You are right. It is fear of losing that causes that. If I analyze the trades that worked without me because of this reason and those that would have actually stopped me out for a full loss, I know the winners would make way more ticks than the losers lose. I am going to get away from this, very soon.
MFB does not move his stop. I remember from his posts.
I will be making a few changes going forward based on advice from one of the greatest on futures.io (formerly BMT). I am thankful for that.
Changes related to Trade identification and execution:
No more live entries of every action, thought, observation etc in the journal. I will only update during lulls in the market.
I will not trade the opening few minutes until price settles down.
I will identify beforehand if my trade is a trend trade or counter trend (not in the traditional sense but per ACD). I will be aggressive moving my stop to breakeven only if its a counter trend trade (when trading a box) otherwise I will leave it alone
If stopped out of a trade, I will not reattempt the setup no matter what the conditions are at that time. Instead, I will observe and learn.
I will use orderflow as an entry/exit confirmation only for countertrend trades. For trend trades, I will rely mostly on the 5 minute chart and ACD principles.
Regardless of trend or counter trend trade setup, I will wait for price to confirm via consolidation and other factors before taking the trade. I will not be in a rush to enter even if that means the trade will have a wider stop.
I will not worry about missing a trade. If it does not fall in these criteria and I miss it, I will say "Next!".
I will keep targets reasonable in relation to the following:
Missed short from 93.65 area. Everything had lined up over there.
8:25: Went long from 93.16 area with a 20 tick stop after enough consolidation. After almost 45 minutes, algo spike took out the stop. In hindsight, I should have taken a time stop. I had many opportunities to scratch but this is day 1 after many changes and I missed this simple filter - the time filter. No big deal. Now waiting for 10:15 until OR forms.
Last edited by LogicalTrader; November 14th, 2013 at 10:31 AM.
10:26: Falied A down setup. Could not possibly have traded the 100+ tick run up from 92.51. So waited for pullback. Got long from 93.15 after pullback to 93.10. Took the long based on orderflow and 93.10 was prior support today, but made the mistake of getting too aggressive with the stop again. Got stopped out and market pulled away and I did not want to chase it. Eventually price topped out at around 93.57 and started pulling back.
10:43: Waited for market to pullback some more. Same premise of failed A down. Got orderflow confirmation and went long 93.36. Saw that shorts were trapped and held it till 93.76 for 40 ticks. I was almost certain we would see 93.88 but I am not allowed to think, I had to trade what I saw and 93.76 area was the area to get out.
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I am done for the day. This was my one good trade of the day. No good will come from staring at charts now. I am off to practice a random day from the past.
Last edited by LogicalTrader; November 14th, 2013 at 12:15 PM.
8:30: Got long from 94.22. 94.20 was previous resistance. Didnt give it time to settle down so wasnt a good entry. Took a 15 tick stop. It is a failed A down after all.
9:00-9:51: Scalped a couple and sitting at breakeven now. Watching paint dry.
It is hard to realize the power of journaling without experiencing it first hand. I am glad I got motivated by the 70% discount being offered by TST and started a journal here at futures.io (formerly BMT).
All of this week, I have been wondering where I have gone wrong since clearing the TST combine. What happened? Why am I struggling now when I was doing much better before?
The answer was in this journal.
My primary method of trading changed since I started this journal - I switched from being a breakout trader to an ACD trader. This happened midway during my winning TST combine so even though this changed, I still managed to clear the combine.
Ever since then, I have been constantly trying to refine my method and as it has been pointed out countless number of times by many good traders, THIS was what broke it and my confidence in the process. I changed too much.
I realized this when I was reflecting upon my chat with @mfbreakout and when he asked - "How can I help you?". I didnt have a good answer. Its pretty clear that I had no idea what was wrong with my trading. I knew I did not need spoon feeding on the trading method - what I have picked up from his journal works just fine. I feel that I just wasted his time after he was so generous for having spent almost an hour with me on skype.
So after a lot of analysis and reflection and reading my own journal multiple times, I realized that when I cleared the combine, for those few days, the setup that I had was the best so far. The difference between then and now is that I have moved away from the slower charts I was using to much faster charts for my execution and overall. For whatever reason, I am watching the orderflow every time regardless of where price is in relation to the trading levels. Most of my trades have been random - pulled out of thin air - manufactured on the fly - whatever one may want to call it and I always try to look for a reason to justify every such trade.
Being a programmer, I wrote a beautiful piece of code that identifies temporary imbalance in the order flow and 9 out of 10 times, price moves accordingly - as the imbalance suggested. The problem came when I started looking at this imbalance at the micro level and taking trades at random levels. A month ago or so ago, when I first wrote this and used it with slower charts, it worked just fine when used at known levels. It helped me clear the combine.
So, all this reveals that I need to do the following:
Go back to the slower charts - 5 min primarily.
Take only the bread and butter trades - nothing in between. Failed As and retest of the 3 sessions are the ones to look for primarily. In fact, I am going to try my best to take only these. I don't want to etch this in stone because that screws with my mind in a different way.
Do not change anything going forward.
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I have gone through this phase and had even come close to clearing a combine using faster charts, more trades (which tended to be random than anything else).
I too realized this because I had been constantly journalling my efforts.
The way I overcame it is the same as your plan:
I kept on doing what worked for me, did it without caring about the outcomes, focusing on the process of
trading well" i.e. taking trades when they set themselves up and taking my ego out of the equation by taking losses once trade premise proved wrong and not playing around with targets once in a trade or trade size when entering.
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