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FredDecker's Trading Journal


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Updated February 15th 2014 by Eric B
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FredDecker's Trading Journal

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  #31 (permalink)
Chicago, IL, USA
 
 
Posts: 47 since Oct 2011
Thanks: 15 given, 65 received

9-3-2013 Journal Entry

geote88 -- How nice to hear from you! It is kind of you to share your thoughts with me. I think you are right about the confusion caused by practice trading during options expiration week -- it has already caused me confusion! You make an interesting point about the ego. Maybe that's why I have trouble judging my trades according to my actions instead of by my outcomes: I am stuck in a one trade at a time, one day at a time mentality instead of seeing each discrete trade as meaningless in the scope of the larger process. Thanks for the idea!

Trades: 0

Plan Followed? Yes

Daily Trading Goals: Today is the first day of my 18th Combine and I am starting with a positive attitude. I have 2 trades planned for today -- both in my practice account, according to my trading plan.

Best & Worst: I followed through on my Daily Trading Goals and took both trades I planned to take. The ISM number moved Bond futures 28 ticks, which is the kind of move I am looking for, but my trade lost money. It is good to remember that a positive outcome is never guaranteed.

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  #32 (permalink)
London UK
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Trading: FX. Futures, Spreadbetting
 
Posts: 78 since Aug 2011
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FredDecjer View Post
Daily Trading Goals: Today is the first day of my 18th Combine and I am starting with a positive attitude. I have 2 trades planned for today -- both in my practice account, according to my trading plan.

Fred

I just want to wish you the best of luck with this combine. I know from the limited time I have known you in TST that you work hard to achieve success and I trust that you will achieve it - deservedly!

Graeme

Never stop learning - never stop applying the knowledge.
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  #33 (permalink)
Legendary Market Wizard
Cleveland Ohio/United States
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Tradestation
Broker: Tradestation, DeCarley, others
Trading: futures
 
Posts: 2,768 since Jul 2012
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FredDecjer View Post
geote88 -- How nice to hear from you! It is kind of you to share your thoughts with me. I think you are right about the confusion caused by practice trading during options expiration week -- it has already caused me confusion! You make an interesting point about the ego. Maybe that's why I have trouble judging my trades according to my actions instead of by my outcomes: I am stuck in a one trade at a time, one day at a time mentality instead of seeing each discrete trade as meaningless in the scope of the larger process. Thanks for the idea!

Trades: 0

Plan Followed? Yes

Daily Trading Goals: Today is the first day of my 18th Combine and I am starting with a positive attitude. I have 2 trades planned for today -- both in my practice account, according to my trading plan.

Best & Worst: I followed through on my Daily Trading Goals and took both trades I planned to take. The ISM number moved Bond futures 28 ticks, which is the kind of move I am looking for, but my trade lost money. It is good to remember that a positive outcome is never guaranteed.


Hi Fred -

Of your 17 past Combines, can you break down your performance:

A. How many times did you qualify for rollover?

B. How many times did you fail because of max drawdown hit?

C. How many times did you fail because of daily loss limit hit?

D. How many times did you fail for a reason other than drawdown or daily loss limit?


Then looking forward, how is you trading plan different now, to get you from point A above to the profit goal? And, what specifics are in your plan to avoid points B, C and D above?


I think the answers you provide can help others help themselves (and you, too)...

THANKS

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  #34 (permalink)
Sweden
 
Experience: Master
Platform: TT, NT, MetaTrader
Broker: Velocity Futures, MB Trading
Trading: EUR/USD
 
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FredDecjer View Post
geote88 -- How nice to hear from you! It is kind of you to share your thoughts with me. I think you are right about the confusion caused by practice trading during options expiration week -- it has already caused me confusion! You make an interesting point about the ego. Maybe that's why I have trouble judging my trades according to my actions instead of by my outcomes: I am stuck in a one trade at a time, one day at a time mentality instead of seeing each discrete trade as meaningless in the scope of the larger process. Thanks for the idea!

Fred,

You're most welcome. I'm glad you like the idea! If you want to go deeper on the subject of the ego and the mind, make a search on my name in the forum. I've written some posts/articles on the topic in the -Psychology and Money Management section- or start with these:

https://futures.io/psychology-money-management/47-trading-psychology-how-mind-works-i.html

https://futures.io/psychology-money-management/88-trading-psychology-how-mind-works-ii.html

https://futures.io/psychology-money-management/200-trading-psychology-how-mind-works-iii.html

https://futures.io/psychology-money-management/329-trading-psychology-how-mind-works-iv.html


/George

We all struggle to make tomorrow look like yesterday!
Get rid of your past and let the future unfold from the now.
Past performance is not indicative of future results.
/George
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  #35 (permalink)
Chicago, IL, USA
 
 
Posts: 47 since Oct 2011
Thanks: 15 given, 65 received

9-4-2013 Journal Entry

Thank you RTR1701, geote88, and kevinkdog for your good wishes and kind thoughts!

In response's to kevinkdog's thought-provoking questions, I have never failed a Combine due to a Max Draw Down hit or a Daily Loss Limit hit.

My Combine-to-Combine results started improving in January, 2012 when I took NEBRASKA's suggestion to "trade for scratch" to heart. I first broke even in Combine 9, which ended July 30, 2012. Since July 30, 2012 I have completed 6 more profitable Combines and 2 unprofitable Combines. My results have generally continued to improve. In Combine 17 (my last completed Combine) I finished with a closing balance of +$2,227.50 -- a personal best, and my first time to end a Combine above the profit objective.

I have earned only one rollover I think. It is usually my secondary metrics which prevent me from qualifying. In the past I haven't paid much attention to the secondary metrics. I considered the Combine profit objective to be my proper focus. Maybe I need to pay closer attention to secondary metrics.

I think point D. has been the biggest problem for me -- how many times I failed because of other reasons. I think the "other reasons" come down to lack of an edge in my trading strategies.

If/when I develop a demonstrable edge, I think I will apply for a Custom Combine tailored to the outcomes of my strategy.

Thanks again for insightful questions and comments! I welcome any more ideas anyone may have!

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  #36 (permalink)
Legendary Market Wizard
Cleveland Ohio/United States
 
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Trading: futures
 
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FredDecjer View Post
Thank you RTR1701, geote88, and kevinkdog for your good wishes and kind thoughts!

In response's to kevinkdog's thought-provoking questions, I have never failed a Combine due to a Max Draw Down hit or a Daily Loss Limit hit.

My Combine-to-Combine results started improving in January, 2012 when I took NEBRASKA's suggestion to "trade for scratch" to heart. I first broke even in Combine 9, which ended July 30, 2012. Since July 30, 2012 I have completed 6 more profitable Combines and 2 unprofitable Combines. My results have generally continued to improve. In Combine 17 (my last completed Combine) I finished with a closing balance of +$2,227.50 -- a personal best, and my first time to end a Combine above the profit objective.

I have earned only one rollover I think. It is usually my secondary metrics which prevent me from qualifying. In the past I haven't paid much attention to the secondary metrics. I considered the Combine profit objective to be my proper focus. Maybe I need to pay closer attention to secondary metrics.

I think point D. has been the biggest problem for me -- how many times I failed because of other reasons. I think the "other reasons" come down to lack of an edge in my trading strategies.

If/when I develop a demonstrable edge, I think I will apply for a Custom Combine tailored to the outcomes of my strategy.

Thanks again for insightful questions and comments! I welcome any more ideas anyone may have!

Thanks. Your results are interesting. Not hitting max drawdown, and especially not hitting the Daily Loss Limit, does show a great deal of discipline. That is really good.

Of course, if you lack a good strategy, all the discipline in the world will not help you. You realize this, so that's a great sign in your development.

With the latest Combine change, you should be in better shape (no need to watch many metrics).

Sounds like you are on the right path - looking for a trading edge.

Good Luck!'

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  #37 (permalink)
Chicago, IL, USA
 
 
Posts: 47 since Oct 2011
Thanks: 15 given, 65 received

9-9-2013 Journal Entry

Thank you to kevinkdog for great comments and thoughts! I appreciate the culture of sharing ideas and helping your fellow traders which I find at Big Mike's Trading Forum and Topstep Trader!

Trades: 0

Plan Followed? Yes

Daily Trading Goals: The economic calendar appears quiet for the first two days of this week. I don't want to get too aggressive. I've identified 3 possible opportunities later in the week which should align with my trading plan. My goal for today and tomorrow is to control my down side, so I don't come into the opportunity rich part of the week trying to recover from heavy losses.

Best & Worst: If patience and discipline are important fundamentals of good trading, then today was a good day for me. I identified one possible trade, placed my order at 7:20 this morning according to my plan, and left my order working until removing it at 2:00 this afternoon -- without being filled. Conditions didn't align with my strategy, so I stayed out. No trades.

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  #38 (permalink)
Chicago, IL, USA
 
 
Posts: 47 since Oct 2011
Thanks: 15 given, 65 received

9-11-2013 Journal Entry

Trades: 2

Plan Followed? Yes

Daily Trading Goals: I have 2 possible trades which fit my trading plan and preparation. My goal is clean execution, treating my process as more important than individual trade outcomes or trade-by-trade emotional reactions.

Best & Worst: Multiple trade days are complicated for me because of the way I trade: with check lists and alternative "What If?" scenarios. I was pleased to have executed both trades correctly. I completed my CL trade at 9:30 and (re)placed my ZB order just before 9:33 -- 12 seconds before I was filled.

What Did I Learn Today? The equity curve of my bond futures strategy crossed below the 20 day average today, meaning I will not trade the bond strategy in my Combine tomorrow. I won't trade the strategy until the equity curve crosses back above its 20-day moving average. Today I projected the trades I would need to complete my Combine by November 2 to make sure I would have sufficient opportunity to meet Combine requirements -- even without the bond trade (in case the equity curve does not cross back above its 20-day moving average before the end of this Combine).

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  #39 (permalink)
Chicago, IL, USA
 
 
Posts: 47 since Oct 2011
Thanks: 15 given, 65 received

9-12-2013 Journal Entry

Trades: 1

Plan Followed? yes

Daily Trading Goals: I prepared my trade for today last night. There is no need for emotional turmoil to compromise my execution. My goal is to be deliberate in carrying out my trade according to my plan.

Best & Worst: I had to meet non-trading obligations this morning. I was tired and mentally scattered when I got to the screen. I used deep breathing to encourage calmness and journaling and my checklist to promote deliberate action.

What Did I Learn Today? Journaling immediately before a trade helps me multiple ways: it provides an outlet for negative emotions, helps me take deliberate actions, and gives me a good way to look back at the trade and know what I was thinking when I took the trade.

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  #40 (permalink)
Chicago, IL, USA
 
 
Posts: 47 since Oct 2011
Thanks: 15 given, 65 received

9-13-2013 Journal Entry


Trades: 1

Plan Followed? Yes

Daily Trading Goals: I've become more aware of the connection between journaling and preparing my actions thoroughly and my emotional discomfort level and execution accuracy. Today I want to make better use of being as thorough as possible.

Best & Worst: I followed through on my Daily Trading Goal. I feel like I am deepening my skill level using these tools.

What Did I Learn Today? During Dr. Menaker's segment on the market broadcast about the relationship between impatience in trading and lack of satisfaction in general life. Dr. Menaker pointed out that writing gratitude lists was a good remedy for impatience. I like gratitude lists. They help me appreciate the good things in my life. I should rite gratitude lists regularly.

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