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Beginners Trading Journal

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  #11 (permalink)
melbourne Victoria/australia
 
 
Posts: 68 since Aug 2012
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August statistics
Pretty miserable performance, but a few very valuable lessons learnt.

Total loss $317.5, Comission $136 Total -$463.5

Total Trades (Closed Positions) 16
Winners 3
Losers 13
Winning % 23%
Average win $21.44
Average Loss $29
Number of Stupid Trades 5 (none winners, all losers)
Average loss per trade $56
Scalping Trades 5 2 winners/3 losers
Average win/loss $5/$6

If i was to follow my initial objective of trading major breakout patterns with good money management, then my monthly table should have looked like this

total trades 6
winners 1
losers 5
average win $54
average loss $28

Stupid Trades - Trades entered on emotional basis, with no clear objective on stops/price targets. Most of my have been large intraday swings where I though I will catch a wave, and make some quick money...Big lesson here - this is called gambling...

This rate of loss is unacceptable for me right now, I can not afford to loose that much every month.
I can now see why only 5-10% of all people that start trading, become consistently profitable and professional traders. It is hard work, and all you get is to see initially, is your money slowly disappearing.

However, I choose to see it differently. This is money spent on my education. I am paying the market for teaching me. And on average I spend 10-15 hours / week on share trading, thats 60 hrs week, and I paid $ 463 !
that is less than $8 per hour!

Lessons:
1. NO STUPID TRADES!!! no more stupid trades, if a stock moves before you get a chance to get in, just leave it, dont chase it.
2. Don't try a pick bottoms/tops
3. Stick to stops
4. Dont pre-empt a move, wait for a signal
5. Make the trade as soon as signal appears, dont wait for multiple confirmations (retests of s/r seem to not go anywhere afterwards....)
6. Reduce position sizes to minimise loses

Lets hope for a better September

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  #12 (permalink)
melbourne Victoria/australia
 
 
Posts: 68 since Aug 2012
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Kingpin View Post
analysis is too poor. Read more into the market

Hi Kingpin,

I am open to suggestions. Since I am starting from scratch, I am learning about the basic charts, and only now starting to read about volumes, and retracements (33%/50%/66%)

Thanks

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  #13 (permalink)
melbourne Victoria/australia
 
 
Posts: 68 since Aug 2012
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TGA got stopped me out on a big intraday swing, only to go up, and up ..... Frustrating, but nothing I can do...

On 10/9/12 Went short on LEI (Leighton) it has closed bellow a very long term s/r of 15.29, dating back from Dec 08 (not on the chart), I missed the move during the week, as I do my scans on Weekened. Got in on Monday @$15.21 for 50shares, target $10. Stop is the High of 4/9/12 which was the day before it broke through s/r line.

CTX went long 60 shares at $16.19 on 10/9/12, on friday 7/9/12 it closed above s/r line of $16.13. Stop is low of 7/9/12 at $15.83. Target $20. Looking back at it now, not certain it was a good trade, since s/r line is drawn from 1 peak only. Next time will try and make a trade when s/r been touched at least twice.

WDC (westfield group)
On wed 5/9/12 broke through s/r at $10.27, since i didnt see it till weekend, I went long on Monday 10/9/12 @10.15 when the stock was pulling back. My stop was low of 5/9/12 of $10.13. WDC closed bellow that on that same day, and was sold the next day at @10.04 -$27

One more stock I forgot to mention previously was WES (Wesfarmers)
Went long on 4//12 at $35.05 when the stock broke through a long term s/r at $34.79, it moved up quickly to nearly touch $36, then been drifting slowly back, and I got stopped out on 11/9/12 at $34.63. My stop loss was $34.55 which was a low of 4/9/12. However, on a daily chart I notice considerable support around $34.70 (close to s/r line) on 11/9/12 The stock went bellow $34.70, and stayed there for most of the day, with spikes to $34.80-$34.90. To me it was an indication that support was breached and I got out at$34.63 The stock closed around $34.80 that day, but next day opened $.40 lower.. -$39







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  #14 (permalink)
melbourne Victoria/australia
 
 
Posts: 68 since Aug 2012
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12/9/12

Past 1-2 weeks have on average 5-8 open positions, starting to get a bit difficult to keep track of them all. Will try and stay under 8 open positions at a time for now.

My current positions
BWP Went long on 6/9/12 400 shares at $2.02, with stop of $1.97. Broke through s/r of $2. However, looking back at it a few days later, I think correct s/r is $2.04, which are the peaks from March/July 2010. Looking back over the trades a few days later, seems to be very beneficial (learning lots from it). I am in the trade already, so might as well sit it out. Stop is $1.97 The stock has been sitting under $2 now for a few days....

CTX sitting on what I bought it at

GWA on 12/9/12 went short 200 shares @$1.855, on Monday it closed bellow s/r of $1.89, I should have entered it on tuesday, but did not get around to it. This is one thing I am working on now, As soon as signal appears - open the trade. Stop is $1.91 from 10/9/12 high. Target is $1.70, which is also a dip in March 2009

LEI sitting on what I bought it at, has had a big day down early in the week, but recovered yesterday (retest??)

NUF ( Nufarm) on 21/8/12 broke through s/r at $5.80, for some reason I did not see it till early September, and
4/9/12 went long 100 shares @5.87, with stop of $5.69 being low of 21/8/12. The stock has been moving up , and broek through another s/r at $6, I was considering adding to the position, but chickened out.... Something to work on, it has been steadily climbing, and my stop now is $5.90. Target possibly $8

OSH (Oil Search) 12/9/12 closed above s/r of 7.60 . I bought it on the same day, just befoe the close, and stop is $7.53, target $8.4-8.60, it also reached a new high on 12/11/12.

ORG (Origin) I have previously lost money on this stock, when I did "stupid trade" trying to catch a wave down.
It has previously closed bellow s/r at $12.08, went down, then went back up above the s/r, and has slowly been pulling back. I went short 100 shares at $11.9 when it closed bellow s/r line for the second time. Not very comfortable with this trade, as this could be a double bottom, and start a reversal back up. Will keep a very tight stop loss on it, and if it closes bellow recent spike down, I may add to my position. Target $10

SHL slowly progressing up, and has already paid a dividend of $35, stop loss moved to $13.27, which a recent top, and seems to be resistance from past week.

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  #15 (permalink)
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223552 View Post
Hi All,

I am a beginner trader, and wanted to share some of my recent trades. I am hoping to get some feedback, and share my thoughts. I am going to try to update with all new trades, but since i can only go over charts outside my full-time job, I only tend to do a couple of trades a week. I decided to trade with real money, as I think it will force me to manage my stops better. So far my P/L is $-500. Doing small trades to minimise losses, profits can come when I regularly pick winners (which seems like it will never happen...)

I am in Australia, so most of my trades are on ASX. I started doing regular trading from beginning of July 2012, and since I have only learned (still learning) charting, most of my trades are based on basic charting principles.

So here we go, On 13/8/12 I went 500 shares short on APA (APA Gas) at $4.72, The attached daily chart showed a break through a support line on Friday 10/08/12. My initial stop loss was the high of 10/8/12 of 4.75, and my target was around 4.40-4.45 ( based on the peaks around $5.10-5.20, and using them in reverse to give me a target range), a good risk/reward ratio.

For the next few days the stock traded under the 4.75 resistance line, and started to edge lower. Yesterday, for the first half of the day, the stock traded mainly between $4.69-4.67, mostly sitting on $4.67 and not going up much, which in my opinion showed further consolidation, before moving further down, so I added to my position and shorted another 500 shares at around $4.68. In the afternoon an announcement came out, and stock went down to $4.57, and closed on the day at $4.62. For the first time a stock behaved as I was hoping it will, and I read it correctly and added to my position. It felt really good!!!!

Since I am a newbie, I cant post links to charts, to show what I mean.... :-((

Today, the stock opened a few cents up, but there was strong volume coming in, and kept pushing it up. When it was touching 4.68, my plan was to wait for reversal, and go short again, as it would been confirming new resistance. More volume started to come in, and kept pushing it up. Once it went over 4.70, I closed half of my position as it looked like it was gathering strength. I was still hoping it was just a spike, and if it went down bellow 4.68, i would have gone short again. Instead it started consolidating around 4.70-4.72, and I closed my position, when started hitting 4.73. Total loss of about $40. As I am writing this, the stock is sitting on $4.80! Another looser to add to a growing list....For a moment, I actually thought, that this will finally play out as expected.... I guess next time.. I will still watch this stock, as it may continue down soon.
From fundamental side of things, APA was one of two bidders for another company, and it looks like the market did not like it. (Stock gradually going down past few weeks). Yesterday APA increased its offer, and this morning the other bidder withdrew.


Stock number 2.
Mirvac Group (MGR)
Long term resistance at around $1.33, broke through on 27/7/12, and has come back twice to retest it, this seem like consolidation, before a move up (hopefully), bought on 15/8/12 on a retest of support line. Stop at the moment is a close bellow support line at $1.33. Target is $1.50. Today still sitting on $1.35, there seem to be strong support around this level, if i start seeing more weakness, and moves down to 1.33, I may exit earlier.


So here is my 5c worth :-), I am open to any suggestions, or advice.

Cheers,

Felix

Hi Felix (@223552),

Couple of thoughts, observations and suggestions as I was reading through your posts. I am seeing a lot of low price stocks. This is a red flag for me. There is a reason they are priced around the dollar: They are not stable companies and prone to erratic moves. You should try to go with higher price stocks with less shares. I will try to explain why below.

Take the example of MGR which is at 1.33 and target 1.50. The 17cent profit is equal to a 12% move.

For this example lets assume you bought a 1000 shares

1000 shares x 1.33 = 1330

Lets also assume bad news comes out for the company overnight, and I have been holding shares which have done this, and the price drops to .75

1000 shares x .75 = 750
44% loss


Lets take a higher priced stock we will call it ABC and its priced @ 50.

26 shares * 50 a share = 1300

a 50 dollar stock taking the same 44% hit would have to drop to 28.

This could happen but is less likely to happen because if the stock if the stock is priced @50 the company is presumably more stable.

The reason I bought low priced stocks was because I felt powerful that I could buy a 1000 shares of a stock and for whatever reason I had it in my head that lower was safer because , well it was low priced! What I didnt realize is the same % moves produce the same results.

1000 x 1.00 = 1000
1.00 x 20% move = 1.20
1000 x 1.20 = 1200

20 shares x 50 = 1000
50 x 20% move = 60
20 x 60 = 1200.


The argument I made was well a low price stock can double overnight, Yes this is true but it can also be cut in half overnight. Established companies with high stock prices have a less chance of being split in half. Plus they actually move because institutions buy them.

I would also make this argument: a 1 dollar move in a 50 dollar stock is a 2% move. 1 dollar move on a one dollar stock is a 100% move. Which of the two is more likely to happen?

I was also reading in another post where you bought a stock @ 35.05 (i think) and it went to 36 then retraced and you took a loss. The 95 cent move was a 2% move. I would have sold around 36 and moved my stop to break even when it reached 35.75.

I think you should go for smaller gains with higher priced stocks until you get a method down. This will limit the whipsaws of the market stopping you out.

Many of your posts remind of my journal when I first started. By the time I figure the above out it was too late. I hope you can learn from my mistakes.

If have rambled incoherently please let me know and I will clarify. I also considered after writing this you may have a completely sound and logical reason why you trade low priced stocks, but, since I have it already written, well.. here it is.

Robert

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  #16 (permalink)
Legendary Data Wizard!!!
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Felix, (@223552)

Consider using support and resistance and trend lines. I think you are picking good charts you are just not entering in the right spot and not placing your stop out of harms way.

I have attached a chart as an example. In this trade you could have entered in a couple of spots near where you did then you could have placed the stop below the trend line. This would have kept you in the trade.

Robert


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  #17 (permalink)
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223552 View Post
12/9/12

Past 1-2 weeks have on average 5-8 open positions, starting to get a bit difficult to keep track of them all. Will try and stay under 8 open positions at a time for now.

My current positions
BWP Went long on 6/9/12 400 shares at $2.02, with stop of $1.97. Broke through s/r of $2. However, looking back at it a few days later, I think correct s/r is $2.04, which are the peaks from March/July 2010. Looking back over the trades a few days later, seems to be very beneficial (learning lots from it). I am in the trade already, so might as well sit it out. Stop is $1.97 The stock has been sitting under $2 now for a few days....

CTX sitting on what I bought it at

GWA on 12/9/12 went short 200 shares @$1.855, on Monday it closed bellow s/r of $1.89, I should have entered it on tuesday, but did not get around to it. This is one thing I am working on now, As soon as signal appears - open the trade. Stop is $1.91 from 10/9/12 high. Target is $1.70, which is also a dip in March 2009

LEI sitting on what I bought it at, has had a big day down early in the week, but recovered yesterday (retest??)

NUF ( Nufarm) on 21/8/12 broke through s/r at $5.80, for some reason I did not see it till early September, and
4/9/12 went long 100 shares @5.87, with stop of $5.69 being low of 21/8/12. The stock has been moving up , and broek through another s/r at $6, I was considering adding to the position, but chickened out.... Something to work on, it has been steadily climbing, and my stop now is $5.90. Target possibly $8

OSH (Oil Search) 12/9/12 closed above s/r of 7.60 . I bought it on the same day, just befoe the close, and stop is $7.53, target $8.4-8.60, it also reached a new high on 12/11/12.

ORG (Origin) I have previously lost money on this stock, when I did "stupid trade" trying to catch a wave down.
It has previously closed bellow s/r at $12.08, went down, then went back up above the s/r, and has slowly been pulling back. I went short 100 shares at $11.9 when it closed bellow s/r line for the second time. Not very comfortable with this trade, as this could be a double bottom, and start a reversal back up. Will keep a very tight stop loss on it, and if it closes bellow recent spike down, I may add to my position. Target $10

SHL slowly progressing up, and has already paid a dividend of $35, stop loss moved to $13.27, which a recent top, and seems to be resistance from past week.

Here's my 2 cents worth. Instead of spending so much time doing market scans looking for the "Next Big Stock" maybe try to pick just a couple of stocks you have some interest in and follow them. See how they react near support and resistance areas. If you can, try to watch them in live market hours. You will eventually become proficient trading a single stock. If you can trade one stock successfully, you will more than likely be able to trade anything you want in the future!

Regards,

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  #18 (permalink)
melbourne Victoria/australia
 
 
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Silver Dragon View Post
Hi Felix (@223552),

Couple of thoughts, observations and suggestions as I was reading through your posts. I am seeing a lot of low price stocks. This is a red flag for me. There is a reason they are priced around the dollar: They are not stable companies and prone to erratic moves. You should try to go with higher price stocks with less shares. I will try to explain why below.

Take the example of MGR which is at 1.33 and target 1.50. The 17cent profit is equal to a 12% move.

For this example lets assume you bought a 1000 shares

1000 shares x 1.33 = 1330

Lets also assume bad news comes out for the company overnight, and I have been holding shares which have done this, and the price drops to .75

1000 shares x .75 = 750
44% loss


Lets take a higher priced stock we will call it ABC and its priced @ 50.

26 shares * 50 a share = 1300

a 50 dollar stock taking the same 44% hit would have to drop to 28.

This could happen but is less likely to happen because if the stock if the stock is priced @50 the company is presumably more stable.

The reason I bought low priced stocks was because I felt powerful that I could buy a 1000 shares of a stock and for whatever reason I had it in my head that lower was safer because , well it was low priced! What I didnt realize is the same % moves produce the same results.

1000 x 1.00 = 1000
1.00 x 20% move = 1.20
1000 x 1.20 = 1200

20 shares x 50 = 1000
50 x 20% move = 60
20 x 60 = 1200.


The argument I made was well a low price stock can double overnight, Yes this is true but it can also be cut in half overnight. Established companies with high stock prices have a less chance of being split in half. Plus they actually move because institutions buy them.

I would also make this argument: a 1 dollar move in a 50 dollar stock is a 2% move. 1 dollar move on a one dollar stock is a 100% move. Which of the two is more likely to happen?

I was also reading in another post where you bought a stock @ 35.05 (i think) and it went to 36 then retraced and you took a loss. The 95 cent move was a 2% move. I would have sold around 36 and moved my stop to break even when it reached 35.75.

I think you should go for smaller gains with higher priced stocks until you get a method down. This will limit the whipsaws of the market stopping you out.

Many of your posts remind of my journal when I first started. By the time I figure the above out it was too late. I hope you can learn from my mistakes.

If have rambled incoherently please let me know and I will clarify. I also considered after writing this you may have a completely sound and logical reason why you trade low priced stocks, but, since I have it already written, well.. here it is.

Robert


Thanks for your reply Robert. I completely agree that lower priced stock can have bigger swings, and more likely to cause bigger losses. Because I trade ASX only (Australian shares), and my scanning criteria are stocks above $1, and minimum average daily volume of 300000, I get less than 200 stock on my scan, out of those, I only get less than 10-15 that are showing trading opportunity. ASX is not a huge market, and a lot of stocks are priced much lower compare to US. As an example there are no stocks on ASX that are priced over $100, and only 2 priced over $50. So stocks over $1 include well know/ blue chip companies. I may tweak my scan and may be run 2 scan separately. 1. stocks between $1-5 with much higher daily average volume, to only show me stocks that are very liquid, and less likely to have wild swings. The second scan for stocks over $5

For interest purposes, latest MGR chart....... I got stopped out on 27/8/12 when it closed at $1.325 , bellow my s/r of $1.33. Today its closed at $1.425

My aim at the moment is to practice entry signals, enter on them , and stick to my stops!!! My biggest losses in the past have always been due to not hitting my stops. So if I have set a stop for myself, I want to make sure I hit them always. At the moment it does seem that my stops are stopping me out of trades prematurely, and I miss the big moves.....

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  #19 (permalink)
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Silver Dragon View Post
Felix, (@223552)

Consider using support and resistance and trend lines. I think you are picking good charts you are just not entering in the right spot and not placing your stop out of harms way.

I have attached a chart as an example. In this trade you could have entered in a couple of spots near where you did then you could have placed the stop below the trend line. This would have kept you in the trade.

Robert


Hi Robert,

Thanks for your time and opinion. I have a few questions in regards to your analysis, if you don't mind. I have attached 2 charts for TGA, one is current chart, and the second one is zoomed in on the period where you suggested I should have bought, but I scrolled it back a few days, not to show what happened later.

So looking on the second chart, the stock broke through a long term s/r, then closes bellow it, could be seen as a false break out. It then comes back up to test the s/r and falls back. This would reinforce my first opinion that it is a false breakout. So if I was going to go long on it, I definitely want to see some real support above the $1.78.
The possible mistake I see with this trade, was me prematurely hitting a stop loss before the close of the day, of 6/9/12. If I waited that day out, the stock closed above s/r line and then headed higher.

I would like to know your opinion on why you would be buying this stock bellow s/r after a failed break out?? without seeing small support line develop under the 2 bottoms, where would you put a stop, and what would you base it on??

I have looked at channels/trend lines before, but at the moment I am finding them unreliable for entry signals/stops. I do look at them, and use them to help identify a trend.

Thanks again.

Felix

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  #20 (permalink)
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GrandSuperCycle View Post
Here's my 2 cents worth. Instead of spending so much time doing market scans looking for the "Next Big Stock" maybe try to pick just a couple of stocks you have some interest in and follow them. See how they react near support and resistance areas. If you can, try to watch them in live market hours. You will eventually become proficient trading a single stock. If you can trade one stock successfully, you will more than likely be able to trade anything you want in the future!

Regards,

Thanks Grand.

Watching stocks intra day is not possible with full time paid work/my own business ....:-)
I dont mind doing weekly scans, it not only exposes me to a greater variety of stocks, but also gives me an idea ofwhat the general market is doing, (stocks moving up, down, sideways...)

Another reason why I am not sticking to one stock, is probably impatience...With one/few stocks there are less trading opportunities.. However, I do one exercise for myself, where I will pick a stock/or currency, scroll back 1-3 years, and then slowly scroll forward one day at a time, and try to do theoretical trading based on what I see on the chart. Funnily enough, I come up in profit most of the time. BUT, over a period of 1-2 yrs, I might do 5 trades for that stock, and first four might be losses, and then the fifth one is the big winner, that takes care of all the losses combined, and gives a profit as well. But, if i was trading real life, I would probably give up after 2-3 losses....

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