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Tap In's Corner

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  #101 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Charts
Broker: Global Futures/OEC
Trading: NQ, CL
 
Tap In's Avatar
 
Posts: 948 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 2,162 given, 2,063 received


Tap In View Post
Tomorrow:
-Take 20 trades minimum.
-Continue to watch the channels for direction, and the channel break rules for change of direction.
-Wait for clear structure before first trade of the day.
-Mark set ups in real time with colored arrows.
-If there is a trend, look for the 30 to 60 tick pull backs in tight formations.
-Maintain the good perspective that I am in a new phase and not get emotional.
-Focus on taking at least one live A+ trade.

1/23/15 Friday
Live Trades: 0
Sim Trades: 2, +1t

I was nowhere near getting 20 trades today, and I don’t care! Today was no day to be jumping in and out. If a trader made any significant money today, good on ‘em. They knew how to pick tops and bottoms and hold through chop. Quite proud of myself for showing restraint. Also happy that my trading rules kept me out of the crap for the most part.

Right from the get go there was something different about today. Nobody showed up for work it seemed, in all four markets. Very odd. The day’s activity on each chart only covered about ¾ of the screen.

NQ started out chopping and changing, which turned me off right away. Often when this happens there will be a good move after the buggery is over, but today was a no go. I gave it one shot and decided to wait for something clearer. It never came.

Mark up stats:

Successes: took 0/3
Failures: took 2/7
Neutral: took 0/5

Potential: -15t

Monday:
-Take 20 trades minimum.
-Continue to watch the channels for direction, and the channel break rules for change of direction.
-Wait for clear structure before first trade of the day.
-Mark set ups in real time with colored arrows.
-If there is a trend, look for the 30 to 60 tick pull backs in tight formations.
-Maintain the good perspective that I am in a new phase and not get emotional.
-Focus on taking at least one A+ trade.

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  #102 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Charts
Broker: Global Futures/OEC
Trading: NQ, CL
 
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Posts: 948 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 2,162 given, 2,063 received


Tap In View Post
Monday:
-Take 20 trades minimum.
-Continue to watch the channels for direction, and the channel break rules for change of direction.
-Wait for clear structure before first trade of the day.
-Mark set ups in real time with colored arrows.
-If there is a trend, look for the 30 to 60 tick pull backs in tight formations.
-Maintain the good perspective that I am in a new phase and not get emotional.
-Focus on taking at least one A+ trade.

1/26/15 Monday
Live Trades: 0
Sim Trades: 3, 0t

Another slow day. Not much to talk about. Stayed out of trouble. Was locked and loaded on a live trade but the set up did not fully trigger.

Could have taken a couple more shots but did not like how lethargic the markets were.

Mark up stats:

Successes: 0/2
Failures: 2/3
Neutral: 1/1

Potential: 0t

Tomorrow:
-Take 20 trades minimum.
-Continue to watch the channels for direction, and the channel break rules for change of direction.
-Wait for clear structure before first trade of the day.
-Mark set ups in real time with colored arrows.
-If there is a trend, look for the 30 to 60 tick pull backs in tight formations.
-Maintain the good perspective that I am in a new phase and not get emotional.
-Focus on taking at least one A+ trade live.

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  #103 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Charts
Broker: Global Futures/OEC
Trading: NQ, CL
 
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Posts: 948 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 2,162 given, 2,063 received


Tap In View Post
1/26/15 Monday
Live Trades: 0
Sim Trades: 3, 0t


Tomorrow:
-Take 20 trades minimum.
-Continue to watch the channels for direction, and the channel break rules for change of direction.
-Wait for clear structure before first trade of the day.
-Mark set ups in real time with colored arrows.
-If there is a trend, look for the 30 to 60 tick pull backs in tight formations.
-Maintain the good perspective that I am in a new phase and not get emotional.
-Focus on taking at least one A+ trade live.

1/27/15 Tuesday
Live Trades: 0
Sim Trades: 4, -14t

Kind of got used to not trading over the past couple days which carried over to today. This should have been the day I hit the button.

It was obvious early that NQ would have a wide and loose day, meaning a lot of set ups. I took none. Lots of potential winners over there.

Three of the four trades I did take got to +30t so that was a positive. I exited at BE on each of them so potentially 90 ticks of gain was nullified.

Never mind, step 1) pick good entries. Step 2) manage them well. As I take more quality entries I will be more willing to hold for profit. Can’t get the cart before the horse. If a trader can’t consistently pick good trade areas, they are unlikely to be able to manage their trades with confidence.

That is what this marking of areas is all about right now. Convincing myself that I can pick good trade areas.

Mark up stats:

Successes: took 3/10, 30%
Failures: took 1/9, 12.5%
Neutral: took 0/3

Potential: +165t

Tomorrow:
-get “successes” taken up to at least 50% (this will naturally result in a higher % of “failures” taken, so be mentally ready for that)
-Continue to watch the channels for direction, and the channel break rules for change of direction.
-Wait for clear structure before first trade of the day.
-Mark set ups in real time with colored arrows.
-If there is a trend, look for the 30 to 60 tick pull backs in tight formations.
-Maintain the good perspective that I am in a new phase and not get emotional.
-Focus on taking at least one A+ trade live.

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  #104 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Charts
Broker: Global Futures/OEC
Trading: NQ, CL
 
Tap In's Avatar
 
Posts: 948 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 2,162 given, 2,063 received

1/28/15 Wednesday
Live Trades: 0
Sim Trades: 11, -48t

No charts or journal post for Wednesday. Didn’t feel up to it

1/29/15 Thursday
Live Trades: 0
Sim Trades: 16, -35t

Got hacked up in oil today trying to be first out of the box. It is funny how whenever I open up my trading I seem to do it in areas that get choppy, instead of on the runners like GC or NQ.

Mark up stats:

Successes: took 6/11, 54%
Failures: took 9/14, 64%
Neutral: took 1/6, 17%

potential: +120t

Still finding it difficult to take all trades marked, even in sim. I guess I don’t want to see the havoc that could be wreaked. I'm not going to lie, I'm feeling a little low about this right now.

Edit: actually just calculated that had I let all my trades play to their natural conclusions, in other words -15 or +30, I would have made +57 ticks today instead of -35t. That's more encouraging considering this includes the chop up in oil.

One more day of this then I will take the weekend to assess where I am and where to go next.

Tomorrow:
-see how close I can come to taking every marked up trade and playing it to conclusion. One more day of this. Come on!
-Continue to watch the channels for direction, and the channel break rules for change of direction.
-Wait for clear structure before first trade of the day.
-Mark set ups in real time with colored arrows.
-If there is a trend, look for the 30 to 60 tick pull backs in tight formations.
-Maintain an attitude of discovery.

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  #105 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Charts
Broker: Global Futures/OEC
Trading: NQ, CL
 
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Posts: 948 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 2,162 given, 2,063 received


Tap In View Post
Tomorrow:
-see how close I can come to taking every marked up trade and playing it to conclusion. One more day of this. Come on!
-Continue to watch the channels for direction, and the channel break rules for change of direction.
-Wait for clear structure before first trade of the day.
-Mark set ups in real time with colored arrows.
-If there is a trend, look for the 30 to 60 tick pull backs in tight formations.
-Maintain an attitude of discovery.

1/30/15 Friday
Live Trades: 0
Sim Trades: 15, +20t, was as high as +53

Did a better job of taking everything I saw and letting it play out -15 or +30. Some trades were hard to take and worked out, others were easy to take and didn’t. That should probably tell me something.

Marked a couple trades in hindsight. This is the dilemma, I do not want to fool myself by having hindsight bias so I try to mark hindsight losses as well. However, I am sure I lean more toward giving credit to winners.

In any case, it is important to at least be aware of the danger of bias so as not to get too full of it.

Marked areas:

Successes: took 5 of 9, 55% (three were seen live but marked in hindsight.)
Failures: took 9/9, a perfect 100%!
Neutral: took 2 of 2, 100%

Potential +135.

Interesting that I was able to take 100% of marked losing areas but only 55% of marked winning areas.

This exercise has been a good learning experience. This weekend I will do some thinking as to the next area of focus.

On CL there was some massive absorption of orders on the offer all the way up on the rally. At the top, huge orders stacked up in an effort to stop prices’ advancement and scare it the other way. The strategy worked as price reversed over 100 ticks after hours. I was able to make a successful trade off this action.

I calculate that the average price of the orders absorbed was around 46.70. It will be interesting to see if they take her back down next week, which would confirm to me that this was a large scale short positioning operation.

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  #106 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Charts
Broker: Global Futures/OEC
Trading: NQ, CL
 
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Posts: 948 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 2,162 given, 2,063 received

2/3/15 Tuesday
Live Trades: 0
Sim Trades: 11, +27t

Profit factor over past couple of months is around 2.0 but winner/loser percentage is pathetic at 34%. Essentially I am break even trading. If I am to pursue a profit factor of 2 I’ll need to pick more productive trade areas.

I will thus use the bigger tick charts (3 X entry chart) to filter for more quality trade areas that have more potential for movement of 30 ticks or more. The goal is to get at least 50% winners/losers at a profit factor of 2.0.

The same trend line and channel rules that I use with the smaller charts will be used to determine allowable trade direction.

-Essentially, as long as price stays on one side of a channel line on the larger chart, it is trades in that direction only.

-Set ups in older moves will be avoided unless there is evidence of a full day trend

-Trades in the opposite direction will only be allowed once price has broken and closed on the other side of a channel line. The more symmetrical the channel the better. Asymmetrical channels should raise caution as price is likely to continue in the direction of trend, creating various swings, until symmetry is achieved.

I have also once again come to realize that I do much better if I cautiously manage my trades. This means taking profit on first signs of stalling, moving to break even as soon as possible, and generally waiting for those strong fast moves to stay with a trade. I know this is not the popular thinking, but the results I get are much better than the set-it-and-forget-it type of management. The key is not to complain when the trade goes another 60 ticks after you've exited at +13 ticks.

When I see my trade quality improve I will be more inclined to let the trades play out. Until then it’s war, and I have to be willing to fight a battle on every trade.

Charts posted today are the larger tick charts: CL 2400 ticks, GC 1200 ticks, NG 600 ticks, NQ 1800

I have changed the trade markers to better see them on the chart. Navy for longs, yellow for shorts.

Tomorrow:
-use larger charts to filter for allowable direction
-use smaller charts for entry
-mark trade areas with colored arrows. Take as many as possible
-good attitude

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  #107 (permalink)
 bobwest 
Site Moderator
Sarasota FL
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Sierra Chart, NinjaTrader
Trading: ES, YM
 
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Tap In View Post
I have also once again come to realize that I do much better if I cautiously manage my trades. This means taking profit on first signs of stalling, moving to break even as soon as possible, and generally waiting for those strong fast moves to stay with a trade. I know this is not the popular thinking, but the results I get are much better than the set-it-and-forget-it type of management. The key is not to complain when the trade goes another 60 ticks after you've exited at +13 ticks.

There are reasons for the "set-it-and-forget-it" type management, and there are reasons for the "manage-it-intensely" type management. It depends on what your strategy is for the market, and what you can succeed with.

One size does not fit all....

So, you probably are wise to do what works best for you.

Bob.

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  #108 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Charts
Broker: Global Futures/OEC
Trading: NQ, CL
 
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Posts: 948 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 2,162 given, 2,063 received


bobwest View Post
There are reasons for the "set-it-and-forget-it" type management, and there are reasons for the "manage-it-intensely" type management. It depends on what your strategy is for the market, and what you can succeed with.

One size does not fit all....

So, you probably are wise to do what works best for you.

Bob.

A while ago I began keeping a spreadsheet that tracked the overall price movement from entry for each of my trades, for the entire day, even well after I had closed the trade. I originally did this to see if perhaps trading the opposite of my tendencies might produce better results.

This data has been valuable for allowing me to see the true picture of my trade quality. I would recommend this to anyone who thinks their “trade management”, or not letting their trades “run” is what is holding them back.

I have discovered that only about 30% of my trades actually make it to my 2R target. This means that if I let my trades play out to their natural conclusion I will lose money.

Here is where price travelled from my entry for all 11 trades taken yesterday:


+17, -47
+12, -61
+8, -351
+63, 0
+1, -21
+7, -116
+103, -4
+32, -3
+4, -30
+54, -10
+4, -118

As you can see, only 4 of the 11 (36%) got to 2R (+30t), the rest would have stopped out at -15t. This would have resulted in +15t for the day minus commisions, with a lot of stress from the 7 losses.

Only 5 got to 1R, a less than 50% conversion rate at one to one. From yesterday's results I truly would have done better trading opposite my analysis. Sort of depressing actually.

Instead, I intensely managed based on price action, speed of market, feel, etc. There were a lot of scratch trades, a few less than 30 tick winners and I ended up with +27t.

We tend to remember the ticks we missed out on by exiting early, and we forget about the losses we avoided. Tracking my trades this way has helped put this in perspective.

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  #109 (permalink)
 ratfink 
Birmingham UK
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
Broker: TST/Rithmic
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Tap In View Post
I have discovered that only about 30% of my trades actually make it to my 2R target. This means that if I let my trades play out to their natural conclusion I will lose money.

We tend to remember the ticks we missed out on by exiting early, and we forget about the losses we avoided. Tracking my trades this way has helped put this in perspective.

Agree strongly, it's great to catch big winners and runners or even just 2-3X'ers, but the facts are more often as you state - it tends not to happen for 'normal' traders. If there is a compelling context picture on multiple timeframes that says 'Big Run' then that might change things, but you don't get many of those to the pound.

I've also done my own analysis of some of the 'big swingers' and their actual carried R:R's when comparing realised P/L results. They are often much closer to scalpers than you might believe, yet their perception is totally different because of the big trades that get remembered.

Travel Well
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  #110 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Charts
Broker: Global Futures/OEC
Trading: NQ, CL
 
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Posts: 948 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 2,162 given, 2,063 received


Tap In View Post
Tomorrow:
-use larger charts to filter for allowable direction
-use smaller charts for entry
-mark trade areas with colored arrows. Take as many as possible
-good attitude

2/4/15 Wednesday
Live Trades: 0
Sim Trades: 5, 0t

Five scratch trades today. Only one ended up going anywhere. Nothing much to speak of.

Missed out on the great move in oil. One trade got stopped out at BE and was not able to get myself to re-enter, though there were plenty of chances. It always seems too late until I look back and 150 more ticks have gone by. Need to recognize these long trending moves and get on board.

Liking the larger charts for directional filter. It’s keeping me out of trades with no potential and makes it easier to follow four markets.

Stats:
Successes: took 1/2
Failures: took 1/2
Neutral: took 3/4

Tomorrow:
-use larger charts to filter for direction
-use smaller charts for entry
-mark trade areas with colored arrows and get on board when opps arise! Shoot for a high trade taken/arrow ratio.
-good attitude

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  #111 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Charts
Broker: Global Futures/OEC
Trading: NQ, CL
 
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Posts: 948 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 2,162 given, 2,063 received

I watched the latest webinar by FuturesTrader71 and really liked the idea of the Opening Swing rather than time-based opening ranges. It makes more sense to use points where price actually reversed during the manic of the open rather than using arbitrary time periods that may or may not reflect actual support and resistance.

Therefore I will be making a slight change to my charts and jettisoning the 2 minute and 45 minute opening ranges for the opening swing, as denoted by black dotted lines.

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  #112 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Charts
Broker: Global Futures/OEC
Trading: NQ, CL
 
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Posts: 948 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 2,162 given, 2,063 received


Tap In View Post

Tomorrow:
-use larger charts to filter for direction
-use smaller charts for entry
-mark trade areas with colored arrows and get on board when opps arise! Shoot for a high trade taken/arrow ratio.
-good attitude

2/5/15 Thursday
Live Trades: 0
Sim Trades: 6, +19t

Sat and watched for most of the day and took a lot of scratch trades (4). Missed the big move up in oil but the patterns were a little bigger so I was a little reluctant to go for it with my little 15t stop.

Waited a long time for NQ to move at the end of the day, finally entered, then proceeded to exit at +3 ticks on a minor pull back in a 35 tick move. Oh well, made the correct trade and some ticks today.

Stats:
Successes: took 1/7
Failures: took 2/8
Neutral: took 3/6

Potential +90 ticks

Still liking using the larger charts for context. Watched the latest Futures Trader71 Webinar and will begin to implement the opening swing rather than time based opening range. Some prelim look back shows this has some promise for context.

Leaning toward being a little more conservative with entries, wait for high confidence entries and start making consistent gains, then transition to real money. The exercise to take all set-ups served its purpose for loosening up my trigger finger, but draw downs can be quite large, too large for my tastes at this time. Continue to mark hypothetical trades to gauge quality of judgment and potential in each day's trading.

Tomorrow:
-Utilize the opening swing for context
-Utilize larger charts for directional guidance and changes, smaller for entry
-Getting a little sloppy and lazy about marking things up in real time with colored arrows, so get back to it.
-Take the high quality trades.
-Good attitude. Don't sweat missed trades

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 bobwest 
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I watched the latest webinar by FuturesTrader71 and really liked the idea of the Opening Swing rather than time-based opening ranges. It makes more sense to use points where price actually reversed during the manic of the open rather than using arbitrary time periods that may or may not reflect actual support and resistance.

Therefore I will be making a slight change to my charts and jettisoning the 2 minute and 45 minute opening ranges for the opening swing, as denoted by black dotted lines.

He's always a good source of ideas and info.... will be interested in your use of the idea.

Like your postings, btw. Keep up this very detailed work.

Bob.

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Tomorrow:
-Utilize the opening swing for context
-Utilize larger charts for directional guidance and changes, smaller for entry
-Getting a little sloppy and lazy about marking things up in real time with colored arrows, so get back to it.
-Take the high quality trades.
-Good attitude. Don't sweat missed trades

2/6/15 Wednesday
Live Trades: 0
Sim Trades: 2, +26t (one trade was an accidental entry. Why do they always end up losing?)

Enjoyed watching how price reacted to the opening swing throughout the day. It will take a bit of getting used to but has promise for context. It definitely slowed me down, which is not a bad thing.

Stayed with the larger chart channels and TLs for directional bias. Impulsive, wishful counter trend trading seems to be a thing of the past. I shudder to think about how many times I tried to turn the market around!

Took one high quality trade for +30t. I wouldn’t be disappointed if this happened every day.

Maintained a level, peaceful attitude. Of course the one trade played out fairly quickly so there wasn’t time to turn up the heat.

Stats:
Successes: took 1 of 7
Failures: took 0 of 5
Neutral: took 0 of 2

Potential +135t

As usual passed on some nice trades but also passed on a couple losers. Overall identifying better trade areas with my context tools: larger chart channels and opening swing.

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 Tap In 
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2/9/15 Monday
Live Trades: 0
Sim Trades: 0

Start of live trading. First trade of the day will be live. Then decide to continue or go to sim. No live trades today and therefore no sim trades.

Not much going on today, didn’t have my head in it so didn’t even mark any areas. Probably had something to do with reluctance to take that first live trade, but really didn’t see much that was interesting.

Extra focus on opening swing definitely adds a new perspective to structure. Whether this is helpful or hurting remains to be seen. Will continue to monitor.

Tomorrow:
-Continue to monitor opening swing and its effect on price
-Larger chart for channels
-Mark areas of interest with colored arrows. Get into it tomorrow!
-1st trade will be a live trade.
-Confident, calm attitude.

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2/10/15 Tuesday
Live Trades: 0
Sim Trades: 0

No trades again today. The OEC server was down until 8:00 so I missed most of the good action. There were a couple opps later but I chose not to take live late in the day.

Marked one trade in real time with an arrow on oil that would have worked for 30t.

I am seeing some value in the opening swing.

Tomorrow will be the same goals:
-Continue to monitor opening swing and its effect on price
-Larger chart for channels
-Mark areas of interest with colored arrows. Get into it tomorrow!
-1st trade will be a live trade.
-Confident, calm attitude.

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Tomorrow will be the same goals:
-Continue to monitor opening swing and its effect on price
-Larger chart for channels
-Mark areas of interest with colored arrows. Get into it tomorrow!
-1st trade will be a live trade.
-Confident, calm attitude.

2/11/15 Wednesday
Live Trades: 0
Sim Trades: 0

Once again did not see a trade that sparked my interested for my first live trade. Waiting patiently for the right looking set up to give myself the best chance of a good start. It might take a while but no need to push it.

Marked 7 trades: 4 winners, 3 losers, potential +75t

Tomorrow will be the same goals:
-Continue to monitor opening swing and its effect on price
-Larger chart for channels
-Mark areas of interest with colored arrows. Get into it tomorrow!
-1st trade will be a live trade.
-Confident, calm attitude.

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 Tap In 
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Tomorrow will be the same goals:
-Continue to monitor opening swing and its effect on price
-Larger chart for channels
-Mark areas of interest with colored arrows. Get into it tomorrow!
-1st trade will be a live trade.
-Confident, calm attitude.

2/12/15 Thursday
Live Trades: 0
Sim Trades: 0

Once again, did not see a trade area that really turned me on to take a live trade. Sticking to the plan of the first trade of the day being live so no trades live or sim today. Marked some areas of interest in real time but nothing much panned out.

Good thing I didn’t put real money to my ideas today because most failed.

Oil was a mover but the price action was one way up then one way down so I couldn’t find a reasonable place to enter. Then it chopped to a new high in waves in such a way that was really only recognizable to me in hindsight. One could try to trade that type of action and lose most of the time, but on a day like today it would have made good money. It was neat to see price bounce off the opening swing like it did though.

Good news is that I didn’t lose money. Bad news is that my trade ideas for the most part didn’t work out. I am still looking for a little more orderly movement with energy before I will be comfortable putting real money to it.

Marked areas:
Successes: took 0/1
Failures: took 0/4
Neutral: took 0/1

Potential -30t

Tomorrow will be the same goals:
-Continue to monitor opening swing and its effect on price
-Larger chart for channels
-Mark areas of interest with colored arrows. Get into it tomorrow!
-1st trade will be a live trade.
-Confident, calm attitude.

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 Tap In 
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Giving thought to a continuous combine but not sure it is right for me.

Pros:
1) When funded, they take on the risk of a black swan event that could potentially wipe out a significant portion of life savings.
2) Having a well defined and coveted goal to shoot for
3) Max risk is the monthly fee until passing
4) Enforced discipline, though discipline does not seem to be an issue at this time
5) Keep up with my best buddy who passed on his first try and is now funded. We're competitive!

Cons:
1) 80/20 split
2) Less advantageous tax treatment
3) $85/mo fee per instrument. My four instruments would cost $340/mo. I would need to drop a couple until I was well into the money.
4) Long road to becoming funded. 3 major steps: pass combine, pass live trader prep, build a cushion in first 10 funded trade days.
5) Rules could be stifling

On the pro side 1 and 2 are most significant. On the con side 1 and 3 are most significant. I can easily fund myself for now but the potential of a black swan event keeps popping up in my mind. The world is in a weird place right now and I feel anything could happen at any time. Woe to those who are in the market when/if it does.

More thinking to follow...

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 Tap In 
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Tomorrow will be the same goals:
-Continue to monitor opening swing and its effect on price
-Larger chart for channels
-Mark areas of interest with colored arrows. Get into it tomorrow!
-1st trade will be a live trade.
-Confident, calm attitude.

2/13/15 Friday
Live Trades: 0
Sim Trades: 0

Another lackluster day. No energy in three of the markets. Not seeing many confidence inducing trade areas. Follow through low

NG was the mover but it started so inauspiciously that it would have taken a leap of faith to take advantage. I suppose the clues were the bounces off the opening swing high. Need to pay attention to this.

Discipline still good, not taking trades just “because”. However, I have backed off marking areas as well. Some of it has to do with watching the opening swing, which has offered a new perspective on real time market status. This has me imagining fewer directional changes, not a bad thing. Also, now that I am trading live and being cautious, that caution has transferred to marking areas. I want to have a good ratio of successes to failures to feel confident about jumping in with real money.

The lack of trading does not have to build pressure. Be patient.

Marked areas:
Successes: took 0/1
Failures: took 0/1
Neutral: took 0/1

Potential: +15t

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 Tap In 
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2/17/15 Tuesday
Live Trades: 0
Sim Trades: 0

Patience is being tested from lack of trading and watching lots of movement in various instruments. Be careful, deflate the bubble before it bursts!

V shape moves in oil today frustrate me. Marked one area which turned into a success. Can’t do anything about the v shape. Players are moving the market in ways I can’t trade, so let it go.

Marked areas;
Successes: took 0/2
Failures: took 0/1
Neutral: took 0/0

Potential +45t

Tomorrow will be the same goals:
-Continue to monitor opening swing and its effect on price
-Larger chart for channels
-Mark areas of interest with colored arrows.
-1st trade will be a live trade.
-Confident, calm attitude.
-Let the need to trade and get on the board go. Maturity waits

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 Tap In 
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Tomorrow will be the same goals:
-Continue to monitor opening swing and its effect on price
-Larger chart for channels
-Mark areas of interest with colored arrows.
-1st trade will be a live trade.
-Confident, calm attitude.
-Let the need to trade and get on the board go. Maturity waits

2/18/15 Wednesday
Live Trades: 0
Sim Trades: 0

Did not feel confident in any set up once again. Almost took a NQ trade after FOMC but hesitated and declined. Lucky I did since it failed.

Not sure if the market has changed or I have changed but I am not seeing good set ups based on my criteria. Many moves are happening without criteria that I can identify. Frustrating to see 70 ticks rip off and not have any explainable way to get on board. I would just be guessing if I did.

I do notice that the opening swing has caused me to reject more trade ideas for various reasons. This could be part of the issue

I need to get back to freely marking trade areas. I am getting too picky which is resulting in no activity and nothing to analyze.

On a positive note I am being very patient and disciplined.

Marked areas.
Successes: 0/0
Failures: took 0/3
Neutral: took 0/1

Potential, -45t

Tomorrow:
-Continue to monitor opening swing and its effect on price
-Larger chart for channels
-Mark areas of interest with colored arrows. Get into it tomorrow!
-1st trade will be a live trade.
-Confident, calm attitude.
-Do not press. Maturity waits

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 Tap In 
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Tomorrow:
-Continue to monitor opening swing and its effect on price
-Larger chart for channels
-Mark areas of interest with colored arrows. Get into it tomorrow!
-1st trade will be a live trade.
-Confident, calm attitude.
-Do not press. Maturity waits

2/19/15 Thursday
Live Trades: 0
Sim Trades: 0

No trades, not feeling it. Lots of opps in hindsight. Don’t seem to be able to trust it in real time.

Reluctant to even mark areas. I am not in tune with the markets.
Got a little upset when I passed on a good signal in oil that worked spectacularly after marking a couple of duds earlier.

Marked areas:
Successes: took 0/1
Failures: took 0/2
Neutral: 0/0

Potential: 0t

Keep plugging away. No need to press. Plenty of time. Eventually I will see a trade that screams at me.

Tomorrow:
-Continue to monitor opening swing and its effect on price
-Larger chart for channels
-Mark areas of interest with colored arrows.
-1st trade will be a live trade.
-Confident, calm attitude.
-Do not press. Maturity waits

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 Tap In 
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Tomorrow:
-Continue to monitor opening swing and its effect on price
-Larger chart for channels
-Mark areas of interest with colored arrows.
-1st trade will be a live trade.
-Confident, calm attitude.
-Do not press. Maturity waits

2/20/15 Friday
Live Trades: 0
Sim Trades: 0

No trades. Did not see anything that gave me confidence. Managed to place more markers in real time at potential trade areas. In general, pathetic results. Very glad I am not putting real money to my ideas right now.

Marker results:
Successes (purple arrows, +30t): took 0/3
Failures (orange arrows, -15t: took 0/11
Neutral (yellow arrows, BE after reaching +20t): took 0/1

Potential: -75t

Stayed patient. Did not feel the need for speed. Did not press. Overall though, a little frustrated not seeing my ideas produce better results.

(Blue and red arrows are after the fact markers representing reasonable trade areas according to my rules.)

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Thoughts on the road to trading glory…

This was week two of the requirement that the first trade of the day be a live trade. I have taken no trades. It is proving to be more difficult than I anticipated, and therefore the right decision. This is a hurdle I need to overcome.

I have traded live before so I know what it is like. One year I took around 1500 live trades and ended the year a whopping +$40.00, including commissions. I thought it somewhat of an accomplishment considering I had to be right at least $6000 to make up for commissions. But, I also felt that it was the best I was going to do the way I was doing it, so I went back to sim to refine things.

It has been a long time in sim and in that time I believe I have developed better ways to structure my perspective on where the market is now and where it may be going. At the same time however, I have realized I am not a natural at this game, and I still lack some fundamental understandings of the market and how to take advantage of its movement. I am constantly being flummoxed by movement that seemingly comes out of nowhere. The results are not only losses, but a lot of angst watching 90 tick moves unfold without the slightest clue as to how to take advantage of them.

With that said, I also realized that more time in sim is probably not going to get me where I need to go either. I feel I have enough arrows in my puny little quiver to eke out gains if I am patient enough. I needed to take the plunge at some point and reacquaint myself with the live trading environment.

Having made this decision, I have realized that I am much more risk averse today than I was in the past. I think it has something to do with getting older, something to do with spending so much time in the comfort of sim, and something to do with being wrong so often. A dog who gets shocked by a hidden electric fence enough learns to avoid challenging that area of the yard because, well, it hurts!

There was a time where I had no problem putting a lot of money on the line against ideas that were largely unproven. It cost me dearly. Unfortunately like many traders who stick around long enough, we are the most confident when we know the least, and become less confident the more we know. Perhaps this is because the longer we stick around, the more we know what we really don’t know. We jump in with our hard earned money before we are ready, lose it, and then retreat over next several years trying to figure out how to trade. When it comes time to put money on the line again, the uncertainty of the trade and the pain of previous losses weigh heavily on the mind.

I have found myself several times in the past two weeks wanting to push the button but unable to do so. It is as if there is a hidden film covering my mouse that cannot be penetrated. The bottom line is that I have not accepted the risk. The thought of my first live trade in a long time being yet another reduction in my net worth so appalls me that I finding it difficult to take the plunge.

At some point it will happen. I will muster the courage and push the button. There is a 50/50 chance it will be a loss. What I do after that, and then after the next one, and the next one will be the challenge, and one that remains to be seen whether or not I can overcome. This is one reason I have considered doing a combine, to transfer the risk of loss to someone else. It is easier to accept the idea of potentially losing $150 a month on combines than $150 per trade in a matter of minutes.

All I can really do is continue to show up, keep an open, inquisitive, and positively expectant mind, and try to learn from every experience. I do believe that if one is able to stick around long enough they can learn to make this thing work.

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 bobwest 
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Thoughts on the road to trading glory…

This was week two of the requirement that the first trade of the day be a live trade. I have taken no trades. It is proving to be more difficult than I anticipated, and therefore the right decision. This is a hurdle I need to overcome.

I have traded live before so I know what it is like. One year I took around 1500 live trades and ended the year a whopping +$40.00, including commissions. I thought it somewhat of an accomplishment considering I had to be right at least $6000 to make up for commissions. But, I also felt that it was the best I was going to do the way I was doing it, so I went back to sim to refine things.

It has been a long time in sim and in that time I believe I have developed better ways to structure my perspective on where the market is now and where it may be going. At the same time however, I have realized I am not a natural at this game, and I still lack some fundamental understandings of the market and how to take advantage of its movement. I am constantly being flummoxed by movement that seemingly comes out of nowhere. The results are not only losses, but a lot of angst watching 90 tick moves unfold without the slightest clue as to how to take advantage of them.

With that said, I also realized that more time in sim is probably not going to get me where I need to go either. I feel I have enough arrows in my puny little quiver to eke out gains if I am patient enough. I needed to take the plunge at some point and reacquaint myself with the live trading environment.

Having made this decision, I have realized that I am much more risk averse today than I was in the past. I think it has something to do with getting older, something to do with spending so much time in the comfort of sim, and something to do with being wrong so often. A dog who gets shocked by a hidden electric fence enough learns to avoid challenging that area of the yard because, well, it hurts!

There was a time where I had no problem putting a lot of money on the line against ideas that were largely unproven. It cost me dearly. Unfortunately like many traders who stick around long enough, we are the most confident when we know the least, and become less confident the more we know. Perhaps this is because the longer we stick around, the more we know what we really don’t know. We jump in with our hard earned money before we are ready, lose it, and then retreat over next several years trying to figure out how to trade. When it comes time to put money on the line again, the uncertainty of the trade and the pain of previous losses weigh heavily on the mind.

I have found myself several times in the past two weeks wanting to push the button but unable to do so. It is as if there is a hidden film covering my mouse that cannot be penetrated. The bottom line is that I have not accepted the risk. The thought of my first live trade in a long time being yet another reduction in my net worth so appalls me that I finding it difficult to take the plunge.

At some point it will happen. I will muster the courage and push the button. There is a 50/50 chance it will be a loss. What I do after that, and then after the next one, and the next one will be the challenge, and one that remains to be seen whether or not I can overcome. This is one reason I have considered doing a combine, to transfer the risk of loss to someone else. It is easier to accept the idea of potentially losing $150 a month on combines than $150 per trade in a matter of minutes.

All I can really do is continue to show up, keep an open, inquisitive, and positively expectant mind, and try to learn from every experience. I do believe that if one is able to stick around long enough they can learn to make this thing work.

This is both perceptive and brave -- brave to say it.

I'm sure that you will do whatever you need to do to take that step, when you are ready. (Actually, perhaps a little before you feel entirely ready; that's the way it seems to work.... )

Good luck, and keep going.

(The Combine may, indeed be an option, by the way. Up to you, obviously.)

Bob.

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  #127 (permalink)
 Sazon 
Roswell, GA
 
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I have found myself several times in the past two weeks wanting to push the button but unable to do so. It is as if there is a hidden film covering my mouse that cannot be penetrated. The bottom line is that I have not accepted the risk. The thought of my first live trade in a long time being yet another reduction in my net worth so appalls me that I finding it difficult to take the plunge.

It appears that you may be unsure of your edge, which might be rightly so. I would pay attention to your uncertainty. There are gradations of an edge and it could be that you're not yet satisfied with the quality of your methodology. One test that you can perform is to run your method through 10 or more drawdowns in sim and if you can successfully recover then you "should" gain more confidence and acceptance in your method. Of course, if you're not even able to recover from 10 or more drawdowns in sim then I personally wouldn't expect to do it with real money.

Also, the above process may lead to further insights and ideas on how you can improve your method before taking it live. Last, you should only go live with real money when you're 110% ready regardless of what other people may say because it's your, and only your, account.

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  #128 (permalink)
 Tap In 
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2/23/15 Monday
Live Trades: 0
Sim Trades: 0

No trades today. Saw some decent areas but nothing that turned me on enough.

Further to my earlier post, my reluctance to trade at this time is, in part (no doubt a large part), due to the fact that I am working with $3000 trade equity against typical risk of $150. This represents risk of 5% per trade. Two losses equals 10% draw down. Four losses, 20%, etc. Not exactly ideal.

The first few thousand in profits are going to be the toughest and most tricky period of growth to navigate. Ideally, I would like to get my risk per trade down to 1% or even 0.5%. This would mean equity of $15,000 to $30,000. No doubt, as my account grows I will loosen up. In the meantime I have to pick my battles carefully.

Attitude was good today in spite of watching movement all over the place. Anxiety caused by missing out is one of my faults so being mindful of my emotions in these situations is progress.

Charts annotated with reasonable areas of longs and shorts.

Tomorrow:
-Monitor opening swing and its effect on price
-Larger chart for channels. Keep eyes peeled for symmetrical channels. Breaks of these are the most effective areas
-1st trade will be a live trade.
-Patience, be ok with missing opportunities.

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  #129 (permalink)
 BoltTrader 
Market Wizard
Phoenix + AZ/USA
 
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2/23/15 Monday
Live Trades: 0
Sim Trades: 0

No trades today. Saw some decent areas but nothing that turned me on enough.

Further to my earlier post, my reluctance to trade at this time is, in part (no doubt a large part), due to the fact that I am working with $3000 trade equity against typical risk of $150. This represents risk of 5% per trade. Two losses equals 10% draw down. Four losses, 20%, etc. Not exactly ideal.

The first few thousand in profits are going to be the toughest and most tricky period of growth to navigate. Ideally, I would like to get my risk per trade down to 1% or even 0.5%. This would mean equity of $15,000 to $30,000. No doubt, as my account grows I will loosen up. In the meantime I have to pick my battles carefully.

Attitude was good today in spite of watching movement all over the place. Anxiety caused by missing out is one of my faults so being mindful of my emotions in these situations is progress.

Charts annotated with reasonable areas of longs and shorts.

Tomorrow:
-Monitor opening swing and its effect on price
-Larger chart for channels. Keep eyes peeled for symmetrical channels. Breaks of these are the most effective areas
-1st trade will be a live trade.
-Patience, be ok with missing opportunities.

Whenever, you have a small account to start with your risk percentage will be higher in the beginning until you can grow your account. Set small goals, take your time and build your account. You might want to set a goal of 1 live trade a day just like a sniper who thinks along the lines of one shot, one kill.

Something to think about. 1 trade a day @ +15 ticks will double your account in 20 days or 1 trade a day @ +10 ticks will add about $2,000 to your account balance in 1 month. Then when you have doubled your account balance add 1 contract and now you will be trading 2 contracts. After, you have reached an account balance greater than $10,000 you can decide to add 1 more contract for each additional $5,000 or $10,000 you add to your account balance. Keep doing the same thing every day - 1 live trade for +10 or +15 ticks! One thing nice about this plan is that it can not only grow your account steadily but it will also increase your confidence level as a trader. Try it for 6 months, you might like it.

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  #130 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
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Whenever, you have a small account to start with your risk percentage will be higher in the beginning until you can grow your account. Set small goals, take your time and build your account. You might want to set a goal of 1 live trade a day just like a sniper who thinks along the lines of one shot, one kill.

Something to think about. 1 trade a day @ +15 ticks will double your account in 20 days or 1 trade a day @ +10 ticks will add about $2,000 to your account balance in 1 month. Then when you have doubled your account balance add 1 contract and now you will be trading 2 contracts. After, you have reached an account balance greater than $10,000 you can decide to add 1 more contract for each additional $5,000 or $10,000 you add to your account balance. Keep doing the same thing every day - 1 live trade for +10 or +15 ticks! One thing nice about this plan is that it can not only grow your account steadily but it will also increase your confidence level as a trader. Try it for 6 months, you might like it.

Sound advice. Now, about that first trade...

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  #131 (permalink)
 Tap In 
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Experience: Intermediate
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Tomorrow:
-Monitor opening swing and its effect on price
-Larger chart for channels. Keep eyes peeled for symmetrical channels. Breaks of these are the most effective areas
-1st trade will be a live trade.
-Patience, be ok with missing opportunities.

2/24/15 Tuesday
Live Trades: 0
Sim Trades: 0

No trades.

Getting comfortable with the concept of the opening swing. Seeing possibilities

Good, calm, patient. Watched a lot of movement but letting it go.

The long in gold that I marked felt like a good trade at the time but didn’t take it. Was not upset after. Would have been a nice starter trade though

2 real time markers today, one success, one failure for potential of +15t

Arrows placed in hindsight in blue and red at reasonable longs and shorts. This aftermarket work is having a positive effect. I try to visualize in real time how I might mark the chart at the end of the session.

One more trading day for me this week before long weekend getaway

Tomorrow:
-Monitor opening swing and its effect on price
-Larger chart for channels
-1st trade will be a live trade.
-Patience, be ok with missing opportunities.

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  #132 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
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Tomorrow:
-Monitor opening swing and its effect on price
-Larger chart for channels
-1st trade will be a live trade.
-Patience, be ok with missing opportunities.

2/25/15 Wednesday
Live Trades: 0
Sim Trades: 0

No trades. Felt it on a couple areas that worked out nicely but I didn’t hit the button.

Generally very pleased with the way I interpreted the market today. Especially the area at 10:34 in oil. Really had a good feeling about that one based on structure and the bar development at the time. It would have yielded 30 ticks in about 30 seconds.

The great news is that it did not affect me negatively to miss that trade. It dawned on me that as long as I feel anxiety on missed trades I will never truly trade with eyes wide open.

A couple of weeks ago I was working on hitting the button more freely, and that was a good experiment. Now I am working on purging the feeling of frustration of missing out.

Marker results:

Successful: took 0/4
Failures: 0/0
Neutral: took 0/1

Potential +120t

Not sure if I will be trading tomorrow. If so:
-Monitor opening swing and its effect on price
-Larger chart for channels
-1st trade will be a live trade.
-Patience, be ok with missing opportunities.

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  #133 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
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3/2/15 Monday
Live Trades: 0
Sim Trades: 0

No trades today. Charts annotated with “possibilities”

Tomorrow:
-Time to start trading. Break the seal. Take at least one live trade.
-Patience, be ok with missing opportunities.

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  #134 (permalink)
 bobwest 
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Sarasota FL
 
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-Time to start trading. Break the seal. Take at least one live trade.
-Patience, be ok with missing opportunities.

Good for you.

Good luck.

Bob.

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  #135 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Tomorrow:
-Time to start trading. Break the seal. Take at least one live trade.
-Patience, be ok with missing opportunities.

3/3/15 Tuesday
Live Trades: 0
Sim Trades: 0

Was not able to fulfill my goal and take a trade. It was mostly a matter of not finding anything that I was confident with. There were a couple of areas I could have taken, but many of the set ups were too extended and required more of a pullback due to the amount of risk.

Overall not displeased with missing my goal. I’m not going to throw money away just because. I still need to exercise restraint and wait for areas I feel good about.

Tomorrow we’ll try it again:
-Take at least one live trade.
-Patience, be ok with missing opportunities.

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  #136 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
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Tomorrow we’ll try it again:
-Take at least one live trade.
-Patience, be ok with missing opportunities.

3/4/15 Wednesday
Live Trades: 0
Sim Trades: 0

No trades. Marked two trades that worked for a minimum of +60t.

Felt some minor frustration in failing to enter a couple of nice set ups that produced. One in particular in oil was textbook and really should have been a no brainer.

The good news is I was mindful of my emotions and caught myself. Revisited my goal of not getting upset at missed opportunities and managed to remain level.

Feeling more confident in my analysis. It is only a matter of time before I put it to the test.

Charts annotated with comments and possibilities

Tomorrow more of the same:
-Take at least one live trade.
-Patience, be ok with missing opportunities.

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  #137 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Tomorrow more of the same:
-Take at least one live trade.
-Patience, be ok with missing opportunities.

3/5/15 Thursday
Live Trades: 0
Sim Trades: 0

No trades. Action hard to read today. Not a lot of opps that looked tasty. Many were more extended than I like to see. I like the break and retest or base type action. If it breaks with 25 ticks of risk to the nearest swing and doesn’t base up or retrace I am more reluctant to get in. I like to see conviction after the break. Problem lately is a lot of these moves break and never look back.

Marked a few areas with mixed results. Still like how I am reading the markets though. Need to at least mark more areas if I am not going to trade. I need something to measure my judgment against.

Pressure building to trade. Need to check that. Trade only when it is right. The goal of taking at least one live trade is not working. I need to figure out a more effective goal.

Missed opps are getting to be less of a big deal. There is always tomorrow.

Tomorrow:
-Pressure off, take a trade if you want to but the first one has to be live.
-Stay engaged with the markets. Don’t get distracted
-Be ok with missing opportunities.

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  #138 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Tomorrow:
-Pressure off, take a trade if you want to but the first one has to be live.
-Stay engaged with the markets. Don’t get distracted
-Be ok with missing opportunities.

3/6/15 Friday
Live Trades: 0
Sim Trades: 0

No trades today. Took the pressure off to make a trade. Decided to just watch, and if a really compelling scenario appeared to make a trade. Well, a really compelling scenario did appear and I didn’t make the trade. No worries, at least I recognized the opportunity for what is was. Another brick of confidence in the foundation.

On the NQ chart I annotated in real time, “Playing games… This action sucked a lot of people in long. The reversal to the downside could be vicious.” The result was a 55 point move down. Bummed that I didn’t have the conviction but encouraged that my read was spot on.

Generally stayed engaged with the markets. It is now just a matter of having confidence and conviction in my judgment. There are few things in life that so sharply defines good judgment from poor judgment as trading. This is one reason many find it so difficult to deal with. Success or failure is rests ENTIRELY on their sole judgment. No favoritism, no nepotism, no luck of right-place-right-time, no bullying, no BS-ing. Many folks can go their entire lives without really having their judgment tested in so naked a fashion.

Was pretty good about not being perturbed at missing such a nice set up. Emotions are leveling in this regard. The real test will be when I take a couple of losses THEN miss the good opportunity. This is where regret can turn to anger.

Charts annotated with possibilities.

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  #139 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
Experience: Intermediate
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3/9/15 Monday
Live Trades: 0
Sim Trades: 0

No trades. Did a nice job of identifying good trade locations.

Charts annotated with possibilities

Tomorrow:
-Take at least one live trade. Ok to cut it short for small gain or small loss just to get the ball rolling. Let it ride if it looks promising.
-Stay engaged all day
-Stay emotionally level

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  #140 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
Experience: Intermediate
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No trades yet. Truly nothing I have felt comfortable with despite some decent movement in CL and NQ. I am ready to trade but remaining patient.

Updated CL, NG, NQ charts...

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 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
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First live trade. Worthy of its own post.

Naturally it was a loser, a spectacular loser at that. Perfectly top ticked it and got the direction exactly wrong. Trade was a little sloppy. It generally fit the bill for a legit trade according to my rules. Break of confirmed channel then retest and break of TL. Probably should have waited for a bit more confirmation on the break of the TL and a close of the entry bar. Got out early. Could have waited for my 15 tick stop to get hit for more pain, so that's a positive. -9t (net -$94.40)

In any case I am still alive and breathing. Not as bad as I built it up. It's like that first hit in the football game. It hurt a little but got me into it.

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 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Tomorrow:
-Take at least one live trade. Ok to cut it short for small gain or small loss just to get the ball rolling. Let it ride if it looks promising.
-Stay engaged all day
-Stay emotionally level

3/10/15 Tuesday
Live Trades: 1, -9t, net -$94.40
Sim Trades: 0

In my notes before the open I wrote:

“Today I will take at least one live trade. I have accepted the risk of losing $150-$170. I accept this risk because I believe I have a greater chance of making $150-$170 or more than losing it. This is based on my acquired skill and judgment at reading the market, and the discipline to wait for the highest probability opportunities.”

Mission accomplished. As fortune would dictate it was a losing trade. Awesome!

Not the greatest set up in CL because the signal bar did not break through the TL by very much. Should have waited on the next bar. Otherwise the set up was decent: Break of an established channel with a retest and smaller TL. Took loss early rather than wait on the full 15 tick stop.

The trade went 0 in my favor and 46 ticks against me overall (I was out of the trade by -9t). This is one of the stats I keep on every trade. It is sort of an MFE and MAE even well after the trade is closed. It helps me track whether my trades overall have any potential. I recommend it as a tool to analyze the quality and potential of trade selection.

Had a momentary flash of anger at the first live trade in eons being a loser, but quickly recovered. I will need to get a handle on this going forward.

Stayed engaged the whole session. There really weren’t a lot of set ups I was excited about today. NQ and CL were good movers but the set ups carried a bit too much risk. As often happens though, when these instruments break an area and resume the move they often go straight without basing up.

Charts annotated with possibilities

Tomorrow:
-Take at least one live trade, win or lose. Ok to exit early either way. Just continue to get the feet wet.
-Stay engaged
-Stay emotionally level. Accept the risk

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 MacroNinja 
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Wow, big moment to shift from SIM to live. Congrats on making that leap in your journey, and more importantly having the discipline to train in SIM!

Quick question for you, I noticed the market profile has come off your charts. How are you finding your analysis with and without market profile?

Cumulative Delta also seems to be new compared to the beginning, how are you finding the GOMI CD? Thanks.

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 bobwest 
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In my notes before the open I wrote:

“Today I will take at least one live trade. I have accepted the risk of losing $150-$170. I accept this risk because I believe I have a greater chance of making $150-$170 or more than losing it. This is based on my acquired skill and judgment at reading the market, and the discipline to wait for the highest probability opportunities.”

Mission accomplished. As fortune would dictate it was a losing trade. Awesome!

Very nice. Congratulations.

Bob.

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Wow, big moment to shift from SIM to live. Congrats on making that leap in your journey, and more importantly having the discipline to train in SIM!

Quick question for you, I noticed the market profile has come off your charts. How are you finding your analysis with and without market profile?

Cumulative Delta also seems to be new compared to the beginning, how are you finding the GOMI CD? Thanks.

Market profile/volume profile are some of my favorite tools. I use both daily profiles, and extended profiles over 1 day, 2 days, 5 days, 20 days, 180 days, 1 year.

Here is the Think or swim grid with profiles.



Every day I start with a clean chart. The only automatically created lines are VWAP, EMA, pivots.



Then I manually add regular trading hours midpoints, value areas, both high and low, based on the market and volume profiles. These are the horizontal lines.



Then I draw trend lines and opening range.



I am now ready to follow price action, drawing trend lines as they develop:

The only chart that does not have cumulative delta is NQ. I plan to add it and start following it. CD is particularly effective on CL. I haven't figured it out on NG or GC yet.

Thanks for your interest

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Tomorrow:
-Take at least one live trade, win or lose. Ok to exit early either way. Just continue to get the feet wet.
-Stay engaged
-Stay emotionally level. Accept the risk

3/11/15 Wednesday
Live Trades: 1, -9t, net -$94.40
Sim Trades: 0

I was not able to pull the trigger on a trade today. Best opps were in gold and natural gas. For some reason, perhaps the slow nature of how these instruments play out, I am reluctant to go in. The time it takes for a trade to play out is nerve wracking for me at this juncture of live trading development. I am looking for quick payouts so I don’t have to sit through a lot of pain. Oil and NQ often deliver quick payouts. I need to come to grips with this as the opps on GC and NG are often very good.

A lot of opps, especially in NQ and CL are relatively extended as they break the TLs. The logical place for a stop is too far back so I tend to pass. But lately, even a 15 tick stop in many cases is in no danger of getting hit as price just keeps on motoring, often for a quick 50 ticks. A few of those would “buy” a lot of stop outs. This often happens on larger well defined channel breaks.

My fear is always that “this time” there will be a deep retracement knocking me out before resumption. This is why I pass on a lot of trades that work out nicely. I am looking for trades where a 15 tick stop makes sense. It will be nice some day when I can just “go for it” and take everything I see. That will mean risking some deeper daily draw downs.

This is one reason I am thinking of a combine, so that I can take trades with a little more abandon. We’ll see how using my own money goes for a while, keeping a combine as an option.

Charts annotated with possibilities

Tomorrow:
-Take at least one live trade, win or lose. Ok to exit early either way. Just continue to get the feet wet.
-Stay engaged
-Stay emotionally level. Accept the risk

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 bobwest 
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My fear is always that “this time” there will be a deep retracement knocking me out before resumption. This is why I pass on a lot of trades that work out nicely. I am looking for trades where a 15 tick stop makes sense. It will be nice some day when I can just “go for it” and take everything I see. That will mean risking some deeper daily draw downs.

I want to commend you for being honest, and to let you know that I understand the difficulties you are facing. So do a lot of other people who follow this thread, I expect.

Stay with it. If you persevere, you will get where you want to be.

Bob.

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 Tap In 
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I want to commend you for being honest, and to let you know that I understand the difficulties you are facing. So do a lot of other people who follow this thread, I expect.

Stay with it. If you persevere, you will get where you want to be.

Bob.

Bob, I vote for you for #1 encourager on futures.io (formerly BMT)!

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 bobwest 
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Bob, I vote for you for #1 encourager on futures.io (formerly BMT)!

Aw, shucks.



Bob.

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 Tap In 
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Tomorrow:
-Take at least one live trade, win or lose. Ok to exit early either way. Just continue to get the feet wet.
-Stay engaged
-Stay emotionally level. Accept the risk

3/12/15 Thursday
Live Trades: 0
Sim Trades: 0

No trades today but followed the action well and put in some nice markers.

I am looking into QM (mini oil) as well as ZN and 6E as possibilities to trade. QM is thin but it does almost exactly mirror CL. There would be slippage issues but overall might be able to take the same trades at nearly half the risk.

ZN also shows promise. The movements are very orderly, with less back filling, and most trades based on my method would risk around $80. There is a lot of volume so adding contracts would not be a problem.

6E would not reduce leverage but it is another instrument that under the right conditions has some nice movement.

I am envisioning a core group of NQ, QM and ZN all trading with one contract with around $75 of risk per trade. This might make more sense than the $150 per trade I am now risking. Then I can go to the larger contracts or add contracts when the account has grown. We’ll see. I’ll need to do a little more thinking on this. Not trying to add to complexity. Just trying to find the right mix.

Housekeeping: Yesterday, Wednesday, I did not take any trades and therefore did not lose $94. That was copied and pasted from Tuesday.

Tomorrow:
-1st trade will be live
-Look at ZN and 6E as possible instruments to add to the mix
-Stay engaged
-Stay emotionally level. Accept the risk

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 Tap In 
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Tomorrow:
-1st trade will be live
-Look at ZN and 6E as possible instruments to add to the mix
-Stay engaged
-Stay emotionally level. Accept the risk

3/13/15 Friday
Live Trades: 1: 1 loser
Daily P/L: -$3.00
Sim Trades: 0

Took 1 live trade Friday in the bonds. I’m kind of liking the bonds because:

-The movement is relatively tight with less back filling.
-Breaks of trend channels often result in at least enough movement to get to BE. Because there is less back filling, BE is often safe after 4 or 5 ticks in the money.
-Being proved wrong is only a handful of ticks away.
-Lots of liquidity with little slippage. Future scaling to larger positions is possible
-Time to think

Only one chart attached today

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3/15/15 Week’s summary
Live Trades: 2: 2 losers
Weekly P/L: -$98.10
Sim Trades: 0

Beginning account balance from first live trade on 3/10/15: $3000.00
Current account balance: $2901.90
Withdrawals: $0
Deposits: $0
Total gains/losses from the beginning: -$98.10

Takeaways from the week:

-I have come to grips with the fact that at this point I cannot really afford to "go for it" with abandon because my risk per trade is too large. Therefore it is not healthy to put undue pressure on myself by setting minimum daily trade count goals. This will mean passing on a lot of trades that look pretty good and go on to nice gains. I MUST LET THEM GO! It is imperative that I wait patiently for only those trades that really speak to me, and when they come along on those rare occasions, jump in with confidence. Until my account gets larger this must be my prime directive.

-Always be cognizant of who the market is trapping or who is trapped. Market movement is not always based on trapping traders. Sometimes it is just finding new value based on new economic discovery. But there are times when market makers clearly force their hand in the market in such a way as to fill as many orders as possible to accomplish their goals at the expense of other traders. Once this fulfillment has taken place the market begins to move against those traders. As they bail on their positions the movement can be quite swift and prolonged in the other direction. Examples on NQ and CL:





-Wait for rules to be clearly fulfilled before entering a trade. On my first live trade this week I entered before I had a clear break of the TL. Had I waited I would not have entered and taken the loss because, a) the trigger bar was not a clear enough break, and, b) the entry bar did not close up and out of the TL.

-Risk acceptance is a key. I need to be prepared to accept the dollar amount of the risk on every trade. In addition, I don’t necessarily have to take full stop outs. I can choose to exit early if the price action is not responding to my trade idea. This means that in the aggregate, my risk per trade will actually be less than the usual $150.

-When CL is showing stacked large orders, find a way to get in. Don’t just sit there and watch it with regrets as it goes after those orders all day.

-As price unfolds in real time, visualize what your summary charts will look like at the end of the day. Ask, "will it make sense to give this area a red or blue arrow?" If the answer is not clear, pass.

-I am looking at ways to reduce my risk per trade without compromising my methodology. They include:

-NQ, reduce from 2 contracts to 1
-QM, 50% of CL. A lot less liquid and moves in increments of 2.5 cents. Might make sense in certain circumstances.
-ZN, higher tick value but movement is such that my patterns are proven wrong in fewer ticks. Overall the risk per trade can be cut to $75 to $90.

No doubt at times it is well worth it to put on CL, NG and GC trades and take more risk. Not sure yet where this will lead. Also added 6E to the watch list.

-Annotate the charts more in real time and hindsight. It sparks more ideas for these weekly reviews.

Tomorrow:
-consider the points above. Think of the prime directive
-stay engaged all session. Don't let yourself get distracted.
-Take your results, good or bad, like a man

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 Tap In 
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3/16/15 Monday
Live Trades: 0
Sim Trades: 0

No trades, no worries. Not many opportunities.

B grade on engagement. Missed a couple of the opps that were there.

Tomorrow:
-prime directive: wait for the best. Let the rest go, both actually and emotionally.
-Watch for traps
-visualize how I might mark up the summary charts at the end of the day
-Stay engaged all session

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Tomorrow:
-prime directive: wait for the best. Let the rest go, both actually and emotionally.
-Watch for traps
-visualize how I might mark up the summary charts at the end of the day
-Stay engaged all session

3/17/15 Tuesday
Live Trades: 1, 1 loser
Days P/L: -$4.60
Sim Trades: 0

One live trade today. Accidental entry on chart trader. Looked at NG and realized I had a trade on. Managed to get out at 0t.

Good movement on certain instruments but nothing comfortable to trade. There were opportunities available though.

I have been missing some trades lately waiting for price to return to touch channel lines. In fast moving markets it never does so I miss out. I need to start looking at some of these smaller patterns to enter in active markets. Example marked on GC chart.

Nothing on ZN today

Today’s objectives:
-prime directive: managed to nicely let trades go. No emotions. Whenever I felt a little twinge of regret I quickly pulled myself back.
-traps: saw a trap developing on NQ that moved quickly to the downside. See NQ chart
-periodically expanded charts to visualize what the summary might look like. I realize I am passing on a lot of trades that I later mark as possibilities.
-stayed engaged. I don’t recall anything getting by me today. Lots of conscience choices to stay out.

Tomorrow, repeat:
-prime directive: wait the best. Let the rest go both emotionally and physically.
-Watch for traps
-visualize how I might mark up the summary charts
-Stay engaged all session

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 Tap In 
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Tomorrow, repeat:
-prime directive: wait the best. Let the rest go both emotionally and physically.
-Watch for traps
-visualize how I might mark up the summary charts
-Stay engaged all session

3/18/15 Wednesday
Live Trades: 1, 1 loser
Days P/L: -$64.60
Sim Trades: 0

I was tested today. On the best day for making money in months I lost $64.60 on a single trade that was the result of a mouse clicking error. That’s two such errors in two days. I didn’t have more than two of those in all the time I was in sim. Go figure

I wasn’t sure how to summarize what just happened today, so I took a long walk with the dog by the river to reflect. The thought that kept playing in my mind was that it was a day of extreme emotions. Great pangs of regret soothed by elation. Regret watching in real time as set-up after set-up played out perfectly and spectacularly without me. Elation knowing that this thing is right there for the taking, if I can just get over this little issue I am having, and engage the market.

I don’t think it is exaggerating to say that the opportunity was there today to double my account ($2900) with no more risk than $150 per trade, depending on how margins on multiple positions would have played out. This is a lot of “coulda-woulda” and that’s ok. Playing the “coulda-woulda” game is important in my opinion. It is how I got good at golf. It is nothing more than visualizing the ideal, learning from mistakes, tightening up your game, replaying how you would do it differently for next time. Then you let it go.

The charts tell the story. I knew it was bad until I started to summarize the charts. Then I realized it was worse. There was serious money left on the table today! But, having said that, I now know that the waiting game can work out just fine. Wait, wait, wait until the optimum time, then pounce and all those hours and days of no trades can be made up for. Just make sure to pounce!

Takeaways from today:
-Waiting is fine. You are not wasting your time. Huge chunks of gains can be made quickly.
-When all the markets are lit up from major news, take risk. It is well worth it.
-On high momentum days when you think it is over, it is very often not. There are more moves to come.

Positives:
-Once I missed the best opportunities after FOMC, I didn’t chase in an effort to make up. The irony is that this “discipline” caused a lot of missed opps as well!
-I marked a lot of really nice trade areas in real time.

As for my objectives:
-Prime directive, let missed opportunities go without emotional reaction: This was severely tested, and I failed the test. I’m not going to lie, there were some F-bombs! I’m over it now.
-Traps: no need to wait for traps today, the market was moving.
-Visualize the summary charts: did a nice job of this until FOMC, then things moved really fast.
-Stay engaged: mission accomplished, even in the slow first hours.

Tomorrow:
-prime directive: wait for the best. Let the rest go, both emotionally and physically.
-Watch for traps
-visualize how I might mark up the summary charts
-Stay engaged all session

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Tomorrow:
-prime directive: wait for the best. Let the rest go, both emotionally and physically.
-Watch for traps
-visualize how I might mark up the summary charts
-Stay engaged all session

3/19/15 Thursday
Live Trades: 2; 1 winner, 1 loser
Days P/L: -$18.00
Sim Trades: 0

Two trades, one deliberate and the other another clicking mistake. I’ve changed my chart trader window to avoid one click entries, so hopefully that solves the problem.

The one trade was a long trap trade on NQ looking for a quick run to the short side after failing to go higher several times. It went against me slightly then in my favor slightly and I got out at +1t when it failed to take off as expected. Good decision.

Objectives:
- I was able let a lot of trades go with little emotion. Good progress. I am starting to laugh at it. Didn’t get anxious to trade after missing so much yesterday.
-I noticed the trap developing on NQ but unfortunately it didn’t materialize into a profitable trade.
-Largely visualized the summary charts and marked a lot of areas real time (thinner arrows) but still missed a lot of opps that I notice later. 60% in this area.
-Stayed engaged. Markets had a lot less energy today for obvious reasons, but I managed to follow along nicely in six markets for 6 ½ hours.

Tomorrow:
-prime directive: wait for the best. Let the rest go, both emotionally and physically.
-Watch for traps
-Visualize how I might mark up the summary charts. See how many trades I can mark real time vs hindsight.
-Stay engaged all session

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Tomorrow:
-prime directive: wait for the best. Let the rest go, both emotionally and physically.
-Watch for traps
-Visualize how I might mark up the summary charts. See how many trades I can mark real time vs hindsight.
-Stay engaged all session

3/20/15 Friday
Live Trades: 2; 1 winner, 1 loser
Days P/L: +$141.38
Sim Trades: 0

Two live trades today, one in NG, and one in NQ

Trade 1 NG: from entry -5t against me, +52 in my favor. Exited at +15t. Wanted a win under my belt and to get back near whole. Satisfied with the result even though I left a lot on the table

Trade2 NQ: from entry -5t against, +26t for. Exited at 0t. Did not like entry location, way too late. Did not want to stick around through a pull back.

Identified about $1500 worth of trades in the first hour. Looking forward to the day I have the courage to take advantage.

Fulfillment of objectives:
-Prime directive: felt like I waited patiently for the best trades and did a nice job of letting go of the rest.
-did not identify any traps.
-Visualize the summary chart: Did a pretty good job of this. 75%. NG and 6E surprised me though. I had to mark a lot of areas after the act.
-Stayed nicely engaged all session.

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Experience: Intermediate
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3/16/15 to 3/20/15 Week’s summary
Live Trades: 6: 2 winners, 4 losers
Weekly P/L: +$54.14
Sim Trades: 0

Balance starting the week: $2901.90
Current balance: $2956.04

Beginning account balance from first live trade on 3/10/15: $3000.00
Withdrawals: $0
Deposits: $0
Total Gains/losses from beginning: -$43.96

Getting more comfortable with live trading, though 3 of the 6 trades were accidental entries caused by mouse clicking errors. These clicking errors caused $88.22 of losses. I have changed the format of my chart trader to eliminate one-click entries so hopefully that particular problem has been solved.

Some takeaways from the week:

-be prepared for secondary steeper trend lines to form in strong trends. In strong trends price does not always make it back to the original TL but instead forms steeper lines.

-6E has been very productive lately. Once it breaks a well formed TL or channel it can move large distances. Pay more attention to this instrument.

-The big FOMC day on Wednesday had some lessons. 1) When all the markets are lit up, get in. When price moves it doesn’t look back. 2) Keep trading. When you think it is over, it is not. 3) Waiting day after day for the best trades is not a waste of time as long as you take advantage of these types of days. The market will eventual make up for the waiting.

-Becoming more comfortable emotionally letting successful potential trades go that I identify and choose not to take.

-The reminder to visualize the summary chart as I watch price in real time is helpful. It is causing me to mark more areas in real time so I can evaluate the quality of my judgement later.

-I am doing a good job of staying engaged with the markets throughout the sessions.

Weekly trade log and Friday’s account statement attached.

Tomorrow’s objectives:
Continue work on the above takeaways.

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3/23/15 Monday
Live Trades: 0
Days P/L: 0
Sim Trades: 0

No trades but did some nice mark ups in real time. Identified some very productive areas.

Enjoying the 6 markets. They all have their own personalities and I can count on at least one of them offering up opportunities nearly every day.

Day’s objectives update:
-Prime directive: getting very settled with letting price movement go once I have decided not to engage.
-6E once again was very productive. Need to engage one of these days
-Did a nice job of staying with the markets and visualizing how I would mark up the summary charts. Added a few markers after the fact, but for the most part recognized most good trade areas in real time.

Tomorrow:
-Continue work on prime directive: emotionally let go of trades I choose to pass on.
-Keep eye on 6E opportunities
-Continue work on marking or taking trades in real time by visualizing how I would mark the charts at the end of the day. See if I can identify most trade areas in real time.
-Stay engaged the entire session.

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Tomorrow:
-Continue work on prime directive: emotionally let go of trades I choose to pass on.
-Keep eye on 6E opportunities
-Continue work on marking or taking trades in real time by visualizing how I would mark the charts at the end of the day. See if I can identify most trade areas in real time.
-Stay engaged the entire session.

3/24/15 Tuesday
Live Trades: 0
Days P/L: 0
Sim Trades: 0

No trades. The markets had a lot of energy when I first opened the platform at 5:45am but I struggled to find a reasonable entry. The best opp came at 6:10 in 6E but I chose to pass and watched it run unimpeded for 38 ticks ($475). For a while after that the possibilities were vague and uninspiring as the energy slowed.

The second best opp of the day came at around 9:00am on ZN as it bounced off a large double bottom and broke the down trend line with authority. I have noticed that when opportunities on ZN are clear, they almost always work. It is those in-betweeners that I have to be careful of.

Objectives measures:

-Prime directive, letting go. Continued progress. The missed trades in 6E and ZN were no big emotional deal.
-6E continues to produce.
-Visualizing summary charts for trade possibilities in real time. Struggled a bit today. 50%. The movements weren’t real clear in many cases. As I wrote in the notebook, “not every day will have clear signals.”
-Stayed engaged the whole session.

Tomorrow:
-Continue work on prime directive: emotionally let go of trades I choose to pass on.
-Keep eye on 6E opportunities
-Continue work on marking or taking trades in real time by visualizing how I would mark the charts at the end of the day. See if I can identify most trade areas in real time.
-If I see an obvious set up on ZN take it. It’s not that costly.
-Stay engaged the entire session.

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Tomorrow:
-Continue work on prime directive: emotionally let go of trades I choose to pass on.
-Keep eye on 6E opportunities
-Continue work on marking or taking trades in real time by visualizing how I would mark the charts at the end of the day. See if I can identify most trade areas in real time.
-If I see an obvious set up on ZN take it. It’s not that costly.
-Stay engaged the entire session.

3/25/15 Wednesday
Live Trades: 0
Days P/L: 0
Sim Trades: 0

No trades today. I really missed on three things today:

1) The whole move in NQ! After the first run down I should have been mentally prepared to take a shot or two on the next significant pull back, even with only one contract. This is a mentality that needs work. Recognize the opportunity, gear up to take the risk. It is worth it because success can snowball on a day like today. One good trade leads to another. Next thing you know you've banked 100 ticks. The flip side is that I lose one or two trades. Reward/risk is huge. I am adding this to my objectives for a while

2) Break of TL in Oil at 10:20. The renewed buying after the second leg retest of the up TL was the clue.

3) Break of TL on ZN at 10:21. The break happened quickly and with conviction after a long consolidation. This should have been a clue for further move to the downside.

The rest was just choppy stuff that would have yielded close to BE.

Objectives:
-Prime directive: The missed move in NQ was a bummer but it didn’t bother me too much. Good progress. I know there will be other days. Having the discipline to let trades go without it effecting me too much is the key to being able to wait for only the best.
-6E didn’t move much today but did give room to move to BE if I had taken all the signals.
-Visualizing the summary chart. Probably didn’t do the greatest job of this today especially in NQ
-Stay engaged. Not great today. I let NQ go mentally and there were plenty of opps to get good returns. I tend to do this with big runs that I am not part of. I think I ignore them as a coping mechanism. I also don’t like the thought of engaging late and losing on a day like this.

Tomorrow:
-Prime directive: let missed trades go mentally.
-Be alert for a potential big trending day as early as possible. Mentally prepare yourself to take one or two shots at the next opp. Remind yourself that it is worth the risk. If the market then turns out not to trend, so be it. These type of days can make up for a lot of waiting.
-Visualize summary chart in real time.
-Stay engaged.

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Experience: Intermediate
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Tomorrow:
-Prime directive: let missed trades go mentally.
-Be alert for a potential big trending day as early as possible. Mentally prepare yourself to take one or two shots at the next opp. Remind yourself that it is worth the risk. If the market then turns out not to trend, so be it. These type of days can make up for a lot of waiting.
-Visualize summary chart in real time.
-Stay engaged.

3/26/15 Thursday
Live Trades: 1, 1 loser
Days P/L: -$4.90
Sim Trades: 0

One live trade on 6E. Exited at BE minus commission.

Girded myself to take a trade or two when I perceived a possible trend developing. Took one trade, should have taken two. The first set up in 6E did not produce the second opportunity did produce.

Such is trading. A novice trader saves money by not trading. As the trader develops he begins to notice he loses money by not trading.

Objectives recap:
-Prime directive: was able to let go of missed trades including the second opp in 6E.
-Accomplished at least part of the goal of taking a shot in a possible trend.
-Visualized the summary chart but marked a lot of areas that did not work.
-stayed engaged

Only one chart for Thursday

Same goals for Friday

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Tomorrow:
-Prime directive: let missed trades go mentally.
-Be alert for a potential big trending day as early as possible. Mentally prepare yourself to take one or two shots at the next opp. Remind yourself that it is worth the risk. If the market then turns out not to trend, so be it. These type of days can make up for a lot of waiting.
-Visualize summary chart in real time.
-Stay engaged.

3/27/15 Friday
Live Trades: 2, 1 winner, 1 loser
Days P/L: -$9.20
Sim Trades: 0

2 trades, both on NG. Was looking for a strong down move after the consolidation yesterday and the hold below it at the open.

Trade 1: moved against entry 3 ticks, moved in favor of entry 28 ticks. Exited at +1 tick. Looking for a momentum move. Didn’t want to sit through a pull back.

Trade 2: against entry 3 ticks, in favor of entry 25 ticks. Exited at -1 ticks (1 tick slippage). Same idea as the first. Was up 7 ticks and reversed back to entry.

Overall please with my trade judgement and the fact I took a couple of shots. Not concerned about trade management. That comes later. Just looking for a few trades that take off and never look back so I can get some house money to play with. NG might not be the best instrument for that, LOL. Hardest gains are the first gains.

Objectives recap:

-Prime directive to let missed trades go generally went well. Still feeling twinges of regret so I will continue to include this in objectives. Certainly helps during the day to remember this as an area of focus.
-Recognizing potential trends and taking some shots. Mission accomplished, just on the wrong instrument. Same attitude in CL results in 60-80 ticks this morning.
-Visualize summary chart. OK overall, missed a bunch in real time on CL.
-Stayed engaged: yes. May soon drop this as an area of focus because it is coming naturally to pay attention all session.

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Experience: Intermediate
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Weekly summary 3/23/15 to 3/27/15
Live Trades: 3: 1 winner, 2 losers
Weekly P/L: -$14.10
Sim Trades: 0

Balance starting the week: $2956.04
Current balance: $2941.94

Beginning account balance from first live trade on 3/10/15: $3000.00
Withdrawals: $0
Deposits: $0
Total Gains/losses from beginning: -$58.06

Takeaways from the week:

-The self control to not let missed moves emotionally effect me is vital to being able to wait for the best trades. If I am constantly lamenting "what could have been" I will get impatient and take inferior trades. This will continue to be my prime directive until I no longer have to think about it.

-When price telegraphs a potential trend day move, mentally gear up to take at least one or two shots to test the hypothesis. The reward/risk is well worth it because the day can snowball, with one trade leading to another. This week's example was NQ's 400 tick move on 3/25/15 Wednesday

-Further to strong trend day moves, be prepared to take opportunities right up to the end. I have a tendency to mentally "check out" when I miss the first two or three opportunities. I think it is some sort of coping mechanism. Stay engaged and be ready for opportunities that may appear later in the day. These will come after larger consolidation areas (1-1.5 hours). In NQ this week one could have picked up 130 ticks in the last 1.5 hours of the session.

-When clear opportunities appear on ZN they usually work, so it is worth taking a shot.

-Getting more accustom to live trading. Just need a few winners to get some breathing room.

attached are the week's log and Friday's account statement.

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3/30/15 Monday
Live Trades: 0
Days P/L: 0
Sim Trades: 0


No trades. Not much energy or trendiness in the markets today. Wait for better action. Marked some nice areas though in spite of it all.

Abbreviated summary today but wanted to get the charts up for future review.

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3/31/15 Tuesday
Live Trades: 0
Days P/L: 0
Sim Trades: 0

No trades. Another day of unclear action. There were a couple of areas but in general it felt like guessing.

Objectives recap:

-Prime directive to let passed or missed trades go emotionally: Good today

-Be ready and willing to take a shot or two if a market shows strong trending: No markets showed this today, so this didn’t apply

-In strong trends it’s not over till it’s over: no strong trends so this didn’t apply

-When ZN does something obvious take a shot: I missed on this today. ZN showed some strong swift buying at 6:42. I saw it and immediately thought, “get ready for a long on the next set-up”. The action then went into a deep pull back which was confusing and kind of scared me out. In hindsight it is clear where I should have gone long. There were actually two chances. Missed a good run but was able to let it go emotionally and chalked it up to experience.

Getting out of the gate is taking a while but I continue to remind myself that this is only the beginning and it’s a long haul. No need to rush it. Be patient, get some cushion, and build confidence slowly. With $1000 of house money I can take a few more calculated shots on the set ups I see every day.

Tomorrow’s objectives:

-Prime directive: let passed or missed trades go emotionally

-Be ready and willing to take a shot or two if a market shows the signs of a strong trending move.

-In strong trends it’s not over till it’s over. Keep taking shots

-When ZN does something obvious take a shot

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Tomorrow’s objectives:

-Prime directive: let passed or missed trades go emotionally

-Be ready and willing to take a shot or two if a market shows the signs of a strong trending move.

-In strong trends it’s not over till it’s over. Keep taking shots

-When ZN does something obvious take a shot

4/1/15 Wednesday
Live Trades: 2; 2 losers
Day’s P/L: -$272.30
Sim Trades: 0

Took two live trades, both on 6E, and as fortune would have it, neither went anywhere. I am not unhappy about my choice other than that they didn’t work. Both were valid and could have produced.

Trade 1, 6E: 3 ticks in my favor, 21 ticks against. Exited at -11t

Trade 2, 6E: 2 ticks in my favor 25 ticks against: exited at -10t

My main focus to let missed trades go emotionally was severely tested today as CL and GC made strong trending moves. There were many places to get on board, while I was mucking around with 6E. I briefly got upset then quickly caught myself and resumed analysis. With this small account I will need a bit of luck to get out of the gate with some winners. Today didn’t have it.

Objective’s recap:

-Prime directive: tested today as I took some losses while watching great moves elsewhere. I knew this type of thing would be the ultimate test. Thinking back however, I was more upset that the two trades I took went essentially nowhere. Elsewhere I am consistently marking areas that have good movement. Is it really that hard to take a trade that at least moves enough to get to BE?!

-Identify trend and take a shot or two. Failed miserably on this. GC was screaming trend when I opened the platform. CL after inventory also was yelling trend, especially with some big orders sitting on the offer.

There is mentality in play here that must be overcome. It will change my trading. I have all but eliminated the urge to counter trend trade so that’s not a problem anymore. However, the underlying mentality is still there. It goes something like this:

“price has already made its best move. It is too late to get in now. You will be risking top or bottom ticking. It will turn around soon. Wait until a change in direction and start with a fresh move.”

200 ticks later I am left wondering what might have been. I simply must take more risks in the direction of trend until it proves itself over. The trend direction will indeed change in my face at times, but I simply have to accept this risk. The payoff is just too big to ignore.

-In strong trends keep taking shots until it’s over: again, failed miserably as detailed above

-When a ZN set up looks obvious take it. It will probably work: failed in this regards as well. Great set up at 8:31. Energy was very slow and I had already lost on two trades. Couldn’t get myself to click in.

All in all a bummer of a day. I need to keep a positive attitude the next couple days and focus on my objectives.

Tomorrow’s objectives:

-Prime directive: let passed or missed trades go emotionally

-Be ready and willing to take a shot or two if a market shows the signs of a strong trending move.

-In strong trends it’s not over till it’s over. Keep taking shots

-When ZN does something obvious take a shot

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Experience: Intermediate
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Monthly Recap March 2015
Live Trades: 11: 3 winners, 8 losers

Starting balance for the Month: $3000
Withdrawals for the month: $0
Deposits for the month: $0
Month’s P/L: -$58.06
Ending balance for the month: $2941.94

Beginning account balance from first live trade on 3/10/15: $3000.00
Total Withdrawals: $0
Total Deposits: $0
Total Gains/losses from 3/10/15: -$58.06

Of the 11 trades, 3 were clicking errors and 8 were deliberate trades.

Regarding the 8 deliberate trades:

75% reached .67R before -1R
50% reached 1R before -1R
50% reached 1.33R before -1R
12.5% reached 2R before -1R

Average winning trade was 1.93 X average losing trade

Trade stats and account summary attached

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  #169 (permalink)
 lancelottrader 
Legendary Market Wizard
west palm beach florida usa
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: ninja trader
Broker: Optimus Futures/ Rithmic
Trading: NQ
 
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4/1/15 Wednesday
Live Trades: 2; 2 losers
Day’s P/L: -$272.30
Sim Trades: 0

Took two live trades, both on 6E, and as fortune would have it, neither went anywhere. I am not unhappy about my choice other than that they didn’t work. Both were valid and could have produced.

Trade 1, 6E: 3 ticks in my favor, 21 ticks against. Exited at -11t

Trade 2, 6E: 2 ticks in my favor 25 ticks against: exited at -10t

My main focus to let missed trades go emotionally was severely tested today as CL and GC made strong trending moves. There were many places to get on board, while I was mucking around with 6E. I briefly got upset then quickly caught myself and resumed analysis. With this small account I will need a bit of luck to get out of the gate with some winners. Today didn’t have it.

Objective’s recap:

-Prime directive: tested today as I took some losses while watching great moves elsewhere. I knew this type of thing would be the ultimate test. Thinking back however, I was more upset that the two trades I took went essentially nowhere. Elsewhere I am consistently marking areas that have good movement. Is it really that hard to take a trade that at least moves enough to get to BE?!

-Identify trend and take a shot or two. Failed miserably on this. GC was screaming trend when I opened the platform. CL after inventory also was yelling trend, especially with some big orders sitting on the offer.

There is mentality in play here that must be overcome. It will change my trading. I have all but eliminated the urge to counter trend trade so that’s not a problem anymore. However, the underlying mentality is still there. It goes something like this:

“price has already made its best move. It is too late to get in now. You will be risking top or bottom ticking. It will turn around soon. Wait until a change in direction and start with a fresh move.”

200 ticks later I am left wondering what might have been. I simply must take more risks in the direction of trend until it proves itself over. The trend direction will indeed change in my face at times, but I simply have to accept this risk. The payoff is just too big to ignore.

-In strong trends keep taking shots until it’s over: again, failed miserably as detailed above

-When a ZN set up looks obvious take it. It will probably work: failed in this regards as well. Great set up at 8:31. Energy was very slow and I had already lost on two trades. Couldn’t get myself to click in.

All in all a bummer of a day. I need to keep a positive attitude the next couple days and focus on my objectives.

Tomorrow’s objectives:

-Prime directive: let passed or missed trades go emotionally

-Be ready and willing to take a shot or two if a market shows the signs of a strong trending move.

-In strong trends it’s not over till it’s over. Keep taking shots

-When ZN does something obvious take a shot

I was wondering how you manage to give 100% focus to several instruments at once. Do you have something that automatically generates a signal when a setup occurs? I have found two instruments is the maximum I can give my attention to and trade at full ability. Generally I will at least use a price alert that chimes when certain price levels are reached. That way if I am focused on one instrument I don't miss something important happening on the other. I also have an audible order flow indicator that sounds when something serious is happening.

But to really tune in with the market and it's particular movement at any given moment, I have to be really focused on it. Almost like the concentration that a fighter pilot would have. Just glancing at several charts quickly wouldn't work for me. There is a rythym and flow to an instrument..especially when price is about to do something significant. That flow can also be read when it's chaotic or choppy. If my attention was diverted to several instruments at once, I don't believe I would be able to tune into that movement properly.
Just wondering what your personal technique is for monitoring several markets at once? If you've already covered that in previous posts, pardon me for asking again.

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  #170 (permalink)
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lancelottrader View Post
I was wondering how you manage to give 100% focus to several instruments at once. Do you have something that automatically generates a signal when a setup occurs? I have found two instruments is the maximum I can give my attention to and trade at full ability. Generally I will at least use a price alert that chimes when certain price levels are reached. That way if I am focused on one instrument I don't miss something important happening on the other. I also have an audible order flow indicator that sounds when something serious is happening.

But to really tune in with the market and it's particular movement at any given moment, I have to be really focused on it. Almost like the concentration that a fighter pilot would have. Just glancing at several charts quickly wouldn't work for me. There is a rythym and flow to an instrument..especially when price is about to do something significant. That flow can also be read when it's chaotic or choppy. If my attention was diverted to several instruments at once, I don't believe I would be able to tune into that movement properly.
Just wondering what your personal technique is for monitoring several markets at once? If you've already covered that in previous posts, pardon me for asking again.

Good question, thanks for asking. It would be ideal if I could speak from authority as a profitable trader. Unfortunately as of now I am not, so everything I say should be taken with grain of salt.

A famous golfer was ask how he stayed focused for 5 hours during a round of golf. His reply, "I don't. I only focus for about 30 minutes, the time it takes to hit about 70 shots."

I think of myself as a blunt force trader. Not much nuance, just going after the low hanging fruit. My set up criteria is pretty well define and easy to spot at a glance. The rest of the time I am waiting. It is rare that more than one market is setting up at the same time. When this happens I will focus on the market I think has the best chance of delivering. My feeling is that, across six varied markets, there are more than enough obvious trades every day to make what I want to make. Kind of like you, I would be pleased as punch to average about $1000 per week on single contract trades. I think that is doable.

I am not a tape reader so I don't need to watch time and sales too closely. I use T&S is to gauge market energy. It alerts my peripheral vision to a market that is waking up.

I am primarily a trend trader, using structure as a guideline. The way I use structure and draw trend lines quickly qualifies or disqualifies a market for a possible upcoming trade. Once I have created structure in a market I simply wait until a set up develops. If a market is in a range I ignore it. When it gets to the edges I pay attention. When the set up criteria is met I will hone in on the price action and watch how price reacts when it breaks and closes outside a triggering trend line. This is the moment of truth when I really need to be focused and it can be a few seconds to 10 minutes. Outside of these moments I spend my time continually scanning the 6 markets drawing structure, trend lines, channels, and horizontal lines as the day unfolds. It sounds like a lot but it is pretty low key until I get in a trade. It keeps me engaged and helps avoid boredom.

The thin blue and red arrows on the charts are drawn in real time and represent trade entry possibilities. As you can see I am able to identify quiet a few, more than enough everyday to satisfy my goals. The thicker blue and red arrows are hindsight areas that weren't real clear in real time. I usually see these areas in real time, but do not correctly visualize their potential.

It is quite possible that focusing on just one instrument would be more effective, but at this time, the way I analyze and trade the markets, I do not feel that is the case. In the past I traded only NQ and CL and experienced lots of down time when nothing was happening. I gradually added more markets as I got more comfortable.

Hope this helps. By the way, I like the way you think about trading. Please keep posting (though I tend not to watch video recaps. It's a time thing. I understand that it is helpful to you though, which is the most important thing).

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  #171 (permalink)
 lancelottrader 
Legendary Market Wizard
west palm beach florida usa
 
Experience: Advanced
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Broker: Optimus Futures/ Rithmic
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Good question, thanks for asking. It would be ideal if I could speak from authority as a profitable trader. Unfortunately as of now I am not, so everything I say should be taken with grain of salt.

A famous golfer was ask how he stayed focused for 5 hours during a round of golf. His reply, "I don't. I only focus for about 30 minutes, the time it takes to hit about 70 shots."

I think of myself as a blunt force trader. Not much nuance, just going after the low hanging fruit. My set up criteria is pretty well define and easy to spot at a glance. The rest of the time I am waiting. It is rare that more than one market is setting up at the same time. When this happens I will focus on the market I think has the best chance of delivering. My feeling is that, across six varied markets, there are more than enough obvious trades every day to make what I want to make. Kind of like you, I would be pleased as punch to average about $1000 per week on single contract trades. I think that is doable.

I am not a tape reader so I don't need to watch time and sales too closely. I use T&S is to gauge market energy. It alerts my peripheral vision to a market that is waking up.

I am primarily a trend trader, using structure as a guideline. The way I use structure and draw trend lines quickly qualifies or disqualifies a market for a possible upcoming trade. Once I have created structure in a market I simply wait until a set up develops. If a market is in a range I ignore it. When it gets to the edges I pay attention. When the set up criteria is met I will hone in on the price action and watch how price reacts when it breaks and closes outside a triggering trend line. This is the moment of truth when I really need to be focused and it can be a few seconds to 10 minutes. Outside of these moments I spend my time continually scanning the 6 markets drawing structure, trend lines, channels, and horizontal lines as the day unfolds. It sounds like a lot but it is pretty low key until I get in a trade. It keeps me engaged and helps avoid boredom.

The thin blue and red arrows on the charts are drawn in real time and represent trade entry possibilities. As you can see I am able to identify quiet a few, more than enough everyday to satisfy my goals. The thicker blue and red arrows are hindsight areas that weren't real clear in real time. I usually see these areas in real time, but do not correctly visualize their potential.

It is quite possible that focusing on just one instrument would be more effective, but at this time, the way I analyze and trade the markets, I do not feel that is the case. In the past I traded only NQ and CL and experienced lots of down time when nothing was happening. I gradually added more markets as I got more comfortable.

Hope this helps. By the way, I like the way you think about trading. Please keep posting (though I tend not to watch video recaps. It's a time thing. I understand that it is helpful to you though, which is the most important thing).

Thank you for taking the time to answer me. I do like the idea of monitoring multiple markets and waiting for the one that is moving best at any given moment. If you can do that, then you should eventually do well with this method. I have tried it myself, but I always found I would miss entries and hesitate too much because I couldn't always see the setups happening in Real time.
By the way, speaking of golf..I know a thing or two about it. My dad started me at 5 years of age. His name was Frank Stranahan and if you google him..you'll see he was quite a player back in his day. Have a great weekend and thanks again for your reply.

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lancelottrader View Post
Thank you for taking the time to answer me. I do like the idea of monitoring multiple markets and waiting for the one that is moving best at any given moment. If you can do that, then you should eventually do well with this method. I have tried it myself, but I always found I would miss entries and hesitate too much because I couldn't always see the setups happening in Real time.
By the way, speaking of golf..I know a thing or two about it. My dad started me at 5 years of age. His name was Frank Stranahan and if you google him..you'll see he was quite a player back in his day. Have a great weekend and thanks again for your reply.

Frank Stranahan, are you kidding me? One of the best amateurs ever! The dashing, body builder golfer. He was one of my heroes growing up. I grew up in the 60s and 70s and tried to be a pro, so I was very familiar with the golfers of the earlier eras. I liked his image. Good stuff!

BTW, I could not follow 6 markets on 2 range charts. My 800 tick CL charts is equivalent to about a 10 Range.

Thanks for sharing!

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Tomorrow’s objectives:

-Prime directive: let passed or missed trades go emotionally

-Be ready and willing to take a shot or two if a market shows the signs of a strong trending move.

-In strong trends it’s not over till it’s over. Keep taking shots

-When ZN does something obvious take a shot

4/2/15 Thursday
Live Trades: 4; 4 losers
Day’s P/L: -$18.70
Sim Trades: 0

Getting more comfortable entering live trades. Trying to catch quick movers so I am moving to BE ASAP and hoping the market never looks back. All trades got stopped at BE but would have produced decent gains for the trader who held.

Trade 1 6E: movement against 10t, movement for 17t. Exit at 0t. Took some quick heat right after entry. Here we go again! Proud that I held till it broke back up +6t then came back and stopped me out.

Trade 2 NG: move against 6t, move for 42t. Exited at 0t

Trade 3 NG: move against 3t, move for 39t. Exit at 0t. This trade was up 10t at one time. Again, proud that I held trying to get to target.

Trade 4 NG: move against 1t, move for 31t. Exit at 0t

Pleased that my trades generally moved in my favor. Progress. Hesitated on a couple super easy gainers late in CL. Would have been good for 80t. These moments can make a week.

Objectives recap:

-Prime directive: very good even while watching my trades work without me.
-Take a couple shots at potential trends: Very good. Identified 6E and NG as potential all day movers. Took 4 shots. Happy with that.
-Trends not over till they’re over: Not applicable today
-When ZN offers an obvious trade take it: Not applicable today. Didn’t see anything obvious today.

Tomorrow markets close early. Not sure if I’ll trade. Might be up to watch though. Need to make the wife her coffee!

Looking forward to Easter service celebration, the best day ever!

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  #174 (permalink)
 lancelottrader 
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Frank Stranahan, are you kidding me? One of the best amateurs ever! The dashing, body builder golfer. He was one of my heroes growing up. I grew up in the 60s and 70s and tried to be a pro, so I was very familiar with the golfers of the earlier eras. I liked his image. Good stuff!

BTW, I could not follow 6 markets on 2 range charts. My 800 tick CL charts is equivalent to about a 10 Range.

Thanks for sharing!

Thanks for the kind words about my dad. That is so cool that you knew who he was. A lot of people don't know that after he retired from the tour, he went to Wharton and got a Master's degree in finance. He was big in the markets in the 70's and 80s..and had his own trading firm on Wall Street.
I didn't get into trading until a few years ago..but I guess it's in the blood.
As far as my 2 range chart, I use that mainly to time in my entries. I find I can spot price action setups much faster and easier on it, but I also watch higher time frames as well. But with the two range, I can have very precise entries..which leads to having a smaller stop loss. I think on many trades, from what I see on other people's charts, that I am already often 15 to 20 ticks or more up on a trade before the others even get in. So that's why I use them.
I wish you all the best with your trading..and I'm looking forward to seeing your progress on here. After being very cautious and insuring I hit my weekly goal for many months consecutively, I now feel ready to start ramping up the contract size. I was particularly inspired by some of the recent posts of Big Mike on his thread and how much profit he is generating.

Anyhow, I like your systematic approach to your journal and I hope you have great results.

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Thanks for the kind words about my dad. That is so cool that you knew who he was. A lot of people don't know that after he retired from the tour, he went to Wharton and got a Master's degree in finance. He was big in the markets in the 70's and 80s..and had his own trading firm on Wall Street.
I didn't get into trading until a few years ago..but I guess it's in the blood.
As far as my 2 range chart, I use that mainly to time in my entries. I find I can spot price action setups much faster and easier on it, but I also watch higher time frames as well. But with the two range, I can have very precise entries..which leads to having a smaller stop loss. I think on many trades, from what I see on other people's charts, that I am already often 15 to 20 ticks or more up on a trade before the others even get in. So that's why I use them.
I wish you all the best with your trading..and I'm looking forward to seeing your progress on here. After being very cautious and insuring I hit my weekly goal for many months consecutively, I now feel ready to start ramping up the contract size. I was particularly inspired by some of the recent posts of Big Mike on his thread and how much profit he is generating.

Anyhow, I like your systematic approach to your journal and I hope you have great results.

I imagine you play Seminole? I got a chance to play there once with Olin Browne's dad, Olin Sr. Cool place.

When I get to ramping up contracts it will be one at a time, and at each step I will trade as cautiously as if I was trading live for the first time. Getting a foothold is the key. Good luck

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 lancelottrader 
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I imagine you play Seminole? I got a chance to play there once with Olin Browne's dad, Olin Sr. Cool place.

When I get to ramping up contracts it will be one at a time, and at each step I will trade as cautiously as if I was trading live for the first time. Getting a foothold is the key. Good luck

Yes! Played Seminole a few times in my younger days. Beautiful course and very exclusive.

As far as contracts, I look at it like weightlifting. You start small..and add weight (contracts) as you get stronger. In the case of trading.. being mentally ready and proficient enough to trade more. I once jumped from 1 contract to 10..and it was very stressful. Needless to say, I didn't do well. If you add gradually on to your contract size as you improve, the transition is much smoother.

Enjoy your weekend.
Lance

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Weekly Summary 3/30/15 to 4/3/15
Live Trades: 6: 6 losers

Starting balance for the week: $2941.94
Withdrawals for the week: $0
Deposits for the week: $0
Week’s P/L: -$291.00
Ending balance for the week: $2650.94

Beginning account balance from first live trade on 3/10/15: $3000.00
Total Withdrawals: $0
Total Deposits: $0
Total Gains/losses from 3/10/15: -$349.06

Of the 6 trades, 3 reached at least +2R before -1R. One more got to at least +1R. This is good, a 50% win rate at 2:1 reward/risk, and one more at BE is a recipe for success. As I see this type of result more consistently, and my account grows some cushion, I will be more inclined to hold through minor pull backs.

Takeaways from the week:

-I am getting more comfortable trading live. It’s a matter of acclimation. I really want to make it happen with this account so I need to remain vigilant in my discipline.

-There are plenty of trades every week that are obvious and high probability to make a successful week. There is no reason to “look” for trades or take iffy trades. Wait for the ones that bust you upside the head.

-Quote of the week regarding strong trends: “There is a mentality in play here that must be overcome. It will change my trading. I have all but eliminated the urge to counter trend trade so that’s not a problem anymore. However, the underlying mentality is still there. It goes something like this: ‘price has already made its best move. It is too late to get in now. You will be risking top or bottom ticking. It will turn around soon. Wait until a change in direction and start with a fresh move.’ 200 ticks later I am left wondering what might have been. I simply must take more risks in the direction of trend until it proves itself over. The trend direction will indeed change in my face at times, but I simply have to accept this risk. The payoff is just too big to ignore."

Monday’s objective:

-Continue with prime directive to let missed trades go emotionally

-Be alert to a trend developing and take a couple of shots. The risk is well worth it.

-If there is a strong all day trend be aware that it is not over till it’s over. Often there is one more push at the end of the day after a 1-1.5 hour consolidation.

-When ZN telegraphs an obvious move, take it. They usually work out. Examples include: high volume quick movements in one direction. Bounces off of strong S/R, or breaks/retests of clear symmetrical channels.

-The overarching mindset should be this: there are plenty of obvious, high probability trades each week to accomplish my objectives. Be content to wait for them. They will come.

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  #178 (permalink)
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Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Charts
Broker: Global Futures/OEC
Trading: NQ, CL
 
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Monday’s objective:

-Continue with prime directive to let missed trades go emotionally

-Be alert to a trend developing and take a couple of shots. The risk is well worth it.

-If there is a strong all day trend be aware that it is not over till it’s over. Often there is one more push at the end of the day after a 1-1.5 hour consolidation.

-When ZN telegraphs an obvious move, take it. They usually work out. Examples include: high volume quick movements in one direction. Bounces off of strong S/R, or breaks/retests of clear symmetrical channels.

-The overarching mindset should be this: there are plenty of obvious, high probability trades each week to accomplish my objectives. Be content to wait for them. They will come.

4/6/15 Monday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: 0
Sim Trades: 0

No trades. Good movement in CL and NQ but didn’t find a set up that I wanted to put risk toward. The move in NQ was pretty straight up, but the two pull back possibilities had either too much risk or were sloppy.

The best trade opp on CL was a bit too close to the overnight high for my liking. Adding to the hesitation was the fact that my first 4 or 5 mark ups were failures so it was apparent I didn’t have a very good feel for market direction today. Best to wait for a clear entry or another day where there is follow through on my ideas.

Objectives recap:

-Prime directive to let missed trade go emotionally: OK. Still tough to watch so much movement and not be part of it, but I dealt with it reasonably well.

-Identify early trend moves: Good and not so good. The reversal early in NQ was hard to predict. It just reversed and never looked back. The one on CL was a little more predictable. I should have given more weight to the bounce off the major HVN at 6:55. After that it felt like a trend brewing but I couldn’t find a comfortable entry.

-In all day trends it’s not over till it’s over: In both CL and NQ it didn’t feel like the kind of huge all day movement where this principle would apply. Indeed there were only two entry locations in both instruments that I would have considered.

-When ZN telegraphs a move take it: not applicable. There were no obvious signs to telegraph the big move down.

-Was content today to let it go and wait for action that suits my fancy. Plenty of time left in the week with some good news events.

Tomorrow’s objectives:

-Continue with prime directive to let missed trades go emotionally

-Be alert to a trend developing and take a couple of shots. The risk is well worth it.

-If there is a strong all day trend be aware that it is not over till it’s over. Often there is one more push at the end of the day after a 1-1.5 hour consolidation.

-When ZN telegraphs an obvious move, take it. They usually work out. Examples include: high volume quick movements in one direction. Bounces off of strong S/R, or breaks/retests of clear symmetrical channels. They usually work out.

-The overarching mindset is this: there are plenty of obvious, high probability trades each week to accomplish my objectives. Be content to wait for them. They will come.

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  #179 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Charts
Broker: Global Futures/OEC
Trading: NQ, CL
 
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Posts: 948 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 2,162 given, 2,063 received


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Tomorrow’s objectives:

-Continue with prime directive to let missed trades go emotionally

-Be alert to a trend developing and take a couple of shots. The risk is well worth it.

-If there is a strong all day trend be aware that it is not over till it’s over. Often there is one more push at the end of the day after a 1-1.5 hour consolidation.

-When ZN telegraphs an obvious move, take it. They usually work out. Examples include: high volume quick movements in one direction. Bounces off of strong S/R, or breaks/retests of clear symmetrical channels. They usually work out.

-The overarching mindset is this: there are plenty of obvious, high probability trades each week to accomplish my objectives. Be content to wait for them. They will come.


4/7/15 Tuesday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: 0
Sim Trades: 0

No live trades today, but did some nice work. Whereas yesterday my ideas did not carry through, today they did. A fully traded combination of yesterday and today would have nice positive results.

Interesting large orders filled on CL at the end of the day. Will be interesting to see how that plays out tomorrow. Were they exiting in anticipation of a move back down?

Pay more attention to retests of the opening swing, especially in CL, NG and NQ where market openings seem more significant. In GC, ZN and 6E it is less so but 5:30 news events can be treated as the opening swing.

Remember that QM can be a nice alternative to CL, especially as larger patterns emerge and the anticipated move has the potential to be longer.

Objectives recap:
-Prime directive to let missed trades go emotionally: Grade A. I think I have come a long ways here so I will be taking it off the objectives list for now. May revisit if it becomes a problem later.

-Identify trends and take shots: Good and not so good. Good that I was able to identify the moves in CL. Not so good in that I did not put risk towards my idea. Still not fully mentally ready to take on the market with real money. This is an acclimation process that I need to give time.

-strong daily trends are not over till they are over. See above.

-Take a shot on obvious ZN trades. Not applicable today.

-Plenty of opps to make my goals each week so be patient. Grade A. Days like today reiterate this idea. Could have easily made my weekly goal just on today’s action alone.


Tomorrow’s objective:

-Be alert to a trend developing and take a couple of shots. The risk is well worth it.

-If there is a strong all day trend be aware that it is not over till it’s over. Often there is one more push at the end of the day after a 1-1.5 hour consolidation.

-When ZN telegraphs an obvious move, take it. They usually work out. Examples include: high volume quick movements in one direction. Bounces off of strong S/R, or breaks/retests of clear symmetrical channels. They usually work out.

-Pay attention to retests of the opening swing

-Remember QM as an alternative to CL.

-There are plenty of obvious, high probability trades each week to accomplish my objectives. Be content to wait for them. They will come.

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Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Charts
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Trading: NQ, CL
 
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Posts: 948 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 2,162 given, 2,063 received


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Tomorrow’s objective:

-Be alert to a trend developing and take a couple of shots. The risk is well worth it.

-If there is a strong all day trend be aware that it is not over till it’s over. Often there is one more push at the end of the day after a 1-1.5 hour consolidation.

-When ZN telegraphs an obvious move, take it. They usually work out. Examples include: high volume quick movements in one direction. Bounces off of strong S/R, or breaks/retests of clear symmetrical channels. They usually work out.

-Pay attention to retests of the opening swing

-Remember QM as an alternative to CL.

-There are plenty of obvious, high probability trades each week to accomplish my objectives. Be content to wait for them. They will come.

4/8/15 Wednesday
Live Trades: 2, 2 winners
Day’s P/L: +$83.02
Sim Trades: 0

Two trades:
-Trade 1, QM: used CL as a proxy for price action. The movement is almost identical. Reached 20 ticks on CL, 9 ticks on QM and reversed. Exit +1t

-Trade 2, ZN: Clear move to upside. Exit on slow action and upcoming FOMC. +5t

Overall pleased again with my markups and pleased I put some risk out there.

Objectives recap:
-identify strong trends early and take a couple of shots: Nothing super clear at the beginning of the session. Took a couple shots in areas I thought might be the start of something on QM and ZN.

-In strong trends trades can be made all day: Could have taken some later shots in CL but it didn’t have that one way movement look I am referring to.

-When ZN shows an obvious trade take it. They usually work: 50% accomplished. Took one shot and passed on the other.

-Remember QM as an alternative to CL: used QM today with CL as a proxy for price action. Pleased with how it traded. I need to go back to see how the two correlate in flash type events.

-Be cognizant of retests of the opening swing: NQ had two nice moves off the opening swing today. Should have put some risk towards the second one. It was pretty clear and had lots of energy after FOMC.

-Patience: excellent.

Tomorrow’s objectives:
-Be alert to a trend developing and take a couple of shots. The risk is well worth it.

-If there is a strong all day trend be aware that it is not over till it’s over. Often there is one more push at the end of the day after a 1-1.5 hour consolidation.

-When ZN telegraphs an obvious move, take it. They usually work out. Examples include: high volume quick movements in one direction. Bounces off of strong S/R, or breaks/retests of clear symmetrical channels. They usually work out.

-Pay attention to retests of the opening swing

-Remember QM as an alternative to CL.

-The overarching mindset is this: there are plenty of obvious, high probability trades each week to accomplish my objectives. Be content to wait for them. They will come.

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  #181 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Charts
Broker: Global Futures/OEC
Trading: NQ, CL
 
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Posts: 948 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 2,162 given, 2,063 received


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Tomorrow’s objectives:
-Be alert to a trend developing and take a couple of shots. The risk is well worth it.

-If there is a strong all day trend be aware that it is not over till it’s over. Often there is one more push at the end of the day after a 1-1.5 hour consolidation.

-When ZN telegraphs an obvious move, take it. They usually work out. Examples include: high volume quick movements in one direction. Bounces off of strong S/R, or breaks/retests of clear symmetrical channels. They usually work out.

-Pay attention to retests of the opening swing

-Remember QM as an alternative to CL.

-The overarching mindset is this: there are plenty of obvious, high probability trades each week to accomplish my objectives. Be content to wait for them. They will come.

4/9/15 Thursday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: 0
Sim Trades: 0

No trades. It was a mixed bag today in terms of marking areas. Some good some not so good. CL would have been a disaster until later. Glad I didn’t put real money on it. I was a bit sloppy putting in my arrows across the board. I need to not be so cavalier. Most of the failures were from trying to catch trend reversals too early. Need to wait for clear directional change on trend reversals. Biggest regret was passing on the late trade in NQ. Had a strong feeling about that one.

A note on ZN, there was a lot of quick movement at 10am on the 30 yr auction news. Wasn’t expecting this since the 10 yr auction news was yesterday which I thought would be more relevant to ZN. Need to be cognizant of this.

Objectives recap:
-identify trend early and take a shot: Grade D. 6E looked like it could trend and I had a chance that I passed on.
-All day trends are not over till the end: Grade D. Again failed to take advantage of some later moves in 6E in the direction of trend.
-Take obvious trades on ZN: Grade C. The continuation at 9:00 was pretty good but I passed. I’ll admit it wasn’t 100% obvious, just pretty good
-Pay attention to retests of opening swing: Grade B. Recognized on NQ but did not trade. At least it was recognized
-Use QM and M6E to reduce risk: Grade C. Considered a couple trades but did not click in
-Patience, there are plenty of opps each week to reach goals: Grade A. This is definitely on my mind when considering a trade that looks iffy. I quickly catch myself and relieve the pressure to trade. No need to take unnecessary chances. Now I just need to get in on those few trades every day that really scream out.

Note: From now on I will set my objectives at the beginning of each week and only state them once rather than every day. This will reduce the length of my posts. I write them out every morning in my notebook anyway.

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  #182 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Charts
Broker: Global Futures/OEC
Trading: NQ, CL
 
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Posts: 948 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 2,162 given, 2,063 received

4/10/15 Friday
Live Trades: 2, 2 losers
Day’s P/L: -8.02
Sim Trades: 0

Two trades both BE minus commissions. Both on NQ:

-Trade 1, NQ: 0t.
Playing the initial reversal at the open. Long pinbar was attractive after it tried to go down twice. When it went negative after entry, then had trouble continuing to the upside, I moved to BE. Total daily movement from entry was +6t, -56t.

-Trade 2, NQ: 0t.
Another trade where I was expecting price to break up quickly after retracing a couple times. Moved to BE when it stalled. Total daily movement from entry was +38t, -8t.

Relatively slow Friday on all markets. Most of the markets only filled ¾ of a screen with action. Decent mark ups across the markets which would have produced positively had I taken them all.

Mack advice to consider: be careful entering a trade with the EMA in the way. Better when price shoots through the EMA then retraces back to it.

Objectives recap:
-identify trend and take some shots: Grade A. Tried on NQ a couple times to no avail
-All day trends not over till the end: NA
-Take obvious ZN set ups: NA
-QM and M6E as alternatives: NA
-pay attention to retests of opening swing: Grade C. Missed a nice entry early on CL that retested the OS.

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  #183 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Charts
Broker: Global Futures/OEC
Trading: NQ, CL
 
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Posts: 948 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 2,162 given, 2,063 received

Weekly Summary 4/6/15 to 4/10/15
Live Trades: 4: 2 winners, 2 losers

Starting balance for the week: $2650.94
Withdrawals for the week: $0
Deposits for the week: $0
Week’s P/L: +$75.49
Ending balance for the week: $2726.43

Beginning account balance from first live trade on 3/10/15: $3000.00
Total Withdrawals: $0
Total Deposits: $0
Total Gains/losses from 3/10/15: -$273.57

Took 4 trades. Positive movement for the day from point of entry before initial stop hit was as follows:
Trade1: 6.7R
Trade 2: 2.6R
Trade 3: 0.4R
Trade 4: 2.5R

Solid trade choices this week. 3 of the 4 trades got to at least 2R before -1R. Some of the moves were quite choppy before getting to target so they would have been hard to hold.

Objectives and focus for week of 4/13 to 4/17:
-Identify trends early and take a couple of shots. The risk is well worth it.
-Strong trend days are often trade-able right up to market close.
-Watch NQ at the open for the fake out followed by the strong move in the opposite direction.
-Pay attention to trend line break failures. These are often the best trades.
-Pay attention to retests of the opening swing for directional changes
-Exercise patience. There are plenty of obvious, high probability trades each week to accomplish objectives. Be content to wait for them. They will come.

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  #184 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Posts: 948 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 2,162 given, 2,063 received

4/13/15 Monday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: 0
Sim Trades: 0

No trades. Quick summary just to get the charts posted. Didn’t see much that turned me on today.

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 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Charts
Broker: Global Futures/OEC
Trading: NQ, CL
 
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Posts: 948 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 2,162 given, 2,063 received

4/14/15 Tuesday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: 0
Sim Trades: 0

No trades. Blew it on a couple of opportunities in 6E early. It was set up pretty good. Should have taken a shot on M6E.

As has been the tendency lately the moves are over by 8:00. The rest of the time is chopping around. Need to get it early.

Objectives recap:


Tap In View Post
Objectives and focus for week of 4/13 to 4/17:
-Identify trends early and take a couple of shots. The risk is well worth it.
-Strong trend days are often trade-able right up to market close.
-Watch NQ at the open for the fake out followed by the strong move in the opposite direction.
-Pay attention to trend line break failures. These are often the best trades.
-Pay attention to retests of the opening swing for directional changes
-Exercise patience. There are plenty of obvious, high probability trades each week to accomplish objectives. Be content to wait for them. They will come.

-Identify trends early: C. Saw it on 6E but didn’t trade it
-No all day trends
-No fake out in NQ at open. Just straight up. However, the sell off after not holding above the OS was an opp.
-Watch for TL break failures: C. Saw a few but missed some also
-Retest of OS: kept an eye out but no real significant events there
-Patience: A. Almost too good! Going to need to click in eventually. I am getting good at relaxing my need to trade, even after see good moves missed.

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  #186 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Charts
Broker: Global Futures/OEC
Trading: NQ, CL
 
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Posts: 948 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 2,162 given, 2,063 received

4/15/15 Wednesday
Live Trades: 1, 1 loser
Day’s P/L: -$4.10
Sim Trades: 0

One trade on QM with CL as proxy for price. It was a good trade that wasn’t managed properly. Reasonable movement from entry was -4, +24. It reversed after entry, then resumed. I was expecting a quicker break up after it got in the black but it stalled again for a bit. Move to BE was taken out. 0t

Still looking for that “easy” trade. I keep skipping the ones that go like a bat out of hell, while picking the ones that chop around before taking off. No worries, at least I am tending to select better trades these days.


Tap In View Post
Objectives and focus for week of 4/13 to 4/17:
-Identify trends early and take a couple of shots. The risk is well worth it.
-Strong trend days are often trade-able right up to market close.
-Watch NQ at the open for the fake out followed by the strong move in the opposite direction.
-Pay attention to trend line break failures. These are often the best trades.
-Pay attention to retests of the opening swing for directional changes
-Exercise patience. There are plenty of obvious, high probability trades each week to accomplish objectives. Be content to wait for them. They will come.

Objectives recap:
-identify trend and hop on board: C. Passed on the “easy” CL trade after the inventory, but at least tried to get on board later
-All day trends are tradeable until the end of the session. D. CL traded well all day but I skipped.
-NQ fake out at open: did not materialize
-TL break failures: still need to get better at recognizing these.
-Retests on OS: did not take seriously the one on NQ
-Patience: A. plenty of that!

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 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Charts
Broker: Global Futures/OEC
Trading: NQ, CL
 
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Posts: 948 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 2,162 given, 2,063 received

4/16/15 Thursday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: 0
Sim Trades: 0

No trades. Some great moves. Did a nice job of recognizing the TL breakout failures. Several examples across the instruments. These opportunities might be what I need to focus on at this time in my trading. They tend to run soon after entry and are easier to hold to target. I assume they are trapped traders who are running for the exits. If the trade doesn't work it usually means price will get stuck in a tight range. At the beginning of the day, when energy is highest, price rarely gets stuck in a tight range so it is worth taking the risk.


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Objectives and focus for week of 4/13 to 4/17:
-Identify trends early and take a couple of shots. The risk is well worth it.
-Strong trend days are often trade-able right up to market close.
-Watch NQ at the open for the fake out followed by the strong move in the opposite direction.
-Pay attention to trend line break failures. These are often the best trades.
-Pay attention to retests of the opening swing for directional changes
-Exercise patience. There are plenty of obvious, high probability trades each week to accomplish objectives. Be content to wait for them. They will come.

Objectives Recap:
- Trends came a little later in CL and NG. Identified both but did not get on board.
-Didn’t take advantage of NG’s big move for a good part of the day.
-No fake out this morning that was trade-able.
-Did a nice job of identifying several TL breakout failures.
- There was one retest of the OS on GC that worked pretty well.
-Once again, good job with patience

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