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Tap In's Corner

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  #401 (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

10/8/15 Thursday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: 0

No live trades. Two sim trades, one +2R win, one -1R loss. +$190

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

10/9/15 Friday
Live Trades: 1 loss
Day’s P/L: -$81.13

One trade on ZN for a loss. The usually reliable ZN has been unreliable lately. Or, I am reading it differently.

Continued sim trading. 8 sim trades across 5 instruments.

Results of live plus sim trades:

9 trades
5 got to +1R
2 got to +2R, if moved to BE after +1R
Same 2 got to +2R, set it and forget it style.

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  #403 (permalink)
 jokertrader 
NYC, NY
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Qtrader TT
Broker: Amp/CQG/TT, Optimus, ADM
Trading: Mainly CL. Spread researcher currently
 
Posts: 644 since May 2013
Thanks: 540 given, 352 received

How have things been progressing this year? Wondering if you have only 2 screens how u identify which market to trade or you think will move? I watch 6E, CL, ZN and even with 3 monitors am finding it tough to see which one is cleanest

also am using bollinger squeeze.. and Sierra on volume charts. I see you are using Cumulative delta

hope to hear from u and good luck

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  #404 (permalink)
 Tap In 
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jokertrader View Post
How have things been progressing this year? Wondering if you have only 2 screens how u identify which market to trade or you think will move? I watch 6E, CL, ZN and even with 3 monitors am finding it tough to see which one is cleanest

also am using bollinger squeeze.. and Sierra on volume charts. I see you are using Cumulative delta

hope to hear from u and good luck

I have three charts with 2 instruments each. I watching slow charts to alert possible trade opportunities, then faster charts to execute the trades.

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

Weekly Summary 10/5/15 to 10/9/15
Live Trades: 2 losses
Week’s P/L: -$162.25

Starting balance for the week: $3448.54
Withdrawals for the week: $0
Deposits for the week: $0
Ending balance for the week: $3286.29

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: $286.29

Two trades, both on ZN. Having trouble reading ZN lately. Continuing to work on things in sim. Traded less this week, mostly due to the ineffectiveness of my trading as of late.

Took the weekend to review some charts in an effort to pin down what can be done to recognize better trades. I think it's a case of being distracted by the trees and not paying enough attention to the forest. I continually need to be reminded to use the larger, slower charts to reveal changes in sentiment, then the smaller charts to execute. Consistency in this area might offer a fighting chance of picking a higher percentage of quality trades. On CL for example the 2400 tick chart is used for context, the 800 tick chart for the set up, and the 233 tick chart for low risk trade execution. I think adherence to this top down strategy will keep things in better perspective. The trick is to realize there might only be 1 or 2 good opportunities per instrument each day. I suspect I have been trying to squeeze too much out of too little. The other trick is to actually take the trade when these one or two opps present themselves. The weekend review revealed that I only take around 25% of legit opportunities.

So, for the near future I will spend most of my time on the larger charts, dropping down only when an opportunity sets up. On the daily recaps I will show the larger charts with dots signifying legitimate trades areas recognized in real time, and comparing these dots to the platform trade markers to see 1) if my trades were in good locations, and 2) at a glance how many legit set ups were actually taken.

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  #406 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Thanks: 2,162 given, 2,063 received

10/12/15 Monday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: 0

Very slow day in everything but oil, where I took a couple trades but really missed some other good opps.

Focused on top down trading. Big picture charts posted today with dots signifying what I thought were legit opportunities. Chart markers reveal how many of those were taken. There were only seven decent opportunities that I saw today and I took two of them in sim. Also took one trade that was in no man’s land.

Sim results:
3 trades
2 2R winners
1 loser.

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  #407 (permalink)
 jokertrader 
NYC, NY
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Qtrader TT
Broker: Amp/CQG/TT, Optimus, ADM
Trading: Mainly CL. Spread researcher currently
 
Posts: 644 since May 2013
Thanks: 540 given, 352 received

Please see my chart. I use a 1000 volume chart with MACD and Bollinger Squeeze 2 in Sierra and the ADX for strength of direction.
I have 9 MA (yellow line)
Volatility Trend indicator (this is the line that goes from green to red) and shows change of direction.
Same Vol trend indicator in pink from a smaller volume chart (a 377 volume chart)

Ao price crosses pink line (vol trend indicator) from 377 volume first at 5:05
then crosses the main vol trend indicator at 5:26 or so
MACD crossed down
Bollinger squeeze fired short

So take short


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  #408 (permalink)
 Tap In 
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Experience: Intermediate
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Thanks: 2,162 given, 2,063 received

10/13/15 Tuesday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: 0

Did a nice job of top down trading today in sim. No stupid trades taken. Missed a few due to being gone from the office a good part of the day.

Results of trades:
16 opportunities
6 trades taken (38%)
3 got to 1R
2 got to 2R
No stupid trades

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  #409 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
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jokertrader View Post
Please see my chart. I use a 1000 volume chart with MACD and Bollinger Squeeze 2 in Sierra and the ADX for strength of direction.
I have 9 MA (yellow line)
Volatility Trend indicator (this is the line that goes from green to red) and shows change of direction.
Same Vol trend indicator in pink from a smaller volume chart (a 377 volume chart)

Ao price crosses pink line (vol trend indicator) from 377 volume first at 5:05
then crosses the main vol trend indicator at 5:26 or so
MACD crossed down
Bollinger squeeze fired short

So take short


I am primarily a price action trader. You seem to be more of an indicator trader. Our styles don't really have much in common. You might want to start a journal to discuss your trading in more depth.

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

10/14/15 Wednesday
Live Trades: 1 loss
Day’s P/L: -$94.60

One live trade on CL for a loss. Sim trading was not good. Need adjustments of some sort. Just don’t know what yet.

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  #411 (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

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

No live trades. Had the platform loaded for live most of the day but was not feeling confident.

Sim trading went better. Everything that was lost yesterday was gained back today. Yesterday took 21 sim trades for -$600. Today took 4 sim trades for +$600. Hmmm, is there a clue here? One adjustment was to stay away from the 6 and 8 tick stops. I picked the spot on the smaller chart then gave it a little more wiggle room.

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  #412 (permalink)
SadPraetor
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Hello Tap In

I like your journal. Very disciplined updating of progress, thank you for sharing. You are somewhere around the same place as I'm in journey to trading career, so I often visit your journal to see someone is running in line next to me.

I wonder about your SIM results for longer period. Would you share statistics that Sierra Chart is making? That is if you take SIM trades. Not sure whether you just mark them on charts, or you actually take them in SIM account.

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  #413 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
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SadPraetor View Post
Hello Tap In

I like your journal. Very disciplined updating of progress, thank you for sharing. You are somewhere around the same place as I'm in journey to trading career, so I often visit your journal to see someone is running in line next to me.

I wonder about your SIM results for longer period. Would you share statistics that Sierra Chart is making? That is if you take SIM trades. Not sure whether you just mark them on charts, or you actually take them in SIM account.

The chart plotter shows where each sim trade is taken on each chart. I don't publish the overall results of sim because it really doesn't mean much to anyone but me. I often take sim trades out of experimentation and sometimes there is a lot of weird slippage in Sierra charts so the results are skewed a bit.

I hope you can get through this part of your journey faster than I have! Good luck and thanks for visiting the journal

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  #414 (permalink)
 bobwest 
Site Moderator
Sarasota FL
 
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Tap In View Post
I hope you can get through this part of your journey faster than I have!

Everyone's pace is their own.

I hope everyone gets through it faster than I have, too!!!

Enjoying your journal.

Bob.

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  #415 (permalink)
 Tap In 
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Experience: Intermediate
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Weekly Summary 10/12/15 to 10/16/15
Live Trades: 1 loss
Week’s P/L: -$94.60

Starting balance for the week: $3286.29
Withdrawals for the week: $0
Deposits for the week: $0
Ending balance for the week: $3191.69

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: $191.69

Took one trade for a loss this week. Mostly sim trading in a continuing effort to evaluate my ability to properly read the markets under conditions other than AAA rated trades. The answer, at least for the past two months, is that I am 50% at best. Flip of a coin. I will have a hard time making money as a 50% trader.

One might ask the question, “then why not just wait for the AAA rated trades?” To which the answer would be, valid point. However, as it is my goal to make a living at this thing, and these juicy trades happen so rarely, I question whether they are enough to get the job done. I suppose it would be a good start, but at some point it feel like I will need to find more frequently occurring opportunities, and that is what I have attempted to do with this sim thing over the past two months. So, my plan is to continue to have the platform loaded live in anticipation of the really good ones, while experimenting with other trade opportunities in sim.

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

Weekly Summary 10/19/15 to 10/23/15
Live Trades: 0
Week’s P/L: $0

Starting balance for the week: $3191.69
Withdrawals for the week: $0
Deposits for the week: $0
Ending balance for the week: $3191.69

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: $191.69

No trades this week. I am decompressing from my two month excursion in to trading more frequently. The hypothesis was that I was passing on too many good trades and giving up a lot of potential. This experiment was meant to test this hypothesis. The results were not very good and quite frankly it injured my confidence to some extent. I ending up taking too many marginal trades in an effort to not miss anything, while still passing on a lot of good trades, resulting in significant sim losses. It is quite apparent that I have to find a better way to qualify viable trade opportunities in real time if I am going to trade more often.

As explained in an earlier post, I track price’s movement for every trade, irrespective of whether or not I am still in the trade. The tracking begins at entry for the entire day until price either hits my initial stop, makes a too-large retracement (subjectivity involved), or the session ends. This allows me to see the potential in my trades apart from how I actually managed the trades. These movements are noted in a spreadsheet with columns for:

-Total movement in favor
-Total movement against
-Percentage that reached 1R, 2R, 3R, 4R…before hitting -1R

I keep a running total of these results for the most recent 20 trades. This helps me see how my trade potential is trending.

During this two month experiment the results for the most recent 20 trades tended to hover around 50% in getting to +1R before -1R, sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less. It is my belief, and I am willing to be convinced otherwise, that a trader will have difficulty making money if they are picking trades where price is getting to +1R only 50% of the time, in spite of the idea of asymmetric returns. If a trader is having difficulty getting to 1R at an adequate rate, they are equally as likely to have difficulty getting to 2R, 3R, 4R at an adequate rate, and this is exactly what my stats showed. In fact, the stats for larger returns got progressively worse relative to the 1R returns. For example, if price was getting to 1R 50% of the time, one would expect price would get to 2R 33% of the time. But actually it was more like 25%. These types of numbers do not bode well for making money in my opinion.

So what to do? Well, first is to take a break from experimentation. It is obvious that I lack an adequate way to qualify what I think are good, but not spectacular, trade opportunities. Too many do not work, so I am thus just training myself to lose. Second is to build a track record of higher percentage trading. A target of 65% to 70% to 1R is a good start. The only way I know to do this is to wait for those rarer, spectacular opportunities. I have done this in the past with success. It can be frustrating since a lot of good looking trades will be avoided that end up working, and the account will build more slowly than hoped. I will need to be ok with this. This will require more patience, less trading, and probably less time in front of the computer. The more time spent looking at the charts, especially during slow times, the more impatient I tend to become. Spending less time trading is ok. There are a lot of dull periods that could be better spent doing something more productive. Lastly, and perhaps a bit controversial, I need to return to live trading. Live trading forces more discernment, less experimentation. This forces me to take only the very best trades. In addition, I want to begin once again advancing the ball, even if slowly. This will help me feel like a real trader who makes real money trading.

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  #417 (permalink)
SadPraetor
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Tap In View Post

Second is to build a track record of higher percentage trading. A target of 65% to 70% to 1R is a good start.

I found out that it is much harder to improve % Win, than to improve RRR

I do agree with many things you wrote. I see same situation with my trading. Taking fewer trades usually brings better results. It is important to wait patiently for good opportunities. SIM trading is prone to over trading. Live trades tend to be more in line with my rules, as they scare you, and you think twice before taking them.

GL with you live trading

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  #418 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Charts
Broker: Global Futures/OEC
Trading: NQ, CL
 
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SadPraetor View Post
I found out that it is much harder to improve % Win, than to improve RRR

I do agree with many things you wrote. I see same situation with my trading. Taking fewer trades usually brings better results. It is important to wait patiently for good opportunities. SIM trading is prone to over trading. Live trades tend to be more in line with my rules, as they scare you, and you think twice before taking them.

GL with you live trading

My RRR has always been pretty good, north of 2:1. It's the percentage wins that lack. They need to be taken together.

My point is that I do not think a trader can be successful if price doesn't get to 1R more than 50% of the time, irrespective of whether or not they are still in the trade. I would like to see at least 65% to 70%. I believe every struggling trader should know their percentage to 1R. It represents potential. If the potential is not there no amount of psychology or money management will help. They'll just lose slower. Once the trader realizes that price moves in their favor more often than it moves against them they'll begin to develop the confidence to execute and manage trades properly.

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  #419 (permalink)
SadPraetor
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Tap In View Post

My point is that I do not think a trader can be successful if price doesn't get to 1R more than 50% of the time,

I do not think that statistic how often you get 1R is that important. If you have good winners, your success rate for reaching 1R can be below 50%. It is actual RRR in combination with success rate that makes the difference. So rather than just watching how often you reach 1R, take into account big winners. Point of my previous comment was, that it is much easier to "let the winners run and cut losses", than complicate your entries, overthink your system, trying to achieve high success rate.

Example (points/ticks/USD, doesnt matter)

Loss -8
Win 8
Win% 70%
Expected Value 3.2

Second example, shows market passing 1R only 45% of time. Still beating the previous example.
Loss -8
Win 25
Win% 45%
EV 6.85

Also systems with good RRR tend to have smaller downswings. One good trade can cover 3 losses. Such situation is much mor easier on psychology then 30 trades fight of climbing out of the hole.

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  #420 (permalink)
 grausch 
Luxembourg, Luxembourg
 
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During this two month experiment the results for the most recent 20 trades tended to hover around 50% in getting to +1R before -1R, sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less. It is my belief, and I am willing to be convinced otherwise, that a trader will have difficulty making money if they are picking trades where price is getting to +1R only 50% of the time, in spite of the idea of asymmetric returns. If a trader is having difficulty getting to 1R at an adequate rate, they are equally as likely to have difficulty getting to 2R, 3R, 4R at an adequate rate, and this is exactly what my stats showed. In fact, the stats for larger returns got progressively worse relative to the 1R returns. For example, if price was getting to 1R 50% of the time, one would expect price would get to 2R 33% of the time. But actually it was more like 25%. These types of numbers do not bode well for making money in my opinion.

So what to do? Well, first is to take a break from experimentation. It is obvious that I lack an adequate way to qualify what I think are good, but not spectacular, trade opportunities. Too many do not work, so I am thus just training myself to lose. Second is to build a track record of higher percentage trading. A target of 65% to 70% to 1R is a good start. The only way I know to do this is to wait for those rarer, spectacular opportunities. I have done this in the past with success. It can be frustrating since a lot of good looking trades will be avoided that end up working, and the account will build more slowly than hoped. I will need to be ok with this. This will require more patience, less trading, and probably less time in front of the computer. The more time spent looking at the charts, especially during slow times, the more impatient I tend to become. Spending less time trading is ok. There are a lot of dull periods that could be better spent doing something more productive. Lastly, and perhaps a bit controversial, I need to return to live trading. Live trading forces more discernment, less experimentation. This forces me to take only the very best trades. In addition, I want to begin once again advancing the ball, even if slowly. This will help me feel like a real trader who makes real money trading.

Interesting results - I came to similar conclusions as you did. I trade stocks (swing trade to longer term) so my background is a little different, but in the current market environment there is a lot of chop. Trends don't really continue that well, and trades get stopped out more often than in the past. One way to avoid serious damage to the account is to trade smaller - yes, I had pilot positions where I only invested 1% of my capital in a trade - or to not trade at all until things become less choppy.

Something else that I noticed when reviewing past trades was that several times a position would be stopped out and then the stock would continue moving upwards. Individually these might not be great winners, but all of these combined would have a very measurable effect on my equity curve. My way of dealing with this was to use protective puts, i.e. I have locked in a maximum loss when I enter the trade, but I am giving the trade a certain amount of time to work. Downside is that it adds to the cost of the position and some options either are just too expensive (GOOGL, AMZN, PCLN) for me to place trades in the stock.

This change made my win % jump to just over 50% (previously 30%), but my ave loss increased in size. However, the net effect on my equity curve is definitely positive. An unintended benefit of this is that I am staying in trades longer and this is part of the reason for the increase in the win%, but I am also much more comfortable walking way from my desk.

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I do not think that statistic how often you get 1R is that important. If you have good winners, your success rate for reaching 1R can be below 50%. It is actual RRR in combination with success rate that makes the difference. So rather than just watching how often you reach 1R, take into account big winners. Point of my previous comment was, that it is much easier to "let the winners run and cut losses", than complicate your entries, overthink your system, trying to achieve high success rate.

Example (points/ticks/USD, doesnt matter)

Loss -8
Win 8
Win% 70%
Expected Value 3.2

Second example, shows market passing 1R only 45% of time. Still beating the previous example.
Loss -8
Win 25
Win% 45%
EV 6.85

Also systems with good RRR tend to have smaller downswings. One good trade can cover 3 losses. Such situation is much mor easier on psychology then 30 trades fight of climbing out of the hole.

Regarding your second example, show me a trader who picks trades that get to 3R 45% of the time and I'll show you someone making gobs of money. Easier said than done. In addition, it is just not reality to have 45% get to 3R and no others to 1R or 2R. You'll have the most get to 1R, fewer get to 2R and fewer still get to 3R. The higher the multiple of R the fewer times price will reach it over a large sampling of trades. I encourage you to track your trading the way I have described and you'll see what I mean.

The rules are: track price until either, it reaches your initial stop, or there is an unreasonably large pull back that you know you wouldn't hold through. Record how far price gets relative to your initial stop. Do this for your next 100 trades.

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In addition, it is just not reality to have 45% get to 3R and no others to 1R or 2R. You'll have the most get to 1R, fewer get to 2R and fewer still get to 3R. The higher the multiple of R the fewer times price will reach it over a large sampling of trades.

Yes, that is how it usually goes in trading. But I do not see personally any added value in tracking 1R/2R/3R for me. The same thing can be done by tracking your Avg. Trade/Winner/Loser, and MFE. Just tracking how often it gets to 1R does not answer how good the system is. What do you do when it reaches 1R? Do you close the trade? Do you move SL to BE? Results of the system can be simplified into combination of RRR and %Win. By tracking how often you get to 1R, you answer one part of equation. You are missing the second one. What you actually take down from the trade?

What I'm trying to warn you about: Targeting 70% as your success rate in reaching 1R, can send you dark path of looking for holy grail. You can waste time trying to tweak your signals, overthinking it all.
From my experience, it is easier to handle proper SL trailing, and letting winners run to your targets, milking every trade as much as possible. And also working on your consistency, and rules following gets you better reward on time spent. This is the message of my post.

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10/26/15 Monday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: 0

No trades today. NG was the only tradable instrument. Made some nice moves after the overnight gap.

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10/27/15 Tuesday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: 0

No trades today. Very difficult trading environment across the board. Spotted a few opportunities in real time and hindsight but they didn’t go far, except for the one CL opp early. No Spectacular opportunities. New routine working well. Stepping away during slow times and getting chores done early. Feel much more productive. Attached are the opps seen today on the big charts.

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10/28/15 Wednesday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: 0

Today was a reminder that it is perfectly ok to wait, sometimes for days, in anticipation of more favorable trading conditions. There really was no reason to take a trade this week until 6:59 this morning in oil. After that there were several good opportunities across the instruments that, in one day's trading, would have made a great month. Just need to take the trades.

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10/29/15 Thursday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: 0

Slowly building confidence back through patience and observation. Saw one really good opportunity today. Attached

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10/30/15 Friday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: 0

No trades today. Still observing and getting feel back. Attached is the best opportunity that I saw today. It was in gold which has been a nice mover lately. There were others but this one had a good look and feel. Would have been good for 30+ ticks.

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Monthly Recap October 2015
Live Trades: 3 losers
Month’s P/L: -256.85

Starting balance for the Month: $3448.54
Withdrawals for the month: $0
Deposits for the month: $0
Ending balance for the month: $3191.69

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: $191.96

Only took 3 live trades for the month. Most of my focus was on continued testing of trading more frequently in sim based on the rules utilized over the past year. My goal was to determine if I could trade more often so that a positive win/loss/RRR expectation would have a chance to work itself out on a daily basis, resulting in mostly positive days. I also felt that I was passing on too many good trades based on the marker work done in the spring and early summer. I wanted to prove whether or not this was true. The results of this testing has made it apparent that I do not yet have the skills and/or tools to trade with more frequency successfully. Too many trades went nowhere while too many good ones were missed. It is obvious that I need to find a better way to qualify trade opportunities for their potential and probability of success.

The first step in this process is to recognize that at this time there really aren’t that many high probability opportunities based on my rules, on the scale I am trading, to warrant taking very many trades on most days. Therefore I have to either trade less often or develop rules that open up more opportunities. Over the past week I set aside any kind of trading to just observe the markets, in an effort to regain confidence by waiting for spectacular trade opportunities. Spectacular trades look like other opportunities but with subtle twists: increased activity and energy, open field, new territory, following important news, etc. They have a different feel. This observation time definitely helped reboot my systems. I need to realize that it is really not necessary to trade frequently. Several well-placed trades per week can be more than enough to get the job done. A trader who can average $1677 per month trading single lots, can easily turn that into $100k or $200k trading 5 or 10 lots. That’s really all it takes. It seems so simple!

As for opening up more opportunities I will continue to study traders like @lancelottrader who has developed a style that creates more opportunity in an instrument on any given day. I have learned a lot from him on how to take advantage or short term moves that do not necessary show up with my methodology, but nonetheless result in nice gains in the aggregate. Thank you Lance for your contributions!

Lastly, I need to get back to live trading. There is nothing like the the prospect of losing or making real money to force me to be patient. So, for the next month I will:

-be once again locked and loaded live.
-exercise extreme patience waiting for the spectacular trades.
-be brave when spectacular opportunities arise, fully accepting the risk, with the confidence that I will be profitable in the long run.
-forget about the trades that I miss or pass that take off without me, not letting regret cloud my judgement.
-keep in mind that it only takes a very small number of targeted trades every month to make great money. Wait for them.

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Weekly Summary 11/2/15 to 11/6/15
Live Trades: 0
Week’s P/L: $0

Starting balance for the week: $3191.69
Withdrawals for the week: $0
Deposits for the week: $0
Ending balance for the week: $3191.69

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: $191.69

No trades this week. I've stepped back from trading or posting to take a deep breath and just observe. Confidence is coming back so I expect to be trading and posting more soon. I have returned to placing markers in spots that I believe represent spectacular trades. These have been working out nicely. Switching between sim and live was really difficult psychologically. I realize the need to be committed to one or the other. Placing markers is a good alternative. Hyper focused on quality as well, with the idea that a few key trades per month is all that is needed to make a big difference. Quantity can come later as the account grows and skills improve. I will be focused on the following for the next week:
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-be once again locked and loaded live.
-exercise extreme patience waiting for the spectacular trades.
-be brave when spectacular opportunities arise, fully accepting the risk, with the confidence that I will be profitable in the long run.
-forget about the trades that I miss or pass that take off without me, not letting regret cloud my judgement.
-keep in mind that it only takes a very small number of targeted trades every month to make great money. Wait for them.


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Weekly Summary 11/9/15 to 11/13/15
Live Trades: 0
Week’s P/L: $0

Starting balance for the week: $3191.69
Withdrawals for the week: $0
Deposits for the week: $0
Ending balance for the week: $3191.69

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: $191.69

Posting mostly for bookkeeping purposes. Hopefully live trading will resume soon so I have something to talk about. Still locked and loaded for live. Focused on catching trend resumptions earlier by looking at entering on the second leg of two leg pullbacks using the smaller tick chart. Examples attached

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11/16/15 Monday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: 0

No trades today. Came close a couple times on YM. Attached are a few good trade opportunities seen today.

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Monthly Recap November 2015
Live Trades: 0
Month’s P/L: 0

Starting balance for the Month: $3191.69
Withdrawals for the month: $0
Deposits for the month: $0
Ending balance for the month: $3191.69

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: $191.96

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12/4/15 Friday
Live Trades: 2
Day’s P/L: -11.92

It has been almost 2 months since my last live trade. Been present every day just observing the markets.

Two trades today:

Trade 1: 6E, -1 tick:
-Stop 12t
-Total Reasonable Movement (TRM): -2t, +12t.
-Held for larger gains due to an initial strong move, but it came back to BE to take me out with 1t of slippage. I think it was the right choice to hold.

Trade 2: M6E, +6 ticks:
-Stop 12t
-TRM of -0t, +17t.
-Used M6E because I was not super confident. Again tried to hold for larger gains but the market was having none of it.

Summary: Finally took some trades. Felt good to break the seal.
Both trades made it to +1R.

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because I was not super confident. Again tried to hold for larger gains but the market was having none of it.

Summary: Finally took some trades. Felt good to break the seal.
.

Glad to see you back trading live.

I enjoy your updates and look forward to seeing more live trades and development!

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12/9/15 Wednesday
Live Trades: 1
Day’s P/L: -124.60

Trade 1 CL: -12t
-Total Reasonable Movement: +3t, -156t
-Thought it was a pretty decent trade but got caught in a trend change. Did not have the confidence to enter another trade.

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Weekly Summary 12/7/15 to 12/11/15
Live Trades: 1
Week’s P/L: -$124.60

Starting balance for the week: $3179.77
Withdrawals for the week: $0
Deposits for the week: $0
Ending balance for the week: $3055.17

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: $55.17

Confidence is low right now. Do not trust my set ups due to poor results over the past couple of months. Need to work through this. I have begun practicing with replay using various techniques. Hopefully this will help me improve and work through my issues.

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12/14/15 Monday
Live Trades: 2
Day’s P/L: $23.96

Trade 1: YM, +6 ticks:
-Stop 15t
-Total Reasonable Movement (TRM): +17t, -5t.
-Should have taken 1R to start the day but again held for more and it came back.

Trade 2: M6E, 0 ticks:
-Stop 12t
-TRM of +8t, -35t.
-Trade only went +8t in my favor. No potential.

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12/15/15 Tuesday
Live Trades: 1
Day’s P/L: $95.40

Trade 1: NG,
-P/L: +10t
-stop: 10t
-Total reasonable Movement: +31t, -0t
-Good low stress trade with zero movement against me and 3R in my favor. Would like to see a lot more of these!

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12/17/15 Thursday
Live Trades: 1
Day’s P/L: $295.40

One trade on GC: +30t
-stop 15t
-Total reasonable movement: +33t, -2t
-Trade quickly hit target with very little pain.

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 Tap In 
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12/18/15 Friday
Live Trades: 2
Day’s P/L: $50.80

Two trades on CL: -3t and +9t

-Things have come full circle. I started watching a 1 tick chart again. This was introduced to me on another forum as a way to “surf” price action to get a feel for its movement. I’ve done it in the past with some success but got away from it for some reason, probably because it takes up screen real estate and it’s hard to follow more than one instrument. Very interesting though. I felt like I was really getting a good feel for when price was about to take off at key areas. Tried a couple trades at the end of the day for kicks. Looking forward to exploring this further.

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  #441 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
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Weekly Summary 12/14/15 to 12/18/15
Live Trades: 6
Week’s P/L: $465.56

Starting balance for the week: $3055.17
Withdrawals for the week: $0
Deposits for the week: $0
Ending balance for the week: $3570.23

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: $570.23

Fortunate to have a decent week. Needed this because my confidence was running low. It started to feel like every trade was going to fail.

Revisited looking at 1 tick charts when price approaches a set-up that meets my entry criteria. This is something I experimented with at one time but dropped in order to follow more markets. The idea is "surf" the market to find certain "looks" when price is about to take off or fail.

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  #442 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
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12/21/15 Monday
Live Trades: 3
Day’s P/L: $7.06

Two trades on YM: -1t and +6t. The first trade was an entry error. The second trade was a nice entry and had potential but I got out too early. TRM +19t, -0t.

One trade on 6E: 0t. Exited at BE when the 1 tick chart lost its energy. This saved a full stop out. TRM +4t, -22t.

Used 1 tick charts to pinpoint entries today. So far looks like it has potential to be a nice confirming tool. Waiting for energy to come in to the market means entries are a little later than I am used to. However, I avoid a lot of entries that meet the basic context criteria but have no energy behind them and thus fail. Also will exit if the energy dies like it did in 6E today, avoiding a bigger loss.

Not the best day to trade but did miss a great move in NG.

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  #443 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
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12/22/15 Tuesday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: $0

1st trade taken today was an 8 tick loss on GC. Quickly discovered that the platform was set on sim. Merry Christmas. It usually doesn’t go that way.

Placed markers in real time at areas where the one tick charts were showing good order flow. Most areas could have produced profits or at the very least BE. Only a couple losses. Generally encouraging results. Did not see many areas where I was willing to take risk during this holiday week.

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  #444 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
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Weekly Summary 12/21/15 to 12/25/15
Live Trades: 3
Week’s P/L: $7.06

Starting balance for the week: $3520.73
Withdrawals for the week: $0
Deposits for the week: $0
Ending balance for the week: $3527.79

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: $527.79

Three trades taken on the same day. Though it was a holiday week there were still many opportunities. Note this for next year. It is ok to trade

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 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
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12/28/15 Monday
Live Trades: 1
Day’s P/L: -$4.60

One trade on NG: 0t.
-Total reasonable movement +6t, -23t.
-Looking for a late run into the close and after. Happens often in NG. Did not happened this time so exit at BE. Missed a great day on NG earlier.

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  #446 (permalink)
 TheTradeSlinger 
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@Tap In, how many markets do you look at while you are trading?

You may be looking at too many, I've seen you trade just about every futures contract.

Trying to focus on too much can easily lead to being overwhelmed.

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 mrmuggins 
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TheTradeSlinger View Post
@Tap In, how many markets do you look at while you are trading?

You may be looking at too many, I've seen you trade just about every futures contract.

Trying to focus on too much can easily lead to being overwhelmed.

@TheTradeSlinger

I believe you are one of many that have said that. However, @Tap In believes he can be successful watching several markets. Personally, I have difficulties trading more than one. However, that is the reason for my success, as I only trade one market.

Dudley

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  #448 (permalink)
 Tap In 
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TheTradeSlinger View Post
@Tap In, how many markets do you look at while you are trading?

You may be looking at too many, I've seen you trade just about every futures contract.

Trying to focus on too much can easily lead to being overwhelmed.


I've traded the same six markets for the better part of the past year. Occasionally I'll weigh the pros and cons. Right now I like the opportunity six diverse markets offer and feel that in the long run it will pay off.

By the way, congratulations on your progress. You seem to be doing quite well.

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 Tap In 
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mrmuggins View Post
@TheTradeSlinger

I believe you are one of many that have said that. However, @Tap In believes he can be successful watching several markets. Personally, I have difficulties trading more than one. However, that is the reason for my success, as I only trade one market.

Dudley

It's hard to argue with success. Is there anywhere on the forum we can go to learn from your success?

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 Tap In 
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12/29/15 Tuesday
Live Trades: 1
Day’s P/L: -$4.60

One trade on NG: 0t.
-Total reasonable movement +11t, -3t.
-Truthfully entered this trade thinking I was in sim so naturally I was a bit skittish once in. When it moved my way a little bit I went to BE. At least it made target.

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  #451 (permalink)
 Tap In 
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12/30/15 Wednesday
Live Trades: 1
Day’s P/L: -$4.60

One trade on CL: 0t.
-Total reasonable movement +25t, -2t.
-Good trade location but it sat around entry for longer than I was comfortable so I moved to BE and was taken out. The positive is that it made it to +1R and more.

70% of the last 25 trades have gotten to 1R so my trade selection has improved. Keeping this up should help with the confidence to stay with trades longer.

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  #452 (permalink)
 GruttePier 
Legendary Market Wizard
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
 
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Hi TapIn,

Thanks for your detailled journalling of your trading journey!
I haven't completely read it yet, but your method looks a lot like the way I'm trading and inspires me to continue with it. I also realize I still have a long way to go :-)

By the way, I stumbled into your quote on page 8 exactly one year ago:


Tap In View Post
12/31/14 Wednesday
As I type this I still harbor doubts as to whether or not I have found something viable. It is my hope that I don’t look back on this post a year from now and ask, “what happened?”


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  #453 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
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12/31/15 Thursday
Live Trades: 1
Day’s P/L: -$74.60

One trade on CL: -7t.
-Total reasonable movement +1t, -25t.
-Unfortunately the last trade of the year was a 7 tick loss. Looked to jump on board a resumption to the downside. Market decided to rally strongly. Tried to get on board long later but did not get filled.

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  #454 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Monthly Recap December 2015
Live Trades: 16
Month’s P/L: $247.70

Starting balance for the Month: $3191.69
Withdrawals for the month: $0
Deposits for the month: $0
Ending balance for the month: $3439.39

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: $439.39

Starting to trade a bit more but still struggling with confidence in my read of the market. Watching the 1 tick chart has helped to get a better feel for price action and activity at the moment of truth. There is a certain look that a potentially successful trade has on the one tick chart just before takeoff. It is not the best solution but it is something to use for now until I can explore other things. More on that in the year's summary to follow...

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  #455 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
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Year in Review 2015
Live Trades: 165
Year’s P/L: $439.39

Starting balance for the Year: $3000
Withdrawals during the year: $0
Deposits during the year: $0
Ending balance for the year: $3439.39

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: $439.39

If I was working for hourly wages I’d be making about $0.25 an hour. The thing that keeps me going, and what I tell my wife, is that my income as a futures trader has the potential to increase exponentially, and, like bamboo, will suddenly shoot skyward in a burst of growth. She tells me that, unlike bamboo, once she gets her hands on it, it won’t be sticking around long!


GruttePier View Post
Hi TapIn,

Thanks for your detailled journalling of your trading journey!
I haven't completely read it yet, but your method looks a lot like the way I'm trading and inspires me to continue with it. I also realize I still have a long way to go :-)

By the way, I stumbled into your quote on page 8 exactly one year ago:


Tap In View Post
12/31/14 Wednesday

As I type this I still harbor doubts as to whether or not I have found something viable. It is my hope that I don’t look back on this post a year from now and ask, “what happened?” My personality is such that I’ll believe it when I see it.


Thanks for the reminder GruttePier!

I wouldn’t exactly say, “What happened? “, but I’m not ecstatic that another year has passed without much in the way of tangible results. My system didn’t completely blow up and, sans commissions, in 165 trades I took $1000 more from the market than it took from me. I’ll need to do a lot better than this to feel progress as a trader.

The year started with what I thought was a well devised and developed plan, and a vow to get off sim. It took the better part of three months to work up the courage to take that first live trade. From there my equity curve declined $828.95 (-28%) then popped back up to $683.46 above the starting balance (+23%). From equity trough to equity peak was a gain of 73% and the good feeling that accompanies a strong comeback from a significant deficit. My trade decisions to this point consisted of simple (too simple?) analysis, extreme patience and lots of gut feel. During it all, I had the distinct feeling that I was leaving a lot on the table. And so, with confidence on the rise, I decided to take a sabbatical for a couple months and go back to sim to test out how robust my system really was. This little excursion proved to me that, no, I can’t just take every trade, and that the manner in which I qualify trades needs much refinement. The damage to my confidence on this detour carried through to the end of the year, where I am slowly digging out from the realization that the way I read and trade the market is not as robust as I would have hoped.

Looking at the numbers, my best performers were:
GC: $491.60
NG: $759.60
ZN: $703.36

Interesting in that these are instruments that not a lot of folks (at least on futures.io) day trade.

The worst performers were:
CL: -$291.40
NQ: -$147.26
YM: -$287.46
6E: -$499.00

Does this mean I should drop the worst and adopt the best? Perhaps, but I am not ready to go there. I would really like to work out the issues on CL and the equities since these instruments tend to be the most active on a day to day basis. NG, GC, and ZN have their moments but are not always doing much worthy of trading. Perhaps this is why I can spot opportunities on these more easily.

During the year I came up with a way to measure the quality of my trade locations. I call it the Total Reasonable Movement (TRM) of price from entry. It is sort of a cousin of MFE and MAE but it is independent of whether or not I am still in the trade. I record how far price reasonably moves in my favor before hitting my initial stop area. I make a value judgement as to whether a pullback is too deep to hold through, thus the “reasonable” part of the TRM. The idea of TRM is to form an objective look at the quality of trade selection by tracking how often and how far price moves in my favor compared to how often it moves against me. After all, successful trading depends on picking trades that move in our favor often enough to pay the bills and tuck some away. With these objective numbers the trader can evaluate their trade selection in a number of ways.

For example, of the 165 trades taken:
-Price reached +1R 56% of the time
-Price reached +2R 28% of the time
-Price reached +3R 15% of the time

Looking at these numbers one could reasonably conclude that my edge (at least of the trades I had the courage to take) is very slight, and that managing trades with any kind of confidence with these numbers will present a challenge. While expectancy is greater than zero at +1R, it drops below zero for +2R and +3R. I have come to the conclusion that for a retail trader to be successful they need to be picking trade locations where price reaches +1R 65% of the time or more. This is not to say that the trader will win 65% of the time, but if price is getting to 1R 65% of the time, there will be more flexibility in trade management. Price will also be reaching +2R, and +3R and +4R more often, creating more opportunities to hold runners. Not coincidentally, the TRM of my bests performers were also the highest in regards to reaching +1R: NG (65%), ZN (65%). Needless to say, it is incumbent upon me to figure out how to pick better trades in 2016.

To move to BE or not to move to BE? That is the question:

Of the 165 trades, about 50 were break even (minus commission). I took them at BE in a variety of ways. On some, I moved my stop quickly based on price action or my confidence level at the time. On others, I let price play around before moving to BE. Overall, moving to BE didn’t really hurt me much since only about 60% of time on those BE trades did price reach 1R in its Total Reasonable Movement. This means that if I held every trade to either +1R or -1R I would be slightly ahead. However, I would only be ahead if I took all profits at 1R, leaving no opportunities for runners. This was not enough to warrant the extra stress of taking a bunch more 1R losses. Until I get to 1R more often I will continue to manage trades like a nine tailed cat in room full of rocking chairs.

Many of the bad habits that plagued me in the past are almost completely purged from my system. I say “almost” because I want to be ever diligent of not backsliding. Every so often I will read of a trader that goes along with seemingly superb discipline only to blow up like Mount St Helens in a single day. Lack of discipline, fading strong trends, overtrading, revenge trading, trading with no purpose, trading on a whim, f—k-it trading, and other account destroying habits are all but gone. I cannot recall many trades in 2015 that were not taken for what I thought were legitimate reasons according to my plan. Sure, some looked terrible in hindsight, but in the moment, there was purpose to nearly every trade. One can write paragraphs on the reasons for a trade, but in the end, if the reasons are wrong, results will be no better than flipping a coin, and in some cases worse.

Left over is the one big one, lack of confidence. As the numbers show, this lack of confidence is not without merit. When price only goes your way 50% of the time, and not very far at that, there is no reason to expect to fully embrace every trade. I continue to believe that the root cause of most psychological problems in trading is a lack of true, deep down, subconscious belief in the trader’s ability to read the market for positive expectancy (at least it is for me). Most of the time, this lack of belief is warranted. I would venture to guess that of the 95% of the traders that fail, most do so because they never really find a robust and consistent way to read the market effectively. While things like psychology and money management are important, the dirty little truth that many traders are reluctant to acknowledge is that when you are going long when you should be going short (and vice versa), or getting in when you should be staying out (and vice versa), good things are not likely to happen!

Therefore, my task for 2016 will be to find ways to improve trade location. Not looking for the Holy Grail here, just trying to move the odds more in my favor, to pick more winners and give my losers a fighting chance. I need to reduce the amount of entries that go almost nowhere (currently about 30%) and find the locations that have more upside. To accomplish this, one area that I will be exploring is order flow, the driver of all market movement. I will be looking at various order flow techniques to use in conjunction with my current tools to find better trade locations, fine tune entries, and make better decisions on whether or not to engage the market at any given juncture. Other than Cumulative Delta and the activity of time and sales, I have largely stayed away from delving into the nuances of order flow. I am now ready to take it to the next level.

I have attached two Sierra Charts Stats sheets because I took trades on two different computers during the year.

Happy New Year and successful trading!

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 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
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1/4/15 Friday
Live Trades: 0
Day’s P/L: 0

No trades. Did a lot of studying on Footprint charts over the past few days and watched them live in action today. First impressions were good. I've understood how order flow moves the market through my study of CD charts, but I wasn't ready to take on the level of detail that a footprint chart offers. I am ready now. The concepts jive with my beliefs, so I think there is promise.

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 GruttePier 
Legendary Market Wizard
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Hi TI,

If you are looking to increase your 2R and 3R winning trades, why are you looking at order flow techniques?
Too my understanding, these are techniques for picking short term trading opportunities with limited profit potential.
This will likely increase your 1R winners, but not increase your 2R and 3R winners perse.

Shouldn't you be looking for ways to determine significant from insignificant price levels instead, so you will increase your % of 2R and 3R winners?

I'm trying to understand your reasons for choosing order flow here, not trying to argue or anything :-)

GP

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 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
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1/5/15 Tuesday
Live Trades: 2
Day’s P/L: -$169.20

Two trades on CL: -16t. I spend three days on a new concept and think I’m an expert. Happens every time. Both trades were against the larger trend. I had no business taking either one. Neither trade fit my qualifications but I thought I could “read” the footprint. Pure hubris. I know better than this!

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 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
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GruttePier View Post
Hi TI,

If you are looking to increase your 2R and 3R winning trades, why are you looking at order flow techniques?
Too my understanding, these are techniques for picking short term trading opportunities with limited profit potential.
This will likely increase your 1R winners, but not increase your 2R and 3R winners perse.

Shouldn't you be looking for ways to determine significant from insignificant price levels instead, so you will increase your % of 2R and 3R winners?

I'm trying to understand your reasons for choosing order flow here, not trying to argue or anything :-)

GP

Right now I'm looking at footprint as an order flow tool to help determine significant price levels and enter at the right moments off those price levels. From what I have seen Footprint can be used on a variety of time frames and can be quite effective at finding levels. I'm looking at 8-15 tick stops with 20-45 tick targets. I'm not really interested in staring at the Dom to scalp a few ticks, which may be what you were referring to. Aside from today's trading, which was a disaster, the idea is to find key levels where price has the potential to travel and use footprint, or something else, to help determine if the trade is worth taking. Maybe I'm off base. Don't know.

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1/7/15 Thursday
Live Trades: 1
Day’s P/L: $195.40

One trade on NG: +20t.
-TRM +24, -7.
-Stayed with this trade for a while due to indications in order flow that it had a good chance of continuing higher.

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1/8/16 Friday
Live Trades: 2
Day’s P/L: -$179.20

One trade on CL: -9t.
-TRM +0t, -65t
-Got the context completely wrong and read the order flow wrong. Another trade away from my usual set up criteria because I thought order flow was signaling a reversal. Need to be a little more practiced before taking these types of trades.

One trade on GC: -8t
-TRM +5t, -10t
-Got the direction right but in a little early and stop too tight based on trade activity.

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 lancelottrader 
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1/8/15 Friday
Live Trades: 2
Day’s P/L: -$179.20

One trade on CL: -9t.
-TRM +0t, -65t
-Got the context completely wrong and read the order flow wrong. Another trade away from my usual set up criteria because I thought order flow was signaling a reversal. Need to be a little more practiced before taking these types of trades.

One trade on GC: -8t
-TRM +5t, -10t
-Got the direction right but in a little early and stop too tight based on trade activity.

If you have added a new component into your system, such as the "Footprint" and are trying to read order flow, then you are in a testing mode. In my opinion, any new factor you put in a system makes it now an unproven experimental entity.
If that is the case, live trading is a somewhat risky way to find out if that new addition will work. Personally, I never change anything about my system and immediately take it live. It needs to be tested first, before risking money on it.

Failure is not an option
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lancelottrader View Post
If you have added a new component into your system, such as the "Footprint" and are trying to read order flow, then you are in a testing mode. In my opinion, any new factor you put in a system makes it now an unproven experimental entity.
If that is the case, live trading is a somewhat risky way to find out if that new addition will work. Personally, I never change anything about my system and immediately take it live. It needs to be tested first, before risking money on it.

You are absolutely correct. I tend to be a bit immature as a trader when it comes to things like this. I have in the past made a mental note of your admirable patience in going through the proper process to test a new idea. You test a new idea by trading in sim, correct? At what point do you know it is time to implement?

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Weekly Summary 1/4/16 to 1/8/16
Live Trades: 5
Week’s P/L: -$153.00

Starting balance for the week: $3439.39
Withdrawals for the week: $0
Deposits for the week: $0
Ending balance for the week: $3286.39

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: $286.39

A rather inauspicious start to the year. Four losses and one win. I came out swinging with a new order flow tool and took some trades that went against plan. I have long felt that I needed something to help further refine the entry process in order to get expectancy up from where it currently stands at barely above zero. Eliminating trades that show no order flow in my direction seemed a logical place to start. The original intent of adding footprint to my arsenal was to use it in conjunction with my current plan to cull out some of the losers, not to create new trades that have nothing to do with my plan. Unfortunately I got a little over my skis this week. Back to the bunny hill next week.

Of the 5 trades:
-3 were counter trend and were losers. Thought I had this footprint thing down and so tried to take early advantage of directional changes. @ratfink, I lost money going counter trend so that you wouldn’t have to. You’re welcome.

-My one win was with trend, context correct, timing a little early but it worked out. Here I used footprint as a verification tool to both enter and stay in.

-One loss was with trend and had the context right but was timed a little wrong. OK, at least I can sleep well knowing I followed the plan.

Next week:

-Trade within the rules of the plan. Wait for obvious trades, trades I would take with or without footprint. Use footprint only to confirm order flow going in the direction of the trade. If order flow is not there, no trade. In other words, use footprint to eliminate trades, not create them.

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 lancelottrader 
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You are absolutely correct. I tend to be a bit immature as a trader when it comes to things like this. I have in the past made a mental note of your admirable patience in going through the proper process to test a new idea. You test a new idea by trading in sim, correct? At what point do you know it is time to implement?

Yes, I do trade new things in SIM. If it is something such as a new tool or indicator, I can generally tell after a few weeks if it is helpful. For example, after about a week using the Tick Strike order flow indicator, I could tell it was going to be useful. As long as you are not making drastic changes to your existing trading system, you shouldn't need hundreds of trades to know if it is effective or not.

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Monthly Recap January 2016
Live Trades: 5
Month’s P/L: -$153.00

Starting balance for the Month: $3439.39
Withdrawals for the month: $0
Deposits for the month: $0
Ending balance for the month: $3286.39

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: $286.39

It has been a while since my last live trade, or post. I have been spending time working with order flow, specifically footprint, to improve trade selection and timing. Results in sim have been very promising. Compared to other testing periods, my win rate has increase dramatically and there have been many more days profitable, even while taking a high quantity of trades and some knowingly questionable test trades. This is good news. Normally when I trade a lot, even in sim, I do nothing but lose. This time the trade log showed a lot more time spent in the black. The markets have been quite volatile so the one question is whether the results will be the same in a more sanguine market. At the very least I feel my trading skills have improve to another level. Whether that level means consistent profitability remains to be seen. I’m quite leery of making any sort of bold pronouncement, like “I’ve got it!” Any time I have done this, with either golf or trading, the next time out proves to be a big disappointment.

Some things learned:

-Using footprint provides much more specific criteria to look for in trade selection. There is a lot less questioning, “is this it?” Not to say every trade is 100% obvious. There is still a lot of discretion, just not as much.

-I have had an epiphany in regards to retracements, why they happen, and where they might stop. In essence, it is this: price almost always returns to where it broke out, and this occurs on all time frames. I am embarrassed to admit that, in all my time studying and trading, this never occurred to me.

-While I still use the same tools to structure the market, my entry criteria will be a lot more dependent on footprint than some of the things I have done in the past, like waiting for a break of a trend line. I’ll largely still be trading pullbacks in trends but the entries might happen a lot earlier, sometimes even later, and occasionally will be counter trend if the conditions are right.

-Watching footprint requires a lot more focus, which means I will be concentrating on fewer instruments, primarily oil and one of the indexes since they seem to be coupled at the moment. This has been encouraged by a few folks. I now have a compelling reason.

-I have been able to decrease my typical stop in oil to around 7 or 8 ticks, which is nice.

I will still have other instruments like GC and NG open in the event of those rare times where obvious and potentially lucrative opportunities occur, but most of my time will be with oil, at least as long as it is moving. Footprint seems to work quite nicely with oil.

Going forward I will trade my own account as long as I remain profitable or go backwards $1500 or so. Should this occur I will look to do a combine to take some pressure off my finances while at the same time working towards something tangible.

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2/1/16 Monday
Live Trades: 1
Day’s P/L: -$74.60

One trade on CL: -7t.
-TRM +3, -27.
-After double bottom and higher high. Order flow set up good.

Skipped several trades early, then lost this one. Went to sim to practice because it was getting late, making 36 ticks sim.

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Monthly Recap February 2016
Live Trades: 4
Month’s P/L: -$217.82

Starting balance for the Month: $3286.39
Withdrawals for the month: $0
Deposits for the month: $0
Ending balance for the month: $3068.57

Beginning account balance from first live trade on 3/10/15: $3000.00
Total Withdrawals: $0
Total Deposits: $0
Total Gains/losses from 3/10/15: $68.57


Just returned from vacation. Not much in the way of live activity in February. Still working on order flow techniques and took a much needed holiday. I will be starting a $30,000 Top Step combine Monday to shake things up a bit. Analysis will be on Sierra Charts while the combine execution will be on a simple Ninja chart. This will allow me the tools available on Sierra and the ability to trade my live account on occasion.

I will attempt to treat the combine as a form of sim trading with the added benefit of reward with success. I anticipate many trades in the combine, with a few targeted trades on the live account. My goal for the combine will be to treat it as I would sim, with as little concern as possible of blow up. As simple reset of $100 and we start over. Time will tell if I can keep such a carefree mindset when the shooting begins, especially if by some miracle I get funded!

For some reason I lost my Sierra stats for February so only the account balance is attached.

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 lemons 
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Monthly Recap February 2016
Live Trades: 4
Month’s P/L: -$217.82

Starting balance for the Month: $3286.39
Withdrawals for the month: $0
Deposits for the month: $0
Ending balance for the month: $3068.57

Beginning account balance from first live trade on 3/10/15: $3000.00
Total Withdrawals: $0
Total Deposits: $0
Total Gains/losses from 3/10/15: $68.57


Just returned from vacation. Not much in the way of live activity in February. Still working on order flow techniques and took a much needed holiday. I will be starting a $30,000 Top Step combine Monday to shake things up a bit. Analysis will be on Sierra Charts while the combine execution will be on a simple Ninja chart. This will allow me the tools available on Sierra and the ability to trade my live account on occasion.

I will attempt to treat the combine as a form of sim trading with the added benefit of reward with success. I anticipate many trades in the combine, with a few targeted trades on the live account. My goal for the combine will be to treat it as I would sim, with as little concern as possible of blow up. As simple reset of $100 and we start over. Time will tell if I can keep such a carefree mindset when the shooting begins, especially if by some miracle I get funded!

For some reason I lost my Sierra stats for February so only the account balance is attached.

FYI

You can run many Sierra Charts on the same time.
Example one for your own account and second for TST.

You just need to install second copy of Sierra Charts with different name.
Example Sierra Charts - TST.

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lemons View Post
FYI

You can run many Sierra Charts on the same time.
Example one for your own account and second for TST.

You just need to install second copy of Sierra Charts with different name.
Example Sierra Charts - TST.

I did not know that. Thanks! I use the Sierra Charts data because of its thoroughness when using order flow. Do you know if I would have to pay another data fee for the the second Sierra copy?

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For the record, trading in the combine and live will be confined to CL. I watch YM for correlations but do not anticipate taking any trades in YM.

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I did not know that. Thanks! I use the Sierra Charts data because of its thoroughness when using order flow. Do you know if I would have to pay another data fee for the the second Sierra copy?

You will pay only for TST combine fee of your choice.
When you sign up for combine choose T4/CTS as trading platform.
After you get login info from TST ask them to allow Sierra Charts login to T4/CTS.

Also you don't need to pay for second data feed.
You will be shearing the same data feed with multiple copies.

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Not my best effort I'm afraid. I was not able to get Sierra Charts set up with TST over the weekend so I had to wrestle with the Ninja DOM, which was a bit awkward. Took three trades, two of which would have done nicely had the fills not been so poor, as I was spooked out before fruition. Also, admittedly, I passed up the best part of the day and waited until late to take a couple of the trades. On the positive side, as least it doesn't feel as bad as losing real money!

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Care to explain?

What part? That was written a long time ago.

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What part? That was written a long time ago.

That was just a BS'er trying to fill his quota of 10 posts so he could plug something. Mike stopped him.

They believe they are so smart, but it doesn't work too well....

Bob.

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Finally got the Sierra charts working for the combine. I got a bit of a reprieve from the first two days losses in Ninja on Monday and Tuesday because they reset the combine to switch platforms. So I started from zero Wednesday. @TopstepTrader were very accommodating.

6 trades Wednesday for very slight gains. Two losses today. Bad trade location as price was running into a highly traded previous area. Should have waited for it to clear the area one way or another, which it finally did to the downside. Got skeptical after the losses since my read of footprint has been showing a lot of false signals lately. I've never seen so many large orders in the market as there have been the past few weeks, on both sides of the DOM. This tells me there is a different level of player active in the market at this time pushing price around. My signals are getting run over.

That said, after the two quick losses I got skittish and failed to trade some good areas that produced nice results. The reason I started the combine was to trade with less fear of blowing out real money. I need to gird up and get on with it. The daily goal for the near future will be to trade right up to my max daily loss limit if necessary ($500) without going over. At around $70 risk per trade this gives me about 6 net losses. Of course, the goal is to gain, not lose, so I hope it will not be necessary to push it that far. It is simply not acceptable to stop trading after only two losses. If I am taking good quality set ups 6 net trades should be plenty of maneuvering space. If it's not, something is wrong with my trading, at least for that day. While I am interested in passing the combine, the bigger goal is to trade with more freedom. If that means resetting until I get it, so be it

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Monthly Recap March 2016
Live Trades: 4
Month’s P/L: -$228.40

Starting balance for the Month: $3068.57
Withdrawals for the month: $0
Deposits for the month: $0
Ending balance for the month: $2840.17

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: $-159.83

Only four live trades in March because I shifted focus to a TST combine.




I started this journal during the last contest so figured it would be a good time to re-commit to honor Big Mike's efforts and this latest contest.

I haven't been journaling for a while because, quite frankly, I wasn't sure where to take the journal next. No real progress was being made in my trading and it seemed I was repeating the same things over and over. Also, there was a bit of embarrassment in the fact that I had essentially gone nowhere for so long. So, I took a break from the journal to experiment with some things privately away from public judgement.

For the past several months I have been working with order flow tools, specifically footprint and refocusing on cumulative delta, in an effort to better read market context and time entries for maximum probability. I am cognizant of the danger of switching methods too often, but in this case do not think it is a wholesale change from what I have been doing over the past year and a half, but rather a additional tools to hopefully give myself a better chance. My basic analysis and top down processes are the same, as detailed on the summary page of the journal, but I have long felt there was a level of visibility missing from my market analysis that caused decision making to be too random and undisciplined. In short, I have felt my edge was too loosely defined and inadequate to make money consistently over the long haul.

During this time I have focused exclusively on trading oil rather than the six markets I was watching previously. As others have shown, oil moves enough on a weekly basis to make a good living, but there are pluses and minuses to trading only one instrument. I miss the opportunity to jump on strong momentum moves that seem to pop up daily on at least one of the instruments. One can almost always count on something moving. However, if one is trading six instruments with a smallish account, the daily max loss can be hit very quickly with a string of loses over several instruments. In addition, it is very difficult to focus on smaller nuances like footprint, if for nothing more than a lack of screen space. I have also been studying and observing some other trader's techniques here on FIO that I may incorporate into my trading. More on that as it develops.

With that said, I have settled in to watching only oil, without much regret for what might be happening elsewhere. I am less anxious about missing things, I can take more trades without fear of blowing out the day quickly, and can become more intimate with the movement and tendencies of this one instrument. In addition, after getting TST funded, there is a $85 per instrument per month fee, so one instrument at this time is enough.

I would like to say that these changes have made a difference to my overall PnL, but they haven't, yet. As one can see in my combine results the only direction my account has been moving lately is backwards. While I have this feeling deep down that I am on the right track, the inconsistency to enter the market at proper moments while jumping in at less opportune moments has not led to stellar results. I do believe that I am at that point in my trading career where poor psychology is holding things back. This needs to be of utmost focus going forward: how to stop yo-yo-ing from days of great market movement, taking no trades, to days of taking many trades and little market movement. I need to break the cycle.

As for this current combine, since I am so far in the hole I may just put on three contract trades for the hell of it to either blow it out and re-set, or get it back to level quickly. Here it is:


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4/4/16 Monday
Combine Trades: 5
Day’s P/L: $81.61

Five trades. Four were BE. Of the four at BE, three would have been full stop outs, so exiting was the right choice. Generally took trades in the right direction but wrong timing. This is the challenge trading with small stops, but that’s what I do so I need to time things better.

The best trade traveled +41 ticks but I exited at 10t on a retracement. Hard to hold the good ones when so many others go nowhere. Improved entries on a higher percentage of trades will make it easier to hold these.

Total Reasonable movement of each trade:

Trade 1: +8t, -16t
Trade 2: +6t, -18t
Trade 3: +3t, -14t
Trade 4: +9t, -5t (Went +9t, then -5t, then +58t. However, because of the +9t move, I would have moved to BE and been taken out before the big move)
Trade 5: +43t, -0t

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4/5/16 Tuesday
Combine Trades: 1
Day’s P/L: -$63.68

Today was a range traders dream but it made me uncertain, so I stayed out except for one trade that had the look of a quick 10-20 tick move out the top of the large channel.

Barely hanging on to the combine. Waiting for a good day to put on 3 contracts to either blow out or make up ground quickly. Hopefully tomorrow, one way or the other.

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 bobwest 
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4/5/16 Tuesday
Combine Trades: 1
Day’s P/L: -$63.68

Today was a range traders dream but it made me uncertain, so I stayed out except for one trade that had the look of a quick 10-20 tick move out the top of the large channel.

Barely hanging on to the combine. Waiting for a good day to put on 3 contracts to either blow out or make up ground quickly. Hopefully tomorrow, one way or the other.

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.

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.

Steady works, as does committing to the trades you see and letting them play out for you, however they do.

I think your Combine is very credible. Many (me included) have done worse, and you are definitely still in the game.

Good luck and good trading with it.

Bob.

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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!


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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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4/6/16 Wednesday
Combine Trades: 7
Day’s 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 couldn’t 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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4/7/16 Thursday
Combine Trades: 1
Day’s 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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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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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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 bobwest 
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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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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.



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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4/11/16 Monday
Combine Trades: 2
Day’s 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 don’t trade until price moves and forms a smaller range or pause. It is tempting to try to catch the full move but that’s 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 today’s 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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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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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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One of the challenges with trading smaller time frames is that it is easy to get chewed up on big volatile days. To combat this I am trying to work with a concept I use in another endeavor I enjoy, fly fishing. I am by no means an expert in the sport, but I know enough to be dangerous.

Around my part of Oregon there are small streams, medium rivers, and large rivers like the Deschutes. Fishing on the small streams and medium rivers is not as challenging, because the lanes and obstacles where the fish might hold are fairly limited, well defined, and easily accessed. When folks, who are used to fishing streams, encounter the mighty Deschutes, the first reaction is one of being overwhelmed by the size. "Where do I even begin?!"

The way to overcome this is to visualize smaller "streams" within the larger river. Then, pick out areas within these streams where the fish might hold. From here the options for catching fish are almost limitless. There are lots of "streams", and therefore lots of places to hold, and therefore lots of fish waiting to be caught!

On a big move with a lot of volatility, entering on a small pullback can be daunting for a small stop trader. How can one be confident that this small retracement is not part of a larger retracement within the big move, a retracement that in relative terms is not that large at all compared to the size of the move?

The trader has two choices. 1) give it a go and hope luck and momentum in that particular instance carries price away. This can be both dangerous and lucrative. Sometimes these moves can result in multiples of the stop. But often the larger pull back does indeed materialize, resulting in a stop out. This can happen many times as the trader attempts in vain to get on board the big juicy trend.

Option 2: Wait for a medium sized pull back, a smaller stream if you will, within the larger river. Then wait for the proper sized retracement, more commiserate with the stop size, that is coming out of that medium sized retracment. Break the big river into small parts.

The challenge is, of course, waiting for that medium sized retracement while watching price zoom to new territory without us. Sometimes trading a big day with small stops results in fewer trades, which is the price we with small accounts must pay.

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4/12/16 Tuesday
Combine Trades: 2
Day’s P/L: $2.64

First trading day of new combine. Second day watching for smaller ranges after momentum moves, while avoiding:

Chop
Against trend trades
Large ranges

Took two trades and couldn’t stay with them. Both BE. I have no confidence in my reads. If they fiddle fart around for any length of time I’m out. Eventually I’ll get one that takes off quickly.
Based on past performance I have no reason to have confidence, to be honest. Hopefully over time that will change. I again did a nice job of identifying valid successful trades in real time (circles). 8 for 9 in getting to 1R, some further. Build on that.

I have also been putting notes on the charts of real-time thoughts.

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4/15/16 Friday
Combine Trades: 5
Day’s P/L: -48.40

Still banging away here in my little corner of Oregon. Trying some new things the past couple days. At the risk of being accused of changing my trading style, well, I’m experimenting with changing my trading style. Kind of, but not completely. I am mostly fiddling with tactics, when and where to enter, not necessarily changing my charts (although I would love to get a hold of Bookmap someday. Too expensive for now. Wife would leave me!)

The past few days I have been trading in more of an “information risk” manner than the usual “price risk” manner. It is a little disconcerting to enter as price is coming at me, but I like the idea of getting in earlier, and price seems to be spending a lot more time in the positive on each trade. So far results are nothing to write home about, but I have seen some encouraging signs. I tried it in sim on Tuesday and went 7 for 9, which is highly unusual for me, even in sim. I did not know the terms ‘information risk” and “price risk until I watched an FT71 webinar last night. His opinion is that traders should lean towards a more information risk style of trading, so it is nice to hear I am in good company. We’ll see what happens. Can’t be worse than what I’ve been doing!

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 jackbravo 
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I just changed all the charts this week. Lol.
When it's not working, time for change....

"It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop." Confucius
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4/21/16 Thursday
Combine Trades: 8
Day’s P/L: $240

Today I got back about half of what I lost yesterday (near max daily loss). I was much more in tune with the market today. Yesterday I made a big mistake that cost me in material and mental capital when I clicked "sell" when I meant to click "buy". Got out with -4 ticks but missed the initial push up and then tried in vain the rest of the day to get on board the huge trend. I even went counter-trend a couple times and of course lost. Only 1 trade out of 7 made it to +1R before -1R.

Contrast that with today when 7 of 8 trades made it to +1R before -1R, and 4 of the 8 made it to +2R or more. I was more patient today and concentration was better.

Of course, I don’t always take full stop outs when the market moves against me, nor do I always stay in trades that move in my favor. But, take it from me, when you are generally entering trades that move in your favor more than they move against, it is a lot easier to make money! Right now that is what I care most about, taking good entries. The gains will follow eventually.

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4/22/16 Friday
Combine Trades: 3
Day’s P/L: $79

Traded less today for whatever reason. I tend to yo-yo between trading a lot and trading little. Being consistent in this area is definitely something I need to work on. Today would have been a nice day. I feel I am seeing opportunity better.

Of the three trades:

Trade 1 Total Reasonable Movement: +10t, -1t.
Trade 2 TRM: +15t, -2t
Trade 3 TRM: +9, -1

None of the three did anything spectacular, so getting out with some gains was fine. Slowly clawing my way back...

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 lancelottrader 
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4/22/16 Friday
Combine Trades: 3
Day’s P/L: $79

Traded less today for whatever reason. I tend to yo-yo between trading a lot and trading little. Being consistent in this area is definitely something I need to work on. Today would have been a nice day. I feel I am seeing opportunity better.

Of the three trades:

Trade 1 Total Reasonable Movement: +10t, -1t.
Trade 2 TRM: +15t, -2t
Trade 3 TRM: +9, -1

None of the three did anything spectacular, so getting out with some gains was fine. Slowly clawing my way back...

Good job.

Failure is not an option
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Just made a post in the Cumulative Delta thread on how I am using CD these days.


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4/25/16 Monday
Combine Trades: 2
Day’s P/L: -$87.36

I allowed myself to get lulled into complacency today as the market displayed confusing action early, then picked up later. Took two trades early when things were a bit confusing, then sat on the sidelines later when the picture was clearer. Boredom can be a killer.

Two trades, one loss, one BE. Neither trade had any potential.

Total Reasonable Movement:
Trade 1: +2, -16
Trade 2: +8, -25

The good news is that I have now traded 10 days so I am free to pass the combine at any time.

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

4/26/16 Tuesday
Combine Trades: 2
Day’s P/L: -$167.36

Stacked orders working the offer at the top of the opening range told me there was a good chance CL was going up today. The only question was when? I took a couple of shots at it early after a failure to break out of the bottom of the OR.

The first trade was the first breakout attempt.

The second trade was after a higher low with order flow.

The market didn’t have enough willing buyers to capture all those offers so it needed one more shake out at the bottom of the OR to reset the demand. Once that happened it was off to the races.

I guess in hindsight I should have waited for a clear breakout and pause before engaging the market. Once again I got bit by trying to catch the first move.



As fortune would have it I switched over to sim, while waiting for a grade A set up, to “try” a trade based on a footprint set up I have been watching, and low and behold made 57 ticks. Whoopy!


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