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The Way of the AttitudeTrader


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The Way of the AttitudeTrader

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  #101 (permalink)
 AttitudeTrader 
Dallas, TX, USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader, T4
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Trading: 6E
 
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Posts: 358 since Oct 2009
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Mission Plan: 2013.03.12.218-238

All off-base assignments completed. Reporting for duty.
I was able to get everything squared away yesterday afternoon, and I need to be here working, so I'm in the office today after all.

Kevlar, bullets & batteries checked and ready...
08:25 T-Minus 5...weapons live...head on swivel...eyes peeled...prepared to engage.

Trade #232
08:36 Short on [Core] setup. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
08:40 Price actually touched my intended exit level, but didn't exceed it by 1 tick to hit my MIT order.
08:45 Price pushed all the way back up beyond my entry price.
08:46 Feeling a lot of anxiety about this coming back up. Really?! What the **** for?! It's ONE trade out of the THOUSANDS that are coming! Get over it and focus on what your next move will be!
08:52 Exited trade at MKT 3 minutes prior to report per my rules.
08:52 No Joy. -6 ticks.
Record results, stabilize/regroup, and prepare for the next assault. Focus only on the task at hand.

Trade #233
09:20 Short on [Core] setup. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
09:28 I was planning to invoke my [COS1] rule, but decided to take this [Core] setup. Regretting it now...
09:39 No Joy. -10 ticks.
Record results, stabilize/regroup, and prepare for the next assault. Focus only on the task at hand.

No entry
10:06 Price touched my entry price, but because my MIT order is 1 tick below that, I didn't get a fill on this valid setup. Price reached target level, so trade is over.

No entry
11:25 Price touched my entry price multiple times over a 20 minute period, but because my MIT order is 1 tick below that, I didn't get a fill on this valid setup. Price reached target level, so trade is over.

Mission complete. RTB for AAR.
13:30 Friday new entry cut-off time. Finished for the day and week.

AAR
  • Objective: Follow mission plan with extreme prejudice.
    -
  • Outcome: I followed my plan, but it was a dull day and I had a couple of setups that didn't get filled.
    -
  • Observations: I'm finding myself in a little bit of a down mood regarding my trading right now. I think it has to do with the reduced number of setups I'm having now and dealing with the outcomes of the decisions I'm having to make. Things aren't quite as "clear" as they were in Phase 1. I'll have to adjust my attitude about this over the weekend.



"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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  #102 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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Happy Birthday @AttitudeTrader



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  #103 (permalink)
 Robert Carrillo 
Omaha NE
 
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Happy Birthday AT!

First time I've commented on a journal, and I'd suggest it be required reading for anybody considering a (successful) career as a trader. Your dedication to the process, and not the results, is inspiring to say the least.


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  #104 (permalink)
 fosch 
Bethesda, Maryland
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Trading: stocks
 
Posts: 5 since May 2011
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One word... DEDICATION.

Fantastic journal AT. Keep at it.


AttitudeTrader View Post
Mission Plan: 2013.03.12.218-238

All off-base assignments completed. Reporting for duty.
I was able to get everything squared away yesterday afternoon, and I need to be here working, so I'm in the office today after all.

Kevlar, bullets & batteries checked and ready...
08:25 T-Minus 5...weapons live...head on swivel...eyes peeled...prepared to engage.

Trade #232
08:36 Short on [Core] setup. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
08:40 Price actually touched my intended exit level, but didn't exceed it by 1 tick to hit my MIT order.
08:45 Price pushed all the way back up beyond my entry price.
08:46 Feeling a lot of anxiety about this coming back up. Really?! What the **** for?! It's ONE trade out of the THOUSANDS that are coming! Get over it and focus on what your next move will be!
08:52 Exited trade at MKT 3 minutes prior to report per my rules.
08:52 No Joy. -6 ticks.
Record results, stabilize/regroup, and prepare for the next assault. Focus only on the task at hand.

Trade #233
09:20 Short on [Core] setup. Win or lose, it's irrelevant. Record the trade, watch it, and learn...
09:28 I was planning to invoke my [COS1] rule, but decided to take this [Core] setup. Regretting it now...
09:39 No Joy. -10 ticks.
Record results, stabilize/regroup, and prepare for the next assault. Focus only on the task at hand.

No entry
10:06 Price touched my entry price, but because my MIT order is 1 tick below that, I didn't get a fill on this valid setup. Price reached target level, so trade is over.

No entry
11:25 Price touched my entry price multiple times over a 20 minute period, but because my MIT order is 1 tick below that, I didn't get a fill on this valid setup. Price reached target level, so trade is over.

Mission complete. RTB for AAR.
13:30 Friday new entry cut-off time. Finished for the day and week.

AAR
  • Objective: Follow mission plan with extreme prejudice.
    -
  • Outcome: I followed my plan, but it was a dull day and I had a couple of setups that didn't get filled.
    -
  • Observations: I'm finding myself in a little bit of a down mood regarding my trading right now. I think it has to do with the reduced number of setups I'm having now and dealing with the outcomes of the decisions I'm having to make. Things aren't quite as "clear" as they were in Phase 1. I'll have to adjust my attitude about this over the weekend.




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  #105 (permalink)
 AttitudeTrader 
Dallas, TX, USA
 
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Platform: NinjaTrader, T4
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Trading: 6E
 
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Posts: 358 since Oct 2009
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A review of the week

Because I have more latitude in my decision-making now, I'm feeling like my trading isn't as "consistent" as it was before. I'm following my rules, but I'm also feeling unsure of myself because of the discretion I have. I'm experiencing the regret of making a decision to do one thing and then watching as the other thing works out better.

Regardless of how I feel though, it would appear that on balance, my decisions have worked out to my benefit, and were probably the reason I had a positive P/L this week.

I also noticed, more than usual this week, that having a daily loss limit (which I've had from day one of this training exercise) definitely takes some of the fear out of my trading. Mostly because I know that I'm only going to be able to take a certain number of losing trades, and that tends to make me feel a little more relaxed.

A look at the stats

Expectancy is trending down again, but I think I'm realizing something in a little more profound way now than before. It's becoming clearer to me that the trends, up or down, in my expectancy (and P/L) are about the method and not about me. In other words, I know that my profitability hasn't suffered due to my inability to follow my rules and execute appropriately. It has only to do with the method/rules I'm following.

And when I look at it that way it gives me a sense of relief, because I'm proving to myself that, even with a mediocre method, I'm developing the ability to make profits from my trading over time. That may not sound like a big deal because I think everybody believes that they're already at this point (I did).

But the power I've gained from knowing that I'm able to follow my plan, through thick and thin, has helped to begin solidifying my confidence in one very big part of the trading puzzle. And I think that it is an extremely valuable thing to have going for me.


I find it interesting that I'm feeling a little let down by this week's P/L (+$168.50), when just a few weeks ago, simply having a positive week was enough to make me very happy. I'm sure it has something to do with having such a good week #7 and such a bad week #8, as well as the topic I'm going to discuss below.


I'm having a lot of losing days lately. I'm not sure what else to say about it at this point.


Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans

When I started this journal I said, among other things, "I'm honestly frightened. I'm frightened because I'm afraid this is going to be painful; I'm afraid it's going to take a long time; the risk of bruising my ego here is large." Those statements are still just as true.

Some of the things I've shared so far, and some of the things I've done, have been a bit embarrassing, and today's post will push me even deeper into "ego-bruising" territory.

As much as I'd like to only be seen as strong, in control, and completely self-assured, that just isn't the case right now. I'm just as unsure, fallible and "human" as the next trader.

The vast majority of what I've been doing and discussing during this exercise so far has been to do with how I'm trying to improve my trading by following my plans, building my skills, using my tools wisely, etc. But I have only just hinted at the effect my "real life" has had on my trading and my attempt(s) to be successful as a trader.

I experienced the effect of those "real life" issues more than usual this week. They affected my overall attitude toward my trading results and the way I'm perceiving my future as a trader.

I make my living right now in a self-employed contractor arrangement (not salaried) where I only make money when the work is available to do. And the work has been slowing down dramatically over an alarming stretch of time - which means very little money is coming in, and I've had to use reserves that I'd put aside for slower times. This seems to automatically make me put more emphasis on my need to get to the point of being able to make money from my trading, which is not a good thing.

I also have over 200,000 miles on my trusty, but well-worn Explorer (a critical component of my "real" job), which is in need of quite a bit of (costly) maintenance, or replacement. I have my daughter's car to maintain, college tuition & related expenses to help with, a house that needs maintenance, and all the other expenses related to having a family and living in general. I have far more personal debt than I should, due mostly to turning down better paying jobs over the (many) years in order to remain freer to pursue my trading. I also have the bare-bones, absolute minimum account size to use for my trading, and if things don't turn around with my job/income, I'll have to use that money to live on.

Not only is this a far-less-than-ideal situation, but it is highly embarrassing to me to even be in it. So I've felt the pressure of that this week and I'm sure that that has had a large impact on how I'm viewing this week's (and prior week's) results.

However, the reason I'm sharing this is because I've spoken to and read comments made by traders over the years and just recently, who have mentioned some of their personal "issues." And I can't help but wonder how much those things are affecting them, and how they're dealing with it.

Those issues cover a whole range of peripheral things that affect their trading (but aren't limited to):
  • Insufficient capitalization - either because they lost it trading, had to use it for other things, or just didn't have it to begin with.
  • Insufficient time due to work - either they don't have flexibility in their job schedules, or they don't have the ability to change jobs because they need the money their current job provides.
  • Insufficient support from family/friends/work - some have spouses/partners, or even friends/associates who either harbor a non-verbalized resentment, or an outspoken antagonism, toward their "dream" to become a trader and the time they spend pursuing it.
The job of trading is hard enough for someone who has plenty of capital, plenty of time, and plenty of support. Throw in the personal situations we have, and it makes becoming a successful trader exponentially more difficult.

I'm very fortunate to have no resistance regarding my trading from the people around me, but I still have some serious issues that I have to deal with, or I'll be out of the trading game and watching from the sidelines.

The thing I'm finding from my own experience, and the experience of others, is that we all seem to have some combination of issues we have to deal with. I have to figure out what the **** I'm going to do to improve my situation, but so does (almost?) everyone else.

Doing the best you can, with what you've got, from where you are

It's easy for someone on the outside - especially someone who is already successful - to say, "You shouldn't even be trying to trade until you have a good passive income situation or capital cushion, the time to spend learning and trading during your market's session, and the support from your family, friends and colleagues."

But who the **** has all of that - much less at the same time?!

So for me, and I think for many, this becomes not a thing of "getting all your ducks in a row, and then starting your journey to becoming a successful trader." It becomes more like, "doing the best you can, with what you've got, from where you are."

I may be embarrassed by my current situation, but I still have a great deal of respect for myself. I'm proud of the father I've been to my daughter and the way that she has been able to witness me continually striving to become a better person. I'm proud of the husband I am to my wife. I'm proud of the son I am to my parents. I'm proud of the brother I am. I'm proud of the uncle I am to my nieces and nephew. I'm proud of the business partner I am. I'm proud of the way I've honored my debts to creditors as difficult as it has been. I'm even proud of how I treat our pets.

I'm proud of how much they all respect and trust me. I'm proud of the person I've become and that I'm becoming.

I realize that this is a much truer measure of my worth than my current situation is. And I will use it to fuel me as I continue forward.

Where the determination is, the way can be found

Benjamin Franklin
"Energy and persistence conquer all things." - Benjamin Franklin

I'm still coming to grips with the level of determination that is required to become a successful trader - especially a "retail" trader.

The first post (on my blog, which I've referred to before) of this journey keeps swirling around in the forefront of my mind and has become a guide for my activities over this weekend. I'll probably read it a few times over the course of this weekend to keep me focused on the attitude I need to maintain...

Where the determination is, the way can be found

"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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  #106 (permalink)
 jimjones26 
Tulsa OK
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader/Jigsaw Tools
Broker: Deep Discount Trading/TT
Trading: ZN, ZB
 
Posts: 162 since Jul 2009
Thanks: 138 given, 207 received

This is the best post I have read here in a long time. I am going to reply to different parts of your post, hope you don't mind.


Quoting 
"I'm honestly frightened. I'm frightened because I'm afraid this is going to be painful; I'm afraid it's going to take a long time; the risk of bruising my ego here is large."

No pain no gain. An oversimplified statement, but something I believe is key to personal growth. Early on in my trading I came across a quote that has stuck with me. I can't remember exactly where it is from, but I think it came from a modernized version of The Art of War. "Without conflict, there is no opportunity for growth." Without any internal conflict, you probably would not be feeling pain, or you would not be worried about the possibility of pain. So don't shy away from this, the pain / potential pain you are feeling is the result of an internal conflict(s) that needs to be resolved. I absolutely believe the discovery of these internal conflicts and the things we do to remedy them are the real path to profitable trading. So when/if that pain comes, embrace and and do not lose heart, you are one step closer to the goal of profitable trading.

About your ego. You should do more research on it. Ego is usually a good thing, when it keeps you from doing things not acceptable within current moral boundaries dictated by the society you reside in. But a lot of time the needs of my ego usually run counterproductive to the results I am trying to achieve in trading. It's worth learning more about your ego and how to manage it.



Quoting 
I make my living right now in a self-employed contractor arrangement (not salaried) where I only make money when the work is available to do. And the work has been slowing down dramatically over an alarming stretch of time - which means very little money is coming in, and I've had to use reserves that I'd put aside for slower times. This seems to automatically make me put more emphasis on my need to get to the point of being able to make money from my trading, which is not a good thing.

I also have over 200,000 miles on my trusty, but well-worn Explorer (a critical component of my "real" job), which is in need of quite a bit of (costly) maintenance, or replacement. I have my daughter's car to maintain, college tuition & related expenses to help with, a house that needs maintenance, and all the other expenses related to having a family and living in general. I have far more personal debt than I should, due mostly to turning down better paying jobs over the (many) years in order to remain freer to pursue my trading. I also have the bare-bones, absolute minimum account size to use for my trading, and if things don't turn around with my job/income, I'll have to use that money to live on.

Not only is this a far-less-than-ideal situation, but it is highly embarrassing to me to even be in it. So I've felt the pressure of that this week and I'm sure that that has had a large impact on how I'm viewing this week's (and prior week's) results.

A few years ago I was in the same position as you regarding work, debt, savings and risk capital. If you read my journal you will see me interacting with Big Mike from time to time on what I was doing to lay a better financial foundation before getting back into trading.

There is nothing embarrassing about where your at. It is what it is, based on choices you have made in the past. The only thing to do is assess where you are, and start making new choices if you don't like the direction your headed. Embarrassment assumes you care about what others think about how you are living your life. There are very few people in this world you should allow to have that type of impact on you, and from what you wrote later in this post about the pride you have in how you have handled yourself as a husband, father, son and business partner, I see no need for embarrassment.

The thing you wrote about capitalization though, it added a tremendous amount of pressure on me when I started trying to trade to earn a living. That's when my greatest losses came. So there is a conflict here that needs to be resolved, although I'm not sure what the answer is.


Quoting 
Doing the best you can, with what you've got, from where you are

Absolutely. That's all you can do, but be real with yourself about "the best" part. There are a lot of things I did, picking up more work, cutting expenses like crazy, things that hurt at first but I don't even think twice about now. People walk into my house and feel sorry for us because we don't have TV, there is barely any furniture and what we do have was all free (i.e. not really nice at all). It's OK though, I know what I am working towards so their pitty does not bother me.

I bring this up to help you think about ways you could extend your savings.


Quoting 
Where the determination is, the way can be found

I love your attitude. Will Smith has some great things to say about success. Maybe you might find it helpful.
Motivation, Success, Greatness. -Will Smith - YouTube

Hopefully I did not come across wrong. I have a hard time articulating my thoughts. But man this was a great post, it resonated with me a lot, and I wanted to offer encouragement.

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  #107 (permalink)
 josh 
Georgia, US
 
Experience: None
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AttitudeTrader View Post
Because I have more latitude in my decision-making now, I'm feeling like my trading isn't as "consistent" as it was before. I'm following my rules, but I'm also feeling unsure of myself because of the discretion I have. I'm experiencing the regret of making a decision to do one thing and then watching as the other thing works out better.

The discretionary trader experiences this hellacious "son of a bitch" (for lack of a more appropriate term) called uncertainty (as you said, "unsure of myself") at some point or another, regardless of whether he first learns to follow a plan and then learns to think for himself, or whether he learns to think for himself first and then to follow a plan later. I'd say you're simply experiencing what's natural when you go from having to not think and only follow orders, to having to make decisions and then being okay with the decision not working out as you would have liked. In the first case you have "no choice" but to follow rules, so it makes a loss more bearable, almost removing responsibility. It's the primary reason IMO why so many traders want so many rules--rules remove discretion, and thus responsibility. In the other case you have a choice, and you live with the results. So, what you are experiencing is quite normal I think; don't sweat it.


AttitudeTrader View Post
Where the determination is, the way can be found

I think you hit the nail on the head, that the way can be found with determination. Determination is not the way, but it can buy time to find a way. As long as we realize that determination alone is not enough, but that it is a tool and a prerequisite for success, then we are okay. It keeps us going during tough times, and without it we'll shrivel up under the heat of pressure and natural obstacles. What's a shame is when people do the same crap for years expecting different results, but who expect to improve because they have determination. But those who have it and use it for its intended purpose can actually benefit from it.

Hope you have a good week!

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  #108 (permalink)
 stoplight 
los angeles, ca usa
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninja
Trading: es
 
Posts: 703 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 1,999 given, 2,847 received

The thing I'm finding from my own experience, and the experience of others, is that we all seem to have some combination of issues we have to deal with. I have to figure out what the **** I'm going to do to improve my situation, but so does (almost?) everyone else.

Powerful, powerful statement.

I like you am finding myself in my trading and largely because of you have committed myself to a deeper level of honesty, transparency and self evaluation. Thank you for that.

If I could add one comment about embarrassment. It not only comes from how you perceive others to perceive you but its power comes from how you perceive yourself and your ability to manage, control and resolve issues important to you.

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  #109 (permalink)
 AttitudeTrader 
Dallas, TX, USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader, T4
Broker: IQFeed
Trading: 6E
 
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Posts: 358 since Oct 2009
Thanks: 6,868 given, 867 received


Big Mike View Post
Happy Birthday @AttitudeTrader

Mike

Thanks @Big Mike !


fosch View Post
One word... DEDICATION.

Fantastic journal AT. Keep at it.

Appreciate it @fosch !


jimjones26 View Post
This is the best post I have read here in a long time. I am going to reply to different parts of your post, hope you don't mind...

...Hopefully I did not come across wrong. I have a hard time articulating my thoughts. But man this was a great post, it resonated with me a lot, and I wanted to offer encouragement.

Thank you so much @jimjones26 . I truly appreciate the ideas and encouragement that have come from your own journey.

I actually have a little (4" x 4") 4-picture montage of Will Smith hanging on the wall of my office as a reminder.


josh View Post
The discretionary trader experiences this hellacious...

Well said @josh . Thanks!


stoplight View Post
I like you am finding myself in my trading and largely because of you have committed myself to a deeper level of honesty, transparency and self evaluation. Thank you for that.

If I could add one comment about embarrassment. It not only comes from how you perceive others to perceive you but its power comes from how you perceive yourself and your ability to manage, control and resolve issues important to you.

I appreciate that @stoplight , and I'm glad that it has encouraged you in that way.

Words have different meanings for each of us, and "embarrassed" is the word I would use right now for my situation. I'm well aware of what "being embarrassed" means with regard to our perception of ourselves and how we believe others perceive us. But my use of the word here should in no way imply that I'm buried in it. It is simply "where I am" right now, and is providing powerful motivation for me as I move forward.

Thanks for your comments.


Robert Carrillo View Post
Happy Birthday AT!

First time I've commented on a journal, and I'd suggest it be required reading for anybody considering a (successful) career as a trader. Your dedication to the process, and not the results, is inspiring to say the least.


I'm flattered and sincerely appreciate your comments @Robert Carrillo . In fact your comments mean quite a lot to me because, although you had no way of knowing, we've spoken on the phone on several occasions. I've been not only impressed by your professionalism, but your willingness to work with me and help me out. You clearly demonstrated that you cared and were trying to do whatever you could to meet my needs. I can actually recall where I was when I hung up after speaking to you one time and thinking, "Man, he was so helpful!" And I'm quite sure that was one of the times I had to cancel my service!

So, even though I've told you and others at IQFeed that I appreciate your service, on the phone and in electronic correspondence, I'll take this opportunity to thank you again for the way you do business. Your data, IMO, is of extremely high quality and very stable, but the customer service exhibited by everyone I've dealt with there is without a doubt one of the reasons I enjoy being subscribed to your data feed.

Thank you.

-AT

"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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  #110 (permalink)
 AttitudeTrader 
Dallas, TX, USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader, T4
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Trading: 6E
 
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Posts: 358 since Oct 2009
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Trading Plan: 2013.03.12.218-238

On time for work. (I'll explain this later.)
07:50 At my workstation and going through my morning prep checklist.

Pre-market look
No major US reports, but a lot of Eurozone speakers throughout the day today.
ES gapped down hard overnight and the range is larger than usual. This may be problematic for my stop distance.

Trade #234
08:36 Short on [Core] setup.
08:38 Stopped out. -10 ticks.
Price flowed right through my stop.

Trade #235
08:56 Long on [Core] setup.
08:56 Target 1. +6 ticks.
09:00 Price has not tested/pierced the overnight high. Will it turn down now?
09:00 Stop for Lot #2 to b/e. Price came back down within 2 ticks of my breakeven stop. Still not sure I like this b/e stop, but I have to keep it until this sample size is over and see if it helped/hurt.
09:02 Target 2. +10 ticks.

Trade #236
09:07 Long on [Core] setup.
09:09 Stopped out. -10 ticks.
Price had broken through O/N high and there was no visible resistance above, but that didn't matter.
****! Stopped out to the tick before price turned around and powered up to hit both of my target levels. Having to work to shake this one off.

Trade #237
09:24 Long on [Core] setup.
09:27 Target 1. +6 ticks.
09:28 Stop for Lot #2 to b/e.
09:36 Target 2. +9 ticks (MIT slippage larger than the usual 1 tick).

Trade #238
09:40 Long on [Core] setup.
Holy ****! Price came within 1 tick of my stop (09:47), moved up to within 1 tick of my first target level (09:49), came back down to languish for a while within 1 tick of my stop again (10:00), charged back up to hit my target level (but didn't exceed it to hit my MIT order) (10:12), pulled back down within 1 tick of my entry price (10:20), then powered back up to finally hit my first target (10:24)
10:24 Target 1. +6 ticks.
10:25 Stop for Lot #2 to b/e.
10:34 Stopped at b/e with 1 tick positive slippage. +1 tick.
****! Stopped out to the tick on the breakeven stop before price moved back up to hit T2.

Missed a valid setup
My breakeven stop was the same as the entry for the next valid setup. I wasn't prepared to take the next setup because I was still in the previous one, so I missed a new entry. I could have done something different with the breakeven stop since I was getting a new setup at the same price, but I'm going to continue to keep the setups separate for the time being.

[COS1]
11:20 Invoked [COS1] rule.
11:30 [COS1] rule saved me from a losing [Core] (long) setup.
12:35 The [COS1] setup I've been keeping an eye on would have made for a nice winner here too.

[COS1]
12:58 Invoked [COS1] rule.
13:13 Wow [COS1] saved me from another losing [Core] (short) setup.

Trade #239
13:57 Long on [Core] setup.
13:59 Stopped out. -10 ticks.
Could have invoked [COS1] rule.
I had the option of invoking [COS1] and it turns out that the accompanying setup would have been a very nice winner.

Entry missed by 1 tick.
14:22 My actual entry level was touched, but it wasn't exceeded to hit my MIT order.

After-market wrap-up
  • Objective: Trade with a serious prop shop mentality.
    -
  • Outcome: I had one trade stop me out to the tick and another that stopped me out to the tick on my 2nd lot b/e stop.
    -
    I followed my plan today although I had major issues with my attitude.
    -
  • Observations: I lost it today - my focus on my objective, my confident attitude, everything.
    -
    This morning I got the idea that maybe the militaristic mode I've been using is getting a little old, and that I don't really need it anymore.
    -
    So I thought that maybe it would be a good idea to act like I'm working in a prop shop. I still think it's a decent idea, but not for me and not right now.
    -
    I completely lost the overall mentality of discipline, mental and physical strength, following rules, etc.
    -
    I still followed my rules - I didn't take any trades outside of my rules, and I didn't miss any trades I should have taken - but my attitude was so different I couldn't believe it. And although my trades were all within my rules, I pulled up a longer time-frame chart again which is technically a rule-breaker. And it is partially responsible for my anxiety today.
    -
    I think the bottom line is that I became more focused on my P/L performance because of the "environment" I had decided to act in, than my own performance and attitude.
    -
    One thing that I can guarantee is that I'll be "back on base, rested and ready for duty" tomorrow.
    -
    Something positive that caught my attention this morning was how I was trading as the market was grinding higher. I can recall a time, not so long ago, when I would have been trying to short at the places I'm now often going long. Such a big change.

First Phase 2 sample size complete

I finished my first 20-trade sample size in Phase 2 and I'll be making some changes to my Mission Plan.

It's too early to have any solid numbers to look at, but I know for sure that my [COS1] rule has saved me from numerous losing trades so far. I also know that, even though I've only had a few instances so far, my breakeven stop for lot #2 has cost me a lot more than it has saved me, so I'll be removing that from the plan ASAP.

I'm feeling better now that the trading day is over. I'm also feeling better about being finished with this first sample size and getting the chance to make some changes.



"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 Robert Carrillo 
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AttitudeTrader View Post
Trading Plan: 2013.03.12.218-238

On time for work. (I'll explain this later.)
07:50 At my workstation and going through my morning prep checklist.

Pre-market look
No major US reports, but a lot of Eurozone speakers throughout the day today.
ES gapped down hard overnight and the range is larger than usual. This may be problematic for my stop distance.

...

I followed my plan today although I had major issues with my attitude.
-[*]Observations: I lost it today - my focus on my objective, my confident attitude, everything.
-
This morning I got the idea that maybe the militaristic mode I've been using is getting a little old, and that I don't really need it anymore.
-
So I thought that maybe it would be a good idea to act like I'm working in a prop shop. I still think it's a decent idea, but not for me and not right now.
-
I completely lost the overall mentality of discipline, mental and physical strength, following rules, etc.
-
I still followed my rules - I didn't take any trades outside of my rules, and I didn't miss any trades I should have taken - but my attitude was so different I couldn't believe it. And although my trades were all within my rules, I pulled up a longer time-frame chart again which is technically a rule-breaker. And it is partially responsible for my anxiety today.
-
I think the bottom line is that I became more focused on my P/L performance because of the "environment" I had decided to act in, than my own performance and attitude.
-
One thing that I can guarantee is that I'll be "back on base, rested and ready for duty" tomorrow.

WTF? That's what happens when you go AWOL or impersonate an officer. And they aren't "your" rules to follow. And the P/L is none of your business...it's above your pay grade. Focus man.


Quoting 
All off-base assignments completed. Reporting for duty.
I was able to get everything squared away yesterday afternoon, and I need to be here working, so I'm in the office today after all.

Kevlar, bullets & batteries checked and ready...
08:25 T-Minus 5...weapons live...head on swivel...eyes peeled...prepared to engage.


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 AttitudeTrader 
Dallas, TX, USA
 
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Mission Plan: 2013.03.19.240-260
Theater of Operation: Echo Sierra Mike 3

30 mikes to open...
Getting head sterile...starting pre-mission prep...

Pre-Open Recon
Overnight range remained inside of yesterday's RTH range. Friday's naked close is just above yesterday's double top high and well within striking range.

Entry level for current [Core] setup is 4 ticks above yesterday's close, which will likely be tested. This puts my stop in jeopardy. This, as well as current [COS3] conditions will have me avoiding this setup, should it occur.

10 mikes to open...
08:20 T-Minus 10 mikes...ear buds in and metal flowing...focused and on alert...data connection strong and feed streaming...DOM re-checked and hot...ready for engagement...

Initiating [COS3]
08:40 [COS3] rule in effect.

Sortie #240
08:45 Short on [CRev3] setup.
My call was completely wrong.
08:50 No Joy. -10 ticks.
Stand by and prep for re-tasking.

Sortie #241
08:56 Long on [Core] setup.
09:08 Within 1 tick of stop.
09:24 No Joy. -10 ticks.
Stand by and prep for re-tasking.

Initiating [COS1]
09:50 [COS1] rule in effect.
10:13 [COS1] saved me from a losing [Core] setup.

Sitrep
10:14 Price has created a double bottom (09:50 and 10:04) after breaking O/N low, and testing yesterday's 14:45 swing low to the tick.
What are the chances of this double bottom being tested again and/or broken?
10:17 Working [CRev1] long orders...

Sitrep
10:26 [CRev1] has now converted to [Core] setup. Working [Core] long orders...
10:31 Price has now pierced yesterday's close and pulled back down quickly. Entry order missed by 2 ticks then price moved back up to yesterday's close.

Sortie #242
10:36 Long on [Core] setup.
****! Price is plowing through my level and now 1 tick from my stop. Irrelevant PFC! Following mission protocol is your ONLY objective right now! Just do your job and let me worry about the results!
10:47 ****! No Joy. -10 ticks.

Stand down and RTB for debrief
10:48 Loss limit reached. That's it PFC, you're done for the day. RTB and prep for AAR. And review your charts to see if there's anything that the market might have been telling you that you missed while you were engaged.

AAR
  • Objective: Follow mission plan with extreme prejudice.
    -
  • Outcome: Followed mission plan, but took 3 trades, 3 losers.
    -
  • Observations: My militaristic mode is back in full force. I was surprised by the slip in my attitude yesterday. And it sank in that this military thing isn't just affecting my trading. It has had a profound effect on my entire life - in a very positive way. So I won't be changing it again any time soon.
    -
    There was a lot of good movement in ES today, but I wasn't able to stay in the game long enough to capitalize, which is something I'm thinking about addressing in my mission plan.
    -
    Even though I'm back in my militaristic mode, I still found myself pretty bummed by my P/L today. However, within 20 minutes of my last trade, my business partner (for my other work) called and it was perfect timing. Usually I'm the one getting his head back on straight, but today it was the other way around.

    Albert Schweitzer
    "At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each one of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us."
    - Albert Schweitzer

    We talked about what he's going through with his push to get into a certain position with the company he's started working for, and how he's completely turned his attitude around about it and started making significant progress. So he gave me a good kick in the butt and I'm more focused on my objectives than ever.
    -
    One way or another, I will prevail.



"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 AttitudeTrader 
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Mission Plan: 2013.03.19.240-260
Theater of Operation: Echo Sierra Mike 3

15 mikes to open...
Head is not quite on straight today...starting pre-mission prep...

Sitrep
08:34 Echo Sierra has tested/pierced O/N high, but 03/15 close is a little farther up and still naked. Working [Core] long.
08:35 Entry price hit, but not exceeded by 1 tick to hit my MIT order.
08:39 Entry missed by 1 tick and has reached target. Trade is over, orders canceled.

Initiating [COS1]
08:43 [COS1] rule in effect.
08:48 [COS1] saved me from a losing [Core] entry.

Sortie #243
08:55 Short on [CRev1] setup.
09:00 Tango 1 reached. +6 ticks.
09:02 B/E stop for Lot 2. -0 ticks.
Prep for re-tasking and next sortie.

Sitrep
09:14 The B/E stop for Lot 2 saved me from a full stop out. I also barely got my Target 1 profit - I can see that I'm fighting an upward bias.

Sitrep
09:39 I was wrong about the upward bias. In fact my original Lot 2 stop would have been hit to the tick before price moved back down to T2.

Sortie #244
09:48 Short on [Core] setup.
09:58 Within 1 tick of my stop.
09:59 No Joy. -10 ticks.
Prep for re-tasking and next sortie.

Sitrep
10:00 Wrong again. There apparently is an upward bias.

Standing by...
10:30 I'll be standing aside now until after FOMC minutes are released.

Sitrep
13:01 The stop for my last trade was only exceeded by 1 tick before price turned back around to reach T1.

Sortie #245
13:34 Long on [Core] setup.
13:48 T1 level hit but not exceeded to reach my MIT exit order.
14:00 No Joy. -10 ticks.
Prep for re-tasking and next sortie.

Mission complete. RTB for AAR.
14:30 New entry cut-off time. Finished for the day.

AAR
  • Objective: Follow mission plan with extreme prejudice.
    -
  • Outcome: Followed plan including stopping at 10:30CT to wait for FOMC at 13:00CT.
    -
  • Observations: First a personal observation: As I'm writing this I realize that I've broken my diet and I'm eating some junk chips. That's my M.O. when I'm uptight or stressed. So now that I realize it I'll address it this afternoon.
    -
    The next observation is about the market lately and my method. I haven't changed the core premise of my method since the beginning of this exercise, but I'm getting ready to now.
    -
    My method was designed to give me a direction (long or short) and a specific entry level. It hasn't been working too well lately, and honestly I'm surprised it worked at all, but it has served its purpose with flying colors.
    -
    In the same way that through the course of trading a really bad idea I came up with the one I've been using, during the course of this exercise so far I've begun to see things that may be superior to what I've been doing. And I think it's time to begin working with those things.
    -
    This second phase of my training is centered on learning how to deal with being wrong and missing out and that theme will continue as I develop my new approach.
    -
    This change is a little abrupt, but I still have "credit" for several sample-sizes where I didn't make any changes to my method.
    -
    I'm just getting started with the alterations to my trading plan, but I believe that the only thing that is going to change at this point is my entry/trade selection - my risk and trade management should remain the same for now.



"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 AttitudeTrader 
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Mission Plan: 2013.03.21.246-266
Theater of Operation: Echo Sierra Mike 3

On deck early
05:38 At my desk early to work on my new Mission Plan.
Rest day from normal morning workout.
Ate too much junk yesterday so I'm fasting for 36 hours to let my body do some natural cleansing.

Pre-Open Recon
08:10 ES appears to have a downward bias this morning. O/N has broken below yesterday's range, pulled back up to falling EMA's and is pushing down again to break O/N lows.

Sortie #246
08:42 Long on reversal after test of s/r.
08:47 Lot 1 reached target. +6 ticks.
08:49 Lot 2 stop to b/e.

Sortie #247
09:21 Long. First time I've ever had a split fill. Stop for both lots is set for higher fill price. T1 is set for lower fill price, T2 is set for higher fill price.
09:29 Lot 1 reached target. +6 ticks.
09:38 B/E stop for lot 2. -0 ticks.
09:46 Price pulled back to exceed B/E stop by 2 ticks (but didn't exceed original stop level) and then turned around to hit T2.
Prep for re-tasking and next sortie.

No fill
09:56 Attempted to get long with an MIT order 1 tick below my level. Price touched my level several times, but never came down to touch my MIT order.

Sortie #248
10:01 Long. Price eventually did come back down to hit my MIT order.
10:07 Lot 1 reached target. +6 ticks.
10:13 B/E stop for lot 2. +1 tick (1 tick positive slippage).
10:40 Price pulled back to hit B/E stop to the tick and then turned around to hit T2.
Prep for re-tasking and next sortie.

Sortie #249
11:28 Long.
11:57 My T1 level was touched but not exceeded by 1 tick to hit my MIT order, so I'm still long 2 lots as price pulls back to my entry.
12:01 Price stabbed down to retest/pierce my entry level and create a micro double bottom. I'm thinking that it will be broken and I'm going to be stopped out of this trade.
12:15 No Joy. -8 ticks (1 tick positive slippage per contract).
Micro double bottom was indeed broken.
Prep for re-tasking and next sortie.

SitRep
12:55 Price has created a micro double top at 03/19 close. Will this double top be broken? However, it has created a micro double bottom as well.
13:00 Double bottom was broken - in the direction of the prevailing intraday trend.

Sortie #250
13:13 Short.
13:13 No Joy. -12 ticks (1 tick negative slippage per contract).
Prep for re-tasking and next sortie.

SitRep
13:44 Working a buy order since 13:15. Price spiked down to within 2 ticks of my order (1 tick of my actual entry level), but then resumed the micro uptrend.

Sortie #251
14:16 Long.
14:17 No Joy. -10 ticks.
My entry levels are not appropriate and are just getting plowed through.
Prep for re-tasking and next sortie.

Stand down and RTB for debrief
14:18 Rolling loss limit reached.
RTB and prep for AAR.

AAR
  • Objective: Follow mission plan with extreme prejudice.
    -
  • Outcome: My mission plan was very loose today and so following it wasn't too difficult.
    -
    I had my first split entry fill ever today. I'm going to have to reconfigure my trade spreadsheet in order to log the entry price of each lot individually (I don't want to use "average prices").
    -
    My breakeven stop for Lot 2 is costing me a lot of potential profits. I'll probably be eliminating it after today's trading. In fact it is plain to see that even though I only had 50% winners today, I would have been up +20 ticks if I had had those T2 winners.
    -
  • Observations: 5 of my 6 trades today were against the macro trend.

It is very likely that I will be taking tomorrow off from trading as I've begun some intensive study.




"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 AttitudeTrader 
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Mission Plan: Transition to, and get my feet wet with, 6E/M6E.
Theater of Operation: Mike Six Echo Mike Three

On deck early again today
05:43 At my desk early to resume my studies and contemplate some major changes to my training program. I'll be doing some trading in a new market today.
Other than the minor feeling of wanting to chew on something, I'm feeling no hunger so far on my fast. This tells me that my body is not screaming for food and that it is still in cleanse mode. Therefore, I'll be continuing the fast tentatively until dinner tonight.
I don't work out or do strenuous physical things while I'm fasting, so today is another rest day from my normal morning workout.

Sortie #252
10:29 Short (M6E) after test of spike that occurred around 09:15-09:25, and a long upper tail on the current (entry) bar.
10:38 Lot 1 target reached. +10 pips.
11:00 I liked the way price pulled back toward the high and then came back down to 50% creating a triple bottom and I thought that price would try to break it, and if it did it might run a little. So I moved my target from 50% to a hard 20-tick target.
11:06 Stop for Lot 2 moved to BE.
11:07 Lot 2 target reached. +19 pips (1 pip negative slippage).
Prep for re-tasking and next sortie.

Sortie #253
11:10 ERROR Long. Got distracted and forgot I had a protective buy stop order still in (I hadn't set up OCO orders yet). Price spiked up (I'm not used to Euro action yet) hit my order and fell hard. I got out at the market as soon as I realized what had happened.
11:11 Emergency extraction. -11 pips.
Prep for re-tasking and next sortie.

Sortie #254
11:56 Short.
13:00 Lot 1 target reached. +10 pips.
13:52 Getting late. Moved T2 to BE.
13:54 Out BE on Lot 2. -0 pips.

Mission complete. RTB for AAR.
13:59 Finished for the day.

SitRep
15:10 Glad I got out. 6E took off to retest the climax high from this morning.

AAR
  • Objective: Start transition to M6E (Micro 6E - Euro FX futures). I'll discuss this in tomorrow's post.
    -
  • Outcome: Started getting an idea about what charts I'm going to use and how I'm going to go about this. I took 3 trades (1 was an order error) and came out with a gross profit of 28 pips.
    -
  • Observations: M6E/6E is different than ES and it will take some time to get used to it.



"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 stoplight 
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sorry if I missed it but was switching over to the euro part of the overall game plan?

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 AttitudeTrader 
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A review of the week

I was less than focused on my actual trading for much of this week, and more focused on the future of this exercise and ultimately the job that I'm trying to create for myself as a trader.

The reason is because I've started coming to a realization about one very important aspect of my trading, and until Friday I hadn't determined how I was going to deal with it. I'll discuss my solution later in this post.

On Monday afternoon I was fortunate to have a good friend (and my current business partner) give me a kick in the pants to help get me refocused on my goals and objectives and that pushed me to get even more "real" with myself about what I'm facing ahead.

A look at the stats

I exceeded 250 trades in the ES during the course of this exercise. That's far more than I ever thought I would be taking just for an "exercise."

I actually have to laugh to myself a little. With the exception of the very first trade in this exercise, my expectancy, although not good, was never negative. That to me is pretty amazing given that what I used was a ridiculously simple and non-backtested way of entering the market. I'll have the expectancy chart for M6E here next week.


Final stats for my ES trading:


I'm porting my trade log spreadsheet to work with pips and I'm modifying a few things for efficiency, so my stats grid looks a little different now. All the stats will be fresh for the new market. I will however continue to count the number of trades I'm taking during this exercise and label them accordingly (as I did on Friday):


Final Daily P/L chart for ES:


The main objective

The main objective for this entire exercise so far has been to learn how to behave in a consistently appropriate way so that I can develop complete trust in myself to always act in my own best interests.

With that in mind, I'm making a change in the instrument I'm going to be trading. This change is another important step in acting in my own best interests.

During the course of this exercise I've uncovered some misconceptions that I held about what trading is and isn't.

One of those misconceptions regards the amount of risk capital I have to work with versus the amount of risk I've been taking on each trade. And I realize now how skewed those numbers are...against me.

I want to make money. I want to make enough to live on and to pay the bills. But that has nothing to do with trading wisely and working within the constraints of the amount of risk capital I currently have available to use. I'm realizing that a 2-contract position in the ES is really too much per-trade risk for me in relation to my account size right now - especially while I'm still learning.

This has also had a deleterious effect on the mechanics of my trading. Because I've been trying to minimize the losses on each trade, I have been using stops that are really too small for the market I've been trading.

I've been risking about 2.5% on each trade and I used to think that that was a very small amount, but this exercise has given me a much different perspective.

I was talking about it with a trader friend yesterday and he told me that he recently had 9 losers in a row. It doesn't happen often, but it does happen. And he commented that if he had been risking as much as I have been on each trade he would have had a very hard time dealing with a string of losses that big - and he's been trading for a living for years and years.

And FT71 says he believes that under-capitalization is one of the biggest reasons traders fail. They don't have enough capital in relation to how they're trading in order to survive long enough to work through the necessary learning curve.

I need to be wise about how I use the capital that I have. Because I see the importance of this now, I'll be addressing it by starting to trade a market with a much smaller per-tick value. This market will have much less liquidity but that won't be a huge problem for me because I'll still only be trading 2 contracts at a time to begin with.

Continuing to "know my place"

Moving to this "smaller" market is another example of "knowing my place."

This is going to be somewhat difficult for me to deal with emotionally, because it means that I'm that much farther away from "making a living" from my trading. But it is what I need to do as opposed to what I want to do.

This is just another step in my evolution as a trader, and to skip it would be to invite disaster and the very good chance that I would put myself out of the game altogether, without giving myself a fighting chance.

This is also a tactical move with regard to going live. This market will give me a much better way to transition to live trading when I'm ready.

Some numbers

With a tiny $10,000 account, and a "small" risk of only 2.5% of the initial balance ($250) on each trade, 9 losing trades in a row (as discussed above) would put one down $2,250 which is a whopping 22.5% of the initial account. It would only take a few days of that to put a trader out of business - and those days wouldn't even have to be consecutive.

Not only would it be hard on the account, but there is little doubt that the emotional toll would be even greater, and would likely lead to inappropriate behavior. The friend I mentioned above wrote a post about this a few years ago that helps make the point: 8 Days of Pain. I've read it more than once along with all of his other risk-oriented posts, but obviously I haven't really taken them to heart.

I see the extraordinary importance of proper risk sizing on each trade now. I'll be adjusting my trading to risk only 0.5% of my account on each trade.

The early stages of Phase 2

I'm still in the very early stages of Phase 2 as well, so I'm in the process of developing rules to follow even though I'm making subjective decisions. I expect these rules to evolve quickly and change often at the beginning and until I get a better idea of how I'll be operating.

Some final thoughts

As with everything else I've done during this exercise, I don't know for sure how well this will turn out, but I believe these are the best moves for me right now even though I don't really like them that much.

Because of the hours of the FX markets, I'm going to have to do some rearranging of my schedule in order to start work earlier in the morning. It may have to be gradual in order to get used to it.

Although I was initially a little bummed about the idea of stepping down to a much "smaller" market, I'm becoming a little excited now, because it means that I'm probably closer to going live than I was before.

And for some reason the more reasonable numbers I'm looking at now are making this all seem a little more "real."

"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 Xav1029 
Tampa, FL
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader, Sierra Chart
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@AttitudeTrader been following the journal for a while and I admire your disciplined approach. I've been trading the M6E live for 6 months and I just wanted to give you some heads up on SIM trading the M6E.
- The volume traded on the M6E is very low, however the depth and spread is decent if you are trading 1-3 contracts.
- The M6E will run through levels without being traded. This will skew your fills on SIM and makes live stops tricky because they aren't triggered until a trade occurs at or beyond the stop
- Charting the M6E is useless IMO. Chart the 6E, and trade the M6E.
- The spreads are decent: 1-2 ticks 90% of the time during the full London session.
- Commissions can kill you. Relatively speaking, they are 4-6 X the 6E

Good luck on phase 2, and hope to see you in the chat box during London open

London Calling
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  #119 (permalink)
 AttitudeTrader 
Dallas, TX, USA
 
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I really appreciate the input @Xav1029 , because I had questions about some of those things, although I'm already using 6E for my charting.

And I appreciate the chat box invite, but 1) for now I'm really trying to stay "dark" during my session to reduce distraction and outside influence, and 2) I'm not quite ready to be up and trading at the London open yet! I've been working my way into earlier wake-ups, but I still have a ways to go.

Talk to you soon and thanks again for the info.

-AT

"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 AttitudeTrader 
Dallas, TX, USA
 
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Mission Plan: 2013.03.25.255-265
Theater of Operation: Mike Six Echo Mike Three

30 mikes to open...
06:50 Starting pre-mission prep...

Sortie #255
09:05 Long. 1 tick negative slippage (per contract) on entry.
Tried to catch a bottom in a strong downtrend. Knew it was a risky entry after I was in, but I need to let my trades play out in order to learn. More importantly, I didn't feel a lot of regret or upset about taking what I thought might be a poor entry.
09:23 No Joy. -22 ticks.
Prep for re-tasking and next sortie.

Sortie #256
09:26 Short. 1 tick negative slippage (per contract) on entry.
09:41 Lot 1 target reached. +10 ticks.
09:43 Lot 2 target reached. +19 ticks. 1 tick negative slippage on exit.
Prep for re-tasking and next sortie.

Sortie #257
11:16 Long.
11:31 No Joy. -22 ticks. 1 tick negative slippage on exit.
Prep for re-tasking and next sortie.

Sortie #258
11:52 Short. 2 ticks negative slippage (per contract) on entry.
11:55 Lot 1 target reached. +10 ticks.
12:03 Stop moved to BE after 15 ticks MFE on Lot #2.
12:10 Price moved to within 2 ticks of my BE stop.
12:14 Lot 2 target reached. +20 ticks.

Mission complete. RTB for AAR.
13:00 New entry cut-off time. Finished for the day.

AAR
  • Objective: Follow mission plan with extreme prejudice.
    -
  • Outcome: I was a little slow getting my first trade on this morning because this is a new market for me and I'm starting out with very loose discretionary rules until I can start to develop more structure.
    -
    However, I followed the rules that I do have without deviation. Once my trade was on I didn't make any changes to my stops other than the automatic move of my Lot 2 stop to breakeven, and I kept my hard targets in place regardless of what I thought price might do.
    -
  • Observations: Not used to a market that trends so much.
    -
    I used to have a habit (when I was trading in a very discretionary way like I'm am now) of changing my targets after a few losing trades in order to try to make up for my losses, but today I realized that I wasn't even thinking about doing that anymore.
    -
    Because the London open is well before I'm getting up right now, I realize that I'm going to have to make a specific starting time for myself so I won't get anxious about what I'm missing because the session is already underway. I'm working on getting up earlier, but for the time being I'll be trading the RTH session of M6E/6E which starts at 07:20CT - a little more than an hour earlier than I've been used to starting. My morning routine is out of whack now though, so I'll have to get it reorganized and back to consistency.

Regarding M6E

I've had some questions about why I'm using M6E instead of something like YM or NQ due to liquidity and cost issues.

I'm well aware of the differences in liquidity - especially after today's session, but this isn't just about going from ES at $12.50/tick to NQ or YM at $5.00/tick. Yes, NQ and YM are smaller tick values, however, if I'm trading a very small account and I want to risk only 0.5% on each trade, then NQ and YM are still "too big."

On a $10K account, 0.5% risk per trade is $50. That's only 10 ticks in NQ/YM, and if I'm trying to trade 2 contracts at a time, that's only 5 ticks of working room per contract. A 5 tick stop is not viable for the vast majority of trades in those markets.

I experienced the "cost to do business" issues related to M6E today (I had 15 ticks gross profit, but still had a losing day), but I'll talk about that another time.

** Edit **
I found an error in my spreadsheet, and it turns out that I actually did make a profit today!

Charts?!

I haven't posted any charts up to this point because where I was entering/exiting was irrelevant. It was irrelevant because I was using a very strict "setup" for entries and there wasn't really much to learn from it other than the objective at the time which was to act in a consistent way.

However, in this new "Phase 2" of my training (which is about learning how to deal with being wrong and missing out), my entries and exits are important. I'm making subjective decisions now, and I need to start learning from those decisions.

As a result I'm considering posting my charts for the sake of consistency. I've always tried to use chart time frames that were different than what others were using in an attempt to get an edge (I guess) or see things "differently," and constantly changing them to see the things I missed on another chart. But I'm learning/realizing that that really isn't necessary.

There's nothing wrong with using a simple 5-minute (M5) chart, so part of my exercise will be to consistently use this M5 chart and become very good with it. I'll have the opportunity to change it at the end of a sample size if I deem it necessary.

I have only one other chart with the exact same settings that I use for M15 and M30 time frames in order to mark more distant support/resistance levels.

I don't want to over-clutter these posts, so I'm reluctant to post charts every day, but I'll try it out and see how it goes for now.

My reasons for entries are on the chart itself. My targets right now are hard and they don't move.





"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 AttitudeTrader 
Dallas, TX, USA
 
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Mission Plan: 2013.03.25.255-265
Theater of Operation: Mike Six Echo Mike Three

Pre-Mission SitRep
06:45 Starting pre-open prep...Getting head sterile.
Barrage of reports due out this morning.
M6E coiled up in a tight range overnight.
07:20 Big spike up right on the open of RTH session.

Sortie #259
08:03 Short. 2 ticks negative slippage (per contract) on entry.
08:08 Price came within 1 tick of T1.
08:13 No Joy. -20 ticks.
Prep for re-tasking and next sortie.

Sortie #260
08:20 Short.
08:32 Lot 1 target reached. +9 ticks (1 tick negative slippage).
08:45 Stop moved to BE after 15 ticks MFE on Lot 2.
08:57 Per my rules I'm out at market 3 minutes before an important report release.
08:57 Out MKT +5 ticks.
Prep for re-tasking and next sortie.

SitRep
09:08 The effect of the Consumer Confidence and New Homes Sales reports was negligible. What it did do though is get me out with +5 ticks profit because my BE stop was hit shortly afterward. Price is still in the middle of the overnight range, so probably best to just stand aside for now.

Sortie #261
09:42 Long. 1 tick negative slippage (per contract) on entry. 6E didn't trade at this entry price, but M6E did (apparently) so I was filled 1 tick below my actual order price.
Wow. I got hammered.
09:43 No Joy. -24 ticks (2 ticks negative slippage per contract on exit).
Prep for re-tasking and next sortie.

Sortie #262
09:45 Short. 1 tick negative slippage (per contract) on entry.
09:45 Lot 1 target reached. +10 ticks.
09:50 No Joy on Lot 2. -10 ticks.
Prep for re-tasking and next sortie.

Sortie #263
10:11 Long.
10:13 No Joy. -22 ticks. 1 tick negative slippage (per contract) on exit.
Prep for re-tasking and next sortie.

Sortie #264
11:08 Short.
11:14 Lot 1 target reached. +11 ticks. 1 tick positive slippage.
13:50 Cutoff time for open positions (10 minutes until RTH close). MKT -0 ticks.
I was in this last trade for 2 hours and 40 minutes.

Mission complete. RTB for AAR.
Finished for the day.

AAR
  • Objective: Follow mission plan with extreme prejudice.
    -
  • Outcome: My trades weren't very smart (in hindsight of course), but I'll learn from today and adjust where I attempt entries based on these experiences.
    -
  • Observations: "Expected" sideways/ranging market today after yesterday's big move day.
    -
    A losing day like this makes M6E "real" enough for me. It may be a lot smaller than 6E, but it's still big enough to make a difference in my account.
    -
    As I mentioned in the last Weekend Review and Stats post, I expected my rules to evolve quickly at the beginning of this phase and new market, and that is just what's happening. I've already developed some very specific rules/guidelines to start implementing tomorrow. I set the first sample size to 10 trades for this very reason, but I forgot to mention that here. You can tell by the last few numbers in my Mission Plan number (e.g., 255-265) what trades are included in the current sample size. I'm only one trade away from that today, so I'm going to go ahead and make my changes for tomorrow's trading.
    -
    The development of these rules will follow a very familiar theme: it is all about making rules that are easily repeated and therefore very conducive to consistency. They are not rules that are backtested or chosen because they are believed to be optimal for generating profits. The only thing that is important is that they are very clear and repeatable - period.
    -
    Whether they're "good" or not will be determined via the stats that come as a result of being consistent.




"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 AttitudeTrader 
Dallas, TX, USA
 
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Mission Plan: 2013.03.27.265-275
Theater of Operation: Mike Six Echo Mike Three

Pre-Mission Prep
06:40 Starting pre-mission prep...Getting mind right...Going through checklist...

Sortie #265
06:41 Short. With trend.
06:47 Nervous. I don't really like the way this looks, but I now have very clear rules so I'm back to getting used to following a specific plan and just letting it work out how it will.
07:04 Lot 1 target reached. +11 ticks. 1 tick positive slippage on exit.
07:12 Stop moved to BE after 15 ticks MFE on Lot 2.
07:15 Lot 2 stopped out at BE. -0 ticks.
Prep for re-tasking and next sortie.

Sortie #266
07:48 Short. 1 tick negative slippage (per contract) on entry.
Nervous about this one too because I don't think it's a very strong setup, but I'm letting my rules do my thinking for me today.
08:14 Lot 1 target reached. +11 ticks. 1 tick positive slippage on exit.
08:30 Stop moved to BE after 15 ticks MFE on Lot 2.
08:34 Lot 2 target reached. +21 ticks. 1 tick positive slippage on exit.
Prep for re-tasking and next sortie.

****!
08:51 Pissed. Waited for my entry, canceled the order I already had in, clicked to place the new order, but by the time I had done that the DOM wouldn't accept my new order because price had already moved past it. ****!

Over it
08:53 Ok, I'm over it. Pending Home Sales is in 7 minutes and I was so focused on entering this trade, that I didn't realize I was breaking my rule about entering a position within 10 minutes of an important report (even though the alarm on my iPhone was screaming at me!).

SitRep
09:01 I've drawn boundaries for what may be a forming range.
On the missed trade above, price spiked down to hit my T1 level, but didn't exceed it to hit my MIT order, so I would still be in it.

Sortie #267
09:06 Short.
Not comfortable about this trade either. I think we may be in a range, but it's not clear enough yet for me to switch into range mode.
09:12 Lot 1 target reached. +10 ticks.
Price came within 1 tick of the MFE needed to move Lot 2 stop to BE.

SitRep
09:16 This is the third test of the 07:10 low and the second long lower tail. If this doesn't break the last bar low (which is LOD), then we're in a range and I'll be switching to range mode. However, if this is not a range, there may be a trap setting up here for bulls who are seeing this as a bottom.
09:25 Bulls are long now. If price breaks below the last M5 bar, there could be a strong push down as the bulls puke out.
09:34 Current M5 bar just broke below prior bar low. This will tell me if we're in a range or not by whether price continues down or creates a bear trap.
09:36 There it is. I'm in range mode now. Still in my short position though and will stay in it until I'm stopped out or by some miracle my Lot 2 target is reached.

Sortie #267 complete
10:08 No Joy on Lot 2. -11 ticks. 1 tick negative slippage.
Prep for re-tasking and next sortie.

SitRep
10:13 Ranging market now. I'll be following my range mode rules until the range is broken.

Sortie #268
11:21 Short. 1 tick negative slippage (per contract) on entry.
11:23 6E has yet to trade at my entry price - only M6E did I guess.
11:51 T1 level reached but not exceeded to hit my MIT order.
12:02 Lot 1 target reached. +10 ticks.
12:06 Stop moved to BE after 15 ticks MFE on Lot 2.
12:25 Lot 2 stopped out at BE. -1 tick. 1 tick negative slippage.
Prep for re-tasking and next sortie.

Mission complete. RTB for AAR.
13:30 New entry cut-off time. Finished for the day.

AAR
  • Objective: Follow mission plan with extreme prejudice.
    -
  • Outcome: Followed mission plan with only one minor hiccup (missed entry inside of "no report zone" above). Made for a relatively boring, but profitable day.
    -
  • Observations: I had to change my mentality somewhat at the beginning of the session, because I'm back into "follow the rules" mode today (as discussed yesterday), rather than the very loose discretionary mode I've been in for the past few sessions as I developed my rules.
    -
    I can see and feel the difference between those two ways of trading more clearly now than ever before. With the "follow the rules" mode, I'm having to let go of the responsibility for the outcome of the trade and that can be a little difficult. I'm having to keep reminding myself that my only responsibility is to follow the specific rules I have written in my plan.




"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 Robert Carrillo 
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AttitudeTrader View Post
I can see and feel the difference between those two ways of trading more clearly now than ever before. With the "follow the rules" mode, I'm having to let go of the responsibility for the outcome of the trade and that can be a little difficult. I'm having to keep reminding myself that my only responsibility is to follow the specific rules I have written in my plan.


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 AttitudeTrader 
Dallas, TX, USA
 
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Mission Plan: 2013.03.27.265-275
Theater of Operation: Mike Six Echo Mike Three

Pre-Mission Prep
06:15 Starting pre-mission prep...Getting mind right...Going through checklist...
Unemployment Claims report at 07:30.
Chicago PMI at 08:45.

SitRep
06:39 Six Echo has created a large 60-tick range. I'm in range mode.

Sortie #269
06:56 Short Fade. 1 tick negative slippage (per contract) on entry.
07:04 No Joy. -22 ticks. 1 tick negative slippage (per contract) on exit.
Feeling some anxiety about this stop.
Prep for re-tasking and next sortie.

Sortie #270
07:11 Short Fade.
07:17 Lot 1 target reached. +10 ticks.
07:28 US Unemployment Claims report in 2 Mikes. Price is still at 10 ticks MFE, so moved stop to BE rather than exiting position.
07:30 Some price agitation on report release. I need to follow my rules which say to exit 3 minutes prior to a high-impact report.
07:35 Stop remains at BE after 15 ticks MFE on Lot 2.
07:57 Lot 2 target reached. +19 ticks. 1 tick negative slippage.
Prep for re-tasking and next sortie.

SitRep
08:35 I have a new setup forming, but I can't take it because of the Chicago PMI report due out in 10 minutes.

SitRep
08:56 Six Echo has broken out from the range. All orders canceled. I'm in trend mode now. Waiting for price to form up.
09:04 Would like to be in this move up, but I haven't had an entry according to my rules.

Sortie #271
09:20 Long Trend. 1 tick negative slippage (per contract) on entry.
09:50 No Joy. -22 ticks. 1 tick negative slippage (per contract) on exit.
Prep for re-tasking and next sortie.

Sortie #272
09:55 Long Trend. 1 tick negative slippage (per contract) on entry.
10:090 No Joy. -20 ticks.
Prep for re-tasking and next sortie.

Sortie #273
10:20 Long Trend. 1 tick negative slippage (per contract) on entry.
10:22 I had a very hard time taking this trade. I was ready to call it quits for the day even though it's not cut-off time yet. And I really don't like this one because it's after a pretty strong pullback. Understandable PFC, but you're following your rules, and that is the kind of behavior that will move you up the ranks! Stand strong!
10:23 Holy ****! Lot 1 target reached. +10 ticks.
10:24 Stop moved to BE after 15 ticks MFE on Lot 2.
10:33 Lot 2 target reached. +19 ticks. 1 tick negative slippage on exit.
Prep for re-tasking and next sortie.

SitRep
10:40 Six Echo made a large spike up, which was nice for getting my profits on the last trade, but now I have to place new orders to long and I don't want to. You've just seen how important it is to remain consistent and follow the plan! If you'd quit before the last trade you would have been further down on the day, but more importantly you would be kicking yourself right now! Stick with the plan!

Sortie #274
10:46 Long Trend. 1 tick negative slippage (per contract) on entry. Also missed moving my entry order, so I'm in 1 tick higher than I should be.
Taking this trade regardless of how much I don't like the setup.
11:00 No Joy. -22 ticks. 1 tick negative slippage (per contract) on exit.
Prep for re-tasking and next sortie.

Sortie #275
11:20 Long Trend. 1 tick negative slippage (per contract) on entry.
11:30 Day before a holiday cut off time, so this will be my last trade for today and the week.
11:45 No Joy. -22 ticks. 1 tick negative slippage (per contract) on exit.

Mission complete. RTB for AAR.
11:47 New entry cut-off time reached. Finished for the day.

AAR
  • Objective: Follow mission plan with extreme prejudice.
    -
  • Outcome: One rule break today (didn't exit before a report like I should have). I had a report-related mistake yesterday too.
    -
  • Observations: I almost gave up after 2 losing trend trades in a row. From a P/L standpoint that would have been a better way to end the day, but I wouldn't have been following my rules, which is priority number one right now.
    -
    This wasn't a fun day of trading for sure.




"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 AttitudeTrader 
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A review of the week

Mid-week I was able to develop some more specific rules to work with. On Friday I ended another 10-trade sample size, so this weekend I'll be looking at some modifications to my mission plan.

M6E/6E moves in a very different way (in my eyes anyway) than ES, so it will still take some time to get a feel for it. I do however like it.

On completing my first week of trading M6E, I'm finding it beneficial in a number of ways.

Costs to do business

I was warned that commissions (the larger part of which, I believe, are the additional miscellaneous fees) make for a high cost-to-do-business in M6E. This makes it harder to make a profit in M6E than the full size (6E) contract.

And, as I was also warned, slippage in M6E is a very common occurrence. I've discovered that firsthand. I'm currently averaging about 1 tick of negative slippage on every trade in my sim/demo account.

What this all means to me though is that if I can trade this market profitably with real money, then it will be a fantastic "boot camp" for the larger, less costly, more liquid market that I can move into later.

Larger stops give me more room to work

Because of the much smaller per-tick value of M6E, I've been able to widen my stop so that it works with the market in a more appropriate way. In other words, rather than setting a stop that is too tight because I'm trying to only risk a certain percentage of my risk capital, I can now risk the percentage I want, but at the same time use a reasonable stop.

A look at the stats

A downtrending expectancy is not unexpected as I begin working with M6E and, more importantly, continue to work on improving my trading overall:


I'm negative on my sim/demo account after 24 trades. By using a different trade management scheme I wouldn't be quite as far down (I discuss this below), and I'll be working on that over the weekend:



My daily P/L chart is just ugly:



A surprising revelation thanks to a friend and my stats

I started this exercise in consistency using 1 ES contract with the objective to move to multiple contracts and scaling out, which I did. I continued the multi-lot strategy on converting to the M6E contract.

I've considered this scale-out tactic to be superior to a one-lot strategy and I still do. However, at least for the way I'm trading right now, it appears that it isn't the best way for me work.

At the suggestion of a friend, I looked at my current results versus an all-in-all-out (AIAO) approach. I was quite surprised to find that for these first 24 M6E trades, my 2nd lot has nearly completely canceled out the profits from the 1st lot. In specific terms, using my current scale-out strategy, I stand at +3 gross ticks, but had I been using an AIAO strategy, with the same Lot 1 target, I would stand at +35 gross ticks - a significant difference.

This is a very small sample size to be looking at, so I went to my ES trade log where I have a larger (147 trades) sample size. Again, I was surprised to find that with the scale-out strategy, I finished at +62 gross ticks, but had I been using an AIAO strategy, with the same Lot 1 target, I would have finished at +81 gross ticks.

So, even though I think scaling out is probably a "better" way to manage a trade, my stats are giving me hard proof that, at least for the time being, an AIAO strategy is better for my way of trading.

This puts me in a similar state of mind as last week when I realized that "stepping down" to M6E was actually putting me in a better place with regard to my current capitalization, and shrinking the window of time before I'll be able to start working with real money.

Thanks to the consistent stats I've been keeping, I have again shrunk that time window because I see that an AIAO strategy is not "harming" me, and that means that I can trade as little as 1 contract per lot without fear that I'm handicapping myself.

I'll be implementing this AIAO approach next week and I'll see how it goes from there.

"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 AttitudeTrader 
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Mission Plan: 2013.04.01.276-286
Theater of Operation: Mike Six Echo Mike Three

Pre-Mission Prep
05:55 Starting pre-mission prep...Going through checklist...

Sortie #276
06:03 Long, Trend. 1 tick negative slippage (per contract) on entry.
06:29 No Joy. -9 ticks.
Prep for re-tasking and next sortie.

Sortie #277
06:38 Long, Trend.
06:29 No Joy. -9 ticks.
Prep for re-tasking and next sortie.

Sortie #278
06:38 Short, Trend.
I'm frustrated from the first 2 losing trades, and I realize that I just broke my entry trigger rule. I took this trade simply because it pulled back to an s/r line I was using, but I didn't wait for any sign that it might be turning back down.
06:29 No Joy. -9 ticks.
Breaking my rule cost me.
Prep for re-tasking and next sortie.

Sortie #279
08:28 Long, Trend. 2 ticks negative slippage on entry. 6E hasn't traded at this price but M6E filled me there.
08:41 Volume for 6E and M6E is very low, and I just discovered that today is a bank holiday for Great Britain, France, Italy and Germany.
08:57 Exited MKT prior to report. -4 ticks.
Prep for re-tasking and next sortie.
Price spiked in the direction of trade #279, but I can't be in a position during high-impact reports.

Sortie #280
09:22 Short, Fade. 1 tick negative slippage on entry.
10:10 No Joy. -10 ticks.
Prep for re-tasking and next sortie.

Sortie #281
10:15 Long, Fade.
10:28 No Joy. -9 ticks.
Prep for re-tasking and next sortie.

Sortie #282
10:48 Long, Fade.
11:19 No Joy. -10 ticks.
Prep for re-tasking and next sortie.

Sortie #283
11:50 Long, Fade.
13:56 Cutoff time for open positions (4 minutes until RTH close). MKT -3 ticks.

Mission complete. RTB for AAR.
Finished for the day.

AAR
  • Objective: Follow mission plan with extreme prejudice.
    -
  • Outcome: After two losing trades I was getting a bit frustrated and broke an entry trigger rule. Other than that I followed my rules.
    -
    The end of the day was even more frustrating because every single trade today was a loser. However, what is extremely interesting is that had I done the exact opposite on every trade, every single trade would have been a winner.
    -
    It almost makes me want to employ the George Costanza Principle.
    -
  • Observations: I've learned an enormous amount from this exercise, but I think I need to change the way I'm going about it now.
    -
    So far I've designed my rules so that I would be very active and take a lot of trades so that I can learn about execution, following my rules, etc. But I'm chopping myself up a lot in the minutiae of unimportant noise.
    -
    I think it's time for me to stand back a little and start taking entries that are geared toward larger moves rather than the mostly scalping methods I've been using up to now.
    -
    As a friend has told me before, it doesn't matter how good your discipline and money management is if you don't have an edge. I think it's time for me to start working on my edge.
    -
    I went through almost an entire sample size today, but even though I didn't quite finish all 10, I'm still going to be revising my strategy for tomorrow.
    -
    Phase 1 of this exercise was difficult, but it was pretty clear cut. Phase 2 is proving to be slippery, and I'm sure it will be far more difficult than Phase 1 was.
    -
    No chart for today.



"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 tinkug112 
Vizag+india
 
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hi,
I would know what is success probability based on backtesting.

Reason:
A system with 55% expectancy will fail
12 times consecutively (20% chances) Trade size 100 Trades.

This statistic might help me going without changing..

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 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

"It almost makes me want to employ the George Costanza Principle."

haha, nice reference bro.

Keep plugging away, and keep making yourself available to what the market is doing.

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 WarEagle 
Birmingham, AL
 
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I've backtested the George Costanza principle and amazingly found I was able to lose money both ways...

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 AttitudeTrader 
Dallas, TX, USA
 
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Mission Plan: Under Development
Theaters of Operation: Mike Six Echo Mike Three, November Quebec Mike Three, Yankee Mike Mike Three.

Sortie #283
07:56 Short M6E.
Short after break and pullback/retest of 50% of YR. Current target is yesterday's RTH low.
Target modified to FE of last down-swing (Pink Fibs on chart).
08:25 target reached. +10 ticks.
08:40 MM of OR was a better target (Olive Fibs on chart).
Prep for re-tasking and next sortie.

Sortie #284
09:15 Short NQ. 1 tick negative slippage on entry.
Short after test of yesterday's high and pullback below OR high. Target is OR low.
This wasn't a strong candle formation and the markets look strong, so I'm not liking this one very much.
09:35 A break of the 6th bar of the day would have been a better entry as price retested HOD on the 6th bar and had another long-ish upper tail and shorter body.
09:47 No Joy. -23 ticks.
Prep for re-tasking and next sortie.

Sortie #285
09:44 Long YM. 1 tick negative slippage on entry.
Long on break of Hammer after consolidation at ORH. Target is a few ticks below the MM of yesterday's range.
10:10 Price came within 3 ticks of my target and has pulled back pretty strongly creating a shooting star (10th bar) at the 14600 level. Target is moved to HOD.
10:16 The current bar (11th bar) broke below the shooting star, so I'll have to wait to see if this was a bear trap or if it is indeed a reversal.
10:20 Stop moved to low of last completed bar.
10:29 Trailing stop hit. +11 ticks.
Prep for re-tasking and next sortie.

Sortie #286
10:39 Short NQ. 1 tick negative slippage on entry.
Short on test/pierce of FE. Target is 50% of OR.
Price pulled back up to within 1 tick of my stop around 11:20CT, and then to retest FE around 12:10, and I knew for sure that this was going to be a losing trade.
13:35 Target reached. +38 ticks.

Sortie #287
11:32 Short YM.
Short on retest of OR FE. Target is 50% OR.
12:04 No Joy. -6 ticks.
Prep for re-tasking and next sortie.

Sortie #288
12:13 Short Short YM.
Short after another retest of FE.
14:26 Price moved to within 1 tick of my target. Stop to BE+1. Moved target to low of last 2 bars.
14:36 Now that price has bounced up quite a bit, I've moved my target back to its original level, because if price does decide to come back down this low again, it will likely break further.
14:41 Target reached. +30 ticks.

Mission complete. RTB for AAR.
Finished for the day.

AAR
  • Objective: Develop a new mission plan using a longer-term approach.
    -
  • Outcome: As I mentioned yesterday, I'm working toward larger moves and (likely) fewer trades (per market), and I did that today.
    -
    I'm using an approach based on the style of Trader-X. I've followed X for years and I've tried to use this style in the past, but, because of this exercise, I have a very different attitude about trading in general now, and so I want to spend some time with it.
    -
    There are nuances that will take time to learn, but I'll do my best in the meantime.
    -
    Because I'm looking for larger moves and taking fewer trades, I'll be watching more than one market. For now I'll be trading M6E, NQ, and YM. I'll deal with how these work into my risk tolerances after I have some data to look at.
    -
  • Observations: Although there were times today when I was not happy because I was sure I was going to take a bunch of losing trades, trading today was definitely less frenetic than I'm used to. I didn't have too much trouble letting the trades play out, and this has an enormous amount to do with what I've learned during the course of this exercise.
    -
    I'm not trading even amounts of each instrument (e.g., 1 contract of NQ/YM vs. 1 contract of M6E), but right now developing my trading method/rules and executing it/them is the primary focus.







"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 AttitudeTrader 
Dallas, TX, USA
 
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Mission Plan: 2013.04.01.283-293
Theaters of Operation: Mike Six Echo Mike Three, November Quebec Mike Three, Yankee Mike Mike Three.

Pre-Mission Prep
06:50 Starting pre-mission prep...Going through checklist...

Standing by...
08:50 Standing aside until report is released.

Sortie #289
09:20 Short M6E.
Short after test/pierce of YR FE, OR MM, and Shooting Star-like / Spinning Top candle formation. Target is 50% OR.
09:37 Target reached. +15 ticks.

Sortie #290
09:59 Short NQ.
Short after multiple tests of YC and 50% YR. Target is YL.
10:14 Price came within 2 ticks of my target and bounced back up.
10:21 Resisting the urge to trail a stop...
10:27 If I had been trailing a stop at the high of each bar, I would be stopped out at 2806.50 now with +9 ticks profit.
11:11 Price came back down to within 1 tick of my exit order.
11:27 Target reached. +24 ticks.
Prep for re-tasking and next sortie.

Sortie #291
10:33 Short YM.
Short after pullback to YL. Target is 04/01 NC.
10:53 No Joy. -15 ticks.
Prep for re-tasking and next sortie.

Sortie #292
11:21 Short YM.
Short after retest of YL and Bearish Engulfing pattern that closed below YL. Target is FE.
11:52 Price came within 1 tick of my target and bounced back up hard.
12:26 Price bounced back up to my entry and has tested lower again, but I think YM is bottoming here.
However, I won't move my stop, and in fact I'm modifying my target lower to 04/01 NC (as in trade #291) because if price does decide to come back down the LOD, I think it will try for the NC.
12:39 It did go for NC and then MM as did NQ.
12:39 Target reached. +40 ticks.

AAR
  • Objective: Follow mission plan with extreme prejudice.
    -
  • Outcome: Followed the basic framework I have right now. It was another good day.
    -
  • Observations: With my longer-term approach M6E/6E has quickly become less appealing due to its choppy action during the US Futures RTH session.
    -
    I'll watch it some more, but I'm probably going to have to eliminate it. Additionally, with my different approach, I may be able to trade "bigger" products like NQ and YM after all. I'll just have to see how things go.


"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 Profiler 
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
 
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hey attitude-
i dont want to wreck your journal but why are you trading multiple stuff now instead of focusing on just one?

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 AttitudeTrader 
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Profiler View Post
hey attitude-
i dont want to wreck your journal but why are you trading multiple stuff now instead of focusing on just one?

In this post I said:

AttitudeTrader View Post
Because I'm looking for larger moves and taking fewer trades, I'll be watching more than one market. For now I'll be trading M6E, NQ, and YM. I'll deal with how these work into my risk tolerances after I have some data to look at.

-AT

"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 djkiwi 
Mercer Island WA
 
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In this post I said:


-AT

@AttitudeTrader

Great journal!

I'm interested to read your foray into multiple instruments.

Studying YM, NQ and 6E together should provide a more holistic view of the market and a more complete picture before placing a trade. Sometimes you will see YM acting relatively weak compared to NQ and ES which can make you rethink your long trade. You may also want to follow the FDAX closely as well. I will never place a trade without considering the FDAX, ES, NQ and YM/TF as a collective group. This simple concept alone has kept me out of countless losing trades.

Best of luck with your new approach.

Cheers
DJ

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 AttitudeTrader 
Dallas, TX, USA
 
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Mission Plan: 2013.04.04.293-323
Theaters of Operation: November Quebec Mike Three, Yankee Mike Mike Three.

Pre-Mission Prep
07:50 Starting pre-mission prep...Going through checklist...

Standing by...
09:15 Standing aside until after Bernanke speaks.
09:23 Not happy about doing this because I didn't take short setups on both YM and NQ and they're working out beautifully. ****! Aggravating! This is the "missing out" part of Phase 2, PFC! It may be aggravating, but you have to let it go and prep for the next opportunity! And focus on the fact that your method is working like a well cared-for M4 Carbine - it will take care of you if you respect it and take care of it. You're building trust in it and in yourself!

Sortie #293
09:59 Short NQ.
Short after test of OR 50% and YC. Don't like that the entry bar is so large. Target is OR MM.
12:20 NQ is not looking like it wants to go down.
13:15 NQ has really come back hard on me. I've stayed in because I just didn't see any good setup in the opposite direction. I'm feeling pretty stupid here.
13:29 No Joy. -37 ticks.
Prep for re-tasking and next sortie.

Sortie #294
10:02 Short YM.
Short after test of YR 50%, OR 50%, Shooting Star. Target is OR FE.
12:20 Price came within 5 ticks of my target.
13:15 YM has really come back hard on me. I've stayed in because I just didn't see any good setup in the opposite direction. I'm feeling pretty stupid here.
13:24 No Joy. -25 ticks.
Prep for re-tasking and next sortie.

Sortie #295
13:42 Short NQ.
Short on retest of YC, OR 50% and bearish engulfing pattern. Target is ORL.
14:19 Target reached. +17 ticks.

Mission complete. RTB for AAR.
14:30 New entry cut-off time. Finished for the day.

AAR
  • Objective: Follow mission plan with extreme prejudice.
    -
  • Outcome: Followed my rules but today was a little tough to get through.
    -
  • Observations: I missed nice setups on both NQ and YM this morning because I was standing aside for Bernanke's speech. I did the right thing, but I wasn't too happy about it. Then I let two of today's three trades come all the way back to stop me out after decent MFE's. I feel pretty stupid, but what I like about the way I'm looking at price action is that I can already see where I can make corrections/improvements in my execution and choices. For example, one thing I know for sure is that I shouldn't have taken such a mediocre entry in NQ. The candle was far too large and it was at a poor level.
    -
    I've decided to proceed with the approach I've been using over the past two days and today, and so I'll be expanding my sample size a bit so I can start getting experience with it. This Phase 2 is about learning how to deal with being wrong and missing out, but it's time to get back to reinforcing consistency as well.
    -
    This is similar to going into battle - I have to learn how my weapons work, and how I work, through consistent training so I can develop the trust in my weapons, and myself, that I'll need to survive. This also allows me to find the weak links and deal with them.
    -
    I've also decided to stick with NQ and YM for my markets. I'm used to the hours and some of the behaviors of the indexes, so I think it will be good for me stay with them for the time being.
    -
    I'm modifying my trade log spreadsheet to track the NQ and YM trades that I've taken and eliminating the M6E data, so my stats will only include the NQ and YM trades that I've taken, and will be taking.





"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 soumi71 
Toronto
 
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I like your journal , your price action reading is very interesting , keep up the good work
Thanks for sharing :-)

"Risk more than others think safe.
Dream more than others think practical.
Expect more than others think possible.
Care more than others think wise"
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 AttitudeTrader 
Dallas, TX, USA
 
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Mission Plan: 2013.04.04.293-323
Theaters of Operation: November Quebec Mike Three, Yankee Mike Mike Three.

Pre-Mission Prep
07:40 Starting pre-mission prep...Getting mind right...Going through checklist...

SitRep
08:15 Indexes have tanked after a poor Non-Farm Employment Change report, so I'll be looking at a big gap down on my RTH charts.
08:40 Price has powered higher after the gap down and it is so tempting to want to get on the move up, but my stops would be huge and this just isn't an appropriate setup. I just have to stand by and wait for a better opportunity.

Sortie #296
09:22 Long YM. YM retested ORL, had a strong bull candle close nearly halfway into prior bear candle and above OR Mid.
09:26 Feeling very nervous about this.
09:30 Stop moved to low of last M10 (entry bar) low, because this bar was a strong bull candle, and if price comes back this far down, I don't want to be in it anymore.
09:45 Still feeling quite a bit of anxiety. That's understandable PFC, but this isn't about being right or wrong on this trade! Just follow the Mission Plan and when we have our AAR we can look for ways to improve it if necessary. Don't forget, this is NOT about proving how brilliant your are! This is a learning process, so stay open to learn what's available!
09:58 Stop moved to last swing low - again, if price comes back this far I want to be out and waiting for a new setup. My risk on this trade is minimal now, so just relax and let it do whatever it's going to do.
10:03 Target reached. +36 ticks.
Prep for re-tasking.

Sortie #297
09:26 Long NQ. NQ bull candle with long lower tail closed well into prior bear candle and above OR Mid.
09:30 Stop moved to low of last M10 (entry bar) low, because this bar was a strong bull candle, if price comes back this far down, I don't want to be in it anymore.
09:35 A Shooting Star appears to be forming at ORH. This may be my undoing, but I've seen this create a bear trap many times, so I just have to wait.
09:45 Still feeling quite a bit of anxiety.
09:53 NQ has broken out of OR pretty solidly, so now I'm wrestling with the anxiety of not wanting to let the profits I have now evaporate, but I want to stick with my original target. Why are you having so much doubt today PFC? It's not necessary! What happened yesterday is not important. You learned from it and you've made some changes. But that doesn't mean you should abandon your confidence in your plan. Stick with it and only exit if you see REAL signs of a turnaround!
09:58 Stop moved to last swing low - again, if price comes back this far I want to be out and waiting for a new setup. My risk on this trade is minimal now, so just relax and let it do whatever it's going to do.
10:18 Stop to BE+1. If price comes back this far down I don't want to be in.
10:20 Stop to low of last M10 bar. Price has exceeded OR FE and I'm comfortable taking profits here if it pulls back.
10:26 Trailing stop hit. +26 ticks.
Prep for re-tasking.

Mission complete. RTB for AAR.
13:30 New entry cut-off time for Friday's. Finished for the day.

AAR
  • Objective: Follow mission plan with extreme prejudice.
    -
  • Outcome: Did a much better job today of waiting for a decent setup and taking profits, although I was nervous at times.
    -
  • Observations: The market really moved late in the session, but per my rules I was already finished for Friday (13:30CT).
    -
    I'm still pleased with the way price is reacting around my important levels.





"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 Robert Carrillo 
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of staying out of your own way, of keeping your head in the game, of trusting your process and creating an environment where positive results are encouraged and likely. Keep it up.

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 trendisyourfriend 
Legendary Market Wizard
Quebec
 
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Mission Plan: 2013.04.04.293-323
Theaters of Operation: November Quebec Mike Three, Yankee Mike Mike Three.

Now you caught my attention. Why Quebec Mike Three ?

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 AttitudeTrader 
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Now you caught my attention. Why Quebec Mike Three ?

NQM3 (June 2013 E-Mini NASDAQ) = November Quebec Mike Three based on the current military phonetic alphabet, plus just want to give props to your province!

-AT

"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
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I can't help but notice that your trades were the "same".

As a guy that used to manage portfolios, I have to say that by taking the same trade in such correlated markets, you might as well be putting on a double sized position in either one of those markets.

You are probably already aware of this?

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 AttitudeTrader 
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I can't help but notice that your trades were the "same".

As a guy that used to manage portfolios, I have to say that by taking the same trade in such correlated markets, you might as well be putting on a double sized position in either one of those markets.

You are probably already aware of this?

One of the things that I've tried to emphasize for myself and others in this thread is the concept of consistency over time in order to avoid coming to conclusions/judgments/decisions based on insufficient data/experience.

A short trip back to 04/02 and 04/03 will show that, regardless of market correlation, many of the trades I took are quite different between the two. I treat them as separate, and as such, a "signal" in one market is not a factor in creating a tradeable situation in the other.

As someone who used to manage portfolios, I'm sure you are aware that the approach used to trade "correlated markets" is an important factor in determining whether or not those positions behave in the "same" way and/or with the "same" outcomes.

-AT

"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 AttitudeTrader 
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A review of the week

I've completed my first week of using my "longer-term," and more discretionary approach. As the focus of this exercise is not on "improving" my method, and as the basic idea seems to be working well enough, I won't be making any changes to it for now (more about this below).

This week I said, "With my longer-term approach M6E/6E has quickly become less appealing due to its choppy action during the US Futures RTH session," but, as is often the case when I make an assumption based on insufficient data, the very next day it had a screaming session, and Friday was another very active day. I still believe that M6E is a good vehicle for transitioning to live trading so I want to continue to work with it and get used to it. Also, the chat room I'm currently in is beginning to put more emphasis on 6E and M6E, so I'll have additional resources available to me for working with it appropriately.

I felt a little out of sorts this week with the transition I made from one approach to another, and this highlights, for me, the benefit that working in a consistent manner brings in the form of calm and focus.

I'm actually looking forward to trading one approach for a period of time again - I'm not sure I could have said that a couple of months ago.

A look at the stats

On Thursday I said I would be eliminating the M6E data from my stats, but I'm not going to do that since I intend to continue trading it. The stats below include the three markets I traded this week (M6E, NQ and YM), and will continue to do so for the time being.

Because I only have a few trades (15) in this sample so far, my Expectancy is basically irrelevant right now. I'll probably post a chart of it next week.

Here are the results of this week of trading my longer-term approach:


Thank you

I'd like to take a moment to give a few "thank you's" because of some of the experiences I've had lately.

First, I'd like to thank the traders in this community who are offering me their words of encouragement as well as sharing their knowledge of trading in general. Because my main (nearly entire) focus is on consistency, new ideas or input about the markets I'm trading or the method I'm using are appreciated, but are something that I can't really implement or work with at this point. I'll be there soon enough.

The main reason I'm posting my charts every day is in order keep myself accountable for my objective of remaining consistent with my approach and to show the grind of my day in and day out trading experiences. I track my results and make notes about my entries and exits so I can improve later, but I'm not posting the charts here for analysis purposes.

Still, I'm grateful for the willingness of so many to share with me, and it just shows that this trading community has a lot of great people in it. So, thank you!

Second, I want to go back to the very beginning of this process and thank one of the traders who shared things that really hit me hard and were at least partially responsible for my starting this exercise. @PandaWarrior , hosted a webinar on Big Mike's with concepts and topics that had a big impact on me, such as his IR*H=NR formula, his "CCPP" acronym (Constant Change Prevents Profitability), his emphasis on becoming a "specialist," "P7," "CCFG," the "Elevator Speech, " and the IPE Ratio. I watched his main presentation (first 30 minutes) again today and got more out of it than I did the first time. Thank you PW.

Last, I want to thank @FuturesTrader71 and the crew at Stage 5 Trading. Yesterday (Friday) was the first in a regular (semi-weekly) schedule of "Ask A Question" webinars where clients have the opportunity to get on the mic to ask questions and have discussions with the group and FT71. I made my first-time-ever appearance "on the air," and having a chance to chat in that kind of format was a pleasure. So thank you Stage 5 and FT71 for working to develop that kind of environment for traders.

Back to the training

As I said on Thursday, it's time for me to get back to the core of this exercise which is consistency. My current sample size is larger than I was using before at 30 trades (through trade #323). I need to stick with my current method long enough to begin to get experience with it and to start getting feedback from the markets - just as I was doing before.


I've fallen out of my consistent diet and exercise routine somewhat too. The earlier mornings with M6E/6E made it difficult to squeeze my workout into the morning so I stopped. Today I'll be getting my diet and exercise routine back on track.

I'm really finding out how important it is to be focused on my objectives and what I'm trying to accomplish in my life. It's easy to get bogged down in everyday stuff, little annoyances, and unpleasant things that need to be dealt with.

And this is why I continue to lean on my militaristic approach. It gives me an attitude of strength and focus, and I'm finding extraordinary value in that.

This weekend and upcoming week, I will be focused on maintaining a positive mode, visualizing the success that I want in all areas of my life, and taking action toward achieving those things.

"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 Deucalion 
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One of primary weapons in mental training is pushing the brain a little bit to panic situations in a controlled manner. I'll give you an example. Years ago, I took HUET (Helicopter Underwater Egress Training), given to offshore oil & gas workers. You are strapped in a seat in a box, submerged under cold(ish) water, then the box is tuned upside down underwater with a re-breather. You undo your seat belt and get out of the box and surface up.

Most pass, some take a few moments to unstrap and a few don't. I found this a great way to train your mind in a fight or flight situation - the mind plays tricks on you. And the panic trigger is hyper sensitized. After a few botched tries, I started to understand what I was involuntarily doing. During a recent trip to Dallas and Houston, I went to Space Center in Houston where there is such a course and asked them to keep me underwater, upside down for a little bit longer without a re-breather (6 times). You learn that panic cannot be extinguished, you learn to live with it, face it and hope to make rational calm decisions in its presence. Its an interesting experience.

I wonder what goes on in the mind of these tribesmen or these kids? These two videos always blow my mind (even after having watched them over a dozen times).




A good write up on mindfulness in FoF here : Chaos or Calm.

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 AttitudeTrader 
Dallas, TX, USA
 
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Mission Plan: 2013.04.04.293-323
Theaters of Operation: Mike Six Echo Mike Three, November Quebec Mike Three, Yankee Mike Mike Three.

Pre-Mission Prep
06:55 Starting pre-mission prep...Going through checklist...

SitRep
07:26 Still working to get up earlier and then had some Ninja problems, so late getting 6E up and running. Staying calm and finishing checklist prep items...

SitRep
08:50 YM is powering lower and I'm having strong feelings of missing out on a good move even though I haven't had a clear opportunity to enter.

Sortie #298
09:47 Long YM.
Long on break of second bullish candle that pushed beyond halfway of the previous large bear candle, after retest of ORL and 50% of YR. Target is HOD/ORH. Don't like the fact that I'm entering into OR Mid resistance though.
09:51 Stop moved to low of entry bar - if price comes back this far down, I don't want to be in it.
10:08 Price has come down to within 2 ticks of my modified stop.
10:11 Stop to low of last completed candle - with its long lower tail, it is essentially a swing low.
10:16 I didn't like the fact that 3 M10 bars tested OR Mid and the last 2 couldn't close above it. Moved target to BE (because price was below entry by that time). Prepping to go short.
10:18 Exit at BE. -0 ticks.
Prep for re-tasking.

Sortie #299
10:11 Short M6E. 1 tick negative slippage on entry.
Short after test of ORL. Target is 50% of YR.
10:30 Price has created a Doji/Hammer at MM of OR and broke LOD by only 1 tick. I wouldn't take a long position here, but this is a formation that's too strong to ignore. I've moved my stop to the high of this bar.
10:41 Target reached. +15 ticks.
Prep for re-tasking.

Sortie #300
10:36 Short NQ.
Short after several tests of OR Mid. Not a clean setup though because indexes are choppy and range-bound so far. Target is MM of OR and 50% of YR.
10:50 I'm short YM now and it dropped pretty decisively, but NQ is staying strong.
11:12 Stop to high of doji that retested YC - with its long upper tail, it is essentially a swing high.
11:40 I ignored the Doji/Hammer at OR FE and price shot up after it. May have been a mistake.
*** This situation is identical to the situation I had above on M6E (trade #299), and I realize now that the only reason I didn't take the same precaution here was because I didn't want to take such a small amount of profit if it stopped me out. As it turned out, I paid a much bigger price for not doing what I knew I should.
12:31 No Joy. -17 ticks.
Prep for re-tasking.

Sortie #301
10:48 Short YM. 2 ticks negative slippage on entry.
Short after multiple tests of OR Mid. Target is OR FE.
12:14 No Joy. -15 ticks.
Prep for re-tasking.

AAR
  • Objective: Follow mission plan with extreme prejudice and do the best I can with what I've learned so far.
    -
  • Outcome: I followed my plan, but the discretionary portion of my trading could have been better. What pleases me though is that I'm still able to see things that I can do to improve how I'm operating.
    -
  • Observations: During my last trade and after, I could feel myself letting my lack of success today affect my sense of self-worth and activate all the tentacles attached to all the other parts of my life that trading affects.
    -
    I really had to refocus my thoughts, and among other things, ask myself, "Was my objective today to make (simulated) money?" And, although I found it a little bit hard to say, my answer was, "No." So then I asked myself, "Then what was your objective?" The answer was, "To trade the best that I know how right now and to follow my plan." And then the question was, "Did I do that?" And the answer was, "Yes."
    -
    I knew that I wasn't in the best state of mind to continue, and I had some pressing things that needed to be taken care of, so I got away from my screens and did those things. As I type this I'm feeling much better not just about my trading, but about getting things knocked out that were weighing on me.
    -
    So I may not be happy with my P/L today, but I know that I did my best, that I followed my plan, that I realized the state of mind I was in, that I removed myself from my screens so there would be no access to revenge trading, and that I deliberately relaxed myself so I could allow myself to see if there was something I could learn from today.
    -
    And again, even though I didn't execute in a way that allowed me to take advantage of it, I'm still very pleased with the way price is reacting at and around my levels.







"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 AttitudeTrader 
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Mission Plan: 2013.04.04.293-323

Theaters of Operation: Mike Six Echo Mike Three, November Quebec Mike Three, Yankee Mike Mike Three.

Pre-Mission Prep
07:05 Lot of things going on at the house this morning, so getting a late start again. Working on pre-mission prep...Going through checklist...

Trade #302
08:00 Long M6E. 2 ticks negative slippage on entry.
Long after pullback and test/pierce of OR Mid. Target is OR FE.
08:02 Price shot up to hit my target level before I could get my exit order moved, and now price has pulled back sharply. I'll have to wait to see if price will try to move back up there again.
08:12 Stop to low of entry bar.
08:18 Price has come back up to within 1 tick of my target.
08:22 Stop to low of last completed bar. I don't really want to do this, but price has tested my target level twice now, and I'm learning to be more conservative with my trades. If I get stopped out here, I'll just have to wait for another opportunity.
08:23 Stopped out. -1 tick.
Prep for re-tasking.

Trade #303
09:07 Short M6E. 2 ticks negative slippage on entry.
Short after break of ORL/LOD and test back up. Target is OR MM.
09:12 Stop to high of entry bar.
09:13 I can see now that this was a low probability trade because it's just a continuation trade after 4 previous bear candles in a row and right into OR FE.
09:17 This trade had terrible R:R too.
09:19 Stopped out. -13 ticks.
09:35 I was only stopped by 3 ticks and price turned back around to hit my target.
Prep for re-tasking.

Trade #304
09:51 Short YM.
Short after test of HOD Bearish Engulfing-like pattern (on last 2 bearish bars). Target is OR FE. Stop is the last swing high.
10:58 Stopped out. -13 ticks.
Prep for re-tasking.

SitRep
11:18 I had to deal with a minor family emergency (dog to the vet) and I left trade #304 on while I was gone.
Regardless of what I might have done if I had been here, this is the point (after a few losing trades) that I usually begin to mentally check out, thinking that I've missed the good moves for the day or whatever.
I'm not going to do that today. I'm going to stay focused now that I'm back in my office and wait for a clean setup.
The last two trades today have really been mediocre setups and I need to avoid stuff like that.

Trade #305
11:26 LongNQ.
Long after retest of YC, three alternating bars pattern, and in anticipation of a break above YH. Target is OR FE.
12:02 Target reached. +28 ticks. WTF?! I got 4 ticks of negative slippage on the exit (using an MIT order) in sim!
Prep for re-tasking.

Mission complete. RTB for AAR.
14:30 New entry cut-off time. Finished for the day.

AAR
  • Objective: Follow mission plan with extreme prejudice and do the best I can with what I've learned so far.
    -
  • Outcome: I took a couple of marginal trades today that I shouldn't have.
    -
  • Observations: Because I was getting a little bit frustrated with the fact that the market was making moves but I wasn't getting clear setups, I found myself wanting to look for a better way to look at the markets.
    -
    But, I can easily see that if I will just focus on the charts that I have in front of me, I will begin to get better at seeing my spots. I have to build my skills.







"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 AttitudeTrader 
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I spent today working on future plans for my trading and doing some testing, so no stats for today. I'm posting my charts so I have the ability to review them later.



"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 AttitudeTrader 
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Mission Plan: In development.
Theater of Operation: Mike Six Echo Mike Three.

Pre-Mission Prep
07:10 Late...Starting pre-mission prep...Going through checklist...

Trade #304
08:24 Long M6E.
Long on test of O/N 50% and ETH 50%.
09:04 Target reached. +14 ticks.
Prep for re-tasking.

Mission complete. RTB for AAR.
Finished for the day.

AAR
  • Objective: Follow mission plan with extreme prejudice and do the best I can with what I've learned so far.
    -
  • Outcome: Followed my plan, but...
    -
  • Observations: Since I began Phase 2 I've been feeling increasingly lost. In fact, a little while after the M6E trade this morning I left the office and took a drive around my favorite parts of Dallas. This is something I've done often in the past to get in a better mood and straighten my thoughts out.
    -
    While I was driving I realized that I've gotten off course with my trading. It has been so gradual that I didn't realize it, even though I've been struggling. I'm not going to go into a lengthy discussion about how I've gotten off course because it's all here in my journal. And it is only because I've kept this journal that I can see what has happened.
    -
    There's something I want from my trading; a core objective I have for my trading and a way that I'd like for my trading "work" to be. And I've veered away from that. I'm not going to discuss what that thing is, because it's different for everyone, and at this point I'm not ready to explain it or defend it, but I think that I'm finding out how important it is to keep that "core objective" in the forefront so I can stay on track.
    -
    I don't have a specific plan yet, but I will be getting back to "knowing my place" and getting my method back to the basics that are aligned with the core objective I have for my trading.
    -
    It's a process...



"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 omni72 
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AttitudeTrader View Post
I'm not going to discuss what that thing is, because it's different for everyone, and at this point I'm not ready to explain it or defend it, but I think that I'm finding out how important it is to keep that "core objective" in the forefront so I can stay on track.





Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. ~ Seneca
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 Robert Carrillo 
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Outcome: Followed my plan, but...

Observations: Since I began Phase 2 I've been feeling increasingly lost. In fact, a little while after the M6E trade this morning I left the office and took a drive around my favorite parts of Dallas. This is something I've done often in the past to get in a better mood and straighten my thoughts out.
-
While I was driving I realized that I've gotten off course with my trading. It has been so gradual that I didn't realize it, even though I've been struggling. I'm not going to go into a lengthy discussion about how I've gotten off course because it's all here in my journal. And it is only because I've kept this journal that I can see what has happened.
-
There's something I want from my trading; a core objective I have for my trading and a way that I'd like for my trading "work" to be. And I've veered away from that. I'm not going to discuss what that thing is, because it's different for everyone, and at this point I'm not ready to explain it or defend it, but I think that I'm finding out how important it is to keep that "core objective" in the forefront so I can stay on track.
-
I don't have a specific plan yet, but I will be getting back to "knowing my place" and getting my method back to the basics that are aligned with the core objective I have for my trading.
-
It's a process...

As a reader who spent many of the Fri and Sat nights of his youth in N. Dallas, cruising Greenville Ave and racing between stop lights on Forest Ln (until that last "Contest of Speed" thing...), I can appreciate what spending some wheel time in that town can do for your mental and emotional well being.

Casual observation and for what it's worth, but are you having fun? It seems that the thrill is gone since Phase 2 began. Yes, it's your livelihood and a serious matter, but if you aren't sitting down at the computer with a smile on your face, what's the point? I could be way off, and if so I apologize.

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 AttitudeTrader 
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Robert Carrillo View Post
As a reader who spent many of the Fri and Sat nights of his youth in N. Dallas, cruising Greenville Ave and racing between stop lights on Forest Ln (until that last "Contest of Speed" thing...), I can appreciate what spending some wheel time in that town can do for your mental and emotional well being.

Wow! You've made me recall memories that I hadn't thought of in years! I was stunned when I read this! Small world?

Every weekend we would head down to Forest Ln in my blue '71 GTO. Damn, I just shake my head at the stuff I was doing then...and how long ago that was. Probably saw you there!

Robert Carrillo View Post
Casual observation and for what it's worth, but are you having fun? It seems that the thrill is gone since Phase 2 began. Yes, it's your livelihood and a serious matter, but if you aren't sitting down at the computer with a smile on your face, what's the point? I could be way off, and if so I apologize.

No. You're right. I appreciate your insight. I've been feeling it and I realize that I need to take a step back and get some clarity.

I really appreciate the comments @Robert Carrillo .

-AT

"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 AttitudeTrader 
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Had work come in (a good thing!) so I'm running late posting today.

This morning (after one random trade) I went all the way back to the method I started this whole exercise with and took two trades in the ES (sim) - both winners.

I have to do some thinking about how I'm going to proceed from here, because I'm seeing some issues with the way I've handled things in "Phase 2." I'll try to talk about it this weekend, but I'll be working so I won't be able to get to it until later than usual.

Hope everyone has a great weekend.


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 Big Mike 
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Robert Carrillo View Post
As a reader who spent many of the Fri and Sat nights of his youth in N. Dallas, cruising Greenville Ave and racing between stop lights on Forest Ln (until that last "Contest of Speed" thing...), I can appreciate what spending some wheel time in that town can do for your mental and emotional well being.

How funny, I use to race my 99 Cobra and SS there until it was getting so out of control they were following us with helicopters. That was roughly 13-14 years ago.

Mike

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Wow! You've made me recall memories that I hadn't thought of in years! I was stunned when I read this! Small world?

Every weekend we would head down to Forest Ln in my blue '71 GTO. Damn, I just shake my head at the stuff I was doing then...and how long ago that was. Probably saw you there!


Big Mike View Post
How funny, I use to race my 99 Cobra and SS there until it was getting so out of control they were following us with helicopters. That was roughly 13-14 years ago.

That's hilarious! I had a 70 Buick GS 450 Stage 1. Gawd I miss that car. Selling for a ton on Barrett Jackson auctions! Late 70's is when I rolled (76 grad JJ Pearce HS). Never guess what I found, and I hope you guys forgive my derailment of your thread AT. Probably somebody I know in this!



Have a great weekend everybody!

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How cool is that. The first car I raced was my 91 GT with GT40 upper and lower, stage 1 heads, custom cam and dumped exhaust.

Should start a cars thread in off topic

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That's hilarious! I had a 70 Buick GS 450 Stage 1. Gawd I miss that car. Selling for a ton on Barrett Jackson auctions! Late 70's is when I rolled (76 grad JJ Pearce HS). Never guess what I found, and I hope you guys forgive my derailment of your thread AT.


Big Mike View Post
How cool is that. The first car I raced was my 91 GT with GT40 upper and lower, stage 1 heads, custom cam and dumped exhaust.

@Robert Carrillo , that clip is priceless! It looks like you were there a little before my time, and @Big Mike, looks like you were there a while after my time. I graduated Plano Senior High in '82. That was the last year for only one high school in Plano (one of the largest graduating classes in the country I believe). Plano East opened the next year and my youngest brother started there. Big rivalry between Plano Senior and JJ Pearce back then!

The beginning of that clip reminds me of how much time I spent on bikes too. My last one was a crotch rocket that I slid underneath a stopped car...have a few scars from that one.

Thanks for the memories guys!

-AT

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 AttitudeTrader 
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No stats for this edition of Weekend Review and Stats - just review and taking a few steps back.

As I said on Friday, I had some work come in, which is a good thing, so I worked all day (8am-8pm) yesterday (Saturday) getting it all finished, because there's nothing more critical to me right now than that. It also freed up my day today to take care of other things and to contemplate my current status with regard to my trading.

I realize that I've tried to push my development too far, too fast, and I've gotten lost. And I'm doing that because of what I feel I need from my trading rather than giving myself the time necessary to go through the learning process. I think this is a big part of where I've had trouble before, and the cause of the cycle of frustration that I've gone through in the past.

So I've begun developing a plan for getting my head in the right place about my trading (specifically accepting the process of learning that I need to go through) and the life that surrounds my trading. I need to get back to "knowing my place" with regard not only to my trading but to my life as it currently is.

In the meantime I will be staying in Phase 2 (learning to deal with being wrong and missing out), but I'm basically going to start it over again. As I did before, I'll be taking my simple original method and tweaking it a bit to allow for a little more subjective decision-making, which will give me a familiar framework to work with again.


However, this time I will be putting more emphasis on getting my act together in the other areas of my life, so I can give myself the time that's going to be necessary in order to learn the skills I need to be successful. My militaristic mode will be in effect as much as ever, because it's going to take focus, discipline, and a strong will to move through this.

Right now I'm not going to try to figure out what's the best market for me to trade, or what's the best way for me to trade. I'm simply going to get back to being extremely consistent with my simple approach so I can begin the learning process again.

Impatience continues to be a major enemy in this whole process...

"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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Mission Plan: In development.
Theater of Operation: Echo Sierra Mike Three

Trade #305
08:42 Long. Trade was based on watching NQ - not a good idea.
08:44 Stopped out. -5 ticks.

Trade #306
08:57 Short.
08:59 Stopped out. -5 ticks.

Trade #307
09:09 Long.
09:17 Target reached. +9 ticks.

Trade #308
09:26 Long.
09:34 Target reached. +9 ticks.

Trade #309
10:29 Long.
10:32 Stopped out. -5 ticks.

Trade #310
10:32 Long.
10:36 Target reached. +10 ticks.

AAR

Objective: Develop a mission plan that I can begin executing consistently again.
-
Outcome: I had a profitable (sim) day and got a little clearer about how I want to proceed.
-
Observations: The majority of my trades were based on what I was observing from my charts and indicators rather than a specific "setup" like I was using before. I traded in a more "fluid" way today.
-
I think it's going to be important to start working this way because the market is so fluid and just isn't going to behave in a way that is going to adhere to a strict set of mechanical rules like I was trying to develop before. I'm going to have to get comfortable with the fact that I have to learn how to trade rather than trying to make a "system" that's just going to generate never-ending profits. Even though that wasn't my intent, I think that's what I was unknowingly trying to do.
-
This also means that I'm going to have to develop a way to be consistent despite not having a strict set of entry/exit parameters to follow - at least for the time being.
-
I'll just have to see how this goes...



"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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  #159 (permalink)
 AttitudeTrader 
Dallas, TX, USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader, T4
Broker: IQFeed
Trading: 6E
 
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Mission Plan: In development.
Theater of Operation: Echo Sierra Mike Three

Pre-Mission Prep
08:10 Going through checklist...Starting pre-mission prep...

SitRep
08:20 ES is at 50% of yesterday's RTH range.

Trade #311
08:36 Long: Pullback then Hammer Doji in SPADD*, pullback to zero in TICK, pullback on ES charts in general uptrend.
08:36 Target reached. +7 ticks. Didn't even have a chance to adjust target if I had wanted to.
Shake head, forget this trade, and get mind clear so I can recognize another potential opportunity.

Trade #312
09:09 Short: Up-spike in TICK, pullback in SPADD, ES test of HOD but hesitation, CCI divergence.
09:12 Stopped out. -5 ticks.
Stopped out to the tick on this one.
Shake head, forget this trade, and get mind clear so I can recognize another potential opportunity.

Trade #313
09:12 Short: Same reasons as Trade #312. I believe this situation is still valid and represents an opportunity - I need to take it again.
09:19 Target reached. +11 ticks.

Mission complete. RTB for AAR.
10:30 At this point I don't have a specific set of rules for daily profits per se, but I'm happy with my profits for today and I have to leave early for my other work, so I'm finished for the day.

AAR
  • Objective: Continue to develop my style of trading and a structure to guide my behavior.
    -
  • Outcome: As I did yesterday, I traded in a more fluid way today. I'm basing my decisions on a combination of what my charts, indicators, and indices are doing.
    -
  • Observations: I'm finding it interesting that after I've basically decided that price is at a good place to enter, there is still a little something "extra" going on in my head saying that I need to take the entry. Not sure if it's just wishing or my imagination, but I'll pay attention to see if it means anything.
    -
    I also find it interesting how deliberate I have to be at constantly clearing my mind of random thoughts and refocusing back on what's happening on my screens. Today I've literally had to shake my head and blink my eyes - multiple times - to get clear again.




*This is an S&P breadth (net issues) instrument I created using IQFeed symbol JI6T.Z.

"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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  #160 (permalink)
 AttitudeTrader 
Dallas, TX, USA
 
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I've been vacillating quite a bit lately (obviously) about how I think I should move forward from here.

After chatting with a trading friend today, another drive around town, and some contemplation, I've made enough general decisions to start moving in one direction rather than being all over the place.

I have some work to do...

"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 AttitudeTrader 
Dallas, TX, USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader, T4
Broker: IQFeed
Trading: 6E
 
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Posts: 358 since Oct 2009
Thanks: 6,868 given, 867 received

Mission Plan: In development.
Theater of Operation: Mike Six Echo Mike Three

Pre-Mission Prep
05:40 Going through checklist...Starting pre-mission prep...

Trade #314
06:21 Short. Short on pullback to and test of 50% of yesterday's RTH major drop/swing.
07:44 Stopped out. -10 ticks.
I was targeting yesterday's RTH low, which was obviously too far at this point. I need to manage my trades a little differently.

Trade #315
07:50 Short. Short on pullback to and retest of 50% of yesterday's RTH major drop/swing.
09:05 Target reached. +26 ticks.
I had a more conservative target for this trade: previous swing low which was nearly a double bottom with the swing low prior to it, and was also 50% of current range. Ended up turning after testing AZ (Ambush Zone = 50-61.8% retracement).

Trade #316
11:18 Short. Short on test of AZ of yesterday's RTH major drop/swing and FE of prior down swing.
12:10 Target reached. +10 ticks.
Tight target because I'm going against an apparent short term uptrend.

Mission complete. RTB for AAR.
I'm finished for the day. I have the bias that 6E movement slows down a lot by 11:00-12:00CT, so I didn't expect much from my last trade. But I was wrong. I'll just have to keep trading it for a while to see if it's worth trading longer into the day.

AAR
  • Objective: Trade the M6E the best I can for now and continue to work on developing my trading plan.
    -
  • Outcome: I traded relatively well, but I need to work on how I'm going to manage my trades - I let my first trade go from 24 MFE to a 10-tick stop out.
    -
  • Observations: I'm still finding trading the M6E/6E very slow. And yet, I'm making better trades in it than I'm able to do in the ES (or other indexes) apparently. I'm just going to have to get used to it.
Note: First trade on the Analyzer was a carryover from yesterday's testing. It's not included in my stats.




"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 AttitudeTrader 
Dallas, TX, USA
 
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Mission Plan: In development.
Theater of Operation: Mike Six Echo Mike Three

Pre-Mission Prep
05:35 Going through checklist...Starting pre-mission prep...

Trade #317
06:18 Long after pullback and third test of a previous resistance level. This is a bit above the 50% level where I wanted to enter. Target is FE of yesterday's RTH range and AZ of the major drop on 04/17.
06:28 Holding through German Buba Pres Speech.
06:34 Stopped out. -10 ticks.
I was afraid of missing out so I got into this one at a not-very-good level.

Trade #318
06:39 Long after pullback to 50% (mentioned above) of previous upswing. Target is again FE of yesterday's RTH range and AZ of the major drop on 04/17.
07:13 Price has spiked up quickly. Stop moved to BE+1.
07:13 Adjusted target to previous support level (from yesterday)
07:14 Target reached. +33 ticks. Turned out to be a very good place to exit.

Mission complete. RTB for AAR.
Finished for the day.


AAR
  • Objective: Trade the M6E the best I can for now and continue to work on developing my trading plan.
    -
  • Outcome: I was able to make a decent profit for today in two trades. Because price was really moving around and I wasn't keen to take any more risks, I just stood aside.
    -
  • Observations: My first trade was early due to fear of missing out on a possible move. My second entry was much better.
    -
    I got very lucky with my exit, because my initial target was further up. I changed it though because the second bar of the impulse move up was not showing as much strength as the first, and I didn't want to risk the profits that I had for an additional 6 or 7 ticks. However, my original target was hit beautifully on the next spike up later in the day.
    -
    There were definitely additional decent opportunities later in the day. Although I didn't take advantage of them, I'm pleased to see them.




"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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  #163 (permalink)
 AttitudeTrader 
Dallas, TX, USA
 
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A review

During April I've bounced around between different markets in an effort to find which one(s) I want to focus on. I've been going back and forth about what I'm trying to accomplish and what market(s) would suit that best.

In last week's review post I talked about using the very simple original method I started this whole training exercise with, but it wasn't fitting in with some of the objectives I had defined. And on Wednesday I did a lot of thinking and made some new decisions.

I started using a bigger-picture approach (compared to the style I was trying to use) toward the beginning of this month, and on Thursday and Friday I went back to trading that way again.

I've been unsure of this approach because I haven't spent enough time with it, but more importantly, it has put me in a position of being unable to specifically predefine a "setup." There are a confluence of things that go into the trades that I'm taking, and so there's a lot of "vagueness" in it for me right now.

Things are becoming clearer though and for the time being I'm planning to continue with M6E/6E.

Moving toward a goal

For the last couple of weeks I've wanted to start moving toward some measurable goal. What I've been doing up to this point has been geared toward sample sizes. I'll continue to use sample sizes, but I wanted to accomplish something specific.

I had some ideas about what I could do to move forward and make this more "real." I thought about going live, but I haven't proven (to myself) that I'm ready for that yet. I thought about doing a TST Combine, but I'm also not quite ready to pony up $160+ to do something that I'm not confident I can pass.

So I came up with a solution: I decided to do my own simulated TST Combine, but modified for the M6E that I'm trading. I got the criteria together for one of the combines, cut it by 1/10 (M6E trades at 1/10 tick value of the 6E), and created a stats grid to track my progress.

There are some benefits (I believe) to using the M6E over the 6E for this exercise. Commissions on M6E are quite a bit higher relative to the full 6E contract, which creates a higher "cost to do business." Liquidity is much lower in the M6E than in the full 6E contract, which creates a lot of slippage. So, if I can overcome those things and meet the combine criteria, I will consider it an important accomplishment. Additionally, when I do go live, it will most likely be with the M6E.

For this combine I'm using the stats from my first day of trading my current approach on April 2. I didn't trade M6E every day because I was trying other markets, so I still have a few days of my combine left.

Once I decided to do this, it was on my mind as I was trading, so I already know that it can have an affect on my thinking in much the way that doing an actual combine might.

Pass or fail

If I can't pass it within the time and criteria parameters, then I'll start over and do another one. If I can complete this and pass the criteria, it will give me a feeling of accomplishment and possibly more confidence in my progress. It also might cause me to need to make some more decisions.


"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 Robert Carrillo 
Omaha NE
 
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Wecome back AT! Drive time paid off.

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 GaryD 
Orlando, Florida
 
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AttitudeTrader View Post


Moving toward a goal

For the last couple of weeks I've wanted to start moving toward some measurable goal. What I've been doing up to this point has been geared toward sample sizes. I'll continue to use sample sizes, but I wanted to accomplish something specific.

I had some ideas about what I could do to move forward and make this more "real." I thought about going live, but I haven't proven (to myself) that I'm ready for that yet. I thought about doing a TST Combine, but I'm also not quite ready to pony up $160+ to do something that I'm not confident I can pass.

So I came up with a solution: I decided to do my own simulated TST Combine, but modified for the M6E that I'm trading. I got the criteria together for one of the combines, cut it by 1/10 (M6E trades at 1/10 tick value of the 6E), and created a stats grid to track my progress.

There are some benefits (I believe) to using the M6E over the 6E for this exercise. Commissions on M6E are quite a bit higher relative to the full 6E contract, which creates a higher "cost to do business." Liquidity is much lower in the M6E than in the full 6E contract, which creates a lot of slippage. So, if I can overcome those things and meet the combine criteria, I will consider it an important accomplishment. Additionally, when I do go live, it will most likely be with the M6E.

For this combine I'm using the stats from my first day of trading my current approach on April 2. I didn't trade M6E every day because I was trying other markets, so I still have a few days of my combine left.

Once I decided to do this, it was on my mind as I was trading, so I already know that it can have an affect on my thinking in much the way that doing an actual combine might.

Pass or fail

If I can't pass it within the time and criteria parameters, then I'll start over and do another one. If I can complete this and pass the criteria, it will give me a feeling of accomplishment and possibly more confidence in my progress. It also might cause me to need to make some more decisions.



Great approach, great discipline.

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  #166 (permalink)
 AttitudeTrader 
Dallas, TX, USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader, T4
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Posts: 358 since Oct 2009
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Mission Plan: In development.
Theater of Operation: Mike Six Echo Mike Three

Pre-Mission Prep
06:05 Going through checklist...Starting pre-mission prep...

Trade #319
09:52 Short (too late) after retest of pullback to AZ. Target is LOD.
10:35 Stopped out. -10 ticks.

Trade #320
10:55 Short on pullback retest of 50% of last major downswing. Target is 03:50 low.
Really feeling unsure of myself. This will be my last trade for today, win or lose.
13:27 Stopped out. -10 ticks.

AAR
  • Objective: Trade the M6E/6E the best I can for now and continue to work on developing my trading plan.
    -
  • Outcome: Followed my general plan, but it was a losing day.
    -
  • Observations: A trader friend was helping me today, so I didn't take any trades while we were talking. However, during a break in our conversation I took the first short trade, but I was in later than I should have been.
    -
    I feel a little stupid taking these losers today after he politely reminded me that there was possible support below my entry. But I know that I have to stick with my plan for now - at least until I can understand more clearly the kinds of things he's able to see.
    -
    Now that I have my simulated combine in mind, I'm a little bummed about "going backwards" today. But I have to remember that losing days are always going to be part of the game, and I can't get frustrated about it.




"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 AttitudeTrader 
Dallas, TX, USA
 
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Mission Plan: In development.
Theater of Operation: Mike Six Echo Mike Three

Trade #321
06:57 Long. Ugh! Let myself get suckered into a breakout entry.
I was so hung up on the idea that price was going to move up to prior support at 13019 that I completely forgot about prior support at 13007 and I bought right into it. I even went against my indicator.
07:07 Stopped out. -9 ticks.
The biggest reason was because yesterday price had reached an FE (Fib Extension) of a major down move (apparently ending the move down), but I kept trying to short because the trend was down (in my mind). So today, price had reached an FE of the down move again, so I was trying to learn from the beating I took yesterday when I fought that reversal, but instead, price is going with the longer term trend (down).

Trade #322
07:23 Long on pullback/test of 50% of range that formed after this morning's fall. Price hasn't reached 50%, but I don't want to miss the trade.
07:39 I was too impatient. Price has now pulled down into the AZ area.
07:40 Stopped out. -10 ticks.

Trade #323
08:02 Ok, another horrible trade. I was working on clarifying my plan, but I looked up saw price moving toward a measurement I had on my chart, and I placed an order without considering the plan notes I'm hashing out. Today is definitely going to be a learning day and a day that I'll have to recover from.
08:09 Stopped out. -11 ticks.

AAR
  • Objective: Trade the M6E/6E the best I can for now and continue to work on developing my trading plan.
    -
  • Outcome: My simulated combine took another hit. It was another losing day, but it was more because I was trying to "learn from yesterday" and kind of "do the opposite" than it was because of following specific criteria for my entries.
    -
  • Observations: I'm allowing being wrong to have way too much impact on me. Period.
    -
    After another long chat with the same trader friend as yesterday, and reading/hearing some specific things repeated over and over again, I'm trying to get myself to the place of understanding that it's not so much how many winners I have, but how big my winners are compared to my losers. And so I need to accept those losers as part of the business, but stay in the game so I can take advantage of the winners when they come.
    -
    After just a few losses in a row, I'm second guessing any approach that I happen to be using, making changes, and then experiencing more losses, when the first approach is winning again. I have to get to the place of being ok with being wrong.
    -
    I'm also just going to have to deal with not making very good trades most of the time until I get better.
    -
    The most important thing is that I have to get back to implementing an approach consistently enough to be able to then start improving the method and myself.
    -
    I may need to rethink my simulated combine too, because right now I need to be focusing on becoming a better trader rather than meeting certain criteria.



"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 Robert Carrillo 
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AttitudeTrader View Post
Trade #321
06:57 Long. Ugh! Let myself get suckered into a breakout entry.
I was so hung up on the idea that price was going to move up to prior support at 13019 that I completely forgot about prior support at 13007 and I bought right into it. I even went against my indicator.
07:07 Stopped out. -9 ticks.
The biggest reason was because yesterday price had reached an FE (Fib Extension) of a major down move (apparently ending the move down), but I kept trying to short because the trend was down (in my mind). So today, price had reached an FE of the down move again, so I was trying to learn from the beating I took yesterday when I fought that reversal, but instead, price is going with the longer term trend (down).

Trade #322
07:23 Long on pullback/test of 50% of range that formed after this morning's fall. Price hasn't reached 50%, but I don't want to miss the trade.
07:39 I was too impatient. Price has now pulled down into the AZ area.
07:40 Stopped out. -10 ticks.

Trade #323
08:02 Ok, another horrible trade. I was working on clarifying my plan, but I looked up saw price moving toward a measurement I had on my chart, and I placed an order without considering the plan notes I'm hashing out. Today is definitely going to be a learning day and a day that I'll have to recover from.
08:09 Stopped out. -11 ticks.

AAR
Observations: I'm allowing being wrong to have way too much impact on me. Period.
-
After another long chat with the same trader friend as yesterday, and reading/hearing some specific things repeated over and over again, I'm trying to get myself to the place of understanding that it's not so much how many winners I have, but how big my winners are compared to my losers. And so I need to accept those losers as part of the business, but stay in the game so I can take advantage of the winners when they come.
-
After just a few losses in a row, I'm second guessing any approach that I happen to be using, making changes, and then experiencing more losses, when the first approach is winning again. I have to get to the place of being ok with being wrong.
-
I'm also just going to have to deal with not making very good trades most of the time until I get better.
-
The most important thing is that I have to get back to implementing an approach consistently enough to be able to then start improving the method and myself.
-
I may need to rethink my simulated combine too, because right now I need to be focusing on becoming a better trader rather than meeting certain criteria.

I applaud your dedication to this process, but you seem distracted. And a bit beat up, which leads to distraction and more beatings. You accomplished Phase 1 brilliantly, reporting to your post each morning and doing your job without considering P/L. I think you need some winners in Phase 2 to build your confidence in this campaign. Has something changed about your method since Phase 1 when you saw some green every now and then? I am rooting for you AT.

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 AttitudeTrader 
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Robert Carrillo View Post
Has something changed about your method since Phase 1 when you saw some green every now and then?

My method now is very different from Phase 1. That method, while not strictly mechanical, required very little in the way of subjective decision-making.

Phase 2 is proving much more difficult because I'm having to deal with my reactions to the outcomes, good and bad, of the decisions I'm making. I believe these "reactions" are at the root of many traders problems because they are what cause me/us to feel as though we're not doing well enough and/or that there is a "better way" than the one we're trying to implement. This leads to changing how we apply our method mid-stream, avoiding trades that are signaled by our method, and/or just jumping to another method altogether.

What I'm discovering, very recently, is that I understand a very important concept logically, but I haven't developed the ability to behave in accordance with it. And that concept is basically: "Losers are going to happen - a lot - so my job is to take my trades, let the losers come, but let my winners also come. It has nothing to do with being "right" or "wrong" on this trade. The end of the month is all that matters."

In other words, start treating this like a job where there's just going to be a lot of "slop," rather than treating each trade like I'm trying to land a rover on Mars or do heart surgery on someone.


Robert Carrillo View Post
I think you need some winners in Phase 2 to build your confidence in this campaign.

Yes, but this is where the importance of consistency in following a set of rules or method comes in. I won't be able to really benefit from winners if I'm not working in a consistent way. Random wins are probably worse than random losses because I won't be able to replicate them consistently. I simply cannot know if my method is valid unless I'm following it, and jumping from one way of trading to another just won't get me anywhere.

So my main focus now will be to work diligently at implementing my basic method consistently. Which, after all, is what this entire exercise is supposed to be about!


Robert Carrillo View Post
I am rooting for you AT.

Thanks @Robert Carrillo !

-AT

"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 AttitudeTrader 
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Mission Plan: In development
Theater of Operation: Mike Six Echo Mike Three

Trade #324
18:33 (04/23) Short.
21:40 Price has made a new LL and seems to have downside potential. I need to get to bed, so I'm going to have to leave this overnight.
04:30 (4/24) My computer did an update and rebooted itself (I'll have to fix that), so my charts, DOM, etc., are closed. I'll wait until I get ready for work to start everything back up.
05:55 I was stopped out overnight. -9 ticks (1 tick negative slippage).
Price did eventually reach my target (see M10 chart), but not until after taking my stop out by only 2 ticks. I'll need to get better about my stop placement.

Trade #325
06:08 Short (1 tick negative slippage). Price pulled back to the AZ of the prior major move down (M30 chart). Got short after price pulled back to 50% on M10. Target is FE of the entry swing.
07:15 Target. +8 ticks (3 ticks negative slippage - damn!)
Ha! Now I'm having to deal with a sucky exit fill and a market that is tanking without me. Phew, some sickening feelings here.

Trade #326
08:31 Long. I'm nervous because I'm buying right after a strong down move, but I'm following my plan. I don't know if this is going to work out or not, but it doesn't matter right now. The only thing that matters is that I get back to applying my method consistently.
09:05 Stopped out. -13 ticks.

Trade #327
09:25 Long here for the same reason as the last trade: on the M30 chart, price has reached/tested a long term target area. I'm still looking for this to be at least a short-term turning point.
13:30 I exited prior to my original (longer-term) target, because price had reached a possible (shorter-term) price target and Stochastics had created divergence. Out at market. +23 ticks.

AAR
  • Objective: Trade the M6E/6E the best I can for now and continue to work on developing my trading plan.
    -
    Outcome: The first 3 trades were mediocre, but the last one was decent and made it a profitable (sim) day.
    -
    Observations: I did a better job today of sticking to my plan even though the first few trades were not too hot.
    -
    The biggest difference today though was sticking with my analysis of what I thought was going on rather than getting diverted by the gyrations of the market.

Note: First trade on the Analyzer was a carryover from yesterday's late afternoon testing. It's not included in my stats.





"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 AttitudeTrader 
Dallas, TX, USA
 
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Mission Plan: In development
Theater of Operation: Mike Six Echo Mike Three

Pre-Mission Prep
06:20 Going through checklist...Starting pre-mission prep...

SitRep
After-hours price action reached up to hit the long term target I had marked on my charts from yesterday (see 30min chart).

Trade #328
06:36 Short.
07:15 Stopped out. -16 ticks. Too aggressive. Trying to pick a top in the uptrend.

08:28 Wow. Right idea, wrong execution. Market has dropped like a stone after taking out my stop.
09:00 ...and hit my target.
This will be my only trade for today as I have other work I have to do.

AAR
  • Objective: Trade the M6E/6E the best I can for now and continue to work on developing my trading plan.
    -
  • Outcome: I had a decent idea, but didn't execute it well.
    -
  • Observations: I still have a lot to learn about price action. However, I like the way I'm looking at the market right now and I plan to continue to work in this direction.




"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 AttitudeTrader 
Dallas, TX, USA
 
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Mission Plan: In development
Theater of Operation: Mike Six Echo Mike Three

Pre-Mission Prep
05:53 Going through checklist...Starting pre-mission prep...

Trade #329
08:55 Short at the possible end of a possible Wave 4 (30min chart). Target is the FE of the last up-move (10min chart). 1 tick negative slippage on entry.
09:49 Stopped out. -12 ticks.

Trade #330
10:22 Short (again) at a possible end of Wave 4, but this time at a possible WPT of an a-b-c correction?? 2 ticks negative slippage on entry. Target is again the FE of the last up-move.
15:29 Exited at MKT as the market would be closing in 30min. -6 ticks.

AAR
  • Objective: Trade the M6E/6E the best I can for now and continue to work on developing my trading plan.
    -
  • Outcome: 2 trades. Entry on the second was better than the first.
    -
  • Observations: The market went nowhere after my second entry and I closed it a little before the close of the market for the week.
    -
    I've had a lot of work come in and I'll be working much of this weekend, so my Weekend Review and Stats post will probably be later than usual.




"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 AttitudeTrader 
Dallas, TX, USA
 
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I've been buried with work this weekend, so this review post will be brief.

I'm still working to develop a longer term approach (with higher R:R), but I think I'm heading in the right direction.

My simulated TST Combine has suffered though. I have 10 days left in it, so I'll continue to track it until it's complete or invalidated.


"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 AttitudeTrader 
Dallas, TX, USA
 
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Mission Plan: In development
Theater of Operation: Mike Six Echo Mike Three

Pre-Mission Prep
05:53 Going through checklist...Starting pre-mission prep...

Trade #331
06:06 Long after pullback to 50% of prior up-swing. Target is FE of the up-swing.
07:12 Target reached. +27 ticks. +2.56 net R.

Trade #332
10:02 Short after pullback to 50% of prior down-swing. Target is FE of the down-swing.
10:20 Stopped out. -9 ticks.

AAR
  • Objective: Trade the M6E/6E the best I can for now. Continue to work on developing a trading plan that emphasizes higher R:R trades.
    -
  • Outcome: I have a lot of other work to do today, so I only took the two trades. First trade made it to target (barely), but second was stopped out. Stopped trade loss was 1/3 the size of the winning trade gain and that is the kind of ratio I'm looking to achieve on a consistent basis.
    -
  • Observations: It wasn't a great entry on the first trade but price had already pulled back before I got to my desk, and I couldn't know that price would pull back again.



"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 AttitudeTrader 
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I've been very busy with work and some other things, so no M6E trades today.

As I've been noting over the past couple of weeks, I've been working to develop an approach that makes sense to me. I've made a few decisions about how I plan to proceed now, so I'm going to be taking the next few days at least to work on that (as well as taking care of my income-producing work while I have it). Posting will be light for the time being, but not for too long.

"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 AttitudeTrader 
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I'm still in the process of getting the pieces of my trading plan together, but I wanted to make a brief post about something I'm putting special emphasis on this month.

Quoting 
"There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so."
- William Shakespeare

Years ago, when I started posting as Attitude Trader, the underlying premise was that attitude is really the determining factor in one's success, or lack thereof, in trading. I still believe that - now more than ever. And I believe that this holds true for any endeavor, as well as life in general.

Everyone has their view about the way the world works and how to operate in it effectively, but the bottom line for me is that I've proven to myself that life works in a much different (better) way when I'm maintaining an appropriate (positive, grateful) attitude regarding things in general and specifically. Lately I've allowed myself to get a bit overwhelmed and stressed, and lose sight of that. And this just makes life more difficult.

Quoting 
"It's not what happens to you, but how you react to it, that matters."
- Epictetus

So, very simply, this month I'm making it my highest priority to be diligent in maintaining an appropriate attitude about everything, no matter what is happening currently.

And attitude is simply the byproduct of the kinds of thoughts I'm thinking, regardless of why I'm thinking them or where they're coming from. So the "work" is to deliberately choose thoughts that generate that "positive attitude."

Quoting 
“Change your thoughts and you change your world.”
- Norman Vincent Peale

When I change the thoughts I'm thinking, I change my attitude - it's as simple as that. It works every time (although sometimes it takes a little longer than others). The tough part is in being consistent about choosing the thoughts that I should be thinking.

Quoting 
"Whatever one frequently thinks and ponders upon, that will become the inclination of his mind."
- Buddha

Thinking is a habitual thing and most of the time we're on autopilot when it comes to our thoughts. It usually takes some time and effort to change habits - especially habits of thinking. During the process of changing a habit we have to use what we call "discipline" until we've formed a new habit. Then it becomes mostly automatic, and that automatic aspect begins to work in our favor.

I've developed a couple of things that I'm doing consistently during the day, all day long, to help me in deliberately choosing those more appropriate thoughts. Maybe at the end of the month I'll talk more about this.

Quoting 
"If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself, but to your estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment."
- Marcus Aurelius

It has already had a significant effect on me though. In just the first few days of this month I'm already experiencing a much different perspective on things, having unexpected (good) things happening, and dealing with things in a much "smoother" and more effective way.

I know it's worth making the effort.

Quoting 
"It's a fundamental shift in attitude that accounts for their success, not some brilliant realization about the market, as most people erroneously assume. This erroneous assumption is prevalent among traders simply because very few of them really understand, at the deepest levels, just how critical a component attitude is in determining one's success."
- Mark Douglas, Trading in the Zone

I'll be back to posting soon.

"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 Robert Carrillo 
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Great post @AttitudeTrader! Excellent reminder for us all (me).

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  #178 (permalink)
 AttitudeTrader 
Dallas, TX, USA
 
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Mission Plan: In development
Theater of Operation: Mike Six Echo Mike Three

Trade #333
19:57 (05/13) Short. I took this trade yesterday evening and held it overnight.
04:13 (05/14) Stopped out. -11 ticks.
I had my stop just above the high where I entered. That high was taken out by just 3 ticks before price moved down to eventually reach my target.

Trade #334
07:25 Short on a pullback in what I see as a downtrend.
12:07 Stops to B/E - average entry price of the three lots.
12:16 Target reached. +36 ticks.

Trade #335
08:52 Short.
I'm short another contract because I believe that price should still move down toward my objective, and this was a better entry than the last one. Short 2 contracts now. Both stops and targets are the same.
12:07 Stops to B/E - average entry price of the three lots.
12:16 Target reached. +41 ticks.

Trade #336
10:13 Short.
I'm short a third contract because price has pulled back to 50% of the previous downtrend. Stops and targets are the same for all three contracts.
12:07 Stops to B/E - average entry price of the three lots.
12:16 Target reached. +50 ticks.

AAR
  • Objective: Trade the M6E/6E the best I can for now and continue to work on developing my trading plan.
    -
  • Outcome: I had an overnight trade that was stopped out due to a poorly placed stop.
    -
    Then this morning I was looking for another move down as price pulled back after the large overnight move down. I entered three times as price pulled back and then took profits at my target level.
    -
  • Observations: It is becoming apparent (through experiences here and the not-so-gentle observations of a friend) that my stop placement is a major hindrance for my profitability.
    -
    So today I did something out of the ordinary for me: I placed my stop(s) at a level that seemed "more reasonable" rather than trying to keep it so tight. And by "more reasonable," I mean "at a level that really shouldn't be reached if price is behaving like I think it should." This is in opposition to my normal mentality of "my stop is at the last swing high/low" (or something along those lines) which puts it right in reach of the stop-running moves that happen often in the markets.
    -
    It's still a work in progress, so I'll just have to see how it goes.
Note: First trade on the S5 Trade Analyzer was a carryover from yesterday's late afternoon testing. It's not included in my stats.





"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 Robert Carrillo 
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Nicely done AT, and congrats on the promotion.

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  #180 (permalink)
 AttitudeTrader 
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Robert Carrillo View Post
Nicely done AT,

Thanks @Robert Carrillo .


Robert Carrillo View Post
and congrats on the promotion.

I assume you mean this:



LOL. I'm not sure how I earned that!

-AT

"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 AttitudeTrader 
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No trades today.

I was very busy with other work today, otherwise I might have taken a few trades earlier.

However, first thing this morning I pulled up a longer-term (240 minute) chart and saw that price had reached an important (for me) expansion level, so I didn't feel like I was going to be missing out on any big moves. I believed that price would chop around in this area for a while before deciding which way to go - which it seems to have done.



"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 AttitudeTrader 
Dallas, TX, USA
 
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Mission Plan: In development
Theater of Operation: Mike Six Echo Mike Three

Trade #337
07:31 Short. Poor entry after report spike.
14:14 Stop to b/e+1.
14:35 Trailing stop on 5min.
14:38 Modified target reached. +34 ticks.

Trade #338
12:43 Short. This entry was in a much better place.
14:14 Stop to b/e+1.
14:35 Trailing stop on 5min.
14:38 Modified target reached. +35 ticks.

AAR
  • Objective: Trade the M6E/6E the best I can for now and continue to work on developing my trading plan.
    -
  • Outcome: I took one silly trade today, and then one more appropriate trade.
    -
  • Observations: I feel like I'm flying by the seat of my pants a bit right now, but I think I needed to do that a little in order to start seeing through more relaxed eyes rather than frustrated ones.





"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 Robert Carrillo 
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Very interesting to see how going against your normal behavior and methods affects your attitude. Bigger stops and the addition (?) of trailing stops appears to have loosened up more than your trading...

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 AttitudeTrader 
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Robert Carrillo View Post
Very interesting to see how going against your normal behavior and methods affects your attitude.

@Robert Carrillo

I think you could also turn it around a little and say, "Very interesting how going against your normal attitude affects your behavior and methods," because what I've been working on is my attitude more than anything else.

-AT

"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 AttitudeTrader 
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Mission Plan: In development
Theater of Operation: Echo Uniform Romeo Uniform Sierra Delta

SitRep
07:25
The best setup (for me) occurred before I was at my desk this morning (blue rectangle on chart - around 05:00), and I wasn't keen to enter on the pullback that followed, but it turned out to be a great trade.

Trade #339
10:38 Long prematurely.
10:47 Stopped out. -14.3 pips. Not a good trade.

Trade #340
10:49 Long at a better place.
12:31 I had to leave the office early and I didn't want to have to wait through another swing down before a final move up, so I got out with +18.5 pips. Price never did go much further.

AAR
  • Objective: Trade the EUR/USD the best I can for now and continue to work on developing my trading plan.
    -
  • Outcome: I had a lot going on today with some trading-related management things (which I'll talk about this weekend), so I only took two trades.
    -
  • Observations: I've found that having a little more "room to work" and being able to do that with a small cost per tick is making a difference for me, so I'm gearing up to trade the micro FX in sim for a while.
    -
    I'll discuss this more over the weekend, but it will be late (maybe Sunday) because I have a lot of work from my other job to do.



"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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 AttitudeTrader 
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Mission Plan: In development
Theater of Operation: Echo Sierra Mike Three

--------------------
Training Day 72 (05/22/2013)

Trade #261
08:28 Long just a little before the open.
08:38 Target reached. S5 Trader had me out with positive slippage, but I'm recording it as a normal target. +6 ticks.



--------------------
Training Day 73 (05/23/2013)

Trade #262
08:37 Long.
08:38 Stopped out. S5 Trader had me out with positive slippage, but I'm recording it as a full stop-out. -5 ticks.

Trade #263
08:39 Long on same setup/idea.
08:39 Target reached. +6 ticks.

Trade #264
09:00 Short.
09:00 Target reached. I'm using MIT orders, and since the market is pretty volatile today, I was filled one tick worse than expected. +5 ticks.

Trade #265
12:14 Long - MISTAKE. I got long when I meant to get short. Would have been a nice winner.
12:17 Stopped out. -5 ticks

Trade #266
12:32 Long.
12:37 Target reached. + 6 ticks.



--------------------
Training Day 74 (05/24/2013)

SitRep
08:35 Demo platform has gone down. I'll still take my setups and log them manually, win or lose.

Trade #267
08:43 Long.
08:45 Target reached. +6 ticks.

Trade #268
08:56 Short.
09:00 Target reached. +6 ticks.

*No S5 Trade Analyzer due to demo platform being down.


AAR
  • Objective: Trade the ES the best I can for now and continue to work on developing my trading plan.
    -
  • Outcome: I've done relatively well over the past 3 days.
    -
  • Observations: I've been struggling terribly lately trying to determine how best to proceed/progress. I'm still working to make some decisions, but I've gone back to my basic ES method over the past three days just to get back to something I'm somewhat comfortable with. I'll try to explain further once I've cleared things up more for myself.
    -
    Note that I've restarted the trade numbering to include only the ES trades that I've taken since the start of this exercise.

"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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