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My Personal Combine


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My Personal Combine

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  #1 (permalink)
Sayounara
Yokohama South Korea
 
 
Posts: 116 since Nov 2012
Thanks: 99 given, 72 received

I intend to take a TopStepTrader combine, but I think it's only prudent if I could first pass my personal combine, so I've decided to start one next week.

I use SierraChart with CTS datafeed. I'll post my chart and my trading stats after each trading day. At the end of every week, I'll post a combined trading stats for the week.

For money management I'll follow these simple rules:
1. daily loss limit $500 per contract;
2. weekly loss limit $3000;
3. maximum Drawdown is $4500;
4. if Profit < $2000, trading size is 2 contracts;
5. if $2000< Profit < $4000, trading size is 4;
6. if profit >=$4000, trading size is 6;

I'm hoping to find out about my risk tolerance and profit potential through this personal combine, to help me determine which one to take when doing the real thing.

my trading product is GC, and my trading method is completely discretionary. basically I buy when I feel that the market is going up, and vice versa for sell.

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  #3 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
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I like your idea of running a test Combine before the real thing, after all, why pay for it, if you have no chance of passing? Not to mention getting to know the platform is also a good thing.

But I am not sure which Combine you want to try eventually? Your Daily Loss Limit and number of contacts indicate one of the smaller ones, but your max. DD says otherwise. You also forgot to set a profit target.

So my advice is, set the parameters like in the desired Combine, and go accordingly. There is really no point in making them much stricter than they already are. The DLL sounds too small. And I hope you are not planning to hit the DLL 5 days in a row, so there is no point in setting a weekly loss limit that high. (and there is no weekly loss limit in the Combine anyway)
I think you should aim for the 50K Combine 10 days or 20 days it is up to you, but since you are using probably the 2 weeks trial version of T4, the 10 days is more logical. So I would set the parameters for that one....

Also you might want to tweak your trading system according to the special Combine rules...

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  #4 (permalink)
Sayounara
Yokohama South Korea
 
 
Posts: 116 since Nov 2012
Thanks: 99 given, 72 received

Hello Pedro40, there is indeed no weekly loss limit for combines, thank you for pointing that out.

so here is my new revised money management rules:
1. daily loss limit $500 per contract;
3. maximum Drawdown is $4500;
4. if Profit < $2000, trading size is 2 contracts;
5. if $2000< Profit < $4000, trading size is 4;
6. if profit > $4000, trading size is 6;

I haven't decided which combine to take yet, I'm using this personal combine to find out. I limit my trading size for two purposes:

1. I don't want to suffer too much slippage. I've noticed in GC, the last trade size is seldom larger than 4, that means even institutional traders and algos are trading with less than 4 contracts for every single trade. of course they trade all day long, and usually accumulate much larger positions by the end of their trading. but still, the point remains. personally I think for individual traders like me it's best to trade with just 1 contract and scale in to get bigger, but I haven't been able to develop a successful method for scaling in.

2. I want to keep my choices open, so that if at the end of this test I found out that I couldn't make enough profit for larger combines, I could still try smaller ones.

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  #5 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
Thanks: 33 given, 377 received

Just 2 more observations:

1. You still don't have a profit target. Without it, how would you know if you made the Combine at the end or not? So set one. But to set the profit target, you kind of have to know which Combine you are aiming for. Also, if you hit your profit target rather early, you can take it easy and just cruise for the rest, not risking much for no good reason...

2. The difference between your DLL and the max. DD is too big. There is no Combine where the max. DD is bigger than twice the DLL, so either your DLL should be at least 2K or your max DD not more than 1-1.5K. There is a logic in this. If you hit too many times close to the DLL, even if you don't hit the max. DD, your winning day% is going to be most likely less than 50%, thus you won't pass. So there is no point in having a large max. DD with a small DLL....

So since you are not planning to use more than 4-6 cars, as I said, try to mimic the 50K/10days Combine. The max. number of contracts there is 5, profit target is 3.5K, max. DD is 2K, DLL is 1K.

Also, there are 2 set of rules in the Combine, one for getting funded and a little bit less strict ones for getting a refund.

Good luck and good speed.

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  #6 (permalink)
wnannang
Newark, NJ/United States
 
 
Posts: 1 since May 2013
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Hello Sayounara, this might be off topic. But I cannot help noticing you user name is in Japanese, and Yokohama is a city in Japan. However your profile says South Korea.

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  #7 (permalink)
Sayounara
Yokohama South Korea
 
 
Posts: 116 since Nov 2012
Thanks: 99 given, 72 received

Just 2 more observations:

1. You still don't have a profit target. Without it, how would you know if you made the Combine at the end or not? So set one. But to set the profit target, you kind of have to know which Combine you are aiming for. Also, if you hit your profit target rather early, you can take it easy and just cruise for the rest, not risking much for no good reason...


I don't set a profit target for 2 reasons:
1. I want to see what the market gives me each day instead of setting a fixed profit amount;
2. I'm not going to take it easy even if I hit profit target for the largest combine, after all, my goal is to become a consistent winner, passing a combine is only of secondary consideration.


2. The difference between your DLL and the max. DD is too big. There is no Combine where the max. DD is bigger than twice the DLL, so either your DLL should be at least 2K or your max DD not more than 1-1.5K. There is a logic in this. If you hit too many times close to the DLL, even if you don't hit the max. DD, your winning day% is going to be most likely less than 50%, thus you won't pass. So there is no point in having a large max. DD with a small DLL....


$500 is my DLL per contract, and the $4500 DD is my worst case max drawdown. I start with 2 contracts, so my initial DLL is $1000. it's indeed less than 1/4 of my max DD, because I want to survive and keep trading even if I would have 3 losing days in a row. the only thing I can do about my winning day % is to take only high probability trades and try to have no losing days at all https://futures.io/images/smilies/ammo/sarcastic.gif



So since you are not planning to use more than 4-6 cars, as I said, try to mimic the 50K/10days Combine. The max. number of contracts there is 5, profit target is 3.5K, max. DD is 2K, DLL is 1K.

thanks for the suggestion. the purpose of this test combine is to find out about my profit potential and risk tolerance by trading. if this test goes well, I'll decide which combine to take according to my test result.


Also, there are 2 set of rules in the Combine, one for getting funded and a little bit less strict ones for getting a refund.

https://futures.io/images/smilies/animated/becky.gif I think I'll concentrate on getting funded

Good luck and good speed.
thanks! you too!

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  #8 (permalink)
 COTtrader 
Michigan, Jackson
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT and TS
Broker: NT Continuum
Trading: ES, CL
 
Posts: 857 since Jul 2009
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Go for it. Pedro provided great input. Very helpful.

By the way, your forum name means "farewell" or "goodbye." Hope this isn't the end for you.

Ken

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  #9 (permalink)
Sayounara
Yokohama South Korea
 
 
Posts: 116 since Nov 2012
Thanks: 99 given, 72 received

here is the test account I just got from CTS for my personal combine. it lasts only 2 weeks.

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  #10 (permalink)
Sayounara
Yokohama South Korea
 
 
Posts: 116 since Nov 2012
Thanks: 99 given, 72 received





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  #11 (permalink)
Sayounara
Yokohama South Korea
 
 
Posts: 116 since Nov 2012
Thanks: 99 given, 72 received



trade1:
MAE = 6 ticks;
MFE = 67 ticks;
actual ticks gained = 7;
no BE with 1 scale ticks = 7 + 49 = 56;
no BE all in all out ticks = 98;

trade2:
MAE = 5 ticks;
MFE = 49 ticks;
actual ticks gained = 0;
no BE with 1 scale ticks = 6 + 31 = 37;
no BE all in all out ticks = 62;

trade3:
MAE = 3 ticks;
MFE = 40 ticks;
actual ticks gained = 20 + 26 = 46;
no BE with 1 scale ticks = 20 + 26 = 46;
no BE all in all out ticks = 52;

trade4:
MAE = 6 ticks;
MFE = 28 ticks;
actual ticks gained = 2 + 2 = 4;
no BE with 1 scale ticks = 8 + 15 = 23;
no BE all in all out ticks = 30;

trade5:
MAE = 3 ticks;
MFE = 5 ticks;
actual ticks gained = 5 - 4 = 1;
no BE with 1 scale ticks = 5 - 4 = 1;
no BE all in all out ticks = -8;

trade6:
MAE = 4 ticks;
MFE = 21 ticks;
actual ticks gained = 6 + 4 = 10;
no BE with 1 scale ticks = 6 + 5 = 11;
no BE all in all out ticks = 10;

trade7:
MAE = 6 ticks;
MFE = 70 ticks;
actual ticks gained = 5 + 25 = 30;
no BE with 1 scale ticks = 8 + 42 = 50;
no BE all in all out ticks = 84;

summary:
max session MAE = 6;
max session MFE = 70;
average session MAE = 5;
average session MFE = 40;

actual ticks gained = 98;
no BE with 1 scale ticks = 224;
no BE all in all out ticks = 328;

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  #12 (permalink)
Sayounara
Yokohama South Korea
 
 
Posts: 116 since Nov 2012
Thanks: 99 given, 72 received




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  #13 (permalink)
Sayounara
Yokohama South Korea
 
 
Posts: 116 since Nov 2012
Thanks: 99 given, 72 received



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  #14 (permalink)
Sayounara
Yokohama South Korea
 
 
Posts: 116 since Nov 2012
Thanks: 99 given, 72 received

1. it's utmost important to determine market's likely behavior early on, trending? ranging?
2. if the market is likely to trend, then it's much better to employ an all-in-all-out strategy with no fixed RR exit.
3. if the market is likely to range, then it's still better to use all-in-all-out, with a fixed RR exit.

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  #15 (permalink)
Sayounara
Yokohama South Korea
 
 
Posts: 116 since Nov 2012
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  #16 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
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So what is the P/L in dollars so far?

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  #17 (permalink)
Sayounara
Yokohama South Korea
 
 
Posts: 116 since Nov 2012
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Pedro40 View Post
So what is the P/L in dollars so far?

I did very bad last night, hit my daily maximum drawdown earlier on so wasn't able to trade the nice downtrend afterwards. will make some adjustments next week, aimed at better emotional control and reducing the number of trades I take. here are the stats for friday's trading session.




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  #18 (permalink)
 garyboy275 
wa/ usa
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: schwab, metatrader, OEC,T4,TDameritrade
Trading: CL ES 6C 6E
 
Posts: 262 since Oct 2012
Thanks: 202 given, 447 received

11 Consecutive losers ? Almost makes you think if you want to be counter impulsive. Do you think and stop after 2 or 3 consecutive losers ? There is a valuable lesson for anyone-I think for me personally this was a big improvement and change in trading. You become kind of numb and drunk when you have this many losers unless you stop the spiral down fast enough and break the cycle anyway you can.

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  #19 (permalink)
Sayounara
Yokohama South Korea
 
 
Posts: 116 since Nov 2012
Thanks: 99 given, 72 received


garyboy275 View Post
11 Consecutive losers ? Almost makes you think if you want to be counter impulsive. Do you think and stop after 2 or 3 consecutive losers ? There is a valuable lesson for anyone-I think for me personally this was a big improvement and change in trading. You become kind of numb and drunk when you have this many losers unless you stop the spiral down fast enough and break the cycle anyway you can.

yeah, I know, it's embarrassing, though it's not really 11 losers in a row. I made 7 trades altogether and then stopped myself after going over my loss limit a bit.

I've since then went over this trading session 3 times already, and realised that if I had behaved rationally I'd have avoided some losing trades and kept the unavoidable losers small and thus survived long enough to take advantage of the nice downtrend later on. I took courage in this and once again eager to face new trading sessions next week.

Thank you very much for your input.

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  #20 (permalink)
 garyboy275 
wa/ usa
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: schwab, metatrader, OEC,T4,TDameritrade
Trading: CL ES 6C 6E
 
Posts: 262 since Oct 2012
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Sayounara View Post
and realised that if I had behaved rationally I'd have avoided some losing trades and kept the unavoidable losers small and thus survived long enough to take advantage of the nice downtrend later on. I took courage in this and once again eager to face new trading sessions next week.

Thank you very much for your input.

Dont be embarrassed we all have been there one time or another. Key is to keep a check. For me personally I HAVE to trade with stops as I dont trust myself with mental stops. I can ove the stop around by a tic or two but no more. That above is the key. Another rule that helps is after X number of losers you take a break.

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  #21 (permalink)
Sayounara
Yokohama South Korea
 
 
Posts: 116 since Nov 2012
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  #22 (permalink)
Sayounara
Yokohama South Korea
 
 
Posts: 116 since Nov 2012
Thanks: 99 given, 72 received




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  #23 (permalink)
Sayounara
Yokohama South Korea
 
 
Posts: 116 since Nov 2012
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  #24 (permalink)
 garyboy275 
wa/ usa
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: schwab, metatrader, OEC,T4,TDameritrade
Trading: CL ES 6C 6E
 
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What chart is that a tic chart or vol chart ? Is that the sole chart you trade off of ?

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  #25 (permalink)
Sayounara
Yokohama South Korea
 
 
Posts: 116 since Nov 2012
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garyboy275 View Post
What chart is that a tic chart or vol chart ? Is that the sole chart you trade off of ?

it's a volume chart, I also use a higher time frame chart for general direction. currently it's 10 times my active trading chart, but I often tweak it to get a better feeling of the market.

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  #26 (permalink)
Sayounara
Yokohama South Korea
 
 
Posts: 116 since Nov 2012
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  #27 (permalink)
Sayounara
Yokohama South Korea
 
 
Posts: 116 since Nov 2012
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  #28 (permalink)
Sayounara
Yokohama South Korea
 
 
Posts: 116 since Nov 2012
Thanks: 99 given, 72 received

my current sim account is going to expire this weekend, so I'll be getting a new one for the next 2 weeks.

despite of having met my profit target for increasing size, I've decided to stick with 2 contracts for next week. there are so many issues I'm grappling with, I fear that an increase in my trading size will work against me.

I feel that I've had a glimpse of what kind of trader I can be. I'm quite happy about it. and I'm once again looking forward to next week's trading. I still have many problems, but I feel that I can overcome them and trading for a living is no longer just a dream.

next week, I strive to maintain the mindset of an explorer.
a. I want to trade to find out what the market gives me each day.
b. take my trades, manage the results.
c. when profitable, I won't stop trading until the market clearly shows me that it might not be going anywhere.
d. every trade is a lesson. I must keep in mind that for the time being, the experience gained is much more valuable than virtual profit kept.
e. follow my personal loss limit guideline, absolutely no going over maximum combine drawdown limit.

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  #29 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
Broker: LMAX
Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
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Posts: 1,517 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 1,740 given, 2,566 received

Great journal from a fellow momentum (am I right?) gold trader! Subscribed and looking forward see you in Combine soon! Trading looks quite solid!

Trade to live. Not live to trade.
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  #30 (permalink)
Sayounara
Yokohama South Korea
 
 
Posts: 116 since Nov 2012
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xelaar View Post
Great journal from a fellow momentum (am I right?) gold trader! Subscribed and looking forward see you in Combine soon! Trading looks quite solid!

Thank you! yours is the truly inspirational one. I never thought people could trade like you do. if it were not for the combine results, I'd have believed you were a fraud. looking forward to your interview with Eddy and Hoag. eager to learn whatever I can from you.

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  #31 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
Broker: LMAX
Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
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Sayounara View Post
Thank you! yours is the truly inspirational one. I never thought people could trade like you do. if it were not for the combine results, I'd have believed you were a fraud. looking forward to your interview with Eddy and Hoag. eager to learn whatever I can from you.

Well its not all roses, T4 sim is very optimistic on slippage, it's simulating exit slippage but not entry slippage. But I am working on this issue, so ultimately system is valid, even if live results would have larger losses than in LTP and similar to Combine, and smaller wins.

Could you describe your approach briefly? I am very intrigued.

Trade to live. Not live to trade.
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  #32 (permalink)
Sayounara
Yokohama South Korea
 
 
Posts: 116 since Nov 2012
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xelaar View Post
Well its not all roses, T4 sim is very optimistic on slippage, it's simulating exit slippage but not entry slippage. But I am working on this issue, so ultimately system is valid, even if live results would have larger losses than in LTP and similar to Combine, and smaller wins.

Could you describe your approach briefly? I am very intrigued.



my approach is a mess, I don't have hard fixed rules, and I found that I'm constantly tweaking it to this day, I'm a bit embarrassed to describe it, since there are so many issues to fix, and I don't even feel confident that I'll remain profitable next week.

basically, I use a higher time frame chart to determine market direction, currently it's 10x my active trading chart time frame. then I look for favorable price action on my active trading chart, currently it's a 222 volume chart.

I don't know how to describe favorable price action, since it's purely discretional. the same price action could be deemed favorable under one market condition, but unfavorable under other conditions. it's a feeling that I've been developing by watching the market everyday for a year. and I'm still not confident enough to try a real combine. at this stage, I really feel that I'm in no position to offer anything to anybody regarding trading.

as for slippage, that has also been my main worry for trading live with large size. when you go live, could you please share your 1st hand experience in this area? I'm sure it'll be greatly appreciated.

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  #33 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT7, MT4
Broker: LMAX
Trading: DAX, Gold, Euro
 
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Sayounara View Post
my approach is a mess, I don't have hard fixed rules, and I found that I'm constantly tweaking it to this day, I'm a bit embarrassed to describe it, since there are so many issues to fix, and I don't even feel confident that I'll remain profitable next week.

basically, I use a higher time frame chart to determine market direction, currently it's 10x my active trading chart time frame. then I look for favorable price action on my active trading chart, currently it's a 222 volume chart.

I don't know how to describe favorable price action, since it's purely discretional. the same price action could be deemed favorable under one market condition, but unfavorable under other conditions. it's a feeling that I've been developing by watching the market everyday for a year. and I'm still not confident enough to try a real combine. at this stage, I really feel that I'm in no position to offer anything to anybody regarding trading.

as for slippage, that has also been my main worry for trading live with large size. when you go live, could you please share your 1st hand experience in this area? I'm sure it'll be greatly appreciated.

Looks like you read price action well but you may find you can benefit from a more defined trading plan.
I have traded my setups from combine live already, check out my first journal. 'watch me fly...'

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  #34 (permalink)
Sayounara
Yokohama South Korea
 
 
Posts: 116 since Nov 2012
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xelaar View Post
Looks like you read price action well but you may find you can benefit from a more defined trading plan.
I have traded my setups from combine live already, check out my first journal. 'watch me fly...'

well, I do have a trading plan, it consists of roughly 3 guidelines:

1. take my setups courageously.
2. manage my positions correctly.
3. control my downside rigorously.

I just haven't been able to follow them strictly...

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  #35 (permalink)
 ratfink 
Birmingham UK
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
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Sayounara View Post
I just haven't been able to follow them strictly...

Then you have successfully identified the enemy! Always the first step for all of us.

Travel Well
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  #36 (permalink)
Sayounara
Yokohama South Korea
 
 
Posts: 116 since Nov 2012
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I'm getting no datafeed from CTS so my chart won't update. if tomorrow the problem is fixed, I might use sierrachart's replay feature to go over tonight's trading.

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  #37 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
Posts: 563 since Jan 2013
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As of 9:40 EST, it is fixed now.... I (and others) had the same problem, but everything is working OK now...

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  #38 (permalink)
Sayounara
Yokohama South Korea
 
 
Posts: 116 since Nov 2012
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replayed last night's session.



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  #39 (permalink)
Sayounara
Yokohama South Korea
 
 
Posts: 116 since Nov 2012
Thanks: 99 given, 72 received

I had the habit of moving my stoploss to breakeven when price has moved a few ticks in my favor. and it had costed me quite a number of profitable trades. nowadays what I do is that once I'm in a trade, I start looking for the nearest technical point to move my stoploss to and simultaneously try to scale out half of my position at 1:1 RR.

it has helped me very much in controlling my drawdown. and it has also the added benefit of calming me down. once I got my 1st scale out, I have very little problem of holding onto the other half. but at the same time it has also cut my profit short.

lately I have began to notice how differently the market behaves under different market conditions. so I feel that the better approach might be to adapt my trade management to different market conditions.

1. weak trending and range days, scale out 1/2, manage the rest.
2. on strong trending days, all-in-all-out.

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  #40 (permalink)
 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
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also you may want to check out a tactic to hold on to your original stoploss until one test of your entry happens that would stop you out if you were at be, and move to be quickly after. usually more than one test means a weak entry and bad trade but one test is usually almost guaranteed

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Sayounara
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also you may want to check out a tactic to hold on to your original stoploss until one test of your entry happens that would stop you out if you were at be, and move to be quickly after. usually more than one test means a weak entry and bad trade but one test is usually almost guaranteed

thank you very much for the tip. I'll keep it in my mind and begin observing its occurrences.

I have been working on my exits. scaling out costs me a great deal. but if I don't do it, I get more stop-outs. it's so hard to find a balance. I'm thinking about reducing the number of my trades by moving up to a higher timeframe.

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Sayounara
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couldn't trade last night, so replayed it today.



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Sayounara
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the more I trade the more I realise that volatility is my edge. however volatility is not always present in the instrument I trade. the easy solution is to have more instruments available and only trade the more volatile one. so I thought I should experiment with CL and GC.



as you can see, it was crystal clear that CL was the winner here, it had much bigger and cleaner swings pre-newyork. so I decided to concentrate on CL, and keep an eye on GC at the same time, just in case it might speed up.

but this has proved a lot more difficult in practice. I ended up not giving proper attention to either of them. and had to close CL charts in order to concentrate on GC.

but I think that the idea itself is still valid. I might just need more practice to get used to it. does any momentum/volatility/orderflow trader work with more than one instrument?

how do you pick which one to trade? how do you switch between them? how do you keep track of what's going on?

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Sayounara
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Mistakes and Lessons today:

1. I didn't trade to find out what the market gives me today, I traded scared and tried to keep my profit.

2. Volatility is my edge, when it's present I should fully exploit it. today I've failed miserably by scaling out too early and manually exit too prematurely.

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Sayounara
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something I didn't know last week - volatility is my edge, not trend.

something I did well last week - kept my head cool, even on losing days.

somthing I did badly last week - take ALL my setups.

something I really shouldn't have done last week - kept trading when volatility had obviously left the market.

something I changed last week - no longer using higher time frame charts to dictate the setups I should take.

something I aim to do this week - Take MY Setups! Let the Market Sort Them OUT! (and make a lot of money, of course :-).

something I want to remember while trading - each individual trade does not make or break me as a trader. stop attaching my anger, pride, livelihood, hope, frustration, exhilaration to it. instead, focus on the lessons I'm about to learn. and get excited about the kind of trader I'll eventually become.

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 xelaar 
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Good points! May I suggest, with regards to your previous consideration to move to higher time frame to have less setups, not to do that but rather put key HH/LL levels from the higher time frame on your trading chart and aim to take trades around them. It will reduce the number of setups and should potentially increase profitability.

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 WayneA 
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my current sim account is going to expire this weekend, so I'll be getting a new one for the next 2 weeks.

Question: How many times can you renew the CTS sim account? This charting + datafeed setup looks perfect for low-cost, real-time testing.

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Pedro40
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Question: How many times can you renew the CTS sim account?

With a little imagination, forever.

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 Big Mike 
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With a little imagination, forever.

Companies pay a lot of money to give away these trials. If you are a serious trader, that means you have some money. Why would you steal from a company and admit it in a public forum?

Some people are so incredibly cheap, it is obvious they are not real traders.

Mike

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 WayneA 
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Thanks for the heads up, guys.

Sent from my HTC Sensation 4G using Tapatalk 2

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Pedro40
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Why would you steal from a company and admit it in a public forum?

Excuse me Sir, but I didn't see any admission of guilt. Did you? Just because I know how to hotwire a car, that doesn't mean I am a car thief.

If companies charged a fair value for a silly sim account, people would pay it, instead of going around it.

P.S.: I also know how to kill a person, but I swear, I haven't killed anybody. Yet....

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Sayounara
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Good points! May I suggest, with regards to your previous consideration to move to higher time frame to have less setups, not to do that but rather put key HH/LL levels from the higher time frame on your trading chart and aim to take trades around them. It will reduce the number of setups and should potentially increase profitability.

Thanks for the advice. I'll certainly keep it in mind.

currently I'm just trying to follow price action around, trying to go with the smart money. I figure that institutions and algos trade all day long and if I could discern their footsteps then I should just tag along.

the plan seemed to be working most of the time except:
1 - when volatility is low, and
2 - when I didn't execute it properly.

I'm still trying to develop a feeling for volatility. when it is in the market, I can't miss it even with my eyes closed (bars complete one after another with almost no pause and my alarm rings continuously). but I wasn't so sure when it's currently not in the market, I couldn't help but think it was going to come right after "this setup", so I've got to take it in case I missed it.

I suspect that I'd be better off to wait to be sure before pulling the trigger, I just haven't been able to convince myself that it was absolutely the right thing to do.

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Sayounara
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Sayounara
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this is my personal backyard, please stop leaving dog poops here ;-)

any non-trading related question please send me a private message. and I'll answer it as best I can.

best regards to all involved, I'm also a canine lover. I just don't appreciate presumptive droppings.

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 xelaar 
prague, czech republic
 
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Sayounara View Post
Thanks for the advice. I'll certainly keep it in mind.

currently I'm just trying to follow price action around, trying to go with the smart money. I figure that institutions and algos trade all day long and if I could discern their footsteps then I should just tag along.

the plan seemed to be working most of the time except:
1 - when volatility is low, and
2 - when I didn't execute it properly.

I'm still trying to develop a feeling for volatility. when it is in the market, I can't miss it even with my eyes closed (bars complete one after another with almost no pause and my alarm rings continuously). but I wasn't so sure when it's currently not in the market, I couldn't help but think it was going to come right after "this setup", so I've got to take it in case I missed it.

I suspect that I'd be better off to wait to be sure before pulling the trigger, I just haven't been able to convince myself that it was absolutely the right thing to do.

I think in the type of trading you are doing a confirmation will make you enter later but will not help with a losing trade. Try to find a filter factor from an aspect you are not currently basing your setups for. Such as precise time of day range, or around top of the hour when most activity happens, or key levels.

But in any case don't beat yourself too hard - we had a ridiculous market yesterday, nothing was working for me as well. And further we go into summer, harsher you need to be with a decision when not to trade at all. Check the currently traded volume and if it is much less than average - pass on it. With your breakout/momentum entries you need volume and participation to produce healthy runs, low volume will give you fakeouts and spikes all over the place.

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Sayounara
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Sayounara
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I think in the type of trading you are doing a confirmation will make you enter later but will not help with a losing trade. Try to find a filter factor from an aspect you are not currently basing your setups for. Such as precise time of day range, or around top of the hour when most activity happens, or key levels.

But in any case don't beat yourself too hard - we had a ridiculous market yesterday, nothing was working for me as well. And further we go into summer, harsher you need to be with a decision when not to trade at all. Check the currently traded volume and if it is much less than average - pass on it. With your breakout/momentum entries you need volume and participation to produce healthy runs, low volume will give you fakeouts and spikes all over the place.

I'm thinking about going over my last few week's trading and build a profile for my best trades. I've been so immersed in price action while trading, that I concentrated only on how I felt the market would do instead of on specific patterns. I want to see what my best/worst trades look like, and try to discern any pattern that could improve my trading.

yesterday's experiment with letting my trades run longer had ended up disastrous. but at least I found out that I couldn't handle the emotional strain of large wins going back to zero and large losses. so today I'll be reversing back to concentrating on getting my 1st scale. I always feel much more relaxed and could let the rest run longer after the 1st scale.

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 xelaar 
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Make sure to note you are trading a generally very thin market during the most illiquid times. You should expect great slippages when moving live. Also, TST won't let you trade outside of US trading hours initially, so assume you would have to trade from 7 AM to 3 PM CST.

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Sayounara
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no stats today, because I did something really bad last night that messed it up.


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Sayounara
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last night when trading didn't go well I thought "what am I doing here? who am I kidding? I ain't cut to be trader." and I really felt that I should give it up.

today I went over the chart, marking my trades, I could clearly see that, had I done what I needed to do at the required time, I could have ended the day at least break even.

of course I wouldn't give up anyway. if I hadn't been keeping this journal, I'd probably sulk for a few days and then start searching for a new holy grail.

but the journal has shown me that I don't need to look for a new trading method. what I must change is me. I already know what to do, now I must make myself do it.

so today I'm going to start monitoring myself, changing my focus from trading profits to doing the right thing. I'll stop checking my profit/loss tick by tick, and start asking myself with the completion of every bar - "what's the right thing to do now?"

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 ratfink 
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Sayounara View Post
so today I'm going to start monitoring myself, changing my focus from trading profits to doing the right thing. I'll stop checking my profit/loss tick by tick, and start asking myself with the completion of every bar - "what's the right thing to do now?"

Maybe logging your feelings or just verbalising them at each stage could be useful too - we can't (and shouldn't) try to control our feelings but, as you rightly identify, we have to work extra hard to control our behaviour and actions.

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Sayounara
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last night I hit my daily loss limit early on and had to stop trading for the combine.

it was caused by my inability to cut losses short. I wanted to be right all the time that I couldn't accept a loss until it really hurted. I've now marked this as my biggest obstacle to trading success.


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Sayounara
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took a few days off to recharge my battery and to re-think my strategy.

last friday's attempt to cut my losses short had resulted in my cutting most of my winners prematurely. I've been pouring over my charts ever since to investigate ways to limit my losses. so far I could only conceive that using lower timeframes is possibly one way to do it. so today I've dropped my trading chart to 89 volumes and experimented with asian session.



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BeansTwoNiner
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I've enrolled in TSTU CTD and went through the lectures of Closes, Candlesticks and Candlesticks Math, your comments on your charts suggest to me, you're living candle by candle.

Just might be something to look into.

The Course has lots to offer as I thought I knew what I was doing and turns out to be the complete opposite.

My last 30 days of recorded trades produced a consistent win average but not enough to pass a combine for funding.

CTD has also taught me how to look at and interpret multiple time frames, also important.

Basically, everything from the Freshman level are the basics to trading but is the foundation for more advanced stuff.

I wasted years of my time trying to figure things out on my own, its "cheaper" to just pony up and get the correct education.

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Sayounara
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I've enrolled in TSTU CTD and went through the lectures of Closes, Candlesticks and Candlesticks Math, your comments on your charts suggest to me, you're living candle by candle.

Just might be something to look into.

The Course has lots to offer as I thought I knew what I was doing and turns out to be the complete opposite.

My last 30 days of recorded trades produced a consistent win average but not enough to pass a combine for funding.

CTD has also taught me how to look at and interpret multiple time frames, also important.

Basically, everything from the Freshman level are the basics to trading but is the foundation for more advanced stuff.

I wasted years of my time trying to figure things out on my own, its "cheaper" to just pony up and get the correct education.

thank you for the suggestion. I'd love to enter the course but I just don't have the money for it.

so far I feel that the most important thing in trading is to control losses. what does CTD teach about loss control? any specific technique you could share?

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Sayounara
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BeansTwoNiner
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thank you for the suggestion. I'd love to enter the course but I just don't have the money for it.

so far I feel that the most important thing in trading is to control losses. what does CTD teach about loss control? any specific technique you could share?

That seems to be the case with why people cannot take CTD.

Let's just say, from week 2's lectures, Price Action and Market Swings, I was able to hold a trade for two times my average win, just based on those concepts. The first 4 weeks are the basics and the foundation for the courses that follow.

When I got a taste of how powerful that new found knowledge was, I pushed forward and watched week's 3-6 since tuesday night. They don't suggest it but I figure if I have an idea of the concepts, why not apply them to real time trading while practicing and THEN go back and re-watch the videos to get a further understanding of the concepts. I've watched some lectures 3 time over when I go back.

I'm in the lounge and financials pit and I tell everyone just how beneficial it has been for me already. Its the best money I've spent for my trading education, next to joining TST in my development process.

When your results are inconsistent, its your method of how you define trends, support and resistance, which is leading to inconsistent results cause you do not have a consistent method for drawing those powerful tools. I neglected to draw trend lines for that reason until now.

The fact that you're posting only 1 time frame, ie, your tick chart, you're missing out on the bigger picture from the monthly all the way down to the 60 minute. Moves on one time frame may be just a retracement from the bigger picture, hence, you lose confidence in what you're doing because you don't see the bigger picture. Once you put yourself on the same side as the larger time frame traders and understand the Space Concept, you really put the odds in your favour for a profitable trade when you've identified the correct level to take profits, mean while already knowing ahead of time your Risk to Reward Ratio for that reason.

I've placed two practice trades off of my limited knowledge and both trades, although limited data, were winners, I just did not know enough to manage the trades properly.

If you go to my journal, the last few entries are from more knowledge which I've applied and today (28 June 2013) based on some trend lines I've drawn, the Bonds all triggered a trend line short, if you scale down from a 60 minute to say 15 or 5 minute. While in NG, there were plenty of trend line trades that were also profitable. Still limited data but its giving me the confidence, I'm understanding the concepts and applying it correctly.

Technically I'm still in week 1, but 15 years of doing the wrong thing, I know the right way of using the knowledge by learning how to use it correctly thanks to CTD, Bob and Mike.

I hope I didn't bore you with such a response.

It really is worth it at the end of the day, its too bad they raised the price cause I got in before the increase, mind you, its still worth the current price as you will learn something.

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BeansTwoNiner
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Oh another thing, you know how Hoag, Ray and all the TST Coaches say assess market state?

Do you even know how to assess market state with a definable method that is consistent?

That's week 2, which is why I said, its already helped me with that skill of assessing market state.

As it will depend on which time frame you are assessing as they all interact with each other.

I'm just practicing right now with drawing trend lines and significant levels on a 240 and based on how and when to redraw a trend line, I've already spotted a Trend Line Continuation trade setup on the 240 for NG going back to about 8 Nov 2012 at 0000hr EST.

The risk on a 240 is too large so you have to scale down to smaller time frames to find a suitable entry, which they teach.

The time frames I watch now are daily, 240, 60, 15 , 5 and a tick chart for NG.

Once you see the trades based on a predefined set of rules, looking back ie "back testing" you can clearly see which trade sets up and if the R:R ratio makes sense, take the trade if these other concepts are present to put the odds in your favour and my favourite concept is End of Space as a target. Already, when I look at a potential trade, that's one of the criteria that I must have, is there an End of Space target? yes or no? Is R:R Ratio 1:1.5 or greater? yes or no? If you ever hear Bob talk, he's an "If, then" trader, it makes life "easier" with that approach.

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Sayounara
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Hello BeansTwoNiner.

it sounds like you've found the right approach for you. keep working on it!

I've also tried trading with multi-timeframes before, in fact I began this journal with a higher time frame chart guiding a lower one. but I found that higher time-frames were really slow and limiting. and it just didn't suit my temperament to wait for things to become clear on a higher time frame chart while there were setups screaming at me on a lower one.

the biggest disadvantage I have is that I can't trade all day long. by the time market opens in NewYork it's already 9pm where I live. and I can't trade past midnight otherwise I wouldn't be able to function at work the next day. so I have only about 3 hours to trade everyday. and a swing trading style incorporating multiple timeframes simply wouldn't work for me.

but who knows, I might eventually migrate to swing trading, if my current experiment with going-with-the-order-flow style doesn't work out.

please keep posting your experience and learnings from CTD, as much as you can. I'm sure it'll benefit a lot of poor traders who just couldn't afford it.

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 MarketPilot 
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Sayounara View Post
my approach is a mess, I don't have hard fixed rules, and I found that I'm constantly tweaking it to this day, I'm a bit embarrassed to describe it, since there are so many issues to fix, and I don't even feel confident that I'll remain profitable next week.

I had a similar issue. When my rules were not as well define, it was too easy to place trades at points in the market where I should not be taking them. I don't think it is bad to tweak your rules. I'm still trying to better refine my criteria to improve profitability. You should not be drastically changing rules or entry criteria without knowing how that effects your system's profitability.

When I was trading with the trend, I had a harder time holding on to a winning trade because I often entered too early. In these cases, too often I'd end up scratching the trade at Break Even on the second retest of my entry only to watch the market continue in my direction without me. If I managed to take a reversal trade, I could usually expect a full stop out from a combination of weak entry criteria combined with poorly defined reversal criteria.

I used my daily trade reviews to take a hard look for two things
  1. Trades I should not have taken based on my rules
  2. Trades I missed

I found I needed to add a rule that I can not take reversal trades until I have banked profits to risk. This was necessary for me because my trading system can signal more reversals against the trend than entries to get into the trend.

I did not get any consistency until I could have clearly defined rules. I could have a good day and then give it all back the next day. I needed better definition on entry position that I first thought based on manual trade reviews that I performed. I feels the market wiggles around to let us see what we want to see to make a trade. Without a good rules definition you can not have repeatable trades and there is no way you can back test your system to know how it works over time.

Hope this helps!

Trade Wise, Trade Well

John

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  #75 (permalink)
BeansTwoNiner
Toronto Ontario Canada
 
 
Posts: 290 since Mar 2013
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Sayounara View Post
Hello BeansTwoNiner.

it sounds like you've found the right approach for you. keep working on it!

I've also tried trading with multi-timeframes before, in fact I began this journal with a higher time frame chart guiding a lower one. but I found that higher time-frames were really slow and limiting. and it just didn't suit my temperament to wait for things to become clear on a higher time frame chart while there were setups screaming at me on a lower one.

the biggest disadvantage I have is that I can't trade all day long. by the time market opens in NewYork it's already 9pm where I live. and I can't trade past midnight otherwise I wouldn't be able to function at work the next day. so I have only about 3 hours to trade everyday. and a swing trading style incorporating multiple timeframes simply wouldn't work for me.

but who knows, I might eventually migrate to swing trading, if my current experiment with going-with-the-order-flow style doesn't work out.

please keep posting your experience and learnings from CTD, as much as you can. I'm sure it'll benefit a lot of poor traders who just couldn't afford it.

I used to think larger time frames was too slow, but I'd rather see the bigger picture and wait till the market does something around those significant levels or trend lines. 3 hours is plenty to trade as that's all I do as well, from 0900-1200hr EST. If there is no trade in that window, I'm fine with it.

And what I was doing before CTD was using the lower time frames to find an entry based on a pattern, you know, head and shoulders, double tops, bottoms, etc. I was just missing out on how to properly use a trend line with consistent rules and finding significant levels that have meaning. Anyone can connect two points and find support and resistance. But how consistent has that "best fit" method worked out? I can say from personal experience, not very good.

But I really do hope you get around to taking the course, its really worth the time and money as you will look back at your journal entries and wonder what the heck you're thinking back then.

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  #76 (permalink)
BeansTwoNiner
Toronto Ontario Canada
 
 
Posts: 290 since Mar 2013
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MarketPilot View Post
When I was trading with the trend, I had a harder time holding on to a winning trade because I often entered too early. In these cases, too often I'd end up scratching the trade at Break Even on the second retest of my entry only to watch the market continue in my direction without me. If I managed to take a reversal trade, I could usually expect a full stop out from a combination of weak entry criteria combined with poorly defined reversal criteria.

The Space Concept along with Price Action and Swings lectures helped me with holding onto a trade longer than I normally would have.

Even when prices retraced, I did not freak out and kept applying the knowledge I learned to reading price action and what it meant. Reading price action is not just watching the numbers go up and down and being all emotional with each up tick or down tick that goes for or against you.

How I know this, I traded NG for 30 days and had a winning average per contract between +9-17 ticks, one particular trade after understanding Price Action, held the trade for +45 ticks but at the time, did not know how to exit the trade based on the Space Concept.

Holding time is a by product of the market, its not something you should aim to increase for the sake of increasing. If that market reaches your target in 5 minutes or 20 minutes, its irrelevant in terms of measuring performance. All that tells me is the market either agreed with my trade quickly or it decided to take its time to agree.

I hear everyday, recruits make holding a trade longer as their goal. They are holding for the sake of holding, I've been there, done that.

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  #77 (permalink)
 MarketPilot 
Des Moines IA USA
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: InverstorRT, NinjaTrader
Broker: Mirus Futures/Zen-Fire
Trading: ES
 
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BeansTwoNiner View Post
The Space Concept along with Price Action and Swings lectures helped me with holding onto a trade longer than I normally would have.

I tried a quick search and did not find anything that pointed me at the lectures you are references. Could you some links?

Thanks again.

Trade Wise, Trade Well

John
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  #78 (permalink)
BeansTwoNiner
Toronto Ontario Canada
 
 
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MarketPilot View Post
I tried a quick search and did not find anything that pointed me at the lectures you are references. Could you some links?

Thanks again.

The videos are private on Vimeo, that is why you are not getting anything through your search.

I can link you to the Orientation video to give you an idea of what CTD is about.

CTD Overview | College of Trader Development | TopstepTrader

Everything stated of what you will learn is true, you just have to understand the concepts and understand them fully to take advantage of what is being taught. You will no longer need any form of price based indicator cause those will always lag behind the price action it is based off of.

I've bought indicators from TTM, taken "courses" from Over Flow Edge, Trade Bond Futures, Rockwell Trading (<--total scam!) and yet, could not figure out why I could not make anything "work". I basically did not have an understanding of price action and price action alone. Just being able to recognize patterns is not enough, as that is what I was trading by until CTD and my results we're capped from not understanding the price action behind those patterns.

Be honest with yourself. You really do not know what you don't know. That saying is so true. I'm a living example of thinking I knew what I knew.

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  #79 (permalink)
 Ddawg 
Phoenix Arizona
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: MotiveWave
Trading: CL
 
Posts: 125 since May 2013
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Sayounara , I am a rookie, so I hate giving advice....but.....

It seems like you are flipping back and forth, trying to trade both sides of the market. Maybe something that would help is to pick your direction that you wish to trade, and ignore all other signals for the opposite direction. In other words if you want to be short, you ignore any long setups, and if nothing short triggers, then you sit on your hands.

This seems to be helping a little bit for me. Hope it helps for you.

Ddawg

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  #80 (permalink)
 MarketPilot 
Des Moines IA USA
 
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BeansTwoNiner View Post
The videos are private on Vimeo, that is why you are not getting anything through your search.

I can link you to the Orientation video to give you an idea of what CTD is about.

CTD Overview | College of Trader Development | TopstepTrader

I should have recognized CTD. I did not think of the TST connection to place CTD. That is what I wanted to remember.


BeansTwoNiner View Post
I've bought indicators from TTM, taken "courses" from Over Flow Edge, Trade Bond Futures, Rockwell Trading (<--total scam!) and yet, could not figure out why I could not make anything "work". I basically did not have an understanding of price action and price action alone. Just being able to recognize patterns is not enough, as that is what I was trading by until CTD and my results we're capped from not understanding the price action behind those patterns.

Be honest with yourself. You really do not know what you don't know. That saying is so true. I'm a living example of thinking I knew what I knew.

Been there too. Other people's systems just help start the learning curve. Too many systems don't seem to live up to the claims, or other people can't duplicate the results because there is so much more than just the system. Understanding the markets, Psychology, and risk management and controls also play a big part.

The Holy Grail is within each of us. We each need a system that is our own. That we understand inside out.

Thanks again!!

Trade Wise, Trade Well

John
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  #81 (permalink)
Sayounara
Yokohama South Korea
 
 
Posts: 116 since Nov 2012
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I replayed last friday's US session for practice, beginning where I left off.




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  #82 (permalink)
Sayounara
Yokohama South Korea
 
 
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  #83 (permalink)
Sayounara
Yokohama South Korea
 
 
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  #84 (permalink)
Sayounara
Yokohama South Korea
 
 
Posts: 116 since Nov 2012
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replayed last night's US session, beginning where I left off.



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  #85 (permalink)
Sayounara
Yokohama South Korea
 
 
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  #86 (permalink)
Sayounara
Yokohama South Korea
 
 
Posts: 116 since Nov 2012
Thanks: 99 given, 72 received



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  #87 (permalink)
Sayounara
Yokohama South Korea
 
 
Posts: 116 since Nov 2012
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Sayounara
Yokohama South Korea
 
 
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at first the most difficult thing to do in trading was to find consistently profitable setups. now that I've a few under my belt. the most difficult thing has become knowing when to stay away from the market, that is, the ability to assess market conditions correctly and make appropriate decisions accordingly. trading is so hard because just knowing when to trade is not enough, you must also figure out when not to trade.

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  #89 (permalink)
Sayounara
Yokohama South Korea
 
 
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this was really a long session. so I replayed it in two parts. each time stopping when I felt tired.






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  #90 (permalink)
Sayounara
Yokohama South Korea
 
 
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gold had good moves this session, but I didn't trade it well. instead I made and lost 50+ ticks a couple of times before throwing in the towel. this P/L rollercoaster was really tiring, and it casts doubts on my confidence as a trader. my balance creeps up like a feather, and it drops like a stone. I think it was caused by my scaling out strategy. it was really good at helping me to stay longer in a trade. but it also meant that when I win, it was only half the size, and when I lose, it was double damage. from now on, I'm going to trade with 1 contract only, and see how it changes my trading stats.



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  #91 (permalink)
Pedro40
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
 
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What is the P/L up to now?

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  #92 (permalink)
Sayounara
Yokohama South Korea
 
 
Posts: 116 since Nov 2012
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Pedro40 View Post
What is the P/L up to now?

Hello Pedro40. early on in this journal I realised that I was far from ready to take a real combine. ever since I haven't payed much attention to the P/L. I've been trading as much as I can with sim, live and replay. my goal was to gather as much trading experience as possible. I still haven't figured out what type of trading really fit me best. so I've been experimenting with a few different style.

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  #93 (permalink)
Sayounara
Yokohama South Korea
 
 
Posts: 116 since Nov 2012
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experimented with a 11 tick chart during the europe session. finally able to get my initial stoploss size to under 10 ticks.



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  #94 (permalink)
Sayounara
Yokohama South Korea
 
 
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  #95 (permalink)
Sayounara
Yokohama South Korea
 
 
Posts: 116 since Nov 2012
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tried to trade CL with renko chart. it's much more difficult to read price action with renko chart. but it's so much easier to stay in a trade. made a lot of mistakes. but I could clearly see the potential of renko chart. will experiment more.



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  #96 (permalink)
Sayounara
Yokohama South Korea
 
 
Posts: 116 since Nov 2012
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I've been trading too much lately that I've began to feel burnt out. so today when the hour came I felt that I really wasn't in the mood, and it probably best for me to just watch the market. yet when the setup came I was compelled to take it. and it turned out to be a winner. so I took the next setup, and the next, and the one afterwards. until I felt that the market was surely going to congest and decided not to be baited into any more trades. so ended up watching it go up another 100 ticks.

a day like this, almost every setup worked, even the counter-trend ones. yet the same setup often fails under different market conditions. so it was utmost important to base one's trading decision upon the current market condition. had it been possible for me to conceive early on that today might be a hard-trending day?

I think the market did give me clues:
1. nice long swings, but not fast and furious, evenly paced. with intermittent retracements of 1 bar or 2.
2. it broke resistances consistently, and it respected supports, even the small ones.
3. almost every setup worked, even counter-trend ones. and it consistently offered opportunities to scratch losing trades.

any more clues that you could see but I failed to notice?



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  #97 (permalink)
Sayounara
Yokohama South Korea
 
 
Posts: 116 since Nov 2012
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I've been trading CL with renko charts, and I'll post the trade results of the last few days for record keeping.

the renko chart makes it really easy to see market structure. it displays clearly the higher highs/lows for an uptrend and vice versa for downtrends. I've come up with a method based on this and have been trading it for the last few days. the results were good but unsatisfactory.

my initial trade size was 2 contracts, I scale in 2 more whenever I'd the opportunity, and exited all with discretion. made 100+ ticks for the 1st day, 70+ticks for the 2nd day, but only 13 ticks for the 3rd day, because it kept hitting my stoploss trade after trade, 2 hours into the session I was looking at -147 ticks. afterwards I caught a nice runner and was also able to scale in once later on, and held them all till I recouped all plus a bit more.

granted the 3rd day was a non-farm payroll day, market was quite volatile, and I made the mistake of looking for homeruns and letting good trades turn bad and also not cutting my losses short. but still it made me realise that, despite the small stop size, I still relied heavily on large swings to make money. and I'm really uncomfortable with that. I can not confidently trade a method that depends on catching homeruns to offset its frequent losses. this has made me realise that my ideal trading method is something that catches small market fluctuations with high winning rate.

although this method still has very good potential, I'm abandoning it to look for something that suits me better. but I'm keeping its records here just in case I might want to return to it later.

p.s chart settings:
7 renko chart for market direction.
2 renko with 3 EMAs (10,20,30) for active trading.

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  #98 (permalink)
Sayounara
Yokohama South Korea
 
 
Posts: 116 since Nov 2012
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  #99 (permalink)
Sayounara
Yokohama South Korea
 
 
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  #100 (permalink)
Sayounara
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