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A TopStepTrader's Humble-Pie-Way: A TST Combine Journal of iqgod's "Take 2"
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A TopStepTrader's Humble-Pie-Way: A TST Combine Journal of iqgod's "Take 2"

  #11 (permalink)
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Day 1: Blow By Blow: Snapshot BEFORE all trades

Here is what I saw before all the trades:

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It seemed to me that there were a lot of longs trapped on the wrong side of the market as was evidenced by the huge pinbar or reversal bar printed by the market with the top at 9780 and the bottom at 9710.

There was still a clustering price action to the left that was blocking price from going below 9717 which printed a triple bottom - now the question really was how long will the buyers support an already sagging market?

I first planned to sell below the range break i.e. below 9720.

I was ready.

Calm.

Composed.


The first trade of the day... confidence, IQ!

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  #12 (permalink)
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Day 1: Blow By Blow: Snapshot of trade 1

We are back to a naked chart again, so that we can focus on the basics and the basics alone:

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This is a trade with a 16 tick potential - but I wasn't prepared enough hence I could grab 6 ticks.

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  #13 (permalink)
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Day 1: Blow By Blow: Snapshot of trades - Entries and Exits


Here are the six trades presented below:

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I can see a common theme of fear of being wrong / fear of losing accumulated profits playing out in the sequence of trades.

I also hold myself accountable for missing out the 35 tick move of the day which was really an easy trade if I had just positioned myself, left risk to the stop instead of worrying about it and walked off after setting the target (the market reversed at the exact point I would have set my target, but that isn;t a pat on my back, not when I WASN'T in that trade!)


Journaling and analysis of Trades 2 to 6 follows.

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  #14 (permalink)
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Day 1: Blow By Blow: Snapshot of Trade 2

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I got short at 9709.

Even when price showed its hand after a temporary sell climax and a reversal and then a retest of the extreme of the downtrend!

Price went to a high of 9718 missing my 10 tick auto-stop at 9719.

The MAE was 9 ticks and it was not good for my nerves which were prepared for shorting calmly before.

Irony: I knew this was a low quality premature short. Yet I took it. In scalping all it takes is an instant of indiscipline to make or break your day.

Price also was showing the downtrend clearly by respecting the bear trendline perfectly yet I was now hesitating to short the touches of the trendline in a strong bear!

Also I WANTED a winner (combine parameter paranoia over good trading?) and quickly covered once price went below my entry price by one tick.

In short this was a fearful trade, and a trade which prepared a mental block for not taking the "Short of the Day" that was coming soon which would have yielded atleast 35 ticks risking 10 ticks (worst case) / 4 ticks (best case) and where I had the targets calculated in advance.

This does show me in bad light but this journal is in the spirit of honesty, and honesty is good for humility which is the only way of approaching the markets.

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Day 1: Blow by Blow: The Trades BETWEEN Trade 2 and Trade 3 - Missed Opportunities

For the Harry Potter Fans: this is the CouldaShouldaWoulda platform nine and three-quarters

But these were real trades and they were really missed so must be documented as such (in fact one of them was the Star Trade of the Day):

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Would I count the missed longs as 'missed opportunities'? Definitely. However I must remind myself of my place in the scheme of things YET AGAIN - I am just an intermediate trader - these countertrend trades are best left to the nimble, skilled, experienced traders so I partly feel I am right in leaving money on the table.

Perhaps leaving money on the table is the correct thing to do most of the time.

Better than taking stupid trades!


Note: When the double doji break came to my eyes I was thinking - pullback or trend-reversal / pullback or trend-reversal? I oscillated between these two 'opinions' just enough to make me miss the wonderful short opportunity. "Trends continue farther than anyone could ever imagine!"

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Day 1: Blow By Blow: Snapshot of Trade 3

Trade 3 was one of those trades I take when my mind is seething with 'missed! missed! opportunity missed!' thoughts.

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Having fallen into the hole of a missed 35-tick short trade opportunity such trades based on the 'missed!' mindset tend to dig you into a deeper hole - because they are simply revenge trades disguised as 'now don't you miss THIS ONE' trades!

Worst are the feelings that make you take trades where you have 'anticipated correctly' but not 'acted upon' the hunch / intuition / you-name-it feeling / technical reason.

After a large win or MISSING the large win (both cases) it is best to skip a few trades and then take the third or fourth valid trade.

I 'expected' that the two legged pullback was coming to an end and hence shorted at 9709. However in the back of my mind I knew this was a 'cheeky' short - more of a way of getting back at the market to prive that I was smarter than it.

So I did take this short but immediately was aware of the fallacy of the whole thing - there was no bull trendline break - number one reason that the trade WOULD fail.

So I moved by target at 9689. Now for this I must applaud myself because that was the low point of the pullback after which the uptrend began 'in earnest'.

-1 for not having the guts to enter a long there (I only got flat).

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  #17 (permalink)
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Day 1: Blow By Blow: Snapshot of Trade 4 and 5

Trade 4 was one of those trades where you are 'right from the start'. The trade doesn't go against you a single tick and then it give you profit at an accelerating rate till you detect momentum slowing down ... slowing.... slowing.... slowing.... and you are out!

Chart: Please refer to the earlier post for the chart.

Its what I like to call a 'sports trade'.

However it is not guesswork but supplemented by technical reasons.

In this case I was about to short at 9700 which was a round number.

I HESITATED.

For a moment.

A moment in the futures market.

So instead of 9700 I find myself staring at a new price of 9690.

I placed a sell order at 9693 and was happily filled (when I expected I would have to chase).

Or so I thought (mystery to be revealed in analysis of trade 6).


But yes I covered correctly at 9680 and was lamenting (insanely) for losing the last 3 ticks (I felt I should have covered at 9677 - who do I think I am - an HFT frontrunner? LOL) when price reversed to the upside superfast and then printed huge bars of alternate colors - this was important because a major trendline was near and that signalled that the bear trend may have run out of steam and smart money was going long. (perhaps I am wrong, I haven't looked at the charts since Trade 6 - I need to get this off my chest onto futures.io (formerly BMT) first because otherwise it would be lost forever in The Well of Lost Plots)

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  #18 (permalink)
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Day 1: Blow By Blow: Snapshot of Trade 6

If Trade 5 was the Best Dressed Trade of the Day then Trade 6 was the Joker - I should wear a Dunce cap for that trade alone.

I was checking my cash register and what do I find - I am SHORT one lot where I should have been flat.

SHOCKED!!


I covered (the trade was +4 ticks in the plus - the irony is that the trade had been 12 ticks in profit without me being aware of it.

The less said the better.

My bean counter had malfunctioned - trading had lost its charm suddenly and I abruptly stopped trading. I was making execution errors - BIG WARNING SIRENS GOING OVER MY LAPTOP - NYPD and Street Hawk and the Sheriff all are coming down - burly arms yanking me off my terminal as I kick and try to hit BUY SELL SELL BUY BUY etc - "STOP TRADING" they boom over some overdone Hollywood set.

So here I am journalling which is even better than trading, especially when the day (worth a few hours of trading) ends +200.

This is also a stern reminder to myself to take it easy and not trade for the remaining day - I have to stop after such a mistake!

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  #19 (permalink)
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Day 1: Memorialized

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Read market direction near-perfect.

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Self-confidence's last mile was an empty promise.

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Took trades at proper locations (mostly).

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Passed trades that were low risk due to hesitation aka "fear of giving back". Defensive playing hurt my play today.

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Passed trades that were lacking some elements (e.g. were not low risk). The good side of defensive play where it is really needed!

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Make silly mistakes - entry made "by mistake" - error identified as "absentlly clicking randomly on the DOM". I don't know if I should even be documenting this for TST and the world to read, but confessing everything here properly makes me ready for a new day.



Actually there are many micro-learnings but I will prefer to jot them down in my physical notebook with a printed chart cut and pasted for reference rather than put them down here - mostly because most of these observations would bear lengthy explanations to make sense to anybody but me.

Thanks for following Day 1!

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Nice job iq!

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