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Trading fast markets

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  #701 (permalink)
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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  #702 (permalink)
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
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Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
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Hey guys, I would appreciate any comments on the strategy chosen, your opinion about due course of trading and chances of making it in the combine. I know I trade this combine at best as 100k and if it would be 100k I would be well on my way to the profit target, but 150k gives more leeway and that was a reason again, since I use it for responsible training and trialing my system.

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  #703 (permalink)
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xelaar View Post
Here are the considerations I will be applying to trading from tomorrow based on my current discoveries:
1. Look for a trading zone as per original plan
2. A small range or double top/double bottom has formed
3. Wait till it is broken by 1-2 ticks with no continuation, fade the breakout
4. Target 20-25 ticks on first target and 40-80 on second target, 6 ticks stop, no break even
5. Stop trading for the day after getting one runner under the belt, keep trading until getting one runner in, don't take small winners at all

/

xelaar View Post
Hey guys, I would appreciate any comments on the strategy chosen, your opinion about due course of trading and chances of making it in the combine. I know I trade this combine at best as 100k and if it would be 100k I would be well on my way to the profit target, but 150k gives more leeway and that was a reason again, since I use it for responsible training and trialing my system.

I trade a similar strategy where I wait till a previous price level is broken and enter in the other direction after price has come back by 2+ ticks with a closed bar. The reason I do this is because sometimes price will continue after it breaks and the only indication of price coming back is a closed bar in my direction. This helps me filter out trades where price breaks a level and continues 5-6+ ticks and stops me out just to have it come back in my direction to produce a good trade. You know that fast markets, especially gold, can break a level and just keep going without the range bars even over-lapping, but when it finally does overlap and a range bar closes back in my direction it's a good sign of a definitive reversal.

Another reason I do this is because I can trail a stop limit order 2 - 3 ticks behind price so when price finally does come back in my direction and I get filled I don't get slipped with having to rely on a market order.

I wish there was some sort of function with the dom where I can set a trailing stop limit order behind price for when it reverses, but I've only heard about such trailing with stops so I have to do this manually.

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  #704 (permalink)
Vizag+india
 
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I trade similar setup.
Be careful when not to trade. As such setup's LURE you quite often.



xelaar View Post
Here are the considerations I will be applying to trading from tomorrow based on my current discoveries:
1. Look for a trading zone as per original plan
2. A small range or double top/double bottom has formed
3. Wait till it is broken by 1-2 ticks with no continuation, fade the breakout
4. Target 20-25 ticks on first target and 40-80 on second target, 6 ticks stop, no break even
5. Stop trading for the day after getting one runner under the belt, keep trading until getting one runner in, don't take small winners at all

The reason is there will always be a winner if you take all setups consistently, and one winner will take you back above and beyond. Currently I keep cutting runners short (even though I have improved a lot) and take more trades, more losers in, and then get a runner that I don't exploit fully. Ideally I will be looking to get onto the freight train that will take me far. That would allow to overcome possible bad day when I might get out of ammo before hitting a jack pot. But this plan should allow me to trade less and exploit good trades at best.


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  #705 (permalink)
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
Broker: LMAX
Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
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In CTS T4 you can set up trailing order with any type of order. I guess what you are looking for is not limit order but stop limit order. Real limit order will get filled instantly.


Itchymoku View Post
/


I trade a similar strategy where I wait till a previous price level is broken and enter in the other direction after price has come back by 2+ ticks with a closed bar. The reason I do this is because sometimes price will continue after it breaks and the only indication of price coming back is a closed bar in my direction. This helps me filter out trades where price breaks a level and continues 5-6+ ticks and stops me out just to have it come back in my direction to produce a good trade. You know that fast markets, especially gold, can break a level and just keep going without the range bars even over-lapping, but when it finally does overlap and a range bar closes back in my direction it's a good sign of a definitive reversal.

Another reason I do this is because I can trail a limit order 2 - 3 ticks behind price so when price finally does come back in my direction and I get filled I don't get slipped with having to rely on a market order.

I wish there was some sort of function with the dom where I can set a trailing limit order behind price for when it reverses, but I've only heard about such trailing with stops so I have to do this manually.


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  #706 (permalink)
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
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Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
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tinkug112 View Post
I trade similar setup.
Be careful when not to trade. As such setup's LURE you quite often.

Indeed. Setup = Direction+Location+Entry.

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  #707 (permalink)
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
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Finished early as per new rule - one runner a day.

Tough start, I have got 4 losers under the belt until I got onto the runner. It was not easy as it nearly reversed on me too as I wanted pretty high results even for target 1.

I missed one good trade, even if not a runner, I was at +16 and it came back and hit SL. It was all before session open and after the news. So I will look not to trade near market open.

Anyway, here are the shots.








My biggest runner to the date: +27 on target 1 and +38 on target 2. 20 and 21 minutes trade time.

Here is the new rule I plan to use: protect the trade as it moves some 6-8 ticks into a profit to entry, as it hits target 1 at 15-20 ticks, move break even back to original stop to give trade extra breathing room, as I have already booked some profit I can afford to lose 6 ticks on second half. That principle would have helped me in most occasions. I need to work to reduce losers.

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  #708 (permalink)
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
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Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
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I will look to modify my trade profile tomorrow a bit, since I reckoned best trades come not after a level stop run, but after actual level confirmation, like small scale double top or double bottom. So essentially I will look for a level, price reversal there, retest with a double top/bottom, entry once it fails to breach it. I will try to use smaller stop 4 ticks, as in this case essential is a first pullback and price failing to break the level, so I can place my trade immediately. If it works it will help me to raise size to 10 lots per trade.

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  #709 (permalink)
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Combine stats

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  #710 (permalink)
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
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Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
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xelaar View Post
I will look to modify my trade profile tomorrow a bit, since I reckoned best trades come not after a level stop run, but after actual level confirmation, like small scale double top or double bottom. So essentially I will look for a level, price reversal there, retest with a double top/bottom, entry once it fails to breach it. I will try to use smaller stop 4 ticks, as in this case essential is a first pullback and price failing to break the level, so I can place my trade immediately. If it works it will help me to raise size to 10 lots per trade.

To elaborate a little bit, I will not seek to trade with a smaller initial stop, if I see price confirming the level without breaking it, I will try to enter earlier and if I get a better fill, I will move stop to 1 tick behind the level. I reckon to be able to get filled in 3-5 ticks range from the level. Currently I place my entry at fixed 5 tick from the level distance.

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  #711 (permalink)
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
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Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
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Today DAX is in a very tight range, as very small volume is being traded. I reckon this is due to NFP day. I practice entries without aligning the levels, I had only one decent signal early and took 10 ticks off it as traget 1 and runner stopped at entry. After that I just placed trades for the sake of practicing entries. I have to say this excersize is nearly worthless, because DAX is totally dormant and at some point size comes it and produce activity for 10-20 seconds, then it dies out again. This is not the market to trade live or even do any sort of measured practicing.

I will probably stay out of trading in combine account today at all. Not worth it, I usually do bad on NFP days. I will stick to my Ninja setup that I start to actually like and keep practicing entries on crude.

Combine-wise, I have a half behind me, 4500 profit has been booked. This is less than half (6000) so it makes second half quite tough to get to the profit target. At current number of losers per day I can hardly increase my position size, so I need to work on reducing these losers. I will look to bring stop to break even early. Not touching it helps to get occational runner that could be stopped at be instead but apparently it not worth it - these strings of losers that result from not protecting the trade actually kill daily profit and any chance to get to the target. So my plan will be to protect the trade early and take part one off earlier and hope occasional runner will do the job of bringing profits home. If I manage to reduce losing streaks I will be able to add to position size too.

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  #712 (permalink)
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
Broker: LMAX
Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
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I have a feeling my method can actually do better in gold than in CL. So I will try next week to apply it to gold first using 10 ticks stop as maximum risk looking for 20-30 ticks on first target. Since aI am not sure yet about expected performance I opt to stay away from combine account and trade in my Ninja. If I get into a groove I will move to combine. If I want to get to the profit target I need to start posting much more profit. Currently I see tge biggest issue as levels in crude are not strong and as result I get many losers in a row. Also moves many times are shallow. Before diving into changing the system I want to try with a different instrument I have good experience with such as gold, which is notorious for abiding levels and reacting to it.

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  #713 (permalink)
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
Broker: LMAX
Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
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I have been reading a recent praise thread to Fat Tails about using Heiken-Ashi and Renko bars with FT's implementation of SuperSmoother. It reminded me about my own experience of trading EurUSD forex pair using Fractal Bars and Advanced LaGuerre Filter. It was going actually great until it chopped me off to death. That was a in summer 2012. I remember that I could not find a decisive filter to using this strategy so I abandoned it.

Thinking about it again, I believe that better understanding of order flow and how key levels develop and how price action behaves around it together with reading volume profile is actually the basis of my trading approach. The way I enter now is just a crutch for absence of more reliable way to get onto developing swings. While I posted good and very consistent results lately in crude, I am not very happy about general profitability as compared to risk taken every day, even if I keep ending every day in profit. Also, it puts a bit of strain mentally as when price gets to the level I have to watch tick action very carefully and still can miss some entries, and many others will turn sour.

So while I was reading this thread, it reminded me of experience I already had and tools I used with MetaTrader, and much better tools now available for Ninja thanks to great contributors such as FatTails. I realized that I can use this experience together with my new order flow style to improve my entry technique and use SS and paint bars to stay in those swing legs longer.

As I have decided to give it a go in gold next week, I will try to enter using information from paint bars, SS and volume charts instead of time charts. Stop obviously will be flexible in this case, since I will be using 3-tick better renko bars for entries, stop usually will be about 5-9 ticks.

Here is how my setup will look like. I am yet to find out if it will give me less stop outs, but it does look quite good. Instead of 2 minute main decision chart I will use 500 volume chart to compact price action and split these huge 2m bars that gold tends to produce from time to time into several tradable bars.

Follow me to see what results it will bring.


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  #714 (permalink)
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
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Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
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Set up my charts today. Tried several configurations until found a decent setup for Dax and Gold. More or less it does not help to enter per se but confirm trade after entry and stay in the trade longer.

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  #715 (permalink)
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Slowly tuning in to new charts and adjusting to entering. Weird newsless markets don't help much, but I will prevail.








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  #716 (permalink)
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
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Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
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Today's trading was more successful in all instruments: I traded dax, crude and gold. I am getting handy at it.
However the same problem with multiple stop outs stays there. For next two days I will look to also trade off larger scale chart, 800 contracts, with Heiken-Ashi reversals at selected key levels. Stop will likely be 15-30 ticks. Not sure what profitability can be expected yet, but I hope at least 50% as opposed to 20-30% with current micro-stop. I will also look to limit risk very fast.

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  #717 (permalink)
Vizag+india
 
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I find it amazing that you trade multiple instruments.
For me it like shifting gears constantly. I am not made for it.

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  #718 (permalink)
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
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Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
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tinkug112 View Post
I find it amazing that you trade multiple instruments.
For me it like shifting gears constantly. I am not made for it.

That's true and this is why I initially concentrated on just gold, to learn it and stay focused on it. I did more or less the same recently with crude. Now the idea is to select a better market to trade. I don't mix trades from different markets in quick succession, I rather select which of two offers better moves and setups and then I follow it, only switching into another one as it slows down and become not interesting. Still, I need to work on risk rules involving trading multiple markets. That was a reason I traded just gold in my first combine - I realized more markets I trade more risk I take and it will likely lead to larger losses and smaller wins, because losses from several markets will compound some days and I will still have to trade smaller size per market and thus wins will be smaller. Solution can be trading a single market per day, this is what I had been doing so far in this combine, or, allow a switch to another market only when profitable for the day but current market does not give any opportunities.

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  #719 (permalink)
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
Broker: LMAX
Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
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I don't feel like I am ready to trade in combine this week. I have made some good progress last week working on improving accuracy, but I am still doing too many trades per setup. This week I will concentrate on taking trades only at designated locations and only in a right direction, i.e. not going against the tide. Last week had some huge moves that showed the whole futility of trying to stop the market.

I will start filling the journal again, as I have pretty much defined trading rules and moving from discovery/incubation phase to forward walk phase.

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  #720 (permalink)
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
Broker: LMAX
Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
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Today 3 trades, very slow and low volume market. I have made a hasty decision on the first trade, that is not shown on charts, shorting from a second high after a very small pullback, level was good for short, but I should have waited for larger pullback indicating selling interest there and I should act on signs of positive order flow and ladder imbalance at highs favoring level break. It did break and slipped my exit.

Two other trades made easy to scale but could not continue on the runner. They returned pretty much the same I had lost on first trade including commissions, so I can could this day as a break even day.






Conclusion - wait for a pullback that can be seen on a higher chart, and keep note of orderflow at these levels. Preferably wait for lower high or higher low before taking a trade and keep stop above that high or below that low, but before day high/low. It may lead to few more stops eventually, but lately HOD and LOD are getting busted with such a violence, slippage on stops might be totally devastating, last friday gold busted my stop for over 120 ticks of slippage on demo. I feel sick imagining what would happen live. So to keep rather safe than sorry, I will go for having a stop before the HOD or LOD or a very major level.

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  #721 (permalink)
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
Broker: LMAX
Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
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Nothing interesting in CL and GC - no good trade locations, no good trades. Took few shots just for the sake of taking. Some good some bad on CL and all bad in GC, it's just crawling and busting stops. Low volume strange day. Columbus day in US. We shall see tomorrow. Nothing to record yet.

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  #722 (permalink)
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Personally I wont be trading much until Thursday because of the big looming decision.

I see no reason why paper will be in the market until then so why bother?

Expect slow markets until Thursday - but I'm often wrong!!

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  #723 (permalink)
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
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Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
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TheDude View Post
Personally I wont be trading much until Thursday because of the big looming decision.

I see no reason why paper will be in the market until then so why bother?

Expect slow markets until Thursday - but I'm often wrong!!

I agree with you. Not only it is dangerous to trading real money or even Combine, it is also dangerous for system development or forward walking - what you get is not a normal market results, these are abnormal conditions and may cause to dump a perfectly reasonable system or build one exploiting very rare phenomenons like we have now.

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  #724 (permalink)
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
Broker: LMAX
Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
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Very slow market today, all times high. But order flow is easy to read, tape is clear. Nice day.






When market moves like that I can read tape easy, but last week it was at all impossible, hectic and relentless.

Gold wise like I considered back then it is only worth trading when it moves big directionally, I think break of the level, limit entry few ticks in front on level on a pullback and 20 ticks stop, otherwise gold is not worth trading, it's algo trading jungle

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  #725 (permalink)
Vizag+india
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Hi Xelaar,
Question: what path did you follow to read tape.
I am just watching tape for few hours daily , I see few things getting cleared , but it is not a structured way to read tap.

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  #726 (permalink)
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
Broker: LMAX
Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
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tinkug112 View Post
Hi Xelaar,
Question: what path did you follow to read tape.
I am just watching tape for few hours daily , I see few things getting cleared , but it is not a structured way to read tap.

It's pointless to look at the tape in arbitrary places, it becomes important to judge which way it would go when price is getting stuck around key level, consolidation border, major high or low, daily high or low. Then you should look for imbalances on the ladder, cumulative delta on tape and see where it is moving. If you see price approached high and stops but buys still coming you know there is a lot of absorption, and if it breaks it is likely these who sold there will have to puke and buy back. If you see such a situation (you can see a huge imbalance on DAX ladder on the screenshot) chances are it will break. It is best to find a good entry place when buying pressure will ease up and price pulls back, and get in long to join the forces with those who run that level.

There are different situations, where sentiment is going the other way and we are fading the pullback, then it is advantageous to find a place to get in line with the sentiment. But it can be tricky.

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  #727 (permalink)
prague, czech republic
 
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Traded a whole bunch of instruments today: GC, CL, ES, NQ, YM.

Nothing interesting in GC, a couple of small winners, just to test out ATM strategies. But price action was nice.

Same in NQ, a couple of small winners.

Enjoyed YM, I will see if I will add it to my instrument basket, I like it, even if commission-wise it is in disadvantage, so only to focus on intra-day swings.






CL - only two trades, one loser and one winner with a runner. Nice.






A whole big struggle in ES. I totally realize I have a wrong approach for ES. There is an interesting aspect of ES being a pretty good instrument to read order flow, and almost all of my trades go into profit by 3-4 ticks, but the problem is it is too little to take even for a scale, and then it comes back and hits my stop. Very rotational market. I am not going to focus on it right now but I will keep tab on it.

All in all, I will focus for now on trading Crude and mini-Dow, and will look for big moves on Gold and try to get on that bus. I will not be trading gold with pattern approach, only with momentum.

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  #728 (permalink)
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This is what I mean by struggle in ES. Not a big loss, pretty much up and down. But I just don't feel this market.



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  #729 (permalink)
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Only one DAX trade today. Had potential of being a huge runner, but never happened, range bound day so far, could turn into a reversal one.

+7 points on scale-out, +2 points on runner



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  #730 (permalink)
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Very tired today. Nervous markets waiting for the news, but good patterns nevertheless.

Tried many things. But the bottom line is very simple - go with the order flow, fade the weakness, reinforce the strength.

I was lately looking for a formalization of my patterns. To be able to write them down clearly in trading plan, forward walk them, build statistical evidence. They should not lead to small scalps, save money on commissions and preferably be scalable to longer term trading too.

I have some results contradicting with my previous trading patterns. They did eventually produced profits, but most likely I would be better off trading the other way around and have smaller drawdowns.

In a nutshell:
1. I should not fade new HOD or LOD, I would only consider it when weakness is evidential there, large pullback, failure to break, reversing order flow and flipping liquidity on the ladder. It is still tricky as these levels act like a strong magnet. I can see that to successfully fade it, it is better if new swing high/low has failed to get closer than 10 ticks to HOD/LOD and magnet effect is absent. Then I would consider fading this high or low.
2. I should look to run matching highs or lows, pretty much like I did in my first combine, as they also act like a magnet since people locate stops behind. Trade should be aligned with the order flow. I would look at contracting range with one side having matching highs or lows, and enter against these matching side in a bet it would break and result in a surge of order flow. Having a pressure on ladder is required to confirm order flow.

This is pretty much it. I want to keep it as clean and easy as possible. I like trading with the order flow and will continue to concentrate on it. My aim is to get on a big runner and run it hopefully for hours.




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  #731 (permalink)
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Good order flow trading today. Missed the whole thing down, but got a small piece of the pie at the 11th hour..





Last entry had a pretty good timing - ladder was skewed like hell - 500-600 contracts on upside and 150 on the downside, we were in a horizontal channel, and suddenly around the top somebody switched all that liquidity off and it became balanced 150 x 150 ladder. I put a short immediately with a stop a couple of ticks above high. Then let it to its own devices and went away. Came back - both TPs taken off.

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  #732 (permalink)
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Booked a pretty good momentum trade on gold as per updated rule - front-run the level on apparent market strength. Fills should be good live too as it was before the HOD broke. This is pretty much the only way I plan to trade gold from now on - front running strong levels when market is closing with momentum.


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  #733 (permalink)
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Applying creal principles of selecting direction with the flow and entry with order flow flip in crude today




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  #734 (permalink)
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Another gunning of lows, somebody stop me


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  #735 (permalink)
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Range day inside yesterday value so far but nevertheless pretty good. First trade though was with 12.5 point risk off 800 contracts chart - unusually big for me, but I could not see that reversal point at the lows on lower time frame, so bite it off on a reversal formation at higher frame.

Last two trades were off 80 contract chart and purely from order flow and tape, with confluence of retest of broken trendline from 800 c chart.

First trade was 1:1, so no feuerwerks, but last one was actually 2:1 reward to risk.



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Traded both November and December today - they are both equally valid, just price is off by 15 or so ticks, backwardation?






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  #739 (permalink)
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This week has been positive in Crude. I can see some improvements in trade location, I get runned over less and I am getting better at holding the trade for runners. I will finish off this Combine, just to have it done, but in order to complete it I need 7500 profit in 10 days, that's 750 on average, much more than I was doing in crude before.

So I will really need to catch few good runners if I want to get it done. I just like to have things I started get finished. I spent a lot of time with TST since February and benefited quite a lot from it and from being a member of futures.io (formerly BMT). Thanks, gang! But now I need to make the next step. It will be either going live or going back to trading for PTK.

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DAX is nearly dead today. I took one trade only, it could give a decent runner if there would be enough sellers to break that support, order flow was supporting this trade and setup looked great. I took off scale at 8 ticks and after some time being unable to break double bottom sellers gave up and range resumed. Stopped out on the runner for -1.

Total for the day +7


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Really slow trading today with several violent moves.

Took 3 trades, first a scratch that would work but comparing to other swings it started to get choppy. A 7 ticks loser and 10 ticks winner.



No trades in combine.

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After much deliberations I have decided to start working on building reliable statistics of trading order flow with the tape. In order to put all setups and instruments into a common denominator and if anything err on a upper side, I will be using 10 ticks initial stop setup for all instruments and setups. This means smaller stops won't be used, if I chose to take larger setups off higher time frame 30 ticks stop will be used and position size adjusted.

This means starting with a larger position for base setups, i.e. 10 ticks will use 6 contracts size, 30 ticks will use 2 contract size. I will be able to examine MAE once statistics build up and determine if stop size optimization is needed. I will be also recording ATR on selected time frame at the time of taking a trade to be able to correspond it with MAE.

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Low volume chop today, I wouldn't trade it live in any case. I won't count it into stats either as I have made a decision to use position sizing and accept setups from larger time frame to build up reliable statistics and today's trades won't match requirements.

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  #744 (permalink)
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Took one trade in Combine today, as I planned to get a piece of NFP action in gold if it makes enough momentum. And make it did.





I was too modest with my target, could easily get 100 ticks instead of 37.

I front-run Yesterday HOD on strong momentum out of NFP numbers, so likely a fill on real market would be with a minimal slippage, since we were filled in pre-stop cluster area. Previously I entered after stops were triggered, it's not fun as live slippage is very significant. Now I only use this entry on a very strong momentum and very significant level by front-running the level. So I am being honest with myself. Stop was 10 ticks, also in line with my real trading plans.

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Only took two trades after deciding on a new uniform risk profile.

First one was stopped out on runner at BE legitimately, a second one after taking scale off just stuck and seems price action died. So I wanted to close out for good and shut the platform down. Of course, as soon as I closed it as it started to reverse it did drop for good. Another proof that messing with trades makes more harm than good - you will hardly save losers from running into stops, but will easily kill good trades without giving them a chance to develop.

A good measure to manage runners is to trail them from a higher time frame. I use HeikenAshi painbars from FatTails (no less!) and they are pretty good trailing tool on 10x time frame. I use 150 contracts chart for entries in crude and 1500 for direction, location and trade management.




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Made a mess today in mini Dow, but escaped it by correcting mistakes.
Entered on a setup that looked valid on a smaller time frame, but did not confirm it from a higher time frame. Worse, it was before 8 AM news and way before pit open. As a result stuck in a small consolidation for 50 minutes unable to get to entry to scratch. I should have scratched for 5 tick loss when I could. News did not stop me out, then open came, originally it avoided my stop loss but did not come really to entry, so it continued to run in a consolidation albeit much faster. Then I did a really dumb thing - I moved my stop loss up to avoid been stopped out in a chop. Of course then Dow proceed to run up in a straight line to stop me out mercilessly. So I planned on 300$ stop but pain 500.

Then I took a good trade up, was up by 15 ticks or so but it came down. I protected the trade after one retest so I did not lose, scratch at BE. It went down and generated a pretty good signal off higher frame. I took this trade, planned to use 6 contracts as per plan, but that freaking platform did not allow me to sell two times 3 contract via buy sell bar in contract window!!! If I have 3 selected it will allow to sell or buy only that. Ridiculous.

This trade was good. It got to the day low which was I expected and I closed out almost on my target. Covered my loss and a little bit up. If I would scratch that first dumb trade at small loss I would be very nicely up!







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Chop continues. Tried 2 trades on Ninja demo, one scratched and second closed at +7 ticks (6 cars).

Took only a second trade in Combine, that should be a semiswing trade so waited on a bit of confirmation and used 20 ticks stop.

It stuck in a range, so after several ups and downs I cut it at +1 tick (4 contracts). There is clearly no momentum, it will likely stay in a range and then any direction is possible.




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I should have ended with Crude after this post, unfortunately I did not. I have a decent trade idea to long off the very clear and precise double bottom, but was reminded about "trading with trend". Unfortunately yesterday was a reversal day, so all attempts of "trading with trend" went miserable and the only good setups were long ones, "against the trend" but with the momentum. But in overall it was a strange day, lots of small fights between bulls and bears, tape and ladder flipping all the time and balance changes frequently. A negative day in Combine, but positive in Ninja, because in Combine I stuck with only larger setups that went sour, and in Ninja I took 10 tick stop setups that were productive.









I also took 2 gold trades in Combine, first lost 500 and second won 700. Liquidity was poor in gold thus setups that could produce a really big profit went only very marginal.

Overal something like -450 day in Combine. Not a disaster, but make a goal of hitting the target even more difficult as I only have 7 days left by now. This fixing to a number of days instead of minimal makes things very artificial. You won't get anything similar when trading live for yourself.

There will be only choice to swing for fences in last couple of day, as there is nothing to lose. This is a bad motivation new combine gives.

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Did well in DAX today, just one trade but good one.

Closed yesterday loss and in positive.

Traded Crude on Combine this morning. Well, it was a difficult trade. Went in short early in Globex on a premise that it failed to take out the high, not much gap on opening and printed a lower low. Also, last several days Crude was a hard sell in Globex. I understood, that this trade can shake me out easily. But given the small number of days left in combine I have decided to give it a maximum space to breath as much as I can take. 4 car position.

I held it for 4.5 hours, withstood massive drawdown and held into Crude pit open. It finally sold off to day lows but failed to go lower. Closed by +24 ticks, max drawdown was 28 ticks. I escaped the punishment, as soon trend reversed back up. Done with crude today, only have an optional gold trade on possible stop run high.



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Finally got a nice run on gold. A trade planned well early in Globex came to fruition late in a day. I have anticipated that there will be short entered on this down run during Globex and several lower lows. Their stops as well as breakout traders entries will be above yesterday's high, since it is a higher high lately. Bear will have to puke it and this level will act as a magnet as price gets very close to it. In past I would put a stop order 2 ticks past the level, now I put it 2-3 ticks in front, fully understanding that I will get more losers that just don't pop, but I will get much better fill on the winners if I enter during the normal trading activity, not during stop liquidation.

And it worked beautifully today. Got my pre-planned target 30 ticks risking 10 in a blink of an eye. Both T4 and Ninja totally froze for like 10 seconds. Only once they unfroze I could see my TP was hit. Nice way to end the week and I am now well on a way to win this combine.




My trade on Ninja did not work that well, it got slipped 5 ticks (which is ok) since I use local sim and stops are simulated locally, and target was 50 ticks but in any case it also simulated locally so nothing worked while Ninja froze. I closed it once it unfreeze, only to collect peanuts. But there won't be a problem like that when live nor with T4 sim.

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@xelaar
Are you using a broker data feed with Ninja? If so, which one, I might ask?

Ken

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@xelaar
Are you using a broker data feed with Ninja? If so, which one, I might ask?

Ken

That was CQG. I am pretty sure data feed was alright, it's just it puked out so many quotes instantly Ninja and T4 both frozen unable to sift through. It does happen but quite rarely.

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Real time trade video


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After today's success on the finish straight. Still 6 day to go but only 2100 to do. About 350 per day to average.

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xelaar View Post
After today's success on the finish straight. Still 6 day to go but only 2100 to do. About 350 per day to average.

Thanks xelaar for this nice journal.
After having a look into your interesting live trading video I came to the conclusion what a trader only has to do:

Being at the right time at the right place / aka instrument and push the BUTTON - but push it!

Nice weekend
GFIs1

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Thanks xelaar for this nice journal.
After having a look into your interesting live trading video I came to the conclusion what a trader only has to do:

Being at the right time at the right place / aka instrument and push the BUTTON - but push it!

Nice weekend
GFIs1

Appreciate it!

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Not much luck today. Apathy across the board. Had a trade, it struggled a lot. Tried twice but nothing is there. Will be better another day.



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Not much trading today. Scarce trading across the board. Crude is very thin, less traded than gold. No trading in Combine today, let FOMC tomorrow out first.

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  #760 (permalink)
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I had a decent trade in DAX today, but overall it is a compacted range, nothing to see, move on.

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xelaar View Post



I had a decent trade in DAX today, but overall it is a compacted range, nothing to see, move on.

Just out of curiosity, where did you place your stop on this DAX trade, what's your preference for stop placement trading DAX with these new charts?

8970 on the white chart at that green dot (where it says -6 / 8971) looks like a small previous low, It also falls below the previous green bar on the black chart for a possible stop loss. Would you say this is okay for this type of trade? Otherwise 8964 seems quite far away at the last low on the black chart with 15 ticks of room for the stop considering the R:R in relation to where you took your profit. I'm just trying to understand this a little better, thanks.

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  #762 (permalink)
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Just out of curiosity, where did you place your stop on this DAX trade, what's your preference for stop placement trading DAX with these new charts?

8970 on the white chart at that green dot (where it says -6 / 8971) looks like a small previous low, It also falls below the previous green bar on the black chart for a possible stop loss. Would you say this is okay for this type of trade? Otherwise 8964 seems quite far away at the last low on the black chart with 15 ticks of room for the stop considering the R:R in relation to where you took your profit. I'm just trying to understand this a little better, thanks.

These trades are momentum/tape reversal entry based. I try to adjust stop to local price action and level within few ticks. This trade had a stop of 10 ticks and stop was just below WVAP. First target is by default 15 ticks and second target by default is 40 but I sometimes move first target to reflect market structure and price action, momentum, and second target is always adjusted to conditions. But in any case I target from 2 to 2.5 to 1 reward to risk initially but might cut it shorter if I can't see strength in the market. Or I can improve it by reducing risk and locking in some profit.

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  #763 (permalink)
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Cut myself short on the runner, but a good trade nevertheless. I have to learn to trust momentum in DAX, it might not be very fast but it can be very very stead. DAX trading can be most profitable.





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End of month flows today, very apparent in DAX. Not trading in Combine today and tomorrow too. Come back next week.

Also, I have decided to make a new plan forcing me to take trades more carefully and resemble live trading conditions. So I will start simulation next month with just one DAX contract, one Crude contract and 2 YM contracts. I will only go for 1 type of setup instead of mixed bag, and will work with a stop around 10 ticks and going for 2 to 3 :1 RR.

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Back to the markets after a 4 days long pause. Today I have started a new simulation using much more stremlined and simplified setups. This simulation is intended to provide me with data necessary to analyze my expectancy, drawdowns, to run my Monte-Carlo before going live.

I have decided not to go live partially with not fully prepared and tested plan, so I will stay the course with testing for the remainder of the year and go live in January.

I have not traded Combine today. I still need to trade 5 days and rack in 2500, but I must do so before Nov 14, so not much choice of days left. I did not get my setups today anyway.

So here is my trading playbook for today.



I have came up with a new format for my trade log, more orderly and assuming two part trades, which makes things much more usable for analysis.

I won't be posting my trading screen shots anymore, as it is irrelevant in most cases. This blog is about accountability and this is where I need to work more. I will post a video summary of live trades recorded during the day from time to time.

I keep my screen shots and build a playbook of setups and typical outcomes, which will reinforce the basis of my trading. Sometimes I lose a tune after some pause and this should help me to return to the zone faster.

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  #766 (permalink)
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1 trade in the combine today

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  #767 (permalink)
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Wow, one trade, almost 2K profit, nice catch... So you need to make something like 200 per day for the last few days, correct?

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  #768 (permalink)
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Pedro, it's already done, I did over 2k today on the move after ECB surprise announcement, over 1.5k past the target. Just need to trade 3 more days.

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Pedro, it's already done, I did over 2k today on the move after ECB surprise announcement, over 1.5k past the target. Just need to trade 3 more days.

Congrats Alex, great job as usual !

So you just did it again...

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Congrats Alex, great job as usual !

So you just did it again...

Thanks. We shall see if anything better will come out this time around. But the difference is I am not planning to dedicate all or most of my effort to trading it and just use as auxilary trading, taking on level-based low maintenance trades without complex ATM strategies or trade management. I will continue my work on collecting stats for going live in January.

The only change I have come up with so far I will be dropping Dow out of equation, it's too alien to me, and it starts to move something like 2 hours after US Equities open, too late for me to trade that on regular basis. During this time DAX comes back to live again for another two hours, and this will be my main focus. So it will be DAX, GC and CL only.

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  #771 (permalink)
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Congratulations Alex! Really very well done! What I like about your trading is that you were able to pull yourself together after frustrating first days. Great job and Good Luck in season 2 with TST.

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A 2 contract trade in combine today, well calculated level but boy NFP devastated the market, Gold fell 230 ticks or so in first 5 seconds, eliminating everything. My first half lost 12 ticks and second half I closed at 23 ticks gain, it would make over 100 ticks by now but I did not expect to get triggered on the first move so closed it out to cover first part loss. +100 net and done for the day. 2 more days to go. Taking it slowly but following the plan.

Had few pre-NFP trades in DAX (+30 ticks) and in gold (+5). Will put it into the journal later, still finishing up on Wednesday trades.

Will sort stuff out over weekend, catalogue screen shots and compile a trading play book video with cuts from this weeks trading worth noting. I will share this video.

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Thinking more about instruments of choice I have come up with the following so far:
1. Dropping the Dow, it's just too alien to me and really wakes up 2 hours after US open, i.e. 1730 my time, I prefer to be done active trading by then. And it's hardly fun for me.
2. Consolidating most of my active trading in DAX and Crude. DAX comes first, more I trade it more I like it. Tape reading works exceptionally well on DAX. Crude is similar.
3. I will reserve Gold to only trading around highs and lows with low maintenance setups. It works in other places too, but it works better on DAX and Crude, gold is just too sketchy to trade with tape, it's fine for order flow but need these magnet levels to perform in more streamlined fashion.

I will publish my trading plan over the weekend too.

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  #776 (permalink)
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Finally catched up on my journalling for the Wednesday and Friday. Still making a lot of hasty trades, errors. But journal let you see it with bare eyes, otherwise you forget it next day and keep doing the same.


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Logged also trades from 7th before the ECB release. I did a lot of crap trades during release and conference, but only as an entertainment, were good and bad, I wouldn't take them either live or in combine (which I did not), so I don't record them. It was all momentum plays that works crap on release.


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  #778 (permalink)
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Big fail today! Checked tge schedule on ransquawk and saw no news, said ok. After I lost 5 trades in the row I thought something is very weird, I have good location and market reacts to it but trades cant go to profit, even lousy 10 ticks is off limits. Then squawk qwacked about armstice day and veterans day. I rushed to other calendar and sure, both eu and us have bank holidays. I looked at the volume and it was pretty average but very narrow ranges. Silly me.

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  #779 (permalink)
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Given the whole collapse, I will publish trade screen shots so it can be seen where I have failed. Mostly 2 things:
1. Failure to notice bank holiday ahead, and failure to admit market is having very small slow rotations and not offering larger profits
2. Got blinded by several losses in a row and failed to follow the plan and take smaller first scale out and protect as I was looking for a larger win to cover losses, but it was just not there.






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  #780 (permalink)
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Just to let you know, it frustrates me to no end, especially that I could have small winners on 3 of these trades and be at closer to break even. But as now I know we have a banking holiday, going back into the game will only make matters worse. Suck it up and focus on catching up on books and education today. I will look for a quick trade in combine, most likely in crude since gold is in coma, at least for now, but we shall see, I will look after US opens.

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  #781 (permalink)
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Hi @xelaar,

Sorry about your losses, but it is best to stop trading today. Tomorrow will be a better day for you to trade..

Ok, just saw your reply below.. All the best for your combine!

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Hi @xelaar,

Sorry about your losses, but it is best to stop trading today. Tomorrow will be a better day for you to trade..

Absolutely, this is what I have decided too. Combine is a different matter though, I have 2 days to fill and only during this week. It is irrelevant if I post a small win or a small loss as long as it is small and follows the system.

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Looking at the log I cannot go without noticing I have quite a number of "re-entry" trades that go after trades either scratched or lost without price action actually confirming selected direction, advancing to it. So it makes it only logical to introduce some sort of filter to stop it.

I am not a proponent to put something like "stop trading after 3 losses, do only 3 trades a day, since it does not prevent from doing series of trades in wrong location or with not cooperating price action or momentum, and still limits you to trade later when conditions might be much better.

So here is what I have come up with:
1. I will only do 1 trade per hourly segment from :30 minutes to next :30 minutes mark
2. I will have at least 15 minutes between one trade close and another trade open
3. I won't stop trading after 1-2 winners if I have good setups and rules 1-2 allow it

Rule 3 comes up as I usually stop trading after some decent winner but keep trading after few losers, so I don't capitalize on good days and keep squishing it on bad days and racking up the losers. And I need more trades for stats analysis but they should not be desperation trades and re-entries.

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  #784 (permalink)
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Late in the day CL woke up and I have decided to train as per updated rules. I can feel some improvements but now need to focus on keeping that runner afloat and not to be tempted to close out soon, as I cannot re-enter for at least 15 to 60 minutes.






Last trade was a part of new strategy tested and was taken not as a part of trading plan, it has its own plan.

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Absolutely, this is what I have decided too. Combine is a different matter though, I have 2 days to fill and only during this week. It is irrelevant if I post a small win or a small loss as long as it is small and follows the system.

So the fail was not in the Combine? Was it just test or real money?

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  #786 (permalink)
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So the fail was not in the Combine? Was it just test or real money?

Since when DAX can be traded in combine? Its strategy incubation.

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  #787 (permalink)
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Combine-wise, I have did one trade in Crude today, despite relative long bias since the open, crude failed to perform. Stopped out for -30 ticks, but I had just 1 contract, so -305 into combine. Just one day to day. I won't resort to taking 1 ticks stop trades or try to get 1 tick profit. I will place a trade as per strategy, but use minimal risk. It does not matter for results as I have still over 1300 of extra profit but would like to have a winning trade in crude to end combine well. But tomorrow is the last day.

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  #788 (permalink)
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From what I can tell so far, this new rule of taking one trade withing hourly trading window is the best trading improvement I have done since the beginning of this journal. First, it stops you from getting chopped in developing ranges, but even more importantly, second, it forces you to look for better trade locations and precise timing, as you know you won't be able to re-enter after a quick stop out, and then forces you to let runner work as designed, as again, you can't re-enter this trade on a pullback. Great!

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Took a series of losses in combine trading crude today. Of course I stopped well clear of profit target.

But I just could not take proper trades today, price action before it did big break down was super weird, at every minor level there was a big battle of bulls and bears repeated at next minor level 5 ticks away. I took a fantastic short at last high 9515, but it shook me off with just 8 ticks as it kept struggling. Sure, once it fell it never stop and kept murdering longs.

What lessons could I derive from it? Only few:
1. Trade per plan and don't let market influence you
2. Once in trade, keep it on, don't close prematurely, few saved trades will cost in huge winners not take. Place trade, place targets as per plan before the trade and walk away.

This is it. Nothing more. No trickery or secret sauce involved.

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  #790 (permalink)
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xelaar View Post
Took a series of losses in combine trading crude today. Of course I stopped well clear of profit target.

But I just could not take proper trades today, price action before it did big break down was super weird, at every minor level there was a big battle of bulls and bears repeated at next minor level 5 ticks away. I took a fantastic short at last high 9515, but it shook me off with just 8 ticks as it kept struggling. Sure, once it fell it never stop and kept murdering longs.

What lessons could I derive from it? Only few:
1. Trade per plan and don't let market influence you
2. Once in trade, keep it on, don't close prematurely, few saved trades will cost in huge winners not take. Place trade, place targets as per plan before the trade and walk away.

This is it. Nothing more. No trickery or secret sauce involved.

Those bull bear battles are similar to my issue of time. In fact those battles often cause my trades to take a lot longer than I expect. And you are correct. Most of the time just getting up and walking away is the smartest trade management tactic we could use.

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xelaar View Post
price action before it did big break down was super weird, at every minor level there was a big battle of bulls and bears repeated at next minor level 5 ticks away.

Totally agree and actually glad to see you too had the same observation. This is what I wrote in my journal today - more than once:


iNeo View Post
Cannot read orderflow that well today. Every move is requiring heavier than usual buying or selling.

Thanks for sharing.

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  #792 (permalink)
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Totally agree and actually glad to see you too had the same observation. This is what I wrote in my journal today - more than once:



Thanks for sharing.

Well the worst you should do in this situation - take a loser and step away. What you should not do is to keep doing the same expecting different result. Unfortunately this is what I had done yesterday. But lesson is learned. Having "free" play money made me unaccountable and feeling no rules need to be followed.

BTW, combine is officially completed and submitted for a review.

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Yesterday DAX and one gold trade



I will be publishing my playbook setups (i.e. best) along the way to reinforce visual memory and positive thinking.



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  #794 (permalink)
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xelaar View Post
BTW, combine is officially completed and submitted for a review.

Good to see your success in this. Well done.

Whatever you decide to do with it this time around, I hope it's enjoyable and good for you.

Thanks for the journal, it's always interesting.

Bob.

When one door closes, another opens.
-- Cervantes, Don Quixote
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  #795 (permalink)
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
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Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
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We are seeing very unusual markets now. Both DAX and Crude are going perhaps through the trend change phase and there is a big fight for every tick between bulls and bears. Ladder is very heavy and tape is next to impossible to read. Icebergs everywhere and get busted all the time. Pretty much any trading now like a trading during news release in slow motion.

I have made a lot of losers today again in DAX and Crude. I try to make sense of this market and take setups according to the rules, make pauses but keep losing. Most of my trades make profit but it's just too little before it reverses on its head and makes a trade setup for opposite direction. Only thing I can say glad not to be trading live this market.

I will log them, but there is nothing to take from it for the playbook. However I will also put a black book, where I will collect warning signs of market conditions when not to trade. I have few video recordings on market during recent trades, with weird ladder and tape so by looking through it from time to time I will make sure if I recognize a similar market I will just take a day off.

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prague, czech republic
 
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Platform: NT7, MT4
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Ok, here is the executive decision I am taking here and now: I will remove break even from my ATM and have just first target at 10 and second at 30 ticks. I will opt to slightly adjust both right after I place the trade, not as trade progresses and leave to its own devices. In case of second target 30 ticks or more I will trail it with stop loss after each confirmed swing low or high on my trade chart. This is it.

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prague, czech republic
 
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Shit market continues. I have been thinking about should I trade this market at all, since my job is to collect stats trading in a realistic manner on sim, what good these stats are if I have strings of losers I would hardly be taking live? This is what I have came up with:
1. I cannot control the market, I can only hope to have a decent timing but have no control over it, so I should not try to get a "perfect" set of trades, it's not up to me
2. What I can control though is my quality of execution, following the rules and self-dicipline, I should make sure I don't rush trades, I don't over-trade, and I don't screw up with the trades. I should focus on placing good trades, leave them alone until stopped out or first target is hit and then manage the runner in a sensible manner according to market structure and momentum. This is what I can control and this is how I should evaluate my trading ultimately, not by P/L within any arbitrary time period.
3. The end result of this exercise will be stats that won't be used to predict how soon I become next George Soros, but to see how realistic not to become broke with my trading. I should only evaluate my downside risks, and if I can weather through that bad (for my style) markets, I will survive and eventually trive.

To make this all happen I will now not only video-tape the trade, but will also include short reasoning of the trade and current market condition overview before I pull the trigger. Even short 30 second one will do, because mind plays funny games once you are in a trade or after the trade, you see things through completely different glasses. Having this live reasoning should help a lot. And again, my focus will be on execution, not over-trading and not micro-managing the trade. If I did trades and did not break my rules - I have done well no matter what is my P/L.

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xelaar View Post
Ok, here is the executive decision I am taking here and now: I will remove break even from my ATM and have just first target at 10 and second at 30 ticks. I will opt to slightly adjust both right after I place the trade, not as trade progresses and leave to its own devices. In case of second target 30 ticks or more I will trail it with stop loss after each confirmed swing low or high on my trade chart. This is it.

This is a very good decision you have taken regarding the break-even stop.

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  #799 (permalink)
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
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Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
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I also think so, @iqgod. However, it will require a slightly different approach to trade timing, I can't trade this way with momentum entries, since they can easily collapse and having no any sort of absorption zone behind my entry will easily stop the trade out.

I have looked through some of my logged trades, some videos. I can see that my entry timing drifts from time to time and also I am not very consistent in applying level and momentum requirement. Also, during this last 10 days I have added some new rules like time limiting rule which make older trades irrelevant.

I think that I need to rethink my rules, consolidate and simplify them, allow for more flexibility in stop and targets to suit price action structure, and require all setups to be entered at better price, i.e. not at the break out price but on the pullback to level + absorption.

I will start my log from scratch and will focus instead of filling the excel log on saving trading screen shots and video recording trades, and do a summary of all trades taken during the day.

I will maintain my trade log in Ninja journal and will export it to Excel instead of manually filling it.

So my focus now is on uniformity and repeatability, not overtrading and not overmanaging trades.

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prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
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Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
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It's been a while since I posted here last time. I took a pause from incubation of my strategy, as I started to drift more and more from tried and proven setups into some bizarre trade taking. Markets are not good for my method and there is no point of keep doing the same without any positive result.

I have done trade and log reviewing, thinking and analyzing. I have put down detailed description of my setups on paper, put down a preparation technique, market analysis, and trade construction methodology.

I still got a bit too much of variation and possible conflicting setups when I might get setups in two directions almost simultaneously. So, I have decided to focus on what works best for me, and this is trading with high momentum in a direction of a break out beyond daily range. So I've got left with two similar setups only.

My aim is to build a playbook of my setups, fill it with screen shots and video recording of my A+ setups, not only taken properly but also managed and exited by the rules. This will start a foundation of my reliable trading framework.

On the other hand, I am still waiting on LTP to start, some delays from TST. However, I have used my time to download Sierra Charts and learn how to use it. It may look like a thing from 90-ties running on Windows 3.11 but boy how powerful it is, how robust and lightweight it is. Loads fast, don't clog PC, has tons of functionality. And it has a really nice DOM, full blown ATM strategies at least on par with Ninja. The only thing I really lack there is GomMP inie, and Jigsaw trading tools. Sierra has tape and DOM is very informative, but still Jigsaw gives me a little bit extra, namely absorption is much better seen there.

Thus said, for doing LTP and trading TST account live Sierra is a superior choice.

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