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Watch me fly like an eagle or drop like a t..rd
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Watch me fly like an eagle or drop like a t..rd

  #41 (permalink)
Elite Member
prague, czech republic
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
Broker/Data: LMAX
Favorite Futures: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
xelaar's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,517 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 1,739 given, 2,592 received

Another day passed by, another 800 into the account. Again I am unhappy about my Crude trading: I did bank profit but to gain 500 with one trade I had to experience around 1800 usd drawdown. This is unsustainable, because next time it will go 30 ticks more against me and I will be forcefully liquidated. Gold did not give me much opportunity yesterday so I resorted to testing how small losers affect statistics. They do affect, so in Combine if you are running good profit and more profitable days than losing ones, but you winner size and/or duration sucks comparing to losers, take few one tick one second losers and it will greatly improve. I wouldn't call it cheating though, because the whole principle is bit artificial and asks for creativity.

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On another thing. While my argument about the validity of small Combines stays strong, and large Combine is certainly much harder to fail if you don't go crazy with sizes, it presents another problem: it gives you too much leeway to keep doing stupid trades or use unproportionally large stop losses not to get stop out from a bad entry. Certainly, large Combine is the easiest to get refunded or rolled over, but the question is how good trade management it teaches if you can keep doing things like I did over and over again? I can see how easily I can get stuck in 150k Combine rolling it over for free for a year, because large DLL allows not to get blown using small sizes but improper trade management won't allow to get even close to required profit target.

So here is my decision: I will go for smallest 30k 10day Combine with 1.500 target and 500 DLL, just to force myself to get disciplined with trade entry (take only the very best), cut any overtrading (because DLL is so low and you can't trade less than 1 car like you can in spot FX), and hold onto winners, because you don't have so much opportunities because losses add up very quickly there.

I don't look at it as a easier way to get access to a capital to trade (I have my own after all), but to become a better trader. If I can do it well with small Combine I can certainly repeat exactly the same on a large one just by multiplying size from 1 to 5 and doing exactly the same (given that I don't have several days of losses that would kill relatively smaller stop out loss limit on large combine). Again, if I can get funded with a small combine, it will be a good way to practice to trade OPM. So far I only traded OPM for few friends but I felt uneasy doing that.

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  #42 (permalink)
Elite Member
prague, czech republic
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
Broker/Data: LMAX
Favorite Futures: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
xelaar's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,517 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 1,739 given, 2,592 received

Ah, and with a decision to tighten up running losses on Crude, I will attempt to trade it purely from price action similarly to gold: take high-momentum fast moving entries with very tight stop and target 3 times ticks, trail manually using price action. That will force me to add only in profit and only on repeated signal, i.e. large entry bar and when original trade is already protected.

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  #43 (permalink)
Elite Member
prague, czech republic
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
Broker/Data: LMAX
Favorite Futures: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
xelaar's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,517 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 1,739 given, 2,592 received


Here is my decision: I will drop Crude for now and will concentrate on Gold, because trying to trade both proactively makes me miss setups on both. Gold suits my style better (momentum/price action) so I stick with it.

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  #44 (permalink)
Elite Member
prague, czech republic
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
Broker/Data: LMAX
Favorite Futures: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
xelaar's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,517 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 1,739 given, 2,592 received

Done for the day. Sticked to gold and it payed. Although I did not hold on my positions that times it was racing up to profit, my mistake. Other trades were cut well when gold did not perform with momentum. All in all +1350 usd up on the day (largest win yet), but with 18 trades 5 cars each I am down 400 in commissions, so net P/L will be likely +950. Still not bad. I am already in net profit on my account.

I will stick to this plan but I will force myself to let trade work well into profit. Cutting losers and non-performer looks to be for now and I am happy with this part of my trade management.

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  #45 (permalink)
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prague, czech republic
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
Broker/Data: LMAX
Favorite Futures: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
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Posts: 1,517 since Feb 2013
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  #46 (permalink)
Elite Member
prague, czech republic
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
Broker/Data: LMAX
Favorite Futures: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
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Posts: 1,517 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 1,739 given, 2,592 received

Looking at last day I am happy I stuck with GC only and happy about managing downside most of the time. I am not happy about cutting winners very short. I realize it's not easy so I will take it step by step. I will reduce my target to just 15 ticks, having initial stop set at 10 ticks like before. I will not move stop to BE if trade is performing, I will cut it around BE or in a loss if it does not perform, reducing the risk. If it works, it should work enough to get to 15 ticks in majority of cases. I will take it day by day increasing my profit target by 5 ticks after each successful day.

For the moment I will stick to trading with fixed position size (5 for my 150k account). I understand that I need to load up on good trades and when well in profit on the day, but it's hard for what it is essentially scalping trades. Once I move my TP to 20 ticks or more I will look to add to trade once first position secured some profit.

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  #47 (permalink)
Elite Member
prague, czech republic
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
Broker/Data: LMAX
Favorite Futures: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
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Posts: 1,517 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 1,739 given, 2,592 received

Interesting read

How to Successfully Trade the Russell 2000 E-mini Futures, Part 1 - TradingMarkets.com

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  #48 (permalink)
Elite Member
prague, czech republic
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
Broker/Data: LMAX
Favorite Futures: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
xelaar's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,517 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 1,739 given, 2,592 received

Today I blew it twice. The strategy proved again just awesome but I made mistakes trading very slow moving volumeless market, making enough losses in a small 15 ticks wide chop (on Gold!!!), and then did not realize FOMC was re-scheduled so I got killed on next trade as well. Tried my luck during horrible volatility on Gold, lost again. Then I started to claw back. I went down to -2800, reduced position from 5 cars to 2 cars and then won it back to +410. Still negative because of 600 usd of commissions. But then I was desperate to make a bit more to be positive for a day including commissions. But market died. So I waited. It started to move right before the pit close at 13-30 CT, I entered with a short at the lows but then volatility immediately died. And it started very slowly pulling back. I was so tired and frustrated by this point I just moved my stop from 10 ticks to very far away and let it ride. It did go back slowly enough to make me add twice which I sweared won't do for scalps, so eventually I was at -6000 floating loss. It did come back and I put TP to close at break even, but it would blow my Combine if it would be a Combine.

I feel I am getting sick with Sim disease. I really do things I wouldn't do live or perhaps during a Combine because it would mean failure. On Sim I just do because it does not matter and I am bored and desperate to do. When I am live, and I want to do stupid trade I do it on Sim instead. Here I am on Sim, so I do it anyway. But how can I distinguish "real" Sim from "Sim" Sim? I feel that procrastination is taking its toll. I do have a working strategy, I can use T4 comfortably and I need a motivation and targets. Time to take a Combine. I will evaluate my options tomorrow again and perhaps will subscribe for a Combine starting next week give we don't have many holidays soon. I will have to check.

I do think 30k Combine is the best for teaching yourself a discipline lesson, but I would not be able to dig myself out of the hole like I did with 150k account because it lacks flexibility: I can't go less than one car to reduce risk after a serie of losses. 150k is also better for a live prep period when I pass. But it provides too much flexibility and possibility to take risk like I did today on Gold and before than on Crude. However, if I can be really strict with my rules knowing I can blow it and will blow it if I do things like that, I know I can overcome my urge to "let it work more".

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  #49 (permalink)
Elite Member
prague, czech republic
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
Broker/Data: LMAX
Favorite Futures: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
xelaar's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,517 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 1,739 given, 2,592 received

After yesterday's fiasco stats deteriorated but it does not matter, Combine would be over. I have few days left still and will keep practicing my method and will look for crude again, just to get as much experience as I can while it lasts.
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  #50 (permalink)
Elite Member
prague, czech republic
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
Broker/Data: LMAX
Favorite Futures: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
xelaar's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,517 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 1,739 given, 2,592 received


have made my decision: I will go for 30k 20d combine, reasoning is that it has the best tools to teach me patience and selectivity, while giving a high chance of going live. My trading plan will be as follows:
1. I will only trade GC
2. I will only trade during open pit session from 7:20-12:30 CST (14:20-19:30 my time CET)
3. I will give myself 3 chances a day, each starting with 1 contract and adding up to 2 more once trade moves into profit at least 10 ticks from previous entry, 2 minutes bar is closed strong and previous entry protected at BE
4. I will trade only off 2 minute bar chart with volume indicator (volume data is the reason of not using tick charts)
5. Signal is a large bar at least 15 ticks (2 minute) with bigger than average volume (but not extremely big, which is usually a stopping volume), in a direction of a sentiment, i.e. I will wait for a sentiment to develop first during the pit session
6. Entry is a stop order 1 or 2 ticks away from the bar high or low, given that bar has a wick no bigger than 5 ticks
7. Stop is 10 ticks, moving to BE after any consecutive bar closes at least 10 ticks in profit, option to close early or protect early if trade does not work right away
8. Target is 50 ticks but I plan to get out using a manual trailing stop set at the low/high of last strong bar in my direction, this should work well on Gold that can run like that 100+ ticks and I just need to manage to get in

I will keep practising until my 2 week trial is over (next Monday) and then apply for a Combine. I will go for 20 days, first because this is not a sprint but marathon and when trading live I can't get it done in 10 days and be free after that, so the whole idea of just getting a small window is futile, also I can be more selective with chosing what days to trade, as I need to trade only 20 days out of 60 calendar days. I will have some race events at the end of the April and it means no trading on Friday and perhaps Thursday, besides many Fridays aren't good for trading anyways and best to be skipped (unless it is NFP or something like that when Gold can move and move and move until market is closed).

I will open a separate thread in public forum strictly for a Combine trading this only method on Gold. I will keep using this thread as my hideout and a place to be comfy and philosophize.

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