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Another TST Combine
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Another TST Combine

  #41 (permalink)
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Done early one good long for +16 and then 3 losses in a row-2 of them bigger than the stoploss. Neg 720 for day. Pretty close to max drawdown now. Not much room to wiggle.

Just a thought that entered my mind and a question to all those if you could chime in. If your normal stop is .10 and now you have only $300 to work with would you rather tighten the stop to .05 and take 6 trades or keep .10 stop and hope one or more trades are winners so you can keep trading. Think about it and post your reason behind it.

I ll start off by saying some trades have tighter stops than normal--like the rip up candles generally dont pullback .10 they just open and one timeframe higher. (of course you dont know that at the time) and most of the trades that work well dont ever go near your stop.

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  #42 (permalink)
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garyboy275 View Post
Done early one good long for +16 and then 3 losses in a row-2 of them bigger than the stoploss. Neg 720 for day. Pretty close to max drawdown now. Not much room to wiggle.

Just a thought that entered my mind and a question to all those if you could chime in. If your normal stop is .10 and now you have only $300 to work with would you rather tighten the stop to .05 and take 6 trades or keep .10 stop and hope one or more trades are winners so you can keep trading. Think about it and post your reason behind it.

I ll start off by saying some trades have tighter stops than normal--like the rip up candles generally dont pullback .10 they just open and one timeframe higher. (of course you dont know that at the time) and most of the trades that work well dont ever go near your stop.

Having almost no room for error in smaller combines was my main argument going for the large one. Largest ones are the easiest to at least not to sink and rollover. Small ones require masterful risk aversion to stay afloat.

Trade to live. Not live to trade.
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  #43 (permalink)
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xelaar View Post
Having almost no room for error in smaller combines was my main argument going for the large one. Largest ones are the easiest to at least not to sink and rollover. Small ones require masterful risk aversion to stay afloat.


I can agree with you there but again it was my choice I cant complain. Even if you fail the DLL or drawdown for day can you still trade for the max days allowed -30 days for me ?
Wish it was more like practice

Just todays results on practice
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  #44 (permalink)
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garyboy275 View Post
But it allows on their practice account.

The size limits on the practice account are buggy on Ninjatrader. On my live account with a couple different brokers using Ninja I experienced the kind of size/order limitations you've described.

Kudos on taking responsibility - this is something we all struggle with and you're on the right side of the equation. Good luck in this combine.

Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty. - Frank Herbert
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  #45 (permalink)
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garyboy275 View Post
I can agree with you there but again it was my choice I cant complain. Even if you fail the DLL or drawdown for day can you still trade for the max days allowed -30 days for me ?

Nope, they will close your combine after the minimum number of trading days have passed. If you have a practice account you're using along with your combine, the only way to keep your combine open is to not get to the minimum number of days in your combine - once you hit it, if you've hit the DLL or max DD, they will close your combine.

Seek freedom and become captive of your desires. Seek discipline and find your liberty. - Frank Herbert
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  #46 (permalink)
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garyboy275 View Post
a question to all those if you could chime in. If your normal stop is .10 and now you have only $300 to work with would you rather tighten the stop to .05 and take 6 trades or keep .10 stop and hope one or more trades are winners so you can keep trading. Think about it and post your reason behind it.

Speaking from experience with my own deficiencies in this regard...
Something about your words above bother me very much. Specifically this:


garyboy275 View Post
or keep .10 stop and hope one or more trades are winners so you can keep trading.

I am guessing that we are assuming a $1000 daily loss limit. If I have lost $700 with a limit of $1000, the last thing I want to do is find a way to keep trading. It is true that sometimes (often even maybe) I have had a bad day early, and then I have clawed my way back to breakeven or even a small gain. The question is, can you do this while maintaining objectivity and reasonable risk? The two problems when you are at 70% of your loss limit are:

1) Traders have a tendency to force trades when they are down, in order to get back to breakeven
2) Traders have a tendency to take larger than acceptable risks in order to get back to breakeven

Even if you are successful in clawing your way back, it will be a harmful experience in the long run unless you can be very objective and stay selective in your approach, and keep risk equal to or smaller than normal. These two things are practically impossible to do when you are down 70% of your limit on the day. It's like being insulted and then getting punched in the face by someone, and then being expected to stand in front of them and have a civilized conversation, listening objectively to them. Which is why most would be advised to take a long break if they dare to continue, or simply stop trading (the hardest thing for a trader with gambling tendencies to do is to walk away from the screen).

If you are changing your stop drastically (which .10 to .05 is, and both of those are honestly quite suicidal for crude) because of your desire to keep trading, this is a big red flag, IMO. Again, only my opinion, but you should never hope that you get a win, particularly if it's so you try to continue to gamble your way (which is exactly what it sounds like) back to profitability. Hope is a 4-letter word in trading, a wise person once told me. The minute that you are hoping or wanting anything to happen, you are already fucked. When you are hoping for a winner so you can then hope for another winner, and thinking about your breakeven point.... you are not seeing a market for what it is, you are seeing it for what you need it to be in order for you to finish the day in the green.

I don't know if this sounds too blunt, but it's the truth. I have been there so many times, with only $100 or $200 to work with before I'm totally fucked, and itching to add because I am hoping with all of my being that the market will just do what I want it to do, so I can get out of this shit that I have gotten myself into. Then we reason, "if I can only get myself out of this, I will never let myself lose more than $X in a day again." This is totally flawed thinking, because you cannot change bad behavior with more of the same bad behavior--two wrongs don't make a right. Maybe not the answer to your question you were looking for, but as an objective observer, it is pretty clear to me to see based on what you wrote.

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  #47 (permalink)
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josh View Post
The question is, can you do this while maintaining objectivity and reasonable risk? The two problems when you are at 70% of your loss limit are:

1) Traders have a tendency to force trades when they are down, in order to get back to breakeven
2) Traders have a tendency to take larger than acceptable risks in order to get back to breakeven


I think I am past the gambling stage. I still had another 250 or so left on the day if I wanted to gamble but since I wasnt trading right I stopped. There was plenty of volatility to take advantage but I stuck to my plan-3 losers and you are out. I traded the practice and it was flawless from the above screenshot it added another $2k on top of that. Over 9k in profits on practice but like I said earlier practice or sim accounts with little or no accountability have little value imho. That's why I started this journal too. I ve been as I am thinking almost every trader has been, very few lucky ones havent been to the above promised land of redemption

Even if you are successful in clawing your way back, it will be a harmful experience in the long run unless you can be very objective and stay selective in your approach, and keep risk equal to or smaller than normal. These two things are practically impossible to do when you are down 70% of your limit on the day.

I would disagree here partly based on "how" you clawback. If you clawback with strategy/risk management then its a confidence builder for future. If you clawback throwing 5 lot first thing next trading day and it sticks, that would definitely come back to hurt you one day. Kinda like "come from behind victory". The teams that can do it, have no problem repeating that however teams that cant do it almost always choke in playoffs.


. Which is why most would be advised to take a long break if they dare to continue, or simply stop trading (the hardest thing for a trader with gambling tendencies to do is to walk away from the screen).


This is again in the rules. My trades overall have a decent time-between-trades period. Every loss I review why it happened and did I do it right. I also have made it a new effort to write things down in my personal journal when it happens. It also breaks the gambler mode. Its very hard to turn your head away from the screen but its a good habit I have built during the last week or so to document my thoughts right away.


If you are changing your stop drastically (which .10 to .05 is, and both of those are honestly quite suicidal for crude) because of your desire to keep trading, this is a big red flag, IMO. Again, only my opinion, but you should never hope that you get a win, particularly if it's so you try to continue to gamble your way (which is exactly what it sounds like) back to profitability. Hope is a 4-letter word in trading, a wise person once told me. The minute that you are hoping or wanting anything to happen, you are already fucked. When you are hoping for a winner so you can then hope for another winner, and thinking about your breakeven point.... you are not seeing a market for what it is, you are seeing it for what you need it to be in order for you to finish the day in the green.

Hope I agree is a bad choice of word. Expectation is what I meant. .10-.05 is a decent stop IMHO at least for my style of trading. I look at trading more as a risk:reward perspective to put expectancy in my favor. But then again, tighter risk also makes you miss the trades such as todays base around 94.45 after the runup. It was a CLVN and I expected it to go higher since it was just chopping around after having rejected the lows. Little did I know what a rip it was going to be. Bigger stop would have probably caught that. Again .10-.05 works for me-got in at 93.80 but had only one lot and out at .96 for +16 today(94.00 was the high before retesting lower-needed 2 lots there). I was honestly thinking if that was going to be LoD which it was but the selling before was brutal.

I don't know if this sounds too blunt, but it's the truth. I have been there so many times, with only $100 or $200 to work with before I'm totally fucked, and itching to add because I am hoping with all of my being that the market will just do what I want it to do, so I can get out of this shit that I have gotten myself into. Then we reason, "if I can only get myself out of this, I will never let myself lose more than $X in a day again." This is totally flawed thinking, because you cannot change bad behavior with more of the same bad behavior--two wrongs don't make a right. Maybe not the answer to your question you were looking for, but as an objective observer, it is pretty clear to me to see based on what you wrote.

I cant argue with that those are really good words. But for me I think I have matured as a trader. Took the 2 losses when I felt I was wrong. Tried another trade didnt work, done for day. Traded practice account which worked but I have no regrets. Only thing I have regret over and I deviated from plan is having losing days bigger than $500. And all my losing days started as winners. So it was larger than $500. If I do another combine I ll have to keep an eye out and consider what Xelaar said about bigger DDL for larger combines. Again, not because I want to keep trading like a gambler but only that it allows for a little bit of more wiggle room to get it right in case things dont work out in beggining unlike these smaller combines where in 2 days you have your back against the wall. The 30k is pretty much out of question for CL traders. You could hit the profit target in one day or the DLL.

Going foward over the weekend I have some thinking to do. Take the .05 or .10 limit. That could really make or break this combine. Here is a chart at least from my perspective where .05 would work and where .10 would work- marked on the chart the green would work with .10 and red would have worked with .05 so I dont think its that farfetched. Just need to do it.
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Last edited by garyboy275; June 7th, 2013 at 09:38 PM.
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  #48 (permalink)
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garyboy275 View Post
Just a thought that entered my mind and a question to all those if you could chime in. If your normal stop is .10 and now you have only $300 to work with would you rather tighten the stop to .05 and take 6 trades or keep .10 stop and hope one or more trades are winners so you can keep trading. Think about it and post your reason behind it.

Where you place your stops and how big they are shouldn't change depending on your P&L for the day. Stop placement should be based on market structure (however you define that). The market doesn't care that you only have $300 left to work with for the day.

If the market structure dictates that the trade setting up requires a larger stop than what your $300 would allow, then skip the trade. Taking a smaller stop (which is different to what you would normally take) just so you can keep trading, is not a good habit to get into. The market will prove to you soon enough that it doesn't care what your P&L for the day is.

Good luck.

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  #49 (permalink)
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DarkPoolTrading View Post
Where you place your stops and how big they are shouldn't change depending on your P&L for the day. Stop placement should be based on market structure (however you define that). The market doesn't care that you only have $300 left to work with for the day.

If the market structure dictates that the trade setting up requires a larger stop than what your $300 would allow, then skip the trade. Taking a smaller stop (which is different to what you would normally take) just so you can keep trading, is not a good habit to get into. The market will prove to you soon enough that it doesn't care what your P&L for the day is.

Good luck.

That is actually a very good point also a part of my plan for position sizing. I passed on a very good trade(didnt know at the time of course) that I explained above just cause the stop would ve been about 30-40 tics which is too wide for me. Lots of people dont use position sizing in futures (and frankly its hard to do cause you cant split into fractions) but if you look for tight stop trades it can work better overall from risk:reward basis rather than just flat size trading. When a trade works and I ve seen it over and over that the best trades work right away. Like you said above, I have to pass over 3-4 trades everyday just on the stop basis. Who likes putting in all the effort only to be wrong on the stop and watch it go your original way ? Classic example was the yesterdays base around 94.37 was low after morning run up, it was high probability from being rejected lower that it would go higher. People with tight stops got taken out on the 5' bar right before it took off again for another $2--you miss the $2 move trying to save .05. I that case better to pass on the trade (as much regret as you might have for missing $2) than to have a tight stop.

Trading is lot like cooking or any other skill. Not enough salt, too much salt or put the darn salt on the table let people add it(no stops)

Thanks for your insight. Very valuable indeed.

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  #50 (permalink)
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Gary, you might want to read my thread about how to approach the Combine before you continue tomorrow:

https://futures.io/vendors-product-reviews/25202-tst-combine-results-strategies-passing.html

Just quickly, it addresses 2 of your concerns, the bug that doesn't let you put on the max. number of contracts and the ability of going below the max. DD.
As an advice to save this Combine, you could sign up for another test account and trade it for 2-3 days to get more familiar with T4 and figuring out how it behaves in certain circumstances. Then you could try to make it back to the rollover stage in the real Combine....

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