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Gozilla's Rough road to consistency.
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Gozilla's Rough road to consistency.

  #181 (permalink)
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Trades for the 18th February.

No updates up to this point as there were no trades on Monday and Tuesday, Wednesday however provided opportunities for potential trades.

Pre market there were a few things to work out, price was still inside Mondays high-low 4388-4365 the low, Monday into Tuesday overnight action had created a double bottom in the low end and Tuesday market had seen price get close to the high end a number of times but fail. The early hours of Wednesday had led to price popping higher but this was short lived.

The Mean of this range was sitting at 4376 and as this was the last low prior to Tuesdays close I would be looking here to see how price behaved in this area.

At open price was nowhere near any of the predefined areas so it became a case of waiting and watching, over the first half hour price seemed to be slowly making its way lower but was putting in a lot of retracements and churn as it did so.

Price popped lower into 4376.5 which is also the pre market low and got a little rally, it made another retrace back to lows triggering the long order.

Trade 1: Did not work out.
After getting triggered in on a higher low price briefly rallied but it ran into the previous swing high where it rejected and then proceeded to drop out of the range, trade was exited immediately.

I don't have a problem with the trade, I took it as a range play, in hindsight the drop out looks like a shake out but one would not know that at the time. Long could be reinitiated once price returns to the range.

Price rallies back to opening highs where it runs out of steam at 4385-86, it drifts lower eventually tagging 4367.5 I had to go out at the time so missed the DB entry at this level. We rally up to 4388 and once there a short could have been initiated either on the initial rejection of 88 or the lwer high that followed, but this is FOMC at work and understandable if the trade was passed on.

It was around this time that I began to consider 4376 as the range low, at least on from an intraday perspective.

Eventually price makes its way back to 4376.5, it blows through a little but rejects, after taking a second stab at it my long gets triggered.

Trade 2: Probably a management flaw.
Again this is a range play with the upper extreme of 4388 being in the sights, price rallied as far as 85 before making a retrace, the retrace did not confirm creating a lower high the subsequent drop stopped me out.

It seems hindsight now given what happened next but if I take this as a range play I could have afforded to let it play out as such, but on the flip side, how much room can you give it? A question I will ponder for a while yet I think.

Price rallied and eventually broke out to all time highs, we get a pull back to resistance that should act as support where a long is initiated.

Trade 3: No follow through.
Trade was taken on the premise of this being a breakout, after pulling back to the breakout level and rallying price seemed to dither, if this was a breakout where were the buyers coming into support it, after failing to break the initial high and setting some higher lows price broke down, the trade was exited for a small loss.

I had a feeling pretty quick that this was going to happen but I sat on it willing to accept a small loss in order to give it some room to play out.

Interesting price action throughout the day just did not get the moves to make it pay.

0
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  #182 (permalink)
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Stings a little.

In the interest of continuity I'm going to make a quick update as to the activity during my last foray into the markets starting from the 10th of February to the 26th. Whilst the result is very poor there was a lot for me to take from this experience which I will learn from.

1. To begin with, I traded when I should have sat out. After coming off hitch, especially nights, I need to be sure that I am well rested and in a daytime routine prior to doing anything that involves thinking, concentration, focus. It took 9-10 days last time around to get in anything resembling good shape this time around.

2. When I did get going price was ranging multiday and I quickly found that my plan is very weak and certain rules worked against me.

Identify the range, wait for price to reach the extreme of said range, identify the behaviour that has been predefined at the extreme of the range take the reversal at the extreme, or trade the breakout and manage as per plan.

Sounds easy, but, I did not take every trade as I should have for a number of reasons.

A. At times I was more engrossed in the observation than the trading, I was writing a rolling commentary most days that I was updating regularly, by the time the day was over I was too tired to do chart or trade reviews.

B. I go on a cool down after each trade as over trading has been a problem in the past, often the failure of the trade in one direction is a nod to taking the trade in the opposite direction, or even a failure of one trade can lead to a re-entry a few minutes later. (e.g first trade last chart, initial long fails as price breaks lower, we re-enter the range where a trade long would be taken but my cool down stops this.) Obviously a breakout trade short might also be taken when price pushes out of the range but there is only a couple of points at risk and one does not know what trade will work and what wont at the time.

What am I going to do about all this, from a psychological point of view I was ok with every trade that I took regardless of the result and was clear in what I should do next, I've decided to remove the cool down but will continue to monitor my actions more closely when reviewing my trades and charts.

I have a clear idea of what I will be looking for and how I will get in and manage a trade but first I will have a little testing to do to see if my hypothesis stacks up.

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Last edited by Gozilla; March 23rd, 2015 at 10:18 PM.
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  #183 (permalink)
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Range study.


Possibly going to do a lot of updating over the next couple of days with notes on ranges, what I am looking at, and how I can better take advantage of them in the future.

Questions to look at are:

Identifying the extremes of a range and the mean of the range.
How wide a range do I want it to be before I will get involved?
In terms of behaviour, what do I look for at the extremes to trigger a trade?
How do I manage a trade?
How close does it need to be to the extreme to consider an entry or exit, range expansion and contraction?
Do I trade to opposite extreme or bust?
What tells could there be that suggest price cant get there? e.g Choking on the mean, passing mean and coming back, reversal pattern, DB, DT, HTF context.

I will also be looking at what happens when price breaks out and how it behaves outside the range in the initial moments of a breakout.

Whilst I want to keep assumptions to an absolute minimum I will make one for the time being regarding behaviour at the extreme, if price has found the extreme it should most likely reject it quickly as it may represent an area where traders cant/wont move beyond as price has moved away from the mean and value.

Just to bear in mind, value is constantly being reassessed and if it hangs around an extreme or fails to reach an extreme it could be a sign that there is a shift in balance.
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Putting together a plan of attack and looking at what needs to be tested in the next post.

Gamera.


Last edited by Gozilla; March 27th, 2015 at 09:51 PM.
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  #184 (permalink)
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Plan of attack.

First step in trading a range is identifying the range which can at times be easier said than done.

Once the range has been identified, one must locate the extremes, I am working on the principal that price will rotate around the mean roughly equidistant, but, not perfectly, price may fail to reach the extreme or push beyond the limits slightly. Higher time frame context may have an influence on how price works its way to, at, or beyond the extreme.

For the time being trades will be taken in range, but, as I make more observations regarding behaviour I may short a reversal above the range, or long a reversal on a failure of a breakdown. Always consider what a breakout should do versus what it is doing, breakouts don't tend to hang around for long.

Setting up some rules to make life a little easier:

Longs at the bottom of the range.
Shorts at the top of the range.
No trades in the middle of the range.

Prior to open price may develop a range that is inside a larger range, if the range itself is too narrow to trade a breakout of this range may be taken with the next decision to be made once price reaches one of the wider extremes.

Management:

There are a couple of theories that I will have to keep tabs on and this is where the bulk of my focus is.

The first theory, Initiate a trade at the extreme and let it run to the opposing extreme or let price hit the stop which would be just outside the limits, reassess behaviour once price gets to target extreme. very hands off.

The second theory, which is a lot more hands on involves looking for tells, price creating a DB or DT in range, price passing the mean and rejecting, or failed retracements.

I suspect HTF context may set up a directional bias that might make certain behaviours more pertinent than others so there may be a third option that is a hybrid of the two which may require a degree of finesse that I currently lack.

My focus is on the difference, theory 1 might have a lower win rate but higher point gain, vice versa for theory 2. The other aspect to acknowledge regarding ranges seems to be that larger ranges can get cut in half with the price respecting the mean and reacting to it as if it is an extreme.

Tolerances:

In terms of acceptable risk tolerance, I can accept a loss of 3-4 points without being affected, I can accept a number of losing trades in a row, my focus is the process, good process will yield results.

Entries and exits:

Trailing stop orders on entries, as noted in the last few charts price fails to make it all the way to the extremes failing a point or so in a number of instances, As a 3 point loss is tolerable, once price gets to within 2 points of the extreme I would set an order and trail it behind once the zone has been penetrated keeping back 3 or 4 ticks. Once price reaches the opposing extreme follow the same principal to exit and flip position. Eventually as noted I may move onto judging the behaviour and entering tighter on any signs of rejection at the extreme, but for the time being I want to keep it simple.

The reasoning behind trailing an order behind price is to be swept into the unfolding direction should price react to the extreme, it also gives one a chance to see if price can breakout, if it does so, one is already positioned for the breakout and possible trend that may result from a breakout

There are a lot of nuances that I am thinking about, but, in this example we will track trades as target or bust.

The attached chart takes the trades from buffer edge to buffer edge, some fills will be a inside the buffer some a tick or two out.

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  #185 (permalink)
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Finesse.

Some of the finer points behind managing a trade involves paying attention to what price is doing, the last post was a target or bust approach, which is fine if price is in a clean range, but, if the lines seem a little blurred or the information changes one could find themselves giving back a lot more than they are willing to accept.

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  #186 (permalink)
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Back to the present.

Trying to stay up to date with what is unfolding in the market in real time.

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  #187 (permalink)
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Update.

Was getting a little sick of looking over charts, charts and more charts so decided to do some live application.

A little preparation goes a long way in helping to understand what the market participants are up to. As all my pre market analysis is done on the charts I will be trading off I did not feel the need to save the prep for posterity so I am working backwards, But my thoughts were scribbled down.

Daily: Price is chewing up the mean of the channel, until price moves decisively from this area price may churn, this does not mean there will not be opportunities, in fact there may be a lot of opportunities, too many, which might lead to one being chopped up, and those opportunities that do arise may develop suddenly and be very short lived.
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60 Minute: Possibly ranging down from the upper extreme of the daily, but, it is a shallow trend, beyond that price is in the lower half of this range having rejected a move at the mean. There has also been a rejection of a breakdown at the lower extreme.
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5 Minute: Gets a little sloppy annotating the charts with the levels that were in my head but this is what I was looking at, Price was being squeezed to a point, the most immediate levels of concern (blue) gave me a 20 point range, as I know what I am looking for on an entry the levels are just a guideline on where to look.
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The first trade happens quick, market opens and tags 4310 which is the top of the PM range, it fails to pass and I drop an order behind to catch any fall.

Trade 1: Poor entry, poor prep.
First off the entry was a point worse off than it should have been, the second issue I have was in overlooking the low 47 minutes prior to the open. Its not just the low it is also the fact it is at a round number that can always get a little attention.

Price dropped off quick and ran into 4300 where it made a very sudden reversal, the miss dawned on me so I exited the trade. I could have held for the stop above the range but with price making such an aggressive move off 4300 I had my doubts as to whether the UL would hold.

I was still working out what was happening when the second test and failure happened at the range top so I missed that entry on the short side. Price dropped off and broke below 4300, we had a brief pull back to test 4300 where I decided to take a short.

Trade 2: No follow through,chop.
The retest of the range lows was to be expected on the breakdown, the retest however did push back into range slightly so my entry was placed to catch it should it drop out again, which it did, but, price chopped back in triggering an exit.

I decided to sit back and wait for things to calm down a bit as the levels where getting blurred, I watched price reach 4320 where there was a possible short but by this time I was writing the day off as a chop up.

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  #188 (permalink)
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Missed it.

Despite the prep and the 60 minute context pointing up I failed to get a hold of the situation, by the time I clicked I was hesitant to chase price as I often end up coming off worse.

Starting with the preparation, not a whole lot to update in regards to the daily chart, price is below the daily mean but is still struggling to clear this area. The 60 minute had seen a drop off to the lower part of the range which was tested and rejected overnight, if this can hold the line of least resistance is back up to the mean and the upper extreme from there, but, the daily mean might make progress difficult.
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The 15 minute chart shows the immediate range and levels that might be worth watching, I also marked off the drop to see how price might react at the MP and the drop source.
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The minutes leading up to the open found price at the upper extreme of the PM range, I decided to initiate a short at this extreme with the lower extreme as target.

Trade 1:Knee jerk with reason.
With the time being as close to the open as it was I could have passed, but, as it was at an area that called for an action I felt I had to take it when the behaviour exhibited itself. There was a swift drop off which ran into the mean, price bounced and I exited, if opening volatility was an issue it was halted at the mean which got my attention, whilst this could have just been a retrace I pulled the plug on the trade to wait and see what would happen next should price return to the extremes.

Trade 2:No follow through, forgot the context.
Price had rallied up to a level that was predefined in preparation and dropped off, we saw a second attempt at that level that failed to go anywhere creating a lower high in the process which I shorted. Unfortunately price failed initially to break the previous low as it was not following through I exited the trade.

Trade 3:Still shorting a rally.
Much the same as trade 2, price spiked a level and then dropped off below retesting the level I opted to short but it failed to do what I expected so the trade was exited.

Opportunities missed:
A: Pre market range was broken to the upside, there was a very brief retrace giving a long around 4288, I hesitated and missed it.
B: This was another retrace, the proximity to a round number (4300) put me off.
C: Messy, price broke the previous highs and retraced, initially I trailed a long, but, as price came under those earlier highs I cancelled and trailed a short to catch a further drop, price took off.

It was around point C that I realised I have effectively blown the day, the hourly was pointing up with the first port of call possibly being the mean at around 4365, I had not taken any longs because of emotion or crystal balling (4300) and had veered off the process a little. I also formed an opinion that price had come so far it cant keep going, hence the short at trade 3.
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Summary:
The trades as a stand alone are not bad, but, when the context is applied the only trades that where on was 1 and A. Trade 1 was the PM range top, we are ranging short term (Premarket) so the trade is taken as such, A was a BO retest, though it was quick it was there and this leads us into trend following management.

The retraces on the way up were relatively shallow and made weak attempts at the swing points of the retraces, but, this would be more about an individuals tolerance of pain when price moves against ones profits, applying the context but keeping an eye on the behaviour might allow one to let it run.

Gozilla +2

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  #189 (permalink)
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Before and after.

Starting off with the preparation leading into the open, will edit post to show EOD breakdown.
For the time being price is back above the daily mean, barely, so it could go either way and the hourly is also near the mean so chop may be on the cards.
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With the preparation in place it should have been a reasonably straight forward day, trade the reversals off the extremes or trade the breakouts once price pulled back after the initial breakout, unfortunately it did not seem to work out as straight forward as it should have done, but, that's my own fault.

In the minutes leading up to the open price was at the lower extreme, it had already made one attempt at the lower extreme which failed by 3 ticks and the second failed by 6 creating a higher low which could have been taken as a long, the only issue that I had at the time was the entry location which would have been too close to the MP of the range. This meant that the next option was to wait for price to reach an extreme where we could re-evaluate the options.

It was only a 4 minute wait and price was at the upper extreme, I was watching the right tick and saw what I felt was a little rejection going on so I decided to trail an order a point backt to catch any further drop off form the extreme.

Trade 1: Wrong order type, trade exited.
Sloppy mistake when placing the order meant that I sold at market, trade was exited.

Price was now in the domain of a breakout and should be traded as such, the plan was to buy on a retrace.

Trade 2: No follow through, late entry, poor focus on price behaviour.
We had a retrace that stopped 2 ticks shy of the upper extreme, price rallied triggering the buy order, almost immediately price choked, I often find myself asking a question when observing, Is this behaving as it should? the answer was no, price broke out rallied 6 points then dropped off, it made another push up but failed dropping off to the upper limit where it rallied again (my entry was late) this is not how a breakout should have behaved and as such the behaviour meant I should have passed on trade 2.

Trade 3: Good entry, poor management.
Price returned to the pre-market range and it was just a case of waiting for a retrace, price tagged the upper limit and dropped triggering the short, the trade did test my tolerance a little by pushing past the upper limit. The management leading to my exit was poor, price dropped off towards the mean, as it got close it began to retrace, this is to be expected but, I got out of the trade, it was an emotional response there was no reversal it was just a retrace. What happened next does not justify the action.

At this point I opted to sit out as I did not really want to get too involved trading a breakout again as price had already failed to do anything with the last attempt. Eventually though, price rallied to the hourly mean where it spent most of the afternoon chopping, I had an eye on 4359 but when it did get broken and the retrace held below this level (A) I chose to pass on the short to wait and see how things would work out when it interacted with the PM range.

Suffice to say I shut it down, so missed price re-entering the range retracing to the UL and dropping off, the only noteworthy observations from this drop in hindsight, price cut through the mean with little hassle, price behaved as expected by tagging the opposing extreme and even moving beyond it.

Opportunities missed:
B: With an hour to go until close I only expected chop so shut it down, but, in hindsight price did exactly what I would have expected for returning to the range and moving onwards from the retest.

Summary:
Quite a poor performance, the only positive from a trading perspective was the entry on trade 3 the rest of it was poor flexibility/adaptability to unfolding behaviour and an emotional response.

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Last edited by Gozilla; April 8th, 2015 at 02:11 AM.
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Lack of focus, Lack of patience.


It seems a little suspect to post the preparation after the fact but here we are, as everything is done on my own charts that I trade off of I don't feel that I benefit from posting the preparation, that being said, posting it in advance may help keep myself accountable if I deviate from the process and take on trades that have not been identifiable in the prep.

Prep:
With price still hanging around the daily and hourly means it could go either way, zooming in to the 15 minute chart I went with the PM range at the overnight high (ONH 4346) and the PM DB at 4330, there was also the overnight low (ONL) in the mix a couple of points lower but the DB was just as good for me as it showed an inability of price to push lower.

The previous days high (4372.5) to the upside and the weeks MP (4317) where the first points of interest should price break out and go on trend.
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Leading into the opening minutes, price had been dropping off from the upper limit (UL) and was halted at the mean where it opened with a quick DB. We had a breakout with a quick retrace (A)that came back into range but, price could not stay in and pushed upwards again, but, I was not paying attention at this time so missed the trade.

Trade 1: Slow entry, questionable exit reasoning.
There seemed to be a lot of hesitation in price as it approached the previous days high (PDH) eventually there was a deeper retrace and the subsequent rally after this created a lower high, entry trailed in and triggered once price dropped off again, this is where the problems start. Price did not do as expected, each drop was followed by deep retracements, price is unable to move down, I managed to hold on when price briefly went negative several minutes after entry, but, after watching price fail to make any progress I decided to close it out.

Trade 2: Good entry, 50/50 exit.
Price dropped back into the range and retested the UL, the drop off triggered the short, the 50/50 part is more to do with the behaviour once in, after the retrace and trade entry price tried for the UL again before dropping lower, but, when it broke lower this was immediately rejected, this was a red flag to me and a possible reason to exit, but, not wanting to over react a decided to wait and see what would happen at the UL. Price breached slightly and dithered it tried to push back in range but this failed and as it looked more like a BO I exited the trade.

I briefly contemplated a long on the failure of trade 2 but I was feeling pretty frustrated so I decided to watch rather than play.
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Opportunities missed:
A: Initial BO retest, run of the mill trade missed by inattention.
B: A second retrace in the BO, missed by inattention.
C: A double top, it is a long hold that might test the patience of a trader, but, it eventually gets to the UL of the PM range and in the area of the last drop off from this level.
D: It is a bit iffy with the news but an opportunity is an opportunity.
E: Also a tough trade to take, though price had broken beyond the PDH it could not stick, a short could have been taken as it dropped under the PDH and retraced.

Summary:
Trade 2 is fine no problems there, but, trade 1 is a different story, entry though sluggish is fine, I chewed on the management of this one the whole time I was in. A lack of patience is one issue, possibly unrealistic expectations.

Whilst price was struggling to move down it was also struggling to move up, I could have moved my stop in a little tighter after the swing high to 65.25, but, I think I was more influenced by limiting any potential losses, this fear prevented me from making myself available to what happened next, I accepted the risk when I took the trade on but I eventually caved in and let emotion not facts dictate the exit.

As for the misses at A and B the lights were on but no one's at home, I need to pull my head out the clouds.

Gozilla -8

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