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Insanity, integrity, trust, the chimp and the combine


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Insanity, integrity, trust, the chimp and the combine

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  #1 (permalink)
Madison, WI
 
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I am talking about myself in this journal, although I believe that my illness is a common one.

Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result. I am creating as much conscious change to my behavior as possible. My trading results thus far, losing, are not a result of my trading knowledge. They are a direct result of my inability to control, or even be aware of, my own behavior.
I realized last week, when I was foraging through threads and started putting up new indicators that I was just completely wasting my time. I wasn't studying or learning, I was procrasturbating.

I am done using sim. Sim, for me, is worse than just a waste of time. It is negative and teaches negative habits. Sim is like using Wii boxing to prepare for a fistfight. It is just useless. Today is day 1 of a topsteptrader combine. To me it is not sim, as I have lost all that I can lose in trading and it is the only way to get in the game.

I am just sick of sucking at this. I had started another journal some time ago and if Big Mike can run the stats I would guess that the percentage of traders that fail at their journal is about the same as the percentage of traders that fail. As it is with anything, so it is with everything. If I can't even keep up the work to do a journal, I am an imbecile to think I can make money trading.

When the bullets fly. I coach youth football and like trading, it is hard to make decisions and react on the fly in a game. I thought it was just me until I talked to one of the other coaches who has won multiple state high school baseball championships. He was talking about making on field adjustments in football, which he had also coached on the HS level, and said, "There is only so much you can do when the bullets are flying." Dwight Eisenhower stated that battle plans are useless, but planning for battle is indsipensable.

I took everything off the wall in front of my desk and anything trading related off the monitors. I have a few positive thinking kind of things taped to the edges of the monitors.

I have 2 index cards, 1 with trading rules and 1 with trading errors. I wrote them by hand this morning and will re-write them every day. The writing is only on one side and has room to spare. The trading rules are based on Mack's Price Action Trading system and Welly192's fantastic price action trading thread. I had not really thought about formalizing errors until FT71's webinar about scalping in which he mentioned a trader running statistics on profitability and analyzing the stats with the erroneous trades removed, with dramatic results. I then made my error list. I committed multiple errors today. I have a trading prep page that is preprinted on the top half. I then use the rest of it and subsequent pages for journaling. I have 3 pages today and a topsteptrader performance sheet, all on 3 hole punch paper. I bought a 3" binder for the journal, split by month.

A recent webinar that Denise Shull did for topsteptrader, squawkradio, on emotions in trading, is invaluable. It is on youtube and deals with feelings. FT71 has frequently talked about the inner monkey. I just found The Chimp Paradox by Dr. Steve Peters and it is all about the inner monkey. It helped me dramatically today and I am only 50 pages in.

Trading by feel is idiotic for me. If I don't have a few defined setups, then everything is, by default, a setup.

I have a clean chart with the EMA and the anaopening range on it, 1 minute and 30 minute. The Ninza pro open is set to transparent so just the time alerts show up. I have 2 monitors and may shut the second one off. I am actively restricting inputs.

Today was a great day. The trading was ok. I need to significantly improve it. But I traded with a plan for trading today, and more importantly, I am trading with a plan to improve my trading.

One of my attributes is wanting positive attention. To that end, I am going to avoid this thread other than to post in it. It is for my education and something for me to demonstrate integrity with. I was reading a thread the other day and after numerous pages found that it was all sim. This thread has no value to you as a trader if I don't make it in the TST combine and start making money.
Poc.



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  #3 (permalink)
Madison, WI
 
Experience: Beginner
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Posts: 60 since Sep 2011
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In going over the trade results, I have numerous late entries. That is the symptom and I think the cause is getting caught up in watching the bars go up and down and not working hard enough to look ahead and see where support and resistance are likely to be.
That is also the cause of hitting only the first scale and taking heat.
Patak from topsteptrader had great info on getting stopped out in the candlestick math webinar they did. He said he used to have that problem and solved it by looking where he wanted to enter and then putting his entry where his stop would be. To be successful at that he had to get over the fear of missing out, FOMO.

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  #4 (permalink)
Madison, WI
 
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I will post the actual results tomorrow, but lost money(on the TST combine), which is one thing, but traded very poorly, which is worse. Multiple mental mistakes getting ready and then trading. The universe actually tried to help as the first trade I put on was rejected by TST as there was a technical issue with the rithmic software. But after the glitch was taken care of, I immediately continued to make mistakes. Of course, I didn't journal anything during that time. At work now, will catch up in the morning.

I am conscious right now of my fear of missing out as I will need to sleep until 9-10 CST and there may be a big move due to the ECB announcements. However, I am placated by the fact that I wouldn't know what to do with all that volatility anyway.

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  #5 (permalink)
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So there is a bunch of things in your review that you've identified as errors, mistakes, doing the wrong thing etc

Moving forward - unless you are a super human, I would just focus on one goal and once that's nailed, then move on to tackle other issues. Maybe try and limit yourself to one type of entry or limit your trading to just with trend so your brain doesn't run out of mental RAM.

Takes crap loads of experience in order to trade both sides without eating up all of your concentration way too early in the session

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  #6 (permalink)
Madison, WI
 
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How do I know that I was not trading but that the monkey was?
I can't remember any of the trades. Don't remember entering, exiting, anything. I know they happened but it is like waking up hungover and having just shards of memory. I did not trade today. I won't trade until Monday. I have internal work that has to get done before I can see the market.
My mental malady is that I go blind effectively at the open. Once the bell rings, I get so mesmerized by price that I can't see anything. I am unable to gain perspective. By the way my chart did not look like the screenshot below. It was plugged up with lines, etc.
I have to define what I think is going to happen and have a firm action plan before the open that has a response to the market going up, down or flat. I tend to just "feel out" what the market is doing but get lost, emotional and impulsive.
I had the 2000 tick chart on the left monitor along with the NT superdom. I had the jigsaw dom on the left edge of the right monitor and a 30 minute chart on the rest of the monitor. I only display the volume profile on the jigsaw dom. I find it very distracting to try and read the dom. I just don't have that skill.
Rather than SIM, I am just scrolling through charts, a bar at a time, with price up against the hard right edge. I am trying to limit the uncertainty. I find that having all that empty chart space to the right is stressful so I am limiting that.
I now have a clean 2000 tick chart on the left monitor, just the 21 EMA. I use that chart to draw channels and lines on. I have another 2000 tick chart on the right monitor with the anaopeniningprint indicator and the Ninza open Pro on it. The Ninza is just on to draw time related vertical lines. I find it visually confusing to have too much on the chart. I am hoping that this simplification helps me.






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  #7 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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The title of the thread is spot on!

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  #8 (permalink)
Madison, WI
 
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Lost money but had a good day with the monkey. Spent some time meditating and then tapping prior to the trading day. I was able to see price thru the day. Made some mistakes, including forgetting my pre-market plan which said that the market was likely to sell off a little early and then grind up, because that has been the pattern for the last 3 days, which is what the market did.
Have to hold FT's mantra in mind, What is the market doing? How good of a job is it doing and what is is more likely to do next?








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  #9 (permalink)
Madison, WI
 
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I have to catch up on the thread. I have the work done but run low on time and energy later in my week. I work a swing shift, 5p-3a, Weds thru Saturday. I am not trading tomorrow so will catch up then.
Tried to trade today despite numerous mental/emotional obstacles on the home front and got smacked for it.

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  #10 (permalink)
LA, ca
 
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Glad you started the journal, will be following, thanks.

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  #11 (permalink)
Madison, WI
 
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Challenging week for me.
Computer downloaded updates overnight that wiped out most of my recent logs and the templates that I had built to record to the journal. I thought I had the updates set to not do anything but notify me when an update was available. This has happened twice before, the other times also wiping out my NT files as that was running at the time. This time, as well as the earlier incidents, had me in a very positive mindset, like I was finally getting somewhere, to find that I had to start over. Interesting.

The 13th was a mental screwup. I let external events set the monkey loose. Should not have traded at all.

On my trade summary sheets, I am writing down the setups I see with timestamps. If I don't take the trade, I am marking that as a mistake.

I lost my trades and execution logs on NT in the update and just have the note logs. I have entered the correct settings now so that won't happen again.




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  #12 (permalink)
Madison, WI
 
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I let the monkey run loose today. Very poor results. The money lost is not bad, but the emotional capital took a hit.
I work nights til 3am and get up around 10 to trade. I had something that I knew I had to do at noon and had just opened up ninja and doing prep work when I was told that the thing had moved to right now. Market had just topped and was about to drop. I was aggravated. The thing we had to do was pick up one of the dogs at the vets from ACL surgery. ACL surgery recovery is pretty involved for the owners, especially when the dog is a big Mastiff with very little discipline. I was allowing the fear of missing out to take over. I finally get back in to my office at 12:40 and promptly screw it all up.


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  #13 (permalink)
Madison, WI
 
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Had one trade on Friday that I found while doing this catchup homework. I went long and made a scalp, 2 points. I was doing other stuff and must have done this unintentionally, thinking it was a sim trade. Not good.

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  #14 (permalink)
Madison, WI
 
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I misunderstood the purpose of a trading journal. I was using it as a diary of sorts. I have recently been asked, in the context of a journal, what is my specific edge? I am working on my trade plan today and then restarting on the journal, with the purpose of the journal to be documenting how well I adhere to the trade plan.

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I misunderstood the purpose of a trading journal. I was using it as a diary of sorts. I have recently been asked, in the context of a journal, what is my specific edge? I am working on my trade plan today and then restarting on the journal, with the purpose of the journal to be documenting how well I adhere to the trade plan.

The journal is for you. If you benefit from it, then nothing else matters. Using it as a diary is fine so long as you review it and learn from it, looking for strengths and weaknesses and then working on them.

Mike

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  #16 (permalink)
Madison, WI
 
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Read and worked on psychology over the holiday time. I am in a shift transition at work. Trading my third day of a TST combine tomorrow. Day one and day two were winners. I am up $700+ on my $1500 target combine.

Spent the morning making up playsheets. Playsheets like a football coach is holding on the sidelines. 2 playsheets, trending and range trading. They are organized for time, pre-open, open and then time slots after that. The playsheets have my trades listed on them, so that I can keep thinking about what is going on. I tend to lose focus during the trading session and just watch price bouncing around.

The purpose of the playsheets is to keep me actively assessing context throughout the day.

I have simplified down. I have 2 monitors with 3 charts up, a 30 minute profile chart, and two short term charts, a 3 minute chart with daily vwap and a 2000 tick chart. The 30 minute profile and 3 min with VWAP are on the left monitor and the 2000 tick chart with the TRO dynamic fib and anaopeningrange is on the right monitor.

Posting game plan in the morning.

I am using a call/context service that has proven helpful so far. Not discussing that in a non-vendor thread.

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  #17 (permalink)
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Read and worked on psychology over the holiday time. I am in a shift transition at work. Trading my third day of a TST combine tomorrow. Day one and day two were winners. I am up $700+ on my $1500 target combine.

Spent the morning making up playsheets. Playsheets like a football coach is holding on the sidelines. 2 playsheets, trending and range trading. They are organized for time, pre-open, open and then time slots after that. The playsheets have my trades listed on them, so that I can keep thinking about what is going on. I tend to lose focus during the trading session and just watch price bouncing around.

The purpose of the playsheets is to keep me actively assessing context throughout the day.

I have simplified down. I have 2 monitors with 3 charts up, a 30 minute profile chart, and two short term charts, a 3 minute chart with daily vwap and a 2000 tick chart. The 30 minute profile and 3 min with VWAP are on the left monitor and the 2000 tick chart with the TRO dynamic fib and anaopeningrange is on the right monitor.

Posting game plan in the morning.

I am using a call/context service that has proven helpful so far. Not discussing that in a non-vendor thread.

Sounds like you're doing better.
Would you mind sharing your play sheet?


Edit-
How many trades have you done to get 700/1500?



I'm going to start a combine this month, looking forward to the growth.
Good luck on yours.

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  #18 (permalink)
London, UK
 
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OP. You should be aware that the market is designed to take your money.A plethora of vendors (inc topstep) are also there to take your money.Now just suppose you are a market maker in the spoos. Ask yourself what do you need to do to take everyones money. It's fairly simple to collect the retail money all you have to do is move price a few SDs from the VWAP. Retail traders use tight stops. This happens day in day out. Unfortunately there is a common fallacy that going long/short is a 50% shot. Ask yourself if your mathematical chance of a winning 1:1 trade with a tight stop is <40% why would you keep taking shots?

So what's the answer? I am not going to spell it out for obv reasons but some participants are consistently +ev. You want to emulate them as much as possible. Having a fundamental bias, long tf's, large stops and being adequately capitalised are a good place to start. GL

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