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

  #41 (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 to date

Here is how my combine looks to date. Yes, it's ugly, but full of lessons!

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  #42 (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 13

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So I can say I traded my plan today. I made a small, profitable trade at the open. I then decided to trade off the Pivot Point and went long after a breach and then a move upward. Once I got 10 ticks, I moved my stop and was stopped out shortly thereafter. I then got long again above short term support with a stop below the pivot. Again, I was stopped out, this time at a loss. I continued to trade around the pivot and was chopped up brutally. I suppose after the 3rd breach of the pivot, I should have given up attempting to trade that level.

My risk/reward was 3 to 1 on the initial entry, but I felt like maybe I should widen my stop. I could not get 30 ticks positive for the life of me and was thinking I need to give these moves a chance.

While I am writing this, I am listening to MtnMan on squawk and he made a very interesting comment. This is an inside day and he said if you are down big today, which I was, you should maybe look at your strategy for trading this type of market. I was looking for larger moves around the pivots, and the market just didn't allow for that today. Since MtnMan is a professional and well respected, I am going to heed his advice and really look at my strategy closer. I am trying to trade a style I am not comfortable with and I really need to assess my current strategy. I keep saying I will attempt to trade in my style, but I keep experimenting, unsuccessfully.

I will decide how I want to approach my trading in the morning and will discuss it in the journal. I have an idea, but have verbalized these and did something different.

Here are what my trades looked like on a 60 tick Candlestick chart. The green arrows were buys, red sells. The last green arrow was my last trade and I was stopped at a 28 tick loss.

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I have always been an active trader, so I'm ok with my trade volume today, but honestly, they were just not good trade set ups based on the type of activity. Still looking for a profitable day. Hopefully tomorrow.

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  #43 (permalink)
Site Administrator
Manta, Ecuador
 
Futures Experience: Advanced
Platform: My own custom solution
Favorite Futures: E-mini ES S&P 500
 
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Posts: 46,240 since Jun 2009
Thanks: 29,351 given, 83,223 received


FYI, a couple of your screenshots in your last post are not showing up.

Mike

Due to time constraints, please do not PM me if your question can be resolved or answered on the forum.

Need help?
1) Stop changing things. No new indicators, charts, or methods. Be consistent with what is in front of you first.
2) Start a journal and post to it daily with the trades you made to show your strengths and weaknesses.
3) Set goals for yourself to reach daily. Make them about how you trade, not how much money you make.
4) Accept responsibility for your actions. Stop looking elsewhere to explain away poor performance.
5) Where to start as a trader? Watch this webinar and read this thread for hundreds of questions and answers.
6)
Help using the forum? Watch this video to learn general tips on using the site.

If you want
to support our community, become an Elite Member.

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  #44 (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

Screenshots

I can see all of them. Is there something I have to do to insure everyone sees them?

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  #45 (permalink)
Site Administrator
Manta, Ecuador
 
Futures Experience: Advanced
Platform: My own custom solution
Favorite Futures: E-mini ES S&P 500
 
Big Mike's Avatar
 
Posts: 46,240 since Jun 2009
Thanks: 29,351 given, 83,223 received


Ashmat View Post
I can see all of them. Is there something I have to do to insure everyone sees them?

I am referring to post #42.

You can see them probably because they were cached by your browser. If you press Ctrl-F5 a couple of times, it should re-verify the validity of the items on the server and you'll see they aren't available.

Mike

Due to time constraints, please do not PM me if your question can be resolved or answered on the forum.

Need help?
1) Stop changing things. No new indicators, charts, or methods. Be consistent with what is in front of you first.
2) Start a journal and post to it daily with the trades you made to show your strengths and weaknesses.
3) Set goals for yourself to reach daily. Make them about how you trade, not how much money you make.
4) Accept responsibility for your actions. Stop looking elsewhere to explain away poor performance.
5) Where to start as a trader? Watch this webinar and read this thread for hundreds of questions and answers.
6)
Help using the forum? Watch this video to learn general tips on using the site.

If you want
to support our community, become an Elite Member.

Reply With Quote
 
  #46 (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 14

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I have no idea what has happened to me as a trader. My personal life has been rough of late, so that may have something to do with my trading. I havenít been able to put together a winning day for the life of me. Today I simply traded reckless, and really should not have traded at all. I just want to be able to trade under any circumstances, test my will. So far, I havenít been able to figure it out. While I may be down, Iím not out. I have 6 more days on this combine and am determined to figure this out.

I missed my opening trade, so I thought I was ready to trade plan 2. First trade was a long on a break of short term resistance. I was stopped and reversed to a short. That trade got stopped out and I reversed again. That trade was also stopped out and I did not reverse. I went long again and held the trade for a 25 tick profit. At this point I was only down about 10 ticks. My last trade was long and short term trend was up, but it reversed, I moved my stop, and lost close to 40 ticks.

Positives: Not much today. UI wasnít even happy with my one winning trade

Improvements: I need to find my discipline. I traded 2 contracts today in a desperate attempt to gain some profits. I was reckless and lacked patience. I didnít have a specific plan if the trade went against me.

The thing that really frustrates me is I have traded successfully before. I am going back to the drawing board and will continue to see if I can find my trading mojo again.

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  #47 (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 15

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Today was pretty much a waste. I attempted to execute my opening trade strategy using a trailing stop, but the moves are so fast at the open, itís difficult to execute a reversal quickly. I still like the strategy, but need to figure out the exact steps to actually make it work. It involves doubling the number of contracts on the stop, but I have to be very quick, since I canít execute a reversal on the initial order.

After the first couple of trades, I just decided to try some scalps. Since the account is a practice account at this point, I traded 2 contracts. I did have 3 winners, and got back close to even, and then my next 4 trades were all losers. It was frustrating because I was trying to scalp pullbacks, and every time I did, the short term trend reversed. Had I been trading one contract, I would have had some more room to play.

I have 5 days left for this account and really need to be disciplined. Iím not going to get the account back to even, so Iíll go back to a single contract and just focus on good trade strategy. I would at least like to earn a rollover on my next combine. The good thing is the combine format really forces you to be disciplined and patient. If I can find balance there, I will be on my way. I am not quite there yet. I included a couple charts to help remind me not to trade like this! =) I used OHLC bars so you can see where the trades were placed.

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  #48 (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 16

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Finally put together a winning day! It wasnít perfect, but I made better decisions and kept my stops in place. I used wider stops with larger targets, based on short term support/resistance.

First trade was based on my pit opening strategy. I had a stop of 10 and a limit of 20 ticks and hit my target. The next five trades were based on the S1 pivot. Unfortunately, price chopped around the level and I didnít get any follow through.

The last trade was a buy below the pivot, so this was not a pivot play. It was based on price action and the fact price had approached the low of the day. I placed my stop about 15 ticks below the low to keep myself from getting stopped out from a stop run. The stop was a bit more than I like, about 30 ticks, but my profit target was placed at 55 ticks, which was just below the my second resistance point. I was fortunate enough to get my target hit and since Friday volume tends to dry up as the day goes on, I decided it would be good just to bank a profit.

Positives: I had a reason for every entry and every stop. While I was not yet at my comfort level, there have been many days where I traded out of desperation and had no rational reason for entries or stops.

Improvements: Still trying to find my comfort level and the style of trading that best fits me.

I have 4 days left and know exactly what I want to do for those 4 days. I will be doing another combine and would really like to finish strong in preparation for the next combine.

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  #49 (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 17

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Today was a good day, even though it was a losing day. Iím going to break down my trades and see where I can improve my execution. I am now comfortable with the strategy I want to use, but have some work on managing those trades once open.

I took a short right after the RSI open and got a quick 20 ticks. My target was 30, so I was more focused on the target than short term support. I closed and reversed the trade for a 3 tick loss, based on break of the upper resistance line. I should have been looking at support and watched that level closer. I could have closed the first trade at a small gain and been ready for the next setup.

The long trade was not a good trade because I did not allow for confirmation. I went long on the first breach of resistance. I prefer to enter above the bar that broke the line, but I did not wait for that. I reversed that trade for a small loss as well. Being short and heading for support, I ignored it again and held the trade for a while, hoping for some carry through on the downside. That didn't happen and I placed one more reversal on another breach of resistance. At this point I decided this would be my last trade since I was approaching my daily limit. I moved my stop to 30 ticks, a few ticks below the daily low, and my target to 60 ticks. I was stopped out and that was the end of the day.

Positives: Finally feel comfortable with how I want to trade my strategy.

Improvements: I need to learn how to better manage those trades when short term support/resistance is present. My goal for this strategy is to get 30 ticks, but if that target does not get reached, I need to better manage that and not necessarily hold out for 30 ticks on the first trade.

There will be times I will get 30 ticks on one trade and be done. Itís managing those trades that donít ďcooperateĒ that is my challenge.

I felt very good about today, as I think I was truly able to see what my next step is. Very excited about the future. Itís comforting to know when you first stare at that screen, you actually have a plan in mind. Iíll have to figure out a personal loss limit as well, since I canít be pushing the daily limit on my next combine. Just going to work on perfecting the plan as best I can. If it turns out itís not a great plan, I can at least know I did my due diligence and start looking for another plan.

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  #50 (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 18


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Not only was this the first strong trading day in sometime, I was also able to hit a milestone by banking profits above $1000.00. I stuck to my plan and kept my stops fairly tight. While one day does not make a career, it was just good to have a strong day! I was asking myself yesterday why itís so easy to lose $1000 in a day and why itís so difficult to do the opposite. While my goal today was just to continue to implement my trading plan, once I got $300 in profits, I decided I would double up on the contracts and see if I could hit a milestone event.

The first several trades were placed around the RSI opening. I was again looking for 30 ticks, but price would not carry through. I also have to consider the ES!(?) report comes out on Wednesdays and can create narrow ranges before the news comes out. Iíll have to watch that going forward.

The 2nd to last trade was a bounce off the Pivot and it actually worked. I placed a limit of 30 ticks and was filled after the news came out. That was probably more luck than anything, but Iíll take it.

The last trade was a long above the dayís high with a stop below the R1 pivot. My target was simply enough to end the day over $1000. Luckily price cooperated this time and I had my day.

Positives: Stuck to my trading plan for the most part. Still needs a few tweaks. First milestone.

Improvements: Need to watch the news on Wednesdays and figure out the plan for that. I would rather not have a position going into the news. Still need to fine tune trading plan and continually work on my discipline. One good trading day does not make a career.

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