I did an unofficial trade when price broke Pivot/Reverse @1109.50. When I compared my chart with the PASwing one (on the right), it had a Fib rectangular box that also aligned with the Long.
When it's time to review the set-up/indicators this weekend, I may consider adding the PASwing indicator to the 4-Range chart. Stay with the default cal size will give me an opportunity to add the additional PA labels manually. Sort of semi-auto and manual LOL!
You will notice Cory's ADR indicator on the PASwing chart too. I moved it to display at BottomRight. Really neat! Thanks again Cory!
It's a real ES trade! A profitable one too .. haha .. Oh, $46.00 after commission LOL.
The trade was based on its breaking its recent LL + all indicators (incl red COTs) aligned. As mentioned in my earlier post, PT/SL @4 and 6 respectively. I was going to adjust SL to 4 ticks (1 tick above the high of the previous bar) and PT got hit first.
Emotion-wise: My petite heart started racing as soon as my Sell order was filled. Took a few deep breaths and position was closed within 2 minutes. Feelings (both pre- and during-trading) slightly better than yesterday.
Price did not stop for a millisecond when it broke Bottom VPOC 1099.00! Tried to regain some lost ground and only succeeded in reaching 1098.00 before falling again. Hmm, maybe someone knows what's going to happen tomorrow (FOMC meeting)?!
First congratulations on your first trade the other day
I see you've taken a couple since then.
The emotion and energy is going to be very different with cash vs. sim. This is the struggle. A very large number of people find it very easy to make money on sim, but when they go to cash they blow up.
There are a bunch of things you have to do, too many to list in one post, but here are a few off the top of my head:
- Treat sim like cash. No funny games. No 10 or 100 contract orders "just to see" what happens. Trade sim EXACTLY like you intend to trade cash. That means if you intend to trade cash with 1 or 2 contracts, you must do sim the exact same way.
- No resetting the sim account. If you blow up your sim account, it means you have a lot to learn. First, your sim balance should probably be only 10-20% of your cash balance. Ask yourself, how much of your cash balance would you blow/lose before you started "losing it" mentally. That's probably 10-20% for most people. Set your sim start balancing to the same level then, because if you lose that money then you need to find a new better strategy for sim trades before you go cash, otherwise once you do go cash if you are placed into a similar situation you will "lose it" mentally, which naturally is disastrous in the market.
- Trade sim like you trade cash. Same times of day. Same entry/exit methods. Same signals.
- Trade cash like you trade sim. Now this is harder. What do you do in sim after you have a loss? You need to do the same in a cash trade. What do you do in sim after you have a winner? You need to do the same in a cash trade.
The mind tries to minimize pain. I've read over and over and over again, and I've lived it, too, so I am a firm believer that your mind and body will "trick" you into doing things as a mechanism to end the pain. Let's say that you lay awake at night telling yourself you really, really, really want to be a successful trader. Your heart is in it. It means a lot to you. Now, during the day you keep losing more and more money. This can very easily be your mind coping with the sheer amount of stress of the situation. In your mind, the best way to end the stressful situation is to "get out", and the fastest way to get out is to blow your account so you stop trading, and the stress ends. There are countless other examples of this.
You specifically asked about trying to simulate emotions in sim like you would experience in cash. I think unfortunately you can't do this. But, with enough time and experience, you can treat cash like you treat sim. I hope that makes sense. It is the way I feel about it anyway. With enough experience taking those trades, and enough work, you can overcome your built-in reflexes and control them. You can be in a cash trade while still being in a calm and relaxed state. It takes a lot of experience in cash trades to master this, however. You can prepare before the trade, naturally, doing a bunch of mind and body techniques like meditation, hypnosis, all kinds of things. Even just simple stuff like working out and eating healthy and eliminating distractions around you. But the real experience comes from doing. The best way to re-wire your mind is by catching yourself in the act of something you want to change, and then willfully overcoming it and making the change happen.
Let me try to give some examples. Put a sticky note on your monitor that says "WHAT TO DO IN A CASH TRADE:" and list some things. Here are two that come to mind. #1: Ask yourself, are you calm and your heart rate normal? #2: Ask yourself, is your back touching the chair or are you leaned over?
By forcing yourself to ask questions, like if you are calm and heart rate normal, or if you are hunched over in your chair or not, you will force yourself to be aware of the answers and the state of things around you. That is step 1, awareness there is a problem. Then step 2 is to try to remove the anxiety that is causing you to do things you do not want to do. This takes a lot of work and practice. Breathing techniques are usually recommended to slow your heart rate and put you back into a calm state. I also find that simply taking my hand off the mouse, and forcing myself to plant my rear end as far back in the chair as it will go, and forcing myself to make by back touch the chair, that just by doing this I immediately relieve a lot of stress.
Gary also recently started a thread on biofeedback devices. I have a lot of interest in this because Dr. Brett talks about it a lot, and I think it is a great idea. The principle behind it would be that a simple machine is going to be able to tell you much faster than you may recognize by yourself, that you are not in the zone -- your anxious, not calm, elevated heart rate, sweaty palm, etc etc. Again, awareness is the first (required) step in the process of overcoming it. Unfortunately, it seems no one on futures.io (formerly BMT) has any good recommendations for biofeedback hardware. I am still looking around and I know Gary is too.
I'm going to duplicate this post in my advice thread since a great majority of it applies to everyone not just you
Due to time constraints, please do not PM me if your question can be resolved or answered on the forum.
Need help? 1) Stop changing things. No new indicators, charts, or methods. Be consistent with what is in front of you first. 2) Start a journal and post to it daily with the trades you made to show your strengths and weaknesses. 3) Set goals for yourself to reach daily. Make them about how you trade, not how much money you make. 4) Accept responsibility for your actions. Stop looking elsewhere to explain away poor performance. 5) Where to start as a trader? Watch this webinar and read this thread for hundreds of questions and answers. 6) Help using the forum? Watch this video to learn general tips on using the site.
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The following 2 users say Thank You to Big Mike for this post:
Thanks Mike for your best wishes and list of constructive to-do items to smoothen my sim/real trade transition!
FYI: I have done 2 real trades this week, ie one TF trade yesterday and one ES trade today.
Let me quickly addressed your raised issues and suggestion:
1. Emotion and Energy
My heart started racing the millisecond a real trade was on. Yesterday was wild and today was milder. Energy-wise: I'd say more on real trades. Some were used to tackle my fear.
2. To-do Items
1) Treat sim like cash: Have been practising this for some months now, eg
- 1-2 contracts/trade
- No over-trade (often 3 maximum/day)
- 9:30 to 11:30 am Mon to Fri (if I make enough or have 4 Green days in a row, Fri is optional)
- Stay with ES for discretionary while TF for semi-auto (I've been sim-trading a strategy for months and quite happy with its performance)
2) Preserve Precious Capital: I have a log capturing all my real trades while this thread serves to document my sim ones. Trust me, I know when to stop. For example, when I lost the first 4 days' profits on a Friday, I stopped and started this thread.
3) This quote is so True!! For some split seconds (in the past) it did flash in my mind. It's the easiest way out. Run wild and be irresponsible oooooo
4) Well said .. To me, it's the only way to overcome the "fear" enemy. Sim-trading helps testing out systems/set-ups and practise trade management/strategies etc. Not fear IMHO.
5) Ask Questions: I will prepare a sticky note tonight. Thanks Mike.
The following user says Thank You to wgreenie for this post:
Trading Morning on Wed - Double-Reporting .. smile ..
First Thing First.
I did a real trade and no sim trade so far!
Goal Accomplished: It's an A- trade and B for Trader Beth (me)! Why a minus for the trade? The market has been falling esp after the 10:00 am news and it's advisable to do Short trades. It's a Long with all indicators aligned + I followed the PA method LOL!
2. TF Sim Trade (Semi-auto)
My strategy triggered a Short around 10:00 am and immediately after a super-long red bar. I was not able to view the SMA crossover clearly to confirm it's likely a profitable Short. Then considering Mike's earlier suggestion (treat sim like cash), I placed a sim trade instead of a real one (which I did Mon). It's a good one and I outperform the strategy. What happened? It did not fall far enough to reach PT and instead SL was hit. That explained why I would like to do occasional semi-auto trades and not run it live.
Emotion-wise: I asked myself lots of questions. Actually I started asking what newbies will do during pullback? Maybe jumped to a Long trade and got burned?!
Last edited by wgreenie; June 23rd, 2010 at 11:17 AM.
Reason: Fixed typo.
The following user says Thank You to wgreenie for this post:
Initial Balance: 1080.25 - 1092.25 (12 points) Value Area as at 11:20 am: 1090.75 - 1087.25 - 1083.25 (7.50 points)
Price opened @1091.75
Today's High and Low as at 11:20 am: 1092.25 and 1080.25 (matching IB)
VPOCs: Top 1108.75 and Bottom 1079.00