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D4YTR4D3R

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  #1 (permalink)
Dallas, TX, USA
 
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Welcome to those of you coming here from my blog as well as the members here on the forum (I know some of you are both).

I'm not trying to do anything fancy here, just journaling my trades and thoughts, and going through the process of improving my trading.

I want to take a moment to give a sincere “thank you” to Big Mike for all the work he puts into making this a supportive and informative place for us to share our passion for trading.

I also want to give a sincere “thank you” to the many traders here who are continually sharing their knowledge, experience and wisdom – much of the time with excruciating patience.

And now, let the journey begin...

- D4

"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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  #3 (permalink)
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Complicated? No. Easy? Debatable.

Pullback to overnight resistance (resistance becomes support) in an uptrend. Took profit a few ticks before next possible resistance level (minor swing high). You'll note from the DOM times (and color - blue) that these are sim trades.

- D4




"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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  #4 (permalink)
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Looking forward to reading and being able to comment on your posts again! Good luck!

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  #5 (permalink)
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Welcome DT,

Nice clean set-up. The easier the better, IMO.

Have fun..

V


D4YTR4D3R View Post
Complicated? No. Easy? Debatable.

Pullback to overnight resistance (resistance becomes support) in an uptrend. Took profit a few ticks before next possible resistance level (minor swing high). You'll note from the DOM times (and color - blue) that these are sim trades.





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KinsaleForex View Post
Looking forward to reading and being able to comment on your posts again! Good luck!

Welcome Liam. Thanks.


Vikings1 View Post
Welcome DT,

Nice clean set-up. The easier the better, IMO.

Have fun..

V

Thanks V. I've been reading your journal over the past couple of days and really enjoy it. I don't trade options, but what you do/say regarding trading in general is really invaluable to anyone who will actually "listen" and try to absorb "the message," whether it's options, futures, stocks, etc. Thanks for continuing with it, sharing it in this forum, and being supportive of others like me.

- D4

"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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  #7 (permalink)
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I like seeing other trader's offices. @bijeremiad started a thread asking for pictures of trading desks. I added mine here. Enjoy.

"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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On Sim:


"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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  #9 (permalink)
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I got the layout/idea for this from Forexbird and after modifying it for my purposes, used it extensively last year.

It turned out to be extraordinarily helpful for me because, despite the fact that I was unhappy with the way I felt about my trading/performance, the numbers were telling me a different story.

They were showing me that, over time, I was not only net profitable (using a simulated account) with my trading (despite mistakes, stupid entries, etc), but showed me how it was being achieved. It gave me much more confidence in my “abilities” and the motivation to continue forward.

It provides me with not only my P/L, but a valuable quick snapshot of information like my max drawdown for the week, average win/loss, and most importantly my Expectancy. And it shows me where I may need to make some improvements (that Avg W:L is pretty low this week...).

I'm starting it again here with this week's numbers so I can get my head back into the game and press on.


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Long on pullback to overnight support in an uptrend. Target/profit a few ticks before next possible resistance level (minor swing high).

- D4



On SIM:


"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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Trade #1) NQ: Pullback to OS low in uptrend. Hilbert SineWave (HSW) crossing to upside on NQ 150T & ES 500T. Premature – price had a rapid sell off – out at hard stop. -2.50 pts

Trade #2) NQ: Pullback to overnight support and rising moving averages in uptrend. HSW still up on NQ 150T & ES 500T. Target/profit a few ticks before next possible resistance level: minor swing high, also HOD at the time, also break of immediately preceding minor swing high. +4.00 pts

- D4



Sim:


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Trade #1) Long ES at test of over night support. Long-term trend was up, but short-term trend was down as evidenced by ema's on my charts. Shouldn't have been buying here – low probability setup. Got out on second test of OS high and test of falling ema on ES 1500T & ES 500T. +0.50 pts.

Trade #2) Short ES on pullback to previous support and falling ema's. Out at hard stop. -2.00 pts.

Trade #3) Long NQ on pullback to previous resistance and rising ema's. HSW turning up on 450T and 150T. Out at full target. +4.00 pts.

Trade #4) Long ES on pullback to rising ema's. HSW turning up on 1500T and 500T. Out a few ticks below prior resistance level & HOD. +1.50 pts.

Trade #5) Long NQ on pullback to previous resistance and rising ema's. I belatedly realized that price had already reached overnight resistance. Out at hard stop. -2.50 pts.

Taking tomorrow (Friday) off - spending the day with the wife. Have a good day of trading and a great weekend.





Sim:


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I eliminated the "Points" column this week because I'm trading more than one instrument and a total points number is pretty meaningless as different instruments have different point values.


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Thanks for sharing your trading journal. I hope you find much success.

FYI:

I notice that your Expectancy is also your average profit per trade. That is likely based on a misleading definition that Van Tharp gave in an early edition of one of his books, and has circulated around the internet.

In the second edition of the same book, Tharp "corrects" his expectancy calculation to account for the risk per trade. Now, he says expectancy is the average profit per trade divided by the average loss.

You might find this updated calculation useful, since it takes into account your average loss.

So, for example, in your case, if your average profit per trade is $27, and your average loss is $500, your expectancy is 27/500 = .05 (not that great). But, if your average loss is only $100, your expectancy is 27/100 = .27, which is pretty good.

Maybe you will find this new metric useful. Maybe not.

In any event, I am pulling for your trading success!


Note that in the futures.io (formerly BMT) wiki entry for expectancy, this different risk adjusted return calculation of expectancy is described at the bottom.

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kevinkdog View Post
Thanks for sharing your trading journal. I hope you find much success.

FYI:

I notice that your Expectancy is also your average profit per trade. That is likely based on a misleading definition that Van Tharp gave in an early edition of one of his books, and has circulated around the internet.

In the second edition of the same book, Tharp "corrects" his expectancy calculation to account for the risk per trade. Now, he says expectancy is the average profit per trade divided by the average loss.

You might find this updated calculation useful, since it takes into account your average loss.

So, for example, in your case, if your average profit per trade is $27, and your average loss is $500, your expectancy is 27/500 = .05 (not that great). But, if your average loss is only $100, your expectancy is 27/100 = .27, which is pretty good.

Maybe you will find this new metric useful. Maybe not.

In any event, I am pulling for your trading success!


Note that in the futures.io (formerly BMT) wiki entry for expectancy, this different risk adjusted return calculation of expectancy is described at the bottom.

Thanks! Very interesting.

I just created a new column to calculate E as you've described and it is the same as my Avg W:L (avg wing / avg loss) figure (currently 1.01).

With the E I've been using, I was thinking of it as "how much profit (or loss) I make, on average, every time I take a trade."

And with my Avg W:L, I was looking at it as "anything above 1.00 is positive." If this figure is the "correct" E, then I'll have to re-frame the way I'm looking at this number.

I'll look into this more closely. Thanks for the input!

Have a good one.

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D4YTR4D3R View Post
Thanks! Very interesting.

it is the same as my Avg W:L (avg wig / avg loss) figure (currently 1.01).

Sorry, I did not describe it accurately. It is your avg trade / avg loss, Not your avg win / avg loss.

In your case, take the value you are currently using as "E" (which is your avg profit per trade), and divide it by your avg loss. Most strategies have a value between 0 and .25.

I hope this is clearer. Sorry bout that!

Kevin

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kevinkdog View Post
Sorry, I did not describe it accurately. It is your avg trade / avg loss, Not your avg win / avg loss.

In your case, take the value you are currently using as "E" (which is your avg profit per trade), and divide it by your avg loss. Most strategies have a value between 0 and .25.

I hope this is clearer. Sorry bout that!

Kevin

Thanks for the clarification! I was worried that I woke up this morning a lot dumber than yesterday (which is still quite possible).

I corrected the calculation in my trade log and the number now stands at 0.29. Per your explanation above it appears that this is a decent number.

I'll still have to look at it over time to understand what it "means" to me. In other words I don't really have a context for using it yet. I will however make adjustments to my weekly stats grid to include it.

Thanks again.

Update: Here's a link to another futures.io (formerly BMT) thread discussing Expectancy.

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I've modified my Weekly Stats grid to incorporate the "corrected" expectancy calculation as described by @kevinkdog in the post(s) above, and re-titled the previous "E" column to "Avg Trade." Thanks Kevin!


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D4YTR4D3R View Post
Thanks for the clarification! I was worried that I woke up this morning a lot dumber than yesterday (which is still quite possible).

I corrected the calculation in my trade log and the number now stands at 0.29. Per your explanation above it appears that this is a decent number.

I'll still have to look at it over time to understand what it "means" to me. In other words I don't really have a context for using it yet. I will however make adjustments to my weekly stats grid to include it.

Thanks again.



.29 would mean for every $100 you risk in the market (actually, your average loss), your system will eventually profit $29.

As a contrast, let's say your expectancy is .10. That would mean for every $100 you risk in the market over time you earn $10.

The nice thing is that the calculation gives you an idea of risk adjusted reward, and makes it easier to compare different strategies.

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kevinkdog View Post
.29 would mean for every $100 you risk in the market (actually, your average loss), your system will eventually profit $29.

As a contrast, let's say your expectancy is .10. That would mean for every $100 you risk in the market over time you earn $10.

The nice thing is that the calculation gives you an idea of risk adjusted reward, and makes it easier to compare different strategies.

Ah! Got it!

Alright, thanks again for turning me on to this way of looking at my performance and helping me to understand it. I appreciate it.

Have a good one.

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Trade #1) Short ES after pullback in downtrend. Full target reached. +3.00 pts.

Trade #2) Short NQ in downtrend and at RZ of prior downmove, but price had tested lows enough times and was finished moving down for the time being. Flattened position and reversed long. -1.50 pts.

Trade #3) Reversed long NQ as price was breaking above ema's. Out at next possible resistance area (swing high) with full profit target. +4.00 pts.








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I haven't been comfortable with the charts I've been using lately because I haven't felt like I can see price clearly enough to be able to operate in a consistent way.

So I made significant changes to my charts yesterday after the close (and late into the night). I'm sure I'll still have to tweak them as I go along, but I have them pretty well set up. I can already see that I'm going to be able to do a much better job now of creating rules and putting together a solid trading plan.

The main thing I want to do is to consistently use a set of charts that work for me so I can get experienced with them.

Today I got whipped around a bit on my new charts, but what is far different than previous days is that I was much more willing to take trades. I had a much better idea before taking a trade what my intent was. I was wrong a few times (trading in a range that I didn't recognize soon enough), but I wasn't trading with the mentality that my first trade of the day was just lucky and I might not be so lucky on my next trade.

This mentality is obvious in my previous charts/posts. On most of those days I only have 1 or 2 trades, and it wasn't because of discipline. It was because I had no confidence that I could repeat the winning trade that I was getting at the beginning of most sessions.

I was happy with the chart setup today. Now I have to use them consistently so I can get the experience necessary in order to use them effectively.

Today's trading:

I only had 2 losing trades (in a row) out of 6, but they were relatively large, and while I was taking those losses I knew I wasn't trading appropriately. I had a little too much tunnel vision and didn't realize that price was in a tight range at the time.

Another thing to note for today is that on both of my ES trades I modified my target during the trade. The modifications were not bad necessarily (on the first trade I realized that there was a naked close from Friday, so I took profits there, and on the second, I used a tight trailing stop when price reached yesterday's low), but in both cases price went on to reach my original targets. I'll be keeping an eye on this to see if it's a recurring theme.

Overall a decent day and I'm pleased with the way that I entered most of my trades and how the charts “felt” to me.







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A day like today shows me where I need to make changes...


"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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I guess trying things is about the only way I can learn, although sometimes it can be difficult and embarrassing. I have a high regard for so many here who are willing to show what they're doing and make their mistakes “in front of everyone.” Yesterday was one of those days for me. But it was only because I tried things yesterday “in public,” that I realized I need to rethink how I'm trading in relation to what my objectives are.

I'm fiercely independent so I'm always trying to “do my own thing” and not do what others are doing. But I stubbornly recognize that there are times when I need to reel that in a bit (especially when what I'm doing isn't working so hot!) and accept that learning from what others are doing can be of benefit to me. That, in fact, should be one of the main reasons I'm here on futures.io (formerly BMT), otherwise what am I doing here?

Yesterday it was obvious that my targets were far too ambitious, whereas on previous days I was just taking profits at the next S/R level and doing relatively well. So I've begun the process of changing my approach to a shorter timeframe view of things. I've also been going through @tderrick's (AJ's) journal (still only halfway through) and not only am I impressed with some of the insights he's gained by putting in the screen time, but I've been enlightened by some of the things I've realized by seeing what he's been doing. He's the personification of what this forum is all about - thanks AJ.

Moving forward I'll be implementing a good portion of his concepts along with the things that I've learned for myself.

This morning's first hour range is in, so I'm posting my charts for today so far. I don't have a specific set of rules/setups yet; I'm just making observations and some trades. It will take some time to put a plan together, but that's what I'm working on now; that's why I'm here...


"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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For me today was all about Price Action. And watching only one market.

My charts are a little cluttered at the end of the day today, but by making notes about things I was seeing I not only recorded it for review later, I made a deeper mental impression.

I'm a little worn out due to the anxiety of feeling like I have so much work to do in order to get into the proper place, but it was a good day of learning and of taking action by entering some of the “opportunities” that I was seeing. 3 trades, 3 wins, +7.00 pts in NQ.

Here are the 2nd and 3rd trades of the day:



Sim:


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I like Jumping the creek..matches to me...and nice marking of trade locations with rectangle.

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The first hour range is in.

After the extreme sideways action overnight (grey area on the charts), I planned to be very patient in waiting for a good first setup. However, price started moving right at the open so I was ready. As soon as the Opening Swing was in I marked the levels.

Trade #1 – 6Range chart: Long on the break of the high of the (red) bar that pierced OS High. Price was moving quickly so I left my full 3 point target in place. I was filled a tick below the pivot high.

Trade #2 – 6Range chart: I marked the levels when the 30M Opening Range was in. As I was doing that price broke above the 30M OR high. I thought I had missed the trade, but I placed a Limit order at the entry price anyway to see if it would come back – it did and I was filled. I wanted to be in this move if at all possible because the Naked Close and Naked POC from 07/11 were just above and a perfect target. Price moved up strongly and hit my full target before I could even think about changing it.

I've hit my daily profit target (6.00 pts in the NQ) per my current trading plan rules so I'm finished with my “real” live sim trades for today. I'll still watch and take practice trades if I see setups.

Good luck to everyone for the rest of the Friday the 13th session!



Sim:


"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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I took some practice trades after finishing at my daily profit target in my morning “real” live sim trading (practice trades all indicated by cyan rectangles on 6Range chart).

I tried a couple of shorts as price tried to break below the EMA's on the 6Range, but price was moving painfully slow and there was no power/momo behind the moves. Additionally, I was shorting right into the rising 20EMA on the 5M chart. I was stopped out twice trying to take the same trade.

Price began to rise after that, and after about 20 minutes had reached yesterday's ETH high, so I got ready for my standard (I guess) break of S/R entry. I was filled long but got stopped out right away on a quick pullback. I quickly set up to re-enter again. This time price moved nicely right to my full profit target.

I had to wait about 3 hours for the next (fifth) trade. In fact I ran some errands because price was moving so slowly and in a pretty tight range.

By 1:30 or so it was obvious on the 5M chart that price was really compressing upward and I got ready to enter my standard S/R break again. Price moved smoothly after my entry and quickly hit my full profit target.

That put me back at breakeven gross and down just commissions on the 4 practice trades.

Have a great weekend everyone.



Sim - Total trades include the two from this morning:


"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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I guess false starts are always to be expected - I'll probably have more. I'm resetting my Weekly Stats numbers because of this week's significant change in the way I'm trading; the previous numbers are irrelevant now. Avg W:L and E don't have sufficient numbers to calculate yet since I didn't have any losers over the 2 days of trading that the stats reflect.

Just a note: I've started a thread in the Psychology and Money Management area about my "Focus Meditation" exercise if you're interested in that kind of thing.


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I'm not going to record today's trades in my log/spreadsheet because I wasn't trying to have a profitable day (although I did), I was just trying to take every trade that made some sense to me (what I actually should be doing anyway?), and get clearer about what I should and shouldn't be taking; getting clearer about my "setups." As a result I took far more trades than I would within the parameters of my trading plan.

Today was a range-bound day as many would have predicted after Friday's big move. I'm pleased that even on a choppy day like today I was able to be profitable. That is something I wouldn't have been able to do until recently.





Sim:


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Again, I'm not recording these trades for stat purposes because I'm still getting a feel for what my setups are and practicing actually taking them.




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Trades 1 & 2:



Trades 3 & 4:



Sim:


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Sim:


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Took a lot of trades practicing in Live Sim. I probably won't post charts again for a while as I'm still working things out.

More importantly, from a "journaling" standpoint, I'm making some interesting distinctions about things, and it has to do with this "approach" I'm taking lately.

The "approach" is watching price action with just my two ema's on the charts.

The "distinction" I made today is in regard to price action versus indicators.

After a few losing trades in a row, I got a little frustrated and, in typical amateur fashion, felt the need to slap an MACD on my charts. As soon as I did that, I lost the perspective that I've been developing over the past week or so. I mean it was gone. I tried a divergence trade and a couple other MACD things, but they weren't working out for me. What was working were the behaviors of price action that I've been witnessing lately.

When I cleared the MACD off my chart and went back to my minimalistic setup, I was able to see what price was doing. Then I just had to deal with the taking or not taking of the trades.

But it showed me the layers of complexity that stack on top of each other (at least for me) when another and another and another indicator are put on the charts.

So continuing to watch price action in my relatively simple way is where I'll be for the time being.


"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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Yo!! Where u been, Bra??


AJ
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tderrick View Post
Yo!! Where u been, Bra??

Hey AJ. Been busy with other work and taking a bit of a trading hiatus to get my mind in a little better place. Hope everything is going well with you. Thanks for checking in.

"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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D4YTR4D3R View Post
Hey AJ. Been busy with other work and taking a bit of a trading hiatus to get my mind in a little better place. Hope everything is going well with you. Thanks for checking in.


Ah, yes... As we all have learned, the mind is the key to success in this game. Learning the mechanics of
Price Action is a breeze compared to thinking clearly when the account is activated and you are trading
your hard earned money.

This is why 90% fail.

We are the Green Berets in the battle field of the mind. If you lose your confidence, you lose
before you even begin.

I have a big problem with doubt. Most times I can shake it off. It is simply going to take a few years
of getting used to the heat of live trading.

Your mind is right. Just control the emotions and you will be fine.


AJ
Nashville, Tennessee


"Life On The Edge of SR"
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