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TST Combine Journal

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  #401 (permalink)
phl pa. usa
 
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I feel you went back in for 1 more trade because you knew there was only 1 trade left ,reguardless if you did it today or thursday ,the 3 k would have been hit ,

did you stick to your 3 contract limit max trade, i am sure there are many reasons why it happened , but you will learn 1 thing ,

if you pick up anything ,say you love to target shoot ,what are all the things you need to do to score as high as you can,

how long did it take to develope those rules and style ,

this is no different , 1 shot at a time

1 shot 1 trade ,the target was hit , now play it backwards

:when you cheat -you only cheat yourself
refer to post # 470 & 527 & 930
option traders refer to post 996 thru 1005
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  #402 (permalink)
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012


creekboy View Post
I feel you went back in for 1 more trade because you knew there was only 1 trade left ,reguardless if you did it today or thursday ,the 3 k would have been hit ,

did you stick to your 3 contract limit max trade, i am sure there are many reasons why it happened , but you will learn 1 thing ,

if you pick up anything ,say you love to target shoot ,what are all the things you need to do to score as high as you can,

how long did it take to develope those rules and style ,

this is no different , 1 shot at a time

1 shot 1 trade ,the target was hit , now play it backwards

Well, it's a daily loss limit... The MAX cumulative loss limit is $4,500, so I would have had $2,100 of risk capital left because I was up $600 before today started. But... mentally, I felt about like you said it. It wasn't the truth though. I wasn't THAT close to done for good yet.

Yeah, I started the day out with two trades with 3 lots, then went to 6, then to 12. Not a good idea to force it when you're missing.

Thanks, I like the target shooting analogy.

 
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  #403 (permalink)
 
 
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indextrader7 View Post
When I ask myself those questions, (and trust me, I am....) I have no answers.... yet at least.

The closest I can get is that it comes down to risk seeking/will to win type mindset. Like behavioral econ type study... I placed MORE value on the CHANCE that I could salvage the losing day, than I did the risk of exceeding the DLL and ruining the chances to complete that combine. That tiny opportunity carried more value in my mind, else I would not have chosen that option.


I think you are too smart to really have thought that last trade was a good risk. The "stop for the day" option was a guaranteed loss of less than $3000 (and being able to fight another day), while the reward for a winning trade was maybe a $2,000 losing day, and the risk for a losing trade was getting knocked out of the Combine. Again, you are way too smart to think that trading that last trade was a wise decision.

At the risk of being blunt, I'll throw out some possible reasons, all of which I have dealt with or experienced at some point. Maybe you have considered these, maybe not...


1) Lack of confidence. You don't have complete confidence in your trading strategy, meaning that deep down you do not think you can pass the Combine with your current strategy. Admitting this would mean a lot of work, of course, because you'd have to develop another technique/strategy. It is easier to fail for an unrelated reason (exceeding DLL, for example).

2) Fear of Success. After your last blowout you mentioned that you did not think you ever truly succeeded at anything in your life. So, in your mind, that is who you are - it is how you define yourself. Passing the Combine - a HUGE accomplishment - will force you to change that view of yourself. Maybe, deep down, you are not ready for what that entails. Maybe you are happy with the way things are right now.

3) Sympathy from others. You have the most popular thread on futures.io (formerly BMT) right now, and many people can't wait to see what you post, and are ready to offer lots of condolences and sympathy to you. That's got to feel good, having lots of people trying to cheer you up. Maybe that outweighs the pain of failing the Combine.

I hope this helps. I think once you figure it out, you'll pass the next with flying colors. The raw trading ability is there.

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  #404 (permalink)
Raleigh,NC
 
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indextrader7 View Post

Yeah, I started the day out with two trades with 3 lots, then went to 6, then to 12. Not a good idea to force it when you're missing.

IT7,

I have followed your threads for quite some time, as far back as your TF trading.. and first of all I say thanks for all of your openness and sharing. I have picked up some valuable items.

I do not want to sound critical, but I noticed back in your TF days you would increase size when you were down ; many times by multiples of 2 or 4. You did this today as well. Why do you do this? Does your trading plan allow for this? This may be indicative of revenge trading and failure to accept losses for a trade, a series of trades , or the day. When I add size like this, it is truly a reaction to my failure to accept a loss.

I have been very fortunate to have had one of the best mentors available in trading and she has told me time and time again that if I cannot be profitable trading a single contract, I have no business trading multiples. The self mastery and precision needed in a trading plan that trades a single contract will be the foundation needed to be a successful trader. Sometimes the mess of masking my weaknesses with varying contract size and scaling in and out makes it hard to really define the deficiencies in my trading plan and my skill set.

I offer this only as advice that has helped me. Best of luck!

Wolf

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  #405 (permalink)
In the heat
 
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indextrader7 View Post
Another combine is now toast.

Regardless, at least I improved from the first one.

There's not much to say really, other than the fact I may need to see a psychiatrist??

Three statements....

First one sounds almost like relief.

Second one sounds mostly like BS.

Third one sounds like one of the most important things you've said so far. Why? Simple, because you are gambling and not trading. Trading is about calculated risk with an edge and quitting when the edge is not present.

You did none of this today. And then in a later post, you mentioned adding size while you were losing. Basically doubling down.

All classic gambling issues.

Merritt, you have the makings of a great trader......but this issue must be dealt with. Plain and simple.

I would suggest seeking out one of the excellent trading shrinks available. Not cheap but worth it if they can help you deal with it.

Sorry to be so harsh, but I just had a heart attack and don't feel like spinning stuff to make it sound better....do it now before its really to late.

Brian

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
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  #406 (permalink)
PTA, Gauteng
 
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Hi it7,

You mentioned almost jokingly/sarcastically about seeing a psychologist. I think it is clear to you and everyone following your thread that you know how to trade. You've been doing it for a long time and clearly have a good read on the market. Your downfall is psychological. Sure there are other issues, but they all come back to your mindset.

Some of the best traders in the world use trading psychologists. Funds and prop firms have them. Dr Brett Steenbarger, arguably one of the best trading psychologists in the world was snapped up to consult exclusively for a fund. I am sure there are countless others. Psychology in trading is huge. You know you can trade. Perhaps turn your focus elsewhere.

Taking that last trade was bad risk management and clearly didn't follow any sort of trading plan. That much is clear. But behind all of that, is a psychological reason.

A few observations / questions:
- You increase size after losing trades (gambling). Does your trading plan allow for this? What does your trading plan say about position sizing?

- Do you have your setups documented? It seems as though sometimes your setups are more based on feel. (I may of course be completely wrong)

- You are an active trader, no problem. But it appears as if you border on over trading. Perhaps limit yourself to X number of trades a day. If you know that you can only take X trades a day, you will wait for the best opportunities.

Thanks for the thread. We're all learning along with you.

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

First off, a big thanks to everyone that chimed in and offered sound advice.

One unifying thing that keeps coming up is people are saying, "is this or that in your plan?"

Well, the truth is that I do not have any type of written plan.

That will change starting today.

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

The best sim trader in the wooooorrrrrrrrld


 
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  #409 (permalink)
columbus OH/USA
 
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indextrader7 View Post
First off, a big thanks to everyone that chimed in and offered sound advice.

One unifying thing that keeps coming up is people are saying, "is this or that in your plan?"

Well, the truth is that I do not have any type of written plan.

That will change starting today.

https://www.cmegroup.com/education/building-your-trading-plan.html <- check the videos

Live Trading Room | Trading Program | Topstep Funded Trader - see trading plan link: More information about the Junior Trader period may be found on the equity partner's trading plan,

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

For my next combine (will start soon) there will be no discussion of entries or exits. I will not even post a chart showing entries or exits. If it's a big success, and someone wants to know how I traded to succeed, I will be more than happy to post charts and talk about entries/exits after the combine is done.

As a side note. You can bet your ass I will succeed.

I will post my rules here before I start the next combine.

Each day I will give an update, a gauge of performance, based solely on those rules and how I followed them.

Taking myself off the mound when I'm getting homers jacked off my pitches left and right is something I have to learn to do much better. Gotta go ice the shoulder and prep for next game. My mentality HAS BEEN, "Oh yeah? Is that all you got? Let's play for double, no triple, the stakes."

A rules/guideline system post to follow when I get it laid out.

 
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  #411 (permalink)
Miami FL USA
 
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indextrader7 View Post

Well, the truth is that I do not have any type of written plan.

That will change starting today.

I'm really surprised at this, it stirs many questions in me. You've hooked me. Now, I have to watch this unfold.

Good Luck

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  #412 (permalink)
portland me usa
 
 
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I was surprised by that comment too.

If you find yourself spinning out of control emotionally and making rash decisions, then perhaps you need a more rigid gameplan to keep yourself in check.

I am not suggesting you adpot a mechanical approach. But I wonder if you could take what you currently do and make it into something that more clearly defines your entry criteria and where/when to enter and exit once those criteria are present.

Do you think that would help? What kind of a plan do you currently have?

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


Cashish View Post
I'm really surprised at this, it stirs many questions in me. You've hooked me. Now, I have to watch this unfold.

Good Luck


pinetree View Post
I was surprised by that comment too.

If you find yourself spinning out of control emotionally and making rash decisions, then perhaps you need a more rigid gameplan to keep yourself in check.

I am not suggesting you adpot a mechanical approach. But I wonder if you could take what you currently do and make it into something that more clearly defines your entry criteria and where/when to enter and exit once those criteria are present.

Do you think that would help? What kind of a plan do you currently have?

Um... yes I think it will be a tremendous help. I currently have no plan at all. Only a method of discretionary, seat of my pants, trading.

I literally fire up the charts in the morning, and discretionarily trade what unfolds through the day with price action. I'll have an idea of the major support resistance on a longer timeframe, and then I get a feel for the flow/directional bias (or a range if that develops) and take pullbacks that line me up with that bias. The closest person I've found to trading like me is @PandaWarrior.

Now, there's a whole 'nother confusing thing to throw into the equation here, as lately I've been trying to trade like @Private Banker. I've started limiting in at predefined levels and fading moves, as well as really trying getting a feel for the bigger picture with TPO's and such... which is totally totally different than how I've always traded. Typically, as I mentioned, I get a feel for which way the market is trending, or rangebound, intraday, and play accordingly regardless of what's happening on a daily timeframe.

Where does this leave me, and let's get back to the topic at hand of coming up with a trading plan?

Ultimately through listening to a client-only stage 5 (my brokerage) webinar at lunch today, @FuturesTrader71 talked about how he watches what happens as price action unfolds on his trading timeframe. How he described his process of reading PA to feel like "long" or "short" was the proper play for the time is EXACTLY how I do it. It was as if we both developed this sense of inuitive feel for the flow the exact same way unknowlingly. This today, solidified my approach in the precise entry for trades. I feel most comfortable with this style of juuuust seeing it roll over and pull the trigger based on PA, rather than the way Ben limits in at predefined levels. I just can't do that right now.

THE MAJOR part I feel I've been missing is C-O-N-T-E-X-T. This contextual piece is why FT71 is a better trader than me right now. (That and a disciplined risk management plan).

The contextual piece is where I feel @Private Banker and his style of determining the context of things like, what happened yesterday, in the context of a daily bracket (FT71 would call this an area of balance). Then what happened overnight, within the context of yesterday. Where do we open, within the context of yesterday (or in the case of a large overnight movement, where are we opening versus a previous session's range we're now in). What happens on the opening swing within ALL of this context. It's powerful information that can really aid in helping my trading because it gives me CONTEXT. I used to not have a freaking clue about what all was happening with that other stuff. I watched the open, and if we're making higher high's and higher lows, I just get long where I can. ADDING CONTEXT TO THIS SKILL I HAVE DEVELOPED OVER THE PAST 9 YEARS WILL GREATLY ENHANCE MY PERFORMANCE. It's been a growing pain lately adding this though, because there has been so much to consider, and every day I'm getting stronger and stronger. Then I fall flat on my butt, but then I get back up, dust myself off, and get stronger.

Ok, sorry, back to the plan.

As you can imagine, it's going to be tough to develop the "entry/setups" portion of the trading plan. BUT that's ok, because the most beneficial part of developing a plan is going to be the risk management plan. It's not going to be revolutionary, and I've written out things before, but I'M GOING TO FOLLOW IT, and you guys can hold me to that. I'm going to open up the transparency on this side of things. I'm going to tell you exactly what I'm supposed to be doing, so if I screw up, we'll all know it. There will be nothing to blame but myself. It will be very clear as to a violation of the trading plan. Where as right now, I figure my style of trading, and what I do, is quite ambiguous to most other than my closest trading friends.

You know, maybe I should continue to show entries and exits here too (I said earlier today that I wouldn't be doing that) so I can show whether I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing in that arena too.

I've rambled enough for one post, I'll be around. Working on this plan.

 
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  #414 (permalink)
Legendary Data Wizard!!!
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@indextrader7

I would like to make a suggestion and a observation. Starting with the latter; If your flying by the seat of your pants then you may have a difficult time writing out a plan. I to did the same thing and I had a difficult defining a trading plan because honestly I did not know what I was doing. the Suggestion: It was not till I started detailing every trade did I finally start seeing a pattern in my trading that I could write out on paper. After every trade I stop to post to my journal with charts and notes about the trade. This does a couple of things (at least for me) it forced me to analyze the trade and the other thing is it gets me away from the market and keeps me from making another trade to close to the last one. Most of the time these were ill advised trades based on the outcome of the last trade.

The other suggestion would be to look at larger time frames to get a reference on where the market is going. I started doing a analysis every morning of where I think the market is headed. This has paid off well.

Good luck!
Robert



Here are some examples:




Morning Charts:

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  #415 (permalink)
columbus OH/USA
 
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If I would be you - I would add these 3 rules and focus much less about the rest for now (which you more or loss can do: find good trades, study,....)


1/ I decide that I will NEVER add to a losing trade.
2/ I decide that I will put a stop for each trade and will not move it. The max value for every stop is such that I can follow rule 3:
3/ If I REACH my max loss of $XXX per day I decide that I will stop trading for the day....



I would not worry about making or losing money (for now). $$$ will come after -and only after.
Print the rules, write the rules, dream the rules, repeat the rules to yourself 100's times a day... until your brain accept them as the new normal.

Make your goal number 1 to follow these rules EVERY DAY - however painful it will feel at first.

IMO, if you can do this. The rest will be peace of cake....

Can you master yourself?
Can you follow these rules for a week? 2 weeks? 1 month? forever?

Good luck

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  #416 (permalink)
Kailua-Kona, HI
 
 
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I admit I havent read through this entire thread but when I saw that the OP does not have a written trading plan I must admit I was completely Floored!

My entire written trading plan is well over 80 pages in length and encompasses every detail of everything related to my business in great detail(maybe this would best be categorized as a business plan). I have never met another professional trader who does not have a similar plan.
The actual mechanics of entries/exits and risk management absolutely MUST be exhaustively compiled,tested, and reviewed to have an honest chance of having any success.

I can only speak from experience and my personal plan but I wont even launch a small account without a plan that

1: I have failed to test exhaustively to the tune of DOUBLING 3 accounts on demo utilizing a 1% risk per trade methodology
2: Have a up to date trading journal complete with notes and pictures each and every trade
3: Reviewed the methodology and absolutely KNOW my edge and maximize its potential while simultaneously minimizing downside risk


That is just the beginning..... there is sooo much work to do my friend. I hate to see you fail in this venture and I dont think you need a psychologist... What a successful trader needs is CONFIDENCE, PATIENCE, DISCIPLINE, and CONSISTENCY.

IMHO this only comes through absolute exhaustive testing.

Good luck brother. I really honestly want you to have great success with this because it seems like you really want this vocation in life.

Keep your head up and put in the work man...

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  #417 (permalink)
prague, czech republic
 
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FXwulf View Post
I admit I havent read through this entire thread but when I saw that the OP does not have a written trading plan I must admit I was completely Floored!

My entire written trading plan is well over 80 pages in length and encompasses every detail of everything related to my business in great detail(maybe this would best be categorized as a business plan). I have never met another professional trader who does not have a similar plan.
The actual mechanics of entries/exits and risk management absolutely MUST be exhaustively compiled,tested, and reviewed to have an honest chance of having any success.

I can only speak from experience and my personal plan but I wont even launch a small account without a plan that

1: I have failed to test exhaustively to the tune of DOUBLING 3 accounts on demo utilizing a 1% risk per trade methodology
2: Have a up to date trading journal complete with notes and pictures each and every trade
3: Reviewed the methodology and absolutely KNOW my edge and maximize its potential while simultaneously minimizing downside risk


That is just the beginning..... there is sooo much work to do my friend. I hate to see you fail in this venture and I dont think you need a psychologist... What a successful trader needs is CONFIDENCE, PATIENCE, DISCIPLINE, and CONSISTENCY.

IMHO this only comes through absolute exhaustive testing.

Good luck brother. I really honestly want you to have great success with this because it seems like you really want this vocation in life.

Keep your head up and put in the work man...

I wonder how much of these 80 pages you remember in the heat of the moment and at all. From my experience in business huge business plans are rarily even read fully by the managemnt after consultants draft them. However if you count into your plan lots of historic trades and back test screen shots than yeah but its not a plan its a log.

Doubling test three times is solid but will take possibly two years and if you trade a specific system chances are your system will become irrelevant before you finish. I have seen it way too much with automatic trading systems. They start off well and some people start running them on demo for 6 months and them put live with a big risk. By this time market has changed and system became a dog and losses ensues.

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  #418 (permalink)
Birmingham, AL
 
 
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xelaar View Post
I wonder how much of these 80 pages you remember in the heat of the moment and at all. From my experience in business huge business plans are rarily even read fully by the managemnt after consultants draft them. However if you count into your plan lots of historic trades and back test screen shots than yeah but its not a plan its a log.

There is no need to quibble over irrelevant things like this here.

His point is that his trading plan is extensive, and that I need to focus on developing one. His point is a good one.

 
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  #419 (permalink)
prague, czech republic
 
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indextrader7 View Post
There is no need to quibble over irrelevant things like this here.

His point is that his trading plan is extensive, and that I need to focus on developing one. His point is a good one.

Index with all due respect you put your journal into a public space so please accept the fact some people will sound their own opinion not only try to comfort you.

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  #420 (permalink)
Kailua-Kona, HI
 
 
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Im really just trying to help

Frankly the business plan is all aspects of running a business. Everything from Self purpose/trading goals to disciplinary rules and Hardware/software setups.

Im only trying to help, and while I do not claim to review and/or update my plan every day. I ABSOLUTELY have it on the middle of my desk with trade Journal right next to it. I also review my business plan it its entirety during my weekly and monthly self-audits(also an integral part of the plan)

Like any other business it takes work, foresight, preparation and execution. It is obvious the OP has the ability to work hard. It just seems to me that he put the carriage before the horse a little bit in not absolutely mapping and testing a viable system before tackling the real deal.

Just my .02, please take it for what its worth. I can only speak with what has transformed MY life and worked for ME alone...

Although my tale is one that many successful traders seem to share...

Again GL man, I really do think you can make it....

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  #421 (permalink)
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I also have a full business plan for my trading, because despite having had excellent ideas and strong ability to "read the market", I had a nasty tendency to do all sorts of things like hesitate to put on a trade, then chase in after most of the move was over, or jump the gun and get positioned early at a "much better" price before any signal to trade had occurred, or get nervous and move my stop to break even before the market had a chance to pay me, or turn a day trade into an overnight trade into a swing trade into a long term trade into a "Holy sh*t, just make it stop" huge loss.

My plan is detailed and specific. I don't yet have the ability to trade by the seat of my pants; on the occasions when I do, the results are net negative. I can't trust the voice in my head because it tries to convince me my plan-based trades won't work and it tries to convince me to trade instead what I think price will do (and it has plenty of beliefs about that at all times). So I need absolute rules to keep the odds in my favor.

I know the odds of my trade setups reaching a minimum profit target before hitting a maximum stop loss. Because of this, I have no need to predict direction. There is no prediction nor opinion necessary. The statistics based on extensive research naturally produce profitable results if my execution is aggressive and my trade management is consistent. I may know that every trade I enter based on Setup A has a 70% of hitting profit target X before hitting an equal stop loss Y. So there's nothing at all for me to think about when I see Setup A; I simply place an order and when the order is filled I place my stop loss and take profit at target or better. I know that every single trade based on this pattern has 70% odds of winning if I use an equal R:R. Wow! How much better can it get?

Now I may also have a setup that has a 50% chance of hitting profit target X before hitting a stop loss Y half of value X. Now, how much better does it get than that? There's nothing to think about. Just see the pattern and place the order, knowing that the risk:reward is seriously in my favor and the odds are 50/50.

The plan itself is a little more than 20 pages, but the supporting documentation out of which the plan evolved includes a 420-page trading journal and more than 150 statistical analyses of the application of various trading ideas to daily price action (including entries, exits, contextual descriptions, max favorable and adverse excursions, and the results of various trade management ideas). These are real painstaking analyses, not computerized backtests.

This took an enormous amount of work, but it took me from a financial and psychological "bottom" to trading for a living and looking forward to it every trading day.

If you want any feedback on your plan-in-progress, I'd be glad to help!

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

This is absolutely not ironed out yet, but it's what I've put together so far. There are several of you that have made recommendations regarding trading plans, and I'd love to hear your input on this. I want this trading plan to be detailed enough so that if you've read this plan, and you see what I post that I did in the future, you could tell if a decision is in violation of the trading plan or not.

The important section starts with the blue heading a ways down below from the start of the trading plan.

I won't bore you with all the details, but I'll cover all the section headings, and I'll include the meat of the plan which includes how I'm managing risk, how I'm managing trades, and how I'm entering trades.


//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
NEXT TRADING PLAN REVIEW DATE
- May 18, 2013. (Monthly)

EMERGENCY CONTACTS
- Stage 5
• Account #
• 24hr trade desk –
• Anthony and Max direct #'s -

- Brighthouse

TABLE OF CONTENTS

MISSION STATEMENT
-

GOALS
-
-
-

CURRENT STATE

- Strengths
• Humility
• Read on short term orderflow

- Weaknesses
• Emotion and lack of proper belief systems
• Overtrading/whim/revenge/chasing/low probability trades
• Managing risk
• Following rules

- Plan for managing my current weaknesses:
• Have a reason for every trade
• Continually improve self awareness and self-discipline
• Creating this trading plan to follow

- Health

• Mind
 I will achieve a healthy mind through praying, reading, trading, playing guitar/violin, and chess.
• Body
 I will achieve a healthy body though playing tennis, golf, yoga, etc and sweating once a day
• Balance
 I will achieve a healthy work/life balance through making sure I devote time each day to Jess, stay in touch with my parents and sister, as well as see my friends and keep up with their lives.

RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
- Broker – S5
- Charting - Sierra
- Data Providers – T4/OEC

- Journals
• Trade Log – In order to capture entry/exit reasoning, ideas, things noticed/learned during the session, emotions, daily review notes, as well as keep up with process goals.
• Trading Spreadsheet – In order to keep up with key statistics and monitor trading performance in an unbiased manner.
- Economic Calendar
• Forexfactory

OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT
- Procedures Manual to detail daily routines, including pre-session and post-session routines.

CONTINGENCY MANAGEMENT
- The Procedures Manual is to detail plans for dealing with any contingency which may occur during the trading session.

REVIEW PROCESS
- Daily
• Market Structure Review
• Setups/Trades taken
• Trades missed
• Psychological review
• Process goals for next session
- Weekly/ Monthly
• Performance Review
• Key lessons learned
• Statistical Review
- Biannual/ Annual
• Goals Review
• Business Review


HERE'S THE IMPORTANT SECTION FOR POSTING ON futures.io (formerly BMT) PURPOSES
///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////


TRADING PROCESS
- I’m trading the ES during RTH’s. I use market profiles and daily charts to determine longer term context. I look at the overnight action and where we’re opening relative to previous sessions profiles. This is all to determind the state of balance/imbalance.
- I then use key levels such as S/R, prev POC, prev high, prev low, IB, IB Ext, prev close, prev VAH, and prev VAL to lean off of these levels for trades that make sense within context.
- VWAP and it’s stdev bands are also used to keep things in perspective. Ideal trade locations are either fading band extremes, or taking pullbacks to VWAP itself. VWAP is also used to gauge the end of a trend, and when switching to a rotational strategy vs trending strategy is required.

- Analysis
TPO balance/imbalance recently
• Brackets and S/R on daily charts
• Overnight action
• Where are we opening relative to ^^
 Inside previous session’s value area
 Outside previous session’s value area
- Setups
• Trending/imbalance context
 Entry aligned with trend on pullback to key area
• Ranging/balanced/rotational context
Fade extremes
- Entry
• Context ID’d > in area of interest > PA supporting premise > micro TLB or BOF entry on 2500vol chart
- Trade Management & Exit
• Position sizing – 4 lots – no more, no less.

• Stop loss
 Initially outside entry SH/SL on micro TLB by 2 ticks - 2 points max distance
 This stop can be moved to BE when I would no longer want to be in the trade if price retraced there
• Profitable exits (non discretionary half)
 Imbalance/trend
• Remain in trade until PA SH/SL violates trend or price trades back into DVA
• Can exit on target hit if desired
 Balance/range/rotational
• Target or stop
• Adding to positions NOT allowed for any reason
Scale outs – Can take ½ off whenever it feels right. The rest must play out to plan.
- Other Risk Management
• No trades until AFTER opening swing is in place
• News – Flatten any position prior to major news unless built a > 2 point cushion
• Re-entry – 2 max attempts per any one setup
Daily Loss limit - $1,600 (gross)
• 3 losing trades in a row = 10 minute break away from charts
• Accidental trade error/wrong click – manage trade extremely tight either it moves directly in favor/ scratch at BE / exit immediately
• Blatant breaking of a risk rule = donate your trading account to charity
This is still discretionary trading. My view of context and PA will certainly shift intraday at times, but I must have a reason behind any trade taken.

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

 
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  #423 (permalink)
columbus OH/USA
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: TOS
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This is a great trading plan. Still need ironing out but it contains a lot already -)

I'm puzzled by your trading size and instrument (4 ES) considering how the last 2 TST went..... Are you trading in simulator or live at S5?

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

CONTEXT
-Market has been imbalanced and trending down
-Yesterday closed down below daily bracket (range area), but, price hasn't been able to spend much time down here lately as it gets bought back up, BUT, this morning will be the first time we close below the bracket AND open the following session still below...
-ON session balanced on top of yesterday's VA (value area)
-Open within prev VA

Based on this, my ideal trade location will be
shorts near prev POC at 1541.25 or
the prev VAH(value area high) which coincides with the daily bracket low at 1543.50

I'm keeping the gap down below in mind (1527.25 down to 1521.25)

1535.50 (around yesterday's close*) has been the support level keeping price from this gap, so it's another key area to watch if we trade down that way. This also lines up with yesterday's VAL (value area low).

This of course is just an initial game plan, and I'll adjust as price action unfolds.

 
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  #425 (permalink)
Boston, MA
 
 
Posts: 5 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 2 given, 10 received

Hi everyone.
Fascinating discussions here.
Rubyslippage, very impressive arguments you gave on your last posting. I am on the same path; I have a full trading plan and I am building my statistical data base all manually using my excel skills and creating the analytical views while capturing as much information as possible about each trade.
I was wondering if I could ask you all for a quick feedback on something. If you believe my question is inappropriate for this thread, please accept my apologies. I've been patiently waiting for Ninja Trader to come back online with TST, but it sounds like it's not coming back any time soon. I was curious to learning your thoughts about using Ninja to generate the buy & sell according to my rules, but execute the trade on T4 using their DOM. The indicators I use are only for NT, that's why I need it. Does anyone have any insights into that? Is it practical and doable to have two platforms on screen? Thank you all.
Gabe

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


gabrielc View Post
Hi everyone.
Fascinating discussions here.
Rubyslippage, very impressive arguments you gave on your last posting. I am on the same path; I have a full trading plan and I am building my statistical data base all manually using my excel skills and creating the analytical views while capturing as much information as possible about each trade.
I was wondering if I could ask you all for a quick feedback on something. If you believe my question is inappropriate for this thread, please accept my apologies. I've been patiently waiting for Ninja Trader to come back online with TST, but it sounds like it's not coming back any time soon. I was curious to learning your thoughts about using Ninja to generate the buy & sell according to my rules, but execute the trade on T4 using their DOM. The indicators I use are only for NT, that's why I need it. Does anyone have any insights into that? Is it practical and doable to have two platforms on screen? Thank you all.
Gabe

Yes, it works fine. Just have T4 only have a DOM and use your NT charts. That's what I planned on doing before I found Sierra.

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

Just a quick mid morning update:

Taken both trades talked about in pre-mkt post. Both have been major reaction levels intraday.

Short off prev POC, and currently short from prev VAH. Both trades took two attempts to get in. Still in runner portion of this short from VAH.


 
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  #428 (permalink)
Boston, MA
 
 
Posts: 5 since Feb 2013
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Thank you so much Indextrader.

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  #429 (permalink)
Portland, OR, US
 
Experience: None
Platform: Investor r/t, X_Trader, ToS
Broker: AMP/IQfeed
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indextrader7 View Post
Just a quick mid morning update:

Taken both trades talked about in pre-mkt post. Both have been major reaction levels intraday.

Short off prev POC, and currently short from prev VAH. Both trades took two attempts to get in. Still in runner portion of this short from VAH.


Hey Index, fascinating thread. Thanks so much for sharing.

Great trades so far, congrats! Friendly reminder (you may have already noticed), the market put in a poor 1-tick high at 44.75 (may be dangerous for your runner)

Good luck!!

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


zander931 View Post
Hey Index, fascinating thread. Thanks so much for sharing.

Great trades so far, congrats! Friendly reminder (you may have already noticed), the market put in a poor 1-tick high at 44.75 (may be dangerous for your runner)

Good luck!!

Thanks.

Yep, got stopped out to the tick up there. I don't understand the concept of poor high/low (or even a strong high/low?). Could you tell me a little about what defines one of these and how you apply it to your trading?

 
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  #431 (permalink)
Portland, OR, US
 
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indextrader7 View Post
Thanks.

Yep, got stopped out to the tick up there. I don't understand the concept of poor high/low (or even a strong high/low?). Could you tell me a little about what defines one of these and how you apply it to your trading?

A poor low/poor high (synonymous with a weak or unsecured high or low) is simply an auction that was ended because of, in this case, buying exhaustion (as opposed to a quick counter reaction brought in by responsive selling). The idea is, because of the lack of counter reaction at the high, it is much more likely that buyers will test that area in the near future. Sellers likely won't have the conviction to drive price much lower after a poor high as well (because they don't know if there is any business to be done above that high).

A strong/secured high is the exact opposite. It is a high that is formed because of a strong counter-reaction (we can witness the counter reaction in the forms of excess.. buying/selling tails).

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

Now that we've rotated back into the daily bracket area, my initial game plan for the day is out the window.

I COULD have seen the pullback to the bracket low at 43.50 and buyers step in as a great reason to get long. Alas, I did not see it well enough at the hard right edge.

Will be watching for long entries now.


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

I'm very interested in taking a long on a pullback to 45/46 area

It'll be a pullback to ON high, IB high, and dev VAH.

I'll take it if we get there and get a TLB/candle pattern/momentum shift whatever you prefer to call it.

 
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  #434 (permalink)
Hot Springs, Arkansas
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: ninja
Broker: optimus
Trading: ES
 
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indextrader7 View Post
I'm very interested in taking a long on a pullback to 45/46 area

It'll be a pullback to ON high, IB high, and dev VAH.

I'll take it if we get there and get a TLB/candle pattern/momentum shift whatever you prefer to call it.

Throw an RTH VWAP on today's chart and see what you think. My trading improved greatly when I recognized it's
importance as far as a point of initiative buying or selling...just my .02

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


catdriver View Post
Throw an RTH VWAP on today's chart and see what you think. My trading improved greatly when I recognized it's
importance as far as a point of initiative buying or selling...just my .02

Yes, it can be great, and today is one of those days. I've gone back and forth between having it or not lately. Def something to keep in mind, thanks!

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

Took half off for my discretionary exit near the highs. We'll see what the rest can do.


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

OK, so today was a sim trading day to get my feet wet with ironing out this trading plan.

It felt really nice to have the plan there.

There were no problems, or things I found I needed to add, to the plan in today's session. I thought something would come up. I'm kind of worried that nothing did... surely the plan is not totally ironed out yet?

Edit: I did find 2 potential things to add to the trading plan. They're listed in the writeup for trades 5 and 6.

The market did not meet my expectations for how it behaved today with my pre-market plan, every first attempt at a trade location was a loser, and none of my runners actually ran. Yet, I ended up down less than what i'm willing to risk on a single trade for the day.

THAT IS A WINNING DAY MY FRIENDS.





Trades 1 and 2 as well as 3 and 4 were short attempts off the levels i mentioned pre-market. Initial entries were too early, but re-entries were perfectly timed. Discretionary partial exits turned out to be scary good, and the runner portions did not run. This is ok, there will be days where my "feel" exits look way early, and the runners really run.

Trades 5 and 6 were attempts to get long in what appeared to be a real opportunity for this market to trend. Actually, there was a thing I considered adding to my trading plan here... two things actually. 1) These trades were small pullbacks in "open space" with no levels to lean off of. 2) They were longs right in the face of a large confluence of things at a level (could be serious resistance) and it was. The reason I took the trade anyways, is because I am now having this mental shift in how I see things based on these "poor highs" Taking a long at 10AM on this chart is something I never would have done before because we are "at the highs" and an area that sellers have defended several times. Evidently my thinking on that has been wrong. So, now go forward to the longs I'm taking for trades 5 and 6, I decided to ignore my better judgement that there was "resistance" at the highs there, and go for the continuation move higher. I guess in hindsight there was actually no PRIOR day resistance at the first area, but there was PRIOR DAY resistance (and several confluent things) at the second area. Ok, long winded, but I'm saying maybe I can add points 1 and 2 in this paragraph to the trading plan for entry criteria? Not sure yet.

Trades 6 and 7 were much more PLANNED out trades. I announced the trade idea and location here on futures.io (formerly BMT) well before we traded down to the area as an expectation. For these pullback trades, there were actually levels I was leaning off of, not just taking trades in open space. On par with the rest of the day, the first trade was early and stopped out, and the second trade was much better timing. Also, the "feel" exit was superior to the more manual exit that was trailed behind mini swing lows until taken out.

Trade #, "feel exit", more "manual" exit

1) -1.75 both parts
2) +3.75, BE
3) -0.75 both parts
4) +2.5, -2.0
5) BE both parts
6) -1.5 both parts
7) -2.0 both parts
8) +3.25, +2.25

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

New combine starts Monday.

Have a good weekend everyone.

 
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  #439 (permalink)
 
 
Posts: 2,979 since Jul 2012
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indextrader7 View Post
New combine starts Monday.

Have a good weekend everyone.

Good Luck! Knock 'em dead!

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  #440 (permalink)
Point Roberts, WA, USA
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: IB and free NT
Broker: IB
Trading: ES
 
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kevinkdog View Post
Good Luck! Knock 'em dead!

Ditto that!

I know you'll do great.

..........
peace, love and joy to you
.........
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  #441 (permalink)
Point Roberts, WA, USA
 
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Silver Dragon View Post
@indextrader7

the Suggestion:
It was not till I started detailing every trade did I finally start seeing a pattern in my trading that I could write out on paper.

1.After every trade I stop to post to my journal with charts and notes about the trade.
This does a couple of things (at least for me) it forced me to analyze the trade and
gets me away from the market and keeps me from making another trade to close to the last one.
Most of the time these were ill advised trades based on the outcome of the last trade.

2. look at larger time frames to get a reference on where the market is going.
I started doing a analysis every morning of where I think the market is headed.

I think these are good points.

If a person doesn't review their trades they have nothing to base improvement on
-both finding the best trades and why
and the worst trades and why.
Without this, as Robert says,there is nothing to base a plan on.

The break between trades is important. (especially after a loser)
It helps clear the decks mentally, and
stop revenge trading.

Good luck on your next combine.

..........
peace, love and joy to you
.........
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  #442 (permalink)
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

Disgust Yourself: A Framework for Rapid Behavior Change

Brett N. Steenbarger, Ph.D.

Brett Steenbarger Trading Psychology



A while back, I posted on the topic of "brief therapy for the mentally well". Brief therapies are collections of methods designed to promote rapid changes in patterns of thinking, feeling, and acting. Much of what I do as a psychologist is help traders become their own trading coaches by applying brief techniques to their own situations. Some resources for learning brief change techniques can be found in this post and in my two trading books.

People who write about psychology (but who aren't psychologists) often assert that behaviors change through positive thinking, goal setting, and the like. One would think that the annual experience of broken New Years' resolutions would put an end to such fantasies, but apparently not. The idea that we can shape ourselves by willing self-improvement seems unusually impervious to lack of research evidence and much personal experience to the contrary.

So how do people control their behavior and sustain the motivation to change themselves?

Let's look at a very unusual example: the anorexic patient. Anorexic people greatly restrict their food intake, sometimes to the point of death. They frequently have a distorted body image and believe themselves to be overweight, even as they are literally wasting away.

Clearly anorexia is a serious psychiatric disorder, but it is an interesting motivational phenomenon. Here is an inborn, hard-wired behavior pattern--eating--that is overridden by a social motivation: the desire to not be fat. So all-encompassing is this motivation that it often proves to be resistant to efforts at treatment, medical as well as psychological.

What is the basis for the anorexic person's motivation? Not positive self-statements and goal-setting, that's for sure! Rather, the anorexic individual is motivated by disgust. Quite literally, the patient is disgusted by anything that feels or looks overweight--and that disgust is so strong that it keeps food at bay.

Daniel Nettle's recent book Happiness: The Science Behind Your Smile makes the important point that disgust is a much stronger emotion than happiness. We tend to habituate to happiness: what makes us happy (a new car, seeing an old friend), after a while loses its ability to bring overt joy. Disgust, however, such as the sensation of eating food that has gone bad, stays with us for quite a while. What disgusts us now--for instance, sitting on a bus next to a person who hasn't bathed in weeks--will most likely produce equal disgust should it happen in the future. Indeed, like the anorexic, we might even avoid buses altogether just to prevent a repeat experience of disgust.

There are solid evolutionary reasons for this, Nettle notes. The things that would disgust primitive man--tainted food, unsanitary conditions--are directly related to his survival. If it took many learning trials to become averse to such situations, humans might not have survived their learning curves. By hard-wiring disgust, learning, and motivation, nature provided the opportunity for one-trial learning: the briefest of all therapies.

When we examine many of the most dramatic examples of personal change, we find disgust as a common element. What gets a person to finally stick with a diet is reaching the point of disgust with his or her appearance, energy level, etc. Similarly, smokers and alcoholics reach the point where the consequences of their behaviors disgust them, whether those consequences are smelling bad, becoming short of breath, or losing jobs or driver's licenses. "I can't stand living this way," is a frequent refrain among therapy clients who are ready for change.

I personally reached the point of sticking with my stop loss levels when I became disgusted by large losses that ate into days' and weeks' worth of profits. Similarly, I became better at defining and acting upon my profit targets when I became disgusted with situations in which I had a nice profit in hand and let it completely reverse to breakeven. And letting winners turn into losers? That became *so* disgusting for me that I set my exits to ensure it won't happen again.

Want a reliable behavioral method for ensuring that you follow your trading plans? Simple! Hook up your trade station to an IV drip going into your arm. Whenever you violate your plans, the drip would release a small amount of ipecac extract to induce violent nausea. Very quickly, the association between the trading behavior and the nausea would lead you to anticipate negative consequences any time you broke your rules. An anticipatory disgust response, like that of primitive man and tainted meat, would keep you from doing the wrong thing. Permanently.

There actually is a treatment similar to the imaginary example above, and it's called aversion therapy. Taking a drug that makes an alcoholic person sick whenever they drink ends up being one of the most effective ways of dealing with the addiction. Positive intentions and self-help exercises don't nearly possess the force of gut physical disgust.

If disgust can turn eating into a behavior to be avoided and an alcoholic's drinking into a thing of the past, perhaps it can be leveraged into a brief treatment for trading problems. The key is turning common wisdom on its head. Instead of trying to *make* yourself do the right things, fill your mind with thoughts and images of how disgusting you are when you do the wrong things. Just as anorexics spend hours in front of mirrors berating themselves for their looks, you can create your own metaphorical mirrors and become emotionally connected to the wasted effort and lost money from poor trading practices.

We are most apt to change a pattern once we become truly disgusted by it. Would you continue to do business with someone who violated your contract with him and took your money? No, you'd become so disgusted with such a dishonest individual that you'd shun him altogether.

Well, that person is you when your own patterns violate your contract with yourself and cause you to lose money. Once you become truly disgusted with your own patterns, you'll shun them altogether. And that's the briefest--and most effective--of therapies.

 
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  #443 (permalink)
San Diego, California
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Trading: CL, GC
 
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indextrader7 View Post
Disgust Yourself: A Framework for Rapid Behavior Change

Brett N. Steenbarger, Ph.D.

Brett Steenbarger Trading Psychology



A while back, I posted on the topic of "brief therapy for the mentally well". Brief therapies are collections of methods designed to promote rapid changes in patterns of thinking, feeling, and acting. Much of what I do as a psychologist is help traders become their own trading coaches by applying brief techniques to their own situations. Some resources for learning brief change techniques can be found in this post and in my two trading books.

People who write about psychology (but who aren't psychologists) often assert that behaviors change through positive thinking, goal setting, and the like. One would think that the annual experience of broken New Years' resolutions would put an end to such fantasies, but apparently not. The idea that we can shape ourselves by willing self-improvement seems unusually impervious to lack of research evidence and much personal experience to the contrary.

So how do people control their behavior and sustain the motivation to change themselves?

Let's look at a very unusual example: the anorexic patient. Anorexic people greatly restrict their food intake, sometimes to the point of death. They frequently have a distorted body image and believe themselves to be overweight, even as they are literally wasting away.

Clearly anorexia is a serious psychiatric disorder, but it is an interesting motivational phenomenon. Here is an inborn, hard-wired behavior pattern--eating--that is overridden by a social motivation: the desire to not be fat. So all-encompassing is this motivation that it often proves to be resistant to efforts at treatment, medical as well as psychological.

What is the basis for the anorexic person's motivation? Not positive self-statements and goal-setting, that's for sure! Rather, the anorexic individual is motivated by disgust. Quite literally, the patient is disgusted by anything that feels or looks overweight--and that disgust is so strong that it keeps food at bay.

Daniel Nettle's recent book Happiness: The Science Behind Your Smile makes the important point that disgust is a much stronger emotion than happiness. We tend to habituate to happiness: what makes us happy (a new car, seeing an old friend), after a while loses its ability to bring overt joy. Disgust, however, such as the sensation of eating food that has gone bad, stays with us for quite a while. What disgusts us now--for instance, sitting on a bus next to a person who hasn't bathed in weeks--will most likely produce equal disgust should it happen in the future. Indeed, like the anorexic, we might even avoid buses altogether just to prevent a repeat experience of disgust.

There are solid evolutionary reasons for this, Nettle notes. The things that would disgust primitive man--tainted food, unsanitary conditions--are directly related to his survival. If it took many learning trials to become averse to such situations, humans might not have survived their learning curves. By hard-wiring disgust, learning, and motivation, nature provided the opportunity for one-trial learning: the briefest of all therapies.

When we examine many of the most dramatic examples of personal change, we find disgust as a common element. What gets a person to finally stick with a diet is reaching the point of disgust with his or her appearance, energy level, etc. Similarly, smokers and alcoholics reach the point where the consequences of their behaviors disgust them, whether those consequences are smelling bad, becoming short of breath, or losing jobs or driver's licenses. "I can't stand living this way," is a frequent refrain among therapy clients who are ready for change.

I personally reached the point of sticking with my stop loss levels when I became disgusted by large losses that ate into days' and weeks' worth of profits. Similarly, I became better at defining and acting upon my profit targets when I became disgusted with situations in which I had a nice profit in hand and let it completely reverse to breakeven. And letting winners turn into losers? That became *so* disgusting for me that I set my exits to ensure it won't happen again.

Want a reliable behavioral method for ensuring that you follow your trading plans? Simple! Hook up your trade station to an IV drip going into your arm. Whenever you violate your plans, the drip would release a small amount of ipecac extract to induce violent nausea. Very quickly, the association between the trading behavior and the nausea would lead you to anticipate negative consequences any time you broke your rules. An anticipatory disgust response, like that of primitive man and tainted meat, would keep you from doing the wrong thing. Permanently.

There actually is a treatment similar to the imaginary example above, and it's called aversion therapy. Taking a drug that makes an alcoholic person sick whenever they drink ends up being one of the most effective ways of dealing with the addiction. Positive intentions and self-help exercises don't nearly possess the force of gut physical disgust.

If disgust can turn eating into a behavior to be avoided and an alcoholic's drinking into a thing of the past, perhaps it can be leveraged into a brief treatment for trading problems. The key is turning common wisdom on its head. Instead of trying to *make* yourself do the right things, fill your mind with thoughts and images of how disgusting you are when you do the wrong things. Just as anorexics spend hours in front of mirrors berating themselves for their looks, you can create your own metaphorical mirrors and become emotionally connected to the wasted effort and lost money from poor trading practices.

We are most apt to change a pattern once we become truly disgusted by it. Would you continue to do business with someone who violated your contract with him and took your money? No, you'd become so disgusted with such a dishonest individual that you'd shun him altogether.

Well, that person is you when your own patterns violate your contract with yourself and cause you to lose money. Once you become truly disgusted with your own patterns, you'll shun them altogether. And that's the briefest--and most effective--of therapies.

Just as that saying goes about the market being able to move farther than our capital can last (or however that quote goes), let's just hope that our capital can outlast our tolerance for disgust LOL....

Hap

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  #444 (permalink)
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indextrader7 View Post
Disgust Yourself: A Framework for Rapid Behavior Change

Brett N. Steenbarger, Ph.D.

Brett Steenbarger Trading Psychology



A while back, I posted on the topic of "brief therapy for the mentally well". Brief therapies are collections of methods designed to promote rapid changes in patterns of thinking, feeling, and acting. Much of what I do as a psychologist is help traders become their own trading coaches by applying brief techniques to their own situations. Some resources for learning brief change techniques can be found in this post and in my two trading books.

People who write about psychology (but who aren't psychologists) often assert that behaviors change through positive thinking, goal setting, and the like. One would think that the annual experience of broken New Years' resolutions would put an end to such fantasies, but apparently not. The idea that we can shape ourselves by willing self-improvement seems unusually impervious to lack of research evidence and much personal experience to the contrary.

So how do people control their behavior and sustain the motivation to change themselves?

Let's look at a very unusual example: the anorexic patient. Anorexic people greatly restrict their food intake, sometimes to the point of death. They frequently have a distorted body image and believe themselves to be overweight, even as they are literally wasting away.

Clearly anorexia is a serious psychiatric disorder, but it is an interesting motivational phenomenon. Here is an inborn, hard-wired behavior pattern--eating--that is overridden by a social motivation: the desire to not be fat. So all-encompassing is this motivation that it often proves to be resistant to efforts at treatment, medical as well as psychological.

What is the basis for the anorexic person's motivation? Not positive self-statements and goal-setting, that's for sure! Rather, the anorexic individual is motivated by disgust. Quite literally, the patient is disgusted by anything that feels or looks overweight--and that disgust is so strong that it keeps food at bay.

Daniel Nettle's recent book Happiness: The Science Behind Your Smile makes the important point that disgust is a much stronger emotion than happiness. We tend to habituate to happiness: what makes us happy (a new car, seeing an old friend), after a while loses its ability to bring overt joy. Disgust, however, such as the sensation of eating food that has gone bad, stays with us for quite a while. What disgusts us now--for instance, sitting on a bus next to a person who hasn't bathed in weeks--will most likely produce equal disgust should it happen in the future. Indeed, like the anorexic, we might even avoid buses altogether just to prevent a repeat experience of disgust.

There are solid evolutionary reasons for this, Nettle notes. The things that would disgust primitive man--tainted food, unsanitary conditions--are directly related to his survival. If it took many learning trials to become averse to such situations, humans might not have survived their learning curves. By hard-wiring disgust, learning, and motivation, nature provided the opportunity for one-trial learning: the briefest of all therapies.

When we examine many of the most dramatic examples of personal change, we find disgust as a common element. What gets a person to finally stick with a diet is reaching the point of disgust with his or her appearance, energy level, etc. Similarly, smokers and alcoholics reach the point where the consequences of their behaviors disgust them, whether those consequences are smelling bad, becoming short of breath, or losing jobs or driver's licenses. "I can't stand living this way," is a frequent refrain among therapy clients who are ready for change.

I personally reached the point of sticking with my stop loss levels when I became disgusted by large losses that ate into days' and weeks' worth of profits. Similarly, I became better at defining and acting upon my profit targets when I became disgusted with situations in which I had a nice profit in hand and let it completely reverse to breakeven. And letting winners turn into losers? That became *so* disgusting for me that I set my exits to ensure it won't happen again.

Want a reliable behavioral method for ensuring that you follow your trading plans? Simple! Hook up your trade station to an IV drip going into your arm. Whenever you violate your plans, the drip would release a small amount of ipecac extract to induce violent nausea. Very quickly, the association between the trading behavior and the nausea would lead you to anticipate negative consequences any time you broke your rules. An anticipatory disgust response, like that of primitive man and tainted meat, would keep you from doing the wrong thing. Permanently.

There actually is a treatment similar to the imaginary example above, and it's called aversion therapy. Taking a drug that makes an alcoholic person sick whenever they drink ends up being one of the most effective ways of dealing with the addiction. Positive intentions and self-help exercises don't nearly possess the force of gut physical disgust.

If disgust can turn eating into a behavior to be avoided and an alcoholic's drinking into a thing of the past, perhaps it can be leveraged into a brief treatment for trading problems. The key is turning common wisdom on its head. Instead of trying to *make* yourself do the right things, fill your mind with thoughts and images of how disgusting you are when you do the wrong things. Just as anorexics spend hours in front of mirrors berating themselves for their looks, you can create your own metaphorical mirrors and become emotionally connected to the wasted effort and lost money from poor trading practices.

We are most apt to change a pattern once we become truly disgusted by it. Would you continue to do business with someone who violated your contract with him and took your money? No, you'd become so disgusted with such a dishonest individual that you'd shun him altogether.

Well, that person is you when your own patterns violate your contract with yourself and cause you to lose money. Once you become truly disgusted with your own patterns, you'll shun them altogether. And that's the briefest--and most effective--of therapies.

Brilliant. Ideally, we want to make a change at the source... but behaviorism is faster when you need to do something right now.

"The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a heaven of hell, a hell of heaven." - Milton
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  #445 (permalink)
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

When I look at my MAE/MFE chart from my trading on Friday, it really shows how, although a losing day, it was just a great trading day. Risk managed perfectly. Despite being on the wrong side of the best trades most of the day, and getting zero runners, it shows this beautifully.



Despite all the pain lately, I can't tell you how good I feel about my trading currently.

I'm learning from better traders than myself how to incorporate the bigger picture into things.

I'm growing my self-awareness.

I've learned that I have been trading with major, major flaws in regards to 1) trading without a real plan, 2) trading without a real plan, ha. From this major problem stems SUB-ISSUES a) excessive risk taking since there is no real risk plan, b) whim trades, c) revenge trades, and d) times of "i've lost how to trade". Having a trading plan and risk plan within that give me something to lean on, something to fall back on.

Feeling good about things, despite the discomfort and pain that it takes to uncover the flaws.

Boy, it's IMPOSSIBLE to learn something until you are READY TO LEARN IT. Learning that more and more every day.

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

Well, I was away from the desk today helping my dad lay hardwood floors. I'll be trading tomorrow (starting combine 3)...with a sore back! ha

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

Combine 3 starts today.

TRADING A PLAN this combine.

Things are bullish from my view.

We've now broken above the consolidation/bracket area on my daily charts (which was expected since my last trading day Friday did not continue down as expected). Yesterday traded down and retested the bracket low perfectly.




Overnight action held price above yesterday's value area, and it looks like we'll open above it too.

Initial expectation is to get some type of responsive selling, giving a pullback to a key area for a long.

Levels I'll be watching for long entries:

1558.50 - Daily bracket area high

1556-1557 - Previous value area high, prev close, yesterday's VPOC.

A few other minor ones, but per this plan of getting long on a retracement, this are the main ones I'm watching.

If the bracket, and shortly thereafter at 56-57, do not support price, my bias will most likely switch to short/rotational.

Edit: Looks like that 8am news may have left those levels in the dust. We'll see!

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

My T4 data during this mini flash crash was ABSOLUTE CRAP.

My live account with S5 (OEC data) was perfect.

I was trying to get long T4/ combine account once I found out it was rumor... and it absolutely wouldn't accept my orders.

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

The T4 feed




and the S5/OEC feed


Days like this, you learn which data feed holds up its end of the bargain.

 
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  #450 (permalink)
Denver, CO
 
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indextrader7 View Post
The T4 feed




and the S5/OEC feed


Days like this, you learn which data feed holds up its end of the bargain.

Wow, that's a big difference!

Plan your trade, trade your plan.
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  #451 (permalink)
Legendary Market Wizard
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I don't know if it has anything to do with the fact that it's the sim server or not...?

My CTS data also crapped out:



And after reloading:



Out of curiosity, did you find out when it was still down towards the bottom that it was a rumor, and if so, how? I did not hear details until it was already back up.

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  #452 (permalink)
Birmingham, AL
 
 
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josh View Post
I don't know if it has anything to do with the fact that it's the sim server or not...?

My CTS data also crapped out:

Out of curiosity, did you find out when it was still down towards the bottom that it was a rumor, and if so, how? I did not hear details until it was already back up.


Lately, anytime I see the $TICK get squirrely, I get on twitter. People were quoting the headline, then very quickly saying things like "hard to believe this one" or "could be a hack" and such... right as we were at bottom.

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

Well, unfortunately, not a great start for the combine. I've decided to stop trading short of my personal DLL.

I tried to hop on board the end of the world trade twice short, and got filled completely different prices than what my DOM was showing me. I then tried to buy, as mentioned, and no orders would go through...

My own fault for abandoning my plan and trying to make a quick buck in that situation.

I attempted a few trades since the mini flash crash, none were winners.


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


 
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  #455 (permalink)
Site Administrator
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I strongly believe you are making a mistake by jumping into another combine so quickly without addressing the core problems in your recent trading.

You've not given yourself any opportunity to correct any of the issues causing your anxiety when trading. And by entering another combine so quickly you are in fact reinforcing this bad behavior.

Mike

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  #456 (permalink)
Birmingham, AL
 
 
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Big Mike View Post
I strongly believe you are making a mistake by jumping into another combine so quickly without addressing the core problems in your recent trading.

You've not given yourself any opportunity to correct any of the issues causing your anxiety when trading. And by entering another combine so quickly you are in fact reinforcing this bad behavior.

Mike

Hey man,

I really appreciate the candor. The world would be a better place if people spoke more freely to each other more often.

I don't want to sound defensive, but rather walk through this.

I didn't have any anxiety today. I traded my plan (other than when I thought the world might end... I'll agree that I probably should have stood aside at that point, but I saw the event as opportunity, and I managed risk according to plan).

Another issue is that I think I need to be in some type of "live" environment to work on the issues that come up only when there IS something on the line. If I were to just go to sim and plug away, I'm won't be experiencing the emotions and therefore won't able to work on acknowledging them and making proper decisions despite them.

Even before the mini crash today... I felt myself getting frustrated at the market grinding so slowly, and not offering enough "opportunity" for me... (hear not meet my expectations - which is the root of any frustration). I had the awareness to sense this, acknowledge it, and re-focus on the fact that price action is neither negative nor positive, it's only in our minds that something can "feel" negative or positive. So I accepted what was happening as neutral, and waited for when my opportunities arose. I even spoke with a trading buddy about this real time, after HE brought it up that that's what he was feeling at the time too.

Just because I didn't make money for the small sample size of today, I do not feel bad about the day's results. Sure, I'd like to start out with a big winning day, but it's no big deal.

Again, I don't want to sound arrogant or like..."please, Mike, I know what I'm doing".... I just want to tell you where I'm coming from, and look forward to your reply.

Thanks again.

 
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  #457 (permalink)
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I remember your posts and thread from last year where you traded so well and had such great discipline and focus on risk. That is the trader that I've invited to come talk in a webinar in a couple of weeks.

But this thread is a different trader. This thread has a trader that is trying to prove something, is rushing things, and is frankly handling loss very poorly. The recent purchase of another combine demonstrates that, it's an act that resembles more gambling than trading (needing 'the fix').

I don't want to get people mad at me for being too tough on you, so this is likely my last post for a while. I'm just telling you that you need to step away, refocus, fix the external things causing this pressure to build in your trading, and then come back to trading once everything is squared away.

Mike

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  #458 (permalink)
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at the target range when you miss the bullseye ,do you pack up and go home or reload and aim again , go for it ,

today was a tough day , seemed every trade squated after entry this afternoon ,most of my es trades today were 1 tick in that 1.75 point range it played in after the squash and pop




my own personal reason to give tst a second shot was the realzation that I DID NOT TAKE ENOUGH TIME TO LEARN THE PROGRAM BEFORE I STARTED,so felt after some of josh's post ,which made sense ,to give it a go,we have a soon to be graduate coming in june ,and felt that tst would be a great place for a trader to work while in college,time will tell

oh and indextrader7 thanks for the tip on tst ladder

:when you cheat -you only cheat yourself
refer to post # 470 & 527 & 930
option traders refer to post 996 thru 1005
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  #459 (permalink)
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From what I've seen, this TST Combine requires a framework for disciplined trading that’s necessary for consistently profitable outcomes. The key to passing the combine is to have a positive expectancy plan that incorporates rigorous risk management, and the ability to follow that plan. By focusing on disciplined execution of such a plan, the desired outcome will likely follow naturally.

Daily loss limit, max drawdown, and other combine constraints can be applied to a trading plan and if the plan works within this framework (or if you design a custom combine that fits your plan and is acceptable to TST), then by focusing on disciplined execution and trade management, you’re very likely to pass the test. With such a plan in hand, there’s no need to think about a daily loss limit or max drawdown; all you focus on is trading your plan.

A fellow trader I know who trades for a living once posted this on his blog and it became one of the pre-market “meditations” I read each morning (substitute "trade/trader" for "shot/shooter"):

With regard to the psychological training of professional athletes, particularly professional shooters: To limit stress (which is a fatal factor for any serious competition), professional shooters give themselves the right to make mistakes.

More exactly, they set their goal to make a correct shot technically, not to hit the target. They even inspire themselves that outcome is not that important at all, but correct technique is what only matters.

And that little trick leads to great results. The shooter stands, focuses on the pleasure of the technically perfect shot and does it literally without stress, being focused on the process, not the outcome. Ironically, the chance of target being perfectly hit increases dramatically in such a case.

If the pro shooter's mental focus was to hit the target, he would get overstressed and likely have the opposite result vs. desired.

This is a proven technique used by pro shooters, power lifters and in most other kinds of sport to limit stress during the competition.

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  #460 (permalink)
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rubyslippage View Post
From what I've seen, this TST Combine requires a framework for disciplined trading that’s necessary for consistently profitable outcomes. The key to passing the combine is to have a positive expectancy plan that incorporates rigorous risk management, and the ability to follow that plan. By focusing on disciplined execution of such a plan, the desired outcome will likely follow naturally.

Daily loss limit, max drawdown, and other combine constraints can be applied to a trading plan and if the plan works within this framework (or if you design a custom combine that fits your plan and is acceptable to TST), then by focusing on disciplined execution and trade management, you’re very likely to pass the test. With such a plan in hand, there’s no need to think about a daily loss limit or max drawdown; all you focus on is trading your plan.

A fellow trader I know who trades for a living once posted this on his blog and it became one of the pre-market “meditations” I read each morning (substitute "trade/trader" for "shot/shooter"):

With regard to the psychological training of professional athletes, particularly professional shooters: To limit stress (which is a fatal factor for any serious competition), professional shooters give themselves the right to make mistakes.

More exactly, they set their goal to make a correct shot technically, not to hit the target. They even inspire themselves that outcome is not that important at all, but correct technique is what only matters.

And that little trick leads to great results. The shooter stands, focuses on the pleasure of the technically perfect shot and does it literally without stress, being focused on the process, not the outcome. Ironically, the chance of target being perfectly hit increases dramatically in such a case.

If the pro shooter's mental focus was to hit the target, he would get overstressed and likely have the opposite result vs. desired.

This is a proven technique used by pro shooters, power lifters and in most other kinds of sport to limit stress during the competition.

Excellent post @rubyslippage.

Process goals ALWAYS, never profit goals or 'material goals' lead to the mental edge if I can put it that way....

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  #461 (permalink)
Birmingham, AL
 
 
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  #462 (permalink)
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Good job today. I've been following your thread and I want to say good luck on your current combine.

Quick question, but do you have a few setups (that repeat over and over again), that you take? Seems to me that you are over-trading (32 trades)?

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  #463 (permalink)
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Congratulations on the comeback trades on Wednesday.

Like many others, I have been inspired by your posts, and I feel for you during the rough patch you've encountered.

Clearly, you're a good trader and can get through whatever your difficulties are, and be stronger for it. You will certainly succeed.

Everything you have posted shows that you can do so.

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

A quick update on Combine 3.

Still having trouble managing risk properly all the time. Something must give.

I've had 4 trades that have violated how large of a loss I'll allow for a trade. 3/4 were losers, and those 3 trades have cost me exactly -$5,000. I am down -$1,550 overall on the combine... you do the math. Today I had a winning day going in both markets, and decided to trade a 14 lot going in to the ES close. Nice job.

I've traded CL for several days now, and have had good success with it. There does seem to be a correlation between my risk control and my starting trading ES. It's so slow... I seem to not be afraid of it. I am for sure afraid of CL, and don't have trouble cutting losers because I've seen how badly it can burn me. Just a thought. It's probably deeper than that, and I can't blame my lack of discipline on the market I'm trading. I should be able to properly control position sizing and stop losses regardless of the market traded.

Combine 3 results so far:









I have plenty of time to pass this thing, despite my lapses in risk management. That's how good I am at making money; too bad I'm not good enough at not giving it back. Working on that... I have 16 trading days left. Just manage risk man. You're good enough to make the cut if you will manage your risk.

I will prevail.

 
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  #465 (permalink)
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Thanks for the update!

Good to see you're still kickin

It looks like the ES is mius 773 and the Cl is plus 773 exactly the same number for trade average !

..........
peace, love and joy to you
.........
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  #466 (permalink)
Boston, MA
 
 
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Good morning Indextrader. I've been following you for the last 3 weeks. I wish you the best of luck, stay strong, keep focused and seek emotional detachment from your trading. Best of luck!

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Birmingham, AL
 
 
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RoboVinhci View Post
Good job today. I've been following your thread and I want to say good luck on your current combine.

Quick question, but do you have a few setups (that repeat over and over again), that you take? Seems to me that you are over-trading (32 trades)?

Thanks for the best wishes.

I do have setups, it's very discretionary, but I can label the trades a handful of things.

Overtrading has not been a problem as of late. Your coming to this conclusion from information on my stats is from the TST report. Those TST reports calculate the number of trades way differently than I do. If I get long a 6 lot, and scale out 2, then scale out 2, then scale out 1, then leave the last one for a runner. TST counts that as 4 trades. Not to mention if I add back a scale out, it only makes it worse.

This dynamic is also hurting my avg win: avg loss metric since the scale outs are going to be multiple trades in the eyes of TST.

I say all this to just answer your question. I don't give a crap about what the stats are at the moment, it would be counter-productive for me to care. I'm focused on initiating behavior modification, and that's it.

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

I had a negative event today that I turned into a real positive.

I entered long at an area, but it was one of those... "I'd rather get in a few points lower on a pullback, but I'm pretty afraid this thing will run off and leave me" kind of entries. So when price went against me, I added at the level that I really wanted to be long from. Turns out it was a great entry, and I only took $450 MAE on it, but I still do not want to allow myself to have that kind of behavior, so.... the positive thing is....

I immediately closed the trade out, logged out of all platforms, and removed myself from trading the rest of the day. Typically these types of decision snowball and lead to frustration, leading to more bad decisions.

Even though it was a breakdown in discipline to add to the position. It was a big discipline win for me to shut her down for the day upon realizing that I had violated rules.






One interesting find from drilling down in to the stats:


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

-$2,600 on one CL trade just now.




Had to stop out at a very bad location due to almost hitting TST DLL.


I now have 4 trades that total -$7,600

The other 78 trades I've made total +$4,210

Keep up the good work bud! You're really going places and showing marked improvement.

 
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  #470 (permalink)
Bay Area California
 
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indextrader7 View Post
-$2,600 on one CL trade just now.




Had to stop out at a very bad location due to almost hitting TST DLL.


I now have 4 trades that total -$7,600

The other 78 trades I've made total +$4,210

Keep up the good work bud! You're really going places and showing marked improvement.


I have two quick comments,

First, you are showing classic signs of loss aversion, in that you would rather take sure profits, but gamble on losses. This generally seems to come from not knowing/ understanding expectancy.

Second, RIGHT after you got stopped out the market ran for near two dollars, but the important thing to remember is that for the one time it runs for those two dollars, there are quite a few more times where it will just keep grinding against you, don't change your risk tolerance because of this incident. Don't tell yourself " I knew it all along" that's called hindsight bias, and people are very susceptible to it with events like these.

Tread lightly, because loss aversion and hindsight bias could arguably be the two most detrimental things to a trader.



.
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  #471 (permalink)
phl pa. usa
 
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i am just curious how many contracts you were in there at you base jump or die spot,seems to me you are a self sabotager ,when we spoke you talked of 3 contract limits ,not 3 contract mutiple limits ,you dont seem to have a real trading plan ,and i am starting to feel you are feeding on the keep positive comments ,and thats why you continue to sabotage yourself ,maybe day trading is not your thing

:when you cheat -you only cheat yourself
refer to post # 470 & 527 & 930
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  #472 (permalink)
Birmingham, AL
 
 
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creekboy View Post
i am just curious how many contracts you were in there at you base jump or die spot,seems to me you are a self sabotager ,when we spoke you talked of 3 contract limits ,not 3 contract mutiple limits ,you dont seem to have a real trading plan ,and i am starting to feel you are feeding on the keep positive comments ,and thats why you continue to sabotage yourself ,maybe day trading is not your thing

I'm not sure what a "base jump or die spot" is, but I was initially long 4 lots, added 4, then added 4 more for a total of 12.

Interesting comment about feeding on the "keep positive" comments here. @kevinkdog once mentioned the same possibility. I just don't think it's true. I think most people would fade away into the shadows right now when they're ashamed of what their doing. I continue to expose my flaws here as almost a punishment. It certainly was heartwarming to have the futures.io (formerly BMT) community support me the first time I screwed up, and then it was ok the second time; right now, it's just plain embarrasing, and I really don't care to hear someone say hey, "looks like you have an aversion to losing." yeah, no kidding. It's pathetic. (no offense @addchild I appreciate you taking the time to point that out)

It's not a lack of understanding of what is the right/wrong thing to do that is crippling my trading. It's something else.

I know what I'm doing wrong when I do it, and I start cursing under my breath because I am so upset. I start hoping and praying to be saved, and time after time, I feel like God will not give me a break. I honestly think that during the moment, "Please, please just once cut me a break here and save this trade."

Then it becomes a simple process of adding to the trade on any blip that looks like it might turn in my favor, until I absolutely can't take the pain any longer.

I DON'T CARE IF ANYONE SAYS ANYTHING ELSE HERE. NOTHING YOU CAN SAY WILL HELP ME. IT IS TOTALLY SOMETHING THAT I HAVE TO FIX ON MY OWN. I AM NOT LOOKING FOR ANSWERS HERE. THIS IS A JOURNAL TO DOCUMENT A JOURNEY, AND I'M NOT AFRAID TO POST THE BAD PARTS. I DO NOT NEED YOUR HELP.

 
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  #473 (permalink)
Boston, MA
 
 
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Hi Index. I totally relate to what you are saying, trust me, the exact same feelings of asking God for a break "just this once" always pop out when I am trading. Even though you say you don't need help from us, please understand the fact that I am writing this message to you (when I actually should be just working here in my cubicle) means that I am supporting you and cheering for you. I don't think anybody here is judging you, so the embarrassment you feel is just bad energy, so please work hard to release it. God's delay is not God's denial. I'm not here to judge your trading system, just to send positive energy and follow your path. It sounds to me that your risk management messed up the performance. I just want to point out that positive comments are too superficial, at the behavior level. But consistency and proper trading will come from your subconscious mind, so I suggest you seek that route. At least that's what's helping me achieve better results since I started this journey of cleaning the crap out of my subconscious mind and restructuring it for a better life. It's your mind, not your system that is letting you down. Stay strong my friend and master your inner game.

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  #474 (permalink)
Michigan, Jackson
 
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indextrader7 View Post
I start hoping and praying to be saved, and time after time, I feel like God will not give me a break. I honestly think that during the moment, "Please, please just once cut me a break here and save this trade."

Interesting how God is brought into trading. The element of "free will" is the freedom we are given and prefer until something doesn't go our way. I admit that on more than one occasion I have 'thanked God'- sincerely so - for winning my trade; especially when it is connected to my livelihood. When I lose a trade, I don't curse God - God forbid - but I am humbled, again, to realize that God is bigger than my trading angst. So, I take responsibility when I must and am thankful for the freedom to choose to trade.

Ken COTtrader

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  #475 (permalink)
Legendary Market Wizard
Ilsede, Germany
 
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I know from my own experience that any kind of 'compassion' may hurt yourself even more in this particular situation, but please realize and understand how many people are giving you their full sympathy, respect and appreciation for exhibiting your innermost to the public of a forum...and honestly continue offering advice as well as backing and support to you.

Maybe it would be a quite good idea to step back from trading for a while (as @Big Mike mentioned before) and take a break to compose yourself in order to start over with trading when overwhelming emotions and self-doubt are finally out of your way.

So, that's just a really well-meant advice from a guy who himself had more than enough ups and downs for only one life...

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  #476 (permalink)
columbus OH/USA
 
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indextrader7 View Post
I'm not sure what a "base jump or die spot" is, but I was initially long 4 lots, added 4, then added 4 more for a total of 12.

Interesting comment about feeding on the "keep positive" comments here. @kevinkdog once mentioned the same possibility. I just don't think it's true. I think most people would fade away into the shadows right now when they're ashamed of what their doing. I continue to expose my flaws here as almost a punishment. It certainly was heartwarming to have the futures.io (formerly BMT) community support me the first time I screwed up, and then it was ok the second time; right now, it's just plain embarrasing, and I really don't care to hear someone say hey, "looks like you have an aversion to losing." yeah, no kidding. It's pathetic. (no offense @addchild I appreciate you taking the time to point that out)

It's not a lack of understanding of what is the right/wrong thing to do that is crippling my trading. It's something else.

I know what I'm doing wrong when I do it, and I start cursing under my breath because I am so upset. I start hoping and praying to be saved, and time after time, I feel like God will not give me a break. I honestly think that during the moment, "Please, please just once cut me a break here and save this trade."

Then it becomes a simple process of adding to the trade on any blip that looks like it might turn in my favor, until I absolutely can't take the pain any longer.

I DON'T CARE IF ANYONE SAYS ANYTHING ELSE HERE. NOTHING YOU CAN SAY WILL HELP ME. IT IS TOTALLY SOMETHING THAT I HAVE TO FIX ON MY OWN. I AM NOT LOOKING FOR ANSWERS HERE. THIS IS A JOURNAL TO DOCUMENT A JOURNEY, AND I'M NOT AFRAID TO POST THE BAD PARTS. I DO NOT NEED YOUR HELP.

Hi - First I would say congrats because you didn't blow up the account. So, things are improving... Far from perfect but improving! What is striking me is how much a fighter you are. You punch yourself right and left - fighting your ego - but you always get up and keep moving. You know what you want but you are not there yet... Life is a journey and wanting to be a trader is an difficult and painful path....

As I posted before, this is a self-discipline problem. It will take time to re-wire your brain to new automatism. Going forward I propose you a simple exercise. As soon you have a trade on, put a stop 10, 20, 30 ticks - whatever is appropriate and do not touch the stop ever. You can exit the trade for profit or loss (before stop is reached) but you can never remove or change the stop. Just do it for every trade....
It sounds so easy but your ego is going to fight you very strongly and will tempt you in removing it
because putting the stop and keeping the stop will be admitting defeat which your ego can not accept while your brain knows it's the smart thing to do (cut your loss, and make $$$ with next trade.)

so, write it down on paper and keep reading it every hours, every day [I decide I will put a stop for every trade and will respect it.] - after several weeks, your ego will accept the new rules....

You need to defeat your ego. You can do it - it will just take some time.

If you decide to follow the rule and find yourself not following it - impose a penalty on yourself (50 push-ups,....)... So there is consequence to it.... If you want something to motivate you to not remove/modify your stop- decide that if you do it then you will have to perform this (funny attempt): YouTube I know It would definitively work for me - lol -)

Keep fighting and the force be with you -)

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  #477 (permalink)
thabazimbi limpopo/south africa
 
 
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Well I gave you the advise to slow it down, trade smaller and less and try to be more consistent in the things that you can control. I stand by that advise and will leave you with a question, what is it that you want to achieve here?

I mean come on man, do you honestly want to pass the 150k combine now knowing that you are not ready to trade that kind of size with confidence.

You must slow it down, trade a smaller combine, focus on being consistent in your thoughts, actions and trades, build up the necessary confidence so that you don't resort to god and all kinds of crap.

Trading successfully over the long haul is not just passing the combine, it is about believing in yourself and your ability to manage yourself to do the right thing when you know it is the right thing to do. You must know that you can handle what ever the market will do.

This can only be achieved by knowing that it is a long road and you must be prepared to do the work. There is no short cuts. You must stop forcing it. Just take a break and refocus on what you want to achieve. Start off then by doing something right consistently and then move on to the next thing. Remember also that discipline is just the outcome of good consistent behavior, so your task is to teach yourself to keep good consistent habits in your trading. Start small and built yourself up to be a good consistent trader, it takes time but remember if you are not willing to take the time and do the work you will remain part of the 90% loser stats that we all hear about in this industry.

In my opinion you have not earned the right to trade such big size, you should be trading a 1 lot until you have made $1000 then you can reward yourself by trading a 2 lot etc.

Sorry if I sound harsh but you cant rush the process.

Hope it helps,
Ian

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  #478 (permalink)
Birmingham, AL
 
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marcopolo1 View Post
If you want something to motivate you to not remove/modify your stop- decide that if you do it then you will have to perform this (funny attempt): YouTube I know It would definitively work for me - lol -)


When ...I'd rather lose every trade for the rest of my life.




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  #479 (permalink)
Algonquin, il
 
 
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indextrader7,

I felt compelled to reach out to you because I feel your frustration and pain. I have been through what you are going through now. All successful traders have to work through the same issues; to fight the same demons. We've all been there. I beileve that if you work thru the issues, and don't give up, you will come out the other side intact, and a better trader for it. I'm going to go 'out on a limb' and venture to guess that your trading issues are something other than your trading system or you rmarket knowledge. Your journal posts indicate that you have a solid understanding of technical analysis and the markets.
I also trade a combine with TopStep. I also trade my own funded account. I trade with Topstep to see if I can get funded from them so that I can trade their account as well as my own personal funded account. I think TopStep has a fantastic program. One of the educational offerings they have is the IDT course: 'Intuitive Developement Training' course. That course is taught by Ray Burchett, a very successful floor trader. He really helped me address some of the internal conflicts I had about trading that where holding me back. I highly recommend that you look into that course. Also, if you haven't already read "Trading in the Zone" (by Mark Douglas), you should. I think in your case, it could turn your trading around rather quickly. You can read it in a weekend. It'll give you some very useful trading 'exercises' and ideas to help you address any conflicting beliefs and/or internal 'issues' that you may be experienceing in trading that may be holding you back. If you have already read it, then read it again.
I enjoy following your progress. It takes courage to make yourself so vulnerable by posting your trading ideas and results. But, don't let any negative commentary keep you from posting. Most of us appreciate and enjoy following your journey. I'll look for you in the TST chat rooms, and give you a 'shout out' . For now, don't give up, and keep the updates coming.

Cheers,
Brad
bmoore (TopStep Trader chatroom name)

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  #480 (permalink)
Raleigh,NC
 
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indextrader7 View Post

I DON'T CARE IF ANYONE SAYS ANYTHING ELSE HERE. NOTHING YOU CAN SAY WILL HELP ME. IT IS TOTALLY SOMETHING THAT I HAVE TO FIX ON MY OWN. I AM NOT LOOKING FOR ANSWERS HERE. THIS IS A JOURNAL TO DOCUMENT A JOURNEY, AND I'M NOT AFRAID TO POST THE BAD PARTS. I DO NOT NEED YOUR HELP.

IT7,

I think this says it all. I think @Big Mike may have been correct.. It is time to step away from trading and work on yourself. Best of luck to you and much success in whatever you choose to do.

Wolf

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


indextrader7
I DON'T CARE IF ANYONE SAYS ANYTHING ELSE HERE. NOTHING YOU CAN SAY WILL HELP ME. IT IS TOTALLY SOMETHING THAT I HAVE TO FIX ON MY OWN. I AM NOT LOOKING FOR ANSWERS HERE. THIS IS A JOURNAL TO DOCUMENT A JOURNEY, AND I'M NOT AFRAID TO POST THE BAD PARTS. I DO NOT NEED YOUR HELP.


Traderwolf View Post
IT7,

I think this says it all. I think @Big Mike may have been correct.. It is time to step away from trading and work on yourself. Best of luck to you and much success in whatever you choose to do.

Wolf

I think someone said it best in a PM to me recently.

If you're a child and you're trying to learn how to ride a bike... and you take a bad fall or two... you may develop some type of fear/psych issue with this.

A lot of you seem to think that the kid should go work on his mind for 6 months and come back fresh to try to get on that bicycle.

No, not me. I'm going to get up, dust myself off, and get right back on. You overcome the issues by dealing with them head on. The act of trading IS WORKING on myself every day. Yes I may continue to fall, but I'm freaking working on it. This is how I see it, and as usual, I appreciate you taking the time to offer insight from your perspective.

I do not regret what I said earlier. It's true. No one here can say anything to me that will just make something "click" for me. Unfortunately, I've been around trading long enough to have heard alllll this before. That is not a know-it-all statement, because I fully admit my shortcomings. This will be something I must do on my own, no one can say anything to just change me. I doubt you would disagree with this, so I really don't know where you were coming from by quoting that earlier, maybe you misunderstood.

-Most respectfully

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

I've added an update section to the beginning of this thread in the first post. It recaps each combine, and I'll continue to update it.


indextrader7 View Post
SUMMARY OF COMBINES:

Combine #1

Start Date: 4/3/2013

Days traded: 1

Results: I exceeded the daily loss limit of $3,000 on the first day. I refused to take a small loss, and added to a losing position.





------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Combine #2

Start Date: 4/8/2013

Days traded: 8

Results: Daily Loss Limit exceeded on 4/17/2013. Stopped trading right before hitting the DLL, but then attempted a trade later in the afternoon knowing that if it went a few ticks against me, I could exceed DLL and be DQ'd from the combine. This combine had a multitude of trades in it that simply risked too much for a single trade to risk.








------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Combine #3

Start Date: 4/24/2013

Days traded: Still in this combine

Results: Still in this combine



---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The current results for this Combine3 which isn't finished:








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

As complicated as things may seem. My problem is as simple as it has ever been:

During the session, I am not focused on simply executing a plan well. I am focused on outcome; on P/L. "Being right" or "winning" must be about good execution, not about the outcome of P/L.

The fact is, I come to this conclusion over and over again, but I have not put enough mental energy into making absolutely sure that I don't forget this once the bell sounds and things start flying around. This is the key.

I have to find a way to C-O-N-T-I-N-U-E to focus on process rather than outcome during each and every moment.

I rack my brain and search my heart and it always comes back to this, and I know where the truth is; I know what the answer is. The problem is that I quickly forget this in battle.

This is what needs to change.


I am not some compulsive gambler. I do not have deep seated psychological issues. This whole thing is way simpler than any of that. I simply get caught up in focusing on the outcome of a trade to be the most important thing, and do whatever I can do to try and make that outcome a good one, whatever the risks may be. My effort must go towards simply focusing on process and executing well. If I can do that; the issue of large losses goes away, and my edge can present itself fully in the results rather than being covered up by outsized losses.

 
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  #484 (permalink)
Site Moderator
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indextrader7 View Post
I think someone said it best in a PM to me recently.

If you're a child and you're trying to learn how to ride a bike... and you take a bad fall or two... you may develop some type of fear/psych issue with this.

A lot of you seem to think that the kid should go work on his mind for 6 months and come back fresh to try to get on that bicycle.
...

I'm going to get up, dust myself off, and get right back on. You overcome the issues by dealing with them head on. The act of trading IS WORKING on myself every day. Yes I may continue to fall, but I'm freaking working on it.

You're doing exactly the right thing. You have to get up and "get back on that horse" (or bike) that threw you. That's how you will get past whatever the issues are, and that is the most direct way to meet them.

"The only way out is through," as someone has said.

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  #485 (permalink)
phl pa. usa
 
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indextrader7 View Post
I'm not sure what a "base jump or die spot" is, but I was initially long 4 lots, added 4, then added 4 more for a total of 12.

Interesting comment about feeding on the "keep positive" comments here. @kevinkdog once mentioned the same possibility. I just don't think it's true. I think most people would fade away into the shadows right now when they're ashamed of what their doing. I continue to expose my flaws here as almost a punishment. It certainly was heartwarming to have the futures.io (formerly BMT) community support me the first time I screwed up, and then it was ok the second time; right now, it's just plain embarrasing, and I really don't care to hear someone say hey, "looks like you have an aversion to losing." yeah, no kidding. It's pathetic. (no offense @addchild I appreciate you taking the time to point that out)

It's not a lack of understanding of what is the right/wrong thing to do that is crippling my trading. It's something else.

I know what I'm doing wrong when I do it, and I start cursing under my breath because I am so upset. I start hoping and praying to be saved, and time after time, I feel like God will not give me a break. I honestly think that during the moment, "Please, please just once cut me a break here and save this trade."

Then it becomes a simple process of adding to the trade on any blip that looks like it might turn in my favor, until I absolutely can't take the pain any longer.

I DON'T CARE IF ANYONE SAYS ANYTHING ELSE HERE. NOTHING YOU CAN SAY WILL HELP ME. IT IS TOTALLY SOMETHING THAT I HAVE TO FIX ON MY OWN. I AM NOT LOOKING FOR ANSWERS HERE. THIS IS A JOURNAL TO DOCUMENT A JOURNEY, AND I'M NOT AFRAID TO POST THE BAD PARTS. I DO NOT NEED YOUR HELP.



the base jump or die spot - pay attention , anytime you are OVER LEVERAGED ON A POSITION ;you will encounter the jump or die spot , and if you have not figured it out yet , the 15 contract CRUSH BASE IS 3800 dollars -so it will stop you out ,so take 3800 and divide by 15 = 255 per contract ,now 12 lot x 255= what?

so bottom line is @ TST when you pass 255 you better be out of the trade because God will not help you at that point,i will often times have 1 feeler trade on a trend move to see how fast it gets me to 255 plus 50 percent to see if i can add at that level ,

this will be my final read on this thread do to the 3 contract limit you told me being broken mutiple times ,your a hoping gambler not a systematic trader ,hopium and opium will all kill you in the long run ,take care ,and good luck as thats all your system has,

:when you cheat -you only cheat yourself
refer to post # 470 & 527 & 930
option traders refer to post 996 thru 1005
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  #486 (permalink)
desert CA
 
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Here's one practical thing I will share as it's not really a big secret yet something that should be in the repertoire of every experienced trader. It helped me in my own battle with the habit of doubling-down on losers i.e. gambling after I ditched the ideas of YTC scalper and honestly I think YTC is filler crap even if Mr. Beggs is a successful trader or not. All that written todo list material in YTC imo was just to make it feel like something legit. (Dr. Barrrry Burrns! of topdogtrading does the same thing with filler todo's in his "courses") Just another variation of the "pump and dump" from vendors. With the CFTC and BBB turning a blind eye to the majority of the wild west of trading educational vendors one gets to know there are so many tricks.

Anyways, at the stop point of a failure of a reversal trade, is often a failed H2 as Al Brooks often points out. A failed H2 or L2 often goes two legs the other way as much of the time everything moves in two. So looking back on your chart, one could have taken a reversal trade at the stop point and plus one contract. So the following move in price has a decent chance of making back the initial loss or most of it. Al Brooks in his live room often states he's ready to "turn on a dime" or following the "rapids of the bouncing raft" whichever way it turns which is kind of annoying in his room as he often says always in long, then changing to always in short yet never marking his trade entries or exits beforehand or afterwards in recap. (although his principles often work with equal or better than Blackjack counting odds >=51%) I'm sure you're smart enough to know where a reverse trade can be taken close to a stopout.

Of course this way of coping with the habit is like a nicoderm patch or electronic cigarette since conditions may not be always ripe for a good stop and reverse. And then in that case a full stop still needs to be acted on. So I have more work to do to minimize the temptation of doubling-down on losers.

Big Mike posted this FT7 intervention in my journal which helped with recognizing my "monkey" of doubling-down on losers too. I repeat listening to it again occasionally especially when I'm not happy with my trading. Actually I wish I had never discovered doubling down on losers. I had not thought of doing that before YTC scalper and then got into the bad habit. Maybe YTC scalper and similar ideas can be used in automated trading. Maybe the HFT folks are already doing it. Humans have physical and psychological pain, machines and software don't and can always stop out.

FuturesTrader71 | Trader Analysis 2011-09-01

Good luck.

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

@Cloudy

haha, listening to this intervention...

FT - "If I came to your house and put a shotgun to your head and told you that you were a winner now trade like one, you would do it" lol

It's true!

 
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  #488 (permalink)
Tulsa OK
 
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Wow, listening to this takes me back, makes me thankful I went through it, thankful the dollar amount I lost was not near this much, and determined to never go back.

20,000,000
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  #489 (permalink)
Point Roberts, WA, USA
 
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aquarian1's Avatar
 
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Hi Index

A couple of days ago you posted
"I immediately closed the trade out, logged out of all platforms, and removed myself from trading the rest of the day. Typically these types of decision snowball and lead to frustration, leading to more bad decisions. Even though it was a breakdown in discipline to add to the position. It was a big discipline win for me to shut her down for the day upon realizing that I had violated rules. "

I agree with you. I wish I had posted my support earlier.

This is your journal and I think you are quite right in asking people to back off a bit with their second-hand quarter-backing. You put a lot of work into the posts in this journal and you are persisting.

Good luck and keep your spirits up!

..........
peace, love and joy to you
.........
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  #490 (permalink)
Birmingham UK
 
Experience: Intermediate
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indextrader7 View Post
I am not some compulsive gambler.

You are. I am. We all are until we can break no rules for a month, each month. Especially the risk management.


indextrader7 View Post
I do not have deep seated psychological issues.

Oh yes you do. I do. We all do and always will have. Our brains were wired and messed with at many early ages, all we can do now is try to limit the damage that causes and only sticking to ego busting rules can do that.


indextrader7 View Post
This whole thing is way simpler than any of that.

No it isn't. It is the most soul ripping enterprise ever crafted.

Your journal and recent pain and particularly the last 20 or 30 posts from all contributors in here have been some of the most inspiring material for me. I struggle with all these issues monstrously. Away on vacation last week I returned fresh with a new plan for the month and managed to break it 3 times in the first day - oh deep desperation why are you always present? Simply because this is no ordinary game.

Thank you for your journal - I haven't even found the courage to get that far yet.

Travel Well
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  #491 (permalink)
Manchester, Greater Manchester, UK
 
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Hi Indextrader7,
Thanks for posting your journals and describing all your ups and downs.
I have a small contribution:

A little story with a surprising ending: I had had a long day (and heavy) last Friday loading a van to take some things down to my son 100 miles away. The next day I was up early and we got to his house and worked flat out all day unloading, moving, fixing things, putting up shelves, mirrors all that sort of thing -- all the while nursing a cold and sinus congestion. (bear with me-I hope it's worth it) Drove back and got to bed at 01:30 then up at 06:00 to get the van back to the hire company in time. Felt pretty poor but had a tennis commitment at 12:30 which I wanted to break, but notice was too short so I played.
(Nearly there) I thought to myself, what I have to do to get through this is conserve energy and watch the ball. It was a mens' 4 and we rotated. At the end, I found that I had played the best, in that I was in the winning pair each time. My thoughts had been solely about the process (I was just trying to survive) not the result.
I know and I know you know that this is the the way to go, but it was a STRIKING reminder and evidence in my face that it's the process not the outcome that we have to concentrate on.
BTW I also noticed a few years back that MANY times tennis players on the tour would get an injury and take a break to recover and come back in GREAT shape and WIN tournaments.
There may be lessons there and I hope you can sort out the issues. Thanks again for journals.
Best wishes
JS

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  #492 (permalink)
west palm beach florida usa
 
Experience: Advanced
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Broker: Optimus Futures/ Rithmic
Trading: Cl, TF
 
Posts: 946 since Oct 2011
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I know you may not want any more advice..but allow me to just articulate a few things that have really turned things around for me.

Being a discretionary trader myself and someone, who through years of screentime..felt like I had a very good feel and read on Price Action. The problem was, my trading was very spontaneous and based on what I believed I was seeing at that moment . In other words, I had no real plan for the trading day. The results were not particularly good. I won't bore you with my tales of horror and trading disasters, but believe me..if anyone should have hung it up it was me. Every revenge trading mistake and impulse control meltdown was experienced by me and the financial costs were enormous. I almost gave up about a year ago. The stress and negative toll on my emotions and self esteem was almost too much to take.

A couple of changes made a huge difference. First of all, I found that there were only three setups in my trading arsenal that consistently worked. I decided to only trade those three no matter what temptation I saw on that screen. Also, I focused on only one instrument which was Cl.

Then each day before the 9 am open, I did my homework as far as major s/r levels and even minor ones and mapped out every area of price congestion that could cause a bounce or reaction to a trade. Then I wrote at least 5 or 6 scenarios taking into account what I would do at various price levels. I had a plan if there was tons of volume showing up and momentum (breakout scenarios), if the day was ranging..if it was choppy. So not only did the plan include what to do at those price areas of interest, but also the context of the market conditions that would show up and the volume involved. All these planned scenarios had to involve only my three setups.
This alone eliminated all impulse trades and all revenge trade scenarios. The plan would get updated and modified during time segments of the day. For example, after the opening range had been clearly established, the plan would be modified to take into account any changes that needed to be made.

So, my question before each trade was.."Is this trade in your plan ?" If not, I don't trade..even if I sit there for two hours without trading .
If I told you how much I have improved since doing this, you would find it hard to believe. I haven't had a losing week in quite a while..and this is live trading..not SIM.
So, what helped is....Finding setups that worked..having a written plan each day, and not trading if nothing fits into the plan.

Failure is not an option
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  #493 (permalink)
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

After the large loss yesterday, I didn't have much room left in this combine as I was near the max DD. I hit the max DD in today's session on a string of normal trades/normal sized losses. This is of no consequence, as I traded a plan today, executed well, and managed risk.

Oddly enough, I don't have much to say in summary of this combine that hasn't already been said.

Total focus inwards going forward. I admit and understand that I am very risk seeking, and have a tendency to need to be right. I'm working on improving my self awareness so that I can figure out exactly what my ques are and be aware of them in real time so I can re-focus on process and make the right decisions. I've got to absolutely memorize my risk plan inside and out. I realize that I have been stubborn in HOW I am approaching this, and I must really focus on fixing the problem, not just continuing to bang away defiantly. This doesn't mean I'll take a month off to psycho-analyze; but rather make sure I'm putting in the PROPER work OUTSIDE of trading hours to address the issues head on and make sure that I've checked my oil, my tire pressure, and have my seat-belt fastened before putting the pedal to the metal. It's been recommended that if I continue to violate my self-agreements, I'll have to quit trading all together and accept that it is not for me.


Here's the final TST reports for combine 3.




And a few of my stats:




 
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  #494 (permalink)
Point Roberts, WA, USA
 
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aquarian1's Avatar
 
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lancelottrader View Post
only three setups
only one instrument

wrote at least 5 or 6 scenarios taking into account what I would do at various price levels.
the plan included what to do at those price areas of interest, but also the context of the market conditions that would show up and the volume involved.

Finding setups that worked..having a written plan each day, and not trading if nothing fits into the plan.

Wow! I gotta get to this. I love the idea of having the various scenarios planned out.

..........
peace, love and joy to you
.........
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  #495 (permalink)
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

Looking Inward

This is an attempt to get to know myself. I am aware of the mistakes that I make, but I need to look deeper inside.

This is a look at the why’s for the clearly bad decision-making that is frequently occurring in my trading.

After much deliberation, I can break this down into two distinct categories of decisions. Decisions made in an attempt to be profitable on a single trade, and decisions made in an attempt to be profitable on the day.
 Decisions I tend to make in an attempt to be profitable on a trade
o Enter early. I don’t want to miss a trade.
o Add to losing trades. This will improve my average entry and give me a better chance to win on the trade.
o Immediately re-enter (in the same direction) into a position that has just stopped out. This is a way to avoid breaking a rule of moving a stop loss, or taking too large of a loss for an individual trade, while at the same time allowing this trade/idea more of a chance to play out as I am currently hoping and whishing it would do.
 Decisions I tend to make in an attempt to be profitable on the day
o Trade a larger size than normal. I want to quickly make back some losses I have had on the session.
o Trade more frequently. If I don’t put another trade on, my P/L simply stays in the red for the day.
o Taking sub-optimal or even random whim entries. This ties in closely with the previous point on frequency. Again, if I don’t put a trade on, I can’t change the P/L to green.
Are there other things that are hindering your trading performance?

Both categories of decisions have one thing in common. They are all decisions with a focus on being profitable. Being profitable is focusing on the outcome of trading. I cannot control the outcome of trades. I cannot even control the outcome of a series of trades for a session; the sample size is typically too small to be significant, and it’s a known fact that even the best trader in the world cannot be profitable every single day. It’s quite counterproductive that honestly attempt to do so.

What steps can I take to improve this? What can I control in order to make trading completely, totally about the process of executing well?

 I can find the patterns and cues that show themselves leading up to the change in behavior.
o Can you find a pattern in your trading that leads to the poor decision-making?
 ? Weekend work
o Can you think of cues that may have presented themselves leading to the poor decisions?
 ? Weekend work
 I can add some type of pre-session routine that addresses this.
o In the past my pre-session routine has been nearly non-existent. I will wake up half an hour to an hour before the open, brush my teeth, use the restroom maybe, take my Zyrtec, walk into my office and turn on the computer, check the Econ releases for the day, check email and futures.io (formerly BMT), then start analyzing charts getting ready for the open in half an hour.
o So in general, I think my pre-session routine needs to change, and I certainly want to include something in it that directly relates to what it is I am trying to accomplish with a focus on process and execution.
o Other things I can think of incorporating BEFORE firing up any charts:
 Wake up earlier.
 Time for prayer, forgiveness, gratitude, humility
 Workout. This would set the tone for discipline.
 How about eating something? Too many days I do not eat anything all day until 3pm.
 A reminder of goals I am working towards both in trading and life
 Review statements that I find to be true about trading and markets (Mark Douglas principles)
 Walk through of my risk plan
 Mentally rehearse flawless execution of both winning and losing trades through a session
 Now you can open charts and prepare for the open
 I can take steps throughout the day to check in with myself.
o ?
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is a work in progress clearly. I'm exhausted at this point as it's 11PM, so I'll stop for now and revisit this tomorrow.

 
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  #496 (permalink)
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
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I apologize for posting here although I promised not to, but there is a fundamental misunderstanding of the Combine rules, that helped you to fail. So here we go...


indextrader7 View Post
After the large loss yesterday, I didn't have much room left in this combine as I was near the max DD. I hit the max DD in today's session on a string of normal trades/normal sized losses.

You can dip below the max. DD. I repeat, according to the rules, you are allowed to go below the max. DD, as long as you close above it by the end of day. I explained this in my Combine strategy thread:



Pedro40 View Post
So the TST website is correct, although not logical. You can go below the max DD as long as you close the day above it and as long as you don't go below the DLL ever, during the day....

So I guess if you finish a day very close to your max. DD, it is possible that you can go below it the next day by almost the whole DLL, as long as your position never takes the DLL out, if you manage to come back by closing, you are golden. It also means that the unrealized max DD can be almost: max DD plus DLL. In the case of the 50K Combine, I guess you can go as low as 47.01K if it is unrealized loss, but you have to close above 48K. I think if you close that loss during the day, the game is also over... (maybe I will try it tomorrow)

You started out with 1100$ above your max. DD on Friday. Since your DLL is 3K, you actually could have gone 4100$ negative as long as the position turned around and you closed about 145.5K.

So depending on your strategy and the market movement, once you lost close to down to the max. DD you should have stopped and waited for a very good set up. That set up could have come either on Friday or in the next few trading days. Then you go heavy as a hail Mary and if your set up is good enough and you have a little luck, this trade take you away from the max. DD.

The point is, you can repeat this several times, so you can trade for days close to the max. DD and dipping below it even by a large amount, as long as you make it back above it by day's end. This screws your passing the Combine chances, but not your rollover chances. So after doing this if you make it back to above your starting balance and stats are good, you can qualify for a redo...

This knowledge might help you and others in the future. I was in the same situation in my last combine, I went below my max. DD, but I managed to bring the position back to almost breakeven a few days later.

Again, apologies for the interruption....

Edit: I haven't tried, but I think you can actually close positions below the max. DD during the day as long as you make it above it, of course....

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

In looking for cues to "going rogue" and trading too large of size, I have found some things as I pour through trades.

It seems there are precisely two distinct times that my "risk seeking" nature kicks in full throttle and risk mgmt thrown to the wind. These categories are:

1) Most occur after a loss (or string of losses/frustrations).
2)The other category is a bit more interesting, and slightly less frequent. They all occur after lunch, and when I am up pretty big on the day. Often times there is a long pause between the good trading and then the post lunch bad trades. this indicates that I have a good session, probably feel overconfident, go to lunch, and come back looking to make a good sized winning day a HUGE winning day. I become risk seeking from the euphoria of the good morning session.

Take this last combine for example:

In combine #3, there were 7 times that I majorly violated position sizing guidelines. (Traded larger than 8 contracts)

4 of the 7 times were following a losing trade.

The three trades that did not follow a losing trades were all after lunch in a situation where I was up big on the day (+1,450; +1,650; and +700 on the days respectively)

You can see some of this graphically here for the first 8 days of Combine 3.



I'm not entirely sure what exactly I will do with this information, but I think the largest hurdle is overcome because the largest hurdle is NOT KNOWING what tends to set me off, and there is a definite clear pattern in my behavior.

I'm better understanding myself, and becoming more aware of it. The work to couple with this is to apply the awareness during the trading session to catch thoughts/feelings that rise up and stop an action before it happens. Make the best decision and execute well despite my monkey.

 
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  #498 (permalink)
west palm beach florida usa
 
Experience: Advanced
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Broker: Optimus Futures/ Rithmic
Trading: Cl, TF
 
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indextrader7 View Post

I'm not entirely sure what exactly I will do with this information, but I think the largest hurdle is overcome because the largest hurdle is NOT KNOWING what tends to set me off, and there is a definite clear pattern in my behavior.

Why not write a specific set of rules in bold letters that applies to each negative behavior pattern and have it next to your PC where you can see it all times. If you're about to take a trade..and you quickly glance at your Rule list, and the trade is violating it..don't take the trade. Exert some discipline.

Failure is not an option
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  #499 (permalink)
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

First off, another big thank you to everyone who has offered a word of encouragement, advice, or congratulations up to this point.

After much deliberation, I've decided to discontinue consistent posting on this journal. It has become counter-productive and there are some ego-based things going on. I've noticed a feeling of having to "prove" something to others. Detachment from here will allow me to work on my true self, without constantly considering what others will think of this or that.

Public journals can be good tools, but for me it is not the right thing for the moment.

Think of this as me not doing the live video of the trading session and instead doing a daily recap. Except now I've decided not to do the day to day recap, but I'll instead post here with entire recaps of major developments such as passing a combine, not passing a combine, or taking a different path.

My best wishes to you all. I'll be around.

 
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  #500 (permalink)
Manchester, Greater Manchester, UK
 
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Posts: 88 since Nov 2012
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Indextrader7,
for what it's worth I think that's a great decision as it will allow you to go deep and focus on just you.
You seem to have got to a point where you are able to see (IMO accurately) what's happening and what you need to do about it, which you might not have seen without baring your soul and becoming vulnerable. It's all a journey/process and you are making advances, so all good.
I wish you the very best.
Regards
JS

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