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

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

Welcome to my trading journal. The intention is to use it as my trading log for my own easy review and comments from others. I trade the demo, preparing to take a Combine with TST, mainly for my own development as a trader. I have spent around 1.5 years trying to develop a reliable intra-day system with Forex, mostly for EURUSD, had strikes of good progress 6-8 weeks in length, even moved to live but only to have the market totally change and stop producing profits. Finally I have arrived to a decent understanding of price action and order flow, with reading Bob Volman's books added some final touch on setups and expectations with a realization any system like this should be only traded on Futures with 4 digit system, not 5-digit Forex with variable spreads, etc. I will try to stay withing 30k/10d combine parameters, i.e. 500 usd risk per day tops, 1500 usd max drawdown, 1500 usd target per month.

Overall I have been trading actively 3.5 years, mostly Forex, had some great success as news trader, much less so as technical trader. Currently trade Forex on long time frames and intra-day manipulations, but consider it much like investment stuff, while I want to lean on futures scalping as a day to day source of income.

I plan to trade a simulated combine-like stretch of 30 days and then if successful take a combine.

I will only trial 6E and ES, both trading separately (i.e. not counting both) with an idea to select one of them by the end of the period for the combine run.

My ES is 500 ticks chart with EMA 21, my 6E is 70 ticks chart with EMA 21. Setups are pretty much as per Bob Volman. I use stop of 4 ticks and target of 4 and 16 ticks on ES and 7 ticks stop and 7 and 14 ticks targets for 6E.

I am trading the sim with Multicharts DT I have with AMP/CQG, since I love this software and don't need tools present in more complex futures platforms, however MC offers an excellent screen trading with one click and I love to trader with my tablet PC using wacom screen stylus

I don't mind trading with T4 for Combine since I need very little from the platform, though.

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


I had started to trade my simulation of Combine yesterday. Initially I started to trade 6E as 7 tick stop and 10 tick target. ES was started as 8 ticks stop and 4-12 ticks target but while profitable it won't likely to fit into Combine parameters so I have changed it for today.

Here are my trades on 6E yesterday:




Summary of trades:
1. -7 ticks (1)
2. -6 ticks (1)
3. -7 ticks (1)
4. 0 ticks (1)
5. +10 ticks (1)
6. +10 ticks (1)
7. -3 ticks (2)
8. +1 tick (2)
9. +3 ticks (2)

Total: +25 usd - 12x5 = -35 usd, win/loss ratio 4:4 50%, 1 break even trade, avg winner 4.6 ticks, avg loser 5.6 ticks


ES trades



1. +4 +50$ (1)
2. -2 -25$ (1)

3. +4 +50$ (1)
4. -2 -25$ (1)

5. +4 +50$ (1)
6. +8 +100$ (1)

7. +3 +37.5$ (1)
8. +5 +62.5$ (1)

9. -5 -62.5$ (1)
10. -5 -62.5$ (1)

11. +4 +50$ (1)
12. +4 +50$ (1)

Total count: +22 ticks +275 usd - 12x5 = +215 usd
WinLoss ratio: 8:4 66.6% Avg win: 4.5 ticks Avg loss: 3,5 ticks

1st day trading conclusions: protect trade when near the take profit, actions applied to use trail stop. I normally prefer to have more breathing room for a trade, but if price comes back and stops me out for a tick or two, it would screw my time stats at combine, i.e. my losing trade will acquire too much time in duration and effectively I might get losing trades longer than winning trades due to this protection/stop outs. Solutions: I will move trade to break even +0, I can't use a negative value due to the factors above and I can't move a tick to profit first because I will screw up my profit trade average size and second I will really decrease my chances of trade working out, so I better stuff concerns about commissions far away and expect that next runner will cover all these short comings.

I will be using next setup from tomorrow: ES 4tick SL, 1st target 4 ticks moving second part to entry and 2nd target 8-12 ticks. For 6E it's 7ticks for SL, first target 8 ticks, at this point moving second part to entry, second target 15 ticks (possibly extend in high momentum market).

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

Here are today's trades.
First off 6E




1. +4 +100$ (2)
2. +5 +62.5$ (1)
3. +5 +62.5$ (1)
4. +10 +124$ (1)
5. +4 +50$ (1)
6. +10 +250$ (2)
7. +7 +87.5$ (1)
8. 0 (1)
9. 0 (2)
10. +1 +25 (2)
11. +1 +12.5 (1)
12. -7 -87.5$ (1)
13. -7 -175$ (2)
14. +7 +175$ (2)
15. +8 +100$ (1)

Total: +63 ticks + 787.5$ - 5x21 = 682.5$
Win Loss ratio: 11:2 = 84.6%
Avg win: 5.63 Avg loss: 7
Despite very nice winning day that delivered almost half of 10 days profit objective, I would still fail due to bigger losses than wins, even through win rate is 85%! I need to stop taking these +1 +2 scratches, even though it makes sense in real life to pay for commissions, in Combine it may be a difference between pass and fail!






I am so tired I won't do a calc on ES today, overall MC gives me following stats for today:
gross profit: 625$
gross loss: 275$
trades: 16
net profit: 350$
profitable: 50% trades

Overall a good day on ES too. Tomorrow I will put together an excel book so I stop doing these numbers by hand once and for all, and will get a time metric as well

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  #5 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
Broker: LMAX
Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
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Posts: 1,517 since Feb 2013
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My spreadsheet is ready, here is my 6E trades for last two days.



ES trade stats


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

Sorry guys for disappearing. I am in Spain for race season opening. Will get back to trading next week. I have decided not to restart my attempt but to treat it as 50k and 20 days so I will keep the count intact.

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

I am back! After giving it some thoughts I decided to stick with my original plan simulating 30k/10d Combine and simply restart the attempt. Besides, my spreadsheet gave me much statistical information and things to reconsider regarding trade management.

Here is my updated rules:
1. Due to limitations of T4 and clear unability to match my Multicharts strategies, I will trade only whole trades, without scaling in and out. I am certain scaling in and out is most advantageous strategy when done properly and I will likely to use it for my real trading, but it might be difficult to maintain proper statistics for Combine, specially because they treat scaled-out trade as a separate trade.
2. For simplicity sake, I will trade my next simulation in a very easy trade management fashion by simply having 7 ticks stop and 10 ticks profit for 6E instrument and 4 ticks stop and 6 ticks profit for ES. I will check out YM and NQ for a possibility to add into my trading portfolio.
3. I will narrow my trading session limitations: I will only trade 6E during the first half of London (8-30AM-12-30PM GMT) and I will only trade ES during US stocks sessions 30 minutes after the opening (10AM-12PM EST)
4. I will not trade during: end of month, NFP Friday, any Friday after London mid-day, before any big expected announcements that day.
5. I will not try to trade breakouts of any larger (20 ticks or more) ranges, instead will anticipate them to hold and fade the borders.
6. I will trade any trend day in a direction of trend and won't anticipate any reversals or prolonged ranges, trading only a continuation side on any congestion.

My plan is to follow these simple rules for 2 weeks, doing 10 trading day simulation.

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

Ah and I have the following trade size strategy:
1. Always start session or day with 1 contract
2. If trade direction changes from the previous successful trade direction, start with 1 contract
3. Add contracts after a successful trade when going in the same direction unless fading large range borders

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

I have planned to restart my simulation trading today, but my demo account expired and I have got a new one only before the start of US session. I still did trade 6E, ES and CL, but honestly I wanted more to get a feeling for it, rather than results, after a week-long absence from the markets. Even though I am positive today on all instruments, I won't include it into the stats and start tomorrow as per my plan.

You might notice some changes, due to my mentioning of CL. Yes, I know it is a difficult instrument to trade, but it seems that it follows Price Action rules well and moves good enough. I will look to use Vince Virgill's trading method with 800 ticks and Mack's entry rules. Not sure yet about stops size but for starters I will assume 20 ticks stop, 10 ticks profit on first contract and second one is a runner. Trading with stop large like this won't be an option for 30k Combine, but I will leave an option to do 50k instead if I see good results. Originally I though about trading CL same way as 6E, from 70 ticks chart but it's too violent in my opinion, and the only way to trade like this is to gun for profits 2-3 times stops, but with stop of 8-10 ticks on CL I am looking most likely at best 30-40% win rate, so it won't fly for a Combine. Besides, my main instrument is 6E so I can't concentrate to trade very actively them both, so CL will be trialed in the same manner as ES - less trades per day, gun for good runners.

Another change before I start my simulation. This time about ES. My original idea with 4 ticks stop seems to be foolish. It works sometimes but many times it will stop me out of the perfectly reasonable trade. ES tends to do backing and filling, so I have considered trading it differently. I have noticed that ES will have either a trend movement after NY open, pushing daily high or low one way and then eventually reverse gears and do a rather substantial pullback up to 50-60% of the daily range and then continue it's way, OR, it will range from one range border to another. I will try to use Mack's (priceactiontrading.com) rules with the exception I won't be taking 4 ticks profits and will go for 8 ticks or more with maximum stop of 8 ticks. I hope I can still achieve 45%+ win/loss ratio. I will bring trade to break even as soon as possible.

Let's see how it goes.

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


I still did not start my simulation, was playing with the markets last two days again, trying to find a more suitable combinations of stops and profit that should work for the market and for combine. I will start my attempt on Monday, and will fix all the parameters for 10 days of simulation. I will stick with 30k-10d.

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

I had some good trading yesterday on CL, looks like these rules are far more effective on crude than on Euro, I assume Bob Volman wrote his book in 2010-2011 when Euro had its historic high volatility printing 180 pips daily but these days long gone. I had some good results back then on my own methods in forex with euro too, also automated mean reversal systems used to make a total killing in the markets. Since spring 2012 no more, markets turned on their head. I can see euro mostly ranging and doing nothing and then explode on some tape bomb or news but quickly settling into the range again, very frustrating if you try to piggy-back on the move. So no more scalping euro for me.

I still trade Fiber and Cable on forex, but only on bank trading manipulations and stop runs based on intra-week cycles, but it's hardly a scalping and unlikely can fly for Combine despite excellent risk reward and trade duration, since I might have only 1-2 trades per week and Combine expects active trading.

So I focus now mostly on Crude also because I love it's trading session: it's sleeps till 9 AM NY and goes to sleep after 1 PM or so NY, so just 4 hours of packed action, I like this, unlike currency that has all the action spread over 3 trading sessions. I can sit 4 hours in front of monitors no problems, but I am tired of sitting 14 hours straight I used to for covering both London and NY sessions.

I am also trialing ES and YM, but with different methods since they have very different trading behavior. But I need to get used to it much more. So it's likely I will be studying indices for few more weeks and start my attempt solely with Crude.

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

Interesting about Emini SP from Joe Ross

Joe Ross' Chart Scan

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

Hooray!

I have started my standardized simulation all over again. I have spent a week testing and trialing certain things and
this is what I have came up with:
1. I will only trade Crude Oil
2. I will only used 100 ticks chart for entry and management, and 800 ticks chart for channels, direction, support and resistance
3. I will not use any MAs at all, they seem to be just a wishful thinking, instead I will select trades from the channels or range borders on 800 tick chart and use 2,-2 standard deviation bollinger bands on 100 ticks chart to select entry areas and possible obstacles for further moving/targeting, as well as VWAP for selecting a trend/direction
4. I will use Floor Trader Pivots to anticipate areas of support and resistance for the day
5. I use 10 ticks stop with possible tightening when setup allows and possible risk decreasing as trade moves in profit, but not aggressive, allowing a space for rotations
6. I will trial 3 contract entry with 3 targets: 10, 20 and 30 ticks. It will allow me to gather statistics on possible best scenario. I will not use automated break-even, instead I will use latest high or low to trail stops but no closer than 10 ticks to the price, unless very close to a final target and price stall.
7. I plan to trade 3-5 trades a day, having a larger target will prevent me from taking trades with a small target room
8. I will take at least 15 minutes pause between trades on different setups
9. I will allow only 1 re-enter possibility for the setup still valid but stopped out from premature entry
10. I will plan to stay withing 1000 usd daily loss limit and target 1000 usd daily max profit, to possibly stay in ranges of Combine 50k, I will start trading single contract after two losses a day for the rest of the day

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

Here is my trades from yesterday


Overall picture


Trade 1 and 2


Trade 3


Overall a good day.

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

Today I had a short day. Spend the opening at the tax advisor's, so came in trading later one, missing the move down. I took just two trades, still there is plenty of time, but I will cut it short today, and get some rest and go to gym, just not is the best of mood.

Here is a channel/direction analysis for today:


I took two trades.


One is continuation with the trend, after a range breakout of small block but we were on the top bollinger so I did not want to risk it on possible stop run down and wanted to take it on a continuation. However a pivot was nearby, I hoped for momentum to be healthy enough to break through, it spiked through but stalled, I trailed remaining two contracts close after first one closed on limit take profit, getting them stopped for 4 ticks each. Then I reversed convinced that the pivot will hold for a while. Easily managed to profit target 1, but then price sit on the lower range border and bollinger, I trailed remaining two contracts to be stopped out for 3 ticks profit each. Eventually it moved down, but it was likely to retest (and possibly break) the pivot so I would do the same trade management again and again.



Not much ticks won, but with no loss a good day in profits.

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

Tough day today. Today I have chosen to trial Vance's strategy pre-market, it does work well but I will stick with my own for at least 10 trading days until I re-evaluate but I prefer to trial it longer.

Lots of chop today, small range, and I totally forgotten about the reserve news. All the mess ensues.
Daily stats first:


Overall market picture:


My messy trades:




My main mistake was disregarding checking for the news (still not used to trading oil and forget about the reserve release) and trading inside the chop. Next time I will fade the borders (what I did later with more success) and wait for a better move. After I took two losses on 3 contract positions, I reverted to 1 contract trades with flexible target (1:1 or better). After three wins I went back to trading 3 contracts, but chosen to close out at +10 ticks remaining two contracts after the stall and relatively nearby pivot and lower support.

Still no matter what in profit, albeit just 85 bucks after commissions. The other stats are still passable for Combine, but it's very early still.

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

It's three days into 10 day venture, I need to book profit of 3500 usd to pass, so an average should be 350 usd a day. However, I don't expect being able to post all winning days, so I need to allow for at least 3 losing days along the way with average loss 500. So I need to boost 5000 in 7 trading days, or 720 usd per winning day. So far I am lacking in this department, but it's so hard to tell. I've got 20 trading days to chose my 10 actual trading days from, or 3 weeks, so I can pass on some days and I need to trade less. So far I am 30% of days spent in, and around 30% of profits required booked. However, I still can use more days if needed and I believe I will need them. However, the methodology and risk management seems to be suitable for the metrics so I have good chances.

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

A bad day today. CL had historically low volatility and it shows. Started off bad with two losers on 3-contract trades, then switched on to 1 contracts. Made back half of the losses but still a losing day.









Analyzing results it appears that starting off with 3 contract trades is not so good idea, so for the rest of the exercise I will be starting with 1 contract and after I build up 200 usd profit or more I will up the contracts.

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

Another tough day. I tried again several different tactics in pre-market and it apparently affected my thinking during my normal trading sessions, starting 9 AM EST.



I made following mistakes:
1. Entered setups with too wild gyrations in the consolidation that costed me stop out several times including increasingly large stop outs (up to 14 ticks) I used to be able to put a stop under latest high or low
2. Did trades with too little time in between them

However I did few things well, including:
1. I started with 1 contract and therefore my draw down wasn't severe however I was unable to build up a cushion to start using 3 contracts, so I stayed with just one.
2.I added on 1 more contract one time when the setup pulled back apparently and closed out at BE on the first entry, booking 7 ticks on the second
3. I switched to 250 ticks that allowed me to trade less and don't get killed in the chop like yesterday



All in all I made a handful of ticks that just paid my commissions exactly and I ended up with a hole from a bun as daily net. Could be much worse.

It's been very tough two days for me, and possibly my trading attempt won't be able to reach the target but still there is a hope as I am still within other Combine requirements.



I know I should not be changing my setup during the run (BigMike has a great point in their signature), but honestly 100 ticks was too messy today and I expect 250 to be better even during more energized days with better volume and participation.

Have a great weekend!

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

I am doing some market review for the past month now using 250 tick charts and support resistance areas. I will do more so tomorrow and plan to trade following week with more strict trade management and little bit different approach to positioning:
1. I will start with 1 contract and build up to 3 once I have two winning trades
2. I will look only for trades near the support or resistance zone and won't be taking trades in the middle of current active range
3. I will use more basic trade management with one target and trailing stop for all contacts in order to have it more automatic, I will even leave PC alone as soon as trade is opened, i.e. fire and forget. The trades I save manually are usually less damaging than lost profits on preliminary closed trades.
4. I will use a base position of 2 contracts instead of 3, thus giving me an option to use 15 ticks stop loss instead of doing 3 contracts with 10 ticks. My current stop is just not consistent with CL volatility, using high or low of last swing or signal bar is a weak target, it gets run far too often, so my stop will be fixed 15 ticks
5. My trade management strategy is: SL15, TP30, TS15.

I should be able to compare next week's results to this week results and see what works better for real.

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  #21 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
Broker: LMAX
Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
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Giving it more thought, I will also start again trading 6E only during the London session (since I have got some time next week), purely as per Bob Volman: 70 ticks chart, 21EMA, 10TP fix, 5-10SL.

Just want to have something more to compare my results on CL with. My mistake with 6E was I think mainly trying to get more ticks, not being satisfied with just 10, and this is the problem, sometimes fiber moves a lot, last week certainly, but usually for last year it's not moving much, but 10 ticks should be attainable. On the other hand stops can be much smaller than for CL. My main focus will be to trade tiny patterns formed after a momentum move, and I will skip any blocks larger than 4-5 ticks, any signal bars larger that that, any double dojis larger that that. Ideally I want to see 5-6 ticks stop max and 10 ticks target. Then even 45% passable for Combine will be making good profit.

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 xelaar 
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Hey there. Just wanted to tell why I am changing to 15SL 30TP 15 TS on Crude. I want to model different scenarios, and having 15 ticks stop as the largest I want to use and 30 ticks profit as the largest I want to use on Crude allows me to model in spreadsheets scenarios with smaller SL and TP, prominently 10 ticks SL and 10, 20 ticks TP I used earlier. Having MAE and MFE now recorded allows me this, also I will just trade 1 contract without any regards to stop out limits, just to gather more data, I can model stop outs for different Combine sets in my spreadsheets. The main purpose for this exercise is to find a suitable trade and risk management strategy for Combine and do to that as best as I can I need as much stats as I can handle. Then I can model scenarios for all types of Combine and use different risk management strategies (like reducing risk when in draw down by reducing contract size, increasing risk as cushion built up, etc).

At the same I get more and more enamored with Al Brooks methods of trading, it just seems so natural to me, it's just I am somehow not very comfortable with ES and also I don't want to spend so much time doing time-consuming trading in parallel to my main task - CL, I plan to start getting in tune with it slowly on 15 minutes and/or hourly charts on Forex, fiber and cable, it seems to be the great method to trade on Forex.

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 xelaar 
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Spent a day today getting accustomed to the new charts and trade management. Although I had a profit on Crude I would journal it as trades were not systemic and rather try outs. Also 6e ate me alive, I need to think if I want to trade with such intensity. It certainly hurt my CL trading today. So I will probably postpone it for later and insted will look at slower 6e and 6b charts with AL Brooks method.

I have also found out that my new trade parameters such as 30 ticks target isnt well suited for 250 ticks chart. I had target hit today but market was unusually strong and could not repeat that feat again even though my second trade few ticks shy of 30.

I was using 10 and 20 with 100 ticks and it was better suited. I will stick with parameters though but will use 400 ticks instead. We will see how it works.

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 Brewer20 
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Hey there. Just wanted to tell why I am changing to 15SL 30TP 15 TS on Crude. I want to model different scenarios, and having 15 ticks stop as the largest I want to use and 30 ticks profit as the largest I want to use on Crude allows me to model in spreadsheets scenarios with smaller SL and TP, prominently 10 ticks SL and 10, 20 ticks TP I used earlier. Having MAE and MFE now recorded allows me this, also I will just trade 1 contract without any regards to stop out limits, just to gather more data, I can model stop outs for different Combine sets in my spreadsheets. The main purpose for this exercise is to find a suitable trade and risk management strategy for Combine and do to that as best as I can I need as much stats as I can handle. Then I can model scenarios for all types of Combine and use different risk management strategies (like reducing risk when in draw down by reducing contract size, increasing risk as cushion built up, etc).

I would be careful with this. While you have a given MAE and MFE for each trade, you don't know the exact path price took to get there. I think your analysis would be valid if you didn't not consider tighter stops as a variable. In this case, you would would be assured of hitting a lower profit target before hitting the original stop.

However, if you model a lower stop, I don't think you will have the necessary data, with just MAE and MFE, to determine if this stop gets hit before the profit target

Plan your trade, trade your plan.
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 xelaar 
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I would be careful with this. While you have a given MAE and MFE for each trade, you don't know the exact path price took to get there. I think your analysis would be valid if you didn't not consider tighter stops as a variable. In this case, you would would be assured of hitting a lower profit target before hitting the original stop.

However, if you model a lower stop, I don't think you will have the necessary data, with just MAE and MFE, to determine if this stop gets hit before the profit target

Thats correct! Thanks. My intention was to assume a loser if MAE is 10 or more in this case. But as I am drifting to slower charts that might be not a big issue in itself since 10 ticks stop would not be enough to protect the trade before it logically invalidated.

Thanks again for reading it! Its a first comment not less

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 xelaar 
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Two days in a row of screw ups! Now I have a choice - admit I did stupid things (I called them "experimenting" to save face) and start over again or continue where I left. I will continue, as the point is gathering statistics before anything else.

I managed to waste a day today and yesterday playing with chart resolution between different tick settings, seconds,minutes and contracts. Something was wrong and thanks to a merciful soul I finally realized I was still trading April contract on Crude while people moved to May, no wonder I started to get 3-4 times less ticks and contracts!!!

I started today early, had success only to screw up again later in the day while keep changing stuff.

Now I have decided to continue with settings I posted earlier, 15 ticks stop and 30 ticks target but without automatic trail stop, I will choose trailing points myself, after all it's not an automatic process, and will only use break even at +15, and I leave an option to adjust take profit between 10 and 30 ticks depending on probability and space in front available.

I will be using 250 ticks chart, as after I have changed the contracts 100 became and pure madness and some setups still required minimum 15 ticks stop (which agrees with 15-20 ticks rotations on Crude) but generated far too many setups with many of them having not much possible target space.

Anyhow, this is how I will continue. I plan to end this excersize and once April starts will buy my membership at TST and will trade their Sim and Combine. I hope it will stimulate me to play by the rules and stop playing with setups and settings. I started off on Sim well but I feel I got the Sim fever now, stopping to take results as if they were real and instead fire the bullet without due care...

Here is my shot from today. I will be using just one chart, with 250 ticks, last few days we had a lot of volatility and activity so it remains to be seen how much bars we will see during a normal session, but I think I can stick with 250, being a good mid-ground between scalping and intra-day trading.


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 Maelstrom 
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xelaar View Post

I started today early, had success only to screw up again later in the day while keep changing stuff.


Only piece of advice I can offer is do not, ever, change anything during your active trading session (done it many times before in the past - never turned out well). Make changes after the day is done, if needed, and/or make the changes and simply watch.

Keep at it!

M

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 xelaar 
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Only piece of advice I can offer is do not, ever, change anything during your active trading session (done it many times before in the past - never turned out well). Make changes after the day is done, if needed, and/or make the changes and simply watch.

Keep at it!

M

Thanks! I absolutely agree, this is why I am on demo, working out a best approach for me, despite having a funded account and after 3 years trading my nest egg in Forex. Need lots of work still.

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 xelaar 
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Okay. You gonna laugh now. I have more changes to come. Yesterday was a Fed day so not a good day to trade live or against the metrics. So I kept practicing, and studying, learning, thinking, analyzing past charts.

Here is good part and bad part. There is a fight in my mind between two sides of my personality: a desire to get a quick fix and be done, and a desire to mastermind a trade like a good business and see it growing.

Let's start with a first one. I am an impulsive person, but I don't live day by day, I love trill and excitement, race road bikes (200hp) as my main hobby and sometimes sail nasty weather as another. I started trading live in Forex as market started to collapse again on first Greek drama act but trully put my nest egg on the table after discovering news trading. I practiced, tested, developed technical tools that gave me advantage, and traded heavy (at least for me, throwing up to 20-30 times leveraged capital in one trade), and made good money. I got addicted to this quick fix and trill, seeing trade bringing you money in 10-60 seconds and be done for the day and sometimes for the week. And after seeing it making money 5 times out of ten, 4 times small gain or loss around break even, and maybe 1 loss, it was very hard to convince myself trading techinical charts can be better. But good things come and go. Trading this way became tough and returns diminished, so I started to get back to technical trading again. Spent a year trying to master short term trading on Forex (mostly Fiber euro/usd), but always got too much issues with it, because of execution, lack of volume data and 5-digit pricing system (where you have price moving in 10th of tick or pip how it is called in fx). Then I decided to venture into Futures. I traded Futures briefly few years ago, but it was FX futures and was related to event trading. This is how I ended up here and a story of my quick fix. So for me trading this way, short term with momentum is natural, responds to my character and lines up with good experience.

Another side is a carefully planning, safety-inclined character. I have long-term investments, planned to protect me when hell break loose (I have little doubt it will happen within my investment horizon), I do things that will only give me gratification in future, and I like to plan my next steps on different levels. So naturally I aspire longer term trading as well and spend time constantly looking at daily and weekly charts, getting prepared to start slowly working my way there as well.

The most trouble to me brings mid-term horizon. Intra-day trading that doesn't get resolved fast enough to start and finish it sitting in front of PC before taking a coffee break, but doesn't leave me with an option to leave the trade to itself and go jogging or bicycling for few hours. It tempts me to interfere and usually I want it to get resolved ASAP so I screw up good trades.

I started my second coming to futures with an idea I can get my thesis in trading really fast get executed much better in Futures (and this is totally true), but somehow started to read all that wonderful posts, watch webinars,e tc that contain really great information, but it distracted me from my original ideas.

So here it comes. I have decided to go back to beginning and resume my testing in Fiber (euro), but on the premise that was originally valid - small gain high probability trades. Fiber doesn't move much now on normal days, but it has realitively frequent rotations of 10-20 ticks and one can profit well from it. Another big hurdle is that I live in Europe on GMT+1 time and for me trading American products during pit hours means spending time from 3 PM to 7 PM in front of PC trying to start afresh and concentrate. Even leaving social aspect behind (I am not very social person as I find most common folks too dumb to have any sort of conversation with them, as they only want to talk about food and local crimes) I started to feel the toll of exhaustion on me, since I already had a full day of work or study and then I need to start over again in the afternoon. So trading heavy in afternoon spells trouble to me. In this sense I will look to continue with Crude, but I will go down on chart speed again, and will look into 400-800 ticks charts with an idea in mind to take maximum 3 trades a day there. No re-entry on bad trade, large trade separation (30-60 minutes). Stop loss 15-20 ticks. We shall see how it works.

On the fiber madness, I plan to trade it in my morning and my setup is the following:
1. I wait for the directional move
2. I wait for a small consolidation up to 3-5 ticks wide with well defined borders
3. I look at the DOM and Volume ratio indi to confirm the directional bias on volume
4. I take the trade once it breaks out, either with stop order if I am very confident or with limit once price breaks out and don't retreat right away, so I take the first pull back
5. Max stop is 5 ticks and I look to protect the trade immediately as it moves in my favor usually when 3-4 ticks in profit
6. My target is 5 ticks but I contemplate a setup when second target is 10 ticks, the hit rate is high enough.
7. If I see momentum dying I will move either stop or limit (depending if trade is above or under water) to my entry to catch a break even.

I traded this way yesterday and today, taking only the best trades and getting at least half of trades at break even being very protective, but results look very good so far.

I have decided to venture more in this direction and will study more order flow, dom scalping, as it seems to be in the same cathegory as my method and reflects my view of trading well. I love to be done fast and out.

And it seems that Hoag is trading similarly at least as per his webinars about new pit, and Combine program is certainly favors this type of trading.

Trading single contract I brought in 250 usd yesterday (200 net) no losers, with 67.5 dollars per trade risk limits installed by Combine seem very reasonable and target very achievable.

So let's the game begin!

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 xelaar 
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This is how it looks


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 xelaar 
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Here is my stats for last two days of trading with a style described above. I can see I need some improvements:
1. When trade does not perform within 30 seconds or so I need to cut it if in the red by gradually moving a limit order to work more favorable exit price
2. I need to add runners and leave the stop at break even to get these bigger gains 10-15 ticks and improve my average holding time and average winner size
3. I need to trade only during most volatile periods, MFE during slower time indicates not much profits were available




An example of trade from yesterday.


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  #32 (permalink)
 xelaar 
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My CL trading off 800 tick chart resembled throwing darts while blindfolded. Initially I was using 15 tick stop loss but after been stopped out 3 times calling right direction I used 30 ticks stop and then after two 15 tick winners I got 30 tick loser. I could avoid this one, but I left PC to its own devices and went to do something else to come and see it failed miserably. I think I could get out at 20 ticks damage most be I present. Then I reversed and repaired that damage with 29 tick gain and this time called a bottom right and captured another 25 ticks. Messy to say the least. Need to work much more on that one.


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  #33 (permalink)
 xelaar 
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I went onto a business trip so this week has to be passed. My demo account on MC has expired so I don't have a sim to trade on (I have withdrawn my live account not to be tempted to dive in or just touch it with this little finger) so I will keep reading and absorbing knowledge this week.
My plan for the next week is to subscribe as a member to TST and spend a month on their T4 sim, get used to it before doing a Combine. Also I could not be selective on stats what to use in my spreadsheets and what to not, all trading will have to be done by rules. I will suppress my urges to do an impulsive trade by doing an imaginable trade marking places on the chart where I would place it so I can think later about it.

The trade plan will be the following:
1. I will trade as I started, small patterns on 6E and CL, using Bob Volman's setups, not all of them just the most tiny ones: blocks, double dojis, second breaks and inside/advanced range brakes. Normal range breaks generate way too much false breaks and teases, what I want to see before I take a trade is a lot of tension and a very compressed price aciton, possible spring traps.
2. I will look for trade locations around key daily levels, so setups will be driven by stop hunt action or sentiment overwhelming level defendants.
3. I will be studying DOM to see a confirming order flow, I am reviewing corresponding materials conserning order flow, and tape reading. I want my trades to be confirmed by the tape.
4. I plan on many setups per day with target of 5-10 ticks and stop loss of 4-5 ticks. I plan to have around 50% win rate but hopefully more. Ideally I would target something like 50-100 trades a day with 5 ticks target and 3-4 ticks stop and 70+% win rate but not sure if it can be done on Euro (however with news coming all the time lately it shows many many setups), this is why I will also trade CL with same rules. 6E will only be traded from 9AM to 12 PM CET time (London before lunch) and Crude only from 9 AM to 12 PM EST time (NY before lunch). I won't touch anything else or try any other strategy, I want to get something done finally.

I give myself 1 month to work this strategy to a level I can have some confidence in and then I will take a small 30k 10 day combine.


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  #34 (permalink)
 xelaar 
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I gave it some though and posted my consideration about Combine and capital here at friendly blog on indextrader.


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 xelaar 
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Here I am back again. I have applied for 2 week trial run with TST and CTS T4, that should both get me accustomed to T4 and same time give me 2 weeks to iron my strategy and see if it works on calmer markets and on CL market. I will also see if I can get a sense of the orderflow from T4's DOM and T&S. I am a huge proponent on order flow and tried for a long time to apply it in Forex but there you could only work with some guesswork and mainly operate out of stop run areas and touted barrier options where a burst of order flow was to be expected. I am checking out Jigsaw and NoBS to see if they can help me with something but I don't want to dive now into more complication and acquire NT with Jigsaw's tools and figure out how to use all of it, especially if I want to do a Combine with T4. My plan is to polish my strategies for 2 weeks during the trial and then apply for 150k 20 day Combine. I just see no point to trade 30-50k ones, since I can provide more risk capital myself than what they give me with it and I can trade any platform I like with much smaller commissions than they charge. I will keep posted my trades and TST's reports daily.

I plan to run 150k simulation and I will make sure I won't dip below daily DD and max DD. I will start with 1 contract and build up to possibly 5-7 or max 10 if I have a really high win percentage.

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 xelaar 
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Today wasn't a good day to test, due to low volumes because of Easter Monday, but still I can feel CL is no good instument for this strategy even though I was able to keep it around break even, unlike 6E but I started testing with 6E on T4 and took many random trades at the beginning. I am also testing ES again, not so much for this strategy exactly, but rather for order flow/tape reading principles.

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  #37 (permalink)
 xelaar 
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This was my third day into the TST trial run. I managed to get more less accustomed with T4, last two days I made losses due to trying different things, styles and instruments, although yesterday I had profits with CL. Today I made 2000 usd gain, 770 on CL and over 1000 on GC. GC had very clear pattern, very nice to see, with CL it was like yesterday, I managed to go into a floating drawdown before I came into profit and it would be the end of Combine today if I was doing 150k Combine instead of practice. I like the strategy with scaling in with a very large initial SL tightening it up as I load more contracts, the issue was I did not anticipate how far it will run against me (around 50 ticks since the first entry) so I should be more careful with scaling in. I will start with just 1 contract next time and will go in max 3 contracts while scaling in being negative and will add more while going into profit, pyramiding it.

I also will try to use same strategy on CL as I used on GC. Pretty much similar what I wanted to run on 6E but with fiber it only works on rare days now, a year ago you could have used it every days for many months in a row. The variation is I don't just wait for a small congestion with higher volume small bars (spring) but actually enter after such congestion is broken on a good volume and a large bar and just enter with a stop order on completion. I tried different scales, but apparently for GC and it's dual character of being either very passive and low volatility or very active and very volatile, I prefer to use 1 minute bars with a volume indicator instead of tick or contract bars. It helps me to filter out unimportant small bars and get ready when some directional grind appears and as soon as large bar prints breaking congestion, it will enter on competition with a stop order 1-3 ticks outside of bar high or low. With Crude, same 800 ticks chart I use for intra-day position trading seems to be also good to enter on large bar completion.

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  #38 (permalink)
 xelaar 
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I posted this in the other thread but I want to keep it in my journal as well to remind me to focus on these ideas as I re-read it.


Quoting 
I argued in the Combine passing thread that this is why I feel the smallest Combine is also the toughest in my opinion. Yes it has the lowest target percentage but it has so tight losses it makes many successful trade and size management strategies go to the toilet. Unlike in spot Forex (I traded FX for over 3 years now) you can't size your position precisely to your risk, unless you can do micro contracts but they are illiquid and not allowed in Combine anyway. So you have options like 6B with its 6.25 usd per tick and NQ with 5 usd per tick, and they could be good options for trading small Combine.

I feel that what TST wants to see is a successful position management, it means adding to winners, not reducing them by taking partial profits. I know many people find taking portions out helps to ease psychological pressure, but it reduces gains and adds to losers, so I am yet to see a statement from anyone who was able to pass Combine and live preparation doing that: cutting winners and taking full losses.

I think despite harder targets, large Combines allow a lot more position sizing flexibility when it comes to trading like winners trade: adding to winners when all stars are aligned. Like it was yesterday or day before, you could have loaded and loaded when market went through the floor.

With a large Combine you can start with a "feeler", like many pros do, throw in one car and it will get you to follow the market with attention and load up until your original daily premise is valid. With a small Combine you in effect must either scalp or get many stop outs using very tight stops even when the market maybe moving the way you predicted but is taking out stops on the way.


Quoting 
I tried the other strategy Martin mentioned (building a cushion for the day and increase lots) myself many times but it has two huge failures:
1. It forces you to overtrade and take miserable trades as you first need to build cushion and then exploit it
2. It makes you lose big once position increased and then you stop because of the DLL, when to work this strategy right you need to keep trading.
I did some automatic trading and applied very creative trade size management resembling this idea and it worked, but only if you let it to its own devices. As a human you hardly can do that. And what most important it works only for a system based on cyclical markets, my automatic strategy was exploiting rapid volatility expansions in FX market and traded mean reversals. So it was not that any next trade has no connection to the previous one, like we are taught and which is true to many manual systems, but opposite to it there was connection and it was beneficial to pile up size once winners are coming and cut size severely after few losers.

In methods we normally trade manually we can't do that because we hardly exploit any cycles and we are subject to psychological pressure. So I would argue it would be better to trade either with the same size all the time OR look to take less trades but work them from a minimal size to maximum size as it works in your direction strongly.

Just wanted to add: this is what I am working on right now myself and I can see good results already. With day trading futures, unlike in FX, you are working inside one trading session that has very characteristic boundaries and price action attributed to this session (while in FX all sessions are imaginary and smoothed out so you hardly can trade inside a session, maybe except Asian). So my current premise is to select my market direction for a session after it played out for an hour or two after the opening and start working myself in little by little. It will help me:
1. Reduce number of stop outs even when your thinking was right, to exactly one
2. Reduce number of trades, winners or losers, to just one trade with multiple entries (and maybe exits) but still holding just one original premise
3. Don't be a victim of stop runs and high volatility psycho happening due to news and things, you either right or wrong this day, just one time.
4. Stop generating huge commissions


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  #39 (permalink)
 xelaar 
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As of trading I did not plan to trade today due to NFP, but decided to do few scalps on Gold. Did two trades before the NFP and few about 5-10 minutes after. 10 ticks SL and 30 ticks TP but mostly cut early. +540 usd into the purse on T4 demo.

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 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
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Here is my stats for the week from taking a trial from TST with T4:




I did tests with other instruments too and it reflects in a balance, but these were all on the first days to test out T4 execution, strategies, etc. I am only looking forward to trade gold and crude for now.

This report is strange as it says it's a 50k simulation with 5 cars max size while in reality it is 150k and 15 cars, as it says in T4.

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 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
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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.




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)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
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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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 xelaar 
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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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 xelaar 
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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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 xelaar 
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  #46 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
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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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 xelaar 
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Interesting read

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

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  #48 (permalink)
 xelaar 
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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)
 xelaar 
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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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 xelaar 
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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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  #51 (permalink)
 xelaar 
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Today was a very quiet day and it gave just one opportunity and I capitalazed on it well, managed to scale in by the rules. Closed out early but it happened to be almost top so no worries. Alternative close methods would get pretty much the same result.

I tried two times and got out at break even, third time it worked. But it was a quiet day. Other day it can go 50 or 100 ticks.


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 xelaar 
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  #53 (permalink)
 xelaar 
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Just took a trade on 6E off the method I was practicing on FX earlier, works awesome on euro and cable. Works just as well on futures too. Targeted 40 ticks risking 13 in this case, settled for 10 ticks profit due to the nearing of US open and another possible manipulation. The signal (stop run) happened late in the London session.


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 xelaar 
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Today was an exceptional day on many markets. I did few attempts to trade gold, got a break even, and one trade closed at +12 ticks and rightly so. I did have another short trade right before the bottom fell out of gold but I got stopped at break even because there wasn't a strong direction after the pit open. Sure it did move 400 ticks after stopping me out. Another attempt well after the move, stopped out at be but slipped to -1 tick. I could not trade during the Big Fall because volatility was such trading with 10 ticks stop loss I use would get a stop out, price was jumping up and down in a region of 20-30 ticks with little or none limit orders in the market. I believe I witnessed a Flash Crash of Gold. I tried later a trade in Crude but it reversed on a dime and stopped me out for -15 ticks, but I traded with 1 contract only. So I am up on the day around 500 which is not bad at all during the day when many live traders probably got murdered.

This is the end of my 10 days practice with TST CTS T4. I will make a final decision over the weekend whether to do a Combine next week or use another simulator for some time more. I am confident I can make at least to rollover and have statistics in line if I stick to Gold and trade strictly by the rules I have. However I want to practice on Crude as well so I will see if I can use a free Multicharts demo I got from Zenfire or a free version of Multicharts.net 8.5, but need to find a data feed for it. I can get my futures account funded again and get a proper free demo again of course as well. I got used to CTS T4 though and really like its Tape (market history) in a filtered way it give a clue on the sentiment. So I need to think how to pull it off.

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  #55 (permalink)
 xelaar 
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My final report.




Metrics look good, I did have few very lengthy losers but all were not system trades, first ones from testing out the platform, last huge ones from my last screw up, which I wouldn't go either live or combine. I have 600 a day average net P/L, I need 800 to pass but given first days on testing the platform and not trading this system, I believe I could up it up without a problem given that I would trade at least 12 more days (since I only traded 8 with gold out of total 10 I had with this trial) and get close to pass. Looks like I managed risk generally good on Gold (not so good on crude but I am not ready to do any combine trading with crude yet, lots of work to get a system adapted to crude and maybe gas first), so I feel relatively confident I can take up 150k Combine and manage at least to a refund. I did 10 days in two weeks, so taking a 20 day Combine I can expect to finish in 4 weeks but still have a nice cushion of extra days to use if I need to pass on some trading days due to other commitments or unfriendly markets, or simply to try to pass it with extra days over the minimum required, if it seems feasible instead of refunding it.

I will take 150k 20 days standard parameters combine as I believe I can stay within all three metrics, or in worst case with 2 of them. I will open a new journal for the Combine strictly in the public journal section.

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 xelaar 
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Apparently my trial is still active today so here I am ending it on a positive note. Apparently Apocalipse Now in Gold continues with 1000 ticks down, making Friday look like a sandbox to play. Pre-market trading is wild, spread is jumping from 3 to 10 ticks at a time and price discovery hardly working. I managed few trades but when volatility increased went from default 5 cars to just 2 cars with stop loss of 20 ticks instead of 10. Managed to make 2500 usd in a couple of easy trades (if I just let it run would be around 15 grand but I am not used to volatility like that, nobody is).

I am not sure if I will trade more today again, my point is proven and I feel I can do a Combine with this method. It has nothing to do with Gold per se, any market that moves can be traded this way, I have 4 in my crosshair: Gold, Crude, NatGas and Copper. Right now Gold looks the best but beware very thin market and therefore bad price discovery..



I will post my last TST report after the market close today, I expect to have average now above 800.

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 xelaar 
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Since my Combine is over and all information related to LP and JT should I get there will be published in the same thread for easy of find, I am coming back to my original thread to post any other ideas, materials, or topics.

Here is what I have my eye on now.

CFTC: Sharp increase in bets against the euro and Australian dollar | ForexLive


Quoting 
CFTC: Sharp increase in bets against the euro and Australian dollar
May 25th, 2013 16:10:35 GMT by Adam Button | 9 Comments
Futures market speculative positioning data from the CFTC as of the close on Tuesday:

EUR net short 80K vs short 46K prior
JPY net short 95Kvs short 88K prior
GBP net short 77K vs short 65K prior
AUD net short 32K vs short 13K prior
CAD net short 34K vs short 44K prior
NZD net long 18K vs long 23K prior
CHF net short 19K vs short 15K prior
Dollar Index net long 46K vs 35K prior
The weekly Commitments of Traders data showed a jump in euro shorts. The new positions were established after May 14 almost any position established since then is underwater which makes me believe there is a real chance of a short squeeze above 1.30.
What has been more remarkable is the swing in Australian dollar positions over the past two months. AUD longs were over 80K and now the market is holding a massive short. The articles earlier today show how quickly and aggressively everyone has swung against the Aussie dollar. I can’t remember the last time sentiment on a currency changed so dramatically.

When everybody and their dog get on the bandwagon, expect it change its course.

I would only consider these possibilities:




These two are EURUSD and AUDUSD forex pairs. But it's almost exactly the same situation on Futures, use symbols 6E and 6A. Picture is the same, just few ticks difference in level location due to futures backwardation.

A lot of stops must be built up in their areas. It should provide for a really nice quick low risk trade, possibly extending into a long swing if momentum keeps on.

Two options to trade them as per order flow concept: either short right before or on the level or long on a break of it few ticks past the level. Very nice precise levels, with lotsa stops placed after.

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 xelaar 
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Gold zones for this week to watch


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 xelaar 
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And here is the trade according to the levels provided above!


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And here is the trade according to the levels provided above!


Love the music!

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 xelaar 
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@DionysusToast

Haha, Pedro40 called it "Aliens landing"

BTW that was on Forex, trading these tight entries is much better on Futures since on Forex you can and will get triggered into a trade by dramatically widened spread, brokers do that all the time. One exception that I know is Dukascopy, where you can trade on jForex and can actually chose by which price you can be triggered into a trade with pending stop order: bid or ask. Naturally you would select for a buy stop trade to be triggered by bid and sell by ask, thus avoiding fake outs, but of course still paying the price of spread.

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 xelaar 
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I decided to post my non-TST related things here where it belongs. Some more trading live today on my personal real account.

----- Post from yesterday, 04.06.13 --------------

I traded live today with my personal account. I started before the LTP, market was very slow, so I got stopped out on trades that did not move fast but got stopped by a very small stop loss. I was experimenting after all. I got some proper moves too. I traded with 1 contract only and my net result is 120$ less commissions today (some 105 probably), but I did get slippage, one zero on initial slow trades to 2 ticks on faster trade and up to 8 ticks on last trade on the move below 390.

My intention now is to start using stop limit instead of stop market, so I get filled right on slower trades, and I won't get filled right away on faster but I will get filled without slippage of those snap backs. I will start trading with 2 cars and 5 tick stop loss targeting 15-30 ticks.



Another type of entry I will test - instead of going 2 ticks beyond the level, I will place a stop market entry right on the level in a presence of very strong market sentiment and confirming indications on Jigsaw toolset. This should help to limit slippage to minimal. I will try both approaches. Another thing is to try fading these levels when market is more neutral and approaches level without strength. The only problem with fading is if I place a stop again beyond the level, I can get a bad slippage on stop out. So I need to look for cases where I can enter 2-3 ticks in advance of the level and have my stop right on it. So 3 things to work on:
1. Strong market: stop market entry right on the level for break out, stop loss 2-3 ticks
2. Weak market: limit entry 3 ticks prior to level, stop loss - 3 ticks right on the level
3. On a break place a limit entry (can be stop limit combining with type 1) with 3 ticks stop, have limit configured for 2 ticks worse price feel, limiting slippage and allowing a limit entry prior to level retest

---------- Today, 05.06.13 ------------

Another attempt to jump on the bandwagon (low volume market again!), now placed entry not below the sell level but right on it to minimize the slippage, still got slipped 6 ticks on 8 ticks pop. Not good. And there was no real strong selling pressure. Have to blame illiquid market.

Now, I do find more and more attractive to just trade around those levels before the pop and after the pop, instead of during the pop. I lost 5 ticks on the pop trade, stop was 2 but got slipped 3 ticks on exit but I faded the level on retest, too bad I tried it on somewhat 3rd retest, price moved my way like 5 ticks and BE was put but went back, stopped at BE and slipped 1 tick, so another -1. Price moved above with some buying pressure, so I faded the move down to the level again and netted 15 ticks. During this move my internet went off, so it was a moment of tension. Still on mobile tethering access. But this seems to be a nicer way to trade my levels. Here Jigsaw tools come to real life, as market trades much slower outside of events, and ladder number are a big help actually, so are real traded contract numbers and added/removed limits.


Still I plan to work to find a way to get filled without slippage (stop limit apparently) right before the pop. I will see if I can enter 1-2 ticks before the level with a strong indication from Jigsaw toolset, still keeping stops minimal.

Trade to live. Not live to trade.
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 xelaar 
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Experience: Intermediate
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I did some stupid things today on my live account. I started to trade not well-tested setup, besides it was a limit-based setup that can be tested on demo with all the reality of results, I put money into the real account to test slippage and stop entries after all. Took 3 small losers, overall including slippage on exits down 200 bucks with 1 car. Pretty much gave back winnings of two previous days. But at least I stopped, put brakes on and re-configured my platform to demo account. I will only continue to trade live setups that are well-tested on TST program and where I need to get a realistic fill to evaluate further.


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 Adamus 
London, UK
 
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Were you able to tell what your real slippage is like?

ps congratulations on the new addition to your family. if she's anything like my two, she will raise your life to a new level

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 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
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Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
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Adamus View Post
Were you able to tell what your real slippage is like?

ps congratulations on the new addition to your family. if she's anything like my two, she will raise your life to a new level

Yeah, I have posted what it was for each relevant situation. I am working on improving the feels.

Thanks!

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 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
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No live trades today. I had one prepared but seeing crazy price action from NFP decided to hold off and work on demo before I am sure. In any case results from around NFP would be atypical.

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 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
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A live trade today. I tested the premise that with a strong supporting order flow an entry prior to level (not past level) will endure less slippage and provide with a better fill, while if wrong allowing to bail quickly, as price is likely to stop there for a few moments anyway.

I have got a great fill today, actually no slippage, exact fill, and despite the fact price action was direction, no pullbacks even for 1 ticks. It was not super fast, I have to admit, but still was strong. I took just 4 ticks profit, because my trail stop kicked in, bar the trail stop 10 ticks target would be hit very fast. Order strategy worked very fast today, all was done in sub-second time.


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 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
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My next planned live experiment will with using stop limit order, that will require larger stop, 10 ticks, rather than 3 ticks I used now, but should be interesting to see when it will fill. Good thing about it is that you can have an idea of worst case before hand, by analyzing statistics. Usually price bounce at the break area for a bit, not pulling back right away, so trail stop can limit loss or lock profit. Also on slower break there is also a possibility to get a fill on the first move.

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 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Today I have traded my new practice account at TST. They encourage to use this account for testing and development but urge still to treat it like a live account to avoid any bad habits. I fully agree with it. Shooting trades from the hip in demo makes very bad habits difficult to get rid of when moving live.

So while my goal is to test new strategies, I still try not to shoot from the hip. I started with 1 lot and impose 3 consecutive losers as a signal to stop. Not for the day, but to pause for 1 hour minimum and do a full review of trades completed, log them, do screen shots. Job I would do otherwise by the end of the day.

I was practice fading strategies working with limit order entry ensuring no slippage on entry. It doesn't look to bad at the end, but I definitely need to hold on to winners. Recording MAE and MFE gives vital clues.











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 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
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Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
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I have just discovered my practice account has a report attached to it, how cool is that. It encourages to trade it smartly.


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