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I'm gonna quit my job tomorrow...one of these days


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I'm gonna quit my job tomorrow...one of these days

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  #1 (permalink)
 Pariah Carey 
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After a few months of studying and practice trading, I've decided to take things up a notch in preparation for going live. I fee like I'm almost there (to trade with real money) but I want to create some accountability for my work by making it public and subject to peer review.

I've been practice trading this system (which I'll explain shortly) for about three months. The first month I pretty much lost money every day as I learned to read the price action. Some days were ok, some days I was like wuuuuut???!!! But I got better. I learned from mistakes and spent hours each night studying charts and the trades I took. I started to understand the rules and to anticipate price movement, in particular reversals. The last month has been encouraging. I've made money every day for about the last month, trading in real time, and I've also done some trading on the weekends using Ninja Trader's replay system. For that I'll pick a day a few months back that I never traded, and set it up as if I'm actually trading that day. It's great for getting in some extra practice.

My system is Mack's price action trading system (PATS). Mack is kind of a low-key, mysterious guy, but he has tons of good stuff out there on the internet. I first bought his trading manual and daily chart reviews, which you can get on his website for about 99 bucks, but what's really helped me is actual trading combined with watching his Youtube vids every day. When you watch him explain it, it really makes sense. I don't know this guy but I can tell he really enjoys trading and helping others. He genuinely believes, as do I, that you can fundamentally change your life for the better through trading. And that all of his stuff is out there for free or very low cost says a lot about him I think. He's not trying to get rich by teaching trading; he makes his money from TRADING and helps others on the side. Anyway, Mack is awesome, check him out.

So here is the cliff notes version of PATS: I trade the ES because it's the biggest and has predictable moves. I use a 2,000-tick chart with a 21 EMA. That's the only indicator. All I do on top of that is draw trend or support/resistance lines. I trade two contracts with a two-point stop, so that's $200 risked per trade. At four ticks profit I take out one contract them move the stop to break even on the other in the hope of getting a runner. How far the runner goes just depends, and is something I'm still learning. As I work through this I'll probably talk about measured moves and going for the highs and lows of the channel, as those can be a good indicator of where to take your profit.

Like I said at the beginning I'm doing this for accountability. Some days I'll look at my chart at the end and say what the hell is all that? It's an absolute mess with all the trades I took. Simply put, some days I'm overtrading because I know I'm not using real money. Hopefully, knowing that I'll be submitting my charts for public review will curb that. Because I can't do that when it's for real.

Anyway no chart for today because frankly I'm embarrassed at all the trades I took, even though it was a profitable day. But I was all over the place. I think in the real world I would've gotten smoked, so no more of that. But I'll see you tomorrow!

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 tturner86 
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Set limits and goals for yourself. Keep it simple and easy to follow. Write your entire trading plan out that way it is something that you can refer to. Don't think you have to do it all in one day, you can write it piece by piece in the beginning as you figure it out.

With trading price action I suggest selecting a handful of setups and only looking for those. This may help you focus and stop over trading. Remember that in the end your last trade is the most important as this is a game of what you don't lose not what you make. As with Game of Thrones you either play to win, or die.

Good luck and Good Trading.

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 Pariah Carey 
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I agree about looking only for certain setups. Good hitters in baseball will swing only at certain pitches in certain counts. They look for a pitch to be in a particular part of the strike zone, and if it's not there they don't swing. Same here I think. The key is discipline and patience to wait for the right one.

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 wldman 
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when you are embarrased by the trades you took...that is exactly the chart you want to publish. You learn from mistakes not from victories.
DB

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LogicalTrader
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I will just say one thing to you: keep your job for as long as you can - even after you are consistently making profitable trades - CASH (not sim).

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 wldman 
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similar basic idea. Here is my chart. Three indications. I had the noonish long but like a DOPE I scratched the trade thinking that time of day was against me in a lower volume holiday shortened week.


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 ratfink 
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LogicalTrader View Post
I will just say one thing to you: keep your job for as long as you can - even after you are consistently making profitable trades - CASH (not sim).

Seconded. From experience. Ouch.

Travel Well
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 Fritzk 
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trendwaves started a thread and we have about 1/2 doz or so guys that are doing the PAT system from Mack, all posting charts. Super helpful bunch.

PATs - Price Action Trading - Elite Members Common Journal

You're welcome to join us.

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 Fritzk 
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wldman View Post
when you are embarrased by the trades you took...that is exactly the chart you want to publish. You learn from mistakes not from victories.
DB


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 Pariah Carey 
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Today was terrible. I talked before about having had success over the last month, but I definitely need more work before going live. Bottom line I just didn't read the price action correctly, at least early on and that is where the damage was done. I actually finished strong--my last four trades were three winners and a break even that I saw as not going anywhere so I bailed before it turned. And I didn't panic. Once the bloodbath was on I just told myself it's ok, you're only practicing here, just go back to the fundamentals and focus on the next trade. Forget the losers and just focus on the next one.

So I feel pretty good about tomorrow. It's a new day. Tonight I'm going to watch Mack's video, get a good nights sleep, and try again tomorrow.

I'm not going to go over each trade because there were a lot, probably too many. 13 to be exact. Seven losers, five wins and a scratch. Wins are in green, losers in red, the scratch is black.

The chart that I have attached is how I think the trend lines should be drawn. I was able to figure out some of these only afterward, in hindsight. Looking at them now I can see the system rules at work, and what I should have done differently. If I'd had these lines in place then I think I would've been ok. For instance in the first move down which started at the high from the 8.30 open, and encompasses trades 2-6, I clearly see a down trend, albeit a choppy one. Then the channel breaks (goes up) and there's a new move down, which is exactly what Mack teaches. You don't want to go long until you get that new move down. And what do you know, once the new low is reached you get an 11-point rally.

My biggest problem is that between about 8.50 and 10, where we were just in a range, I was drawing my lines all wrong. I think I had them too steep and off the wrong swings, and a few times this caused me to sell at the bottom and buy at the top. I have trouble with range trading and I'm just going to have to work on that. I was fine once we rallied, but I got chopped to pieces in the congestion.

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 wldman 
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and post my bull$h1t trades from today.

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 wldman 
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my journal thread as to not cross the line and hijack someone else's thread. Dan

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 Pariah Carey 
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Much better day today. I feel like I'm really reading the price action good this morning. I quit trading about 11:00 USCST because I've pretty much met my goals and done all I need to do for the day. If I was trading real money I might trade some more in sim for practice or I might just stop. But this is a good way to go into the long weekend.

Six trades today, five winners and one loser. As soon as it happened, even before it happened, I could tell why the loser didn't work. I took a position right in the middle of a bunch of ema congestion. I remember Mack talking about that before and it's something I'm going to have to work on and be aware of. Additionally, right after that losing trade, I noticed an uptrend working across the lows starting with the overnight low. I went short right above that line, so it wasn't a good idea but I didn't see it until afterward.

Here are the trades:

Trade 1: Bought on a 2nd entry long. This too was actually in the middle of a bunch of ema chop, and several times it came within one tick of stopping me out. Again I'm going to have to watch out for that and look for a better entry bar. But we just had a break of an uptrend so I figured we were going to retest the high. Good trade where I scalped four ticks and my runner got a few ticks as well.

Trade 2: already discussed.

Trades 3-4: These were aggressive. Once I drew that up sloping trend line I said let's just wait for the market to come back to it. It did just that shortly after, and when the bar dipped below the line but came right back up and closed above I went long. Didn't even wait on a second or even first entry. I really like the way this line was holding price. Got four quick ticks but the runner died.

In trade 4, right after my runner got taken out, I saw the market once again going up off the line. For a few ticks it really surged forward and you could see some intense buying. I just said go, it's on, get in. It was a purely gut move based off what I was seeing. Sometimes you just gotta say to hell with it and swing away. I got a point off my scalp and about 3 1/2 points off the runner.

Trade 5: Once we broke the short-term trend and reached a new high I figured we were coming back down. Prices stalled out at the high then we got a second entry short. I took just one contract here seeing if I could just scalp a point and I got it pretty easy.

Trade 6: I drew a down trend line and price was holding it well, so I went short. I should've waited on a second entry but it worked, I just had to watch the market go against me for a point or so. Second entries are better but sometimes you just don't get them. Sometimes if you wait on a second entry you're left holding the bag. But this trade worked although that up sloping line once again proved unbreakable so I didn't get anything off the runner.

Total profit of six points and a tick, or $312 before commish.

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 Pariah Carey 
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Slow day today but I made a modest profit. I've been watching the screen for five hours and it's just painfully slow. I've got other stuff to do and I'm up for the day so this is going to be it.

Three trades, two winners and a break even that I just lost faith in. Two points profit.

Trade one was a second entry long off the trendline that's still in effect from last week. One point profit, then the runner got taken out, then it proceeded to rally five points of course. I should have gotten back in like I did on a trade last week but I just didn't have that aggressive instinct today.

Trade two is another second entry, this one well below that trend line but I figured we were at least going back to the ema, which we did, and which it then proceeded to once again take out the runner. A point of profit.

After this nothing happened for over an hour. Market was going up but I saw no good setups. Finally had one tick lower below all the even closes at 1861.25. I saw this as a trap, thought maybe we'd catch some shorts, so I went long hoping we would spike up. Took just one contract here because I was just looking for four ticks and then be done for the day. We went up three ticks and I was waiting for those last two to fill my limit order but it never came. We bounced around and after watching for 10 minutes I got out at break even. It was just taking too long and making me nervous. As of this writing 20 minutes later it has yet to get up there, although it looks like it will eventually because the price is hugging the trendline pretty well. On a better day it may have worked faster.



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 Pariah Carey 
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And there it went. We just popped above 1863. Oh well I got to preserve my little profit.

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 tturner86 
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Slow day today but I made a modest profit. I've been watching the screen for five hours and it's just painfully slow. I've got other stuff to do and I'm up for the day so this is going to be it.

Three trades, two winners and a break even that I just lost faith in. Two points profit.

Trade one was a second entry long off the trendline that's still in effect from last week. One point profit, then the runner got taken out, then it proceeded to rally five points of course. I should have gotten back in like I did on a trade last week but I just didn't have that aggressive instinct today.

Trade two is another second entry, this one well below that trend line but I figured we were at least going back to the ema, which we did, and which it then proceeded to once again take out the runner. A point of profit.

After this nothing happened for over an hour. Market was going up but I saw no good setups. Finally had one tick lower below all the even closes at 1861.25. I saw this as a trap, thought maybe we'd catch some shorts, so I went long hoping we would spike up. Took just one contract here because I was just looking for four ticks and then be done for the day. We went up three ticks and I was waiting for those last two to fill my limit order but it never came. We bounced around and after watching for 10 minutes I got out at break even. It was just taking too long and making me nervous. As of this writing 20 minutes later it has yet to get up there, although it looks like it will eventually because the price is hugging the trendline pretty well. On a better day it may have worked faster.



Do you have a predefined target when you enter your trades?

Looking at trade #1, I would have been targeting the most recent swing high @ 1862.50. Same with trade #2, I would have been looking for the same area again.

You had two really good entries that could have been well enough to not require trade #3.

Your chart looks like a trading range, and you are doing a good job of buying at the bottom of the range, but it looks like you are not allowing your trade to run to an area where it most likely will go and take profit there.

When I take a trade, I typically have a target area in mind before I place the trade. Then all I have to do is allow the trade to work to my target or to my stop.

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 Pariah Carey 
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Good questions TT. I do look for targets but my first order of business is to get four ticks on contract 1, scalp out, then move the runner to break even. In the first trade yes I probably would have been going to 1862.5 or 63 because that was the high from Thursday. But the market came down and got my runner then only went about two ticks lower. And in trade 2, same thing but I probably would have been going for 1864, or even once we get to 1864 run a tight trailing stop to see if I can get a little more. As I write this it's a 1863.5 so it's probably going to get there.

But when they take out your runner, then turn back around and say so long sucker, what can you do? There's probably a way to read the action to where you can get back in before it takes off, I'm just not there yet.

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 tturner86 
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Good questions TT. I do look for targets but my first order of business is to get four ticks on contract 1, scalp out, then move the runner to break even. In the first trade yes I probably would have been going to 1862.5 or 63 because that was the high from Thursday. But the market came down and got my runner then only went about two ticks lower. And in trade 2, same thing but I probably would have been going for 1864, or even once we get to 1864 run a tight trailing stop to see if I can get a little more. As I write this it's a 1863.5 so it's probably going to get there.

But when they take out your runner, then turn back around and say so long sucker, what can you do? There's probably a way to read the action to where you can get back in before it takes off, I'm just not there yet.

I understand now, your going to B/E on the runner and that is what is being stopped out. What stop do you start with? -8 Ticks? You may be able to go to -4 ticks on second contract (This would be a complete b/e on the whole trade if you get your +4 ticks on first contract.)

My biggest gripe with Mack's PAT is the use of runners in a range. In ranges you should set hard profit taking limit orders and exit all there. In a trend you should have a runner and look to add on as price increases.

The way I trade is I exit with limits in a range and stops in a trend. My behavior for each trade is different based on the market cycle and current context.

**These are my opinions and not necessary correct or right for you.

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 tturner86 
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Also something I just noticed and you may want to think about is Actual Risk.

In Trade #1 you had 7 ticks of heat that you sat through with 2 contracts. So 7 ticks x 2 cars = 14 x $12.50 a tick = $175 of actual risk that you endured to make 4 ticks or $50. To me this is not a very efficient method as your risk to reward is less the 1:1.

Selling both cars @ your first exit would have netted your $100. Better, but still not 1:1.

Exited both at 1862.50 would have netted $300 and been close to 2:1 risk/reward.

**This is hindsight, but just some stuff to think about before, during, and after a trade.

Also I understand Mack's PAT and realize that this thinking is outside of his system.

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 Pariah Carey 
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Another good day today. Three trades, all winners. We started off kind of rangy but there was a definite upward bias. That trend line from last week I keep talking about is still there, and the market could not get below it overnight. For the first hour I didn't see any good signals. At first I saw what I thought was an up trend that broke and moved to a new high, so I was looking to go short maybe down to that trend line. But then we reached a new NEW high so I just watched and waited.

Trade one was a short off the highs. It was a gutsy move but I was looking for a correction. I liked it because of that bearish bar that closed on its low after three failed attempts to go higher. It worked, just barely, filling my scalp then pretty much reversing. Four ticks.

Trade two was an immediate reversal and a second entry long. Once prices turned around at the ema then the next bar closed on its high I figured we were going higher. As soon as my runner on trade 1 got cut I took two longs. This was a good trade that hardly went against me. I got four ticks then started looking to see how far I could take the runner. I used the previous leg up, which was about five points (1863-68). From the bottom of this newly forming leg that would have put me up to about 1870.5, so that was my target. I got out at 1870.25 but as you can see the market has moved much higher. In hindsight I could have just sat on that runner and be up about 10 points, but all you can do is go with the information you've got at the time.

After that I watched as we went to a new high then kind of stalled out. We had a break of the trend line, the one I rode up in trade 2, so I was looking for a move to a new high. I didn't want to go long unless we could get down to the ema. We had a second entry long that actually failed near the top, and I didn't take it because 1) we were too close to the high, and 2) there was too much chop and too many dojis in the area. A month ago I would have taken that trade but now I feel like I'm getting better at reading the price (and it actually did work if you used a 2-point stop, but it got warm).

So now I'm thinking maybe a short, but when prices went down to the ema, couldn't close below it, then turned around and closed up in a nice bullish bar I said now it's time to go long. This was trade 3. I got a little heat on it but not too bad, and when it couldn't even get back down to the ema I knew I would be ok. Unfortunately they did it to me again--taking out my runner to the tick then moving higher. I'd still be in this trade and probably be in for at least a couple more points profit.

Ah well, I'm done for the day. It's still early but I wonder if price is just going to hug the ema all day, maybe finish up 20 points. It's looking like that kind of day.

Six points and a tick of profit today. Good trading.


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 tturner86 
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Good job today. It will take time, but once you can let that runner go you will do very well.

I like trades #1/2 because you had targets in mind before you took the trade and you stuck to them. Sometimes that is the hardest thing to do is see your trade to your target.

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 Pariah Carey 
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Ugly day today. I'm guessing all markets are low volume, low movement like the ES today which has just sucked since about 10 am. Things started off good with two winners, then I was away from the screen for an hour, and when I came back I drew some quick lines and saw what I thought was a solid up trend that had formed off the lows. A second entry long came up so I took it. Unfortunately I drew my lines wrong, not off the early bars, and I failed to see that we'd already broken that trend and moved to a new high. Now I was buying right below that high.

This was trade 3 and I got smoked, never moved in the green for even a tick. Then we moved into this range of nothingness but I failed to see it for two hours. I could see that prices were moving above and below the ema, never staying on one side, but it never occurred to me that we were in a range and I didn't see the support and resistance points. I was all over the place with my lines, first seeing downtrends then up trends. Twice I bought at the highs.

Finally toward the last trade I saw the range and when closed below it and couldn't get back into it, with the highs of each bar bouncing off the ema, I went short. Got four ticks but nothing else and now we've moved back into the range. Just a slow sucky day with little to work with over the last couple hours.

I really need to get better at seeing ranges. Something told me early on that it wasn't right, the way we were closing above and below the ema, but I didn't put it all together. Just have to keep trying.

I lost about 5 points today. Not terrible. I was able to keep my focus, see what was going on, and finish with a win.


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 Pariah Carey 
Market Wizard
Memphis TN
 
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First trade today was a loser. It was an aggressive move but I thought I had good lines drawn and several reasons for it. It was a buy as prices were coming up off the low.

I saw an overnight down trend that broke the channel around 1870.5. Then there was a move to a new low so I figured that move was over. What really made me go long here was that we'd had a failed second entry short, plus I saw (maybe I was wrong here) a second entry long forming off the high just before the close yesterday, plus I saw what was an upward trend line forming off several bars at the bottom.

But when we hit the ema it reversed and never had a chance after that. Took me out for I think 7 ticks. I really don't think I have that down channel drawn wrong. I think there really was a break, but I guess the market isn't ready to go higher yet. Probably should have waited until we got above the ema. This was an aggressive trade and I got my hands slapped for it. It does now look like we're forming a double bottom, so I'm thinking prices will be going up.


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 Pariah Carey 
Market Wizard
Memphis TN
 
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Posts: 899 since Jan 2014
Thanks: 154 given, 2,733 received

Well I was dead wrong about it going up. Took two more trades, small winners, both just playing off the ema. I think that's basically what our trend line is right now. That thing is offering some stout resistance. All you have to do is hit sell when prices touch it.



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 Pariah Carey 
Market Wizard
Memphis TN
 
Experience: None
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Broker: TDA
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Posts: 899 since Jan 2014
Thanks: 154 given, 2,733 received

Three more trades this afternoon, two winners and a loser. 4-2 overall and about -$87. I'm not even worried about profit and loss right now, just trying to find good setups and learn from and avoid the mistakes.

There was a setup or two this morning that I missed because I was away from the screen.

One big thing I think I learned today is watch the ema. I'm really starting to think that ema price action trumps everything else. What prices do when they get there will tell you what they're going to do next.

If prices are heading toward the ema, don't do anything until it gets there then see what happens. This was the mistake in trade one.

Be aware of everything. There's so much information to manage and process. Draw your lines. Sometimes you have to go back to the morning high or low from four hours earlier to do this. You have to always be looking at the big picture as well as what's going on right in front of you. It wasn't until almost 11 that I saw that the morning high and the later, lower swing high matched up and formed a perfect channel line that the market stayed within almost all day. You can then drag this line to the bottom and it fits perfectly there too. This was why trade 4 failed, because I was buying right into that top channel and didn't even realize it. That and it was a first entry which I did realize. The second entry worked a few bars later but I'm not sure I would've taken that.


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 sands 
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wldman View Post
when you are embarrased by the trades you took...that is exactly the chart you want to publish. You learn from mistakes not from victories.
DB

Great post, this is exactly what most people miss. And what separates those traders that develop in the caeers and those that don't.

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