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gretaro's TopstepTrader Combine Journal
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gretaro's TopstepTrader Combine Journal

  #11 (permalink)
Gonnamakeit
Reykjavik, Iceland
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: SierraChart, cTrader
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Friday 23rd August 2013

My trade in the 6E today was a long after the release of the new home sales number.

I could not trade in the morning but had a chance to be in front of the screen this afternoon. Had a long bias before the number was released but did not want to be in the market until after the number had come out.

Price shot up to .3370 after the number came out. I went long with a limit order @.3370. Price traded up to .3376 but nothing traded there. Bailed @.3371. Went long again with a limit @.3370. Bailed again at even when price pulled back after not trading @.3376. Price then went back to .3376 (was bid .3375) and just sat there. I thought that this time it would break so I went long at market. Price broke and I was trying to manage the trade or rather my target. Got only 12 ticks out of the run since I was just to excited to manage the trade properly. Not good at all.

I then took 3 trades in ZB 2 losers and 1 break even. -4 ticks. Not good trades or well thought out. Was just trying to read the order flow without any reference to any levels. Will not do that again.

Was a difficult day mentally. I caught a good trade in the 6E and did not make the most of it. Then 3 silly trades in ZB staring at the order flow with no real reference to any levels. Well at least a profitable day.

Net after commissions + $137.5

YES!
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  #12 (permalink)
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I find it difficult to get my point across on this forum in 900 words or less, so forgive me if this post gets wordy.


gretaro View Post
@Cashish rightly pointed out to me that I am just rambling on without making clear what instrument I am talking about.

My comment, "what exactly is it," was in reference to this chart. It appears to be something other than a time based chart, and the lines are unclear to me. This was the "detail" I was seeking. I sure didn't and do not consider your posts as "rambling" but I have found myself intrigued by your trading style and just can't seem to stay away!

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I wanted to reference a few of your posts but not necessarily in chronological order. Not knowing what time frame you're trading has me on the edge of my seat when I read your posts. This post seems to reveal you're definitely trading on a sub 1 minute time frame.


gretaro View Post
Friday 23rd August 2013

Price shot up to .3370 after the number came out. I went long with a limit order @.3370. Price traded up to .3376 but nothing traded there. Bailed @.3371. Went long again with a limit @.3370. Bailed again at even when price pulled back after not trading @.3376.

Your post above tells me you took two long trades from '70 and price never traded on '76 while you where in either of those positions. I have price trading on 1.3376 twenty eight (28) seconds after the number was released at 10 O'clock. I must say, That's some pretty nice shoot'n!

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gretaro View Post
Thursday 11nd August 2013

On the positive side. I am keeping my losses small and not overtrading.

I'm going out on a limb here, forgive me if I overstep the unwritten law of assuming. From what I see in your thread you've just finished day 5 and you're down $100.00. This is hard for me to say and I don't remember ever seeing it written on futures.io (formerly BMT) but I believe you're under-trading! I also think (again, I can't believe I'm writing this) you're keeping your losses to small! Why, would I say such a thing? Looking at the two trades mentioned above you took what appears to be two shots at '76 and closed out both trades within 28 seconds. These two long trades were initiated two ticks under the previous high ('72) and 4 ticks under the previous day's high ('74) and what I find most fascinating is you gave price absolutely no room at all to rotate around the previous day's high before closing out both of these trades, within 28 seconds. I'm not saying your method is right or wrong, if it works don't fix it, what I'm saying is, in the five trading days you've posted I don't see it working.


gretaro View Post
Friday 23rd August 2013

My trade in the 6E today was a long after the release of the new home sales number.

I could not trade in the morning but had a chance to be in front of the screen this afternoon. Had a long bias before the number was released but did not want to be in the market until after the number had come out.

I know there are limitations to when you can enter trades around news while in a Combine, I admit I don't know the details. But in today's market price waits for no man. There's a price traders pay for confirmation, that price is location. In this example you gave up your long bias when price was trading at '50 ish before the release and reinstated your bias 20 ticks higher, that is giving up location for confirmation. I believe you'll agree managing a long from '50 would have been much different than managing a long from '70. But rules are rules and I understand you have to play by them. But one more point I want to make here is, limiting risk isn't always or only about keeping losses small. You seem to be trading 1 lots, and my understanding is you can trade 5. With the opportunity given to you by TST I just don't understand why you continue to trade 1 lots, (I might be missing something here). As I said before you seem to cut losses extremely quick and short, too short IMO. I say that because I believe you are entering and exiting trades within normal price rotations and don't really give your trades "time to grow legs."

The other end of this topic is targets. You said, "Price broke and I was trying to manage the trade or rather my target. Got only 12 ticks out of the run since I was just to excited to manage the trade properly." This has me wondering if you actually had a target in mind before you entered the trade. 12 ticks is nothing to sneeze at, I say well done! This "trying to manage the trade or rather my target," has me wondering.



gretaro View Post
Thursday 11nd August 2013

I am trying to read the order flow but am really in the dark there especially with the number bars in Sierra. When I get better in reading the order flow I think it will help me.

It (manage the trade or rather my target) has me wondering if you are trying to read order flow and basing your exit decisions on what you're seeing. I'm NOT a fan of order flow (in the time frame you appear to be trading), but I wish you well in your attempt to implement it into your trading method. Order flow is a broad topic and can be sliced and diced from daily charts down to tick charts or even the DOM. As I posted, seeing you take two trades and closing them both out within 28 seconds tells me you are trading on the absolute hard right edge. In fact, so close to the edge you may find evidence of how hidden order types might distort many theories commonly touted by Order Flow Aficionados.

I hope to continue to converse, if you allow me.

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  #13 (permalink)
Gonnamakeit
Reykjavik, Iceland
 
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@Cashish thank you for your post. I am grateful that you give yourself time to read and comment on my journal.

I am also sorry. I know you did not say that I was rambling. It is just what I sometimes think of my posts as I read them through again.

My chart is a 2000 volume chart with vwap + 1 and 2 std lines. On the bottom are Cumulative delta bars. This is just one of the charts I look at when I trade. I also look at a 600 tick chart where I have my pivots and on the bottom is a MACD. I look at a 30 min volume profile chart, a TPO chart, and then I have a clean time based chart where I look at different time frames from 30-240 mins mostly to find support and resistance areas and also where I try to get a sense of the longer term direction of the market. I also look at the daily weekly and monthly chart. While I trade I mostly look at the 2000 vol and 600 tick. I glance at the others for context.

Then I am trying to use order flow to help with my entries and/or exits.

This is all a work in progress and hopefully something that I can make work.

My trade in the 6E last Friday was clearly not described well enough by me. You are right, after the number was released price shot up to .3376 and traded there 28 times (I think my TST feed showed 23 but that is irrelevant). Then price retraced and rotated between .3365 and .3375 for some time before moving higher. I entered with a limit order two times at .3370 while price where in this rotation and both times after I entered price came up to .3376 but did not trade there. I therefore bailed before taking heat on those trades.

One of the things I decided on before this Combine was to try to keep my losses small and not over trade. Two things I have had trouble with. With more screen time and experience I probably would have had the confidence to hold on and allow price time to work through the levels. I however agree with you that I am not giving price enough room and am trading somewhat to tight. I say this because at the same time I am trading this Combine account I am also trading my spot fx account (not sim) and am doing much better there (also day trading). There I just enter based on 30 or 60 min charts and just give it time to work out. But there I also trade so small that I can afford to take some heat. If I had enough money to trade that way and make it count I would - but I don't.

Regarding being in the market before the release I completely agree there. But TST does not recommend holding positions through the release of big numbers so I try not to.

Regarding targets. This I find difficult. For the trade Friday I had .3397 in mind as a target. I thought price should at least go there. I have however numerous times tried to hold for bigger targets only to find price come back and stop me out or if my stop is not at BE just turn a winner into a looser. I have been thinking about this a lot. Is it better to just aim lower or try to hold on for bigger targets? This goes also into if you should scale out of your trades. My stats show that for me all in all out is better. Also if you aim lower can you trade bigger if your entries are OK and you cut your losses quickly? If you are going to allow price time to rotate you have to accept a bigger risk unless you have your entries really well defined? So I am also here trying to figure out a way to best manage my exits. One way is to look at the order flow I think. I however have only just begun on that route and do not know exactly how it will work out but I believe that it should give a clue what is going to happen.

Regarding trading only 1 or 2 lots. I am trying to be smart. Not taking to much risk. I have however also thought about if that is the right thing to do.

As is evident, my method is really a work in progress. I think I am close to moving from loosing to BE/winning. We will see.

One thing about the time frame one trades in. I have been thinking about that also. Does it really matter unless you use the close of the bar as your decision point. If you trade of levels and use price targets or trailing stops or fixed stops then the time frame (whether it is time based or trade based) does not matter does it? I think that the time frame matters most before you are in the trade. After you are in the trade you are in the trade. I took f.ex. a long trade in ZB (sim) based on the fact there just had formed a pin bar (hammer) after price made a lower low for the day. I thought this is it. It will turn at least for a few ticks. It did not. Just went lower. I then thought. On a larger time frame this pin bar does not exist. Isn't price just continuous?

Again. Thanks @Cashish for taking the time. I really like your thread and am trying to learn from you there.

YES!

Last edited by gretaro; August 25th, 2013 at 08:09 PM.
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  #14 (permalink)
Gonnamakeit
Reykjavik, Iceland
 
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Monday 26th August 2013

Decided not to trade the 6E today because of the bank holiday in the Uk.

My trade today was a long in the ZB. After the durable goods order came out price shot up to 132 9/32. Then pulled back and consolidated around the vwap line after first testing 132 7/32. I thought that price would at least test the VAL-H again and took a long from 132 2/32. Price did not really move for an hour but I decided to stay in. I put my take profit order in @132 6/32. Finally price did move and went up to 132 7/32 and I was filled.

I traded a 2 lot so 8 ticks. Now I think I should of course have traded at least a 4 lot.

Good trade but in retrospect a better trade would propably be a short from the 132 7/32 area since we are testing the area where price broke out to the downside on 15th August. If price does not go through then tomorrow I might look to short....or not. A better area to be long however would have been the 131 22/32 area. But it is so easy to see things clearly in retrospect. With time I hope to see them as clearly in real time.

I need to pick up on my winnings since time is ticking away.

YES!
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gretaro's TopstepTrader Combine Journal-26-8-2013-15-20-00.jpg   gretaro's TopstepTrader Combine Journal-26-8-2013-15-23-32_euro.jpg   gretaro's TopstepTrader Combine Journal-26-8-2013-15-23-59_zb.jpg  

Last edited by gretaro; August 26th, 2013 at 12:25 PM.
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  #15 (permalink)
Gonnamakeit
Reykjavik, Iceland
 
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Thanks: 589 given, 101 received

Tuesday 27th August 2013

No trading today. Working.

Trading for me takes a lot of energy. Always when I am learning and trying to keep up it takes a lot of mental energy from me. So pauses are good. Concentrate on something else for a day or two and come back. During the pause my unconcious mind also has the opportunity to digest what has been going on. Like with music. I sometimes listen to a new album. Do not really like it and do not listen to it again for a few days. Then I listen to it again and it somehow it clicks. Maybe trading is like that in some way. One day it may just click.

Attached is the TST slip for my ZB trade yesterday.

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  #16 (permalink)
Elite Member
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gretaro View Post
@Cashish thank you for your post. I am grateful that you give yourself time to read and comment on my journal.

I am also sorry. I know you did not say that I was rambling. It is just what I sometimes think of my posts as I read them through again.

My chart is a 2000 volume chart with vwap + 1 and 2 std lines. On the bottom are Cumulative delta bars. This is just one of the charts I look at when I trade. I also look at a 600 tick chart where I have my pivots and on the bottom is a MACD. I look at a 30 min volume profile chart, a TPO chart, and then I have a clean time based chart where I look at different time frames from 30-240 mins mostly to find support and resistance areas and also where I try to get a sense of the longer term direction of the market. I also look at the daily weekly and monthly chart. While I trade I mostly look at the 2000 vol and 600 tick. I glance at the others for context.

Then I am trying to use order flow to help with my entries and/or exits.

This is all a work in progress and hopefully something that I can make work.

My trade in the 6E last Friday was clearly not described well enough by me. You are right, after the number was released price shot up to .3376 and traded there 28 times (I think my TST feed showed 23 but that is irrelevant). Then price retraced and rotated between .3365 and .3375 for some time before moving higher. I entered with a limit order two times at .3370 while price where in this rotation and both times after I entered price came up to .3376 but did not trade there. I therefore bailed before taking heat on those trades.

One of the things I decided on before this Combine was to try to keep my losses small and not over trade. Two things I have had trouble with. With more screen time and experience I probably would have had the confidence to hold on and allow price time to work through the levels. I however agree with you that I am not giving price enough room and am trading somewhat to tight. I say this because at the same time I am trading this Combine account I am also trading my spot fx account (not sim) and am doing much better there (also day trading). There I just enter based on 30 or 60 min charts and just give it time to work out. But there I also trade so small that I can afford to take some heat. If I had enough money to trade that way and make it count I would - but I don't.

Regarding being in the market before the release I completely agree there. But TST does not recommend holding positions through the release of big numbers so I try not to.

Regarding targets. This I find difficult. For the trade Friday I had .3397 in mind as a target. I thought price should at least go there. I have however numerous times tried to hold for bigger targets only to find price come back and stop me out or if my stop is not at BE just turn a winner into a looser. I have been thinking about this a lot. Is it better to just aim lower or try to hold on for bigger targets? This goes also into if you should scale out of your trades. My stats show that for me all in all out is better. Also if you aim lower can you trade bigger if your entries are OK and you cut your losses quickly? If you are going to allow price time to rotate you have to accept a bigger risk unless you have your entries really well defined? So I am also here trying to figure out a way to best manage my exits. One way is to look at the order flow I think. I however have only just begun on that route and do not know exactly how it will work out but I believe that it should give a clue what is going to happen.

Regarding trading only 1 or 2 lots. I am trying to be smart. Not taking to much risk. I have however also thought about if that is the right thing to do.

As is evident, my method is really a work in progress. I think I am close to moving from loosing to BE/winning. We will see.

One thing about the time frame one trades in. I have been thinking about that also. Does it really matter unless you use the close of the bar as your decision point. If you trade of levels and use price targets or trailing stops or fixed stops then the time frame (whether it is time based or trade based) does not matter does it? I think that the time frame matters most before you are in the trade. After you are in the trade you are in the trade. I took f.ex. a long trade in ZB (sim) based on the fact there just had formed a pin bar (hammer) after price made a lower low for the day. I thought this is it. It will turn at least for a few ticks. It did not. Just went lower. I then thought. On a larger time frame this pin bar does not exist. Isn't price just continuous?

Again. Thanks @Cashish for taking the time. I really like your thread and am trying to learn from you there.


That is a great post, thanks for all the detail. Proceed with caution.

  • a 2000 volume chart
    with vwap + 1 and 2 std lines
    Cumulative delta bars
    a 600 tick chart where I have my pivots
    a MACD
    a 30 min volume profile chart
    a TPO chart,
    a clean time based chart
    different time frames from 30-240 mins
    support and resistance areas

    I also look at the daily weekly and monthly chart.

    mostly look at the 2000 vol and 600 tick

    I am trying to use order flow to help with my entries and/or exits
    And you're trading another account!!


Have you ever heard the expression, K.I.S.S.? Keep it simple silly I know you said this is a work in progress, I'll give you that, but "A man needs to know his limitation." No human mind can process even half of that stuff, especially when just starting to learn it. What's you're hurry, the market will be there tomorrow, next week, next month and hopefully next year. They use to say, "the trading bus leaves everyday at 7:20," not so much anymore but you get the idea.

".... keep my losses small and not over trade. Two things I have had trouble with." How many indicators do you need to work on that? None.



gretaro View Post
I have however numerous times tried to hold for bigger targets only to find price come back and stop me out or if my stop is not at BE just turn a winner into a looser. I have been thinking about this a lot. Is it better to just aim lower or try to hold on for bigger targets? This goes also into if you should scale out of your trades. My stats show that for me all in all out is better. Also if you aim lower can you trade bigger if your entries are OK and you cut your losses quickly? If you are going to allow price time to rotate you have to accept a bigger risk unless you have your entries really well defined? So I am also here trying to figure out a way to best manage my exits.

This tells me it IS a work in progress, you have a lot of sorting out to do. You're driving down the road at full throttle with no steering wheel! I'm glad you're working with TST,,, that's smart.

I really like your question about time, I think you're halfway there. Those are good questions, the answers you come up with will fill in the blanks to your comments above, it all fits together on an individual level. Support and resistance is basically where buyers stop buying or sellers stop selling, no indicator is going to tell you that, they'll tell you where it happened in the past,,, but not this time. The market is constantly changing, players come and go throughout the day, some leave happy and some NEVER return! To quote Peter Steidlmayer, "Nobody's any good at it!" So why not you? I know you're not asking, but I'll make a couple suggestions. Lighten your load, step away from most of that stuff, leave some of it on your charts but DON'T try to generate trade signals from them. Just watch, and notice how price responds to the studies you have on your chart. Focus your energy on ".... keep my losses small and not over trade. Two things I have had trouble with." This will pay huge dividends, much more than everything else on your chart. About time frame, keep it simple, use a time based chart like 99.9% of the rest of the world. As you said, we're trading support and resistance, that's ALWAYS going to show up on ANY chart. I say a time based chart because it gives you time to enter and exit the orders. I'd suggest studying price rotations and going for twenty tick moves with eight or ten tick stops. WHY? Because you will learn how to execute trades off S&R levels "on the fly" with a predefined target and stop. Believe me STILL this week I've "clicked" buy instead of sell! The "problem" usually is what do you do then, dump it and take a quick loss, (I hope you said YES) or do you go 360 degrees and try to manage a "mistake?" One last thing, waiting, everyone seems to want action,,,, but when they get it, they throw all caution to the wind and FORGET the most basic stuff, Risk, execution, their analysis and common sense. This is real, the risk is real, take your time to find your FIT in the market. Learn Who you are as a trader, it's about money and it's NOT about money. If you cannot ".... keep my losses small and not over trade," you ain't gonna make it.

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  #17 (permalink)
Gonnamakeit
Reykjavik, Iceland
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: SierraChart, cTrader
Broker/Data: FXCM, IC Markets
Favorite Futures: EUR, AUD, S&P, Bund, Oil, Gold
 
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Posts: 85 since Apr 2012
Thanks: 589 given, 101 received

@Cashish.

I have been thinking a lot about your post. Is it so obvious that I am in a hurry trying to break through ?

I am going to take your advice. Loosen up and keep it simple (at least simpler). I have no idea how half of those things I am looking at currently on my charts can help me in my trading anyway – so why not concentrate on the things I think I understand. I wrote on 27th August that trading for me took a lot of energy. I know why. I am trying too hard. I should try less. Focus on fewer things.

I have been thinking that I should just trade 1 car and target as you say around 20 ticks. That would allow me to relax and it would require that I pick good locations so that I could in reality expect a 20 tick move in my direction. It would also require patience, waiting for price to come to me and then, after I enter, waiting for the move to materialize. I do not know however if that is the best thing to do in this Combine; some variation. That would be an ideal way to begin trading real money though.

I am going to throw out tick and volume charts and just use time based charts. I always look at 30min volume profile and then 60-240min charts for general bias anyway so why not have the smaller time frame also a time based chart. I am putting the cumulative delta, macd and vwap to the side as well. I am going to draw lines and mark important (in my opinion) levels on my chart – but that will be it. Should be a lot simpler.

I would like to thank you for your feedback. I appreciate it. You really got my thinking about my trading. This weekend I have been going over how I do things and how I should do things. The Combine continues for me tomorrow. I want to pass – but I am trying to be cool about it.

YES!
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  #18 (permalink)
Gonnamakeit
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Tuesday 3rd September 2013

This is what happened today:

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Am looking into how to make the images bigger.

YES!
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gretaro View Post
Am looking into how to make the images bigger.

Inline embedded images are sized to a preset default of about 640px. You simply click them to zoom in further.

Mike

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Gonnamakeit
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Monday 9th September 2013

My fiance and I just had our second baby last Wednesday so I have not been trading or looking at the markets since last Tuesday.

Had two hours today so I decided to open my platform and look at 6E. Probably not a good idea since I had not done any homework and came into the session around the US open (which is late). I had in my mind the action from last Tuesday and was thinking short.

I took two trades (basically the same trade. Just two attempts to enter) and was wrong. That's how it is. I was trying to fade the market at the .3220 level. I thought that since there were no important news coming out and the market had rallied up to potential resistance and the market had been making lower lows and lower highs on the 60min we would see a pullback from that level. Well it did not happen. Was it because Kerry, Russia and the UN decided that it might prevent strikes on Syria if they would agree to hand over their chemical weapons? Maybe but it does not really matter. The move is over. Surprise but my stop took care of a major loss.

In all not unhappy with my trade.

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