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The Narrow Road ...to consistent profits


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The Narrow Road ...to consistent profits

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  #1 (permalink)
 podski 
Belgium
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninjatrader
Broker: Ninjatrader Brokerage, CQG
Trading: FDAX, FDXM ...maybe
 
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Posts: 388 since Sep 2012
Thanks: 498 given, 470 received

Hello Everyone,

I'm podski and I'm a dedicated futures trader.


Trading Background:
I've been trading for 6 months and have had ups and downs, false dawns and pure mirage moments. I think that now I am getting the hang of it. I've put in about 1000 screen hours in that time and am still very keen.

I've called this thread The Narrow Road after some references to that in a book with the ironic title called "How to Get Rich" by Felix Dennis. He wrote an equally good follow up called "How to Make Money". ( How to Get Rich: One of the World's Greatest Entrepreneurs Shares His Secrets: Felix Dennis: 9781591842712: Amazon.com: Books )

Not everyone sees the irony in the title and not everyone understands the books but they are worth a read. Anyway - this trading journey that I am on follows a narrow road. The destination is clear and its certainly worth going there but it's hard to stay on the road.

Charts and Setup:
I have put my charts and setup in the summary - I'll keep it up to date there.


Objectives:
I have two objectives for this thread.
a. to improve my eye so that I can just be more consistent in reading price action
b. to better shape my money management techniques
My Issues #1: Trends
Without going too deep into the past I started trading using a MACD / Elder Impulse system. Now, wheras all of the ideas in that system make sense to me I didn't cop it. Using the MACD oscillator and focusing on the impulse system and keeping my eye on 3 timeframes had two effects for me
a. I didn't learn to read price action as I was too busy looking at other stuff
b. The oscillator turned me into a reversal trader. I was always looking for the bottom and the top, trying to go long at the bottom and short at the top. I was trading CL so as you can imagine I didn't really have to worry about my exits. CL rammed into my stops within seconds. Sometimes less.

After a lot of head scratching I finally got it with the @perryg method. At least I saw the folly of what I had been doing and started to trade with the trend.

The anaSupertrendU11 is a good tool for pointing this out.

I don't need any assistance at the moment with the general direction of the trend. Reversals .. now .. that's a whole other kettle of fish.


My Issues #2: FOMO
FOMO - fear of missing out. I want to earn money here and not just trade. This is not entertainment for me and I need to earn a living. If you don't trade you can't make money.

The result of this for me is that I get in just a little too early or take trades that are higher risk than I should.

You can help here. When I post my charts if you are a price action trader you can help me by pointing out the warning signs that I didn't see or the true signals that I should have.

If you are a good money manager you can help me by pointing out that the trade was fine and that I just got stopped out because my stop is too tight and I need to loosen it up for this type of trade.

Both of these things will help me build more confidence in what I am doing.

If you are a strategy guru - you can help me immensely by helping me with my strategy formulation and testing. Al Brooks can talk a lot. My eyes bleed when I read those new books and I think that I tore a ligament in my back carrying them around ... but they are brilliant. It is hard to pick out the wisdom in his stream of consciousness but for now I need to do one thing. I need to focus on the very best trades.

If I can be convinced that my strategy of taking those best trades is good enough - I will leave the others alone. Its about confidence in my back and forward testing methods.


My Issues #3: Swing vs Scalp
Sometimes I try to swing for bigger profits when I should be taking profits and scalping.

I see 8 or 10 ticks profit turning into a full stop or an ABE (Auto Break even) very often. 3 or 4 of those 8 tick profits alone will help me hit my daily target.

I think that you strategy guru's can help me here.

Ladies and Gentlemen - I look forward to hearing from you.


Trade well everyone.

podski

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  #3 (permalink)
 podski 
Belgium
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninjatrader
Broker: Ninjatrader Brokerage, CQG
Trading: FDAX, FDXM ...maybe
 
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Posts: 388 since Sep 2012
Thanks: 498 given, 470 received


Desktop:
I use an iMAC with two 27 inch screens. I've got 16GB of RAM. I run Ninjatrader in Parallels with Windows 7. My virtual machine dedicates 4GB to Windows.

The system runs well, is fast enough and apart from the occasional memory leak when I loose a connection and need to reboot the virtual machine (one a month) I don't have stability issues.

Laptop:
I recently bought a laptop. Intel i5/4GB RAM and ..... Windows 8. The idea is that this is the backup system and also will allow me to trade from the beach (yeah ..right). The logic behind getting this and not a MacBook Pro was that it should be slim, tight and simple. I don't need the Mac experience for trading and when I am mobile.

Oh my goodness. What a lemon. It is slower than a slow thing and there is soooooo much rubbish going in with anti-virus vendors and intel memory managers and reminders and monitors that it is running MUCH slower than my iMAC.

I will add some memory to it (voiding my warranty no doubt) and try to slim down the flabware that is holding it back. I'll keep you posted. I don't want to revert to Windows 7 (yet) ... but ....

Internet Connectivity:
Cable for the desktop and wireless for the laptop from a separate provider. Its not as expensive as one messed up trade.


Broker:
IB. No issues with them at all. If anyone has a really solid file so that I can setup an IB commission profile in my Ninjatrader - I would love it and post it here.

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  #4 (permalink)
 podski 
Belgium
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninjatrader
Broker: Ninjatrader Brokerage, CQG
Trading: FDAX, FDXM ...maybe
 
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Posts: 388 since Sep 2012
Thanks: 498 given, 470 received

Instruments:
I live in Europe and although I would like to trade CL - the hours are too long for me. I spend a solid 10 hours at the desk every day and can't extend that until 20:30 every evening.

For this reason I trade the FDAX. FDAX trades on EUREX and is active from 08:00 in the morning CET to 17:30 CET or a little thereafter. The FDAX moves anything from 80 to 200 ticks a day (or more) and although it can be choppy there are some nice trends and whole trending days.

I know that @PandaWarrior and @VinceVirgil just do it ... and I know that Big Mike says stay away from it until you are a grown up - but CL is attractive because of the volatility. Whether that volatility is real gold or fools gold is up to us. The FDAX has a lot of the characteristics of CL both in terms of its volatility profile and commission structure and the market hours are sane for me. So .. that's it.

I only look at one market. In the future when I am able to trade the FDAX blindly I will look at others but for now I need to get to know this market well.

FDAX Key outline numbers:
FDAX: 2 ticks to a point. I will keep to ticks as much as possible.

Average range of a 15 minute bar is about 30 ticks but properly trending pushes are regularly 50 to 60 ticks.

Lots of intraday ranges - usually 30 to 40 ticks wide.

You can add value by:
  • Replying with any FDAX specific numbers
  • Looking together at how the FDAX moves with measured moves
  • Any analysis or ideas about how the FDAX moves at any particular time of day

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  #5 (permalink)
 podski 
Belgium
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninjatrader
Broker: Ninjatrader Brokerage, CQG
Trading: FDAX, FDXM ...maybe
 
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Posts: 388 since Sep 2012
Thanks: 498 given, 470 received

Main Chart: FDAX 5Min

Moving averages:
Slow Moving Average: SMA 21
Fast Moving Average: SMA 4
Paint Bar Study:
fsAuctionBars - this is a variation on anaThrustBars by Fat Tails. I like it.
Oscillator:
fsZeroLagOscillator - I use to for trend filtering and for momentum slow down detection.
Volume:
anaBetterVolume - It moos like a cow.
As you can see I am a @Fat Tails fan.

That's it. Nothing else.

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  #6 (permalink)
 podski 
Belgium
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninjatrader
Broker: Ninjatrader Brokerage, CQG
Trading: FDAX, FDXM ...maybe
 
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Posts: 388 since Sep 2012
Thanks: 498 given, 470 received

Trade Entry and Management:
I use ChartTrader and have added the ChartTraderExtra from @Adamus. I enter trades using the SuperDOM.


Targets and Stops:
I need help here chaps. I have one main ATM strategy.

I use a fixed 15 tick stop and a a two step target. T1 20 ticks T2 40 ticks. ABE after 8 ticks.

More clearly:
T1: 20
T2: 40
Stop: 15
ABE: 8
I experiment a little now with
a. moving my stop to below what I think is the nearest swing low
b. taking profits based on the current range targets

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  #7 (permalink)
 podski 
Belgium
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninjatrader
Broker: Ninjatrader Brokerage, CQG
Trading: FDAX, FDXM ...maybe
 
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Posts: 388 since Sep 2012
Thanks: 498 given, 470 received

Before I get started on the journal proper I want to take the opportunity to use all of the resources available on futures.io (formerly BMT) that I have come across.

I have been putting some of them on the long finger - but now is a great time.

I've worked out a trading style ( you will be the judge of that I hear you say) and the most unreliable piece of that is me.

They say that the key to this is confidence and I have learned the hard way that this is true.

Right now I am going to address a key issue: I am going to make sure that I don't go bankrupt.

Steps:

1. Skip through this thread on Risk of Ruin
2. Listen to this challenging but really very good Webinar - Ernest Chan on Capital Allocation and Risk of Ruin
3. Download the Spreadsheet to Calculate your Risk and Number of Contracts you should trade


My conclusion from the discussion and the webinar is that we are on the right track. The important thing for me is to have some sort of assurance that I am not about to walk off the edge of a flat earth. That I am not about to fly the plane into the mountain that I cannot see.

The mathematical and techncial discussion is interesting but not really very relevant for most of us at the moment.

Ernest Chan says (I paraphrase): "It doesn't really matter what sort of distribution you assume for your market and system - the simple calculations yield more or less the same result. If you use the Kelly methods and then use the CPPI technique you will not go bust."

The key assumption in using any of these methods is that you have a rock solid, positive expectancy from your system. I am developing a system ... so ... rock and solid are not adjectives that I want to bandy about.

The futures.io (formerly BMT) Thread - comes to the same conclusion but is a little more sensitive to the fact that ... maybe .. you don't have 3 years of backtested data for your system. Maybe you are developing your system and the key number that you can really rely on is your Win/Loss ratio. In my case I can get this from Ninjatrader every day. At futures.io (formerly BMT) there is a spreadsheet that will allow you to calculate your Optimal F number and then to risk down. Brilliant.

I attach a screenshot my Risk Adjusted Optimal F spreadsheet. It says that I can trade 5 contracts. Hmmm ... that is a lot. You know what ... I am going to get going on 2 contracts. I choose to ignore the Optimal F, I choose to use the risk adjusted feedback but then cut that down again.

The more confident I get and importantly ... the better my win/loss ratio gets - the more I will ratchet this baby up.

Trade well everyone.

podski

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  #8 (permalink)
 podski 
Belgium
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninjatrader
Broker: Ninjatrader Brokerage, CQG
Trading: FDAX, FDXM ...maybe
 
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Posts: 388 since Sep 2012
Thanks: 498 given, 470 received

Hi Everyone,

Well, for a guy on the first day of his journal it is a little silly of me to turn up late !

Let me start with some excuses.

Last night I watched the Ernest Chan Webinar and had a really good hard look at my own journal and base calculations. They were OK but not really that good.

I looked thru' my To Do list and saw that I had some spreadsheet updates to do. They kept me busy in my head when I should have been sleeping and this morning before I could hit the BUY or SELL button.

1. I calculated my "Optimal F" (its 5 FDAX contracts on a 100K account with my current estimates) I will start with 2 or in exceptionally confident moments 4 contracts.

2. I will switch my journal to the futures.io (formerly BMT)/@vvhg J ournal version 4.4 to be found here. Please note
a. When you open this on a MAC - it explodes in your face
b. I bought a new version of Excel for my laptop - and will use that
3. Even though maybe nobody is looking - I feel the gaze of the futures.io (formerly BMT) community. Call me a fool but I know that this is the point. I know that the reason I am doing this is so that I can't pull the wool over my own eyes and that I work well enough to get things ready for "publication" quality.

4. The market was very choppy this morning and I avoided trading it as I was not fully concentrated on it, messing around installing software and trading is not good.

5. The FDAX Open is interesting. I would love it if I could get some input from @vvhg @max-td could demystify this. I note
a. at the end of the day it the opening bars often just look like any normal trading bars
i. there is often a gap up or down
ii. a retracement that looks oversold and over bought
iii. this morning it looked like an overbought retracement and then sold off nicely
b. However ... with such a large ramp up in volume - the FDAX open often has a huge range of movement before it settles down.

@vvhg @max-td How best to approach this ??
I tend to just watch it ... hoping that inspiration will come some day and (relatively) secure in the knowledge that there will be other trading bars later in the day!


6. T1: FDAX falling steadily all morning. It often takes steps down and then trades in a range.
11:25 am. Missed trade (not at the trading desk)
11:45 am. Missed trade (not at the trading desk)
13:30 pm. I watched this trade - hesitated but I saw it happening
14:05 pm. Breakout of the mini range (like all morning). Confident. 4 contracts
using my FDAXL-Long strategy. Target Filled.
7. T2: 15:30 pm Price action turned bearish after a period of consolidation
Note: Target 1 moved to bottom of current range (Al Brooks says take half off)
Auto Break Even kicks in after 8 ticks
Target 1 hit
Auto Break Even Hit
This is a "typical" issue.

Once I get a little into profit I don't want to let the trade be a loser, just in case I have read the price action wrong.


I this case, the FDAX bounced off my Auto Break Even and then continued lower. Grrrr ...


===> I should note in my Journal that my ABE was a bit of a hindrance not a help and count the number of times that this happens. I will investigate how best to do this in the journal.

I don't know how to get back in to the trade without chasing the trade.

I have to wait for another pullback.


8. 15:55 - The pullback came - but it looks like the end of the bear trend. Maybe. I guess this will morph into either a range for the rest of the day or a reversal. More of a range is what I'm thinking.

The price action is now straddling the SMA(21).

Let's see.


9. You know what - it is 16:00 pm. I am €1700 Euro up. I think that I will call it a day. I've been working hard all night in my head and in fact hard all day. I'm going to update the new spreadsheet journal and not get involved in scrapping it out at the close.


10. Final notes. The market moved down more than 140 points today and I got 20 of them. On days like this I think we need to be killing the market. Can do better.


Thanks for watching.

Trade well everyone!

podski

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  #9 (permalink)
 vvhg 
Northern Germany
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT
Trading: FDAX, CL
 
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FDAX often has significant gaps. And on many days you get a wiggle at around the open, I normally tend to wait a few bars to see where we might be heading. For me levels work quite well when paired up with price action...that said, it still is a vicious beast with a severe multiple personality disorder! Breakouts often are pretty explosive, also applies to failed ones, they can take out your stop in a blink...

Vvhg

Hic Rhodos, hic salta.
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 podski 
Belgium
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninjatrader
Broker: Ninjatrader Brokerage, CQG
Trading: FDAX, FDXM ...maybe
 
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Posts: 388 since Sep 2012
Thanks: 498 given, 470 received


Lets start at the end. It was a range bound day. Take a look at the end of day chart. Lots of barbed wire and well delineated ranges.

I don't have the skill yet to really trade those ranges so I am trying my best to step aside and wait for range trading to begin. Its important for me to not trade unless I am sure and conquer my FOMO (fear of missing out). I did that today to a large extent.

The questions for me today are then twofold.

1. How do I know that it is range trading ?
2. What is my plan to learn to better trade the range - esp to avoid trend trading the range

How do I know it is range trading?
I'll start out here by telling you what I don't do. I don't retro fit a chart with and ADX and as soon as the ADX fires then start trading in the hope that it is a trend trade. No sir. That is the surefire way for me to give back all the money that I made yesterday and maybe a lot more.

I was at the desk from the open until 17:15 - so I watched every tick.

The first few bars of the day look innocent enough but they were very high churn. Prominent tails on some bars and a lot of reversal indications. The whole thing felt rushed and panicky and even though the overall trend was up a lot of the traffic was in the middle of each bar and the extremes of each bar (high or low) tended to be very churny. My anaBettervolume was mooing like a cow a lot.

The short story is - I watched the screen - it looked jumpy, it felt jumpy, it whiplashed back and forth and the reversals came at the tops and bottoms of the ranges. So that is how I knew it was going to be a range day.

I know I have the skills to earn money only when it is really trending - I know I have to avoid the choppy water - so I stayed aside for most of the day.


2. What is my plan to learn to better trade the range
I have a plan with two parts.
a. I am going to note all the days that were rangey like today and work through them on replay. I know they are range days so I am going to expect turnarounds and see how I can best recognise them. Maybe throwing up a MACD will help, maybe making my existing fsZerolagOscillator will help. However - this is curve fitting and I feel that it is just going to be best to learn where the price action is going in those ranges and practice with some stop orders.
b. I will start another SIM account for those days. A range SIM. I think its important not just to look at it but to try to trade it to get the feel. When I go live again - on range days I will either not trade or just trade an "I don't care" amount - as Al Brooks would say.

Trades of the Day
I did two small trades today. Both with the intention that the trend would take off. Of course they were both entered at the very top and very bottom of a range move. Duh!

Not to many complaints about my Auto Break Even today !!


Did I miss trades?
Yes. I did. there were clear trending moves in the day but the whole tenor of the market was too jagged for me. Maybe I'll get better at that. However I don't think that the best trades of the day were trend trades - so its not an objective to pick them out.



But look at this .. the real end of the day
Now - here is a funny thing - I think I've seen it before. The whole day, including the close was furiously range bound. At least by my measure it was range bound - if I had a better feeling for it it could have been wonderful. In any case look what happened at the real end of the day. By this I mean long after all of the European Time Zone traders had gone home and were at the pub. Look at 18:30 CET onwards. What looks like a lovely little gentle ride up in a trend that had a 20 point sweet spot. Hmmm ... if only I had more hours in the day and more patience.


How you can help
I'm reading (again) the Al Brooks Trading Price Action - Ranges book. I need to go thru it a few times before I can begin to formulate a strategy. However my thoughts so far are the following:

a. Range trading should have shorter stops than trend trading - to some extent it is a counter trend move and you should get out soon if you are wrong
b. I would like my approach to have a directional element to it. This means I don't want to buy at the bottom - I would like to buy on a mini trend move up. What sort of order types should I use and how far below the congestion zone or above the congestion zone are my key areas to look at?
c. I trade a 5 min FDAX chart - for ranges should I drop down or move up (??) a timeframe - or should I just get more comfortable with the 5 min and trade it using other metrics
d. Are there any good articles out there on range trading that I might not have found in my google searches
e. does anyone have any sort of automated strategies that they would like to publish to the group - or work with me on together so that we can develop it ?
Don't be a stranger if you have any thoughts on this !!


Trade well everyone!

podski

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  #11 (permalink)
 Abde 
Germany
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Broker: GFT and Interactive Brokers
Trading: ES, DAX
 
Posts: 532 since Aug 2010
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Hi @podski,

How do I know it is range trading?


I consider it as range trading as long as the price action is inside yesterdays VA in which I use amongst others, the VAL, VAH + POC in reference to support and resistance zones. Maybe that´s an approach you can consider if you want. Good trading,

Abde

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 podski 
Belgium
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninjatrader
Broker: Ninjatrader Brokerage, CQG
Trading: FDAX, FDXM ...maybe
 
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Posts: 388 since Sep 2012
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@Abde

Do you think that you could post a quick snapshot of what you mean ... so that I could then setup something on my own chart and follow up your idea ?

I will then try to pick out the buy/sell signals as I see them for your comment.

tks

podski

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 Abde 
Germany
 
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Trading: ES, DAX
 
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podski View Post
@Abde

Do you think that you could post a quick snapshot of what you mean ... so that I could then setup something on my own chart and follow up your idea ?

I will then try to pick out the buy/sell signals as I see them for your comment.

tks

podski

@podski

attached is a 30 minute chart from which I take my Value Area numbers. The VA is the green shaded zone respectively to the left, is the zone from the prior day. In general as long as the price action stays within the zone from the prior day, it´s range trading till it breaks out of it. If the breakout is to the upside, the VAH becomes support and if to the downside, the VAL becomes resistance. Hope it helps.

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 podski 
Belgium
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninjatrader
Broker: Ninjatrader Brokerage, CQG
Trading: FDAX, FDXM ...maybe
 
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Posts: 388 since Sep 2012
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Hi Everyone,

A challenging day today for me. It is one of those days that you look back at on a 5 Min FDAX chart and think that your blind uncle Billy (blinded by vodka) could have traded better than you did.

Sometimes during days like this I am reminded of some of the speeches I have seen from the great and the good. In this case I was thinking about Linda Raschke today. Now, don't get me wrong. I don't know Linda Raschke - I've never seen her and probably never will but .... loads of people talk about her and indeed she has a nice sort of broadcastery voice in an American kind of way.

Anyway - the speech I was thinking about today was this one. Click Here

In the vid, Linda talks about classical indicators and also talks about the ability to be able to forget your last trade and move on to the next one. I guess it will come with practice but for now it seems like I'm strangling those trades with my bare hands. That skill would have been useful today and I would have concentrated better.

Day Summary:

Missed Trades:
I missed some real sitters. I didn't chase them and they even had a nice pullback or two that I traded well. My entries were good (when I made them).

Auto Break Even Saga:
The ABE didn't save my backside today. It cost it. It is definitely on the way out. Let's see how long it lasts. If I get rid of it I will want to be sure that I'm reading the price action well so that I don't get drilled. However ... today ... one of my nicely patient pullback trades got taken out on the ABE. If I had let it run ... we are talking > 100 ticks. I won't say any more in case I upset you.

I had a wee chat with the @PandaWarrior yesterday and he mentioned again the false security that an Auto Trail gives.

I'll sleep on it but it's not long for this world.

Trades List:
T1: 12:50 - ABE Hit
T2: 13:15 - ABE Hit -...oh goodness ... it really took off after this ... MFE ++
Lunch Break - all hell breaks loose. Not able to join / fear of chasing the trade
T3: 14:26 - Stop filled / looked like a value zone pull back but clearly too far gone in the trend. I think that this was an impatient trade. Waiting for a deeper pullback.
T4: 14:40 - Similar pullback trade to T3 - Went to + 6 points but started to pull back to ABE - manual bail.
T5: 14:42 - Same space entry - Auto Trail got hit with one position 10 points target got hit with the runner.

Chart Update:
I'm trying to simplify the visuals a little while keeping the info the same. I had been scratching my head for a long time about a moving average issue that I was having. The Berlin Fox ( aka @Fat Tails) together with @Big Mike and @MWinfrey got it sorted for me. Issue to Answer in minutes. Click Here.

All this for 50 bucks ... makes me feel like a thief !


Trade well everyone !

podski

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 PandaWarrior 
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I don't know what all the dots are on the chart but you have the structure marked out pretty well. I think thats all you really need but even with all the dots, I think its still pretty clear. I took the liberty of marking on your chart my trail stop ideas.....hope it helps and if not, then disregard.


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 podski 
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Many thanks @PandaWarrior,

I was showing someone your markup yesterday evening (in answer to the question "What do you do all day?") and they thought that it made a lot of sense.

My first reaction was:
"It's easy for a warrior to say that ... !"
My second reaction was:
"Of course he is right ... it's the Al B method, bamboo style ... the I don't care , let it run .... method".
My third ... and current reaction is:
"Think like a warrior, act like a warrior ... and you will be a warrior!"


podski

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 podski 
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Hello All,

No trades today.

Despite the instructions on BM's signature to stop changing stuff - I spent the day doing just that.

Minor adjustments only but they totally threw my eye off and I was unsure about everything.

Anyway - now my chart is a little updated. Screenshot attached.

Moving Averages:
Fast = SMA(4)
Slow = SMA(21)
Yellow Dots:
They are a snapshot of the fast SMA(4) at the time of the open of the bar. Why do I do this ?
I like to enter a trade when the price opens at the SMA(4). Sometimes I miss it or sometimes I just ignore it because I think that the momentum is in fact going the wrong way and there will be a climatic reversal (it very very rarely happens but I think its going to happen all the time?!?).

Anyway - those yellow dots are where the SMA was when the bar opened.

I can now look back at a chart at the end of the day and see where the open of the bar was at or close to the SMA and what else was happening at that time in terms of the trend, the support and resistance etc.

Other Indicators:
fsAuctionBars
fsZeroLagOscillator
anaBetterVolume
-----------------

Yesterday the @PandaWarrior marked up my chart.

Someone else on futures.io (formerly BMT) has a signature that says something like "if you keep doing the same thing you keep getting the same results". So much of today and indeed tomorrow will be spent thinking about a trading plan update.

I am doing this journal to break out of a rut, impose discipline and get feedback. In just a few days all of that has happend. In general I know that my entries are getting better and better but my exits are still.

Taking a 1000 dollar risk for a 200 dollar win is wrong on many levels and the fact is that is what my previous trades look like.

My new journal uses the futures.io (formerly BMT) journal format and it is far superior to the other notes I was keeping. It is telling me a couple of things need to change.
a. I need to get rid of that ABE somehow. It knocks me out of very good trades and makes my hands weak.
b. the instrument that I am trading has big moves - for the most part they are with the trend. My trading philosophy needs to be more based on getting confidently in position for the rocket to take off and not on taking scalper money during swing moves.
No trades from me tomorrow either I think.

Trade well everyone!

podski

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 podski 
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Hi Everyone,

Well - after a long weekend of contemplation, meditation and a little bit of sweating I have a few things to report.

1. Books
I buy (and read) quite a lot of books. The latest additions to the library are

a. The Hour Between Dog and Wolf - John M. Coates
b. Mentaltraining für den erfolgreichen Day-Trader - Christoph Wahlen

The Hour between Dog and Wolf is a great read. The effects of testosterone (and the workings of your body in general) on your decision making and development as a trader over the short, medium and long term uncovered by former trader turned Cambridge University academic (no dummies there) John M. Coates.

I will write a longer review somewhere else on the forum later but I recognise myself in a lot of this. I'm only just over halfway through and it's very good.

I'll be keeping a view on my Sharpe Ratio


Mentaltraining für den erfolgreichen Day-Trader
Touted and reviewed as a deep piece of work that is not easily digested. As far as I can see this is book could be just about the best "get to know thyself as a trader" book in the German speaking world. I don't know if it has been translated yet but I'd be interested to hear what any other readers of this book have to say.

Wheras books like Supertrader from Van Tharp tell you to "do the work" - this one is really structured and clear about "what the work is".

My first impressions are that it is going to be a great tool for someone like me. It is however going to take a long time to work through the book. Some say up to a year!


2. Trading Plans and Next Steps
Just in the last week
  • with even the few trades I've done
  • taking into account the new tools that I have started to use consistently (@vvhg 's Journal)
  • the public and private feedback I've received

I'm all fired up.

Firstly, given the state of my chart, the way that I have been able to read price action so far and prudent use of my Kelly formula - I know I'm not going to go bankrupt. This is a relief. :-) . My entries are (geneally speaking) good enough now to keep me out of trouble.

Secondly - I was always worried that I would not be able to find the right rhythm to trading. In the past I was trading maybe 10 or 15 trades a day. Waaaay too much ... but I was unsure as to whether I should wait for a better chance. I'm confident that I can now wait.

Thirdly - I'm going to get rid of that ABE and trailing stop. They are out.

Fouthly - I never really paid too much attention to Top Step Trader before but the Webinar last week left quite an impression on me. Those metrics are pretty interesting.
  • Average Winner > Average Loser
  • Time in Winners > Time in Losers
  • Overall Win % > 45%

Simple - but not easy - the way I like it. Food for thought.

I'll be watching all these numbers in my own little extended combine and drawing attention to them.

3. Trades
With all of that expense in terms of time and money for all of that research - it will surprise you to know that I messed up the two best trades of the day.

Morning Trade: Just plain missed it
Afternoon Trade: Got in perfectly (according to my criteria) and then ... bailed too early. I made 5 points instead of 30.

I am a glass half full guy so the question for me to ponder tonight is not "Will I ever learn?" but just "How long will it take?"

This old dog can learn new tricks!!

Trade well.

podski

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 podski 
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Hi All,

Today was a sort of messy day all over the markets it seems.

Two trades only - both losers I'm afraid.


Trade 1 13:15-CET: Long (Loser -15 ticks)

Reason for Entry: Pullback in an uptrend - looking for continuation

Stop: placement at a fixed place behind entry point.

Risk wise - this is steady - however my entry was a little late.

A classic question is - where should the stop be placed in a trade like this?

My stop is sort of in no-mans land. It should either be very tight (the stop analysis in my journal suggests between 4 and 8 ticks). Or it would have been very far away. Too far.


Exit: Stop Filled

Post Trade Analysis (10-15 minutes later):
There may have been an element of boredom in this trade (looking at this market since 08:30 am).
Once the price closed below the SMA(21) it was game over and I should have gotten out manually.
It never felt or looked like a great trade.



Trade 2 13:40 CET : Short (Loser -3 ticks)

Reason for Entry: Pullback in a sudden downtrend switch.

Stop: placement at 15 ticks behind entry.

Trade went to + 12 ticks and pulled back. The market feels very jumpy and is not really trending - so my gut says get out - there will be a better entry.

Exit: Manual bail

Post Trade Analysis:
It appears was right to get out and bail on that "gut feeling" and price action reading (one bar reversal).
It was a pity that it didn't reach my target but to be honest - I never should have been in this trade.


Looking at the 15 min Chart:
This was simply a long trading day - no room for shorts really - not for the likes of me.



Why did I miss the trades of the day - again?
I can see the trades of the day as they are happening - but I am having concentration issues. It's a long day.

One of the main reasons is that I am using trend filters and they are a little slow to react.

That meant that the large morning trend move was just about over before I could get in. I'm curing myself of chasing trades so no way was I going to do that.

However - there were indications that the direction was changing. I've got to work on focus at these moments.

Simple MA-Cross indicators should alert me.

When the price is trading at my main moving average it can be some of the most boring price action. However it is also the time when the value for money in a trade is at its highest.

Does anyone have any suggestions for staying alert at these moments ??

Final Thoughts:
When I reply the day's events again in my head I feel that there is a little something missing that I used to have - funnily enough.

Firstly I'm not paying enough attention to the higher time frame. That is an issue. I find when I am looking at only the 5 minute chart that a deep pullback becomes a trend change. It shouldn't.

Secondly - I need to work on my pre-trade procedure just a little more so that I am physically more alert.

Trade well.

podski

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 Adamus 
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You could try running through a visualisation in your mind of you making a successful trade. You can also create a mantra for yourself - a short sentence that you repeat to yourself when you realise you have let your concentration slip. E.g. "I am alert, focused and prepared - I am more consistent than 99% of other traders".

Just my 2 cents

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 Abde 
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podski View Post
Hi All,

Today was a sort of messy day all over the markets it seems.

Two trades only - both losers I'm afraid.


Trade 1 13:15-CET: Long (Loser -15 ticks)

Reason for Entry: Pullback in an uptrend - looking for continuation

Stop: placement at a fixed place behind entry point.

Risk wise - this is steady - however my entry was a little late.

A classic question is - where should the stop be placed in a trade like this?

My stop is sort of in no-mans land. It should either be very tight (the stop analysis in my journal suggests between 4 and 8 ticks). Or it would have been very far away. Too far.


Exit: Stop Filled

Post Trade Analysis (10-15 minutes later):
There may have been an element of boredom in this trade (looking at this market since 08:30 am).
Once the price closed below the SMA(21) it was game over and I should have gotten out manually.
It never felt or looked like a great trade.



Trade 2 13:40 CET : Short (Loser -3 ticks)

Reason for Entry: Pullback in a sudden downtrend switch.

Stop: placement at 15 ticks behind entry.

Trade went to + 12 ticks and pulled back. The market feels very jumpy and is not really trending - so my gut says get out - there will be a better entry.

Exit: Manual bail

Post Trade Analysis:
It appears was right to get out and bail on that "gut feeling" and price action reading (one bar reversal).
It was a pity that it didn't reach my target but to be honest - I never should have been in this trade.


Looking at the 15 min Chart:
This was simply a long trading day - no room for shorts really - not for the likes of me.



Why did I miss the trades of the day - again?
I can see the trades of the day as they are happening - but I am having concentration issues. It's a long day.

One of the main reasons is that I am using trend filters and they are a little slow to react.

That meant that the large morning trend move was just about over before I could get in. I'm curing myself of chasing trades so no way was I going to do that.

However - there were indications that the direction was changing. I've got to work on focus at these moments.

Simple MA-Cross indicators should alert me.

When the price is trading at my main moving average it can be some of the most boring price action. However it is also the time when the value for money in a trade is at its highest.

Does anyone have any suggestions for staying alert at these moments ??

Final Thoughts:
When I reply the day's events again in my head I feel that there is a little something missing that I used to have - funnily enough.

Firstly I'm not paying enough attention to the higher time frame. That is an issue. I find when I am looking at only the 5 minute chart that a deep pullback becomes a trend change. It shouldn't.

Secondly - I need to work on my pre-trade procedure just a little more so that I am physically more alert.

Trade well.

podski

Hi @podski,

I will try to make some suggestions that may help. First of all do you want to be alerted at a MA crossover?

Regarding your failed short: You took it just above the first hour opening range wihch is a strong support area until clearly broken. I think considering the OR will be no bad idea.

Why did I miss the trade of the day?
Here the OR would also be quite helpful. As son as price action re-enters the OR, it´s mostly a very good entry. I´m attaching a chart so you can see what I´m talking about.

May I ask Why do you use a 5 minute chart or time based charts in general? As you know the Dax is a viciously bastard with violent moves and IMO, time based candles are not beneficial regarding entry and stop loss setting. Therefore I,m also attaching an 300 Volume chart that you can see the difference. Hope you find my statement helpful or at least not distracting.

Good trades,

Abde

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 podski 
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@Abde
I find your input (yesterday and a few days ago) ..

1. Very helpful
2. Very distracting ...in a good way ...

I need to scratch my head a little and get back to you !

Much appreciated !

regards

podski

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 podski 
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Hi Everyone,

I got a lot of good feedback and also took a time to assess my trading plan. I have also changed slightly the way that I am going to continue this journal.

Any comments always welcome.

Firstly - 2013 Toolbox from @Fat Tails happened. There are many good things about this set of tools not only do they look good and work well but there is a considerable amount of information regarding how to use them both on futures.io (formerly BMT) and on the other thing ... the .. internet.

Some of the feedback that I received so far has been regarding missing some pretty obvious road signs regarding the trend, the direction of a trend, the likelihood of a trend and the overall tenor of the market. The information is too generic and useful for me to ignore. So .. I had to dig in.

The outcome is nothing earth shattering but certainly refreshing and very pleasing for me.

I now have a sort of triple screen setup.

Screen 1: Context
The overall context of the market using 15min, 30min or 60min charts covering the past few trading days or weeks.

I evaluate the context in general terms Pivot Points and VWAP. The 2011 Webinar from @Fat Tails is very useful.

Screen 2: Day Overview
I have been looking at 5 min charts for a long time and I am comfortable with how they represent price action during the day. So I keep my eye on this chart.

Screen 3 - Volume Chart:
@Abde has encouraged me to take a look at volume charts and shared his with me. I like the look of them. As with any chart if you know what you are looking for it helps a lot. I am learning to look for better entries on this chart.

Today's Charts and Trades:
The first attachment is today's context chart as it appeared at 08:30 this morning.

The Pivot Points and the overall trend were clearly down.
The price action at this early stage was at the pivot point and opened a little down.

My decision was to favor short positions.


Trade 1:
A pretty good result. +38 Points. Short from the open - exit when the price hit the bottom of the Noise Bands. This would have been one and done.

Except I am the apprentice so I get to do this all day.

Trade 2:
Much more indecisive. I pulled out at +3 ticks. MFE would have been +30 ticks but it didn't feel right.

Although I was pre-disposed to short positions and this trade was below the Noise Bands, I didn't feel comfortable shorting above the VWAP. Chickened out.


Rest of the day:
The rest of the day was incredibly quiet. I only realized late in the day that it was a US holiday. So it was bound to be quiet.

Is there a nice RSS feed that would tell me that sort of thing ???

In any case - the higher time frame trend remained bearish during most of the day even though the close was just outside the upper Noise Bands and the price action crept up and up.

Today was a success for a couple of reasons.

1. +40 ticks is not too shabby
2. I was content to tell myself to wait and understand why I was waiting - the overall context (and holiday) meant it was going to be sticky - so I was not nervously chasing my tail on the 5 Min.

It is simple stuff - the kind of thing that I was reading about on day 1 ... but I'm happy with this approach.

Trade well everyone.

podski

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 Adamus 
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podski View Post
The rest of the day was incredibly quiet. I only realized late in the day that it was a US holiday. So it was bound to be quiet.

Is there a nice RSS feed that would tell me that sort of thing ???

Let me show my ignorance by asking how you get an RSS feed to tell you. The only time I tried using RSS feeds, it was some sort of clunky toolbar in firefox and it was all a bit non-intuitive.

I use forexfactory although there are many others.

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 podski 
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@Adamus

I've recently started to use Chrome to its full potential - it's mobile and consistent across devices.

I don't need to be plugged into news all the time but it's nice to have a bit of focused news.

In any case (and on second thoughts) Ninjatrader is probably not the place for me to be seeing any news items but getting headlines from forexfactory is a good idea.

How do you do it?
If you setup Chrome and then add an app like Feedly to it then it will read the newsfeed from forexfactory (or FX Street) for you and display it in a prominent place (maybe your home page or just in a trader news section).

You can organize the feeds very easily. A lot has changed since the beginning of RSS.

I would like to find something low volume - with important calendar dates related to say a currency or specific instrument.

The benefits of this over just visting the forexfactory site would be

1. It would blend news from multiple places if that is what you want
2. It's google - so it's everywhere now if you need or like that

Give it a try !

podski

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 podski 
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Hi Eveyrone,

No trades from me today but I have a couple of questions.

150 points is a big move and it seems that the world and his wife could see this coming. @GFS1 was long today but with respect I don't think he moves the market.

Chart 1: The Early Morning Context:
This morning before the open I took this snapshot and made some notes.

a. The order of the pivot points was flipped from yesterday to reflect the reversal
b. The pre-open was getting sucked down to the PP area but was trading just around the VWAP (which is not very reliable in the first 30 mins I am told). In any case it was trading above yesterdays RTH VWAP - and I am wondering if that is the significant point.

In any case - it seemed like a pretty tense day ahead to my apprentice eyes .. but .. brother was I wrong.

What else could I have seen at this early stage ? @vvhg - any ideas ??


Chart 2: End of Day:
The main question for traders who have made a trade and are either in it or want to get back in is how to maintain a long bias on a day like today. I know that this is a bit of a soft question but I am gonna ask it.

I tend to want to time it precisely - to get in at the open of the big bullish bar. Which is of course a mistake ... there were 20 of them before the big push comes. Just having a bullish bias and a comfortable stop would help.

What aspects of the session pivots do people look at to help maintain a bullish bias.

More trades from me tomorrow.

Trade Well.

podski

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  #27 (permalink)
 Abde 
Germany
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: FlatTrader
Broker: GFT and Interactive Brokers
Trading: ES, DAX
 
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podski View Post
The main question for traders who have made a trade and are either in it or want to get back in is how to maintain a long bias on a day like today. I know that this is a bit of a soft question but I am gonna ask it.

I tend to want to time it precisely - to get in at the open of the big bullish bar. Which is of course a mistake ... there were 20 of them before the big push comes. Just having a bullish bias and a comfortable stop would help.

What aspects of the session pivots do people look at to help maintain a bullish bias.

Hi @podski,

The first indication that it´s gonna be a bullish day was an strong breakout out of the first 5 minute OR. The second indication was that we never touched yesterday´s POC which is a also bullish. And last but not least, we also broke out of yesterday´s VAH which is a VERY bullish sign. Hope this helps a bit.

Abde

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  #28 (permalink)
 vvhg 
Northern Germany
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT
Trading: FDAX, CL
 
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podski View Post
Hi Eveyrone,

No trades from me today but I have a couple of questions.

150 points is a big move and it seems that the world and his wife could see this coming. @GFS1 was long today but with respect I don't think he moves the market.

Chart 1: The Early Morning Context:
This morning before the open I took this snapshot and made some notes.

a. The order of the pivot points was flipped from yesterday to reflect the reversal
b. The pre-open was getting sucked down to the PP area but was trading just around the VWAP (which is not very reliable in the first 30 mins I am told). In any case it was trading above yesterdays RTH VWAP - and I am wondering if that is the significant point.

In any case - it seemed like a pretty tense day ahead to my apprentice eyes .. but .. brother was I wrong.

What else could I have seen at this early stage ? @vvhg - any ideas ??


Chart 2: End of Day:
The main question for traders who have made a trade and are either in it or want to get back in is how to maintain a long bias on a day like today. I know that this is a bit of a soft question but I am gonna ask it.

I tend to want to time it precisely - to get in at the open of the big bullish bar. Which is of course a mistake ... there were 20 of them before the big push comes. Just having a bullish bias and a comfortable stop would help.

What aspects of the session pivots do people look at to help maintain a bullish bias.

More trades from me tomorrow.

Trade Well.

podski


Well, with hindsight everything is easy, in real time it's a little harder

At the open I had a slightly long bias, but by far nothing I would base a trade on... Have a look at the daily chart, there is a nice trendline we tried to break on Friday and Monday.
But to really convince me it took the 3rd 5min candle, a nice pop through y-close and y-high.
That said, please remember that I certainly am not an expert by any means..


vvhg

Hic Rhodos, hic salta.
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  #29 (permalink)
 podski 
Belgium
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninjatrader
Broker: Ninjatrader Brokerage, CQG
Trading: FDAX, FDXM ...maybe
 
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Hi Everyone,

As Van Morrison says - My Mama told me there would be days like this.
1. It's sunny where I am. That doesn't happen often.
2. I was one and done at 09:30 this morning (well .. 2 and done .. but I will explain)
3. The whole day sort of panned out according to the Volatility based Session Pivots
This all leaves a guy thinking that maybe he will beat the 10,000 hour mark (see the thread here).

It wasn't a perfect day - certainly not in terms of my performance.

Trade 1: (-10 ticks - stopped out)
Following yesterday's reversal - it was a decisive down day today on the FDAX.

The context was bearish but for my amateur eyes I was expecting tension. In any case the screenshot attached shows the FDAX Context at 09:00 this morning. This is the open.

My game plan was to watch the first couple of bars and then look for bearish signs. It didn't take long.

Within a couple of minutes the ADN (Average Daily Noise) band breached and therefore - time to get short.

Unfortunately I was stopped out !!

Butterfingers.

Trade 2: Same Entry Point (+38 Ticks):
I felt this was just a case of a stupidly close stop, so I re-entered on the same bar and got paid on the same bar. I didn't even have time to move my target (default at 15 and 20 points) properly so that I could trail the trade manually.

Butterfingers !!

I felt a bit too stressed to enter another trade after this - didn't want to give it back.

Rest of the Day:
It was very nice to see however that the ADR target was hit. In fact the target could have been described in terms of the ADR target or the VWAP volatility bands.

The 2nd standard deviation was a nice exit point a little later in the day the only other trade that I would like to have taken was a nice move.

Back for more punishment tomorrow.

Trade Well!

podski

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  #30 (permalink)
 ninjadiluce 
italia
 
Experience: Master
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Trading: Futures
 
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podski View Post
Hello All,

No trades today.

Despite the instructions on BM's signature to stop changing stuff - I spent the day doing just that.

Minor adjustments only but they totally threw my eye off and I was unsure about everything.

Anyway - now my chart is a little updated. Screenshot attached.

Moving Averages:
Fast = SMA(4)
Slow = SMA(21)
Yellow Dots:
They are a snapshot of the fast SMA(4) at the time of the open of the bar. Why do I do this ?
I like to enter a trade when the price opens at the SMA(4). Sometimes I miss it or sometimes I just ignore it because I think that the momentum is in fact going the wrong way and there will be a climatic reversal (it very very rarely happens but I think its going to happen all the time?!?).

Anyway - those yellow dots are where the SMA was when the bar opened.

I can now look back at a chart at the end of the day and see where the open of the bar was at or close to the SMA and what else was happening at that time in terms of the trend, the support and resistance etc.

Other Indicators:
fsAuctionBars
fsZeroLagOscillator
anaBetterVolume
-----------------

Yesterday the @PandaWarrior marked up my chart.

Someone else on futures.io (formerly BMT) has a signature that says something like "if you keep doing the same thing you keep getting the same results". So much of today and indeed tomorrow will be spent thinking about a trading plan update.

I am doing this journal to break out of a rut, impose discipline and get feedback. In just a few days all of that has happend. In general I know that my entries are getting better and better but my exits are still.

Taking a 1000 dollar risk for a 200 dollar win is wrong on many levels and the fact is that is what my previous trades look like.

My new journal uses the futures.io (formerly BMT) journal format and it is far superior to the other notes I was keeping. It is telling me a couple of things need to change.
a. I need to get rid of that ABE somehow. It knocks me out of very good trades and makes my hands weak.
b. the instrument that I am trading has big moves - for the most part they are with the trend. My trading philosophy needs to be more based on getting confidently in position for the rocket to take off and not on taking scalper money during swing moves.
No trades from me tomorrow either I think.

Trade well everyone!

podski

hello podski
i look for this indicator "fsAuctionBars" can you share ? please
take care

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  #31 (permalink)
 podski 
Belgium
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninjatrader
Broker: Ninjatrader Brokerage, CQG
Trading: FDAX, FDXM ...maybe
 
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ninjadiluce View Post
hello podski
i look for this indicator "fsAuctionBars" can you share ? please
take care

Please send a private message to @Fat Tails and he will inform you about it .. it is not available here for download

p

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  #32 (permalink)
 cowjuice 
Australia, NSW
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
Trading: DAX, HSI, Gold
 
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Hey Podski,
Hows the DAX treating you lately mate ??

In my experience with the DAX, break even stops are not recommended due to the volatility..
As I'm sure you have seen, the DAX whipsaws to and fro.. so either trail swings or take your money and run.. don't bother with BE stops... as more often then not, you will be taken out just to find that it continues moving onward (in frustration might I add )..
Just my 2.5cents worth !

Cheers

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