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Tap In's Corner

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  #201 (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

4/21/15 Tuesday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: 0
Sim Trades: 0

Except for one move in CL, one move in 6E and one move in GC, the markets were deadsville today. The moves in 6E and GC would have been dice rolls so I didn’t mark them in real time. The set up in CL is something I have seen many times before. Several attempts at a break down before the real thing finally takes place. I did not trade it because the day was generally so slow and it was getting late. Also the trigger bar was very long and I felt there was a good chance of a good sized retracement. As the move proceeded large orders on the bid began to show up and I knew at that moment it could go far. Unfortunately there were no real attractive places to jump on board.

ZN was down for most of the day on my data feed so nothing available there.

Since the day was so slow I won’t go into too much detail about my areas of focus. I wrote out my goals and affirmations before market open, and my discipline to stay out was good.

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  #202 (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


Ruffcut View Post
Hi Tap,
I liked your observations in the cumulative delta thread. I have only been able to get a read on CDV using CL and found that for smaller timeframes that I can only use a short look back for accumulation or distribution.
In your chart 2015-04-21_1426 - Ruffcut's library the basing in CDV shows consistent absorption on those pullbacks. I also use on longer 2400 tick chart but does not seem to show as many opportunities. I also use both updown tick and bid ask CDV which help define who's trying to get in and with how much force.
Peter Davies of Jigsaw said he uses CDV on the ES. After researching the net I did not come up with other intuitive explanations. Lesson 8 - Practical Use Of Cumulative Delta Charts - Jigsaw Trading.
Today's vig 2015-04-21_1447 - Ruffcut's library using CDV premarket.
As of late the Tuesday's in CL have been chopfest. Many here can't imagine trading without other charts time, tick, long and short. If anything I like with a 15 minute chart is to keep me out of trying to trade thru a mess. Today between open and noon est. the 15 minute is pins and needles, stems and stalks. Hopefully your one chart can give you the heads up on whether to get whipsawed or make a batch of hashbrowns and eggs. Sometimes, when I eat well I trade better from walking away. Just sayin. Trade well.
JD

I feel stupid! Your post reminded me how valuable CD can be in fine tuning a trade. I have been so focused on price action that I have kind of neglected CD, even though its on all my charts!. I need to get back to being more in tune with what it is saying. CD definitely has different personalities on each instrument. It's particularly good for CL. I also think it can work on NQ, 6E and ZN. Not so sold on its value on NG or GC. I think it has to do with how the market movers enter and exit on each instrument. Are they primarily using market orders or limit orders or a combo?

Regarding chop, I do use larger charts that are three times my trading charts. In CL the larger chart is 2400 tick. Regarding a day like today tick charts are the best for recognizing chop. Attached are three charts: 1) what I saw when I opened the chart this morning. 2) An example of what I would wait for before taking a trade. 3) how the trade would have ended up.

I didn't take the trade because I'm a coward, LOL! But I think it illustrates how I stay out of chop.

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  #203 (permalink)
 lancelottrader 
Legendary Market Wizard
west palm beach florida usa
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: ninja trader
Broker: Optimus Futures/ Rithmic
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Tap In View Post
But I think it illustrates how I stay out of chop.

You were smart today..Easy day to lose every trade if one is not careful.

Failure is not an option
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  #204 (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

4/22/15 Wednesday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: 0
Sim Trades: 0

No trades today.


Tap In View Post
The following are the areas of focus for the week of 4/20/15 to 4/24/15:

-Write out goals and affirmations before the market open.
-Identify strong trends early and make an attempt to hop on board.
-Watch NQ at the open for the fake out move and look for a trade in the opposite direction.
-Watch for TL Breakout Failures (TL BO fail) for good trade opportunities.
-Watch for retests of the Opening Swing for trade opportunities.
-Watch for Cumulative Delta events
-Exercise patience. There are plenty of opportunities each week to reach goals.

Area of focus recap:

-Wrote out goals and affirmations

-Still having trouble jumping on trends. I always feel it’s bound to be over just as I get in. Then it’s not.

-NQ didn’t really have a fake out at the open that looked tradable. It tried to go higher then reversed, but I was not going to trade short with the big prior move up.

-Getting more cognizant of TL BO failures and their implications for the opposite direction.

-Did a nice job of being mindful of touches of the opening swing in real time.

-Was a lot more mindful of what CD was doing today. Saw some nice “events”

-Patience was good

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  #205 (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

4/23/15 Thursday
Live Trades: 2
Day’s P/L: -$13.04
Sim Trades: 0

Happy to have taken a couple of trades. Management was not good. Both trades made over 3R but I got spooked out at -1t and 0t:

Trade 1, NQ: Total reasonable movement, -8t, +65t (4.3R): exit -1t

Trade 2, NQ: Total reasonable movement, -9t, +56t (3.7R): exit 0t

Real time marker results were good with 7 trade areas getting to at least 2R and 4 trade areas hitting the stop at -1R.


Areas of focus recap:

-tried to jump on the NQ trend but got stopped at BE. Good try
-NQ action at open was sloppy and uncertain
-No real significant retests of any OS today
-getting good at recognizing TL BO failures. These are good set ups
-Paying a lot more attention to CD. Noting events with ovals on charts
-was very patient once again.

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  #206 (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

4/24/15 Friday
Live Trades: 1, 1 loser
Day’s P/L: -$9.02
Sim Trades: 0

Goal was to take two trades today but only took one. I keep skipping the early action, then jump in later when things are not so fast. Need to change this tendency.

Trade 1, NQ: Total Reasonable Movement, -8t, +46t. Exit at -1t. The positive is that once again I picked a good trade area.

It was a TL BO failure trade that was riding the TL up. Moved against me -8t, then broke through entry to +8t where I moved to BE. Entering later in the morning tends to catch slow, choppy movers. These are not what I am comfortable with at this time.

Marker results were good: six 2R winners, five 1R losers, five BE.


Tap In View Post
The following are the areas of focus for the week of 4/20/15 to 4/24/15:

-Write out goals and affirmations before the market open.
-Identify strong trends early and make an attempt to hop on board.
-Watch NQ at the open for the fake out move and look for a trade in the opposite direction.
-Watch for TL Breakout Failures (TL BO fail) for good trade opportunities.
-Watch for retests of the Opening Swing for trade opportunities.
-Watch for Cumulative Delta events
-Exercise patience. There are plenty of opportunities each week to reach goals.



Areas of focus recap:
-no trends to catch today. Thought NQ might continue up and it did.
-NQ did not have a tradable open for me
-Still getting keen to the TL BO failure trades
-No real retests of the OS today
-Paying more attention to CD. Had a nice event on Oil. I see these early morning swing touches often in oil. Need to take advantage.
-Patience good. Didn’t press. Just need to get a little bolder

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  #207 (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 4/20/15 to 4/24/15
Live Trades: 3, 3 losers
Week’s P/L: -$22.06

Starting balance for the week: $2722.33
Withdrawals for the week: $0
Deposits for the week: $0
Ending balance for the week: $2700.27

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: -$299.73

Stats on Maximum Reasonable Movement from entry on last 20 live trades:

Reached .67R 80%
Reached 1R: 75%
Reached 1.33R: 75%
Reached 2R: 55%

-Getting better at identifying quality set ups with the real time markers. Generally I am about 1/1 potential winners to losers at an R/R of 2/1 with the markers, at around 10 areas or more per day identified.
-I have identified the TL BO failure as a particularly good set up as it seems to trap a lot of people.
-Back to paying attention to CD events. Got away from this while focusing on price action. It has value in confirming possible changes of direction and pauses.
-Still struggling with under trading and so have implement a two trade per day minimum goal to focus attention on taking more trades. I would like to take at least 10 live trades per week at this time.
-Have begun to write out goals and affirmations every morning before the open. I have done this in the past with good results. Got away from it while experimenting with different techniques.
-Generally pleased with my overall daily read of the markets and have a positive expectation for my future trading. Still waking up every day excited to trade.

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  #208 (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

The following are my daily objectives for the week of 4/27/15 to 5/1/15:

-Write out goals, objectives and affirmations prior to the market open
-Take a minimum of two live trades per day
-Identify trends early and make at least one attempt to jump on board
-Identify TL breakout failures
-Identify Opening Swing retests
-Identify significant CD events

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  #209 (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

4/27/15 Monday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: 0
Sim Trades: 0

No trades. Some good opportunities. Began logging all markers (thin colored arrows. Blue for long, red for short.), and giving reasons I was reluctant to take the trade. We’ll see if this yields any insights.

Real time marker results were good again. 12 markers, 5 got to at least 2R, 4 would have lost 1R, and 3 would have been BE.


Tap In View Post
The following are my daily objectives for the week of 4/27/15 to 5/1/15:

-Write out goals, objectives and affirmations prior to the market open
-Take a minimum of two live trades per day
-Identify trends early and make at least one attempt to jump on board
-Identify TL breakout failures
-Identify Opening Swing retests
-Identify significant CD events

Objectives recap:
-Wrote out goals, objectives, and affirmations.
-Did not take a trade in spite of some good set ups. Lack of belief in the positive expectancy of each particular set up was the main reason. Though my markers prove that I am identifying good enough areas to be positive, I am unwilling to take the requisite number of trades to ensure the winners can overtake the losers. It is the old problem of the possibility of losing several in a row before getting the winners.
-Identified many TL BO failures, a couple nice ones on CL. These are areas I might lose in one direction, then reverse and get it back and more in the other direction. That’s for the future.
-Identified some OS retests.
-saw a couple of CD events and missed a couple more.

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  #210 (permalink)
 lovetotrade 
Rockledge, FL
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Sierra Chart
Broker: Gain Capital, OANDA
Trading: GBP
 
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Tap In View Post
I feel stupid! Your post reminded me how valuable CD can be in fine tuning a trade. I have been so focused on price action that I have kind of neglected CD, even though its on all my charts!. I need to get back to being more in tune with what it is saying. CD definitely has different personalities on each instrument. It's particularly good for CL. I also think it can work on NQ, 6E and ZN. Not so sold on its value on NG or GC. I think it has to do with how the market movers enter and exit on each instrument. Are they primarily using market orders or limit orders or a combo?

A recent order flow webinar I watched (Pete Davies trading with order flow I believe) mentioned that CD works best in very liquid markets such as ES, ZB, etc., and not so much in much less liquid instruments like CL, YM, NQ, etc. I was very convinced I saw something worthwhile in CD while trading the YM that I tried building a strategy around it! But through back testing, my eyes seem to have failed me as I could find no repeatable patterns to trade from reliably over time.

I will one day check out CD on the ES and do some back/forward testing, cause it seems absolutely wonderful for helping pick trade location. Hope you can find something I missed! Cheers!

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  #211 (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

4/28/15 Tuesday
Live Trades: 1
Day’s P/L: $85.40
Sim Trades: 0

One live trade:

Trade 1, GC: Total Reasonable Movement, -10t, +16t. Exited at +9t. Held for almost an hour. Thought it had a chance to resume the 7:00 news spike for good gains.

Marker performance was not very good. The markets were hard to read. 9 real time markers, plus the live trade. Results: 1 winner, 4 losers, 5 BE



Tap In View Post
The following are my daily objectives for the week of 4/27/15 to 5/1/15:

-Write out goals, objectives and affirmations prior to the market open
-Take a minimum of two live trades per day
-Identify trends early and make at least one attempt to jump on board
-Identify TL breakout failures
-Identify Opening Swing retests
-Identify significant CD events

Objectives recap:

-Write out goals, objectives and affirmations: accomplished
-Take minimum of 2 live trades. Only took 1 live trade. Now 3 behind weekly goal of 10.
-Jump on trends early: Failed to get on board ZN. Couldn’t find a reasonable entry on NQ.
-TL BO failures: stayed aware. Getting more automatic
-OS retests: identified a couple in real time. Getting more automatic
-CD events: identified a couple of events. Missed a couple. Still need to be more mindful

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  #212 (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


lovetotrade View Post
A recent order flow webinar I watched (Pete Davies trading with order flow I believe) mentioned that CD works best in very liquid markets such as ES, ZB, etc., and not so much in much less liquid instruments like CL, YM, NQ, etc. I was very convinced I saw something worthwhile in CD while trading the YM that I tried building a strategy around it! But through back testing, my eyes seem to have failed me as I could find no repeatable patterns to trade from reliably over time.

I will one day check out CD on the ES and do some back/forward testing, cause it seems absolutely wonderful for helping pick trade location. Hope you can find something I missed! Cheers!

Over the years I found CD to work beautifully on CL. That is where I first started using it. I am learning about its tendencies on the rest of the markets. I think there is promise

Having said that, I do not think I could ever devise a strategy around it. Context is king. It can be quite consistent in predicting little pauses in price, but if one tried to trade these pauses as reversals they could get run over often. I use it as a second level indicator in two ways. 1) As a "heads-up" tool. 2) As a confirming tool.

Heads-up tool:

If CD hits a major and significant swing it is a "heads-up" that I should be ready for price to pause or reverse. This happens frequently on oil just before or after the open. Often times price and CD are nowhere near the same relative swings so I don't think it is coincidence. CD will hit a swing from the previous day and price will reverse in a significant way. I will then look for set-ups that meet my criteria in that direction. If I am in a trade I will get ready to exit at the first sign of trouble.

Confirming tool:

If price is coming off of a significant support resistance level and CD is showing particular strength or weakness in the direction of price as it bases up, it is a clue that price will continue in the direction of the reversal. The next sign of buying or selling confirms that price is taking off. Extreme hidden divergences or divergences can be nice indicators of an event about to happen.

There are other subtleties but those are the basics of how I use it.

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  #213 (permalink)
 lovetotrade 
Rockledge, FL
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Sierra Chart
Broker: Gain Capital, OANDA
Trading: GBP
 
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Quoting 
If CD hits a major and significant swing it is a "heads-up" that I should be ready for price to pause or reverse. This happens frequently on oil just before or after the open. Often times price and CD are nowhere near the same relative swings so I don't think it is coincidence. CD will hit a swing from the previous day and price will reverse in a significant way. I will then look for set-ups that meet my criteria in that direction. If I am in a trade I will get ready to exit at the first sign of trouble.



Quoting 
If price is coming off of a significant support resistance level and CD is showing particular strength or weakness in the direction of price as it bases up, it is a clue that price will continue in the direction of the reversal. The next sign of buying or selling confirms that price is taking off. Extreme hidden divergences or divergences can be nice indicators of an event about to happen.


Cool I can dig that. I never thought about the actual swings of CD, I will have to check that out. I do agree about the usefulness of confirmation, and at least knowing when market participants are on or off the boat. I am gonna dig a little deeper into using CD around the edges of value areas on the volume profile for pullbacks. These would definitely seem to go hand in hand, but I haven't really seen the idea presented anywhere. I hope I am onto something.

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 Tap In 
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4/29/15 Wednesday
Live Trades: 1
Day’s P/L: $-18.27
Sim Trades: 0

One live trade was on M6E. I thought the contract was worth $6.25 per tick. Turns out it is only $1.25 per tick. so I didn’t lose as much as I thought.

It was a very good set up but the market decided to change trend on a dime and I got trapped.

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 Tap In 
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4/30/15 Thursday
Live Trades: 1
Day’s P/L: $8.40
Sim Trades: 0

1 live trade on QM. The trade worked well but I took myself out at +1 thinking I would get back in when it resumed. I did not.

Real time marker activity was good today. 5 winners, 2 loser, 1 BE

I need to consider getting up at 5:00 on unemployment days. There tends to be a lot of movement.



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The following are my daily objectives for the week of 4/27/15 to 5/1/15:

-Write out goals, objectives and affirmations prior to the market open
-Take a minimum of two live trades per day
-Identify trends early and make at least one attempt to jump on board
-Identify TL breakout failures
-Identify Opening Swing retests
-Identify significant CD events

Objectives recap:
-Wrote goals and affirmations
-Only took 1 trade. That’s 3 for the week, 5 behind my goal. Plenty of opportunities though
-Did not manage to get on board any trends. Had chance in GC and NG. Chickened out
-Watch for TL BO failures. Yes
-Watch for OS retests. Yes

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 Tap In 
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5/1/15 Friday
Live Trades: 3 losers
Day’s P/L: -$33.10
Sim Trades: 0

Three trades today. Two were on micro GC just as an experiment so no details worth speaking. Volume way too low on MGC. Too much slippage. It’s only good if expected move is large.

Trade 1: 6E. Total Reasonable Movement -1, +16. Thought it had potential so I let it ride. Had as much as 16t in the trade but it came back to entry. Exit BE. This is the delicate balance between leaving trades on and taking profits. I had a chance to get out at +5t when it was showing signs of weakness, but I let it take me out.

Marker activity was good: 3 winners, 2 losers, 4 BE


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The following are my daily objectives for the week of 4/27/15 to 5/1/15:

-Write out goals, objectives and affirmations prior to the market open
-Take a minimum of two live trades per day
-Identify trends early and make at least one attempt to jump on board
-Identify TL breakout failures
-Identify Opening Swing retests
-Identify significant CD events

Objectives Recap:
-Wrote out goals and affirmations.
-Took 3 trades
-Was not able to identify an early trend.
-Paying attention to TL BO failures
-Paying attention to OS retests
-Paying attention to CD events

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 Tap In 
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Monthly Recap April 2015
Live Trades: 17: 4 winners, 13 losers

Starting balance for the Month: $2941.94
Withdrawals for the month: $0
Deposits for the month: $0
Month’s P/L: -$166.14
Ending balance for the month: $2775.80

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: -$224.20

Of the 17 trades:

76% reached .67R before -1R, same as last month
76% reached 1R before -1R, improvement over last month (50%)
71% reached 1.33R before -1R, improvement over last month (50%)
65% reached 1.5R before -1R, new category this month
65% reached 2R before -1R, significant improvement over last month (12.5%)
41% reached 2.5R before -1R, new
24% reached 3R before -1R, new

Average winning trade was 1.68 X average losing trade.

According to the above stats I should have made good money in April. Still wrestling with confidence in my set ups, both in entering and in staying with the trades, but it is getting better.

Main focus for the next month will be increasing my trade count.

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 Tap In 
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Weekly Summary 4/27/15 to 5/1/15
Live Trades: 6, 2 winners, 4 losers
Week’s P/L: $42.43

Starting balance for the week: $2700.27
Withdrawals for the week: $0
Deposits for the week: $0
Ending balance for the week: $2742.70

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: -$257.30

Took 6 trades, 4 shy of goal of 10 trades. Did some nice work on recognizing TL BO failures, OS retests, and CD events. The real time marker journaling with reasons why I skipped each trade, along with how the trade played out is helpful for building confidence. The results were 48 trade areas, with 15 2R winners, 18 1R losers, and 15 break even. This is showing me that I am recognizing good areas and if I were to take them all I would come out profitable. Next week I will include Total Reasonable Movement (TRM) in each of the marked areas.

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 Tap In 
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Objectives for the week of 5/4/15 to 5/8/15

-Write out goals and affirmations before market open
-Take minimum two live trades per day
-Be mindful of TL breakout failures
-Be mindful of Opening Swing retests
-Be mindful of significant CD events
-Journal real time marker placement and why I passed on the trade. Track Total Reasonable Movement (TRM) of price from each marker.

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 Tap In 
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5/4/15 Monday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: 0
Sim Trades: 0

No trades. Markets were very slow and there were few good looking areas.

Real time marker activity was good: 2 winners, 2 losers, 2 BE. Would have been a winning day if all trades taken.

Objectives recap:

-Write out goals and affirmations before market open: Done
-Take minimum two live trades per day: no trades. No good looking areas. Almost took a ZN trade that was a loser. It was late in day so good thing I didn’t.
-Be mindful of TL breakout failures. Not much activity here
-Be mindful of Opening Swing retests. Identified one on NQ
-Be mindful of significant CD events. Nothing significant
-Journal real time marker placement and why I passed on the trade. Track Total Reasonable Movement (TRM) of price from each marker: placed 6 markers and journaled why I passed. Tracked TRM from each marker. Four of the marked areas got to +1R and two went -1R.

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 Tap In 
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5/5/15 Tuesday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: 0
Sim Trades: 0

No trades. Got up a little early to trade the 5:30 news. Had a chance on 6E that I passed on that would have started to day off nicely. Also passed on a CL trade at around 6:05 that was really good. Saw and felt it, but chickened out.

Marker activity good: 3 winners (2R), 2 losers, 3 BE. Max draw down would have been one loss.

Objectives recap:

-Write out goals and affirmations before market open: Done
-Take minimum two live trades per day: no trades. Had a few chances but passed
-Be mindful of TL breakout failures. Yes
-Be mindful of Opening Swing retests. Yes
-Be mindful of significant CD events. Yes
-Journal real time marker placement and why I passed on the trade. Track Total Reasonable Movement (TRM) of price from each marker: placed 8, 5 went at least 1R, 2 went -1R, 1 went nowhere.

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 Tap In 
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5/6/15 Wednesday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: 0
Sim Trades: 0

No trades. Got up early to take advantage of various news releases. Passed on many trades.

Marker activity mixed: 3 wins, 4 losses, 5 BE

Traveling Thursday, no trading

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 lancelottrader 
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Tap In View Post
5/6/15 Wednesday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: 0
Sim Trades: 0

No trades. Got up early to take advantage of various news releases. Passed on many trades.

Marker activity mixed: 3 wins, 4 losses, 5 BE

Traveling Thursday, no trading

I can understand why, at this point you are hesitant to take live trades. What is puzzling though..is why you go several days without even taking a SIM trade. I think you would be well served to have a minimum SIM weekly tick goal that you are shooting for. Prove for 1 month that you can follow your system..and hit your tick goal. This should give you the confidence to start taking live trades. You need to develop positive expectancy.

But if you can't prove it works on SIM, then there's no point wasting your money going live yet. That was a huge mistake I made early on. I had a couple of good sim weeks here and there and thought I was ready.. Bad idea!!

But you need to follow a system and at least take SIM trades...But don't be on SIM part of the session and then switch to live. Pick one or the other..(I suggest SIM until you have a track record.) When your entry criteria is met, you must fire off your trade. Looking back each day and saying..well these would have worked out is counterproductive.

Failure is not an option
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5/8/15 Friday
Live Trades: 2
Day’s P/L: +$29.60
Sim Trades: 0

2 live trades, one accidental, one deliberate. Out of town trading on laptop and did not set my right click to button to a two step order entry. Accidentally entered 6E short. Exited immediately for a $30 loss. Would have been a spectacular trade if I stayed in, but you just cant count on that.

Deliberate trade 1: ZN. Total reasonable movement, +10, -3. Exited at +4t.

Real time marker activity was mixed: 3 wins, 6 losses, 5 BE

Difficult to follow 6 instruments on a single laptop screen, especially when markets are going off. Was ok once the markets died down after the 5:30 news.

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lancelottrader View Post
I can understand why, at this point you are hesitant to take live trades. What is puzzling though..is why you go several days without even taking a SIM trade. I think you would be well served to have a minimum SIM weekly tick goal that you are shooting for. Prove for 1 month that you can follow your system..and hit your tick goal. This should give you the confidence to start taking live trades. You need to develop positive expectancy.

But if you can't prove it works on SIM, then there's no point wasting your money going live yet. That was a huge mistake I made early on. I had a couple of good sim weeks here and there and thought I was ready.. Bad idea!!

But you need to follow a system and at least take SIM trades...But don't be on SIM part of the session and then switch to live. Pick one or the other..(I suggest SIM until you have a track record.) When your entry criteria is met, you must fire off your trade. Looking back each day and saying..well these would have worked out is counterproductive.

The thin colored arrows are my proxy for sim trading so I don't have to switch back and forth from live. They are placed in real time and I keep a spreadsheet with the results. (The thick colored arrows are hindsight analysis). It's not perfect in so far as I don't actually hit the button but it is useful in proving out my system and building confidence.

I was in sim for a very long time and was able to build the account until I would start experimenting again. At the first of the year I decided it was time to wean off sim, stop experimenting, making the decision to go live and stay live. If I go back to sim it will be because I blew out this small account, and I would probably do it through Top Step so that at least I would be working toward something.

For the most part your points are well taken and would normally be good advice. The one thing I would disagree with is the notion that what I am doing is counter productive. I am both building history and gradually transitioning from seeing in hindsight to seeing in real time. The look backs are very useful for this in my opinion. This represents the "ideal". It is sort of like a golfer looking back on his round and counting the strokes he could save with improvement.

I figure I have 30 more years in my trading career (as long as the government doesn't screw up the markets), so taking my time now, building with patience, getting more comfortable seeing my account number on the trade window is not that big a deal. I understand though how it can make for very boring, and maybe frustrating, reading.

Thanks for your continued support

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 Tap In 
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Weekly Summary 5/4/15 to 5/8/15
Live Trades: 2, 1 winner, 1 loser
Week’s P/L: $29.60

Starting balance for the week: $2742.70
Withdrawals for the week: $0
Deposits for the week: $0
Ending balance for the week: $2772.30

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: -$227.70

Only two live trades. Lots of passed trades due to lack of conviction on individual trades. Not much to analyze.

Placed a lot of markers (thin colored arrows) in real time. The markers are in lieu of sim trading so that I do not have to switch the platform back and forth. The results were recorded on a spreadsheet for analysis. It is important to do things like this in order to have something to evaluate judgement against when not taking live trades. Otherwise there is a lot of idle time.

In evaluating marker activity there are three result possibilities: win, loss, BE. A win is generally when price gets to 2R from the marker. A loss is -1R from the marker. BE is generally when price reaches +1R and comes back to the marker (entry). The simplicity of the three result choices gives me a general idea of the potential if I were to take all trades. Of course, actual trade management would vary based on a variety of factors.

The marker activity stats for the four trading days were as follows:

11 wins
14 losses
15 BE

With 26 markers getting to +1R vs 14 markers to -1R, it generally indicates that my edge was much better than than 50-50, a good sign of improvement.

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5/11/15 Monday
Live Trades: 1 loser
Day’s P/L: -$4.02

Still out of town on laptop.

1 Live trade, NQ. Good entry, bad management. Failed TL BO reversal set-up. Total Reasonable movement, -1, +36. Exit on minor retracement back to entry. 0t

Marker and trade results:

4 winners of 2R
5 losers of 1R
2 BE

All in all not a bad day of analysis. Only problem was that the first 4 marked trades were losers which would have been mentally hard to deal with if they were taken live.

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Broker: Global Futures/OEC
Trading: NQ, CL
 
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Thanks: 2,162 given, 2,063 received

5/12/15 Tuesday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: 0

Markers:
1 win
1 loss
2 BE

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Thanks: 2,162 given, 2,063 received

5/13/15 Wednesday
Live Trades: 2
Day’s P/L: +$110.80

Trade 1: Total Reasonable Movement, -4, +136. Exit +6t. Would have been hard to hold since it came back to entry after +24t.

Trade 2: TRM, -1, +113. Exit +6t. Stopped to the tick before resumption. Should have been easy to hold since it never returned to entry

Markers and trades:
6 winners to at least 2R
3 Losers to -1R
0 BE

Good day of analysis. Had a chance to make lots of ticks today with a little more intestinal fortitude.

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5/14/15 Thursday: no trades, traveling

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5/15/15 Friday
Live Trades: 1
Day’s P/L: -$3.00

Trade 1, ZN: Total Reasonable Movement -1, +16. Exit at 0t. Moved stop to BE after 3 ticks. Counted on it not coming back.

Fairly slow day in the markets. Marked 4 areas and took one live trade.

Marker and trade results:
-3 winners at minimum of 2R
-0 losers
-2 BE

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Weekly Summary 5/11/15 to 5/15/15
Live Trades: 4, 2 winners, 2 losers
Week’s P/L: $103.78

Starting balance for the week: $2772.30
Withdrawals for the week: $0
Deposits for the week: $0
Ending balance for the week: $2876.08

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: -$123.92

Marker activity was good for the week:
14 winners at a minimum of 2R
11 losers at -1R
6 that got to 1R and came back to BE.

Takeaways from the week:

-It is possible, but not ideal, to trade 6 instruments on one laptop. Required some simplification of platform
-Continue to be mindful of TL BO failures and fading them. These are often the best trades because they have trapped traders
-On GC be mindful of congestion that continues to make lower highs or higher lows. These are often followed by swift moves. The trick is the timing.
-I am finding that I need to let NQ have a retracement after a TL break because these retracements will often be more than my 15 tick comfort zone.
-Continue to be mindful of NQ opening traps. Good trade opportunities.
-I was 1 tick from having a good week (GC long trade on Monday). I just need a couple of these to get some wiggle room.
-There are so many really good trade opportunities every day. There is no need to press anything or “look” for trades. Let trades present themselves with all the pomp and circumstance that a good trade should.

Unfortunately all stats are stored locally on Sierra Charts so I have attached two stat sheets, one from the laptop activity and one from the desktop activity.

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Attached is a simple spreadsheet I use to track the quality of my judgement in picking trade areas.

During the trading day I will either take a live trade or place a marker in real time where I believe a viable set up has formed. The markers are used in lieu of sim so the platform does not have to be switched back and forth. It is not perfect but it works well enough.

I will place markers when a set up occurs in which I have a strong feeling, but am not 100% committed to risking money. Rather than just let the trade go with little to show for it, a marker is placed in real time as if the trade were taken. The markers are the thin red and blue arrows posted on the charts every day. The thick arrows are placed in hindsight and are not included in this exercise.

I will then track price’s progress from that marker for the remainder of the day. The results of the reasonable movement of price from both the markers and actual trades are logged in the spreadsheet at the end of the day. I can then look back over time to gauge the quality of my judgement and what “might have been” had I taken, and stayed with, all the set ups.

The term Total Reasonable Movement (TRM) describes price’s movement from the entry point, for and against. This is different from MFE or MAE in that movement is tracked for the remainder of the day whether or not I am in the trade. TRM is how far price travels before encountering an extreme pull back relative to the movement preceding it. Admittedly, there is a bit of judgement in determining reasonable movement. I like to track how far price moves against me also, in order to gauge whether I was looking at the market from the correct side.

As of this writing I have taken or marked 71 trade areas since starting this spreadsheet on 5/4/15:

25 reached at least +2R (often much further)
25 hit -1R
21 got to +1R and returned back to entry for BE.

This is all part of the process of building confidence in one's methodology, while remaining flexible to take advantage of those special moments when the market screams for a live trade

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Thanks: 2,162 given, 2,063 received

5/18/15 Monday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: 0

No trades, thank goodness. Slow moving day, not much ground covered. My read of the market was off. CL data was down for most of the day.

Marked three areas, all would have been losers. There were other opportunities, but the three marked were attempts at reversals. Not bad areas, but with the trend was the way to go today. The lack of energy in the markets threw me off.

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5/19/15 Tuesday
Live Trades: 1
Day’s P/L: -$4.60

One trade in NG. Didn’t go very far and stopped me out at BE. Smart move as it quickly reversed.

Good trending in a few instruments. I definitely have a problem believing the trends will continue, and thus miss many opps.

Marker results:
2 wins
3 losses
4 BE

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5/20/15 Wednesday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: 0

No trades.

Marker results:
2 losses
2 BE

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Thanks: 2,162 given, 2,063 received

5/21/15 Thursday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: 0

No trades

Marker Results:
2 wins
1 BE

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5/22/15 Friday
Live Trades: 1 winner
Day’s P/L: +$75.12

One trade. Another good day of set ups and identifying set ups. The future me, as a confident trader, would have made $1000 by 6:00am today. As it is I can only dream of what might have been.

Marker and trade results:

3 winners
1 BE

More annotations on the charts today. I am going to try and do more of this to better detail my thought processes.

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Experience: Intermediate
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Thanks: 2,162 given, 2,063 received

Weekly Summary 5/18/15 to 5/22/15
Live Trades: 2, 1 winner, 1 loser
Week’s P/L: $70.53

Starting balance for the week: $2876.08
Withdrawals for the week: $0
Deposits for the week: $0
Ending balance for the week: $2946.61

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: -$53.39

Summary of marker and trade activity:
23 marked or traded set ups
7 areas that reached 2R or more
8 areas that hit the stop at -1R
8 areas that got to 1R then came back to entry for B.E.

Marker and trade activity wasn’t as good as I would like but still shows an edge, with 15 of 23 trades getting to 1R before -1R and 7 of those getting to at least 2R and beyond.

Still not taking enough trades. I need a day or two of decent production to get some breathing room. The edge is there but I can’t fully take advantage of it since it often involves 4 or 5 losses in a row before the wins kick in.

Being picky and waiting for the best is definitely putting the odds in my favor. Over the past 20 live trades, price has gotten to +1R before -1R 85% of the time, and +2R 60% of the time. Unfortunately, I have not held many of these long enough to get full benefit, and the opportunities that feel really good are few and far between. Taking more trades would build my account faster but would be accompanied by a lower win rate and more losses. It is a balancing act I have to deal with until I get a larger account. First though, I have to take full advantage of the few trades I do choose every week.

My method relies heavily on judgement in the moment. The decision to mark, trade or pass is a set-up by set-up affair. I pass on many trades that meet all criteria. Sometimes they fail, supporting my decision, and sometimes they work beautifully, causing regret. I would like to be able to trade without having to make these gut feel decisions but I am not sure I can get my rules specific enough to do so. Over the next period I am going to fully test my rules by marking a lot more trades areas. I will still use the blue and red arrows to signify areas that I have more confidence in. I will use black arrows to mark areas that meet my criteria but that I am ambivalent about.

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5/26/15 Tuesday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: 0

No trades. Marked more areas with black arrows in real time (thin). Black arrows simply mean that the set-up meets my criteria but I am not committed to either trade it or mark it with colored arrows for stats purposes. Interestingly, the black marked areas did quite well with 6 winners, 3 losers, 3 BE.

Colored marker results for stats:
2 BE

Pleased that the method continues to show promise

No chart for NG today as it was down for some reason.

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5/27/15 Wednesday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: 0

No trades. Best opp was in NQ. Failed to take advantage. Other markets range bound and NG was not working again.

Marker results:
1 loss
1 BE

Black neutral set up markers:
6 wins
4 losses
7 BE

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5/28/15 Thursday
Live Trades: 1
Day’s P/L: -$4.60

One trade in CL. Managed to get out at BE before it went 47 ticks against me. Good looking trade. No regrets. Just didn't work

Marker results not so good today:
4 losses
1 BE

Black neutral markers better:
5 wins
1 loss
3 BE

Not sure why I am choosing the less successful trade areas and passing on the better areas. This could be a coincidence or it could be a pattern. I need to be more mindful of this and make notes.

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Experience: Intermediate
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Thanks: 2,162 given, 2,063 received

5/29/15 Friday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: 0

No trades

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Experience: Intermediate
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Thanks: 2,162 given, 2,063 received

Weekly Summary 5/25/15 to 5/29/15
Live Trades: 1 loser
Week’s P/L: -$4.60

Starting balance for the week: $2946.61
Withdrawals for the week: $0
Deposits for the week: $0
Ending balance for the week: $2942.01

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: -$57.99

Summary of marker and trade activity:
15 marked or traded set ups
2 areas that reached 2R or more
6 areas that hit the stop at -1R
6 areas that got to 1R then came back to entry for B.E.

Nothing exciting to speak of. One measly trade. Marker activity was off a bit. This was the first week I used “neutral” trade area markers to try and give a more unbiased picture of the performance of my set ups. I put in more of those than the colored ones. It is interesting, no matter what I choose to mark a set up there is always a desired performance outcome that I am looking for. I want to see them work! Inevitably this clouds judgement and makes it difficult for a discretionary trader to develop a true unbiased evaluation of their methodology. I have morphed into placing an emphasis on doing well with my colored markers that I keep for stats, and therefore have devolved into using neutral markers to reduce “risk”. LOL!

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Thanks: 2,162 given, 2,063 received

Monthly Recap May 2015
Live Trades: 12: 4 winners, 8 losers

Starting balance for the Month: $2775.80
Withdrawals for the month: $0
Deposits for the month: $0
Month’s P/L: $166.21
Ending balance for the month: $2942.01

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: -$57.99

Of the 12 trades:

67% reached .67R before -1R, down from last month (76%)
58% reached 1R before -1R, down from last month (76%)
50% reached 1.33R before -1R, down last month (71%)
50% reached 1.5R before -1R, down from last month (65)
33% reached 2R before -1R, down from last month (65%)
25% reached 2.5R before -1R, down (41%)
25% reached 3R before -1R, same

Trade choice performance was down overall from last month, though I still show a slight edge. Did not take full advantage of trades taken for various reasons. Still not enough trades. Need to up the count in June. One per day average would be a good start.

Still pleased with direction of my trading. Gaining confidence in my read of the markets but not enough confidence to take trades. It’s coming. Very many more days of watching missed opportunity will eventually get me off my butt.

There are two stats pages for the month because I traded on two different computers.

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  #246 (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

6/1/15 Monday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: 0

No trades today. Charts with comments…

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  #247 (permalink)
dojirock
Saint Joseph, Michigan
 
 
Posts: 7 since Jul 2014
Thanks: 2 given, 2 received

Nice Journal. Great way for newbees like me to follow and learn...

thank you

doji

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  #248 (permalink)
 Pariah Carey 
Market Wizard
Memphis TN
 
Experience: None
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Broker: TDA
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Posts: 899 since Jan 2014
Thanks: 154 given, 2,734 received

Yeah you're doing good. Roughly break even so far in live trading, that probably puts you in the top 30% of traders worldwide. Consider this your Q-school. Do well and get your card, and you are on your way to Living The Dream.

Money make ya handsome
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  #249 (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

6/2/15 Tuesday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: 0

No trades. Great day of identifying trade areas. Chose to pass on an early 6E trade that would have changed everything. Ugh!

Marker results:
4 wins
1 loss
2 BE

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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

6/3/15 Wednesday
Live Trades: 1 loser
Day’s P/L: -$81.13

One trade. Tried to catch an early move in ZN. Then did not have the guts to trade opposite when it reversed and trended. Lots of other opportunity and movement in other instruments but I was hesitant.

Will be focusing more on fading TL failures and strong momentum plays in the near future rather than trying to catch first moves out of consolidation areas.

edit: should say "rather than trying to catch the first move of a reversal."

Marker and trade results:
3 winners
2 losers
1 BE

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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

6/4/15 Thursday
Live Trades: 1 winner
Day’s P/L: $75.12

One trade, one win. Got back most of the loss from yesterday. It was a momentum play. Got out just in time since my rules would have taken me out at BE had I stayed.

Not much in the way of colored marker activity. Put in lots of neutral markers that fulfilled my set up criteria. Not a lot of them had good follow through. They are not included in stats because they were noncommittal.

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  #252 (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

6/5/15 Friday
Live Trades: 1 loser
Day’s P/L: -$4.90

One trade on 6E. Got out at BE minus commission. Considered taking an early profit of $100 but decided to let it play out because it had good potential. Simultaneously, there was a nice set up on GC but I didn’t want two trades on at the same time. The GC set up worked out well. I chose wrong.

Other than that, I was unsure where the markets were going most of the day after the employment report, so I stayed out. Good discipline. Several set ups carried too much risk so I passed, but of course they worked with very little pull back. Such is the nature of discretionary trading. One has to have the discipline to go with what they know in the moment, and the maturity live with the consequences.

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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

Weekly Summary 6/1/15 to 6/5/15
Live Trades: 1 win, 2 losses
Week’s P/L: -$10.90

Starting balance for the week: $2942.01
Withdrawals for the week: $0
Deposits for the week: $0
Ending balance for the week: $2931.11

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: -$68.89

Summary of marker and trade activity:
17 marked or traded set ups
7 areas that reached 2R or more
4 areas that hit the stop at -1R
6 areas that got to 1R then came back to entry for B.E.



Takeaways:

-NQ had some fake outs at the open this week that produced well in the opposite direction.

-Reminder, "events" like large, quickly printed bars on ZN usually have follow through, so they are worth taking a chance.

-When a great set up is there, I have to take it. It can change everything. 6E on Tuesday morning as an example.

-Keep an eye out for TL break failures, then trade opposite, especially off S/R or in direction of trend.

-Avoid trying to catch the first moves of reversals unless it is off strong S/R or the set up is juicy good.

-Keep an eye out for momentum plays. They usually have at least some follow through.

-Look at TL breaks inside well defined two legged pull backs. They are good opportunities to get in a little earlier.

-Even though I only took 3 trades this week I began to get the feeling at the end of the week that entering was going to become easier and more frequent. I clicked in to the last two trades naturally and easily. We'll see how that plays out over the next week.

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  #254 (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

6/8/15 Monday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: 0

No trades. Very little energy at the beginning of the morning. Things picked up a bit but I wasn’t comfortable going live. Marked 7 areas in real time. In spite of the low energy they were pretty successful:

Marked areas:
4 winners
2 losers
1 BE

Knowing myself, I would have exited before the full losses, and probably would not have stuck with a couple of the winners, but it would have been a pretty good day.

No much in the way of news this week until later. G7 meetings could liven things up, depending on what the people controlling our lives have to say.

Waiting for more energy to enter the markets.

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  #255 (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

6/9/15 Tuesday
Live Trades: 1 win
Day’s P/L: +$5.40

One trade that didn’t go far. Got out near BE rather than wait for stop to get hit. Tried to get in a couple other times that didn’t trigger. Good news is that I took a trade early in the week rather than waiting later. Also, was more willing to get in more than once, but the entries didn’t trigger.

Need to be more willing to enter trades before 8am when the energy is highest.

Confidence is growing. The work I am doing with the markers is helping. I feel it coming.

Marker and trade activity:
1 win
1 loss
2 BE

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  #256 (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

6/10/15 Wednesday
Live Trades: 2 losses
Day’s P/L: -$8.62

Frustrating day. No follow through. No damage done to the account but my good stats took a hit. Two live trades. Both barely made it to 1/2R. Managed to exit both at BE. No regrets about the locations. They actually had good potential.

Also marked 5 other areas, most of which did not work out. This was one of those days that had no follow through (except on NQ). They happen. Hopefully it won’t happen very often! There were a couple of good moves but I would have had to take everything to get them. The only regret is passing on a couple of NQ trades after the open. The move was incredible.

Days like today are often followed by good days so I will be looking forward to the next two days.

Marker and trade results:
1 win
6 losses

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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

6/11/15 Thursday
Live Trades: 3, 2 wins, 1 loss
Day’s P/L: $89.40

Three trades. The good news is that the 1st trade was a $100 loser but I kept trading and the next two were winners. Gradually getting more comfortable taking risk and trusting my judgement.

Marker activity was better today:

3 wins
2 losses
3 BE

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  #258 (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

6/12/15 Friday
Live Trades: 1 win
Day’s P/L: $75.13

One trade on ZN. Several other great possibilities that I got cold feet on. Getting better feelings and more willing to enter. Tried to get in a couple on limit orders but did not fill. Obviously I wasn't exceedingly motivated to enter or I would use market orders!

It was a lackluster day in most markets in spite of the numerous reports. I identified some really nice areas in 6E and CL that would have produced good results. I feel that, with a bit more conviction, I will be able to do well even in slow times. With 6 markets there is always something happening.

Marker activity good again:
2 wins
1 loss
1 BE

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  #259 (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 6/8/15 to 6/12/15
Live Trades: 7, 4 winners, 3 losers
Week’s P/L: $161.31

Starting balance for the week: $2931.10
Withdrawals for the week: $0
Deposits for the week: $0
Ending balance for the week: $3092.41

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: $92.41

Of the 7 trades:
Only 1 made it to 2R or beyond
Only 3 made it to 1R
The other 4 did not even make it to .67R

These stats indicate that I was not taking the best quality trades. I was fortunate to get out of the week positive. I will continue to micro-manage my trades until these stats improve.

On the other hand, when combined with the real time markers, my set up choices were pretty good.
Summary of marker and trade activity:

30 marked or traded set ups
11 areas that reached 2R or more (since only one trade got to 2R this means I passed on 10 set-ups that would have made it to 2R. Yikes!)
12 areas that hit the full stop at -1R
7 areas that got to 1R then came back to entry for B.E.

These stats indicate that I have an edge, but for some reason I am pretty good when just putting in a marker, but not so good when choosing an actual trade. I think I want so much confirmation that I let good trades go and take areas that end up being choppier. My goal is to replace all set-ups where I would normally place a marker with actual trades.

Overall I am pleased with the direction my trading is going, if but a little slow to get off the line. I have managed to get back above my original balance and am more willing to jump in to trades. One thing giving me confidence is knowing that of the set-ups that don’t work, if it were a trade I would be getting out before the full stop was hit. It is often pretty obvious that price has hit a road block and has no interest in going further. There is no reason in these situations to hang on, hoping. In doing this my average loss would be much less than -1R. Of course, I would also miss a few trades that went on to become winners, but I think the savings of getting out early would overcome the missed opportunities.

As always, I am looking forward to next week with continued progress, and the possibilities that lie ahead

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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

6/15/15 Monday
Live Trades: 1 loss
Day’s P/L: -$4.00

One trade. Markets were slow once again. Really blew my chance to make something of nothing on NG. Two areas that produced very well. Just gotta click in. All other moves were few and far between and the action was not clear.

Happy I took a trade on a Monday though. Clicked in with little thought. It just didn’t work.

Trade 1, ZN: 0t. Moved 4t in my favor. It stalled so I moved to BE and it took me out then went 29t against.

Marker and trade activity was not so good, but in all instances I would have exited at BE before taking a full stop due to the nature of the price action. This gives me confidence knowing many of the failed trades would be exited with little damage.

Marker and trade results:
3 losses

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  #261 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
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6/16/15 Tuesday
Live Trades: 1 loss
Day’s P/L: -$79.02

Once again I found the markets slow and difficult to read. Follow through was spotty. There were opportunities but they were interspersed with a lot of failures. Too much risk for not enough reward.

Trade 1, NQ: -15t. Played an opening bell fake out to the downside. The market decided to go to the upside. The reversal was immediate and decisive, giving me no time to reduce risk. Full stop, I guessed wrong.

It was tempting to try and make up for it but the markets were not cooperating. There is no need to press on a day like today. An account can get chewed up. There will be plenty of days to “go for” it. Just be patient and wait for them to come.

Marker results were bad again. My good looking stats are taking a hit:
3 losers

I almost didn't post charts today it was so uneventful but decided to for posterity. Maybe FOMC tomorrow will shake things up.

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  #262 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
Experience: Intermediate
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6/17/15 Wednesday
Live Trades: 4, 1 win, 3 losses
Day’s P/L: -$195.27

Another extremely frustrating day that was full of potential. The good news, I traded. The bad news, I seem to have an uncanny knack for entering trades that go virtually nowhere, and passing on trades that move so quickly to target it’s a joke. Today was more about the trades not entered as those that were.

Except for the NQ trade entered a little late, I am perfectly satisfied with my entries. They fulfilled all criteria, were generally with trend, and had potential. Like the trades Monday and Tuesday, there was no follow through. The struggle is continuing to trade after a couple of losses, but that is what I have to learn to do. I took two early losses that moved a grand total of 2 ticks in my favor. Naturally, this made me a bit gun shy. So, I then passed on two CL trades that went 80 and 100 ticks respectively, with nary a retracement. There were other opportunities passed as well but that’s enough beating myself up for now.

Trade 1, 6E: -12t.

Trade 2, CL: -10t.

Trade 3, NQ: -17t.

Trade 4, ZN: +10t


Marker and trade results:
2 wins
4 losses

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  #263 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
Experience: Intermediate
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6/18/15 Thursday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: 0

The last few days have cast some doubts on the effectiveness of my method under current market conditions. Though every day presents some opportunity (today it was NQ and ZN), the markets are tending to be slow and sluggish. As an example, an 800 tick chart of CL is only covering 1/3 to 1/2 a screen worth of real estate, whereas at other times it could be counted on to cover a full screen or more. This means fewer opportunities and less follow through for a momentum trader like myself. A good deal of patience must be exercised waiting for just the right opportunity on just the right instrument of the day. Otherwise it is just guessing and hoping.

I have no doubt volatility will return and the way I trade will once again be fashionable, but until then I will continue to exercise caution. Unfortunately my overall skepticism carried over to the instrument of the day in NQ which had a nice run. Somehow I will need find a way to separate the real opportunities from the sluggishness of the other markets.

I put in more real time markers today to see how it would go. Marker activity was not bad today in spite of the slow action:
3 wins
3 losses
3 BE

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  #264 (permalink)
 Malthus 
Madrid Spain
 
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As an example, an 800 tick chart of CL is only covering 1/3 to 1/2 a screen worth of real estate, whereas at other times it could be counted on to cover a full screen or more.

I don't trade CL so I don't know if current volatility is normal, but since you're using tick data be sure to check this thread: MDP 3.0, is CME migrating to a new data comm protocol?

When CQC migrated to MDP 3.0 I thought that volatility was slow but it turned out it had to do with the data feed.

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  #265 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Malthus View Post
I don't trade CL so I don't know if current volatility is normal, but since you're using tick data be sure to check this thread: MDP 3.0, is CME migrating to a new data comm protocol?

When CQC migrated to MDP 3.0 I thought that volatility was slow but it turned out it had to do with the data feed.

Thank you for this. I was not aware of the change. I use Sierra Chart data so I have asked them when they plan to implement.

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  #266 (permalink)
 Tap In 
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6/19/15 Friday
Live Trades: 1
Day’s P/L: $75.12

One trade on ZN. Once again it was a tough day for price follow through. In addition to the one trade, I placed 7 markers. The results were not very good.

Trade 1, ZN: 5t. Took 1R profit to get a quick winner to start the day.
No other trade areas felt right.

Marker and trade results:
5 losers
3 BE

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  #267 (permalink)
 lancelottrader 
Legendary Market Wizard
west palm beach florida usa
 
Experience: Advanced
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Tap In View Post
6/19/15 Friday
Live Trades: 1
Day’s P/L: $75.12

One trade on ZN. Once again it was a tough day for price follow through. In addition to the one trade, I placed 7 markers. The results were not very good.

Trade 1, ZN: 5t. Took 1R profit to get a quick winner to start the day.
No other trade areas felt right.

Marker and trade results:
5 losers
3 BE

Good job on your live win. This is better than some of the wins where you bail after 1 or 2 ticks.

Failure is not an option
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  #268 (permalink)
 Tap In 
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Experience: Intermediate
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Weekly Summary 6/15/15 to 6/19/15
Live Trades: 7, 2 winners, 5 losers
Week’s P/L: -$202.16

Starting balance for the week: $3092.41
Withdrawals for the week: $0
Deposits for the week: $0
Ending balance for the week: $2890.25

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: -$109.77

Of the 7 trades:
2 made it to 2R or beyond
Only 2 made it to 1R

As for Marker and trade moves, it was another rough week:
5 moves of 2R or more
18 losers of -1R
6 BE

I am a little concerned about poor performance of late. Part of the problem is that the markets have been very slow, with a lot less follow through. It has been a lot choppier, with more trend changing in the short term. This has produced a lot of failures that don’t even make it to 1R. Often these failures are precursors to a pending strong move in the other direction. With every loss that I took this week, had I entered the first set up in the opposite direction after the loss it would have been a winner. Maybe these opportunities are the safest option at this time.

That said, it seems that every day has at least one market producing. I need to concentrate more on recognizing these markets early.

The other issue is that I have been a little more cavalier about placing real time markers, and trades for that matter, in an effort to test the limits of my system. This combined with low volatility has produced inferior results.

Until volatility picks up I will be concentrating more on picking my spots carefully, finding the market that is more active for each day and looking for opportunities that follow failures.

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  #269 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Malthus View Post
I don't trade CL so I don't know if current volatility is normal, but since you're using tick data be sure to check this thread: MDP 3.0, is CME migrating to a new data comm protocol?

When CQC migrated to MDP 3.0 I thought that volatility was slow but it turned out it had to do with the data feed.

Sierra Charts transitioned to MDP 3.0 over the past two weeks. I did some testing with past tick and volume charts and compared them to recent tick and volume charts, and determined that MDP 3.0 made no material difference to the charts that I use. The reduced activity on the charts is simply the lower volatility of recent times.

Through this exercise I came up with volume charts that match up to the tick charts I use:

CL: 800 tick = 900 volume
GC: 400 tick = 550 volume
NG: 200 tick = 300 volume
NQ: 600 tick = 1000 volume
6E: 500 tick = 950 volume
ZN: 600 tick = 3500 volume

I have not determined whether or not to switch to volume charts. I'm not sure it really matters in the way I trade. I may explore the idea of altering the values of the charts and initial risk and targets to align with volatility.

Thanks for bringing up the subject.

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  #270 (permalink)
 Tap In 
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6/22/15 Monday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: $0

Another very slow day. Opportunities were few and far between, though one could find a few if they squinted. The best set up was on ZN. I really should have taken that one. The rest were iffy and would mean taking too many chances to catch the winner. Save it for a better day.

Wish I knew in advance how long these doldrums were going to last. I’d just go on vacation!

Marker activity:
2 losses
1 BE

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  #271 (permalink)
 Pariah Carey 
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I think there are always opportunities. Yes some days move more than others but when I started trading without so many rules and just focused on price action and what the market is telling me, I didn't worry about lack of movement but just worked with what I had. Now I do trade a naturally slow market anyway, the 5-year note. I just think if you focus on trading well then things like how slow the market is moving become secondary. Just something to think about.

How about that Speith! How old is he, 22? Would you say he's having a faster start than Tiger did?

Money make ya handsome
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  #272 (permalink)
 Tap In 
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Pariah Carey View Post
I think there are always opportunities. Yes some days move more than others but when I started trading without so many rules and just focused on price action and what the market is telling me, I didn't worry about lack of movement but just worked with what I had. Now I do trade a naturally slow market anyway, the 5-year note. I just think if you focus on trading well then things like how slow the market is moving become secondary. Just something to think about.

How about that Speith! How old is he, 22? Would you say he's having a faster start than Tiger did?

You make good points, and I will do more trading in slower markets when I have built up a cushion. It is harder and riskier, at least for me. Right now I am trying to wait for the times that are easier to trade. As you can see on the charts I do a lot of work during slow days. It is tempting to walk away from the screen and do something else, but you don't learn anything that way.

Spieth is the real deal. He has everything Tiger had except the firepower. It will be interesting to see if he can keep pace without the ability to dominate off the tee like Tiger could.

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  #273 (permalink)
 Tap In 
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6/23/15 Tuesday
Live Trades: 1 loss
Day’s P/L: -$104.60

One trade, one loss on CL. The best trades were early, but I continue to be skittish about taking these trades. They work the best though. In hindsight it appears I missed some great opps on ZN.

Trade 1, CL: -10t. Good trade, looking for continuation to the upside after the strong move and base. Chopped around for a long time before I finally bailed. It looked doomed but ended up working.

Placed a lot of markers. Mixed results not providing me with a lot of confidence:
2 wins
5 losses
5 BE

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  #274 (permalink)
 lovetotrade 
Rockledge, FL
 
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Until volatility picks up I will be concentrating more on picking my spots carefully, finding the market that is more active for each day and looking for opportunities that follow failures.

I think this is wise. Remember that we have to ride out the slow times safely so we are ready to roll when the market picks back up. I think looking for trades with a little tighter risk couldn't hurt either, since you said most trades aren't hitting your first target. Might help to bring that target in a little closer. Good luck man.

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  #275 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
Experience: Intermediate
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6/24/15 Wednesday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: 0

No trades, no markers today. I was in watch mode. CL had some moves but not much that set up with my rules. ZN was once again a good mover. I really need to focus more on ZN. It has produced the best results for me so far since going live. 6E, GC, NG were in chop.

The only other instrument that moved was NQ after reaching the top of the range. From there it sold off pretty good but a lot of the base areas were sloppy so I didn’t trust them. I am looking at replacing NQ with YM because YM seems to telegraph its moves better and there is more order to the moves. Same tick value and same relative ATR for the day, just not as wild, at least not in the recent past.

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  #276 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
Experience: Intermediate
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6/25/15 Thursday
Live Trades: 6, 1 winner, 5 losers
Day’s P/L: -$192.80

The one positive takeaway for the day was that I took 6 trades. I am definitely opening up. Unfortunately, it was another lackluster day in most of the instruments so they did not produce.

Experimented with 200 tick chart on CL as opposed to the normal 800 tick chart while we are in this time of low volatility. I used the 800 tick for the big picture. This allowed me to reduce my risk to between 8 and 10 ticks. I felt bolder with the lower risk and thus entered 3 trades, but CL was super choppy again today so I did not have much luck. Only regretted one of the 3 trades:

Trade 1, CL: 0t: Large orders below, looking for price to attack them in a sell off like it does often after the open. Got to +9t then reversed
Trade2, CL: -9t: 2nd try going for those bids below. Entered too early according to the rules. Bad execution.
Trade 3, CL: 3rd short. Breakdown after a break down, but still wasn’t ready to go.

I’ll need to be careful with the 200 tick chart. Need to really pick my spots.

Had better luck on ZN. Took three trades:

Trade 1, ZN: +6t. Easy trade to hang on to for 1R.
Trade 2, ZN: -1t. Bailed around BE after it went nowhere for a long time. Ended up going somewhere but I was long gone.
Trade 3, ZN: Got caught in a price spike when I attempted to enter short on a limit order. It seems that 10:00 PST is an important time in ZN even if there is no scheduled news. I often see price spikes around this time. Not sure what that is. Definitely need to be more cautious during this time period from now on. In any case, I considered reversing after the spike because they often lead to a run, but I chickened out after the quick loss and being down $200 at the time. Mistake.

Not having very good fortune lately. It is a little disconcerting. Hopefully this is just a temporary moment when my edge is not performing under specific market conditions. There is the possibility that the edge was never really there in the first place, but I can definitely point to times earlier this year of higher volatility that produced winner after winner. I just need to make sure I don’t blow out before those conditions come back.

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  #277 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Broker: Global Futures/OEC
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6/26/15 Friday
Live Trades: 4, 1 winner, 3 losers
Day’s P/L: -$140.20

Once again showed a modest level of bravery charging the machine gun nests, but all it got me was shot. It feels like I’m bleeding out.

Two trades on CL:
Trade 1: +15t. Good textbook trade, took profits as it approached an HVN.
Trade 2: -15t. Attempted to jump on board the train again. Was one retracement too early, got stopped out, and did not have the guts to hop back on the real move. Good idea, good execution, too early.

Two trades on ZN:
Trade 1: -4t. Looking to catch the continuation move to new lows.
Trade 2: -4t. Same idea. Reached +4t where it stalled. I decided to be brave and hang through some retracement because I thought the trade had potential.

All four trades fit my criteria. Pretty good execution according to the rules. It’s been a tough week, but I am still only a couple trades from getting back on track. Haven’t done anything real stupid.

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  #278 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Didn't have a chance to post the weekly recap over the weekend so here it is...

Weekly Summary 6/22/15 to 6/26/15
Live Trades: 11, 2 winners, 9 losers
Week’s P/L: -$437.60

Starting balance for the week: $2890.25
Withdrawals for the week: $0
Deposits for the week: $0
Ending balance for the week: $2452.65

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: -$547.35

It was a rough week. Interesting how it is so much easier to lose money than to make money. Money is reluctant to enter an account, and then, with the slightest drop of the guard, flies out of the account like bats from under a bridge at dusk. We make choices all the time; go long or go short, stay in or get out. For whatever reason, if we are not fully committed, meticulously diligent, patiently cautious, we inevitably pick the wrong choice. What is that? One would think that, by sheer luck or chance, we would do the right thing every once in a while. But that’s not usually the way it works.

With the disappointing results this week, I decided to spend some time reading my journal from the beginning. There were several takeaways that I hope will help turn things around. We’re not yet in dire straits but the depth of the water is getting shallower!

1) The markets have been more difficult to trade recently. There is less volatility, and therefore less opportunity. Be ok with waiting for volatility to pick up, at least in a specific market.

2) Clarity is my friend, lack of clarity is my enemy. If it is not immediately evident what is going on, stay out. Be ok with passing on marginal trades that end up going somewhere without you.

3) Wait for markets that have an “open field” look. Avoid those that are fuzzy and choppy.

4) Be patient for price to come from “significant” areas: major highs/lows, major HVN/LVN, etc. Try to find areas where price has the potential to travel.

5) Sometime after going live I stopped trying to find the “true” channel. I used to find these by drawing parallel lines, often off the back side of swings. The break of a very well defined, symmetrical channel is significant. Focus once again on finding the true channel.

6) Some of the most reliable opportunities are when a well-defined larger channel is broken, followed by the break of a smaller channel in the same direction, especially if the smaller channel has back tested the larger channel.

7) Sometimes the demand or supply line of a larger channel can be “anticipated” and drawn before a new high or low is formed. This can be done by finding two swings off the back side, or two swings that are very close to each other in the beginning of the run. If price makes a series of higher lows or lower highs off these anticipated lines it is often a sign of strength or weakness, and a pending strong move.

8) When the break of a channel fails and returns significantly back into the channel, look for price to move in the original direction of the channel. It is likely that a new, larger channel is now forming.

9) When price breaks a trend line that has three or more touches it is significant.

10) In many cases my stops are probably too small for the structure. I do not intend to widen them. This means I need to be patient for areas that either, a) momentum is such that there is confidence that price will not back up much, or b) a small base has built upon a larger base so that the stop requirement is smaller.

I will be concentrating on these areas over the next few weeks.

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 Tap In 
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6/29/15 Monday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: 0

The bad news is that I did not take advantage of some nice opportunities in the indexes. The good news is that I am bombing my driver. Made some swing changes over the past couple weeks. Now if I can only do the same with my trading…


Focused on finding the “true” channel today. It provided more clarity.

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 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
Experience: Intermediate
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6/30/15 Tuesday
Live Trades: 2 losers
Day’s P/L: -$162.25

Another frustrating day. Took a couple of trades on ZN that were normally reliable set ups. Two full stops, then of course price took off. Once again right about direction, but too early with too tight of stops.

Later tried to take what would have been a successful CL trade but I was below margin so it didn’t trigger. All margins have gone up in the last two weeks while I was working off a different sheet. Also found out I don't have the margin to trade 6E

To compound it all, I failed to take advantage of the strong rally in YM through hesitation and disbelief.

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  #281 (permalink)
 Pariah Carey 
Market Wizard
Memphis TN
 
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Trading is hard. Just keep at it. You probably remember Costner in Tin Cup; here is his quintessential role from Bull Durham. "You know what the difference is in hitting 250 and 300? One hit a week. Just one more hit a week...and you're in Yankee Stadium."



Money make ya handsome
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  #282 (permalink)
 Tap In 
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7/1/15 Wednesday
Live Trades: 1 winner
Day’s P/L: $75.13

One trade on ZN. Layered bases in a down trend.

Focused more attention on the bigger charts today. It helped to keep me focused on the forest rather than the trees. I think I was getting in to watching every little perceived set up. Now I can better see opportunities that have a chance of moving farther for the risk. Also back to trying to find the symmetrical channels to better stay on the correct side of things. These things are all well and good, but I need to take advantage of the opps that come up through this analysis, like the move down in oil today. It’s ok to admire the forest from above, but at some point I need to get down in the trees to get something done.

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 Tap In 
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Experience: Intermediate
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Thanks: 2,162 given, 2,063 received

7/2/15 Thursday
Live Trades: 6, 2 winners, 4 losers
Day’s P/L: -$55.92

NFP and natural gas inventory day. Took 6 trades, 3 on NG and 3 on ZN. Definitely feeling more comfortable in trades. Could have been a slightly positive day but I let my third NG trade try to run. It came back to BE after being up 15t. Looked like it had potential.

Of the six trades, four were very good set ups while two were a bit iffy. I am back to using the bigger chart for context. When viewed on the bigger charts, it is very obvious which trades were well placed and which were not. I think if I focus on trading good areas based on the bigger charts I will have much better results overall. Was getting a bit in the weeds the past few weeks.

Once again, entered a lot of trades that did not go far, while skipping the ones that did. Not sure what the psychology is here. For the most part, the set ups I am taking are fine, they just don’t move. Then I will pass on another set up that also looks fine and it takes off. There is either something in these set ups that bothers me, or I am having incredibly bad luck.

Along with the trades I placed one other marker. Marker and trade recap:

1 win (the marker of course!)
1 loss
5 BE

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 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Monthly Recap June 2015
Live Trades: 30: 9 winners, 21 losers

Starting balance for the Month: $2942.01
Withdrawals for the month: $0
Deposits for the month: $0
Month’s P/L: -$651.61
Ending balance for the month: $2290.40

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: -$709.60

Trade count was up for the month but trade quality was down. The win/loss ratio coupled with average winning trade to average losing trade was not a winning formula. I conducted a study of the trades taken to see if something popped out as to why my win/loss was so low. Using the bigger picture charts, I rated each trade:

-Did the market move in the general direction of the trade after it was taken? Yes, 21/30
-If so, what would the stop have to have been to stay in the trade? Was this stop more or less than my normal stop for that instrument? In 12/21 cases the stop would have to be slightly or much wider.
-Did the trade look like a good trade when viewed on the big picture chart? Yes, 15/30. OK, 10/30. No, 5/30

The results did not yield any glaring mistakes, but definitely some room for improvement. Some highlights:

-There were 5 of the 30 trades that I would consider bad entries according to my rules. All 5 of these were losers
-15 of the 30 trades were good trades. 6 of these were losers. The rest were winners or BE.
-10 of the 30 were just “ok”, but I could have easily passed. There were 3 losers in this category.
-The ok and bad trades resulted in 8 losers, and were largely a result of not consulting the bigger picture charts before taking the trade. Somehow I got away from doing this over the past couple of months.
-The market moved in the direction of the entry 21 of 30 times. This is positive, except that 12 occasions would have required a wider stop to stay in the trade. In addition, not each of the moves went a long way, so it is not clear I would make up for the larger losses using wider stops.
-Looking back on the bigger picture charts it is clear I passed on a lot of great trades. I still think I am letting too many good opportunities go, and by doing so skewing my results to the negative.

My goal for the next month will be to focus on the bigger charts and try to eliminate all “bad” or “ok” trades. If at the end of the month I can say all trades were "good", and I am still losing, than I will need to rethink how I am looking at the markets.

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

Weekly Summary 6/29/15 to 7/3/15
Live Trades: 9, 3 winners, 6 losers
Week’s P/L: -$143.06

Starting balance for the week: $2452.65
Withdrawals for the week: $0
Deposits for the week: $0
Ending balance for the week: $2309.59

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: -$690.41

Not much in the way of commentary to add to the monthly recap. I am below margin to trade CL and 6E, so I will have to substitute QM and M6E for the time being.

Focus will be on the big picture charts and taking trades that can be classified as "good".

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 Tap In 
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7/6/15 Monday
Live Trades: 1 win
Day’s P/L: $0.98

Focused a lot more attention on the 3X charts. It was more relaxing and informative. It definitely caused less anxiety of missing out. I was still hesitant on some really good trade areas though. Today could have been a nicely profitable day otherwise. I still need to act on those areas that fit all criteria.

Took one trade on NQ. Once I moved to BE I had to leave the screen. Target was set at 2R (30 ticks). It reached +27 ticks before reversing back to entry. Good trade, well executed. It went on to a nice move and never would have hit my stop, but there is no way I'm risking loss after a 1.8R move. The miss was in not taking a couple of the follow on set ups as marked. Once again it was a lack of belief of continuation.

Charts are marked with a lot fewer arrows for possible trade areas due to filtering on the bigger charts.

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 Tap In 
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7/7/15 Tuesday
Live Trades: 5 losses
Day’s P/L: -$16.99

Essentially took 5 break even trades today on four different instruments (QM, M6E, NG, ZN). In most cases I had enough courage to endure an initial pull back, then moved to BE quickly thinking the initial pull back would be the last. My lack of confidence in my performance of late made it difficult to hold these trades through multiple pull backs.

While not taking advantage of some good trades was disappointing, I was encouraged that 3 out of the 5 trades actually went somewhere. In the case of QM, a long ways.

Volatility was up today, making it one of those days where opportunities were everywhere and most worked out. It was definitely a day of what could have been. After missing out on so much and not taking full advantage of my trades, I was thinking about how trading will either make you tough or quit. Every day it seems I end the day frustrated and disappointed, and wake up the next day ready to do it again. I just hope I start to realize some success before my give-a-shitter gives out!

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  #288 (permalink)
 bobwest 
Site Moderator
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After missing out on so much and not taking full advantage of my trades, I was thinking about how trading will either make you tough or quit. Every day it seems I end the day frustrated and disappointed, and wake up the next day ready to do it again.

Then I guess it's making you tougher.

No point giving up if you can keep coming back for it. Hang in there.

Bob.

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  #289 (permalink)
 Tap In 
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7/8/15 Wednesday
Live Trades: 2 winners
Day’s P/L: $150.26

A better day. Both trades on ZN. Tried to hold both for 2R, but price stalled and I wanted some gains, so I moved stops to 1R and was taken out both times at +1R.

Focusing more attention on the 3X charts to qualify an instrument for a pending trade is helping so far. Less anxiety and clearer picture of what is going on. Still passing on so many great opportunities, but overall happy with the day.

Placed one other marker that also worked out well. Marker and trade results:
3 wins

Away from desk tomorrow, so no trading.

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 Tap In 
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7/10/15 Friday
Live Trades: 3 losers
Day’s P/L: -$92.02

Quick summary. Two trades on YM and one trade on M6E. None of them went very far.

Only two charts today

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 Tap In 
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Experience: Intermediate
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Posts: 948 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 2,162 given, 2,063 received

Weekly Summary 7/6/15 to 7/10/15
Live Trades: 11, 4 winners, 7 losers
Week’s P/L: $34.18

Starting balance for the week: $2309.59
Withdrawals for the week: $0
Deposits for the week: $0
Ending balance for the week: $2343.77

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: -$656.23

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 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
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7/13/15 Monday
Live Trades: 1 win, 1 loss
Day’s P/L: -$6.00

Both trades on ZN. 1st trade was a loss and the next trade caught the move I was originally looking for.

Still looking at the 3X charts. I need to adjust my perception of a good pattern when looking at the 3X. It is easy to pass on a lot of trades because the patterns look too small. On the 1X charts they look fine.

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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

7/14/15 Tuesday
Live Trades: 1 win, 3 losses
Day’s P/L: -$200.60

4 trades today. One was accidental. The three purposeful trades were on ZN and resulted in 0t, minus commissions. I find myself gravitating to ZN more and more for a couple of reasons; most trade-able patterns involve relatively low risk, and I seem to be more confident in my read of this market. It has performed the best of all the instruments I trade.

The accidental trade was on QM, and a bit costly. I had inadvertently left a limit order in the market, thinking it was cancelled. When I came back to the screen later it had filled and stopped me out. The stop out was twice what was required. The trade was actually a decent set up and could have easily reached target on another day. Unfortunately I find that the market gods rarely give a break on a mistake.

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Bend, OR
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Trading: NQ, CL
 
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Posts: 948 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 2,162 given, 2,063 received

7/15/15 Wednesday
Live Trades: 1 win
Day’s P/L: $14.23

One silly trade on M6E with one contract just for kicks. The trade actually worked out nice. I’m happy my judgement was correct even though it didn’t make much. M6E is actually a nice alternative for anyone wanting to trade the Euro with reduced leverage. Commissions are a bit high for the tick value but if you trade bigger patterns it shouldn't be a problem.

The big miss today was on ZN. There was a textbook set up that for some reason I was reluctant to enter. I could have added in a couple of locations, with hardly any extra risk, and ridden it for some really nice gains. I will use it as a model on how I might pyramid ZN in the future.

Everything else was pretty quiet. I placed more real time markers today with decent results:

Trade and marker results:
4 wins
2 BE
2 losses

Of the last 30 trades and/or markers I am hovering between 65% and 85% to +1R before -1R. I think going back to focusing on the 3X charts has contributed to these improved results. As a result my confidence is improving.

Traveling for the next week so I am not sure there will be much trading or journaling. I may sneak a peek every so often.

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Posts: 948 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 2,162 given, 2,063 received

7/22/15 Wednesday
Live Trades: 1 win, 1 loss
Day’s P/L: -$5.77

First day back after a week off. Two trades, one on ZN and one on YM. Basically the trades cancelled and I lost commissions.

Trade 1: ZN. Got to +7 ticks. Could have taken +1R (+5t) but held out for +2R (+10t). When it broke a new trend line I exited. +2t

Trade 2: YM. Looking for resumption of the down trend. After a couple of failed attempts it was evident that it wasn’t time. Exited at a minor loss. -6t

Placed a lot of markers at valid trade set ups. Results were good in the morning with 5 out of 6 getting to +1R. Got a little chopped up in the afternoon.

Marker and trade results:
4 wins
4 losses
4 BE

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Experience: Intermediate
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Posts: 948 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 2,162 given, 2,063 received

7/23/15 Thursday
Live Trades: 1 win
Day’s P/L: $0.98

One trade that didn’t go far on YM. Paid for commissions.

Very slow start to the day but picked up after the natural gas report. That along with oil were the big misses today. Even though the equities moved a long distance there were not very many entries according to my rules. Some days are like that.

Marker and trade activity was mixed:
1 win
3 losses
3 BE

Still slightly ahead if all profits taken at 1R, but behind if I were to hold off for 2R.

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Experience: Intermediate
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Posts: 948 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 2,162 given, 2,063 received

7/24/15 Friday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: $0

No trades. The early slow activity threw me off a bit. There were some great opps later but I did not have the wherewithal to take advantage.

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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 7/13 to 7/24/15
Live Trades: 10, 5 winners, 5 losers
Two Week’s P/L: -$197.16

Starting balance for the two weeks: $2343.77
Withdrawals for the week: $0
Deposits for the week: $0
Ending balance for the two weeks: $2146.61

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: -$853.39

This weekly summary covers two weeks since I was on vacation half the time.

The majority of my losses these past two weeks came on an accidental entry (-$191.69). An order was in the market that I thought was cancelled. It filled and stopped out at twice the normal stop value while I was away from the screen. Of course, if good fortune were smiling on me that day it could have worked out well, but as with most things in trading, mistakes rarely make money.

I am continuing to get more comfortable with live trading. Despite being down $850, live trading isn’t the bogyman I once feared. Slippage is not a factor, and a good portion of the losses have come from accidental entries and commissions. 93 live trades taken since March 10. Commissions represent $349.02. Eliminate the accidental entries and I am close to break-even with my deliberate trades.

Of course, this is not how one makes a living trading! My trades tend to come in areas that are more “comfortable”. Often these are areas where price has tested and retested again. The problem is that this retesting is often nothing more than the beginning of chop, or even a reversal. The best trades seem to be those that don’t stick around very long and these are the ones I hesitate on for fear of getting trapped. I need to be more willing to put myself out there without confirmation, with the belief that I will win more than I will lose.

Additionally, there are many trade areas where I have a strong positive feeling but am still paralyzed to enter. The bottom line is that I will not fully realize success in trading until I am willing to take them all. As I have documented in other posts this is a bit scary since taking them all could also mean losing them all, for big losses.

In any case I feel I am progressing, even though the results do not show yet. Getting accustom to live trading was always the next necessary step. Now I need to get a bit bolder and put my money towards more of my ideas.

My real time marker and trade results for the last two weeks were pretty good:

8 reached 2R or more
13 reached between 1R and 2R
12 hit the full stop at -1R

In conclusion, 21 trade areas made it to at least 1R while 12 areas hit the full stop of -1R. If R = $150, and I took all profits at 1R, I would be ahead 9R or $1350 per contract. In the future, 1R could be my first shed with multiple contracts. Now I just need to swap the markers for real trades and let the trades run to their logical conclusion.

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

7/27/15 Monday
Live Trades: 2 losses
Day’s P/L: -$33.62

Two trades two losses. M6E and QM. Both ended up being traps and actually went a nice distance in the opposite direction. Didn’t get hurt too bad though. Got out at -1t on QM and only traded one contract on M6E.

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Experience: Intermediate
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Posts: 948 since Feb 2013
Thanks: 2,162 given, 2,063 received

7/28/15 Tuesday
Live Trades: 1 win
Day’s P/L: $135.40

One trade on NG for +14t. Managed to hold it through a 1R gain, looking for 2R, before it came back and stopped out around 1R.

Failed to take advantage of relatively easy trading on the rally in the equities and oil. Sometimes my attention wanders to other things, and I look back to notice some missed trades. After missing the first trades I become skeptical that the next area will be successful, and pass on that too. I’ll need to work a little harder on staying focused as it seems the equities have come alive.

One interesting point about today. It started out looking very uninteresting and unclear from 5:30 to 7:30. By 7:30 the equities, CL, and NG all broke open and began to show their true intentions. I need to remember this when feeling impatient to trade, or lackadaisical about a particular day's action. Wait patiently and the answer will often reveal itself!

Real time marker activity, combined with the live trade, was mixed:

3 wins
4 losses
1 BE

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