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Psych Journal of an ES Trader
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Psych Journal of an ES Trader

  #71 (permalink)
Trading for Fun
Sydney/Australia
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
Favorite Futures: ES
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

I was very cautious about taking shorts today, past few days has been quite strong, so have to be on the watchout. Took my first short, and was on my toes about getting out quick. Looking back, it would have made my 4pt target, but I was happy with my 3pt.

After that, the next three trades were scratches, and I was very aware of how choppy it was. I didnít want to get caught up in the chop, and was ready to call it a day. But the last trade managed to move in my favour.

My focus was in the right place today, was thinking about what other ways the market could go against me. Rather than being biased towards how my trade should go in my favour, I was ready to get out. Also, writing things down helped me refocus on what I need to do next.

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  #72 (permalink)
Trading for Fun
Sydney/Australia
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
Favorite Futures: ES
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Weekly Review
-----------------

Itís been a good week trading for me, with some nice gains. Still have to go back and focus on what matters, which is trading well.

The first couple days were rather frustrating, with technical problems with the broker. Funny how easy it is for me to forget about things that seem to matter so much back when it happened. Trading is alot about having short term memory about bad things that happen, and also the good things that happen.

So starting the new week, I must refocus as though nothing has happened, cannot rest on my laurels. Here are the points I must be focused on:

- Trade with the trend:
- Wait for support/resistance
- Let it go for 4 points or if thereís signal to get out.
- Be focused on 3p rule
- Need to anticipate what else could go wrong. Rather than anticipate winner.
- Review powerpoint before trading day
Anticipating with what else could go wrong really helps me put an objective perspective to my trading. Lets not kid myself that everything I enter it will be a winner, a big part of the skill is about getting out and not doing damage to the account.

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  #73 (permalink)
Trading for Fun
Sydney/Australia
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
Favorite Futures: ES
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received


Started the day off with a 2pt loss. Ouch! Manage to make my way back to 1pt gain having to be trading the whole day. It was way too exhausting.

What Iíve been thinking about is the current market conditions which seeís the long term MA rather flat, and could possibly mean trend trades might not be as successful as before. Possibly move back to trading extreme trades with market going back to equilibrium. Not fully convinced, but something to keep an eye out on.

Iím losing focus near the end of the day if I trade too long. I need to finish up before midday. Stay focused with the trade, and especially around entry, when I may need to scratch out a trade quickly.

Also, need to write down my trade setups, and especially trade setups that donít fully match my setup criteria. This should help me focus on anticipating the setups aligning, and if it doesnít align I would stay out!

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  #74 (permalink)
Trading for Fun
Sydney/Australia
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
Favorite Futures: ES
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Market went straight up in a straight line yesterday for first 1.5 hours, days like these I generally donít do that well. Managed to take 2 trades, first one was good but the second one I spent too long time in.

Need to be more active in my trading journal, otherwise I just end up losing focus.


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  #75 (permalink)
Trading for Fun
Sydney/Australia
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
Favorite Futures: ES
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

I canít believe what a big day it was, another continuation of yesterday. I was expecting more consolidation and choppy market, so I was paranoid about getting chopped.

First trade was rather stupid, I should have waited for the good setup. Which is one of the things I need to work on, which is being more deliberate with my trading, rather than just jumping in with my instincts. Itís good to get things checked off on my check list, which helps me from not missing any details. Obviously, if itís like the past couple of days, then itís pretty simple. Just go long, and you will make money. I cannot get too overconfident in my trading, and forget to trade well. Trading well means, trading according to my trading plan with planned entries and exits. Markets will change, and I need to keep myself in check.

I manage to scratch the first couple of trades. Looking back, I could have just held and I would have had a winner. But thatís not trading, thatís just gambling. First couple of trades were quite stressful, because it kept going in my direction and slamming back again. Which made me think there could be weakness, and after yesterdayís big move it could be a correction selloff, and I donít want to be caught up against it. I was annoyed that I missed the move, but I rather be out wishing I was in than in wishing I was out.

Days like these are tough and rare for my style of trading. Iím expecting deeper pullbacks, but the pullbacks have been shallow. In another market, I would have been taken out if I tried to trade a shallow pullback. Iím just aiming for a 3-4pt day with around 4 trades before noon and I will be happy. I donít want to get greedy!

What Iíve noticed as well, is how my trades work a lot better after after the first half hour, or ever first hour. Usually that means the market has done itís testing on levels, and ready to make a move. Itís something I need to keep in mind, to help my trading percentage.

Things to work on:
Being deliberate: Trade 1 violated, just jumped in, didnít think.


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  #76 (permalink)
Trading for Fun
Sydney/Australia
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
Favorite Futures: ES
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Took 4 trades today, was a wakeup call day. Hit my daily loss limit, and Iíve been thinking too much about my PnL. Felt like Iíve strayed away from good trading, and started to think about how much I should make. More in my weekly recap.

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  #77 (permalink)
Trading for Fun
Sydney/Australia
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
Favorite Futures: ES
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Weekly Review
-----------------

I felt I needed to start off the week fresh, eventhough Iíve been profitable this month, Iíve been developing some bad trading habits. I have a couple more weeks to trade for the month of May, which should give me a good sample size of 25. Iíve always done well when I started a new sample set, with renewed commitment to trading, and letting go of whatever wins/losses I may have had in the past.

Breaking rules and letting myself break rules, causes mental biases in my trading, which will eventually come back to bite me in the butt. It also creates an expectation of what the trade should do.

Focusing on PnL is the opposite of trading well, which is on how I did this trading day and what I can improve specifically the next trading day. With a strong mental focus on executing those improvements. Unfortunately, in the past Iíve had long lists of things to work on, and it usually is very overwhelming. So now Iím going to narrow it down to 4 things to work on this week.

Things to work on:
1. Being deliberate
2. Donít move BE stop. Moving BE stop, hoping for retrace. Need to scratch more, rather miss out.
3. Wait for 1min support
4. Evaluate previous dayís trading. Focus on your trading report sheet. Start doing this on spreadsheet with colour. Mark the trade on ppt

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  #78 (permalink)
Trading for Fun
Sydney/Australia
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
Favorite Futures: ES
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Starting a new way of logging my trades today which will measure how well Iím following my trading plan, and look at it in a sample of 25. Itís also to help in execution of my trades, focusing one execution rather than PnL.

Took 1 trade today, which hit my daily target. I was tempted to keep trading, but I wanted to start off the sample size on a good note. Plus it was getting to noon time, and donít want to be sitting in a trade during slow hours.

Looking back, I probably could have better off gotten out when the market was going sideways, and reentered again.But the market looked like it was pushing up, but had a few fake breakouts, which kept me on the edge of my seat. I think itís one of those things that looks obvious after the fact, but was a tough call when youíre in the trade. I had my BE stop in place, and let the trade work itself out.


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  #79 (permalink)
Trading for Fun
Sydney/Australia
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
Favorite Futures: ES
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Took 6 trades today. I really have to be more selective about trading pullbacks in the first hour. From my experience, itís usually not a good idea, as the market is testing levels in the morning. Later on, I kept taking pullbacks which worked out well.

I need to keep being deliberate with my trades, checking off the setup criteria, rather than jumping in on a hunch. Staying abit more patient, and not worrying about missing out on trades. As the next best trade is just around the corner.

Overall, donít be too aggressive early in the morning.

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  #80 (permalink)
Trading for Fun
Sydney/Australia
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
Favorite Futures: ES
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received


It was some high volume day with some good volatility. I was alot more deliberate about my trades, and willing to let go of trades, not just jumping in. Which meant some missed trades, which is a good thing! Rather be undertrading than overtrading.

Got one more day to trade for the week, have to keep my guard up and be even more focused about the trading process. Take the small loss, be more focused about my trade entries, keep journaling to stay focused. Wait for good setups, not get chopped in the volatility, and not fall for fools gold. Go for the boring trades, and not be bummed because you missed out on the move.


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