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Spot FX Day Trading: The Jigsaw


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Spot FX Day Trading: The Jigsaw

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  #61 (permalink)
Bridgwater, UK
 
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Hello futures.io (formerly BMT). Back to trading routine today after 80+ days away. I have been gearing up over the last week, watching charts and reviewing set-ups, etc. Conclusion is (again) not to change anything substantial , just try to get better with the same approach, tweak here, tweak there.

I will be allowing myself more discretion with my set-ups as I definately feel my skills at reading structure and PA have improved and I want the latitude to go with my gut more often. The analogy I came up with is a dog on lead. I was very rigourous with my discipline regarding set-up criteria in the past and this was good as it forced me to stay (nearly) entirely rule based, but as my understanding of market dynamics improved I could feel trades coming, but did not have a set-up to exploit them. These urges were for trades close to but not exactly within my rule set. So I've just lengthened the lead a bit so the dog can roam around and sniff out more opportunities. But not roam too far, or the feedback mechanism will be weakened and I'll not be able to learn much from these trades.



Big case of first date nerves today. I passed on this breakodown on EURJPY. A volatility breakout trade, all looked good but I just bottled the commitment for the original entry. I even put in a limit order to get the pullback which I also bottled.



GBPJPY short (red dot) here with some hidden divergence on the MACD. Again, I dithered and did not commit to the entry.

Not sure why I could not pull the trigger today. My risk is small at 0.3% of equity per trade and I was confident in my set-up and analysis. Tomorrow's goal will be commit to the trade idea.

Hat-tip to @Silver Dragon for stealing this journaling tactic:

Best things I did today:
  • got back to trading - whoo hoo!
  • good analysis on Yen strength
What did I learn today:
  • can't make money if you don't put on trades
  • first rule of trade club - you have to trade

Other stuff. Just finished Nicholas Nasim Taleb's new book 'Antifragile', very much in the same vein as some of his others (Fooled By Randomness and The Black Swan). If you are into probability, I'd suggest reading any of these to get a different angle. It feels excellent to be trading again.

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  #62 (permalink)
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  #63 (permalink)
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Thanks @Big Mike, feels great to be back, understand you have been unwell - wishing you a speedy recovery

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  #64 (permalink)
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So the loser first, actually 2 losers, but I class as one as I split the trade idea across two currency pairs (GBPJPY & EURJPY). PA is pretty much the same for both so I'll describe as a single trade.




Ignore the second set of entry/exit arrows as my data connection went down and they reprinted when NT reconnected.

Eager Beaver this morning and I rushed this idea. My thinking that we would see a lower high on Yen pairs and then short it. I look to the London & US opens for price extremes for the day and I got in without proper preparation (got to my desk 30 mins late). As you can see the price extreme happened later in the London session and tagged the upper channel resistance. That was the entry. Sloppy preparation and I paid for it. 1R loss across the two trades.



Open trade on EURUSD. I saw price coiling into a symmetrical triangle, so reckoned on a breakout (areas of interest are the blue rectangles). I set a limit order after the breakdown to try to get the pullback. I did but the order was only partially filled, about 2/3rds of the size I wanted. Most of the target is at 2R, with a bit more at 4R. Stop is now inside entry so will let this play out. Trade idea is that price will slide down those channels, although it starting to look pretty choppy. I'm experimenting with changing my bars to Heiken Ashi once I'm in a trade, simply to avoid monitoring price too closely. Seems to help.

Best things I did today:
  • did not get at all emotional after an early loss, took a 5 minute break and cleared my head
  • was nicely in the zone for the rest of day
What did I learn today:
  • no excuse for poor preparation, remember: be prepared, ready and alert
  • don't 'fiddle with the middle'
edit: EURUSD stopped out for a scratch

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  #65 (permalink)
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No trades in this post, just a bit of rambling.

I bought into the idea that success in trading would be driven mostly by what is in my head and since then I have spent a great deal of time and effort on my personal psychology. And I believe this is responsible for making me a break-even trader. A status I am actually very proud off (for now), considering how poor I was for the first 18 months or so.

As with any type of progress, it is seen most clearly in hindsight and looking back today I think I have identified another step change in my psychology.I spent much time reading various trading psychology books and exploring themes on the web, trying out all manner of practical, tactical techniques. You know the sort of thing, yes I have done all these!
  • affirmations in the mirror ("I am a calm and confident trader")
  • bite on a pencil (exercises the same muscles in your face as smiling, and triggers the same responses)
  • pull up an empty chair and jump from one chair to the next asking myself (hey Mike, why did you just take that trade?)
  • relaxation exercises
  • EMT (tapping parts of your face / neck, as per acupressure)
  • and of course, some long dark hours and plenty of soul-searching
  • there are others, some even more weird!
Some helped, some hindered, but I carried on reading and trying different things out. I was trying out different psychological approaches, just like I tried out different chart indicators and trading methods. And just as when I stopped trying out different indicators, my trading improved by sticking with the same approach, I think my trading will again improve by sticking with the same psychological approach.

In my case this is a really straight forward method that I can work on daily and get better at. The 'Holy Grail' syndrome can apply to psychological methods too, so be aware of that.

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  #66 (permalink)
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This is a 60 min chart as it shows the structure a bit better than the 15s I trade from. My trade is not shown, but I went for a short on the basis that price would except the overhead resistance during the Asian session. This was taken out for a full stop. But I am really happy with that I took this trade, as my risk was 20 pips and profit target in the middle of this broad channel at 100 pips. This is part of a new set-up that I am live forward testing (with real money, but very little of it at risk). The set-up is based on channels and market structure. 1R loss.



Another example of the new set-up (on EURUSD), this is a price rejection of the sloping down channel. Blue box is my entry zone, which is a pullback after the break to the breakout zone, price spike down is clear on the 15 minute chart I trade from, but hard to see on the 60s I posted here. I have only just stopped crying for missing this one. I just did not spot the set-up coming. There is a dynamic at work when using different set-ups as my mind plays out the scenarios of each. And when these are in conflict it can be difficult to get a sense of clarity on what I am looking at. I expect this will be overcome with practice.



Pretty much the exact same set-up on GBPUSD. Saw it coming, but just fumbled my entry and missed it.

Best things I did today:
  • prepared for the day well
  • stayed calm and objective, despite a loss and missing two great opportunities - there are buses around every corner!
What did I learn today:
  • don't underestimate the importance of getting a clear picture on the action
  • more practice needed to integrate my different set-ups into a whole trading package
  • be one step ahead of set-ups unfolding, however fast that is

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  #67 (permalink)
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anyone here a 15min scalper in fx? between 7pm-11pm eastern. Is there a good strategy?

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  #68 (permalink)
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I trade forex on 15 minute charts, though I would not call my self a scalper. I am (trying) to move my targets out to 40 pips plus and with runners on after that.

Any good strategies? Hell everything works some of the time! I can't really offer any advice. Just start researching and see what chimes with your personality and trading style - and see where it takes you.

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  #69 (permalink)
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I wonder how people combine fundamental with technical. I think trading 15 minute chart, can't really combine fundamental, where as someone trading a daily chart you can

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  #70 (permalink)
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I don't consider fundamentals consciously - that suggests causality, which I don't go along with. I find it easier to work out what I'll do in response to something happening rather than trying to understand what made it happen. I just track news to avoid event risk.

Many traders trade from a certain time series but refer to other time series to build a picture of market structure. I work on the daily chart and then compress my 15 minute chart so that I can see the last 14 or so days to work out 'where am I?' and then consider price action and set-up opportunities from a more typical/expanded 15 minute chart.

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November 18, 2013


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