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Tap In's Corner

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

7/29/15 Wednesday
Live Trades: 2 wins. 1 loss
Day’s P/L: $226.30

2 trades on QM and one trade on ZN. The QM trades were based on momentum after the inventory. I am especially happy about re-entering on the second trade after being taken out prematurely on the first. Showed a little fortitude.

The ZN trade would have worked for some ticks but I decided to exit voluntarily after it double bottomed with CD divergence. In my opinion one sign of trader maturity is the ability to take oneself out of a trade that has gone against them but has not hit the full stop. I have found difficulty in the past in taking small losses voluntarily, instead holding out “hope”. Hope is a costly tendency and should be expunged from a trader’s habits.

Marker and trade results were very good today:

3 wins
2 BE

If all profits were taken at 1R, this would be a 5R day.

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  #302 (permalink)
 lancelottrader 
Legendary Market Wizard
west palm beach florida usa
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: ninja trader
Broker: Optimus Futures/ Rithmic
Trading: NQ
 
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7/29/15 Wednesday
Live Trades: 2 wins. 1 loss
Day’s P/L: $226.30

2 trades on QM and one trade on ZN. The QM trades were based on momentum after the inventory. I am especially happy about re-entering on the second trade after being taken out prematurely on the first. Showed a little fortitude.

The ZN trade would have worked for some ticks but I decided to exit voluntarily after it double bottomed with CD divergence. In my opinion one sign of trader maturity is the ability to take oneself out of a trade that has gone against them but has not hit the full stop. I have found difficulty in the past in taking small losses voluntarily, instead holding out “hope”. Hope is a costly tendency and should be expunged from a trader’s habits.

Marker and trade results were very good today:



3 wins
2 BE

If all profits were taken at 1R, this would be a 5R day.

Nice job!!

Failure is not an option
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  #303 (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

7/30/15 Thursday
Live Trades: 1 loss
Day’s P/L: -$96.75

Blew it today. One early loss on ZN stifled my fortitude to continue trading. After a couple nice days, I had it in the back of my mind that I could get overconfident and have a blowout day. The result was that I passed on some really nice moves after the loss on ZN. I’ll need to push through those early losses to trade at full potential. To be fair, I also marked a lot of areas that ended up being losers, so I am not all that upset that I didn’t trade freely.

I kind of knew quickly that I was trapped on the ZN trade and seriously considered reversing, but I didn’t want to end up with one of those stupid looking chop out areas with entry and exit arrows going every which way. It turned out that reversing would have paid off handsomely. Oh well, at least my instincts were correct.


Marker and trade activity:
0 wins
4 losses
3 BE

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  #304 (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

7/31/15 Friday
Live Trades: 3 wins, 2 losses
Day’s P/L: $56.62

5 trades, 4 on ZN and 1 on M6E. Had it to $200 before taking two losses on ZN. I was probably too aggressive for a Friday on those last two, but the trades were there and I took them. The 4th ZN trade was the cruelest as I held it for over 3 hours and had plenty of chances to get out at BE. It finally made one more push down to stop me out to the tick before going on to target.

Had a great trade on M6E for 44 ticks. Unfortunately it was with only one contract at $1.25 per tick. This was good for $55 on the trade. On the regular contract it would have been $550, so I’ve got that to look forward to.

The big miss of the day was on GC. A perfect set up with my rules that went 100 ticks in the easiest way. I can’t wait to actually get one of those!

Marker results were good. Marked a lot of ZN areas that worked:
8 wins
2 losses
1 BE

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  #305 (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

Monthly Recap July 2015
Live Trades: 40: 17 winners, 23 losers

Starting balance for the Month: $2290.40
Withdrawals for the month: $0
Deposits for the month: $0
Month’s P/L: $144.15
Ending balance for the month: $2434.56

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: -$565.44

Trade count and trade quality were up for the month at 40 trades with 42.5% profitable. The P/L wasn’t anything to write home about but at least it was positive. Considering I made one big accidental entry error that cost $191, I made some progress.

Last month I wrote:

“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. “

Looking back on July, of the 40 trades, 34 were in “good” areas and only 6 were just “OK”. None were “bad. This is progress. There were many trades that were managed poorly. I generally traded only with the perceived trend at the time. Of the trades that didn’t work, most were flat out trend changes that caught me in traps.

As far as the potential of my trades:
-24 got to +1R before -1R, so my edge was there at 60%, even if it was slight.
-Only 9 got to +2R before -1R (22%), so I generally did not pick trades that went very far. There still seems to be something missing in my trade selection. Perhaps I need to hold out for bigger patterns in order to get the 2R trades.

When the trades were combined with the real time markers the results were much better. Out of 89 marked or traded areas:
-61 got to +1R (68%)
-29 got to +2R (32%)
-28 hit -1R (31%)

Edit: when I originally posted this I was not too impressed with the results because I was thinking that 32% at 2R is only around break even if the rest were -1R losses. However, I forgot that the way I calculate the marker results is to move to BE after reaching +1R. In re-looking at the results 29 got to 2R against 28 that hit the stop at -1R. The rest were at BE. Therefore the results were actually quite good, essentially a 50% win rate with a 2/1 gain to loss. That's the formula I have been targeting.

The results were better in part because I am a little freer when putting in markers, placing them in locations that might show more momentum but with less confirmation. My actual trades tend to be in more complex patterns wanting more confirmation.

I still feel I am letting too many good trades go, both untraded and unmarked in real time, as evidenced by the thick arrows I place in my daily recaps. I need to do a better job of visualizing that end-of-day recap while still in real time. The better I can match my actual trades to the markers, the more progress I will make in my opinion.

Next month I will focus on:

-Continuing my primarily focus on the 3X charts and taking only “good” areas.

-Waiting for slightly larger patterns to capture those 2R trades

-Visualizing the end-of-day recap while in real time.

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  #306 (permalink)
 bobwest 
Site Moderator
Sarasota FL
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Sierra Chart, NinjaTrader
Trading: ES, YM
 
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Considering I made one big accidental entry error that cost $191, I made some progress.

Progress is progress. Steadiness wins.

You're moving ahead, which is what matters.

Bob.

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  #307 (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

8/3/15 Monday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: $0


No trades today, not that there weren’t opportunities. I just wasn’t feeling it. Things started very slowly and methodically, which triggered my caution meter. Then, I missed a great trade on ZN early when, unbeknownst to me, the live part of my 3X chart was hidden behind the locked space. From there I became more and more reluctant to jump in to already mature trends, instead waiting for some other obvious move that never came. The equities made a long straight move that bottomed in chop. That is where I placed a couple markers that went nowhere.

Marker results were not impressive as I placed several of them late in the day when nothing was happening:
1 win
2 losses
1 BE

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

8/4/15 Tuesday
Live Trades: 6, 2 wins, 4 losses
Day’s P/L: $52.72

In spite of the fact that I took 6 trades and only made about $50, I was somewhat pleased to be positive today. It was a tricky day, starting very slow, with most instruments in ranges. Things really didn’t break open until after 10:00am so one had to exercise a bit of patience, which I did by focusing mostly on the 3X charts and waiting for some sort of “event” before attempting a trade. An “event” would be a strong fast move, a big break out, a bounce off significant S/R, etc.

1 trade on NG
3 trades on YM
1 trade on QM
1 trade on NQ

I felt a little freer to take trades, though was a bit too cautious on a couple trades that were good for 1R+ had I stuck with them. As has been said before, when my account gets bigger I will let trades play out more. Right now we're looking for the ones that take off and never look back, which does happen often.

Marker and trade results:
1 win
4 BE
5 losses

The marker and trade results reflect the difficulty of the day and the fact that price chopped around quite a bit before making moves late in the day

All in all, my trigger finger is getting a little looser. Hopefully when the right day comes along this work will pay off.

One extra chart today since I traded two different equities.

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  #309 (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

8/5/15 Wednesday
Live Trades: 2, 1 win, one loss
Day’s P/L: $166.38

Today I faced a different sort of mental challenge. After a nice $250 trade on NG early, I became stingy with my profits, not wanting to give anything back. Not used to this!

Of course I just couldn’t help myself. After passing on opportunity after opportunity, I had to go and make one more trade late in the day on YM. Naturally it was a full stop out. The trade was not a bad one and was executed properly and just didn’t work out.

That’s the thing about winner/loser probabilities. No one is ever going to be perfect. There will always be x number of wins and y number of losses. Any single trade could be a loser no matter how great it looks. It is impossible to predict. This is the reason that the better a trader can take ALL trades, the more probable a positive outcome overall (assuming, of course, a robust edge). All in all though I am pleased to make some profits today.

Marker and trade results were less than stellar once again today:
2 wins
3 losses
1 BE

I am letting too many areas pass without marking, so I am not getting a true idea of how the method is working. The marker results are just a “what if” game, a sort of sim without using sim. They are a tool to gauge the health of the methodology at any given time. If good set ups are not marked the system can not be evaluated properly. I need to get back to marking more areas and having conviction in the set ups, letting the chips fall where they may.

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  #310 (permalink)
thetamax8
Vancouver, BC
 
 
Posts: 25 since Sep 2014
Thanks: 0 given, 17 received

Love this journal. Keep up the good work!

I noticed you are posting summary stats (win/losses) at the aggregate level.

Do you look at the breakdown by instrument as well?
Do you look at longs vs shorts, which ones are working better for you? (to see if you have a natural long or short tendency)?

Just curious...

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  #311 (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


thetamax8 View Post
Love this journal. Keep up the good work!

I noticed you are posting summary stats (win/losses) at the aggregate level.

Do you look at the breakdown by instrument as well?
Do you look at longs vs shorts, which ones are working better for you? (to see if you have a natural long or short tendency)?

Just curious...

There is a master set of spreadsheets, with each instrument having their own set of stats (ZN has performed the best). These are aggregated into a summary sheet. The stats go beyond what a platform typically tracks. One of the primary stats is how far price travels from entry, whether I am still in the trade or not. This gives me an idea of trade quality, and how often my trades reach milestones like 1R, 2R, 3R etc.

I don't do much with long/short because it is so dependent on market conditions.

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  #312 (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

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

If Tuesday’s trading was like shooting even par in blustery winds, today’s scoring conditions were perfect, but I missed my tee time.

Based on the work I have been doing over the past weeks, I thought I was ready to take advantage of a strong day. Entries have been coming with greater ease, and I’ve hung tough during choppy, slow days. There are not many days that are easier to trade than today. Yet, inexplicably, I took no trades. Very disappointing. Apparently I have more work to do.

Here is a timeline of trades that I watched line up during the first part of the morning like a big set at Waimea. There were many more after this, but by 8:00 I was cooked. It was unlikely that I would then take a trade and risk loss after already passing on so many winners.

1) 5:30, ZN: quick reversal and bounce off support with a higher low after the news. Passed opp, at least 10 ticks ($150)

2) 6:00, NG: quick TL break at the open from a nicely formed retracement. Tried to get in with a limit order but did not fill. Passed opp, 25 ticks ($250)

3) 6:34, YM: failed attempt to go higher at the open followed by a quick break of the TL to the downside. Passed opp, 100 ticks ($500)

4) 6:45, GC: break out pull back long. Passed opp 30 ticks ($300)

5) 7:31, NG: beautiful TL break following a big rally after the inventory report. Passed opp 15 ticks. ($150)

6) 7:35, NG: larger base and bounce off support. Passed opp, 30 ticks. ($300)

These were the most obvious. There were many more, as evidenced by the markers on the charts. The consoling thought is that a day like this will happen again, maybe tomorrow. I just need to be ready.

Marker activity was very good. The one loser came at the end of the day on NG:
5 winners
1 loser
4 BE

For ease of reference, the attached charts are sequenced on a daily basis as follows: CL, GC, NG, YM or NQ, 6E, ZN, and a bonus chart if applicable

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  #313 (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

8/7/15 Friday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: $0

No trades today. The action was a bit less clear, and subconsciously, avoidance of risk was a factor after yesterday’s missed opportunities. I’ve noticed that my willingness to risk ebbs and flows. Time not trading builds courage, and vice versa. This is another thing to be mindful of.

Due to boredom, the charts are more annotated than normal.

For ease of reference, the attached charts are sequenced on a daily basis as follows: CL, GC, NG, YM or NQ, 6E, ZN, and a bonus chart if applicable

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  #314 (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 8/3/15 to 8/7/15
Live Trades: 8, 3 winners, 5 losers
Week’s P/L: $219.10

Starting balance for the week: $2434.56
Withdrawals for the week: $0
Deposits for the week: $0
Ending balance for the week: $2653.66

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: -$346.34

Slowly trying to claw back, but still a long way to go. I continue to believe that under-trading is one of my biggest issues at the moment. Missed on a really good day Thursday by not trading. Really could have been a game changer.

I also have a tendency to pick areas that turn into chop because I am waiting for all kinds of confirmation. Meanwhile, I pass on a lot of trades that easily go to target because these areas would require more decisiveness and boldness, and more faith in my judgement.

Of the 8 trades, 5 made it to 1R but none made it to 2R. This is not good. It means I am choosing trades with little potential. In contrast, the markers combined with the trades did better:
Of 35 marked/traded areas, 21 got to at least 1R (60%), while 11 got to 2R, against 14 that would have been stopped out.

Lastly, I will be paying more attention to a certain type of price action that I think will help me get into trades a little earlier. This pattern works best in a trend or where a change of trend is likely. It resembles a K, with a shallow TL on the 1st retracement, followed by a steeper TL to end the retracement. Entry is on the break of the steeper TL in anticipation of a resumption of the trend or start of the reversal. Several examples are in the charts of Friday

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  #315 (permalink)
 Tap In 
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8/10/15 Monday
Live Trades: 4, 2 wins, 2 losses
Day’s P/L: $2.65

Four trades, one on M6E and three on YM. It was a decent day of picking trades. Three made the 2R target, though I only held one of them that far. The best trade was on M6E with two contracts entered at different times. Because of the low contract value it only made a small amount. That’s ok, at least the idea was correct.

The three YM trades did not represent my best trade management. I was a bit skittish due to the slow activity and difficulty it had making its way up. I’ve seen topping action that looked like this, which spooked me a little. Arguably, I should not have taken the trades at all since the trend was already very mature and I had missed the best of it.

Speaking of that, once again I chose to pass on the best and easiest trades of the day, one on YM, one on CL and one on gold that could have made for a nice day. It is a fundamental lack of trust, especially when the markets are energized. I just have this fear that I will get quickly stopped out and done for the day. Got to get over this as it is at these times that the opportunities are often the best.

Don’t be afraid, trade!

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 Tap In 
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8/11/15 Tuesday
Live Trades: 4, 2 wins, 2 losses
Day’s P/L: $108.20
Four trades today, 3 on NG and one on ZN. One of the NG trades was an accident. Somehow I moved the stop to -1t on my limit order and it filled and stopped out in an instant. I re-entered properly for a decent gain.

It was a nice day in that I took a relatively large loss (for me) on my first trade, but managed to keep trading, getting it back and then some in the next couple trades. There were still a lot of passed opportunities out there that hopefully I will be able to take advantage of someday, but to end the day positive after the loss was progress. The only downside is that I have been letting too many opportunities slip by in the equities. As long as the volatility is there I need to take advantage of them.

One last point. There were a lot of large stacked orders near the bottom on oil today. More than I have ever seen, meaning some big players jockeying around. Not sure if they were profit taking or establishing new positions, but it will be interesting to see what happens in the next few days. Could be a possible larger correction coming.

Marker/trade activity was also decent, showing a slight edge:
3 wins
3 losses
1 BE

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 Tap In 
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8/12/15 Wednesday

Was not able to trade for very long today due to family matters. Looks like I missed a great day of trading. I did place a few markers in real time in the first hour. Results:
2 wins
1 BE

Attached are what I saw today in review. The thick arrows are hindsight so it is to be taken with a grain of salt. I do try to be as honest as possible as to what I might have seen in real time. That is why I will often mark areas that fail. Of course, there is always some hindsight bias so it is never perfect.

For ease of reference, the attached charts are sequenced on a daily basis as follows: CL, GC, NG, YM or NQ, 6E, ZN, and a bonus chart if applicable

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 Tap In 
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8/13/15 Thursday
Live Trades: 3, 1 win, 2 losses
Day’s P/L: $139.40

It was a bit more difficult to trade today. Markets were slow much of the day with occasional moves. As usual, there were plenty of opps but they were harder to see in real time and the slow action did not lend confidence. They were not as obvious as yesterday and would have required some leaps of faith.

Took three trades, 2 on ZN and one on NG. One ZN trade was another accidental entry/exit because of my handling of chart trader. I think I’ve got it figured out. The other ZN trade was BE. The one NG trade came after inventory and yielded 15t (1R).

Theoretical Marked/traded results:
2 wins
1 loss
1BE

The one “theoretical” loss was on the 2nd ZN trade. In reality I managed to get out at BE so that was nice. If I can turn some of the theoretical losses into actual BE the edge looks even better.

Charts annotated with reasons for trade or no trade areas.

For ease of reference, the attached charts are sequenced on a daily basis as follows: CL, GC, NG, YM or NQ, 6E, ZN, and a bonus chart if applicable

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  #319 (permalink)
 lancelottrader 
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8/13/15 Thursday
Live Trades: 3, 1 win, 2 losses
Day’s P/L: $139.40

It was a bit more difficult to trade today. Markets were slow much of the day with occasional moves. As usual, there were plenty of opps but they were harder to see in real time and the slow action did not lend confidence. They were not as obvious as yesterday and would have required some leaps of faith.

Took three trades, 2 on ZN and one on NG. One ZN trade was another accidental entry/exit because of my handling of chart trader. I think I’ve got it figured out. The other ZN trade was BE. The one NG trade came after inventory and yielded 15t (1R).

Theoretical Marked/traded results:
2 wins
1 loss
1BE

The one “theoretical” loss was on the 2nd ZN trade. In reality I managed to get out at BE so that was nice. If I can turn some of the theoretical losses into actual BE the edge looks even better.

Charts annotated with reasons for trade or no trade areas.

For ease of reference, the attached charts are sequenced on a daily basis as follows: CL, GC, NG, YM or NQ, 6E, ZN, and a bonus chart if applicable

You seem to be having more winning days lately. Definitely showing improvement.

Failure is not an option
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  #320 (permalink)
 bobwest 
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lancelottrader View Post
You seem to be having more winning days lately. Definitely showing improvement.

I was thinking the same thing....

Bob.

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  #321 (permalink)
 Tap In 
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lancelottrader View Post
You seem to be having more winning days lately. Definitely showing improvement.

I hope it's a trend and not just a correction!

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 Tap In 
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8/14/15 Friday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: 0

No trades today. The action was relatively slow, with some pick up around 8:00 for some reason. Didn’t really see anything that floated my boat and I wanted to go into the weekend with positive feelings. Also, had to leave the screen for a while to attend to more family matters.

Managed to mark some areas. Real time marker results were ok:
2 wins
2 losses
1 BE

Charts annotated with thoughts about various possible trade areas. Blue means a long opp. Red means a short opp. Black means no trading for various reasons, even though it fits the rules.

For ease of reference, the attached charts are sequenced on a daily basis as follows: CL, GC, NG, YM or NQ, 6E, ZN, and a bonus chart if applicable

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  #323 (permalink)
 Tap In 
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Weekly Summary 8/10/15 to 8/14/15
Live Trades: 12, 6 winners, 6 losers
Week’s P/L: $250.25

Starting balance for the week: $2653.66
Withdrawals for the week: $0
Deposits for the week: $0
Ending balance for the week: $2903.91

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: -$96.09

After being down almost $900 I have managed over the past few weeks to get back to under $100 in total losses. The turnaround can be attributed to paying more attention to the 3X charts, and waiting for the really obvious trade opportunities. This week the win/loss ratio was better at 50% with a profit ratio of 2.2.

As for the 28 marked/trade areas, the results were as follows:
13 +2R wins
10 -1R losses
5 that got to +1R and reversed to entry for Break Even.

If all hypothetical trades were moved to BE after reaching +1R, and all profits taken at 2R, the total yield would be (13 X 2R) – 10R = +16R.

If all profits were taken at +1R the yield would be (18 X 1R) – 10R = +8R

Therefore waiting for 2R would be the more profitable way to go. In other weeks, taking 1R every time is the more profitable route. Not bad results either way.

That said, I am going to mix things up a bit. I need to break out of this ultra conservative mode and really put my method to the test. This week I will return to sim trading the majority of my trades. The goal is to take as many trades as I would normally mark every day, including real time markers, hindsight markers and live trades, with as little regard for the results in the moment as possible. The goal is to:

-Take everything that I might mark on the chart later during my daily review
-Take profits at 1R and losses at -1R, no management whatsoever. Set it and forget it
-Register as few emotions as possible, win or lose
-Not let previous results effect future trade decisions
-Let the chips fall where they may and do the analysis later.

I should take somewhere around 20 trades per day. It will be interesting to see if this many trades can be recognized in real time, especially if they are setting up at the same time. I expect some valuable lessons to come out of the exercise. Live trades will still be taken on occasion. One of the biggest challenges will be remembering which mode I am in. Should be interesting.

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  #324 (permalink)
 Tap In 
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8/17/15 Monday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: 0

Well that was interesting. As Lloyd Bridges would say, “I picked the wrong day to stop sniffin glue.” Or in this case, trade with abandon. Thankfully all trades were in sim, and I pretty much accomplished my goal of not leaving any trade on the table.

The idea was to take every trade possible that passed the dual tests of context and rules, so that at the end of the day no hindsight markers were necessary. This was all to be done in sim of course, with no hesitation, no emotions, no trade management, and no influences from prior trades. Trade management was simple, take profit at 1R or hit the stop at -1R. The only time I moved my stop to BE was once on ZN when it reached 1R and didn’t trigger the limit order. The rest were set it and forget it. Toward these goals I would have to say, “mission accomplished.”

As so often happens attempting this type of exercise, it was the wrong day to give it a go. ZN was stuck in a 12 tick range all day and the other instruments threw out a bunch of head fakes. I was complicit in the carnage by taking iffy trades, and some outright bad trades, in an effort to not miss anything. The results:

27 trades
9 wins
18 losses
P/L -$788.98
Max dd -$-940.76

Look backs in the previous weeks did not yield numbers near this bad so I am hoping better volatility means better results. I will continue to do this exercise for the rest of the week, then evaluate at week's end.

Some lessons learned:
-It was not that hard to take 27 trades, especially since there was no management after entry.
-I was able to spot everything in all 6 instruments.
-If these trades were live it would take some guts to stay with some of the trades to target. Lots of chop
-Conversely, there were many more trades I probably should have exited long before full stop, but that would defeat the purpose of the exercise.
-In an effort to catch every opportunity, I took some bad trades that I would not normally consider. A little more patience and discipline required
-It was great to open up and take some trades without thinking too much, and I had a lot of fun doing it.

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 Tap In 
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8/18/15 Tuesday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: 0

Another day with listless action. Several instruments in ranges. Trades taking a long time to complete. Not much in the way of follow through. Day two of my experiment to sim trade all worthy set ups and not leave anything to mark in hindsight.

Trade selection was a little better today. I focused on the context, the rules and not getting too caught up in not missing a trade. Results as follows:

17 trades (better trade count today)
8 wins
9 losses (two were commissions only)
P/L: $132.78
Max dd: -$83.60
Max run up: $378.26

(The P/L is not so important right now because my instruments have different R values. My first goal is to get the account up to where I can set all R values to around $150 across the 6 instruments.)

A couple of observations from the first two days:

-It is not hard to spot the set ups, but it is sometimes not easy to determine if they would be worthy of marking in hindsight and thus taking in real time. This is the thing with hindsight. It is so easy to see what you should have done. Having said that, the exercise does force me to visualize more.
-I am forced to be more in tune to possibilities in either direction at all times.
-I am more engaged with the markets the whole day.
-There are times when I have multiple trades on, which would require a larger account to cover margins
-Trades can take a long time to complete with set-it-forget-it trade management, offering multiple opportunities to exit, sometimes to the detriment of profit and sometimes saving loss. The advantage is there is less stress in not having to manage (at least in sim!).
-There are times when a trade needs to be exited in one direction to be able to take a trade in the other direction. If neither direction follows through, you get chopped up like I did in ZN yesterday. Looks really bad in hindsight.
-I am often going in too early, not waiting for a more complete pattern. Again, this is due to the desire to not leave anything on the table to mark later.

For the first two days the markets have not done much. Hopefully volitility will pick up so I can see how this works with a trending market.

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 Tap In 
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8/19/15 Wednesday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: 0

Day three of my sim experiment and it is not going well. Though disappointed, I am not surprised. I have tried this type of thing many times in the past with similar results. I was hoping that, with what I thought was greater understanding of price action, this time would be different. It’s not

Today was the first of the three that featured some trends, so I was eager to test it under these conditions. The results were no better:

25 trades
10 wins
15 losses

My efforts to “visualize” in real time what I might recognize in hindsight are proving more difficult than anticipated. Seeing lots of mirages out there! I am catching most of the good trades, but taking too many losses in doing so.

It never ceases to amaze me how it is that one can take deliberate, thought through trades and actually end up with a win ratio worse than the flip of the coin. One would think you could at least get to 50%. If anyone has an explanation for this phenomenon I am all ears.

In any case, I intend to follow through with the experiment for the remainder of the week. Though it doesn’t appear to be yielding good results, there are always lessons to be learned by doing these things once in a while.

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  #327 (permalink)
 ratfink 
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It never ceases to amaze me how it is that one can take deliberate, thought through trades and actually end up with a win ratio worse than the flip of the coin. One would think you could at least get to 50%. If anyone has an explanation for this phenomenon I am all ears.

Many ideas of thought-through trades involve waiting for confirmation. Trades that need a lot of confirmation usually have a high failure rate, especially in futures markets.

Better planned trades tend to be pre-emptive, into known areas of S/R, with divergent strength/momentum/pattern. Then the failure rate doesn't matter so much, they're already likely to be in good areas for a move away.

Just my 2p.

Cheers, and keep up the good work, you were flying before this last little exercise!

Travel Well
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 Tap In 
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Cheers, and keep up the good work, you were flying before this last little exercise!

True that! Can't leave well enough alone. Thanks for the support

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 Tap In 
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8/20/15 Thursday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: 0

Today went a little better with more disciplined, less manic trading. Swung a little to the conservative side and miss quite a few trades, but in general tried to wait for more significant events: bounces off of major areas, demand/supply lines, quick reversals at news events, etc. Sim results:

9 trades
5 wins
3 losses
1 BE (had to exit before NG inventory)

I was targeting about 15 trades today. I think that is the number, plus or minus, that makes the most sense, depending on volatility. I think 75 trades per week average across 6 instruments is reasonable. That’s about 2-3 trades per instrument, per day. Not out of the question. When I get into the 25 to 27 trade/day range like Monday and Wednesday I know it is too much, unless the markets are really on fire. Still, 9 trades to net 2R is not that exciting. Of course, there were a couple of trades that would have made sense to hold longer, but that is not what I am doing with this experiment. One more day and then we evaluate.

Tried to get in one live trade on ZN but didn’t fill. Too bad because the trade worked out nicely.

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 Tap In 
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8/21/15 Friday
Live Trades: 1 loss
Day’s P/L: -$3.00

Tried one live trade on ZN today that got stopped at BE. The idea was sound and the trade worked for 19 ticks, just without me. I moved to BE at +4t and it came back one more time before shooting up.

18 sim trades. Good number for the type of day it was. In fact, it should have been a few more seeing as how YM was trending. The day started very well with 5 wins and 1 loss. I got a little conservative in the middle of the session, protecting my fake profits, so I decided to open her up. As a result, there were some ill-advised trades after the 9 o’clock hour, but my main objective was to get off my ass on such a nice trending day, come what may. Final results:

19 total trades, including the live trade:
11 wins
7 losses
1 BE

7 of the wins went to 2R, so I was at least on the right side of the market a lot of the time. However, with the way YM trended, I passed on way too many opportunities. Still imagining too many monsters under the bed.

All in all the week was interesting. I was a little spazzy the first few days, trying to take everything, but managed a little better decision making once I calmed down the last couple days. This weekend I will evaluate and decide how to proceed. Whatever I decide, I will focus a lot more on trying to make real money next week.

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  #331 (permalink)
thetamax8
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Nice job. It was very interesting to hear about your "sim week". Sounds like you're gaining some insight from this exercise.


Is moving to BE when up 4ticks part of your plan? I'm struggling with a similar concept, the temptation to move to BE to mitigate potential for any loss (or moving a trailing stop close once I'm up a bit). I'm keeping note of how often this helps vs. hurts me. So far, from limited observations of my forex trades, it does not seem to be as beneficial as I imagined. The missed opportunities are quite large.

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thetamax8 View Post
Nice job. It was very interesting to hear about your "sim week". Sounds like you're gaining some insight from this exercise.


Is moving to BE when up 4ticks part of your plan? I'm struggling with a similar concept, the temptation to move to BE to mitigate potential for any loss (or moving a trailing stop close once I'm up a bit). I'm keeping note of how often this helps vs. hurts me. So far, from limited observations of my forex trades, it does not seem to be as beneficial as I imagined. The missed opportunities are quite large.

My risk on ZN is usually 5 ticks so moving to BE at 4 ticks is not horrible (at this writing I refuse take a loss after price has reached +1R). Since it was the only trade of the week, it was Friday and price took a while to get to 4t, I was a little more cautious. I have tended to do better when I trade on the cautious side, taking lots of BE and waiting for trades that take off and never look back. When I get a consistently higher win rate, I'll let them wander around a bit more. My opinion is that a trader should be very protective until they are good, especially with real money. Don't get too caught up in grieving over missed moves.

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 Tap In 
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Weekly Summary 8/17/15 to 8/21/15
Live Trades: 1 loser
Week’s P/L: -$3.00

Starting balance for the week: $2903.91
Withdrawals for the week: $0
Deposits for the week: $0
Ending balance for the week: $2900.91

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: -$99.09

Last week I took a break from live trading to test my method to its maximum in sim. The idea was to take every trade that I saw so that I would leave nothing on the table to mark later in hindsight. I also wanted to determine if it was possible to manage all these trades in real time and how often I would have multiple trades on.

The results:
96 trades
42 wins
54 losses

The results were poor when I took everything. They were better when I waited for certain events to create better context. Events include bounces off S/R, supply/demand lines, Strong directional moves with volume, etc. Seeing and taking that many trades was not difficult. Often there were up to 4 trades on at the same time so margin would be higher. Also need to find a better way to mark missed trade opportunities. The hindsight thing is ok to a certain point, but one needs to be really cautious of relying on it to gauge the validity of a method.

Back to live trading this week. I may occasionally switch to sim for practice.

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 Tap In 
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8/25/15 Tuesday
Live Trades: 3, 2 win, 1 loss
Day’s P/L: $53.23

One trade on M6E and two trades on ZN. Once again hesitated on the best trade of the day on YM in the afternoon. Waited a long time for it, and when the moment arrived, I chickened out. I am getting really good at waiting for set ups but still hesitating when they arrive. Placed a lot of dots in real time where I though decent trades set up. With a few exceptions I think I was reading things correctly.

Charts annotated with thoughts. Two charts for YM today due to the volatility.

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 Tap In 
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8/24/15 Monday
Live Trades: 5, 1 win, 4 losses
Day’s P/L: -$8.67

Forgot to post this yesterday:


Back to live trading. 5 trades, 2 on M6E and 3 on ZN. Managed to avoid all profits by passing on the best trades and waiting for the marginal ones. Same old garbage.

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 Tap In 
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8/26/15 Wednesday
Live Trades: 3, 1 win, 2 losses
Day’s P/L: $131.71

There was good news and bad news today. The good news is that I passed a milestone by getting my account back into the black after being down almost $900, so we’re working in the right direction. Took three trades, 2 on M6E and one on ZN. 6E is proving to be a bitch to trade for me. Thankfully I am taking my losses on M6E where the contract value is 1/10th, otherwise it would be eating my lunch. The one trade on ZN work beautifully and fast to its 2R target. So, with all that, I am grateful.

The bad news is that I feel like I’m missing out on the gold rush by hesitating and trading scared. Rarely has there been such opportunity for the day trader as the last three days. These are the times that need to be taken advantage of. I feel like I am reading the market better than ever and just need to click the button and get a couple nice trades under the belt. That’s all it would take, to catch just one of those 200 tick moves that YM has been ripping off with regularity. Then I could trade with a bit more freedom. At least that’s the story I’m sticking with!

Marked up a lot of areas that work out today, just need to hit the button. Having said that, there is no need to get anxious. The worst thing to do is to force it. Just hit the button when the good opportunities appear, that’s all.

2 charts for YM again today because of volatility.

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 TheTradeSlinger 
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The bad news is that I feel like I’m missing out on the gold rush by hesitating and trading scared. Rarely has there been such opportunity for the day trader as the last three days.

The "Fear of Missing Out" can be an account killer.

Everyday is a gold rush for traders, don't let the action of the past few sessions mess with you.

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 bobwest 
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There was good news and bad news today. The good news is that I passed a milestone by getting my account back into the black after being down almost $900, so we’re working in the right direction.
...

The bad news is that I feel like I’m missing out on the gold rush by hesitating and trading scared. Rarely has there been such opportunity for the day trader as the last three days. These are the times that need to be taken advantage of.


TheTradeSlinger View Post
The "Fear of Missing Out" can be an account killer.

Everyday is a gold rush for traders, don't let the action of the past few sessions mess with you.

The markets are open every day. Don't think that you are missing out on an irreplaceable opportunity. You really aren't.

Relax and book the profits that you get, and be happy with them.

And congrats for pulling ahead now.

Bob.

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 PeakGrowth 
Sydney, Australia
 
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Weekly Summary 8/17/15 to 8/21/15
Live Trades: 1 loser
Week’s P/L: -$3.00

Starting balance for the week: $2903.91
Withdrawals for the week: $0
Deposits for the week: $0
Ending balance for the week: $2900.91

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: -$99.09

Last week I took a break from live trading to test my method to its maximum in sim. The idea was to take every trade that I saw so that I would leave nothing on the table to mark later in hindsight. I also wanted to determine if it was possible to manage all these trades in real time and how often I would have multiple trades on.

The results:
96 trades
42 wins
54 losses

The results were poor when I took everything. They were better when I waited for certain events to create better context. Events include bounces off S/R, supply/demand lines, Strong directional moves with volume, etc. Seeing and taking that many trades was not difficult. Often there were up to 4 trades on at the same time so margin would be higher. Also need to find a better way to mark missed trade opportunities. The hindsight thing is ok to a certain point, but one needs to be really cautious of relying on it to gauge the validity of a method.

Back to live trading this week. I may occasionally switch to sim for practice.

I think it's awesome that you tested your system without context and found it was unreliable, instead of just postulating about it. The confidence you get from testing something is quite important I think.

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 Tap In 
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I think it's awesome that you tested your system without context and found it was unreliable, instead of just postulating about it. The confidence you get from testing something is quite important I think.

Hypothesize, test, hypothesize, test. That's kind of what learning how to trade is about. No sense in fooling oneself, though there is something to be said for blissful ignorance.

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 Tap In 
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8/27/15 Thursday
Live Trades: 1 win
Day’s P/L: $220.98

Managing to pick up some small nuggets as the gold rush continues. One trade today on YM good for 45 ticks. The more I can matriculate the account away from initial investment the more easily I should be able to pull the trigger. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself!

Lots of good opportunities today that were identified in real time as marked by the dots. I believe the day would have been nicely green had I taken them all. The volatility is definitely helping as price doesn’t tend to stick around long, and momentum carries it quite far. Hopefully this action will continue for a while without doing too much damage to the markets.

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 lancelottrader 
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Tap In View Post
8/27/15 Thursday
Live Trades: 1 win
Day’s P/L: $220.98

Managing to pick up some small nuggets as the gold rush continues. One trade today on YM good for 45 ticks. The more I can matriculate the account away from initial investment the more easily I should be able to pull the trigger. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself!

Lots of good opportunities today that were identified in real time as marked by the dots. I believe the day would have been nicely green had I taken them all. The volatility is definitely helping as price doesn’t tend to stick around long, and momentum carries it quite far. Hopefully this action will continue for a while without doing too much damage to the markets.

It's great seeing you make progress.

Failure is not an option
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thetamax8
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Great job! I've been following your journal. Congratulations on sticking with it and continuing to post. Love it.

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  #344 (permalink)
 Tap In 
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8/28/15 Friday
Live Trades: 2, 2 wins
Day’s P/L: $165.87

Two trades on ZN today. It is continuing to be my most reliable and comfortable instrument to trade.

Markets much quieter today except for CL. Once again missed a great move on CL. Initially, I couldn’t find a confident entry, then as the trend matured I became more reluctant to give it a go as pull backs got deep and it looked to be turning. One thing to remember is that on strong trend days, deep pull backs are to be expected. Don’t give up looking for opportunities in the direction of trend just because of a deep pull back. At the time it looks like the trend is reversing, and sometimes it does. But, often resumption from a deep pull back comes in the form of a series of higher lows, with progressively smaller pull backs before a new strong break. Pay attention to these before giving up entirely on the move.

I was hoping for a late big move in YM to cap off a nice week. Upon opening the platform I quickly decided there would be no trading until price made a strong move out of what looked like a long, slow correction, preferably to the down side. It never happened so no trades. I can’t help but think the gold rush will resume sometime next week. Be ready.

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  #345 (permalink)
 ratfink 
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Methinks the 5-iron's working well and the putts are starting to go in, good week!

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 Tap In 
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Methinks the 5-iron's working well and the putts are starting to go in, good week!

I was hittin' 'em where I was lookin' this week!

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 Tap In 
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Weekly Summary 8/24/15 to 8/28/15
Live Trades: 14, 7 wins, 7 losses
Week’s P/L: $563.12

Starting balance for the week: $2900.91
Withdrawals for the week: $0
Deposits for the week: $0
Ending balance for the week: $3464.03

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: $464.03

Best week since going live. Volatility was high so there were a lot of opportunities. Marked many areas live, and for the most part the choices were sound. Still struggling with hesitation and doubt but it is getting better. I felt like there was a ton of money left on the table because of it. Just need to keep plugging away and not get too frisky trying to chase big dollars. Slowly build the account cushion and confidence. More decisive trading will result.

One technical note, when an instrument is trending strong like CL has been lately, don’t give up on it just because of a deep pull back. These deep PBs are often opportunities to jump back on board another large move. Look for a series of higher lows in an uptrend to signal resumption. Opposite in a downtrend.

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 lancelottrader 
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Weekly Summary 8/24/15 to 8/28/15
Live Trades: 14, 7 wins, 7 losses
Week’s P/L: $563.12

Starting balance for the week: $2900.91
Withdrawals for the week: $0
Deposits for the week: $0
Ending balance for the week: $3464.03

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: $464.03

Best week since going live. Volatility was high so there were a lot of opportunities. Marked many areas live, and for the most part the choices were sound. Still struggling with hesitation and doubt but it is getting better. I felt like there was a ton of money left on the table because of it. Just need to keep plugging away and not get too frisky trying to chase big dollars. Slowly build the account cushion and confidence. More decisive trading will result.

One technical note, when an instrument is trending strong like CL has been lately, don’t give up on it just because of a deep pull back. These deep PBs are often opportunities to jump back on board another large move. Look for a series of higher lows in an uptrend to signal resumption. Opposite in a downtrend.

Great job. And yes, the volatility does present a lot of opportunities..but you have to still take them....and you did. You are definitely improving. Now the trick will be how to use different strategies on choppier days or weaker days. On those days, I do more waiting and play more reversals at the edges of ranges or failures at support/resistance.

Failure is not an option
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 Tap In 
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8/31/15 Monday
Live Trades: 2, 1 win, 1 loss
Day’s P/L: $161.38

Two trades, one on YM and one on CL. Missed the most part of another epic day on CL. Can’t seem to get myself to trust the set ups there. Someday it will happen and things will open up. I did manage the one trade there after a deeper pullback and higher lows, as referenced in the weekly summary. The other instruments were a little slower. I now have about 4 full stop outs to play with as a cushion and still remain in the money. Intermediate goal is 10 full stop outs cushion ($1500). Admittedly it’s a sick way of looking at it, but it works for me.

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lancelottrader View Post
Great job. And yes, the volatility does present a lot of opportunities..but you have to still take them....and you did. You are definitely improving. Now the trick will be how to use different strategies on choppier days or weaker days. On those days, I do more waiting and play more reversals at the edges of ranges or failures at support/resistance.

Yes, I am still not comfortable with ranges unless they are large enough to play with my current strategies.

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 bobwest 
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I now have about 4 full stop outs to play with as a cushion and still remain in the money. Intermediate goal is 10 full stop outs cushion ($1500). Admittedly it’s a sick way of looking at it, but it works for me.

Not sick at all. You need a reserve against loss.

Bob.

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9/1/15 Tuesday
Live Trades: 2, 1 win, 1 loss
Day’s P/L: $-8.04

Thankful to have finished the day relatively unscathed. Two trades, both on YM. The first was a 30 tick loser, the second a 30 tick winner. This was a minor victory to have the courage to risk another $150 after losing $150. Kind of like making par after hitting it in the trees. Feels like birdie. I was looking for a big down move on YM. There was a decent move with 30 minutes to go but I didn’t have a good set up or the courage to enter.

Other than that, the markets were mostly very difficult. I didn’t see much that I liked. Oil moved a lot, but it was too much for my puny 15 tick stops. The movements were wide and loose. Staying patient.

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9/2/15 Wednesday
Live Trades: 2, 2 losses
Day’s P/L: $-200.15

Two trades, two losses. One on ZN and one on YM. The ZN trade was decent but not perfect. The YM trade was a bit impulsive. The premise was ok but I should have waited a few seconds to see if the break out would hold. A few seconds is all it took. At least I exited before a full stop out.

The two losses caused me to tighten up. Thus I passed on some nice opportunities to avoid a blowout day relative to my account size. It was super frustrating watching many good set ups work out, but it’s part of the discipline thing. Wiser to wait until tomorrow morning and the higher volatility opportunities than to risk a huge and psychologically damaging draw down day.

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 Tap In 
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Monthly Recap August 2015
Live Trades: 37: 17 winners, 20 losers
Month’s P/L: $1190.85

Starting balance for the Month: $2434.56
Withdrawals for the month: $0
Deposits for the month: $0
Ending balance for the month: $3625.41

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: $626.41

August saw me getting the account back into the black. The win/loss percentage was not much better than last month but with the average win at $101.45 against the average loss of -$26.96 it made for some nice gains. I took a week off in sim to test my system to its limit and discovered, as I usually do, that my perception of the system is much better than the reality. After starting that week taking “everything”, I settled down and took more measured set ups that had better context. The week following was productive, with some nice gains.

Regarding the potential of my live trades:
-24 (65%) got to 1R. Not bad. The goal is 70%
-11 (29%) got to 2R. This is better than last month but still not happy with it. Ultimately would like to see this number approaching 50%.

Trades combined with the real time markers were better.
- 31 got to 2R against 32 that hit the -1R stop.

Under-trading is still an issue. Letting a lot of good trades go but I need to remain cautious while building the cushion. The key for me is to not let passed opportunities get me upset. Just let them go and visualize the day when I will be able to take them all. I chose not to take them for a reason. It is a conscience choice, so I should be treating that fact as part of my strategy.

Regarding technique, I am trying to pay more attention to when price does what I call “riding the supply or demand line”. This is when price makes a series of higher lows or lower highs along an established or developing SL or DL, then breaks sharply in the same direction. It can be quite a nice harbinger of a strong move.

Periodically expanding the charts to visualize how I might mark them at the end of the day has also been helpful. It helps me to make the judgement in real time on whether or not a trade is legit. In addition, I continue to look at the 3X chart to help with context.

Next month I will focus on:

-Continuing to focus on the big charts and taking only “good” areas.

-Waiting for slightly larger patterns to capture those 2R trades

-Visualizing the end-of-day recap while in real time.

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 bobwest 
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Monthly Recap August 2015
Live Trades: 37: 17 winners, 20 losers
Month’s P/L: $1190.85

Very good monthly P/L results. A huge amount of progress since you started.

Great job.

Bob.

---------------

Edit: Also,

Quoting 
I... discovered, as I usually do, that my perception of the system is much better than the reality.

Yeah, I do that too!

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 Tap In 
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9/3/15 Thursday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: $0

No trades today. I came in to the day feeling an apathy toward taking risk. It definitely had something to do with the two losses yesterday. I figured I would lay low and wait for a special moment, which never came.

While watching the charts I suddenly realized my biggest fear in trading, the one that holds me back the most from taking a trade. It is the in-your-face reversal. The trade where the moment I enter, price stalls at 0, 1, 2, or even 3 ticks in the money then turns and makes its way toward my stop, at times with great rapidity, as if to scream, “wrong sucker!” It is the trade that leaves no room for management, except the decision on how much loss to take. The companion to this fear is that it will happen every time, or at least enough times to cause great damage to the account. This is the bogyman that I need to put behind me. Therefore I will be embarking on finding ways to overcome this issue. Much of it will involve trading in sim, but I will still trade live when the moment is right. This is not like my recent week of sim only.

Intellectually I know that successful trading includes taking losses. The key is to have great confidence that the losses will be handily overcome by the winners. This is when the trader can freely trade to their full potential.

No charts today

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 Tap In 
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9/4/15 Friday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: $0

No trades live trades. The market was not easy, though ZN had some opportunities. Overall, I’m ok not trading live today since the other markets probably would have taken the ZN profits away.

I did a lot of sim trading in the meantime, trying to flesh out a few things. Building on my post of yesterday, what I am really striving for is consistency of process. Meaning, the process of taking valid trades without hesitation, every time, every day. The fear of the in-your-face reversal is part of the reason for this lack the consistency, but the real culprit is the fear that the wins will not overcome the losses (this is no great revelation, I admit). This causes a sort of yo-yo effect where one day I am overly cautious in an effort to avoid loss, and the next day overly brave because I missed so many opportunities the day before. This is no way to go through a career as a professional trader. The goal would be to take everything, every day, with the realization, and acceptance, that there will be times of loss and times of gain. I need to get to the bottom of this by proving some things out. I could be tilting at windmills. In the mean time I will still trade live when the opportunities present, but it will take some time getting used to switching the mind back and forth from one mode to the other.

No charts today.

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 Tap In 
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Weekly Summary 8/31/15 to 9/4/15
Live Trades: 6 trades, 2 wins, 4 losses
Week’s P/L: -$-46.81

Starting balance for the week: $3464.03
Withdrawals for the week: $0
Deposits for the week: $0
Ending balance for the week: $3417.22

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: $417.22

A disappointing week after the previous one. I came in with great expectations and confidence. The week started nicely with a 17 tick win on Monday. After some spotty trading Tuesday and Wednesday, I lost my nerve. There was plenty of missed opportunity, but, admittedly, plenty of chance for loss as well. Certain markets behaved well, while others became difficult.

It has become apparent, at least to me, that I need to do something about the inconsistencies in following my method. For the near future I will be trading both live and sim. Live when an opportunity arises, and sim for a more aggressive approach to trading under my rules. Doing this will allow me to have a more concrete record to evaluate, with trade management as an added variable.

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9/8/15 Tuesday
Live Trades: 1 loss
Day’s P/L: -$114.02

One live trade on YM for a 22 tick loss and 13 sim trades spread out over the instruments. The YM trade did not have to be a loss. I bailed early thinking it was a trap. In hindsight the entry was too early. Should have waited for a small pull back with resumption.

The sim trading didn’t go well. Results:
13 trades
3 wins
10 losses
-$237.07

Many of the trades were in good locations that allowed for at least BE. A few were mismanaged and a couple were not good trades. I am definitely more cavalier about the sim trades, taking marginal entries and allowing them to move around more. Need to tighten up the discipline if it is going to mean anything.

Sim trades are plotted on the charts.

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 Tap In 
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9/9/15 Wednesday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: $0

Traded only in sim today. Did not see anything I thought worthy of live risk. It will take some time to adjust to trading both sim and live. It is real easy to just take everything in sim and avoid risk, but soon enough I will get the itch to make money and I will spot a trade or two that are worthy.

Sim trading went better today:
8 trades
4 wins
4 losses
Max draw down: -$4.02
P/L: +$360.62

Took things more seriously today. Waited patiently and tried to take quality, justifiable trades. Missed a dandy on ZN trying to work my order. It is very possible it would have filled live.

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I have been mulling the benefits of posting thoughts and trades in real time. This would provide a record of my thinking in the moment. I would do this with a thread for each instrument for ease of reference and to avoid muddling my main journal. The main journal would be used for summary purposes, as it is currently. If the experiment is too cumbersome, or not enjoyable, or doesn't yield any benefit it would be discontinued.

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 PeakGrowth 
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In terms of marginal entry for your sim trades, how do you define marginal? Is it purely bad trade location or is it a case where it doesn't satisfy some of your pattern rules?

Sent from my SM-N9005 using Tapatalk

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PeakGrowth View Post
In terms of marginal entry for your sim trades, how do you define marginal? Is it purely bad trade location or is it a case where it doesn't satisfy some of your pattern rules?

Sent from my SM-N9005 using Tapatalk

Usually the latter, sometimes the former. I rarely take impulsive trades that have little rhyme or reason anymore, not to say it never happens or will never happen again. This is an on going battle. In most cases, a marginal entry is where some part of my trade criteria has been satisfied but it is missing something: good context, energy in the market, poor timing, etc. Sometimes I will be correct about direction but enter when price is too extended and due for a pull back, because I don't want to miss out. Or I will enter too early anticipating a break. Marginal entries are usually obvious in review, not because they didn't work but because there was a distinct flaw. This is different from a good entry that didn't work, where even in hindsight it is clear that all the boxes were ticked off. I just chalk those up to trading not being a 100% game.

Some examples of marginal entries:
-direction not real clear. Usually trying to catch the 1st move out of an area.
-front running the trend line break
-its cousin, entering too late or at an area that is too extended for my stop. Wait for a pull back and resumption
-Trading into significant support or resistance.
-Taking a trade too late in a mature trend

I usually take marginal entries out of boredom (mostly in sim), or I am anxious to jump on board what I think could be a strong and long move. Most of the time it bites me in the ass. I am most vulnerable to a marginal entry when a lot of opportunity has gone by without taking advantage.

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Experimenting with commentary and screen shots in real time. Results so far:

Sim trade 1, ZN : -5t

Sim trade 2: CL: +1t

Sim trade 3: 6E: +12t

Sim trade 4: YM: +30t

Sim trade 5: ZN: 0t

Sim trade 6: CL +15t

Live trade 1: NG: +15t

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 Tap In 
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Sim trade 7: NG. 0t.


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Sim trade 8, ZN: 0t. Got to target but got greedy shooting for more than 1R.

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9/10/15 Thursday
Live Trades: 1 win
Day’s P/L: $145.40

One live trade today on NG. Long from the strong move after the inventory report. The trade took a while to take off so I am happy I stayed with it and decided to exit at 1R. Happy to get a win after some tough trading of late.

Sim trading results:
8 trades
4 wins
4 losses
Sim P/L: $350.15

Total of sim and live trading:
9 trades
5 wins
4 losses
Max DD: -81.13
Total P/L: $495.55

Another good day of patient trading. Missed a few good trades but not complaining. Experimented with taking some screen shots and posting during market hours. It will take some getting used. I need to work out how this real time posting of analysis and trades will help my trading. If it doesn’t help there is no point. Intuitively I feel like it will, if for nothing else but to make me think and justify what I am doing.

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Bored out of my mind. Markets are listless, so here's some updates...

YM in a tight range. All trades in here are guesses. No point in trading until price moves outside the edges, with energy


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CL slowly making its way down on low energy. Not interested. It is nearing a low value area so I will be interested what happens there...


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ZN has been tradable to some extent. Missed out on the best trade of the day. Now waiting for a possible break of demand line and short opps. Long is a bit mature at this point unless a larger clean-out pull back occurs.


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NG has moved but did not see a set up that I had trust in. Looking for a reaction off the top.


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Gold has had some movement but no decent set ups. Really looking for a break to upside off the swing low. If I see energy in that direction I might consider a trade. No energy, no trade


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CL showing signs of a trend change even though it never hit the LVN or pivot. On alert




Update:


Energy coming in. Wait...

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Moment of truth...



Update:

No trade triggered. reset trend line.


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Long in sim at 45.05 but the trade is not showing promise. having trouble following through...




Update:

Out full stop. They must have been reading my commentary! Premise still alive but getting more skeptical. Could just be a false up move and reversal to the down side.

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Sim again. After difficulty going up, tried a short. Got greedy looking for 2R. Made it to 1R and reversed. Crap day


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YM update. There was a break of the congestion and some movement, but not the style I like. Put it in the memory bank for next time.


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Markets woke up for a second. Took 3 quick sim trades of various quality. One got to target, two still working...




Update:

CL: +15t, risky but good momentum. Worked this time
GC: -15t, good trade, didn't work. No follow through today
YM: -30t, marginal trade. Trend too mature.

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9/11/15 Friday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: $0

No live trades today. It was not a promising day from the get go. Markets were choppy and energy was low. The news at 5:30 and 7:00 did very little to awaken the markets. Sure, there were a few moves, but they were few and far between, requiring a more skilled trader than I.

Rather than waste the day, I decided to continue the experiment of posting commentary in real time. I must admit it was kind of fun, and also made for greater focus on the process. On the downside it was a bit cumbersome, with the screen shots, the attachments, the writing, the updates etc. It also overloads the main journal. A secondary journal may be required to continue the experiment.

A bunch of sim trades were taken, some of which were discussed earlier. Most of the trades taken later were boredom trades, though they met most criteria. Suffice it to say, not many worked out well. However, of note, all effort was not wasted as I realized the potential had these trades been taken in the opposite direction. With failures abounding, a strategy that traded the opposite of my strategy might yield some very nice results on a day like today. Something to think about.

No charts today, the significant trades were posted already.

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Weekly Summary 9/8/15 to 9/11/15
Live Trades: 2 trades, 1 win, 1 loss
Week’s P/L: $31.38

Starting balance for the week: $3417.22
Withdrawals for the week: $0
Deposits for the week: $0
Ending balance for the week: $3448.60

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: $448.60

Not a very exciting week. Only two trades, with a slight account gain. Action was spotty with very little in the way of strong news to wake the markets. I experimented with a few things. One was trading more in sim to get a better gauge, and have an official record of, the potential of my method. This will take getting used to as switching back and forth between sim and live can be cumbersome. In addition, it is easy to default to sim at decision time to avoid real risk. I think the benefits outweigh these issues because it feels more like trading than just putting in markers. The button has to be pushed, and some level of responsibility taken, as there is now a permanent record of performance in the trading platform. To make sim trading effective however, it has to be treated seriously. There were a few too many “boredom” trades. Though in real dollar terms they don’t mean anything, on some psychological level they have an effect.

The second experiment involved real time commentary and market analysis. While also cumbersome, there is merit because it forces a deeper clarification of thoughts before posting to the world. In the future it will be in a separate journal so that the main journal remains clutter-free. If the experiment produces positive results, there may come a day where each instrument has its own journal for further organizational benefits and participation.

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9/14/15 Monday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: $0

No live trades today. Thank goodness, it would have been a bloodbath. The only decent move was natural gas, but the way everything else was moving scared me off. Took way, way, way too many sim trades, most of them losers. Somehow have gotten away from consulting the 3X chart. Doing so would have eliminated many bad trades and added some better ones. This sim trading is paying off as it is making me realize I have a lot to improve on.

I’m also starting to recognize the potential of reversing my strategy on days like today. Pick marginal trade locations and go short where I would normally go long, and vice versa. Manage the trade exactly the opposite. Put the stop at -2R, the target at +1R. Move the target to BE when price has moved -1R. The trick is to recognize the type of day as early as possible. Fast trending day, go with the normal strategy. Slow rangy day, go with the reverse strategy. I say all this partly in jest, but not completely. Flipping my entries upside down could have made some good money today.

Meanwhile I’ll patiently wait for the markets to come alive, possibly on news events later in the week.

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9/15/15 Tuesday
Live Trades: 1 win
Day’s P/L: $122.00

One live trade on ZN. Focused more on the 3X chart today with better results. Waited for the 3X chart to confirm before considering a trade. Treated sim with more respect. No stupid boredom trades. Need to keep this up to get true potential of system.

Stacked a trade on NQ when 1st trade was in the money. Look to do this on trend days to multiply returns.

Took 9 sim trades. Results:
6 wins
3 losses
Sim P/L: $535.34

Live and sim together:
10 trades
7 wins
3 losses
Max DD: -137.64
Total P/L: $657.34

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9/16/15 Wednesday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: $0

No live trades. Really not that many opportunities. Had a live trade chambered on CL at 7:45. Read the action perfectly, but couldn’t get myself to pull the trigger. No belief. Got to get over the fear of an individual loss on a set up and think of the long term payout in the aggregate. Some will lose, but the ones that win will more than overcome. Bummed I missed it but nice to see it worked so well. Next time!

6 sim trades. Could have been a few more. Results:
1 win
5 losses
Max DD: -$228.95
Sim P/L: $66.45

Once again focused mainly on the 3X charts to confirm before taking a trade. This is keeping me out of stupid trades. Keep it up. Even with that, I got bit twice trading inside ranges trying to catch the first move. This is a losing game. Need to jettison this tendency.

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9/17/15 Thursday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: $0

No live trades. Was looking forward to a heavy news day, especially with the much anticipated FOMC. Pre FOMC was dead. Took a couple shots in sim and lost. Post FOMC was hectic. There was indecision in the markets which kind of spooked me out of going live. I’ve found that the trick to these high volatility events is to wait, wait, wait, until the true move is revealed. Too early and you get chopped. Managed to find the true move in GC and YM for $600 and $300 in sim, respectively. Gave some back later on YM on stupid trades.

Sim results:
10 trades
2 wins
8 losses
Max DD: -$310.53
Max run up: $580.86
Sim P/L: $208.80

I also experimented with some inverse trades on a second sim account. These are trades that are taken in the exact opposite direction of my method. The premise being that in choppy markets my method gets beat up, so why not take trades in the same areas but in the other direction? Took 4 inverse sim trades pre-FOMC, with 4/4 wins and a P/L of $336.78. Not bad for the first go around. This will definitely be worth exploring further.

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9/18/15 Friday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: $0

No trades today. No attractive areas. Continued working out in sim, both with the standard method and the inverse method. Results:

Standard method:
8 trades
2 wins
6 losses (3 were mistakes and should have been on Sim account #2 because they were the Inverse Method)
Max DD: -44.60
Max run up: $161.90
Sim P/L: $113.83

Inverse Method:
10 trades
5 wins
5 losses
Max DD: -304.90
Max run up: $405.08
Sim P/L: $136.46

After working with the inverse method the last couple days I am beginning to sense its potential. It is hard to do, since I am essentially fading my standard method, but for at least the last two days the win rate is higher and it can be employed under conditions that exist more often in the market. One question is how much wiggle room to give the trade. It will be somewhere between -1R and -2R. This will be worked out over time. The key is to find, well, bad trades, and go in the opposite direction. I try to imagine my less experienced, less patient self, and pick places where I might be tempted to enter. I know a lot of folks have kicked around this idea at one time or another, but having traded my standard method for so long, and watched trades succeed and fail, I think I have some context from which begin

At some time in the future this might be a tool to trade in all market conditions. At the very least it keeps me busy while waiting for great set ups the standard way.

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Weekly Summary 9/14/15 to 9/18/15
Live Trades: 1 win
Week’s P/L: $122.00

Starting balance for the week: $3448.60
Withdrawals for the week: $0
Deposits for the week: $0
Ending balance for the week: $3570.60

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: $570.60

Live trading took a backseat to experimentation as there was only one live trade compared to numerous sim trades. The live trade pushed my account forward, but several good opportunities were missed, some that still sting today. There is no doubt the sim trading is distracting me from taking trades live, but I feel this work will eventually improve my skills. It usually takes a couple weeks to grow accustom to a new process, so the distraction is not a surprise. My natural desire to make headway will soon take over and I will be back to taking more live trades. No reason to push it before then.

As for this sim trading, there are two parts. Part one (Sim 1) is where all set ups, or as many as possible, are taken that fit the criteria of the method I have been utilizing for the past year. This is known as the Standard Method. The purpose of the exercise is to get a better feel for the method's effectiveness. This exercise is essentially replacing the markers with actual sim trading. I believe this is a better reflection of what can be done with live trading and provides an official record to analyze. The key is to take the sim trading seriously, treating it as if it were live. This is no small task as it is easy to get complacent and take stupid boredom trades. Monday I took a lot of stupid boredom trades. Tuesday through Friday were traded with proper discretion. Tuesday through Friday results:

33 trades
11 wins
22 losses
P/L: $924.43

Part two (Sim 2) was launched this week on a second sim account. In effect, it is the opposite of the Standard Method. For lack of a better name, it is refereed to as the Inverse Method. The premise being that when I take too many marginal or impatient trades I usually lose and lose big. Someone is on the other side of those trades. Why shouldn’t it be me? So I began looking for areas that my more inexperienced and impatient self might trade, and went in the opposite direction. The results were quite good for the first two days:

14 trades
9 winners
5 losers
P/L: $638.64

Admittedly, trading this way is less comfortable, as it goes against everything I have been trying to do. Could it be that ultimately this is the secret to successful trading, doing what is hard? Doing what is not natural? In the end, I believe it will come down to using the proper method for the proper conditions: the Standard Method for strong momentum markets, the Inverse Method for slow choppy markets.

Next week, more sim 1, sim 2 experimentation, and hopefully a little more live trading.

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9/22/15 Tuesday
Live Trades: 1 loss
Day’s P/L: -$4.02

No live trades Monday. One live trade Today on YM. Markets are dead. Moves are few and far between. Trying to catch good trades means risking a lot of fake outs. So as not to waste time I continued working in sim with the standard and inverse methods. Combined results for Monday and Tuesday:

Standard method:
12 trades
2 wins
10 losses
Sim P/L: -$555.00
Momentum method is no good during quiet times, affirming my decision to avoid live trading.

Inverse Method:
9 trades
6 wins
3 losses
Max DD: -135.76
Max run up: $422.86
Sim P/L: $11.20
Two of the losses were nearly -2R. Need to decide a better way to exit at loss. Perhaps just getting out at -1R, no questions asked. None of the 6 wins reached -1R so it would have saved nearly $300.

So far, in this market, the inverse method produces a better win loss ratio and less draw down. Have to be careful not to trade it against a trend, which is where a couple of the losses came from. Make sure there is plenty of resistance between the entry price and the stop.

Charts show standard method sim fills. Inverse trades not shown.

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  #388 (permalink)
 Tap In 
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9/23/15 Wednesday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: $0

No live trades. Continued sim trading. Focused more on the inverse method today. Took too many counter trend trades, and essentially spun my wheels.

Results:
Standard
3 trades (one mistake)
2 wins
P/L: $346.78

Inverse
19 trades
7 wins
12 losses
Max DD: -$720.26
P/L: -$103.36

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

9/24/15 Thursday and 9/25/15 Friday
Live Trades: 1
Day’s P/L: -$104.02

Two trading days, one live trade on YM. Lots of sim trading. Results:

Standard Method:
29 trades
11 wins
18 losses
Max DD: -$235.61
P/L: 320.43

Lots of trading for a little bit of gain, but at least it was positive. Trying to take as many trades as the method calls for. Still missed a few.

Inverse Method:
17 trades
6 wins
11 losses
P/L -$618.01

Not good results. Took a lot of inverse trades Thursday, not many Friday. Got kind of confused as to when to take an inverse trade and when to step aside.

Friday’s charts included

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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 9/21/15 to 9/25/15
Live Trades: 2 losses
Week’s P/L: -$113.04

Starting balance for the week: $3570.60
Withdrawals for the week: $0
Deposits for the week: $0
Ending balance for the week: $3457.56

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: $457.56

Only two live trades this week. Continued sim trading this week to fully flesh out my method. The results were not inspiring. Either the markets are very difficult to trade right now or my method needs continued adjustments. Probably a little of both. I am not seeing a lot of set ups that cause me to want to trade live.

I employed two types of sim trading, the standard method and the inverse method as explained in earlier posts. Results:

Standard method:
45 trades
15 wins
30 losses
P/L: -$262.39

Inverse Method:
45 trades
19 wins
26 losses
P/L: -$710.17

It seems no matter what method is used, losses are the norm. Not sure why this is but it seems to be the reality. I have learned a little something trading the inverse method, but it gets a little tricky trying to determine when to trade it. It has its moments

This week I will continue to focus on taking advantage of specific opportunities live, while fully testing my methods in sim.

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 Tap In 
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9/28/15 Monday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: $0

No live trades today. Continued sim trading the standard method. Missed at least 11 nice trades due to a lack of trust. Of course, in trying to get these 11 there would have been a few more losers. Need to use sim more effectively to get over this tendency to let my gut guide trade decisions. The end goal is to prove out the method one way or the other so that fewer decisions are based on emotion.

Sim results, standard method:
10 trades
3 wins
7 losses
Max DD: -$134.34
P/L: $32.44

Exited 5 trades early at or near BE. If all 10 trades were allowed to run to +1R or -1R there would have been 6 wins and 4 losses, for a net gain of +2R on the day. Therefore, exiting early cost me today, but at least the potential was there.

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 Tap In 
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9/29/15 Tuesday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: $0

No live trades. No reason to go live until I can sort out my inconsistencies.

It has been a very frustrating few weeks of poor trading. At best, price is getting to 1R no more than 50% of the time, while rarely getting to 2R. It feels like every trade is going to be a failure. More than half the time they are. By 11:00 today I had taken 13 trades, 9 of them failures. I got out of a few at BE, but the bottom line is that most of my trades have very little potential. This is a problem that has vexed me since the big sell off in late August. Am I trading my method differently? Does it no longer work? Or, are the markets just difficult to trade at this time?

While watching with great boredom a lackluster market going nowhere, something occurred to me as a possibility: the classic problem of over trading. More specifically, trading too often under the current market conditions where price has little probability of reaching target (2R). Studying the 3X charts, I noticed that there really weren’t that many good opportunities available, yet I was trading as if the markets were moving all over the place. So, what to do? Well, it seems there are two options:

1) Use the same targets and stops but trade a lot less often, waiting for trade areas with more potential to reach 2R.
2) Trade smaller tick charts, reducing the size of the targets and stops accordingly.

For kicks I decided to finish out the session with smaller tick charts and ½ sized stops and targets on YM. The results were much better with 5 of 8 trades reaching 1R. Both options will be tested over the next few days based on market volatility. Hopefully with this adjustment I can get back on track, regain some confidence, and start taking live trades again.

Sim results today:
21 trades
8 wins
13 losses
Max DD: -$374.65
P/L: -$79.52

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 Tap In 
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9/30/15 Wednesday and 10/1/15 Thursday
Live Trades: 1
Day’s P/L: -$9.02

No live trades today, one live trade yesterday on YM for -$9.02.

After struggling for about a month with my success rate, it dawned on me that I might be taking too many trades relative to what the market is making available.


Tap In View Post
So, what to do? Well, it seems there are two options:

1) Use the same targets and stops but trade a lot less often, waiting for trade areas with more potential to reach 2R.
2) Trade smaller tick charts, reducing the size of the targets and stops accordingly.

Have spent the last couple days on these two goals, with promising results. Focused on taking only those trades that have clear potential for 2R moves. Added smaller tick charts to catch 2R moves in smaller trends.

Thursday results:
10 sim trades
4 wins
6 losses
Max DD: $0
P/L: $294.86

More importantly, 6 of the 10 trades got to +1R, while 5 of the 10 got to +2R or more. This is much improved from the recent past. In addition, I was able to identify a lot more potential trades, many with lower risk. Will continue to make this my focus from now on.

Thursday chart attached.

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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

Monthly Recap September 2015
Live Trades: 10: 3 winners, 7 losers
Month’s P/L: -176.87

Starting balance for the Month: $3625.41
Withdrawals for the month: $0
Deposits for the month: $0
Ending balance for the month: $3448.54

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: $448.54


Live trades took a back seat to further testing in sim this month. Wanted to see what would happen if I took every trade in sim that I would normally just place a marker for. The results were not inspiring, in fact, they were downright depressing. My marker results have been pretty good. Something was amiss. Either I was taking trades that I wouldn’t normally mark, or the markets had changed.

My conclusion is that the markets have slowed and I was taking more trades than the markets were making available. The adjustment is to either take less trades based on market conditions, waiting for areas that offer at least 2R potential, or drop down the size of the tick chart and adjust stops and targets accordingly. Will experiment with these options.

Since the results in the standard direction were so dismal I experimented with inverse trading, taking the exact opposite position to my standard trade. These results were actually pretty good. This could be something to play with more at certain choppy times. It is difficult to trade against my instincts but it could be profitable under the right conditions.

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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 9/28/15 to 10/2/15
Live Trades: 1 loss
Week’s P/L: -$9.02

Starting balance for the week: $3457.56
Withdrawals for the week: $0
Deposits for the week: $0
Ending balance for the week: $3448.54

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: $448.54

Only one trade this week. A lot of sim trading. Sim trade results not very good. The poor results confirm that more work is needed. No way this type of experiment could be done with real money.

That said, there are definitely moments where I should be taking shots with real money. Gold after the NFP Friday was a case in point. I am still positive overall but I need to keep the account progressing. Trying to trade live and in sim is a challenge. It is easy to fall back on the safety of sim. However, I still feel the method has more potential than just sitting on my hands for days waiting for the perfect entry. Putting the method to the test is what sim is good for. So, I am torn between wanting to move the account balance forward, and testing my system to gauge its full potential.

To hopefully resolve this conflict I will set the default mode to live, while switching to sim momentarily to test various set ups. Once the trade in sim is executed, I will switch back to live mode to be ready, both mentally and physically, for an A+ set up. Hopefully spending the majority of time in live mode will keep me focused on live trading more than I have been the past few weeks.

Trade situations to look for live:

-Direction changes after trend line break failures.
-High momentum events
-High volatility events
-Significant bounces off major S/R and trend lines.
-Price riding channels lines while building momentum.

These represent the higher probability situations. I can continue to test the less compelling situations using sim.

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 Tap In 
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Experience: Intermediate
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10/5/15 Monday
Live Trades: 1 loss
Day’s P/L: -$81.13

One live trade on ZN. Good trade but maybe should have waited for a higher low before looking long.

Continued to sim trade but had the platform defaulted on live most of the time. This helped me concentrate on live trading. Did not see many more opps that looked A+ to go live. Spun my wheels on the sim trades. Results:

8 sim trades
3 wins
5 losses
Max DD: -$158.86
P/L: -$12.88

Got nipped a couple times with stops that were too tight for the pattern. Either need to widen stops or find patterns within patterns when using the smaller stops. I am liking the idea of the smaller tick charts in this environment, but need to be careful not to trade in big stop locations.

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10/6/15 Tuesday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: 0

No live trades. Lots of sim trades with terrible results. Enough said.

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10/7/15 Wednesday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: 0

No live trades. Only four sim trades with mixed results. A bit discouraged. No charts

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 Pariah Carey 
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It's ok to be discouraged, just don't stay discouraged. Keep trying.


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 Tap In 
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Pariah Carey View Post
It's ok to be discouraged, just don't stay discouraged. Keep trying.


Thanks for the encouragement. My discouragement is usually temporary. The current frustration comes from several sources:

1) What I identify in real time as good entries are too often not. Total price movement is right around 50% at 1:1 Reward/Risk. It's well below 33% at 2:1. Not a formula for success.

2) Because of this I am naturally having difficulty fully trading my method.

3) I am stuck as to what to do about it .

Hopefully some answers will come to me as I grind out the options in my mind. Often the best answers come during the worst of times because this is when the mind is working the hardest.

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