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Trading Well: The MOST Important Thing
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Trading Well: The MOST Important Thing

  #1 (permalink)
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Trading Well: The MOST Important Thing

Here I wish to journal each and everything that changed my trading for better.

Since trading is a journey, each day something new is learnt.

This journal is my mirror - without going into elaborate reasons as to why to maintain a journal, the most fundamental reason is that it is a most important tool to trader development.


From wikipedia
- a daily record of events or business
- a record of the transactions
- a journal refers to a serious, scholarly publication that is peer-reviewed
- a record of the daily run, such as observations, changes, or other events of daily importance

Though my journal is also a private diary, above all I have always believed that a professional activity such as trading can and must be approached with specific formal best practices that must be made available to the reader without barriers.

I promise to be disciplined and update this journal with clockwork precision.

Sharing is the most important thing, and not surprisingly it benefits the author most of all.

Welcome!

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  #2 (permalink)
Quick Summary
Quick Summary Post

Quick Summary is created and edited by users like you... Add FAQ's, Links and other Relevant Information by clicking the edit button in the lower right hand corner of this message.

 
  #3 (permalink)
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A Start


Here is how I performed in the past nine months.:

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It simply shows that I had been a breakeven trader. This is an Interactive Brokers account which I opened with a starting balance of $5000.

The first step in trading was to learn how not to lose money (this does NOT equate to no losing trades). This took a long time to learn.

The second part has then been how to start making money. This is where the focus of the journal is going to be.

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  #4 (permalink)
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My Forex Account

This is a live account funded with $150. The $150 came from a forex contest that I won. Note that Indian citizens are not allowed to remit Indian Rupees for trading leveraged products.

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I am sure you may have noted the approximate 35% returns generated each year - they simply represent gains as a result of a lot of hard work which includes almost two years of prior practice exclusively on demo. I will not delude you with figures any further - these accounts have not been operated ever since I went through TST combines.

What now follows is how I simplified my trading - that is the most important thing I want to talk about for today.

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  #5 (permalink)
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Trading: Simple = Profitable

What does a Consistently Profitable Trader do?

- He has (creates/borrows after testing) defined methods that indicate a high probability of success. This is a constant learning process.

- He is consistent with his trades i.e. he takes all the valid trades and does not cherry-pick. He knows that cherry picking will ruin his system and make a high probability system useless. This is a constant uphill struggle against the weak parts of human nature.

- His works on his belief system to manage all his trades to his best advantage. This is a constant development of his intuitive part, this is what makes trading more of an art form than exact science.

[More on each of this in a later post]

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  #6 (permalink)
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Part 1: Why a high probability system?

My system states that I need to take "with trend" trades when the price forms a pair (or more) of dojis - BUT the breakout above the dojis needs to occur for me to take the trade.

Note: Double Doji setup is documented in "Forex Price Action Scalping" by Bob Volman, an excellent book, highly recommended!

If I would have not followed my system then I would have become a trapped long.

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Importance of taking valid entries and NOT taking invalid or "early" entries

This is what happening right now next as Bernanke is talking:

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The PLAN: The Money

This is the MOST important component of a trader's business.

At the minimum, which I will state here:

- My money management plan

One liner: Capital divided into ten equal parts (and held in ten different accounts to physically minimize damage slow me down if ever I go on tilt) No more than 1% of the capital held in that account ever to be risked on any single trade.

- My trade management plan (brokers are codenamed for quick reference)

1. Broker R: LONGEST TERM

For Swing trading of equities only. Shorting using index futures ALLOWED only when flat on equities.
No intraday trading permitted; this broker is for the longest term view (months to years) - no compromise here.
Exit at breakeven or if a trade does not work within ten working days. Do not ever exit on pullbacks. Trailing stop once in profit.

It is expected that equity charts of equities held will be examined daily at 0800AM everyday.

2. Broker IfE: LONG TERM Single Stock Futures

Swing trading of single stock futures.

No intraday trading permitted; this broker is for the longest term view (months) - no compromise here. Exit at breakeven or if a trade does not work within ten working days. Do not ever exit on pullbacks. Trailing stop once in profit.

It is expected that equity daily charts of equities held will be examined daily at 0800AM everyday.


3. Broker IfC: LONG TERM Commodities

Swing trading of commodities.

No intraday trading permitted; this broker is for the longest term view (months to years) - no compromise here.
Exit at breakeven or if a trade does not work within ten working days. Do not ever exit on pullbacks. Trailing stop once in profit.

It is expected that daily charts of commodity contracts held will be examined daily at 0800AM everyday.

4. Broker IfX: LONG TERM Currencies

Swing trading of currencies.

No intraday trading permitted; this broker is for the longest term view (months to years) - no compromise here.
Exit at breakeven or if a trade does not work within ten working days. Do not ever exit on pullbacks. Trailing stop once in profit.

It is expected that currency daily charts of commodity contracts held will be examined daily at 0800AM everyday.


5. Broker Ib: INTRADAY index futures

Index futures trading only. Trade (entry / exit) from 30 minute timeframe only.

Intraday trading - preset target, preset stop - one or the other needs to be taken out! "check" HOURLY not any lesser timeframe but do not EVER move except warranted by TIPPING POINT TECHNIQUE.

Pre-market analysis MUST be complete before initiating positions

6. Broker BE

Backup broker for equities and equity (index / single stock) futures - intraday swing trades only

7. Broker BC

Intraday swing trades - positions must not be the same as (9)

8. Broker M

Intraday scalping

Multi-sectors permitted here. Can trade the "in play" chart - can be equity / equity index futures / commodities / currencies.

Pre-market analysis MUST be complete before initiating positions

9. Broker ZC: Commodities

Intraday swing trades (no scalping)

10. Broker ZE: Equity / Index Futures

Intraday swing trades (no scalping)


I will document the strategies I use with each broker the next.

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  #9 (permalink)
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Plan Focus: ME

ME vs Market Direction:

I now have developed "creepy crawlies" that tell me that I am entering too early and against a fundamental market structure.

ME vs Mr.Market and ME vs. MY SYSTEM:

I now have developed "feelers" which tell me to recognize if the current trades I am getting into or avoiding pulling the trigger on are because of "Oh I missed the earlier nicer entry how can I enter now" type of trades.

ME alone:

I now know I don't understand the market at this moment and there is no probability on my side. Check if I am sitting on my hands (actually put them underneath and SIT, LOL)

If in position, check if I am sitting on my hands (actually put them underneath and SIT)

If under confident even now, and itching to exit and the itch is "right" e.g. Tipping Point / I am Invalidated my the Market / I entered early and had no reason to do so (very common occurence) THEN flatten position and examine why did I get in at all in the first place!

See what I learn about the market and document it here for my and others benefit.

A non-existent ME:

Feeling fuzzy / woolly / cannot access feelings / lack of sleep / drove badly (not carefully) - the last one is a big let out and means I am not ready to trade. Good driving on Indian Roads = Good trading later.

Be very watchful.

IN STONE:

Stop trading after three consecutive losers. Its a holiday from trading (ssshhh not so fast... you still have to watch the markets!)

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iqgod
Importance of taking valid entries and NOT taking invalid or "early" entries

How do you define a valid entry? Said another way, what "validates" taking the trade?

Thanks for your thread iqgod, much success to you by the way!

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