintegration with the market up trend. I should have at least waited for the pullback. After that long of a pullback (especially against such strength in the general market), there will not likely be a v-shaped recovery; most likely a complex reversal.

Trade 4 was at least on a breakout and large volume but only lasted 2 bars.

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 bijeremiad 
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3 Trades. 3 losers. Net loss -$40.

Trade 1 was a pullback after a breakout. Early in the session, price pushed through $142. Took heat on one pullback, and the price traded through the lower low, so I thought I was good. Ended up breaking even.

Trade 2 was a trade off a double top. Price went briefly in my direction. When I didn't see any follow through, I got out at BE, since I didn't want to have a position when the Fed announcement came out at 9:30.

Trade 3 was 2 bars too early. Got stopped out by a trap that did not go past the previous swing high of $143.63. Can't do anything about that; perhaps should have used a wider stop to encompass the swing high. Should have jumped back in. Would have been a $0.80 trade.

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 bijeremiad 
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One question that has come up for me is just how much further can a rally run. Or if I am in a tight trading range, is that a "small" range for a day or average.

So I grabbed the day high less the day low to get a sense for how much price can move in a day. Histogram attached.

Turns out the median is about $3. 25th and 75th percentiles are $2.10 and $4.09 respectively. 10th percentile is $1.71 and 90th percentile is $5.14. So if I see a day with a $1.50 trading range, chances are it will break up or down to a wider range for the day. And if I am in a rally that has run $5 from the days low, I should be more aggressive with my stops.

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 bijeremiad 
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1 Winner. 1 Loser. Net gain $115. 47th percentile day.

Trade 1. Got in right after some economic news was announced. Several failed pushes up, left me leaning short. Once news hit, jumped in. Caught a good move. Was patient with stops. Thought about stopping out around 8:54, but market traded down again. Jumped out after first double bottom was put in and began trading up around 9:45.

Trade 2. Thought I was seeing a second failed push up 10:21 and a rejection of $140.25 from a prior day. Market made two more pushes up after that. Stopped out.

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 bijeremiad 
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4 trades. 2 winners. 2 losers. Net gain $160. 61st percentile day.

Trade 1 was a purchase after a $1 move in 2 bars. Lots of momentum. This should have been a warning sign for a strong up trend day. But not quite the follow through I have seen on this pattern. Stopped out.

Trade 2 was a short after a failure to make a higher high on the back of that strong move up. Trend hadn't really been established for the day, so I was pretty protective with my stop. Moved my stop to cover the loss of the previous trade. Huge volume up bar (30k shares and a $0.75 range bar, my second warning that trend up was underway). I was flat at this point.

Trade 3 was despite the two warnings I had received. Short a little late on what appeared to be a double top. There was a dynamic support line that carried through from the previous day. Lost $15 on this one.

Trade 4 was pretty late in the trend. Apparently JPM had upgraded the stock to Overweight. So I waited for a retracement back to the 21 EMA and the bottom of the channel and went long 200 shares. Was hoping to take $1 swing. Offer got up there but not the bid. With little time left in the day, I closed out as price retreated from the highs. Target was hit about 30 minutes later.

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 bijeremiad 
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3 losers. -$80 loss. 1 percentile day.

Trade 1 was a push off the 21EMA after a gap down. But some economic numbers a 7am pushed the markets around. Stopped out.

Trade 2 Should have been my trade. Because I was stopped out without taking out the recent swing high, I got short again. Took heat immediately; almost stopped out. When price came back the second time, jumped out at BE. I only had to take another $0.10 of heat and I would have had a good runner on my hands. Ugh.

Trade 3 After seeing the higher low at 7:30, I thought I might be seeing a trend up (despite the gap down and the lower highs so far). That coupled with two stop getting hit, I thought I might be mentally positions the wrong way. So I went long. A brief 3-minute mistake. Done for the day, missed the big move.

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 bijeremiad 
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4 losers. -$80 loss. 1st percentile day.

Trade 1 makes no sense, even just 11 hours after the trade. Was this a breakout? An end of channel? Didn't even last 1 bar.

Trade 2 was a pull back on a down trend. Went $0.70 in may favor. Ended moving my stop to BE.

Trade 3 was after a pull back near the 21EMA. Should have been a good trade, but got skittish with my stop, which took me out at BE.

Trade 4 was 6 min too early. but I thought I had my edge with the intraday channel, rather than waiting for support. Was out in minutes.

HUGE selling program took place from 11:15 to 11:30. Hadn't noticed something like that before.

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 bijeremiad 
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2 losers. -$80 net loss. 1st percentile day.

Third day in a row of straight losers. 9 in a row. If I were trading 2% stops, i would be down 18%. Scary thought.

Trade 1 was supposed to be a trade off a local resistance at the high of the day. Price did pause, but strength was pretty evident in the approach. Stop was a little tight given the volatility. Wouldn't have helped to have a larger stop, but just noting I got a little greedy.

Trade 2 was in response to the strength seen from 6:45 to 7:09. I was expecting a pullback off the 21EMA. I got one for about 30 seconds. Trade didn't eve last a bar.

At least two nice trades came after these. But I stopped at $80 loss. Another day...

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 bijeremiad 
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Two losers, -$83 loss.

Today was a special confluence of events. I am working on getting an excel journal together, but it has been a while since I placed live trades. Decided to do that today. Thing is, I have this losing streak of 9 trades in a row. Added 2 more to that. At this point, if I was live trading I would stop and reassess. But I am not trading live, so what can I stop? Poor time to try live trades.

Not going to "review" the trades, but I will comment on the day. The other thing that happened today was a huge trend day down. This should have been an easy day to trade. Usually, you hear the idea "simple, but not easy" regarding trading. Today was flat out easy.

How easy? Up through 11:30am, the first 5 hours of the day, all you had to do was sell. I usually trade with a $0.40 stop (sometimes a $0.20 if the ATR5 is less than $0.20 and i am feeling aggressive/greedy). Using a $0.40 stop, there were only three stretches of 2, 10, and, 21 minutes where a $0.40 stop would have been taken out. First five hours (300 minutes) and only 33 minutes of "danger". Put another way, there were 3487 trades during that time frame, only on 548 (or 16%) of those trades could I have been stopped out. 84% of random shorts put on in the first 5 hours would have done great.

If, if, IF I had the presence of mind to watch price and recognize the down trend. But what do I do? Two longs. Two longs that don't last 10 minutes each.

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 bijeremiad 
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2 trades. 1 Winner, 1 Loser. Net $20 gain. 25th percentile day.

Very low volatility day. Price basically sat at two prices for 5 hours. Very peculiar. A high volume day too. I have been thinking of recording the "vol" for the day to get a sense of how I trade on different days. Originally, I was thinking I could record the range of the day. The idea being, I should make more money on a $5 high-to-low day than a $2 day. But a day like today would be a $2.50 day, which is on the lower end, but not as "flat" as today's chart shows. May have to think of a different metric.

Trade 1 was a bounce off of a trend started yesterday. Strong reversal bar, so I took an entry. The previous price action was decidedly negative, so I was defensive with my stop. So I bailed after price looked like it bounced off of a resistance level from yesterday. Would have been stopped out.

Trade 2 was with the same trend as Trade 1. By this time a HH/HL had been established twice. But price started to go sideways. After 45 minutes I jumped out at BE.

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 bijeremiad 
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1 winning trade. Net gain $95.

Trade 1 took a short after 4 failed pushes up and price finding resistance in the EMA21. Was pretty patient with stops. Felt a little anxious at 8:33, but price stalled up and continued down. I jammed my stop down after the higher high at 11am.

Fortunately I was away from my desk. Otherwise I probably would have been tempted to trade a reversal 12:15 or 12:30...

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 bijeremiad 
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2 Trades. 1 winner, 1 loser. Net gain $120.

Early close today. Thought about not trading. The fact that I did worries me a little because it shows the inability to sit on the sidelines.

Trade 1 was a short. I was surprised to see a gap down. A LH had been put in, and price was failing to push up, so I put the trade on. Some economic numbers came out, which were positive, and dragged the market up. I benefited from some negative economic numbers yesterday. Need to keep those in mind.

My short bias was strong today. I refused to act on the up trend - even after the move from 7:00-7:15. I thought about getting long at 7:21, 7:39, 8:30, and 8:51. Never pulled the trigger. Last few days have seen such strong selling, I was very hesitant. Cost me today.

Trade 2 was another short. After a break in a trendline and two failed pushes higher after coming down through the $132.50 level from yesterday. I was frustrated with the losing trade - especially when I thought I shouldn't be trading today. All I wanted was to break even for the day. Once I hit BE, price action was suggesting that price would go further, but I felt a strong need to close the trade out. I kept the trade on, and picked up another $0.60 on 200 shares. This was a small victory. You can go broke taking a profit... you have to let them run.

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 bijeremiad 
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Just a quick post with the equity curve for my trades since finishing up paper trading. Each dot is a day.

Disappointing to see that basically the last 14 of 27 trading days have been a wash. Last 8 days particularly tough. I have a hypothesis as to why that is. Next post.

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 bijeremiad 
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I suspect that one of the reasons the last few weeks have been tough is that VFC has not been trading inline with the S&P. One aspect of my trading that does not mirror my paper trading is that for my real time trades, I have access to the S&P prices/charts during the day.

So when the S&P is breaking out higher, I tend to look for similar movements in VFC. Whereas, in paper trading, I only focused on the stock at hand - no other inputs.

The last two weeks have seen some high volume days and heavy selling programs by institutions. Not until today, when I graphed VFC vs the S&P did I realize how prevalent that divergence has been for the last two weeks. The spread has essentially been around 0. Then around June 25, you can see the divergence begin and VFC sell off relative to the S&P.

It seems like in the past, I would get "caught" by the correlation with the S&P, where VFC would put in a lower high, but the S&P would be drifting higher, so I would short VFC, only to have the S&P breakout higher and drag VFC with it. Perhaps I should just focus on VCF and trade it on its own.

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 bijeremiad 
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3 winners. 1 Loser. $496 gain. Best day on record.

I thought about not trading today, figuring it would be low volatility, low volume. Glad I checked in. Again, VFC saw some large selling programs. Usually during the day, you are had pressed to find a volume bar bigger than 10,000. Today there were 21 such bars - even half a dozen greater than 40,000.

Trade 1 was a bit of a flyer. No real set up. I did notice price creeping higher and the lows not going lower. I thought about bailing at BE a couple times. But hung on for half an hour. Then 160,000 shares traded in 6 minutes in a very tight range. Bizarre to watch. Price started running up. In leaps and bounds. When I saw the volume, I kept a tight stop: at the bottom of each closed bar. Then at 8:18 I made a decision to jam my stop to lock in $1 of profit. I didn't want to watch $0.50-0.60 of profit melt away when I had 200 shares. This decision ended up costing me about $50 of PNL.

Trade 2 I waited for the breakout this time. Again I "panicked around the $1 mark. Cutting losses seams easy: price comes back to your stop, I have a little hesitation about whether to jump when the bid hits my stop or wait to see if an actual trade takes place at/below my stop. Either way, I know I am getting out. But with profits, I have a constant tug of war with my desire to give the trade room and to lock in the sure thing now. As I have seen in my paper trading and today "I can't afford to take the early profit." I have to let profits melt because they lead to the higher gains I need to offset my losing trades.

Trade 3 was a fear trade that I had gotten shaken out too soon of my Trade 2, which I had. I jammed my stop up to close out the position when price traded over $1 from the 21 EMA. That is where price stalled last time. I realize, I have no sense for how far price gets away from the 21EMA. I have looked once into the data, but gaps make it a non-straight-forward process for equities. I should get a better idea of this range. Turned out to be a good jumping point this time.

Trade 4 was looking for one more leg up. Never happened. Stopped out.

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 bijeremiad 
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3 losers. Net -$40 loss.

Another day of staggered flatness and 1 quick ramp up.

Trade 1. Pretty hard edge at $134 that held fora while, not sure why I waited until $133.80 to get in, but got stopped out on a pop.

Trade 2. Previous bar would have been a better entry bar, but the BE result would have been the same.

Trade 3. Got shaken out by $0.04. There was pretty palpable support at 133.60. Could have taken some risk off the table. I am sure I will get out at BE many times and then have a trade run away. Need to get some statistics on that to see what I should do.

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 bijeremiad 
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1 winner, 2 losers, net $0.

Trade 1 was looking for a pullback after breaking through $134 resistance. Only lasted about 10min in the trade.

Trade 2. A somewhat impulsive trade, just minutes after being taken out of trade 1. Realized it was countertrend and kept a tight stop.

Trade 3. Got back in on that breakout through $134. Fairly patient entry and stops.

Box 4 was not a trade, just was thinking of going long, never did.

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 bijeremiad 
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4 losers. -$80 net.

Trade 1 was unashamedly countertrend. Huge gap up, and I am looking for a short? Got out at BE.

Trade 2. Price was whipping around, thought didn't even think about looking for a spike and channel day. Was now looking "with trend" even though price had traded through two previous swing points.

Trade 3 was looking for continuation of the channel.

Trade 4 was looking for the pop that wasn't seen until 9:15. Too anxious too trade. Need to be patient for a set up like at 9:21 or 10:21.

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 bijeremiad 
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3 Winners, 2 losers, net $110.

Trade 1 was a little late. Got worried when price stalled. Would have been ok, if I left my original stop, but jammed my stop for a small profit.

Trade 2 was also late. Took a few bars before i thought that a continuation down was not going to happen. Also jammed my stop for a small profit as price approached $135.

Trade 3 was a test of support after price traded away from $135. Jumped out at BE after an hour of sitting the the trade. I had a downward bias, so i was waiting for a trap to grab a few longs before the market traded down.

Trade 4 was me getting short after the "trap". Got trapped myself.

Trade 5 was a failed break out. Got in after price grazed $135 and the FOMC minutes came out with negative news. Didn't see the reversal off $134 at 11:30. So small profit.

Completely missed the pullback at off the EMA at 12:30....

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 bijeremiad 
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Three losers, -$80 net.

Trade 1. Right idea, with trend, but a little early. Stopped out in 6 min.

Trade 2. Counter trend, was wondering if the gap down was going to carry through. Was defensive with stop, so break even.

Trade 3 I was too focused on the resistance at $135. I was trying to trade a test of tat level. Got plowed over as the gap filled.

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 bijeremiad 
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2 winners, 2 losers, net $60.

Trade 1. Spike and channel day. Traded with trend on the pullback to the 21 EMA. I was worried about a sell off after the strong rally, so I was defensive with the stop, moved it three times before I jammed it for a small profit.

Trade 2 I was very focused on the two lower highs that I thought were signaling a reversal. I was ignoring the higher low that was put in just 18 minutes earlier. The was more of a complex pullback, and was counter trend. The strength prior should have been given more weight.

Trade 3 Got turned around and saw the need to get long to trade with trend. Sat in this trade for 15 minutes and went nowhere but sideways, so I bailed at BE. Didn't want this to be my second loss to close out the day.

Trade 4 was late getting with the trend. Wasn't paying attention until about 11:15. The set up was a breakout pullback after price pierced the HOD and pulled back to the broken high for support. Even then was a little timid to go along. Afraid of such a strong run up, kept having short ideas show up everywhere.

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 bijeremiad 
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Here are the daily PNLs of the last 35 trading days. Averaging about $45/day, but tend to have dry spells that last over a week. This week was barely positive: $10. I don't have the spreadsheet on hand, but I think it is about 58% positive days, 42% negative days. Average winning day about $130, average losing day about $75.

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 bijeremiad 
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5 winners. $353 net.

Trade 1 was a bit early, just 15 minutes into the trading session. Was tough to ascertain where things were headed, but I went with the longer trend visible over multiple days. After the third push up through $140.27, I tightened my stop. Might have been able to be a little more aggressive with the stop, but price had not broken the trend line yes, so I left it.

Trade 2 was looking for a complex correction. Again was a little lazy on the stop. I should have been more suspicious on the lower high just above $140.27 resistance. If I had, i might have been able to see the short for Trade 3 a little sooner.

Trade 3 was more of a break out trade, but it was after a failed breakout at the $140.27 resistance. Could have been more aggressive on the stop after bouncing off $139 support.

Trade 4 was a chase and a late breakout. Managed not to lose money. Again, I could have been tighter with the stop, which would have improved my entrance for Trade 5.

Trade 5 was on a breakout, but also after a failed test of yesterday's close at $139.90.

I noticed on each of these trades "I could have been more aggressive with my stops." Probably because it was a trading range day. If it had been a trend day, I would be saying "should have been more lax with my stops." Fine. But by trade 3, or 4, or certainly by 5, I should realize it is a trading range day and be more aggressive with the stops.

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Was wondering if you could look here:



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  #92 (permalink)
 bijeremiad 
San Francisco, CA
 
Experience: Beginner
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3 losers for net -$80.

Trade 1 was a break out trade, got in a little late after breaking through $139.90, got stopped out in about 5 minutes.

Trade 2 was a little more reasonable. Price had retraced to $140.50 and failed to break out. Again, a little late on the entry, but got out at BE after price failed to push through the support of $139.90 from the last trade.

Trade 3 Right idea, but a little early and stops too tight. Wasn't much trading opportunity after that. Whole lot of chop around $140.50.

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  #93 (permalink)
 bijeremiad 
San Francisco, CA
 
Experience: Beginner
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Posts: 410 since Jul 2011
Thanks: 284 given, 338 received

2 winners, 3 losers. Net gain $280.

Trade 1 Saw lower highs and took a short. Thought I had something when price pushed through $139.50. Was patient through the first pullback. Didn't move stop until price traded through $139.50 again. Price peeked through $139.50, and I really though we were off to the races, despite S&P rallying strong. Stopped out at BE.

Trade 2 Got in after the first pullback off $139.50. Saw price stall at resistance of $140.50 (relevant level from yesterday), so I jammed my stop in and got out with $120 profit, which would be a pretty good day, if I left it at that.

Trade 3 had me worried. I got back in at my exit price and saw price trade up even further. Then price got so high that the price was over $1 above the 21 EMA. it was at the top of the channel, and price had stalled there for about 2 minutes. So I jammed my stop again, and was sitting at $320 profit. A fantastic day.

Trade 4 was based on the idea that I had just seen a spike and would see a channel down. This was a countertrend trade, so I was aggressive with my stop, which left me BE. But I still thought I would see the channel down (drawn in purple on the chart).

Trade 5 was made as if I had never heard of a complex correction. I saw the lower high and thought I had the short. I was so sure that I put this trade on with real money. I was so sure, I even got in on a limit order, just a little early before price broke resistance, just for good measure. Didn't end well. Full stop loss.

The biggest error of the day was exiting on Trades 2/3. Trade 2 only cost me commission $2-4, no big deal. But my early exit cost me $200-300. I had a whole 33 minutes to get back in after my exit. Rather than seeing the strong trend, I spent my time looking for two shorts. If I typically lose $40 on a trade, $300 is enough to cover 7 full stops. That is 3 days worth of bad trades. A 7.5R mistake! I could trade without stops and not likely encounter an error that big. Goes to reiterate you can go broke taking a profit. Let 'em run. Its worth all the days i lose a few ticks on range-bound days.

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  #94 (permalink)
 bijeremiad 
San Francisco, CA
 
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Busy with other things. It was a big, big day +10.61 or 7.5%. Too bad.

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  #95 (permalink)
 bijeremiad 
San Francisco, CA
 
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Posts: 410 since Jul 2011
Thanks: 284 given, 338 received

3 Losers. -$80.

Trade 1 Took a bounce off of a big support level from yesterday, which was a big day after earnings. I guess I was hoping it would be the bottom, but I should have treated it for what it was, a counter trend day and moved my stop accordingly.

Trade 2 and Trade 3. I got cockeyed in the chop. Lousy way to shut down a day. These quick reversals are useless I think. If its chop I kill my day with 2 losses, which ends my day. If it is not chop, then another opportunity will come along, wait 30 min. It won't kill me.

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  #96 (permalink)
 bijeremiad 
San Francisco, CA
 
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So today marks my second month of watching VFC real time. Attached is a graph showing my results for the 8 weeks.

Here are some summary statistics:


Oddly, I only made $6 more than the previous 4 months. The mix of winners was different. I had that streak of losers at the beginning of this month, which dragged down the percentage, but that was also offset by the few larger win days, as evidenced by the winning day average of $188 vs $121 in the last period. Another change was to cut loses to just two full-stop trades. There were a few losing days in the first month where I had 3 full stop losses (see the average day loss of $68 this month vs $81 last month).

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  #97 (permalink)
 bijeremiad 
San Francisco, CA
 
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2 winners, 1 loser. Net $139 gain.

Trade 1 was pretty late, after hesitating at 7:12 and 7:21. I wasn't watching my screen when the proper pullback happened around 7:51. The trade would have been good enough to carry me through the whole day without taking any heat, but I was getting nervous after the long run up, so I set a tighter stop and got hit.

Trade 2 was a pretty anxious short. After a strong move up and 2/3 of the way to a close gap fill, I take a short just minutes after price breaks the trend line up. Relax. Tightened stop and was taken out.

Trade 3 was a break out. Price stalled at 11:45, so I jammed my stop in for an exit at $150.45.

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  #98 (permalink)
 bijeremiad 
San Francisco, CA
 
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3 Winners, 2 losers. $198 net.

Trade 1 was a short off of a pullback. Trend carried over from the day before. Was a little too fidgety with my stop. I could have run the whole day with this trade, but got shaken out early. Probably not too realistic. I would have to go 90 minutes without touching the stop.

Trade 2 was a failed break out below $149, which was a support level from yesterday. After price bounced 3 times off $149, I took a long up, figuring I had support. The fight that ensued between the bears/bulls from 8:30-8:51 between $149-149.25 should have clued me into the breakout that followed. Lots of trapped traders there (including me...).

Trade 3 was the first pullback after the break out. Valid set up, with trend. I moved to break even after trade was well in my favor and after a little under 30 minutes. Got shaken out at that level. Probably could have made $0.75 on that trade.

Trade 4 was a continuation of trade 3, caught most of what I would have in Trade 3.

Trade 5 was a pull back in a (small) uptrend. At 12:15, I knew this was a short term trade. So I jammed my stop at the first sign of stall. I probably would have gotten stopped out if I had tried to wait for the slighter higher high that followed.

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  #99 (permalink)
 bijeremiad 
San Francisco, CA
 
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Posts: 410 since Jul 2011
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2 losers, -$80.

Trade 1 right direction. was a little late after the pull back, just a bit early. Stopped out.

Trade 2 was a disaster. Counter trend, had not broken the trend line yet (in blue). It was bouncing off resistance at $147, but only 1 failure. Mileage wouldn't have been that great, even if I were short.

I did miss the short at 7:42. I passed at the time becuase I thought the R:R was off because of resistance at $147.

Afterwards I did watch for other trades. The trade at 9:48 would have been a good one.

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  #100 (permalink)
 bijeremiad 
San Francisco, CA
 
Experience: Beginner
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Trading: Stocks
 
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Posts: 410 since Jul 2011
Thanks: 284 given, 338 received

2 losers. -$80 net.

Trade 1 was the right direction but early. I thought I had a bounce of $149.50 resistance. Stopped out pretty quickly.

Trade 2 got cock-eyed in the brief chop. Really? flipping directions 4 bars later? Thought maybe I was seeing a reversal with the higher low at 7:00am. I should have been more focused on the lower high at 7:06. This was definitely a countertrend trade. Only lasted 15 minutes.

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