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Starting All Over - Finding My Trading Niche
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Starting All Over - Finding My Trading Niche

  #91 (permalink)
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grahamg's Avatar
 
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April 20... Something

Well I am sitting here on a surf trip without surf wondering what the next step is this week. I have a one on one session booked with the No BS Day Trading dude to review my trade log and some tape recording. Not sure if that helps but getting some expert external feedback seems a good idea.

This week I had one day with my biggest drawdown and biggest draw...up... And most ticks left on the table.. That was a fun day. It was Wednesday and there was plenty of volume flowing into the market. Having not seen a day like this for a while I have been reflecting on the bigger picture. Bunds are at all time highs and have been relatively stagnant in comparison to earlier in the year when they were not. This means a lot of chop and frustration. The key to successful trading I am starting to believe is likely surviving the chop days /weeks/months and hitting it big when volume is high, like on Wednesday. Endless opportunities, plenty of force behind each move, and plenty of signs of moves about to happen,and very easy to feel the momentum. Seems to be a lot of indecision at these highs, and perhaps a hint of a failing auction. Volume should be accelerating but it is not, unless the market trades to the downside. The temptation is to switch to another market but no doubt I will get drawn in to understanding it and miss out on the good times in the Bund when they return. It is not just a matter of looking at the market profile or volume for the day and figuring its a good day... Really need to be attempting to trade it to know if things are optimal.

Bunds are waiting for their next move, and no timeframe is steering the ship right now, though this week showed signs that we should see movement really soon. The all time highs got rejected on Tuesday, are not supported by the broad fixed income market which is still in its multi year range.. Means to me that speculators are waiting for more info, and bots and gamers are trying their best to survive in the meantime. Yes I have been reading some market profile stuff which seems to bring some perspective to the table.

April has been one large down month for my account, but Wednesday was a spike lower. Maybe capitulation in my own account chart?? Thursday and Friday I certainly was in a different state of mind because of it. Not caught up in the hunting as much as usual... hunched over trying desperately to see signs of size having an impact. Wednesday reminded me that the good moves are obvious. Yes there there are games involved, but you really feel the momentum building in your bones. I need to have the patience to wait for that feeling. If at any point I start intellectualising that we are at some key level, the bobl hasn't budged, bund has swept three ticks etc so it must do this or that so I will just see if I can get filled working the bid here.... I am screwed. Probably the greatest indicator I did not get in at a good time is if folks aren't rushing in to buy with me (or sell).. Really... is my one lot going to be the tipping point for this move to take off???

You have to have that support of volume getting in line with your position, which comes from correctly reading the order flow so that you are getting on the wave of volume just as its about to break.

The leap into freedom is the exchanging of risk for reward. This can be done only by shifting from tension to ease, and that can be done only when one perceives the reward and not the risk. That you won't win all the time has nothing to do with it - that's life, that's the [stock] market. The trying itself is freeing. And being free has its own reward - Justin Mamis, The Nature of Risk
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  #92 (permalink)
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May - Update

Killing time before market open so figured I'd write something.

I am still trading Bund every day - but under training with someone. Have had to switch out to the SIM for a week or two, which rather than humiliate me has been a great eye opener and confidence builder. While just out catching some warm ocean ... spray in the head.. into a headwind on a skateboard.. i still managed to ponder a thing about the SIM. I highly recommend it as a tool still.. with a catch. If starting out use it for a week and get the hang of what you're going to try to do. Then switch to trading ones lots ASAP so you find out what day trading is really about and what emotional disorders you are yet to discover you have. I think after that it is still not a bad thing to go back and use the SIM on occasion to clear the head and iron out the creases. But not for more than a week or two incase you get hooked. It has really given me a better perspective of what I was trying to achieve on the one lots, and to what is actually achievable without the money issues. Then set a date to get back into the live trading asap so you don't get hooked playing games on the SIM. That is all. Oh and Ninja simulator is not that great compared to getting an X_Trader / X_SIM trial I have found out. The queuing estimation really makes a big difference. Just my two cents if you want to hear it from an aspiring.. wannabe.. gonnagetthere... type trader.

The leap into freedom is the exchanging of risk for reward. This can be done only by shifting from tension to ease, and that can be done only when one perceives the reward and not the risk. That you won't win all the time has nothing to do with it - that's life, that's the [stock] market. The trying itself is freeing. And being free has its own reward - Justin Mamis, The Nature of Risk
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  #93 (permalink)
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Armidale, Australia
 
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Posts: 107 since Dec 2012
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June 03 Update


Hi all, for those interested here is an update. I am still on the Bund case every day, and about halfway through my training. As of start of May my training had me go back on the SIM which was frustrating but necessary. Being accountable to someone every day for the trades I make (other than myself) makes the SIM a lot more valuable. I am free to go back onto Jigsaw live anytime but the next phase is to define my actual plan for scalping the bund based on the last 6 weeks experience so I might as well wait until then. The training is fantastic and can be summed up as a dude training me with what he learnt from a particularly good prop shop boss / coach, and from his own experience, via a three phase course (Execution, Discretionary, Pro trading). I am halfway through the discretionary part.

The goal of it all being to get me to take trades that make sense. All the order flow stuff you can learn from No BS is Gold, but its a matter of using it, and taking trades based on logic. Up until starting I was definitely just taking stabs in the dark, which makes it hard to consistently produce good results. I was doing alright at times, but when looking at my fills on a one minute chart, there really was not method to my madness, other than 'I think I saw some size, I think its going to do this'. Now I am slowly breaking bad habits and trading patterns and more and more taking trades based on good reason. This has been VERY hard for me, as 3 years of predictive trading has messed up my beliefs about the market. Its amazing how out of nowhere I will occasionally take a trade based on a technical concept with no real order flow logic involved. The market should stop here... WHY?? Anyway hopefully moving past that now.

Once good trade logic is in place and I am consistently taking trades that make sense, the idea is I can consistently reach my trading goals each day, week, month. Then can take advantage of other stuff as the icing. This is now the start of the 6th month watching the Bund / Bobl / Schatz each day. Things do make a hell of a lot more sense then they did months ago. My trades make a hell of a lot more sense then they did a month ago. Though I am not reaching my goals just yet, but hopefully will start doing so this week. There is the finest line between a profitable trading session and a losing one, which one lapse in concentration and subsequently one bad trade will cause. As a comrad in similar position said on Friday.. "3 feet from gold".

BTW - I am using the XTrader Sim which make it much more realistic regarding fills then Ninja, and honestly have more pressure on me then I had trading live pre-May so should be no issue switching my trading out with 1 lots, then 2,3,4..1000 lots

The leap into freedom is the exchanging of risk for reward. This can be done only by shifting from tension to ease, and that can be done only when one perceives the reward and not the risk. That you won't win all the time has nothing to do with it - that's life, that's the [stock] market. The trying itself is freeing. And being free has its own reward - Justin Mamis, The Nature of Risk
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  #94 (permalink)
Trading for Fun
melbourne Victoria/australia
 
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Favorite Futures: stocks
 
Posts: 68 since Aug 2012
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Hey, do you mind sharing where you got a coach?? Thinking of using someone for myself as well.
Thanks,

Felix

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  #95 (permalink)
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Tough one.. I got lucky chatting to a guy through an online trading Skype group who offered to help after a few convos. You never know with these things.. i paid a scammer before.. dam

Brainstorming:-

A) Join a legit trading room
B) Get to know who's who online in your chosen trading style and ask around if anyone's taking students. It will no doubt cost' and do your best to make sure not paying a teenager to tell you how it's done
C) Join a good prop firm. (a good friend chose this option and is paying off for him)
D) John at No BS does one on ones. Depending on your budget you could get something going there if you like that style
E) There are many trading network groups in cities (not online based) you could find a coach through
F) Trading education companies usually offer private coaching ... Though if trading is not their main business .. You will probably get a coach who can't trade.. Not necessarily a bad thing
G) Google Trading Coach. I was surprised to find folks actually do this for a living in Brisbane. Even holds a Trading Tribe meeting (Ed Seykota fans)
H) Tap the prop shop resources ... In the end they are the 99.9% of guys who do this for a living

I am thinking right now on my path it is a something I wish I did a long time ago... We don't teach ourselves how to swim or play tennis without a coach eh? Trading is a skill likewise. Because of this belief..I would recommend finding a coach that isn't trying to teach a system or rules etc.. But how to trade.

Hope this helps.

The leap into freedom is the exchanging of risk for reward. This can be done only by shifting from tension to ease, and that can be done only when one perceives the reward and not the risk. That you won't win all the time has nothing to do with it - that's life, that's the [stock] market. The trying itself is freeing. And being free has its own reward - Justin Mamis, The Nature of Risk

Last edited by grahamg; June 4th, 2013 at 07:16 PM.
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  #96 (permalink)
Trading for Fun
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Posts: 68 since Aug 2012
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grahamg View Post
Tough one.. I got lucky chatting to a guy through an online trading Skype group who offered to help after a few convos. You never know with these things.. i paid a scammer before.. dam

Brainstorming:-

A) Join a legit trading room
B) Get to know who's who online in your chosen trading style and ask around if anyone's taking students. It will no doubt cost' and do your best to make sure not paying a teenager to tell you how it's done
C) Join a good prop firm. (a good friend chose this option and is paying off for him)
D) John at No BS does one on ones. Depending on your budget you could get something going there if you like that style
E) There are many trading network groups in cities (not online based) you could find a coach through
F) Trading education companies usually offer private coaching ... Though if trading is not their main business .. You will probably get a coach who can't trade.. Not necessarily a bad thing
G) Google Trading Coach. I was surprised to find folks actually do this for a living in Brisbane. Even holds a Trading Tribe meeting (Ed Seykota fans)
H) Tap the prop shop resources ... In the end they are the 99.9% of guys who do this for a living

I am thinking right now on my path it is a something I wish I did a long time ago... We don't teach ourselves how to swim or play tennis without a coach eh? Trading is a skill likewise. Because of this belief..I would recommend finding a coach that isn't trying to teach a system or rules etc.. But how to trade.

Hope this helps.

Thank you for the suggestions. I have been looking for a little while now, found a few coaches, one or two even decent ones, but they trade different instruments. In regards to chat rooms etc. I work full time, and 2 small kids, so any free time I have is spent reading, or staring at the charts......
So, for now, its all books, but as you found out it is a very slowly process.

Good luck with your trading!

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  #97 (permalink)
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Futures Experience: Advanced
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Posts: 64 since May 2013
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Hi grahamg,

Congrats on giving this a go. I'm gearing myself for an assault on day trading futures soon. I'm new to the forum and your thread so I haven't read your full journal yet but I'm a fellow aussie and thought I'd give you the thumbs up for your endeavour.

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  #98 (permalink)
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Futures Experience: Intermediate
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Posts: 107 since Dec 2012
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June 15

Just wrote this on other thread but the gist of it is - I no longer feel like I'm pulling up a seat to each session to cop 3 hours of bund abuse. Trading is becoming more a process of monitoring for the good trades, which I am way more at ease with recognising. Acting on them is still pretty hard. I love a good jump in too early based on what I see instead of waiting for a little more gaming to play out. Or I will see the game and jump in straight away because its a race haha. But at least I am becoming super aware of this occurring, thanks to coach man for patiently pointing out the obvious to me day in day out. This really is just a skill that takes time and repitition to learn. Correcting path as you go. Learning to take in more information and recognise 'the game'.

An example of 'the game'.. Schatz bids of 1000 has the 4000 offer sitting 1 tick above market looking a bit suspect. Bobl keeps lifting offers. Bund ticking around down cheap and then races up as everyone see's a thousand lot trade hitting into the Schatz bid which refreshes. The 4000 lot offer disappears and 1000 hit into the remaining 1000 then goes bid one thousand. Bobl offer absorbves a few thousand really quickly in a classic iceberg scenario. Bund just broke its high of the day by a tick or two and pauses as everyone wonders wtf... schatz just went up.. but bobl is holding.. An eternity passes in a few seconds. Bids on schatz whacked and then again below. 1000 print back into schatz offer which sticks. Bund keeps going up... WTF?!?.. bobl gets whacked.. bund gets whacked.. game is over for ideal fill. Hopefully got a fill just in time or you are working hard to get one. No seriously.. that is probably a normalish scenario that I am starting to see the successful scalper has to be able to process in an instant and get in before or as everyone else realises it.

Coach man is probably reading this thinking.. poor bastard.. he has a long way to go yet if he even gets there. But hey.. its about comparing where you've come from right? You gotta laugh or you'll cry.

The leap into freedom is the exchanging of risk for reward. This can be done only by shifting from tension to ease, and that can be done only when one perceives the reward and not the risk. That you won't win all the time has nothing to do with it - that's life, that's the [stock] market. The trying itself is freeing. And being free has its own reward - Justin Mamis, The Nature of Risk
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  #99 (permalink)
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July 30 - 7 Months

Its now been 7 months of dedication to the Bund cause. I officially finished my training 2 weeks ago except for a catch up now I am back to trading live. To fill the void of skype calls I figured I might write an update.

With the coaching I progressed a lot slower than expected and spent the entire time on the simulator. I am now at the point that I can consistently not lose ticks at a competent enough level to trade one lots again. I was coming close to reaching my 10 tick per session goal while following a plan (as opposed to taking random trades) but with careless simulator trades would give a lot of them back on bad days. SO I am now back to the real deal. I have had a lot of back and forth in my head as to whether so long on the simulator was a good thing or not, especially since the one lot jitters were definitely there yesterday, and (less so) this session. BUT there really is no point arguing it in the end. If you can't consistently trade on the simulator than there should be no reason you can do it with real bucks on the line. I used the excuse on bad days a few times, that I wasn't focused enough because it wasn't real money... that I would take gamble trades I wouldn't take with real risk etc but they are all excuses for not taking responsibility. At the end of the day the process of live trading should be no different than trading on the simulator. There should be minimal extra excitement or accomplishment between making real ticks and fake ticks.. the goal should be to make ticks period. If you don't have the discipline to take making ticks serious on the sim, than probably not going to have much luck trading live either. There are technical differences as to how one is filled on the sim, but with XTrader the queue simulator is real as real, and on NinjaTrader the limit fills will only positively effect trading live as you learn to hit into trades you want to. Anyway thats just some thoughts on the SIM.

So then you get to the point I am at now where you are back on the one lots. Nothing should change with my process of trading / making ticks. BUT it seems there might be a problem there, because all of a sudden I am waiting for more confirmation than I was on SIM.. and taking much more defensive trades on pullbacks etc. Its only day two, and the Bund has been a bit weird being July, and FOMC week... maybe?? So there is my immediate trading goal.. follow my plan.. or a better rule.. trade like I was on the SIM. Luckily I traded long enough on the sim to know exactly where I would be taking trades if it wasn't for some weird subconcious processes making it more scary than it was a week ago, to click the dam mouse. So I will watch that little short circuit occur and hopefully it goes away.

I also should probably visit the "Finding My Trading Niche" goal I started out with. Well having been pretty immersed in the Prop shop style way of trading, and learning alongside a close friend now thriving in a prop shop.. I don't really believe there is some utopia process of trading I initially set out to find. At the end of the day we are pulling up a chair to a boxing match.. trying to consistently throw punches between taking them, in such a manner that you can make enough ticks / $ to justify all the bruises. Yep.. it is indeed a chore, like most other computer based disciplines. I do a lot of coding for my sound tool that helps me read the order flow, which keeps that weird part of me that enjoys coding happy. There are literally office blocks full of algo programmers with resources not available to the retail trader for executing trades etc so my dream of a standalone money making machine is probably a little far fetched. I did get wind though that Algo trading is old news, and that a hybrid between discretionary and algo trading is the way of the future. Hopefully I will be able to tick the Discretionary part off soon enough.

So its now been 7 months of full time dedication to the cause I say again... What I wrote in my previous post still stands.. I feel like I know what I'm doing. There is just such a fine line between reaching my trading goal each session and having a losing session. It is usually a function of concentration and how many mistakes made.
Here is a chart of my accumulative tick profit trade by trade over the last 2 months... it looks like its in an uptrend of sorts, but nothing amazing just yet. Some may say its random.. in which case I may have wasted the last 7 months but I don't think so. One thing is for sure though, trading ain't easy I have 10k left to to make it with so there is my stop

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The leap into freedom is the exchanging of risk for reward. This can be done only by shifting from tension to ease, and that can be done only when one perceives the reward and not the risk. That you won't win all the time has nothing to do with it - that's life, that's the [stock] market. The trying itself is freeing. And being free has its own reward - Justin Mamis, The Nature of Risk
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  #100 (permalink)
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You are making progress Graham, it is an uptrend. Well done, keep up the great effort!

XS

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