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

  #421 (permalink)
Trade with the flow
Paris, France
 
Futures Experience: Advanced
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Today I took a beating on the dax. 3 stop outs and then I didn't get a setup with my criteria as the dax went up 100+ ticks. I later got a winner and made back half my loss.

So to trade the dax I need to:

- relax my setup criteria
- use a wider stop

Both of these go against the way I'm trading ES so i prefer not to do that.

I think the DAX is a great market, but it's really difficult (not unlike crude). So I will focus on Euro Stoxx & Euro for the European morning.

I updated my excel to track my profit factor. The profit factors include commissions, which drop some down below the 2.0 threshold.

I don't track avg win / avg loss because taking small scratch trades mess this one up. I don't track the win % because that can subconciously make me want to be right the majority of the time and I really don't need to be. So project factor seems to be the best metric. Having a PF > 2.0 provides a margin for mistakes.

Next step will be to count wins & losses separately so that I can do a 5 day average of the profit factor. .

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cunparis journal, thoughts, and more-tradelog.png  
 
  #422 (permalink)
Trade with the flow
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Here's the dax chart showing where I was going long (green) and where I didn't take the trade (orange). I actually went long 3 times instead of 2. Meanwhile FESX gave a perfect setup. With FESX you make less but I think the risk is much less. It's very similar to ES but less volatile.

PS: Obviously those bars looked totally different in real time..

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  #423 (permalink)
Trade with the flow
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cunparis View Post
Just finished doing my weekend homework. Attached are the trend chart, the dotted lines are determined by ..... you guessed it, volume! and that shows trend is up.

Cycle charts - I still see strength. I think we're due for a pullback but the pros will probably buy it again and keep the rally going. Next target is 1240.

So far my scenario is playing out as expected. We got the pullback I was anticipating and the commercials are buying it up.

 
  #424 (permalink)
Trade with the flow
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I closed out the swing trade at 1204.25 for 2.75 + 21 = 23.75 pts.

My reason is there is a short setup with a down cycle forming on the 40500 tick (my highest tick chart) coinciding with an END of trend on the 4500 tick. Some bearish divergences and professional selling activity told me it was time.

I'm not looking for a short cause I don't want to fight the uptrend so I'm looking for a pullback and another long setup.

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  #425 (permalink)
Trade with the flow
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The good & the bad.

The good news is my ES trading continues to be profitable on simulator and I'm averaging $200/day over the past 5 days, with 2 of those days without any losses. I will go to real money trading for ES on Monday.

The bad is that my trading today was horrible. I made every mistake possible today! However there is some good to the story. I took an hour and a half to study my trades and make sure I don't repeat them. It was a great learning experience, well worth the virtual -$1200 it cost me (simulator money).

The euro is different than ES in that it's more volatile so the ladder looks differently. I'll need a few more sessions to see if I should continue trading it. I hesitate to trade something very different from ES because I don't want it to affect my ES trading. But at the same time there are more setups and I'm learning a lot from it so maybe it'll help overall.

Some of my mistakes today:

- I took a few trades just before and right at the open. It's too volatile then (for me)

- I didn't do my homework before the open. I just jumped right into trading. My homework is doing an analysis of market profile, balance areas, important S&R levels, cycles, etc.

- I didn't exit when I got an opposing signal. This one would have prevented half my losses easily

- I scaled in when my setup was less than perfect.

- I "chased" the market (just 1 tick but it actually made a huge difference)

- I was too aggressive with my trailing stops on the euro which is more volatile than the ES. -3 ticks works great on ES but on Euro no

So overall a great learning experience and I don't regret it at all. 2 hours trading and 1.5 hours review. I think that ratio is about right. If we don't take time to learn from our mistakes then we just repeat them. Kind of like history I guess.

I finish the month positive on the dax 746 euros. I don't have enough data on FESX & Euro. And ES is looking good.

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  #426 (permalink)
Trade with the flow
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What a day trading ES!

I started out with 3 back to back losers. I think the first loser was an ok setup that didn't work out and 2 were bad decisions on my part. I'm going to study those this weekend. I got down 9 points but I didn't give up. I fought my way back to breakeven. Well almost, I finished -1 tick. I proved to myself that if I really focus I can do it.

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Now with commissions that comes out to be -$108.

That wraps up the month of April so here is the completed tradelog:

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The results with ES have been great. The $477 loss was when I was testing a mechanical system, I wasn't using order flow or the ladder. So really today was my first losing day trading cycles with order flow.

Here are the 5 day stats for ES:

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My PF is almost 2, which is my criteria for real money trading. But take a look at the PF for long & short. Whoa! This is telling me something I've known all along but yet lose site of:

Context is the most important element of trading!

I made that real big so that I'll see it and remember it. All my money was made on the short side. Now this doesn't include my swing trade which was a long. And that swing trade proved that there was money to be made on the long side as well as short. This is my biggest area for improvement. All my losses today were on the long side.

I have not yet decided if I go with real money for next week. I'm going to think about it this weekend. On one hand I met my criteria so I'm feeling confident. One the other I know I have some areas to improve.

So here's my plan:

- Trade only ES & FESX (FESX is so correlated to the ES that my preparation for ES will be valid for FESX). Euro & DAX are great markets but too different from ES. I need to focus.

- Get very serious about swing trading. I am doing well spotting the bigger setups so I need to be more aggressive on those.

- Tie in my swing trading with my day trading. Be on the lookout for swing trade setups that occur during the day, enter as a scalp and then swing a runner.

- Spend more time on education, study, & preparation. That means being more selective with setups and using my time waiting to study & prepare. And it also means spending time to analyze all of my trades and identify areas of improvement.

This has been an awesome month. 2 months ago I was negative. Last month I was about breakeven but with commissions I was negative. This month I am positive with commissions on both DAX & ES! YES!

In case it's not clear, swing trades are not included in the tradelog or stats because they're done with real money. The tradelog and stats are focused on daytrading which is on simulator.

Have a good weekend.

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  #427 (permalink)
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cp,

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  #428 (permalink)
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cunparis View Post
What a day trading ES!


Context is the most important element of trading!

I made that real big so that I'll see it and remember it. All my money was made on the short side. Now this doesn't include my swing trade which was a long. And that swing trade proved that there was money to be made on the long side as well as short. This is my biggest area for improvement. All my losses today were on the long side.

Cunparis,

I enjoy reading your journal. While I don't have current aspirations to trade the way you do, I do learn a lot from you. Your persistance and thoroughness are an inspiration to me.

Lately I have been trading with a 3 tick PnF chart. While it allows your stops to be tight, it is easy to lose perspective as you mentioned in the above comment. I brought up this 6 tick PnF chart and the context just jumps out at you. This is something that I too, want to remember. Thanks for sharing this.

Good trading!

Mahlon

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  #429 (permalink)
Trade with the flow
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mahlonhersh View Post
Cunparis,

I enjoy reading your journal. While I don't have current aspirations to trade the way you do, I do learn a lot from you. Your persistance and thoroughness are an inspiration to me.

Lately I have been trading with a 3 tick PnF chart. While it allows your stops to be tight, it is easy to lose perspective as you mentioned in the above comment. I brought up this 6 tick PnF chart and the context just jumps out at you. This is something that I too, want to remember. Thanks for sharing this.

Good trading!

Thanks Mahlonhersh, I'm glad you like this thread. Feel free to write about how you trade and show some trades. I never intended this thread to be only about me and I encourage participation.

I also use a 6 tick PNF chart. I use it for my volume ladder chart. I like it a lot. But sounds like we differ there in that you use it for a higher timeframe and I'm using it just for timing entries. For my big picture I'm using 4500/1500/500 tick charts. So I'm curious how you're trading off a 3 tick PNF chart.

Good trading to you too.

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  #430 (permalink)
Trade with the flow
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Big Picture Charts


First, I had an error with my COT charts in that I mixed up the SP & ES data for several weeks. That negates the major buy signal (although it was timely!). To avoid the confusion I track them separately now. I have been losing confidence in the COT data for a while so I'm not sure what to make of it.

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Next, the dumb money didn't buy into the recent highs. If they're all in then there is no one else left.

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Next, on the cycle charts. The moment I've been waiting for. A monthly cyclical turn which could cap the current rally. These turns often overshoot, especially when there is a lot of directional strength, so the top could be several months a way (each bar is a month after all). But it means we should be looking for signs of a top.

The daily chart shows we're in a trading range and near the unfair lows. A good place to put on a long trade with at least a 2:1 R:R. The setup lookd good at the close but I didn't want to hold the weekend, so I'll be looking for a long opportunity on Monday.

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Euro & Gold are already in down cycles on the monthly charts, and Crude has a cycle cross this month. Since these markets are all correlated, that's pretty bearish.

So my outlook is bearish but that is long term. Short term anything can happen in the ES and I'll be trading both long & short as long as we're in the trading range. When we break out of the trading range it should be a nice move but I'll be looking out for false breakouts.

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