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Breakout Journal - a journey to full time trading


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Breakout Journal - a journey to full time trading

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  #501 (permalink)
Data Wizard!!!
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Silver Dragon View Post
Testing trade ideas

2nd trade of the day.

Entry type: trend line break and price at extreme on volume profile.

Had my stop to tight. -9 ticks.

Robert

Additional notes on the trade:


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Data Wizard!!!
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Testing trading ideas

With my prior method of entering trades I had time in between trades. With the new method direction change comes quickly. Sometimes when I exit a trade price reverses direction and goes 20 to 30 ticks in the other direction. Obviously I want to be in on these moves. Right now after a trade I am processing what happened in the trade. I am going to have to retrain my mind to start thinking about the next setup.

the image below is an example of where I would have had to make a split second decision to go the other way. My original target area is marked. Depending on when I exited the trade I would have to make a quick decision on if I should go short or not.


Robert


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Testing trading ideas

3rd trade of the day

Entry type: extreme end of VP.

Tried something new on this trade. Waited for price to make new lows and for the volume to dry up. Maximum risk on this trade was 6 ticks. Added additional contracts @13 ticks. Price went to the pivot line and stopped. Exited the trade there. 18 ticks on the first 4 contacts. 5 ticks on the last 4.

Again should have held as price just went 20 ticks above my exit point. err.

Robert



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  #504 (permalink)
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I took this trade as well, on the first pullback on 5m, TL break on my tick chart, my entry I believe was .59, took for 21 ticks, only to see it go another $1.50 or so. Had I put on another contract I would have held until ETH POC, VAH or low volume node, COULDA WOULDA SHOULDA.


Silver Dragon View Post
Testing trading ideas

3rd trade of the day

Entry type: extreme end of VP.

Tried something new on this trade. Waited for price to make new lows and for the volume to dry up. Maximum risk on this trade was 6 ticks. Added additional contracts @13 ticks. Price went to the pivot line and stopped. Exited the trade there. 18 ticks on the first 4 contacts. 5 ticks on the last 4.

Again should have held as price just went 20 ticks above my exit point. err.

Robert




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TonyParisi View Post
I took this trade as well, on the first pullback on 5m, TL break on my tick chart, my entry I believe was .59, took for 21 ticks, only to see it go another $1.50 or so. Had I put on another contract I would have held until ETH POC, VAH or low volume node, COULDA WOULDA SHOULDA.

Yeah, I spent about hour last night trying to figure out how I should have manged that trade. I replayed it in replay and I think I would have been out at the first pullback. Hard to say. My conclusion was I should just hold onto the position till the market till it proves me wrong. If I manage my stops correctly my losses will always be smaller than my gains. This is a bit of change for me because the last strategy I used had a 1:1 risk/reward. this strategy has the potential to be a 2:1 or better risk/reward if I let the trades play out.

Robert

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  #506 (permalink)
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Silver Dragon View Post
Yeah, I spent about hour last night trying to figure out how I should have manged that trade. I replayed it in replay and I think I would have been out at the first pullback. Hard to say. My conclusion was I should just hold onto the position till the market till it proves me wrong. If I manage my stops correctly my losses will always be smaller than my gains. This is a bit of change for me because the last strategy I used had a 1:1 risk/reward. this strategy has the potential to be a 2:1 or better risk/reward if I let the trades play out.

Robert

Trade management is obviously key, where we are in the volume profile I am trying to determine where to hold. The more I let my trades 'play out' the better I am becoming. A lot of traders look at R/R and go to B/E very quickly. There are two trains of thought, some traders look at it as a 'free' trade, others do not. I do not. In my eyes going to B/E quickly on something like CL seems like suicide. There is too much chop for most timeframes, if a trader could show me a chart or strategy where there are not 8-10 tick bars/swings I'll change my mind. On top of which 9/10 times CL retraces 8-10 ticks after breaking a "support" level. And this is all assuming you get perfect entries on every trade. I prefer Mark Fisher's premise, get out when you are wrong. If you can't afford where you are wrong, wait until you can.

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Testing Trade Ideas

Yen Night

Entry Type: Trend line break; Volume Profile extreme

This was a solid trade. I set a sell stop below the trend line and let it hit. The only thing I did not do was set my target out further. I got busy doing other stuff and before I knew it the trade was over. +15 ticks.

One trade today in CL -3 ticks. I was not feeling well this morning and decided not to trade.

Robert



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Testing trade ideas

Entry type: Trend line break and VP extreme.

I took a screenshot right after my entry (see first screenshot). I actually got in late on the trade. I had a signal to exit but I wanted to let the trade play out. I am trying to understand my loss potential when I am wrong on a trade where I scale in.

Robert




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Testing trade ideas

Entry type: Trend line break and VP extreme

Solid entry on the extreme of the volume profile. This trade I took the exit signal on the trend line break and did not scale in.



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Here are my goals I am working on:
  • Hold trades longer
  • Have a larger targets.
  • Let the market prove me wrong
  • Take all the trades I see
  • Dont worry about PnL
  • Look at my account balance only on Friday after the market close and Sunday before the market open.
  • Refine my entry rules.

Overall things are getting better. I am in a better state of mind and I am not always worried about numbers. I have shifted away from over thinking and worrying about my long term goals and started focusing on the short term goals. Just trading. A friend of mine reminded me long term goals are made up of a bunch of short term goals. I am trying not to worry about the outcome of the trade. Instead I am focusing on the components which make up the trade. Turning off the PnL on my chart and not looking at my account balance goes along way relieving the pressure of living up to what I did yesterday. All this equals less stress and better trading.

Robert

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Yen Night Trade

Here is my trade for tonight with explanation. I am moving toward Volume Profile trades. Basically trade the extremes and fade back toward the value area of the chart. If I am lucky I will get a trade which will go from one extreme to another.

Robert





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CL 1st trade

+43 ticks.

See notes on chart.

Robert




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In my effort to better understand volume profile I am going to be posting observations and thoughts as I come across them.

Reference;

https://futures.io/wiki/trading-wiki/Volume-Profile

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On the reversal of the first leg down price went the entire length of the volume profile before reversing. This third leg down stopped at the CLVN on todays chart which also matched with the CLVN of yesterdays chart. As of this writing the 4th leg up stopped at todays high and was reversing.

Very cool stuff.


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High and low for 2013 match point of control for 2011 and 2012


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CL
1st trade

+23 ticks

Entry type: trend line break at the bottom of the volume profile.

Robert


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CL

2nd and 3rd trade.

I was totally thinking like I used to the second trade and as a result I was stopped out. In order to play the extremes of the volume profile, you have to get in near the top so your stop is at or above the high/low. Instead I waited for a break. and got in about 8 ticks to low. The third was how it should be done. My stop was 15 ticks and was at the high of the day. For some reason I exited the 3rd trade early.. dont know why..

This will probably be it for me today. Ended the day with 22 ticks. +1300 on the day

Robert


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Gary View Post
Robert,

A-Ha!

So, we can take this over to your thread if you like after this, but how are you choosing targets now? Fixed or based on ? I am guessing you already detail this in your thread, maybe you can just point me to your post describing your A+ setup and basic rules on what you look for before, during, and after your A+ trade?

If you feel like you are reading price well, and have no problem entering a trade, then focus on how to improve your exit, but you have to be more precise, than "Make more ticks on exit", you have to really get specific on how you plan to exit more efficiently than you do today. Maybe this is done with more than one contract, maybe this is done with a specific idea/view on how to best trail, etc. Once you have identified that, then your new plan will be to only exit based on your new idea/rules, and then grade yourself after a day/week, etc. How did you do? This is all my $.02 of course, everyone has their own way/ideas.

Gary

@Gary

So when you asked the question what is my A+ setup I didnt have a answer. Honestly it was a tough question. I had lots of setups but I didnt think any of them were A+. Actually when I started thinking about it I realized I didnt even have an idea what an A+ setup looked like. So in order to find a A+ setup I thought it best to list out my criteria. See below.

My A+ Criteria
  • The most I want to risk is 15 to 20 ticks
  • I want to be able to know when I am wrong about trade.
  • I want entries to be easily identifiable.
  • Stops should be logical and easy to define
  • Targets should be easy to identify.
  • Targets are not static.
  • Targets should be larger than my stop. Preferably 2:1 or better.
  • Low stress trade... in other words, easy to execute because I have confidence it will work over time.

I started breaking down my setups and trying to figure out what was the best but all of them were pretty bad. I decided to throw out and started thinking outside my comfort zone. I worked with a trading buddy on a couple of setups and went through various other setups here on futures.io (formerly BMT) and elsewhere and finally found one which met the criteria I was looking for:

My A+ setup.

Using volume profile I find entries where price is near the top or bottom of the volume profile. I look for a trend line break or double top, etc to identify the entry and fade price back into the value area of the chart. I use low volume nodes to identify potential exit areas and place my target 5 to 10 ticks away from the LVN. See chart below and previous posts from this week for visual explanation.

Advantages of this setup:
  • I am using the theory that price moves back to value to my advantage.
  • This strategy can be used on nearly every market
  • Because of the potential size of the moves I will be able to incorporate pyramiding into the trade and be able to increase profits.
  • It meets the criteria above.
  • I don't have a problem pulling the trigger on a trade.

Very simple, very repeatable, low stress and it takes care of my problem areas and allows me to just trade.

The next steps; execute the setup, continue to learn more about VP and be mindful of how I am managing the trades in order to maximize my profits.



Robert


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CL
Trades for 7-1-13

4 trades - BE for the day

Focus today was to take trades and hold them. Taking the trades - Passed. Hold the trades - Failed. Last trade is the one I should have held. It went another 50 ticks after I exited the trade. I took the exit because it was near a low volume node and I thought it might reverse. This was a valid exit but this was not my original target. I should have moved my stop to BE or slightly above and let the trade play out.

Need to review my stops and entries and possibly make an adjustment. Second time in a week I have been stopped out by a tick only to have it reverse and go my direction.

Robert


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CL

See notes on chart - will add commentary later

Edit:
Past lessons learned - I got burned once leaving a trade unattended so I dont do it anymore. Thus I cut this trade short since I was going to be out of the office. Its hard to tell from screenshot but there were 5 bars in the in the low volume area of the chart. It produced hardly any volume.. When volume dries up like this it indicates a bottom/top. . My original target was 50 ticks. It ended up going 68. This was a good trade and one I wish I could have been in till the end.


Robert


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Update: Taking some time off to take care of my mom. I will be back in a month or so.

Robert

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Silver Dragon View Post
Update: Taking some time off to take care of my mom. I will be back in a month or so.

Robert

You just reminded me that I was lucky enough to be able to do the same for my mom's last two years. Tough time but quality time and I'm better for it too. Best wishes whatever your situation.

Travel Well
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Quick update.. My mom is about the same which is good. Spending a lot of time with her which has been awesome! I am managing to work in trading in a few days a week but the rest of time is spent on work and family. Worst part of the last couple of months is I cant get enough sleep. Typing this up now with my eyes half shut

As I mentioned, I have been working in trading where I can. I have had a lot of personal growth over the last couple of months; I have a plan and a strategy laid out on paper. I am progressing on learning how to trade just one strategy. I am not changing the strategy. I keep a personal journal everyday I trade. I understand the importance opportunity and risk. There has to be a balance between those two to make things work. I not sure I would have learned this without being in the TST combine.

Speaking of the combine; right now I am trying to determine which combine fits my trading style based on risk and opportunity. I have sliced and diced their trading business model every which way and I can tell you there is little room for error. My weakness right now is not holding the trades till they play out. I am always cutting them short and limiting my profit. I had a trade today which went 50 ticks higher after I exited the trade. Ended +30 but it could have been +60 or better.

As far as my overall goal; I have been taking one thing at a time and making good progress. I am still learning but each day I am becoming more confident. Today for example I started the day off really bad and was down 120 ticks. I fought back to BE by the end of the day. The best part was I was not stressed about being down. I knew the opportunities I had left and was comfortable with the risk so it came down to me having the patience to wait for my setups. This was an amazing feeling. I know for a fact I could not have done this 6 months ago.

Till next time.
Robert



Below is my trading plan at the 50,000 ft level
  1. Have a plan (check)
  2. Have a strategy (check)
  3. Trade the strategy (check)
  4. Learn to manage Risk (Continuing and ongoing)
  5. Figure out what combine I should be trading (in progress)
  6. Learn to take the trades when they are there. (in progress)
  7. Learn to hold my trades. (in beginning stages)

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Balance area formed on daily and weekly charts.




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Longer term view of weekly chart. 3 Year volume profile.


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I have been exploring the different setups for volume profile and have found this one to my liking. The basic premise is to wait for a balance area to develop and play the breakout of price out of the balance area. Place a buy/sell stop about 5 to 10 ticks below the low volume area.


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Over the past year I have put all of my focus into TST to learn to trade. A few weeks ago I got the urge to trade real money so I fired up the FOREX account which has been sitting with 10 bucks in it for a year and refunded it with $200.

This is the first time I have looked at a chart other than CL and the three sisters in over a year. My perspective on trading has changed; I was more concerned about losing money than I was making money. This is a departure from my thought process in the past where I always put how much I would make first. The irony is by focusing on risk I was able to make more money in the end. My main goal still remains to get a TST funded account but I am finding this diversion a nice break from the daily learning process.

Chart time frame: I did not want to day trade but I didnt want to hold for weeks either. After messing around with different chart times I decided to go with a 4 hour chart. Gives me a plenty of signals but I dont have to manage every hour of the day.

Entry Signals - Meta Trader has an extensive set of entry signals available so I started searching through their library and stumbled upon the Turtle Trader indicator. This is based off the Turtle Trader rules for entry. After looking at the charts I liked what I saw and went with it. I have 13 currency pairs I am monitoring. I am looking for pairs which trend 100 to 400 ticks and will be sticking with trend reversals. I am not interested in reentering trends on a second entry signal. The entries are discretionary meaning I will not take every signal. Example of this would be USD/JPY on Friday which had a huge 4 hour bar for the entry signal. Experience has taught me this is a high risk trade.

Position Size: In order to control my risk and stretch my money as far as possible I went with the smallest lot possible which is 1000. If there is one thing I have learned from TST is you cannot become profitable long term without controlling risk. I plan on experimenting with pyramiding additional lots once the trade goes positive. The Turtle method provides a formula for doing this which I plan on looking at in more detail at a later date. I may even use this for my TST trading.

Stops are set to 3% of account equity. This is a little higher than I want to be however it is necessary based on the movement of the pairs on the 4 hour time frame.

Results: Last week I traded NZD , CAD, AUD . I was three for three up 230 ticks. Equates to $23 when trading the micro lots. Made .83 cents in overnight carryover.


Robert

EDIT: Exits are discretionary. Right now I will exit on any sign of weakness.

Chart setup example with entry signals. Arrows indicate entries; dots indicate exits.


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@Big Mike

This just opened up down the street. Something you want to tell us??

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Robert,

Wow congrats on having the patience and discipline to see this through.

Great job.

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@Big Mike

This just opened up down the street. Something you want to tell us??

Robert


Lol that is my fall back plan for when I want a change of pace.

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TopStep Trader Update
I continue to make progress on my trading skills. If I could define levels in trading I would tell you I have leveled up over the past year. My mindset toward the combine has changed. Not really worried about passing the combine vs learning to trade; because once I learn to trade I will pass the combine.

The last combine I finished was the 150K. I deliberately took this one knowing I could not pass it because I wanted to trade within the combine setting without having to worry about hitting the loss limit or max dd. Doing this I was able to focus on just the trading aspect. I made real progress on my setups and taking the trades. The current combine I am in (50K) I will be focusing on breaking down the mental roadblocks.

For the most part I have stopped getting excited about good days or being upset about bad days unless I dont follow my rules in which case I have a mandatory one day off from trading. Looking back at my personal journal and my futures.io (formerly BMT) journal I can say I have grown as a trader over the past year. Below are excerpt's from my personal journal to contrast the difference 9 months can make:

Entry from 1/18/13

Quoting 
Where do i begin.. I dont know what I am doing. I had a horrible week trading. Right now I dont even want to trade. I have to get back to where I was a few weeks ago. I dont even know where that is at. Why am I failing??

Entry from 9/2/13

Quoting 
Started a new combine. The last combine was about being able to trade my setups without stress in a combine setting. I purposely took the largest combine so I could trade without fear of hitting the loss limit of Max DD. This allowed me to define and execute my setups in a real environment. This combine is about trading my defined setups within a combine environment where loss limit and Max DD matter. I have no expectations of the outcome other than to execute the plan and to learn.

Big difference.. In January I was just trading blindly. Now I am trading with confidence and vision. What I have now that I did not have in January: I have a goal; I have a plan; I have a trading method which works for me; I have the right attitude and I now have trading experience. All of this is adding up to progress toward my goal of becoming a professional trader.

Robert

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Robert,

How do you like MetaTrader compared with Sierra Chart and NinjaTrader?

Mike

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Robert,

How do you like MetaTrader compared with Sierra Chart and NinjaTrader?

Mike

@Big Mike

It lacks the robustness of order entry when compared to Sierra and NT. There are no custom setups. and order entry is cumbersome unless you are entering a market order. I would never use it for day trading.

The indicators are solid and draw very well on the charts. They are as good if not better than NT and better than Sierra. However, it lacks Market Profile and Volume Profile. The charts themselves are well drawn. Biggest complaint is you cannot scroll back in time in a live market. Every time a new tick comes in takes you back to the beginning of the chart.

The time frames appear to be limited to standard set. All of them in minutes and hours. I have not found a way to add a custom time frame. Note: I have not searched for a way to either.

I love information box at the bottom of the screen which shows positions, acct value, alerts etc. Its very easy to see where you are at a glance.

They have a decent community, not as good as NT but better than Sierra. They have a good set of custom indicators to choose from. Automated trading is simple to implement. I took a look at he coding section which is in C#. It is not as intuitive as NT.

Overall (IMO) MetaTrader is designed for buy and hold traders.

Robert

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....
Biggest complaint is you cannot scroll back in time in a live market. Every time a new tick comes in takes you back to the beginning of the chart.


Robert

Hi Robert,

in metatrader you have on the top a button named "autoscroll" which is on by default.
If you switch it off you can scroll the chart to every point in livesession.

aiti

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Discovered order flow... all I can say is wow.. I have been missing out.


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Setup example using volume footprint


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Things I been learning:

Today while watching times and sales and the chart I was able to recognize buying and selling absorption. I missed the first move off the absorption but caught a second move later in the day. This was really cool to watch. I have seen it before but never knew what it was and of course took the trade in the wrong direction.

Understanding the previous days value area and range in relation to where the market opens can help predict what type of day it is going to be and what type of moves to expect. The last couple of days I have been able to predict what type of market to expect for the upcoming days and adjust my trading to fit the market.

I am starting to see how order flow, volume profile and market profile overlap and work together to give a complete picture of the market. These tools are also starting to answer long standing questions I have had about why some breakouts , bounces, trends, etc.. fail and why others succeed.

Currently reading: Mind Over Markets.

Robert

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TopStep asked their chat community to share "lessons learned" from the combine's last week. Received good feedback from my submissions so I am re-posting here to share with the futures.io (formerly BMT) community.

Robert



Quoting 
Combine Lesson 1: Over all my combines I have learned how important risk is to trading. You cannot trade successfully without managing risk.You also have to have a plan and a strategy which meets your needs. Then you have to have to have the resolve to follow through with those plans for better or worse. Most important: you must learn from your mistakes.

Combine Lessons: 2nd lesson: Choosing a combine which meets your financial goals may have a detrimental impact on your trading. A better approach is to choose a combine which fits into your psychological requirements. ex: I asked the question How much money am I comfortable losing on a single trade? A: $300 to $400. Then I found a strategy and combine which met that goal. This = no stress trading for me.


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Onward and forward.

Delving deeper into the world of MP, VP & OF and seeing the market in an entirely different light. Below is a chart from Fridays action in CL. See how CL stayed within yesterday's range but stayed out of yesterdays value area. There were two chances to catch the waves from the bottom. I capitalized on the first one in my combine but had doubts about the second one so I took it in SIM.

I was also able to see the the buying absorption on the open and capitalize on the move down. Watching time and sales and the chart can sometimes's give a clear indication who is charge.

What I am learning from all this is waiting for these key area's to be tested and understanding where the upper and lower areas might be gives a trader an edge to catch the really big moves. Had I been able to capitalize on those 3 trades and let them play out I would have been up nearly a 100 ticks for the day on a single contract. I am learning! Now I need to put practice and observation into action.



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CL opened lower tonight but is still within a balance area and is contained within last Tuesdays price range. It should be noted, with the exception of a couple of hours, all the price action for the last 3 days has been above the value area on Tuesday. Sunday's open poked into Tuesday's value area and was rejected.

Robert



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Started a secondary combine today. I will be trading soybeans (ZS) along with CL. I have been practicing with ZS for about a month and have seen good results. ZS also fits the trading style I am moving into.

It is clear to me now that I am on the right track. Again today, had I been able to take advantage of the setups I would have been over 100 ticks on a single contract. I need to work on my execution. Best part about today is I was done trading @10:15 EST.

Robert

ZS-
I was too anxious this morning and got in to early on the first trade. I didnt take the second entry because I had doubt. This was a mistake because ZS proceeded to go 56 ticks right to my target.

I caught the bottom and made most of my losses up. My premise of what was going to happen was absolute correct. I need to work on my execution.

Trade Anlysis ZS:




CL -
I was late getting started on CL this morning and missed the opening move. It did exactly what I thought it was going to do and then proceeded to go to the upper resistance line I had drawn out. I didnt wait for a clear entry signal and got in too early on my first trade.The second trade I waited for a signal and caught the top down. Made it back to BE for the day.
CL Trade Analysis High Level:


Days Range:

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ZS Morning analysis. Bounced off Thursdays low and moved back into value. Could be a inside day today if it does not break yesterdays high.

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CL Morning analysis: Possible trend day today if it breaks down. If it stays within yesterdays range then it will be a inside day. Supports are marked on the chart.

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ZS Morning analysis. Bounced off Thursdays low and moved back into value. Could be a inside day today if it does not break yesterdays high.

Robert



EOD analysis

Thought I would try video this time around.

Robert

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CL Morning analysis: Possible trend day today if it breaks down. If it stays within yesterdays range then it will be a inside day. Supports are marked on the chart.

Robert


EOD analysis for CL: See attached video.

Robert

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Two different videos, same day? Or did I miss something.

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Good job on the videos Robert, I always appreciate them and I think so do the members.

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Good job on the videos Robert, I always appreciate them and I think so do the members.

Mike

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Thanks Mike! Starting to get some free time again so I want to do more videos as time allows.

Robert

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CL morning analysis. Because of the EIA report today I dont have a clear direction for crude.. My guess is it will be a tight range till the report hits. However, my bias is short.


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ZS morning analysis. Looking for a possible inside day with a lot of chop. If it breaks yesterdays low then it could trend lower.

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Note: missed trade on CL


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Note: ZS respects support and resistance lines.


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ZS Trade 1

2.75 points


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EOD trade analysis for ZS:


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EOD trade analysis for ZS:


SD... thanks for this thread and nice job explaining your trades using MP/VP/etc.


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ZS morning analysis. Looking for a possible inside day with a lot of chop. If it breaks yesterdays low then it could trend lower.

Robert



EOD day analysis for ZS 9-18-13. See attached video.

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CL morning analysis. Because of the EIA report today I dont have a clear direction for crude.. My guess is it will be a tight range till the report hits. However, my bias is short.


EOD Analysis for CL 9-18-13. See attached video.

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Morning Analysis ZS 9-19-13

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CL Morning Analysis 9-19-13

Made some comments here:
https://futures.io/trading-journals/17308-day-trading-crude-without-indicators-826.html#post357851


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Having confidence issues with holding the trades. Two trades I cut too short which went on to hit my targets. Taking a break




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Did not have time this weekend to create analysis for Friday. In summary I got my but kicked in CL and did very well in ZS. I have decided to go back to my practice account on CL and rethink my strategy. I am clearly not ready to trade it at this point.

Robert

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ZS Morning analysis

Today will be a learning day in ZS. Price is at the lower end of last Fridays range and has moved below the major gap fill which happened last week. I have not traded this situation before with my new strategy so I dont know what I dont know. My gut says it will go lower. Will see what happens.

Robert


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See notes in charts.


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See notes in charts.


Attached is a short video of my trades today. Summary - First trade was valid. Second trade was not.

Robert

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Morning Analysis ZS


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Quote of the day:

Quoting 
"Forget your losers fast and your winners faster"


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No trading today and possibly for the rest of the week.

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I have taken a few days off to regroup and focus on learning order flow. Spent part of the weekend in market replay watching what happens to soybeans and crude during breakouts / reversals etc. Its fascinating to watch how the market reacts to levels and see the orders go in and out of the market. With what I learned over the past week; I am now able to see market momentum shifts. I would like to do a video log of what I am learning about order flow.

I played around with Jigsaw trading tools using Ninja. I wish they had these tools for Sierra. I have been thinking about getting a dedicated data feed so I can use the tools in conjunction with Sierra however, the 125/a month data feed price tag is holding me back. I dont understand enough of what i am looking at to justify the price (yet). I configured my time and sales along with market depth to show similar data within Sierra but it really lacks the depth that Jigsaw has.

Traded my practice account today. Made 50 ticks in CL today and Lost 10 ticks in ZS.

Robert

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Letting it all go....

As I have mentioned in previous posts over the past year I have been having issues with trading within the combine. Its really a pshycological issue. This past week I have been thinking about going back to my own account. It sounds appealing for many reasons. I know I am not ready to trade my own account but when the time comes I know it will be waiting... and that is very appealing. However, I dont want to give up TST. It is best thing I could have ever done for my trading but, the pressure I have been putting on myself to pass the combine has caused me to make really poor trading decisions. I have known this for a long time but could not figure out how to get over it. Then I had a ah-ha moment where I decided to use the combine as a tool / teacher. Pretty sure @Big Mike has mentioned this a few times. The days following this decision I have been hesitating less and thinking more about the outcome of the trade instead of the balance of my combine. Dont get me wrong I still want to pass the combine but it will now happen when it will happen. No pressure

Order flow
This past week I have exclusively traded order flow and I couldn't be happier. I am learning more each day. it is becoming easier to recognize buy/sell absorption and to pick out the head fakes and see the building of volume before the move. The recognition of head fakes alone has kept me out of so many bad trades. Its also teaching me patience. Order flow (IMO) is the ultimate day trading indicator

Words of Wisdom...
Every once in a while there is a post or posts you would like to give a super thanks too ..something like a 100 thanks just to show the post had impact. Well @tigertrader has been putting on a trading clinic over on the ES Spoo-nalysis board. He has said more in a few posts than most trading books say in 300 pages. There were several posts which had a huge impact but this one in particular was outstanding. So here is my SUPER Thank You!!!


tigertrader View Post
Somehow, I knew that question would be asked, and that it would be asked by you, @josh. Not quite unlike an "obvious opportunity".

Most traders think that price action analysis is the visual examination of charts for price patterns and indicators. All it serves to facilitate is the projection of cognitive biases on price action; it isolates single data points that support the subjective views of the technical analyst about market direction. In most cases, the decision as to whether the chart is bullish or bearish isn't even related to the state of indicators or any chart patterns but to the cognitive bias of the analyst. This is the prediction or forecasting game. Truth is that traditional chart analysis does not carry any forecasting power, but can be instrumental as a risk management tool. Not only does Mr. Market not care about TA, but it will often use it against the trader to trap him.

That being said, an "obvious opportunity" is a trade that is well defined, reproducible, and has a proven edge. You've seen it before and you know it works, and you don't even have to think about putting the trade on -you just react. They're not as rare as one would believe, but then again I watch multiple markets and their correlations, so the opportunities are multiplied.

Link to post: https://futures.io/index-futures-trading/13452-es-s-p-500-futures-contract-sp500-spoo-nalysis-541.html#post358005

Taking time off.
I have been taking more days off as of late including spending less time in front of the screen. Spending time getting other stuff done that I have neglected. I believe the less screen time has actually improved my trading. When I come back to the chart after having a day off I am looking at a fresh screen with a fresh perspective. This has resulted in better trades. Walking away has always been a tough for me. I really enjoy watching the markets .. almost to a fault. But there are other more important things in life to do; Family, friends.. quiet time with no charts and a good book to read.

Robert

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Forgot to show the trade entries. Entered right below support.


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Seriously... not five minutes after I call it day this happens.. lol


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Weekly totals:

ZS:

CL:

Definitely got better as the week went on.

Robert

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Thoughts on todays trades.

ZS - I made one big mistake today; I did not listen to my own analysis. I knew ZS would probably test Mondays low and there was a strong chance of a reverse. What did I do? I shorted the low. I should have loaded up on longs. I could have stayed in the position all day long. Obviously easier said than done but still.. Being in on the low of the day how many chances like that do you get? I did have wits to reverse my direction and catch the move up however my entry was poor and my runner ended up getting stopped out.

I had a chance for a second entry today however I was not quick enough on the trigger. I saw selling absorption on support and was getting ready to put a stop entry order in when it took off. I had an idea where it was going so there was too much risk to enter late.

CL - As with ZS I had one big mistake today. The first trade of the day I shorted and it started to go down and was stopped by buying. The market gave me 3 chances to get out at BE but instead I held on to hope.Learning to get out when price fails to move in your direction is hard lesson to learn. As with ZS I realized my mistake and reversed my position and made up for the loss. I closed the position out early because I saw buying absorption.

I had the right idea but did not take the trade on the last setup of the day. looking back on it I saw the buying absorption at the high of the day but did not have the foresight to short it. Once it started down I saw more selling finally culminating into the big break. I had a sell stop below support but took it out because of the congestion. I felt the risk of reverse was there. My original entry spot may have been stopped out. May have missed out a great trade however, whats important is I saw the direction of the market. The order flow told the story.

Other thoughts:

There were at least 3 trades today I passed on in CL. This had to do with what I was seeing with order flow and the quality of the entry. In a way watching order flow causes you to choose your entries carefully. What I mean by this is order flow is confirmation of direction so you want to take trades around support / resistance and trend break areas. When you start seeing traders piling on or the buying / selling absorption and the Bid or Ask starting to build the quality of the trade increases. The better quality the trade the less heat is taken after entry. Price will go in direction of where the most orders are; so when the bid / ask ratio is around 60/40 and it is near the before mentioned trade areas then it is a matter of picking a entry point and waiting for it to happen. Its getting easier to see the trades however, I still need to the experience to know when to hold the trades and when to get out.

Robert

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Another person in OH trading Soybeans! It's a small world!


Good trading and see ya in the ZS pits.

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@Big Mike

I know you were originally a day trader and moved out to longer term trading. Any advice on where to start transitioning? Is there a progression in development? Any advice on what not to do? Any recommended books?


I am at a stage where I may have to stop day trading for a while.. possibly a long while. Reviewing my options. Bummed about the whole thing because I was really making progress.. but what can you do.. Life keeps handing me lemons.. doing my best to keep making lemonade ..

Thanks in advance!
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Silver Dragon View Post
@Big Mike

I know you were originally a day trader and moved out to longer term trading. Any advice on where to start transitioning? Is there a progression in development? Any advice on what not to do? Any recommended books?


I am at a stage where I may have to stop day trading for a while.. possibly a long while. Reviewing my options. Bummed about the whole thing because I was really making progress.. but what can you do.. Life keeps handing me lemons.. doing my best to keep making lemonade ..

Thanks in advance!
Robert

Are you talking about discretionary or automation?

Yes I started as a swing trader around 18 years ago with some day trading. Around 7 years ago or so I started day trading futures (mostly scalping), and over the years have stopped scalping entirely but do still day trade futures, but often I hold for a couple days as well. You can see some of my trades in the main ES thread.

Half of my trades are futures, the other half equities. I swing equities, and I generally day trade futures (but like I said, do hold for a few days now and then). I typically go for 10 points per trade on the ES, and I typically go for 10-20% move on a stock depending on its volatility, over a few weeks.

I would say to watch the "Where to start" webinar, it has info on sizing, risk, instrument selection, time frames, etc. Generally I feel most people make a mistake with smaller time frames, smaller stops, smaller targets, in an effort to reduce risk and boredom. What they should be doing in my opinion is trade bigger time frames, bigger stops and targets, with the same risk (smaller size) as a scalper (or so). It is far easier in my experience.

You can find a thread on scalping vs longer term trading here:


Everyone has their own way. What's important is to find one that speaks to you and makes sense to you. Scalping does not make sense to me, so I don't do it. It could be swing trading won't make sense to you.

While a change of time frame may help tremendously, be sure you know why you are failing today so you can list it as a known weakness, and try to avoid or overcome it with your new plan.

Mike

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Big Mike View Post
Are you talking about discretionary or automation?

Yes I started as a swing trader around 18 years ago with some day trading. Around 7 years ago or so I started day trading futures (mostly scalping), and over the years have stopped scalping entirely but do still day trade futures, but often I hold for a couple days as well. You can see some of my trades in the main ES thread.

Half of my trades are futures, the other half equities. I swing equities, and I generally day trade futures (but like I said, do hold for a few days now and then). I typically go for 10 points per trade on the ES, and I typically go for 10-20% move on a stock depending on its volatility, over a few weeks.

I would say to watch the "Where to start" webinar, it has info on sizing, risk, instrument selection, time frames, etc. Generally I feel most people make a mistake with smaller time frames, smaller stops, smaller targets, in an effort to reduce risk and boredom. What they should be doing in my opinion is trade bigger time frames, bigger stops and targets, with the same risk (smaller size) as a scalper (or so). It is far easier in my experience.

You can find a thread on scalping vs longer term trading here:


Everyone has their own way. What's important is to find one that speaks to you and makes sense to you. Scalping does not make sense to me, so I don't do it. It could be swing trading won't make sense to you.

While a change of time frame may help tremendously, be sure you know why you are failing today so you can list it as a known weakness, and try to avoid or overcome it with your new plan.

Mike

@Big Mike

Thanks Mike! That is what I was looking for. Hardest part when starting something new is not knowing if your even in the ballpark with your approach. Just for Clarification - day trading definition for me is less than hour hold time. Obviously if I cannot be at my computer then I to set a strategy up to hold for days.

The plan on paper is to take the skills and experience I have acquired from TST and apply it to some type of swing trading. So I am looking at discretionary at this point. I have been building a Forex Portfolio automated day trading strategy for some time now. I was going to start testing it in a couple of months. Since I dont think it will happen now I may attempt to adapt it to a longer term trading scheme.

Concerning automation- I recently created a semi automated robot for CL in Sierra Charts. I started testing it in my SIM account a couple weeks ago. The purpose of the robot was to help me get into trades. From there I would manage trades based on what I have been learning about volume profile, order flow etc. This was my answer for me hesitating on taking trades and then taking bad trades to make up for the missed trade. (this is where I fail). The plan was to test it a another month or two and then then take it live in a combine. Holding out hope it still may happen.

<vent session>
What really stinks about all of this is I was finally starting to get it. I understand at a deeper level how the market functions. Order flow and volume profile.. its all there for the taking.. Things were starting to click.....<sigh>...but.. I digress... Going to stay positive... If not today then another day.. Keep Moving Forward..

As always, thanks for the feedback!

Robert

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I would focus on discretionary first. Once you are consistently profitable, then you can look to automation. Not until. That is my advice.

Spot forex is fine, but I personally like to swing equities because I have a lot more options and part of my edge is to look for certain setups so I look at a large number of equities to find them.

Mike

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Silver Dragon View Post
What really stinks about all of this is I was finally starting to get it. I understand at a deeper level how the market functions. Order flow and volume profile.. its all there for the taking.. Things were starting to click.....<sigh>...but.. I digress... Going to stay positive... If not today then another day.. Keep Moving Forward..

Nothing that you have learned is going to go to waste, it is just going to be transitioning. Having a deeper understanding of the market will certainly help you manage higher time frames as well.

I have said this in other threads (maybe even the one Mike posted...lol). I thought the last time frame I would ever trade would be swing. When my system creation put me in that direction, I did enough research to get me over the overnight "risk" hurdle and I've been pleased ever since. That risk hurdle can be overcome with little more than proper position sizing based on your risk tolerances. The weirdest thing for me was realizing that I didn't have to be glued to my screen while my trades were out there. Instead of grinding day in and day out for your points/pips etc., you get bigger changes less frequently and the market grinds for you, hopefully in the direction of your trade

Given what you have said about things coming together for you, I think the timeframe change could be more natural than you realize. You are going to be able to interpolate and understand what is going on below your timeframe, use some of your tools at the new timeframe, thus being armed with more information to make better trades. vs

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Luger View Post
Nothing that you have learned is going to go to waste, it is just going to be transitioning. Having a deeper understanding of the market will certainly help you manage higher time frames as well.

I have said this in other threads (maybe even the one Mike posted...lol). I thought the last time frame I would ever trade would be swing. When my system creation put me in that direction, I did enough research to get me over the overnight "risk" hurdle and I've been pleased ever since. That risk hurdle can be overcome with little more than proper position sizing based on your risk tolerances. The weirdest thing for me was realizing that I didn't have to be glued to my screen while my trades were out there. Instead of grinding day in and day out for your points/pips etc., you get bigger changes less frequently and the market grinds for you, hopefully in the direction of your trade

Given what you have said about things coming together for you, I think the timeframe change could be more natural than you realize. You are going to be able to interpolate and understand what is going on below your timeframe, use some of your tools at the new timeframe, thus being armed with more information to make better trades. vs


@Luger

Thanks Luger.. I agree with you 110%. As frustrated as I am with the whole situation, I would not change a thing that has happened over the last year. Its been worth every dime, sweat and tears I have put into it. I see things now on any chart time frame I look at that have never seen before. Without a doubt what I learned will help.

Robert

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Played two breakouts trades on 4 hour charts on my live account. AUD/USD & EUR/GBP. Traded one micro lot on each.

+118 ticks on AUD and +15 ticks EUR/GBP. Held each for two days.

Looking at the daily chart on the AUD I think it could back to 1.00. Its currently at 96.6.

I am still not sure about holding through the weekend. With the world the way it is anything can happen. So for now the plan is to close all positions on Friday.

Robert


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Had some time this weeks to take some trades. Ended up taking in scalp in USDJPY today. I couldnt pull the trigger yesterday on my entry signal but did get the follow through today for +16 ticks.

Holding a short position in AUDUSD on the break of the trend line. Entered at 9572. price is currently 9473. I have a support target of 9350ish. Not sure if I will hold that long. Currently at 100 ticks profit.. My day trading instinct is to close it down now and take profits.. However, I am going to move my stop to + 50 ticks and attempt to let it ride.

Trading longer term is hard when your used to seeing your profits evaporate quickly while day trading.

Robert


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Silver Dragon View Post
Had some time this weeks to take some trades. Ended up taking in scalp in USDJPY today. I couldnt pull the trigger yesterday on my entry signal but did get the follow through today for +16 ticks.

Holding a short position in AUDUSD on the break of the trend line. Entered at 9572. price is currently 9473. I have a support target of 9350ish. Not sure if I will hold that long. Currently at 100 ticks profit.. My day trading instinct is to close it down now and take profits.. However, I am going to move my stop to + 50 ticks and attempt to let it ride.

Trading longer term is hard when your used to seeing your profits evaporate quickly while day trading.

Robert


Entry for AUDUSD on the trend line break. Revised my target to around 94.

Robert


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Remembered late last night of the FOMC meeting remarks are today. Did not want to hold through the announcement. Closed it out @ +93 ticks.

Robert


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Trading ideas for USDCAD..


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Trading idea for USDJPY.. This may have the power to push out of the flag. I had a scalp on this a couple of days ago... Would like to have it back.. I was in below 98. .. I may be tempted to get back into it.


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Traded USDJPY this morning after the pull back yesterday. Made 37 ticks. Per my rules I closed my position out because it was Friday. I struggled with this decision because based on the technical's it looks to go higher. I will post a what I see this weekend.

Robert



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Profit and loss for this week.



Ended the week +146 ticks. My biggest mistakes this week was ignoring my entry signal on USDJPY and then selling it early after a late entry. Ended up taking two trades when I should have just taken one.

AUDUSD looks to have started another leg down today. Its on course to go on to hit my original target. I closed my trade out because of the FOMC meeting on Wednesday. (no regrets) Something to think about next time is getting back into the trade after the meeting.

What I need to work on:
  • Take the entry signals when I see them.
  • Get away from monitoring my positions all day long. Big Mike called it stalking your positions.
  • Let go of the day trade mentality of wanting to close out my position at the first sign of weakness. I have to wait for the exit signal.
  • Let my positions run till the market says it is done running.

It has felt good trading my own money again. I have had to slow down my trading quite a bit while waiting for setups. Some days it feels like an eternity just waiting.. but.. the results so far are above my expectations. I am using what I have learned in the combine to help enter trades on a smaller time frame charts. This is doing two things; It allows me to enter on pullbacks for a better entry and in the event I am wrong I will lose less because I had a better entry. win win..This week the combine experience netted me a extra 30 ticks.

I have also signed up with a trading service to learn from a professional swing trader. He trades stocks and options but does not trade FX. This was good for me because it forces me to learn how to trade and not simply take the trades he is taking. The trades I took this week were based on his methodology. Funny thing is I had signed up with his service several years ago. Didnt learn a damn thing the last time I was there. This time around I was like wow, how did I miss this setup!?!? Even though he does not trade FX he will give feed back on charts. This is what I need now is a mentor to learn from. I find many of things he teaches apply to FX. He has multiple setups but I am focusing on just one which really jumped out at me. Not going to mention the service here but if you want to know you can PM me.

Robert

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USDJPY analysis

USDJPY appears to be ready to break out of bull flag. The potential is to retest the high above 103. The trendline on the current bar is around 99.20. I will be watching this closely for a strong breakout.

Robert

Daily chart bull flag formation



Closeup of daily:



Weekly chart:


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GBPUSD

GBPUSD is currently in a range / balance area. It bounced off a long term trend line a couple of weeks ago to form a double top. I am waiting for a signal to either take a short term trade within the range or take a long term trade if it breaks out of the range. There is always a possibility it will break to the upside.

Robert

Daily






Weekly:



Longer term view weekly:

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EURGBP

Possible trend continuation setup on EURGBP. This setup may be a week out but is on my radar. There is a possibility it will break down and never happen.

Robert

Edit: on the chart note it should say "higher low" not "lower high"


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Took a trade last night in AUDUSD on the potential breakout. It went right up to the trend line and reversed. I exited this morning + 9 ticks.

A Bear Flag has formed on the 60 minute chart. Waiting to see if it breaks down or continues back up to the outer trend line.

Robert

Edit: Hindsight; it would have been a better trade to place a target near the trend line and then get back into it if it broke out.






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are you having as much luck with forex as you do with index futures or commodities? I've always heard a lot of bad things about forex and have never met a long term profitable forex trader but I have hope. The reason I ask is because I'd like to find something to trade during the evening as I know you've had to do with your job. I used to trade forex in the beginning with a micro account and maintained some consistency over the course of about 50 trades but I undertook a lot of risk as I mainly relied on doubling down or in other words increasing my position size similar to the martingale betting strategy. I know however that martingale always loses in the end.

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Itchymoku View Post
are you having as much luck with forex as you do with index futures or commodities? I've always heard a lot of bad things about forex and have never met a long term profitable forex trader but I have hope. The reason I ask is because I'd like to find something to trade during the evening as I know you've had to do with your job. I used to trade forex in the beginning with a micro account and maintained some consistency over the course of about 50 trades but I undertook a lot of risk as I mainly relied on doubling down or in other words increasing my position size similar to the martingale betting strategy. I know however that martingale always loses in the end.

@Itchymoku

Right now I am doing good but its only been a month. However, I have made more in ticks the past month trading Forex than I have in the last 3 months day trading crude. (Up over 250 ticks) But anything can happen and I could lose it just as fast. Last time I traded Forex I didnt have a plan or discipline... my trades were all over the place. I would say I was more lucky than good. This time around I am better trader with a lot of experience under my belt. Looking for better results this time around.

As an observation; Long term Forex moves like intra day crude. It can trend well but can turn on a dime and erase your profits quickly. But.. like anything else if you can find a edge you can make it work.

If your looking for a good currency to day trade at night then I would suggest looking at AUDUSD. It moves from 7:30 till midnight. You can catch some good trends. I was seriously considering night trading it after I lost the ability to trade during the day. If your looking for swing trading then post some thoughts here. I am looking for some other traders to learn from and share ideas on Forex.

Robert

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Called the Bear Flag correctly but did not get in on the trade. I was really waiting for it to break the trend line. Didnt even give me a chance to get in with the gap down. This complicates my entry because the question now is will it fill the gap?

Robert

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Silver Dragon View Post
If your looking for a good currency to day trade at night then I would suggest looking at AUDUSD. It moves from 7:30 till midnight. You can catch some good trends. I was seriously considering night trading it after I lost the ability to trade during the day. If your looking for swing trading then post some thoughts here. I am looking for some other traders to learn from and share ideas on Forex.

Robert

I wish I had a more firm grasp on the forex fundamentals like I used to but I've all but forgotten the economics. I just use forex factory now. The only thing I'd have to offer is perhaps well known technical patterns. The problem is that I mainly rely on scalping heavy momentum when the market is trending but scalping forex is pretty difficult because of the spread and lack of speed. I could trade it like I swing trade stocks but there aren't enough options with primarily 8 currencies because when I swing trade I scan through nearly a hundred or two hundred stocks for a good pattern. I'm trying to find the middle ground and perhaps trade forex from an hourly perspective. I'm interested in experimenting with time based stop losses along with scaling in and out (something I don't have enough equity to do properly with futures). So this might be very refreshing after all and compensate for the aforementioned pitfalls above.

What I used to do with forex is get into a position and place my stop loss at my first target and then walk away for the day or go to sleep since I was risking very little. I'd call this type of trade a lottery ticket because anything could happen when I woke up the next morning . Sometimes I'd get stopped out and other times the market would move far in my direction. The problem is that If I checked in during the night once or twice I could retain a larger profit before the market reversed but hindsight is 20/20. This lottery type trade is thrilling and why I'm considering experimenting with time based stops again. I know trading isn't supposed to be thrilling but how can it not when you're limitless?

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mizajoe View Post
very informative

whose post are you referring to?

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Itchymoku View Post
I wish I had a more firm grasp on the forex fundamentals like I used to but I've all but forgotten the economics. I just use forex factory now. The only thing I'd have to offer is perhaps well known technical patterns. The problem is that I mainly rely on scalping heavy momentum when the market is trending but scalping forex is pretty difficult because of the spread and lack of speed. I could trade it like I swing trade stocks but there aren't enough options with primarily 8 currencies because when I swing trade I scan through nearly a hundred or two hundred stocks for a good pattern. I'm trying to find the middle ground and perhaps trade forex from an hourly perspective. I'm interested in experimenting with time based stop losses along with scaling in and out (something I don't have enough equity to do properly with futures). So this might be very refreshing after all and compensate for the aforementioned pitfalls above.

What I used to do with forex is get into a position and place my stop loss at my first target and then walk away for the day or go to sleep since I was risking very little. I'd call this type of trade a lottery ticket because anything could happen when I woke up the next morning . Sometimes I'd get stopped out and other times the market would move far in my direction. The problem is that If I checked in during the night once or twice I could retain a larger profit before the market reversed but hindsight is 20/20. This lottery type trade is thrilling and why I'm considering experimenting with time based stops again. I know trading isn't supposed to be thrilling but how can it not when you're limitless?

I am looking to contribute too as I am planning to to come back to Forex as well. Imo pure swing trading in forex is not much feasible any longer as there is pretty much to rates difference anymore and this is what driven currencies a lot. So you migh get 2-3 big trades a year like in AU UJ and EU. Not worth it Imo as you will get more losses trying to grt onto the train which is false starting msny times.

What works well in forex is levels. I am looking to trade ranges and large break outs from daily charts once a day using VSA setups to enter abd using emergency stop based on volatility (like 2 ADRs) and mabual stop based on actual candle close at end of day.

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yeah, I heard about a trader who primarily traded limits with no stop loss on gbp/chf and made out for a year until the inevitable happened. I was thinking It might be possible to use some directional discernment with this strategy and a disaster stop-loss but it'll take time to test. haha I feel lost with forex and the euro future drives me nuts because it's so slow.

I might look into testing forex relativity - an indicator that shows each currency relative to one another shown in the second panel of these charts. It might help me figure out which currency has the most momentum at any given time.




R.I.P. Joseph Bach (Itchymoku), 1987-2018.
Please visit this thread for more information.

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