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cunparis journal, thoughts, and more
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cunparis journal, thoughts, and more

  #151 (permalink)
Trade with the flow
Paris, France
 
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cory View Post
just watching

Here's another view. The lack of blue bars on the highest timeframe shows a lack of professional buying on the way down. When some did finally step in it stopped the decline. But on the rebound that brought in more professional selling.

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  #152 (permalink)
Trade with the flow
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Today was a great test for the TPO. As with just about any indicator, when the long signals fail that's an indication that the move down is very strong. Best not to fight against a move like that and go with the trend.

The best trade was the short trade that just got signaled. I got +4 on that one and my 2nd contract is still open with stop at BE.

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  #153 (permalink)
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cunparis View Post
So I'm short ES @ 1161.

Took off first contract @ 1155.25 for 5.25 pts $282.
Stop at BE.

 
  #154 (permalink)
Trade with the flow
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When is started cycle trading I remember being disappointed that Barry from emini watch didn't post his setups. I mean he posts the general big picture setup (which I call #1 & #2 in my market Cycles thread) but he doesn't list all his criteria for entering a trade.

So I set out to do this. After weeks and weeks of backtesting by hand (I couldn't program it cause it was too complicated) I thought I came up with a more mechanical approach. I even exchanged many emails with Barry getting hints, asking questions, etc. But I couldn't make it work in real time. I studied his trades and I still couldn't tell when you get a #1 setup for example how do you know if you enter right away or if you wait for exhaustion volume or a retest of the low or a pullback after a retest etc. Lots of possiblities. And for some reason in daytrading I had a lot of trouble with it.

So i made my mechanical list and even put it in my journal and would check off TRUE/FALSE for my criteria. And that still didn't work very well.

What I found was that there wasn't a setup criteria for entering, specifically when to enter. And that's what led me on a search that took me far away from cycle trading and then brought me back. As I mentioned previously, I tried several breakout methods (System 2, Ross Hook, All You Need) but was pretty much breakeven on all of them.

At the same time my swing trading was going very well. I realized one day that my swing trading had been going really well. I looked at my reports and found I had made like $8k and only $500 in losses. You can look up the post in the market cycles thread I don't remember the exact numbers but the profit factor was > 16 I believe, meaning I had very few losers.

Then I felt uneasy. This swing trading streak had developed without my attention and here I was without any idea of how I was doing it. I had no written rules, no criteria, no checklist. Just intuition. I had a lot of inputs, not just cycles but also some breadth data, price patterns, a few indicators I wrote myself, etc. Somehow I was combining all that into a profitable method.

And it kind of scared me because what if I was just lucky. A random fool. When I started trading full time, I didn't want to take the $1-2k risk that my swing trades usually carry. So I stopped.

But last week I saw the price action and I just knew price was headed lower. Almost everything I saw was bearish. But it wasn't one or two specific things, it was everything taken together in context that told me price was going lower. And so I did my first swing trade of the year.

The Turning Point Oscillator is another example. I tried several times to write a strategy to test this indicator and prove it has an edge. I failed. All my tests were slightly less than breakeven. Why? Because it's just giving me a piece of information. I have to then put that information in context and decide how I want to use it. On Friday it was giving long signals. I took two that failed. At the time no one could know price would move down so far. But I didn't take any more. And then when it gave a short signal I took that and it was an excellent trade. I knew we were in a down trend and it was a good entry on a pullback. I'm not sure I could program that. Yeah I can say to only trade in the direction of a moving average. That works in a trending market but doesn't work in a range bound market where the moving average will lag too much. And programming trending or ranging is even harder.

Now there's nothing magical about the TPO, it's how one uses it that will determine profitability or not. And the same could be said about any indicator. Often the sinewave is early, often it's late, and often there are "invisible signals". But once you use it for a year you kind of expect all that and you learn how to recognize it and trade with it.

Some people are profitable with a CCI, others an MACD. It's not the CCI & MACD it's the traders using it.

So my point in all this is that to be successful trading you can't just memorize a few setups and wait patiently for them to occur. Trading is a lot more complicated than that and you have to understand the context of the market's action. Even if you do get an entry setup, exiting is a lot harder than entering. And you have to learn how markets work and how to read the price, volume, order flow, etc. to exit so you might as well learn all that for entering too. And once you learn that you can be more flexible and just go with the flow. It takes a long time. I'm not yet where I want to be but I'm pretty sure I'm on my way.

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  #155 (permalink)
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>But it wasn't one or two specific things, it was everything taken together in context ...

that 'everything' takes time, screen time to be exact.

 
  #156 (permalink)
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I went over some of my trades and my results for the past week. I previously said I was going to focus on scalps and that's what I did for CL on Friday. Here are 3 of them:

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Notice anything about my trading there??

Yeah me too. I was happy about being 3/3 on my CL scalps, so much so that I missed the big move of the week!

The cycles charts showed a great #1 setup with cyclical resistance levels on all 3 timeframes:

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Unfortunately I wasn't focusing on the cycle charts or my higher timeframe order flow charts. I was focused on scalps. So technically I didn't do anything wrong but in hindsight I wonder if I can do better. Now nobody can predict a big move like that, it's not very common. But still, all the signs were there on all my charts, I just wasn't looking. I even got the entry on the ladder. I just got out when price pulled back to breakeven, which is the correct thing to do on a scalp.

So all this got me thinking all weekend. I decided to focus on scalps because my longer daytrades weren't working. Rather than figure out why they're not working I choose to focus on what was working. Nothing wrong with that. I decided what I was going to do and I stuck to it. I didn't get any scalp setups for a while and only got one more the rest of the morning session. So I'm quite happy to have finished with 100% winners on CL and +$380 isn't anything to complain about.

But each weekend I like to plan out my strategy for the upcoming week. And my strategy is this:

- Monitor the big picture (cycle & higher timeframe charts) and take trades when setups occur
- In between setups on the big picture, take good scalp setups

more specific goals:

- get better at judging trade location for the big trades
- keep losses small on scalp trades (ideally 3 ticks max)

This is easier said than done. It's easy to focus on the big picture and miss the scalps. It's easy to focus on the scalps and miss the big picture. So this is what I'm going to work on. Remember for my big trades they start as scalps so there is some overlap with the two.

My testing of the TPO has also been distracting me. I was wanting to see if it could be traded purely mechanically. So far I don't think so. So for next week I'm dropping that. Since it requires higher volume lower volatility markets I've been testing it with ES. For next week I want to focus on one market per session and for the US morning it's CL. I'll continue using TPO for swing trading, it works best on higher timeframes.

PS: In that first chart I marked a divergence in the delta momentum that would be a warning that a reversal is likely. You can get that indicator in the volume breakdown thread in the elite section. It's based on the market delta indicator I use. Also note that you can't trade that mechnically, in the downtrend there were bullish divergences that didn't go anywhere. This relates to my previous post where everything has to be taken in context.

Good luck with your trading this week.

 
  #157 (permalink)
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Break out strategies

Greeting Cunparis,

I believe that your characterization of the System 2, Ross Hook and AYN as break out strategies is incorrect........to my knowledge they are all continuatiion trades that buy/sell on pullbacks NOT break outs. The Ross Hook in particuliar taught an "early entry" to avoid the "fake out break out."

Welcome back hope you had a great vacation, Jeff

 
  #158 (permalink)
Trade with the flow
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Jeff Castille View Post
Greeting Cunparis,

I believe that your characterization of the System 2, Ross Hook and AYN as break out strategies is incorrect........to my knowledge they are all continuatiion trades that buy/sell on pullbacks NOT break outs. The Ross Hook in particuliar taught an "early entry" to avoid the "fake out break out."

Welcome back hope you had a great vacation, Jeff

Hi Jeff, good to hear from you. It's been a while. We had a great trip and I wouldn't mind living in San Diego.

The entry on System2, Ross Hook, and AYN (at least when we were trading it goether) is a few ticks above the previous swing high. I call this a breakout because you specify a S/R level in advance and when price goes beyond you jump in with the crowd. I also agree that they are continuation trades and that one is taking a breakout of the pullback. I don't think breakout & continuation labels are contradictory.

Ross has the TTE entry and that's not a breakout entry, so it's nice that he has the option to get in early. It was his TTE that got me thinking about cycles again, because he's taking the TTE which is trading a turning point and that's what I do with cycles so all my cycle tools apply. In fact his TTE is like my cycle setup #1 where the small timeframe catches the pullback and the new cycle alignment with the higher timeframe is the low of the pullback.

The advantage to breakouts is there is a clear entry trigger so there is no question about when to enter. That is one aspect that makes it so appealing. It's easy to do.

The disadvantages are that pro's usually don't enter on breakouts so you're not trading with the smart money, breakouts often fail, pro's often fade the breakout, and one needs a wide stop.

And this gets back to the point of my post: Trading is a lot more than just waiting for one specific setup/pattern/event and entering a trade.

This is all my opinion of course and I welcome other points of view.

 
  #159 (permalink)
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Pull backs vs. break outs

Please see link #378 in the "All you Need" thread. This is dated 9/8/2009

 
  #160 (permalink)
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Had to remind myself what TTE is. So now I've added TTE to the acronym expansion, hover over the word and the definition will be present

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