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Psych Journal of an ES Trader


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Psych Journal of an ES Trader

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  #1 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Going to start up a new trading journal from October. Been slowly showing good results, but I need to take it to another level where I'm executing correctly and consistently.

That's where this journal is going to be focused on. There will be little to no technical analysis documented in the journal, and more about how well my entry/exit/risk rules are adhered. Strategies I'm employing to stay focused on my own emotions and keeping risk in check.

So for today, I took one trade.



Entry: Should have known better. Didn't wait for one criteria to match. Emotionally too eager to trade.
Exit: I've been playing around with holding positions through news. It's been sometimes profitable and sometimes not. I'm deciding to be flat before news. No matter if it goes in my favor or not. It just becomes abit of a dice throw.
Risk: Kept to my daily loss limit. *IMPORTANT*!!!

Improvements:
- Make sure to use ticks as entry criteria. Ask myself how I would feel tomorrow if I took this "ok" trade.
- Going to be flat before major news anouncements.
- Walk away from trade and check in every 5min. Keep my expectations in check. Ask myself if I'm wanting the market to do anything for me.
- When checking in, have 30sec to make judgement on what to do: hold, get out, tighten stop.
- If after 15min, market is flat, then get out. If market is going against me, and another setup forms, then willing to take another 15min to hold.

Thats it for now!

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  #4 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
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Got started in good habits during trade management, but trade entry selection needs work.

Why does it need work? Because I look back at it the next day, and I say "duh!". Obviously, there's emotion that is clouding up my own judgement.

It's usually the "I don't want to be missing out" type of emotions that cloud my judgement. Where I'm being smarter than what I should be. Rather than executing the system.

I need to be following my rules. Rather lose money with my rules, and next day say I did everything correctly. Then make money by winging it, as that's the beginning of forming bad habits, and that just sets me up to be a ticking time bomb ready to blow when I least expect it.



Improvements:
- Really drill down on entry criteria
- Remind myself that I'm focused on following the system. If I can get 1 trade executed perfectly, I will start a chain of positive momentum for myself.

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  #5 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Really please with myself with today's trading. Really, really focused on being patient on entry criteria.

Was tempted to jump in earlier, but I let the move go. Yes, the market move as I thought it would have, and I wasn't in it. But I stayed focused on my setups.

My third trade was a good exit. In the past I would think I could squeeze in a few more tics, and that usually is a recipe for disaster. Market would come back on me, and I took no profits. Trying to squeeze a few more tics is not trading, it's thinking I'm some sort of genius that can guess where the market will go. This time, eventhough the market did go to where I anticipated, I got out when my setups told me to. So I was proud of myself for doing that.

Lets keep the momentum going, not rest on one day of good trading. Its times like these I really need to focus even more and not let my guard down.


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  #6 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Wow, this is the second time I got tagged from news volatility. Thought the news movements were finished, but should have really waited good 10min after news for everything to have cleared.



It's tempting to start questioning validity of my system, but must stay focused because:
- Currently only traded 7 trades based on my 25-30 trading sample set.
- 3 of those trades were not traded properly.
- I'm developing some really good trading habits that works for me.
- Being a trader is about developing the mental skills to let go of the past and move forward. Which is something I have noticed alot more recently, being able to let go of losses, and having a "what's done is done" type of mentality. Compared to the past where I would be spending alot of time in my mind stressing out why the trade didn't work.

That's it for me this week, as I don't trade Fridays.

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  #7 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Today I got the direction all wrong. It's going to happen, I was looking for longs, when shorts would have paid off.

It's easy to look back and tell myself what I should have done to make profits, but that is not how trading work. Good thing was that I was strict enough with my trading, that I got out with a small loss and called it a day. Took a total of 3 trades with 2 of them being scratches.

The trading plan should be able to limit your losses when you are just flat out wrong with the bias of the market. It's happened in the past, and it sure will happen many many times later. Having risk parameters (# of trades, daily risk, trading breaks) allows for me to not get killed when I'm wrong.

Many times in the past, I would:
- Not take trading breaks, and trying to make profits happen. This is where I think "the next one must be right"
- Over trading and digging a hole in my account
- Moving my stop and not obeying risk limits, causing severe emotional and psychological damage.

I'm pretty happy with my trading today. Things to be improved would be:
- Tuck stops behind logical areas where I know the market will be wrong if violate that level
- Get out quicker, and not hope for better prices




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  #8 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

I could feel myself going a little bit on tilt today, despite being profitable. The day was rather choppy in the morning with no followthrough and a tight 5pt range. Nevertheless, I should have kept my cool.

Trade#11, the entry straight after open. I told myself to stop doing this, as it's quite volatile at this time. Main reason I do it is because I'm in a hurry to make money. Sit on hands, stay patient for the good trades to come. Don't flip a coin. A good start to the day keeps the momentum of good habits going, and that's worth more than any profitable trade.

Trade#12 I missed out on the initial good entry, and tried to get in on a micro pb that never eventuated. It was easier to just follow my signal on lower prices.

Trade#13 Divergence signal told me to get out. I didn't want to take the small profit. Kept telling myself that it's going to be a bigger move.

Trade#14 I'm not a big fan of reversing after a trade, but this one worked out. Bad price entry, should have known better.

I was tempted to violate daily risk limit, and that's a danger sign that I'm starting to get risk adverse. I'm not accepting my risk, and don't want to lose. I'm not letting trades work out, and cutting them too quickly. I'm thinking of my PnL abit too much.

What needs to be done:
- Take 1-2 good trades. Really focus on being patient, as though I don't have to trade today if I don't want to.


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  #9 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Was almost stopped out with this one trade. Should have been more patient. Sit on hands, sit on hands.

Assume each trade is a stop out, manage my expectations.


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  #10 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received


Felt unfocused today, deviated from my plan and I'm not happy about it.

First trade was fine, second trade I start making expectations on what the market should and shouldn't do, which really breaks the flow of being with the market.

Here are some points I noted:
-Tempted to violate daily risk limit
-Should have gotten out based on rules
-Need to refocus on rules
-Move stop closer just in case it pops against me
-Afraid of missing out. Only way to fix this is if you put the stop where you know the trade will be invalid. Not have to react when price goes against me. Be proactive doing it.
-You might end up missing a move, and getting taken out might be a suboptimal amount of profit to make. But at least you won't be second guessing yourself or trying to make the decision when the price gets to that area.






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  #11 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Terrible trading day today. Traded premarket, which doesn't move like regular markets. I should have waited till market opened. Stopped out.

Tried to trade again, but luckily got taken out.


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  #12 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Alot better day today. Amazing what one day can do to clear your mind and boost your confidence. I don't assume bad days are never ever going to come, I just make sure they don't do too much damage to my account.

Need to be more patient before I start reversing, especially after big moves. The market need to do some work.



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  #13 (permalink)
 kashmiami 
miami
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: NT,TS
Trading: ES,ZB,ZC
 
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Posts: 17 since Aug 2011
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How about an emotion (or sentiment chart) with just a price chart & comments about your emotional state of mind at different time intervals or market turning events. It will be fun for us to read, but work for you

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  #14 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Just one trade for the day. Didn't try to force it.


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  #15 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received


kashmiami View Post
How about an emotion (or sentiment chart) with just a price chart & comments about your emotional state of mind at different time intervals or market turning events. It will be fun for us to read, but work for you

Yes, I've been thinking about posting charts. Problem is I don't want to give people the impression that there's some magical technique.

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  #16 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Was being alot more deliberate and patient today. Despite missing the first move, but still took a couple of good trades. Really shows how there's always a good trade round the corner. Rather than feeling nervous and desperate for the moves, and fearing that I might miss out. Which is really a key part about keeping your expectations about each trade neutral, because chasing trades and fearing that you will miss out implies that you know where the market is going to go. Setting up such expectations just hurts you when the trade goes against you, and you stay longer than you should. Because there's always a random element in trading, where anything can happen.

On the other hand, I don't believe there can be absolutely no expectations involved in a trade, there's always some lingering thought in the back of my mind. But you manage it enough, so you can still execute correctly and move through it, rather than let it paralyze you.

I still get pissed and annoyed when trades don't work out, but these days I trust myself that I will get over it by tomorrow (if I max out my daily risk limit). I always know that tomorrow I will feel pretty neutral about things, and have a clean slate. You can intellectualize about the market not doing what you want it to do, but in the end for me it's about knowing whatever emotional reaction I have is temporary, and it will go away like a bad cramp! But blowing a hole in my account, that will stay with me tomorrow.



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  #17 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Read the market well today. Felt good trading today, despite one loss but still kept my cool.

Times like these is when I need to be more vigilant in my trading, and not let success get to my head. Stay process focused, and don't think I have a crystal ball. Stay risk focused, and not try to force anything.


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  #18 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Took a couple of trades today. Second trade has a poor exit, which I should have scratched out earlier, but I ended up holding it and bumping my stop!

Have to be careful about wanting to make profits for each trade, and not executing the trade as it is. Need to take my losses when it comes, and not be stubborn about what the market is telling me.

This is where I need to become even more deliberate about my trading, and really zone in on executions.

Going to take maximum of 2 trades today. Pick your spots, always be ready to get out even if it means I miss out.



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  #19 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Took it easy today, only one trade. Coming to the end of the month now, lets finish the month off strong. So be patient in your setups, get out quick, and watch my risk!!




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  #20 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

No trading for the past 2 days because of the hurricane. So I'm going to do a monthly summary.

Monthly PnL%: +10%
Days traded: 15
Days profitable: 9
Days with loss: 6

Weeks traded: 4
Weeks profitable: 2
Weeks with loss: 2

Trades: 30
Long Trades: 14
Short Trades: 16
Percent Profitable: 56.67%
AvgWin/AvgLoss = 1.24

So there it is, I'm rather pleased with the outcome of the month. Considering my daily risk limit is 2% of my account, and I made some bonehead mistakes earlier on in the month.

It really shows the power of trading in sample sizes, and staying within my daily risk limit. I know there were times when I was tempted to keep trading and get my losses back. Those days could have really blew a hole in my account, and I would either be flat or loss for the month.

In terms of my trading performance, definitely can be improved and looking back it really highlight how those bad trades could have really added to the bottom line this month.

Some of these mistakes I could have avoided include:
- Trading around News
- Watch out for entries around the MA
- Trading premarket
- Scratching out if market goes against you and entering better prices.

Some of the improvements to my trading will be:
- Utilizing volume profiling alot more.
- Better scaling out methods
- Waiting for good entries that are way outside of the mean.

I'll also be posting a chart or two. Plus I'm going to try recording my thoughts at particular times of in the trade in a voice recorder, and later on transcribing that in this journal. This should flesh out any psychological tendencies that I may not be aware of.





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  #21 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Not happy with today's trading. Exceeded daily risk, and was too eager to jump back in after a loss. Moved stop on first trade, just in the wrong mindset today.

Need to refocus to executing correctly, not on daily PnL results. Being stopped out is always a possibility with each trade, and thinking otherwise becomes gambling. Because I think I know where the market will go, and I will stick to my expectations of the markets.

Remember about building good trading habits that support myself for the long term, and not after immediate gratification. It only takes that 1 time where I break my rule and I get away with it, to let it become a ticking time bomb waiting to blow up in my face.

Be process focused and enjoy trading for the sake of executing the trades correctly, not in what the end result will bring. Have a curiosity frame about how each trade will unfold, rather than having a set expectation of what must happen in order to make me happy.

Need to move stop to BE of the whole position after scale. That is 2pts away. Even scratch the damn trade if it doesn't go.

Remember my 10min break after losses, it adds to my bottom line.

Should have seen the low volume area above the opening range

I'm not happy about yesterday's trading performance, but it gives me an opportunity to refocus on what is important - getting back to fundamentals. That is risk control, psychological management, and executing the system as it should be allowing the probabilities to take care of themselves.

Today, just take a couple of trades and execute them to perfection. Be aware of how my own emotions and expectations how they are invested in each trade.





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  #22 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Lol!! This is one of those days I got stopped out pretty much immediately. Probably should have waited abit after the open to get in. Damn trend day!

Looking back at it, I'm not too fussed. Because days like these are rare.

Keep focused on the sample size, we are only 3 trades into the month, still early days. Keep risk in check, because things can turn my way pretty quick.





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  #23 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Couple of good trades today, but I must stay focused on what the market is telling me to get out or scale out.


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  #24 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Not my best of days. I have a bad habit of being biased and sticking to my bias and discarding all market information telling me otherwise. This tend to happen with levels I'm watching, and I can't look at them as some sort of magic level but as a place to watch price action and how it reacts.

Best thing to do is to move my stop to places where if violated I would be wrong. If I just eyeball levels and think I'm going to get out, then it's not going to work. My behavior will second guess it, and the market will be moving away from me by the time I decide to get out, and then I'll hope for some sort of retrace to better prices.

So NEED a stop to keep me disciplined.

The same can be said about my scales, I'm determined to get the market to hit that level, so I move my scale out to it, and it is further than it should be.

All of this stems from my belief that I know what's going to happen in the market and I'm sticking with it.

Lets face it, last month's trading was 50% winners, which means 1 in 2 trades are losers. I can't be thinking each trade is a winner. Must expect each trade to be a loser until proven otherwise.


It must go in the direction I want
It's just retracing, and it will keep going
I want to get better prices to get out
It has to hit THAT price
I don't want to take the small loss


Improvements:
- Never move 2pt scale
- Cyclical turn takes precedence over levels
- Remember you have to see how the market reacts to levels
- Don't take the trades at the levels willy nilly.
- Scale 2pts, 4pt, discretionary
- Move the stop closer where you know price action will violate and you don't want to be in the market


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  #25 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Not exactly a challenging day. It was a pretty easy read, market went south. Was more vigilant with my scales and not trying to guess how much further the market can go, but just take my scales. Also, observing levels and not seeing them as some sort of magical number that the market must turn at. Proactively moving my stop closer and cutting my risk as I see the market develop.

Yesterday was a long day, today I'm going to take it easy and just take 1-2 trades and not force things.




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  #26 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Took one trade. Pretty straight forward day.

Need to remain vigilant with my trading, and not lose sight of how important execution and having a neutral frame is.
- Remember that half of my trades will not work out, so don't be biased towards it working out.
- Tuck in stops where it makes sense and you don't want to be the market if market goes particular level.
- I rather scratch out and reassess the market later, then hope it's just taking some heat
- Remember 10min break after each loss. You want to come back stalking the market for good trades, not thinking you are missing out on the move.
- Let the market settle in the first 5-10min of open.
- Acknowledge mental habits of what your mind is doing when you are in a position. Especially, that the market should do something you want it. It doesn't have to do anything, it's up to me to get out if it doesn't.




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  #27 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Monday I took 1 trade, just a quick scalp, wasn't expecting much for veterans day. But the market seem to have made quite a move.

Tuesday, took 4 trades. Probably should have quit after 2nd trade.

Chased the market a little and didn't take 10min break after the loss. Need to keep an eye on this, and make sure it doesn't become a habit.






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  #28 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

One trade today, was happy to be in and out within the first hour since Tuesday was 4 trades.

Today I need to focus on finishing the week strong. Don't think that just because I've had a good week, I can relax. Be vigilant with trades and cut them if they don't perform, don't fall in love. And of course, risk control is paramount. Focus hard on my risk control.

Be patient with my trades, let them come to me, wait for the market to show me.




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  #29 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Couple of trades on Thursday. Overall my trading week has been pretty good. I feel like I've made major progress in terms of my psychology of trading, especially in overtrading which looking back was a big leak in my account.

I'm in a good headspace where I don't really feel like overtrading, mainly because I see how the whole picture (ie. sample size) fits together and how each day is not such a big deal as I use to think it was.

Having said that, I must stay on my toes with my trading. I haven't cracked the holy grail, and I'm always a misstep away from blowing out. Focus and concentration on how I'm thinking when I'm in a trade, not falling in love with a trade, not thinking the market MUST do anything. And most importantly a healthy respect for risk management and the market.

Going to be a shortened week this week, so lets keep it up.



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  #30 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Took only 2 trades yesterday, which was what I planned for, so that was a positive.

Starting to get a little complacent with my execution. Moved a BE stop yesterday, looking back it was a lack of concentration. Wanting to make more profits, rather than just executing the trades as I should.

Last trading of the week on Wednesday before Thanksgiving holidays. Stay focused and finish the week strong.

Remember the next trade can be a loser, or the day can be a nothing day, so don't be biased and have a God complex.




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  #31 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Damn unfocused day yesterday!! Mind wasn't on trading. Need to be focused till end of trade. Look at how the market is working. Get out when in doubt.

Move those stops closer where you know you don't want to be in the market. Otherwise you just end up rationalising to yourself about how it will come back. Take those small losses, you can always come back.






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  #32 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Took a couple of trades yesterday. I got lucky, and didn't get hurt. Moved my stop for my second trade, which is a mistake!

I have to remember that I cannot make this into a habit, getting away with it teaches your brain that it's ok. Just this time, it won't matter, and before you know it, it becomes a built in habit.

2 things to focus on:
- Don't move stop. Taking the loss now is better than getting ripped a hole in your account, because you been getting away with it in the past, and thought this time it will be ok. Been there many, many times.
- Don't trade first 5min of open, let it settle. Again, just because you got away with it this time, doesn't mean you won't get stung in the future when you least expect it.

It all comes down to having respect for the market, and respecting risk management above all else. I get too confident, and think I'm freakin Nostradamus, like I could predict the market. That just becomes gambling, and makes it harder to trade for the long haul.


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  #33 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Took 3 trades, with 3rd trade trading reduced size. Today was just one of those days that was hard to read. Looking at my execution, I can't really fault it. I controlled risk, cut losers short. Didn't over trade. Traded within my own daily risk limits.

I think I'm more bothered about my weekly PnL. I need to focus on my long term trading habits for success, and not worry about individual days. I would probably end up having a losing week, but looking at the sample size I traded this month, I'm going to be profitable. Lets stay focused on the process of trading, and not be overly concerned about individual days.


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  #34 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Was good volatility today. Took 2 trades, with the second trade I was able to add after scaling out.

What I did well was really preplanning alot more by writing out what I'm seeing for the setups, and fleshing out what scenarios could unfold. This is good and also bad, bad because I could overthink that my analysis has to be right, and forget that anything can happen. Nevertheless, writing it out helps me flesh out the trade in my head better.

What I didn't do well was not getting out when the market is telling me to. Holding onto the trade, need to put stops in to automatically get out rather than let it be done manually.


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  #35 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Time to do the monthly report for November:


Monthly PnL%: +12.4% (+10% after broker fees)
Days traded: 17
Days profitable: 11
Days with loss: 6

Weeks traded: 5
Weeks profitable: 3
Weeks with loss: 2

(These are NinjaTrader stats, I recorded 35 trades but I think the way I add more after scaling makes it register extra trades)
Trades: 38
Long Trades: 15
Short Trades: 23
Percent Profitable: 63.16%
AvgWin/AvgLoss = 0.93

I had 5 days where my daily loss limit was hit, and 2 of those days exceeded daily loss limit.

If I hadn't exceeded my daily loss limit on those 2 days, I could have been up 15% rather than 12.4%

This month I did increase my risk and contract size from 2% to 2.7%

Looking back at some of the points I made last month, and how I improved:

Some of these mistakes I could have avoided include:
- Trading around News. More aware of news now, but still a couple of trades held prenews
- Watch out for entries around the MA Improved
- Trading premarket Stopped trading premarket
- Scratching out if market goes against you and entering better prices. Could still improve

Some of the improvements to my trading will be:
- Utilizing volume profiling alot more. Using it alot more, but still not looking at it as the holy grail.
- Better scaling out methods Improved alot
- Waiting for good entries that are way outside of the mean. Improved

Now reviewing my trades this month, and improvements I want to work on next month:
Risk Management:
- Daily risk limit is a must
- Reduce size if first trade is loser, in order to keep within daily risk limit and give enough room for trade to work.

Things to watch out:
- Don't trade first 5-10min
- Watch out for entries around MA

Execution:
- Tuck stops behind area where you don't want to be in. Take the small loss.
- 15min is probably a good time to think about getting out if the trade hasn't started to work and hit your first scale.
- Don't move BE stops

Psych management:
- Take 10min break after loss, come back and write out setup. Prevents revenge trading
- Write out setups, flesh them out
- Keep doing the psych noting and journaling.
- Stay focused first couple of scale outs.

There it is, looking forward to Dec, probably only 3 weeks of trading before Xmas break.

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quantum27
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Took 1 trade, looking back I could probably have taken more trades, but I wanted to get the month started on the right foot.


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quantum27
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Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
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Took two trades today. Good execution. Need to stay focused on risk management and execution. Which means, being patient for the right trades, and getting out not being stubborn about your direction bias. Think in terms of sample size and let each trade do what it wants to do.


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quantum27
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Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
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Felt tired today, so finished up early after a couple of small trades within first 45min. Was thinking of trading more, but lets stay disciplined.

Took a trade first 5min of market. Not a good habit to form, so have to keep a watch on that.

I stayed focused on first couple of scale outs, which I need to keep doing. Lets finish this week off strongly.



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quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
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Good trading day. Took 3 trades with the 3rd trade being half sized. I felt it was too choppy and no followthrough, so I decided to quit while I was ahead. But the market headed up shortly afterwards. Oh well.

Keep staying focused in the trades, especially the first couple of scale outs. Don't be afraid to take a small loser, tuck stops in when in doubt. Check if you still want to be in after 15min if market doesn't go your way. Best trades work immediately.

Watch out for first 5-10min, could be choppy, stay out. Keep in mind where you are at the MA.

Couple more weeks till the break, and rollover is this week. Stay focused!!


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quantum27
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Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
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Took 3 trades. Market was pretty much biased upwards when I was trading. I should have seen that.

My mistake was two things:
- Didn't take a break to walk away after my first loss, which would have allowed me to clear my head and reassess to see the upward bias.
- I was trading half size with 3rd trade, but I added. Big mistake.




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quantum27
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Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
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Second day I have hit my daily loss limit. Looking back at the trades there are a couple of things I've been missing:
1. Not waiting for ticks to confirm
2. Not scratching out or tucking stops to take the 0.75-1pt loss

What that is saying is I'm getting overconfident and assuming each trade will be a winner. Which is a dangerous thing.

So moving forward, need to focus on:
- Wait for ticks to confirm
- Scratch and tuck stops
- Assume each trade is a loser
- Rather be out wishing I was in, than in wishing I was out.



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quantum27
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Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
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Market was is slow motion today. Took 5 trades, 4 of them were scratches.

I'm still having problems with scratching out with a time stop. I need to do this, because it will help me bias trades towards being losers. Rather than biasing towards them being winners, and holding on to them. Afraid of missing out and afraid of being wrong. I know my win rate is above 50%, which means there are going to be lots of losers, and it's silly for me to be biased towards trades being winners.

This is really the next challenge I have to focus on, which is to get out of the market on my terms with a time stop or if my instincts tell me it's not looking good. I've worked on keeping my daily loss limit, and overtrading. I will put my focus on this.

Here are some more thoughts about being reluctant to scratch out:
- Market is never going to give you a good place to get out. It's never going to be pretty, you are going to give away up to 1pt.
- It's up to me to get out
- Always going to be something telling you that market will be going in just "abit".
- Look at how the market can go against you. How it would be worse taking a bigger loss later on. Rather than thinking about missing the move.
- Be willing to miss the move. Rather be out wishing I was in, than in wishing I was out.
- Best trades work immediately.

On the positive note, I did take 10min break after my loser. Really helps to come back with a new slate. Refocus and see what the market is really telling me, and then step in.


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quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
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Only 2 trades today. Rollover day, which I traded the new contract, when I should have stayed with the old contract which showed more volume. Have to keep that in mind next time.

Last trading week for the year, for me anyway. Will be taking break till new year.

Still need to focus on scratching out quickly. Be focused.



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quantum27
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Big move today, only got a couple of trades off, but I'm satisfied with my execution.

Stay focused to scratch out quickly. Assume each trade is a loser!


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quantum27
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Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
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Not happy today with my trading. I was up with 2 trades for the day, and ended up losing that plus my daily loss limit.

I should have:
- Finished up after 2 trades.
- Or at least risked my daily profit, not my daily loss if I was to keep trading.
- Not traded against range extension after 10:30

The market today was very strong, and I was expecting the day to be rather choppy. That's what happens when you think you know what's going to happen... you get spanked!


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quantum27
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Took 7 trades today. 7 trades is overtrading!!!

I was losing sight of what good trading is and counting my daily PnL. Should be trading 3-4 trades MAX!!

Trading more because I want to get money back. Trying to be positive for the day. Etc. Not a good idea.
Even most days I will be positive for the day, but when I start thinking about it I stop executing correctly.

Need to not even look at PnL. To the point that I don't even know where we're at for the month. That will promote good trading. Don't withdraw funds from my account until end of month.

Wanting to trade more because feel like I could squeeze out more in the market. Bad mentality. Mentality is to trade well.

Trade in sample size!!

Take a couple of profitable trades a day. Eat a couple of times.
Need to let trades run more. Looking for 3-4pts a day.



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quantum27
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Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
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What I learnt
---------------

Maybe this should read: What I relearnt (duh *facepalm*)

Having stopped my journaling end of 2012 on this forum with 4 months of profitable trading I've pretty much lost money in Jan, Feb, March. Luckily I took a break in Feb for a few weeks, so it wasn't as bad. But coming back in March, I felt there ware a few things that were off, which stopped me from being profitable.

I tweaked a few things in order to improve things, like taking 2pt profit targets and it just led me to overtrading. I would have a 4pt daily target, which means I need to take at least 2 trades a day, and sometimes the market will move once and not give you another opportunity to get another move. This is a problem, because my daily loss limit is at 3pts (also trade stop size), which means I need to at least get 4pts a day or I won't break even. I tried increasing my win rate, but I don't think it's manageable in the long run or even possible for my trading style. I would be getting 60% win rate on my best months, this is including scratches. Trying to increase it to 80% would mean waiting a lot for the "perfect" trade, which is a delusion because you never know what's going to happen in a trade, or scratching a lot of trades which adds up to commissions.

What I know has worked for me in the past is "under trading", taking 1-2 good trades (4 max), and let it run for a decent amount. Stop trading for the day after getting stopped out, and not trying to make it back. It just allows me to become more detached to the trading process, allowing my sample size to be dictated with good trades, and the mathematics of the trades will most likely work out to be profitable.

The downside of this is being able to sit it out for the day once I get stopped out. It's part of my nature (well human nature) to try to be productive, and trading each day to be profitable to make sure each day is productive. Taking more trades, which usually grouped pretty closely. This has always ended up badly overall.

I think it's tough to be taking a loss, hitting your risk limit, coming back the next day and realising you could have made money on another trade that day. But a lot of times, I'm probably not in that headspace to be executing properly, as though I assume that the next one will be a winner.

It might seem obvious a lot of things I'm saying, but its harder to do day in and day out. But there needs to be some way to gear my head into that headspace. Usually, that's just by participating less in the market, which is against everything a high achiever in life would be doing. It's as though I need to be some sort of lazy trader who doesn't do very much at all. It's like you need to be that kid in class who only wants to do enough to get by, because he's got better things to do than sit in class. Being that kid who makes that effort, who has emotional investment in doing well in the class actually screws you up. Don't get me wrong, to learn about trading you need to be diligent, but after that, being a trader is more about not caring what happens, there are no stakes, no hopes and dreams of a better future. More of a "I wish class would end, so I can go out and play"

Another thing that I missed with not journaling is not being able to keep score on how I was doing overall. It became more of a daily measurement of how I did based on my PnL, and not acknowledging successes when things weren't going well in the PnL department, like how I've been trading real well for past week. In sports analogy, you become a prisoner of the moment.

One thing I need to change is on my own personal ecosystem, not letting trading be the dominant focus of my life. it's hard to be doing a lot of preparation, you take a loss for the day and you can't trade anymore. You want to try and "fix" it, you get sucked into the moment. I have to get other sources of income, which will relieve pressure on my trading for it to be something I don't think too much about. This is hard to wrap my head around, when you've been told that you need to work hard on your business to be successful. Trading is more about waiting for the right opportunities to come by, no matter how hard you go at it, if the market conditions are not right, then it's not going to happen.

The market is pretty much skewed towards it being a negative sum game and difficult to win. With commission, getting in and out of a trade having to give away a tick or two, IMO getting out of a wrong trade usually costs a point because you need to see when the prices are not working and getting out takes a couple of ticks. With all that, its pretty hard to win at this game. Only positive is the volatility of the market which allows a trade to go further than you think. So holding for longer is pretty much the only way.

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quantum27
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Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
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Pretty much got stopped out for the day with first trade. Should have waited for 5min for market to settle.

Still fighting getting stopped out. Not a good idea, because getting stopped out is what's going to keep my risk intact. In the end it's all about risk management.




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quantum27
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Was alot more patient today waiting for a setup. Took one trade, but unfortunately I had get out and back in because of my trading platform.




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quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
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Just one trade today. Market look strong, tempted to short but sat on my hands. Been pretty busy lately to be trading, so it's a good thing to have that "not wanting to trade" mindset.




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quantum27
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Thursday 11th April 2013

Was a pretty simple read. Market has been quite bullish past few days, so bias has been on the long side.




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quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
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Weekly review
-----------------

Been a good week, took only 4 trades. Funny how trading is always better when it's less. Less risk, less commissions, less time in markets, less emotions involved and hence less attached to the outcome. It's also been a busy week for myself, so alot less time to think about the markets and dwell on the market. Allowing me to let trading as one of those little things that I do in my life, and not something that dominates my life.

I have been told that trading is one of the most competitive endeavours out there, and you are competing with some of the best in the world. You have to be focused and dedicated to your craft, have honed skilled from lots of practice. Like a Kobe Bryant who pretty much eats and sleeps basketball all day long, with long hours of practice and studying videos of games. He's currently injured now, feel real bad for him, the guy is a champ!



My experience of trading has been rather the opposite, being too focused and obsessed with winning can really screw you up! Reason mainly is with trading, there is less in your control than playing basketball. Playing basketball, you are amongst 5 players on the court that can effect the outcome for your team. Whereas trading, you are amongst thousands of participants, with some participants bigger players than others. Imagine playing basketball against someone who is 5x bigger than Shaq, covering the basket, and swatting your ball away anytime you shot the ball!



Eventhough the last scenario is unrealistic for a basketball game, it is very real for trading the markets. You will have big market players that can come in and take your stop out, or not move the market so you are sitting there not able to make money. Fortunately, in trading you can change teams, and join the big players for the big moves. But you don't know when they will be arriving, and your studies only show a "likelihood" that they will show up.

So if you think about it, what do you really have control of? Risk! In practical terms: trading size, entry and exits. Everything else is pretty much out of your hands, in God's hands if you would like to put it that way.

You might say, this is so simple. It is, I pretty much know this when I first started trading 8 years ago. So what's the problem? Well unfortunately, human beings are not exactly wired to be traders, we have too many attributes handed down from the cavemen days. Our fight or flight system kicks in at any sign of threat, and our logical brain goes out the window. Hence, the challenge of being a consistently profitable trader.

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quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
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Before the market open, I like to have a roadmap of what I'm looking for. Here are the scenarios.
Trading ideas:
1. 4500t supp, possibly go up
2.. Gap down 6 points, possibly double tap and sell off with 4500t resistance. But been bullish past few days.
3. Chop sideways between Friday's range.


Took 2 trades today.

Took first trade short, was against TICK so was aware of it, and saw weakness so scratched out.

Second trade I quickly reversed, and wanted to see followthrough, which I did. Made mistake of not taking 2points when offered and held the trade back to entry over news release which I didn't want. Should have taken my 2 points and reversed for my 2points and be done for the day.

Having looked back at the trading day, it was an enormous down day. Could have kept trading, but I was focused on finishing with a 4pt profit target. Getting in and out of the market quickly, calling it a day.

To be honest, days like that don't happen very often. I want to rely on a consistent strategy, and not hope for big trend days.





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quantum27
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Here was my roadmap for yesterday's trading:

Trading Ideas:
1. Short bias from yesterday. 1500t resistance and sell off
2. Quick short covering from yesterday. Possible quick long trade with 4500t b/o and 1500t supp
3. Volatile chop with no direction

Took 3 trades.

Market looked very choppy first hour, with no real conviction. Lots of barbwire in 5min chart, which is usually a good indication to stay out. Which I did after 2 scratched trades.

Third trade I was looking for the trade to go 4 points which it almost did. I decided that it could retrace a little and followthrough, since it looked like there was range extension. I accidentally got out of the market on the retrace, and jumped back in. Hoping on a test of new lows.

My bias of the market got the best of me, with the market going against me and taking out my stop.

One of my bad habits is letting days like these make me want to switch up my trading, I need to keep trading the way I trade. Tomorrow is another day.

Only issue I have with today's trading was how I wasn't fully focused, multitasking a few times when in a trade. Need to be aware of:
- Market telling you to take profits, even if it's not my profit target. I can always take another short trade and be done with my daily profit target.
- BE after 2points, trade is over after it takes BE stop. Wait for next setup.
- My bias of what the market is going to do. I had a short bias yesterday, but the market can do anything.
- Good trades move quickly. Rather be out wishing I was in than, in wishing I was out.

Also, keep an eye on your trade volume, 3 trades is pretty high for the day. Watch your trading setups, make sure you are trading them strictly.




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quantum27
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These were my trading ideas before the beginning of the day.

Trading ideas:
1. Test off PDL with 1500t support and 4500t support
2. Go up and form resistance in 4500t and sell off


Took 3 trades today. It was on of those days where if I stayed with my first trade, I would have hit my daily target and be done for the day. Hindsight is 20/20, but at the moment of the trade it looked like longs were building up and I got out and went long. It pretty much went against me immediately.

No point in second guessing what I could have done, it's just one of those days where things just didn't go the way you expect it. Don't try and readjust your trading strategy, because there are plenty more days where your trading strategy works great.





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quantum27
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Thursday 18/4/2013

Took 5 trades, with 3 scratches and 2 hitting my 4pt profit target. 5 trades is on the high side of the number of trades I want to be in, but this whole week has been more challenging than before, so needed to get out and look at different trades.






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quantum27
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Weekly Review
------------------

This week has been a bit more choppy than last week, so requiring more trades than I would like. Out of the 4 days I trades, 2 were profitable, but overall the week was profitable.

Here's some thoughts on each day's trading.

Monday: Get out when the market is telling you, even for a 2pt target. A quick 2pt target means you can take another 2pt trade and be done for the day. Been more tempted to stay in the trade and hold on for retracements.

Tuesday: Again, was holding on when it was time to take profits. Was a down day, which could have been profitable.

Wednesday: I couldn't really fault myself for the day, because I would have traded the way I traded on this day. Was a down day.

Thursday: Was actually pretty pleased with the day. Took 5 trades, which is more than I would like, but today made my week profitable.


Problem with trading
-------------------------
Problem with trading is that losing days are not just a loss capital, but also a loss of opportunity to make a gain. An example would be this week where I was profitable 2 days out of 4, with 2 of those days hitting my daily loss limit. Those days that I took a loss, I also missed out on an opportunity to make my daily profit target. So lets say your daily loss is $3, and your daily gain is $4. Hitting your daily loss limit has a total impact of $3+$4=$7 on your account.

Lets say for me I trade 4 days a week, looking for $4 gain each day, so my weekly net would be $16. If I take a daily loss on 2 of those days for $3. My weekly gain would be $4+-$3+-$3+4 = $4-$3-$3+$4 = $2. Compared to my potential weekly gain of $16, I lost out on $14 worth of gain on my account!

It's the cost of doing business. You can say that I can tweak my numbers by having bigger daily loss limits so I can keep trading, or to take more trades, or to let my winners run longer. However, from my experience it's not always so simple, there are factors like: volatility of the market, my own psychological capital, etc. For example, if I increase my daily loss limit, there's a real risk of making this a losing week or even worse a losing month!

That's why I'm hesitant to project my performance to the future on a straight line basis, saying with the way I'm trading, I just have to scale up and my performance will reflect that. This is what most newbies would do, they would calculate how much they can make a week, multiply that by 52 weeks, and compare that to the income they can make out in a salary job. Telling themselves, they can make more money than a lawyer, doctor, etc.

This is exactly how alot of the trading industry educators lure newbies into their "training program". Hopefully, I can give someone who's looking into trading, some insight on how the reality of trading really is.

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quantum27
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Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
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Just one of those days where I was flat out wrong! Took one trade and got stopped out.

Had all those emotions telling myself that I can make the money back, but with experience I was able to detach myself to those emotions. Funny thing is with emotions, they usually just fade away after awhile. It's funny how a good night sleep would usually fix whatever you think felt really negative. I guess all of this comes from years of experience, hard work and self awareness. Because in the big picture, it's not a big deal, just Monday, just random set of events.

Keep trading the way I have been trading, don't be tempted to trade scared.




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quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
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What a crazy day! Luckily I was done trading before that fake AP tweet about Obama. I was looking at the markets through bigcharts.com, and thought there was a glitch. Well, I just wanted to add a 5min and 1min chart to commemorate that I was there when this weird thing happened.

It really makes you think how little we know and how susceptible as traders we are. How there are bigger players out there in the markets, and you're analysis of the market really doesn't mean much. As Mark Douglas said "Anything can happen", which I have it stuck on my monitor.

The market moved down and back up in a 15 point range within 4minutes. Think about that! Someone had their finger on the trigger on some really large size. If I was still long in the market, I could have been taken out with huge slippage, and the market would have bounce right back. All under 5mins!

Anyways, lets discuss today's trading.

I took 2 trades today, I had a long bias with where the market was opening, and my market internals looked strong. Just had to really be patient for a good long. I pretty much banked 2 points and later on banked another 2 points and called it a day.

Days like these are kinda slow, so have to see that and take my profit and call it a day. I probably could have held my first long for the full 4 points. But I made it a point to myself this week to really be taking profits when the market is looking to reverse on me.







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quantum27
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Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
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Wednesday 25th April 2013

Today was quite a choppy day. Usually when I get in a trade, Iím looking for quick followthrough, when it bounces around is when Iím at the mercy of the market. First three trades chopped me up for 1.5pts, so the last trade which I should have traded half the size didnít have enough wiggle room (despite being right, but early).

I need to watch out for trades against the MA. Big move down. Look for retrace. Basic stuff!




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quantum27
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Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
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Here are my trading results over 3 weeks and 12 trading days. I was profitable 2 out of the 3 weeks, with 6 out of 12 days hitting my daily loss limit.

The results speak for itself, despite being profitable over the 3 weeks, it's still quite low winning percentage. 8 out of 25 trades were profitable, which is 1/3. My original idea of getting a 4pt trade for the day is actually quite difficult to do in real life. I know a lot of times I could have taken 2pt and have higher winning percentage.

I really need a higher winning percentage, and also a good risk reward ratio. Here's what I'm planning to do for the month of May:
1. Trade with the trend
2. Take 1.5-2pt profit
3. Keep losses within 1pt
4. Keep daily loss within 3pt
5. Try and stretch my daily profit target to 6pt.

Each of them has their own issue.

1. Trade with the trend
I have traded this way before, waiting for the trend to show and getting in on the pullback. Win ratio was good, but at that time my daily profit target was too low to make it overall profitable. Need to keep milking the trend if you have spotted it.

I have noticed a lot of my trades have been countertrend, once in awhile it works out, but a lot of the time it doesn't, and I should have been focused on trading with the trend.

Problem with trading with the trend is identifying where it will pullback to, either you anticipate with a limit order or you wait for the market to settle and jump in. Waiting for confirmation costs with a bigger stop, but not waiting for confirmation can get you in a good entry but can also blow through your stop.

2. Take 1.5-2pt profit
This is very much doable in the ES, problem I had in the past was just taking 2pt for the day and be done. Need to take more than 2pt for the day, because it needs to offset the losing days I have.

3. Keep losses with 1pt
This is tough. With only 1pt you can get taken out and the market can go in your direction. It's really really tough. My plan is to go in with initial 3pt wide stop and tuck the stop in when I see a turning point. There are going to be times where my 3pt stop does get taken out, and times where the tucked stop I put in gets taken out and goes anyway. But that's just the way trading goes, it's not a solution to the problem, there is no solution but a probability of things happening or not happening.
Hopefully, my average loss will be around 1pt, my win rate will be high enough, and the number of trades I can take per day will be high enough to make each week profitable.

4. Keep daily losses with 3pt
This is KEY. It's the only reason I was able to be profitable over the 3 weeks despite have 33% win rate. Ideally I would like it to be half of what my daily profit target is (6pt), but my daily profit target is not within my control. At least my daily loss limit is!

5. Try to stretch my daily profit target to 6pt
This is not something within my control, because it depends a lot on market volatility. But the idea is not to just take a 2pt profit for the day and be done for the day. This is what I've done in the past, and overall profitability has been decent to break-even.
There are days where volatility is low and choppy, and taking a 2pt profit for the day is the right thing to do.
There are days where I've got 4pt, and it looks like the trend is weakening, then I should be done for the day.
There are days where I've got 3-4pt and it looks like market is going past 11:30 and slowing down. I should also call it a day.

Here's my expectations for:
Day: no real expectations, but 2 days hitting my daily loss limit is a red flag.
Week: should be profitable every week, if not then it's red flag.
Month: always be profitable every month, if not then major red flag.

My expectancy calculation for a month where I trade 16 days, if I sucked so bad that I was making 2pt on winning days and taking 3pt daily loss limits. I would have to be taking 3pt daily loss limits for 6 out of 16 days for me to break-even, which is close to half of he days being stopped out. If that was the case, then something must be really going wrong!!

Further Thoughts:
It's tempting to go want to go back and fix things, and wishing that you could have done it differently. A lot of the things I mentioned I already know, and it looks like it's coming back full circle with a lot of my own real experience why I need to trade certain way.

It's also frustrating to think that I need to go through another sample size of 1month to see if I'm on the right track. But I think with the new changes I'm making to my trading plan, I should be able to see if I'm going in the right direction in my first week.

That's the problem with trading, you can't fix anything right now. You have to wait for the market to come to you. It's not like a video game where you can just keep playing and play restart when you die.





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  #62 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Iím beginning a new month. Tracking my progress by days, rather than by individual trades.

Today I did take 6 trades, which was on the high side. Manage to finish the day at 2pt, probably could have gotten more, but I didnít want to be involved in the noon slowdown.

I need to be more patient and wait for confirmation and pullback in the trend. Still trying too much to guess ahead, especially first half hour to an hour of the open, which can be rather choppy.




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  #63 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

The day was actually quite a good day for setups, but I took a big loss just before Chicago PMI which really put me back for the day. I managed to get back to positive a little bit before 2pm, when I should have quit trading for the day.

Taking 7 trades for the day is way too much, which showís Iím not being selective about my trades. I should have a ďI donít have to tradeĒ mentality. I need to look for 4-5 trades max which includes scratches for the day.

The last trade of the day I got taken out on a full stop, which was totally unnecessary, should have tucked stop in and taken a small loss.

I also reversed too quickly, especially when the day shows an uptrend, I should be more biased towards what the market has been showing, especially after 10:30-11:00.

I need to go back to being more methodical with my trading, which allows me to be more objective with my trades, putting them on and letting them work.




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  #64 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Another day where the first trade I took just went against me. Right now Iím anticipating support and resistance on the MA, and Iím just wrong alot, not wrong but wrong very quickly. I look back at my successful trades, I usually wait for support and resistance to appear and then get in. The risk is that I am waiting for confirmation which means a wider stop, but the probabilities of it taking off is alot higher than otherwise.

So here are the changes I need to make:
- 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
- Go back to basic entry, no dom
- Need to anticipate what else could go wrong. Rather than anticipate winner.
- Review my previous dayís trades before trading day

Itís frustrating to have two losing days, when I look back they could have easily been avoided and been profitable. But I must look at it in terms of the month, and how sometimes itís a refining and tuning process. I now know what I need to do, and it should get better from now. I just have to be patient.








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  #65 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Was a good day, I was with the trend, wasnít fighting it. Took a small loss in the beginning, but was able to come back. My direction was right, but the trade just wasnít working like it should be. Probably should have scratched out earlier, but thatís just the probability of the play working like it should.

Second trade, I should have let it go abit longer, would have hit my 4 points.

What really worked well for me was writing down what Iím looking for in the next step of my trading process. It really reminds me of what signal Iím looking for, anticipating it, rather than anticipating the trade to be a winner. It biases my opinion towards the negative side, and Iím more prepared to act than hoping it will hit profit.




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  #66 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Weekly Review
-----------------
his week was really up and down, and really had to optimise what works and what doesnít. Nevertheless, despite two losing days, I managed to finish the week on a positive.

Iím pretty much done with trading against the trend, looking back at my past trading, it really is like a coin flip. Even though I can get some nice wins with trading against the trend, it really tunes you out of the market trend. Like they say, if youíve got a hammer, then everything looks like a nail. Usually, I would just get stopped out with the volatility of the first half or first hour, and have to play recovery. Rather itís best just to chill out, let the market test abit, see where it wantís to go, and then trade with the trend.

My return to anticipating support and resistance levels at the MA was rather poor, I remembered doing it in the past, and now I remember why I donít do it. The assumed benefit of anticipating the areas, is so you can have a tighter stop, and so the market should move immediately, reducing your risk further. Problem for me was that what I thought was resistance would end up much deeper and potentially take me out. I find it much better waiting for the support and resistance, and getting in when the market starts to move. From the outside, the risk looks bigger because you are waiting for confirmation and taking a bigger stop. But if the probability of the market moving in your favour is higher (because you have found good support and reistance), then the profitability of the trade would be alot better.

Iíve gone back to the 4pt profit target, looking for small 2pt targets made me trade more of the chop. Rather than waiting for good setups that higher timeframe can see and move for a big move. I do have a setup just for 2pts, so itís a mixture of both.

Going back to focusing on timed stops for 15min. Best trades take off immediately, and I shouldnít be hung up on trades that take a long time to move.

I remember one of my success strategies in the past was being proactive and anticipating what could be going wrong for the trade. I do that by default, but Iím always anticipating every trade to be a winner, which is totally unrealistic. Focusing on other options opens up your expectations, allowing me to see the market in a more objective way.

Another success strategy is with looking at previous dayís trading, which helps me tune into what Iím looking for in the market. Sometimes I have the bad habit of inventing trades, looking at past market behaviour before the market opens helps me dial in my pattern recognitions skills. Iíve had tried sim trading in the past, but the problem was how long it took, which made it not feasible to do everyday.

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  #67 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Had some technical difficulties today, with my broker going down and I couldnít send any orders. I was in a position when it went down, and decided to get out at breakeven to call it a day. My broker is usually pretty good, and this is the first time in many years that this has happened, so I canít really be too picky. I was in a winning trade though. Oh well!




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  #68 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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@quantum27,

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  #69 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Took 3 trades today. Had some more broker issues that got resolved, but manage to come out on top.




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  #70 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Took a quick 1.5pt loss for my first trade, was spending most of my time waiting for a good retracement to get in long. But the market was STRONG. I havenít seen it go up in a straight line like this for a long time, days like these are RARE in the ES. Days like these are what tricks people into thinking trading the ES is so easy, you could have pretty much bought anywhere and made money, straight line up!

Looking back, I probably should have gotten long for a quick 2pt scalp. I was looking for it, but was second guessing myself thinking it will retrace deeper which never happened. My setups allow for a quick 2pt scalp on big breakout days like these, I couldnít get filled on a couple of limit orders, and didnít want to just jump in. I probably should have. Itís probably something I need to work on, but shallow pullbacks make me paranoid.

My second trade was a total DISASTER despite being profitable, I moved my stop and threw away my risk limit. I was lucky the day was so bullish which allowed me to get away with it. Things could have gotten pretty ugly and out of control if I wasnít careful. I got stuck in my own bias, and wasnít listening to what the market was telling me. I could have put in a BE stop and kept myself safe, but my focus was waning and market went against me.

One more trading day for the week, I need to really focus down on risk control, I might get away with it here and there but it can really bite me in the behind if I make it a habit.

- 15min for each trade or get out
- Hold daily risk limit of 3pt.





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  #71 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
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)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
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)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
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)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
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)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
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)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
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)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
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)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
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)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
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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quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
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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  #81 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Wow! What a terrible day trading day for me. Was an absolute shocker. Took 7 trades, when I should have been done on the first winner.

My mental monkey came out and got the best of me, and looking back it was really stupid! I pretty much got taken for my daily loss and then some.

I was shooting for an outcome, a PnL. I had a number in my head that I wanted to achieve. What I should have done was give myself one more trade and be done whatever happens.

Took a really stupid last trade, which was against the trend. For some reason, executing well had gone out the window. I had lost focus on what the next step was. Should have caught myself when I broke the rule first time, anticipate and take time out to refocus.

I was letting trades test back against me too much, and being too biased with my direction.

I need to keep writing and staying focused on what the next step is, and not let myself get sucked into the market.




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  #82 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

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

Despite my bad day on Thursday, I feel like Iíve turned my trading around quite a bit, and I have to feel good about it. Itís a process, where I feel my trading methodology is viable and profitable on a weekly basis. Now I need to focus on my psychology even more. Even in the past Iíve focused on my psychology, I need to step it up even further.

Things to work on:
1. Being deliberate. Take time out and refocus if not. Pomorodo 25-5◊4. Recap and review.
2. Moving BE stop, hoping for retrace. Need to scratch more, rather miss out.
3. Wait for 1min support
4. Focus on finishing the week strong!
5. Have to stay within risk!

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  #83 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Took two trades today. Got stopped out on second trade. Should have stayed out and traded with the trend.




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  #84 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Another day where I hit my daily risk limit. Looking back, I really need to sit on my hands for the first half hour for something obvious to come up. Market conditions are changing, and cannot be as aggressive as before. Need to really pick my spots.

Iím not happy having had 3 days hitting my loss limit. I just have to move forward and stay positive.




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  #85 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Monthly Review
------------------

Despite being profitable for the month, I'm not quite happy with my trading results.

Taking big losses is really killing my profitability. I do have a big stop which allows the trade to work itself out, but a lot of times I could have probably gotten out a lot earlier and reentered when the conditions show itself to be right. If I can get those losses smaller.

Here are a few things I'm going to be looking at doing.
1. Scaling into trades half and then half. Second half of entry can be up to 1pt away from first half, which shouldn't matter if I'm looking for 4+ points on the trade. Most important part is that the market is moving.
2. Be proactively scratching trades within first 5min around entry.
3. Look for that counter trend move within first 45min, which should be the test and reverse. Usually good for 4 points.

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  #86 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Ok, tried out trading the new way, and it didnít work out for me. Main reason being, scaling in doesnít work for me because I take suboptimal trades on first half. As nice as counter trend trading could be, Iím missing out on potential trend trading opportunities, as I see trades as reversal rather than retrace.

From my analysis of the past week. 2 things screwing me up!
1. Trading against the trend
2. Not listening to market when itís about to reverse. Take the small loss.

Iíve done well trading with the trend, took some losses and thought it would be good to change. Bad mistake! I need to keep trading with the trend, but make sure I listen to the market and get out when itís showing signs of reversing.

Trend trading works, I just need to be able to accept losses and overall it would be profitable.


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  #87 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Got chopped up in the congestion after the first big move. Iím deciding to wait first half hour for my entries. My first half hour are usually quite poor performing.


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  #88 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Took 7 trades today, had a good trend going. I followed through with my plan in staying away for first half hour and seeing what is going on with the market first. Eventhough first move could be profitable, itís also very volatile and quick reactions are required. Right now, Iím trying for higher consistency and higher probability by waiting for the obvious trades to take.


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  #89 (permalink)
quantum27
Sydney/Australia
 
 
Posts: 137 since Aug 2009
Thanks: 2 given, 64 received

Took 5 trades today. I wanted to limit to 4 trades, and I should have quit after my first two trades. I guess itís just a matter of making progress, and getting better each day.

Starting to focus more on one chart for execution. I still use my other charts for analysis, but when it comes to getting in and out Iím using only the 1min chart. This helps me focus down, and not have too much to think about.


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