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gretaro's TopstepTrader Combine Journal


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gretaro's TopstepTrader Combine Journal

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  #21 (permalink)
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  #22 (permalink)
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gretaro View Post
Monday 9th September 2013

My fiance and I just had our second baby .......


Congratulations on the new arrival,, since I have to ask, did you guys have a boy or a girl? Girls have always dominated my house, so much so I've been eating off "Barbie and Cinderella" dishes for more than 30 years! My dreams of eating my lunch off a plastic Batman, Superman or Incredible Hulk plate are fading fast, but life goes on.

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  #23 (permalink)
Reykjavik, Iceland
 
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Cashish View Post
Congratulations on the new arrival,, since I have to ask, did you guys have a boy or a girl? Girls have always dominated my house, so much so I've been eating off "Barbie and Cinderella" dishes for more than 30 years! My dreams of eating my lunch off a plastic Batman, Superman or Incredible Hulk plate are fading fast, but life goes on.

Thanks @Cashish. We had a girl. Had a girl before so I guess the girls will dominate my house also. A friend of mine gave me the advice to clean up my garage because soon I would have to walk out there to have my morning piss

I just hope they will take care of their old man when I have gone all elderly on them.

YES!
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  #24 (permalink)
Reykjavik, Iceland
 
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Monday 16th September 2013

Finally found time to trade this morning.

I am trying to make things simpler as @Cashish suggested. I like how that feels. Not as exhausting.

This weekend I was thinking about market rotation and how you might be going up on one time frame but simultaniously down on another. So if I was getting my bias from the 25 or 60 min charts and looking at the 5 min for entries or just looking at some levels why not scale into the trades even if they go against me instead of always get out right away. If the momentum is still up f.ex. on the 60 min I am actually getting better price on the 5 min.

The way I trade (getting out very quickly) is like I would always fold in poker if I did not get the winning hand after the flop. Still thinking about it because I realize this is a double edged sword.

My trading today was OK. Should have traded more size but.....








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  #25 (permalink)
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Thursday 19.9.2013

Traded so badly today. I thought I had a plan in place. Ended up doing something completely different.

I think I know the reason. I have been thinking about adding to positions and not using so tight stop loss but instead risk a given amount on any trade. So f.ex. if my bias is to the short side and I take a short I can risk $500 on that idea. Meaning if the trade moves against me I can add to my position to bring the average near where price is in the hope that my bias is right and the trade moves in my direction.

I have also been looking at ways to trade price action and using tighter stop loss.

Coming into today those ideas were in conflict in my head giving me all kind of reasons to enter or not enter the market.

We had this huge up move yesterday. So I thought coming into today that we could drift lower. After making HOD @.3572 we started to drift lower. Old habits kicked in. I was afraid to take the short after price rallied again and failed (this was my set up and entry signal but did not take it). So of course I decided to short it @.3555 right were I should be taking profits on some of my position. Market rallied to .3565 and I bailed.

I did the same thing again. Instead of taking my entry after a failed rally I entered late @.3554. Took 6 ticks of heat and exited @.3547 for total 14 ticks.

I was still biased to the downside. Took a short @.3547. Decided to hold through the US numbers @12.30 since the market had been drifting lower and I thought that this would mean that the numbers were positive for the US and we would see lower prices (always someone front running). Put in my limit to take profit @.3527. Market went down to .3531 so I was not filled. I exited for a 2 tick profit. Feeling frustrated that I was to greedy with my target I entered short right away again and this time decided to give the market room to go lower. Of course it did not. So I bailed for a total 36 tick loss.

So total -38 ticks today plus $50 in commissions or -$525.

I am really frustrated with myself. I both over traded and took to large losses. Worst of all my head was not ready.

The combine is not over though. I will have to step it up. Increase my position size and trade like I know I can in order to make it.

(edit: Nice to see that my bias is being proven right. Makes me feel awful about my inability to execute and take advantage of my reading).

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  #26 (permalink)
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This post is in reference to your last post, instead of quoting you I'll just pick it apart from here! Forget about "winning" the Combine!! I believe I've heard Nebraska say the average "win" comes on the sixth attempt, not sure how many Combines you've done but I believe that statistic should bring many trader's heads back to the harsh reality that passing a Combine, ain't that easy. I believe to many traders set out with the intention to "win" a Combine for a variety of reasons, when in fact, winning/passing a Combine is the direct after-effect of good trading. That is, trading a system or method that has been proven to be profitable over time, with the patience and discipline needed to survive the inevitable psychological issues that always seem to raise their ugly heads.

What's your method? IMO, your best trade was the "Out to Lunch" trade you took the other day. Never saw you do that before. Trades like that can give us a temporary ego boost and if we let it, do more harm than good. The flag I saw waving came in the next post in this statement, "Nice to see that my bias is being proven right." Yes, you were right in your out to lunch trade and you did catch a nice run, but my question is, where did it come from? Seems like what I thought your style was, (sitting on the edge of your seat, and closing out trades quickly) totally changed. All of a sudden a 16 tick stop was OK, so ok in fact, you were comfortable enough with it to leave for lunch. Makes me wonder if you're not really a Swing Trader deep inside. One trade does NOT a trader make! (does that make sense?) Trying to be right, just plain doesn't work. What you were doing does, keeping loses small. Our FIRST order of business is to always protect our capital, control risk. Letting winning trades run will come later, so will adding size. Adding size for the sole purpose of trying to pass the Combine is IMO risky business. The point I'm trying to make here is you are still, all over the map! No problem, as long as you control your risk and protect your trading capital. We all have to find our own path, a style or method that fits our individual personality. I don't think you, me or anyone else can do that during a 20 day Combine. We have to bring it TO the Combine, AFTER we've found it.

Have I gotten your attention, then stop being so hard on yourself. I know how hard it is to trade from home with a wife talking in one ear and children talking in the other and a baby rightfully demanding the undivided focus of the whole family. Maybe expanding your time frame is exactly what you need, only you can decide what fits you best. I believe our trading evolves as our situations evolve, in that process we may emerge with a couple or a few methods or set-ups we can consistently trade. But this again takes time.


Trading ain't about being right, it's about probabilities. One thing I've noticed about several of your trades is the location around whole numbers. I invite you to do a little research on the "go no-where" price rotation around whole numbers, (00's and 50's). I'm posting a 15m chart of this week, I've high-lighted several areas that are basically 16 ticks above and 16 ticks below whole numbers. The theory is, price is usually very comfortable rotating within this rage around whole numbers. 16 above and 16 below equates to a 32 tick range, (compare this to the daily ranges). There are usually plenty of trading opportunities for day traders within these ranges, BUT entering positions at or near whole numbers can often lead to getting stopped out again and again IF our stop is also within this area of "normal" rotation. News is a market mover and very often the mighty Euro just bides its time rotating and WAITING for the next press release. What's next, IMO it's the election in Germany, the market likes UNcertainty about as much as we do! Lets see which whole number has the strongest gravitational pull on price from this level (1.3526) going into today's close (Friday) 1.3500 or 1.3550.

I'm your Huckleberry I'll say '50.




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  #27 (permalink)
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Thanks @Cashish for your input as always I appreciate it.

Before I started this Combine I thought exactly that passing the Combine should come as a result of me becoming a better trader not as a result I took careless risk or some other thing. That is also why I have just traded 1 and 2 contracts. I want to use the Combine's structured environment to train myself so that I can trade my own account with 1 and 2 lots. But back in my head there is this thought that of course it would be very nice to pass the Combine and get a bigger account to trade. And also I am used to passing tests in school and/or solving issues I need to solve so I think that also plays a role here. This is my 5th Combine. I have to accept that not passing it could actually be a good thing if it brings me closer to good trading.

What's my method? Crucial question and one that I have a hard time answering since, as you said, I am all over the map. I am looking at to many things at once trying to put them into a method for me to follow. But I believe that is part of the process. Try many things and figure out what suits you. You have to be curious and willing to try new things. If I am not careful this could however lead to many wasted hours, days, months. So I think this personality trait is both good and bad. Now I think the time has come to just pick one, stick to it and see how it goes. I think many of the things I have been looking at will help my add context but the way I am going to trade it will be based on some price action method.

I am doing the research on round numbers and other things. Used my free time this weekend and started up excel and begun some statistical testing. Very basic since my excel skills are very elementary. I however enjoy it.

My trading today was OK. Took one bad trade for a loss of 8 ticks on 2 contracts. Total -16 ticks. One winning trade that lasted 2 hours but since I had not defined my exit or rather was holding for to large of a gain I gave a lot back and instead of making up my loss plus 12 ticks I was still down 8 ticks after I closed it out. Both those trades were longs with 2 cars. Last trade of the day was short of rejection of the daily pivot. Did not have any dreams of large gains and exited for 6 ticks on 2 cars. Ended the day up 4 ticks - $30 in commissions. Total $20.

I have stopped thinking about passing the Combine. Now it is time to trade to win. Tight stops and more realistic targets. Then just let see what happens.



As easy as it is to see in retrospect it is so much harder in real time.

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  #28 (permalink)
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gretaro - Nice work on the journal. I have learned myself it's not always easy to be out front and center.

IMO the combine is a very expensive way to test out a bunch of different ideas at the same time. You can find much, much cheaper simulation platforms that will accomplish the same thing. You might reply - yeah, but I want a funded account - but even if you happen to randomly pass the combine, could you replicate that in a live account when the last combine was a mess of different things?

Please do not take this as an attack, I just wanted to present another view to how and when a combine should be used IMO. I view combines as a way to trade a developed trading method in real-time w/ real-time stresses, not a time to see what sticks to the wall that day.

And if the combine costs don't bother you, then have it. But if the combine costs are starting to add up, look at different brokers as many offer free/discounted simulation platforms.

Good luck!

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  #29 (permalink)
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@trader000 thanks for your comment. I do not take advice as an attack

I agree that if I am still all over the map after 4 Combines then the Combine is maybe not the best way. However every experienced trader here seems to say that trading on SIM is a waste of time since you cannot replicate the stress that comes from dollars on the line. I was thinking that the Combine was at least not as expensive way to practice as live (even on the M6E) and with some dollars on the line plus the stress that comes from wanting the live account. I had however decided that this would be my last Combine until I have some real consistent method to try out. F.ex. keeping statistics on the way I am trading right now is meaningless since there is no consistency.

Today I took 3 trades. One short for 4 ticks on 2 cars. One long for a scratch and one long looser for 15 ticks on 2 cars. The second long trade was a psychological error. I was looking at the 30 min volume profile chart and saw that price had moved out of value and below yesterdays value. Price poked lower to @3477 (the weekly pivot) and was rejected. I thought that we should see rotation back into value and test at least the 3500 area. On the 5 min we were still making lower lows and had not broken above the recent high (which I wanted to see before going long). Then the 30 min bar after the 77 test closed inside and I decided to go long on the break higher of that bar. I saw all kinds of reasons to bail but just did not do it. Moved my stop below 77 since I thought it did not make sense to be stopped out inside the range between 3477 and 3492. Price broke lower and found support on S1 but I was of course stopped out.

I knew that I should wait for price to break higher above 3493 before going long but I just could not wait so I found a reason to go long by looking at another chart. Maybe I should just look at one chart. Don't think about today's value and yesterdays value and just trade what I see on this one chart. Maybe you just have to have more experience to look at more things at once and interpret them. KISS KISS.


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  #30 (permalink)
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@gretaro How's the little one,,,,, and Momma? What's her name (the little one)? And the "other" (little one)? Hope all is well in your Love Nest

Would you be up to posting an update on how many days you have left in the Combine and where you stand at the moment in regards to the "Rules" for a roll over?

Thanks

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