I know a few times in this journal you've had so-so days and then loaded up on contracts, caught a winner and turned a scratch or loss day into a winner (like this Monday).
I'm a novice trader so I am not questioning your logic in doing so, only asking what is different, what do you see that gives you the confidence to go "all-in"? What clues are you looking for in the price action that causes you to double down or scale-in vs take the loss?
Any advice on stop placement? What do you do regarding stops? I know you state which trades you get stopped out of, but not much about why that particular price or what you saw that caused you to bail at that point. Do you use hard-stops or just monitor the price action and make decisions?
I know I fear that one of these days you're going to report to that one of those 34 contract trades went against you.
Thank you for this wonderful journal, I learn something every time I read it.
Scalping suits my trading psychology/personality pretty well, as long as I don't "marry" any positions. I have at least 3 different styles of trading that I'm profitable at, one of which is this scalping style, so I'm working on finding how to quickly identify the market mood/behavior and know which trading style to use for the day.
Round-trip commissions cost less than a single tick of profit. I can live with that.
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I think the "all in" trades are not a good idea ever. I don't recommend them, and am actually working out a thing or two with my broker to where I'm not allowed to do them, or else I'm going to only keep X dollars in my account to limit my $ available for margin.
Yes, I do them, but I don't approve of my own behavior. haha As far as clues in price action, I think many times I'm not quite in sync or with the flow and get in a drawdown early in the day.... but then as I continue to watch price action throughout the day I find that perfect looking trade with the rhythm and at this point in the day I am very familiar with how price is moving that day.
I fear that sometime one will get away from me too, so that's why I'm about to CREATE AN ATMOSPHERE THAT'S CONDUCIVE TO THE BEHAVIOR I WANT. Always something important in life, whatever our vice.
Stop placement: I take it you're asking about the INITIAL STOP placement. It varies a little with the style I'm trading, but in general it's SUPPOSED to be A) just outside the noise of the most recent swing high/low or B) Just beyond the high/low of the entry signal candle on the longer timeframe. Sometimes I give it more or less room based on volatility and my feel of the market environment.
Hope this helps.
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Watching Tf for first time how bad are the gaps, and how much do u normally scalp for with what stop loss, sorry for being direct Im just curious bc this thing is low on Vol. I traded live this am for 14ticks with 10 tick stop, suggestions?
You can watch my video yesterday (5-1-12) where I used my scalping method and see how I traded the method. All my trades' ticks P/L were: +4, -9, +9, +10, +5, +1, +4, -6, +8, +7, +8, 0, +2, 0, +6
I don't hold positions over night, so I don't keep up with gaps, but you can look at a chart and see for yourself pretty quickly.
Volume: I can look at my DOM right now (mid day, lower volume time) and I see an average of 50 contracts bid/ask at every level for 20 ticks above and below last price. If you're trading more than 50 contracts then you should probably trade ES.
I traded stocks for years, then went to forex, forex seemed a bit sketchy and unregulated, so then I just went to trading the Euro on the futures markets, then I started taking a look at index futures and liked the way they moved. I traded only ES for a few years up until this February I switched to TF.
TF has a broader daily range, more intraday volatility and a smaller tick size than ES. If your method or approach can trade either/or ~equally well and you're not moving truckloads, then TF is the better market. For me, I'm taking small swings, so more ticks (10 ticks/point vs ES 4) means a much smaller effect on P/L from commissions too. ES has TONS of volume from all the quant and HFT guys, and that causes it to trade in ugly (for my style) tight, untradeable ranges.
TF demands discipline though. It's unforgiving, and you can't bring an ego into play with it. It will run 100 ticks straight against you. TF is not for beginners.
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The TF was a more wild contract when it was on the Globex as the ER2. It's grown much more tame (read choppy) since then.
I've been trading the CL for 1.5 years now (TF/ER2 7 years before that) and don't think anyone who has switched would ever want to go back to the e-minis unless the VIX kicked up over 30 consistently again. There's a more free-flowing feel you get on the Crude contract than the e-minis. It's not bounded by the movement of a 500 or 2000 stock index which, apparently, allows it to have intraday crashes and melt-ups looking at a 5 min chart so often that the media doesn't even report them as something particularly out of the ordinary.
Your scalping method would be more like 12-20 ticks there and you could keep your stop to 5-7 ticks since you trade edge cases on limits rather than buy/sell stop into a breakout/breakdown.
I saw in one of your videos where you caught a big breakout on half of your position. You trailed your stop up with the comment, "I can do this all day". I think the next big breakthrough in your trading is going to be when you realize that you should be ADDING aggressively to your position with that kind of price action. Let the market catch you on the losers when your position is light and catch you in a heavy position when you're right and getting more right with each passing minute.
The most vulnerable part of the trade is the beginning because the market hasn't shown whether or not you're holding onto a loser, a winner or a great winner. For this reason, you give the market your ante for playing, not the size you can scale into, which is held in reserve (piecemeal) until more information is shown in your favor.
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I actually looked at CL the other day and was pretty impressed with how the flow of the market looked. It's something I'm planning on looking into eventually, I'm very happy with my TF trading currently though. Kinda the "If it ain't broke.... " thought process. I do like to only trade one market. I get a much more intimate feel for the behavior.
Yes, I typically add to losers and pretty much never add to winners. Certainly something to improve.
I really really appreciate you taking the time to offer some insight into areas I can improve. Thank you. Don't hesitate to speak up more!