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TST Combine Journal

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TST Combine Journal

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  #241 (permalink)
Birmingham, AL
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

I got a call from @Hoag this afternoon on my way home from the ski trip. It doesn't appear as if my custom combine proposal will be accepted, although I'm not positive about that.

I'll let you all know when I know for sure.

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  #242 (permalink)
PTA, Gauteng
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Self built + Sierra + TWS
Trading: Stocks and Options
DarkPoolTrading's Avatar
Posts: 1,036 since May 2012
Thanks: 1,244 given, 1,320 received

indextrader7 View Post
Glad to help; I don't feel like there's any clogging at all.

If you're familiar with the OS (opening swing) term... which is pretty self explanatory....

First trade - I took the first mini pullback to the opening swing high, looking for continuation upward.

Second trade - A small pullback to that same area (opening swing high) so now I expect us to break through the OS low.

Third trade - After a failed attempt up and now movement below the OS... I expect stops to be triggered and sellers to step in. This did not happen. So the third trade becomes what I call a breakout failure. Price should have done one thing breaking to new lows there, but it just stalled and reversed hard. So I want to be long and take advantage of the now trapped shorts as they'll have to buy to exit their losing positions and send my trade into profits.

Hope that helps.

Great, thanks.

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  #243 (permalink)
prague, czech republic
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
Broker: LMAX
Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
xelaar's Avatar
Posts: 1,517 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 1,740 given, 2,566 received

indextrader7 View Post
Thanks for the comments as usual. Your analysis is spot on. I tried to PM you, but it appears this isn't possible based on your settings or something. Anyways, I still stand by what I originally said.... Trading your own account AND a TST funded account is not a mutually exclusive deal you can do both and make both the incomes you compared as "either or" in your example.

I'm not so sure you actually understand who I am as a person, and what exactly my aspirations are (this is what I was going to PM you about).

I do hope that isn't your last post. I would rather have guys like you posting that really get down to business and fearlessly question everything I do than almost anything else.

As a reader of this blog I would like to see more of these discussions. I subscribe that Combine and funded status is more than anything is a very valuable lesson of responsible trading. Actually if one would have a similar environment to be able to trade his own funds, it would be a great option. AFAIK FuturesTrader71 offers something of this sort, so it could be a great option too. But if someone has no access to funds, TST Funded can be a great way to start.

On the other hand, with a smallest starting account 3 lot buying power and max draw down of 1500, one can easily start with a small account of 3000 on his own and achieve same results but keep all the profits.

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  #244 (permalink)
Birmingham, AL
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

I hope some of you have gotten value (made some money!) from the ES channel I posted on the 21st https://futures.io/trading-journals/25862-topsteptrader-combine-journal-22.html#post313424. It was the soonest possible day to post it as it was just forming.

This channel has held price nicely, and you could have formed your bias from it as we go from uptrend to downtrend within it. I know I'm still using it today.

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  #245 (permalink)
prague, czech republic
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
Broker: LMAX
Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
xelaar's Avatar
Posts: 1,517 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 1,740 given, 2,566 received

I would like to apologize for the intervening into the trading journal, just wanted to thank again for the great discussion happened here about trading capital, profits, TST. I gave it a lot of thought and it made me realize there is no point taking a small Combine, work on passing it and end up (hopefully) with a small capital, while I could trade with larger risk on my own. So even though large combines are more expensive and have more demanding risk control and the target profit, they actually give two major advantages:
1. Having much larger daily loss and number of contracts they allow to start small and build up some cushion first and increase risk gradually during the Combine. So initially the target is building the cushion and raising the number of cars traded, and once it is done next target is achieving Combine profit target. With 30k Combine you hardly can do that, with 500 usd max dd, even with 1 car traded initially it's easy to screw up this badly and it is the end of Combine. But even as you build up a cushion, you still have max loss of 500 and with 3 cars at this point it's just 16 ticks away from a disaster. While with 150k Combine you actually have 3000 daily loss limit to play with and a lot of space to build up
2. When you are funded with 30k you need to put a lot of effort to work out to the same limits as you would have if you do this from beginning in the 150k Combine. So actually you do a lot of free work building a cushion and not taking any money away before you can do some work for a pay, while TST is having a totally free ride as you are not endangering any capital they have provided anymore!!!
3. I consider that with a largest Combine it is much more easy to make it to the refund or rollover, because again you can ignore profit target for a moment and just trade right with metrics in mind and be very far away from getting close to loss limits. So while in relative terms you need to produce more profit percentage and have less percentage of limits but it gives you an opportunity to be wrong many times on smaller positions and still be able to get to rollover or refund to try again.

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  #246 (permalink)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 33 given, 376 received

Xelaar, I responded to your post in my thread, topic-wise it belongs there:

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  #247 (permalink)
Birmingham, AL
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

Traded sim today:

Started out today really out of sync with the market; 4 losers in a row. Probably a random thing, but could have something to do with taking 4 days (including sat, sun) away from trading.

So I started the day with 4 losers, then improved by having the next two trades end up breakeven, then improved a little more by having the next two trades be winners. I took a substantial amount of heat on trade 7 due to having on a 3x position size. Probably wouldn't do that in most live situations. Although, I did make up for the risk with an even greater reward. Really no excuse for taking that kind of heat.

I have a terrible cold or something, so I'm going to bed right now. << Also another factor possibly why I was out of sync.

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  #248 (permalink)
Birmingham, AL
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

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  #249 (permalink)
Birmingham, AL
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

Here's the trade by trade and cumulative P/L in $'s since I don't post it often.

Would be tracking along exactly on course to pass the 150k, 20-day combine with 12 days left in the 60-day calendar max time allowed.

All other relevant stats are good. Winning days, win%, avg win:avg loss, win vs loss trade duration, etc, etc all good.

It's (as I knew it would based on the stats I have kept over the years on my trading) going to come down to the P/L.

One thing I'm just considering as I type this.... I can increase my size as a strategy having built the cushion I have at this point in my "practice combine". It feels like such a double edged sword though...

Come to think of it, that's one thing that I have really left out of my overall business plan in trading always.... how exactly to go about increasing size strategically. Something I'm working on as of late.

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  #250 (permalink)
Birmingham, AL
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

Here's what I'm analyzing as far as trades go today:

1. I realized AFTER the session that I was really just winging it on autopilot... not trading any real plan. Yes, I initially had a short bias because I figured we would push down to the lower end of the channel that I posted about pre-session today (which interestingly, and bullishly, we failed to do ((hint for tomorrow)).

2. First short trade

It was a "retest" of the OS. Which isn't actually the case because 1) price went much more strongly UP back into the OS than it fell out of it (first warning not to take that trade). and 2) A key word in the last sentence is that it went INTO teh OS... if i'm taking a retest, price should respect that level a bit more and weaken as it nears it. Also, my actual EDGE was never actually triggered because we didn't close back down below the OS to trigger the entry again.

Here is the pic of what I"m talking about:

3. At this point, after the losing trade, I'm ok with the next attempt to get short near the OS high (since there was a clear, multiple-bar stall at the area)... Now that trade gets RAPIDLY rejected as it seeks to push lower. RED FLAGS. So what did I do? I attempted to get short THREE MORE TIMES. What should I have seen/done?

Used my levels like I do when I'm at my best, AND be more patient and see what unfolds. If I put up levels covering the range that is developing.... as in this chart:

We push up 3.5 points (at which I was still OK with another attempt short), fall 2 points quickly, but then reject the OS low even quicker (up 2.5 on the chart). At this point I have all the levels I need. We can now either fade those levels, or better yet, stand aside until a more clear direction is shown.

What do we get? After one final failure to accept lows below the OS low, we make a rally that breaks the OS and the previous swing highs. Price then, as it does typically, comes back to retest the area before pushing off to resume the new-found direction. Now take setups that agree with this view of what's going on.

Yes, I eventually ended up lining up with that picture so that's good. But if I had been more patient, and only actually taken setups, instead of just blank-mind trading, I would have been in a much better position for the day and P/L would reflect that as well.

How did the rest of the day progress?

Uptrend defined by swing lows that led to the highest high... (Marked 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 respectively)

Price never violates this (other than a few tick breach that quickly failed of the trend level marked 3, and in that example the trend level is expected to be tested due to an extended area (above the 3 trend level) where price is failing to push to a higher high... one example of what I call a "failure to continue". (Also the reason why I was comfortable taking that large amount of MAE I took on that trade as I scaled in to a large position). It's not random that I have a 90% win rate when I do decide I want to take larger than normal risks on trades.

I feel better to have gone back and looked at today's session from a fresh set of eyes. Looking forward to tomorrow.

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