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Confessions of a Prop Trader


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Updated October 14th 2014 by trentcroad
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Confessions of a Prop Trader

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  #41 (permalink)
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Itchymoku View Post
The beaches here in the Tri state area from New york, New Jersey, and even Delaware have nice board walks, casinos, restaurants etc. but when it comes to the actual water it's mediocre. The water is very cold and dark dark blue. There's usually no waves and there are also many jelly fish and guidos. This is a somewhat accurate picture


Guidos?

You mean these guys.....


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  #42 (permalink)
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DionysusToast View Post
Guidos?

You mean these guys.....


yeah lol, can't even look at em

R.I.P. Joseph Bach (Itchymoku), 1987-2018.
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  #43 (permalink)
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Itchymoku View Post
yeah lol, can't even look at em

lol- I was thinking "Guido" might have been some sort of stinging sea creature reading your post...

I hear you though....

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  #44 (permalink)
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Posts: 78 since May 2012
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May 12th

This was a bit of a strange trading day for me today and it was a mental test. But not in the way you might think.

Price opened up quite strong and pushed through the highs. I got an early stop out before we got a rally great sign of buying. I got long and we pushed up into the highs. When we got to like bid 71 or 72 there were a few pumped up "fake" bids.

It just looked like someone wanted a fill on the other side of the high and that would be the end of it. Sure enough that's what we got.

As price then collapsed, my connection started playing up. I messed around for a bit a missed most of that nice sell off and the little pullback that I love.

Now bad connections are one of the things that I just hate! I almost felt a bit tilted (to use a poker term) after seeing some great chances go begging. I pulled myself together and got a nice short on a further pullback but it didn't have much follow through.

I was kind of mad and not in the best head space so I didn't trade after that.

In hindsight maybe I shouldn't have traded that last one, regardless of the result.

If you feel like you missed out and you're angry - that has revenge trade written all over it.

A weird day to say the least.


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  #45 (permalink)
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May 13th

Well I wasn't able to walk away with a profit today, however I don't think I traded too badly.

The day started with some good buying and it looked like it was a mirror image of yesterday. There was a nice pullback and some buying and a chance to get long. It ran up but didn't push too far through the highs.

Then we saw 200+ contracts printing at the highs, which made me think it was another top. In classic "toppy" fashion price had a second crack before a sharp sell off.

Now I don't particularly like picking highs in a market like the SPI. I also trade bonds outright and bond spreads and I'm basically doing a lot mean-reversion type trades, so I save it for those markets. That said SPI is known for its false breakouts.

After the sell off there were some good spots but I kept on getting caught up in the chop. There was a lot of action and the market was quick and back and forth a lot. Maybe that's a point to widen my stop - I'm not sure. We've been seeing clean buying and selling lately and maybe today just wasn't one of those days.

There was another little sign of buying but it was smack bang on VPOC. Now many might disagree with me here but I don't like using VPOC as an entry point. I like to use it as a target. I find you can get churned a bit and I've never really liked doing it.

Just after the number there was a great trade for me where I got long at 80 and we reverted right back to VPOC - now that's my kind of trade.

Tip

A nice little tip when doing that kind of trade - don't make your target VPOC. Make it 1-2 ticks beforehand. Everyone uses VPOC as a point to cover so quite often price will bounce. Also have your exit orders stacked and ready to go. Getting a fill is important here and you want to be front of the queue.


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  #46 (permalink)
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Volume Profile Setting

Thank you for your writeups. I've been enjoying them.


trentcroad View Post
There was another little sign of buying but it was smack bang on VPOC. Now many might disagree with me here but I don't like using VPOC as an entry point. I like to use it as a target. I find you can get churned a bit and I've never really liked doing it.

Just after the number there was a great trade for me where I got long at 80 and we reverted right back to VPOC - now that's my kind of trade.

Tip

A nice little tip when doing that kind of trade - don't make your target VPOC. Make it 1-2 ticks beforehand. Everyone uses VPOC as a point to cover so quite often price will bounce. Also have your exit orders stacked and ready to go. Getting a fill is important here and you want to be front of the queue.

I also don't like using the VPOC as an entry. I have pretty tight time stops. I don't want to be chopping around for a long time even if it means I miss the move away. So it's good to hear you say this.

I'm curious. It looks like you're using XStudy charts. How far is your volume profile looking back? It seems like you use the levels and steps a lot in determining entries / exits. Are you also looking at composites or is it prior day? I've been trying to find the right balance. Currently I'm looking at volume profile for the prior day for potential movements then using the building profile of the day to trade off of.

Thanks again,

Michael

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  #47 (permalink)
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empty View Post
Thank you for your writeups. I've been enjoying them.



I also don't like using the VPOC as an entry. I have pretty tight time stops. I don't want to be chopping around for a long time even if it means I miss the move away. So it's good to hear you say this.

I'm curious. It looks like you're using XStudy charts. How far is your volume profile looking back? It seems like you use the levels and steps a lot in determining entries / exits. Are you also looking at composites or is it prior day? I've been trying to find the right balance. Currently I'm looking at volume profile for the prior day for potential movements then using the building profile of the day to trade off of.

Thanks again,

Michael

Hey Michael

Great to hear from you.

Regarding the look back period I generally only use the current trading day for my volume profile.

However I have played around in the past with using the prior days VPOC as a potential target, and I think there might be some value in that. As price does get sucked toward it so it's good to be aware of it if there's a breakout or something and it's headed in that direction. Your current approach sounds quite good to me.

I like to use the current days VPOC as a target, if price is looking to revert toward it.

If say I'm trading away from the VPOC (breakout), then I don't look for targets all that much tbh. I'll try and hold the trade until I see a lot of size printing. Making a big step in the volume profile if you will. That kind of gives you an idea that there is someone there on the other side slowing price down and it might be a time to exit.

Hope this was of some help.

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  #48 (permalink)
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May 14th

This was a rather uneventful day for me, with light volume and very rangy action. Ironically I made a profit today in poor conditions, while yesterday in better conditions I didn't. That's trading I guess.

From the outset things look really range bound. We tested the low, then the high, the we came back to the low. There wasn't much in the way of news flow or volume so I really felt that this was an OK spot to look long.

If I am going to step up at a low, I like to let price push through first and I won't step up early. There was some OK volume down there and hardly anything printing at the very low, before price snapped back. I like that kind of action and got long.

Price rallied nicely back into the heart of the range.

I tried something similar at the high but it came back on me for a scratch. I then could have made a case to be long and in the end I felt a bit undecided so figured that was a good sign to not be involved for the time being.

As you can see from the chart, it was just low volume churn for the rest of the morning so I didn't do much.

I had my eye on the yield curve as well as it was in a bit of a range, but fills were a bit tough - as usual.


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  #49 (permalink)
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15th May

Today was a pretty interesting one and I have a couple of good spots to discuss. My thinking was good, but I could have executed a bit better I think.

The first thing to look at was how the day setup. We made a high then sold off and put in the low. We then proceeded to charge right up toward the high of the day again.

This is the type of spot I love. Everyone is watching the high with many looking to get short and many more looking to get long on the other side.

My plan is a bit different.

I like to get long before we reach the high and I expect us at the very least test that level. Now I've never done any analysis of how often we are going to test the high, but I would expect it to be higher than 75%. So in this instance I got long on a little PB around 92.

Now the other thing that made this interesting was that on the other side of the high we had 5500. round numbers make good levels, so again I would expect a test of this level.

So as we pushed into the initial highs, I was looking for a bit of a stop run and hopefully a second stop run through 5500.

Sure enough we did get the first run of the highs and I was gunning for an exit around the 5501 mark but we only printed 5499 before coming off a touch. I covered at 97.

Price then pulled back and buying came in so I got long again at 96. Sure enough we got our test of 5500 and I covered on the other side around 02.

I had one more go on the last PB, hoping for a run into yesterdays close (the gap if you like). We didn't get it and I got stopped out.

For me that was all pretty interested stuff. I like getting in before we hit "levels." In theory I guess I could have held my trades a bit better - but it's just so damn tough to do that sometimes. Also it's probably not realistic to try and get all of the big moves. So I can live with that truth be told. Actually as I sit here writing this I think I traded this quite well. It's interesting to look at after all is said and done.

Afterward we churned around the 5500 level as we have tended to do of late. I had a few spots I liked but couldn't get filled.

Just prior to the number we got a big run up. After the number (which wasn't a big one at all) I looked to get long, but we sold off and I got stopped. Sometimes those run ups just happen and then auto-retrace so it's questionable as to how good of a plan it was to get long there. Oh well. I'd rather keep hitting trends until they end.


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  #50 (permalink)
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May 16th


This was a pretty quiet day for me. There seemed to be some size around and I think if you were a pure scalper you might have had a pretty nice day. I'm looking for larger moves so there wasn't a heap on offer.

There was a nice spot early though.

After a push higher we pulled back and 100+ contracts printed around the 93-94 area.

I love these spots as we have a volume profile ledge, size printing into the bid and the bid holding strong and finally a great risk reward.

I have a 3 tick stop and the high was about 8-9 ticks off so that looked pretty good to me.

In the end we ran up and stalled out at 5499, so I covered. Price did eventually run the highs but I was long gone. But I was pretty happy with the spot and my trading.

There was some size around later and a few chances that didn't follow through for me, but ended up as scratches.

I didn't really want to keep churning the comms today. Given the nature of the day there might be some potential in the final 30 minutes.


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