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lovetotrade's YM Breakout Journal

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  #201 (permalink)
 lovetotrade 
Rockledge, FL
 
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Killer webinar, the title intrigued me, and am happy to see that a lot of my same philosophies line up with his. The 9 instincts are spot on.


Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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  #202 (permalink)
 lovetotrade 
Rockledge, FL
 
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Two eco reports out this morning with FOMC later. Started the day needing a good reason to trade, never got it so I stood aside. Small range with little opportunity. Success.


Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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  #203 (permalink)
 lovetotrade 
Rockledge, FL
 
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Another good day today. Felt very in sync with the market this morning, hope that continues. Was hoping for one more push higher that would have gotten my furthest profit target, but it didn't happen. Walking away from the day feeling good about my trading, I have found, is the most critical aspect to my success. Following my process, keeping my emotions level, being super focused. Profits just tend to follow when these line up during the day.

I have two days to trade before my combine ends. I am about $440 down from the breakeven level, and if I do not get close to break even I will probably cancel this one, and then restart next Monday. I see no reason to start a new month in the red when the price is the same. I will continue to try to trade well through the next two days, and have a plan going forward regardless of the outcome. Either way even though I am losing, on my good days I am reading the market, and trading better than I ever have before. It gives me hope that I should beat the combine in the next month, as long as market conditions do not deteriorate significantly from here on out.

I was originally using R1/S1 as my furthest target, which has left much to be desired in the low vol environment. So I switched things up a bit going forward. I am now using overnight low/high, and sometimes Yday VWAP as my intermediate target. This helps me frame the day quite well right off the bat, as I instantly see if we are moving towards or away from value, and we hit these values quite consistently intraday which helps me have very achievable targets. Plus as a bonus(seems obvious in hindsight) we obviously cannot have a trend day without a breakout/continuation beyond the overnight high/low. So when we fail at one of these levels in line with the trend, and we can get on the other side of VWAP, then I will start to target the opposite levels as a full reversal becomes quite likely. Either way I can make money with it.
------------------------------------------------------------------
Today was one of those days. Failure at the overnight high brought us down to VWAP(which I failed to profit by not adjusting my stop correctly). We had a nice double bottom at VWAP, and a breakout of the 5 minute countertrend line. This falls in line with my criteria for entry so I got in. Never got a good enough pull back to add to, but nailed the top of the swing by taking profit at confluence(HTF down trendline, CVN, Monthly -1SD). This move higher broke through Yday VWAP so I was in full on trend reversal mode, looking for higher but reachable target(s). Got back in near the low of the pull back just above daily +1SD, and had a sweet move higher. Never got an add there either as it was straight up. Held through the pull back, looked to be consolidating for another nice push higher. When that failed I got out ending the day.




Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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  #204 (permalink)
 lovetotrade 
Rockledge, FL
 
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Market clarity is improving each day, and this improves my conviction. Another nice morning leaving me with a smile on my face. It feels good to be feeling confident again. Final targets hit today. Once I get funded I am going to find @Inletcap and kiss that guy. No doubt he helped me find my rhythm, and I am not sure how long it would have taken me to get to this point. Not trying to be cocky, it is just such an extraordinary feeling to see myself begin to trade the way I always felt was possible.

It is my anniversary weekend coming up, and it will be nice to take some time to reflect over this last month. I know I still must continue to work hard every day to become a better trader. The good Lord has blessed me with the desire to do this, and I plan to make the most of it.

Quite a few days now I am ending up with around 40 points profit floating PnL, and I am considering ending my day at that until I have completed the combine and FTP. Some days I give up a considerable part of that(like yesterday) if my furthest target is not hit. I would only need about 6 days of that to complete the combine vs. swinging for the fences every day. Seems reasonable to use to accomplish my goal.
------------------------------------------------------
So this morning we were oscillating around the Monthly -1SD, after bouncing yesterday from Yearly VWAP. This gives me my line in the sand, and my larger targets. Higher and we are probably headed to Monthly VWAP, lower we are headed to Yearly VWAP and the lows of the last swing. All reachable targets based on recent volatility.

Overnight we broke some highs(more confirmation of an intermediate uptrend) with a pull back and bounce off of yesterday's VWAP(very bullish). We moved back above Daily VWAP and proceeded to pull back nicely to it. With the daily VWAP, and M -1SD just below combined with the overnight high quite a ways above us, I had all the makings of a great R:R trade. So I scaled in two contracts near VWAP, and rode that baby to our first profit target.
I did scale out one contract at a recent high and Daily +1SD just in case we failed there, and it improved my basis. Scaled back in at a breakout higher(which I don't usually do, but felt good about at the time) and took that to resistance for another quick profit.

Market did not hold as I scaled in another contract at support, and then for whatever reason I thought I would ditch my core and re-add at VWAP. Well you can guess how that went, never got entry, and had to add much higher. So potentially my profit for the day could have been a deal greater, maybe 25% more. With Ctrend line broken, and large buy volume coming into the market I scaled in two contracts quickly. Placed my large targets, with my stop at a good place, and let the trade ride. IF I had walked away both targets would have been hit perfectly, but of course I have to tinker(cause it feels good to get money off the table). Still very happy with the outcome.





Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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  #205 (permalink)
 lovetotrade 
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Wow, what an almost perfect day again! 1 point away from hitting the highs of the day, it actually hit it just never got filled, which was totally my fault by the way.

After a crazy morning range, I didn't think I was going to get the opportunity to get my account back to breakeven this morning. So after I took a shot at a killer R:R trade to the upside, I went all in at 3 contracts, set my targets and stop, then walked away. Either I would have a 20 point loss, or I would have an outsized 40+ point gain.

After checking again an hour later I found the first two targets filled, with the last target touched but not filled. The reason why this was my fault is because it should have been inside the overnight high which it was not, and it should have been at least two points inside the R1 pivot which it was not. Either one of those would have caused the target to be hit within a few points of the high. So I had to exit 12 points beneath it, next time.

So now instead of ending the 1st combine month with a small profit, I am ending with a small loss. Either way not a big deal. What is most important is that I have recovered almost $800 in losses within a 5 day period. Will start trading again next Monday. I will try to post my combine report tonight.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
So we had a nice run up the last couple of days, and appeared to be potentially taking a break from that trend this morning. After a spike higher overnight, we moved lower all the way down to 120m trend support. It looked like we had broken the 30m trend, and so with us now below VWAP, even though we had broken the large countertrend line to the upside, I thought a short at VWAP would be a good place to be if we broke lower(as I always trade with the 30m trend, while the 120m is in the back of my mind.

I was also aware that the break of this trendline was also a potential break out on the 120m time frame. So for two hours we sat in a 10 point range. After another attempt at the down side, D-1SD held the market and we double bottomed there. Momentum started to creep back up to VWAP, and at this point I decided I no longer wanted to be short. So of course it moved right back down to the lows.

At this point I thought there is no way it is going lower after everything that had transpired, and if it did it would probably break lower. At this point we were at the best R:R I had seen all day so I got long, with plans to reverse if the lows were broken. We went right up to VWAP and broke one point above the previous 5m high, which is where I had my 2nd entry. This put my basis below VWAP which is where I wanted to be if we broke higher, again not much risk on the trade overall due to my first entry. Well after the second entry we moved lower, and this is where I added the third contract which is my max position size for the combine.

All or nothing I thought, closed my screen after adjusting targets. If I would have stayed and managed the trade I assume I would have caught my third target error. I HAD to walk away though lol. Very happy going into the weekend with a good stride.





Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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  #206 (permalink)
 lovetotrade 
Rockledge, FL
 
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Excited about the fact that even though I got off to a rough start, note AVG winning day vs. AVG losing day. Risk management on point thus far.






Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 lovetotrade 
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Hope everyone had a great Easter!

Jotted something down this morning that I wanted to document here: I think my ability to find conviction in direction with less information, combined with my ability to find lower risk/high reward opportunities has helped contribute greatly to my success as of late. So many aspects of trading fall under the description of "Simple, but not easy". I know for the longest time I heard that saying thrown around the forum, but could never quite wrap my head around what the heck that meant.

As I progress I continue to cut out the excess. Sometimes I get bogged down with new research that looks important at first, only to find that it is taking me down an unnecessary path. I think part of the reason that screen time is so important, is just to help identify instinctually what the market is trying to do. In my case I focus on two things, trend continuation, and major trend reversals. In either case I am always trying to trade with what I perceive to be the dominant HTF trend, never against. Maybe that will one day change as I am always learning and growing, but for me that is just not where the easy money is, and that is exactly where I want to be.

That is exactly what my trading feels like nowadays, easy money. No longer fighting the dominant trend, as long as my stops are in the right place, the market seems to constantly move in my direction, and dump money in my lap. My goal is to always be in the market flow, and that takes a lot of focus, and forcing myself to just get out of the way sometimes.
--------------------------------
Ideally to achieve my full potential, I really need to be trading three contracts. It is actually killing my ability to hold my runner as long as I need to due to potentially giving back a huge chunk of profit if we reverse intraday. I am actually allowed to trade three contracts in the combine, but not in FTP or once I get funded until I hit a certain profit target in the scaling plan. To me this is a bit silly, but either way I have forced myself to find a way to be profitable with two contracts. So I will continue to trade safe, and stretch my last target hoping to catch around 40 points a day until I am funded. Feeling very confident in my ability to finish this combine, hopefully by the end of the month.

Here are my notes from this morning:
We have gapped up after end of week close, pushing above the yearly +1SD, and price has been rejected from Thursday's VWAP(Thursday was end of week due to Easter), to result successfully in a higher 30 minute trend. Also higher from last week's VWAP, and closing price.

This was all the info I needed to have conviction in the long trade that nailed the morning lows. Here I am bullish as long as we do not break VWAP with conviction, scaling into my position on any counter trend moves towards VWAP.

Hardest trade I took was the exhaustive selling that really butchered the trend, but I set my stop at an appropriate level, and my first successful scale allowed me a cushion for this trade. Again conviction in overall direction helped my gut check to stay with the trade. For sure my old trade self would have closed the entire trade at one of the worst locations of the day.

Results are another 40 point day, with my initial furthest target being hit. Now up $200 in the combine.




Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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  #208 (permalink)
 lovetotrade 
Rockledge, FL
 
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Well today definitely let some of the wind out of my sails. I was really thrown off by the surprise announcement from the U.K. this morning. The market did a full reversal higher on very high volume, and I was for sure the 170 point rally was overdone. So I essentially determined from the start(instead of letting the market tell me) that there would not be much opportunity today minus some counter trend action.

Well I violated a few of my personal rules obviously, and primarily the one I am focused on is the mental one. It is my intent to focus on trend continuation, as was expressed just yesterday, and today I did the opposite. I had one really good setup I missed because of it, and a few decent ones I passed up because I was just not in sync with that price action, as well as regret from missing the first. It wasn't long after my first trade attempt that you could say I had given up on the day, and was focused on marking up charts along with other things.

I let myself and my PnL down today, potentially significantly, but now is not the time to whither in pitty. It is time to assess what I did wrong, and make adjustments to do my best not to repeat mistakes in the future.

#1. I did not hurt my account. I lost two points today. I did not become stubborn in my attempt to trade counter trend, and continue to make foolish trades. This is a huge win, considering everything else. Live to fight another day is rule number one.

#2. It is not anywhere in my rules to attempt to trade counter trend, no matter how good the R:R is. As I proved today, reward will always be lower than focusing on with trend trades. This reminds me that I have not updated my entry checklist, and need to get this done. This would have helped today, and I will do it tonight.

#3. Loss of focus. Market hours is not for anything but trading, especially the first few. I must always do my best to be in sync with the market. I could have had at least three good trades today, if I had got my butt back in the drivers seat after I noticed the market wanted to continue to go higher.

Remember every day is a learning opportunity, this has contributed to my progress more than anything else I have done. Learn and grow always.
------------------------------------------------------
Looking at these charts with the lack of profits hurts, let it serve as a reminder that to be a professional trader, you must act like one. Small loss as the market turned against my short position for fear of a break out against me. Hah! I didn't even execute my counter trend trade well, that could/should have been profitable.





Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 lovetotrade 
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I was really hoping for continuation this morning from yesterday, and at first it looked like I was going to get it. We just could not test the overnight high, and it was a gradual fall from there. Today was a good learning experience for me, balancing out how long(and how strong) my conviction for a certain market direction should be.

I usually like to use VWAP as my long/short guide depending on price action, but today we had a couple important levels below VWAP, and spaced out just enough that it would be hard to build a position without potentially having to reverse my trade. With that said, I could just not let my bullish bias go once the best R:R downside entry presented itself. I was so sure it was going to go up, even though my course of action should have been to enter short, then let the market reverse my position through price action if it was going to finally go up.

You can actually see where the price action is quite choppy once we broke VWAP, as other participants were potentially in the same boat as myself with the important levels below. This also did not help my long bias, and there was large buying volume coming into the market. But once we tested the area to short as mentioned previously, price action started coming together, smoothing out, and respecting levels as we moved to the downside. The kind of price action that I specifically look for when managing a trade. So shame on me for not jumping in short late, but whatever.

My goal is to improve a little bit each day, if I do that then I have done my job. Reversals have always been hard for me, and I am just now getting better at identifying them. I looked through the last four months, and the scenario like today is quite rare, making my inefficiency a bit more understandable.
-------------------------------------------------------
My first trade was gangster, bought the right break out, and then added at exactly the right location. Got to within 6 points of my daily target first thing this morning. Had a nice 14 point scale out with the add, and then we started to reverse. Stop location was no good, but based on following price action I would have taken a loss around the same location.

Next long attempt was at a good location, and immediately went 13 points in my favor before reversing.

You can see my potential short area marked with the box and arrow, and volume distribution between sellers taking over strength of buyers before we went down, in the volume panel boxes one and two.

I do not trade on Thursdays so see ya Friday!





Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 lovetotrade 
Rockledge, FL
 
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Meh, kind of a crap morning. Had a hard time getting in sync with the market, so once I had another failed setup that I didn't really understand I bailed out. A couple of errors too, albeit small ones. Will do some analysis over the weekend, and prep for the week ahead! Have a good weekend!


Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 lovetotrade 
Rockledge, FL
 
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No trades yesterday, as my brokerage apparently had their feed to Sierra Chart turned off? Which are the charts are do my morning prep with, so decided not to trade without being prepared for the day. Got turned back on around 10 a.m. after another SC user contacted them. Nothing worthwhile there.

So today price action was pretty much crap, but I squeaked out some profits with no losing trades. Got 2/3rds out of a 30 point range, I'll take it! The hardest part so far has been trying to figure out when to dump my core position before getting completely reversed on. My patience during trades is paying off though, and I am balancing managing the positions between time frames pretty well. Arrows were potential adds I passed on, essentially because I was waiting for the day to develop a bit more. Execution pretty good overall though.

I have decided my goal is to enter when the momentum shifts in the direction of the trend, and just let the market do its thing whatever that might be. But as long as I am aligned right, it will more often than not take me where I want to go.
-----------------------------------------------------------
We have been trapped in a serious range for a week now, and was looking to potentially break out of that. Moving higher on the 30 minute chart, and above VWAP meant I was looking for a long.

Just so happened to have some confluence at W+1SD and daily VWAP. Which reminds me, we were outside of weekly SD bands, another reason to be bullish and gave me a line in the sand area. That became my core as price action continued to chop around. Once we moved higher I got a nice PB scale out.

We continued to fail at the overnight high on lower volume, so after another failed B/O I bailed on the position. There were definitely some opportunities I passed up, but trying to be a little bit more conservative while my account hovers around the B/E level.

Patience has become my biggest asset for sure, waited a long time to get my next entry, but it was in a good spot and made sense. After that move looked vertical I just scalped out for a quick profit, and wrapped up the day.




Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 lovetotrade 
Rockledge, FL
 
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One break even trade this morning before my wife had to go with our daughter on a field trip. OF course this is the morning that the market moved, such is my luck. See ya Friday! Not looking so good to finish combine by the end of the month now.

Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 lovetotrade 
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Pretty disappointed with price action today. I was trying to give myself a hard time, but I like to trade directionally, and the market definitely messed with my head today. I would like to think I am getting pretty good at pinpointing entries, and areas of opportunity, but days like today show me there is still plenty of room for me to grow. Although I didn't lose a boatload of money, so there is always that to be thankful for!
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

I was targeting Weekly +1SD for entry after the morning news selloff. Initially I was scaling in towards VWAP to setup a long when my news alarm went off, which means I automatically exit my trade. Followed my rules there. Then there is always about a 40 minute gap where I potentially have to watch the baby depending on what time he wakes up, while my wife takes our daughter to school. Well that perfect entry came a few minutes before she got home, which I feel would have put some money in the bank for sure, but then given me the confidence to trade more effectively.

Got a good opportunity to short at VWAP which I did, but my long bias spooked me out of my position, which would have been a great ride down to W +1SD again(again first good missed trade messing with me here). I had a limit order that never got filled at the bottom, which obviously started to suck relatively quickly. I need to learn to jump into the move sometimes. Got long on a move pulled back to VWAP, and got spooked out of that. Quite risk off in my nerves today. Obviously not a great week, but ending just about flat I will take it. Tomorrow is a new week.




Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 lovetotrade 
Rockledge, FL
 
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Just got off the phone with John Hoagland @Hoag, and had a great conversation during this month's coaching session. Very cool to be able to chat one on one with that guy, you can tell he is just a book of knowledge and trading wisdom.

As he reminded me this is an FOMC week, and volatility has been absolute crap. I have been looking at Forex factory calendar by the day each morning, but perhaps I should be reviewing the whole week eh?

Pissed away some beans the last couple days, looking forward for market vol to normalize. Still hovering around combine B/E, but things are looking good. Got some new tools in my bag that should improve my edge.

Ciao

Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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Just got off the phone with John Hoagland @Hoag, and had a great conversation during this month's coaching session. Very cool to be able to chat one on one with that guy, you can tell he is just a book of knowledge and trading wisdom.

As he reminded me this is an FOMC week, and volatility has been absolute crap. I have been looking at Forex factory calendar by the day each morning, but perhaps I should be reviewing the whole week eh?

Pissed away some beans the last couple days, looking forward for market vol to normalize. Still hovering around combine B/E, but things are looking good. Got some new tools in my bag that should improve my edge.

Ciao

We love to hear great feedback like this. Hoag is exactly that, a book of knowledge and trading wisdom. In addition to that, a very valued and respected member of TopstepTrader. We're happy to hear he was able to give you some helpful advice during your performance coaching session.

Trade Well!

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  #216 (permalink)
 Sk8ter 
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@lovetotrade
It looks from your charts that you are trading 6B during the US morning hours, is that correct? and if so, do you find enough opportunities during that time period? I've been looking at 6E again during this time period and seems to be quite slow. thanks.

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  #217 (permalink)
 lovetotrade 
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@lovetotrade
It looks from your charts that you are trading 6B during the US morning hours, is that correct? and if so, do you find enough opportunities during that time period? I've been looking at 6E again during this time period and seems to be quite slow. thanks.

Absolutely! The only reason I am not a millionaire doing this is because of my own failures to fully capitalize the opportunities presented every day.

Now I have no idea what time frame you trade or how you trade, but for myself there are plenty even in this low vol environment.

How is the Euro range nowadays? I trade from 7 a.m. to noon, and the average range right now for that period is around 50 points, with your occasional 100+ point news days.

Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 lovetotrade 
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Alright, well I have been going through some growing pains in my trading process, and to be honest, I have proven to myself that I should not be trading during this phenomenon.

I have a tendency to overwhelm myself with research ideas that I gather from the trading day, that will take me in several directions at once, and then my trading suffers tremendously as my focus becomes that of bird shot rather than a laser beam. Then the losses(even though small) compound until I start questioning my abilities, and before you know it, it has been two weeks since my last profitable day.

There are absolutely some benefits here. One is that I am growing as a trader, but I need to learn to streamline this process. I had my winning streak, and instead of just focusing on repeating my process, I had to look to see what I could have done better, and then sent myself into a tailspin. Good news is I am finding my way back.

Second is that I am not losing my own money while I continue to learn in the correct environment. Everything about this screams "real money" in my gut, so I know I am truly growing and stretching psychologically. Both of these are very real, and really important. Again I do think it is better to figure this stuff out in the combine rather than in a funded account.

Back to the grind. Tomorrow will be a better day.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sucks when you have the right plan and targets, but fail to execute them. Purely psychological. Now I have a better plan to help me tomorrow, with my shortcomings of today.

Also I couldn't pull the trigger on the easiest trade of the day, and then want to jump in as the trade starts working against me. Gotta love it.




Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 lovetotrade 
Rockledge, FL
 
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Today was definitely better as far as execution goes. My goal for today was to trade the specific levels I thought were in line with the market direction, and then hold that position until the market told me the level was invalid. I can confidently say I did that. Direction was a little hard to read, and I did not allow myself to flip short once the market moved below W-VWAP and I exited my position. There was definitely some heavy resistance and support, that held the market in a tighter range than the ADR. I have to take profits quicker on days like today instead of holding for the range fill. Always have more to look into. Moving in the right direction.



Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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  #220 (permalink)
 lovetotrade 
Rockledge, FL
 
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Alright so I think I am back to where I need to be. I was about $400 down in the combine, so I went ahead and bought a new combine. Which kind of makes me wonder why I ever paid for the reset, besides impatience. So anyways starting out fresh on Monday.

I'm almost 100% sure I just got bogged down with the few different directions I was heading. I also use yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily VWAP along with their corresponding standard deviation bands to feel out direction, and trend strength. I started to get away from this as I was focusing more and more on price action alone. For this reason I was beginning to feel out of sync with market direction, which is my most important PnL factor. Which fortunately puts me in risk off mode automatically. So with a little addition to my morning checklist we are back to good. Probably gonna take the weekend off from anything trade related minus a little prep Sunday night.

----------------------------------------------------
One of the new things that I have decided to change in my trading is how I exit my trades. I think this will be very beneficial in the long run, even though it might cause my initial loss to be a little larger. When I choose a level, I will not exit unless the market has shown me that my thesis is invalid. Or at least that is the idea anyway, rather than place a stop initially where I think it is no longer valid. This should improve my reading of price action over time, and keep me from jumping out of trades at the worst possible price.

Today was a big report day, so I got a sweet perfect entry/exit on a PB to VWAP. Next trade was an attempt at a long that would have been profitable minus an improper stop placement. I noticed a level that I had used to enter the position was off between to charts, and by the time I adjusted it I was already stopped out. My initial hard stop is 10 points, I should have focused on this first.

Next was a short that I scaled into. Mind you I wouldn't normally take this trade, but the combine was ending as of today so I took a shot at it. Didn't work out, so I was convinced long, and sat through that until I felt the attempt was over. Without the short it would have been a profitable day, even with the stop error earlier.




Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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  #221 (permalink)
 lovetotrade 
Rockledge, FL
 
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Crap trading today, along with another crappy range.

I was sure VWAP, W VWAP Close, and M VWAP would hold the market after a great run up overnight, that I went in with two contracts. Botched the exits on those badly. Was expecting a V bottom due to the verticalness of the move, it didn't happen so I exited right as price corrected higher. Next time I should be more aware that more than likely I will get a move, but how that move plays out afterward gives me the information I needed going forward. Bullish bias caused another small stop out, and quit trading due to frustration.

I cannot improve if I am not measuring results, and setting goals for myself. This week my goal is to improve my trading around VWAP. I will setup some parameters as to how to measure that goal going forward. Tomorrow is a new day. Vol hitting new lows.




Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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  #222 (permalink)
 lovetotrade 
Rockledge, FL
 
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Watching the market come into perfect equilibrium sucks. Monthly, Weekly, Daily VWAP all sitting on top of one another, need some sort of new information to come in and move the market. Watching the Euro chart as well now, to potentially add another market into the mix one day down the road.

Ok so today's goal was to trade VWAP successfully, and I would say I did that well. The only thing I could have done was hold for the break higher and flip, but I did not see much opportunity in the day's range to move higher, plus resistance above. So I got out when I really just felt like the market was not going to move lower. A step in the right direction.




Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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  #223 (permalink)
 lovetotrade 
Rockledge, FL
 
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Alright, I feel like I am starting to get my groove back. Got a nice 18 point winner to start the day despite my trading computer having internet connection issues, so that was good. Price started chopping up the 1SD pretty good which is not my ideal trading scenario, so I bought the breakout of the little triangle to new highs. I should mention that I took profit at the recent swing high instead of holding, due to the tight volatility and trading ranges that have been common this last week. Trying harder to adapt to the market to increase profitability instead of stagnating.

Well the B/O failed, and I exited the move on the exact low tick. But that was ok because I was looking for exhaustion, and when it kept going I got out. Part of the plan. I had to watch my son late morning so figured I'd be done for the day. My daughter is done with school as of today, so there will be no more distractions during the trading day. Also I have been sick for the past couple days, so decided no trading was best, feeling a lot better now.

Looking forward to next week! Oh yea, and guess where the market ultimately went? Daily ADR target of course!





Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 lovetotrade 
Rockledge, FL
 
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Today was a pretty standard continuation day. Only thing that messed me up today was Friday's VWAP being right in the middle of the intraday price action, which was affecting my ability to size up trades correctly for a decent R:R. Happy about my trading today, using a one lot to trade levels, and am working on my plan to effectively add a second in the near future. Missed the second VWAP trade, which took us up to the day's ADR target. Once again my bias did not allow me to enter due to previous price action. Still working on that, as a 2nd VWAP entry is both common, and usually quite profitable.




Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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  #225 (permalink)
 lovetotrade 
Rockledge, FL
 
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I am lucky I didn't get chopped up today, ending the day at B/E is a blessing for sure. So today is the kind of day that actually brings out my weaknesses. Traded levels quite well again today, and let the market lead. After the fact there was a nice short at weekly VWAP, but wasn't part of my game plan so that is OK.

Lots of levels intersecting today, so again just glad I didn't get run over, but glad to see I am handling it better.

So I have played around with what I call volume trend in the past, but I thought of a new way to look at it the other day, so looking into that to see if I can gain more insight into the pull backs and levels I like to trade. Will document that as I progress.

Feel good about my trading, running back at 100%. Looking to slowly build profits, and will become more aggressive with more contracts as we build a cushion.





Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 lovetotrade 
Rockledge, FL
 
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Again encouraged by this from Steenbarger.
TraderFeed: Trader Performance: What Contributes to Profitability?

Doesn't look like I am going to get to trade any specific levels today as the market is finally moving, and maxed out most of the ADR. Most of it by the 8:30 eco report which I don't trade.

Still fine tuning some things this week, and working on my mind's concept of risk. I really think it is an area that is holding me back. Overall I am really excited about my progress, and am absolutely a better trader than when I started up the combine again. Not much for trading this week, but the little I did was profitable. Next week looking to get more trades on.

Everyone have a great Memorial Day weekend! Headed to Daytona Beach tomorrow with the Fam.

Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 lovetotrade 
Rockledge, FL
 
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Well it won't take you long to figure out how frustrating today was for me. Picked direction correctly, market hit ADR target easily, yet again without me. One small stop out in the beginning from an incorrectly placed stop, and I didn't allow myself to get back on the bus, even though I could tell right away I had made the mistake.

I have started reading The Daily Trading Coach again, to look for some actionable ideas to aid in my struggle lately. These aren't big hurdles I need to clear, but I do have a mental road block that is not allowing me to apply risk appropriately. So I am applying two courses of action that should help.

One is since I have been trading only one contract, I am going to trade one very basic setup, and that is a simple VWAP retrace. I will trade this level best as I can, and if I make an obvious error, then I will get back in. Daily stop loss is 20 points give or take. Target is daily 2SD, and if I can get that target then I am allowed to get back in at 1SD. I am also allowing myself a simple trend continuation scalp setup if the market is already trending.

I am also going to start using a standard keltner channel around price to aid in my entry. This will force me to get a better entry, as I must enter above/below the center line, and should also keep risk in check as a close outside of the channel will allow me to immediately exit one tick beyond that bar in case of exhaustion. Hoping that improved trade location will help give my risk tolerance a boost. The keltner adjusts with volatility, so after looking at my past charts with this overlaid, it looks to be a useful adjustment.

Steenbarger says that setting actionable and achievable goals every day is key to building confidence in ones trading. Sounds good to me.




Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 lovetotrade 
Rockledge, FL
 
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So I've been on vacation since June 6th. Brought my laptop, and an extra monitor so I could trade some of the days I was gone. Some more small down/up days with a nice winning day in there close to the end of the trip. I think the time away really helped. A big part of that was opening up "The Daily Trading Coach" again. What a powerful tool that book is. I really need to be reading that once every three months or so, just to freshen up. It really helped me to tweak some things in my trading that have been inconsistent. Part of that is to continue to remain process driven focused vs. on PnL. My stats show me that I am where I need to be profitability wise, to complete the combine and move onto the next phase. It is absolutely my lack of consistency in executing my trading plan, that has led to my essentially flat equity curve.

So particularly after getting back in the saddle today, I feel much more on that even keel, and focus is where it needs to be: In the process.

I have decided to trade only one contract until I hit a certain profit level in the combine. Still figuring out exactly what that level is going to be, thinking the $500 to $750 mark though. This is helping me in a couple of ways. First it allows two complete stop outs, now that I have a comfortable daily loss limit in place. This will help me manage the position more effectively both physically and psychologically, as I have no attachment to the trade outcome. If I lose twice I am done for the day and move on. Through research this scenario also should not happen very often, and when it does, it is a sign of conditions that will chop up my account if I continue to trade anyway. So it prevents me from digging a hole in my PnL. Waiting to trade the 2nd contract just gives me a cushion, and prevents me from potentially moving backward too much, before I move forward.

What this also allows, is to improve my patience during the trade. All new trades are made with quite favorable R:R, and focusing on that allows me to hold out for the distant target. I do have certain conditions that warrant early profit taking, but they are very specific, and also allow re-entry for continuation. I know I am missing out on the scale outs, that help improve my basis and PnL during the trading day, but they were also causing me to be inconsistent in my entries, and the over-leveraged feeling was causing me to trade incorrectly. So I am pretty confident that this decision will make a large impact on my trading going forward. Today I was able to trade with great confidence, with no large swings in my emotions either way. While in trades I just want to observe, and make the right decisions.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Now we can move onto my trading today. So many times have I previously called direction, and picked a profit target correctly, either to bail early or not be on the move at all. Time for a change.

We had quite a large move higher overnight, but broke some key levels. Trend direction definitely up, but I knew if we couldn't breach the overnight high and broke VWAP, then we could see a nice counter trend day. Using the market's interaction with the different VWAP levels, along with our anticipated range through the ADR, we can adjust our target based on price action.

We got long above a consolidation that popped above VWAP, looking for that ONH test, and with an obvious failure at weekly +1SD, Weekly VWAP could be in the cards. So with our criteria we exited on a VWAP failure. So we patiently waited for a decent pull back to VWAP to get short with our W VWAP target in mind.

We got lucky on entry since it didn't actually trade through my limit order, but took absolutely no heat on the trade. Pretty bumpy ride lower, and we got what turned out to be an exhaustion bar at the previous swing low. At 24 points MFE there would have been plenty of chances for profit taking. After the market made its intentions clear that we would be going higher I exited the trade after 2 hours at break even.

The market then setup a decent long entry, but with ONH and the previously failed W+1SD right above I was not excited about the R:R, so I skipped the trade. Had a feeling at this point that we were in a range day, and I was correct. Market failed exactly where I thought it might.

So overall I would call this a great day, even though PnL was negative. This is the correct way to look at things, as it could have just as easily been a 40+pt winning day based on structure. I am encouraged and excited by future prospects of trading multiple contracts again, but for now I focus on the process and the opportunity will come.




Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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  #229 (permalink)
 lovetotrade 
Rockledge, FL
 
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Quoting 
Now he just needs to continue doubling down on process and shun judging his trading on PnL. He needs to be patient and work on his strengths and with his team members. The waiting can be the hardest part for a trader like him. But that next level will come with his approach to let process drive performance.

From my seat, it’s the traders following and trusting the right process for them, who are making the most progress.

-Mike Bellafiore of SMB

Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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  #230 (permalink)
 lovetotrade 
Rockledge, FL
 
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Another small range day today. Half the ADR to be exact. Followed the plan quite well today, had one error which I will explain, but I quickly recognized it, and then fixed it. I am going to construct my journal here the way I have my hand written journal, only as a condensed version hopefully to streamline things.
------------------------------------------

Overnight we gapped higher into monthly VWAP, then moved lower to close the gap. Today ended up as a range inside the overnight session.

Trade number one was a short on PB from a failed breakout above VWAP. I should have entered on a break of the lows, but didn't see that entry at first. Got a pretty gnarly pull back that almost stopped me out, and when we finally broke lower then bounced hard at Y-VWAP I got spooked and jumped out. After a couple minutes I realized there was no reason not to be short, so I re-entered. Usually I would watch this continue to move lower without me, but today I caught my mistake and fixed it. Pretty big deal. Exited this trade when my news alarm went off.

Trade number two was a continuation of the breakout from the news. After the market showed me it was not interested in going down, the 5 minute triangle that broke out to the upside looked like a nice chance to test the overnight highs. Got long above R1 which was sitting right above VWAP, and the market proceeded to move against me. Both adverse moves against my entries today would have made excellent second entries, and would have helped me end the day positive, so noting that. We tested the previous high, but then failed so I bailed just below VWAP.

Not an exciting day, but kept losses in line, and followed my plan.




Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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  #231 (permalink)
 lovetotrade 
Rockledge, FL
 
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Well what a day! Big swings in my PnL, but captured my daily profit target so I am happy. The market did what I thought it was going to do, just not when I thought it would. I was able to course correct once I let my nerves settle down. I also realized afterwards that I was being quite a bit too aggressive with my scale target, although it definitely was achievable. I missed the exhaustion bar warning, and paid the price. All good things though, no harm done, and created a positive learning experience. Also helped me to realize that I need to plan in the morning whether I need to be a bit more aggressive in taking quick profits vs. holding for a larger move based on the overnight and larger structure.

---------------------------------------------------
Holding these moves longer, and positioning correctly is definitely helping see the day more clearly. An important facet to trading is knowing when you need to cut quickly and run vs. hold through an adverse move. I am definitely getting better at that.

We moved higher overnight and spiked through Monthly VWAP, then pulled back to weekly VWAP. I got long after we broke daily VWAP, and then pulled back. After accumulating some profits, we got a great deep pullback to add a second contract on. My original first target was 2 points below overnight high, so I kept that as my first target, hoping to break ONH and carry the second contract to trend. Well we got within one point of my target, and then reversed all the way down to VWAP. Let me tell you what, it is hard to watch 39 points of profit vanish before your eyes. I don't watch profit while I am trading, but I started adding up where I was at as the market fell. I shouldn't have hesitated to capture some/all of that. But I am really trying hard to hold longer to make the most of larger days, although there is a time and a place for that.

I exited the scale contract at B/E, and then re-added another contract on the PB down to VWAP. Decided I wasn't willing to lose more than 10 points to find out if this was going to be a V bottom reversal. Which thank the good Lord it was. Held both to the previous high for 40 points. Done for the day, although the market did move out of overnight levels and begin to trend.




Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 lovetotrade 
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So many times do I predict almost exactly what is going to happen, and I guess my measure of performance will be how well I capture those moves. Part of figuring out this process has been to focus more on my strengths, and handicap my weaknesses. So when I see a day that presents possible range vs. a trending session, then I do become more risk averse, and look for high quality setups that have good potential. I mentioned this a while back, most days will maintain or at least slowly grow the account, while good trend days exploit strengths in my edge, and more aggressive account growth should happen here. I am starting to see each day unfold, and visualize how it should play out in the grander scheme of things, in terms of my trading and aggressiveness. Obviously this is a work in progress for me, but I really feel like things are starting to come together well for me.
-------------------------------------------------------------

Trade 1 was a typical VWAP continuation trade to the downside. We really came off the highs of the strong HTF trend last night, and when we broke weekly +1SD this morning I was looking for continuation initially. Well we got a vertical move to the downside, and that usually means a hard bounce, so scalped a quick 20 points close to the lows to help build up the bank.

Missed the next VWAP trade as it really looked like we were going to start moving higher, after all the struggling to go lower below VWAP previously. Would have been a great trade though, vertical move to VWAP, broken trend line entry. Broke to new lows then it appeared that OTF volume came in and reversed us back out of the top, in line with the HTF trend. Now looking for a pull back to get long from.

Trade 2 got the pull back to VWAP, but it was late in the day so I exited the trade when volume didn't come in the way I expected. Never should have taken the trade if I wasn't going to give it some time to work out. Still moving significantly higher as I type this. Saw that coming.

Up for the last few days, and seem to have a good streak going, despite the lack of nice trending days, so I am encouraged by that. Seems to be that I am improving as a trader.




Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 lovetotrade 
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Another long weekend. Ready to have some solid weeks of focus. Will probably be posting a bit less to try to add better content, as a lot of days are fairly insignificant. So I am going to try to focus more on posting days where I have some particularly good/bad trading, and some lessons to boot since I am already journaling at home.

Not much to write home about this week. Was at my computer a couple days, but price action did not seem to fit my trade requirements much so didn't force anything. After feeling so great last week, another long weekend has really left me feeling out of sync with the market again, so trying to figure out exactly why that keeps happening. Part of that is trying to document my best practices for when I am trading great, in extra detail.

Have a great weekend!

Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 lovetotrade 
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Pretty intense morning, and traded quite well despite one simple, but significant error that I will go over. Trying to take advantage of the volatility in these moves, even though we aren't trending very well in one particular direction. All in all I am doing quite well in this environment, which I'd like to think means am learning and growing.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Trade 1. I initially wanted to short since we were at 4 levels of confluence which I assumed we would get a reaction from. After entering the trade I saw that I would have to take profit at VWAP initially, and that didn't lead to a good enough R:R to justify the trade so I got out. Really should have figured this out before I entered. Exited at B/E.

Trade 2. We stair stepped up though the levels, and then broke out higher. Waited for the pull back, and actually had to chase the entry a couple points higher, which I am glad I did cause otherwise I would have missed the move. It tagged my limit order twice with no entry. And here lies the mistake. I set my target to be just inside the weekly +2SD, initially because we came from the W -2SD earlier that morning and I thought we might test the other extreme. Main problem is that it was just outside the ADR high, and even though high volume came in, I should have had my target inside that level. It missed my limit order by one point, and then retraced 30 points! Fortunately the market came back, and I was able to get the majority of the move. So I call that a win despite the error, which is noted.

Trade 3. Pull back all the way to W VWAP and ONH, got entry with almost no heat and took a quick profit. Profit was totally psychological as I got to the profit level I should have been at from my original trade. Either way I got lucky and we failed just after. Daily profit target almost hit.

Trade stats continue to improve. John Hoagland said he wanted to see my winning trades/losing trades average a 2:1 or higher, and I am almost there. Feeling good! Tomorrow is a new day.




Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 lovetotrade 
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Wanted to give a shout out to my best bud in the whole wide world Adam if he swings by the journal today!

So today is a day that I really needed to kill it, but ended up with mediocre results even though I traded well. Really getting better/lucky on my entries lately, almost taking no heat on most of my trades. I'd like to say that the fact that I am only trading one contract is still really holding my true potential back, but part of that is not having a solid plan for adding to my trade once I am profitable, which I do allow myself to do. That would have really helped me today with attempting to jump into the vertical move when things really got cooking today. We had all the requirements checked off for a strong trend today, I was just still too conservative. It is quite difficult to balance being conservative 90% of days, and then try to kill it on the couple days a month the market goes wild. But perhaps the fact that I am able to actively identify those days more often is a significant move in the right direction.

------------------------------------------------------------------
This morning had several clues to the extreme trend we had today. Over night we had a smaller range than normal, that trended higher, but at a slow to moderate pace. We opened this morning with that continuation pattern breaking out to the upside. We were outside the first deviation band of the VWAP from this morning, along with being outside the 2SD of the Weekly VWAP, showing strong trending conditions on multiple time frames. All systems go. Then on top of that, you had the daily chart in an uptrend after finishing a pull back earlier this week, targeting the previous swing high. This was outside of the ADR high target for the day, so I kept the more modest target, and then would have plenty of profit to make another attempt if we kept on going.

Trade 1. We had a large eco report out at 8:30, but we broke higher just after 7 so I took an entry on the first pull back. We actually traded sideways until the report came out, so via my plan I exited as soon as my report alarm went off. Scratch trade.

Trade 2. After the report came out we broke out significantly higher, so once again I bought the first PB. We had kind of a choppy trend going for the first hour which was ok as we were making higher highs, and we were moving towards the target. Then I remembered we had a Fed speaker coming online at 9:30, and even though it wasn't a major announcement, I still know they have the tendency to move the market. So once we tested the recent high, and got a high vol sell bar at 9:30 I bailed. Looking for a pull back to enter the market lower from, instead the market reversed and went immediately to my target. Very frustrating.

Then in the next few bars we hit that daily swing high, then we broke higher, and higher from there. 120 pt range with 55 ADR. The error threw me off, and I was unable to enter again successfully as it moved ever so higher without me. If I had thrown another contract on earlier in the trade, I probably would have had the profit and the confidence to push the day, but who knows for sure. What I do know is that I need a plan for adding that second contract, especially when trend conditions are present. Another thing I am doing, is getting rid of non-major events from my calendar. I really would not have exited the second trade if it wasn't for my awareness of the event, even though nothing resulted, which happens 90% of the time. I would rather be surprised by the shock, and trade my way out of it than have this happen again.

New equity highs today, moving slowly but surely to the combine profit objective.





Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 lovetotrade 
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Well to say the least, five months back into the combine program, I totally underestimated how long it was going to take to beat this thing. Fortunately I have used this time to exponentially improve my trading. I am constantly focusing on cutting out the garbage, and keeping only the simplest ideas that are proven to work, and logically make sense.

I have been gone a little while, but I have been working hard on my home journal. I have essentially eliminated any two sided trading intraday, and re-implemented my previous TPO/volume profile charts to focus on entering based on the previous days structure. This has aided my trading tremendously, and completely eliminates any chance of getting chopped up. I can focus on the market trend, and trade that trend phase appropriately, all while setting larger targets and leaving them alone. And sometimes it helps me get extremely lucky, as was the case today, but I couldn't have gotten lucky if I wasn't focused on the right variables.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Weekly VWAP sets my immediate direction focus. Long above/ short below. I am looking for the 30m chart to be in line with this direction(testing the 15m), and also for the market to have/setting up a trending daily VWAP in said direction. As we test nodes, VPOC, and VAH/L I am looking for the market to start auctioning in our direction.

Today was a little tricky because we had W-VWAP above, and Y-VWAP/Y-VPOC below. There was enough price action failure around W-VWAP and below to convince me I needed to be short, and daily trend was down. So I got almost the high of the morning session, held through various pull backs, and ended up nailing the low of the day. Just below the ONL.

I have decided I also need to remove as much of my discretion as possible from decision making while we are only on one contract. I only tend to miss-interpret counter trend market information, and really just need to let the market do its thing. So my R:R should continue to increase from here on out, today it was 3.5:1.




Good trading everyone, hope you are learning and growing everyday!

Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 lovetotrade 
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A little spreadsheet work to update my progress. Still need to do average win/loss, and a couple other stats. Looking forward to incorporating Tradervue to have a deep look at trade statistics in the near future. Looking good, positive sloping equity curve!


Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 lovetotrade 
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If luck doesn't at least play a small part in a trader's success then I am screwed lol. Just following my plan, 1/2 way there...


Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 lovetotrade 
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So today was quite stressful, literally in the trade for over 5 hours. This was my largest winning day to date, and I had to fight every impulse to take profits along the way. My profit target has been 40 points for a while now, and I know that I must break out of that barrier to get to the next level. In reality 40 is just a number, but now it is a figure that carries a lot of emotional weight. Hopefully today is the beginning of a new chapter.

I took lots of notes today as I wrote down my feelings, and I was able to realize how my emotions were literally taking over. I focused on my plan, and I was able to clear my mind and drive out the distractions. Part of the problem was that I traded two contracts because of my initial risk, and after the first profit target was reached I was fighting the urge not to take the second off where my total would be 40 points, as we hit that level again and again. Today's structure did not help either. Vertical moves followed by long consolidations, which one day I will be able to capitalize on significantly.

Either way trusted my plan, and cashed out within two ticks of the high. I am now more than halfway to combine PT.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Overnight we gapped higher then drifted lower to fill that gap. We moved higher from there, and price action called for me to get in long at the consolidation at VWAP. I got in two contracts via my initial risk. One contract set 3 points before ONH, second one 40 point target. Recent research has shown me this amount, regardless of ADR, is hit 80% of the time. So it will continue to be an important profit level for me, although I will build upon it.

As previously noted, we essentially chopped higher to the end of the day. Exited just above the last high made, would have held if it broke and ran. You have to be flexible depending on conditions, but that has nothing to do with following your plan. $300 day.




Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 Rrrracer 
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Hey man, I've been working through your journal and noticed you hadn't posted anything here in a while. Hope all is well.

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 lovetotrade 
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Hey man, I've been working through your journal and noticed you hadn't posted anything here in a while. Hope all is well.

Hey thanks for checking in. Just haven't had much to add lately that's all. Still stagnating around the 50% profit target to the combine unfortunately. Lost most of September due to hurricane Irma, and trading opportunities have been a little bit harder to come by here in October. But I have been thinking about doing another fairly extensive write up on how my trading has evolved over the last couple of months, which is pretty exciting collectively. Stats are still good, just patiently waiting every day to exploit my edge.


Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 lovetotrade 
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Well, first post in a while. Major news is that we bought our first home on Feb 10th, so I took a month off trading to focus on getting that in good shape and ready for our young family. First day back in the saddle, and just plan on observing this week to slowly transition into my daily routine. I had hit a good stride right up to taking time off, and life has been very balanced. Trading has been very enjoyable for me as of late, perhaps due to becoming more consistently profitable, and understanding more of what has attributed to that. I started trading my cash account alongside the combine to start building that acccount(real money though small account), and because it is a small account I can grow in small appropriate steps there, and trade in the way I envision myself as a successful trader as I continue to develop and grow. I was up 10% in this account in the month of January alone, without taking any outsized risks. That is exciting, although I know market conditions were very favorable for my style of trading.

A big milestone that I just realized is that I have been in the combine for a year now, I believe as of tomorrow. You could look at this as a good or a bad thing, and while I can see both, I choose to look at the great developments that have come from it. It has forced me to scale back my expectations from both performance and trading income. It has forced me to become very disciplined in my morning routine, and rigorously process oriented and driven so that once I am done with the combine I am truly set up for success. This is a bit different than when I had just deposited funds into an account and started trading on my own. The motivation to get out of paying someone a monthly fee by learning to trade correctly has been greater than just sitting at my computer each day. Although this may be a little short sighted since that was already four years ago, and a lot changes in that kind of time frame! It is also possible that it is absolutely true and is one of my flaws, but I have developed and persevered enough over the years that like many other things, I will not let it determine the ultimate outcome of my success in trading.

To recap some actual trading stuff, I am getting closer to finishing the combine. After hitting a peak of almost $900 profit I slid all the way back to zero, before driving the account back up to $1100 last I checked. I realized that there are a couple ways you can go about the combine to complete it, one is to take outsized risks and swing for the fences every trade, and you are probably likely to hit the profit target before the stop loss sooner than later. Or you can scale the account risk wise to allow for your edge to play out, and continue to learn and grow while you do it. I obviously chose the latter, and am much better off for it. I thought it made no sense to rush through the combine(as I have beaten one before) just to get to funded trader prep with essentially the same issues to work through. I understand my edge so much better than before, what normal drawdowns in my equity curve look and feel like, when it makes sense to scale up and scale back, and which market conditions to really go for the gusto. These things are truly priceless to a trader as we grow in our processes. Sure I wish they came quicker, but who is to say what that is suppose to look like for each individual. What I do know is that the money I paid for the combine is part of my tuition, and a drop in the bucket for what I will reap in the coming years!

One of the last things I wrote in my journal was this.

True Success:
True success in your trading will come from full conviction in your thesis, and understanding the current market environment in which to take profits correctly.

That's it. The ability to take what you've learned, intuition and all, and put your money where your mouth is. Then know when to push your trades, and when to set a target and be happy with what you get for the day. There it is, the definition of simple but not easy.

I have been working hard to simplify all my processes. I now use daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly VWAP and bands to analyse trending vs. range conditions on multiple time frames. I use daily and weekly TPO charts for the VAH, VAL, and VPOC levels they create along with previous S/R to contextually frame price action, and form thesis and profit targets based on the ADR. I also use specific volume levels to guage the strength of a move and potential reversals. It's so ingrained in my DNA I just start to see the story unfold after looking at my charts for a few minutes, I don't even have to think much about it anymore. It's the most enjoyable trading has been for me as each day presents new challenges as no two days are alike, but once the market gets moving a lot of the same things come in to play.

I hope everyone is enjoying their process of trading, and thanks to anyone who reads my journal. I wish I had more time to spend on here, and perhaps that will change one day, but it's all part of the balance. My family wins out in the time game, my little ones will only be little for so long.

Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 bobarian 
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great to hear from you again!Congrats on the new house, thats huge.Im liking your comments very much.I dont remember you using vwap as of a few months ago, and i agree with your statements.I went back and forth with Fat Tails, and he mentioned TWAP.I put that up as well, and it was similiar enough to vwap.Im only using the daily vwap as of now, and for me , it gives me a feel for context.In currencies, volume is sketchy, and that was always on my mind...However, as i mentioned , just from a contextual point of view, it is helpful...not to mention, when price penetrates a pivot/vwap together, the pb to that level can be very nice to trade from.Looking forward to hearing more from you, and best of luck with the new house!Im sideline currently, as we are doing renovations and it just isnt possible to trade for a bit..Cheers,Bob

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 Rrrracer 
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Congrats on all of that stuff man! Family, house, combine, live trading... the man has it all, folks Seriously, glad to hear you are doing well. Don't be a stranger!

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 lovetotrade 
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Congrats on all of that stuff man! Family, house, combine, live trading... the man has it all, folks Seriously, glad to hear you are doing well. Don't be a stranger!


Thanks so much! I will try not to be, I love this community and spending time here. Like I said I am just a bit stretched but I will try harder

Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 lovetotrade 
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great to hear from you again!Congrats on the new house, thats huge.Im liking your comments very much.I dont remember you using vwap as of a few months ago, and i agree with your statements.I went back and forth with Fat Tails, and he mentioned TWAP.I put that up as well, and it was similiar enough to vwap.Im only using the daily vwap as of now, and for me , it gives me a feel for context.In currencies, volume is sketchy, and that was always on my mind...However, as i mentioned , just from a contextual point of view, it is helpful...not to mention, when price penetrates a pivot/vwap together, the pb to that level can be very nice to trade from.Looking forward to hearing more from you, and best of luck with the new house!Im sideline currently, as we are doing renovations and it just isnt possible to trade for a bit..Cheers,Bob

Thanks Bob! It is huge, and the projects keep coming, but it is ours and working hard to make it something we can be proud of.

As for VWAP I really want to post all that information in more detail. The daily VWAP is very important for me, but just one piece of the puzzle, and once I realized how it all fit together it made reading the market a breeze. Consistency was key, and I was able to stop looking for anything else to see market context as a whole.

Volume is a funny animal in currencies, but as for currency futures(at least as far as the Pound goes) there is some consistency there worth paying attention to. I spent a lot of time trying to develop volume into a leading indicator, which is actually in my journal somewhere, but in the last six months I have found a couple common occurences that happen a bit too often to be coincidence. I chalk it up to a set of larger traders(have no idea how many) who carry a lot of size, and is quite obvious when they enter the market. And a large move is usually not far behind.

Like if you watch the one minute time frame, and set a horizontal line at the 400 volume mark, you can see the market either in trend or beginning to trend on a very consistent basis. I use this as a confirmation when I am in the market pushing for a certain direction. This volume level also is at the extremes of most range days, so helps to spot those types of days as well. Also on the 5 minute timeframe, plot a horizontal line at the 3000 volume level. There are some consistencies there with very large trend days, and when I get an alert of these bars then I become aware that we could be attempting to push outside of ADR H/L and that I should become more aggressive, not looking to exit. So I just use them for becoming aware and alert to what is happening in the market and what it might mean. It's just information, but for me valuable.

Thanks for the kind words guys, have a great night!

Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 Rrrracer 
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Right on man, would love to hear your thoughts on volume as I have been using it extensively in my trading, looking to learn everything I can about it. Have a great one!

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 bobwest 
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... Trading has been very enjoyable for me as of late, perhaps due to becoming more consistently profitable, and understanding more of what has attributed to that.

...
I hope everyone is enjoying their process of trading, and thanks to anyone who reads my journal. I wish I had more time to spend on here, and perhaps that will change one day, but it's all part of the balance. My family wins out in the time game, my little ones will only be little for so long.

Good to have you back, and all this sounds very good. I had no idea that you have been continuously on a combine for so long. I do agree with what you said about tuition.

I also like the part about enjoying the process. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't, but I like the idea....

More please.

Bob.

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 lovetotrade 
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bobwest View Post
Good to have you back, and all this sounds very good. I had no idea that you have been continuously on a combine for so long. I do agree with what you said about tuition.

I also like the part about enjoying the process. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't, but I like the idea....

More please.

Bob.

Thanks Bob, good to hear from you. It is all about the process man, focus on the process and the money will come. Focus on the money, and well you know how that goes lol. I have learned to fall in love with the process, and my focus there has helped me become more disciplined in my real time execution.

And yes, a whole damn year in the combine. The only part that has me wondering about the whole thing, is that I have only been under water twice the entire time, and neither were for very long. So technically I could be putting that $150 a month back into a cash account, but either way like I said, paying that money every month has helped me take it more seriously and keep my game face on, where I have been a bit more complacent in an account funded by myself. I now absolutely have a professional mindset and process to go along with it, along with a plan for growth etc. So that money was well spent, although the wife is getting a little weary of the withdraw every month. But I do believe I am on the last leg of the combine journey, and hope the FTP will not last as long. Like I said I have dialed back my expectations even though I am getting better.

I think I will post some stats today along with some charts.

Take care Bob, and thanks for checking in!

Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 lovetotrade 
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Rrrracer View Post
Right on man, would love to hear your thoughts on volume as I have been using it extensively in my trading, looking to learn everything I can about it. Have a great one!

So the only thing I can really add to the previous post about volume, is that I really like to track price action and volume together on the smaller time frame. I am using a combination of time and volume charts currently, but if I did not watch volume I would probably only use volume charts as they move more with the flow of the market, and smooth out the VWAP as larger volume comes in.

So for example, yesterday( I know I said I wasn't going to trade this week), but the setup was so sweet and I traded it very small. We got a nice move lower after failing to breach Weekly VWAP, and the market headed straight down into Friday's VPOC and VWAP cluster(two purple lines), before giving me a reversal signal and flying back above VWAP(very bullish). This shows me that we tested Friday's value and there were buyers waiting there. I could go into a little more detail about the longer term charts, but this is all I really need to get interested in a long.

On the rally to VWAP we hit 400 volume, and then pushed right through the VWAP levels(weekly/daily). This specifically got my attention. Once we got back to VWAP I wanted to get long, and since we sliced right through VWAP on the way up, chances are good that we may chop back through to the downside which it did. So I got my entry average actually just below VWAP, and once we made that swing low my stop went in 4 points below it. You can also see 400 sell volume come in on that trip back to and through VWAP so caution was warranted, I needed to be ready to bail if we took a dive, but conviction in my thesis allowed me to actually buy at a better price(below VWAP) instead of bail.

Then we got the large 2k vol spike and the rest is pretty much history, and if I was not already in I have learned that the spike is a good entry even though it seems scary. That high sell volume prior provided fuel for takeoff as sellers had their faces ripped off. 1st 2/3rds profit off at ONH, and took the rest at a previous resistance area above. I could have continued to buy pull backs at that point, but like I said I wasn't even suppose to be trading and that was some very easy money so I ran and continued to observe.

I will add one more thing, ADR was 72 for Monday so even though we did not get there all the way that day, I knew the market had plenty of room to run once we got above VWAP. Focusing on that number when the market is trending and ADR is expanding, is how you push and grow your account by huge leaps at a time!


Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 lovetotrade 
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So here is an update of my current status. So it looks like I had hit a high of $1,115 before my previous loss of around a hundred. All this information is represented pretty good in my scatter plot, and equity curve. I will use a company like Tradervue to track my stats for me once I am out of the combine, but for now I can see everything I need for free through excel and the combine statistics.

I am at 40% win/loss ratio which is fine/normal for me, and working hard to maintain a 2:1 or higher reward/risk. Recently slipped back below 2 by a small margin. Most importantly for me you can see my larger win $ amounts increasing in size, while losses only increase slightly on the worst of days. This is what I am working hard on, pushing my winning days harder in size traded and larger profits. My largest winning day increased to almost $400, and I was still disappointed as I had left quite a bit of money on the table that day. This is good, you must always be hungry for more even when you are trading at your best. It's that appetite that helps you grow.

I have found through experience, that my best days come when the ADR is expanding, usually from a clear breakout on the daily charts, and the market is trending. This is when I need to throw caution to the wind, and put out more risk. I think it was Bella from SMB who had said when you know you are in the environment where you kill it, you must be willing to take more shots on the same setups than usual. That may mean stretching my usual max risk on the day in order to get the job done. That really spoke to me as I had believed for a while that I had to stick to my daily loss no matter what, but days where if I had taken one more shot I would have raked in a massive day. Instead I ended down and defeated, knowing I now had a hole to climb out of instead. Obviously I am not talking about risking a ton more than normal, but a stretch beyond your normal limit here is probably ok and healthy. We must adapt to the market while maintaining control on risk, while being open to opportunity. Say what!? It's confusing but critical.

My largest drawdown came from a whole month of missing the only 5 trend days available. They were either on Thursdays which I don't trade, or setups I don't take. After digging as deep as I could, I ended up having to settle for the answer that sometimes this just happens. Now it is documented, and when it happens in the future I will be ready for it. Aha! Another good reason you should be journaling if you are not!

Last thing I just noticed before posting. If you look in the top left of my charts in the pic I posted, you can see today was a trend day after news came out this morning, and the 5 minute chart hit the 3k volume level several times. Low and behold we beat the ADR 75 and just hit a hundred point range for the morning! Coincidence? No way.


Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 lovetotrade 
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The last thing I wanted to go over was my use of the weekly and daily TPO for context. I use the weekly and daily charts also for direct trend, and support resistance levels although obviously we don't interact with those too much on the intraday time frame. Like I said I like to keep things simple, and that means minimizing time spent in every area as much as possible, only to extract what we actually need. We all know how easy it is to get sucked into looking at patterns, and old charts, well it is if you are a chart junkie like me! I have learned there is no time like the present, stare at live moving charts it's a much better use of time.

Ok so we will start with the weekly chart. This is my guage on market direction, forest from the trees if you will. That's another thing that I will attribute to my success as of late, and that is really an emphasis on larger yet releveant charts. Focus on the big picture, and you won't get spooked out of every move against you.

So each previous day as well as week has a value area based on the TPO charts. I focus on the value area high, value area low, and volume point of control for each.(VAH,VAL,VPOC) On each time frame(day/week) I consider us trending if the market is working outside of or looking to break out of the VAH/L. IF we are inside of value, you will be amazed how the market works very predictably from one level to the next testing value before moving to the next. This was a game changer for me, and gave me reference levels and context for my beloved VWAP(s).

So let's get into some charts. I gotta throw another shout out to @Inletcap who gave me the information needed, and inspired me to go out on my own to make some pretty awesome discoveries. Miss that guy.

First chart is just a weekly TPO chart. You can see where the value area is highlighted in the darker blue, I specifically use that as my reference for VAH/L and the pink is the VPOC, obviously where the most volume was traded that week. I use the previous week as reference for the current week.


Next we are going to focus on the weekly VWAP, this frames our price action. For instance here, we may be outside of value on the weekly TPO, but if we are not outside of the 1st standard deviation band then we are technically in range and not currently trending. To be clear I am always looking for and in anticipation of us breaking out into a trend, as that is where I excel. Bear with me I will try to include as many examples as possible. So for example if we are outside of the 1SD on the weekly VWAP, and coming upon the VAH it would not be uncommon for the market to test the VAH, then come back to the 1SD before breaking out higher. I believe it is just part of the market's auction process to seek out buyers and sellers by testing areas of value.

In our next image, we have the open Sunday evening. You can see the open drive to test the VAL of the previous week, and we actually bounce between Friday's value and VAL a few times before the market breaks lower. We begin to trend outside of the Weekly 1SD lower, all trend requirements have been met and we should be selling rallies. Any trips to 1SD or Weekly VWAP should be selling opportunities, but you can see in the white box we make a transition and now W VWAP acts as support, and ultimately we break out to the upside after testing the VAL a few more times. So this tells us a few things right? We could not test last week's low before breaking back above weekly VAH, and this is a serious sign that the decline on the larger timeframe is in jeopardy. You could use this information to begin a long swing position, the possibilities are endless.


Next we are a little later in the week, looks like Wednesday to be exact and we haven't moved much. This is a 1500 vol chart one of my favorites by the way. So we are still hanging out near last week's VAL, and we have a news catalyst this morning at 8:30. You can see by the arrows that we have a downward bias based on the previous' days VWAP, and spending most of the morning/overnight below it. 8:30 news hits, yesterday VWAP is tested before the market takes a dive, but we come back inside of the 1SD and consolidate before blasting through the weekly VWAP and VAL higher. Next is the white line and arrow which is the VAH of the previous day which can create some of the largest reversal days you will see as everyone positioned on the wrong side is skewered. First higher time frame target is the weekly VPOC which is tested about three times before breaking out higher, and if you held overnight weekly VAH becomes your next target representing a full reversal on the weekly time frame. This kind of stuff happens over and over every week and every day, and this theory applies to every market!


Then for more precise entries, I use volume and the daily value areas and confluence to see where I want to do business. All of these things help me form my thesis for the day, and I will also pick out the most likely thing to happen if my thesis fails and that is called your trading plan for the day. Hope someone got something out of my rambling .

Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 lovetotrade 
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So I was thinking this morning about how much of this game is psychological, and how important it is to have your mind focused on the right things, and in the right way to be successful. I think we all would like to assume that our goals are pretty in line with the general thought that we come to the markets to make money, though I doubt most spend much time thinking of what it takes to get there, or if they do, then if they are aligned with reality. Just the general action and movement in the markets makes you want to do something, not sit around and think. Especially with one click trading, just click the button! You can assess what happened later. (Literally as my daughter walks over to my keyboard asking what a button did, and wanting to touch it! It's in our nature.) This is so wrong, but what you need to do is so counter-intuitive it makes us all struggle to one degree or another.

I believe that what you have learned about market movement, your strategy, your understanding/misunderstanding of profitability, etc. so I guess you could say your collective knowledge about trading, and your psychological beliefs about trading will have a direct impact on the way you trade. Now after I have laid it out like that, it all seems very obvious, but if those thoughts and beliefs shape the way we trade, and in essence how successful we are, then why don't we spend more time thinking about them? I do not have the answer to this if you were waiting for it, just writing out my thoughts . So I think we talk about risk, strategies, and statistics so much more because they are the exciting aspects to trading. It is where the rubber meets the road, and gives us direct feedback of what we need to adjust or change to make more money. But until you have truly grasped the psychological aspects of successful trading, it is very possible and easy to get caught up in the trap of knowing what you need to do, and then not being able to execute. Maybe you know what you need to do, but not the why. This is why we also can fall into the trap of thinking we need more discipline, when it is so much deeper than that! God knows how many times I have been there.

Also maybe this is just part of everyone's journey, the sad part being those who quit before they seek the right questions. It does take time and experience to learn to ask the right questions, do you know how many aha! moments I have had over the last 7 years? Moments that I thought would translate into my success? As for me I am quite stubborn, and it took me a long time to start asking the right questions. Much longer than necessary, but I made it to that point finally. Perseverance winning out.

Profitability boils down to one thing, and that is making more money than we lose right? How do we get there? Cutting losses short, letting winners run? Home runs, base hits, or a combination? They say there are a million ways to make money in the markets, but which one do we take? Trading is simple, but not easy they say. The truth there is astounding, but essentially useless as those other cliche's listed unless you take the time to peel back the layers of the deeper meaning(think never ending onion lol).

I guess all I am trying to say or ask is, how much time do you spend thinking about the important aspects of trading vs. the physical aspect of it? I am almost of the belief you should be spending more time thinking about it, and expanding your knowledge and beliefs, than you should be trading. We want to grow our accounts by stretching and working out our risk muscles, but how much are you growing psychologically in your trading? Most of us are impressed by @Big Mike, and his journey here laid out so publicly for us to read and have followed, but I think it is easy to read through his knowledgeable posts, and miss one of the most important facts. His insatiable appetite for growth in all aspects helped him achieve his desire of becoming a wildly profitable trader.

Are you growing? Do you have a plan for growth? May your growth this year lead you to new equity highs!

Gonna cross post this in the trading psychology section.

Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 lovetotrade 
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Ok time for real life application. Since I trade a very specific time frame(7a.m. to noon) on the 6B, I use a 14 ADR of that specific 300 minute time period as a contextual tool during the day. I use the context from the daily time frame to help me decide what to do with the ADR. I think I mentioned that if we are breaking out and trending, then it will usually result in an expanding ADR as volatility comes into the market, and my targets should actually be higher than the ADR, and I should be pushing trades(holding vs. taking profit aggressively). And in most other circumstances I use the number as a potential to where we could go, but will set larger targets within that number, and will generally take profits more aggressively. I believe that knowing(should say attempting to know) how to take profits efficiently is key in pulling the most money from the markets each day.

So I will use this information to give me confidence in taking my trades as well, as I am very intentional about the process as a whole. So if we are outside of value, I have determined the trend is higher, the ADR is 70, then even if we move 20 points below VWAP(my long/short guage) before popping back above VWAP, then I know I still have 50 points potential range left on the day, and that is plenty for me to attempt to get aggressively long. Without the context you may look at the day and say, well it went down a bit, so maybe I need to attempt to short it, or well it's going higher now, but I'm not sure how much higher it will go on the day so I will place a small long here to see what happens. Like I have said, I love consistency in all my systems, and they should work together in harmony. This was an example of my old thinking vs. how I operate now.

I want to know where I am likely to pull the most money out of the market, and I will develop my plan based around that first thing. I want asymmetric returns, and my focus is to maximize those returns as much as possible.

Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 Rrrracer 
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I've had a lot of these thoughts running through my head lately but have a hard time putting them down on paper (keyboard?)

I agree on my own journey that the psychological aspect has been.. interesting. It can be quite entertaining to learn about yourself by being mindful during and self reflection after trading. Some of the things I've learned about myself, I don't know that I ever would have had I not started to trade!

Awareness makes it possible for us to examine and alter these behaviours to our benefit. Yet another muscle that needs working out

Thanks so much man, excellent post.

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 lovetotrade 
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Rrrracer View Post
I've had a lot of these thoughts running through my head lately but have a hard time putting them down on paper (keyboard?)

I agree on my own journey that the psychological aspect has been.. interesting. It can be quite entertaining to learn about yourself by being mindful during and self reflection after trading. Some of the things I've learned about myself, I don't know that I ever would have had I not started to trade!

Awareness makes it possible for us to examine and alter these behaviours to our benefit. Yet another muscle that needs working out

Thanks so much man, excellent post.

Absolutely my friend, and glad to hear you are doing it! I don't know what it is man, journaling is like good for the soul! I absolutely agree, you learn so much about yourself during this process. Your tendencies, your desires, your fears, your shortcomings.... it honestly takes a strong person to truly go through the hoops of successful trading. It's honestly pretty easy to see why so many people blow up and quit. If I had known how long, and how hard this was going to take and be, I am not sure I would have started or stuck it out. Kind of a blessing in disguise as it is a really fulfilling journey. And only us traders will ever truly appreciate the sacrifice needed and made!

Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 lovetotrade 
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I am a subscriber to Adam Grimes' blog(which is top notch by the way), and he recently made a new post about a comparison between a knife sharpening routine and trading. Excellent and very in depth, and he hit on some points I made in a couple of my previous posts. So I thought I would throw up a link here as it's a great read.

https://adamhgrimes.com/trading-lessons-knife-sharpening/

Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 lovetotrade 
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https://app.topstepfx.com/home

This honestly might be a game changer for me. I have been waiting for the Topstep Forex option for a while now, and it's finally here! I love the ability to change my size by a minimal amount as my confidence and profitability changes with the mini or micro lot options, versus a full options contract which represent almost too much risk when trying to scale in the 30k futures combine. When going from one, to two, to three full contracts creates very wild swings in the PnL in such tight risk parameters, as where in my opinion you can fine tune this using more mini/micros.

So I have some thinking to do. I have been trading my cash forex account with great success the last couple weeks, and scaling in/out is just so vital to my success there, along with being able to test the waters with a scaled down position, and add as my confidence increases. In essence it allows me to be able to trade to my full potential and strengths, and when I think about having to trade one lots through the rest of the current combine, again through the FTP, then again through a funded account it makes me cringe. So I may have just made up my mind. Anyone feel free to chime in!

Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 Grantx 
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lovetotrade View Post
https://app.topstepfx.com/home


This honestly might be a game changer for me. I have been waiting for the Topstep Forex option for a while now, and it's finally here! I love the ability to change my size by a minimal amount as my confidence and profitability changes with the mini or micro lot options, versus a full options contract which represent almost too much risk when trying to scale in the 30k futures combine. When going from one, to two, to three full contracts creates very wild swings in the PnL in such tight risk parameters, as where in my opinion you can fine tune this using more mini/micros.

So I have some thinking to do. I have been trading my cash forex account with great success the last couple weeks, and scaling in/out is just so vital to my success there, along with being able to test the waters with a scaled down position, and add as my confidence increases. In essence it allows me to be able to trade to my full potential and strengths, and when I think about having to trade one lots through the rest of the current combine, again through the FTP, then again through a funded account it makes me cringe. So I may have just made up my mind. Anyone feel free to chime in!

I think this is a great idea and if it exposes your strengths as a trader then keep it going. Path of least resistance and all that. You can scale in and out with ease using multiple contract sizes as defined by your money management rules and comfort levels! There is no downside you are in complete control

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 bobwest 
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lovetotrade View Post
So I may have just made up my mind.

Sounds like you did.

There are two good reasons (or at least, good for some traders) to do a Combine:

1. Working on your technique in an environment that is edgier and more real than pure no-risk sim, but that doesn't hurt you too much when you have problems.

2. Getting funded if you're not able or willing to put up your own money.

From what you wrote, it doesn't seem that either apply. You're doing well with your trading, and you don't have a funding issue. I don't know anything about FX spot trading, so I don't know if the amount they would fund you with would come to a lot or a little, nor if it would be a lot or a little to you, but it does look like you don't need it.

Although you've been waiting for this, perhaps you've also outgrown the need.... Just a thought, but it seems to be in line with what you were thinking.

Bob.

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 lovetotrade 
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Grantx View Post
I think this is a great idea and if it exposes your strengths as a trader then keep it going. Path of least resistance and all that. You can scale in and out with ease using multiple contract sizes as defined by your money management rules and comfort levels! There is no downside you are in complete control

Agree with all that! I think it's the next logical step. I have already paid for this month's combine, so I will start trading the combine again tomorrow through the end of the month, and then make the switch if I am not a stone's throw from the profit target. They did announce that because of the increased volatility, they increased the profit target by another $500, so now I am a thousand away all of a sudden. Kind of bogus, but understandable. So I will trade bigger and more aggressive when prime opportunity arises, but this new increase reduces my chances based on my previous trade experience. Thanks for commenting!

Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 lovetotrade 
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bobwest View Post
Sounds like you did.

There are two good reasons (or at least, good for some traders) to do a Combine:

1. Working on your technique in an environment that is edgier and more real than pure no-risk sim, but that doesn't hurt you too much when you have problems.

2. Getting funded if you're not able or willing to put up your own money.

From what you wrote, it doesn't seem that either apply. You're doing well with your trading, and you don't have a funding issue. I don't know anything about FX spot trading, so I don't know if the amount they would fund you with would come to a lot or a little, nor if it would be a lot or a little to you, but it does look like you don't need it.

Although you've been waiting for this, perhaps you've also outgrown the need.... Just a thought, but it seems to be in line with what you were thinking.

Bob.

Thanks for the vote of confidence Bob! So yes, I am very confident in my edge, my ability to trade, AND I do believe my scaling issue has been holding me back in the current combine. BUT I do have limited funds to be able to trade, so herein lies the reason for the combine. I have a young family, and so to ease my wife's concerns I am trying to place the account risk elsewhere as much as possible. To be clear I will not stay in a combine forever, as I have stated it has been good for me to develop discipline in my trading, but that is a limited utility now. It is time for that investment to pay off or take a hike, though I am quite confident it is going to pay off, obviously, or I wouldn't still be doing it.

So to answer your question, yes I could use the extra 200k in buying power, and for a few months @$110 a month it is worth the risk in my opinion. Which is what the smallest TSTFX account represents.

Also, another thing that has weighed on me about the TST funded futures account is the fees. They want around $80 a month per data feed(CME,CBOT,etc.) depending on which futures you trade. That's almost a thousand dollars a year right off the top! This new FX option has no fees whatsoever. That's huge.

So this month I will more than likely be canceling my current combine at rollover time, and switching to the FX option. And I now have a legitimate track record at a reputable prop firm, which may come in handy down the road.

Thanks for chiming in Bob!

Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 jackbravo 
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I very much identify with your post about psych, specifically

1.those "aha" moments that seem like they will be game changers but don't materialize into day to day trading

2. That feeling of knowing exactly what to do but somehow not being able to actually do it



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 lovetotrade 
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jackbravo View Post
I very much identify with your post about psych, specifically

1.those "aha" moments that seem like they will be game changers but don't materialize into day to day trading

2. That feeling of knowing exactly what to do but somehow not being able to actually do it

I totally get the frustration there. I think the important thing to remember is that if you are getting the "aha" moments, then you are definitely doing some things right. As I have mentioned, it is nearly impossible to shortcut the process for someone, because the journey is so individual. Like no matter how good I was, or how much experience I had, I could never tell you how to trade successfully! Only you can find your own path, but time boils down to how many rabbits you must chase before you put all the pieces together. This is why I think a coach is such a valuable resource. If you find one you trust, then they can at least help you avoid spending time on senseless research, and other crazy ideas, while their knowledge and experience will keep you focused on the right things. The important things. This is why "The Daily Trading Coach" by Steenbarger had such a dramatic impact on my trading. I literally became my own coach.

#2 seems like a different animal, and feel free to throw out an example or two, but a couple things come to mind from previous experience. It could either be risk/money/leverage oriented, or a psychological issue dealing with trust in yourself or ability. I could be way off base there, but I do remember that Brett had said that most common trading issues, hidden by what seem a discipline deficit, are actually from trading incorrectly from a risk perspective. I probably butchered that lol, but if you have not read that book then I seriously encourage you to do so. EVERY SINGLE TRADER should read that book. It is my trading bible.

Thanks for commenting, glad you are vibing with some of my thoughts!

Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 lovetotrade 
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He is Risen! Happy Easter everyone! What a great Sunday with friends and family out at the beach. I am truly blessed!

Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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  #266 (permalink)
 matthew28 
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Also, another thing that has weighed on me about the TST funded futures account is the fees. They want around $80 a month per data feed(CME,CBOT,etc.) depending on which futures you trade. That's almost a thousand dollars a year right off the top! This new FX option has no fees whatsoever. That's huge.

I looked at the TST FX page and was unlcear about the lot size, whether it is fullsize or mini contracts,or what used to be $10, $1 per Pip (when Pips on the Dollar pairs were 4 decimal places, before they became 5). But I did see that the commission they charge is $8 a roundturn which suggests the fullsize contract. Most of the US futures are $12.50 a full 4 digit tick (or now $6.25 for the 6E 5 digit half tick). The contracts are basically the same size and the forex account shown allows a max of three lots like the futures contract? But at least with Futures you are on a regulated exchange and have actual volume information. I don't understand the difference between forex and futures that would make it attractive.
But back to my point:
Forex Commission: $8 a lot
Futures Commission:
6E (Euro) - $3.42 on TS Trader, $4.80 on NinjaTrader or $5.24 on T4
E7 (mini Euro) - $1.97 through to $3.74

So you are going to be paying at least $3 less per roung turn less for futures and if you trade over 25 lots a month, barely more than one 1lot trade a day, you will pay more in the forex account.


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 lovetotrade 
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matthew28 View Post
Also, another thing that has weighed on me about the TST funded futures account is the fees. They want around $80 a month per data feed(CME,CBOT,etc.) depending on which futures you trade. That's almost a thousand dollars a year right off the top! This new FX option has no fees whatsoever. That's huge.

I looked at the TST FX page and was unlcear about the lot size, whether it is fullsize or mini contracts,or what used to be $10, $1 per Pip (when Pips on the Dollar pairs were 4 decimal places, before they became 5). But I did see that the commission they charge is $8 a roundturn which suggests the fullsize contract. Most of the US futures are $12.50 a full 4 digit tick (or now $6.25 for the 6E 5 digit half tick). The contracts are basically the same size and the forex account shown allows a max of three lots like the futures contract? But at least with Futures you are on a regulated exchange and have actual volume information. I don't understand the difference between forex and futures that would make it attractive.
But back to my point:
Forex Commission: $8 a lot
Futures Commission:
6E (Euro) - $3.42 on TS Trader, $4.80 on NinjaTrader or $5.24 on T4
E7 (mini Euro) - $1.97 through to $3.74

So you are going to be paying at least $3 less per roung turn less for futures and if you trade over 25 lots a month, barely more than one 1lot trade a day, you will pay more in the forex account.


So yes, you are correct the fees per full contract will be more expensive. And you are also correct that the max contract size will be around three, depending on which combine you choose. Here is what you are missing: I can take the equivalent of that one futures contract and then break it down into 10 mini contracts or 100 micros. At that point the $8 fee gets broken down to the size you are trading, so for example one mini that represents 1/10th of one full contract should have a round turn cost of just $0.80.

So let's say I have an account loss limit of $1,500, and I want to risk no more than 2.5% on any given trade, and let's say my average stop is 12 points. On a normal futures contract for the 6B, each pip is worth $6.25, and that stop will cost me around $75 per contract. Well that is actually already 5% of my account value, and at two losses I am already down $150(10%) on the day trading one lots! That is way out of whack, but achievable if you have edge, and are very consistent in your approach. It does not leave much room for error, especially if you want to bump up size by another contract or two.

Now let's use that same formula for the TopStepFX option. 2.5% risk equates to $37.5, and $75 on the day which is now achievable through mini or micro lots. Each mini represents $1 per pip, so I can now trade three minis with that same 12 point stop at a cost of $36 plus commissions. I can also do the same with 30 micros. This is the primary benefit of the FOREX over the futures option. Plus you did not add in the $80 a month in data fees with the futures account, which COULD potentially make up for the difference in commissions depending on your trading volume.

Now, I have learned to be successful risking up to 10% of the account per day, so I would probably continue down that path, but I can vary my approach and trade smaller when my optimal trade conditions are not present, or scale in as the trade progresses. Most importantly though, I can break that full size down into multiple legs, I thrive on the flexibility.

I hope that helps.

Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 lovetotrade 
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matthew28 View Post
I looked at the TST FX page and was unlcear about the lot size, whether it is fullsize or mini contracts,or what used to be $10, $1 per Pip (when Pips on the Dollar pairs were 4 decimal places, before they became 5)

What is the Maximum Position Size?
The Maximum Position Size is anywhere from 2-5 standard lots at any one time depending on the account that you have chosen. This is calculated across all pairs that you are trading. We do allow you to trade micro and mini lots. So if you were in the $300K Trading Combine you can trade up to 30 mini lots or 300 micro lots at a time.

This was in the Trading Combine Rules section

Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 matthew28 
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lovetotrade View Post
What is the Maximum Position Size?
The Maximum Position Size is anywhere from 2-5 standard lots at any one time depending on the account that you have chosen. This is calculated across all pairs that you are trading. We do allow you to trade micro and mini lots. So if you were in the $300K Trading Combine you can trade up to 30 mini lots or 300 micro lots at a time.

This was in the Trading Combine Rules section

Thanks. I had missed that bit and misunderstood. I thought, from the example I gave, that you could still only trade three lots. Not appreciating that they were three standard lots which,as you say, can be traded as thirty separate minis or 300 micros. That makes sense now as before I couldn't see why for somebody trading currencies the forex account was that much different or betterthan the futures account.

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 lovetotrade 
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A section from Lesson 80 in The Daily Trading Coach on trade management, and also the inefficiency of AIAO vs. scaling:

Your first reaction might be: You don’t do anything! It’s certainly possible
to enter a position and sit in it, waiting for it to hit your profit target
or your stoploss level. That reaction, however, is inefficient. It’s like selling
the same mix of products at all stores even though some products sell
better and some sell worse at particular locations.

To appreciate why this is the case, consider the moment you enter
a trade. At that point you have a minimum of information regarding the
soundness of your idea. As the market trades following your entry, you
accumulate fresh data about your idea: the action is either supporting or
not supporting your reasons for being in the market. For instance, if your
idea is predicated on falling interest rates and you see bonds break out
of a price range, that would be supportive of your trade. If you anticipate
an upside breakout in stocks and you see volume expand and the NYSE
TICK move to new highs for the day on an upward move, that is similarly
supportive. If you track market action and themes while the trade is on,
you can update the odds of your trade being successful.
Trade management is the set of decisions you make based on the
fresh information that accumulates during the trade.

One way that I see traders utilizing this information is in the way that
they scale into trades. Their initial position size might be relatively small,
but traders will add to the position as fresh information validates their idea.
My trading capital per trade idea is divided into six units. I typically will enter
a position with one or two units. Only if the idea is finding support will
a third or fourth unit enter the picture. I have found that, if my trades are
going to be wrong, they’re generally wrong early in their lifespan. By entering
with minimal size, I incur small drawdowns when I’m wrong. If I
add to a position as it is finding support, I maximize the gains from good
trades. This trade management, I find, is just as important to many
traders’ performance as the quality of their initial ideas. Indeed, I’ve seen
traders throw lots of trade ideas at the wall and only add capital to the ones
that stick: the management of their trades makes all the difference to their
returns.

Such trade management means that you have to be actively engaged
in processing information while the trade is on, not just passively watching
your position. Good trade management is quite different from chasing
markets that happen to be going in your favor. It is a separate execution
process unto itself, in which you can wait for normal pullbacks against
your position to add to the position at favorable levels. If you are long, for
example, and the market is in an uptrend, the retracements should occur
at successively higher price levels. By adding after the retracement, you
gain the profit potential when the market returns to its prior peak, but you
also ensure that risk/reward will be favorable for the piece of the trade that
you’re adding.

What this suggests is that it is important to be right in the markets,
but it is even more valuable to know when you’re right. Very successful
traders, I find, press their advantage when they know they’re right,
and they’re good at knowing when they’re right. This means that they are
keen observers of markets in real time, able to assess when their trade
ideas—their hypotheses—are working out and when they’re not. They are
good traders because they’re good managers of their trades.
Your assignment for this lesson is to assess your trade management as
a separate profit center. Do you scale into trade ideas? Do you act aggressively
on your best ideas when you are right? If you’re like many traders,
this is an underdeveloped part of your trading business. It may take a return
to simulation mode and practice with small additions to trades to cultivate
your trade management skills. It may also mean that you structure your
time while you’re in trades, highlighting the information most relevant for
the management of your particular idea. Most of all it means cultivating
an aggressive mindset for those occasions when you know you have the
market nailed.

As your own trading coach, you want to make the most of your assets.
It’s easy to identify traders who exit the business because they lose money.
It’s harder to appreciate the equally large number of traders who never
meet their potential because they don’t make the most of their winning
ideas. A great exercise is to add to every position at least once on paper
after you’ve made your real-money entry. Then track the execution of your
added piece, its profitability, the heat you take on it, etc. In short, treat
trade management the way you would treat trading a totally new market,
with its own learning curve and need for practice and feedback. You don’t
have to be right all the time; the key is to know when you’re right and make
the most of those opportunities.

Long term survival comes down to trade management in my opinion, and is where most of my energy is focused nowadays.

Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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  #271 (permalink)
 Rrrracer 
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Thanks @lovetotrade, that's very good stuff, and very true. There have been many times I have been in a good trade, one where I know it's going my way, and yet fail to take full advantage of it with the original position, much less close out and add as would be most beneficial to the account.

Willing to cut a little slack though, as we are all still learning. TT said it best, wish I had the quote at hand, but it is our obligation as a trader to make the most of these situations to the best of your ability, because they are the ones that will ultimately turn you into a trading animal.

We spend a lot of time meddling around, some profits here, some losses there... trading can be like that, but man, when those opportunities arise, you have to absolutely squeeze them for everything you can and collect those outsized gains.

Part of that is recognizing when you are in those situations; the other parts are trading them in a fearless manner, and knowing how to do so. Only comes with experience.

Thanks for the excellent share buddy. I never made it through that book but gonna have another run at it now, seems like a good time.

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 Grantx 
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Thanks for sharing that @lovetotrade. Makes a lot of sense and really got me thinking that there is room for improvement with my trade management. I've pressed winners before with success but never really developed the method any further. Don't think I've come across this book but I'll Google up on it now.

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  #273 (permalink)
 Blue Eagle 
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lovetotrade View Post
What this suggests is that it is important to be right in the markets,
but it is even more valuable to know when you’re right. Very successful
traders, I find, press their advantage when they know they’re right,

and they’re good at knowing when they’re right. This means that they are
keen observers of markets in real time, able to assess when their trade
ideas—their hypotheses—are working out and when they’re not. They are
good traders because they’re good managers of their trades.
Your assignment for this lesson is to assess your trade management as
a separate profit center. Do you scale into trade ideas? Do you act aggressively
on your best ideas when you are right?
If you’re like many traders,
this is an underdeveloped part of your trading business. It may take a return
to simulation mode and practice with small additions to trades to cultivate
your trade management skills. It may also mean that you structure your
time while you’re in trades, highlighting the information most relevant for
the management of your particular idea. Most of all it means cultivating
an aggressive mindset for those occasions when you know you have the
market nailed.



Long term survival comes down to trade management in my opinion, and is where most of my energy is focused nowadays.

@lovetotrade... this is exactly where I see myself at. I can get into good trades AND (more importantly) I know that feeling when I am reading things right... I need to squeeze ever effin penny out of those times that I can. I love the way he puts it, "Do you act aggressively when you know you are right". Interesting word choice and exactly what I needed to hear... Thanks and best of luck to you...
Craig

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  #274 (permalink)
 bobwest 
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lovetotrade View Post
A section from Lesson 80 in The Daily Trading Coach on trade management, and also the inefficiency of AIAO vs. scaling:

...

Good trade management is quite different from chasing
markets that happen to be going in your favor. It is a separate execution
process unto itself, in which you can wait for normal pullbacks against
your position to add to the position at favorable levels.

This is very interesting material, and I always like to read Steenbarger.

It's also an age-old controversy: if you scale in to a trade as it becomes profitable, you move your average basis up (or down) in the direction of the trade. If you are adding too late in a move, you can be right about everything, but be unable to withstand much of a reversal without actually having a loss because so much of your position was put on late. You have to be not only right, but also relatively early. So it's better if this is a fairly long-term move instead of a shorter one. But do you know it's going to be big ahead of time? And do you know you're still early and not near the end?

I know that the remedy to this is simply to always be right, and never get in any part of the trade too late, but this may not be so simple to actually do....

Also, for what it's worth, I just viewed @michaelleemoore's interesting video from last year, which I missed at the time because I was not spending the time on FIO I should have. (Mistake. ) He's a successful, and fairly extreme, scalper, holding for at most 10 or 20 ticks, and often just 5. There's no opportunity to add when you're doing that, and no need to -- well, assuming you're profitable at it, which he is.

And then there are the traders (rare ones, I believe) who can scale in while the trade is losing and still come out ahead, which is yet another strategy.

So I think that this discussion is valuable, but that one size does not necessarily fit all.

Is a person looking for -- and successfully finding and holding onto -- really big moves that take time to mature and cover a lot of ground, and can the trader find scaling in opportunities early enough that the math can work -- or at least not clustered too near the end? OK, then this strategy would probably work.

Is a person looking for something with a shorter lifespan, not necessarily a small scalp, but not a move that is expected to go on for hours or days? Maybe it would work then too, but the shorter the timespan, the trickier it would get.

I think that some of this is also not technical or even strategic, but temperamental. How does the trader want to trade? Also, how can the trader trade? I would be happy just to be consistent for a while in some way or another, and then to worry about how to improve my game....

Thanks for bringing the subject up. My only point would be that there are some choices for a trader to make about how, and whether, to attempt to implement it.

Bob.

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 blb014 
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bobwest View Post
This is very interesting material, and I always like to read Steenbarger.

It's also an age-old controversy: if you scale in to a trade as it becomes profitable, you move your average basis up (or down) in the direction of the trade. If you are adding too late in a move, you can be right about everything, but be unable to withstand much of a reversal without actually having a loss because so much of your position was put on late. You have to be not only right, but also relatively early. So it's better if this is a fairly long-term move instead of a shorter one. But do you know it's going to be big ahead of time? And do you know you're still early and not near the end?

I know that the remedy to this is simply to always be right, and never get in any part of the trade too late, but this may not be so simple to actually do....

Also, for what it's worth, I just viewed @michaelleemoore's interesting video from last year, which I missed at the time because I was not spending the time on FIO I should have. (Mistake. ) He's a successful, and fairly extreme, scalper, holding for at most 10 or 20 ticks, and often just 5. There's no opportunity to add when you're doing that, and no need to -- well, assuming you're profitable at it, which he is.

And then there are the traders (rare ones, I believe) who can scale in while the trade is losing and still come out ahead, which is yet another strategy.

So I think that this discussion is valuable, but that one size does not necessarily fit all.

Is a person looking for -- and successfully finding and holding onto -- really big moves that take time to mature and cover a lot of ground, and can the trader find scaling in opportunities early enough that the math can work -- or at least not clustered too near the end? OK, then this strategy would probably work.

Is a person looking for something with a shorter lifespan, not necessarily a small scalp, but not a move that is expected to go on for hours or days? Maybe it would work then too, but the shorter the timespan, the trickier it would get.

I think that some of this is also not technical or even strategic, but temperamental. How does the trader want to trade? Also, how can the trader trade? I would be happy just to be consistent for a while in some way or another, and then to worry about how to improve my game....

Thanks for bringing the subject up. My only point would be that there are some choices for a trader to make about how, and whether, to attempt to implement it.

Bob.

Good post.

In strong down trends such as yesterday afternoon, I have scale in short when the market rising.
Conventional wisdom might say don't add to losing trade or don't sell options when volatility is rising and a particular equity is falling. Low risk/high reward IMO

I found that when the time is right, that those are by far the most profitable trades to take. Fear is a much stronger emotion than joy and that plays out in the market. Embrace the volatility especially for fundamentally strong stock such as Facebook or even a strong market that is having a pullback.


Volatility is good for the market and trading.

Preservation of capital is the most important concept for those who want to stay in the trading game for the long haul. - Van Tharp
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 lovetotrade 
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Rrrracer View Post
Thanks @lovetotrade, that's very good stuff, and very true. There have been many times I have been in a good trade, one where I know it's going my way, and yet fail to take full advantage of it with the original position, much less close out and add as would be most beneficial to the account.

Willing to cut a little slack though, as we are all still learning. TT said it best, wish I had the quote at hand, but it is our obligation as a trader to make the most of these situations to the best of your ability, because they are the ones that will ultimately turn you into a trading animal.

We spend a lot of time meddling around, some profits here, some losses there... trading can be like that, but man, when those opportunities arise, you have to absolutely squeeze them for everything you can and collect those outsized gains.

Part of that is recognizing when you are in those situations; the other parts are trading them in a fearless manner, and knowing how to do so. Only comes with experience.

Thanks for the excellent share buddy. I never made it through that book but gonna have another run at it now, seems like a good time.

Yes exactly. TT comes to mind a lot when I get to thinking and writing about maximizing profit potential. He was so good at it. When I get to thinking about my own experience, it is such a grind of profitable/losing days, but never the occasional day that makes my month or quarter. Those days are so essential to asymmetric account growth, and having a real shot at turning this gig from a hobby to a career. Most days are about taking as much as you can from the market, while giving as little back as possible, but the most important days for me are about being willing to risk a substantial profit on the day to absolutely kill it. That has been a struggle for me, but learning to know the right conditions for that kind of day, and focusing on the process has made it easier to switch mindsets.

It's one of those books that if you come back to every six months, while trading in the meantime, will have a new perspective and fresh look at quality information you didn't quite pick up on previously. It has new applications for me every time I read it. That is priceless.

Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 lovetotrade 
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Blue Eagle View Post
@lovetotrade... this is exactly where I see myself at. I can get into good trades AND (more importantly) I know that feeling when I am reading things right... I need to squeeze ever effin penny out of those times that I can. I love the way he puts it, "Do you act aggressively when you know you are right". Interesting word choice and exactly what I needed to hear... Thanks and best of luck to you...
Craig


Going for the kill is an extremely accurate analogy once you get a taste of that feeling when you know you're right... Cheers, glad you found value in it. Best of luck!

Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 lovetotrade 
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bobwest View Post
This is very interesting material, and I always like to read Steenbarger.

It's also an age-old controversy: if you scale in to a trade as it becomes profitable, you move your average basis up (or down) in the direction of the trade. If you are adding too late in a move, you can be right about everything, but be unable to withstand much of a reversal without actually having a loss because so much of your position was put on late. You have to be not only right, but also relatively early. So it's better if this is a fairly long-term move instead of a shorter one. But do you know it's going to be big ahead of time? And do you know you're still early and not near the end?

I know that the remedy to this is simply to always be right, and never get in any part of the trade too late, but this may not be so simple to actually do....

Also, for what it's worth, I just viewed @michaelleemoore's interesting video from last year, which I missed at the time because I was not spending the time on FIO I should have. (Mistake. ) He's a successful, and fairly extreme, scalper, holding for at most 10 or 20 ticks, and often just 5. There's no opportunity to add when you're doing that, and no need to -- well, assuming you're profitable at it, which he is.

And then there are the traders (rare ones, I believe) who can scale in while the trade is losing and still come out ahead, which is yet another strategy.

So I think that this discussion is valuable, but that one size does not necessarily fit all.

Is a person looking for -- and successfully finding and holding onto -- really big moves that take time to mature and cover a lot of ground, and can the trader find scaling in opportunities early enough that the math can work -- or at least not clustered too near the end? OK, then this strategy would probably work.

Is a person looking for something with a shorter lifespan, not necessarily a small scalp, but not a move that is expected to go on for hours or days? Maybe it would work then too, but the shorter the timespan, the trickier it would get.

I think that some of this is also not technical or even strategic, but temperamental. How does the trader want to trade? Also, how can the trader trade? I would be happy just to be consistent for a while in some way or another, and then to worry about how to improve my game....

Thanks for bringing the subject up. My only point would be that there are some choices for a trader to make about how, and whether, to attempt to implement it.

Bob.

Thanks Bob, as usual an enlightening and well thought out post.

So I decided to quote that specific section in the book for two specific reasons: First and most importantly is Brett's @steenbab stature and reputation in the trading world. When you are working with essentially some of the world's most successful traders, and have been around trading success/failure for as long as he has, then when he lists attributes of those top traders, I tune in BIG TIME. Second is that it truly vibes with me, and the way I am built to trade. As you mentioned, I too believe that trading success comes down to how you decide to trade(and it must fit you), and that this(scaling) is not for everyone.

Here is a big BUT though, and where some of my opinions probably differ a bit from yours. I believe that part of finding success in this game is forcing yourself to learn to trade a. counter to the way the majority of the public trades, and b. counter intuitively to how we are naturally geared, no matter which way you trade. I think scalpers will always be the market anomaly, but it is proven time and time again that the easiest way to profitability is to trade with the trend. Though it is each person's own individual journey on how they tackle trend trading, I do feel there are certain rules that must be followed to achieve a high level of success as Brett laid out, and I am in agreement that most of those lie in trade management(which is very broad mind you).

I identify with Big Mike and Inletcap the most on this forum in the way that they trade(from what I have seen). I do believe there is a time to scale in when the market is moving against you(when building a position strategically), and when it is moving in your favor(maybe you need to get in, and pullbacks are absent). I look at the market like an ever flowing current, sometimes it's like a river, other times like white water rapids, and if my experience has taught me anything it is that it makes no sense to be so rigid in something that requires so much flexibility. This applies to stops as much as entries sometimes!

You say, "Is a person looking for -- and successfully finding and holding onto -- really big moves that take time to mature and cover a lot of ground, and can the trader find scaling in opportunities early enough that the math can work -- or at least not clustered too near the end? OK, then this strategy would probably work." But this is exactly the point, and why scaling is so important, along with having a gameplan, AND knowing your market well. They all go hand in hand, and compliment each other well, but only scaling has the ability to maximize efficiency on the day. I also think this is a very limited point of view, which I guess makes sense since I believe scaling only enhances any one specific entry, and I get the feeling you not so much

As always your opinions are highly valued here, and I appreciate the input. For sure this will be a debate that goes on to the end of time!

Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 Rrrracer 
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lovetotrade View Post
Yes exactly. TT comes to mind a lot when I get to thinking and writing about maximizing profit potential. He was so good at it. When I get to thinking about my own experience, it is such a grind of profitable/losing days, but never the occasional day that makes my month or quarter. Those days are so essential to asymmetric account growth, and having a real shot at turning this gig from a hobby to a career. Most days are about taking as much as you can from the market, while giving as little back as possible, but the most important days for me are about being willing to risk a substantial profit on the day to absolutely kill it. That has been a struggle for me, but learning to know the right conditions for that kind of day, and focusing on the process has made it easier to switch mindsets.

It's one of those books that if you come back to every six months, while trading in the meantime, will have a new perspective and fresh look at quality information you didn't quite pick up on previously. It has new applications for me every time I read it. That is priceless.

Right on man, thanks for bringing this topic up. "Asymmetric account growth" was the phrase I was looking for, and a very important topic. I've been very happy with what I've been able to accomplish thus far, but the hunt for one of those "kill zone" days is always in the back of my mind; glad you brought it to the forefront because it IS something we need to be thinking about in terms of being successful with longevity in this business.

And I will be checking out DTC again very soon, think it could definitely help at this stage in my development. Thanks man!

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 blb014 
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I posted about asymmetric returns in another thread and the recent market volatility has made for some very profitable trend days. Two strong trends today

I honestly think that I have been fortunate and the returns will level off (or losses) when IV returns to normal. Still haven't look at my p/l summary in the scalping /es account.

I really think that is a key to being successful on a short time frame, turning off the p/l and trading the chart. At least starting out


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Preservation of capital is the most important concept for those who want to stay in the trading game for the long haul. - Van Tharp
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 blb014 
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I deleted my posts about the combine/funding . If it helps with accountablility and the competitive aspect those can be good things. But they are not design to fund traders please keep that in mind.

Volatility is good for the market and trading.

Preservation of capital is the most important concept for those who want to stay in the trading game for the long haul. - Van Tharp
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 blb014 
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Rrrracer View Post
Thanks @lovetotrade, that's very good stuff, and very true. There have been many times I have been in a good trade, one where I know it's going my way, and yet fail to take full advantage of it with the original position, much less close out and add as would be most beneficial to the account.

Willing to cut a little slack though, as we are all still learning. TT said it best, wish I had the quote at hand, but it is our obligation as a trader to make the most of these situations to the best of your ability, because they are the ones that will ultimately turn you into a trading animal.

We spend a lot of time meddling around, some profits here, some losses there... trading can be like that, but man, when those opportunities arise, you have to absolutely squeeze them for everything you can and collect those outsized gains.

Part of that is recognizing when you are in those situations; the other parts are trading them in a fearless manner, and knowing how to do so. Only comes with experience.

Thanks for the excellent share buddy. I never made it through that book but gonna have another run at it now, seems like a good time.

One of the main drivers behind trading in that manner is having account large enough to effectively trade. It doesn't get enough attention on here and it is overwhelming the source of most failures I've seen on here. That is why the funding combines with their 1,000 loss limits (and back to the combine), are not design to fund traders. Someone cant be worried about losing 1k and effectively trade.

Volatility is good for the market and trading.

Preservation of capital is the most important concept for those who want to stay in the trading game for the long haul. - Van Tharp
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 lovetotrade 
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Rrrracer View Post
Right on man, thanks for bringing this topic up. "Asymmetric account growth" was the phrase I was looking for, and a very important topic. I've been very happy with what I've been able to accomplish thus far, but the hunt for one of those "kill zone" days is always in the back of my mind; glad you brought it to the forefront because it IS something we need to be thinking about in terms of being successful with longevity in this business.

And I will be checking out DTC again very soon, think it could definitely help at this stage in my development. Thanks man!


That has been a shift in focus for me as volatility has come back into the market, although I have not executed it as well as I would like. But that is ok, as long as I am growing, and my most profitable day(s) must continue to grow larger. Like I have mentioned, I feel like learning to recognize the potential signs of a trend day, then shifting gears early in the session and positioning for it are key to maximizing the day, IF it unfolds the way you had planned. Yesterday was a bit tough for me PnL wise because I did not take partial profits at obvious key areas, I was focused on the home run. Taking partial profits as I was long, then switched to short would have at least cushioned the blow of the losses, while still keeping the bulk of my size on. So I need to dial that in a bit.

How I have adjusted that in my plan going forward is to be fairly aggressive in getting the first third off at the first point of S/R, then letting price action dictate whether I need to get back in full size right away, or re-add once we rotate back to S/R. Again, another advantage of scaling.

For so long trading one contract in the combine had handicapped my ability to scale up size, and so now I am fully transitioning back into a growth mindset. As I start the next combine where I can trade with all my strengths should really begin to be a new exciting chapter in my trading.

Thanks @Rrrracer you sparked the fire to get me posting more again, thanks for reaching out to me a little while back! Really enjoy the conversations everyone!

Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 lovetotrade 
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blb014 View Post
I posted about asymmetric returns in another thread and the recent market volatility has made for some very profitable trend days. Two strong trends today

I honestly think that I have been fortunate and the returns will level off (or losses) when IV returns to normal. Still haven't look at my p/l summary in the scalping /es account.

I really think that is a key to being successful on a short time frame, turning off the p/l and trading the chart. At least starting out


I see volatility as sticking around for a while, I think it is going to be a very good year for us traders potentially.

I try very hard not to focus on my PnL during live trading. I want to have a general idea of where I am at profit/loss wise, but I keep it in the back of my mind vs. the forefront. Like I know if I have taken two full size stops at specific distances from entry, then I know I am at my max loss for the day or at least very close to it. When it comes to profits, then I want to stay as engaged as possible with what the market is telling me, and how much more I think it has to run. My booked/current open profits have absolutely nothing to do with how much opportunity is left in the market, as even my best days have still left plenty on the table. So I focus on the price action and my process where pulling more money out of the market actually lies. Oh and volume, volume can tell me whether or not a trend that should be tiring out, is getting fresh juice to continue in a certain direction.

Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 lovetotrade 
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blb014 View Post
One of the main drivers behind trading in that manner is having account large enough to effectively trade. It doesn't get enough attention on here and it is overwhelming the source of most failures I've seen on here. That is why the funding combines with their 1,000 loss limits (and back to the combine), are not design to fund traders. Someone cant be worried about losing 1k and effectively trade.

I do feel that it is quite limiting. But in my opinion it all comes down to leverage. If you can de-lever then the number is no longer important, then it just becomes a matter of how long it takes you to make any actual money.

Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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 Rrrracer 
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lovetotrade View Post
Thanks @Rrrracer you sparked the fire to get me posting more again, thanks for reaching out to me a little while back! Really enjoy the conversations everyone!

It's great to have you back man, and thank YOU for the recent conversation on asymmetric returns.. I made a really nice trade today and was ready to call it quits but that has been lodged in the back of my head, waiting for an opportunity to really push it, and today was the day. My best yet, thanks to this. You rock man

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 lovetotrade 
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Just a quick update: I have decided against going into the combine for now. I deposited more funds into the FOREX account, and will use part of the previous allocated funds to deposit to the account each month, AND pay for Tradervue to enhance my efficiency and performance. Has anyone heard of Edgewonk? Thinking about giving that a try, $200 for a lifetime license vs. $50 a month with Tradervue. Will update more later!

Rule number one in the markets is to never lose money. Well since that isn't realistic, I say if you're going to lose some money anyway then lose small, but when you win, give it all you've got and win big!
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