I have decided after completing a few of the TST combines that I would journal the next one out in efforts to hold myself more accountable.
I have come up short on the last couple of 50k combines. This was due to either not reaching the profit target or hitting the max loss. On a positive note I did finish in positive territory on each of them. After reviewing my trade reports I have come to see that the 30k account is going to be more obtainable except for the loss limit of $500. This will force me to be more selective about my trades and really be in tune with risk management. The days I don't perform well is because I shoot myself in the foot. Usually make a mistake, let my impulses get the better of me and then just watch it all unravel. I believe dropping down to a smaller loss limit will require me to pick up on these signals sooner. Also coming back from a down $400 day is much easier than down $800. Discipline discipline discipline.
The criteria to be funded are attached.
I will be trading CL, usually 2 lots. Looking to risk around 8-12 ticks, depending on the amount of risk I will scale down to 1 lot. Profit targets will typically be in the 20-30 tick range. My setups are based off the ACD method implementing a 30min opening range (OR). I will post at the end of the day all the trades I took and why. Depending on how the trading day goes I will also try to post some live updates.
Looking forward to tomorrow morning, let's do this!
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Little disappointed with how the first day went even though it was a net positive day. Missed one trade and did not manage the second one properly. Broke a couple of rules which is unacceptable. My best days happen when I follow my rules, those are the days I seem to be the most in tune with the market and isn't that the whole point?
The first chart shows a break above the ORH on the 8:30cst bar. It is a 5min chart to show the pull back, I only trade off of the 15min chart. I like this setup, break of the ORH, pull back to the 1/8 line (12.5%) and then continue to trade higher. This also works to the short side. The volume was favoring the long side, the pull back was on lighter volume so I was looking to get long. I had my order in at 10550, just trying to get a few more ticks. The trade went on without me. Little frustrating, but it is also Monday morning. No reason to start to over trade and put myself in a hole early. Target on that trade was settlement, stop would have been at 10540
The second chart shows the trade that I did take. After A up was made my long bias was confirmed. I didn't take the long at the 10570s because the price action was telling me it wanted to get back lower. With the pivot point only a few ticks away I wanted to see if they tagged it and how the ORH would hold up. I got long at 10557, could have waited for a little better fill but didn't. FOMO kicked in. Initial stop was at 10542. Targets of 10588 and 10607 the purple line which is Fridays pit session high.
This is where the problem happened. There was a rejection of the high 10570s which caused me to panic. Now this something I have been working on the last couple weeks and was making some progress on. I was NOT moving my stops to break even or taking profits early. I was accepting the risk and would let the trade play out. Instead of took profits at 10573 and moved my stop to break even. Fast forward, would have taken 5 ticks of heat at the worst, otherwise it came back to break even a couple of times and then took off. Both targets would have been hit.
The third chart shows a paper trade I took, getting long at 10575 with profit targets at 10608 and 10632. Would have been a great trade to take. Was disappointed with breaking one of my rules so decided to shut it down and just trade on paper. Was happy to be up a few ticks.
Lessons learned today: Let the market come to you, but don't be too greedy. Accept the risk and let the trade run its course.
Stay positive and go after it again tomorrow.
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Day 2 is in the books. Up $380 on the day after commissions, bringing the combine total to $530. 8 days to make $970 more.
Took two trades on the combine and two more on paper. Little disappointed with how I managed the trades, but better than yesterday. ORL was broken, signaling A down was in the works. I am looking to go short, my first idea is at 10656, the 1/8 (12.5%) level of the OR. Yesterday's high, the green line, was at 10663. I missed this 1/8 long yesterday, told myself I wasn't going to miss the setup again. I should have paid closer attention to the price action and where my levels were. It made perfect sense for yesterday's high to be tested. Was stopped out at 10667. Reshorted when it came back through 10663. Stop was at 10674. A few ticks above the 50% line of the OR.
I traded off my p&l instead of my targets which were, 10620 and 10592, right above the pivot point. Took the first contract off after I had recouped my losses from the stop out. I then pitched the other contract after we didn't magically arrive at the pivot point. It eventually got there without me.
Decided to switch over to paper for the rest of the day. "Took" the next two trades from the entry to the pivot point. On the second chart the orange line is settlement. I was looking for a nice bounce off the pivot point, settlement along with the confluence of levels just seemed like a good entry spot. It was a strong enough bounce off the low that the long scalps would be getting out and the late/weak shorts were getting squeezed. Short at 10630 stop at 10640, above yesterday's pit high.
The third chart shows the next short setup at 10622. Same idea as the previous trade.
What did I learn today? Pay a little more attention to all of the levels that are close (relative to price action) to each other. Not moving your stops is good, but don't adjust your targets due to p&l.
As long as I keep grinding forward every day I will get there.
Last two show some stats for the day/combine.
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No trades today. I do not have much success trading before the inventory report so decided that today I wouldn't make any trades until after the report. Also with Ben speaking and rollover I am not really inclined to make many trades. Looking for 20-30 ticks and to trade the edges. Round about that 10cst spike through the pivot I had some problems with my charts. Took until about 12cst for everything to be back to normal. Decided at that point my head wasn't really in the game and probably best to just shut it down. Paying attention to how clearly I am thinking is important, in the past I would have blown up the day because I wasn't 100% focused.
There were three trades I would have taken today. Short on the 10:15cst spike through the pivot point, stop above the previous spike. Target would have been 10590. Could have done this next trade twice, the second one as we speak would have been great if one held on. Currently testing today's high. Long 10585, stop at 10576. Because of how the price action was going and the days range settlement or just above would have been my likely exits.
Can't beat myself up over it too much, I have no control over software/hardware issues. I can only control myself and when I decide to trade and not to trade. Sometimes the best trades are the ones we skip. Not because of the setup but because the mindset. What I am taking away from today is the fact that I realized my mental state and made my decisions off of that. I did identify a few good spots that agreed with my setup, could have been a nice little day.
Like yesterday, waiting for the rollover to be over before I trade in the combine. Made my trades in the practice account. Hindsight it was a great day for the combine, but just happy to have made a couple trades.
Volume before the market was favoring the bulls. Price action during the open hinted price wanted to go higher. The 8:15cst bar drifter lower on lighter volume. #1 Went long at 10672 with a stop around 10658. Sold one near the top of the OR, was looking for 10720s for the second. I closed out of the second contract by accident while putting in an OCO for my long that I added on. #2 is where I added on, top 1/8 of the OR after a break to the high side. This has been a setup I have employed over the last couple of days. Should have waited for a little bit bigger of a pull back, but with one long still from 10672 I can live with it. I should have held on longer but when I get 50 ticks it is kind of hard not to exit the position.
Too bad I didn't trade the combine the last two days but I stuck to my plan. Didn't trade during the rollover today and yesterday my mind wasn't completely in the game. There are always opportunities tomorrow, assuming you don't blow up your account. Will trade the practice account again tomorrow and then go back to the combine on Monday.
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Decided to trade the combine today because rollover is over with. Since it is Monday I planned on keeping it pretty light today, try to make a couple trades and just build a little cushion going into the week. Nice sell off from the open gave a pretty wide opening range. After failing to break above the pivot the ORL was taken out. At this point I am looking to go short on a revisit of the OR. Settlement looked like a natural place to test so I passed on the 1/8 level short. The bottom 1/4 level, settlement and two of my lines were all in the 10785-10791 area. Got short at 10790 with a stop at 10804. Felt very comfortable with a stop above the pivot point.
With it being Monday I took profit at 10770 to lock in 20 ticks. Stop was moved to break even, also helped to have settlement there as an added buffer. The second target was at 10726, wanted to get out around S1. I probably should have held the first contract for a test of the days lows at 10744 after we didn't break above settlement on the 9:15cst candle. Locked up the ticks and moved to the practice account. Got short a couple more times, ended up having a nice day all around.
Things to work on:
Don't be in such a hurry to exit position or switch over to the practice account.
Identify levels and watch how price action moves as the level is approached and traded.
Overall can't be too upset, only $140 until the profit target is reached. Personally I want to end the combine up 2500-3000.
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Not the best, not the worst of days. Let some old habits creep back in but managed to notice them early on. Felt a little foggy this morning, wasn't really seeing the market well or trusting my setups. I missed the long at 10613 and again at 10629. Both would have worked out well. I am not entirely sure on why I didn't take the trades. What I am happy about is I didn't start to panic and just jump into a trade because I missed a couple good ones. The one trade I did take was long at 10678, and was stopped out on for a loss of 6. No reason to have that tight of a stop, with how CL moves it was going to get triggered. The attachment points out the trade I should have taken. After I put the trade on I was too focused on how close I was to meeting the combine profit target (that's one of those bad habits creeping back). What I am happy about is how I didn't unravel and blow up my combine because I missed a good day. I recognized what was going on early enough and shut it down. I have 6 days to make 21 ticks. I believe it is obtainable especially if I can identify bad days and come away relatively unscathed.
Lessons learned: Put the p&l/account balance away. Trade the setups, the profits will follow.
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Forgot to write this up yesterday. Took two full stop outs yesterday after the inventory report. I don't typically trade all that well on Wednesdays. No trades until after the report. Spike up to prior day settlement and retraced into the OR. I was still using an OR of 30min instead of a longer time frame to encompass the EIA report. I think I will be doing that for next time. Had I used that longer time frame a failed A up would have saved me from trying to go long. Another mistake I made was getting long again after getting stopped out pretty quickly on the first trade. I should have taken a step back and realized what the chart was telling me, look for places to sell. With a max loss of $500 I closed it down and called it a day. Frustrating but at the half way mark I am still on pace to pass the combine.
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