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Kevin's TST Combine Journal

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  #341 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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You have asked for comments so I look at this as if I were considering having you trade my account.

The first thing I notice is that your losing trades are bigger than your winning trades. To me that is lack of risk control.

The second thing I notice is whether you have the discipline to follow your plan.


kevinkdog View Post
Why do I mention this? Mainly, I want to be clear that position size decisions are not made in the heat of the moment (which almost never ends well). I recommend people make those decisions beforehand, when they have a clear mind and focus. Then, just execute to the plan.

On June 17 you wrote.
kevinkdog View Post
With only about $2,500 left before the max drawdown is hit, I will be trading only 3-4 contracts for the next few trades, until (and if) I get some cushion.

It looks like you traded 6 contracts the next 2 days. Iíll admit I just browsed quickly over the thread but did you comment on the change of plan.

Is there a planned risk reward ratio for your systems?
On a per contract basis so far you are risking more per trade than you gain. Your winning percentage has to be greater than 60% to break even. Right now, after 10 trades, your winning percentage per trade is 70%. Hopefully you can carry that forward.

That being said, you are now down to 14 days remaining. You have to gamble. To have any chance of making the required amount by the end of the combine you have to get your size up. At the rate you are going, a few hundred a day, you barely have a chance of breaking even.

Iím not familiar with the combine rules but does it make any difference if you hit your max drawdown or if you finish a few dollars short of your target? If it doesnít then what do you have to lose? I think the goals for the combine are unrealistic. Itís kind of a go big or go home scenario. Best of luck.

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  #342 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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Thanks for the comments - it helps keep me accountable. Here are some replies...



deaddog View Post
The first thing I notice is that your losing trades are bigger than your winning trades. To me that is lack of risk control.

I'm not sure why you say that. Would winning trades > losing trades imply I did have risk control? I don't think that is necessarily true. Can you explain?



deaddog View Post
The second thing I notice is whether you have the discipline to follow your plan.

If you read through the thread, you'll see I have followed the plan pretty much exactly. I have made mistakes, and the plan might have flaws, but I have followed it. I think the one thing I do have is discipline. Maybe I am wrong, though - where do you see holes in my discipline?



deaddog View Post
On June 17 you wrote.
It looks like you traded 6 contracts the next 2 days. I’ll admit I just browsed quickly over the thread but did you comment on the change of plan.

The trade report is a little deceiving, since it says "6" contracts and 1 trade. But TST counts in and out. So, one trade with 3 contracts would be 3+3 = 6. You can verify this by commissions, which are $5 per round turn. 5 * 3 = $15. So, I did indeed follow the plan.





deaddog View Post
Is there a planned risk reward ratio for your systems?

No, since I am trading 4 strategies, all with different characteristics. Some are little profit, big loss (to get high win %). Others are big win, little loss (to get max profit). They all have positive expectancy, though.


deaddog View Post
That being said, you are now down to 14 days remaining. You have to gamble.

The Combine is 20 trading days MINIMUM. So no need to gamble. I agree it will be hard reaching the profit target trading small size. Even as it gets towards the end, I won't gamble - what is the point? That won't prove my strategies are good - it will just prove I can violate my plan.



deaddog View Post
I’m not familiar with the combine rules but does it make any difference if you hit your max drawdown or if you finish a few dollars short of your target?

Yes there is a difference. If you violate the max drawdown, you FAIL. If you are above the max drawdown, but negative, you FAIL. If you are positive but under the profit goal, you can ROLLOVER (try again).


I agree the goals are VERY tough. That is why I took the challenge when TST approached me about a webinar. Even though I am doing poorly so far, I really enjoy the challenge of the Combine.


Thanks again for your comments. I hope I answered sufficiently. If not, just let me know,

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  #343 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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kevinkdog View Post
Thanks for the comments - it helps keep me accountable. Here are some replies...




I'm not sure why you say that. Would winning trades > losing trades imply I did have risk control? I don't think that is necessarily true. Can you explain?

Relating to my own trading. I find that if I keep my winners greater than my losers I end up profitable. Iím neither a futures nor a day trader. I look for 1 to 3 risk to reward.

Like I said it was a quick glance and it was the first thing that I noticed. When ever I see a losing trader that is usually what stands out, big losses and small wins.

I also noticed that one of the additional performance requirements are for an overall average win being greater than the overall average loss. I would think this would lead to a consistence position size. I should also take the strategy that has a few big losses and many small wins out of play.




kevinkdog View Post
If you read through the thread, you'll see I have followed the plan pretty much exactly. I have made mistakes, and the plan might have flaws, but I have followed it. I think the one thing I do have is discipline. Maybe I am wrong, though - where do you see holes in my discipline?

Now that I know how to read the report I donít see any. I looked at the report and assumed that the 6 meant 6 contracts. You had said you were going to 3, which you did, and I was under the impression that you had traded 6.

kevinkdog View Post
No, since I am trading 4 strategies, all with different characteristics. Some are little profit, big loss (to get high win %). Others are big win, little loss (to get max profit). They all have positive expectancy, though




The Combine is 20 trading days MINIMUM. So no need to gamble. I agree it will be hard reaching the profit target trading small size. Even as it gets towards the end, I won't gamble - what is the point? That won't prove my strategies are good - it will just prove I can violate my plan.

Yes there is a difference. If you violate the max drawdown, you FAIL. If you are above the max drawdown, but negative, you FAIL. If you are positive but under the profit goal, you can ROLLOVER (try again).

How many days can you trade?
You might want to consider a gamble as you get near the end if you are not profitable. If you fail by not being profitable then what do you have to lose?
The plan for completing the combine profitably should probably trump following your trading plan. Depends on your objectives I guess.




kevinkdog View Post
I agree the goals are VERY tough. That is why I took the challenge when TST approached me about a webinar. Even though I am doing poorly so far, I really enjoy the challenge of the Combine.


Thanks again for your comments. I hope I answered sufficiently. If not, just let me know,

Thanks Kevin; you cleared up a lot of questions.

Is there a reason that you use 4 strategies? Are there not enough set ups with just one strategy in the time allowed?

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  #344 (permalink)
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deaddog View Post
Relating to my own trading. I find that if I keep my winners greater than my losers I end up profitable. I’m neither a futures nor a day trader. I look for 1 to 3 risk to reward.

Like I said it was a quick glance and it was the first thing that I noticed. When ever I see a losing trader that is usually what stands out, big losses and small wins.

Understood. It really depends on the strategy, in my opinion. One option strategy I use has small wins, but big losses. The key is keeping everything is balance, to be overall profitable.

Many times, and especially for discretionary traders, having losers a lot bigger than winners does signal either 1) a need to be "right" or 2) unwillingness to admit you are wrong in a trade.





deaddog View Post
How many days can you trade?
You might want to consider a gamble as you get near the end if you are not profitable. If you fail by not being profitable then what do you have to lose?

You could trade everyday. For me, it is a 2 month Combine. Gambling just to get rollover chance? Hopefully I won't have to consider that, but it is an option. Right now, I'm not inclined to do that.



deaddog View Post
Is there a reason that you use 4 strategies? Are there not enough set ups with just one strategy in the time allowed?

I explain this early in the thread. Given the time constraints I was under, I could not find 1 strategy that met all requirements of Combine. So, I combined multiple strats to (hopefully) get there.

THANKS again for the comments and questions!

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  #345 (permalink)
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Day 7 is in the books...

2 trades today. 1st was an overnight trade that made money. 2nd was a trade from new strategy #4, and it lost money.

Overall, was a losing day.


Next trade will be 2 contracts.





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  #346 (permalink)
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deaddog View Post
... I find that if I keep my winners greater than my losers I end up profitable. I look for 1 to 3 risk to reward.

Like I said it was a quick glance and it was the first thing that I noticed. When ever I see a losing trader that is usually what stands out, big losses and small wins.

I also noticed that one of the additional performance requirements are for an overall average win being greater than the overall average loss. I would think this would lead to a consistence position size. I should also take the strategy that has a few big losses and many small wins out of play.

So far so good, but.....


deaddog View Post

You might want to consider a gamble as you get near the end if you are not profitable. If you fail by not being profitable then what do you have to lose?
The plan for completing the combine profitably should probably trump following your trading plan. Depends on your objectives I guess.

.... I have observed is that this ALWAYS backfires.

I am still of the opinion that good trading and adhering to the process of trading well keeps you afloat instead of trying to beat parameters. This is assuming that your process has already been tested and found to be adhering to the parameters of course!


And I can vouch for @kevinkdog's iron discipline - he is my role model as far as discipline is concerned!

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iqgod View Post
So far so good, but.....

But what?

iqgod View Post
.... I have observed is that this ALWAYS backfires.

I am still of the opinion that good trading and adhering to the process of trading well keeps you afloat instead of trying to beat parameters. This is assuming that your process has already been tested and found to be adhering to the parameters of course!


And I can vouch for @kevinkdog's iron discipline - he is my role model as far as discipline is concerned!

Again it depends on your objective. Are you trying to pass the combine or at least not fail, or are you practicing discipline by sticking to your system?
The gambling is done at the beginning of the combine when you take a position large enough to put yourself deep in the hole on your first few trades. If it works out you are in relatively good shape for the remainder of the combine. However if it goes against you you have to dig yourself out of a deep hole. A calculated risk or a gamble?

If you have the confidence that you can dig yourself out of a hole if the trades go against you then why dig the hole so deep. Start with minimum size and work your way up. If you have to have the bigger size to pass the combine you can use it at the end. A calculated risk or a gamble?

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  #348 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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I look at it this way:

Calculated Risk: a trading action you take fully realizing the consequences, and being able to emotionally and financially live with the outcome.

Gambling: a trading action where you HOPE for a good outcome, and PRAY that the bad outcome doesn't happen. Also, any action outside of your designed trading plan. Or, worse yet, not having a trading plan!

So, in this Combine I have taken some calculated risks that did not work out. I've avoided gambling so far.

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  #349 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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Nice winning day today. I am now close to breakeven, so Monday we will start with 4 contracts.

So far, my position sizing technique has made my performance worse. That makes sense, since most of my losing trades had 3 or 6 contracts, and most winning trades were only 1 or 2 contracts.










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kevinkdog View Post
So far, my position sizing technique has made my performance worse. That makes sense, since most of my losing trades had 3 or 6 contracts, and most winning trades were only 1 or 2 contracts.

Yes, if you were to reprogram your strategy to duplicate your behavior here it would undoubtedly perform worse.

I've found that any momentum or trend strategy always performs worse with stops or dynamic position sizing (such as anti-martingale, decreasing risk on trades that go against you, increase on trades in your favor).

So question is, what will you do about it going forward - now that you are back to breakeven?

Mike

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