You may find it interesting to employ a technique i like to use when i have no idea where the next reversal may occur. I use the regression channel and the Pitchfork or the Ray tool in order to find potential reversal points or extremes. I do not trade the TF presently but was curious to see what this technique would have produced. See by yourself:
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You could do as TIYF suggests with pitchforks (I thought only farmers used pitchforks) or you can go to larger time frame charts which is what I do before the day begins and identify the significant areas and ones that are likley to be the top or bottom for the day.
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Both are great suggestions. Whatever method used... if the chart is going from the bottom left to the upper right... we're in an uptrend. That's not the hard part.
My problem is that I was trying to force my view on the market, instead of letting it tell me where it's going.
There are many pro's and cons to being a discretionary trader. More pro's in my opinion though!
It's amazing what our subconscious can do if we allow it. I make the mistake of overlaying too many objective rules. This creates conflict. Conflict creates poor trade execution and management. The answer, for me, is getting more comfortable with subjectivity. Trust intuition. Learn to operate within the uncertainty that is the market.
Embrace subjectivity and feel the market. It tells you where it's going, it's not for me to tell where to go.
Wish I would have been in that mindset earlier today!
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Do your reported tick totals exclude the broker's cumulative ticks made from your trading? If they don't then that number doesn't denote how YOU performed, independent of the number of trades you took.
For example, in cumulative tick terms, if it cost me 1/2 tick roundtrip per contract in brokerage fees, if I made +5 ticks on 5 contracts, I would record that as a +23.5 tick gain. If I lost the same, then I would record a -27.5 tick loss. If I made +100 ticks, 5 days in a row, then anyone can tell that I actually made $1000 each day, regardless of the number of trades it took me to achieve that total.
Every single reason I use the method I use is to measure my trading performance DECISIONS... my process... against ACTUAL moves of the market.
The broker's fees are negligible, and they are a constant, and they are not a measurement of my decisions relative to actual moves of the market. They aren't in tick p/l values, but they clearly show up in my $ p/l and thus are very much accounted for there.
You're making your tick values to where the translate exactly in dollars. As you said..."anyone could tell you made x, dollars by looking at how many ticks you made"... why even go through the process to calculate ticks? Pointless. Just use $ p/l and that's all you need, because that's all your calculation is giving you... in terms of INFORMATION. Anyone can tell how many dollars I make if I post how many dollars I make. They gain more insight into my trading process if they see how much I can take out of a market on any given day, in terms of ticks the market moves. Think about it, if everyone used my method, we could share ticks p/l and immediately know INFORMATION about their trading performance. If everyone used your method, then we know how much money we made, but we don't know how well the TRADING PROCESS was. (You can't tell if you made 100 ticks on 1 contract, or 1 tick on 100 contracts). Ticks are shared and viewed as a p/l metric, so they are in essence a language. A language should be something that, when said, bring information that is translatable.
I use average ticks earned/lost per contract. No matter what size I trade, I can look over my performance historically and it tells me the same INFORMATION. It tells me how my decisions stacked up against actual moves of the market. If my ticks p/l varied with position size, as they have as my account as grown, it would make me look like a better and better trader just because I was trading more size. Not a good thing, not a true measure.
Ticks are a metric to be measured on their own, they're a different animal than other forms of P/L.
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