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BC's TST CL Combine
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BC's TST CL Combine

  #51 (permalink)
Elite Member
Long Beach, CA
 
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So I did not do any trades with the TST combine today. My wife had a big meeting she had to go to, which translates into I have "Diaper Duty" for the lil kiddo. I may not be the sharpest tool in the shed .... but I do at least know that a little 3 month old and trading don't really mix so well, at least when he is in the same room or in my arms. Now that he is flashing smiles and his personality is shinning thru, I am not sure if he is the one demanding all the attention or if it's really me demanding all of his attention .. lol.

As I write this (in between a little nap) I didn't see any of my patterns until inventories came out. SO was actually prolly good timing on my part to take the day off. There were some decent signals however, and some good trades could have been made. Especially if just going with the trend. Wow.

I will post some pics at the EOD just to show the signals/patterns that happened.

Hope you all are having or had a great morning . I sure am/did

bc

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Last edited by abctrading; February 5th, 2014 at 03:47 PM. Reason: Added pic
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  #52 (permalink)
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trendwaves View Post
I gave all this some thought overnight and this is my suggestion for your consideration.

You have two goals to achieve in your remaining three days of this combine. First to maintain or increase your win%. Second to make roughly $3000, or an average of $1000 a day.

You mentioned needing to be more aggressive in these last three days, which I do agree with based on your daily average P/L. Continuing to do what you have been doing is not going to be enough to reach the $3000 mark given the time available to work with.

Given everything up to this point, this is what I would do in this situation. I would start by maxing out the number of contracts you are allowed to trade, I think that is 3 contracts ? Now starting with that max, I will assume 3, I would slightly modify your open position management strategy in the following way. Use your 15 tick target for the first two contracts, so instead of one contract at + 15 ticks profit, take off two contracts. This locks in $300 profit. On the third contract I would trail that with a 10 tick trailing stop. So at the +15 tick mark, you have locked in an additional 5 ticks on the third contract. I would then let that third contract run as far as it wants with it's 10 tick trailing stop in tow. So if the third contract runs 100 ticks, you will lock in at least 90 of those ticks of profit. If the third contract comes back and stops out at 5 ticks, then your total profit on the trade is $350.

I think this strategy will allow you to maintain or improve your high win%, it won't really affect your first target at all, other than getting more help on the $ profit per trade attempt. The actual outcome and probability associated with that outcome will not be affected by having the extra contract at the +15 tick target. The stop strategy on the runner is designed to also help you with the $ P/L at the end of the day/combine.

This slightly more aggressive trade management strategy stays true to the intent of your original trading plan, and at a minimum, should allow you to achieve a rollover of your combine. So my suggestion here is, wait for a valid trade setup to form, then manage it more aggressively with respect to $ profit taken out of the trade attempt.


Thanks for the input Trendwaves!! heh heh, hope you are not losing any sleep thinking about my combine lol

I was thinking along the same lines as you. The combine I chose allows 5 contracts, and there is a $1000 daily loss limit. I had planned on doing 3 cars, peeling 2 off at 15 ticks and then moving T2 or runner down to the next 15 minute level. and have stop moved to b/e either once there is that initial retest of entry and or T1 is hit. I am not sure if I would do a 10 tick trailing stop .. that sure seems like a short leash, but I do understand the logic behind that, and will chew on it for the T2 runner. I would like to go back and test to see if 10 ticks is"enough" or should it be like 15?? or 50% of the move? or 2/3rd's of it?? My plan has been to follow with a technical stop. One way, which is how I would play a T3 runner, would be to follow stop 2 zones behind price looking at a 6 range chart. or basically seeing those LL's and HH's and keeping an eye on the trend, and trying to best determine when to lock in and when to let it breathe and run.

Trading with 3 cars and having a 14/15 tick stop really only gives me 2 bad calls a day out of the gate. Those losers add up fast!! I feel that the parameters of TST are really forcing me to "protect' the account and move stops just to ensure I don't blow out or at least have an opportunity to trade another trade if it does not work out. Almost like a "It either runs or it doesn't" kind of trade, and if it doesn't run, and comes back and takes out a stop .. just reset and wait for the next "possible" runner. I wrestle big time with the studies and history of moving stops and how it does not pay off to move them. Perhaps I really should be trading a bigger TST Combine where the drawdowns and daily loss limits are larger and I can trade more cars and have those multiple Targets. Perhaps these "cheaper" lower combines are more geared towards a scalper? Or perhaps, I should have just started off with trading 2 cars and splitting them off from the get go, definitely had some runners during this combine that would have been great and would also have kept me out of some bad trades too.

Anyhoots, thanks again for the ideas, I will chew on them and do some backtesting.

bc


Last edited by abctrading; February 5th, 2014 at 02:23 PM.
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  #53 (permalink)
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So I received a pm earlier today and thought there were some good points and questions that might help somebody else that is looking into doing a TST Combine. I won't be posting their name, just what they wrote (hope you don't mind )


Quoting 
I been looking at TST and with 3 contracts trading needs 1500 profit on 30,000 account, but 5 contracts you need 3500 profit on 50,000 account.
so 3 cont vs 5 cont you need to double the profit on 5 contract vs 1/2 of that with only 3 contracts.

with 3 days left i wouldnt go aggressive just to make it, thats when we trade greed instead of our trading a plan.
my option is to go easy and pass it so you can roll it over to another combine, as long as you have all the boxes check for the combine rules, it is still good even if you didnt make it to the profit target

Thanks for the input! I am planning on trading 3 cars with 3 targets. If I can get a runner or two in the next day or two, I might add a 4th or even a 5th car on the last day, making sure I don't blow out and also that I stay green for a rollover, will see how it goes here.

As far as the difference between 30k and 50k combines .... I was not comfortable with only having a 500/day loss limit. With the 15 tick stops I am using with 2 cars, if the first trade was a loser .... what or how would or could I trade the second trade? Smaller stop? One contract? wait for the next day? I didn't like that thought , and that is why I went with the 50k combine. Well that as well as the $$ deposit was not much different than the 30k, and definitely less than the 100 and 150k combines.

If I were to do this again, I would probably do the 100 or 150k with a bigger or larger daily loss limit, and be able to trade multiple cars with the ability to take a couple of hits or bad trades in a day and not be so worried to pull the trigger again that same day.

Thanks again for the input .. good luck with whichever combine you choose to do!

bc

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  #54 (permalink)
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abctrading View Post
So I received a pm earlier today and thought there were some good points and questions that might help somebody else that is looking into doing a TST Combine. I won't be posting their name, just what they wrote (hope you don't mind )



Thanks for the input! I am planning on trading 3 cars with 3 targets. If I can get a runner or two in the next day or two, I might add a 4th or even a 5th car on the last day, making sure I don't blow out and also that I stay green for a rollover, will see how it goes here.

As far as the difference between 30k and 50k combines .... I was not comfortable with only having a 500/day loss limit. With the 15 tick stops I am using with 2 cars, if the first trade was a loser .... what or how would or could I trade the second trade? Smaller stop? One contract? wait for the next day? I didn't like that thought , and that is why I went with the 50k combine. Well that as well as the $$ deposit was not much different than the 30k, and definitely less than the 100 and 150k combines.

If I were to do this again, I would probably do the 100 or 150k with a bigger or larger daily loss limit, and be able to trade multiple cars with the ability to take a couple of hits or bad trades in a day and not be so worried to pull the trigger again that same day.

Thanks again for the input .. good luck with whichever combine you choose to do!

bc

I would make into the considaration as well TopStepTrader scout team will review your trades as well. Changing the daily routine just because achive the goal will not make you founded trader in my understanding, but being disciplined no mather what, believing your system, and execution works, is a much more achievment, which will make you successfull in a long term.

But this is only my view. You know win a trade doesnt mean you have right, or loosing a trade doesnt mean you are wrong Being consistent is the real goal here...

Máté
Full time traderLive journal here
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  #55 (permalink)
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I did not take any TST Combine trades today. The thinking or rationale was because I only have 3 days left and I really need to average some rather large days to hit the funding target, I was being very cautious and wanted to stack up the odds for a good trade vs. just taking a stab at a trade.

I did not quite know what to do with the retest of GH where I got a signal to go long, so I stayed out of that opportunity. Then while trying to put the market into context I was distracted and totally missed seeing a doji candle print on the 1 min chart up there at the HOD. and for some reason thought we could keep going higher after seeing that bounce on GH. Totally missed the trade of the day.

From there, PA just seemed to grind in this choppy chop slow drift down. I have been killed in that kind of market before and by the time 8:30 (pst) rolled around I decided to just call it a day, as I just was not feeling any mojo and did not want to push it, and get caught in the middle of the Ranginess, especially since I have the time to complete this 10 day combine might as well wait for a better (for me at least) day to trade.

Looking back at the day, certainly there were some great signals for me to take, sure was hard in real time for me though!!

Looking forward to having another shot at it tomorrow.



bc

Attached Thumbnails
BC's TST CL Combine-2014-02-06_1038.png   BC's TST CL Combine-2014-02-06_1051.png   BC's TST CL Combine-2014-02-06_1107.png   BC's TST CL Combine-2014-02-06_1124.png   BC's TST CL Combine-2014-02-06_1127.png  
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  #56 (permalink)
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A lot of good points being raised.

My last suggestion was made with consideration to the other points being made here. I recognized the dilemma raised by the counterbalancing Combine goals which is why I took my time in making the suggestion. I was torn between the idea of reducing risk by cutting trade size to 1 contract and trading for the rollover with as little risk per trade as possible. Or, by adding a contract at the first target with the chance of catching a runner or two and getting close to the account balance goal at the end of the combine.

My suggestion was to continue taking the valid trade setups, and continue using the same 15 tick first exit target, and to continue using the same stop loss placement. I felt this would stay within and not disturb the analytical work that had gone into the original design of the strategy before the Combine was attempted. In terms of being "more aggressive", my suggestion was to add 1 contract for the first target, which I believe will not disturb the original trade win/loss probability. I do recognize adding 1 contract does increase the dollar amount at risk per trade attempt by 1/3, which is the "aggressive" part of my suggested modification.

This all raises an interesting problem. What is the optimal trade strategy given the Combine goals ?

Be Patient and Trade Smart
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  #57 (permalink)
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trendwaves View Post
A lot of good points being raised.

My last suggestion was made with consideration to the other points being made here. I recognized the dilemma raised by the counterbalancing Combine goals which is why I took my time in making the suggestion. I was torn between the idea of reducing risk by cutting trade size to 1 contract and trading for the rollover with as little risk per trade as possible. Or, by adding a contract at the first target with the chance of catching a runner or two and getting close to the account balance goal at the end of the combine.

My suggestion was to continue taking the valid trade setups, and continue using the same 15 tick first exit target, and to continue using the same stop loss placement. I felt this would stay within and not disturb the analytical work that had gone into the original design of the strategy before the Combine was attempted. In terms of being "more aggressive", my suggestion was to add 1 contract for the first target, which I believe will not disturb the original trade win/loss probability. I do recognize adding 1 contract does increase the dollar amount at risk per trade attempt by 1/3, which is the "aggressive" part of my suggested modification.

This all raises an interesting problem. What is the optimal trade strategy given the Combine goals ?

Thanks Trendwaves for the input and comments. I really like being forced to put words to my thoughts and try to explain them. Helps me filter everything .. which is a very good thing!

I think I have landed on a strategy for the last 3 days. It does change up the original strat, but not by much. I will be going to 3 contracts and have a T1 of 8 Ticks where I will pull 2 cars off and essentially give the T2 runner a "free trade." I was noticing the difference between pulling t1 at 15 ticks vs 8 and it is only $140. At this point I would rather get into a risk free trade quicker and hope that it gets some legs and not sweat it if it does get stopped out. This can help me feel better about not moving stop regardless of what price does. If taken out .. I can just re enter on the next signal. I attached a pic of a basic spreadsheet that I put together that helped me see the differences between stop and target sizes.

Let's get real here ... I need some big days to hit combine objectives, and this could be one way to do it. It can also help me stay in the green for a worst case scenario where I get a rollover.

Thoughts are welcome ... thanks for taking time out of your day to check in and follow along this journey.

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  #58 (permalink)
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The "free trade" part of your strategy is something I am fairly familiar with. It is the technique I use when scaling out of a position, in place of the traditional "move the stop to breakeven". So I know for certain that part works well, it is mathematically sound.

The part I do not understand is how do you know when to get out of the runner ?

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  #59 (permalink)
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trendwaves View Post
The "free trade" part of your strategy is something I am fairly familiar with. It is the technique I use when scaling out of a position, in place of the traditional "move the stop to breakeven". So I know for certain that part works well, it is mathematically sound.

Yea, it definitely eases the emotions on that runner and should help me not want to move my stop so quickly.


Quoting 
The part I do not understand is how do you know when to get out of the runner ?

Good question ..... I really don't know. One thing I do know however is that there is a 100+ Tick move very often in CL.

"IF" I can get in close to a major pivot and let it ride .... I should be able to get that 100 tick move ... it may take all day, but it can get there. It happened today for example.

You are right however . I should figure out a point where I do lock in profit or when seeing something so blatantly obvious that the trend is over, I should play that or tighten the leash on that runner. It seems that often the distance between 15 and 60 min zones is greater than that 100 ticks ... so that would actually make sense to let it run if the distance of opposite zone I am coming out of is that far away.

Bottom line ..... I need those big runners to hit these targets. Sure I may be able to do several smaller target trades and chip away at it that way .. but that just exposes me that much more to making a bad call.

I am realizing more and more how I really should have done the larger combine where I could trade the 15 contracts and have a daily loss limit of $3k. That way I could trade more contracts and get those runners, and not feel so pressured if I were to make a few bad call in a row in a day to jump right back in and trade out of a hole without the worry of blowing out the max daily loss. Even if I were to trade just 6 contracts I could weather at least 2 full stop outs, and another where all I hit was a T1 ... that would keep me within that max daily loss. So far with what I am seeing, I have not made more than 3 bad trades in a row . which I would stop at anyways .. with my 3 strikes and out. And I should go back and count how many trades I did get into in this combine where had I not moved stop to b/e and had I at least 1 runner ... I would have had that 100 tick trade. I will do that now that I am thinking about it and post it later or tomorrow.

Anyways ... hope that made some sense, and feel free to poke holes.

bc

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  #60 (permalink)
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The Average Daily Range of the CLH4 contract over the last 5 trading sessions is $1.49 or 149 ticks. Over the last 20 days the average daily range is $1.54, because of a slight spike up in volatility in the last half of January. So lets just round this down to 140 ticks to play it conservatively. This covers all trading sessions that make up one complete trading day.

So with this statistical information at your disposal, you can then figure out where that 100 tick runner your hoping for is statistically likely to end. The path the market takes to create that 140 tick daily range is another story unfortunately. If tomorrow is not a trend day, then you may have to withstand some wicked 30-40 tick pullbacks before that 140 tick range completes. For me personally, if I see 40 or 50 ticks of profit in a position, I am going to tighten down that trailing stop significantly because I am not willing to risk all 40 ticks of profit to squeeze that last 10 or 20 ticks of potential profit out of the trade. I will try my best to get that last part of the trend, but the trend will have to hold the technical stop levels it creates the further it runs.

The funny thing is, the middle part of the trend is often the hardest to hold through, the late or ending phase of trends is usually the cleanest and easiest to hold even with a tighter trailing stop.

Anyways, these are market tendencies that might help you if your fortunate enough to find yourself in a range extending trend move.

Be Patient and Trade Smart
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