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Wookie 's TopStepTrader Combine Journal


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Updated December 31st 2013 by chuckchucker
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Wookie 's TopStepTrader Combine Journal

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  #11 (permalink)
Chicago
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader Takion T4
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Trade Summary for 8/20/13

Today was a volatile day. I only felt comfortable with scalp-type trades until I had a decent cushion to let a trade ride. So that is what I did. Also, I had a meeting that took me away from trading from 10am to 1130am RTH. It also took all my focus to trade 1 account but I did hold one on NT for a while as well. I like to try 2 different trading styles for the sake of learning.

I was too tired to post yesterdays summary and didn't like the chart anyways. IF I find a favorite trade I will post, but there were a lot of scalps. Most of my scalps were in the same direction, but it was my way of locking in profits in a volatile day. SO I scalped up the uptrend and down the downtrend. Selling where I thought it was overbought and oversold. I found this to be a safer approach today because the volatility was stop hungry today.



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  #12 (permalink)
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New combine begins tomorrow

I start my new combine tomorrow. I plan on sticking with crude oil. The combine is the 10 day 50k with a profit target of $3500. Ideally, I prefer to start out slow and try to get above $350 for the day. I would absolutely stop trading for the day if I get above $1000.

My CL analysis tonight has made me bullish for tomorrow, but that might change after I wake up. I may trade before pit open if there is a scalp or 2 to build a cushion for later on. I do not like to hold a trade going into pit open. Ideally I like to watch how CL reacts to the RTH session before I look for setups. Sometimes pit open produces a lot of volatility to shake traders out of their positions. I don't have the luxury to accrue heavy losses in a 50k combine. It would seem foolishly impatient to lose so early in the day due to the volatility of pit open.

Anyways, so patience is the name of the game tomorrow. I also have a work meeting at 11:45am. So I am only looking for ideal setups. If I don't like the chart; I might just not take a trade. Although, this is very difficult for me to do.

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  #13 (permalink)
Chicago
 
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Trade Summary


Today I ended the day $-120 on my combine. I was trading crude oil only. It has been a tricky chart during the RTH session. News of Syria has made the chart uptrend during the ETH session and then during RTH the pattern changes from uptrend (buy and hold) to a range-type pattern (don't get chopped up) and I've been a bit frustrated trying to figure out how to trade it in professional manner.

Of course my bias for CL is bullish because of middle east turmoil, but it hindered my ability to take shorts when my indicators suggested those were the best trades to make. So long story short, most trades were long. Those long trades I anticipated a breakout to continue the uptrend. That didn't happen. And I had to scalp the rest of the day to try and get back to breakeven. I was down as low as -$450 when flat, but with a trade on I got as low as -$650. Today wasn't easy, but I have to give myself credit for staying a live for another trading day.

I talked to a few other traders today and feel better about tomorrow though. Lets see what tomorrow brings.

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  #14 (permalink)
Chicago
 
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Trade Summary

I traded my combine for -$390. In CL, I tried to buy the peaks on long signals from my indicators in anticipation of a breakout up. The basis was CL going to have some great up moves today since the last two days were stagnant at best for the bulls. In times of war, that just doesn't seem like probable price action. So today was the day for me and I knew it!

Unfortunately, those up moves came much later in the day and my timing was, apparently, a coin flip at best. My risk parameters are tight on the 50k. Combine objectives need to be met and crude oil does not seem to coincide with these goals as of late.

To combat this, I have found more consistency in the equities with less exposure to risk in the NQ. I think trading the NQ and the ES is easier because there is less noise and the movements are more consistent. In conclusion, if I don't like CL's chart then I can always trade other products. The reward probably won't be the same, but risk aversion is my concern at this point.

Don't get me wrong but

God bless



Wook signing off..


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  #15 (permalink)
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Trade Summary 8/30/13

Edit: Sorry for the delay, I had travel plans and hit the rode immediately following market close on Friday. Traffic in Chicago on Friday is nuts!

Ok, so today was my 3rd day on the 10 day 50k combine. Since my first 2 days of the combine were losing - I decided it would be prudent to select a less volatile instrument to trade. I also wanted to reduce my overall exposure to risk, so I decided that I would trade the Nasdaq. Today ended up being my 1st profitable day trading. I ended up $330 on the day. I know I'm not on pace to get funded, but have 6 days left and could still win a rollover combine. Although, I will be pushing this combine to get funded.

This weekend has given me a moment to reflect on what needs to be worked on; to become a better trader of course. I understand that I need to increase my hold times within a trade. Sure in some trades taking profits fast is a great idea. Although, taking profits too fast becomes habitual and that adversely affects the reward to risk ratio. Reward to risk ratio is crucial for long-term success in trading. In my experiences, I have to have an 80% win/loss ratio to scalp profitably. That doesn't happen everyday for me.

This leads to why I decided to trade the Nasdaq. It moves slower than crude oil as of late (less volatility). The moves are drawn out, so I have to hold my trades longer. The NQ moves are more consistent with my indicators (less false signals). Contracts generate only $5 per tick. That means I can have a greater stop loss on trades I like and can scale a trade more effectively if there is a trade I really like. Im notorious for entering a position too early; usually because I see that it failed to reach some s/r line and I like it for a large sum of ticks. Also early trade entries requires holding a losing position until it becomes profitable. This will test your confidence and patience.

One of the improvements I have seen lately in my trading has been my conduct when I have an open trade in the market. Adding contracts when price action is adjusting well to my trade has worked wonders in the NQ. My results have been mixed with crude oil. For example, I can add 4 lots to an NQ trade and make $20 per tick. 2 lots in CL will run $20 per tick. This means I have 4 chances to scale in for a good trade entry price in NQ. In CL, I have 2 chances to get a good entry price on a trade. I call it aversion to risk. When given tight risk parameters; it has to be in the forefront of your thought process if you want to become funded. If I can't get a profitable trade on 4 contracts scaled - then I really need to re-evaluate why I'm doing this. FYI, 4 contracts scaled in CL would be considered suicidal with 50k combine risk parameters.

Sorry for the wordy post. I'm trying to get back into the trading mindset. I've been on a 3-day vacation.

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  #16 (permalink)
Chicago
 
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My combine guidance for this week.

This week, my emphasis is on getting back into profitability in my current combine. I'm -$150 roughly.

Scenario #1: I have several more profitable days, in which I would take a shot at getting funded on the 9th-10th day in the combine. I would probably have to move to an instrument like CL; where big gains are quicker to achieve. Of course, my daily loss limit would be the amount that would allow for a rollover. For example, if I have $52,000 and have 1 day left in my combine. My daily loss limit would be $1900. Thus allowing for a rollover.

Scenario #2: I continue to have just as many good days and bad days. My 50k combine account is valued at $50,300 and have 2 days left to trade. My goal would be to have a daily loss limit of $150 for each day. IF on the 9th day I make $440. THEN on the the 10th day my daily loss limit would be $560 or something, so I don't accidentally push my balance into the negative.

So, days 4,5,6 are going to be chipping a way into the positive. The goal is to have my 10th day be my 'Super Bowl' of this combine. If I don't have a cushion to work with on day 10 then it won't be much of a super bowl and more like a stupider bowl.


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  #17 (permalink)
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Trade Summary 9/3/13 Day 4 of Combine

Today I was -$85. I got chopped up early in the morning in the NQ and did take 2 CL trades. 1 was profitable and 1 was a big stop out so I was -$160 in CL today. I couldn't afford to take those loses in CL and as the pattern developed; it became evident that I missed the big move of the day anyways. So that put my mind at ease and I focused on the equities.

I was down as much as -$850 while in a trade and -$470 while I was flat within the intraday. I was able to get in long near the bottom and was fairly certain that both NQ and ES would retrace on the day. A big down move at the beginning of the month and week seemed highly probable that it would come back to some level of value. Sure maybe the rest of the week will be bearish, but it can't make the whole weekly move on the 1st or 2nd day (i forgot its tuesday) of the week. Anyways, so I went long and it was my best move. This trade brought my daily balance back to near b/e.

My weaknesses today were:
- I woke up really tired and it caused some confusion when reading charts.
- My computer locked up and that forced me to hard restart my computer.
- When I was down -$400; I became more impulsive in my trades to 'try and get my money back'.
- I took some trades in CL without breaking down the pattern with my indicators.
- My entries were too early
- My exits were too early
- Recognizing a great chance for a move in CL, but not taking the trade.

My strengths today:
- My patience within the trades. My hold times are increasing!
- Stops were placed at strategic levels.
- No miss clicks on the DOM.
- Recognizing a counter trade opportunity and taking the trade.

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  #18 (permalink)
Chicago
 
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Wednesday Day 5 of Combine Guidance

I'm down -$228 on this combine going into day 5 of my combine. That means I need to average $750 per day roughly. I will continue to look for safe setups in the NQ. if I find a CL setup that I really like - I might open things up a little bit. It will depend on what my indicators tell me and how I'm trading, but if I'm running hot - I will try to let my profits ride!

I need to have a big day soon.

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  #19 (permalink)
Chicago
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Trade Summary 9/4/13 Day 5 of Combine

Shoot, today I did it. I blew up my account on a foolish trade. I felt the pressure to have a highly profitable day to get my combine in range of hitting its profit target. I over-leveraged my account and put on a scaled order in the NQ. I guess I assumed it was like crude oil in that it knives up and down quite a bit. Unfortunately, equities have 1 or 2 good moves a day and I got caught on the wrong side of a good uptrending day.

Not all is lost though, I have learned an invaluable lesson today about the case for patience in and out of a trade. There is amazing setups that happen, but they may not happen everyday. Being able to wait for those trades and understanding how the pattern is forming (within the day) will NOT lose me money. That is the key for me; having the bullets to fire when there is a likely target in sight.

From here on out, I want to finish my combine trading crude oil. I really don't have anything else to say. I lost today because I got impatient and wanted to put on a trade. Tomorrow I'm going to reorganize my office I think. I'm going to rearrange it so I can have the charts up, but have other things to do as well. For example, I have a real dartboard. I have an xbox 360 too, also have some dumb bells. You know, stuff to keep me busy while I wait for those great setups. I know what a great setup looks like. I just have to wait for it. It's like finding your dream girl, metaphorically speaking of course. You know what she looks like and her personality, but if you aren't willing and/or able to train yourself to wait for her. You are going to miss the move to get her because you were busy blowing your wad on some toothless bimbo that shits on your couch anyways. Long story short, I need to work on myself more and be more picky with my trades as well. Looking for a great weekly trade might be a good place to start.

Football will be a nice distraction too; god I miss football.



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  #20 (permalink)
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I was worried about that from your prior post.

You simply cannot force it.

TST is good for discipline and risk. You should have focused on not blowing out the combine and just try to get the rollover. That is useful and practical in the real world of trading.

Many days come and go where your trades don't amount to much - Just treading water somewhat. That is normal in my experience. Then on the right day you can really capitalize.

I would never measure profitability on a daily basis and actually not a weekly basis (somewhat) but instead a monthly basis.

I think the new combines give you a month? 20 days?

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December 31, 2013


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