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Like a turtle to his balcony...
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Like a turtle to his balcony...

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I went with gut today. It's Friday, figured if I had to flip a coin...

I am happy with my trading, I followed my rules and beliefs, even though I was down -65 early. I played strong defense, kept my risk very tight, and got back to where I had a retake on the day.

TGIF


Post close edit:

Price never could get anywhere. The weekend holds to much uncertainty. On on hand, a major high pivot was taken out this morning, and initially volume did some in suggesting major players. But then it just limped it's way lower, it seems it was a great price to sell and/or liquidate before the weekend. But, major selling will not occur here going into a weekend, wit potential for bad things to occur related to the Iranian election, ES not even pulling back past 382, yesterday's major short reaming into K.


5pm EDIT: Very good mindset this week, good reads, great lack of emotion, one slip on bias that is forgiven.


Last edited by GaryD; June 14th, 2013 at 06:04 PM.
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As a toe in the water to feeling the responsibility of trading full time once again, I have decided to buy a new vehicle and pay for it through my trading account. Up until now I have just been experimenting with various things to reach into all the areas of my trading emotions, plus test drive this new way of looking at the market. I started back this year with $5,000.00, and have had times where I doubled the account, drew it back down, doubled it, etc. That was a practice I used to do in sim years ago, where I had to trade until I either doubled it, or blew it up, and either way I had to reset and start over. I had to get my head back to that state of not caring if I was going to have a chance.

I was ready to switch to full time last year, but even though I was doing well trading while I maintained a full time business, the closer it got to really going full time the more pressure built inside me. That was not fun at all. Eventually it was enough to have me quit trading altogether, cancel my Ninja subscription, put my trading computer in a box. But I left the account open, two accounts actually. It was not that I thought I was going back to it, but it was a sign that I did not want to go through the paperwork again. Like a tiny lifeline I guess, subconscious at the time.

This year has not been about any goal, it was more about complete freedom of experience and exploration. I think that is a part of what is missing as we push to become traders, too much pressure on succeeding.

This new thread is not about "big waves", it is not about my "CL Journal", it is not really even completely about trading. I enjoyed being here on futures.io (formerly BMT), that much I knew, but I chose a title that had nothing to do with anything, I still have no idea what Richard Brautigan was thinking. It was some silly memory from college, something that I thought was funny. It was just bizarre. And at times I guess trading had felt that way.

This year my study and practice has always felt calm and fun. Even my own self-criticism, which has in the past been one of the tougher things I dealt with, recently just feels like it just "is". Coming back to it with the feeling that I had complete freedom to succeed or fail, to discuss trading or just drink beer and laugh about past memories. To just be myself, professional or wacky, or whatever. Trading is a part of my life, but it should not be the biggest part. And journaling has proven to have benefits that extend beyond trading.

One thing I noticed recently is I did not take pride in referring to myself as a "daytrader". It seemed like something that threw me into a group that other people see as perpetual dream chasers, never seen as a respected profession. If I had gone back to school to be an attorney, which I almost did back in 2007, the hard work, long hours, reduced income, multi-year journey would have brought with it more outside respect and admiration. My wife would have been far more supportive, my friends far less suspect that I was slipping into denial about my real estate disaster. I needed to wash something out of myself. It has to do with pride in some way, and the recent insight that trading did not bring that, except for my personal knowledge of what was involved, has been very eye-opening.

So many of my close friends have said, with no prompting on my part, that I sound so much better when I discuss my trading. Confident, like I am really happy about it. Mike, Jon, Chris, Susan, Beverly, Mark, all have made similar comments without me asking anything. Melissa hasn't, but that is a step all to itself. One I am working on, but understanding that just as much freedom to succeed or fail needs to be there as well for it to have any real chance.

My thought of a daily goal is gone. I have had daily wins of $3,000 and $30, and while I prefer the bigger number I have not seen it change my mood for the day. Losses have been in the same daily range, but I have clamped back on my "complete" freedom on that side. It served a purpose, allowing me to feel losses, allowing me to be black and white analytical about them, dig into my mind about them. But while a trader cannot control how much they make, they can control how much they lose, and a big daily loss is not necessary to still consider it "freedom". That liberty also means that I am free to set max down, based on what I think is reasonable, and I have done that now. It took me awhile to figure that one out without it being completely arbitrary.

What I have decided on is a variable number, and the rules are 1) it cannot be larger than the prior day's win, or 2) it is a set amount, , whichever is greater. The set max down can change, upon my agreement which occurs the weekend prior, and has gone both up and down week to week, depending on how the prior week went. That may sound counterproductive, but it is about flexibility, and if I want to be allowed to make as much as I feel like making, have no limitations, that comes with a relative risk. Trading is not all about winning, it is more about accepting.

And that max down needs ot be viewed in perspective, It is VERY rare that I hit max down. Way more often than nmot, I quit far from that point. If my max down rules were that I trade until I hit it, the math does not add up so well. But I still have trading emotions, and can get caught in a bad groove. And I still have great trades where I get stopped out full position, and so in that case I will not risk max down on one trade, but may get close enough that it is not hard to go the remaining distance.

"Normal" Down is maybe 20% of max? There is no rule, and I stopped keeping track. Math is not my problem anymore, and even if it was, trying to be exact is futile.


Last edited by GaryD; June 15th, 2013 at 11:10 PM. Reason: Re-arrange my thoughts, typos, better phrasing... add about max down
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What if, before they ever played professionally, during the early years of practice, Michael Jordan lost $100 every time he missed a shot, or, Tiger Woods lost $100 every time he missed the fairway. Would being penalized for every wrong move at the early stages of learning have allowed them to develop the same level of incredible performance? Would they get nervous? Would losing money eventually change the experience for them? Would it alter their motivation?

Pursuing something like trading with a required outcome is not fun. Pursuing trading because it is enjoyable and we want to improve, is. And when it is fun, the motivation is different, the habits form differently. And as experience builds, a missed shot is not a big deal, there is knowing about how the bigger picture unfolds.

My dad loved golfing. He grew up on a dairy farm, born 1916, had work ethics that are not as mandatory today. But he worked hard for everything he obtained, and when I was a very small child he decided to give me a chance to do something I loved to make a living. He saw these guys, like Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Ben Hogan and thought is he could have had a different life, he would have been like them. So he decided to make me a profesional golfer. I started lessons around 5-6 years old, every weekend. Went with him to play most of the time when I was young.

The problem was, I did not really enjoy golf. And maybe, it was because of the pressure that was associated with it. He would correct every single bad swing, missed putt, meaning well. Je wanted me to have a better life, "do something I loved" and make good money at it. But it was his dream life, not mine.

Today I still have his old set of clubs, and would not part with them for anything. But I play golf maybe once every year or two, only when someone invites me and there is a good reason, like a wedding, or seeing old friends after years and they play golf.

The same thing can happen in trading, and being forced to be profitable is a big part of it. That understanding is behind how I came back to the markets. I DID get to where I loved trading, just did not like the pressure.


Last edited by GaryD; June 15th, 2013 at 10:53 PM. Reason: typos
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Sunday, pre-open



It is peculiar to me that crude broke through resistance with a strong gap open on Friday, Open-Test-Drive, and then ran out of steam completely before B period, falling into a very tight range-bound day and ending nearly in the center of the day's range. I would have expected something significant. one way of the other.

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I know that there are potential issues in Syria and Iran, and I am guessing that kept the pressure on from below, but it seemed like if you removed the perception of risk, that the price would drop like a brick given the reaction. This value was high enough to keep the major players from buying aggressively, instead of creating a feeling of time was slipping away.

ES did have a hard time Friday, but had made such a great run Thursday that a breather was almost a requirement. I don;'t think it ever did get below the 38% of Thursday. But on the higher view, ES may have enetered a consolidation phase, if not a topping process.


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CL is in the final stage of a large inverted H&Sand I wonder if the move up has been more technical than anything.

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I have not done and SR work other than to click delete all lines. I am not sure what I want to see this afternoon. I am more interested in Friday's price action than any major pivot at this moment. Crude finds most stops, and this would be a great place for a headfake.

I am not trading the ON session, as I have no idea what Friday meant. Plus, after however long I have traded this year, the odds say my worst day is Monday, and I think it has something to do with the Sunday move versus RTH indicators.

Added the DX back to my layout. It may be temporary.

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I have seen some correlation, no more than I have seen with CL and ES, but correlation only works some of the time, not enough to make it a primary focus for me. Additional confluence, yes. But trading one market off another is a losing game.

I have my new indicators locked in to where they feel fantastic. still in honeymoon phase with Sierra Charts and am glad to be here.

I will probably buy my trade-paid vehicle this week, been looking at Jeep Wranglers. I wanted a convertible, looked at Audi TT and various BMWs, but with my back still in rebuild mode I do not want to get anything low. Jeeps don;t have an easy way to put the top down, but I thought it was great, because trading does not have an "EASY" button either.


Last edited by GaryD; June 16th, 2013 at 07:20 PM. Reason: charts
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GaryD View Post
Sunday afternoon

I kept drifting in and out of thoughts about what bothered me so much on Friday. Saw a lot of connections to other things, but could not get it into something I could point at. And then I decided, it is because there is no single cause. As humans we function out of so much inner complexity that the best we can hope for is to generalize. And in general terms, similar to how markets react whether in/out out of range/balance, the high dollar winning days that came earlier in the week had pushed my expectations out of balance. Possibly it was ego that took the place of volume...

What bothered me, is that I experienced the opposite side of reaching for potential gains that day. Yes, I know not the best plan, but I was not trading a plan. That is almost the point of this journal. I am feeling the limts of the plan, making a real effort to define the plan in terms that fit my personality.





GaryD View Post
Sunday afternoon

When markets are out of balance, behavior can be more volatile, risk and/or reward can increase significantly, it is harder to predict how far something might go.


Just as if you want to do Extreme Sports, the crashes can be intense. I had an 1800 dollar hit that day, but was not disappointed with the first $1000. That was the risk I took. Where I fell out of balance was that I thought I would just sclp some of my loss back, in a market that had no clear direction by that point in the day. It made it's move earlier, it was sideways from then out, and that is not the market I hoped it was, because I had missed the move, and I think fully stopped out, withing, I am making this up from memory, but I would say maybe 20 ticks max from the LOD, I thiknk, if I am remembering the right day. Oh yes, the day was a Thursday, no a Friday, it ran through Thursday like butter. I also tried to short resistence, a bit overly enthusiastic because there was not much there to say it was except that I had been stopped out and was looking too hard. Or not hard enough.

Lowered patience threshold.

Feeling good. Great post, is what I feel. That is where I make the most progress for myself, when I can explain this level of what I did yesterday. Not how much I made or lost, that is not significant really. Taking that information, and digesting it, and reviewing it, and when I don't know "why" I don't let that make it out of the question...

Openess.

1) Accepting that I don't "know" anything.
2) Feeling "prepared" in that I have experience.
3) "Believing" in the power of visuals that help categorize those experiences.
4) Prioritizing that it is my job to maintain balance as best I can, with a positive overall emphasis on equity growth and preservation.

That last one seems to take the fun out of it sometimes... lol!!!!!

But that is where I am headed next week. Vacation is over, back to work.


Last edited by GaryD; June 16th, 2013 at 10:10 PM. Reason: working on it
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Called Peter today for Father's Day, joked with him about studying the possibility of Breatharianism at some point. Some things do not exist, but pursuing them at least stretches the mind to the limits. He laughed and agreed. And knew I was talking about trading, even without suggesting it.

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There should be some decent moves this week. Meaning, I need to really try to hit a runner with every solid trade.

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Reference only

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Monday, June 17, 2013

Price found support and rallied sharply in the overnight session. North Korea buying joining the Syria/Iran mix in the news. Friday's top blown out overnight, but price has made a linear return to range about an hour before the RTH open.

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A nearly forgotten NPOC is overhead, from Valentine's Day.

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Short Squeeze woke me up all through the night. He discovered the mystery of feet hidden under the covers, and it was the best thing in the world as far as he was concerened. I was thinking I would feel it this morning, but I went to bed fairly early and am surprisingly rested and alert. He spent the first few days hiding under the couch of under the bed, so I am proud of his progress.


Mondays have been my worst days. Going to ease into trading today.



POST CLOSE EDIT: Net -26. I shorted soon after the open, got taken out. It was a great trade in context of the full RTH session, just off a bit in timing and/or stop placement. After that I just saw very slow, and even uncomfortable to me, movement. I thought about a couple trades, but was already thinking about it being Monday, I entered and then closed without giving the trade a chance, because it felt like I was trying to find something that was not there. And then just got out, shut down. Crude is better than what today showed. Went out and bought a Jeep instead


Last edited by GaryD; June 17th, 2013 at 11:05 PM.
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Thinking about personalized plates, something about taking pride in being a trader. That is not something I would normally do, but in this case it has a purpose.

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