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gretaro's TopstepTrader Combine Journal

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  #1 (permalink)
 gretaro 
Reykjavik, Iceland
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: SierraChart, cTrader
Broker: FXCM, IC Markets
Trading: EUR, AUD, S&P, Bund, Oil, Gold
 
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Posts: 85 since Apr 2012
Thanks: 589 given, 101 received

I am starting this thread in the hope that I will receive a 70% discount of my next combine with TST.

Only the first 20 who start a thread and register for a Combine will receive this deal.

If I am not one of the first 20 I will journal my combine in my journal thread "Positive Balance".

BR,
gretaro

(edit: I was accepted. So here we go.)

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  #3 (permalink)
 gretaro 
Reykjavik, Iceland
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: SierraChart, cTrader
Broker: FXCM, IC Markets
Trading: EUR, AUD, S&P, Bund, Oil, Gold
 
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Posts: 85 since Apr 2012
Thanks: 589 given, 101 received


Wednesday 14th August 2013.

First day of Combine (20 day 50k).

Open mixed. Opening range was from .3257 – .3280. The failed move was lower so we could see upward movement today. Numbers out from France, Germany and the Eurozone (GDP) and later from US (but then I will be finished). The opening range is 23 ticks quarter of the ADR (80-100 ticks I think. I have to do some research on that). Could mean that we will have a Neutral Day with range extension in both directions. The trend on the 60min is down though and the first hour was mixed. Not a strong close in either direction. The daily has broken through the upward channel from the 11th June. Higher probability trade is down? (edit: Since the opening range was so small this could have been a trend day)

If we extend up I would like to be a seller when we test Y-VAL-H @.3288-3290. But as I said if price is going there why not try to tag along. If we extend down then .3236 Y-VAL-L could be the turning point. Of course any news could f... that up.

For me to pass the Combine I have to average $175 net. How am I going to allow that to affect my trading? I could trade smaller. I could target 14 ticks. I could stop after I reach a number that is above 14 ticks. What I am going to do is just take my trades, try to manage them properly and If after the trade I am above 20 ticks for the day I will stop. I will always stop for the day after the third looser.

Price broker below LOD. I wanted to sell the test of the breakout but hesitated and did not want to chase. One of the hardest things I do is just follow price. I am always looking for it to turn around. Just follow it.

Went short after the break of resistance @3244. Then price seemed to find some support @3240 and came back up. I bailed at even since I thought I was chasing . I wanted to see some movement. Will wait for a better entry.

Well did not wait that long. Went short again @.3246 on a test of vwap‘s first std line. Was to close to support @3245. Bailed @3251.

Two trades. Both losers. First entry ok. Test after breakout. I was looking for test of 1.3236. Second entry was not good. Entries do not matter! They do if you are leveraged. Then entries are crucial.

Price stopped @3240. Have we seen the extension to the downside? Will we next test higher?

We had a VPOC shift lower. Market is accepting lower prices. Does that mean continuation lower or?

I was called away to do other things. Market moved higher after consolidating around .3250 until the US PPI came out weaker. Then it broke out to the upside. Could see range extension to the upside now.

Anyway. I am done for the day.

2 trades. -10 ticks + $20 in commissions. Net $-145 (+ 4 hours of my life).

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 gretaro 
Reykjavik, Iceland
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: SierraChart, cTrader
Broker: FXCM, IC Markets
Trading: EUR, AUD, S&P, Bund, Oil, Gold
 
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Posts: 85 since Apr 2012
Thanks: 589 given, 101 received

Thursday 15th August 2013

Gap up at the open. Tested lower and found support at Y-HOD @.3280. Tested higher and found resistance @.3300. Broke trend line on 60 min chart to the upside but on the daily there is lot of resistance around the 3300 area. Cumulative delta is going negative so there are sellers stepping in. Going lower. Should be a seller if we break through 3280. We could test Y-VAL-H @3270.

There are bank holidays in some places in EU today so we could also just range until the news from US later today.

Maybe we need to test .3300 again before going lower to .3270. I would be a seller if we test .3300 again.

Price went up to test .3300. I got short to soon @.3293 afraid to miss the move down. I took some heat on the trade since price went higher. I decided to hold on since the .3300 area was not broken. I scaled out @.3289 and am holding the second lot.

This is the dilemma. Should I take profit now on second or hold it hoping for a test lower. Price seems to be finding support around .3285. The delta keeps going down but price holds. Preparing for a move higher? Certain 6 ticks or uncertain 20 ticks?

Is holding for a move to .3270 unreasonable? Am I making a rookie mistake? One thing is for sure. I will never have big wins (in ticks per contract) other than by allowing price time to move. Another way to trade though is to trade bigger and hold for smaller targets. Is one better than the other?

Price just does not want to go lower. Maybe we will have no movement until Mr. Bull… speaks. I am afraid that my entry is not that far away that I can hold into the news. My feeling is that the market is heavy. I am at least not a buyer…yet. So I will hold on.

This trade is testing my patience. I want to take the money and run.

Why did I scale out at 4 ticks? I could have gotten 9-10 ticks on both lots and be up 20 ticks. Instead I have booked 4 ticks and am holding on for dear life in the hope to get a 20 tick move on the second lot. That would mean I was up 24 ticks! All this agony for nearly the same result. Does not really make sense does it? So maybe a better way to trade is just to go all in all out and have smaller targets.

I had moved my stop to BE. I did not want to turn this trade into a looser. Stopped out. Well this is how it is. Could have traded this better. Should have waited for price to get closer to .3300 before entering. Not scale out at 4 ticks. And maybe not hold in the hope it will go somewhere. If it is not going just get out.

One trade today. + 4 ticks -$10 in commissions. +$40 net.

(edit: How fun life is. Pirce just collapsed after the US woke up. What can you do! )

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 gretaro 
Reykjavik, Iceland
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: SierraChart, cTrader
Broker: FXCM, IC Markets
Trading: EUR, AUD, S&P, Bund, Oil, Gold
 
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Posts: 85 since Apr 2012
Thanks: 589 given, 101 received

Monday 19th August 2013

(No trades last Friday.)

The opening range is just 13 ticks. When we break that range we could see some extension.

Just broke to the upside but there seems to be limited interest among buyers in .3339 area. I wanted to buy the break out of the opening range but there is resistance overhead with Friday’s VPOC around .3343 (also a high volume area). The buyers are a little more aggressive though. Delta is positive. Maybe the sellers are just luring them in and will pound them around 3340-3345.

We do not seem to be able to get above 3340. POC from Friday is @3342-3344. This is the accumulation area from last Friday and the Friday before. I almost want to sell it. But buyers are still in control.

We just blasted through 3340. I wanted to buy the breakout but was afraid. Had a limit at .3333 but pulled it. Price hit .3332 and then just went higher. Here my inexperience shows.

Sellers have now stepped in. Delta is negative. My trade now is a short if we test 3370-3380 again.

I have to admit that it is a little frustrating sitting here. Having watched price break out of the opening range and extend upwards when I had the idea to buy the break out. Well I can think all I want but I have to act also.

When looking at the weekly and daily chart I think the euro is going higher. Price seems to be consolidating between .3200 -.3400. I think we will break 3400 and test .3600.

Now we have drifted back to .3350. I would like to see buyers step back in here since this is the high volume area from last two Friday’s. The poor bastards that where long (me ) a Friday over a week ago could get out at BE last Friday. Now we went higher and so is anyone left here to defend this area? We are at least seeing temporary support here. But no real effort from the buyers. Buyers have absorbed a lot of sell market orders here. Could move higher. Good risk reward trade? Poke below 3350 which is quickly rejected is a good sign to get long.

This is amazing. I got the set up but did not take it. WTF.

Well time to call it a day. The time I have allocated to trading is up. Opportunity loss today. Had at least one very good trade but did not take it. Well no losses either so….learning experience.

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 gretaro 
Reykjavik, Iceland
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: SierraChart, cTrader
Broker: FXCM, IC Markets
Trading: EUR, AUD, S&P, Bund, Oil, Gold
 
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Posts: 85 since Apr 2012
Thanks: 589 given, 101 received

Tuesday 20th August 2013

No trading today.

Working for the Man.

There is no hurry. 60 days to trade 20. I know I should not trade when I am not fully concentrated or when I need to do other things. It disturbs me. I have to be able to be in the moment. Feeling good and relaxed.

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 gretaro 
Reykjavik, Iceland
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: SierraChart, cTrader
Broker: FXCM, IC Markets
Trading: EUR, AUD, S&P, Bund, Oil, Gold
 
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Posts: 85 since Apr 2012
Thanks: 589 given, 101 received

Wednesday 21st August 2013

Gap down from yesterday’s close. First hour was negative. Market went straight down from the open. Found support @.3390. Opening range 27 ticks. Believe we could see movement between .3386 (maybe test .3380) and .3420 (maybe test Y-VPOC @.3430) until the US numbers and FOMC report.

I was a little trigger happy and went long @.3393. I should have waited for the test of VAL-L but did not. I took 5 ticks of heat and then got 5 ticks of MFE. I decided to scratch the trade when it came back down. Did not want to hold on and turn it into a looser. Price is in a range and I think I should wait until I see which direction it is going to take. I feel some pressure to start taking trades. I should not. Just wait.

Based on the open direction could be to the downside.

It seems that buyers have entered the market. Pushed out of the range put still below open. Sellers just pushed the market back into the value area. Waiting.

My second trade today was a long from .3398. I am trying to read the order flow (really not any good at it). I saw price go up to .3399 but nobody bought it. Price kept coming back to .3399 and I decided that if buyers stepped in and began buying .3399 I would join and hopefully catch a break out to the upside. Around 130 lot hit the offer @3399. Put in a limit. Got filled @3398 but price did not go any further (3 ticks MFE). I bailed when I saw around 113 contracts hit into the bid @.3397. Out @3396. This was a silly trade to make. Not of a level just trying to read the order flow.

My time is up today. Off to a really slow start. I somehow find it difficult to execute well. I am thinking it but not acting or acting late.

Net results today. -4 ticks + $15 in commissions. Total - $65.

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 gretaro 
Reykjavik, Iceland
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: SierraChart, cTrader
Broker: FXCM, IC Markets
Trading: EUR, AUD, S&P, Bund, Oil, Gold
 
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Posts: 85 since Apr 2012
Thanks: 589 given, 101 received

Thursday 11nd August 2013

First trade today was a long from .3312. My TPO composite chart from 25th July shows a ledge @.3311 and after price found support there for a moment I decided to go long. When no buying continued I decided to bail. -5 ticks. Not unreasonable but based on the hourly and the fact that the market keeps going down after better than expected numbers from Germany I should have waited longer or really just go short. The market then turned after hitting .3300.

This is my problem. I am always trying to catch the reversals. I am going to add a rule to my trading to help me wait and not just jump in front of the train. 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.

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

-5 ticks today + $5 in commissions. Net - $67.5.

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 Cashish 
Miami FL USA
 
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Thanks for posting the chart @gretaro but what exactly is it. No need to respond to this post specifically but maybe in a future post you could offer more detail. Congratulations on starting the thread here at futures.io (formerly BMT) and good luck in your Combine.


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 gretaro 
Reykjavik, Iceland
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: SierraChart, cTrader
Broker: FXCM, IC Markets
Trading: EUR, AUD, S&P, Bund, Oil, Gold
 
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Posts: 85 since Apr 2012
Thanks: 589 given, 101 received


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

In all the posts above I am referring to the 6E. I had promised myself to trade only the 6E during this Combine but I am tempted to add ZB so that when I do not have time to trade 6E in the mornings I can maybe trade the ZB when the US opens.

Since I am working I am not always in control of my time. This is why I want to trade full time. Be in control of my time and making lots of money of course.

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 gretaro 
Reykjavik, Iceland
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: SierraChart, cTrader
Broker: FXCM, IC Markets
Trading: EUR, AUD, S&P, Bund, Oil, Gold
 
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Posts: 85 since Apr 2012
Thanks: 589 given, 101 received

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

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 Cashish 
Miami FL USA
 
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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!




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!








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)
 gretaro 
Reykjavik, Iceland
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: SierraChart, cTrader
Broker: FXCM, IC Markets
Trading: EUR, AUD, S&P, Bund, Oil, Gold
 
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Posts: 85 since Apr 2012
Thanks: 589 given, 101 received

@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.

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 gretaro 
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.

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 gretaro 
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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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 Cashish 
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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.


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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 gretaro 
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@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.

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 gretaro 
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Tuesday 3rd September 2013

This is what happened today:







Am looking into how to make the images bigger.

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 Big Mike 
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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.

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 gretaro 
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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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Congratulations on the new addition to the family!

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 Cashish 
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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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 gretaro 
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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.

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 gretaro 
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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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 gretaro 
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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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 Cashish 
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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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 gretaro 
Reykjavik, Iceland
 
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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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trader000
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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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 gretaro 
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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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 Cashish 
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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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 gretaro 
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@Cashish everyone is fine thanks. Una Bryndis (the older one) is going through all the feelings of having to share her home (mom and dad) with this new individual. The newborn (has not been christened yet - sorry you will not be the first to know her name ) is doing good. Basic stuff going on there; food and sleep and ...

This is how my Combine stands.





8 days left. I have decided to take a break from trading the Combine for the remainder of this week. Just relax and take of the pressure. Accept the fact that at this time it does not matter to pass. I will then finish trading next week and the week thereafter since I have to complete it before October 11.

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 gretaro 
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Monday 30th September 2013

Just did one trade today.

Woke up early to catch the 2 a.m. a la @Cashish.

Saw we were around the 3500 level so I decided to try to catch .3485 as my entry. I then noticed the time and sales window flash green and thought that maybe we would not get any lower (price was trading @1.3488 at the time) so I lifted my limit buy order and got filled @1.3490. When I saw prices stall just before hitting the vwap I lowered my take profit order and got filled @1.3496 for 6 ticks on 2 cars for a total of 12 ticks. I decided to think a little in this trade but not too much

After this my daughter woke up so I had to get her some breakfast and get her ready for kindergarten. Missed other opportunities that followed. Not that I would have taken those trades since I had not planned for them.

This is the first day since beginning this Combine that I come into the day heaving decided (in general what to do). That is amazing but true. Up until today I have been more or less swinging it. Not to bad results but not good either. Now I want to know what I can do if I plan ahead.

Today I was going to take the 2 a.m. trade and then look for trades around the pivot or the S1/R1 levels. I also had decided to stop trading around 6 a.m. (10 a.m. my time) since then the market often gets range bound up until 8 a.m. when the US wakes up.

I took the 2 a.m. trade and the market never trader around the pivots during this time so no other trades today.

Had a plan and followed it. No shooting from the hip. Good day.

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 gretaro 
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Tuesday 1st October 2013

When I came to the screen this morning I saw that price had moved quite a lot higher during the Asian session. Despite that and the news out of the US regarding failure to pass the fiscal bill I decided to wait for the 2 a.m. trade and take it.

The +2nd std was at 1.3557. Then we had R1 at 1.3563. I decided to scale in to the trade. Put my limit orders at those 2 levels. Got filled for an average price of 1.3560. Had my stop at 1.3580. Was stopped out a few minutes later when price exploded to the upside.

Well win some loose some.

After this explosive move up I did not really want to take a short again (since I have decided to try to trade with the trend in general). Price has been drifting down and I have not seen any real place to get long again so I have stood aside. Now the time is 6 a.m. (10 a.m. my time) so no more trading for me today.

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 gretaro 
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Wednesday 2nd October 2013

No 2 a.m. trade today. Price never gave the opportunity.

My first trade was a short @3533 after price had been rejected twice near @3540. My target was 3528 just above the break-out from the opening range. Then price stalled at the moving average and gave what you might call a second entry. So I reversed. Also I was thinking that we had already tested lower and been rejected and now we were trading inside yesterday's and Mondays value area and price seemed to be accepted there. I thought that price would test the pivot and/or the 3550-3555 area (3555 being the 50% line from yesterdays range). I wanted to exit a few times but did not and also decided not to take premature profit. Then price spiked lower (just one tick from my stop) on some news event (probably my dear friend Berlusconi) and spiked up again. I decided to exit the trade for a 2 tick profit and reevaluate. Then time was 6 a.m. (10 a.m. my time) and time to quit.

Not all bad but could have been better. I am trying to get my head around price rotation. One solution I think could help is look at higher time frame charts for entries/exits along with my predefined levels and then execute of a lower time frame like a 1 minute chart. So just parking the 5 min aside. Also my look into second entries seems to lead to the conclusion that they give you late signals and sometimes no signals unless the market is trending well. When it is just rotating I don't know. Will keep looking.


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norwest6
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How do you get 70% discount? I don't mind posting my results daily. Thanks.

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 gretaro 
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How do you get 70% discount? I don't mind posting my results daily. Thanks.

It was an offer TST had. I received an email from them probably because I had already done a few Combines. Do not know if it is still going on.

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norwest6
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Okay, thanks.

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 gretaro 
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Thursday 3rd October 2013

No 2 a.m. trade.

My one trade was a short from 1.3616 after price tested the overnight highs between 1.3620-1.3626 and failed. Entered 1 car and added to the trade @1.3610 when price tested after falling through and failed. My target was 1.3600. I decided to scale one out @1.3606 since price seemed to be bouncing of the vwap line. I had my second take profit at 1.3601 but lifted it to 1.3602 because you could see the buyers add to their bids at 1.3601. Did not want to be a dick for a tick if price took of from here. Since we were near a round number and the low of the value area. Maybe should have hold for a test of yesterdays VPOC at 1.3586 since according to @Cashish price often rotates around 14-16 ticks around whole numbers.

Total 18 ticks. I think this was a good trade. Happy with the execution.


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 Cashish 
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Thursday 3rd October 2013

No 2 a.m. trade.

My one trade was a short from 1.3616 after price tested the overnight highs between 1.3620-1.3626 and failed.

Total 18 ticks. I think this was a good trade. Happy with the execution.


Good? I think it was a great trade, and I'll tell you why. We all know the old saying, "You're only as good as your last trade." IMO, what makes this a great trade is the fact you sat on your hands and did nothing as the 2am trade failed to materialize. Practicing patience and waiting for trades to reveal themselves is what winners do! You deserve a pat on the back for not forcing the issue and trying to make something happen between 2 and 3am when there was nothing there, well done. Getting trigger happy often leads to poor trading, even if, I close out a poor trade for a small loss, that small loss eats away at the profit potential on the inevitable good trade that's bound to appear.

Well done @gretaro and well played, very nice.

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 gretaro 
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Thanks @Cashish. I had not thought of it this way but you are right. The good thing with the 2 a.m. trade is I know (almost anyway) what I am waiting for which makes it easy to wait. Sort of like fishing - I just cast the fly let it drift, do nothing just wait, and if it does not take it, cast again. I can't force it.

So the question before each trading day should be: What am I waiting for?

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 Cashish 
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gretaro View Post
The good thing with the 2 a.m. trade is I know (almost anyway) what I am waiting for which makes it easy to wait.

So the question before each trading day should be: What am I waiting for?


Exactly I think you "got it!"


I need to know;
  • What I want to do,
    Why I want to do it and
    How I'm going to do it before I set down at my trading station.

Then my job is simple, I wait for movements in price to tell me when to do it.

The what, why and how have absolutely nothing to do with the current price movements, those three pieces of the puzzle were studied, tested and verified weeks, months or years ago.

If I turn the list above into questions and don't have an answer for each of them, my chances for success are slim to none.

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 gretaro 
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Exactly I think you "got it!"


I need to know;
  • What I want to do,
    Why I want to do it and
    How I'm going to do it before I set down at my trading station.

Then my job is simple, I wait for movements in price to tell me when to do it.

The what, why and how have absolutely nothing to do with the current price movements, those three pieces of the puzzle were studied, tested and verified weeks, months or years ago.

If I turn the list above into questions and don't have an answer for each of them, my chances for success are slim to none.

I think I may have gotten a little bit ahead of myself then. I should spend less time in front of the screen watching price movement and more time testing some strategies.


(edit: BTW no trading today. School is closed so home with the girls)

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 Cashish 
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gretaro View Post
I think I may have gotten a little bit ahead of myself then. I should spend less time in front of the screen watching price movement and more time testing some strategies.


What came first, the chicken or the egg? I didn't want to insinuate that there is a right way or wrong way to achieve consistent returns when trading the market. We all travel our own path through the market and through life in general. The methods or systems that fit my personality may make another trader cower in horror. You posted, "...... I know (almost anyway) what I am waiting for which makes it easy to wait." I believe there's a hidden diamond in that statement, the diamond is trust in the method. That trust is achieved by identifying the method, testing the method and refining the method. Only then can I hit the bid or the offer and initiate the trade with calm confidence, knowing all along the chance of this trade being a successful trade is 50/50.

So what comes first, the chicken or the egg?

"I should spend less time in front of the screen watching price movement and more time testing some strategies." The time in front of the screen often provides the inspiration for a new system or further refinement for an existing system. e.g., Didn't I see that same price movement yesterday and a couple times last week when price approached the prior day's 50% line? Or, did my method/system FAIL AGAIN when the price action was rotating or testing an inside day's high or low?

There's not much new in the market, and "hitching your wagon" to a system developed by someone else is usually the starting point for most traders. I'm not talking about my little 2am trade, I'm talking about guys like, Taylor, Wilder, Arms and Steidlmayer, we all need a starting point or a little inspiration to start us on our journey.

As time goes by (and it will) you will probably sit down at your trading station sometime in the future and realize you have a small collection of "set-ups" you are waiting to initiate. The movements of price, the location of those movements on your chart and the time of day will determine which "tool" you chose to bring out of your tool box. Each of these "tools" will have been filtered through the What, Why and How and are readily available to initiate the moment price movement provides you with the When.

K.I.S.S. Movements in the market are made up of many moving parts and trying to find something to anchor to can seem overwhelming. Most indicators (given the chance) recalculate on every tick but there are stationary price levels that offer solid anchoring points for entries and exits, they are past price levels. The Big Three are Yesterday's High, Low and Mid (the 50% level) these three levels combined with previous POCs, UVAs and LVAs which are also stationary levels are the SOLID anchoring points for most of my set-ups. Today's price action might validate the point I'm trying to make. The stalling of price near Yesterday's UVA and the failure to reach for Yesterday's High. The bounce off Yesterday's 50% level and the sideways movement when price returned to that level. The drop from the 50% level to the whole number 1.3600 and then "normal" rotation lower with an eye on a test of Yesterday's Low. Are they just random rotations at random levels, that is our job the work of trading,,,, IMO.

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 gretaro 
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Monday 7th October 2013

No time to trade today. I have a few deadlines I have to meet at work (good thing I have things to do at work since I am not making any money trading ) and decided not to trade. I then remembered that I have to trade mon-thu this week in order to complete the 20 days of this Combine before the deadline.

I therefore opened my trading platform and against my better judgement entered a trade short after price hit .3545 and pulled back to .3565 (not that my judgement said "go long". More like "do not enter the market"). I was really just hoping that price would test the new low after pulling back. Did not happen and I stopped myself out at 1.3580. So -30 ticks (15 per car).

I know that I have to work on my method or rather come up with my method. I have received good advice from @Cashish and am grateful for that and hope I can use his good advice moving forward. This Combine is now just a formality I have to get out of the way in order to move forward.

I have mixed feelings though. I thought I were closer to being a profitable trader. Also I have to get into my head the fact that this will take time (well more time) and relax. I understand now that I have really not spent my time well trying to learn this trade that trading is. I think the time would have been better spent if I had just picked one thing and really stuck to it instead of being all over the place. This is irritating. The positive thing though is the fact that I think I have finally understood what I need to do. NOW JUST DO IT. Stop jerking around.

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 gretaro 
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Tuesday 8th October 2013

One trade today for the Combine's sake. Long 2 from 1.3569. Exited 1 @1.3579 and the other @1.3580 when price stalled there. + 21 ticks.

I have already started to develop my method for trading the 6E. That is write down how I am going to enter the trades and how I am going to manage them (exit, move stops etc). Rules that I will be able to measure and hopefully develop further.

I feel good. I think I am on the right track.

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 gretaro 
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Since I am preparing for my next Combine I've decided to keep track of my practice trades here in my TST journal since this is the best way for me to keep my practice organized.

I have only recently been able to find some time to trade after very busy few weeks. My dream is to trade so if I keep doing everything else I have to do before I trade I will never trade. So I will try to squeeze in some trading when I can. This will mean I will not be able to trade necessarily when I would prefer but rather when I can.

Lets see what happens. Whats my method? Go for first base and see what happens. Follow trend unless there is some reason to believe price will bounce or turn around. I would like to target around 10 ticks per contract. Take max 3 trades per day and trade max 5 cars (that is what I can trade in the 50K combine so I will use the same). Loss limit is $1000.

Why have I put MACD back on my charts? Because I am looking into divergences.

My trades today (of course all SIM).

Long around the pivot at 9:58 as per attached charts.






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 gretaro 
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Thursday 14th November 2013

My trades today.

[Will maybe write more later have to run now]

Here are charts (forgot to write in charts that my stop was 15 ticks).






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 gretaro 
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Friday 15th November 2013.

My trade today (so far at least).




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 Cashish 
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I'm going to hold your feet to the fire on this trade. I'm not sure I understand your last sentence, can you elaborate a little more, I'll refrain from commenting until you do.

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 gretaro 
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Cashish View Post



I'm going to hold you feet to the fire on this trade. I'm not sure I understand your sentence, can you elaborate a little more, I'll refrain from commenting until you do.

What I was trying to say and thinking during and before the trade was: Price was in a range between 1.3466 and 1.3445. First I was thinking short because price was just below the pivot and the Y-Mid. I did not want to get whipsawed in the range however and also because we were near the xx50 number so I stood aside. Then price broke through to the downside and I was thinking that my next area would be 14-16 ticks below xx50. Before I took the trade I had put in a limit order 2@1.3436 and 2@1.3434. Stop on both 15 ticks lower. I however decided to pull the orders because I did not want to get run over by the market. Decided not to rush into the trade. So when price consolidated @1.3434-36 I decided to go long. My thought was that price would test 1.3444-46 (the lower end of the previous range). If it would get back into the range and test higher I did not know. That is why I decided that my target would be 1.3445. Now of course I see that I should have stuck to my limit orders and had my target higher. But I am also trying to break the habit of always going against the trend without proper reason and also have my targets....well my targets are a work in progress. After the week I am going to go over what could have been and then maybe move them out further.

YES!
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 gretaro 
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Second trade today.





I was thinking how I could describe this trade. Something like:

I had the guts to pick up the phone and call the girl I fancy. I waited for her to pick it up but when she did and I heard her voice on the other end I panicked and hung up.

I am not gonna have many dates if I am afraid she will say no. I have to ask.

YES!
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 Cashish 
Miami FL USA
 
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Thanks for the clarification @gretaro First I want to say, in no way I'm I trying to negate your trade, I believe it was well done and well played. Nice job


But if I may offer some constructive criticism, not of this particular trade, but the (thought) process you detailed of the trade. I believe you left a few clues in your response, that may offer you fuel, direction for further thought.



gretaro View Post
Before I took the trade I had put in a limit order 2@1.3436 and 2@1.3434. Stop on both 15 ticks lower. I however decided to pull the orders because I did not want to get run over by the market.

This is why trading someone else's system rarely works, it doesn't fit your personality, it fits someone else's. I'm going to make many assumptions in this post (forgive me) and hope you can see thru them and find the meat in this sandwich.

OK, you had orders resting 14-16 ticks under the whole number.
WHY?
Because I (Cashish) said so?

Then you pulled your orders because, "I did not want to get run over by the market." Honestly I probably would have pulled them too, if I gave the market a 15 tick (X 4 contracts) stop to "prove my theory (not Me)" wrong. There's a theory behind the 14/16 tick rotations, that theory is, if price "falls out" of the gravitational pull of the whole number, the probability of price moving lower increases. IMO, that gravitational pull extends out 23 ticks from the whole number, in this case, 1.3427. Trading is about RISK, more importantly, controlling the risk on every trade. Now, after the fact, wouldn't this trade have looked much more attractive if you cut the risk on the original entry in half? It appears you wanted to take the first touch of 36/34 long, but then, since you weren't comfortable with the risk level, YOU set for the trade, you waited for, or wanted, confirmation. There's always a price to confirmation. I'll take this example one step further, the projected Decline and Rally Numbers that I've outlined in my thread. I use these numbers as an area where, if the market rallies or declines, I anticipate the market to start "tapping on the brakes" at or near these levels. Today's Decline Number was 1.3427, so with 2 pieces of my analysis identifying possible support below the 36/34 area, that was enough confirmation for me. I hope you realize this example is "textbook," I couldn't have chosen a better example, that's why I'm writing this.

The point I want to make here is, you appear to believe in the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy but not Santa Claus. Just kidding of course, but all systems are usually made up of many different components. I'll reiterate, this is why trading someone else's system rarely works, it's just not your baby. Once again, I'm agreeing with you that the risk level you defined on the trade would have had me deciding, "not to rush into the trade." However, I do believe if you get personal with the theories behind the components I've outlined and "make them your own" you will find them helpful in your trading going forward. But they have to be personal to you, it's you taking the trades, it's your risk, and your profit, I believe there's no other way.

I believe you've uncovered an area in your trading that must be strictly defined, your tolerance for risk. I also believe some trades require more breathing room than others, and, as in this example standing in front of a train can be quite scary, but if the risk of the trade is predefined and strictly enforced, you're only following the plan. Don't try to be perfect, try to be comfortable, comfortable with losing. Take a longer term view of your trading, not minutes or hours, but look at your profitable (and losing) trades over a period of days and weeks.



gretaro View Post
But I am also trying to break the habit of always going against the trend without proper reason and also have my targets....well my targets are a work in progress.

The jury is still out on the definition of a trend. You said it yourself, "Price was in a range between 1.3466 and 1.3445 (Edit,,,'65 to '46)." The move down to '32 extended that 19 tick range to a 33 tick range. IMO, it might be a little premature to call the move to '32 a trend. What was the high, '66.... that's how many ticks above the whole number '50... The whole premise of this trade is "normal" rotation around a whole number! This rotation can wear many disguises, and often looks very ugly but at the end of the day it looks like a well balanced rotation around a whole number, it's kinda like not being able to see the forest for the trees. Your statement contradicts the whole whole idea behind this trade, fade the extreme. The inverse of this trade appeared around 2am est. and once prior to that during the Asian session. We all know what the target is/was on this trade(s), out of respect, I won't go there, my point here is the same, get comfortable with the risk involved in trading and don't be afraid to step in front of (what appears to be) a train, it's just money (not your children, house or manhood ), and yes some of these trades are going to lose! I don't think, " trying to break the habit of always going against the trend" is actually a habit that needs broken, if you have the, "proper reason" that's what this post is about.



gretaro View Post
After the week I am going to go over what could have been and then maybe move them out further.

Good idea

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 gretaro 
Reykjavik, Iceland
 
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Thanks @Cashish.

I find your posts a lot like good songs. They take awhile (for me at least) to sink in.

F.ex. when you talked about rotation the first time I thought, while I was reading your post, that I understood what you were saying. Then I realized that I did not understand it really. What does rotation mean and what does it look like. How do you trade it?

Now however I think my understanding is slowly getting better but slowly. I think I can say that about all aspects of my trading.

I agree with you that I can not trade a system that is not mine. That is why I pulled the orders @1.3436 and .3434. I did not trust myself. I have to do my own research and build trust in a method. Until that happens I will watch those levels and maybe try to trade them after I get some confirmation. This is not the ideal way to trade, I know that. I will always get a worse price if I wait for confirmation. I think that this is at the moment thou the only way for me since I do not really have any method that I have tested to the point that I would feel comfortable entering with limits at what seems like points where the market could run you over. I would not know where to put my stop. If I wait for some confirmation I should at least have a place to put it. I am however going to get personal with the theories you have outlined.

This comes then to my second trade from Friday and another point you make in your post. And what I think is probably the thing I really have to get over in order to go to the next level: My tolerance for risk or unwillingness to take a loss. I do not like to take a loss. The funny thing is that it bothers me more to take a loss after I am up than taking a loss on the first trade of the day or when I am down. I have to get over this mental problem. I will....it just takes time.

This trading thing is all about the way you think. I know it when all of a sudden I start to think about something you wrote and I start to understand what you really mean (I think ).

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 gretaro 
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After going over my trades from last week I can say that I took profits much to quickly on all but one trade (just traded 4 times though). Got 47 ticks from those 4 trades but should have taken much more. Left anywhere from 23 - 64 ticks on the table. Not that I should expect to sell/buy the absolute high or low but with so much more of the move left after I take of my position it is a shame not to capture some more of it.

My entries were OK. Worst MAE was 11 ticks and would not have been more than that for me to capture larger chunk of the move.

Subject of this week to try to hold for a little more of the move. Might try to scale out and trail rest.

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  #55 (permalink)
 gretaro 
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Monday 18th November 2013

One trade today.







When I entered the trade I felt I was jumping the gun. That the trade was impulsive and I thought about exiting. I was a little frustrated that I had not gotten to the markets sooner today and I could feel I wanted to be in the market. I have to control the urge to click the mouse button.

Anyway what I thought when I looked at the 15 min chart was: 1) Reversal, price often (I think have not studied it but seen it happen what I think again and again) reverses during the US session, 2) Price has fallen back under the R1, 3) Price has come into the gravitational pull of the round number 4) Big news coming out for the rest of the week unlikely that price will travel far today.

I therefore decided to stay in the trade and let it play out. Good call. The "only" thing I could have done better was to target the whole number.

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