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Tap In's Corner

  #481 (permalink)
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bobwest View Post
Kudos for the courage to be in it and take the risk of trading almost every day.

The Combine is not easy, and it exposes all a person's issues and weaknesses, as well as allowing them to use their strengths. I can't tell you how often I have done much less well than you are so far. Although your max Drawdown is getting closer, you have been reasonably consistent, except for only two or three days that had larger losses, which will happen.

Thanks for your encouragement!


bobwest View Post
I would say to just trade as consistently as you can, take all or most of the trades that your vision of the market tells you are reasonable, and accept the outcome, up or down.

There is a danger in playing it too safe -- which, frankly, has been one of the things that I think has stood out in your journal over time (this is not a criticism; I mean it only constructively) -- and there is another danger in shooting for the moon in a large gamble.

I am not normally one to swing for the fences but the thought was to go for it, with the worst outcome being to pay $100 and get back to zero quickly, one way or the other. I tried one 3 contract trade today that had the potential to run 30+ ticks (it did eventually, but not without some deep pull backs). I'm definitely struggling with playing it too safe. It's a byproduct of a history of poor trade selection, but I need to get over it.

Thanks again for your feedback!

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  #482 (permalink)
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4/6/16 Wednesday

4/6/16 Wednesday
Combine Trades: 7
Dayís P/L: $116.88

6 of the 7 trades were 1 lots. One was a 3 lot where I thought the market had potential to run far and fast. It did run far but not fast, and I couldnít stay with it. I was on the correct side of the market with all my trades, but the market often retraced further than my stop, and I took a lot of BE trades. Though the market moved a good distance from many of my entries, it was too choppy for me to hold anything very long. Some days moving to BE saves me, some days it costs me.

Total Reasonable Movement of each trade:

Trade 1: stop 8, Gain/loss -8. TRM: +4, -13
Trade 2 (3 lot): stop 8, G/L +5 per lot, TRM: +13, -0.
Trade 3: stop 8, G/L 0. TRM: +16, -5
Trade 4: stop 8, G/L +5. TRM +13, -5
Trade 5: stop 8, G/L 0. TRM: +4, -9
Trade 6: stop 8, G/L 0. TRM: +19, -2
Trade 7: stop 8, G/L 0, TRM: +3, -19

Moving to BE hurt some and saved some, relatively a wash.

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  #483 (permalink)
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4/7/16 Thursday
Combine Trades: 1
Dayís P/L: -$83

One trade in the combine yesterday. Pattern continuing of hesitating on early morning trades when the market is moving, then trying something later after the party is over. Lot's of good opportunities yesterday in the first hour. Nothing wrong with trying something later under the right conditions, but I need to take advantage of the early stuff. Not sure what the psychology is behind this behavior. I think it might have something to do with my tendency to want to "save" things for later. I do this in many areas of my life. I guess I am "saving" my losses for later when the risk of taking a max loss for the day is lower.

I am going to try the lancelottrader method of verbalizing my play by play. Something like,"we're in a valid up trend, I'll take the next signal long." Then do it!

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  #484 (permalink)
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Combine blown

Took a string of full stop outs trading seriously, then took another string of full stop outs trading un-seriously. At that point I was just disgusted and wanted to get it over with and start fresh Monday.

There are many questions surrounding my trading at this point. I would go into more detail, but it would mostly be just ranting.

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  #485 (permalink)
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Combine #1 Post Mortem

Wow, was my trading ever awful! 70 serious trades were taken during the combine. Some stats:

Only 35% of the trades reached 1R.
Only 20% reached 2R
Nearly half of the trades never made it past 4 ticks before reversing to a full stop out.
Average reasonable movement of all trades in my favor was 9.5 ticks
Average reasonable movement of all trades against was 15.5 ticks

I am truly trading the market upside down. I would love to be able to just take the opposite side of all my trades, but I know it is not that simple. I've tried it. The mind starts playing tricks. There must be some fundamental philosophical deficiencies in the way I look at the markets. Something is missing that causes me to trade in the wrong direction. After reviewing every trade in the combine, I have identified at least three general mistakes, there could be more:

1) Too much trading in chop. This is where one can get chewed up in either direction

2) Too many trades trying to catch the first move in a trend change. In other words, trading against trend, or not waited for a valid trend change signal with momentum. I thought I got over this, but I still do it too much.

3) Trading in the right direction but at the wrong time. This may be the most significant. Specifically, I am trading patterns that are too large for my stop. Since they are larger patterns there will naturally be more wandering around. This movement often catches my smaller stop before taking off in my direction. I am a momentum, pull back and resumption trader. My stop has been 7 or 8 ticks. These aren't randomly chosen numbers. They are based on set ups that I see in either footprint or price action. When I used 15 tick stops I could trade larger pull backs in the neighborhood of 30 ticks. This doesn't work with 8 tick stops and I didn't make the adjustment. With smaller stops I need to concentrate on the smaller pull backs in strong momentum moves, no more than around 10 to 20 ticks, or about twice the size of my stop. @Okina talks about this in his journal. His failure rate is higher on wider areas of support and resistance. I think there is something to that.

These are the areas I will try to improve upon in the next combine. I will also be doing more involved daily recap analysis to evaluate how I did in these areas.

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  #486 (permalink)
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Tap In View Post
These are the areas I will try to improve upon in the next combine. I will also be doing more involved daily recap analysis to evaluate how I did in these areas.

Good steps. More of this will help more. It seems to work like that.

Next time can work better, and so on....

Bob.

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  #487 (permalink)
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A dog always returns to its own you-know-what

To gain more insight into context at any given point, I have been studying price and its relationship to previous areas of imbalance. Specifically, I have been following how price has a tendency to eventually, and almost always, return to areas where either the buyers or sellers clearly took control to move price to new levels, imbalance areas. These are areas where larger players went to market and overwhelmed either the bid or ask to get things moving. The following chart illustrates some examples of what I am referring to.

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Since I use tick charts, areas of imbalances can be clearly seen by longer bars, meaning one side was clearly dominant, moving the market a longer distance over a constant number of trades. This activity can be confirmed on footprint and CD. For reasons I can only speculate about, and that have something to do with the auction market, with larger players establishing and defending positions, price will inevitably return to these areas and either pause briefly or rebound, depending on the size of the players currently controlling the market.

Understanding this has helped me to better anticipate why and where price might be going next, where it might hit heavy resistance, even before it gets to the usual swing highs and lows. Once price has reconciled an area of previous imbalance it is "off the books", as it were, and price can then look to move to another area of imbalance. Sometimes an area of imbalance is particularly important to someone and it needs to hit it a couple times before reconciling the auction and moving on.

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  #488 (permalink)
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4/11/16 Monday-Combine #2

4/11/16 Monday
Combine Trades: 2
Dayís P/L: -$7.36

Spent the morning focusing on my objectives for this week:

1) No trading in chop. This one is not really that hard. Just need to resist the temptation to catch the first move out of chop.

2) Trade only with trend until a trend change conformation. This one is tricky since some really good moves happen out of trend changes, and there is often a blurry distinction between a pause with the trend, and a turnaround of a new trend.

3) Trade ranges that are commiserate with the size of my stop. Around twice the value of the stop seems a good rule of thumb. 8 tick stop = around 16 tick range, give or take. This is also not that hard. If the range gets over 20 ticks donít trade until price moves and forms a smaller range or pause. It is tempting to try to catch the full move but thatís not going to happen until I am willing to widen stops. So, I have to be content with only catching parts of moves.

I marked some areas on todayís chart that would qualify. Most made it to 1R, some went further. A couple would have failed.

Of the two trades, the first one was valid but it hung around forever after entry. This usually means trouble so I got out at BE. It ultimately went +1R. The second was the same trade idea but too late an entry. Not a good trade. Again, it hung around too long so I got out at BE. This would have been a failure. A wash either way.

All in all no harm no foul on the first day of the new combine.

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  #489 (permalink)
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Combine #2 starts tomorrow

Ok, turns out the new combine starts tomorrow. I guess when you reset over the weekend they need a day to process the request. Glad I didn't have a monster day today!

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Tap In View Post
Ok, turns out the new combine starts tomorrow. I guess when you reset over the weekend they need a day to process the request. Glad I didn't have a monster day today!

Good that you're getting right back into it. You've got to get right back up on that horse, as they say.

Will be following with interest and good wishes for your success.

Bob.

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