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A TopStepTrader's Real Money Combine
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A TopStepTrader's Real Money Combine

  #41 (permalink)
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First Break

The trend has been bearish for quite some time now.

However a bull trend has broken out to the upside from the long consolidation.

A first break is a trade that is taken when one of a set of counter trend bars is taken out by a bar in the direction of the original trend.

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  #42 (permalink)
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iqgod View Post
My life has become filled with passion and purpose since I have been trading with a positive attitude, fueled by the desire to excel at the process.

My next combine puts a capital of $30,000 in front of me and on 01 July 2013 I will begin to observe the market and execute my edge everyday from 5 AM Central (3:30 PM India) for a minimum of 10 days during which period you can expect me to post regularly in this journal.

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Thank you for posting. I have read all of this thread as well as many of your previous posts.
My observation is that your humility has increased substantially and I know you did IDT with Ray, as I did recently.
He really emphasizes that and it certainly helps to keep the ego at bay.
Best of luck to you with the Combine. I am in final preparation phase before I apply for one too. Aiming to start August 1st, while taking a summer break in July. I haven't noticed that markets don't move in August although there may not be the volume, but I have seen good movement throughout the summer holiday season.
Anyway, I digress.
Best wishes and keep us posted
JS

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  #43 (permalink)
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Trade management: First Break's Tipping Point


The trade generated a LOT of heat and was in the red for the initial period before moving into green territory.

Here I show how I technically adjust my stop to a more economical level

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  #44 (permalink)
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jmsUK View Post
Thank you for posting. I have read all of this thread as well as many of your previous posts.
My observation is that your humility has increased substantially and I know you did IDT with Ray, as I did recently.
He really emphasizes that and it certainly helps to keep the ego at bay.
Best of luck to you with the Combine. I am in final preparation phase before I apply for one too. Aiming to start August 1st, while taking a summer break in July. I haven't noticed that markets don't move in August although there may not be the volume, but I have seen good movement throughout the summer holiday season.
Anyway, I digress.
Best wishes and keep us posted
JS

Thanks @jmsUK!

All the best for your combine too!

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  #45 (permalink)
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Trial by Fire?

This trade is really testing my patience.

Dr. Brett Steenbarger says that fear often masquerades as postive thinking. So in a sense NOT CUTTING the trade immediately has to be one of my combine rules otherwise my chances of passing get impacted.

I need to always remember that this exam is not about being right, but optimizing my performance to adhere to the examination guidelines!

Look at the places I have marked where I could 'still' have exited - these are hindsight exits though so its easy to do such marking:

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This quick cutting of losses needs more practice and more discipline!

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  #46 (permalink)
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Cut losers early!

AND there is this school of thought which Bob Volman advocates that once I place a trade I either let it take out a target or take out a tipping point adjusted stop.

Meanwhile price keeps backing and filling.

If the trade becomes a loser NOW then I would have been in the trade for more than 40 bars which makes the statistics skewed towards the losing side.

Thus the importance of skillfully cutting ALL losers early no matter how good the price action looks!

i know this may take around 30% potential winners along with it but there isn't an option if I am to pass!

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  #47 (permalink)
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A Range Break?

I guess I will simply have to follow Bob Volman to the book to achieve any level of consistency at all!

A Range Break seems to be setting up however and the trade may reach its target after all:

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Here again I am thinking of adjusting my trading in relation to OUTCOMES - not a good practice that a professional would follow.

It think the adjustment must be in terms of getting better at playing the game by keeping the practice on.

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  #48 (permalink)
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Combine statistics are a killer!

Whenever I get TRAPPED into a losing trade following things happen:

1. I start worrying about statistics. (HInt: By then its too late. I suddenyl realized I hadn't thought out this aspect of passing well.)

2. I see OTHER valid trades which I SHOULD have really taken but am trapped to fulfill a statistic.


Thus, I need to plan the holding time and the strategy for trade management better in this combine.

Even if I decide to use Bob Volman's strategy I need to STICK TO MY GUNS and NOT CHICKEN OUT.

Meanwhile compression is building up in the range break about to happen though it is still premature to expect a breakout and more compression or pressure needs to build!

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  #49 (permalink)
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A Strategy Deeviation I Am Often Guilty Of....

... is exiting the trade at breakeven after it has weathered a lot of heat in the red area.

Thus the moment it goes a few ticks into green I AM TEMPTED TO COVER!!!

I used to think that this would be a beneficial thing for a combine but look what it resulted in - irrecoverable combine stats!! I got 91% winning trades and many of these winners were one-two tick winners!

HOWEVER I also noticed that if I stretched my target from one-two ticks to four to five ticks then that dramatically reduced the number of green trades that went into red AND NEVER CAME BACK.

Look at this point where I intuitively felt that MANY losers would have been WAITING for this moment to come and then WHOOSH all of a sudden there would be sellers in the market to cover at a tiny profit and then down would go the market.

That is exactly what happened but I, a prisoner of conflict between 'discipline' and 'whether I shoudl finally scratch the trade for a 50% profit instead of NOW waiting for the full target of 10-ticks was left holding the baby.


These moments of opportunity appear regularly but only if:

If I have not cut a loser quickly

Look at the chart to understand: I have been waiiiiiiiiting and waiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiting and then the expected miracle happens and then I still don;t bail out - if I had bailed out then and there at the spike I could have:
1. Made a profit
2. Kept my trade in the winner catergory
3. Would have had a huge hold time on a winner.

YET I HELD ON!

This confused state appears when I am not nimble enough to capitalize on an opportunity - opportunity presented on a silver platter.

Stubbornness?

Need to be FULLY right?


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I do not have all the answers yet.

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  #50 (permalink)
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Reinforcement


To get to the root of the issues I presented in my earlier post, it is not enough to simply be chart-technically competent.

Trading requires a different kind of competency than most professions (not counting sports) and the need to know one's true self transcends all the chart reading ability (it complements it).

Quoting Brett Steenbarger (thanks to @tigertrader)


I've never seen a trader succeed whose explicit or implicit goal was to not lose. The trader who trades to not lose is like the person who lives to avoid death: both become spiritual hypochondriacs.

The absence of self-acceptance too often masquerades as the desire for self-improvement.


Meanwhile the painful fact is that I did not take ACTION. Price presented itself at a high price again and would have allowed me to had I moved my target. BUT NO. I have tested that my target will be reached and I will NOT lower my target.

ACTION TRIUMPHS EVERYTHING. Being purposeful and committed to becoming a great trader is NOT enough! Action separates the doers and the risk takers from the crowd.

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