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Ashmat's Topstep Trader Combine Journal
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Ashmat's Topstep Trader Combine Journal

  #21 (permalink)
Trading for Profit
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
 
Futures Experience: Advanced
Platform: TradeStation
Favorite Futures: ES
 
Pedro40's Avatar
 
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Ashmat View Post
The problem I have now is I am only $120.00 away from my max drawdown.

be aware the you can dip below the max. DD, but by the end of day you have to bring the account above it. The daily loss limit is different, you can not break it...

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  #22 (permalink)
Trading for Fun
Newcastle, CA/United States
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: T4
Favorite Futures: Crude
 
Posts: 60 since Aug 2013
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Thank you!

Thank you Pedro40! I wasn't quite sure about that!

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  #23 (permalink)
Trading for Fun
Newcastle, CA/United States
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: T4
Favorite Futures: Crude
 
Posts: 60 since Aug 2013
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Combine Day 10


I discovered something today. I am not a big move trader. I look at charts and see these large moves off of major levels and think I can do that. It does not fit my trading style or comfort level. I am a short term, momentum trader and find when I trade that way, I am more disciplined and consistent.

Today was a rough day. I was up $310.00 and had a personal target of $400.00. I proceeded to lose the $310.00 and then became desperate, as I was only $120.00 away from my maximum drawdown. Very hard to stay focused when that number is hitting you in the face. I tend to start out very strong and then fade later. Part of this is due to wanting to catch these large moves.

Anyway, the plan going forward is to trade 2 contracts and look for good momentum set ups. Thatís it, no more swinging for the fences because I tend to strike out! Maybe one day I can develop a method that will allow me to take advantage of large moves, but for now, I need to stay true to my style. No more conflict.

I still have 10 days to use the combine account as practice, and in two weeks I will start another combine and hopefully will have my plan in place. My goal for the next 10 days is to trade my style exclusively and get the combine account profitable, even though it is too late to be considered.

Of course, the conundrum here is trading a practice account that doesn't count will be easier than trying out for the combine. I realize that and will just focus on placing good trades that fit my style. I am just going to focus on trading my style and will continue to update the journal daily.

I continue to learn about myself through this and think I may have turned a corner. I wonít know for sure until the next combine, but for now, I remain confident for the future!

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  #24 (permalink)
Trading for Fun
Newcastle, CA/United States
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: T4
Favorite Futures: Crude
 
Posts: 60 since Aug 2013
Thanks: 0 given, 22 received

No trading today

I had to travel this morning, so I was unable to trade today. I have been following a couple other combine traders and it's interesting to see the same struggles I go through. It really hits home how truly psychological trading is. We know what to do, but for some reason we don't do it when the "money" is on the line.

I think this is truly the key! I have a plan and have seldom followed through. I also have gone kind of back and forth on levels, strategies, etc. This is part of the process to become a successful trader, but eventually one needs to settle on the strategy that works and figure out how to minimize the psychological aspect.

I plan on trading tomorrow with only 2 distinct strategies. I'll keep my daily loss limit at $600 and consider lowering that if needed. My hurdle will be the psychological issues I deal with. The combine to me is like trading real money, which is why I like it so much.

This journal has really helped me move in the right direction. I hope that I can figure this out soon and really hope the others going through the same thing can find their success!

Trading is hard as hell! That's why I love it so much!!

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  #25 (permalink)
Trading for Fun
Newcastle, CA/United States
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: T4
Favorite Futures: Crude
 
Posts: 60 since Aug 2013
Thanks: 0 given, 22 received

Combine Day 11

Well, more of the same today. Considering I blew up my combine, I didn't take my trading seriously. I mentioned that I had 2 distinct strategies that I was going to play today. I implemented the first strategy at the open, taking two trades with a small loss. I then decided I was just going to play around (not a smart idea) and work on my risk/reward parameters. I managed to get back to even, took a really stupid long trade that reversed immediately. After that I traded recklessly and eventually hit my daily loss limit on my characteristic last desperation trade.

Itís really interesting that I continue to look at historic charts, develop a sound plan, and trade COMPLETELY OPPOSITE of that plan. Truly, I trade the exact opposite of the plan more so than not. I try to catch bottoms, find tops when a signal has already stated the possible direction. Itís weird and I just donít get it. I have 9 days left and if I want my next combine to be successful, I had better treat this as if I was still alive in the combine.

Not sure if I will be able to trade Friday, just because I am travelling. I know what I have to do. Hopefully I can talk about my next trading day in the context of actually following my plan.

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  #26 (permalink)
Elite Member
Birmingham UK
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
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Ashmat View Post
W
Itís really interesting that I continue to look at historic charts, develop a sound plan, and trade COMPLETELY OPPOSITE of that plan. Truly, I trade the exact opposite of the plan more so than not. I try to catch bottoms, find tops when a signal has already stated the possible direction. Itís weird and I just donít get it. I have 9 days left and if I want my next combine to be successful, I had better treat this as if I was still alive in the combine.

I use words other than 'interesting' to describe what our obviously shared genetic ancestry causes us to do.....aaarrrggghhhh! Have a great weekend.

Travel Well
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  #27 (permalink)
Trading for Fun
Newcastle, CA/United States
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: T4
Favorite Futures: Crude
 
Posts: 60 since Aug 2013
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ratfink View Post
I use words other than 'interesting' to describe what our obviously shared genetic ancestry causes us to do.....aaarrrggghhhh! Have a great weekend.

LOL, very true! I have probably used every word possible there! You have a good weekend as well!

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  #28 (permalink)
Trading for Fun
Newcastle, CA/United States
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: T4
Favorite Futures: Crude
 
Posts: 60 since Aug 2013
Thanks: 0 given, 22 received

Combine Day 12

I placed 3 trades today, with the intention of simply working risk/reward. Every trade was a loser, as I was stopped out at 20 ticks each, with a 50 tick target. Frustrates me that when I have done this in the past, the trades end up being losers, just as today. Happy with entry and my targets and stop losses, but still trying to figure this out. I guess I canít measure the success on only 3 trades, so Iíll keep working on this.

Monday Iíll be back to working my 2 primary set ups. My goal is to trade without fear, which is easier since this combine doesnít count, but I have to work on my setups and discipline. If I can use the next 8 days to trade as I would the new combine, I might be ready when that time comes. I need to reinforce the good habits, regardless of the outcome for now. Again, I know what to do, but have yet to do it with any consistency. This will be my focus.

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  #29 (permalink)
Trading for Fun
Newcastle, CA/United States
 
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Platform: T4
Favorite Futures: Crude
 
Posts: 60 since Aug 2013
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Day 1 with trade report

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Ashmat View Post
Well, today was a very short day. I like to get a position near the WTI open and manage it from there. Keeps me from being biased, as I can just concentrate on where price is going. Took a long at 547 based on the break of a short term trendline. I reversed to be short one contract at 537 based on a reversal break of the same trendline. Got 20 points and set stop to B/E. Was stopped out shortly thereafter at 537 as Crude rallied back through the pivot point of 530, but still below the initial trendline of 542.

Short term trend was still down, so I reentered a short position at 531. At this point I was biased toward the downside, which I think is a mistake. I tend to get biased instead of concentrating on my set ups, something I continue to work on. Anyway, I didn't think the short was a horrible trade considering the short term trend was still showing lower. No follow through to the downside, so I got stopped out at 546 because it broke above 542.

Final trade was a short at 542 as it looked like it was going to run back down through that level. Ran about 5 ticks then reversed back up. Got stopped out at 558 and decided to call it a day since the action in Crude was choppy and trading in a narrow range. This strategy does not work in narrow, choppy price action. My stop on this last trade should have been a bit tighter as well.

Positives: I was disciplined and followed my plan. I stuck to what I had planned to do, and with the exception of the last trade, I kept my stops tight and kept myself out of danger. I stopped trading when my plan wasn't working and I just wasn't feeling it.

Improvements: I think I over traded. I am looking for a direction based on the WTI open. When it works, I can take advantage of some strong moves. I think Iíll update my plan and discard the strategy after 3 failed trades. B/E would be considered a failed trade in this scenario.

One more thoughtÖÖ My initial thoughts before I started this combine was to execute the WTI opening strategy and after 3 failed attempts, shift to scalping, which is my true comfort level. Scalping to me is taking 5 to 20 ticks, while keeping stops no wider than 10. While I am determined to prove to myself the opening strategy works, if I donít show positive results from this after a week, I may consider abandoning it and stick to scalping.

Plan for tomorrow: Execute WTI open strategy, abandon after 3 failures if necessary, switch to scalping and hope to have a positive day! Going to paper trade some scalp set ups to prepare for tomorrow.


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  #30 (permalink)
Trading for Fun
Newcastle, CA/United States
 
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Platform: T4
Favorite Futures: Crude
 
Posts: 60 since Aug 2013
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Day 2 with trade report


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Ashmat View Post
I was overall happy with my trading today. I implemented my WTI open plan and it worked today. Had two losers and one winner for a nice net gain. I did get a bit side tracked, as I had set up a reversal trade that triggered, but had too many stops left over. As I was replacing the initial stop, I FORGOT to change the DOM to stop mode (S) and ended up getting out of my position earlier than I would have liked. I really need to work on not making those mistakes. Going to tape something to my computer to remind me of this, otherwise I will probably make the same mistake again.

After I took my profits from the opening session, I went into scalp mode. Shorted one on a retracement to settlement, got 8 ticks. Went short on another retest, but only took a couple of ticks as it didn't react as strongly to the downside as I would have liked. Took a couple losing trades at the pivot point, then rode another for a nice profit, though my stop was wider than I would have liked.

The last trade I became biased to the downside and placed my short based on my theory that price was going to blow through the daily pivot. I was lucky it did, but am not happy that I became biased again. The problem with getting biased is I tend to widen my stop more than I am comfortable with. Going to focus on removing directional bias and just focusing on trading my levels. I really like the daily pivots and will work on fine tuning better entries.

Positives: Stuck to my plan, stayed disciplined

Improvements: Need to work on bias, as that does not fit my trading style. Scalp entries could have been better and I failed to pull the trigger on a couple decent set ups.

Same for tomorrow, but I will work on better entries so I can minimize my downside risk a bit better. Really going to study key support levels and how price reacts. Crude is a new instrument for me, so not quite used to it yet.


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