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Spot FX Day Trading: The Jigsaw


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Spot FX Day Trading: The Jigsaw

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  #201 (permalink)
 mokodo 
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Adamus View Post
Welcome back. Where did you go on holiday then?


Just my 2 Euro cents but hesitation for me is 99% wanting a certain outcome rather than considering the loss. Of course I fear the loss as much as anyone but I am hesitant because my read of the PA is poor. For a while I decided to go with the hesitation and not count it as an error, and I had one period of 2 weeks or so with only 1 or 0 trades per day, instead of 4, and they were all winners. Obviously that's a small sample size but I keep thinking about it. I gave up on this low volume trading approach because I wasn't satisfied with the no-trade days.

Hi Adamus,

France, a week in the Dordogne countryside and a week on the Crozon peninsula in Brittany. Far west coast of Brittany is a favorite of mine, it's France's version of Cornwall/Landsend but without the crowds and more Atlantic battered scenery. The empty beaches and surf are bliss.

You raise a couple of good points. You say you wanted a certain outcome and that is the main cause of the hesitation you experienced. I'm guessing that the certain outcome was a profitable trade? So whilst you frame it in those terms it may be pain avoidance, i.e. not wanted to experience a loss.

If I understand you, you did try using the hesitation as a filter to taking trades or not - i.e. if you hesitated that was reason to skip, and if you didn't that was reason to take the trade. This sounds like it is getting into the realm of a psychological based strategy. I have no experience of this but have read of it. An example would be to fade all normal emotions. So whenever you felt it would be the wrong time to enter, enter and once in stay in when you feel it's time to get out and get out when you want to stay in. Personally I'd stay away from that sort of thing as trying to work out what was working and what was not could speed my journey to the madhouse. But you say 2 weeks and all winners! On that basis alone I would explore further regardless of the frequency of trades.

If you track those trades where you hesitated it may open a door to the underlying reasons, once you have a sample there may be common features which can be factored into your rule set. IMHO the moment of hesitation is reflecting one of two things, i) perceived fear (anxiety) where there is nothing to be fearful about (it is a valid trade, you just are anxious about a possible loss, which is always a possibility , so just accept it), or , ii) actual fear where you consciously or unconsciously spot something to be fearful about. The later is experience started to help you out the former is lack of confidence getting in the way.

Wondered if you had managed to get hold of a copy The Chimp Paradox that we discussed a while back?

Good to hear from you and happy trading.

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  #202 (permalink)
 mokodo 
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Decided not to trade today. I had a few ideas still floating around since I my last review and wanted to work through them.

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  #203 (permalink)
 Adamus 
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mokodo View Post
France, a week in the Dordogne countryside and a week on the Crozon peninsula in Brittany. Far west coast of Brittany is a favorite of mine, it's France's version of Cornwall/Landsend but without the crowds and more Atlantic battered scenery. The empty beaches and surf are bliss.

Nice for you. I was in Northumberland, lots of beaches and ruined castles, but cold. My sister was in Vendée with her family and I downloaded the French weather forecast on my phone - made me a little envious.


mokodo View Post
You raise a couple of good points. You say you wanted a certain outcome and that is the main cause of the hesitation you experienced. I'm guessing that the certain outcome was a profitable trade? So whilst you frame it in those terms it may be pain avoidance, i.e. not wanted to experience a loss.

If I understand you, you did try using the hesitation as a filter to taking trades or not - i.e. if you hesitated that was reason to skip, and if you didn't that was reason to take the trade. This sounds like it is getting into the realm of a psychological based strategy. I have no experience of this but have read of it. An example would be to fade all normal emotions. So whenever you felt it would be the wrong time to enter, enter and once in stay in when you feel it's time to get out and get out when you want to stay in. Personally I'd stay away from that sort of thing as trying to work out what was working and what was not could speed my journey to the madhouse. But you say 2 weeks and all winners! On that basis alone I would explore further regardless of the frequency of trades.

Well first up, as I said I only made 0 or 1 trades a day and after 2 weeks that only amounted to 5 trades. Insignificant as far as sample size goes and too slow for my personal schedule, if I'm ever going to go live with this. Actually to be truthful I think after 5 winning trades I got cocky and started trading more as a consequence.

And hesitation is not something you can easily replicate when going over old charts, so there was no way to accelerate the process.

You are understanding me - I did use hesitation as a filter, but that's what a spin doctor would say - I'd say, it was just an experiment to avoid the discomfort and agonising when I wasn't sure. Just forget about the missed trade and the hesitation - go for 'one good trade' and 'take only the A trades'.

When I said I wanted a certain result, I didn't mean 'certain' as in 'particular' though - I mean I want certainty. Everybody does. That's what Mark Douglas has written anyway.


Mark Douglas, The Disciplined Trader
Most people like to think of themselves as risk takers, but what they really want is a guaranteed outcome with some momentary suspense to make them feel as if the outcome had been in doubt. The momentary suspense adds the thrill factor necessary to keep our lives from getting too boring.


mokodo View Post
If you track those trades where you hesitated it may open a door to the underlying reasons, once you have a sample there may be common features which can be factored into your rule set. IMHO the moment of hesitation is reflecting one of two things, i) perceived fear (anxiety) where there is nothing to be fearful about (it is a valid trade, you just are anxious about a possible loss, which is always a possibility , so just accept it), or , ii) actual fear where you consciously or unconsciously spot something to be fearful about. The later is experience started to help you out the former is lack of confidence getting in the way.

I did try to work out what is making me hesitate, at least in my post-session analysis, so I can improve, but my whole plan is to get away from pre-defined rule sets - I've done that with mechanical trading and to do it properly (at least the way I figured I can do it) I'd need either more money or more time and a part-time job. I can't argue with you about having anxiety even entering valid trades because of the 49% losers or whatever. I want my subconscious as per your (ii) above to do its multi-variate analysis that my conscious is too slow to handle. That's why I'm using only price action with just one MA and a few support and resistance lines. That's why I follow your journal. It clicks with me the way you break it down into 'shortening of upthrust' or 'ease of movement'. Obviously I'd be happier if you'd lose the MACD though


mokodo View Post
Wondered if you had managed to get hold of a copy The Chimp Paradox that we discussed a while back?

No I haven't. I haven't even finished reading "Willpower" by Baumeister and Tierney in four months yet, and then I've got "Thinking Fast and Slow" by Kahnemann to get through and my work rate at the moment is frighteningly slow. When you start raking it in, I'll bump the book up my reading list

You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.
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  #204 (permalink)
 mokodo 
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I want my subconscious as per your (ii) above to do its multi-variate analysis that my conscious is too slow to handle. That's why I'm using only price action with just one MA and a few support and resistance lines. That's why I follow your journal. It clicks with me the way you break it down into 'shortening of upthrust' or 'ease of movement'. Obviously I'd be happier if you'd lose the MACD though

I get what you are after in terms of 'read and react' trading, assessing in real time and making a commitment. I think that is the way I am heading too. But it is far too early for me to take the stabilisers off yet, so in practice I have a hybrid approach. I assess the environment until I can label it. Once I have committed to the context I am then looking for particular set-ups, these are fairly tight, but open to interpretation. Once I commit that a set-up is complete the last part is 100% mechanical, it is on a turn in MACD histogram. So there is a 3 stage decision process, once I have committed to the context, e.g. "this is a breakout", I no longer question whether that is right or wrong, I am committed to it, the next stage is the complete formation of a set-up, again, once I believe it is complete I will commit to it, and the last stage - the entry - is purely mechanical which has to be on the close of a 350 tick bar. By this point in the entry process I find myself focusing only on trying to nail the entry, not questioning whether I am right or wrong on the previous 2 stages. And I am tracking how close to the ideal entry I am to assess my level of hesitation. As with all things a work in progress, but I would expect this to be a fairly common approach - context, set-up, entry.

If you like the PA terms shortening of the thrust, ease of movement etc I would recommend getting hold David Weis' Book 'Trades About To Happen'. I know how personal the selection or adoption of a methodology can be, so just saying there are more 'common sense' things in there that certainly spoke to me. My main concern was that it is a volume/PA method and trading spot FX thought the volume element would make it a non-starter. Not all my experience so far, using tick volume is a good proxy.



Adamus View Post
No I haven't. I haven't even finished reading "Willpower" by Baumeister and Tierney in four months yet, and then I've got "Thinking Fast and Slow" by Kahnemann to get through and my work rate at the moment is frighteningly slow. When you start raking it in, I'll bump the book up my reading list

I loved Thinking Fast and Slow, it is a summary of Daniel Kahnemann and Amos Tversky's work. Nobel prize for economics for their prospect theory which says humans aren't rational and are vulnerable to a whole load of heuristics and biases. All applicable to trading and understanding why we so often make questionable decisions. It is not at all heavy weight and really accessible. It made me laugh aloud often.

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  #205 (permalink)
 mokodo 
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I felt really loose last week and was just trading without clogging up my head with too much self-talk or performance anxiety stuff, I was drumming in the mantra, "just trade the rules and build the sample, don't worry about the outcome". Over the weekend I also felt fine, but when I sat down this morning I was fretting and it took me longer than I imagined to re-focus. I ran through some notes and spent longer than I usually do getting relaxed and prepared for the day.

That was time well spent as I traded pretty well, although I did feel it was (too) important to get the week off with a winner.

Game plan was to get long if we held over Friday's high after breaking above it at the end of the London Open. The first trade was a pull-back to the creek after demand came in. I was happy with my entry but realised there may likely be a more complex correction after the initial upwave. The following upwaves were diminishing in strength which caused me to change my view from break-out to neutral and at that point I closed out the trade.

I re-entered the trade after the next couple of waves had completed. At this point there were two more convincing signs of strength: a spring and a downwave showing lack of reward for the effort. Exit was in two parts +26 pips and +43 pips against an initial stop of 10. Just over a 3R winner. MAE was 4, MFE was 43.

A good result, but not great. My trade plan says to trail the stop on the second exit where there is evidence a move has more to go. I was doing this but left my target in place. I was 'brain-blind', simply fearful of losing paper profits. Not going to beat myself about that though. Yes left a fair amount on the table, but happy to get the week of to a positive start.

I adjusted my rules over the weekend to include the dreaded 'scratched' exit. First trade was an example, my position sheet went from break-out to neutral. I've reflected on this and believe it is valid as long as the exit is driven by PA and not merely convenient 'pain-relief'.

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  #206 (permalink)
 mokodo 
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Game plan today was to expect price to take a breather and perhaps retest the breakout area from yesterday around 1.3220-30

It was one of the days where the set-ups weren't quite setting-up. I nearly went short after price broke the ice late in the London open, but the pullback was not quite good enough, so I passed. Then after signs of strength coming in I went long, but on checking my set-up saw I was forcing it - the context was OK for a possible reversal but the elements of the set-up were not there, so I scratched it. After the minor sell climax, spring and demand coming in off the LOD at the US open I was keen to get long, but the only valid entry was outside my max stop.

The price range of my trading session was 40 pips, and I am trying to take something out the market everyday, regardless of what is served up. Didn't quite get 'em today. I see it as a good day though as I was open to opportunities and was actively in the hunt on a day when in earlier phases I would have looked at the PA and said 'chop' and switched off.

The scratched trade also felt good. Something within said 'check that set-up'. I was not wrapped up in dreaming of a quick winner, I could clearly see the alternative scenario. So pleased I stayed objective, made a decision and took action.

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  #207 (permalink)
 mokodo 
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Game plan today was 'wait and see'. Price coiled into an apex at yesterday's close level 1.3265. There were rising supports through the range that had formed yesterday and today and the heavy tick volume just before the breakup was in the top half of the range. The 10 or so bars prior to the spike show steadily rising lows and closes, a telling precursor to the break itself (all with the benefit of hindsight of course). But without me as I didn't have a set-up to hitch a ride with.

And the pull back didn't act right so no entry for me there either.

I've a set-up to get in on a pullback after a break of the ice or creek. But of course not all breakouts read the script, such as this one, where I was looking for a long entry but didn't get a signal. So in the never ending mental tug-of-war is it i) well done for not jumping in on a whim and stick steadfastly to the current plan or ii) test out a set-up to get on these buses in the future.

Two days without a meaningful signal. Question is: can I keep my frustrated monkey at bay, I've offered him a banana and so far so good. As I've said before, my monkey is strong but he aint that bright.

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  #208 (permalink)
 blackdogfx 
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Hi there, Just wondering after reading the first half dozen pages of your journal and then the last few why you changed from 15min to 350tick charts?

Its good your being patient and choosing your trades carefully its so easy to feel the "need" to be in the market to justify the hours of studying and screen/chart time we invest in trading, so well done!

For what's its worth from someone who is not consistently profitable yet, try to hold on to those winning trades and squeeze ever pip out of them......I think I'm taking to myself here!

I really enjoy your posts and hope the winners come thick and fast........:-)

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 mokodo 
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blackdogfx View Post
Hi there, Just wondering after reading the first half dozen pages of your journal and then the last few why you changed from 15min to 350tick charts?

Its good your being patient and choosing your trades carefully its so easy to feel the "need" to be in the market to justify the hours of studying and screen/chart time we invest in trading, so well done!

For what's its worth from someone who is not consistently profitable yet, try to hold on to those winning trades and squeeze ever pip out of them......I think I'm taking to myself here!

I really enjoy your posts and hope the winners come thick and fast........:-)

Thanks for stopping by and the kind words of support.

I changed from 15 minute to 350 tick bars to get my risk down. I tend to enter on an oscillator signal, which means waiting for a bar to close and with a 15 minute bar the anticipated trade was often already well out of the gate and my entry away from where I could get the best reward and the least risk. So I was either passing on trades, getting stopped out on pullbacks or not getting a decent R:R for the winners. I've found the tick charts much better as they, an average, improve all the above issues. At least they do for me and my approach. I don't plan to change it.

Yes, 'no trade' days are a challenge, not because of the inactivity but because how they can tilt your judgement the day after. And if you get a few in a row.... But that is a walk in the park compared to not cashing the darn things out early!

Noticed you are in the UK and trade forex too. Are you planning to set up a futures.io (formerly BMT) journal? I'd like to follow it if you did.

Again thanks for the input and happy trading to you.

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  #210 (permalink)
 mokodo 
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I had a good day today. Game plan was to watch reaction around 1.3280 and 1.3325 and trade off that.

First trade was a reversal long targeting the asian high, there were some pretty good signs of strength coming in and this looked like a fair R:R given the context. My stop got pinged, for a 0.7R loser. Happy with context, set-up and entry.

The second trade was a full stop loss. My position sheet went from breakout (once price went through the ice) to reversal once I had looked at where and how price rejected the 1.3265 level (this is an axis line from the last few days). I counted 3 legs down off the asian high culminating in a selling climax and demand coming in. The 1.3265 is the test of the acceleration area (breakout) from yesterday. It looked like buyers stepped in strongly so I was then looking for a long. I did get a signal on the no supply pullback, but was one leg too early. I went in with a 10 pip stop, (perhaps a bit tight given the pick up in volatility) targeting the top of the range which would have been a 4R return. It was a bet worth taking.

Really pleased with how I assessed the price behaviour today and my execution was good too. Particularly pleased with how I dealt with the outcome of the trades, which is sort of detached.

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  #211 (permalink)
 mokodo 
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Was only trading until noon GMT today. Game plan was to play off yesterday's HLC. I do not yet have much idea which way this range may break, so aimed to play the wider range or the smaller one using yesterday's close.

Only trade today was a scratch. There was good demand in the London open but this met resistance at yesterday's close, which was also the 50% of the previous downswing and a test of the breakdown from the previous highs. My position sheet said reversal so I was looking for shorts. Initially it looked as though the buyers were losing steam - the 3 diminishing buying waves and the increasing selling waves were the cue. Entry was sound and I was (of course) anticipating a sharp drop away. I was in this trade for an hour during which time there was absorption occurring around the 1.3290 level with price working into an apex. This turned my position sheet to neutral and I scratched the trade.

Happy with how I performed with this one.

I'm trying to avoid spending time looking/analysing performance and instead just focus on my work routines and trade execution. But as we are half way through the month I took a look. 4 scratches, 3 losers and 2 winners. I'm about 4R up for the month. Pretty happy with that but keen to take more trades - bring on Monday morning!

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 kronie 
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mokodo View Post


Was only trading until noon GMT today. Game plan was to play off yesterday's HLC. I do not yet have much idea which way this range may break, so aimed to play the wider range or the smaller one using yesterday's close.

Only trade today was a scratch. There was good demand in the London open but this met resistance at yesterday's close, which was also the 50% of the previous downswing and a test of the breakdown from the previous highs. My position sheet said reversal so I was looking for shorts. Initially it looked as though the buyers were losing steam - the 3 diminishing buying waves and the increasing selling waves were the cue. Entry was sound and I was (of course) anticipating a sharp drop away. I was in this trade for an hour during which time there was absorption occurring around the 1.3290 level with price working into an apex. This turned my position sheet to neutral and I scratched the trade.

Happy with how I performed with this one.

I'm trying to avoid spending time looking/analysing performance and instead just focus on my work routines and trade execution. But as we are half way through the month I took a look. 4 scratches, 3 losers and 2 winners. I'm about 4R up for the month. Pretty happy with that but keen to take more trades - bring on Monday morning!

@mokodo
if you care to share, and in the spirit of the futures.io (formerly BMT) threads, could you:
1) take a snapshot and post a pic of the indicators panel on that chart?
2) help or advise how to configure the settings (at least on the more complex indicators)

I ask that instead of asking for a template, so that one could catch up to your chart configuration, since the names of the indicators were removed, and that was a very slick looking chart setup...

we do share setups from time to time, or pm me, if that's better


thanks

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  #213 (permalink)
 mokodo 
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kronie View Post
@mokodo
if you care to share, and in the spirit of the futures.io (formerly BMT) threads, could you:
1) take a snapshot and post a pic of the indicators panel on that chart?
2) help or advise how to configure the settings (at least on the more complex indicators)

I ask that instead of asking for a template, so that one could catch up to your chart configuration, since the names of the indicators were removed, and that was a very slick looking chart setup...

we do share setups from time to time, or pm me, if that's better


thanks

Hi @kronie,

Take a look at post 167 in this thread. I think it will give you what you need. The only indicators that are not freely available are the TE30 and TE60. These are indicators I have coded which colour the 1st and 2nd indi panels according to the current market environment, based on the 30 and 60 minute dataseries. They are just a collection of common indis to track chop, trend, low volatility, exhaustion, and price being worked sharply. I don't take signals off these, they just help me understand 'where am I now'.

I can help you configure all the other indis if you wish, PM or post here would be fine.

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  #214 (permalink)
 mokodo 
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Frustrating one today. Had a good read of the PA, but again no set-ups valid for getting into trades. I feel this is happening more and more and I want to resolve it, as the inner conflict will do me no good if I do not attend to it.

Excuse this ramble as I am attempting to clarify clouded thoughts...

My method is about tracking signs of strength and weakness and making a commitment once:

i) I feel I have an understanding of whether buyers or sellers are in control, and
ii) going with the dominant side as soon as the market shows its hand (providing R:R is good, no news due, etc.)

I am getting the first part right increasingly often, but then watch the opportunity fade away as it becomes clear I do not have a 'mechanical' set-up to get in with.

The two boxes illustrate the point from today's session. The first was absorption at the axis line after a significant down wave effort failed to break the LOD, there was also a minor spring. My gut said 'there is a fair chance price will retest the earlier high'. Second box is price at the HOD, it broke through the earlier highs but failed miserably to expand into the new price area, my position sheet went to reversal and I was waiting for a low volume pull back to get short on. It did not materialise and price dutifully ground away lower.

I am only interested in trading where I believe I have a good read on the market and a good opportunity to profit. It is at these moments I desire to get into trades. I want to take 100% responsibility for all my trade outcomes and I feel I can only do so if I am taking those decisions and have full belief in them - and not place the responsibility on mechanical set-ups.

So I am tempted to ditch my current entry methods and simply replicate my approach on a LTF to get into trades. There would be no change to how I work up to the time of making a commitment. I would still be saying 'I want to get short/long here' and then switch down to a LTF at that price level. If the signs of strength/weakness here support the trade idea then I'll enter, if not then I'll pass.

Impossible to know right now if this is my subconscious talking me out of the need to be disciplined with mechanical set-ups - or a step towards a methodology that's right for me.

If I do this I will have to rethink how I track my performance as there will simply be too many discretionary elements to work out what is and is not working - -well not until there are many hundreds of trades. All this feels like I am 'letting go' and I do not know if it is a potential liberation or if I'm jumping from the plane without a parachute.

Um, decisions, decisions

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 Adamus 
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Very interesting questions and I'll be very interested to hear what your answers are.

You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.
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 mokodo 
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A 32 pip range for my trading session tells the tale today. I was looking for a short off the upthrust in the US open open, but there were no tangible signs of supply coming in so I wrapped things up early today.

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 mokodo 
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My session's range was a little over 20 pips. I watched for while and got the feeling I was wasting my precious time so again, closed down early. The days' work went into re-reading my journals for the last two years. I have skimmed through previously and found some patterns of behaviour which I now look out for. But today's look was more in depth ( and ongoing) and really useful information again came to the surface.

I am piecing together my 'journey' into a timeline with key events and overlaying my equity curve on top. Once finished I plan to post it here. It is extremely revealing.

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 mokodo 
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Game plan today was to expect a range day as price recovered from yesterday, the up move looked exhausted to me.

I tried to do two separate things today

i) trade my existing rule set, and
ii) identify entries I want to test out using a LTF

The trade I took was a full stop loss. I was looking for a reversal off the daily high and looks like it was (again) a leg too early. Being nearly right doesn't alter the fact that it was a loser. I'm still encouraged I am calling the market structure fairly well.

The blue ovals are potential entries from the LTF. I was running a 100 tick chart to spot these and was entering on a 03/10 MACD histrogram drop. I think I will be exploring this further, it definitely fits with my current train of thought, which is, I see if I have a 'good hand' dealt to me by tracking the various Wyckoff elements and identify when I want to get long or short - and then drop down to the LTF to make that entry with as little risk as possible. This is much closer to approach detailed in the second Wyckoff course for day trading.

From today's exercise I could have had four break-evens and a couple of winners. That is all hypothetical, but gives me encouragement to trial it.

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 mokodo 
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I did not trade Friday or today today as I wanted to finish some psych stuff. One of which was to finish my written journal review (covering April 2011 to now). What became clear were certain trends that have traveled from one state to another and I've summarised these below.
  • Externalising responsibility TO accepting all trading outcomes
  • Many markets TO a single market
  • Ignoring ‘mind, body, soul’ health and balance TO now focusing primarily on these things
  • Trying to ‘filter out’ losing trades TO expecting them
  • No journaling TO attentive journaling
  • Focus on indicators TO focus on market structure and price action
  • Ignoring ‘gut feel’ TO incorporating gut feel
  • Focusing on win rate TO Risk vs reward and probability considerations now dominating
  • Trusting mechanical rules and backtesting TO distrusting statistics derived from discretionary trading
  • Fearful TO confident
  • Many, frequent (often wholesale) changes TO occasional, peripheral (but often catalytic) changes
  • Focusing on performance statistics TO paying far less attention to them
  • New is better TO old is better
  • Theory TO practice
  • Survival is the goal TO ambitious goal setting

Back trading tomorrow.

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 blackdogfx 
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Quoting 
Externalising responsibility TO accepting all trading outcomes
Many markets TO a single market
Ignoring ‘mind, body, soul’ health and balance TO now focusing primarily on these things
Trying to ‘filter out’ losing trades TO expecting them
No journaling TO attentive journaling
Focus on indicators TO focus on market structure and price action
Ignoring ‘gut feel’ TO incorporating gut feel
Focusing on win rate TO Risk vs reward and probability considerations now dominating
Trusting mechanical rules and backtesting TO distrusting statistics derived from discretionary trading
Fearful TO confident
Many, frequent (often wholesale) changes TO occasional, peripheral (but often catalytic) changes
Focusing on performance statistics TO paying far less attention to them
New is better TO old is better
Theory TO practice
Survival is the goal TO ambitious goal setting

This is a great list and shows a steady line in clear thinking and sound principles. I have placed in bold the ones that have helped me most but all are wise and helpful.

My thinking is that if anything on the chart is not helping me to become a better trader it is then hindering me - so -remove it. It will only add a distraction. I love your way of thinking methodically. I could learn for your example and am trying, so thank you!

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 eboarder 
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  • Trying to ‘filter out’ losing trades TO expecting them
  • No journaling TO attentive journaling
  • Fearful TO confident
  • Theory TO practice

My favourites.
Thanks for the list

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 mokodo 
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Game plan today was to start tracking for a break of the range, I expected either a range day or a down momentum day.

Only the one trade today. A scratch. Went long after signs of strength and what appeared to be decent test and rejection of yesterday's low. My entries are now off a LTF chart, just trying to catch the turn once I have committed to a course of action. Initial risk was 5 pips and the stop went to breakeven after +5.

There was no ease of movement in the two upwaves after the entry and buyers could not get back past yesterday's close. Given we had broken the ice of yesterday's low a short would have been warranted (which may have caught the selling wave into the LOD - which was also a sell climax). But my brain was still uncoiling from trade I was in so did not spot it until the trade was well out of the gate.

Shut down by 14:00 GMT to spend some time with the family.

But a great day back, my read was pretty good and the new entry approach so far 'feels' good. I tracked my 100 tick chart and had lots of practice saying "if I was looking for a long/short I'd get in here" and was catching the price rotations pretty well.

It's scary how much I enjoy this stuff!

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 mokodo 
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TheBrain :: Mind Mapping Software, Brainstorming, GTD and Knowledgebase Software

Free version, great for ordering, questioning, linking-up, formulating, illuminating, discarding and re-inventing thoughts

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 blackdogfx 
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A brain, what's that? Ahhhh that's what wrong with me.....

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 mokodo 
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Mighty big demand through the London open which set the tone for the day. I tried to steal a retracement trade looking for a test of the breakout level 1.3495. Went +10 and stop to break-even prior to news which stopped me out.

For me, the trade of the day was a long off the level I mentioned. That was good for +20 to retest the HOD, and another 20 after the break. I guess I was about 80% there in terms of taking this trade. I'm fine with that, my current focus is on practicing to recognise areas I want to trade and then, on the LTF, turning those thoughts into committed action.

Good spot of the opportunity, and with at least a 4:1 return (5 pip stop vs min 20 pip PT), I perhaps could have talked myself into taking the trade, I had a good hand and the return was worth it.

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 mokodo 
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I was reading a different script today. I was anticipating a retracement to test the 1.3500 and then an up momentum day thereafter. So I was therefore looking for longs. I didn't work out that price was heading lower until after the completion of the bear flag and upthrust at the end of US open at 1.3510 and by then I was a bit brain-fried so stepped away.

Luckily on the occasions I was actively looking for entries for a reversal, I did not get a compelling story on the LTF, so stayed out.

One of those grinding days I have trouble getting a handle on. If I can learn from today and get the script earlier next time it will be a day well spent.

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 mokodo 
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A couple of losers and a couple of scratches from Friday. I was bang on with my game plan but messed up the executions. Subconciously, I think I was chasing the figures for the month.

I will not be trading Monday as I want to update my trading plan ready for October. And prior to looking too closely at my performance for September I will come in marginally profitable after costs (all this is SIM, but sim-ed via a broker account using their order engine, so a fairly close match for fills for my style of trading).

A nice surprise as out of 16 trades...

8 scratched/breakeven (a gain or loss +/- 20% of the trades initial risk)
6 losers (average about 0.8)
2 winners (both around x3R winners)

I have not yet got the traction to break clear of the breakeven stage. That in itself is frustrating, but to be honest I have have introduced quite a lot of new ideas and routines over the last couple of months and am happy with my overall progress.

The plan for October is to keep adding to the sample set with fewer and fewer alterations to my routines. I also want to keep my foot on the 'risk-seeking' pedal and notch up a least a couple of trades a day on average.

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 mokodo 
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Took a couple of extra days to finish off my trading plan and routines, but was back trading today. I am trading live for October with a micro FX account. I was too long in SIM and getting too comfortable.

Game plane today was expect a range day, and pay attention to the magnetic property of the 1.36 handle. The blue areas are my AOI (areas of interest) where I want to do business. Price got there twice in my session but I did not get a valid signal for an entry, there was no low volume pull back on either the spring or upthrust either side of the ISM numbers.

I have made some changes to how I am tracking the balance of force between buyers and sellers - a set of flash cards and a playing board. So far this is helping me assemble relevant elements all in one place. Much more visual than hand written notes and a much better fit with my way of dealing with information. Downside is my wife thinks I've slipped my anchor completely and says I should watch 'My Beautiful Mind' and see if it looks familiar...

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 mokodo 
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Didn't trade Friday and didn't manage to get a trade away today either.

Game plan was range day between 1.3590 & -55 or -40. I was looking for a short off the push into the HOD in the London open, my set-up is for a retest pretty close to the level, and I didn't get one close enough. Then after the minor sell climax just short of the lower band, again I was after a retest for a long, but there was a quick reverse instead.

A pretty tiring day. Where I have no clear signals and there is as strong a case for taking a trade as to pass I find I have to really concentrate to bring clarity to my thinking. Once I am clear then I'm happy to commit, but today felt like a hard day at the office purely to stay flat.

Considering I am actively looking for trades and not getting any is a frustration - but I am not going to change my plan simply for that.

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 lifeguardsteve88 
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Didn't trade Friday and didn't manage to get a trade away today either.

Game plan was range day between 1.3590 & -55 or -40. I was looking for a short off the push into the HOD in the London open, my set-up is for a retest pretty close to the level, and I didn't get one close enough. Then after the minor sell climax just short of the lower band, again I was after a retest for a long, but there was a quick reverse instead.

A pretty tiring day. Where I have no clear signals and there is as strong a case for taking a trade as to pass I find I have to really concentrate to bring clarity to my thinking. Once I am clear then I'm happy to commit, but today felt like a hard day at the office purely to stay flat.

Considering I am actively looking for trades and not getting any is a frustration - but I am not going to change my plan simply for that.

I noticed you use a 350 tick chart (I use a 500 tick), but are you using any minute charts to base order enties on as well? There was a huge volume spike at 10 and 10:15am (eastern) with a nice signal bar with a tail that came within 4 ticks of the previous days low at 10:15. Looked like a great long entry opportunity, one that I would have missed if I had only been using my tick chart alone.

Cheers!

EDIT- I'm trading the 6E, so perhaps you may not have gotten the same signal bar with a minute chart on the $EURUSD. (just now noticed your chart wasn't the 6E...oooops :-)

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 mokodo 
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I noticed you use a 350 tick chart (I use a 500 tick), but are you using any minute charts to base order enties on as well? There was a huge volume spike at 10 and 10:15am (eastern) with a nice signal bar with a tail that came within 4 ticks of the previous days low at 10:15. Looked like a great long entry opportunity, one that I would have missed if I had only been using my tick chart alone.

Cheers!

I have a 5 minute chart up also for looking at trade activity. My feed is for spot so it's all tick volume.

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 mokodo 
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Game plan today was low volatility range 1.3590 - 1.3545. By the middle of my session volatility had dropped right off, so, IMHO, there was a fair chance of a break one way or the other.

I passed on a long at 1.3568. There were rising supports and a good case that buyers were absorbing supply. This is a set-up that does not usually occur at the range edge, more typically in a price apex. These trades are riskier and I think, as my first live trade back after a SIM period, I just wanted a more friendly set-up to get me back into the swing of things.

Once price had taken out yesterday's close and high (creek) I was looking for a long as a pull back to the creek. I got in a little early, but my 10 pip stop saw off the MAE of 5 pips and then ran to +16. My first target was around 1.6620, the second a little further up. After a decent leg up supply came in hard and I was taken out for breakeven.

A good day. Trading real money again feels great and my discipline is sound so far. I have been using a flash card / playboard system to help me understand how I am making decisions in real time. It is fascinating to try to pick apart the factors and processes involved in discretionary decisions.

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 mokodo 
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Game Plan today was reversal or continuation of the 90 pip drop off in the late asian session. That all happened before I was through my pre-session prep.

My lower band was at 1.3500 and after price ground into it there was enough of a case building to try a reversal. There were many signs of strength coming in, but not a single one I could point to which shouted 'change of behaviour'. I was happy with the potential of the trade and then dropped down to my LTF to find an entry. Again I think I jumped in one leg too early and could have improve by a couple of pips. MAE and MFE both 8 pips and the trade scratched for a BE after an hour or so, once we had failed on to hop across the axis line at 1.3520

I figured the trade was potentially good for 20-30 pips vs initial risk of 10

I have a reversal set-up and I figure the key in wait, wait, wait, wait. The playboard has to be completely one sided without any opposing signs of strength/weakness - and ideally an overt change of behaviour too.

But very happy with my performance today. Stuck to the plan.

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 mokodo 
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Traded last Thursday and Friday, just didn't get trades away, several nearly trades but none that ticked all the boxes.

I've been getting really interested in decision theory and neuro-finance and what is perhaps happening right at the moment of execution (or lack of execution). Fascinating area and has given me plenty of food for thought and I'm incorporating a few techniques into my routines for the rest of the month to test them out.

I took a personality test and the assessment rang true on several measures, but most striking was how cautious the report stated I am. So I have been looking at ways to work with this. Some of it is lifestyle and diet related and others specific psychology techniques to turn up risk seeking behavior and turn down over-reaction to losses.

Personality Test Center - IPIP NEO five factor model of personality

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 mokodo 
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Three losers, but all with half my normal amount of risk on.

Game plan today was range or expect a break as volatility has gone to a cyclical low.

The neat double top early in the London session that occurred right at the 50% of yesterday's upswing was the trade of the day. Too early for me and completely unknown if I would have spotted it realtime.

I was bearish as the ZEW numbers came out, but stood aside around the news and watch the price take a dive. I was tracking for a pull back to the ice level but that never came so I was looking for either a decent trend trade or a reversal later in the day.

First trade was just a clumsy mistake. The set-up was not formed and I jumped in. Operator error.

Second trade I was fine with. I put half the position on when I felt committed to the trade idea and then was watching for the completion of the set-up to get the remainder on. The set-up did not complete.

The third trade was a weird one. I was expecting a technical reversal to at least the 50% level of the downswing at 1.3525 most of the afternoon once we had put a base in. I had stopped for the day and had done some errands and family stuff, and then got a burning impluse to check the chart.

Pure revenge and I was fully aware of it. But I assessed the R:R and still thought it a sound trade so I put it on with a half sized position. Got tagged for the stop by a pip, but the target would have been made.

In light of my current issue this was a good day's trading (I am trying to become much more risk seeking). And I am trading live so have to deal with the sharper emotions that brings.

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 Adamus 
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Fascinating how different it looks with your bar format.

Maybe you should count yourself lucky that you got burned jumping in like that after you'd finished - I get tempted similarly and have done it too but the psych prep work I do before and during sessions is absent, which is not good. If you'd got a winner, it might have re-inforced a bad habit.

One possibility would be to come up with a sort of 'instant' trading prep routine that you can quickly go through when you want to jump back in - a bit like Clark Kent leaping into a phone booth and coming out as Superman?

You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.
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 mokodo 
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Hi Adamus, as always, thanks for the input.

I took that last trade and am completely comfortable with it. Yes it was outside of my hours and I knew I was feeling a revenge impulse - but I was conscious of these facts and still was happy to take the trade. I f'ed up the entry, but that and the lost money is less important to me now than not taking a trade I had a strong intuition about.

I have sort of worked out why trading thus far has always felt so frustrating to me. It is the imposition of rules which get in the way of good trades, such as 'stop trading at whatever time'. If there is a good opportunity I should be taking it, not looking for reasons not to. I've kept some guidelines about set-ups, will not move a stop and will not exceed max loss rules, but apart from that I am planning to go after every sound trade opportunity.

Of course I may just go down in a ball of flames, but I'd prefer that than to never express myself honestly.

Sorry - rant over!

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 Adamus 
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If you can do that, then go for it.

As far as the rule for trading within defined start and stop times, for me that is v. important because outside those times my levels of preparation and readiness to do the right thing are severely impaired.

I wish I had the freedom to completely immerse myself in the markets and the composure to be on guard at any moment to make a good trade - but I'm not. I read about Market Wizards and other traders who managed millions at Salomon Bros, or Soros etc. That though is only a dream. I have two small children - I would like to see Soros try to trade with that circus going on around him. You are probably familiar with it

PS I recognise the intent on your part to unleash your intuition, and I have the same intent, but knowing myself, it's too much to ask at this point. I see exactly where you are coming from though.

You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.
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 mokodo 
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Didn't pull the trigger on a long, pull back to creek at 1.3533 at around 11am and then my data went screwy, turns out my internet connection was coughing. So missed the whole day getting it sorted, reloading data, blah, blah, blah

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 mokodo 
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I stopped journalling to futures.io (formerly BMT) whilst I have been working on a few things. I have been locked in a battle between mechanical and intuitive trading, and been having some issues around trade management. Seems like the fog is lifting.

For the last few months I have had no doubt at all I have a strong method (for me at least), and I can identify great entry spots for day trading the Euro for swings of 20+ pips - or more for the occasional momo or full-on trend day. But I repeatedly sabotage trades. This was driving me nuts. How come I could be so confident in my analysis and then so doubtful?

I reviewed my journal and trade stats and found that the majority of my best trades are where I had to do something away from the screen. If I sit there I get involved and fiddle away the profit by choking trades off. It was all emotional bias. Enough is enough I said, let's see who this adversary really is. So I have been reading up on emotions, emotional bias regulation/management techniques, neurofinance, dopamine, serotonin, cortisol, automatic nervous system, decision theory, etc. My conclusion is that I am dealing with a mighty strong gorilla.

I built a HRV (Heart Rate Variability) monitor to get an understanding what my automatic nervous system is doing pre, intra and post trade and have come to the conclusion I am not able to make sound trading decisions with a live trade. My sympathetic nervous system activates strong emotional biases for me (figure it's just the way I'm built) and these affect my thoughts, decisions and behaviour. And even being aware of this (I can track the output in real-time) makes it only slightly easier to regulate, some of the influence is very subtle. My monkey is just too strong!! So I fight him no more.

I've been doing my prep and context analysis, tracking my set-ups, intuitively making entries with set and forget stops and targets and walking away. I have a chart alert that txts my phone as levels get hit and I babysit around event risk. But that is it now. I've also found that less screen time helps with 'clarity' and any intuitive trading urges can pop quickly to the surface without fighting their way through a mire of cognitive processes.

Know thyself!

I plan to maintain this journal weekly from now on.

know thyself
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 ratfink 
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mokodo View Post
Know thyself!

I plan to maintain this journal weekly from now on.

Great post, thanks.

Travel Well
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 Adamus 
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Very interesting, sounds like a solid decision. I think many successful traders operate that way.

The only downside, I suspect, is you will get more volatility in your returns, esp. when your method is not in tune with the market.

but obviously if the equity curve is overall better, then that's not a bad thing.

PS any interesting tips from your reading into psychology etc?

You can discover what your enemy fears most by observing the means he uses to frighten you.
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 mokodo 
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Adamus View Post
Very interesting, sounds like a solid decision. I think many successful traders operate that way.

The only downside, I suspect, is you will get more volatility in your returns, esp. when your method is not in tune with the market.

but obviously if the equity curve is overall better, then that's not a bad thing.

PS any interesting tips from your reading into psychology etc?

Early days with the trade management side of things, but so far it feels right. And my performance is picking up too, which is whole point!

In regards to the psychology side of things I've started a thread as a placeholder:



There is a ton of stuff in this area and, time allowing, I'll try to populate with a good selection, most of which is worth a critical read IMO.

Currently I am reading about psycho-physiology. How the body and mind interact to emotion, thoughts, mood etc. I have an HRV monitor which measures a few features of heart beat (not just heart rate) and that is fascinating to watch in real-time as I consider trades. take trades, etc. I'm just playing with it really but have already found a few patterns. I hacked one together using an Arduino (open source embedded electronics) and a heart sensor and then feed the raw data into Excel with few rudimentary macros. It is far from scientific but I think is accurate enough as a first step. Whole set-up cost about 50.00GBP.

I'm also looking into intuition as I have been rule governed for set-ups (up to now) but increasingly wanting to just trade from the gut. Having read up on it I have found the confidence to incorporate intuitive entries within trading guidelines (rather than rules) and that has removed a great deal of conflict - so far.

The field of emotion regulation is relevant to trading too and I have enjoyed learning about some of these ideas. There is a researcher James Gross who has driven a lot of work in this area. I have a few papers of his which I'll post to the other thread soon.

Thanks for stopping by.

know thyself
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