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Turning Point
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Turning Point

  #11 (permalink)
Error-prone
Bundeburg
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Chart
Favorite Futures: Fx
 
Posts: 76 since Mar 2012
Thanks: 24 given, 42 received

Today one trade. Stalking and engagement perfect. New capture process perfectly executed.
Risk 16, Capture 27.



Cloudy View Post
Thanks for the recommendations Cusp. Some resources and ideas for daytrading if case you haven't seen these before. Brook's price action books. Brooks Price Action - Home, PATs trading. Free videos here: PATsTrading - YouTube. YTC Your Trading Coach | Home ; lots of free videos there.
Perry's thread on elite of his method continuation has some nice moving average indicators.
Fattail's webinar and his numerous indicators for vwap, IB, daily high/low/mid and fib ranges, pivots etc.
Futurestrader71's webinars here on futures.io (formerly BMT). Thanks, good trading on your journal.

Thanks for the recommendations Cloudy. I spent a lot of time with indicators but have now managed to exorcise all be a 20 ema from my charts and only on the shortest timeframe chart. I keep it because it is a reminder of perceived value and part of 1 of my trades. I should try and get rid of it except when I have that trade setup. Ok. I might just try that tomorrow.

My issue is that in my time trading with indicators and developing a good method I built up a lot of bad habits, driven by fear, greed, anger etc. I also built a compelling set of urges including:

- taking impulse trades if distracted and see something possible on the charts
- taking impulse trades when bored or frustrated
- taking impulse trades after a loss particularly when the extra emotion of anger at a mistake was involved
- failing to take valid trades through uncertainty
- holding for a bigger payoff
- not exiting once the reasons for exiting occurred
- not exiting because it could go further (much further)
- not wanting to take a loss.

So this journal is about the journey to overcome these issues. I will share some of the things that didn't work for me and some things that are working ... and then if they fail over time why I think that is happening and any tweaking I can do to get them going again.

There is a lot of magical thinking in trading. One part is the use of indicators instead of learning to read what price does. Another part is the number of dodgy approaches to taming our minds so that we behave the way we need to for success. My roll call on training methods:

- Denise Shull, who claims to be "neuro" but is very unscientific and writes appallingly (don't by the book, it is a shocking waste of time) is really a freudian and offers little other than "identify your emotions, roll in them, try to figure out what happened when you were young and is replaying"
- All the NLP players who are pushing a discredited method but do occasionally have a good trick which possibly isn't NLP anyway but is a useful
- Hypnotism and other generalized "say good things" approaches when did little for me.
and
- The various cognitive behavioural group which is where I have found the most effective methods.

So, I shall say some things about how I am overcoming my issues on my way to delivering the results in real time that my method can deliver in hindsight.

Great smileys bigmike

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  #12 (permalink)
Error-prone
Bundeburg
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Chart
Favorite Futures: Fx
 
Posts: 76 since Mar 2012
Thanks: 24 given, 42 received

Psychological techniques that work, 1:

First really test your method. The better you can test it the greater the confidence you can have in it in real time. That doesn't mean you can take every trade but it does make it easier to take them.

Second write out very clearly what you will do in various situations. The clearer and simpler (but never too simple) the better.



My goal in this phase of trading is to replace old bad habits with new good habits and to reinforce them. Good method + good habits and skills = solid expectancy.


So, after yesterday I realized that I needed to make my capture process clearer as despite improvements in my trade stalking and engagement over the last month I've been let down by exit failures. I wrote it up on one page. I read and re-read these pages and rehearse them to replace the old thinking with a new habit.

My goals were not clear, and I'd been trying for stretches rather than just taking the easy money so I clarified that - its really important to see an excellent trade as one that matches your objectives. And to reinforce it by patting yourself on the back when you achieve it. So, for me the third part of an excellent trade is to finish it as soon as I can once my rules allow it. How much profit it makes doesn't matter. A winner is a trade I engage correctly, set targets and stops correctly and then manage for as quick a rule based exit as I can achieve.

I added a process ... what I will do from engage through to capture. And I added a table that makes my five situations clear to me along with exit rules so that I can then capture whatever profit is available from this trade asap.

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  #13 (permalink)
Error-prone
Bundeburg
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Chart
Favorite Futures: Fx
 
Posts: 76 since Mar 2012
Thanks: 24 given, 42 received


One trade. Risked and 15 and gave it up. Execution was fine.


Its funny really. I know that 40% of my trades will lose but I don't really accept it. I am working quite hard on the language - a winner is a trade where I stalk, engage and capture by my method. A loser is one where I make a mistake in one of those phases. So I call a profitable trade just that and an unprofitable trade unprofitable - not a loser.

Any ideas in this area would be most welcome.


Last edited by cusp; March 29th, 2012 at 09:24 PM.
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  #14 (permalink)
Error-prone
Bundeburg
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Chart
Favorite Futures: Fx
 
Posts: 76 since Mar 2012
Thanks: 24 given, 42 received

Four trades for Friday. -14 +3 +3 +34

Risk on each was 10-16 points.
Three of the trades were executed perfectly. On the first be+ I had a rule that would have taken me out about +10 but I ignored it; I was sure it would turn back again, so much for sure as it went down about 35 points before it stopped. More practice on capturing profit with good exits for next week.

Three steps forward, two steps backward. I aspire to two forward one backward. But not unhappy with the week. I'd like to be a little bit better next week.

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  #15 (permalink)
Site Administrator
Manta, Ecuador
 
Futures Experience: Advanced
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Favorite Futures: E-mini ES S&P 500
 
Big Mike's Avatar
 
Posts: 46,240 since Jun 2009
Thanks: 29,351 given, 83,221 received

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

Due to time constraints, please do not PM me if your question can be resolved or answered on the forum.

Need help?
1) Stop changing things. No new indicators, charts, or methods. Be consistent with what is in front of you first.
2) Start a journal and post to it daily with the trades you made to show your strengths and weaknesses.
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4) Accept responsibility for your actions. Stop looking elsewhere to explain away poor performance.
5) Where to start as a trader? Watch this webinar and read this thread for hundreds of questions and answers.
6)
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  #16 (permalink)
Error-prone
Bundeburg
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Chart
Favorite Futures: Fx
 
Posts: 76 since Mar 2012
Thanks: 24 given, 42 received

Its too early in my journalling experience to answer the questions.

Today I took one trade. I'm cautious on Mondays because historically they have been poor performers and its often taken until Wednesday to repair Monday. Risk 12 points, Return 32 points. Execution 100%. I kept a strong focus on my capture process and am finding the mindfulness practice I started in March to be effective at reducing my stress and heart rate during the trade.

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  #17 (permalink)
Error-prone
Bundeburg
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
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Posts: 76 since Mar 2012
Thanks: 24 given, 42 received

No trade today.

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  #18 (permalink)
Error-prone
Bundeburg
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Chart
Favorite Futures: Fx
 
Posts: 76 since Mar 2012
Thanks: 24 given, 42 received

I'm going to start building an analysis of my issues and a record of my approaches to them in this thread. I will attempt to record what didn't work for me and why I think that happened as well as what is currently working. So first, what's the problem:

I, and I expect, most humans are innately flawed as discretionary traders. I am intelligent and a good critical problem solver but I am prone to boredom, lack self-discipline and hate losing. Although I've become skilled at determining rules that will give me edges, those flaws make it hard for me to execute successfully – the cross product of trader and system had a negative expectancy.


I have a set of habits and responses to events that do not support profitable trading; they either cause single errors or create a tilt. My objective in the first half of 2012 is to build and reinforce new replacement habits to overcome these problems and move to solid profitability.


Problems:
  1. Revenge Entries: when feeling bad after a loss or, worse, a loss caused by an error I get a strong urge to enter. This has been reinforced by some joyous memorable successes and the positive feeling I get by being in a trade with the potential to remedy the loss I have taken. It is an error multiplier and has probably been my worst problem.
  2. Impulse Entries: when bored, frustrated from errors, misses, or movement without set-ups, or coming back to the chart distracted I have tended to enter trades that are not qualified and this has a negative expectancy. Revenge is a sub-category of this but with a high emotional driver.
  3. Not Entering: where the trend is clear and the set-up is valid I often don't enter. Usually there is an excuse in the style of “this doesn't look right at the lowest time level” although sometimes I miss it through lack of recognition or distraction.
  4. Exiting a profitable trade early: while watching price I will react to a stall or short term reversal by exiting early which means that the method's expectancy can't be realized as this action tends to cut winners unnecessarily short.
  5. Not exiting a loser when signalled: so I tend to take the full stop rather than the better system exit when the market shows a set-up failure signal.
  6. Not exiting a winner when signalled: mainly because the signal occurs when the market has taken back a significant open profit and I don't enjoy giving back what I had.
I have made a bit of progress in 1Q2012 and will revisit that in future posts. Revenge and impulse were my biggest issues but are currently under reasonable control and I'll explain a bit about what I have tried in that space. Not exiting to the rules was a problem that showed in the week prior to the journal and the first week which I am actively working on. My efforts to overcome revenge and impulse trades have exacerbated the issue of skipping trades so I plan to try to move the balance back a little in the second part of this week.


What I found in the past was that any move to increase the number of trades taken generated impulsives out of proportion to any increase in good trades. So I need a way to increase one without the other.


Gotta be easy

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  #19 (permalink)
Error-prone
Bundeburg
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Chart
Favorite Futures: Fx
 
Posts: 76 since Mar 2012
Thanks: 24 given, 42 received

So, how am I going to address the problem of not taking enough of the valid trades?

Well, I think fear of loss, error or both is what is holding me back when a valid trade occurs. It feels more relaxing to reject it than to step up and take the risk.

In the past I have attempted to raise my motivation to take the trades but that seems to increase frustration at trades skipped or missed which generates impulse trades. In some sense I think I feel that I'm putting less on the line with an impulse trade than a system trade - if it fails then it isn't the systems fault perhaps?

Instead of increasing push I am going to try to make it easier to take valid trades. I rate myself every 15 minutes of my 5 hour trading day on a number of things. This helps to keep me focussed and rewarded for doing the right things and building habits. It also lets me measure if I am drifting - you tend to manage what you measure.

I will focus more attention on being ready for entries by having a box for "Current Trend State Recorded" and "Next Entry in both directions written out." I will try to make it easier to take fully qualified trades by using logic injections and reminding myself repeatedly that:

- This trades profit will be unimportant: the system has positive expectancy so just take each trade and let profit build up. Two steps forward, one back. No problem.

- A winning trade is one where I engage right, place initial stops and targets, and then manage profit by the system. The market determines how much profit the system takes from this trade not me so put it on and just relax. I am right, I win, if I execute right.

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  #20 (permalink)
Error-prone
Bundeburg
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Chart
Favorite Futures: Fx
 
Posts: 76 since Mar 2012
Thanks: 24 given, 42 received


So I didn't take a large number of trades today. Just one again. Risk 10 Returned 26. Perfect stalk (well, patient and skipped any nearly right trades, just skipped a few good ones as well), perfect engage, and a good capture.

I do need to get my engagement rate up and will work on that next week. Tomorrow is an early holiday for me so no trades until next Tuesday.

I was just reading up some of the posts on Wyckoff after watching the excellent seminar by Gary Dayton and found the thread started by David_R. David actually did Gary's course but despite this his journal indicated that the psychological aspects prevented his success (at least up to that point). I suspect that there are hundreds of methods that can work, mine is closest now to what Wyckoff did although it has a bit of Sam Seiden to it, but the psychological side is the killer.

You have to take your innate unsuitability for operating in a world of risk and probability, the bad habits you add to that as you make mistakes while learning, and somehow replace your bad habits (stimulus>thoughts and feelings>ineffective actions) with good habits that support your trading.

So, over the long weekend I shall read some more of Jared Tendler's "The Mental Game of Poker" (the best trading psychology book I've found) and work on the mindfulness exercises in Russ Harris's "The Happiness Trap." Hopefully I will return next week ready to hold the gains I've recently made:
- I haven't made a revenge trade since 15 March
- I haven't made an impulse trade since 23 March
- I haven't screwed up my capture (exit) since I made the capture process clearer on 29 March.

So next week I need to reinforce those habits and try to let the "no impulse trade" barrier relax just enough to take a higher number of valid trades when the trend is clear.

Good trading to the rest of you in the mean time.
Have a happy holiday.

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