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TST Combine Journal

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  #1 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

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: 4/23/2013

Days traded: 9

Results: Outsized losses resulting from doubling/tripling down on losing positions cost this combine a lot. Four losing trades had a combined P/L of -$7,600. The other 82 trades had a combined P/L of +$2,810. The refusal to consistently take my small losses is absolutely destroying my edge. There is no edge without proper risk management execution on every single trade.









---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
ORIGINAL POST

Hello all,

I'll be starting a combine soon at TST (TopStepTrader). I've chosen the $150k, 20-day combine. I will not be a walk in the park for sure, but I'm up for the challenge.

I WILL POST EVERY TRADE OF EVERY DAY IN THIS JOURNAL. IF I HAVE NO TRADES FOR THE DAY, I'LL POST MY BLOTTER PROVING THAT I HAD NO TRADES. EVERY DAY.

In addition to posting my trade recaps, I'll be posting my P/L and trade stats; as well as psychological notes.

Pass or fail, you'll see how it unfolds here.

For those of you who aren't familiar with how a TST combine works, here's what I know:

You're given a $150,000 account to trade.

You have to trade a minimum of 20-days, and a maximum of 40-days (60 Calendar days) if you want.

$4,500 maximum drawdown limit. Hit this and your combine is over.

$16,000 profit objective.

You pass the combine if you achieve the profit objective without hitting the loss limit AND have:

- win% > 45%
- overall winning days of 50% or better
- average win: average loss ratio of at least 1:1
- average winning trade hold time longer than average losing trade hold time
- always use stops with any open position
- there's also a daily loss limit you can't hit, but my daily stop will be way within that limit

The only language I've come across that I'm not really happy about is the fact that even if you do pass the combine per requirements listed, it is still at their discretion whether to give you a funded account or not. Kinda scary.


I could get deep into details of what it will take to pass the combine as far as winning days and such. I'll just say that if you did it in a straight line (which won't happen) it would require having 8, net 50-tick winning weeks in a row. (If I take all 60 calendar days (40 trading days) which I plan on doing.)

This is not what to focus on though.

I can only control how I trade, the market determines how and when I get paid.

Speaking of the trading. Many of you may know I like to trade TF. I do, but currently you can only trade a combine on CME products. So My vehicle will be CL. I've traded it a good bit over the past few months.

I trade price action setups. Pullbacks within a trend, breaks of trendlines, tests of support/resistance, failures of levels, etc. I also have a mean reversion strategy that I use when the time is right. I won't be sharing how that one works exactly, but will let you know when it's a mean reversion trade.

My timeframes are small. I'll take a look at 30min chart to get some major levels to watch, but other than that I'll watch a 500 tick, 250 tick, and 2 or 3 range chart to fine tune entries.

My stops will most always be within 20 ticks. Often times my average loser trading CL is within 10 ticks once you average in the -1's and -2's losers that I scratch.

Profits are either taken at targets of S/R levels, or trailed by candles of looking for a direct move or by swings if giving it more room. Depends on the market environment we're in. I'll make plenty of mistakes along the way on that BTW.

I'll be trading 4 contracts most of the time. Although, I'm considering an initial entry of 2 with an add (to profitable trades only) of 2 more to get to a full size position. We'll see on that. I came up with 4 contracts based on the risk:reward profile for succeeding I'm looking for. Trading 4 lots, I'll need to make 400 ticks (net) while never having a drawdown of more than 112 ticks (gross). Commissions are $5/RT. Trading 3 contracts the profit objective goes up to 533 ticks and the max DD widens to 150. Man, it's a lot of ticks to make whether 4 or 3! Either way, if I get in a drawdown and things aren't going well, I'll reduce size a bit until I get things in order.

I'm sure there's something I've left out, but it will surface eventually if I have.

Looking forward to this. I'll begin posting tomorrow even though I will not have started, just to get in the swing of things.

Happy trading

-IT7


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  #3 (permalink)
 tgibbs 
Temecula, CA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Ninja
Trading: CL
 
Posts: 146 since Sep 2012
Thanks: 91 given, 172 received


I'm looking forward to reading about your combine.

I'm curious, why do the 150k combine that allows you to trade up to 15 contracts but then limit yourself to 4 contracts? I have been playing with contract numbers and risk/reward and you have to really make those 4 contracts count to hit the profit target.

Good luck!

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  #4 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012


tgibbs View Post
I'm looking forward to reading about your combine.

I'm curious, why do the 150k combine that allows you to trade up to 15 contracts but then limit yourself to 4 contracts? I have been playing with contract numbers and risk/reward and you have to really make those 4 contracts count to hit the profit target.

Good luck!

Risk is more important than return my friend; at least when it comes to where our focus as traders should be.

If you trade 15 contracts, you fail the combine if you ever lose 30 ticks. That can happen in ONE second trading CL. Not really good chances to hang around there. I'm not exactly comfortable with trading 4 contracts and only having 112 ticks of cushion. I have 100 tick drawdowns from time to time.

 
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  #5 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 33 given, 377 received

First, thank you for not starting this journal in the Elite section! Second, good luck. Third, have you read my journal on TST Combine strategies how to pass? I think I gave a few useful tricks that might help you to meet the parameters.

I like your approach of trading 1/3rd of the allowed maximum number of contracts. That's how I started too, and even though I didn't reach the profit target, I safely qualified for the refund. Although occasionally when your signal is a strong one, you could go and swing it good.

I wonder, how did you decide on this particular Combine? This is one of the hardest one as daily profit average goes....One extra advice, treat it like it is a 20 day Combine and use the extra days only if you have to fix the parameters or you need just a few extra days more to reach the profit target. If you are taking it too slow (thinking you have plenty of days left) unless you are very disciplined, it can give you a false sense and eventually not going to make it to the profit target...

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  #6 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

Ok, I traded sim today. The main focus was to 1) get back into the feel for how CL trades, 2) learn how to execute efficiently on the T4 DOM. (I'm used to using ninjatrader and multicharts trading from the charts).

Overall it went pretty well. I got better with the DOM as the day went on. It's fairly intuitive.

CL on the other hand, was quite a beast today. I came out ahead, but it was a real fight.

I took 11 trades. BE, +10, -7, BE, BE, -11, BE, +5, +21, BE, +3. Total +21 ticks.

Most all of the breakeven trades had favorable moves of 10 or 15 ticks, but I was looking for larger moves. That could be a good thing that I was doing a good job of seeing shifts in temporary order flow, or a bad thing that I need to do some adjusting with my targets. I won't let one fairly choppy day determine that yet. CL seems to be trading a bit differently than it was when I last consistently traded it back in October.

Here are the trades:




The relevant stats for the Combine:

Winning Days: N/A
Win %: 67% (4 winners, 2 losers, I've confirmed that BE trades do not count for combine stat calculations)
win:loss ratio: 9.75 to 9 which is 1.08
winner: loser hold time: haven't calculated specific yet, but winners were def. held longer. The 2 losers were quick.
P/L: +785 after commissions.
max DD: -$745

One thing I have to remind myself is to always immediately put a stop in the market. I have an old habit of knowing where my stop would be and manually clicking CLOSE trade to exit when price doesn't act right. I can still do that, and maybe have an emergency stop in place somewhere, but the main thing is that the combine will fail you if you don't trade with a stop in always.

 
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  #7 (permalink)
 Boomer34 
Kampala, Uganda
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TOS
Broker: TOS
Trading: SPX
 
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Posts: 164 since Mar 2011
Thanks: 74 given, 57 received

Thanks for sharing your experience with this...I am looking forward to following along.

Quick question, as I am not familiar with TopStepTrader...what is the goal of the Combine? They fund you similar to a prop trader?

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  #8 (permalink)
 Silver Dragon 
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Cincinnati Ohio
 
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indextrader7 View Post

One thing I have to remind myself is to always immediately put a stop in the market. I have an old habit of knowing where my stop would be and manually clicking CLOSE trade to exit when price doesn't act right. I can still do that, and maybe have an emergency stop in place somewhere, but the main thing is that the combine will fail you if you don't trade with a stop in always.

That is awesome to hear you have started the combine! Good luck!

In case you didnt know; They have a OCO button on the dom. I use this to enter all trades in my combine. This way I will be sure to have a stop in place.

Robert

Edit: added picture


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  #9 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012


Boomer34 View Post
Thanks for sharing your experience with this...I am looking forward to following along.

Quick question, as I am not familiar with TopStepTrader...what is the goal of the Combine? They fund you similar to a prop trader?

Yes, whatever account you trade the combine with is the account you will be funded with when you pass the combine. At that point, yes, you're like a prop trader.

All the details are on their website.

 
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  #10 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012



Silver Dragon View Post
That is awesome to hear you have started the combine! Good luck!

In case you didnt know; They have a OCO button on the dom. I use this to enter all trades in my combine. This way I will be sure to have a stop in place.

Robert

Edit: added picture


Thanks a lot Silver Dragon,

I noticed that function, but I have a problem. Most of my entries I literally click the buy or sell button as opposed to entering some limit on the actual DOM. When you click the buy or sell buttons, the Auto OCO does not work even if you have it highlighted. Do you know a workaround? Actually now that I think about it, I can just click a limit entry somewhere above price and it's practically a market order like I want, and it will also trigger the OCO. Sorry for answering my own question here, but thanks to you for providing the steps to get there!

Hope you stick around and continue to add valuable feedback here. Thanks again.

 
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  #11 (permalink)
 josh 
Georgia, US
 
Experience: None
Platform: SC
Broker: AMP+CQG
Trading: ES, HSI, Nikkei
 
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indextrader7 View Post
Actually now that I think about it, I can just click a limit entry somewhere above price and it's practically a market order like I want, and it will also trigger the OCO. Sorry for answering my own question here, but thanks to you for providing the steps to get there!

Using marketable limit orders, as you describe here, is almost necessary IMO on a volatile contract like CL. Even for ES, I never click "Buy" or "Sell" -- for CL it's just an accident waiting to happen. There is never a reason entering a position to accept the market's best price; always better to put a limit on what you will accept. Happy trading and good to see you!

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  #12 (permalink)
 mstier 
San Francisco
 
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Good luck sir.

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  #13 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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Boomer34 View Post
Thanks for sharing your experience with this...I am looking forward to following along.

Quick question, as I am not familiar with TopStepTrader...what is the goal of the Combine? They fund you similar to a prop trader?











Mike

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  #14 (permalink)
 addchild 
Bay Area California
 
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indextrader7 View Post
Thanks a lot Silver Dragon,

I noticed that function, but I have a problem. Most of my entries I literally click the buy or sell button as opposed to entering some limit on the actual DOM. When you click the buy or sell buttons, the Auto OCO does not work even if you have it highlighted. Do you know a workaround? Actually now that I think about it, I can just click a limit entry somewhere above price and it's practically a market order like I want, and it will also trigger the OCO. Sorry for answering my own question here, but thanks to you for providing the steps to get there!

Hope you stick around and continue to add valuable feedback here. Thanks again.

You can also open the "contract ticket" under preferences. Which DOES work with auto OCO.

and If exit with "flatten" there is also a setting to pull all orders.

.
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  #15 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

Another day getting my feet wet in CL. (Still just sim trading getting ready to start the combine)

I had one of those days that is quite close to being a monster winning day, but instead was a small loser. Just didn't get the continuation on one trade I was looking to really move for me.

-16, BE, -10 on three positions today. -26 ticks

The first trade was a mean reversion type trade, not a bad entry/idea, but I (like yesterday) had it go in my favor 15 ticks, but I was targeting the lows in the 80's... ended up taking -16 at my orig. stop level. In hindsight I should have scratched it when the bull candle engulfed nearly the last 3 strong bear bars.... (we'll get to how I plan on improving later)

Second trade was a beauty turned breakeven... I realized we had started an uptrend, and got in on the first pullback, the market rallied 30+ ticks from there, broke resistance, and gave a nice pullback I doubled the position on a hammer candle off the new support level. No continuation from there and my average fill BE stop was hit below the support level. Oh well, I'm fine with that. That trade will work out huge sometimes and breakeven other times, which is not a bad recipe for a positive expectancy.

Last trade was really an orderflow/feel trade. Looked like we might head down to the 20's so I got short, but no follow through there. -10 stopped.

Here's the chart:





One thing that I used to do really well was take partial profits at nice locations. For various reasons, I had gotten away from doing that. I'm going to get back to doing that, and still allow the other half a real chance to run or BE. Keeps me sane, and evens out my P/L on both ends.

I made a mistake yesterday... my P/L was actually +$620 after commissions fwiw.
Today my P/L is -$1,120

The relevant stats for the Combine are now:

Winning Days: 50%
Win %: 50% (4 winners, 4 losers)
win:loss ratio: 9.8 to 11 which is 0.9
winner: loser hold time: haven't calculated yet
net P/L: -500
max DD: -$1,120

 
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  #16 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

Practice day 3

Finally, some really nice looking moves in CL today, and I was there to capitalize.

+13/+31, -4, +17, +12 = +47 average ticks per contract

Trade 1: We had broken down from overnight lows, but stalled out below the swing low at .60. I got in a few ticks before the actual breakout occured, had partial profit target around two small congestion areas at .82, and trailed out the rest when we turned around at the 97 fig.

Trade two: What a heart breaker! I was bullish from that large push up, so I did not participate in the 100 tick run down, I was then bearish, so I took a scalp entry at .22 on a small pullback. It stalled for a minute and I scratched the trade for -4 ticks, then it dropped 60 ticks in two minutes... without me on board. Oh well my good friend from GREENBOW ALABAMA would say,



Trade 3: A similar setup to the first trade of the day. I don't typically trade counter trend often, but today I just had a good feel for those moves. Exited on the stall after the push up.

Trade 4: Went for a short scalp trade, and exited for a quick +12. I had to be somewhere shortly after that, so I couldn't sit around and wait for the real move.




Over the 3 practice days this week, it's been ok. I haven't gotten any large winners in yet, but those come from time to time. If I make sure I stay disciplined and don't allow any loser to get larger than it should, then everything else kinda takes care of itself.

The relevant CUMULATIVE stats for the Combine are now:

Winning Days: 67%
Win %: 58% (7 winners, 5 losers)
win:loss ratio: 12.9 to 9.6 which is 1.3
winner: loser hold time: winners held longer
net P/L: +$1,300
max DD: -$1,120

 
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  #17 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

Several people have been asking me why I chose the specific combine I did (150k, 20-day).

Yes it is the hardest one, I know. It also carries the most upside potential as well. There are a number of metrics I used to make the decision, and keep in mind that the ultimate decision made has more behind it than simply numbers on a spreadsheet. Certainly my ego, competitiveness, and other emotional/psychological factors played a part. Although, the numbers play a large role as well.

Here's how I analyzed the combines:

First I looked at an outright risk/reward ratio, if you will, based on the simple profit target and max drawdown. This is not unlike analyzing any individual trade's R:R.



As you can see, I immediately figured I had found an "arbitrage" opportunity!

Next I looked at ok, what would be the straight-line daily ticks required to beat each combine. (I realize this is an unrealistic measure in itself, but even if I did the analysis properly with winning and losing day, the effect for this purpose is the same).

Note: The ticks per day calculation uses the MAXIMUM number of days you have to complete the combines, which is twice of what the MINIMUM number of days the combine lists in its title.

IMPORTANT FOR ANYTHING TRADING RELATED: Also, In order to calculate ticks required to win, we have to be assuming some number of contracts traded. @Big Mike would be proud to know that I built this plan from the risk up (hey, i like that phrase) copyright IT7.... meaning I adjusted each combine's number of contracts to be traded, based on an equal number of ticks to reach the max DD point. It can't be perfect, but each combine's max DD in ticks ranges from 100 to 150 ticks. So, once you even the playing field in terms of risk, you can then begin to compare profit targets and it's apples to apples.

Here's the combines in the same order as before, but graphed for daily ticks required to win.



As you can see, the easiest by the first measure, is the HARDEST by this new measure..... befuddled.

So, they all have roughly equal ticks to wiping out (max DD).... and we took a look at the ratio of profit target to max DD, as well as ticks per day to succeed... I also looked at ticks per week, and the outright number of ticks required to succeed over all, and I also looked at how much income each account, once funded, would pay out at 60% initial payout. Maybe I should not look at this, but this is a job decision, and I don't know anyone that doesn't make a job decision without considering the pay for the role.

Here's tables of data with pay ranges at the bottom





OK....

Ultimately, the decision comes down to the fact that the chosen 150k, 20-day combine has a required ticks per day of around many of the much smaller accounts, with an equal or even slightly higher ticks to max DD. The pay is the highest. It represents quite a challenge, and the competitive factor is certainly there.

Long post, but it lays out my thought process for those interested. Maybe it helps others in their decisions too.

If there is something that I am really missing here, don't be afraid to point it out. It will be most welcomed.

 
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  #18 (permalink)
 tgibbs 
Temecula, CA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Ninja
Trading: CL
 
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Thanks for laying out your thought process. I have been pondering things too on which combine I might try and the draw down on the 30k accounts was too low for my trading style. One thing I was not considering is the 10 or 20 days is the minimum and not the max. For some reason that kind of skipped my brain and your last post opened my narrow eyeballs to see what I was missing.

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  #19 (permalink)
 iqgod 
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indextrader7 View Post
Several people have been asking me why I chose the specific combine I did (150k, 20-day).

Certainly my ego, competitiveness, and other emotional/psychological factors played a part. Although, the numbers play a large role as well.

Here's how I analyzed the combines:

First I looked at an outright risk/reward ratio, if you will, based on the simple profit target and max drawdown.

As you can see, I immediately figured I had found an "arbitrage" opportunity!

...the combines graphed for daily ticks required to win....

As you can see, the easiest by the first measure, is the HARDEST by this new measure.

So, they all have roughly equal ticks to wiping out (max DD)....

and we took a look at the ratio of profit target to max DD, as well as ticks per day to succeed...

I also looked at ticks per week,

and the outright number of ticks required to succeed over all,

and I also looked at how much income each account, once funded, would pay out at 60% initial payout.

Ultimately, the decision comes down to the fact that the chosen 150k, 20-day combine

- has a required ticks per day of around many of the much smaller accounts, with an equal or even slightly higher ticks to max DD.
- The pay is the highest.
- It represents quite a challenge, and the competitive factor is certainly there.


The above snippets, essentially the gist of your reasoning, shed light in mathematical terms of why the 150k 20-day combine seemed the 'right choice' (I intuitively felt that this combine was yielding me the best results, and now I really know why).

Thanks @indextrader7 for this analysis.

My 150k 20-day minimum combine is scheduled to go live very soon and your post has cleared up the murky waters!

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  #20 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

I've moved to April CL today.

I'll be starting out with an expectation for using a range bound strategy, until we get above 96.40 or below 95.80.

Longer term chart shows us also in a range. We're consolidating at the bottom of that longer term range, so the expectation is to eventually get quite bullish, but I won't be forcing that expectation in my trades, especially since it's a longer term view than I really trade.

 
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  #21 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

Today was disappointing in the fact that I made some great trades, but had two groups of wham, bam, 2 trades -25 ticks. Up for the day, but barely. The thing that is frustrating is I feel I'm at a point where I don't know of those were trades somehow flawed to take, or I need to just shut up and keep trading my edge because it'll never be perfect.

Trade 1: +6, +5, +1
Once we broke out above the range I was expecting (see pre market post) I took the first pullback to the top of that range area. It was too early for the move, so I scalped out.

Trade 2: +10, +8, BE
Pretty much the same trade as the first one. A pullback to the 40 level, looking for higher highs. Scaled out once it stalled.

Trade 3: -7, -8
Trades 3 and 4 are one of the back to back losers that hurt profits today. We failed to maintain above the .40 level, and sold off hard through it. Pulled back to it, so I take the short off of it. Full stop

Trade 4: -10, -11
Re-enter trade 3 here as price pushes off of 40 again, looking for 10's. again, full stop. In hindsight, I think I would take these trades again. Maybe exit a little sooner when it shows it's not acting right.

Trade 5: +11, +22, +20
Mean reversion trade here on a rare limit order entry for me. Took profits at levels on the way down, got out the rest once it stalled. We had also hit the uptrend line at that point.

Trade 6: -11
Trades 6 and 7 are the 2nd group of back to back losers for today. A quick -23 total for the two.
A breakout trade, since the trendline broke down. I usually lose when I take a breakout trade.

Trade 7: -12
"Oh, the breakout failed, the trendline will hold after all" Bought the top tick. Full stop.

Trade 8: -9, +15, +15, +19, +11, +6
Nice rangebound play off the previous lows. 1/4 got nailed on a stop, but the rest held on. Scaled out at prev swing high, added back 2 contracts on a pullback, held through some heat, and exited beautifully as price stalled heading into that .40 level.

Trade 9: +6, +17, +11
Just shorting here because price couldn't get to .40 again.

Here is the chart of today's trades. You can get NT7 to do this for you if you go to your trades or execution tab, right click, and select "chart..." Saves me some time from marking up the charts with entries/exits because it does it for you... connects them at least, which I like to see.




Overall made 6 ticks today, average ticks per contract. Sounds awful when you put it that way... +$230 after commissions.

On a positive note, I'm quite happy with my trade mgmt once in. Might could be a bit more selective on entries.

The relevant CUMULATIVE stats for the Combine are now:

Winning Days %: 75%
Win %: 57%
win:loss ratio: 1.8 ($455 to -$253) I JUST CHANGED THIS TO CALCULATE FROM $ INSTEAD OF MY USUAL TICKS-BASED CALCULATION, BECAUSE THAT'S HOW TST DOES IT.
winner time held: loser hold time: winners held longer
net P/L: +$1,530
max DD: -$1,120




As far as a start date goes, I'm in limbo... on one hand I'm ready to go, but on another hand, they're allowing combines traded via ninjatrader possibly March 1st... So I may hold out for that because I prefer chart trader to DOM.

 
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  #22 (permalink)
targetfilled
Pittsburgh PA
 
 
Posts: 14 since Feb 2013
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Good Luck! I am considering taking the combine also but waiting for Ninja.

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  #23 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012


targetfilled View Post
Good Luck! I am considering taking the combine also but waiting for Ninja.

Too bad we can't trade TF for the combine! Good luck to you as well.

 
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  #24 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

Yesterday CL behaved as expected, mostly. We did range around a bit, but it violated my level a few times. I finished trading for the day at 11:30 CST, and the next up leg broke that .40 level, pulled back to it, and went to my next resistance level at 97.22. The exact trade I tried to take early in the AM when .40 broke the first time. So we did range around at the bottom of the larger range, break out, and we're on our way up now.

We could range between 97.22 and 96.40 today, but again if we see price acceptance above .22, then the next stop is 98.




Seems like everything is on hold now until the news comes out in 9 minutes.

-IT7

 
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  #25 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012




this was just the last pic i took. got out at 94.5, entry was 96.22 +172 on the 2/4 i let ride.

 
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  #26 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

Largest trade of my life today. Ok, that's enough said about it because it was LUCK that it was that large. Any further focus on that would be counter productive to what my focus and goals are on.

7 trades today: +2, +12, -10, +14, -10, +97, -3 (the last -3 trade was an execution click error)

Trade 1: Took the bounce off of early premarket swing low. Scalped out as price stalled for a tiny profit.

Trade 2: Price broke through a medium term trendline, and it was the move I was looking for earlier. I consider this chasing price a bit, but I used a scalp entry on a lower timeframe to really mange risk well in case it turned around. Scaled out as price didn't accept new highs.

Trade 3: EMOTIONAL TRADE. BAD. BAD. It's hard to see on this chart, but since price bounced a few times off of 97.22 level I was watching, I decided I would be REALLY SMART and limit entry long off that area. I was quickly burned for taking such a liberty and divergence from my trading plan. -10.

Trade 4: Now that price had failed the level I was looking to hold (much like yesterday's action) I knew I wanted to be short for the rest of the day possibly. So I shorted on a small PB to .22 area. Took partial profits on the leg down, and added that scale out back to the full position on a pullback again. Took all profits near the 97.00 figure as I sensed a bounce coming in the orderflow.

Here are trades 1 through 4:




Trade 5: I still only wanted to be short, and was slightly impatient since I had taken profits and missed the move down that I'm supposed to have a runner on.... so I rushed the PB short entry... I got burned for another quick -10.

Trade 6: Re entered trade 5 as price confirmed the PB. Scaled out of 2/4 lots for +27. Trailed my stop loss down as price truly tanked over the next few minutes and got trailed out of the 2nd half for +172 ticks.

Trade 7: Since I saw that price was really going to run on trade 6, I removed my limit order ATM from the screen. Now I had to manually put in a stop order, and something happened when I exited the trade that caused me to be long 2 lots (i think i just forgot to change the qty for the stop or something...) immediately closed it out for -3.

Here are trades 5 through 7:




The relevant CUMULATIVE stats for the Combine are now:

Winning Days %: 80%
Win %: 57%
win:loss ratio: 2.5 ($657 to -$259)
winner time held: loser hold time: winners held longer
net P/L: +$5,720
max DD: -$1,120

 
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  #27 (permalink)
 Surly 
denver, colorado
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT
Trading: ZS
 
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Index - are you just simultaneously executing in T4 and NT? That's a good idea actually to get the graphic record of trades that's not possible with T4...

btw, good work today!

Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty. - Frank Herbert
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  #28 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012


Surly View Post
Index - are you just simultaneously executing in T4 and NT? That's a good idea actually to get the graphic record of trades that's not possible with T4...

btw, good work today!

Hey,

I should have continued to mention that I am only preparing for a combine at this point. So no, I am not executing on both at the same time, I'm only trading on ninja currently; but yes, if time permits during trading, it would be a good way to keep track of trades in the visually appealing way that NT offers. I'm too short term to worry about clicking around on two platforms just to have trades plotted on a chart.

Yeah, not too pleased with T4, although it's DOM is not bad, but I don't like trading on the DOM.

My decision is still up in the air, whether to start the combine very soon, or wait a week or two for the anticipated release of being able to trade combine on ninja... You will know for sure when I start the combine, as I will post my trade blotter from the TST trade report.

 
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  #29 (permalink)
 Silver Dragon 
Legendary Data Wizard!!!
Cincinnati Ohio
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TastyWorks
Broker: TastyWorks
Trading: FX, Stocks, Options
 
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indextrader7 View Post
Hey,

I should have continued to mention that I am only preparing for a combine at this point. So no, I am not executing on both at the same time, I'm only trading on ninja currently; but yes, if time permits during trading, it would be a good way to keep track of trades in the visually appealing way that NT offers. I'm too short term to worry about clicking around on two platforms just to have trades plotted on a chart.

Yeah, not too pleased with T4, although it's DOM is not bad, but I don't like trading on the DOM.

My decision is still up in the air, whether to start the combine very soon, or wait a week or two for the anticipated release of being able to trade combine on ninja... You will know for sure when I start the combine, as I will post my trade blotter from the TST trade report.

I am having the same issue with T4. Switched over to Sierra Charts which hooks into T4 on Monday. Its not NT but at least it has a chart trader and good reporting. They have a 15 day free trial. My biggest complaint about Sierra is how tedious it is to setup. Otherwise its a solid platform.

Robert

here is my setup.


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  #30 (permalink)
 Surly 
denver, colorado
 
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indextrader7 View Post
Hey,

I should have continued to mention that I am only preparing for a combine at this point.

You're smart to do it as you are - keeping consistent records, etc. That will serve you well once you start a combine. I've grown quite fond of T4's dom but it you're not a dom trader, you're not a dom trader. I do think that with Oil's range it is better to use a chart than a dom to trade - the dom is just too "small" for the typical daily ATR of Oil.

Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty. - Frank Herbert
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  #31 (permalink)
 joaobucks   is a Vendor
 
 
Posts: 37 since Jan 2010
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indextrader7 View Post



this was just the last pic i took. got out at 94.5, entry was 96.22 +172 on the 2/4 i let ride.

Is this real money or demo?

 
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  #32 (permalink)
 Silver Dragon 
Legendary Data Wizard!!!
Cincinnati Ohio
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TastyWorks
Broker: TastyWorks
Trading: FX, Stocks, Options
 
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indextrader7 View Post

My decision is still up in the air, whether to start the combine very soon, or wait a week or two for the anticipated release of being able to trade combine on ninja... You will know for sure when I start the combine, as I will post my trade blotter from the TST trade report.

@indextrader7, @targetfilled

FYI - See this post regarding release of Ninja on TST.



Robert

nosce te ipsum

You make your own opportunities in life.
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  #33 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012


joaobucks View Post
Is this real money or demo?

It's sim. I'm getting familiar with trading CL for a while before starting the combine.

 
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  #34 (permalink)
targetfilled
Pittsburgh PA
 
 
Posts: 14 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 2 given, 3 received


indextrader7 View Post
Too bad we can't trade TF for the combine! Good luck to you as well.

Agree 100 percent...would really be better if we could trade the TF..guess YM might be the winner.

 
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  #35 (permalink)
 josh 
Georgia, US
 
Experience: None
Platform: SC
Broker: AMP+CQG
Trading: ES, HSI, Nikkei
 
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Silver Dragon View Post
Switched over to Sierra Charts ... Its not NT

And all SC users thank their diety of choice every day for that. If it were legal for me to sell my lifetime license of NT I would be so happy to. I do recall SC having about a serious one-week learning curve. But after you learn it, seriously, there is not ONE thing NT does better. Don't want to muddy the waters here, I'm just amazed at how people are reluctant to get out of their 2x2 NT box and explore freedom with a platform that lets you do pretty much anything you want, and 10x what NT does, faster, cheaper, more stable, more updates, less memory.

I personally offer my SC expertise for anyone having learning curve issues with it. If I switched back to NT now, I would also have a learning curve I'm sure. It's simply what you're used to.

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  #36 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

Today I continued to SIM trade in order to continue getting a good feel for CL. I also went off on a few tangents and tried some other things.

First off, I can say that I made a good bit of money trading today. +$1,894 net P/L.

Things I'm not happy with:
-I didn't cut losers as quickly as I should
-I got away from MY methodology because of outside influence
-I added to losing positions more than once

Why this near break down in discipline? It certainly has something to do with being "ahead of schedule" with required P/L for the combine... without thinking about it, I believe I was trying to leverage my lead in a sense. This is the wrong mentality to have, and I will beat it back down starting right now. Another thing is that maybe I got a bit lazy/relaxed because I'm only trading sim. I've recently been trading quite large size, live, OPM, etc. It's almost like I starting screwing around a bit today because of a lack of a NEED to do the right things. I hope that makes sense. I need to go ahead and start the combine soon. Maybe it's a good problem to have... to need some pressure on me. It's a lot better than the opposite problem, which I see many dealing with... they put on a tiny bit more size, or just go live, or enter the combine and all the sudden the pressure changes them. Well, the lack of pressure can have an effect on your trading as well, once you're used to pressure.

I also let some people in a chat room influence me. They were quite good at picking tops and bottoms, and I thought I would give it w whirl. This led to most of my bad trades today.

I'm really not even interested in showing the trades today, but I will not omit them to hide my mistakes and I also want to keep some consistency to my journaling here.

Actually, I think I will get more individualized with each trade's review, even more than I normally do. Just to prove a point to my ego, ha take that.

Trades 1 and 2



Price had been in a range with the range low at .55. I got long a bull candle off the range, quickly stopped out (should have been a red flag). Next, I re entered the chart as price tried to bounce off .55 again. Another quick stop out.

Trade 3



Do not like this entry, I was upset for the two stopped longs, and I chased price down (bad R:R for me). So, I hung in the heat I knew I would take for chasing, gave the trade a chance to really run, but also neglected my scale OUTs... so the whole trade was stopped at +1.

Trades 4 and 5



After the +1 exit, price dipped and I got back in short. At this point I've nearly abandoned everything I know. Quickly stopped, price pulled back on the two range and I got long, quickly stopped out. It doesn't get uglier.

Trade 6



You can't see all the action on the two range because I held the winner for a long time, but you can see I entered short in the jumbled up stuff on the 250 tick, and you can also see my 4 scale outs. Unfortunately I scaled out of the last position before a significant continuation in the down move, but that's life.

Trade 7

Oh boy.... this is ugly. Had a $1,200 MAE on this trade... Entered short.... the trend broke to the upside, had a chance to scratch at BE, and didn't do it. Added to the loser at the top of an upswing, then got out at BE of the average price for the position. Not worth $1,200 risk.



Trade 8



Nice trade here, I'm out of the heater short in a developing uptrend, so now I'm free to actually trade with the trend.

Trades 9 and 10



Same trade as 8 for #9, got stopped out of runner, but realized I still wanted to be in the trade, so I scalped in another entry for trade 10.

Trades 11 and 12



Attempted another long off the trend channel. I should have exited this trade quickly, and I did not do that. When I did exit, I reversed to long. Again, not a good trade. Not waiting for actual setups with my method on the re-entry trade. I hung in the short for 15 ticks of MAE, then took a few ticks profit as it bottomed out.

Trade 13



Not good. Shorted, added as price went against me, added again, got out at BE. Another 15 ticks of heat for BE.

Trade 14



Nice pullback entry after the strong leg up, failing to break down after an attempt to go lower. Profits near previous swing high.

Trade 15



The mac-daddy of the bad trades today. $2,720 MAE. Eesh. Pretty self explanatory, got short (with no entry method from what I usually use) added 3 more times as price went against me. I got lucky. Price came down just as hard, and I actually let this one turn into profits instead of thankfully stopping out at BE.

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

That was it for me for today. A roller coaster of a day. I let some people in a chat room influence what I do to a certain extent, and I thought it looked like fun to try and pick tops and bottoms with zero confirmation.

 
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  #37 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

Something I've been working on lately is monitoring MAE, MFE, P/L type bar graph. I got the idea from FT71. This version is of each 1 lot or 2 lot executed. It is not grouped by ATM. So each bar is not a trade in itself, it's just one part of a trade, you can see they typically group in bunches of 3 or 4 to make up a trade.

You can see that there was something CLEARLY wrong with what I was doing today...


 
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  #38 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
Broker: LMAX
Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
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indextrader7 View Post
Too bad we can't trade TF for the combine! Good luck to you as well.

I hope they will include FESX soon, I have seen mentioning of adding EUREX exchange soon. Or am I mistaken? FEXS is great on commissions: only 2.5 usd round turn while one tick is 10 euros (13 usd). Moves nicely too.

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  #39 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

I'm on track in all required areas.

The relevant CUMULATIVE stats for the Combine are now:

Winning Days %: 83%
Win %: 56%
win:loss ratio: 2.0 ($668 to -$331)
winner time held: loser hold time: winners held longer
net P/L: +$7,615
max DD: -$2,720 (unrealized MAE actually), End of trade max DD: -$2,035. Amount ever below initial balance: -$480

(One thing I called topstep and asked about today was max DD... They confirmed that their max DD is not what I would consider an actual maximum drawdown. It's simply a rule that your account can not go more than, in my case, -$4,500 below it's initial STARTING BALANCE of $150,000. ) So they use the term a bit wrong, but that's ok, as long as we understand the requirement.

It seems to me that TST may in face be ok with traders taking the method of building a cushion, then taking more risk.

I also wonder if I had a day like today in the combine... if they would even notice the actual intra-trade risk I took, and maybe not even pass me/fund me at the end of the combine, even if I met all requirements??

As far as how this would be tracking towards successfully hitting the P/L targets for the combine, I made a graph. The steeper (blue) line is the pace of P/L you have to maintain to pass the combine in the 20 day minimum. The less steep (green) line is the pace of P/L you have to maintain to hit the P/L requirement in the maximum 40 trading days you could use if needed. My daily cumulative P/L is plotted in red.


 
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  #40 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

I'm broadcasting my trading live tomorrow.

I was having a conversation with a non-trading friend, and explaining them things about my journals here on futures.io (formerly BMT) and such, and they got me thinking about how helpful it could be for someone to see me trade, and hear me talk out my thought process live.

Join me as I continue to sim trade CL and prep for the combine. I'll be starting at 7am CST.

I think you may have to click on the audio button once logged in in order to hear me. I'll have your end muted, but feel free to chat if you like.

Here's the link! https://join.me/572-521-271

 
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  #41 (permalink)
 iqgod 
Market Wizard
Mumbai, India
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: ChartNexus
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indextrader7 View Post


First off, I can say that I made a good bit of money trading today. +$1,894 net P/L.

Things I'm not happy with:
-I didn't cut losers as quickly as I should
-I got away from MY methodology because of outside influence
-I added to losing positions more than once

Why this near break down in discipline? It certainly has something to do with being "ahead of schedule" with required P/L for the combine... without thinking about it, I believe I was trying to leverage my lead in a sense. This is the wrong mentality to have, and I will beat it back down starting right now. Another thing is that maybe I got a bit lazy/relaxed because I'm only trading sim. I've recently been trading quite large size, live, OPM, etc. It's almost like I starting screwing around a bit today because of a lack of a NEED to do the right things. I hope that makes sense. I need to go ahead and start the combine soon. Maybe it's a good problem to have... to need some pressure on me. It's a lot better than the opposite problem, which I see many dealing with... they put on a tiny bit more size, or just go live, or enter the combine and all the sudden the pressure changes them. Well, the lack of pressure can have an effect on your trading as well, once you're used to pressure.

The mac-daddy of the bad trades today. $2,720 MAE. Eesh. Pretty self explanatory, got short (with no entry method from what I usually use) added 3 more times as price went against me. I got lucky. Price came down just as hard, and I actually let this one turn into profits instead of thankfully stopping out at BE.

That was it for me for today. A roller coaster of a day. I let some people in a chat room influence what I do to a certain extent, and I thought it looked like fun to try and pick tops and bottoms with zero confirmation.

@indextrader7, thanks for putting yourself out there and sharing with honesty. Speaks tons about you!

There are lessons for everybody here (me included, or rather, more lessons for me than any other person whom I care about )

To summarize here are the lessons (10 marks are highest, starts now, and PLEASE take this in the right spirit because I was helped by incisive probes and they worked for me more than any loving advice):

Trade Methodology Section:

Q: Do you have a tested method?

A: Yes. (1 mark)


Q: Did you follow the method?

A: Hit and miss. (0 marks)


Q: Did you manage risk?

A: Definitely not. Had a relatively big loser. (0 marks)


Q: What is the basis of the trades?

A. Since zero confirmation, there was no basis. Reversal trades are the lowest probability trades (confession: like the one in CL I am still in! "look who's talking") but have a great risk reward ratio which means even if you have a win ratio of 20% you can still cover a double-dozen tiny losses on a few trades and then some. (0 marks)

Q: Did you follow rules?

A: (Note: even if entry was 'random' i.e. no confirmation, no probability guesstimate) The answer is No, for multiple reasons, e.g. Added to losing position, averaged down. (0 marks)

Psychology Section:

Q: Can you take sim as seriously as live (or combine)?

A: Not yet. I want some external hand to bully me into discipline. (0 marks)


Q. Do you respect yourself?

A: Ummm yes! Errr... if I listen to random people with a great track record then I should trust them more than myself right? Er, so no? (I myself allowed Peter Brandt to influence me in a real gold trade where he was bullish on Gold and I was smelling all the signs of a successful short but I chose to listen to the
respected chartist and got burnt. (0 marks)

Q: What are the safeguards to prevent lapses in trading?

A: The real answer is practice and practice till it becomes second nature. Right now you are dealing with so many new sights and smells (large size, OPM, 'practice as you go along live') (0 marks)

Q: Are you prepared to pass the combine?

A: 'Need to start the combine soon' does not sound right but I still believe you are better prepared than I was when I went in through that door a few months ago. (1 mark)

Q: How do you react to pressure?

A: Having no pressure is the biggest of all pressures. That may sound ridiculous but you burn out faster on that plane! But right now the first step is to realize that every moment is a precarious balance between pressure / no pressure, living / passing by half-heartedly / seeing but not doing / letting go vs trying to improve. Trading is not unlike walking on a thin rope bridge with a sheer 100 feet drop down into a raging river AND being prepared for than drop while keeping an eye ONLY ON THE NEXT step. (0 marks)

Q: Are you a trader yet?

A: Yes! Why? Because you have the guts to lay your thoughts down here, naked for everyone to see and comment upon. Very few people have that. It is the first step to meet an imperfect you, You The Trader. (1 mark)

Note that I almost get the same marks as I evaluated for you, except that I only recently passed in the fist question in the psychology section.

There we come to the final lesson: Knowing does not equal doing. Taking responsibility does.

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  #42 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

I had a good time trading on the live webcast today! Thanks to those of you that checked it out; there were some great questions asked, and also great feedback on things I was doing.

Up $520 before commissions on the day. +13 ticks. Feel OK with the performance, could have been much better.

Individual trade P/L in ticks: -11, +15, -14, -7, +6, +16, -8, +15, +1

Here are the trades:



1 and 3 were attempts to get long, thinking that we were breaking back into the overnight range. They are sure ugly in hindsight!! They cost me -25 ticks.

The rest of the trades I was spot on with the trade placement, and profit taking. I simply got over zealous with too tight stop placement on 4 and 7 which cost me -15 ticks.

As I said, could have been a lot better P/L day, but we'll take the profits on a day where a lot of people probably got chopped up.

The relevant CUMULATIVE stats for the Combine are now:
Days traded: 7
Winning Days %: 86%
Win %: 56%
win:loss ratio: 1.9 ($643 to -$342)
winner time held: loser hold time: winners held longer
net P/L: +$7,955
max DD: -$2,720 (unrealized MAE actually), End of trade max DD: -$2,035. Amount ever below initial balance: -$480

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

Have a great weekend everyone. I know I'm going to take some well deserved time away from the screens if I can force myself to. I've been going a little too hard lately, not really taking care of myself as I should. I gotta make sure I stay balanced or it will hurt performance.

I may do another live broadcast of my trading session on Monday, and will post here if I'm going to.

 
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  #43 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

I'll be trading on a live webcast again tomorrow. I'll post the link when I set it up in the morning.

 
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  #44 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

I'm testing out a different format today, Google+ hangout.

You must have a google+ account (quite easy to sign up for) to log directly into the webcast and interact with me. You can go to that here: https://hangouts.google.com/hangouts/_/c65534d440674133dfdade61820c59d9f49e74e5?gid=893851448980

I will have you auto-muted, with sharing and voice also off on your end. I want this to be a clean, mainly one-way presentation. Chat is enabled, and encouraged. Please direct most any chat you can to the whole room, as last time people heard me answering questions that they couldn't see.

If you don't have a google+ account, and refuse to get one, then you have another option. The webcast will be streamed live on my youtube channel. So you can watch here: indextrader7 - YouTube

Starting now, let's have fun.

 
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  #45 (permalink)
 kman 
victor ny
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninja Trader
Broker: RCG/Zen-Fire
Trading: eur; cl
 
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Posts: 300 since Nov 2009
Thanks: 591 given, 106 received

In google and screen opens up but just has a camera on screen, and stays ther

Visit my futures io Trade Journal
 
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  #46 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012


kman View Post
In google and screen opens up but just has a camera on screen, and stays ther

I have several people in the room currently confirming audio and video are good. Try again. Sorry!

 
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  #47 (permalink)
 tihfa 
detroit, mi
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: TradeStation
Trading: SPY
 
Posts: 71 since Nov 2011
Thanks: 1,460 given, 76 received


indextrader7 View Post

If you don't have a google+ account, and refuse to get one, then you have another option. The webcast will be streamed live on my youtube channel. So you can watch here: indextrader7 - YouTube

Starting now, let's have fun.

it7,

thanks for doing this. due to work i am unable to be part of this. are you recording this by any chance to people to watch afterwards. at least a recorded session or two may be educational. it could sort of be like one of those BM's webinars.

thanks,
tihfa

Visit my futures io Trade Journal
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  #48 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012


tihfa View Post
it7,

thanks for doing this. due to work i am unable to be part of this. are you recording this by any chance to people to watch afterwards. at least a recorded session or two may be educational. it could sort of be like one of those BM's webinars.

thanks,
tihfa

You're welcome. It's a good exercise for me too.

Yes, the google hangout method I used today records them. Right now it's processing, and it will be available on my youtube channel in a few hours supposedly.

 
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  #49 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

I've toyed around with a special youtube embed editor, so I created chapters in the video. You can click the skip track/Next button at the bottom of the player to skip to the start of the next trade. (If you want to skip the down times).

If you're a new trader looking to get a feel for real trading, (hear boredom, frustration, analysis, etc) then skip around as little as possible. If you just want a recap of the trades, then use the skip buttons at the bottom. The last two trades were particularly interesting.

Today started out rough, with several losing trades. The good thing is that I had a nice balanced MFE to go with those MAE's, so I knew I wasn't totally awful. If I can keep those things at least balanced, then I know I can continue to trade an edge, given good risk management. Hung around until I caught a big winner that took me to profitable for the day. Added one more winner to that, and was done for the day. (Although I did take one more trade later in the day, not on the webinar, for a decent profit).

Lessons for today...

I need to consistently take SOME profits off the table at +10ish or so.

Good job of hanging around, managing risk, to be there for the big one.

You can find the video, with the enhanced youtube skip scene function, at Trading with indextrader7

 
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  #50 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

A lot of you know I've been on a MAE/MFE kick lately.

Wrote a post here about how I'm using it to benefit my trading.

Trading with indextrader7: Daily sit down with IT7 - MAE and MFE - Actual risk reward vs hypothetical/planned

-IT7

 
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  #51 (permalink)
 DarkPoolTrading 
PTA, Gauteng
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Self built + Sierra + TWS
Trading: Stocks and Options
 
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Posts: 1,036 since May 2012
Thanks: 1,244 given, 1,321 received

Excellent live trading 'webinar' yesterday. It was great listening to your thought process, trade management, etc...

I notice you incorporate a lot of concepts from Lance Beggs (angle of moves, trapped traders etc). I presume you've read his Price action trader book? I read it last year and found it to be excellent. I think I need to read it a 2nd time though to fully grasp all the concepts and implement them.

Thanks again. Looking forward to your next live trading session.

Diversification is the only free lunch
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  #52 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

Real time trading webcast starting in a few minutes

If you have google+ (recommended) join here: https://hangouts.google.com/hangouts/_/a2872c7980b35ac224ce7cb8ce45bb35da6b85f6?gid=893851448980

Don't worry, I can't see you or hear you, I have everyone auto muted/blocked with a program. You are encouraged to chat if you have comments questions.

If you don't have google+ and/or refuse to get it, you can watch on my youtube channel, as it will be streamed live there. You wont' be able to participate if you want to comment/question. Here:
indextrader7 - YouTube

Let's get it!

 
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  #53 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012


DarkPoolTrading View Post
Excellent live trading 'webinar' yesterday. It was great listening to your thought process, trade management, etc...

I notice you incorporate a lot of concepts from Lance Beggs (angle of moves, trapped traders etc). I presume you've read his Price action trader book? I read it last year and found it to be excellent. I think I need to read it a 2nd time though to fully grasp all the concepts and implement them.

Thanks again. Looking forward to your next live trading session.

Thanks for the kind words DarkPool,

Yes, I am a big fan of Lance Beggs. He's a great teacher, a great trader, and a great guy. Reading his stuff didn't change my methods, but it did clarify things. It's a funny story, I was actually trading exactly like him BEFORE I read his stuff. I feel like him and I are two scientists across the world that discovered the same thing without knowing each other.

Happy trading bud.

-IT7

 
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  #54 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

Hope everyone had a good trading session today. I was +32 ticks on the day (average ticks per contract traded). Could have been a better day, but I had a few trade management issues. Tracking along nicely for my practice combine, ha. Wish it was the real one!

If you missed the real-time trading session this morning you can find the recording on the blog. http://indextrader7.blogspot.com/2013/02/live-trading-webcast-2-26-13.html

I also just posted an article on a great tool for measuring profitability, and gauging drift in trading performance. http://indextrader7.blogspot.com/2013/02/how-good-do-you-have-to-be-exactly.html

 
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  #55 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 33 given, 377 received


indextrader7 View Post
Tracking along nicely for my practice combine, ha.

I don't recall if you have said so, but when are you going to start it? Do you plan to practice the whole 2 weeks?
As long as you are comfortable with the platform and you already have the strategy, why not just go for it? The volatility is here!

 
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  #56 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012


Pedro40 View Post
I don't recall if you have said so, but when are you going to start it? Do you plan to practice the whole 2 weeks?
As long as you are comfortable with the platform and you already have the strategy, why not just go for it? The volatility is here!

I prefer the chart trader on Ninja, to the DOM on their platform. I'm waiting to see if TST allows trading on Ninja on March 1st. If it's going to delayed much past that, then I'll go ahead start it. Either way, should be starting by mid of next week.

 
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  #57 (permalink)
 Surly 
denver, colorado
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT
Trading: ZS
 
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Posts: 704 since Mar 2011
Thanks: 628 given, 1,258 received

they are hoping end of march. see here


Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty. - Frank Herbert
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  #58 (permalink)
stok
Dallas
 
 
Posts: 11 since Jul 2011
Thanks: 2 given, 3 received

Hey it7, glad to see this log, I was away for awhile from your earlier log.

Quick question, when you used Ninja for awhile, your charts showed each trade with a dashed line (green for profits, red for loses). Was that a custom ninja script?

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  #59 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012


stok View Post
Hey it7, glad to see this log, I was away for awhile from your earlier log.

Quick question, when you used Ninja for awhile, your charts showed each trade with a dashed line (green for profits, red for loses). Was that a custom ninja script?

No custom code. I think I'm the only person who knows about this, people ask all the time!

Open account performance tab, then open either the trades sub-tab or the executions sub-tab, right click somewhere in the data and select "chart..." magic.

 
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  #60 (permalink)
stok
Dallas
 
 
Posts: 11 since Jul 2011
Thanks: 2 given, 3 received


indextrader7 View Post
No custom code. I think I'm the only person who knows about this, people ask all the time!

Open account performance tab, then open either the trades sub-tab or the executions sub-tab, right click somewhere in the data and select "chart..." magic.

Hrmm...I tried that from both the Trades and Executions sub tabs under Account Performance and all it does it open up a new 1-minute chart.

 
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  #61 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012


stok View Post
Hrmm...I tried that from both the Trades and Executions sub tabs under Account Performance and all it does it open up a new 1-minute chart.

"I'll give you a hint. Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think that you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong." Ayn Rand

 
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  #62 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

It does bring up a 1min chart. Unfortunately, it will only bring up a 1min.



AND if you want to watch the recording of me making these trades in real time... then see previous posts and check out the blog.

 
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  #63 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

https://hangouts.google.com/hangouts/_/86c606667291ebc519147af6f649f0725ca90230?authuser=0&hl=en

Live webcast - trading with IT7 starting shortly

 
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  #64 (permalink)
firstbatch
Virginia
 
 
Posts: 2 since Jan 2011
Thanks: 0 given, 1 received

Merritt, I have listened to your live trading and read your blog and enjoy both. You asked today for comments on the content you have provided on the blog and I think it is great stuff!

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  #65 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

Today's recorded session now available Trading with indextrader7: Live Trading Webcast 2-27-13

It was a challenging day in CL for me, and the first losing day in 7 sessions. I feel like -1 tick today was a success though, given the PA.

Here's the picture summary


 
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  #66 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

Trading with indextrader7: Psychological Journal

An article I wrote on the idea and application of a psychological journal entry to enhance trading. I think y'all will like this one!

 
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  #67 (permalink)
 lancelottrader 
Legendary Market Wizard
west palm beach florida usa
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: ninja trader
Broker: Optimus Futures/ Rithmic
Trading: NQ
 
Posts: 1,042 since Oct 2011
Thanks: 1,028 given, 4,770 received

Been watching some of your webcasts. I think it's really cool that you're showing your trades in real time instead of recap videos like most people do.

Failure is not an option
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  #68 (permalink)
 iqgod 
Market Wizard
Mumbai, India
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: ChartNexus
Trading: Stocks, Commodities, Futures
 
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Posts: 1,802 since Feb 2012
Thanks: 3,651 given, 3,093 received


indextrader7 View Post
Trading with indextrader7: Psychological Journal

An article I wrote on the idea and application of a psychological journal entry to enhance trading. I think y'all will like this one!


Firstly, thanks for the commentary on your trading while live. I know it must be an overhead for you, so the spirit is great!

Also, I liked the way you mark each set of trades on a whiteboard parallelly - Adam Grimes and many others emphasize putting down a journal in the non-digital world - something about writing engages the physical parts of the brain that are the same ones we use for executing trades.

(Adam Grimes goes into having a trader hand draw charts on a graph paper too but I'll reserve that discussion for a later time!)

thanks again, and it was great to attend your live trade-cast!

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  #69 (permalink)
 DarkPoolTrading 
PTA, Gauteng
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Self built + Sierra + TWS
Trading: Stocks and Options
 
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Posts: 1,036 since May 2012
Thanks: 1,244 given, 1,321 received

Hey it7,

You mentioned yesterday that you were looking for some feedback on your blog posts to get an idea of whether you should continue them. I for one think they're excellent. I especially enjoyed the article on charting your win% against your win:loss size ratio. These are two of the many stats that I already keep in my trade stats spreadsheet but i've never thought of charting them like that. Although keeping stats are useful, it is in how we analyze and interpret them that we benefit and learn from them. The human brain generally responds extremely well to visuals (more so than pure data), so anytime there is an opportunity to visually represent data in a chart there is potential for increased learning. I will be incorporating this into my spreadsheet over the weekend.

Keep up the good work with the live webcasts. It's both inspiring and educational to watch an experienced trader walk us though his thought process. What im finding great is to see how losing trades dont affect your decision to take the next trade. You simply take the trade and manage the risk. Something i've been trying to improve on over the last few weeks.

How long do you typically trade for? I wasn't able to watch the whole of yesterday's webcast but the prior days you seemed to be done after a couple hours. Do you then move on to trading other instruments or are you done?

Do you find it best to apply complete focus for a limited time and stop trading as apposed to trading the whole day but potentially not having as much focus?

Thanks.

Diversification is the only free lunch
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  #70 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

Live webcast starting in minutes: https://hangouts.google.com/hangouts/_/b41724d62a8a4ffe2b50b892972ad0e1bb4c58b6?authuser=0&hl=en

If not on google+ you can also watch on youtube indextrader7 - YouTube

 
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  #71 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

Daily stop hit today. 4 trades, 4 full stops.

Man, that hasn't happened in a while, which is a great thing, but boy it doesn't make it feel any better! I feel pissed at my coach for taking me off the mound when I "know" I can strike the next guy out. Deep down, I'm glad to have a coach though. I used to not have one.

 
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  #72 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

Trade by trade recap, entry and exit.



Trade 1: Went short due to slowing momentum entering a resistance level.



I was quickly stopped.




Trade 2: Yes it was a 2 candle stall at support, but I chose to ignore the selling tails and the descending triangle forming against me.







Trade 3: Now we're trending down, but I wasn't aware of a longer term wedge forming on the 30 min chart, so I'm late to the party with this attempt at a continuation trade.


Stopped quickly... again.




Trade 4: Now we're grinding higher in an uptrend, and I go for the higher probability play with the pullback at support.





That my friends is a rough day.

 
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  #73 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

Practice combine update:

I haven't posted the would-be stats in a while. I'll do it graphically today.

Here's overall net p/l performance. The blue line is what pace you have to be keeping to hit p/l targets in the 20 minimum days, the green line is what you have to stay above to hit the target in the max allowed 40 days.




Days traded 11, winning days 73%




20-trade rolling average of win% and win:loss (combine will use the total cumulative number which you can eyeball)





Here's a graph showing cumulative P/L (can also eyeball drawdown figures) in green and right axis. Each individual trade p/l is the bar chart in blue (left axis)


 
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  #74 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012


DarkPoolTrading View Post
Hey it7,

You mentioned yesterday that you were looking for some feedback on your blog posts to get an idea of whether you should continue them. I for one think they're excellent. I especially enjoyed the article on charting your win% against your win:loss size ratio. These are two of the many stats that I already keep in my trade stats spreadsheet but i've never thought of charting them like that. Although keeping stats are useful, it is in how we analyze and interpret them that we benefit and learn from them. The human brain generally responds extremely well to visuals (more so than pure data), so anytime there is an opportunity to visually represent data in a chart there is potential for increased learning. I will be incorporating this into my spreadsheet over the weekend.

Keep up the good work with the live webcasts. It's both inspiring and educational to watch an experienced trader walk us though his thought process. What im finding great is to see how losing trades dont affect your decision to take the next trade. You simply take the trade and manage the risk. Something i've been trying to improve on over the last few weeks.

How long do you typically trade for? I wasn't able to watch the whole of yesterday's webcast but the prior days you seemed to be done after a couple hours. Do you then move on to trading other instruments or are you done?

Do you find it best to apply complete focus for a limited time and stop trading as apposed to trading the whole day but potentially not having as much focus?

Thanks.

Thanks for the feedback. I really do appreciate it. I literally have hundreds of people a day lurking the webcasts, blog, and the bmt journals, and I bet I average 3 "thanks" or interactions per day. I appreciate you taking the time to do so.

I typically trade until around lunch. Unless it's been really good and I feel like stopping, or it's really bad and I have to force myself to stop (like today). I really don't have any concrete rules for how long I trade each day, it's determined by how the trading is going, my emotional state, my physical state, my daily schedule, etc. If I am down for the day after a few hours, but not frustrated, and the markets are not in some awful state, I will keep going until I can get a big winner and end the day on a good note.

Yes, I think it's best to apply complete focus for a couple hours and be done. Given the short term nature of the moves I trade, if i'm "on", I should have been able to bank some ticks in a 4 hour period. In a realistically perfect world, I start to trade around 7CST, take 5 trades over the next 3 hours, with 2 small losers, 2 20+ tick winners, and a scratched trade.

Thanks again for the feedback. It certainly provides extrinsic motivation to continue to freely share what I know with other traders.

Best,

IT7

 
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  #75 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

An interesting observation I made regarding the crude market lately. I posted it on the journal, because I figured more people might be interested there, but I didn't want to leave out anyone here.

 
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  #76 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

Live webcast trading session starting in 7 minutes or so https://hangouts.google.com/hangouts/_/cb715191d28ce6eebeab9a4730d08c81c6ebe2f3?authuser=0&hl=en on google+

or watch the feed at indextrader7 - YouTube

I'll be using the S5 Platform today.

 
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  #77 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

Another daily loss limit today. Very frustrating to put it mildly. It's my own fault today though. I had opportunities. Here's the overall picture. More analysis later after I take a break to clear my head.

 
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  #78 (permalink)
 Surly 
denver, colorado
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT
Trading: ZS
 
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Posts: 704 since Mar 2011
Thanks: 628 given, 1,258 received


indextrader7 View Post
Another daily loss limit today. Very frustrating to put it mildly. It's my own fault today though. I had opportunities. Here's the overall picture. More analysis later after I take a break to clear my head.

Hey man - happens to the best of us. Keep trying, keep focusing on the simple stuff - don't look for something complicated to fix anything. The devil is in the details and its attention to consistency and emotional balance that will keep you on the path to better and better performance. Clear your head and don't dwell too much on negatives going into the weekend. Next week's a whole new week.

Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty. - Frank Herbert
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  #79 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 33 given, 377 received

I really like the first chart in post #73, the Combine goal vs. net P/L. That is a very good visualization of where one stands and he can evaluate his performance with one quick look. If the performance keeps staying under the goal line, an adjustment is needed.

What did you use to make that chart?

 
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  #80 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012


Pedro40 View Post
I really like the first chart in post #73, the Combine goal vs. net P/L. That is a very good visualization of where one stands and he can evaluate his performance with one quick look. If the performance keeps staying under the goal line, an adjustment is needed.

What did you use to make that chart?

excel line graph

 
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  #81 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

Today's review is about knowing where I am wrong initially on a trade, BUT then managing a trade properly beyond that initial risk. I did a poor, poor job of that today.








It's one thing to add to a position when you have "that feeling", it's another thing to add to a position because you want to be saved for the session. The wheels are falling off at this point, and I am not trading. I am watching a screen, hoping and rooting for a market to go one way "for me" versus another. I did not objectively manage risk as the trade developed. I did, want to be right.


I'm sure some of the entries were less than optimal, but that will always be the case. I must manage trades properly at every point in time. Will be considering a few ways to "mechanize" (hear develop process/rules) for managing winning trades over the weekend. I think I already know the answer.

 
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  #82 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
Site Administrator
Swing Trader
Data Scientist & DevOps
Manta, Ecuador
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Custom solution
Trading: Futures & Crypto
 
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Posts: 50,066 since Jun 2009
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indextrader7 View Post
Another daily loss limit today. Very frustrating to put it mildly. It's my own fault today though.

I know you said its your own fault, and I commend you for taking responsibility.

But... you have a new variable that should not be discounted too quickly, and that is: performance anxiety. In other words, you are performing in front of a crowd, live. It is much different than what you did before, and it could be causing you to second guess or make different decisions than before.

Why force yourself to perform live? What is your reasoning here?

I think a recorded session highlight reel posted later, like others do as video journals, would relieve the anxiety and also still provide the education to members.

Mike

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  #83 (permalink)
 lancelottrader 
Legendary Market Wizard
west palm beach florida usa
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: ninja trader
Broker: Optimus Futures/ Rithmic
Trading: NQ
 
Posts: 1,042 since Oct 2011
Thanks: 1,028 given, 4,770 received


indextrader7 View Post
Another daily loss limit today. Very frustrating to put it mildly. It's my own fault today though. I had opportunities. Here's the overall picture. More analysis later after I take a break to clear my head.

I have found the price action on Cl to be pretty difficult to trade the last couple of days...at least for my style. I don't take big stops (usually around 10) and I try to get about 20 tick targets on average. So, except for a few brief moments where price had some strong breakouts, it's been very difficult and choppy.
I found that I started watching Gold a bit, because it has made some great strong trending moves the last few days. Cl gave me lots of losers this week and I usually do pretty well with it.

Failure is not an option
 
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  #84 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

The seven phases of my trading:

1. (Day 1) I've got a great method of trading, let's be patient, focus on having a probabilities mindset, take these setups, and manage risk.

2. (Two days later) I am having good success with this.

3. (7 days later) I am really on fire, I have been profitable for 9 sessions in a row.

4. (Next day) A breakeven day or two, I'll do better next session. Risk management is getting a bit inconsistent.

5. (Two days later) Daily loss limit hit, man, that sucked, I'll do better tomorrow. This is only a temporary setback.

6. (Next day) Daily loss limit hit again, wow, what am I doing? I've got to re-think this thing. I've got to question my setups, question my analysis, question my exits, question the market I am trading, question the timeframe I am trading, etc.

7. (A day or two) Spend hours and hours and hours pouring through charts, trying to find the answers to prevent the losing sessions I have. Find "the answer".

1. (Start at day 1) I've found it, I now have a great method of trading, let's be patient and take these setups, and manage risk properly.

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

The truth is...the bottom line is that.... all of this is too emotional.

I need to focus more on simply executing my edge, which is in fact an edge... IF I execute the risk management methods that go along with it. You see... even as I say that, I am admitting that there is a difference in my mind between my "edge" (hear setups) and "risk management" (hear exits). There is no edge without both in place.

I must continually focus on keeping a probabilities mindset and executing my plan and processes.

I will admit that I am growing awfully tired of going through the 7 phases. I'm still net profitable over the full cycle, but it's taking a toll on my emotionally.

 
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  #85 (permalink)
 jimjones26 
Tulsa OK
 
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indextrader7 View Post
The seven phases of my trading:

1. (Day 1) I've got a great method of trading, let's be patient, focus on having a probabilities mindset, take these setups, and manage risk.

2. (Two days later) I am having good success with this.

3. (7 days later) I am really on fire, I have been profitable for 9 sessions in a row.

4. (Next day) A breakeven day or two, I'll do better next session. Risk management is getting a bit inconsistent.

5. (Two days later) Daily loss limit hit, man, that sucked, I'll do better tomorrow. This is only a temporary setback.

6. (Next day) Daily loss limit hit again, wow, what am I doing? I've got to re-think this thing. I've got to question my setups, question my analysis, question my exits, question the market I am trading, question the timeframe I am trading, etc.

7. (A day or two) Spend hours and hours and hours pouring through charts, trying to find the answers to prevent the losing sessions I have. Find "the answer".

1. (Start at day 1) I've found it, I now have a great method of trading, let's be patient and take these setups, and manage risk properly.

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

The truth is...the bottom line is that.... all of this is too emotional.

I need to focus more on simply executing my edge, which is in fact an edge... IF I execute the risk management methods that go along with it. You see... even as I say that, I am admitting that there is a difference in my mind between my "edge" (hear setups) and "risk management" (hear exits). There is no edge without both in place.

I must continually focus on keeping a probabilities mindset and executing my plan and processes.

I will admit that I am growing awfully tired of going through the 7 phases. I'm still net profitable over the full cycle, but it's taking a toll on my emotionally.

Do you know what it is that is causing the strong emotions?

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  #86 (permalink)
 iqgod 
Market Wizard
Mumbai, India
 
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indextrader7 View Post
The seven phases of my trading:

1. (Day 1) I've got a great method of trading, let's be patient, focus on having a probabilities mindset, take these setups, and manage risk.

2. (Two days later) I am having good success with this.

3. (7 days later) I am really on fire, I have been profitable for 9 sessions in a row.

4. (Next day) A breakeven day or two, I'll do better next session. Risk management is getting a bit inconsistent.

5. (Two days later) Daily loss limit hit, man, that sucked, I'll do better tomorrow. This is only a temporary setback.

6. (Next day) Daily loss limit hit again, wow, what am I doing? I've got to re-think this thing. I've got to question my setups, question my analysis, question my exits, question the market I am trading, question the timeframe I am trading, etc.

7. (A day or two) Spend hours and hours and hours pouring through charts, trying to find the answers to prevent the losing sessions I have. Find "the answer".

1. (Start at day 1) I've found it, I now have a great method of trading, let's be patient and take these setups, and manage risk properly.

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

The truth is...the bottom line is that.... all of this is too emotional.

I need to focus more on simply executing my edge, which is in fact an edge... IF I execute the risk management methods that go along with it. You see... even as I say that, I am admitting that there is a difference in my mind between my "edge" (hear setups) and "risk management" (hear exits). There is no edge without both in place.

I must continually focus on keeping a probabilities mindset and executing my plan and processes.

I will admit that I am growing awfully tired of going through the 7 phases. I'm still net profitable over the full cycle, but it's taking a toll on my emotionally.



I have been though this cycle.

Especially 5 and 6.

Actually 5 lead to 6. (5 was when I almost hit my daily loss limit, 6 was when I actually hit it)

The reasons that 5 and 6 occur are because something inside me trips when 2 and 3 happen. Success becomes too hot to handle / I become fearless etc.

In the midst of this when 4 happens it crushes my fake ego and then becomes a precursor to going on tilt - holding holing holding saying 'now it will reverse') till the loss limit gets near.

Basically if we manage risk (and only think about point 1 and not be a bean counter i.e. not being too aware of the results but focusing on the process) we should survive the combine without too much thought processing.

I have postponed my combine from 6th March to 1st April - want to observe how it goes with NinjaTrader platform if it becomes available by then.

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  #87 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012


jimjones26 View Post
Do you know what it is that is causing the strong emotions?

That's a good question Jim, thanks for bringing it up.

I think it's a combination of competitiveness, a need to be right, and a lack of strong enough belief in the real uncertainty of market behavior.

I think the root of it ultimately comes down to the (lack of) belief in uncertainty. If I had a strong enough belief that anything could really happen, and I am only trading an edge that gives me a slightly better than 50% chance of a favorable market movement, then there would be no real reason to feel like I want/ I need to be right on this trade.

That's my opinion of what I have to improve to overcome the cycle. But, I'm the dumb one in the cycle, so what the heck do I know?

 
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  #88 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012


Big Mike View Post
I know you said its your own fault, and I commend you for taking responsibility.

But... you have a new variable that should not be discounted too quickly, and that is: performance anxiety. In other words, you are performing in front of a crowd, live. It is much different than what you did before, and it could be causing you to second guess or make different decisions than before.

Why force yourself to perform live? What is your reasoning here?

I think a recorded session highlight reel posted later, like others do as video journals, would relieve the anxiety and also still provide the education to members.

Mike

That's a good point Mike, and a part of me would like to just point the finger to that to take away a lot of the discomfort I feel. It could possibly be a factor. I'll certainly be aware of it going forward.

The fact is though, that I have gone through this type of cycle consistently over the past year. So the new variable of the live audience really hasn't changed anything. Interestingly, I think it actually makes me stick to my plan and loss limits even better. I do not want to look like a rogue insane trader in front of others, but by myself, I already know I can be a rogue-crazy and it's not embarrassing to myself. Sounds silly, but there's something deep in that.

 
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  #89 (permalink)
 jimjones26 
Tulsa OK
 
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indextrader7 View Post
That's a good question Jim, thanks for bringing it up.

I think it's a combination of competitiveness, a need to be right, and a lack of strong enough belief in the real uncertainty of market behavior.

I think the root of it ultimately comes down to the (lack of) belief in uncertainty. If I had a strong enough belief that anything could really happen, and I am only trading an edge that gives me a slightly better than 50% chance of a favorable market movement, then there would be no real reason to feel like I want/ I need to be right on this trade.

That's my opinion of what I have to improve to overcome the cycle. But, I'm the dumb one in the cycle, so what the heck do I know?

Seems like you might already know where you need to focus your efforts to make the most positive ground in your trading.


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- FijiTrader


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  #90 (permalink)
 Surly 
denver, colorado
 
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indextrader7 View Post
That's a good question Jim, thanks for bringing it up.

I think it's a combination of competitiveness, a need to be right, and a lack of strong enough belief in the real uncertainty of market behavior.

I think the root of it ultimately comes down to the (lack of) belief in uncertainty. If I had a strong enough belief that anything could really happen, and I am only trading an edge that gives me a slightly better than 50% chance of a favorable market movement, then there would be no real reason to feel like I want/ I need to be right on this trade.

That's my opinion of what I have to improve to overcome the cycle. But, I'm the dumb one in the cycle, so what the heck do I know?

I think you've nailed it here. A true belief in uncertainty would prevent one from ever over sizing positions or over trading. Developing that probabilistic mindset is a constant battle when you're learning more and more about market behavior. At least I find that to be the case. I also find that the more black and white I perceive the probable outcomes to be, the more I get my ego involved and the more I think in terms of right vs wrong and the more emotional/frustrated I get when losing.

Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty. - Frank Herbert
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  #91 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

I'm grateful to those trading buddies I've developed at futures.io (formerly BMT) that dropped me a line lately to encourage and offer support. I'm grateful to @Big Mike for creating and nurturing a place in which these people enjoy being. Thanks.

I have come to a few realizations over the weekend.

1. I need to get my entire life more balanced. I put everything I have into trading, every single day. After the fund not working out as planned, I stepped up my already tremendous work ethic to a whole new level. I am neglecting things like eating, exercise, my faith, friends, family, girlfriend, hobbies, sunlight, etc. By the time I get up from the chair at night, I have nothing left to give, and I nearly immediately fall asleep in mental exhaustion when my head hits the pillow.

2. I'm inspired by @AttitudeTrader in the way that he has embraced Mark Douglas concepts and is literally applying them to build a solid, important, base for trading. He can them methodically build from this base once it's built. I am a good trader, I have proven this time and time again... the problem is that I did not build the proper mental framework on the front side as he is doing, therefore I am running into these cycles and problems... ultimately not reaching my trading potential.

3. I am taking what I know about the markets and boiling it down to as mechanical of a system as I can possibly muster up. This is related to point #2, and it will be an exercise in building a base/foundation of a) learning to trust myself that I can execute a plan without hesitation, fear, or other variables getting in the way, b) learn to think of trading as not analyzing everything for a trade and wanting/needing some self-justified response from the market to give me an "i'm right" feedback. Basically learn to truly accept risk, embrace it, and think MORE in line as I would when I play blackjack. When I play blackjack, I truly truly believe that each individual hand is random; that I only have (with proper strategy) a 48.5% chance or so of winning that specific hand. I use a martingale method (yes I know I still don't have a long run edge, but hang with me here)... I use the martingale betting method because I believe in the random distribution of winning and losing hands. I double my bet each hand that I lose, and I know going in that I have a pretty good chance of not having 6 or 7 losers (my loss limit) hit. I win money at a casino most times I've ever been with this method. The point is that when I'm trading, I DO NOT VIEW EACH TRADE THIS WAY... as random.... as a toss up. I'm going to start to do just that, it may take time to fully develop. I currently view trades as a very intelligent, analysis based, near certainty. I need to view them more like a gamble with a clearly defined risk. This may sound odd to some of you, but I know that for me, it will help.

4. I've discovered a pattern in my life all the way back to the 7th grade. The 3 things that I'll point out that it encompasses are tennis, poker, and trading.

In tennis, I was quite good. Above average for sure, D1 potential from a young age. I ended up only being D2 quality by the time I was a senior. Why? It was not a lack of hard work, nor a lack of natural talent. It was mental. I wanted to have more fun playing tennis with a style of big, flashy shots, big winners, big 127mph serve, etc. I WANTED TO PLAY LIKE THIS MORE THAN I WANTED TO WIN. In tennis, as in trading, 80% of the points are LOST not won. I refused to accept this, and cared more about keeping it exciting. I DID NOT WANT TO WIN MORE THAN I WANTED TO ENJOY MY STYLE OF PLAY.

In poker, you can probably already guess what I'm going to say. I have a decent mathematical head on me. I could calculate pot odds on the fly, and knew exactly what the best move was to make based on odds. I read tons of books on poker (mainly limit poker because you can control odds better there, its' all about math, where no-limit is more about reading people). The problem with my poker playing? Mental. Once I really found out what the game was about, and how to successfully draw money out of people that didn't play as disciplined and with the odds... I was no longer interested. That way of playing was not fun. I wanted the thrill of raising, just to try and bluff because I wanted to enjoy that aspect of it. I DID NOT WANT TO MAKE MONEY MORE THAN I WANTED TO ENJOY MY STYLE OF PLAY.

In trading, I have probably over traded my entire trading career. I have a great pattern recognition, analytical mind, sense for orderflow without even looking at a dom, etc. I am, for the vast majority of the time, buying when it really is the best time to be buying, and selling when I should be selling. The problem? I overtrade, and more importantly, over manage trades, I also have, at times, over sized. I, as the pattern continues from tennis and poker, want to do things in a style that are enjoyable for me, and exciting. Can trading be "fun" if I really buckle down and stop believing that I can "be right" on most every trade I take from my "great analysis"? Will it cease to be what it is now that seems to fulfill me completely? DO I WANT TO MAKE MONEY MORE THAN I WANT TO REALLY ENJOY THE ACT OF TRADING? Time will tell.

Another thought... (based on some thoughts I had regarding a post Big Mike started about the goal of trading, money, life, retirement, etc) For me, trading is the goal. Yes, I like to travel. Yes, I like to be able to eat nice meals. But... I'm a simple country boy that really fell in love with trading. The act of trading, live or sim, makes me happy. What other job could I have that gave such a dynamic challenge every single day? It's never the same, it's always forcing me to grow as an individual, and it is down right stimulating to my core to analyze PA. Maybe there is a problem with this in some way? Maybe the fact that I have no real desire to be a billionaire like most aspiring traders I've ever heard talk about these things. I know there is some positive to it, I never let dollar figures get in the way of trading. I simply let the desire of BEING RIGHT on an individual trade, or BEING RIGHT on an individual session get in the way of executing proper trading behaviors. I guess I answered my own question here with this stream of consciousness. It's not a big deal whether I do or do not really want to be a billionaire. My personal issue that's holding me back is a simple desire to be right all the time.

------

So in summary, I'll be focusing entirely on building the mental foundation I need to be more consistent in my trading. I'll be trading a mechanical methodology over periods of 20-trade samples. If I ever want to tweak anything about this method, I can tweak ONE thing at a time AFTER a 20-trade sample size. This is not to increase profitability or to trade the most brilliant mechanical system ever devised by man; it's to build a mental framework of trusting myself to be able to execute a plan flawlessly without fear or hesitation, and to trust the nature of markets to be random, and to build a belief in the fact that I am operating in an uncertain environment where an edge is only a higher probability of A over B.

I'll also be working on getting my life back in balance. Eating consistently, exercising consistently, and not spending every bit of my time and energy on trading.

More specific steps on how I'm going to implement plans to meet these goals will be posted in the future.

-IT7

 
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  #92 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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Glad to hear it Merritt. You cannot simply will yourself into being a better trader. It is more than that. I am glad you are addressing surrounding items which have an effect on your physical and mental well-being, they will translate into accomplishments as a trader as well.

Mike

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  #93 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

So much to talk about.

Firstly, there was no live recorded trading webcast today. It's not that I had two bad days thursday and friday. It is the fact that those losing days, coupled with some massive realizations, have led me to implement new things, and the last thing I needed on my plate this morning was knowing that 30 people were watching me trade live. I think you understand.

So, as mentioned. I'm getting back to the basic, fundamental building blocks of trader development. Going back to the start, if you will, to fill some psychological holes in my trader mindset.

I will go ahead and cut myself a bit of slack. I tried to get all this together by this morning and have a solid plan for what I was going to do; I'll admit I needed just a little more time, but today was still a great exercise. I just had a few conflicting moments when I realized there was still a bit too much discretion in my method, and I don't need that right now for what I'm trying to do.

What am I trying to do? Build a proper mindset. This is all based on Mark Douglas's "Trading in the Zone". I'm now trading as mechanical as I can (as I said that's a bit of a work in progress to fully mechanize) in order to learn to trust myself to execute flawlessly, develop a real belief in the uncertainty of the markets on an individual/micro level, and learning to think in terms of probabilities which is a real belief in the certainty of the markets on a 20-trade sample size/macro level view.

It's a process in building self-discipline. This is not what I used to think the definition of self-discipline was. In this context, it's simply a mental technique to redirect, as best we can, our focus of attention to the object of our goal or desire, when that goal or desire conflicts with some other component (belief) of our mental environment. Self-discipline is a technique to create a new mental framework, not something some people are born with.

I'm working to objectively define my edges, predefine the risk of every trade, completely accept that risk, act on my edges without hesitation, pay myself fairly systematically as the market makes money available to me, and continually monitor myself for susceptibility for making errors.

Speaking of making errors, at this point in the process, I am being completely objective about the errors. I'm simply noticing them, not judging myself, and taking note of them in my journal. These things simply point the way where I need to focus efforts to improve yourself.

I'll split to the next post to go over exactly what happened in today's session. Just wanted to give an overview.

 
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  #94 (permalink)
 josh 
Georgia, US
 
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Sounds like a good plan Merritt. Accepting the uncertainty of an individual trade sounds so easy, but is so hard.

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  #95 (permalink)
 AttitudeTrader 
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@indextrader7 ,

Wow! All I can say is impressive and inspiring.

-AT

"Is it hard? Not if you have the right attitude. It's having the right attitude that's hard." - Robert Pirsig
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Pedro40
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indextrader7 View Post
So much to talk about.

Are you still planning on starting the Combine this week? If so, I would advise to change to a lower one, like the 50K. Your confidence just got a shot through the heart, there is no point in trying the hardest Combine with such a mindset. If you pass the 50K, you can still try a harder one later with a boosted ego and positive experience, but if you fail the 150K, your confidence is even going to be lower...

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  #97 (permalink)
 jimjones26 
Tulsa OK
 
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indextrader7 View Post
Speaking of making errors, at this point in the process, I am being completely objective about the errors. I'm simply noticing them, not judging myself, and taking note of them in my journal. These things simply point the way where I need to focus efforts to improve yourself.

Nice, perfect attitude for course correcting yourself towards your goals.

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  #98 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

Again, ignore some of the crazy fills. S5 told me they are having problems with CL sim fills at the moment. I don't really care other than for keeping stats, but I can adjust them for proper trades.

I didn't take 20 trades today, but I will refer to trades in 20-trade samples.

Trade 1/20: Valid scalp entry long, profits taken (+10, +4).

Trade 2/20: Valid entry short, valid scalp profits taken (+9), rest of position remains. Did not take scalp entry setup; happened too quick once I realized, but I hesitated (missed 10 ticks). Did not take second scalp entry; was too afraid (missed 15 ticks) . Out of remainder (valid) an hour later (+22).

Trade 3/20: Valid entry long, valid scalp profits taken (+9), rest of position stopped out (-10).

Trade 4/20: Valid entry long, (phantom target hit??) re entered just to have the position back on, because that fill wasn't correct, trade stopped out. (-10)

Trade 5/20: Valid entry long, stop hit. (-6)

Trade 6/20: Valid entry short, stop hit. (-9)

Trade 7/20: Valid entry short, scalp exit taken after windfall profit (+35), remainder of position held. Added to position via scalp, added position stopped (-18) VIOLATED STOP PLACEMENT RULES HERE. I thought I knew things would go in my favor since there was such a sharp move in my favor. This exercise is not about "knowing" about PA. This exercise is about knowing exactly what my edge looks like, knowing exactly how much I need to risk to find out if an edge is going to work, knowing that I have a specific plan for taking profits if a trade goes my way, but that's ALL I'M ALLOWED TO KNOW. Scalp add again, profits taken on add (+6). Scalp add again, profits taken on add (+13). Scalp add again, added position stopped(-8). Full position exited (valid) (+34).

Took a short break after that marathon trade (for me), regrouped, came back to some nice PA.

Trade 8/20: Valid scalp entry short, profits taken (+6, +9)

Here is the trade analyzer with some stats. TRADE 4 IS MARKED OUT BECAUSE IT WAS THE PHANTOM TARGET HIT. TRADE 5 IS THE RE-ENTRY OF THAT TRADE. TRADE 3 IS ALSO INCORRECT AS THE STOP LOSS EXIT WAS SLIPPED RIDICULOUSLY. THE TRADE SHOULD BE -2 NET TICKS.



Two full pages of notes in the journal today DURING trading. Most sessions, my journal is not touched until after the session is over. Quite a massive collection of words like:
- emotions
- doubt
- uncertain
- quite confused
- just realized
- almost forgot
- seems strong compared to expectations
- such a strong desire to exit
- conflicted
- what exactly defines this

... and that's just the first page, I won't go on. You get the idea, this was not an easy task for me, which shows how much work I have to do before I can trade from the same perspective a casino operates from. No care about individual outcomes.

I will give myself some slack; I am a very subjective trader, and it has been very hard for me to mechanize what I do. There were a few situations today where I did not have a black and white answer. I'm working on reducing those grey areas in analysis right now.

Errors today: I missed two scalp entries (I'm supposed to take them all) and I violated planned stop placement once. Both were nice winners with little to no MAE.

Again, I'm working hard to boil down what I do from an subjective level as a trader to totally objective rules. It's not perfect yet, so I'm having to do some clarifying.

Overall, today was amazingly difficult, but amazingly liberating at the same time. I have a lot of work to do yet. But, as bad as I may have made it seem, most of the uncertainty and whatnot was due to the lack of TOTAL objectivity with my trading rules, and nuances I hadn't considered beforehand. Most all of the uncertainty and problems were from this. I did not have much trouble following the more basic, black and white rules (other than the one hesitation on the exit). Mark Douglas talks about how people have trader's mindset lines of "code" like a program. He compares traders that have tons and tons of flawed code, versus those that have only a few lines that need work. I would say (at this point IMHO) that I only have a few lines to correct, and that feels pretty good to know. I don't that it will take considerable time and mental effort to fix those lines though; I do not underestimate that.

 
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  #99 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

Today was more difficult than yesterday, psychologically speaking. I became frustrated today, and I've analyzed it.

As you may know, CL stayed in a tight range today. As you also may know, my mechanized method mostly looks to take advantage of continuations in trends. So it was a challenging day at best, until this most recent large up move.

Here's the analysis: I still have beliefs/mentalities that I want to be right on every trade. Beliefs that I am a good analyst and can "know" what is going to happen. Being forced to suppress my intuitive trading and trade the mechanical system that isn't working as well = frustration starts to build. The frustrations led to me eventually, late in the day, violating some of my mechanical rules. If I continue to pour energy into molding new belief systems about uncertainty and consistency, I can overcome this frustration.

I would be lying if I said I wasn't a bit upset with myself, but it is only a bit. I am continuing to stay objective and simply notice what I think, say, and do as best I can.

The trade analyzer for today's session here: It may look like I should take profits more often; like I'm leaving too much on the table, but that is simply the effect of today's action in CL. A tight range didn't give me the sustained moves I look for. My system is not designed to profit from such an environment. I pretty much broke even today, and that's a good thing. But this is all side conversation, it's not what my development is about right now.





Today's trades are continuing in their count of trades out of 20 from yesterday.

Trade 9/20: Valid entry, scalp taken (+13), remainder trailed out (+16)

Trade 10/20: Valid entry, although a bit confused. Invalid exit (-2). I couldn't accept the risk, so I exited.

Trade 11:20: Valid entry, scalp taken (+10). Position trailed out (-3)

Trade 12/20: Invalid entry, did not wait for candle close. Stopped (-9)

Trade 13/20: Valid entry, stopped (-12)

Trade 14/20: Valid entry, scalp taken (+14), trail hit rest (+11)

Trade 15/20: Valid entry, scalp taken (+10), grey area exit, will need to clarify before tomorrow (-2)

Trade 16/20: Valid entry, scalp taken (+10), remainder trailed correctly (-5).

Trade 17/20: Valid entry, no scalp taken as I THOUGHT I KNEW that price would run farther, invalid exit at breakeven (0)

Trade 18/20: Valid entry, stopped ..hesitated on stop loss which cost a few more ticks .. (-13)

Trade 19/20: Valid entry, invalid move of stop to breakeven, stop hit (0)

Trade 20/20: Valid entry, stopped (-11)

These remainder of the trades for the session will be included in this sample size, to more group psychological sessions.

Trade 21: Valid entry: stopped (-8)

Trade 22: Valid entry: scalp taken (+13), scalp added to position, scalp taken off (+6), remainder correctly trailed (+1)

Trade 23: Invalid entry, anticipating. Stopped (-9)

Trade 24: Invalid entry, anticipating again. Stopped (-6)

Trade 25: Valid entry, scalp taken (+16) remainder trailed (+37)

Trade 26: Invalid, jumped the gun before candle close, stopped (-10)

Trade 27: Valid entry, scalp taken at (+10), remainder trailed (+17)

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

Next post will be a thorough review of the completion of my first 20-trade sample size.

Whew....

 
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  #100 (permalink)
 indextrader7 
Birmingham, AL
 
 
Posts: 1,065 since Apr 2012

Mistakes on entries:

-23 of the 27 trades were valid entries. Of the 4 invalid entries, all of them were due to anticipating/jumping the gun on an entry. These 4 trades cost me -34 ticks (-136 ticks on 4 lots).

Mistakes on exits:

-Two hesitations to take a loss. These two hesitations cost me -14 ticks (56 ticks on 4 lots).

-Three exits because I absolutely couldn't stand to allow price to retrace and give back profits. These three decisions saved me a lot of ticks. The problem is that I'm supposed to follow a specific trail for the remainder of my position.

Other mistakes:

- I should have reversed my position (and didn't do it) five times. Nearly all these would have been profitable.

- I did not add to positions twice, both would have been profitable.

- I did not take partial profits on initial positions twice. This cost at least 20 ticks (80 ticks on 4 lots).


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

I came out profitable on the whole for the test. 50% wins and 1.4 win:loss ratio. Here's the individual trade P/L and the cumulative P/L (including an hypothetical $5/rt commission rate):



Frankly, I'm fairly pleased to see that it came out in the green, despite the errors I made and largely despite going from a totally no-rules trader to nearly totally mechanical. It was not an easy task.

I will say that the market was not in optimal condition to really profit from this method the past two days. So it's nice to see it above breakeven despite the less than optimal conditions. I didn't really get the winners that it is capable of.

THAT'S ALL NICE TO ANALYZE AND TALK ABOUT, BUT LET'S GET TO THE REAL POINT OF ALL OF THIS:

This exercise's purposes were:

1. To lean to trust myself to carry out a trading plan and flawlessly execute it. I failed.

2. To learn to think in terms of probabilities, to trade like a casino operates. I made improvements, but failed.

3. To not have fear and/or not see market information painful or threatening. I failed.

4. To truly accept every trade outcome as uncertain. I failed.

5. Take complete responsibility (not ever root for the market to fulfill my hopes). I failed.

6. To not need to be right. I failed.

7. Accept the outcome of trades without emotional discomfort. I failed.

8. Develop a thinking strategy in which I am not trying to get anything from the market, or avoid anything. I failed.

9. Believe strongly in the fact that ANYTHING can happen at any time. I PASSED.

10. Consistently predefine my risk on every trade. I PASSED.

11. No attempting to pick and choose which edges you think will work or not work. I failed.

12. Observe myself objectively without harsh criticism. I PASSED.


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

While I failed at most of these, there were small improvements made. The most important thing, however, is the fact that I am taking the right steps; the fact that I am putting considerable mental effort into re-structuring my mental framework.

I am not ready to move on from this exercise. I will repeat it until I am.


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