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TST Combine Journal
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TST Combine Journal

  #171 (permalink)
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The cumulative results for Exercise 3, in average ticks per contract traded format. (March 8th through today) Tomorrow will be last day.

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  #172 (permalink)
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indextrader7 View Post
The cumulative results for Exercise 3, in average ticks per contract traded format. (March 8th through today) Tomorrow will be last day.

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Nice work. I see a positive trend in you P/L that's about +15ticks per day.

Plan your trade, trade your plan.
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  #173 (permalink)
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End of Exercise 3


Ok, exercise 3 is done! It went Friday the 8th through Friday the 15th, trading one method, in one market. My focus was nearly always more on my thoughts, feelings, and actions than it was on my analysis or trades.

It's amazing... the pendulum of trading for me... it's a constant swing back and forth between:

1. This is SO HARD, it takes every bit of courage, discipline, and brainpower I can possibly muster.

and

2. This is SO EASY, I am really quite a natural at this. Yeah, losses happen. Keep them small. No big deal.


If you remember, it is that emotional cycle (which a lot more stages in it than the two listed above which are mainly capitulation points) which led me to this journey of trying to improve my mentalities and beliefs about trading.

I think I was a bit naive to think that these things could be perfected. From digging further into this, I realize that since we ARE emotional creatures, we will always have some natural "tendencies". Don't get me wrong, I still believe that we can practically take all the energy out of them and they may rarely show up, and when they do show up, we can have a great self-awareness to quietly acknowledge them as part of our self trying to vie for its version of the truth. In the end, with continued hard work on this specific area, great strides can be made. I feel that way after just a few weeks. I also feel like this is the work of trading now. Even up until this exercise, if you were to break down what I thought the work of trading was, I would still place the majority of that pie chart with analyzing trend and finding high probability setups AKA the analysis part of it. I no longer find that to be true.

(One side note I want to say for others, less far along this trading journey then me is this: What truths I'm finding now may not even be the real truth. I think we must find out own truths that make our belief systems work for our trading. This could get really complicated, and it's not the purpose of this post, but I just wanted to mention it. Find YOUR own truths out there, that is what this is all about)

I think my most important development as a trader has really just begun! (Get this new traders, I've been trading off and on for 9 years!) Honestly, I also think I'm just now really becoming mature enough for trading. In college and stuff, I simply didn't have some of the tools mentally/emotionally that I have now.
___________________________________________________________________________


My main victories in Exercise #3:

- No major hesitations in cutting losses (believing that anything can happen in the markets, despite my good analysis).
- Much more consistently taking my scale outs (believing that although my analysis says to buy here, I don't know what is going to happen, so I should take some off the table as it is made available to me).
- Realizing that I am on a "higher" level of trading - more subjective intuitive trading
- Being WAY more in the "now moment opportunity flow" due to the belief in uncertainty. I can remember really getting hung up on what I thought was going on in the past, and taking loser after loser trying to implement my plan on the market. This is because I was biased, and my brain automatically filtered out information that didn't coincide with that bias. With a stronger belief in uncertainty, and only looking for my edges as they are PRESENTED (not guessing what is going to show up) I'm able to stay in the "zone" and see things for what they are.
- Knowing myself more has led me to become painfully aware that I don't want to be trading CL. At least not scalping it for 10 ticks for hours and hours a day. I can see it being a market I monitor, and take setups that I absolutely can't pass on.


Main areas for improvement:

- I can promise you that I still WANT to be right on every single trade I take. I'm continuing to work on this flawed way of thinking. It can lead to errors. The belief I want to have is probably closer to believing that the trade is PROBABLY GOING TO BE A LOSER, so I sure as heck will protect myself, and take my scale outs when made available.

- I did not paper journal as much as I should have during exercise 3. It's like things were going so effortlessly, that I didn't need to write anything down. This is sad to me, because I may have now missed out on very valuable emotional/other information to use going forward. What was I thinking while things were so easy? What was my state of mind? etc. I don't know. Huge gap in my emotional data set...

- Patience in waiting for optimal setups. I tend to want to take every occurrence of any type of my edge, when if more patient, I could take the most promising setups and really increase my bottom line. Although, this is kind of a catch 22... because on one hand I am not sure it's possible to see the "best" setups at the hard right edge, on another hand, I think it's possible for various reasons. I know that I absolutely take some subpar setups and I know they're subpar when I take them.
_______________________________________________________________________________

Here are all the trades for the 6 sessions that made up this exercise period:

Please register on futures.io to view futures trading content such as post attachment(s), image(s), and screenshot(s).


______________________________________________________________________________


Here are all the trades for the full 3 exercises. Interesting how things changed when I stop trying to be mechanical and simply focused on my mentalities while trading the way I know how to.

Please register on futures.io to view futures trading content such as post attachment(s), image(s), and screenshot(s).


Regardless of how P/L went from chopping around going nowhere, to an uptrending equity curve... BOTH types of exercises were beneficial to me. Each presented unique challenges and tests of my mental framework as a trader.

______________________________________________________________________________

I'll be going back to live trading as soon as I get my new account funded this week.

There are developments with me trading ES as well, which I'll cover in a future post.

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  #174 (permalink)
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indextrader7 View Post
Ok, exercise 3 is done! It went Friday the 8th through Friday the 15th, trading one method, in one market. My focus was nearly always more on my thoughts, feelings, and actions than it was on my analysis or trades.

It's amazing... the pendulum of trading for me... it's a constant swing back and forth between:

1. This is SO HARD, it takes every bit of courage, discipline, and brainpower I can possibly muster.

and

2. This is SO EASY, I am really quite a natural at this. Yeah, losses happen. Keep them small. No big deal.


If you remember, it is that emotional cycle (which a lot more stages in it than the two listed above which are mainly capitulation points) which led me to this journey of trying to improve my mentalities and beliefs about trading.

I think I was a bit naive to think that these things could be perfected. From digging further into this, I realize that since we ARE emotional creatures, we will always have some natural "tendencies". Don't get me wrong, I still believe that we can practically take all the energy out of them and they may rarely show up, and when they do show up, we can have a great self-awareness to quietly acknowledge them as part of our self trying to vie for its version of the truth. In the end, with continued hard work on this specific area, great strides can be made. I feel that way after just a few weeks. I also feel like this is the work of trading now. Even up until this exercise, if you were to break down what I thought the work of trading was, I would still place the majority of that pie chart with analyzing trend and finding high probability setups AKA the analysis part of it. I no longer find that to be true.

(One side note I want to say for others, less far along this trading journey then me is this: What truths I'm finding now may not even be the real truth. I think we must find out own truths that make our belief systems work for our trading. This could get really complicated, and it's not the purpose of this post, but I just wanted to mention it. Find YOUR own truths out there, that is what this is all about)

I think my most important development as a trader has really just begun! (Get this new traders, I've been trading off and on for 9 years!) Honestly, I also think I'm just now really becoming mature enough for trading. In college and stuff, I simply didn't have some of the tools mentally/emotionally that I have now.
___________________________________________________________________________


My main victories in Exercise #3:

- No major hesitations in cutting losses (believing that anything can happen in the markets, despite my good analysis).
- Much more consistently taking my scale outs (believing that although my analysis says to buy here, I don't know what is going to happen, so I should take some off the table as it is made available to me).
- Realizing that I am on a "higher" level of trading - more subjective intuitive trading
- Being WAY more in the "now moment opportunity flow" due to the belief in uncertainty. I can remember really getting hung up on what I thought was going on in the past, and taking loser after loser trying to implement my plan on the market. This is because I was biased, and my brain automatically filtered out information that didn't coincide with that bias. With a stronger belief in uncertainty, and only looking for my edges as they are PRESENTED (not guessing what is going to show up) I'm able to stay in the "zone" and see things for what they are.
- Knowing myself more has led me to become painfully aware that I don't want to be trading CL. At least not scalping it for 10 ticks for hours and hours a day. I can see it being a market I monitor, and take setups that I absolutely can't pass on.


Main areas for improvement:

- I can promise you that I still WANT to be right on every single trade I take. I'm continuing to work on this flawed way of thinking. It can lead to errors. The belief I want to have is probably closer to believing that the trade is PROBABLY GOING TO BE A LOSER, so I sure as heck will protect myself, and take my scale outs when made available.

- I did not paper journal as much as I should have during exercise 3. It's like things were going so effortlessly, that I didn't need to write anything down. This is sad to me, because I may have now missed out on very valuable emotional/other information to use going forward. What was I thinking while things were so easy? What was my state of mind? etc. I don't know. Huge gap in my emotional data set...

- Patience in waiting for optimal setups. I tend to want to take every occurrence of any type of my edge, when if more patient, I could take the most promising setups and really increase my bottom line. Although, this is kind of a catch 22... because on one hand I am not sure it's possible to see the "best" setups at the hard right edge, on another hand, I think it's possible for various reasons. I know that I absolutely take some subpar setups and I know they're subpar when I take them.
_______________________________________________________________________________

Here are all the trades for the 6 sessions that made up this exercise period:

Please register on futures.io to view futures trading content such as post attachment(s), image(s), and screenshot(s).


______________________________________________________________________________


Here are all the trades for the full 3 exercises. Interesting how things changed when I stop trying to be mechanical and simply focused on my mentalities while trading the way I know how to.

Please register on futures.io to view futures trading content such as post attachment(s), image(s), and screenshot(s).


Regardless of how P/L went from chopping around going nowhere, to an uptrending equity curve... BOTH types of exercises were beneficial to me. Each presented unique challenges and tests of my mental framework as a trader.

______________________________________________________________________________

I'll be going back to live trading as soon as I get my new account funded this week.

There are developments with me trading ES as well, which I'll cover in a future post.


I think this is a great self analysis...one that will pay great dividends in the future....

I have only one question....regarding instruments....in moving to ES, will you be scalping there as well? If so, what will your targets look like in terms of number of ticks normally? And about how long does this normally take? I ask because I haven't looked at an ES chart in over two years....at least not more than a minute or two.....

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
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  #175 (permalink)
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Indextrader7

I remember "way back" when you were trading TF

I seem to remember early on that you only traded for a few hours each day starting from the futures open, believing that is the time period when most of the moves are good for daytrading.

I have been doing that for several years now and most of my trades are from the futures open over the next 4-5 hours. After that I kick back, watch the market move and only trade when the market shows strength.

just "remembering"

toucan

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  #176 (permalink)
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PandaWarrior View Post
I think this is a great self analysis...one that will pay great dividends in the future....

I have only one question....regarding instruments....in moving to ES, will you be scalping there as well? If so, what will your targets look like in terms of number of ticks normally? And about how long does this normally take? I ask because I haven't looked at an ES chart in over two years....at least not more than a minute or two.....

Honestly I've become lost as to what the term scalping really means. On top of that, I think it means different things to different people. So I'll talk in terms of what I do know.

I can tell you that I have always traded in a manner where I get a feel for how a market ebbs and flows. I try to take a big chunk out of those normal rotations, and in the case of a trend, I typically leave on a portion of my initial position to run if it will else stop out at BE. If in a steady intraday trend, I may look to take off profits at extended moves, and then add them back on pullbacks. So I guess nothing drastically different than how I've ever traded. I am focusing a bit more on the larger picture than I have been before, so we'll see what effect that has, if any, on my trading.

As you know, I've been taking trades in ES over the past 3 days.

So far here is what that looks like: (chart is in POINTS, not ticks)

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I'm quite excited about the returns I'm seeing in ES..... ON A RISK ADJUSTED BASIS. Remember when I used to be obsessed with R ? I kept up with p/l in terms of average realized R, hypothetical R, largest R for the day, etc. Any way you dice this up, I'm making good returns so far given the amount of risk planned for a trade or the amount of actual MAE taken on trades.

Here's a screenshot of trades from March 14th:

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March 13th trade analyzer data:
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(My S5 demo trial ran out on the 15th, so I don't have it for then) I traded Ninja that day and here's the last pic I took:
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I think that's the best I can answer for the limited data I have now.


Last edited by indextrader7; March 17th, 2013 at 02:12 PM. Reason: add another pic
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  #177 (permalink)
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@indextrader7

Have you asked to trade TF in a Custom Combine? I know a couple of traders who were allowed trade instruments not on the approved list. Would not hurt to ask. (maybe you already have??) As I recall you were quite adept at trading TF.

As far as moving to ES; I have traded ES, CL, GC, 6E, 6J, UB; out of this bunch ES and 6E were the most difficult to trade because they were the most irrational in their movements. I found what worked this week in ES may not work next week. Be sure to give yourself enough evaluation time.

If your looking for something similar to TF's movement, take a look at 6J (yen) 300ish tick. The chart patterns are similar to the TF time frame you were trading.

Good Luck!

Robert

nosce te ipsum

You make your own opportunities in life.
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  #178 (permalink)
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Since this is, afterall, a TST Combine journal, I figured I would also give an update for my "practice combine" results.

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The two daily loss limit days... followed by the mechanical testing flatline... have put me behind schedule for hitting the P/L goal, but not by much.

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Here's running win% and win:loss ratio. Hanging by a thread with a passing grade in these!

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No need in asking me when I'll start the combine officially. When I know, you'll know.

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  #179 (permalink)
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It's a great effort, good luck! I am simulating combine in spreadsheets myself.

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  #180 (permalink)
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I'm pretty sure that it takes close to a 60% winning pct for reverse position sizing (RPS) to work out in the long term. Carrying your largest loser per trade from the initial entry while peeling off contracts on the winners raises the avg loser per trade and lowers the avg winner. The higher winning pct is needed to make the expectation formula a positive number. [opposite holds true too...adding to winners lowers the LT winning pct to 40% and below...hard to take emotionally but payouts can wipe out many, many small losers]

The higher volatility of the CL (vs the ES) exposes "the math" of RPS sooner because there are more setup signals per day for a scalper. The main reason for small traders to embrace higher volatility instruments (with simple all-in / all-out contract sizing) is because the RR ratios are more favorable for 40-55% winning pct systems to provide a positive expectancy. The ES tends to force small traders to have higher winning pcts (remember: RR ratio and win pct are inverse relationships)

For any tests of emotional fortitude along with proving out the viability of an edge, one may as well trade 1 contract. Then, it's all about simple RR and winning pct and not skewing of the win pct to account for win/loss size imbalances brought on by RPS (or add to winners).

Mark Douglas was into RPS...now he's a trading psych guru. Strongly urge everyone to read page 265 of the 1st ed of Van Tharp's "Trade Your Way To Financial Freedom". He talks about RPS there, just not as spelled out in the numbers as I have described.


Last edited by SteveH; March 18th, 2013 at 11:03 AM.
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