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The Logical Trading Journal


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Updated February 1st 2014 by LogicalTrader
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The Logical Trading Journal

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  #31 (permalink)
Houston, TX
 
 
Posts: 294 since Aug 2013
Thanks: 1,420 given, 757 received


mfbreakout View Post
10 points gains in ES and you wanted more? Sounds like you are trying to recover previous losses from one trade.

Thats exactly right. I have been unable to break this pattern yet. After initial losses, I tend to ignore what the market is making available for me and try to get what isnt there.


mfbreakout View Post
A trader potential target needs to be in relation to his stop loss. using 10 ticks stop loss to make 100 ticks not gonna cut it. 10-15 ticks stop loss and getting 30 ticks is EXCELLENT risk/reward. try to Focus on just ONE GOOD trade per day with full position size with full 30 ticks gains.

Thank you. I started out with a similar goal. One good trade is still the daily goal. I just need to keep my head together when I start off with a couple of losses. Been telling myself that breakeven is better than a loss etc. I will get there, thanks for the support.

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  #32 (permalink)
Houston, TX
 
 
Posts: 294 since Aug 2013
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Pedro40 View Post
Just take it easy and don't try to push it. You are still good for a rollover, so I would just make sure I don't screw up and pass this 2 days keeping the numbers green. And you would get your 2nd chance in the next Combine...

Thanks. This will be my 3rd rollover. I wont screw it up. I will just try to follow the plan better and make as many points the market makes available to me.

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  #33 (permalink)
Houston, TX
 
 
Posts: 294 since Aug 2013
Thanks: 1,420 given, 757 received

Day 20


ES movements just slapped me around and quickly told me today was not my day. I was done before 9 with 3 losses. ES was simply untradeable for me today today. One trade lasted only 7 seconds which is a first for me in ES.

Last day to go in the ES combine and unless I somehow make 25 points tomorrow, its not going to happen. This is my 2nd ES TST combine that will end above 0 and below the profit target so I will be able to roll it over into a new one. This time, I will be going for the 50K combine because I want to be able to trade 2 contracts and maintain the same style of trading. The idea is to take profits when 4-6 points into the trade and let 1 run for larger targets. As I have noted before, I cannot do anything about days like today (actually, there is something and I am working on it but its not in the plan yet ). All I can do for now, is improve upon the good ones.

On the other hand, had to be really patient with CL. I had nothing going on in my charts, no strong setups, nothing until 1 hour after the report. I took a long setup at 103.50 area which was purely out of frustration. It was a setup per plan so its OK to have taken the trade but clearly, the bias was short at the time. Had 2 opportunities to go short right after that and I decided to stick with the lower one at 103.20 area which worked out for 41 cents. I was mentally exhausted and didn't have it in me to hold the trade longer but my original target was slightly above yesterday's low at 102.30. Eventually it got taken out (with a whole lot of selling) after the pit close.

I have decided to use up my remaining 5 days in the NQ combine trading CL a slightly different way. I am still working on the final setup and will probably start trading it Monday onward. After starting the 2nd CL combine 3 days ago with slightly different setups than the previous combine, I want to focus on CL more with another slight twist based on the help I am getting from this forum. I will try and take good strong setups in NQ to bring it above 0 so that the combine can be rolled over but that wont be the primary focus. I have decided to stick to ES and CL.




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  #34 (permalink)
Houston, TX
 
 
Posts: 294 since Aug 2013
Thanks: 1,420 given, 757 received

Day 21 - ES Combine done

I came in today with the plan of taking 2nd, 3rd and 4th setups in ES even if I was nicely green and I did that. 7.25 points from the 1st 2 trades and then -.5 points for the next 3. In the ES and YM, I have always maintained my belief that there are 1 or maybe 2 major moves in a day most of the time. The highest probability of the 2nd move occurring is before 10 central. Beyond this, its a coin toss (which was proven again today). I am actually happy with my progress. This was the 2nd ES combine that ended profitably - just not enough to get funded. I believe the more screen time I get the better I will become.

I am going to continue my efforts to get funded and now have opted for a 50K combine so that I can trade more than 1 contract. I just spoke with TST and this combine starts tomorrow.

CL behavior has changed dramatically since I first started trading it a few months ago. The moves are slower but methodical. I could not trade it today using my plan. Gave up 29 cents, recognized I was losing the battle today and called it quits before doing too much damage. I could see how other trading concepts might have fared well today. For trading any market, I believe one should be a good judge of the "mood" of the market (or market participants) and be equipped with the tools to respond accordingly. The faster you judge, the better off you are. I am going to focus on that also now. I will have to build that skill and beef up my toolbox and I know, just like Rome, it wont be built in a day. So until then, I will just do my job to the best of my ability.

In times like these I want to reinforce the belief that I am headed down the right path. If I look at my last 3 combines, they have all been profitable, just not enough to pass a test criteria. I just have to keep at it and I am pretty sure I will get funded soon.

Back tomorrow.




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  #35 (permalink)
Houston, TX
 
 
Posts: 294 since Aug 2013
Thanks: 1,420 given, 757 received

Day 22

1st day of new ES combine. Went in with 2 contracts on each trade - all 3 of which stopped out. It really hurts when there you max your losses out with double the size you are used to - ouch!

I couldnt judge the open, the market faked me out in every direction. Thats my plan - to look for a break either way and stick with it. It seems like days like Friday are simply untradeable using my plan. I need to augment my plan to protect myself from such days and it is a work in progress and I will eventually incorporate certain other rules that help on days like these. My research into Mark Fisher's ACD method is going well and although I havent figured out how exactly to incorporate it in yet, it definitely seems promising. For instance, Friday would have been a failed A down resulting in a long once price moved back into the open range which would have been a nice 4-5 point trade. Anyway, not to get too ahead of myself, what I have so far works extremely well when the market is there so wont change a thing until I have proof that the change helps

As has been the trend, down in ES, means up in CL which has been a see-saw since the combine started 6 days ago - 4 up days, 2 down days. It was hard to trade CL on Friday. And my bet, that won the day was a break of 103.11 which was holding like a rock and I was long when it eventually broke. Managed 43 cents from that. Entry and trade was per plan so took it even though I knew the level was there.

Traded the NQ combine with CL and NQ as planned. The new CL plan that I am using the NQ combine for worked very well on Friday but I couldn't execute it well enough. The plan setup a long at 102.60 and I was thinking - you think, you lose (like you snooze, you lose) and I got in long at .74. Market retraced, got my stop at what should really have been my entry in the first place and proceeded 50 cents to my target. Then I took 2 more trades that really weren't there and lost 23 cents overall.

Also traded NQ since I had only 5 days left with the idea of bringing the combine back above 0. Took the only setup my charts had - long from 3214.50 - break of opening congestion and managed 19.5 points on 2 lots.

Will continue with all 3 combines tomorrow, slowly tweaking the plan as I learn more about the ACD method. I dont care if it takes 20 combines to get there - all I know is that I will get there

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  #36 (permalink)
Houston, TX
 
 
Posts: 294 since Aug 2013
Thanks: 1,420 given, 757 received

Day 23

Today I had decided 2 things:
  1. I will wait for the market to open and wait for the first clear setup of the day.
  2. Since it is month/quarter end, I will not hold a trade or look for a trade past 10 central.
Which worked out well. After the initial push down in the ES, charts formed an setup and I had to scramble to get long at 69.25. In hindsight, this could also have been categorized as a failed A down. Took 1 off for 4.25 points when it first stalled at the previous swing high and moved stop to par. Price came back almost all the way (1 tick away) to my stop and then continued on. I wanted to hold the other one till Friday's low at 1680 (gap fill per Jim Dalton) but when it stalled at the overnight highs and I decided to close the position for 6 points on the 2nd one. Almost made up the losses from Friday so all is well in ES - doesn't hurt as much today .

I needed a reason to get long in NQ because I knew I was on the right side of the market when my par ES stop held and jumped in with 2 contracts at 97.25 on the break of a small congestion area that had formed previously. Took 1 off at at 8.75 and 2nd one got trailed out at 10.75 so bagged 25 points in all.

No CL trades today. I had a chance to get long twice but I had 0 confidence in what the market makers were trying to achieve today - everything was centered around the 102 area later in the session and I wasnt betting on it either way. Plus the good session in the eminis was also a factor for staying out of CL.

NQ combine will most likely end up above 0 for another free rollover (I think). Not sure what I will do with that but I will think of something.

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  #37 (permalink)
Houston, TX
 
 
Posts: 294 since Aug 2013
Thanks: 1,420 given, 757 received

Day 24

Today was probably the worst day in terms of results so far in the past 4 combines. I will not think about it too much today since any decision made today will probably not be the best one.

CL: I am utilizing my NQ combine to test out a theory in CL and it worked well today. Got short at 102.35 when the previous swing low broke and rode that one until the globex low. Then gave it all back after pit session open in the regular CL combine account. I don't think I deviated from the entry plan. The stops were too tight since I have a fixed 10 cent stop. Ended up with 4 losers in a row.

ES: Got too aggressive at the open. Took breakout short, then long and then sat on the sidelines instead of taking the one that actually worked. Actually, the trades in CL were also messing up my judgement and focus. Just total chaos in my head today and didnt handle it all too well.

NQ: Attempted a couple of trades just to get the overall p&l above 0 but my focus was all on CL and getting back my lost ticks - thats actually what killed it today.

A day for reflection and actually take a break. I need to be in a better frame of mind to continue my efforts so I am going to take the rest of the week off.

Back in a few days...

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  #38 (permalink)
Houston, TX
 
 
Posts: 294 since Aug 2013
Thanks: 1,420 given, 757 received

Day 25

As planned, did not trade either the ES or CL combines. Taking a break and will resume trading these combines Monday.

Today, I just focused on taking the NQ combine above 0 so that I can roll it over. The new CL strategy that I am testing on this combine is working well. The idea is to trade in the early morning hours and capture some of the late london/european session swings. Basic method is still the same - taking breakouts from areas of congestion for relatively smaller targets of about 30 cents. So far, it has helped bring the NQ combine above 0. The challenge now is that TST requires that each product traded should be above 0 and while this is not a problem with CL, I will have to make about $300 in NQ tomorrow so that both of them are above 0 since tomorrow is the final day of this combine. I will also trade CL in this combine early morning and it is entirely possible that a couple of good trades in both NQ and CL might push this combine to the overall profit target . We'll see.

Meanwhile, I am analyzing my trading so far to see which areas need to improve and one of them that stands out is my win %. In the current and past combines my win % has averaged between 30-32%. At the same time my average win has been 2.5 times the average loss. So, in order for me to not just break even, either my win % has to increase or my win/loss ratio has to increase. This is what I am focusing on at this time and hope to have a plan to address these before I resume trading ES and CL on Monday.

Tomorrow should be exciting...

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  #39 (permalink)
Houston, TX
 
 
Posts: 294 since Aug 2013
Thanks: 1,420 given, 757 received

Day 26 - NQ combine ended

Late post regarding completed NQ combine yesterday.


iNeo View Post
Tomorrow should be exciting...

It almost was. Got a 30c winner in CL early in the morning so had more than enough cushion to get NQ above 0. Came as close as $60 to making it, then blew it and blew it really bad. I got stuck in the classic loser's mindset - "since I missed the short, it has to go up" mindset. I must have taken about 10 trades long after getting out of my short a little bit earlier and none of them worked, and finally blew the daily loss limit. Simply lost it. I thought I was past this behavior but I guess not. Anyway, I will attribute some of it to it being the last day of the combine because I cannot help but think that if this wasn't the last day of the combine, I would probably have held on to my NQ short and bagged about 12-15 points easily if not more. What a waste! Still cannot believe it.

Next post discusses next steps. Its only going to get better from here...

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  #40 (permalink)
Houston, TX
 
 
Posts: 294 since Aug 2013
Thanks: 1,420 given, 757 received

Day 27 - New CL Trading plan (WIP)


ES: Still not trading ES. Still working on a near final plan. I know where my exits/targets are in ES. Still do not have a good feel for where the entries are. Will start ES only when the plan is near complete and tweak it as I trade it.

CL: Big change in plans thanks to @mfbreakout's journal. I am going rely on specific levels to lean on - namely the globex high/low, the open range high/low and the asian/london session levels and bring in Mark Fisher's ACD method on top of my existing plan. The philosophy still remains the same - I want to capitalize on the 1 or 2 major moves that markets make most days. Now I have a reason to anticipate these moves rather than throw a dart and hope it hits the 50. Entry triggers also change. I will not be taking breakouts from congestion areas anymore - most of the entries will be pullbacks to the mentioned areas with confirmation. Since entries are pullbacks, the confirmation will be the relative absorption of market orders in the opposite direction of entry for which I have written a simple piece of code to plot that as a histogram.

Friday's CL Trade: Took a nice short in CL after the open from the open range high but didnt hold on to it as much as I should have - got 21c but it gave me a confidence boost about the direction that I am headed in.




Today's CL Trades:
Trade 1: Fade OR/Overnight Low, Long 102.56, Stopped 102.44
Trade 2: Reversion to OR - Long 101.99, Out 102.41. Since A down was confirmed, wanted to be out before OR low was hit. Original target was 102.49 but got antsy and got out a few ticks early.




TST CL Combine Trade Report:

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