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

The Logical Trading Journal

OK, here we go. So far I have had 3 unsuccessful combines. Well, not really, the last one I actually made money after trading it for 32 days and that one got rolled over.

Starting tomorrow, I am trading 3 active combines. 1 of them has already been in progress since 8/7. This one is dedicated to CL. 2 new ones starting tomorrow - one dedicated to ES and the other one to NQ and YM both. All 3 are 30K combines. The idea behind 3 combines simultaneously is as follows:

1. I know I have a winning edge. Just not sure which market suits my psychology best so instead of trying it on just ES (which is what I have done so far), will try it on 4 markets.
2. Since I look for 1 move per day, maybe 2, the idea is to capture as much as possible of that (those) moves. In terms of $/contract, it might make sense to try out different markets since some might move more than the others and over time, I can tell which market is suitable - at least initially with fewer contracts while liquidity is not an issue.
3. Also trying to cut down on the time required to figure out all of the above by doing it at the same time.

So far, the CL combine has been a roller coaster. Went up to $1030 ($470 short of combine target) and then fell back to $590. 8 days into this one so far, 12 more to go.

The reason for this thread is to track my psychological issues that I am trying to overcome.

The plan is simple. All markets make 1 move shortly after they open or some time thereafter and I want to be in that move for as long as possible. Some days the move is big, some days smaller and some days its chop. So the plan is to be in the big move for as long as possible, recognize when the small move is ending so as not to let it come all the way back for nothing and most importantly recognize chop early enough that it doesn't wipe out the account. Seems simple but for the ramblings in my head when the market is doing what it is doing - which is what I intend to control.

Will post combine trade report images tomorrow onward.

-iNeo

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

Some technical details about the plan


Since the trading idea is to target that one (or two) move of the day, each trade has a small risk and a significantly large profit target.

CL: 12 cent risk, 50 cent target
NQ: 3 point risk, 15 point target
YM: 12 point risk, 50 point target
ES: 1.5 point risk, 6 point target

So in general, its a 1:4 risk:reward ratio.

3 consecutive failed trades end the day in a combine. 1 win ends the day in a combine. So the max daily loss and the max daily targets are well defined.

Discretionary risk management decisions need to be taken when things happen that are in between the clear cut scenario above, Do I trade more to achieve full daily target when:
- New setup forms after a winning trade that did not achieve full target
- New setup forms after 1 or 2 losses followed by a win etc

I will let the market answer the question when such decisions need to be made and journal the internal ramblings regarding such decisions

-iNeo

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

Day 1

CL Combine: Made up for the losses on Friday with 1 trade. Fast push down right at the open. Saw selling being absorbed and it stalled. Went long once a higher low formed, price went 47-48 cents in favor and I was waiting for 2 more ticks. Then decided enough is enough and took 43 ticks. And as it always happens, it did make it to my 50c target in the next couple of minutes.

ES Combine: Market faked me out on a short to start with. Then, went long on break above initial congestion, went about 2 points in favor, brought stop to par. Stopped out. Saw selling being absorbed at the open price, went long again. As per plan, wanted to hold for 6 points but it just stuck 2 ticks short. Got out for 4.75 points. Good exit in hindsight because this was the high for the day.

NQ Combine: Same story but 1 long trade only right after the break up from initial congestion. Got too aggressive on the stop and got stopped out for 7 points. Market kept going for another 10+ points without me. The day was done at this point.

There were short opportunities in both ES and NQ when market stalled and just wouldnt go up but wanted to keep the profits on day 1 so sat back and watched the potential shorts work on both markets back to open and below. CL also had a short setup but since the profits for the day were so close to daily target, sat on my hands and watched the trade work back to open.

Summary: ES 3.25 points, NQ 7 points, CL 43 cents.

Cannot post pictures for TST Trade Report because of forum limitations. Will do them later.

-iNeo

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

Day 1 TST Trade Reports

ES and NQ Combine:



CL Combine:



-iNeo

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

Day 2

I feel like a warrior after a hard fought battle today. Mentally exhausted. But the important thing is - "Did I stick to my plan" and the answer is "No". There were 3 CL trades that was not per plan and an execution error in NQ (which I could have gotten out of but greed took over).

CL Combine: Got short before the open on a break down from congestion. Stop hit quickly but the area was still there so went short again at the same level. It went about 20 cents in favor and I decided to pull my stop to par+1. It came back, just got me (didnt even go 1 more tick) and then went down exactly 50 cents from my entry. I should have recognized the fact that this was my trade of the day and I missed it and shut it down but I didnt. I knew momentum was down so tried it one more time on the next pullback (This trade was not according to plan). It went about 30 cents in favor but no further and got out with 10 cents. Then I deviated from my plan 2 more times and was done for the day with max loss. The only good thing was that I managed to shut it down at this point and not blow out the combine.

ES Combine: Shorted slightly before open from pre-market congestion. Price went about 2 points in favor so brought stop to par and got stopped out. Got short again from break of initial congestion after open twice and took 2 losses. Market was very hesitant but if it wouldnt go down, then it is likely it will go up so went long at the break of initial congestion. This one stuck. Maybe trailed it too aggressively. Got out with 5 points. That was the end of ES.

NQ Combine: As yesterday, there were no false breaks to deal with on the down side with NQ. Got long upon break of initial congestion. After a loooooong time of doing nothing it came back and got my stop. Then I made an error. I had my order type set to limit on T4 and instead of placing a stop order, it placed a limit order short at the inside bid. I knew I should get out immediately but didnt and took another loss. Normally, I would attempt the same break twice but since I was short, I missed the 2nd attempt long. Got confused so waited until another signal formed and it did - long slightly higher from the open. It was a signal per plan so took it. Again, got too aggressive with the stop and got out with 3 points. Then everything just took off - ES, NQ, TF and I sat there and watched it.

Not going to change anything except put more thought into where I am trailing my stop to while in a winning trade.

Summary: ES 2 points, NQ -6.5 points, CL -36 cents

Trade Report Pictures:

ES and NQ Combines:



CL Combine:



-iNeo

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

Day 3

Another hard fought day on the battleground. The battle today was entirely with myself - the trader that has to still learn to follow the plan. The plan is as black and white as it can be so what is the problem??? Will try to list:

CL Combine: I had 6 CL trades today. 4 losses and 2 wins. Only 1 of those losing trades were entered per plan. 2 of the other losing trades were taken because of the "fear of missing out". I cannot even explain right now why I took the 4th losing trade - there was nothing there at all! As for the winners - the first one was a long setup that formed before market open. Stopped out once and took it again (all per plan). The 50c target was 3 ticks beyond the gap fill so right after getting in the trade, I adjusted it to 2 ticks before gap fill. As it approached my target, for whatever reason, I moved the target to the overnight high and broke my rules. Of course it went to yesterdays settle to the tick and not 1 more and I had to scramble to get out of it for 35 cents. The other winner was per plan, quite happy with how I waited for it for quite some time and managed it for 54 cents.

I should not have traded the eminis today before FOMC. Period. I did it because I had no prior experience of active participation on an FOMC day and CL was moving quite normally for inventory Wednesday.

ES Combine: Not much here. Quickly got chopped 3 times and shut it down per rules.

NQ Combine: Not as much chop as ES. Got long from initial congestion. It went 10 points in my favor but (now I dont believe this but this is exactly what happened) I did not realize I was 9-10 points in the money because since yesterday, I started trading 2 contracts and looking at the p&l, I thought I wasnt up that much. I forgot to save my settings yesterday and so today, it reverted back to 1 contract. Once I realized it, I was still 7 points in the money and it was moving against me. I was unprepared for it so I just randomly moved my stop up to 3 points and got stopped out. Then I saw what ES was doing and stayed out of it until the report. Crazy behavior after the report - again due to fear of missing out. I see everything take a dive and pull back to around the open. I think pullback and enter short twice and take two losses (random reason for entry, not even close to the plan). Then the long signal forms and I just sit there. This one goes all the way to yesterday's high and I am kicking myself. I regroup and wait for the next one. I get a short signal and take it at 3088. I was prepare to trail it to my 15 point target at 73. Again, got too aggressive on the stop and got out with just 3 points and saw the market dive to beyond my target.

Summary: Missed opportunities today due to failure to follow plan and getting too aggressive on trails. ES -4.5 points, NQ -3.25 points, CL +42 cents.

ES and NQ Trade Report:


CL Trade Report:



-iNeo

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

Day 4

Exhausting day again today but glad to see that I handled it better. Better execution of the plan. Still made execution errors in NQ.

CL Combine: Got chopped once before market open. Then regrouped and waited for a planned entry. Sold the low expecting follow through and got nothing. Wasn't even per plan. 2nd loss. CL was in "megaphone" mode breaking highs and lows by a few ticks and pulling back. Recognized this and took a planned entry short from the initial range high (it was a big range to start off), should have gotten out at the bottom of the range but didn't and its fine because the plan does not say so. Proceeded to execute planned entries and trailing. Gave the winners a lot of room but it wouldnt go anywhere. Finally got a couple of them for 20-30+ cents and that was it for the day. 9 trades in all.

ES Combine: I missed the initial long because of most of my attention being in CL. Got a planned entry signal long higher and decided to take it. Went 4 points and I was wishing I had more contracts on because I could see it struggling at that point. Had no choice but to let it go. Stopped out for +2 points. Tried the same long again when it retraced to the entry area, went 3 points and came back to stop me out at par. That was it. I knew I had missed it and I wasnt expecting much.

NQ: Same story as ES, missed the initial long. Trading 2 NQ contracts and messed up trying to split targets. Still getting used to T4 I guess. Cannot set OCO just for stops - have to set both stops and targets so was trying to manually place stops and targets and messed it up when the 2nd long signal formed. Got out of it quick for a slight loss since a lot was going on with CL and some with ES. Then it died with the options trading was halted so didnt touch it after that.

In both CL and ES, I felt a real need for trading more than 1 contract. You know where price is going to have a struggle and if you are 2/3rds or 3/4ths of the way to your target, you dont want to trail to 1/3rd and let it come back and stop you. Which is what happened today on multiple occasions and has happened many times before. Cumulative, I left about 5 ES points and more than 70 CL cents on the table - the second to last trade in particular - went 45 cents in favor and the logical stop placement was 25 cents below and it got me. Would like to get taken out on a limit order for a change.

Summary: ES: +2 points, NQ -3 points, CL +20 cents

ES and NQ Trade Report:


CL Trade Report:

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

Day 5

Getting better at following the plan but still have work to do when it comes to trade management.

ES Combine: Went short after open at the break of initial congestion. Moved stop to par after price moved 2 points in favor. Got unlucky on this when price just ticked me out and went 4 points south. Next got long at planned entry signal and stayed in this one for 3 hours and 41 minutes. I cannot explain why I got out. I had a 7 point target (based on certain calculations) instead of 6 and it got hit but I managed to exit the trade for just 3 points after staying in it for so long.

NQ Combine: Reverted back to all in all out because of execution errors. I saw the pre-market move and knew it was going to chop a few minutes after the open. Still followed the plan with 2 entries that both got stopped out. This combine is at risk and will have to put extra attention starting Monday.

CL Combine: Traded the initial chop per plan and was down a little. The highlight was that my plan got me long at 104.82 but, again, I managed to get out of the trade for 35 cents to end the day slightly positive.

In hindsight, I did what I could with ES and CL. I just feel I should be trading 2 contracts and leaving one on to trail conservatively. Given trading plan and combine parameters, I cannot do this in CL (and may not have to since I am almost there). I can do it in ES and I think I will starting Monday.

Summary: ES +3 points, NQ -13 points, CL +21 cents.

ES Trade Report:


NQ Trade Report:


CL Trade Report:


-iNeo

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

Day 6


The market knew where my stops were today. Maybe not, but it felt like that. All 3 combines results for today were shortened because my trail stops got taken out to the tick (not kidding, all 3 markets - to the tick) and price proceeded to hit my targets (except CL, but it did almost get to it).

ES Combine: Got long 61.50 at break of pre-market congestion. Moved in my favor, brought stop to par and stopped out at even. Got in again after market open at the same price. It moved in my favor again and went 4+ points. I raised my stop to 2 points, got taken out exactly to the tick and my original target of 67.50 was hit shortly thereafter.

NQ Combine: Same story as ES, got long at 3125 at break of pre-market congestion, went a little, moved stop to par, stopped out. Went in again at 3125.50, this time it went approximately 10 points in favor. For whatever reason, I didnt realize I had two contracts on and I could take one off when I saw it struggle a little bit. Instead, raised stop to 5 points and got taken out. Market proceeded to my original target of 3138 shortly thereafter.

CL Combine: Repeatedly shorted the 106 level - 5 times actually. 2 losses, 2 breakevens and the final short, had I stayed in it would have gone about 40-45 cents (not 50) in my favor and I would probably have been able to get the day back to par but after price moved 20+ cents in my favor, I brought my stop to breakeven and unbelievably, it got me to the tick and proceeded down again. At this point, I should have stopped realizing that the trade I was looking for already took place without me but I didnt. "Found" myself another short around the lows of the day and maxed out on my loss.

Summary: ES +2 points, NQ +5 points, CL -36 cents

Trade Reports Attached.

-Neo

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