Ok well listen, I appreciate that you are trying to stay disciplined by posting your trades but I am going to ask that you stop posting them in my journal. That's why we each have our own individual journals, and they should revolve around our own individual trading, not someone else's.
The journal is so that I can post my thoughts, plan, and trades. And my posts are starting to get lost in between the posts of your trades and thoughts meant for your own journal.
So you can do a couple of things, you can either save the pictures to your computer and write the notes down in a notebook or on your computer, and post them to your journal when you get the time to make one. Or what I would do is just start a temporary journal here until you have time to do a thorough one.
I have been trying to drop hints and be as nice about this as I can, but when you are posting in my journal more than I am then it's starting to become a problem.
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I'm gonna post this here as well because I am surprised it came out of my head, and I want to document it:
Man, there is some serious wisdom in this thread. I think we so often start out looking for those large momentum moves in the market, as was said previously, and focus all our energies on finding the most promising indicator to catch all those profits. In hindsight it looks so easy, but as tiger trader said, if you are not focusing on what is happening the majority of the time in the markets (the daily fluctuations) then ultimately you are more likely to go broke trying to catch every breakout/breakdown, that you will be so financially or psychogically (or both) weathered to the point you won't be able to take full advantage of the opportunity anyway!
And that's why there is such wisdom in patience while trading. Actually I would go as far to say there is no success without it, both in waiting for the right conditions and setups, along with spending enough time in the trade to know whether it is working or not, and whether it has completed its move.
They say markets can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent, and if this seems to speak near and dear to you then I would say you are not flexible enough, nor are you letting the market lead when you trade. Someone posted above about fading every move on a beautifully trending chart, and that is a great example of our psyche trying to impose our thoughts onto the markets vs. letting price action within the context of the market dictate our trading behavior.
A few months ago I could have read this thread and completely missed the point, I owe all my new found knowledge to this site, and those experienced and gracious enough to post here. Just hoping I can give back. Thanks.
From this thread which is amazing and hope everyone serious about their trading reads it, and fights to truly understand it.
So my market analysis will be broken down into a few parts. Obviously documenting what I can before the market opens, but keeping a keen eye on market developments as they happen.
The goal is to gather ideas about areas that will bring in large market participants, and make trade hypotheses on how those areas, when tested, might play out. So I figure the easiest way to do this is to use my eyes to spot obvious areas of S/R and trend lines on the larger charts. The 1 hour and 4 hour charts seem to fit this bill. I also want to observe the time frame that is trending the best, and seem to bring in buyers/sellers as its' EMA is tested. This gives me a larger perspective as to what the market is trying to do, and where the big guys are putting their money for the time being. When the market is choppy, you just need to reduce the time frame to where you can find areas that jump out at you, as they will jump out at everyone else too. Extreme areas when the market is in balance are important too.
Once support and resistance lines, along with any obvious trend lines are drawn in on the hourly chart, which is part of my trading screen, I want to be zoomed out enough to see a few days worth of price action, and the story in which it is trying to tell me. This gives me a better idea as to what to expect as we come close to the drawn S/R lines, but also to remain flexible and to keep my mind open to other possibilities.
The next thing I want to be looking for on the charts <1 hour are any active trends or tight consolidation. This is the idea of the squeeze, and gives me a reason to watch particular time frames that might be looking to break out. These smaller time frame breakouts along with volume are what give me my trade ideas, as I watch them play out within the larger market structure. For example: The hourly trend is up, but the 5 minute chart just broke down out of consolidation right into a larger time frame support area. Now the traders with a myopic perspective are about to get smoked as large money comes in at the support area and just below it, and the market reverses hard to continue the larger trend. The goal is to recognize what is happening in those moments, and remain flexible enough to jump in when the opportunity strikes. I also want to be aware of the time frames that have successfully broken out, as their 10 EMA is often respected as well.
So the last part of the puzzle if you will, is deciphering large participant volume. And if you are reading the market right, and paying close attention, then this isn't so hard to do. Volume is what moves the market, so it would only make sense that you can gather clues when large volume hits the market. What happens immediately after that volume comes into the market tells you all you need to know. The three biggest things I am considering when I am listening for volume alerts, that are set off by different levels of volume coming into the market are: Momentum buying/selling, profit taking, and profit taking/reversal.
I monitor all of these on a one minute chart. Momentum buying/selling: These generally happen when the market is breaking out of an area that has shown to be good S/R, often times from the 5 minute time frame. They also happen as the market makes new lows/highs. Watching how well the market is trending along with price action is key here. These are generally large full candles with minimal wicks, and price should not even retrace more than 1/2 of that candle before continuing higher or lower.
Profit taking: These will generally show up as price reaches S/R after the market has been trending. The volume here will be high in nature, but the candles will not be as big, and can be overtaken as price pulls back. It is important that you are anticipating these areas, and keeping a close eye as to where the actual trend becomes invalid. These candles can have some good sized wicks on them, but you should not be getting high volume candles in the opposite direction of the trend....yet.
Profit taking/reversal: These candle will generally have unusually high volume attached to it, and will often be around areas of higher time frame S/R. Sometimes these will stop the market in its tracks, and the low/high of the candle will not be violated. Other times you will get one more small push that will fail quickly, and the low/high of the candle will become S/R. These areas are generally accompanied by many high volume candles with one spike. Again watching price action around these areas are key to making good trade decisions as far as direction goes.
I have started to project a box to the hard right edge as these bars are formed. The box will be the width of the bar, and just gives me a specific area to focus on price action, immediately after the bar is formed.
Now keep in mind, I do not pay attention to every large volume candle that comes into the market, and this is where discretion is absolutely necessary. I only pay attention to large volume in areas that make sense via the current market context. And there are no hard or fast rules here either, large volume does not always lead to successful breakouts, just like super high volume does not always stop a large trend. But using volume can give you an edge over traders that are not paying attention to it, obviously in my opinion.
Alright back to work
Last edited by lovetotrade; February 11th, 2015 at 11:42 PM.
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"Keeping good notes introduces an essential learning loop into a traders performance. Whenever you put on a trade, you have two goals. The first is to make money; the second is to become a better trader. You may or may not reach the first goal on any given trade, but you must always reach the second. You can learn from your winning trades as well as your losing ones. If you fail to reach that goal, the trade has been wasted."
Dr. Alexander Elder
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So part of my strategy is to maintain profitability throughout the many market cycles, so that I am able to take full advantage of large range days that offer spectacular opportunity. This may mean trading less when volatility is low, and I think paying attention to the initial balance, the daily range, and whether or not volatility is expanding or contracting will go a long way here. As compared to before when I had no concept of high or low volatility, nor a change in strategy when cycles began to shift. If I can do this one thing correctly when the moment arises it will go a long way in securing long term profitability.
So the main tool I will be using to identify really strong trends is how well the market is making new highs/lows, and how deep the pullbacks are on the one minute chart. This is where I will look to go for the kill, and hold until the trend is broken. I will also be looking to add contracts as we pull back to value, and scale back out as large volume profit taking comes into the market. Still working on where to add, playing with a few ideas such as at the ema during a one minute squeeze or new high/low.
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"I believe that identifying true with-trend strength (or weakness, for shorts) and being able to discern it from exhaustion is perhaps the key technical skill of with-trend trading. No one talks about it very much, and it canít be done perfectly, but, with some work and hard study, you can learn to dodge the most obvious bullets. (Note that this will also take you deeply into sentiment analysis and understanding crowd behavior.)"
Adam Grimes does an awesome job explaining how to trade pullbacks in this post. I have been following this train of thought from the quote above for the last couple months, and it resonates well with me in my interpretation of volume during large trending moves. I will be posting some charts soon showing exactly how this plays out in my observations. He is actually a brilliant market technician, and if you haven't heard of him I suggest checking out his blog. He has a book that has rave reviews, and a free and thorough trading course. Another great resource, and it's absolutely amazing how much quality information you can get for free nowadays.
I am trying to get screen time in practicing my trades, but I am just not getting it done. I am still learning so much and trying not to get caught in "analysis paralysis", but I must get my feet wet again soon. It is truly amazing how much my focus has shifted when looking at charts, and I can't wait to turn that into profits. Slow and steady wins the race right?
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