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Ashmat's Topstep Trader Combine Journal


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Updated January 10th 2014 by nemeis45
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Ashmat's Topstep Trader Combine Journal

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  #61 (permalink)
Newcastle, CA/United States
 
 
Posts: 60 since Aug 2013
Thanks: 0 given, 22 received

Combine 3 - Day 13






Well, it only took me 3 days to wipe out 2 weeks of profits. What I have discovered is that my method works well when the market is trending, but fails when it is choppy, which it has been the last few days. I have 7 days left and am only about $300 from hitting my max drawdown. While I am not happy, I can either dwell on the negative or try to extract something positive from all this. I was determined not to move my stops, and as usual, I started right, but got frustrated as I went back and forth, moved my stop WAY above where I should have and had to close the trade to save my combine. At this point, my goal is to at least get a rollover. I have discovered that when a momentum trade does not work, a reversal at key levels does. I over traded today as I started with a loss, and kept going back and forth, trying to get positive and then getting two in a row. That did not happen and I just lost it. So very frustrating when I start out so well and then blow it in a few days.

So.... lesson learned today is I need to learn how to trade when the markets are choppy and when a momentum trade fails. I will need to find that balance. My goal tomorrow is to watch for reversals off of key levels and keep my stops tight. While I still may attempt some momentum trades, I will be conscious of when that does not work. I'm down but not out yet! No chart today, just too messy.


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  #62 (permalink)
Newcastle, CA/United States
 
 
Posts: 60 since Aug 2013
Thanks: 0 given, 22 received

Combine 3 - Day 13

I wanted to throw in a quick update. These last few days have been a test, to say the least. I have spent the morning looking at different levels and I think I have actually found a specific level I can trade from. I am going to ditch the WTI open trade, as I have found it tends to be too inconsistent and if I were to go back and look at all those trades, I am guessing I would be break even at best, but probably a net loss. It's very difficult to trade right at the open as the movements are so quick. Instead, I am going to spend the rest of this combine working off daily highs/lows. I am actually kind of relieved I am getting rid of the WTI trade. I think it will allow me to get into a better frame of mind and not feel like I have to force a trade and get the reversal in before it moves.

I am really excited about what I have seen on historical charts and trading off these levels will allow me to have similar results whether crude is trending or ranging. Hopefully I am not too late with this combine, but sometimes it takes a hard lesson to make the necessary adjustments. Looking forward to seeing what happens tomorrow!

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  #63 (permalink)
Newcastle, CA/United States
 
 
Posts: 60 since Aug 2013
Thanks: 0 given, 22 received

Combine 3 - Day 14







I started the day off making a big mistake and was lucky enough to recover. I implemented my new strategy by going long on a breach of the daily high, but failed to reverse when I should have. This trade was placed before the WTI open and I questioned taking this trade before the WTI open because the strategy I have been looking at involves entering a position AFTER the WTI open. This thought process seemed to screw me up and I failed to reverse as I should have. I was lucky for the recovery and was able to place a couple more trades and ended the day with a small profit. Since I had made the initial mistake, I didn't want to push it, but did want to have a positive day to help my combine criteria. I was happy to take a 12 tick profit and called it a day.

I plan to go back and look at pre-WTI historically and see if my strategy works before the WTI open. It would have been a great trade had I done what my plan says to do. Of course I didn't, so I will need to work on that as well.

I have 9 profitable days on the combine, so I just need 2 more profitable days and not drop below 50k to hopefully earn a rollover. While there is still a chance I can hit the profit objective, based on my trading this week, I will be happy with a rollover. Hopefully I can get my discipline back next week!


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  #64 (permalink)
Newcastle, CA/United States
 
 
Posts: 60 since Aug 2013
Thanks: 0 given, 22 received

Combine 3 - Day 15





Very strong day today. Still not maximizing my profits, however, I am one day closer to meeting the win/loss percent for my combine. I placed 2 trades today based on the LOD near the WTI open. I was short and then reversed for a 50 tick run, net 44 ticks. I do realize that you can't have winning days less than losing days and make money in the long run. That being said, I am happy I was able to recover from less than professional trading last week and get myself a cushion. Still have a ways to go to reach a high, but nice to make progress in the right direction.

I took my profit at 9795 because it was approaching a round number, 9800. Personally, I hate trading around those numbers because I have found that price can get choppy. It was a 50 tick profit for the trade, so I was ok with my exit. I will have to watch that in the future, as normally I would have watched price action around the HOD and then the R1 support. Still, I'm ok with the trade and need just one more profitable day to meet one of the combine's criteria. The fact I am able to recover after coming so close to hitting my overall drawdown shows I am progressing as a trader.




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  #65 (permalink)
Newcastle, CA/United States
 
 
Posts: 60 since Aug 2013
Thanks: 0 given, 22 received

Combine 3 - Day 16






Another 2 trade day and good results. I now have 11 profitable days, so I hit that goal. For the next 4 days, I am going to make a push to hit the combine profit goal, while watching my drawdown very carefully. I will need to balance hitting the profit objective versus achieving a rollover. I need to average about $600 a day to meet the $3500 objective. I will add another contract tomorrow and will do my best to not be a nervous wreck. Trading is about managing risk, and these next few days will be a good test. In fact, tomorrow will most likely determine whether I shoot for funding or a rollover. If I have a losing day, I will work on a rollover the final 3 days. If I am profitable, I will keep plugging away.

Tomorrow the EIA numbers come out. I have struggled with Wednesdays, but I don't plan on doing anything else other than following my plan. If I think about the number too much, it will screw me up. Just going to trade as usual and hope for the best. I have tried to trade on the news, but the volatility makes it very difficult. Best to not attempt that and stick to my plan.

Here we go........




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  #66 (permalink)
Newcastle, CA/United States
 
 
Posts: 60 since Aug 2013
Thanks: 0 given, 22 received

Combine 3 - Day 17






I really don't do well on Wednesday's. The EIA report that comes out at 9:30 CST just throws me off. I'm not sure whether I should wait until after the report comes out or implement my plan prior. Guess I better decide going forward. I'll have to look at some historical charts and make a decision.

Anyway, I gave it a shot to try and hit my profit goal and fell short. I wasn't unhappy with my trading, but did try a few mom B/O's that didn't really pan out. Was not a good day for momentum and I was really pushing for strong moves today. I traded 2 contracts per entry today and was lucky to be down 15 ticks plus commission. I admit, I did not execute my normal plan today as I was really trying to make something happen. This never really works, but I'm ok with it. Last week really killed my momentum and I was gambling more than anything today. I stayed mindful of not hitting my max drawdown and was able to avoid that. I stayed fairly disciplined, but really relied more on luck than anything. Probably not the best strategy, but it is what it is and while I didn't give it my best shot, at least I gave it a shot.

I have 3 days left, so my focus will be on getting a rollover. I feel pretty confident I can do this and will drop back down to 1 contract for the next 3 days. If I am able to get a rollover, I really think I will have a good chance of getting considered for funding the next go around. I have improved with each combine. Have to survive the next 3 days.






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  #67 (permalink)
Houston, TX
 
 
Posts: 294 since Aug 2013
Thanks: 1,420 given, 757 received


Ashmat View Post
I have 3 days left, so my focus will be on getting a rollover. I feel pretty confident I can do this and will drop back down to 1 contract for the next 3 days. If I am able to get a rollover, I really think I will have a good chance of getting considered for funding the next go around. I have improved with each combine. Have to survive the next 3 days.

I have also been in your situation 4 times so I somewhat know what you are going through. I know it is difficult but try to not let the 3 day deadline play tricks with your mind. Focus only on executing your plan because like you said, you feel you are going to successfully complete the next combine. Why waste 3 days for an objective different than that? If funding is the objective then rollover is not, so focus on funding.

Trade the plan, nothing else. Doesn't matter if it rolls over or not. You can always get into another combine either way. I know it is hard but as Yoda would say "Do or Do not, there is no try"

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  #68 (permalink)
Newcastle, CA/United States
 
 
Posts: 60 since Aug 2013
Thanks: 0 given, 22 received

Thanks!!


iNeo View Post
I have also been in your situation 4 times so I somewhat know what you are going through. I know it is difficult but try to not let the 3 day deadline play tricks with your mind. Focus only on executing your plan because like you said, you feel you are going to successfully complete the next combine. Why waste 3 days for an objective different than that? If funding is the objective then rollover is not, so focus on funding.

Trade the plan, nothing else. Doesn't matter if it rolls over or not. You can always get into another combine either way. I know it is hard but as Yoda would say "Do or Do not, there is no try"

Thanks iNeo. I did give it a shot, but for now with one day left, I just want to make sure I get my rollover. I have $200 to risk, so who knows. I'll push as long as I'm above water. Either way, I think I am ready for the next combine. I came so close and just let it get away from me for 2 days. Should be interesting and I really appreciate your feedback!

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  #69 (permalink)
Newcastle, CA/United States
 
 
Posts: 60 since Aug 2013
Thanks: 0 given, 22 received

Combine 3 - Day 18 and 19

I didn't post yesterday as I was just too busy after I finished trading. I was hoping to get about 20 ticks, but missed a HUGE short and just grazed all day. Anyway, could have been worse. I also ended up adding to a position because I clicked the wrong side of the DOM. Then I placed 2 more trades in error because I didn't have the DOM trade parameters set correctly. Very frustrating, since I haven't done that lately. Just a reminder to make sure I have the DOM set up correctly for the trade I am trying to execute.

Today I placed 2 trades with very tight stop parameters. I played one as a momentum break to the downside and then played a bounce of the LOD. Neither trade had any momentum, so I just closed both out at small gains and called it a day. I can risk $200 on Monday, the last day of my combine. If I'm not a complete moron (I have shown that propensity) I should get a rollover. So far I am meeting all the rules and I will get aggressive Monday as long as I am above my goal. Otherwise, I'll take my lumps and hopefully get a rollover. Here is where I stand as of yesterday. With the exception of Oct 23 and 24, I think it looks pretty good.




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  #70 (permalink)
delhi, delhi, india
 
 
Posts: 59 since Dec 2013
Thanks: 10 given, 14 received

crude


i think if you stop trading the open at crude your trading would improve sharply.
In my experience only rookie traders (mostly) trade the opening.
dont trade the open outcry unless you are very sure about it since it can be very tricky often.

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January 10, 2014


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