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Spot FX Day Trading: The Jigsaw
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Spot FX Day Trading: The Jigsaw

  #101 (permalink)
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When To Change, How Much To Change?

Non-trading life has taken over the last few weeks. I think it has been a month since my last live trade. This period off has brought yet more reflection and I have decided to severely tinker with my trading plan. I am stuck in a breakeven stage and I feel I need a jolt to get some traction - even though I have tried my damnedest to NOT CHANGE ANYTHING! At some point though if it ain't working, it's got to change.

I have taken a critical look at my development over the last 3 years with a view to keep in the good stuff and get out the bad, and then see what the gaps are.
  • I have kept my with trend set-up based on a turn in the MACD histogram - just speeded up the two averages to a 3/10
  • My volatility breakout set-up stays as is
  • In comes a false breakout reversal based on Wyckoff springs/upthurst
  • And in comes Wyckoff context assessment to put some specific labels the preceding few days PA (which includes some tick volume)
  • Making an effort to run an 350 tick chart alongside my usual 15 minute charts, just to see which I fall for.
Everyting else stays pretty much as is, but there is enough changed to warrant starting off in SIM for at least 2 weeks, perhaps longer, if I feel it necessary. And it will be a few weeks before I can get back trading at all.

Without cranking-up the performance anxiety too much, the next spell of trading feels like 'make or break'. Because of some changes in my life I will soon have an opportunity to trade for a protracted period without getting called away for weeks or months at a time - which has been the pattern in the last year. I am getting myself ready to go for it.

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  #102 (permalink)
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Good luck!

The only stuff I can say about indicators - or in fact trading - is to be sure you know why you are changing. OK I admit it's not as though I'm a trading master passing down pearls of wisdom here, but I am seeking the same things that those masters seek, I believe.

In other words, I don't think you are justified in changing things just because they don't work. Why did you expect them to work in the first place, and what's changed since then?

Something to mull over while you're not trading

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  #103 (permalink)
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Adamus View Post
Good luck!

The only stuff I can say about indicators - or in fact trading - is to be sure you know why you are changing. OK I admit it's not as though I'm a trading master passing down pearls of wisdom here, but I am seeking the same things that those masters seek, I believe.

In other words, I don't think you are justified in changing things just because they don't work. Why did you expect them to work in the first place, and what's changed since then?

Something to mull over while you're not trading

I am not a 'chop and changer'. This falls into the evolution not revolution pot, that said even small changes to my trading routine or approach seem like earthquakes. But I like the question, who knows when another day/week/month would make all the difference to get that final piece of the puzzle? I tend to look at the worse case scenario. Which in this case is: trying what feels like sound adjustments in SIM for a period, if they work out go with it, if not come back home. I've lost perhaps some time (and no money) to find out.

The process has sort of gone like this...

1. Use indicators only
2. Factor in context and market structure more and more
3. Keep indicators but now have a raft of discretionary factors drawn from context as to take trades based on the original signals or not.
4. Spot entries and exits based on the context and PA rather than indi's - but don't take them due not to being in my plan.
5. Add to / adjust / drop current based set-ups based on all acquired knowledge and learning to date.
6 Possibly repeat steps 1-5

So to answer your question 'what's changed' I suppose an answer is I have changed. I have gotten to the point where I trust myself to make good calls but some of my current set-ups feel wrong. I now believe understanding the bigger picture, market structure, context, etc is - for me - most of 'it'. The entries and exits 10% or so? So I do not feel I am really changing too much but it feels like the vital element right now.

All I am losing is time, and whilst I feel pressure to get some more solid results within the next 6 months or so, I'm beginning to know and trust myself more and more. And I am not getting too hung up about being wrong either - and I may well be wrong here, but I can handle the downside.

So yes a bit uncomfortable and unsure. I'll do the test, compare results and take things from there.

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  #104 (permalink)
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Getting Back

Thought I'd pop in an and update my journal. I've nearly finished a revamp of my trading plan after a prolonged layoff and I will be back trading as from Monday 3rd June. I have pretty much cleared the decks of other work commitments for a few months.

There have been changes, but nothing too drastic. Main change is I'll be day trading just one instrument (EURUSD) and swing trading a few other currency pairs.

Biggest change is that I went off and learned how to trade! In the last year or so I had been leaning more and more toward market structure and 'context' and have adopted the Wyckoff method as a way to speak that language. This has added volume to my chart reading and, well, it's made a difference.

Looking forward immensely to getting back in the groove. So probably SIM for a few week or two and then tiny steps live.

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  #105 (permalink)
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Sounds good, looking forward to comparing notes. What times are you going to day trade?

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  #106 (permalink)
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London open to 15:30 GMT as a window, but looking primarily to the London and US opens for volatility to ride

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  #107 (permalink)
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1 Scratch

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I drew on the areas where I would be looking for trades last night during the Asia session (dark blue bands). There were two great big bull bars (60 min chart) yesterday with the largest consecutive range of anything on my chart. That means something so I was not looking for short trades unless we held under the lower band (last week's high). Price had drifted down from yesterday's high and was making less progress with each little push, rejecting the supply line with some decent volume at the London open. There was a little spring in my lower band so I wanted a low volume secondary test to get long on. I took that trade with a MACDh signal with a stop under the prior low. After holding for 9 bars I brought my stop up to BE and was taken out on the next swing.

Lots of efforts and little reward on the drive up to the day's high. each time price made a new high for the day it did not capitalise on it, in fact often suffering a 2 bar reversal to take out the previous bar lows. If price had upthrusted yesterday's high in the upper band I could have shorted - but it never got there. The breakdown came at the US open through the reverse trend channel (dotted line) with ease of movement and stopped right on the breakout level from yesterday. Buyers overcame sellers again at this level. I did not take it, but this could have been a nice spring setup.

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  #108 (permalink)
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What's a reverse trend channel line? That dotted line is horizontal, that's what throws me.

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  #109 (permalink)
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Adamus View Post
What's a reverse trend channel line? That dotted line is horizontal, that's what throws me.

Hi Adamus,

Actually this was the demand line (touching the lows in an uptrend, i.e. where demand comes in), sorry I mis-annoted it. A reverse trend line would be where you connect the highs in an uptrend (or lows in a downtrend) and make a parallel to fit the other side. It's just another option for framing price action.

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  #110 (permalink)
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1 scratch


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Pretty much the same trade as yesterday. I had one eye on the clock as I knew the ADP numbers were due out and I hoped I may get to lock in a profit before the release. I closed 5 minutes before the release for a scratch. I didn't take the upthrust as it was too wild for me and sat out the rest of session.

How's this range going to be resolved?

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